Friday, August 31, 2012

A Mind Like a Steel Trap

I'm wearing one of my favorite tee shirts (pic at right), and I was reminded of a story as I put it on today.

I wore this shirt while I was up in Leavenworth this past April and I asked grandson Sean if he knew what the logo/diagram was.  "No," he replied.  So I told him... it's a capsaicin molecule and he sez "Oh, yeah... chiles!"  

Now fast forward to last week when I was up in ABQ.  Sean sez to me "You'll like this, Grandpa."  "What?" sez I.  "You know your capsaicin tee shirt?" sez he.  "Yup," sez I.  And then he sez... "Well my chemistry teacher had the molecular diagram of capsaicin on the board on our first day of class and he asked the class if anyone knew what it was.  I raised my hand and said 'Yep... it's a capsaicin molecule.'"

I'm bettin' the chemistry teacher was floored.  As the title sez: A Mind Like a Steel Trap.

The boy takes after his father (AND his Mom).  His grandfather, too.  jumping smileys

The Best Speech at the GOP Convention...

... was this one, for my money:

Brilliant.  Great humor and truth.

While we're on the subject, Mr. Romney knocked it outta the park with his acceptance speech.  He was warm, personable, truthful, and respectful in his pointed repudiation of the Obama administration.  The speech was a real tour de force; I was most impressed.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thievery... It's What We Do

That's from the Shoebox blog.  But you knew that, didn't ya?

Not Your Father's Air Force XXI

From the Usual USAF Source and a Cannon Airplane Patch press release...
Suite Digs at Cannon: The 27th Special Operations Wing broke ground this week on a new $12.4 million enlisted dormitory at Cannon AFB, N.M. The dorm, scheduled for completion in fall 2013, will house 96 airmen in separate quad bedrooms that share laundry and common areas in a suite-style arrangement, states a Cannon release. "We are working toward single occupancy and this will move us closer to that goal until future dorms are built," said TSgt. Matthew Smith, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron project noncommissioned officer in charge. "The new dormitory is something that Air Force Special Operations Command has long awaited," added project chief Robert Ferry. "It's a step toward premier unaccompanied housing at Cannon." Civil engineers at Cannon began preparations for the project in April; officials ceremoniously hefted the project's first shovel loads of earth on Aug. 27. (Cannon report by A1C Xavier Lockley)
Sweet, indeed.  Here's a better image of the floor plan you can barely see in the corner of the pic above, even if ya embiggen it:

Private baths!  Closets!  A freakin' laundry room and a KITCHEN, even.  This is a far cry from the way I lived when I was a junior airman.  Hell, I had a roommate when I was a staff sergeant and we had communal latrines in the dorm I lived in.  The first time I ever had a room of my own was when I made tech sergeant, but I still had to share a bathroom with about 20 of my closest friends.  I shouldn't complain, though... at least I wasn't in the Navy.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtack... And a LENGTHY Reminiscence

I've been on an '80s jag of late and I've had this post written in my head for about a week now... with some additions and more than a few subtractions.  But we shall try and put it up, and damn the torpedoes.  So.  The '80s, which is this, in part, for me:

It's my own design
It's my own remorse
Help me to decide
Help me make the most
Of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world

So glad we've almost made it
So sad they had to fade it
Everybody wants to rule the world
This is a re-run, in that we've posted this tune before, simply because the song contains what I think is one of the greatest rhythm guitar breaks ever 2:20, or so.  But we digress.  What we're on about is decades o' music and decades of our life.  Permit me...

We'll begin with the 60s.  Not the Sixties of conventional wisdom, which began with Woodstock in 1969 and ended with Altamont, in that same year.  One could make a case that the '60s lasted well into the '70s, but we'll forgo THAT, wanting instead to talk about decades.  The '60s... for me... began with teenage angst, given that I graduated from high school in 1963.  I went into the Air Force in that same year (1963), suffered the grief and psychic damage of the JFK assassination shortly thereafter, endured the loss of my mother to suicide in 1964, and married for the first time in 1966.  This decade was highlighted by the birth of my two adult sons, which was the high water mark of the decade, for me.  Altogether a mixed bag, highlighted (musically) by the British Invasion with the Beatles and the Stones and all the others.

And then we moved into the '70s, a decade in which we saw our first marriage fail, fell into a life that could have turned out MUCH worse than it did (think: three felonies before breakfast, see item 10), met The Second Mrs. Pennington and fell in glorious, delirious love, and ended up launching our second marriage, followed closely by buying my very first house.  Yet another mixed bag, albeit one that ended on a VERY high note.  Musically?  Very, very good, actually.  That said... when I listen to music from that time I'm haunted by what might have been.  Which is NOT a warm and fuzzy feeling.

