Monday, October 31, 2011

I Don't Often Do This...

... but here's a post from the Shoebox blog in its entirety.
This is not a spoiler, it’s in the trailer and it’s pretty key to the whole movie: in the future (which sucks, btw) everyone kind of freezes at 25, then you have a year to live unless you buy extra time. So… your mom can be crazy hot. Your mom. She’s gonna look 25, same as you. But she’s your mom. This would not be easy to deal with.


Navigating the fact that everyone kind of piles up and the rich get richer and time is literally money in kind of Occupy Wall Street, the movie, is absolutely real actor Justin Timberlake. And this is his mom.  In the movie. In real life, this is his mom.  She seems nice. But not nice. I hope the future does not turn out like it did in this movie. I could not act like it’s OK that this is my mom. Also, no jet packs.
Longtime readers know that I'm not a movie guy and that's putting it kindly and gently.  I could pull a Jack Nicholson and tell ya what I really think about movies but you prolly couldn't stand the truth. Yeah, a quote from a movie.  I'm into irony.  

All THAT said, I love the Shoebox "Tiny Little Movie Reviews" on a number of different levels.  First and foremost, they're TINY and there are no long-winded expositions on anything, let alone the nuances of this actor, that special effect, or the other bullshit.  Second: they're always funny.  Always.  Third: the reviews tend to validate my feelings about movies, in general.  I guess I'm kinda un-American in that regard, but I really don't give a Big Rat's Ass.  I'm of the opinion Hollywood lost whatever relevance it had 30 years ago.  At least.

Two Posts In One!

Politics and Halloween!


From the Usual Source.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

100 Years

From the Freep:
Some brands transcend commerce.

Through an alchemy of great products, good timing and sheer magic, they acquire meanings that reach far beyond their original purpose.

Levi's. Coca-Cola. Apple. Chevrolet.

Sometime during 100 years of carrying families on vacation, hauling hay wagons, winning races and hosting nervous first dates, Chevrolet became the vehicle of our memories, dreams and hopes as much as it is a line of cars and trucks.

Chevrolet created emblems for American eras. Chevy measured our national mood -- from the pastoral postwar '48 Suburban, to the pastel '57 Bel Air, space-age '63 Corvette Sting Ray, self-assured '69 Camaro, diffident '76 Chevette, back-to-work '99 Silverado and electrifying 2011 Volt.

Those were just a few of the Chevrolet icons that packed the Woodward Dream Cruise in a pre-centennial drive-in this summer. If you forgot to get a gift then, there's still time. Chevy's actual 100th anniversary -- 100, what's that? Platinum spark plugs? Radial tires? -- is this Thursday.
I've owned a few of those icons (by model year, not the year(s) I owned 'em): a '64 Impala (well, it actually belonged to The First Mrs. Pennington, but I had privileges), a '67 Chevelle SS396,  a '72 Nova, a '92 Vette (above), and a '96 Impala SS.  Oh yeah, and one of those gotdamned Chevettes, which was known as The Winter Vette when I lived in Dee-troit.  THAT was an eminently forgettable and hated little car.

But.  Chevy and I go back quite a ways.  Not the whole 100 years, to be sure, but enough time to firmly establish the marque as an icon in MY world.  Happy Anniversary, Chevy... here's to another 100 years!

You'll note Chevy was celebrated at the annual Woodward Dream Cruise this past summer, and there are some cool Camaro pics on their home page.  Speaking o' the Dream Cruise... I drove in the very first Dream Cruise, all the way from Ferndale (where I lived) to my Buddy Greg's house in Birmingham, where we did some on-the-spot repairs to this beast (a 1954 Cadillac Sedan De Ville):

The repairs were needed in order for The Second Mrs. Pennington and I to get the thing home.  That was also our first summer with "The Smokin', Drinkin', and Partyin' Car," named as such by TSMP.  From an old post:
TSMP christened the car “The Smokin’, Drinkin’, Partyin’ Car” and she most certainly was that. The best story about that car can only be told in “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” terms and involved TSMP and I splitting the upholstery in the Caddy’s back seat. Or, to put it another way…we were exuberant and the upholstery was old. In our garage. On a Saturday afternoon. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.
Good times.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Broadening Our Horizons XXXIV

We're just in from the local beer emporium where we picked up a couple o' sixers to get us through the weekend.  Like this:


What you see is a good ideer from that lil ol' brewery in Shiner, Texas... which is a sixer of six different beers from Spoetzl, two of which... the Kosmos Reserve and the Brewer's Pride... will be new to me once I get around to drinking 'em.  Variety packs from breweries ain't exactly a new thang, but ya usually see 'em in 12-packs, not sixers.  And those 12-packs almost always have two bottles of sumthin' you don't like so I usually give 'em a pass.  But a sixer?  Yeah, I like that ideer... coz if I don't like one of the beers it ain't no biggie.  Are ya listenin', Sammy Adams?

