Friday, December 31, 2010

Thank You, Mr. Krauthammer

Our parting shot for the Old Year... Charles Krauthammer on Mrs. Palin:

The occasion was Mr. Krauthammer's usual appearance on the political panel discussion show “Inside Washington” today (12/31/2010).  Charles speaks for me and... according to him... two out of every three Republicans.  The Palin fanbois will weep.  Or gnash their teeth.  Or both.  That's fun to watch, actually.

Full disclosure:  I backdated this post so as not to harsh the New Year's mellow.


We haven't gone on about this as much as we have in years past...

... and there's a reason: we DON'T like The Boy Wonder who plays for the Flightless Birds.  As a matter of fact, we don't much like the Flightless Birds, period.  So there's that.  I also have issues with the over-hyped and patently stoopid "rivalry" between Ovechkin and Wonder Boy created by the PR flacks at NHL HQ.  Just STFU, already.  So... we have our reasons.

There's some big competition for my viewing eyes in this time slot tomorrow, too.  I dearly wanna see State give 'Bama an ass-whuppin', so I'll prolly be back and forth between the football game and the Winter Classic after all is said and done.  The smart money is on 'Bama, to be sure, but we have our loyalties.  And our hopes.

In the meantime... I'm experiencing GREAT personal satisfaction and extreme gratification as we speak.  Which is to say:  ND 30, Miami (ptui!) 3.  So, for all you ND haters out there:   you STFU, too.  Insert big-ass smiley thingie here.

Update, 1530 hrs.  This just in:
PITTSBURGH (December 31, 2010) – The National Hockey League announced today the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will change the original 1 p.m. (ET) start time on New Year’s Day to 8 p.m. (ET).  The decision was based on the latest meteorological reports, which have advised an approaching front of potentially steady rain expected to fall through the afternoon and taper off by early evening, and after consultation with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals, national broadcast partners (NBC, CBC, RDS), the Pittsburgh Steelers, the National Hockey League Players’ Association, and local officials. 

We have been further advised that cooler and drier air conditions are expected in the evening with the passing of the front.  The NHL feels that it was important to make this announcement at this time so as to minimize the inconvenience to all parties associated with the event, especially our fans. 
Well, that's one problem solved.  At the expense of another one.  We remain undecided as to who we should root for in THAT game.  Buckeye hatred dies hard.

In My In-Box Today

I'm afraid to look coz I just KNOW this will be full o' Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, various and sundry "American Idol" losers, and 22 different hip-hop "artists."  It took me quite a while, but I have become my father.

Get OFF my lawn!

What She Said

She being Lisa Benson.

Anyone else up for a glass o' warm milk (note the post time)?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

We Didn't Realize the Depth of Our Influence

Ahem.  That's right, Boehner.  Get WITH it.  Don't make me write yet another "Not Your Father's Air Force," mmm-kay?  K.

An Embarrassment o' Riches

In today's mail...

That would be a box each of our two favorite cee-gars: the Acid Deep Dish and the Partagas Spanish Rosado (in the 6x54 Familia size).   There's something of a back-story here and it has to do with the post title.  I re-stocked the humidor in normal fashion about ten days ago.  Then came to me with a "you decide what's on sale" year end deal and I couldn't resist the price quoted on what you see above.  In the meantime SN1 gifted me with an additional 24 cigars for Christmas... which created a storage crisis, the upshot being we have nearly 100 sticks on hand and storage space for only 50.

The solution:

The Poor Man's Humidor: two gallon-size baggies, 24 cee-gars to each baggie, along with three Humi-Care humidification pillows in each bag.  Crisis averted.  If we were living in Former Happy Days we'd still be in possession of our capacious humidor (as befits a gentleman) and there would be no crisis.  There were other benefits available to me in Former Happy Days as well, but we won't belabor the point.  I believe it's time to fire up one of those Spanish Rosados and reduce the stick count by a wee bit.

We won't be buying any more ceegars for a while.

