Friday, August 29, 2014

Cleanin' Out the Fridge, a la Buck

All this went into the dumpster about 15 minutes ago:

It really pained me to toss out perfectly good beer, if one defines "good" as beer that's serviceable, of good quality, and from reputable sources.  All of the foregoing are true but there's just ONE fly in this ointment: I don't like these beers.  We'd reached the point where a dozen loose bottles were taking up space that could be occupied by beer I LIKE.  So, out it all went.

I used to be able to give away my beer cast-offs and rejects to the kids from ENMU that lived two doors down but those guys moved out.  More's the pity and what a waste.

Update, 1330 hrs:  Two things.  First, I lied used poetic license in the narrative above.  I hadn't actually thrown the beer out when I wrote the post and there's this, too.  My new(ish) neighbors pulled into their driveway as I was walking to the dumpster with all that beer in hand.  So I walked over, introduced myself and offered them the beer, which they gladly accepted.  It turns out the beer wasn't wasted, after all.  The Deity At Hand moves in strange ways, doesn't she?

So, after a bit o' small talk I jumped into The Tart and motored on over to my local likker locker to... surprise, surprise... buy some beer.  Where I saw this:

Well, now.  The glare blots out most of the top line which sez: "No Alcohol Sales."  Bummer!  It's a great good thing that I NEVER let the available beer supply fall below the one six-pack mark now, innit?

Not Your Father's Air Force XXXV

From the Usual USAF Source...
SrA. Shabree N. Heasell, a geospatial intelligence analyst with the 603rd Air and Space Operations Center at Ramstein AB, Germany, is one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2014. As a tactics and training analyst, Heasell identified 43 smuggling routes across a 193-square-mile area, leading to the discovery and elimination of 12 enemy workshops, 20 improvised explosive devices, and 50 weapons caches. She developed nine primary and alternate evacuation routes for the Secret Service, ensuring the safety of the President of the United States and 223 staff personnel during the President's diplomatic visit to Africa. Heasell also volunteered 1,270 hours for 15 organizations and led 350 volunteers through 53 events, raising more than $2 million in sales and proceeds that were donated to local schools and charities. Air Force Magazine is shining the spotlight on each OAY in the days leading up to AFA's Air & Space Conference that starts on Sept. 15 in National Harbor, Md. AFA will honor these airmen there.
First of all: congratulations to SrA Heasell on her selection as one of USAF's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.  That's a Big F'in Deal (as Uncle Joe would say).  That said, take a look at the right hand screen the SMSgt is using.  Wikipedia?  Wiki-Freakin'-Pedia?  This photo is supposed to represent intelligence operations, innit?  And The Wiki is a source?  This is the sorta thing that makes me entreat The Deity At Hand to save us.  Please.

I've Been Doin' It Wrong

I recently learned I've been eating sushi wrong, after oh, say, 45 years or so.  This is supposedly how one does it:

OK,  Naomichi Yasuda is Japanese and he's a master sushi chef so there's no arguing with his credentials.  That said, I will continue to mix my soy sauce and wasabi together, thank you very much.  And I eat individual fish pieces with my fingers, not with hashi.  I know, I know... I'm a barbarian gaijin.

In other news....  Speakin' o' doin' it wrong, there's this:

Would someone please explain WTF that thing is eclipsing the sun?  It LOOKS like a hockey puck, kinda-sorta, but I don't think that's what this means.

Update, 1430 hrs:  All is explained in comments about that eclipse thing.  To my GREAT shame.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I dunno about a failure to recognize emotions, but I DO know people spend waaay too damned much time looking at their phones.  That would be ALL people, not just the young.

In other news... today is one of those dates that I'll never, ever forget.  It was 51 years ago today that I raised my right hand and solemnly swore "that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic...", amongst other things.  Today was also the day I took my first ride in a jet, flying in a 707 from El-Eh to San Antonio.  To say what happened on this date was a life changing event is a massive understatement; things were never the same after this day.  Totally.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sixty Years

From the Usual USAF Source:
C-130 Marks 60 Years in Production
Archived photo of the YC-130 Hercules during its ferry flight from Burbank, Calif., to Edwards AFB, Calif., on Aug. 23, 1954. The C-130 is still in production today, making it the longest running military aircraft production line in history. Air Force photo.
In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower was in his first term as President and an expansionist Soviet Union was generating global tensions in the emerging Cold War. On Aug. 23 of that year, a four-engine turboprop transport took its maiden flight at Lockheed Martin's plant in Burbank, Calif. Sixty years later, the C-130 Hercules still is in production, making it the longest running military aircraft in continuous production in history. The Air Force took delivery of its first C-130As in December 1956, and a total of 428 different models of the Hercules are being flown by nearly every major Air Force command, the Air Force Reserve, and the Air National Guard. Hercules also are operated by the US Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard and are in military or civil use in 70 countries. According to Lockheed Martin, a total of 2,471 have been produced. And the latest model, the C-130J Super Herc, continues to roll off the assembly lines. "In its first six decades, the C-130 shaped aviation history, redefined industry standards and exhibited flexibility that other aircraft have yet to match," George Shultz, Lockheed vice president and general manager C-130 programs, said in a company release. (USAF release).
Note that Mr. Shultz  said "its FIRST six decades."  I don't have much doubt the ol' Herky Bird will still be flying somewhere at the end of the 21st century.  The aircraft will most certainly have a longer life than I will.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Is It October Yet?

