Thursday, April 30, 2009
This what we look like now... before the heat of the day is upon us:
And this is the forecast:
I'm not sure I'll make it.
On another, happier note... Happy Hour, which will be held regardless of the temperature, will be a pleasant thing indeed. Just off The Brown Truck of Happiness:
Decisions, decisions. Those nice folks at Cigar.com threw in an unexpected sampler of Drew Estate goodies to compliment the Dirt Torpedoes. I love those guys. I'm reasonably sure they love ME, as well. We have a mutually beneficial relationship.
While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old rancher whose hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his bid to be our president.
The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Obama is a 'Post Turtle''.
Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'post turtle' was.
The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle'.
The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain. 'You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, and he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put him up there to begin with'.
Yup. That's about as accurate a description as I've yet to hear or see. I'm thinking this one will spread like wildfire. Or already has... seeing as how it's about Candidate Obama. New to me, tho.
One common thread: everyone agrees this will be a fun series. I’m thinking they’re right.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Tonight was a great night for hockey, as noted below. We had two Game Sevens and while one ended predictably (but NOT as I predicted… it was a very near-run thing), the other was a real shocker. The Carolina Hurricanes came back with not one but TWO goals late in the third period to beat the New Jersey Devils… at home. Eric Staal got the game winner with a mere 31.7 seconds left on the clock. This was the second time in this series that
It will be interesting.
wyshynski: The Devils game is so exciting on NHL.com with all the buffering.
NHL.com is really blowing a good thing by not providing adequate bandwidth for these netcasts… while overcharging for the dubious “privilege” of watching games that end up giving you a headache from eye strain. That’s too bad, coz the league was sitting on a potential gold mine. Hockey fans are among the most dedicated fans in all of sports… and we’ll go to great lengths to follow our team. But I’m betting most won’t pay inflated prices for what is ultimately a piss-poor experience. Not twice, anyway.
Bad call, Versus. You're REALLY disappointing me this year. To say the very least.
We're under way... back to the teevee.
Update, end of the first period: OK... I was wrong. Rangers come out like a house afire and outshoot the Caps 8-2 in the first period. The Rangers have more jump, more hustle, more fire... even though the game is tied 1-1 on a Washington short-handed goal (Semin). This looks like a good game. I stand corrected.
Update, Game Over: Caps win, 2-1. Sergei Federov is the hero with a late third period goal and the Caps become one of the very few teams (21, ever) to come back from a 3-1 series deficit to win. A great game.
Much has written about the politicalization... read as: witch hunt... of the so-called enhanced interrogation process and various and sundry other "failings" of the Bush administration. It's pretty ugly, and you're well aware of the fact if you've been following the story at all. If you haven't been following the story a good place to begin is with former DCI Porter Goss' op-ed in the WaPo.
Now... on to things that really matter.
So. It’s the Ducks in round two. We’ve seen this movie before and the outcome wasn’t good in 2007, when the Ducks eliminated the Wings in the Western Conference Final. Both teams have done some minor re-tooling since then, but both teams continue to play the same style of hockey. Here’s George Malik, writing at M-Live:
Monday, April 27, 2009
Today’s Pic: A rather nice piece of engineering, although one that’s very minor in the great grand scheme of things. There’s not a trace of fluid left in this bottle… none. And there shouldn’t be, for what the Plaid-People charge for this stuff. Yeah, I’m easily amused. Easily impressed, too. But you knew that, Gentle Reader.
The good news is we're feeling much better, having gotten about two and a half hours of uninterrupted sleep after 0930. The bad news is the day's well and truly shot in the ass... including a blown dental appointment I rescheduled for later this week. But I did reschedule well before I was due at the Good Doctor's office; there's some small saving grace in that.
Back in a few, once I collect my thoughts (heh) and the caffeine takes hold.