It's One of THOSE Days

From the NWS in ABQ:
A Wind Advisory remains in effect until midnight MST tonight.

* Location... this includes the Raton ridge... northeast Highlands and all of the eastern plains.

* Winds... west to southwest 25 to 40 mph... with gusts up to 55 mph.

* Timing... the strongest winds are expected this afternoon before diminishing late this evening.

* Visibility... may be reduced in dust prone areas.
I went outside and took a picture of our dun-colored skies for your amusement/amazement, Gentle Reader.

This is just outside my back door; the lower third of what looks like a cloud bank is actually dust.  Well, at least it's kinda-sorta warm outside, what with our temp at 61 degrees.  Small favors and all that.

For Those Who See No Value In Twitter

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This Guy Needs a Life

In addition to a life the dude obviously needs better beer.  (sigh)  There's just NO accounting for taste or the lack o' same.  OTOH, there are much better (and cuter) beer delivery systems out there.  Just sayin'.

YouTube Fail

So... there I was, over at blog-bud Kris' place where she was waxing poetic about all the lil birdies in her yard.  I was watching one of the vids she put up and this is what the Tube of You gave me:

Heh.  Bird-B-Gone.  Fail.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Can't Let This Slip By...

Last night, in Denver...

Chris Osgood becomes only the tenth goalie in the history of the NHL to notch 400 wins.  And it couldn't have happened at a better time or in a better place.  Yeah, it would have been nice to get #400 at home, but beating the Hated Avalanche in their own barn is ALWAYS sweet.  Sweeter yet when it's a milestone game for one of the most under-rated goalies in the league.

Congrats, Ozzie!

This Is Neither Work Safe Nor for Those of a Prudish Nature

A couple o' few days ago a female correspondent of mine sent along the video below.  I've thought long and hard (heh) about putting this up on the blog, given as how another female correspondent of mine didn't find this funny at all, stating she only went ten seconds into the vid before she quit viewing, adding "Ick."  (Long parenthetical snarky observation: I have more to say about THAT particular expression, given as how I feel "Ick" is just barely appropriate or tolerable in four year olds but much less so in adults.  As a matter of fact, the expression is absolutely INtolerable in adults and we COULD go on.  And on.  But leave us not digress.)

So here's George, a 68 year old Brit, going on in a VERY explicit and detailed manner about the inanimate love of his life (actual naughty bits are pixelated, i.e., censored, but it's the subject matter that's NSFW):

So, OK.  On the one hand I find this pretty danged funny.  OTOH it's pretty damned sad.  On the other, other hand George is a very honest... not to mention creative... sort.  On the other, other, other hand George's P-Shopped photo albums are positively WEIRD if not creepy.  This is prolly a classic case of TMI to boot.  But Hey, it's a Brave New World.

Thoughts, if any?


I know, I know... weather ≠ climate.  But, still... have you noticed a dearth of comments/rants/sermons from the CoGW's High Priests of late?  I have, and I Thank The Deity At Hand for small favors.

(from the usual source)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Yet Another Senior Moment

We're just in from our errands... which were mostly about renewing the beer supply... and were thinking on the way home: "Damn.  We've been here for eight years now!"  In so doing we also realized we'd let the eighth anniversary of our arrival on The High Plains of New Mexico slip right by without a celebration of any sort.  Not that we need a cause to celebrate, coz we don't, yet still: it's a milestone.  Of sorts.

So.  We dug into the archives and found a few shots we took shortly after our arrival on THPoNM.  Here's a windshield shot from December 16, 2002, taken on the last leg of our trip.

We were just south of Santa Rosa, inbound to P-Ville.  Exactly one week later:

Did we dodge a travel bullet, or what?

Here are two from Boxing Day, 2002:

It was COLD that year, Gentle Reader.  The pic above was taken around 1300 hrs according to the meta data associated with the file and it was only ten degrees outside.  I'm pretty sure that was our high for the day.