Department of Redundancy Department:

Sigh.  Our teevee is getting a LOT of rest this summer.  Which ain't new or different from summers past.

H/T for the image: Rummy.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Keepin' It Clean...

First, there's this from the Usual USAF Source:

Air Frame: A KC-135 Stratotanker taxis through the wash rack, also known as a bird bath, after a mission Aug. 18, 2014. The KC-135 is assigned to the Tennessee Air National Guard's 134th Air Refueling Wing. (Air National Guard photo by TSgt. Jonathan Young)
I learn sumthin' every single day; today I learned there actually IS a way to wash airplanes that doesn't involve two or three one-stripers, brushes, buckets, and hoses.

And there's this, in the not-so-clean category: "The complete guide to swearing at work," from Quartz.  An excerpt:
Modern media tell us that workplace swearing is cool. Take Martin Scorsese’s latest movie, The Wolf of Wall Street, whose brash yet professionally successful characters dropped 506 f-bombs, a record for a feature film. In a 2006 survey by Associated Press/Ipsos (pdf), 74% of Americans said they encountered profanity in public frequently or occasionally and 66% said that as a rule, people curse more today than 20 years ago.

There are some prominent examples. After the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, US president Barack Obama famously commented on the Today show that he’d been talking to experts about the spill to figure out “whose ass to kick.” T-Mobile CEO John Legere, a renegade executive known for his potty mouth, badmouthed competitors AT&T and Verizon at a recent press event by saying that “the fuckers hate you.” Former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz once told her staff at an all-hands meeting that she’d “dropkick to fucking Mars” anyone whose company gossip ended up on a blog (which her comments promptly did).
The article is fairly interesting, what with its links, statistics, studies, and recommendations.   I agree that a well-placed f-bomb can do wonders in getting your message across and I used that tactic more than a few times in my civilian career.  We won't talk about my Air Force career, where it seemed like every other word outta my mouth could be described as "purple prose."  I'm tryin' to clean my act up now that I'm fucking retired. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Burnin' Some Rubber


I found this fascinating and watched the vid at least four times.

In other news... we went to bed (well, "went to couch" would be much more accurate) around 2130 hrs last evening with predictable results: up at oh-dark-thirty.  I have a feelin' nap time will arrive a bit earlier than usual today.

In other, other news... SN1 is 48 today, 50 is right around the corner.  I dunno if he feels old or not but **I** sure as Hell do.  Happy Birthday, Buck!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Broadening Our Horizons LXXXIV

It's either a late lunch or an early Happy Hour today and here's what's on the menu:

This is a mePhone pic, believe it or don't.

That would be a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale; I'm about halfway through this glass as we type and so far, so good.  We'll drink this stuff carefully as the alcohol content is a staggering (for beer) 8.19%.  That said, the brew is tasty, indeed.  The Bros like it and I'll quote from their house publication:
Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #51 (April 2011):

The pale amber color and sufficient lacing does not tell much of a story, even though it’s a great-looking beer. At first sniff, the nose is filled with barrel juice from the freshly used bourbon barrels—fusel with sweet vanilla and oak. Has the body of a well-attenuated ale, though there’s warmth from the aggressive alcohol. Hopping is modest at best; the dryness and high level of alcohol seem to balance this beer out. Boozy with fresh bourbon flavors from start to finish. Any sweetness seems to come from the feigned direction of the bourbon as it throws down that vanilla flavor. Some graininess within to remind us that this is a beer. Drinking this one slow. Definitely sets itself apart from all other bourbon barrel aged beers, which makes it a must-try.
Well, OK.  We've tried it but this beer won't go into our normal rotation, mainly because it's pretty damned expensive.  You'll note the beer is sold in four-packs, not six, and it's still pretty damned pricey (14 Yankee Dollars for a four-pack, on the 'net).  An interesting beer, to be sure, but there are better beers out there for less money.

And now it's out to the verandah to finish this puppy off before it gets too damned hot to be outdoors.

Saturday: Can We Get Some More Ice Over Here, Please?

Continuing on with a theme...

God, but I miss that guy.  And his lovely wife... especially his lovely wife.