But that said, our broadening exercise today is Alimony Ale, a name which intrigued me seein' as how Mother's Day is fast approaching (you know: pay this mother, pay that mother, yadda, yadda, not the least o' whom is the Mom of the adult boys, who gets a sizable chunk of my USAF retirement every month.  But we digress.).  And it's an IPA, of which there are very few of those I've met that I didn't like.  One of the Bros... Jason, specifically... likes it:
Presentation: 12oz brown. Turn of the century cartoon of a small man, big mouth character holding a sign. On the sign it states, "The Bitterest BREW in America."

Appearance: Very dark with ruby edges and a nice looking thin lace that retains.


Smell: Big and malty with caramel and rum notes.


Taste: Extremely smooth, rich malt sweetness that transforms into a roasted grain dryness becoming almost tart. Hop leaf flavours finish at the end, mixing well with the complexity of malt afters.


Notes: Not the bitterest brew, but, very malty and complex. The malts definitely reign in this brew. Very unique and enjoyable.
He gives the beer a B+ and I'm in agreement.  The beer is plenty bitter enough, though.  And now it's time to take this show out to the verandah where we can actually enjoy Alimony.  And a cigar.

Clarkson On Open-Air Motoring

That's the title of Jalopnik's Number Three choice of Jeremy Clarkson's Ten Best Lines, ever... and here's the quote, quoted:
3.) Clarkson on the joys of open-air motoring
Suggested By: AJ Supera
Why it's brilliant: "My epiglottis is full of bees!" Clarkson may have really gotten Top Gear going with his early review of the Ariel Atom, and it was lines like this, and, well, whatever flapping noise his face was making in the wind that got the world hooked.
And the video from whence it came:


I can relate to the above... speaking as a guy who rode sportbikes for over 40 years.  While we're on the subject I think I'd like to have an Atom; but with that said I'll stick with The Green Hornet.  TGH doesn't have NEAR the power of an Atom but it provides all the sensations of open-air motoring along with a kick-ass stereo AND air conditioning.  OK, so I am compensating.  What of it?

If you love cars and bon mots you can waste well over an hour at the Jalopnik link above; there's some seriously GOOD stuff there.  Mr. Clarkson can certainly turn a phrase.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getting Ready For Spook Nite

How d'ya like me so far?  I think it's an improvement over the usual me.

You can do this too... and here's a brief vid about how.

What's GOOD About "Inequality"

From last night's PBS Newshour:



A couple o' excerpts from the transcript, just in case you don't wanna watch the video:
PAUL SOLMAN: What's good about inequality?

RICHARD EPSTEIN: What's good about inequality is if, in fact, it turns out that inequality creates an incentive for people to produce and to create wealth, it's a wonderful force for innovation. So let's just go and take somebody like Bill Gates again or any entrepreneur.

Guy earns $50 billion, right? How much consumer welfare has he created by selling products? We can estimate the amount of gains to purchases, because everybody who buys one of his products or one of Steve Jobs' products, in effect, values it more than he receives.

The social gain from inequality to consumers of those goods probably dwarfs the entrepreneurial gain by a factor of 10-1 or 20-1.

PAUL SOLMAN: So you mean the incentive for great wealth had Steve Jobs and Bill Gates create products which created so much value that it far outstripped the compensation to them?

RICHARD EPSTEIN: Yes.

And one of the fundamental mistakes about the egalitarians is they're so interested in trying to minimize differences that they don't understand the completely adverse effects that it has on the size of the pie.

[...]

PAUL SOLMAN: In the period in which the American economy grew most vigorously, the United States had higher marginal rates, much higher, higher capital gains rate, and more prosperity and greater economic equality.

RICHARD EPSTEIN: No.

First of all, the highest marginal tax rates were also accompanied with tax shelters for everybody in those rates. The second thing is that the monies that were being spent in those days were being spent in much more intelligent ways. That is, if you go and you look at either state or federal budgets and see the amount of money that is spent on what we would call standard infrastructure improvements, and spent well, like the interstate highway program in 1956, that was very high.

The money that is spent today on infrastructure improvements of a good variety is a tiny fraction of what it was then. And the amount of money that is spent essentially on transfer payments has mushroomed enormously.

The fundamental truth is, the tax system is more redistributive than it was before, which will lead to a reduction in efforts, and the regulatory burden on the economy is vastly greater, and we would expect lower levels of growth.
Mr. Epstein... a Libertarian law professor at New York University of Law...  slays a few more liberal sacred cows and guts pet arguments for redistribution in this brief piece, which is well worth watching.  Or reading, your choice.  The whole thang is pretty refreshing.

