Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday: Scotland!

Well, it's all over... but we'll always have Paris Edinburgh.  A couple o' things, both amusing, both from the Usual Source, and both funny:



Birthmark.  Heh.  This next piece is much longer, but stay with it... John Oliver is one hella funny guy!



I love Oliver.  I don't always agree with him but his POV on things is ALWAYS entertaining.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cigar Art XIX

In today's mail... wait, that's not right... delivered by a uniformed driver o' the Brown Truck o' Happiness is the reality o' the situation.  These:




That's a box o' Acid Opulence 3s from Drew Estate, one of my go-to sticks.  Once again, the art is mostly about the packaging, which is a well-constructed solid wood box with a clever three-piece lid.  It almost seems a shame to take these cigars out o' the box and put 'em in the humidor.

Herewith a brief review o' the cigar:



What do I think?  As I said before: the O3 is one of my go-to sticks.  I love this cigar.

A Couple o' Things From Yesterday

Ramirez, first.


The man has a point.  And then there's this:


Hockey soda?  Really?  And what does "pro STYLE" really mean?... not to mention the eye-rolling "functional lifestyle beverage."  MY functional lifestyle beverage is whiskey, thankyaverymuch.

And finally... We're gratified to see the adults in the room prevailed in the Scottish independence referendum.  The United Kingdom is still united, thank The Deity At Hand.

Pro-union supporters celebrated in Glasgow as the result became clearer.  (photo from the Beeb, more here)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Everyone Talks About the WX...

... and I'm no exception.  I prolly do it too much, actually, but weather fascinates me.  Here's what we looked like when I opened the blinds this morning...


And here's the latest ten-day forecast.  


I swear, I've never seen this much rain in the nearly 12 years I've lived on The High Plains o' New Mexico.  All o' this is a great good thing but one wonders if it's gonna be enough to change our drought category from moderate to something less than that.  I DO know that it's gonna be a while before The Tart gets her next bath.

Not Your Father's Air Force XXXVI

Yet another brick in the wall we call "Not Your Father's Air Force:"


That's a screen shot of a blurb in AFA's Daily Report.  The subject of the article... changes to the promotion system on the E-side of the house... obviously doesn't concern me anymore.  I noted with some interest the current system has a maximum rating of five in the various evaluation categories; in my day we used a 1 - 9 scale, nine being best, but that's neither here nor there.  I clicked on the photo accompanying the article to get a better view of CMSAF Cody and then went off to AF.mil to read his bio, among other things.  Here's Chief Cody's official mug shot:



And here's a detail from that mug shot:



There's this, for those of you who aren't familiar with what all those pretty pieces o' cloth mean:
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with seven oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon
Those are the MAJOR decorations, you'll note Chief Cody actually sports 25... count 'em... 25 ribbons.  Contrast the above with the Air Force's first-ever Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (the CMSAF position was created in 1967), Paul Airey:



Chief Airey's decs:
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal
POW Medal
(a total of 16 awards and decs)
You'll note both Chiefs were awarded the Legion of Merit.  There's this about CMSAF Airey's LoM:
During the Korean conflict, he was awarded the Legion of Merit while assigned at Naha Air Base, Okinawa. The award, an uncommon decoration for an enlisted man, was earned for creating a means of constructing equipment from salvaged parts that improved corrosion control of sensitive radio and radar components.
Key words: "uncommon decoration for an enlisted man."  Apparently the LoM ain't exactly uncommon any longer.

We've gone on (and on) about "medal creep" a lot here at EIP and this just adds more fuel to my fire.  It's bad enough when our generals walk around with more medals than yer average South American dictator (or Rooshian marshals, see link) but when our senior NCOs sport 25 medals and ribbons, well... I guess my point's made.  And don't get me started about the current CMSAF's ridiculous chevrons.

(No, it's NOT sour grapes.  I know what yer thinkin'.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Semantics & Weather



I find this amusing... not funny, just amusing.  Given our gub'mint's track record on the various and sundry "wars" depicted in the 'toon, perhaps the Obama administration is right in labeling the current military adventure as it has.

This is just as amusing, if not more so:


Today is the sort o' day some folks would call "dreary."  Not me, however.  A nice, long, gentle rain is JUST what the doctor ordered for The High Plains o' New Mexico.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

More from Becker & Fagen...


Children we have it right here
It's the light in my eyes
It's perfection and grace
It's the smile on my face
Tonight when I chase the dragon,
The water may change to cherry wine
And the silver will turn to gold
Time out of mind
Ah, chasing the dragon.  The first entry at the link refers to "hard" drugs like smack or crack cocaine but there are other, more user-friendly dragons, chief among them fine single malts.  Interestingly enough, most of my friends back in the day (that day bein' 1980, when "Gaucho" was released) had never heard the term before and were incredulous when I (a) mentioned the source of the phrase and (b) what it actually meant.  "No!" they all cried, but they soon learned to believe me when I dropped these bits of esoterica on them.  That's me: a mind stuffed FULL o' useless information.