(image: Steffen Jensen)
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The Politico has an interesting article on one of my favorite conservatives... Newt Gingrich... titled “Gingrich, provocateur, returns.” A few excerpts:
Obama’s budget? It “deliberately” reduces charitable deductions in the tax code to wage a “war against churches and charities.” His stimulus plan? An attempt to create a “European socialist model.” At one point during the omnibus spending bill debate, Gingrich said of the Obama administration: “I wonder how dumb they think we are that we wouldn’t notice 8,000 earmarks.”
He doesn’t mince words in his bracing critiques. After
No one, not even the press, is immune from his barbs. The media’s obsession with the president’s new first dog, he said recently, is “fairly stupid.”
“We now have more than enough evidence of what this administration thinks of the American people,” Gingrich said before launching into a blistering critique of Obama. “Now, a month ago, I would not have said what I’m about to say, but I’ve watched carefully the first month of the left-wing machine.”
Norquist explained that Gingrich is an obvious choice for who should serve as the GOP’s voice because “he’s got 20 IQ points on some of the alternatives.”
It should come as no surprise, Gentle Reader, that I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Gingrich's positions... while I think Algore is a prat, and a dangerous prat, too. Gore wields a lot of influence, God only knows why. Maybe it's that Nobel thing. Or perhaps it's his Oscar, which I think would carry more weight with mainstream Obama voters. An inconvenient truth, if ever there was one.
Finally... Mr. Gingrich's website... American Solutions... is also worth a visit if you have some time to kill. Good Stuff be there.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
BPenni: Watching the Pens-Flyers. Curiously, I find myself rooting for the Flyers (no dog in this fight). Flyers up, 2-0. Can U say Game 7? :-) (3 minutes ago from TwitterGadget)Two late goals in the first... 51 seconds apart... and the Flyers are up 2-0. As it's said: there's still a lot of hockey left to be played. Yet, still. The Pens have just GOT to be thinking about that ol' "previous year's Stanley Cup Finalist goes out in the first round" curse that's been the norm for the past seven years.
Except for the Wings, of course. I'm thinking I'd like to see the Flyers come out of this series as the winners. Go figure.
Update, 1545 hrs: Well, there was a lot of hockey left to be played... Pens win 5-3. Five unanswered goals, with Crosby scoring an empty-netter at the end. Sorry, Jimmy. I was rootin' for ya.
So... I was surfing around last evening and came upon a 14-part series of video clips entitled "The Vice Guide to North Korea" and I was absolutely fascinated. One sees very little about the north side of the DMZ, so when you come across a fairly lengthy documentary (conveniently split into 14 parts for easy viewing... for those of us with mild cases of ADD), you watch it. Each clip is embeddable, too. Here's episode 12, "The Schoolchildren's Palace," to whet your appetite, Gentle Reader.
This series probably isn't everyone's cuppa. But I found it fascinating, as noted above.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Last night's game in Columbus ended on a sour note for Blue Jackets fans. The game was tied 5-5, there were 94 seconds left in the third period and it looked for all the world like there would be overtime to decide if Detroit would advance to the semi-finals or Columbus would live to play another day. And then Columbus was whistled for too many men on the ice. Detroit scored on the subsequent power play... with 46.6 second left... and the game was over for all intents and purposes. The Columbus fans went berserk, showering the ice with bottles and other debris. Here's Michael Arace, writing in the Columbus Dispatch:
Once I got out of the Jackets' room, I headed straight for the area near the officials' dressing room. I hoped to find Kevin Collins, and ask him about the call. Collins is a supervisor of officials and he was working this series. Prior to his management gig, Collins worked 28 years as an NHL linesman. He worked 11 Stanley Cup Finals. He might have been the best linesman in the game before he hung up his skates in 2005.Automatic. Meaning you don't let that call slide. I can see where the Blue Jackets' fans would be disappointed; it's a helluva way to lose a game and a series. But seriously, now... even if the game had gone to OT, and even if Columbus had won it, does anyone think the Blue Jackets had a snowball's chance in that Hot Spot to do anything other than lose the series? Really?