Snowbirds...

... outside my front door:


And a clean and dry Green Hornet:


No outdoor Happy Hour today, methinks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Still More Thievery

From the Shoebox blog:
Hit “random” in the lower left corner until you find a cool place.  Then hit “Rorschmap” in the upper right corner.
That's just pretty danged cool!

Say WHAT?

Aiiieee...


Snow?  Seriously?  Already?  (Insert al-Gore joke here)

Again?

Yeah, again.  It's hard to stay off OWS when fully half of the 'toons at the Usual Source are about this subject.  Here's but one...


I recognize that feeling... but I had a valid excuse for my behavior: it was the beer goggles.

―:☺:―

Speakin' of "again"...  We've fallen back into old habits, which is to say stayin' up well into the wee hours and sleeping half the day away.  I keep tellin' myself "no harm, no foul" but I really hate it when I do this sorta thang: half the damned day is gone and I haven't even poured my second cup yet.  Type A behavior never dies... it just keeps strange hours.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

We're listening to Hall and Oates' "Abandoned Luncheonette" this afternoon and the temptation is strong to post the Usual Suspect from this album...
The most well-known track from the album is "She's Gone," one of the act's best-loved songs; Daryl Hall, according to some reports, has called it the best song he and John Oates wrote together. Both performers were undergoing romantic problems at the time the song was written; a 1985 article in Rolling Stone said the song was about Hall's divorce from wife Bryna Lublin.

While "She's Gone" did not become a hit when first released as a single, the song gained momentum from two later covers, one by Lou Rawls, and one by Tavares. After the latter cover topped the Billboard R&B chart in 1974, the original was re-released and became a Top 10 pop hit in 1976, reaching #7, while the album reached #33. This song was included in Hall & Oates's 1983 greatest hits compilation, "Rock and Soul," as well as in numerous other compilations.
But we won't.  Let's do this, instead...

Were you ever so in love 
You couldn't wait to get to sleep and dream  
About the one you wish was there beside you 
In the past few days I've grown 
To love your giggles on the phone 
And how we hug so nicely 
I didn't grow to love her giggles on the phone at that time (mainly coz neither one of us HAD a phone), but I sure as hell "knew her better then."  About which... If you read the above quote from The Wiki carefully you'll note "She's Gone" became a big-ass hit in 1976, which prompted me to purchase "Abandoned Luncheonette" and kicked off a long running love affair, in a couple o' ways.  The first and most obvious is my love of Hall & Oates' music, the second is the fact that The Second Mrs. Pennington and I were in the middle of the beginning of our courtship and 23-year love affair in 1976.  "Abandoned Luncheonette" got a LOT of airplay in our house during that year and on down thru the following years, for the memories that's in it.  That said... it's pretty hard to listen to "She's Gone" these days.  Still.  After all these years.  For obvious reasons.

More Thievery

Via Blog-Bud Morgan, Dubya throws the first pitch in Game Four of the World Series:


And my comment at Morgan's:  "Fuckin’ A!   Texas, Bay-bee. Nevah hoppen in New Yawk."

Apropos o' not much:  I have about a week or two left as a Texan, or at least as a person who carries a Texas driver's license and drives vehicles with Texas plates.  I'll be an official New Mexican sometime after November 1.  (Sigh)

Who'd a Thunk It?

From the Usual USAF Source...
‘Support your local Hells Angels’ graffiti on military vehicle in Iraq
Gangs in the Military: Gang recruitment of active duty military personnel "constitutes a significant criminal threat to the US military," according to the FBI's 2011 national gang threat assessment. "Members of nearly every major street gang, as well as some prison gangs and [outlaw motorcycle gangs], have been reported on both domestic and international military installations," states the report. "Through transfers and deployments, military-affiliated gang members expand their culture and operations to new regions nationwide and worldwide, undermining security and law enforcement efforts to combat crime." The FBI has identified 53 US gangs with ties to the US military. While gang members have been in every military branch, they are most prevalent in the Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve, according to the report. Five of the 53 gangs have members who have served in, or been affiliated with, the Air Force, according to the assessment.
One wonders how accurate the FBI information is.  As near as I can tell, the estimates are just that: estimates, based upon the response to an FBI survey given by law enforcement officers and prison officials.  One would think gang membership would be grounds for immediate discharge but I suppose it ain't quite as simple as that.  The sub-section of the report dealing with gangs in the military is pretty short, actually.  Short, but scary.

Monday, October 24, 2011

This Is Interesting

Up-and-coming social network Google+ will soon be integrated with Google’s blogging platform, Blogger, according to a message now appearing in the “Edit User Profile” section of Blogger’s Settings.