We just might do a bit o' dragon-chasing after tonight's installment of "The Roosevelts" is done, and perhaps even during our teevee time.  Apropos o' not much, have you been watching?  I'm still impressed, very impressed.  It remains to be seen if those feelings will hold when the film begins to concentrate on FDR, who's something of a bête noire to those of us with conservative or small-L libertarian leanings.  We shall see.

Creative Editing

This can't be real...



... and it's not.  But watching this made my blood pressure soar.  Talk about "close calls"... even if they're not real.  Zowie!

Scotland

I've been following the brouhaha surrounding Thursday's referendum in Scotland, where the Scots will vote whether to secede from the United Kingdom or not.  There's this about that...


I know Mel... or William Wallace, Mel's character... wasn't the only guy who paid the ultimate price in the Scottish Wars of Independence.  But this time around the price will be even higher if Scotland returns a "yes" vote, which will be something like 5,327,700 people committing mass economic (among other things) hara-kiri.  I may be speaking from a position of colossal ignorance but my very FIRST thought about all this is "What the HELL are the Scots thinking?"

Monday, September 15, 2014

PSA

It's Monday and it's a pretty slow day, so far.  We've read the overnight mail and made our blog rounds, the upshot bein' we have nothing... zero, zilch, nada... that piques our interest enough to create a post.  So, here we are... reduced to talking about what we watched on teevee last night.  Not that that's a bad thing, mind you, coz this is what was on last evening at El Casa Inmóvil De Pennington:


That would be a screenshot of episode one of The Roosevelts, another tour de force from Ken Burns.  Last night's event featured parts one and two of the seven-part film, which runs all week on PBS.  You can watch all seven episodes here, including the ones scheduled to run all this week (a fact I find middling-strange: why would PBS want to dilute their audience by allowing them to watch episodes before they're broadcast?).  I'll be tuning in tonight and the rest of the week to watch the remainder of the series which, if subsequent episodes are as good as last evening's, promises to be the best thing on teevee this year.

The Roosevelts is "can't miss" teevee, assuming you're an American history buff.  OTOH, you could always go with the flow and watch SpongeBob or the Kardashians, not that there's anything wrong with that.  Much.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Life's Minor Regrets, Line Item #2,361

I never went to Burning Man...



... but I (used to) have friends that go every year.  That was when I was working and living in the Bay Area Soviet Socialist Republic, but dumb-ass me was always "too busy" to take a week's vacation and go.  (Sigh)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday: Off To the Races

My money was on the F1 car before this even started...



I watched this all the way through, given I'm something of a gear-head and most definitely a biker (albeit a retired biker).  The guy on the bike ran a pretty good race even though he came in third.  There's not a bike in the world that can keep up with a car in the twisties... it's all a matter of physics and amount of rubber the vehicles put on the road, as in "contact patch."  Among other things.

Friday, September 12, 2014

It's an Indoor Happy Hour Today

Currently:


The picture is wrong, coz it's raining as we speak (note the thumbnail radar picture).  I doubt if the AC will run much today but the heat MIGHT.  I like this kinda weather... it makes me feel like watching football tomorrow.  A lot o' football!

Ch-Ch-Changes

So... Skip and YrHmblScrb had this lil exchange in comments yesterday:


  1. Uh, Buck, if being married to a Michigander counts, I have more time in grade than you.
    Oh, and she lived withing spittin' distance of Woodward Ave.
  2. I lived about ten houses west of Woodward (or about three-fourths of a block) while I was in Dee-troit. I couldn't spit that far, but I sure could run it without getting out of breath. Then. (Google 351 West Oakridge Ave, Ferndale)
Bein' the anal-retentive kinda guy we ARE, we immediately went to Google Maps to verify what we said was true concerning our old physical location vis-a-vis Woodward and we received a minor shock in so doing.  This is how I remember the ol' Ferndale homestead:



That pic was taken sometime in the early '90s and note the two large trees in the foreground.  There was another, equally large tree to the immediate left of the two-trunked tree on the left hand side of the pic.  Those were big-assed trees, Gentle Reader, at least 40 to 50 feet worth o' tree, and they towered over the house.  And here's how Google's Street View depicts the house in 2012:


There's significant lens distortion here, given my house was about the same size as the one to the right (in the pic).


Those big-ass trees?  Gone!  The "new" owners of the ol' homestead dropped a significant amount of cash to have the trees removed, if one can believe the cost estimates at this tree service's web site.  I know change happens, it's the way o' the world.  But I don't think this change improved the "curb appeal" of this house... as a s'matter o' fact I think it hurt.  But, Hey!  I can take my opinion, add about three Yankee Dollars to it and buy a cup o' coffee at nearly any Starbucks.

Update, later that same day:  We did it again, just (a) for drill and (b) because we CAN.  Here's a "then and now" of yet another old homestead, this bein' the house I owned in Fairport, NY, a suburb o' Ra-Cha-Cha.  First the near-now:




And the way we were:


I don't have a summer shot of the house, unfortunately, but I think the new owners here have increased the curb appeal significantly.  The ol' place looks a lot better now than it did when I was in it.  

I don't have very many happy memories about this place.  There are a few, granted.  The four years I spent here weren't all THAT bad, especially if one discounts the worst singular experience of my entire life that played out (in slow motion) within the walls of this house.  Forgetting that might be asking too much.