Occasional Reader Darryl brought this to our attention yesterday (and so did Digg):

Ya gotta admit:  Stewart gets BIG bonus points for style and good sense; minus points for tearing off both the check AND the duplicate plus suspiciously bad-looking whiskey (that looks like a bottle of Chivas, I know he can afford better).

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Lotta Fail

You have to be living under a big-ass rock if you haven't heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Everyone and their Mom seems to be doin' it, but some people prolly shouldn't.  Cases in point:

The best one is at the two minute mark.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Washed and Waxed

That would be our mustache: washed and waxed.  There's this about that:

Monday, September 30, 2013

Project Update

Back in July I posted about starting a new project, to wit: "We've embarked on growing a "regimental" mustache, otherwise known as a "handlebar" (or we're tryin' to do so, at least)."  This was our starting point:

This is where we are now:

And then there's a this, just a few minutes ago:

The project is coming along, albeit much slower than we'd like.  We also seem to be somewhat asymmetrical, with our left side growing faster than the right (there's NOTHING political there), which a good trimming might could fix.  I like projects like this: stuff with minimal effort, something I can do in my sleep.


The problem...

Part of the solution...

Air Frame: Capt. Andrew Glowa, lead, and Capt. William Piepenbring, both with the 74th Fighter Squadron out of Moody AFB, Ga., launch flares from two A-10C Thunderbolt II over the skies of southern Georgia, Aug. 18, 2014. (Air Force photo by SSgt. Jamal D. Sutter)

The full-scale image is impressive, which is why I've included two shots.  The second is a partial full-scale screen shot (which Blogger may or may not down-size), which you can find here

Get Some!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My New Coffee Pot. Again.

So, the Keurig.  When I went to brew my first cup this morning it made several interesting and non-standard noises and then just fuckin' quit.  We made three more attempts to cajole something, anything out of the machine and then WE fuckin' quit.  With no coffee.  No nuthin'.  So we got in the Dowager Tart, drove to Mickie Dee's and bought two large mochas for SEVEN freakin' Yankee Dollars.  And ten cents.  The general public was unaware there was a non-caffeinated gentleman piloting nearly two tons of automobile on the public streets but no one was harmed during that excursion, thank The Deity At Hand.

So, later in the day... after we were fully caffeinated and capable of making (sorta) wise decisions... we hied our old ass off to Wally-World and bought this:

Which was the ONLY Bunn machine Wally had in stock.

And what of the Keurig?  In the dumpster, where it belongs.  Now I have a mini-project to attend to sometime in the near future: cutting open 32 little K-cups and dumping the coffee into a bag.  One last insult.


I wouldn't believe you if you told me this story without the video as back-up.

Sometimes It Bees That Way

The post title is a quote from a former co-worker and friend whom I respected.  Whenever this woman encountered an unpleasant situation or something that was beyond her control the lady would shrug her shoulders, smile, and say "sometimes it bees that way."  I found myself sayin' that a lot yesterday. 

Explanations are in order.  These photos will help:

My Buddy John, standing in the kitchen of my house in Rochester, NY.  New Years Eve, 1998 - 99.

Close-up of the fridge behind John.  The arrow is pointing to "8-19."
Yesterday was an anniversary of sorts, a black-letter day, in that it was 16 years ago to the day that The Second Mrs. Pennington walked out the door, changing my life and the way I use personal pronouns forever.  "We," "us," and "ours" became "me," "I," and "mine."  That was the least of the changes, to put it mildly.  But let's not go there.

Back to yesterday.  I don't usually remember "8/19" and the date is not a day I would celebrate (heh) even if I did.  I stumbled upon the pic you see above quite by accident yesterday morning while searching the archives for something entirely different.  It's said you "can't un-see something once it's been seen" and that was the case with this pic.  Brain cells were jogged, synapses fired and linked, very unpleasant scenes from the past began a gory B-movie re-run, and I've seen THAT gotdamned movie too many times.  To quote Dylan: "I know every scene by heart."  My day was pretty much toast right then and there but we continued to continue, having little or no choice in the matter.

And then... in the afternoon we got an e-mail from TSMP and had a short call-and-response conversation on a health insurance issue with SN3.  I rarely hear from the woman... maybe once or twice a year, on average... and yesterday was most definitely NOT the day for her to barge into my life unannounced.  Another log on the fire, which went from a few stray flames to something pretty toasty.  And so we continued to continue, with an extra-long outdoor After Dinner Whiskey Hour while listening to NPR (in lieu of any sort of music that would make things worse).  Not a bad evening, all told.


There's one skill in life I haven't learned and that skill is the ability to let bygones be bygones.  The Deity At Hand knows I've tried in many, many ways... none of which seem to work... and we won't go further than that.  The bottom line?  Yesterday was not my day.

Ah, well.  Sometimes it bees that way.