Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ah. It's the Weekend, Innit?

Occasional Reader and frequent commenter Buckskins Rule set up blogging shop earlier this month at “A Tale of Two Buckskins.” Why don’t you drop on over and welcome him to the ‘sphere? This doesn’t apply to Christina or Lou… coz they already knew. As for me? Late to the party, as ever.

―:☺:―

This tweet made me smile this morning:

Lileks: Woke up this morning, everything was fine; realized anew no chance of being a bluesman. Woman had not done gone, for example.

(sigh) Me, too, James… but for entirely different reasons, such as: ZERO musical skill or talent in any way, shape, or form. That and I’ve never been to prison. Oops, beg pardon. That’s country, not blues.

―:☺:―

I’ve played around with the new toy for a couple of days now and it has its ups and downs… like everything in life. The Ups include extreme portability… the thing is incredibly small for what it does and slips into your pocket quite easily… ease of use, and true HD video output. My videos look just as good in full-screen mode as they do in a small window.

And the Downs? That same small device size makes camera shake a real problem. The Mino is very hard to hold still and as a result there’s a lot of jiggle in the output. I haven’t figured out how to minimize the shake as yet… even though I bought a VERY small tripod… suitable only for table use and such — illustrated at left… and an “action mount,” which is a base for the camcorder you can attach to protrusions (like handlebars) by means of two Velcro straps. I haven’t tried that out yet.

The only other Down is the file sizes are HUGE, which one would expect with HD output. As an example… that 3:06 Ag-Expo video I took with my grab-shot camera is 9.2 MB in size; I shot a 4:23 video with the Mino and it’s 335+MB! I can see where disk space might get to be a problem after a while. Oh, well. I’m overdue on the technology refresh program by about a year, anyway. Looks like it might be time for a new computer… after the dental bills are paid, of course.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Last of the Ag-Expo Pics...

... about which you're probably breathing a sigh of relief, Gentle Reader. There ARE more pics to be had, but anything gets old after a while, eh? But let's begin... click for larger, if'n you're so inclined.

The Closest Thing to "Dairy Air" I Got...

Big Boys Toys, Indeed!

Saddle Up!

Spinning Wool

Busy Hands

Mother Daughter... Ya Think? (I honestly don't know... but I suspect so.)

NBA? NO! The NHL!

It did my black and curmudgeonly little heart good to read this on Mark Ecko’s Complex Blog… “5 Reasons the NHL is Better Than the NBA.” Excerpts (links left intact):
Far be it for us to be the harbinger of economic doom, but the NBA may be headed for some tough times. In fact, let super-agent David Falk tell it: “I think [fixing the NBA system is] going to be very, very extreme, because I think the times are extreme.” Salaries are out of control, teams are losing money and the imminent end of the current collective-bargaining agreement is putting the 2010-11 NBA season in jeopardy. Sorry, but ain’t no Krypto-Nate stopping that.
So, what’s the solution? The NBA will always have its loyalists, but we have a suggestion that should be familiar to anybody who’s suffered through a declining relationship: Distance yourself now before the heartbreak, and start seeing other people. Or, in this case, another league. Yup, the NHL. Yup, ice hockey. Look, we understand that most of you are indifferent about, if not openly hostile to, following the NHL, but the time is right to give the league another chance. Read on for our top 5 reasons why it may be time to jump ship on the NBA…
The whole thing is most interesting reading. But I liked Mr. Ecko’s Number One Reason: “THE NHL HAS ALEXANDER THE GREAT.” There’s verbiage to back up that statement, but Mr. Ecko also posted this 1:01 vid as proof:
All y’all know I’m a die-hard Wings fan… but that said, I still think AO is the most exciting player in all pro-sports today. Those are some amazing goals!
And now it's off to re-size some more Ag-Expo photos. Back in a bit.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More From the Ag-Expo

Mostly photographs, mostly machinery. You know there will be more... later.

God, Country, and Agriculture!

1928 Caterpillar Model 30

Farmalls All In a Row

New Stuff (I liked the colors here, mainly)

Hay Rake - You wouldn't want to get run over by one of these!