The message reads “Connect Blogger to Google+ : Use your Google profile and get access to upcoming Google+ features on Blogger,” and includes links to “Learn more” and ”Get Started.” Unfortunately, the links are dead-ends right now, so we don’t yet know what type of integration is being planned.

The “Learn More” link is currently dumping to this “page not found” message in Blogger’s Help Center, while the “Get Started” link simply redirects logged-in users to their Blogger Dashboard.

[...]
Chitu says it’s possible we’ll soon see even deeper integration between Blogger’s commenting system and Google+ comments in the future, thanks to the forthcoming integration. That would position Google+ against Facebook on another front beyond just social networking: blog commenting.

Facebook Comments (such as those used here on TechCrunch) provide a way for authenticated users to sign in using their Facebook credentials in order to leave a comment. The drawback, of course, to using a system such as this is that it requires commenters to post using their “real” identity, not a pseudonym. While somewhat effective against trolling and other bad behaviors, it also has it drawbacks. 
Rumor has it G+ will soon allow pseudonyms, so all the Anons and folks who don't use their real names can rest assured their privacy will be protected (heh... as if anyone is really anonymous on the 'net) if and when Google links Blogger and G+ comments.  I think the linkage of the two systems will be a Good Thang, but I will admit the bloom went off the G+ rose for me a few weeks back.  I haven't even looked at G+ in over a week... I guess I'm just not that social.

The Annual Tilting At Windmills Post

We've run this post every year for three years, mainly because it's sumthin' we REALLY DO believe in:  Thanksgiving comes first.  Without further ado...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No Cause Is Truly Lost

It's that time o' year.  The time when we ring up Mr. Panza and beseech him to help us in our annual tilt against the windmills of commercialism.  Well, it's more like me being ol' Sancho to Jim's Don Q (ed: link updated for 2011).  But... lost or not... I'm all FOR what Jim is selling. Here's what I said last year and the year before: 


Blog-Bud Jim, aka Suldog, has launched his second annual “Thanksgiving Comes First!” campaign… and has asked those of us who agree with him… and who are the proprietors of blogs… to join the campaign. Well, I can’t think of anyone who actually approves of seeing Christmas sales, Christmas advertising, Christmas-this, or Christmas-that, before Thanksgiving has come and gone. NO ONE… period, end of report, full-stop (ed:  It has since come to my attention that I'm wrong here.  There IS one person I'm aware of, and only ONE.). I’m quite sure even the employees and management of those businesses who launch Christmas before Thanksgiving is even here have a distaste for the project at hand. I mean… how could you NOT?

So. I’m on board with this. I hope you are, too. Jim has great narrative reasons and not a few rants on the subject at the link above and here, as well. Do go read.
The links in the quoted bits above are older.  Jim has updated his original post and added thoughts at my link in the first graf.  Won't you help us?
As noted in my parenthetical comment in the first graf of my repost, Jim has updated his post for 2011.  And there is progress in this space... companies DO respond when their customers tell them things.  See?
 
 
I stole that from Jim, of course.  Thank you, Nordstrom's!  Now if we could just get EVERY retailer to go along...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Broadening Our Horizons XXXIII

I haven't done one of these Broadening thangs in a while... what with us sticking to what we know best for well over a month now... so it's time.  Past time, actually.  So, there we were out at the Cannon Class VI Store this morning when we noticed a passel of these on the shelf:


That's a New Belgium Lips of Faith Super Cru, about which one of The Bros has this to say:
Big beer brewed with Asian pear juice. Shiny copper color; two-finger head drops to a thin ring of lace. Some vague floral fruitiness meets spiciness, with medicinal herb and alcohol in the nose. Some smoothness, slick with a big body. Mild tartness with a thick malty foundation, and a hint of sweetness up front. Toasted bread and ripe fruit soon make way for a more toasty, dry, almost broth-like flavor. Spicy, boozy alcohol, rose water and tropical fruit. Semidry finish clings to the booziness. A serious beer if strength is considered, though beyond that, it lacks a bit of depth that was expected. A tasty brew nonetheless.
The general consensus is the beer rates a B- and so much for criticism... I like it, even if it IS fruity, but it's not TOO fruity.  I'd give it a solid A, but you have to realize I'm predisposed to like pretty much everythang New Belgium puts out.  We've paired the brew up with an old favorite... an Acid Kuba Kuba.  Now it's time to adjourn to the verandah before the Smoking Police come and bust me for lighting a cigar inside the house.  Whatever will I do when winter comes?

Teh Funny and Teh Not-So-Funny



Heh.