So we come to the '80s, which, to mis-quote Dickens (but check out the full quote which applies, in spades) was the best o' times...with none of that "worst" shit, mainly coz it was ALL good.  We began this decade with the best assignment in my USAF career... to RAF Uxbridge in the London borough of Hillingdon.  Those three years... from 1980 'til 1983... passed oh-so-much quicker than they should have, and that's coz time ALWAYS flies when yer havin' fun.  We hung up the Blue Suit in 1985 and launched our civilian career by moving to Dee-troit, where we signed on with Ed's Famous Data company.  TSMP and I lost our collective asses in the oil-bust of 1985 (didja ever take a check to closing when you SOLD a house?  Me either, until we left Oklahoma, when we watched ALL of our equity and a large piece of our savings vanish in the proverbial puff o' smoke.), but we recovered and bought the best house we ever owned shortly thereafter.  I also became a hockey fan during this decade, igniting a life-long love affair those Wings.  The '80s marked the point in time when we began making some serious money, too... so I look back on that decade with GREAT fondness.  The music that was the soundtrack of that era remains among my favorites, with good reason.

Then came the '90s, which, in a word, sucked.  My lifetime apocalypse happened in 1998 when the maid quit and everything that came after that was just so much stage dressing.  The ONLY bright spot in that dismal decade was the birth of SN3 and even that happy event is fraught with bitter memories of good times I never had.  Forgettable in its entirety, as was the music.

The 2000s were a mixed bag, as well.  I hit the pinnacle of my civilian career, what with taking another job out in San Francisco... which came outta the blue and was completely unexpected.  Digression: I "retired" in 1999 and really didn't expect to work again until a buddy called me up and made me an offer I couldn't refuse.  The offer was a great one:  we hired on with a magical six-figure salary (plus bonus) and got promoted to the exalted position of Director (my tongue is FIRMLY in my cheek) before we quit in 2002.  It was a good run, professionally speaking, but ultimately proved to be hollow... what the Hell was I working for, anyway?  We did manage to pad the 401k a bit, getting to the point where we could retire, permanently.  So we left SFO in 2002 and arrived in P-Ville for a "one month visit" with SN1, who was stationed at Cannon Airplane Patch at the time.  And we're still here even though SN1 and fambly are LONG gone.  Go figure.  

The music of the Oughties?  Eminently forgettable and I attribute my Old Fart status as the reason.  Nothing in today's music resonates with me at all.

My but we do go on, eh?  And all by way of sayin' that I'm thoroughly enjoying the music of the '80s these last few days... or weeks.  Now you know why.

Holy Cow!

A recent e-mail exchange:

When I say "largesse," I mean LARGEsse.  We're talkin' $92.50 worth o' cigars here, which are MOST appreciated.  Now do all y'all understand why I love doin' bid'niz with these guys?

By way o' explanation: I'm sure this was Tim's way o' makin' up for the Postal Service's fuck-up a couple o' weeks ago, even though it most certainly was not HIS fault.

I think I shall now retire to the verandah for a cool beer and one of those Deep Dishes.

If I Had A Queen, She'd Look Like This

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

An Old Friend Comes Home

That old friend would be an artist's proof print serigraph by American Impressionist Henri Plisson (bio here, scroll down) called "The Red Door," which now hangs above my couch, like so:

The Second Mrs. Pennington and I bought that print back around 1991 or so and it graced every home we made from that time until we were over... and graced my bachelor quarters after that.  The fact that the print "came home" is a longish story, the Reader's Digest version being that SN1 and DIL Erma have been in possession of the print ever since I ran away from home.  Times change and the print was excess to requirements in the current SN1 household, so I have it back on loan.

I think it adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the digs, don't you?

Update, 1600 hrs:  I shoulda added this, from an e-mail conversation with DIL Erma:
Further... from another web site:

"Henri Plisson was born in Omaha, Nebraska as Patrick Ryan. He later embraced the name of Henri Plisson to be used in his impressionist paintings. He originally attended the University Of Nebraska, but continued his studies at the University Of Southern California. It was here that he obtained his Master of Fine Arts Degree. Many feel Plisson's style of painting used seemingly inherent methods which he combined with a unique sense of color and dynamic and lustrous images. "Painting is elusive. It is very difficult to verbalize, as you're putting into words something that speaks on its own," says the artist. This modern American Impressionist's works are currently displayed by some very distinctive corporate and private collectors.   "

Heh.  I'm distinctive now.
Ya, that's us.  Distinctive.  Heh.

Eyes On the Skies

Isaac certainly has everyone's attention...