Closer...

A Tractor of a MUCH Different Sort!

Guest Post

I received a note from The Second Mrs. Pennington this afternoon (02/25) which said, in part…

He (Robert) handed me a scrawled 4-page story he wanted typed this morning for his writing class. I've attached it. He picked the cover design. … he said you could post it on your blog if you wanted to.

Sooo…
Gravitational Pull
By
Robert Pennington

Chapter 1
“Waaa Boom!” a whistling “grape” cannon shot exploded behind me in the frozen wasteland. Shrapnel pelted out of the crater created by the shot of the cannon. Then the silence came, deafening. Dark wet snow flakes started to fall as the blizzard came. I wondered what I was doing in this god forsaken white piece of frozen desert, as I continued to run farther into the howling storm. I looked behind and saw something that chilled the marrow in my bones. “The train,” I muttered. The train carries uranium in cars glowing with radiation. In the front, the driver, half-dead from the radiation, was chained to the controls. The cars seemed greenish-black , and the rust was eating up the iron wheel attached to the back of each car, which held death for anyone foolhardy enough to open the car.

The train raced closer and closer. Suddenly, Crack! A screeching sound came from the middle, as a car disconnected, tipped over, and the uranium spilled, cascading over the snow staining it with the green mineral. “OOHH, watch it!” I thought, slowly trying to open my eyes, but I couldn’t because they were sealed shut by something heavy, wet like snow. I struggled to move my arms but the force of the snow was holding me down. I willed the snow up and “Wham!” the snow vaporized right above me. A dot appeared and then the snow landed, with a force to topple an elephant, pounded the ground and pulverized a very tall and enormous, barren, frozen tree. When this happened, I scrutinized myself, I wasn’t nearly strong enough to lift that pile of snow, which nearly weighed a ton.

“Wh-aa-tt ha-pp-en-ed-dd?” I chattered, as the cold closed in like a pack of hungry wolves. I looked far into the distance. I was looking so hard I didn’t see the uniformed soldier sneak up on me. The next thing I knew, I was facing the sky. Then something covered my face and everything went black. “Look T29840’s awakening!” a filmy voice sneered. I forced open a heavy eyelid and saw the old mug of the Russian sergeant, warden of the imprisoned souls in a Russian “focus” camp. “Hmmm,” I thought. If I could focus my will again, maybe, just maybe it can happen again. I grimly pleaded to myself. 
 
“Crack! Crunch! KAABBBBOOOOMMM!” then silence. I cracked open one eye and then the other snapped open in surprise. The warden of souls was gone, and a gaping hole had replaced him. “Umm,” I thought, stunned, while his partner leaped for the hole, screaming that a psycho-manic person had killed Sir Pent, by not even lifting a finger. While I, on the other hand, shifting my focus again to the chain holding my hands and “Kablam!” it disappeared. Then, oh so suddenly, the whole wall collapsed, nearly squishing me.

Heavy footsteps echoed in the corridor as Russian troops charged the door, flinging it aside. While this was happening, I was glancing around, my sight falling on the hole. Galloping for it, bursts of pain racked my brain as shots bounced off the wall and pelted me with rubble. Seeing no way out I sprinted into the black abyss of a grotto of radiant energy of unfathomable proportions. Turning around, I saw miles of, or what seemed like miles, troop cars mowing down trees, animals, and snow alike. While I tried to summon the force of gravity to my side again, an ominous grinding sound reverberated in my mind; I looked up and saw stalactites raining down onto me. One thought roared in my mind as red fog replace the blackness. Is this what it is like to die?

Not bad, eh? Even considering the fact my opinion just might be biased. Maybe.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What We Did This Morning...

... which is to say we spent a few hours at the New Mexico Ag-Expo, held every year about this time in P-Ville. The weather was super-cooperative today... high 60s to begin and in the mid-70s when I left the fairgrounds. There was little or no wind today... unlike yesterday, which was its usual obnoxious and blustery self. The lack of wind, bright skies and balmy temps (for February) put everyone in high spirits, to say the VERY least.