―:☺:―

In other news...
Niklas Kronwall called the third period “a complete disaster.” ... “The final score is unacceptable,” Kronwall said. “They kept it simple, and we didn’t have any jump left in our legs. We can’t look like that.”
That's being VERY kind about the Wings' 7-1 loss debacle in Washington last night.  Early on in the game, before the Caps scored their first goal, SN1 and I discussed Babcock's decision to go with Ty Conklin, the Wings' number two goalie.  SN1 thought Jimmy Howard should have started such an important game and it looks like SN1 was right, in retrospect.  Conklin sucked, but he wasn't the only problem.  The Wings had way too many turn-overs and the Caps simply outplayed them for most of the second and third periods.  What a helluva outcome for Nick Lidstrom's 1,500th game!

Oh, well.  It's early days; every team has an off night every once in a while... but last night was truly an embarrassment.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Linkage

It's only been TWO YEARS between posts (Counting?  Who's counting?) but there's new stuff up at SN1's blog.  Buck is using his blog as a medium for publishing some of his course work at the Army Command & General Staff College... and it's some interesting stuff.  Really.  Here's an excerpt from his post on leadership:
Leaders lead from the front of the organization. Physically, you must get "eyes-on" with the majority of your troops on a regular basis. Leadership by emails, orders from behind the desk or memos from "on-high" accomplish nothing, but create needless space between you and your organization. Set the example in all aspects of your job. Know your "core business" better than anyone else. Get to know your people and their workspaces. Know your place in the "big picture" and be able to explain it to anyone. Understand not only the mission of your unit, but how your people make that mission happen, what tools they use and what systems or other units they depend on to make the mission happen. Know all these things and ensure your people and processes are all geared toward accomplishing the units’ mission. Set clear expectations for everyone’s performance...especially yours!
Buck mentions one of my pet peeves in civilian life: the manager who managed via e-mail and memo.  I was fortunate not to have run into any of these guys, which is to say report to one, during my civilian career.  But I sure knew a lot of the asshats.  I also knew more than my share of managers, as opposed to leaders.  That's one of the best things about the military: you learn the difference between the two.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

We're still mucking about in the archives and today we played Pete Townshend's White City album, which is where this song comes from...

I want the first call on your kiss
Answer me one question:can you promise me this
I want my defences laying in your hands
I don't want to rest in the palm of another man
I don't want your secondhand love
We won't go into the deeper meaning, if any, of the lyrics to this tune... I like it for its instrumentation and melody, not to mention Townshend's impassioned vocals.  Let's just say I relate and leave it at that.  I relate to the entire album, actually.  "White City" came out a couple o' years after I left Ol' Blighty but the song-cycle resonated with me (and still does), given as how I'd passed White City any number of times when driving into London from my home in High Wycombe... and on the tube, of course.  White City was and prolly still is one of those "no-go" zones you find in any large city in the industrialized world and I never ventured into the place, kinda like certain areas of Dee-troit, which calls up more of those "I can relate" feelings.

Still and even: one of Townshend's best efforts.

―:☺:―
 
Comin' up later: Hockey Night In Portales (and Leavenworth, Kansas), wherein the Beloved Wings (4-0) face the hapless Blue Jackets (0-5-1) at The Joe.  Tonight's game is as close to a gimmee as the Wings have had in this young season and I'm anticipating a victory.  The Wings will be tested tomorrow night, however, as they play a back-to-back game against the Caps, in Washington.  I watched the Caps (6-0) methodically take apart the high-flying Flyers (4-1-1) last evening and they thoroughly thrashed the Flyers... it wasn't even close.  I got a great deal o' satisfaction out o' that game; it pleases me GREATLY to watch Pronger lose.  Yea, verily: Schadenfreude Я Us.  And speakin' o' Schadenfreude... there was more o' the same in last night's nitecap as I watched... gleefully... the 'Hawks (4-1-1) paste the Hated Avalanche (5-2), at home in their barn.  I dunno what to say about a team that can win five games on the road, only to come home and lose.  Again.  What to do?  Play more games on the road?  I guess...