I had run into Collins after Game 3, and chatted with him then. He is from the same neck of the woods. We are not pals; in fact, we've only spoken with another a few times over a dozen years. Regardless, he's the expert. He could provide a definitive description of the linesman's point of view.
Collins said he would have made the same call himself. He said it is automatic. He said, "How could I live with myself if I didn't make the call? It's the right call." He said, hypothetically, that if the player in Modin's position doesn't touch the puck, then there is no whistle.
Of course, Collins is going to stick up for his crew. You can take what he says with a grain of salt if you wish. I'm just saying that Collins is a man of vast experience and unquestioned integrity, and he looked me in the eye and said, with no hesitation, that he would have blown down the play had he been wearing the stripes on this night. No hesitation. It's automatic, not unlike when a defenseman flips the puck into the crowd for a delay of game (my words, not Collins').
OK Columbus... here's your mantra: "Next Year!" Your team learned a lot in this series and I'm thinking you'll be just that much better next year. It's the way of the world.
In the meantime... it looks like the Wings are gonna go Duck hunting in the next round. Oooo-weeee. Sucks to be San Jose.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
BPenni: Bizarre disconnect: Listening to the Wings game on the radio, watching the Pens-Flyers on the (muted) teevee. Wings up, 3-1 in the 1st. Less than half of the first period gone and the Wings are in command.I think the night will end with handshakes...
"Moonlight Mile" is my ALL-TIME favorite Rolling Stones song, and this song and I go back well over 35 years. The song has had profound meaning to me over the years, even though the meaning has changed radically since I first heard it back in the day when I was in Beautiful-Sinop-by the Sea. In those days I was consumed by the thought of being reunited with The First Mrs. Pennington and our sons; these days the song has a completely different and oh-so-poignant meaning. The "Moonlight Mile" is infinite in its reach these days... and fundamentally out of reach, by definition. Interpret that as you might, Gentle Reader.
Still and even... no matter what sort of interpretation you bring to the song... it remains a classic and arguably the best thing Mick and The Boys ever committed to tape. YMMV, of course.
Which got me to thinking... Why is it I'll defer to someone else's choice in music, as opposed to my own? I don't ever walk into a bar and say..."whatever you think is right" when it comes to ordering beer, nor do I let someone else choose the cigar I'll enjoy during Happy Hour, yet I always seem to defer to the music provided by Pandora or Bill... of late.
Is it simply convenience? Am I just too lazy to dive into and select appropriate music from my personal collection... which is extensive... albeit not as extensive as that owned by Pandora or Bill? All that said, it was good to listen to Keith Richards... followed up with Sticky Fingers... on a slightly gray day here on the High Plains of New Mexico. And it got me to thinking... how is it with YOU, Gentle Reader, do you tend to defer to others when it comes to your listening habits, which is to say the radio or another source? Or do you listen to your personal music more often than not? Enquiring MindsTM wanna know...
In the mean time... part of today's soundtrack. Here's Keith doing "
Ooooh... Good, innit?
Reminds me of someone I used to know, it does...
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Of course, drying doesn't take long when your relative humidity stands at a paltry 11% (see below). Today is the sort of day I'd sit around the house nekkid if I still lived a conventional sort of existence, which is to say in a house of my own, on a piece of land of my own. That sort of behavior... i.e., sitting around nekkid... just ain't possible when one lives in close-quarters such as those found in Beautiful La Hacienda Trailer Park.
I know, Gentle Reader: TMI. Sorry 'bout that. At least I didn't post pictures.
My heat tolerance ends at 90 degrees or so. Once we hit 90 I button up the house and turn the AC on. But, we shall see. Sometimes I surprise myself.
Detroit Red Wings v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game ThreeCOLUMBUS - A record crowd of 19,219 witnessed the first Stanley Cup Playoffs game ever at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday with the hope their hometown Blue Jackets would keep the benchmarks going with the franchise's first postseason victory.