And we were oh-so-much-more neater then, too.  Here's virtually the same shot, or at least taken from the same angle (sorta) on Christmas Day:

I think I need to get busy simplifying things.  Mañana... es SIEMPRE mañana!

A Missed Tradition

Well, not one of those traditions... I'm speaking about a blog tradition here.  It seems that I've put this particular post up every Boxing Day except for one in the longish history (heh) of this sterling publication.  And we just forgot all about it yesterday, mainly coz we had that massive Case of The Ass.  We're over that now.  For the moment.  But we digress.

So... a day late and a dollar short, as is my habit:

The Usual, Customary, and (Somewhat) Reasonable Boxing Day Post

It's a short one, but.. with the exception of 2007... we've been putting this one up every Boxing Day since 2005:

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

I had to pop out to do a little grocery shopping. All the way to Wally-World and back I was thinking about Christmas' Past and the strangest thing struck me. I cannot, for the life of me, remember a single thing about the last Christmas The Second Mrs. Pennington and I spent together (1997). Nothing. Zip. Nada. I think it’s because the cataclysmic events that unfolded over the eight months following that Christmas completely obliterated all memories of times immediately preceding. It was, after all, the Winter of Her Discontent, and I was completely oblivious. Quite another story.

It is more than passing strange, however. That Christmas was my youngest son’s First Christmas. Even though he was only ten months old at the time I’m sure he had a great old time tearing into boxes and playing with the wrapping paper, as very young children do. But I don’t remember any of it. I don’t remember the tree. I don’t remember taking any pictures. I don’t remember what I gave or received that Christmas. I don’t remember a damned thing, except for the fact we were in Rochester. That’s the sum total!

I did recall, in great detail, the year we spent Christmas night on a British Airways flight from Detroit to London. Our flight left sometime around six or seven in the evening on Christmas Day, and we were at the airport a good three hours before that. There were three of us: TSMP, our great good friend Kim, and myself. It was Kim’s first trip outside the US, and she was as excited as is humanly possible. The flight was nearly empty because, who, after all, travels on Christmas Day? Just us bargain hunters. TSMP and Kim stayed awake most of the flight. I, on the other hand, found an empty row and slept. Don’t you just love empty airplanes on transatlantic flights? It doesn’t happen a lot these days, from what I read.

We arrived at Heathrow around 0700 and were completely through customs and baggage claim in about an hour. The Captain, although he was either a Buck Sergeant or a Staff Sergeant stationed at RAF Lakenheath at the time (ed: and is now -- in 2010 -- referred to as The Major, time advancing as it does), met us at Arrivals. We loaded up the luggage and piled into his ratty old British Ford Cortina with the broken heater and leaky floor and did the patented B&P nickel tour of London for Kim’s benefit.

Sidebar: I use the term “B&P nickel tour” in a very personal sense. TSMP and I lived in London from 1980 - 1983 and we had a LOT of visitors. After the first wave of visitors had come and gone we developed our own little two-hour driving tour of London that hit all the high spots: Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Picadilly Circus, Tower Bridge, et al. We also threw in a few of our favorite places. It was great fun reliving that tour!

So. After the tour we grabbed lunch and went to the hotel for a little nap before our evening out. And thus began the ten-day England Christmas Tour of 1990-something. I don’t remember the exact year, actually. But I sure remember that trip…one of my BEST Christmases (and New Year’s), ever. 

We added this in 2006:
The Best Thing about our arrival in London on Boxing Day was the heretofore unmentioned party we went to that evening. TSMP, SN1, Good Friend Kim, and I went to my Brit Buddy Rob’s place, where we partied into the wee small hours. The most interesting thing about that party was that Rob and I picked up exactly where we’d left off more than ten years earlier.  It was as if we’d seen each other only yesterday. It’s like that with great, good friends.
We have to go do a lil shopping today, much like on 12/26/2005.  The first item on my list is at least four gallons of water, coz Dear Ol' Santa left me frozen water lines for Christmas.  I must have been pretty danged naughty this year to deserve this particular lump o' coal in my virtual stocking.