A Milestone and Schooling


Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager and Brig. Gen. Robert C. Nolan II, Air Force Flight Test Center commander, get ready to fly faster than the speed of sound in an F-16 during a morning flight over the Mojave Desert, Oct. 14, 2011. Yeager visited Edwards, where he broke the sound barrier in 1947, to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of the AFFTC. (U.S. Air Force photo/Rob Densmore)

Chuck Yeager in front of the X-1 he christened Glamorous Glennis (Wikipedia)
Sixty Years into the Unknown: A single F-16D accelerated through the sound barrier, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Air Force Flight Test Center pushing the edge of the envelope at Edwards AFB, Calif. With retired Brig Gen. Chuck Yeager in the cockpit, together with AFFTC Commander Brig. Gen. Robert Nolan, the F-16's sonic wave reverberated, echoing Yeager's first supersonic flight in 1947. "When the Air Force Flight Test Center was established in 1951, Edwards Air Force Base had already become well known as the place where aviation history was being written," said Nolan, speaking at the celebration. Since then, the center "has been on the cutting edge of every major development that has transformed the field of flight—the turbo jet engine, supersonic and hypersonic flight," among many others, he added, addressing the hundreds gathered to mark the anniversary on Oct. 14 among test aircraft in Edward's hanger 1600. (Edwards report by Kate Blais)
Gen. Yeager is one of my heroes and it's good to see him still flying faster than the speed o' sound, even if he isn't the one at the controls.  I spent some time on Edwards AFB in the wayback, living in crappy base housing that was prolly built around the time Gen. Yeager first broke the sound barrier.  Blog-Bud Glenn is still there, working as a crew chief on a Lawn Dart, which is a kinda strange turn of affairs for a Squid, eh?

―:☺:―

Comment o' the day: 
Miss Manners has left a new comment on your post "Dinner...":

That looks nice, but I will have to subtract 5 points for the knife blade facing away from the dish.

Forks on the left of the plate, spoons and knives on the right.

Minus 10 points for putting cutlery into a dish before the eater is seated. People must be allowed to examine their cutlery before use.

Yes, you must eat with the fork in the left hand, and the knife in the right hand. When using a spoon, it is proper to have your left hand in your lap holding onto your napkin, and not make slurping noises.

Left handed people should be placed at the ends of the table, nearest the fire and the masters dog.
I'm posting this because (a) most people don't go back and read comments from week-old posts, and (b) it's good guidance even if a bit droll.  And we are aware of everything you cited in your critique, dear Miss Manners, but we dispensed with the formalities since the occasion was Dinner for One.  You'll no doubt be pleased to note that we observe all the social graces of table setting when we entertain... and did so even when it was just "the family" who sat down to dinner in the wayback.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Always SUMTHIN' XIV

My Kindle died today, about one month out o' warranty.  But I have nuthin' but good thangs to say about Amazon and its service.  I just got off the phone with them and they've (a) put a replacement Kindle in the mail today and (b) supplied me with a pre-paid shipping label so I can return the device to them for repair.  All at no charge, seein' as how I was so close to my warranty expiration.

Gotta love that, eh?  Well, except for the premature death of the device, I suppose.

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Some Grateful Dead...

If a man among you
Got no sin upon his hand
Let him cast a stone at me

For playing in the band

Playing
Playing in the band
Daybreak
Daybreak on the land
Playing
Playing in the band
Daybreak Daybreak on the land
I'm a Deadhead... sorta.  By that I mean I have a LOT o' the Dead in the library but I never really followed them on tour.  I DID attend their concerts back in the day when said concerts were within a couple o' hundred miles o' me, where ever I might have been.  That means I drove a couple hunnert miles down to the Bay Area when I lived in southern Oregon, yadda, yadda.  Today?  We pulled Volume 11 of "Dick's Picks" out of the archive and settled back with a couple o' brewskis and a Kuba Kuba to enjoy the sultry afternoon zephyrs.  And we thought a bit...

Which brings us to this:  why in the Hell can't we get a candidate for President of these United States who answers the mail for ALL of our issues, and not just some?  Ron Paul is prolly the poster child for this sorta sentiment, in that I really LOVE his Economic Plan but get off the bus when it comes to his Libertarian isolationism.  By that I mean THIS makes a lot o' sense:
Cuts $1 trillion in spending during the first year of Ron Paul’s presidency, eliminating five cabinet departments (Energy, HUD, Commerce, Interior, and Education), abolishing the Transportation Security Administration and returning responsibility for security to private property owners, abolishing corporate subsidies, stopping foreign aid, ending foreign wars, and returning most other spending to 2006 levels.
But then he screws the proverbial pooch by sayin' shit like this: 
Avoid long and expensive land wars that bankrupt our country by using constitutional means to capture or kill terrorist leaders who helped attack the U.S. and continue to plot further attacks.

[...]

Follow the Constitution by asking Congress to declare war before one is waged.
These things, on the face of it, sound entirely reasonable until one examines them in the context o' Rep. Paul's further comments, such as taking issue with the killing of al-Awlaki.  I won't deny that there are "issues" there and I've linked to discussions about such in the past.  And then there's the matter of "sound money" (a return to the gold standard?  As if...) and all that Federal Reserve bullshit.  Those sorts o' things sound unhinged, to be polite about it.