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 21: Chris Osgood #30 of the Detroit Red Wings blocks a Columbus Blue Jackets' shot during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena April 21, 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
But defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings shut down the anticipation with another night of stifling defense. You get the distinct impression Detroit is putting on a clinic of sorts for its Central Division rival: How to Advance in the Playoffs 101.
For the third straight time in this series, the Red Wings struck first to break the ice in the opening period and then shut the door the remainder of the game en route to a 4-1 victory in Game 3 of this best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinal. Chris Osgood continued his mastery in goal with 31 saves. Detroit looks to close out the Blue Jackets on Thursday at Nationwide Arena (7 p.m. ET).
If you’re a Detroit Red Wings fan, the first two games of the team’s series against Columbus have been bliss. If you’re just a neutral observer, the first two games have been depressing.
Why? Because Detroit is too good.
Now I’m not ragging on the Wings; I just hope the Blue Jackets can harness what will surely be the awesome energy of Nationwide Arena when the teams square off again Tuesday night. As far as the Jackets should be concerned, one goal in two games does not a series make.
Detroit has been dominant, pretty much to the point that it’s hard to get a read on what the team will be able to do against stiffer competition. Is goalie Chris Osgood rounding into playoff form or is he just untested, having faced a mere 46 shots through two games?
Can the Red Wings survive a physical series against a team such as, say, Anaheim or Calgary? Hard to say, considering it’s the Detroit boys who are putting Columbus rears on the ice more often than not so far.
Not only are the Wings getting physical play from everyone, but some of the big, statement bodychecks are coming from players such as superstar Pavel Datsyuk, who also happens to do a lot of other things pretty well.
The power play is still demonically effective and Tomas Holmstrom is still a better door than a window as far as Columbus goalie Steve Mason is concerned, so things are clicking on all cylinders for the Motor City Boys right now.
Anyone else had enough of Versus' coverage of the NHL postseason?
How is it that they pull away from a 3-3 game in Carolina to open a game in Anaheim that wasn't going to start for another 30 minutes? How about skipping the exciting finish in Raleigh for yet another viewing of an Esurance commercial we all know by heart?
In case you missed it, which I'm sure many of you did, the Hurricanes took Game 4 by scoring against the Devils with .02 seconds left.
What was Versus showing? Who cares. It sure wasn't hockey. Heck, they weren't even showing a tied game in St. Louis.
The NHL kowtows to Versus so much it isn't even funny.
It sure as hell isn't deserved.
The managers at the Quarterdeck in Sunrise seem to have as much knowledge about the NHL than those Comcast folks who run Versus.
At least the guys at Quarterdeck change the channel every once in a while, and yeah, they show a game other than one involving the Penguins.
Shame on the NHL for letting this happen night after night after night. Your fans deserve better (and that statement goes to the NHL; Versus has no fans. Nor good spots on the dial save for the gifts handed out from their parent cable network - which sucks Comcastically.)
Where was the Detroit-Columbus game? The entire Carolina-New Jersey series?
Oh yes, I forgot the Comcast-owned Flyers had to be shown on the Comcast-owned 'national' network.
Good thing there wasn't a bull rodeo coming up after the Pens/Flyers game or no one would have seen Carolina's awesome goal just before time expired.
The NHL needs to get off this crummy network pronto.
That said, Versus has Anaheim-San Jose coming up next. Unless the third period gets preempted by a fishing show.
Let's hope the bass aren't biting tonight.
Finally... the Pens look to have a stranglehold on the Flyers, what with winning last evening in the City of Brotherly Love. The series moves back to Pittsburgh Thursday night and I look for the Pens to close it out then. Sorry, Flyers fans... but that's the way it looks.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Should I? It's ONLY 20 Yankee Dollars, but it somehow offends my frugal sensibilities. Decisions, decisions... I think I'll uncap a 1554, cut a cigar, and go sit out under the awning and contemplate the possibilities.