I swear to The Deity At Hand that this episode ain't MY fault.  We had water when we went to bed in the early hours of Christmas Day but apparently my "drip (beat-beat) drip (beat-beat)" wasn't enough flow to keep the lines from freezing.  So, once again it's back to the 19th century when hauling water was all the rage.  I had hopes my lines would thaw yesterday as our high was supposed to be 40 degrees.  We didn't make it... and it's gonna be a near-run thing again today.  I have my fingers crossed.

A correction:  I put up a photo of amazingly tasty, world-class enchiladas on Christmas Eve and erroneously credited the creation of same to my daughter-in-law Erma.  I was wrong... the enchiladas came from the mobile kitchen of The First Mrs. Pennington, who is literally world-renowned for that dish (shown above in an enchilada assembly line operation at SN2's house in Maine, June 2006.  That's SN1 receiving a sample for QA purposes.).  I also found out that TFMP created said enchiladas solely for my consumption, a fact that leaves me sheepish about the bad joke I made at her expense a couple o' few days ago.

So: herewith the correction and a public apology.  I'm sorry, Ramona.  You can take "sorry" in the literal and figurative senses, both apply.

Well.  We fixed THAT oversight now, didn't we?  And we shall add a photo from the Great Ol' Blighty Tour of 1990/91.

That pic is a re-run, too.  That's SN1, The Lovely Miz Lynch, and YrHmblScrb at a world-famous pile o' rocks, the pic which just might have been taken 20 years ago today.  The date is close enough for gub'mint work.  It was freakin' COLD that day, too.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Not Your Father's Air Force IX

Air Force leaders issue holiday message

Posted 12/24/2010   Updated 12/24/2010

12/24/2010 - WASHINGTON (AFNS)  -- Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy send the following holiday message to the Airmen of the U.S. Air Force:

As we celebrate the holidays, please take the opportunity to reflect on our many blessings as Americans, and to remember the people who most enrich our lives. We also should contemplate our broader aspirations that, given the many demands of very busy lives, we often neglect to consider throughout the year.

Also, especially while many remain engaged in combat operations across the globe, we are thankful for the men and women who have answered our nation's call, and selflessly serve to defend our country and preserve our precious liberty. Those who are spending this special time of the year away from friends, family and loved ones are particularly worthy of the deep and abiding respect of fellow Airmen and of a grateful nation. We look forward to their safe return home.

We also honor the quiet sacrifice of family members who sustain and bring great personal meaning to the service of their loved ones. Those of us with the good fortune to be able to celebrate the holidays at home amongst family and friends remember our deployed Airmen and their family members who miss them. We ask that you reach out to these families as well as our single Airmen, and in the spirit of giving and support that makes our Air Force so special, we ask that you welcome them into your holiday celebrations.

In all of the joyous ways that we celebrate this holiday season, we wish you and yours the very best during this special time, and throughout the new year.
Dear Mr. Donley, General Schwartz, and CMSAF Roy,

I would like to draw your attention to the following:

Please keep the above in mind when you issue your "holiday message" next year.

With respect and warm regards,
Buck Pennington, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Toast

Merry Christmas yet again to you and yours, Gentle Reader.  I hope your Christmas Day was warm, peaceful and full o' love.

We're doing eggnog for our Christmas Day Happy Hour and basking in the warmth that's coming through the window here at El Casa Móvil De Pennington.  I didn't buy any rum but whiskey works JUST as well!

(tech note:  This is an accidental shot.  I didn't check the camera's settings before I took this pic; I had left the camera on shutter priority and the flash was disabled as a result.  I actually like this pic better than the one with the flash.  Accidental photography sometimes yields good results!  YMMV.)

He Wasn't Hurt, Fortunately

I hope Santa's arrival at YOUR house wasn't as dramatic as this, Gentle Reader.