The same goes for the sole Libertarian candidate in the race... Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.  Some o' his stuff resonates with me, like ending the monstrously stupid "War On Drugs."  Stuff like this:
First up, Johnson said, would be an executive order removing marijuana from schedule I (the category containing the most highly addictive and harmful drugs). "Because I would be controlling the federal agencies, including the DEA," Johnson said, "I would do everything I can to defang the DEA." Later in the conversation, Johnson was asked if he would issue an executive order pardoning non-violent marijuana offenders. Johnson acknowledged that the U.S. had pardoned nonviolent violators of the Volstead act after the repeal of prohibition, and said, "I think that same thing is called for with legalizing marijuana." 


He called the DOJ letter ordering dispensaries to shut down "Obama's letter," because "the president of the United States controls all the agencies and the attorney general is appointed by the president of the United States." And that despite the coming crackdown, "We have a to celebrate this week with a poll that came out saying that 50 percent of Americans now support legalizing marijuana. We can say now we’re on equal footing with those who argue for the status quo."
That makes sense and Johnson is one of the very few politicians who has the guts to come right out and say it.  But like Rep. Paul, Johnson screws the pooch with his neo-isolationist bullshit and his opportunistic visit with the OWS asshats, among other thangs.

Am I out o' step here?  Why is it I can't find a candidate with what I would call a firm grasp on reality?  I don't know whether I should worry about the country or worry about myself.  But I have a good idea.

Just One More...

... and then we'll stop flogging this dead horse, coz these asshats are getting too much attention from everyone, including me.  That said, here's Lisa Benson's take:


Some big-time Dems are making foolish public statements of support for the OWS crowd, revealing either their clue-free nature or their true colors, or both.  I'm not the first guy on the right to think and say "you just go right ahead..."  But it DOES take some kinda gall to continue to ask for campaign money from the very people you're bad-mouthing, don't it?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Plane Pr0n

From the Usual USAF Source...

A row of F-16 Fighting Falcons deployed from Kunsan AB, South Korea, bask in the glow of the Northern Lights at Eielson AFB, Alaska, during Red Flag-Alaska 11-3, Sept. 14, 2011. (Air Force photo by SSgt. Kurtis Hoar)

I like to brag on New Mexico's brilliant night skies but we don't have anything to compare with Alaska's northern lights.  We don't have all that snow and bitter cold either, so I guess it's a wash.

Heh

From the Usual Source...


A hat-tip to one of the big stories in yesterday's news, of course.  EIP: a day late and a dollar short.  Always.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tonight's ADWH Soundtrack

We're just in from After Dinner Whiskey Hour which was quite chilly this evening, Gentle Reader.  To wit:


Now 52 degrees ain't exactly cold, but it was enough to send me to the closet for a wool shirt and also made me abandon my usual and customary bare feet for shoes... for the warmth that was in it, yanno?  Which got me to thinking... I prolly might want to invest in one of these and fairly soon, too.  For winter she's a comin' and we can feel the chill.  But we digress... we should be on about the music.

About which, more Joan Osborne:

As I walk this land of broken dreams,
I have visions of many things.
Love's happiness is just an illusion,
Filled with sadness and confusion.
What becomes of the broken hearted
Who had love that's now departed?
I know I've got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Maybe.
It may seem sacrilegious to cover an icon of a Motown song and Jimmy Ruffin fans may or may not agree.  Me?  I think Ms. Osborne's cover meets and even exceeds the original, in all respects.  This, my friends, is soulful indeed.

An Honest Donkey-Party Ad

I was mucking around on the Tube O' You and found this (via Sunny):


Heh.  The beer a person drinks is a pretty good social indicator.  Not always, as there are outliers, but usually.  Coors Light?  Suspicions confirmed.

Speaking of light beer... I've been meaning to blog about this for a while, "this" being the new series of Miller Lite ads that feature four guys standing around drinking beer, three of whom have Miller Lites and the fourth a generic light beer.  At which point in time the Three Cool Guys dump all over the fourth for not bein' manly (coz he ain't drinkin' Miller Lite, of course) with some admittedly funny scenarios, like one guy asking other guys if they wanna go to the men's room.  But irony is apparently lost on the Miller people, because men DON'T FUCKING DRINK LIGHT BEER.  That's the general rule and there may be the odd exception, of course.  The emphasis should be on "odd" in that last sentence.

I Missed It

I'm really bad about remembering dates.  I mean really bad, just ask my kids.  I'm the type o' guy who NEEDS a social secretary and life has been hell in this space since the last secretary (and maid) quit.  All by way o' introduction to this:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Then and Now

Digital cameras are wonderful things… and one of the major reasons is the metadata included with each and every photo you shoot. What this really means is you know the exact date and time you took a particular shot (among a lot of other techie-type info), so there’s no wondering “where/when was THIS taken?” as you browse through your archives. Which is quite unlike going through an old shoebox full of photos, believe me.