I just finished uploading a low-quality video of the vintage tractor parade (the pic above is a few of 'em) to YouTube... Deeres, Farmalls, and one tracked Caterpillar... led by a couple of beautiful longhorn steers.
Here it is (3:05):



I love looking at machinery... in every shape and form... and there's some pretty impressive examples at the Ag-Expo. I'll be putting up various pics over the course of the next day or two, but lest you think it was ALL machinery... think again!

We have some beautiful farm ladies in this part of the world, ya know. Very friendly, too.

Ospreys In the AOR

A couple of items from today's AFA Daily Report:
V-22s Got Dirty in Anbar: Responding to criticism that the MV-22's first combat deployment to Iraq was a softball and that the aircraft flew mostly VIP delegations around, Marine Maj. Gen. John Kelly said yesterday he put the Osprey into the fight when he led the Marines of Multi National Force-West and it proved its worth in western Iraq. "Because it zips around the way it does, it was doing a lot more VIP lifting than I thought it should be doing," Kelly told defense reporters in Washington, D.C. and added, "So I took it out of the VIP business." Kelly, who is now deputy commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said he wanted to get the MV-22 "into the dirt" because of its speed, comparatively low noise level, and its ability to get above small arms and missile threats quickly. "It's very quiet relative to a helicopter, so the bad guys are not drawn to its arrival," he said. The Osprey's availability numbers, hovering around 65 percent when Kelly arrived in theater, rose to 85 percent by the time he left earlier this year. He said that was due to the maintainers' increasing knowledge of how to sustain the aircraft in the desert. Kelly said the MV-22 will likely be used in Afghanistan as well. The CH-46 helicopter has a lighter capacity in the summer than in the winter and is "very, very limited" in certain environments, while the Osprey has the speed and lift to be more flexible in the high-hot climate of Afghanistan, he said.

Osprey Left Its Mark: Maintaining order and security across Iraq's largest province, Anbar, which includes the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, was a difficult task for the Marines of Multi National Force-West several years ago, says Maj. Gen. John Kelly, the unit's former commander. But the arrival of MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft in late 2007 made a difference in being able to cover the more than 50,000 square miles of desert, Kelly told reporters during a meeting yesterday in Washington, D.C. "I could dominate that place, because I had, frankly, V-22s which are an amazing, amazing capability," he said and added, "I couldn't do what I did with just helicopters." Kelly, who served three tours in Iraq and is now deputy commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif., also said intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance forces were critical in helping to turn the tide in the once-restive Iraqi province. Tracking the insurgent cells that produced and laid improvised explosive devices with overhead assets like F/A-18 Hornets and unmanned aerial vehicles helped to crack the cells, proving more valuable than just striking the insurgents each time they appeared, he said.

I've often wondered about the efficacy of the MV-22 in a combat environment. They seem vulnerable to me, but that's speaking from the MOST uninformed viewpoint possible... as in: "I could put what I know about the Osprey in my right eye and it wouldn't even water." That said... Occasional Reader and commenter JimmyT reinforced my opinion in comments a while back, offering up that there's a LOT of composite construction in the MV-22 and precious little armor, other than around the cockpit area. And no self-defense armament (guns), either, although we hear that's being worked on.

Still and even... I'm really excited about seeing the first of the USAF V-22s at Cannon in a year or two. There's just something about those birds that get my juices flowing.

(Image from Defense Industry Daily)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Toys

So... I wake up this morning, fire up the coffee pot, and open up my e-mail for to begin the morning rituals here at El Casa Móvil De Pennington. The first thing I open up in mail is a note from Ann From Montana, who sent along a link to a most-excellent video on photography by one Zack Arias, a photographer based out of Atlanta. The film is short and I would classify it as "general interest," but is especially interesting to photographers of all stripes... be you an amateur, semi-pro, or professional.