Merry Christmas!

M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S

God Bless Us, Every One!

Friday, December 24, 2010

And He's OFF!

Well, the jolly ol' guy in the red suit has already done New Zealand, Australia, all of Polynesia, and is currently in Indonesia as we speak.  And we have film, of course.

I love NORAD's annual Christmas exercise and while I don't go ALL the way back to the beginning, I do have some history with the program.  Here's a lil blurb I wrote in 2005:
Back when I was in the radar biz we used to do this sort of thing locally for the families of the guys at the radar sites where I was stationed. Back in the day every USAF long-range aircraft control and warning (AC&W) radar site had a video mapping device that fed programmed exercise video to Operations; the normal output from the video mapper was "canned" and consisted of video blips simulating actual aircraft. The video mapper was used to train ground-control intercept controllers and technicians during the course of “normal” business, but we put that video mapper to a much different use at Christmas. On Christmas Eve we'd load up a special video overlay and route it to the intercept control scopes in Operations. While "exercise" video consisted of fake bogeys (simple blips) and tracks to train intercept controllers and technicians, the special Santa video showed a sleigh and reindeer on the scopes, and of course the sleigh moved…traversing our radar coverage area. Not nearly real, but real enough for the kids that saw it! (And for the adults, too…those willing to “suspend disbelief,” as it were.)

The kids always got a big thrill out of the radar displays. Doing the Santa video was one of the most fun things I ever did while I was a radar guy.
My first Santa tracking experience was at Lompoc Air Force Station during Christmas of 1964.  A lot o' water has passed under the bridge since then, but I still get a kick out of tracking Santa.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Worth Passing On"

So saith Occasional Reader Rob as his tag-line addition to this e-mail he received from a friend:
To All My Liberal Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2011, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To All My Conservative Friends:
Life's inherent simplicity: one of the great things about being "of the right."

Two Hundred Countries, Two Hundred Years, Four Minutes

This is fascinating:

You might have to watch this twice since it moves pretty fast.  OTOH, you might want to watch it two or three times simply because it's marvelously entertaining AND informative.  Here's a brief excerpt from the explanation accompanying Mr. Rosling's video, as posted on YouTube:
In this spectacular section of 'The Joy of Stats' he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers - in just four minutes. Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world most of us imagine.
I particularly like Mr. Rosling's hopeful and optimistic closing remarks.  I'm hearing way too much doom and gloom of late; this is refreshing.

Since we're in a hopeful and optimistic mood... isn't this well-done?

I haven't seen this ad on my teevee and more's the pity.  I REALLY like it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Ain't no bias here, is there?  Homers: where would college ball be without 'em?

Yet Another Sign o' the Impending Apocalypse

A friend sends this along...

Which is an answer to a question NO ONE is asking.  That said, it's gonna take a whole helluva lot to out-geek THIS geekery.  You really should watch this until the end where the premise is carried to its ridiculous conclusion.  God Save Us, Every One. 


From the usual source.

USAF Santa Support

From a post of the same name I put up three years ago (hi-res versions of the pics are but a click away):

The folks (all volunteers) in the NORAD "Track Santa" boiler room, last year (2006).

Santa arrives via F-15

Santa arrives in yet another F-15

Santa's Own F-16?

Santa in his A-10

Santa arriving via C-130

One wonders how the ol' guy manages to stay qualified in all these various airframes not to mention passing his annual flight physical. But then again, there's probably a lil bit of Santa Magic at play here...and he does have the requisite flight experience. You can't disregard the thousands upon thousands of multi-engine hours he has in his log book, eh?

(all official USAF photos)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sort of a Throw-Away

Tonight's sunset... all golds, reds, deep blues, and pinks.

I've seen better and done better, too... photo-wise.

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

We're just in from a VERY enjoyable al fresco Happy Hour... and we were gonna put up Maurice Williams' "Stay" as a piece-part of today's Happy Hour Soundtrack until we did our research and find we posted that song about three months ago.  It's too soon for a re-run.