So… the foregoing is an intro to a minor celebration of sorts: The Green Hornet is eight years old today. I’ve owned one other car longer than the Green Hornet and that was my Baby Beemer…which I kept for ten years. I obviously liked that Beemer and I really like the Miata, too. Both cars have served me well, both cars were/are great good fun, and I see no reason why the Green Hornet won’t tie my personal record for auto longevity and maybe even break it.
That bit is obviously from three years ago and we have broken the automotive longevity record, what with The Green Hornet turning 11 just a few days ago.  The reason the post is titled then and now is I posted pics of both TGH and her master on the day I bought her and a couple o' more recent pics.  You've seen more than enough o' my ugly mug but good car pr0n is always in vogue... so here's the usual, customary, and quite reasonable shot o' My Baby:


The way thangs are goin' TGH just might be the last car I ever own.  I'm OK with that.

Monday, October 17, 2011

WX and Puzzlement

We haven't said much about the weather o' late, mainly coz it's been rather fine with no extremes in any direction, and that would include wind.  That said, we did set a record yesterday:


I'm pretty proud o' myself in that I didn't fire up the AC yesterday.  Those sorts o' temperatures would have seen the AC running all day long were I still in ECMdP, no matter if the awning was down or not.  The new, improved, and Inmóvil casa is oriented in such a manner that it never receives full sun on the front of the building (the long side) and the verandah shades what sun that does fall on the exterior.  So... the combination of open windows, a shady exterior and ceiling fans made for a nice cool day.  I like that.

―:☺:―

I noticed sumthin' rather strange while in the shower this morning and it made me wonder...  Why is it the hair on my head... including my beard... has gone completely white silver and the hair in other places is still as red as it was when I was 20?  I'd illustrate the point but I wouldn't want my female readers to go into a swoon, nor would I want to induce feelings of anxiety or inadequacy in my gentleman readers.  You'll just have to take my word for it.

But, seriously... why is that? 

Heh

From the Usual Source...


I'd give 'em a lump o' coal.  No, wait... that's Christmas.  What I really mean is a resounding "Get OFF my lawn!"

Speakin' o' that... I'm wonderin' if I'll get any trick or treaters this year.  I had nary a one in the eight Halloweens I spent in Beautiful La Hacienda Trailer Park.  Zero.  Zip.  None.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sparkles and the Lack Thereof

Yesterday was a sorta blah day for me, which is unusual for a Saturday in the Fall.  Saturdays in the Fall used to mean wall-to-wall, door-to-door football... or at least it's been that way for as long as I can remember.  This year?  I might have watched three games, total.  If that.  I dunno why but I can't seem to get enthused about the game this season... and it doesn't have much to do with the success (or lack thereof) of my favorite teams: ND has done about what I expected, Michigan was on a tear before yesterday, and Air Force managed to beat Navy, which is pretty much all that counts in that space.  Oh, yeah... there's Army... and the CinC's trophy, which should might be ours again this year.  That pretty much sums up my lack o' interest in the game.

That said, I did watch Michigan lose... and badly... in East Lansing yesterday.  Some elements o' my past cannot be denied and the rivalry game is one such.  Then I promptly fell asleep on the couch as OSU beat Texas, in Austin, and slept through that entire game.  So much for yesterday's football.

Speaking of elements of my past... it's been quite another story where the Beloved Wings are concerned.  I haven't missed a single game so far and the Wings have rewarded my dedication and loyalty by remaining unbeaten in this young season, going to a 4-0 start for the first time since '97-'98.  Those of us who are prone to staring into the dregs of our tea cup think the signs are good and there's hope that the 2011-2012 season will end up the same way as '97-'98... which is to say yet another parade down Woodward Avenue.  But last night was a near-run thang, what with the Wings having to engineer a come-from-behind victory (they were down 2-0 as late as the middle of the second period) and win it in the last few seconds of OT.  A "W" is a "W," innit?

―:☺:―

Yet another weird thing about my Return to Normal:  I always feel like I'm in a dish-washing detergent commercial when I empty the dishwasher, coz I'll stop and hold up a glass or three to the light and marvel at how they sparkle.  I mean that quite literally, the glasses simply gleam now.  My glasses were clean when I lived in ECMdP, but they didn't shine like they do now.  I've been wondering about that for days and weeks now but haven't arrived at a plausible answer, other than the wonders of a rinsing agent.  I suppose I'll just have to chalk that up to modern science; it's yet another example of "better living through chemistry."  That particular phrase used to have an entirely different meaning to me but we won't go there.