I'm thinking a 50 cent per gallon increase in gas prices would be the least of our problems if stuff gets bad.  Our best thoughts go out to our friends on the Gulf Coast.

Speaking of... there's this:
Preparing for Isaac: Airmen at Air Force bases along the Gulf Coast continued making preparations for Tropical Storm Isaac on Aug. 27 as the storm worked its way up the Gulf of Mexico towards New Orleans after having passed between southern Florida and Cuba. Eglin Air Force Base in Florida's panhandle remained in hurricane condition three as officials prepared for winds up to 52 knots and at least a foot of rain through Aug. 29. F-16s from the base were relocating to Shaw AFB, S.C., while its F-15s were headed to Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., according to an Eglin release. However, the 19 F-35s of Eglin's F-35 schoolhouse would hunker down in hangars built to withstand hurricane-strength winds, said Eglin officials. MC-130Es from Eglin's Duke Field were evacuated to Fort Campbell, Ky., according to a Duke release. And, airmen at Hurlburt Field, which adjoins Eglin, on Aug. 26 evacuated the majority of the base's airplanes to Little Rock AFB, Ark., stated a Hurlburt release. KC-135s assigned MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa relocated to Pease ANGB, N.H., and McGhee-Tyson ANGB, Tenn., while F-22s from Tyndall AFB, Fla., on Aug. 26 moved to Sheppard AFB, Tex. Meanwhile, airmen at Keesler AFB, Miss., also remained under HURCON 3, as they prepared for Isaac, according to a base release.
That's from the Usual USAF Source.

And while we're on about things USAF... I raised my right hand and swore "... that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..." 49 years ago today.  A few weeks later the lil blurb you see on the left appeared in a local SoCal rag.

Dang.  I'll celebrate my 50th-freakin'-anniversary the next time this date rolls around.  Un-bee-leeb-able.

Monday, August 27, 2012


The Chicago Weasels.  Heh.

In other news... we shall be departing ABQ later on this morning.  We're gonna take the long way home and won't be arriving back in P-Ville until sometime tomorrow.  Blogging might could be light as a result.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

More From Curiosity

NASA released a hi-def video of Curiosity's landing today and it's pretty cool:

And then there's this:
Meanwhile, the Mars rover Curiosity has completed its first drive, NASA scientists announced Wednesday, proving that it's capable of moving farther afield on the Red Planet. "It couldn't be more important. We built a rover, so unless the rover roves, we really haven't accomplished anything," said Curiosity Project Manager Pete Theisinger at Wednesday's news conference. "The fact that we completely exercised it, and everything was on track, is a big moment."
Everything seems to be in order and I STILL find this project amazing, in each and every way.  You GO, NASA!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What's For Dinner, Buck?

That would be DIL Erma with a plate o' home-made Thai beef salad, which we consumed immediately after taking this picture.  There will be seconds, later.


Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

DIL Erma and I were discussing folks we know and love during today's Happy Hour and this song came up...

I never knew a man
could tell so many lies
He had a different story
for every set of eyes.
How can he remember
who he's talkin' to?
'Cause I know it ain't me,
and I hope it isn't you.
This is a classic case o' you hadda be there and you weren't, Gentle Reader.  But we were.  And we know this person all too well.

Apropos o' not much... we did a couple o' fingers o' that Woodford Reserve to kick off Happy Hour, followed by a Fat Tire.  I coulda done more o' that Woodford, but we didn't wanna get totally shit-faced this early in the day.  We'll save THAT for later this evening.  Good stuff, that Woodford Reserve.

The Kid In the Candy Store

So... we go the Big City where there are REAL likker stores and went slightly nuts in one such this afternoon.  To wit:

I bought the Rye as a re-supply action and the Woodford Reserve because we can't get it in P-Ville.  Now we have a two-week supply o' the Good Stuff, plus what's already in the likker locker at home.  But tell me again why I'm not movin' here... coz Enquiring Minds™ wanna know.


It must be because it's August... the Usual Source for viral vids didn't update again this week.  So it's off to the alternate source for this:

Want.  I've destroyed at least three keyboards in my lifetime, mostly with alcohol.  A washable keyboard would be a Good Thing, fer me.  Coz I'm klutzy.


So, there I was... batting down I-40 at 80 mph yesterday when this quote/bit/piece o' monolog comes on XM/The Loft in between songs that made me laugh right the hell out loud.  Some dude sayin' sumthin' like this:
Things I don't have to do...
Get up before noon.
Finish what I'm doin'.
Quit drinkin'.
And there might have been one other, but by the time I began paying SERIOUS attention the thing was gone and the music started up again.  I've spent about an hour googling this and searchin' the Tube O' You but I've come up empty.  I REALLY want to hear this piece again coz it's SO me.  Does anyone recognize this?  Is it from a movie?  What?  Help!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Good Stuff In the Mail This Morning

First, from My Buddy Ed In Florida... Tech Support:

Heh.  OK, it's a stereotype but it's cute.  That said, SOME of us superannuated types don't need no tech support, thank ya.