Which is too bad, because that song is the part of today's soundtrack that really resonated with us.  We're thinking specifically about Roxie, the 16 year old, bleached blonde German-American Queen of Our Teen-aged Dreams.  The song kicked off memories of the many afternoons Roxie and I spent in my room during my junior year in high school, with good ol' Maurice helping me on with my fumbling attempts to seduce young Roxie who was having none of that shit, thank ya very much.  Ah, unrequited love...

But the next song Pandora kicked out fast-forwarded us some 20 years beyond the voluptuous young Roxie and invoked memories of me and my very own Sweet Jane, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof.  Like this:

But anyone who ever had a heart
they wouldn't turn around and break it
and anyone who ever played a part
They wouldn't turn around and hate it
Sweet Jane, Sweet Sweet Jane

The tune was released in 1978 but it was a part of the soundtrack Sweet Jane and I grooved to in London during the '80s.  Which is why I selected the video above out of all the possible takes on this song available on the Tube of You.  It's London-centric and features many, many places that invoke fond memories of Former Happy Days.  We find ourselves doing a lot of that sort of reminescing during Happy Hour these days.  It is what it is... mebbe it's the holidays.

In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida, Baybeee...

From My Buddy Ed in Florida...
Get ready to experience a hallucination.
1.- Click on the link below
2.- Then "click me to get trippy"
3.- Look at the center of the screen for 30 seconds, and then...
4.- Look at your hand holding the mouse, without moving it away from the mouse... NOT BEFORE! 

(the effect is called "cenesthetic hallucination;" you can also just look away from your screen to any point of your choosing)
I tried it; it made me want to take drugs and I'm NOT kidding.  This was my weirdness for today.  Shorter: Psychedelic, maaaan!


I have VERY mixed emotions about the death of DADT, most of which revolve around the "Don't fix it if it ain't broke" premise.  DADT wasn't broke.

Nate Beeler's 'toon is quite ironic when you consider the source of his inspiration:

That would be Bill Mauldin's WWII homage to the Jeep.  Mauldin really meant to honor the jeep and did it in a way GIs everywhere loved and understood; Beeler has something else on his mind.  

Speaking of "on the mind"... if you're wondering what the military thinks of this development... and by that I mean officer and enlisted, active and retired, not soundbites from Talking Head generals and pundits... there's a 95-comment thread at Lex's place on the subject.  The troops are NOT pleased.

On a better note... Happy Winter Solstice!  I missed the lunar eclipse due to massive cloud cover; Oh, Well.  It was the thought that counted.

Monday, December 20, 2010

In Today's Mail

Twenty Gurkhas, packed five to a tin, in rather festive colors, dontcha think?  That would be...
4 x Gurkha Doble Maduro Torpedo (6"x 53)
4 x Gurkha Fuerte Torpedo (6"x 53)
4 x Gurkha Grand Master Torpedo (6"x 53)
4 x Gurkha Legend Torpedo (6"x 53)
4 x Gurkha Master Select Torpedo (6"x 53)
A close up of the individual cigars:

Beauteous, no?  It's too bad the wind is still up, coz it's warm outside and one of these puppies would be right and proper for an outdoor Happy Hour.  And in the mixed metaphor department... We shall carry on indoors.  Damn the torpedoes!  Full speed ahead!

Thievery XV

Stolen from Daphne, who titled her post with an oh-so-appropriate "WTF?"

WTF?, indeed.  That said, this commercial is perverse enough (and most certainly entertaining enough!) to be RIGHT up my alley.  I'd surf channels with the express purpose of hoping to find this ad, unlike that gotdamned Peggy Kessler commercial.  I won't repeat what I said about the Ms. Kessler ad elsewhere.  We digress.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

WikiLeaks According to Our Taiwanese Friends

With special guest appearance by an M-16 totin' Sarah Palin!