Update, 1615 hrs: Egged on in comments, I was, so I've popped for the price of admission. There WILL be hockey in Portales this evening... Red Wings hockey, that is. They better not let me down... after all, it IS 20 dollars of my hard-earned (heh) money we're talking about here.
It appears my experiment in V-Blogging went down well with the commentariat, and that was VERY gratifying for YrHmblScrb. It's one thing to post your written thoughts to a discerning world; it's quite another to put your time-ravaged face and stumbling verbal skills out there for all the world to see (and laugh at). All y'all were MOST kind with your comments. I'm thinking there will be more of these V-logging thingies in future... as an irregular, occasional thing.
The B's, however, continue the beat-down on Les Habitants. THAT series is over, for all intents and purposes. So much for Montreal's 100-saison celebration. You can bet your boots there will be post-season bloodletting in Montreal. A poor-performing hockey team is one thing that isn't tolerated there. That and Anglais...
The nightcap between the Flames and the Blackhawks was THE game yesterday, though. There's a LOT of bad blood between these two teams and the end of the game was marred by significant violence... or enhanced, depending on your point of view. The game was VERY chippy, what with 116 penalty minutes (including five 10-minute misconducts!) handed out to the two teams... with 12 penalties coming in the final minute of the third period. "Chippy," indeed! But... we have a series here. Calgary is most definitely back in this one, albeit down 2-1. This one might go seven games, and it wouldn't break my heart if it does. It's entirely possible Detroit will get the winner of this series... assuming the Sharks prevail over the Ducks, which is NOT a safe assumption. But I want to see Calgary and Chicago beat the hell out of each other before they get to Detroit. It's only right.
Broadening Our Horizons yet again... but MUCH more successfully this time. I bought a sixer of New Belgium's Mighty Arrow Pale Ale last week while out at the Class VI store and it's already gone. Buck and I had three while he was visiting... him one and me two... and I killed the remainder of the sixer during yesterday's Happy Hour. This is a very crisp and quite hoppy ale that goes down clean and easy! And its 6% ABV content makes it eminently drinkable on a warm Spring day.
Too bad it's a "seasonal" offering... I could get quite used to this beer!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Heh. No one has been in touch with ME... yet. But ya never know, do ya? Them there former military right-wing nutjobs are a BIG problem...
Much has been written over the course of this last week about the language used in the Department of Homeland Security's report titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence and Recruitment." And here it is:
DHS Report on Right Wing Extremism - Free Legal Forms
The American Legion, among others, were upset about the language contained in the report, and Legion president David K. Rehbein sent a rather strongly-worded letter to Janet Napolitano which said, in part:
The best that I can say about your recent report is that it is incomplete. The report states, without any statistical evidence, "The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks."Napolitano later delivered an apology, of sorts. All this being, of course, old news. But... I figured if I was gonna post the cartoon... I may as well provide the requisite background information.
The American Legion is well aware and horrified at the pain inflicted during the Oklahoma City bombing, but Timothy McVeigh was only one of more than 42 million veterans who have worn this nation's uniform during wartime. To continue to use McVeigh as an example of the stereotypical "disgruntled military veteran" is as unfair as using Osama bin Laden as the sole example of Islam.
Your report states that "Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages." Secretary Napolitano, this is more than a perception to those who have lost their job. Would you categorize union members as "Right Wing extremists"?
In spite of this incomplete, and, I fear, politically-biased report, The American Legion and the Department of Homeland Security share many common and crucial interests, such as the Citizen Corps and disaster preparedness. Since you are a graduate of New Mexico Girls State, I trust that you are very familiar with The American Legion. I would be happy to meet with you at a time of mutual convenience to discuss issues such as border security and the war on terrorism. I think it is important for all of us to remember that Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are.