While the video is most excellent (as noted) the thing that really piqued my interest after watching the vid was the body of the blog post that accompanied the video... the key words being "I shot it with The Flip Mino HD." Just by strange coincidence... the second thing I read this morning was one of those helpful lil love-notes we all get from Amazon -- today's being "Top Ten Deals in Electronics" -- and Number Six on the list is that same mini-video camera Mr. Arias used to film the video linked above. About which:


It'll be in my hot lil hands the day after tomorrow. And I promise I won't sing.

I can't believe I spent over two hundred Yankee Dollars before I finished my first cup of coffee. But Hey! I'm stimulating the economy... and that's my patriotic duty, innit?

Breathtaking

The voting is on for Third Annual Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year. Not just anyone can vote, unfortunately. From The Wiki:

Voting is open for all Wikimedians who were registered before 1 January 2009 and with at least 200 edits on any Wikimedia project (at time of voting).

But that shouldn’t stop you from looking at some breathtaking photography, Gentle Reader. Here’s a single-page gallery featuring all 501 (!) images nominated for the 2008 awards… from which I’ve selected three that caught my eye. There are some spectacular images in this gallery, covering every possible subject known to man. And not all of the images are current… there are some amazing photographs of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, for example... including one shot from a tethered balloon 2,000 feet above the city.

Credit for the image above (UlvikfjordMountainsPanorama.jpg): Aqwis. This is a full size image... and have you EVER seen calmer water? Ever?

Credit for the images above (Schnepfenfliege Rhagio scolopaceus2.jpg): Richard Bartz, Munich aka Makro Freak. The top image is a 40% re-size, the bottom is a full sized and cropped detail from the original image.

Credit for the images above (Hong Kong Night Skyline.jpg): Base64, retouched by CarolSpears. The same drill applies on these images... top is a 50% re-size, bottom is a full-sized cropped detail.

And the great thing? All of these images are published with a Creative Commons license… meaning they’re free for use as long as the author is credited. As always... click the individual images for larger.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Trailer Park Happy Hour



Inspired by a post by Ann From Montana... but not quite as photogenic. It's all in the subject matter, ya know. (Insert smiley-face thingie here)

These shots were taken about ten minutes ago. And now it's back outside to finish as we've begun.

News You Might Could Use

How To Become a Barfly
Heh. S’true, ya know… from the new-to-me web site Howcast. There’s much more useless shit stuff there you might need to know… like “How to Increase Your Sperm Count,” and “How to Choose a Tattoo That’s Right for You.” On the other hand… there’s some merit in “How to Pick the Right Thong.” Even if you’re male… especially if you’re male (work safe).
―:☺:―
Here’s a WikiTravel page I wish would have existed when The Second Mrs. Pennington and I set out on our New Years Hitchhiking Extravaganza back in 1975-76… Hitchhiking in Japan. I read through it and can vouch for its accuracy, should you ever be in a position to do such a thing. Alternatively you could just read A Road Trip of a Different Sort and live vicariously (Part Deux also, assuming you’ve not "been there and done that")… it’s much cheaper but most definitely not as entertaining as the real thing.
Oh… Other entries in “Off the Beaten Path” are pretty cool, too. One could spend hours and hours and hours here. Don’t ask me how I know.
―:☺:―
Today’s Pics: The Usual Suspects, aka previously unpublished pics from the aforementioned Kyoto trip. TSMP was 19 at the time, I was 30. Yeah… I was a cradle-robber. It was a crime of passion... the fact she went willingly is my only defense.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

29 Years Ago Today...

Miracle.

The original live call of the game in Lake Placid, sans irritating sappy music. "Just the call, Ma'am... just the call:"



I remember this game oh-so-well, even though I wasn't a hockey fan at the time (that would come later). NO ONE expected the US to win against Russia the Soviet Union, let alone go on to win against Finland to take the Gold. It was a great, grand, and glorious day for the USA... and for hockey.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Lil Hockey Talk

From NHL.com:
It's not unusual for the Detroit Red Wings to have the NHL's best power play this season -- the Wings were third in 2007-08 and have been in the top five every year but one this century. But this season's group is putting up numbers that haven't been seen in a long time.