Damn.  That woman is EVERYWHERE!

Added, 1530 hrs:  We can't forget our Weather Girls, who haven't graced our pages in some time.

You'll note Kitty thinks I'm a "dream come true."  But I have this sneaking suspicion she sez that to all the guys.  It's just a hunch.

Our Outdoor Celebrations Are Somewhat Delayed

Well, the good ship SS AGW put into port today, releasing its smiling crew for shore leave in these parts.  But like a lot o' sailors in liberty ports the world over, this crew is behaving badly.  There are waaay too many blowhards "on the beach"  and way too much detritus in the air for me, as it were.  I love it when the SS AGW pulls in; I can leave her rowdy hell-raising antics for another time, thank ya. 

That's only coz drinkin' beer and smokin' cigars in a near-to-moderate gale just ain't NO fun, yanno?  Hopefully the crew will get their ya-yas out today and turn to more calming pursuits tomorrow.  One can always hope.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Just Wait a Moment, It'll Change..."

That's the WX mantra I've heard everywhere I've ever lived in my lifetime, bar none.  The interesting thing is the fact the locals all seem to think this is some sort of original thought, something that is unique and special about their lil corner of heaven.  News flash:  it's NOT.

So we were freezin' our nether parts off yesterday (scroll down just two posts and you'll see).  Today is more like a normal mid-December day on The High Plains of New Mexico, until Sheik  al-Gore's avenging angels of Anthropomorphic Global Warming come around for an extended visit... a few days!... beginning tomorrow.  Witness:

Wow!  In the immortal words of Small-Tee tim, who had something entirely different in mind, i.e.,  foot upon foot of snow:  Bring. It. On!  Yep.  I loves me some AGW!


Today is the first weekend of college ball withdrawal and I'm managing to cope with the drought fairly well.  Yeah, I know.  There IS some football on, if'n ya wanna call it that.  I'm speaking of...
Brigham Young vs. UTEP*
Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State*

Ohio vs. Troy*
Ummm... thanks, but no thanks.  The last two bowls have the most imaginative names, eh?  What the HELL is a "uDROVE?"  And how/why is it "humanitarian?"  I suppose this might fall into the stuff-I-don't-really-wanna-know category.  

While we're on the subject, there's this in the general "get off my lawn!" category: commercial bowl names SUCK.  If some really benevolent philanthropist wants to do some REAL good in this world they'd step up and endow every major bowl game in these United States... by that I mean pay ALL the expense of putting on the game... on the condition they'd foreswear commercial endorsements in perpetutity.  I freakin' cringe (worse, actually.  I swear a lot.) whenever I see "Tostitos BCS National Championship Game" or "The Rose Bowl presented by Vizio."

Get OFF my fucking lawn!  (I told ya I swear a lot.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Apropos o' Nuthin'

I just finished watching the president sign the stealth stimulus bill (with my teevee muted) and it struck me how positively ODD it is that signing ceremonies always involve six or more pens.  I know the purpose behind this quirky practice but I'm wonderin' just how one breaks one's signature up into six discrete parts.  That must be one of those "learned" skills.

Closing shot:  Granted, this is an old, old pic.  But have you EVER seen a bigger gaggle of obnoxious, useless people than the above?  I mean... EVER?

Update 1540 hrs, in which I answer my own question:  Well, yes.  Yes, we have.

Sorry, Gentle Reader.  How quickly we forget, no?