Detroit's power play is connecting at a 28.1 percent rate -- a figure that no team has come close to in nearly two decades. No team has converted more than a quarter of its power-play opportunities since Pittsburgh's 26.0 percent performance during the 1995-96 season. The last team to come close to where the Red Wings are now was the 1989-90 Calgary Flames, who finished first in the NHL at 27.7 percent -- including a 31.5 percent success rate at home.
Yep… they’re just awesome on the power play this year. Just ask Nashville, who surrendered FIVE power play goals (out of six opportunities) to the Wings this past Wednesday. Here are the highlights from that game:
I LOVES me some NHL Video…

Soundtrack for My Morning Coffee

Three tunes from the inimitable, incomparable Jorma Kaukonen, guitarist extraordinaire... and the equally-excellent Jack Casady on bass.







Old hippies remember Jorma and Jack as the core members of Jefferson Airplane... along with some chick, of course. Younger hippies remember Jack and Jorma from Hot Tuna. Jorma has a new album out...
River of Time... on my Wish List.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Photos You Most Definitely Should See

Via Lex... The Sea Service's Annual "Year in Review" production, which is its usual outstanding self. BZ, as the Squids say.

About which... the Navy remains the winner for "Best Presentation" in this space. The USAF is getting better at this... but alas, no cigar. Not even close. Even the Army tops us for production values, if not content. Someday...

Apropos of nothing... one of the Navy's "Year" pics is from one of SN2's old rides. He was the CHENG on Mason, long ago and far away...

Boomers Will Get It...

... the rest of all y'all? Maybe. Via Viral Vids, yet again: "Blame Ringo - Garble Arch (A Day in the Life of Abbey Road)"



I'm reminded of the ol' joke... "If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot 'em?" I'm certain I'm not alone in this regard.

Starters

Want to kill an hour or so? Do a google image search for “motivational posters.” What you get are hundreds and hundreds of DEmotivational posters… some of them quite funny. Case in point:

―:☺:―

Speaking of google… here’s one of the better searches that landed a visitor at EIP recently, or… Why our kids ain’t got no edumakayshun:

Domain Name: k12.ms.us ?
Continent
: North America
Country
: United States
State: Mississippi
City
: Raleigh

Language: English (U.S.)
Time of Visit: Feb 18 2009 11:10:54 am
Last Page View: Feb 18 2009 11:10:58 am
Visit Length: 4 seconds
Page Views: 2
Referring URL: http://images.google...x%26rlz%3D1I7ADBF_en
Search Engine: images.google.com
Search Words: dodge durango under a car porch

OK… that could be a child using a library computer, but I think not. Kids don’t look for Durangos… nor are they generally concerned with carports. Teachers, OTOH, might be. Just sayin’.

―::―

Oh, My… How I DO relate:

“David After Dentist,” from Viral Vids.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Strange Days


Strange Days... That's a nod and a wink to The Doors, ya know. But... that said, today has been the strangest of strange days. It all began at oh-dark-thirty, when I rolled out of bed around five-ish. Two cups of coffee later and I began thinking "this isn't such a good ideer..." so it was back to bed, with the alarm set for 0945, given as how I had a dentist's appointment scheduled for 1100. I got up (again) around 0915... checked e-mail and had a brief chat with a friend on Facebook. Hit the shower, saddled up and headed out to what I thought was a regularly-scheduled cleaning appointment with my hygienist.

Wrong, Bucko!

I checked in at the dentist's and sat for a couple of CAT scans, followed with a consultation with Dr. Thompson. Lo and Behold... we are now scheduled for the next step in our Adventures in Modern Dentistry, which began
exactly one year ago today.

Yep, in a couple of weeks time... March 3rd, to be exact... we'll sit for the first step in our implantations, which is the begining of the end. To say I'm ecstatic is an understatement of massive proportions. I've not had a steak in over one year's time... and there's BEEF at the end of our tunnel, Gentle Reader. Huge, massive slabs of rare, bleeding, tender beef! Oh, my... oh MY!


So... we came home and celebrated with two 2-Belows, followed by two Fat Tires. It was a great good thing the weather was in a cooperative mood, what with 65 degree temps and crystal clear skies. I fired up one of those wonderful Acids (a Ming, second from left in the image to the left) recently delivered to my door and took the air.

We're only just back inside and are waiting for SN3 to ring us up to discuss the finer points of cigar boxes and "Planet Earth," which constituted the sum total of his birthday gift... which The Second Mrs. Pennington advises me arrived intact and on-time... yesterday.


And we were entertained with the usual soundtrack... illustrated at the top of this post. It don't get a whole helluva lot better than this, Gentle Reader. Unless there are large slabs of rare beef involved... which there will be. Soon.

Happy Birthday, Robert!

Bobby - March 1998

Robert - Fall 2008

12 years old today. Robert would be SN3 and that's how he likes to be known these days. T'wasn't always so... such as a couple of years ago when I recorded this:



The above is an out-take... never before seen on these here inter-tubes... or anywhere else, for that matter. The original vid... as recorded and sent to SN3 (minus some personal content)... is
here. But you may not wanna go after looking at the effort above. You have been warned.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Eat Your HEART Out, Palin!



Alternative title considered: "You May Stand Down, Feminists. There Aren't Any Further Barriers to Smash." But it wouldn't fit as well. Your suggestions are welcome, Gentle Reader, should you have any. And yeah, maybe "Clinton" would have been more fitting. But I went with my gut on this one... that and the fact it might tweak Morgan... jes a lil bit.

Also worthy of your consideration:
FDA Approves Depressant Drug For The Annoyingly Cheerful.

Etta

So... we were sitting here wondering where the Hell our Muse has traipsed off to, given as how she apparently decamped sometime over the long weekend. It's sufficient to say our blogging motivation levels have dropped off considerably over the last 48 hours or so... we've just been going through the motions for the last couple of days.

But! YouTube to the rescue. Ya know how those fine folks at YouTube have the "recommended for you" selection of videos when you log on? Here was one of the six selections YouTube's management thought I'd enjoy... today.



Ah... MOST definitely a good choice. The thing that amazes me most about the incomparable Ms. James is the fact she's been singing this tune since 1961... and she continues to deliver the song in such an impressive manner. I'm wondering if Ms. James has any idea how many times she's sung this tune... but I'd venture a guess it's been in the tens of thousands range. Imagine yourself doing anything that many times (and I DO mean anything. Use your imagination.)... and doing it as fresh as the day you began. Phenomenal.

Her pipes are still in fine shape, too, regardless of the fact she's beyond 70 years of age. I won't speak much about her physical appearance... let's just say I hope to Hell I look half as good as she does when I reach her age.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No I'm Not!

Click for larger if you can't read the image. Via Blog-Bud Mike... the "If You Were a Beer Test." Which, when one comes right down to it, is wrong. I might have a pint of Guinness once a year, or so... mebbe two if it's on tap. Otherwise? Not so much. It IS "too heavy," as the quiz notes naysayers will claim. Meh.

I'd be a New Belgium product or some sort of English Ale (like Directors Bitter), were I a beer. With cigar appendages, too. But that's just me. YMMV, of course.

Cope North 09-1

A B-52 Stratofortress currently deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam from the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, leads a formation Feb. 10 of Japanese Air Self Defense Force F-2s from the 6th Squadron, Tsuiki Air Base, USAF F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 18th Aggressor Squadron, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and Navy EA-6B Prowlers from VAQ-136 Carrier Air Wing Five, Atsugi, Japan over Guam during Cope North 09-1 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam from Feb. 2-13. Cope North 09-1 is the first iteration of a regularly scheduled joint and bilateral exercise and is part of the on-going series of exercises designed to enhance air operations in defense of Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald) (ed: as captioned here, where there are more photos from the exercise. Click the pic for the high-res version.)