False Alarm

I think it's a condition of employment for weathermen:  your forecast MUST be a worst-case scenario, come Hell or high water.  So our "one to three inches" has devolved into this:
Bands and areas of light to moderate snow will linger across much of eastern New Mexico and the northern Sacramento Mountains and adjacent Highlands through mid day. Most areas will see little in the way of new snow accumulation but up to an inch is possible in snow bands. Conditions are expected to improve this afternoon.
It's chilly though, at 30 degrees.  I'm thinkin' this might be as warm as it gets today.  I'm snug as the proverbial bug/rug and it's been perfect sleeping weather.  That's code for "I just got up."  The coffee is EXCELLENT this morning!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Clearing Up Some Possible Confusion

Many, if not most, of you Gentle Readers may have been confused by my post title last night when I referred to Niklas Lidstrom as "The Perfect Human."  And that's understandable unless your name is SN1 or mebbe one or two others... those of you that are among the few, the proud, the hockey fans.  And so along comes Pierre LeBrun with an explanation... to wit: "Nicklas Lidstrom, 'The Perfect Human'."  Let's quote:
DETROIT -- The passes are tape to tape, right in the middle of the stick blade, timed just right for the player taking them in stride. One after the other -- zip, zip, zip -- Nicklas Lidstrom seemingly can't miss.
It's a Thursday morning practice at Joe Louis Arena, one just like any other of the 3,000 or so practices he's skated in the past 20 years. And just like those other times, Lidstrom is dead-on every single time he makes a play.
"We call him the Perfect Human," said Detroit Red Wings teammate Niklas Kronwall. "And there's a reason for it. Whatever he does, he seems to do perfectly, so I think that's a pretty good nickname."
The Perfect Human is 40 years old. Not that you can tell while watching him on the ice this season. After failing to get nominated for the Norris Trophy in 2009-10, Lidstrom is back stronger than ever, and if the season ended today, it says here he'd be picking up his seventh award as the NHL's top defenseman.
Read the whole thing if'n you're a hockey fan; you'll burn in Hell if you don't read it if'n you're a Wings fan.  The rest of you... the hoi polloi, the Great Unwashed, the ignurunt... can read or not, as you see fit.  Whatever.  But be advised this article is the longest, most in-depth profile of Lidstrom I've read in quite a while.  The quotes are priceless, coming as they do from the highest levels of hockey, including Bobby Orr, the guy Lidstrom is frequently compared to and the greatest defenseman of all time.  It's great good stuff, and the piece just might be the best thing LeBrun has EVER done.  Don't ignore this one if you're a hockey fan.  Just don't.

Why I Don't Cook More Often

I eat out a lot.  Prolly way more than I should, actually, but I do eat well.  I'll admit to making a couple o' runs a month to Mickey Dee's and I'm not unknown at our local taqueria, either.  But I generally patronize "real" restaurants when eating out and I do this mostly because I can.

That said, I'm no stranger in the kitchen and I'm a pretty danged good cook, if I say so myself.  I pretty much taught The Second Mrs. Pennington how to cook (remind me to tell you sometime about the first meal she ever tried to cook for me, the short of it being she fixed lasagna, without boiling the lasagna noodles first.  Yeah: inedible.  School commenced the following day.) and I had my regular turn in the kitchen when I lived a conventional, i.e., married, life.

But these days?  I'm lucky if I actually cook... as opposed to "nuke"... dinner more than once a week.  You might ask why and here's part of the answer:

Cooking is a major PITA when you have VERY limited space in which to work.  The pic above is about halfway through the process of dinner preparation, and I was making a salad when I took the pic.  What went before was paring the pork chops, cutting bacon into one-inch squares, and slicing the onion used in the dish.  All that stuff stacked in the sink (bread, etc., on the left) is the contents of my breadbox (aka the nuker), which was heating up a bowl of beets when I took this pic.  Stuff used in previous steps has already been washed and is in the drainer.

So what's for dinner?  This is the entree:

That's a couple of thick center cut pork chops smothered in sauerkraut after being browned in bacon fat for a minute a side... simmer for 20 minutes and serve.  There's also half an onion lurking in there, along with two cloves of crushed garlic.  And the bacon bits, of course.  We don't throw much away.

Dinner is served:

Yum.  Fixing this was a pain but the results were worth it!

I might be motivated to cook more often if I lived in an RV with a kitchen like this:

Just look at that counter space!  (Sigh)