The USAF, USN, and elements of the Japanese Self Defense Forces wrapped up Cope North 09-1 last week at Andersen AFB, Guam. Some quick facts about the exercise:
The Cope North exercise is one of the longest-running series of exercises in the Pacific theater. Since the first Cope North exercise in 1978, thousands of American and Japanese personnel have honed skills that are vital to maintaining a high level of readiness. The exercise has been in the planning stages for several months and bears no connection to any real-world events. This will be the tenth time the United States and Japan have held a Cope North exercise on Guam, and it will be the fourth time that the JASDF will use live ordinance.Cope North 09-1 is the first iteration of a regularly scheduled joint and bilateral exercise and is part of the on-going series of exercises designed to enhance air operations in defense of Japan.

JASDF F-2s from the 6th Squadron, Tsuiki Air Base, and E-2Cs from the 601st Squadron, Misawa Air Base, will join forward deployed USAF F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 18th Aggressor Squadron, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, B-52 Stratofortress' currently deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, from the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, and Navy EA-6B from VAQ-136 Carrier Air Wing Five, Atsugi, Japan, will participate in this year's exercise with a focus on interoperability.
I found it interesting that the JASDF is prohibited from using live ordnance while training at home, i.e., in Japan. I'm also tempted to make some snarky comments about how certain elements in American society wouldn't mind the same sorts of restrictions being placed on our military... but I won't. Much more on Cope North 09-1 here... with more photos and video, too.

Apropos of nothing... I spent about a year on Guam during one week back in 1976. I hear Andersen is a good assignment for folks serving accompanied tours... which is to say with the family. I was single during my one-week TDY to Guam and the social options were rather limited, the weather was HOT, and the humidity was unbearable. It didn't help that I spent most of my working hours engaged in hard physical labor inside the radome of an AN/FPS-60 series radar... where the environmental conditions were abysmal... to say the VERY least. A very nasty experience, overall.

Monday, February 16, 2009

An Amazing Re-Creation

Blog-Bud, fellow biker, and all-around Wonder Woman Lin sends along the following link from The Times (UK) via e-mail: Video: The Great Escape, re-enacted” and included an admonishment/suggestion I’ll repeat here: read the article BEFORE you watch the video… coz reading will greatly enhance your viewing experience.

The bikers amongst us will recognize the subject matter without prompting. Those of you who aren’t bikers or are of such tender years that you don’t know or remember Steve McQueen may need some explanation. The re-enactment at the link is of the most famous motorcycle jump in all Hollywood history… this one:

Long time readers may recall I posted a tribute to Bud Ekins when he died a couple of years back. Mr. Ekins is the guy who actually made the jump, and there's also good "back story" about the filming of said jump in the linked article. So… I’m directing you to a re-make of the jump above… which was made on one of these:

Now if THAT doesn’t tempt you…nothing will. The Metisse is a most gorgeous piece of machinery in both sight and sound and you get to see it put to its true purpose in life... tearing up golf courses and jumping over seven foot high fences. Do go.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Apropos of Nuthin'

Just in from Happy Hour... where we consumed two 2 Belows... with the second still in progress, as we speak (type). The verdict? Good beer, and VERY reminiscent of good English bitter... which is to say quite hoppy, with a good "nose." We'll pick up more of this excellent beer... assuming there's any to be had... when we venture out to the base this coming Tuesday.

I thought long and hard about "doing" Happy Hour today, seeing as how the temp is only 53 degrees. But a light sweater... topped with my trusty A2... made sitting outside a most pleasurable experience. The accompaniment to the beer today was an Acid Atom Maduro... a most enjoyable smoke that worked well with the beer. And we need to mention the musical accompaniment, courtesy of Pandora's "James Brown" channel. Yet more Good Stuff, indeed. One can always count on James to deliver an uplifting mood, if one is in need.

And the image? Just included so you don't think the premises are always in a pristine state, Gentle Reader. Oh, no... indeed. We got a lil bit... ummm... exuberant with our pouring when it came time for the second course. Nothing a paper towel couldn't fix, of course.

Life is good.

Heh

Gear-heads... Rejoice! Sports cars shall live on, even in that totally-green, eco-conscious Brave New World that's coming at us faster than a Bugatti Veyron!



But... I'll stick with The Green Hornet for the foreseeable future, thankyaverymuch. She's still got a LOT of life left in her. And TGH has a much better sound system, too, albeit she IS lacking a Barney Frank-approved condom dispenser. I can live with that, though.

(h/t: Blog Bud Gordon)

I Got Mine!


My Request


Approved!

And... Walla! I'm in HR.1!!

Now get yours...
here. You REALLY need to "click for larger." Srsly.

(h/t Blog-Bud Chap)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Photoshop... Or Not?

Even if it's Memorex, it's still funny. (h/t to Blog-Bud Phlegmmy.)

Well Now...

Look at what we found out at the Class VI store this morning...

I take back what I said about the Beer Lady a few posts back. No Dark Kriek, though. But we knew there wouldn't be any of that, didn't we?

I'm semi-proud of myself today. All the errands were run... post office, commissary, Class VI store... and the groceries put away... all before noon, albeit ever so very slightly. Still and even... that just HAS to be some sort of record here at El Casa Móvil De Pennington. Most days we're not even out of bed before noon.

Apropos of nothing... if you received this in your in-box would you not assume your package was coming via UPS?
Your Order# is: xxxxxxx
Shipped on : 02/09/09
Shipped via : UPS-Basic
Ship to:
Norman Pennington
(addy)
PORTALES NM 88130-9333
United States

1 790451: (deleted... don't wanna spoil the surprise)

This item shipped via UPS and can be tracked with this link: (deleted)
Well, it didn't. I found the "missing" package in my snail-mail box yesterday afternoon... after the UPS Guy had come and gone yet again without delivering my package. Sometimes I really wonder about things. But all's well that ends well. SN3 will receive his birthday present on or before The Big Day... and that's all that really counts, innit?

More Ramirez

Via Townhall.com, yet again... I love this guy. He might be the Herb Block of the age.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Funny... Kinda Sorta

Here’s one of the funnier things I’ve come across today (all links, however meaningless, left intact)…

Meaning of Life is in need of a "expert on the subject"

I am an expert on the meaning of life... it is 'Duh', because the answer is in the fu**ing question! the meaning of life is life itself...duh -God

Is that a joke? Can anyone be a expert on the subject of the meaning of life? Other than experts on the religious explanations of the meaning of life? Correct me if I'm wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andypham3000 (talkcontribs) 18:06, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

I thought that was hilarious too, but this article does need some serious attention, preferably from someone with a background in comparative philosophy or religion. --NickPenguin(contribs) 21:31, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't know how I found myself on this page, but that tag just struck me as one of the funniest things I've seen on Wikipedia in years. Antandrus (talk) 03:34, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, Wikipedia could make an even greater contribution to the world if it could provide a forum for a genuine expert on the meaning of life. Millions might benefit! (On the other hand they might be reverted....)

But to address the actual issue: If we had a tag that said "experts" (instead of "expert"), it may have seemed less humorous. Each section needs an expert on that section's topic(s) - philosophy, comparative religion, psychology, cognitive science, physics, etc. If you take a look at the sorry state of this article a year or so ago and compare it to the remarkably improved quality that we have now, you might conclude that the placement of that tag could possibly have been the single best edit this article has ever had. -DoctorW 21:23, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

How about the body a psychotherapeutic literature as being a claim on the idea of being 'expert' in the meaning of life. I'm going to add some contributions made by the prominent Psychotherapist and Psychiatrist Irvin Yalom, about the difference between "the meaning of life?" and "the meaning of my life?". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rob2000 (talkcontribs) 19:18, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

The original article ain’t all that bad, assuming you’re “in” to this sort of thing. I’m much more of a “42” person, myownself, and I’ve never, ever lain awake at night asking myself “Why am I here?” Unless I was someplace I didn’t really want to be… in the purely physical sense. Life may have some sort of larger meaning but it’s not something I concern myself with, seeing as how there are other, more pressing issues in this temporal world. IMHO.

Nope. I think we’re here to live well and be as good to each other as we can possibly be. Other than that? Nothing much beyond “You live. You die. Game over.” My attitude tended to really annoy The Second Mrs. Pennington, seeing as how she used to be into those metaphysical things. She may still be, for all I know.