Occasional Correspondent Lin sends along the following for us Anglophiles...

Once again, cute.  But I wouldn't have one of those Mini thangs if you GAVE me one.   Reason:  it's a front-driver and Daddy don't do no FWD.

And now it's time to hit the shower, and then the road!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yum! (And Other Thangs)

Apropos o' everythang, this:

I say that coz we're off to ABQ tomorrow to spend time with DIL#1 and fam'bly.  Mayhap I could talk her into having dinner at El Pinto while I get a half-bag o' chiles, roasted especially fer ME...


We were gonna take off and go to ABQ this past weekend but I was held hostage by the USPS.  That's coz SN1's birthday is tomorrow and I was waiting for Godot... err... a shipment o' cee-gars from that never arrived... until yesterday.  I had ordered a box o' SN1's favorite smokes, half o' which I intended to re-ship to him for his birthday.  But those kind and oh-so-efficient folks at the post office decided it would be a Good Thang to send my shipment to Puerto Rico, the upshot o' which was I didn't actually receive said shipment until yesterday, when it was far, far too late to re-ship.  But we had a Plan B, whereby we contacted the ever-helpful Tim at and got him to ship directly to SN1 at his Undisclosed LocationTM in the desert.  Then I find out from SN1 that he's gonna go off on a TDY to yet another Undisclosed LocationTM on his birthday, which is tomorrow.

You just can't win sometimes.  But I guess his birthday present will be waiting for him when he returns early next week.  And then we should see a photo like this:

SN1 at Kandahar, in the near wayback.



In other news... we made a Command Decision: we're gonna go the implant route on our upcoming Adventures In Modern Dentistry, Part Deux.  We briefly flirted with getting a partial plate... at half the cost of implants... as an option, but we decided against that and are goin' to go the full-implant route.  I just don't wanna mess with false teeth and all the hassle that option involves.  It's a "quality o' life" decision and one that I HOPE I'll live to appreciate, which might could be problematic given my advanced age.  But, Hey!  Whatevah.  Ribs and corn on the cob will be viable options in future, dontcha know.  The launch date for our latest AiMD is set for 09/06/2012, when we'll lose six teeth in preparation for the follow-on implants and stuff.  But his latest adventure should only take a maximum of 45~60 days, or so I'm told... not like the two year journey o' times past.  We takes what we gets.

I Got Nuthin'

Well, little or nuthin', actually.  This got a wry grin outta me:

It really pains me to throw food away but it DOES happen from time to time.  Cooking for One will do that to ya, especially when most food packaging is designed for families rather than single people.  That said, I don't come CLOSE to throwing 40% of my food away.  The high end estimate would be quite a bit less than ten percent, if I had to guess.

And I'm not fat, either.  celebrity fashion gallery

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This Shit Pisses Me Right Off

That would be this:

Blogger asks us to "prove you're not a bot" while Wordpress just gives us indecipherable words that sometimes takes up to three tries to get right (Blogger's WV is indecipherable at times, too).  It's ALMOST enough to make a body decline to comment on the blogs that use this shit.  My biggest problem/issue is the fact bots don't type... so WHY does the word picture have to be so fucked up?  Why not use straightforward text?

There's no reason to use word verification if you're on Blogger.  Google has got that spam-catching thang down to a veritable, fail-proof science.  I can't recall the last time an actual spam comment made it on to EIP. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


One hopes this might could be a harbinger of Election 2012...

You can find the interactive map and explanations here.  I'm hopeful, but at the same time ya gotta consider that Righties are more thoughtful... and better read... than Lefties.  Generally speaking.

Via a tweet from Blake Hounshell.

A Boon!


Blessed relief from all those triple-digit temps we've had of late.  It's just sooo nice outdoors at the moment that I think we'll have an extended Happy Hour this afternoon... just because.

"F*ck Yeah!"

Hockey Players

Yeah, they're like that... God Love 'Em!

From an amusing lil article titled "10 of the worst acting performances by NHL players in commercials" (and that WASN'T one of 'em).

Get 'Em Early

I thought this was cute...

Air Frame: A young visitor, flanked by two airmen, gives the thumbs-up sign after donning a pilot's helmet at the B-52 heritage exhibit at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum pier in Manhattan during Air Force Week in New York City, Aug. 20, 2012. (AFA staff photo by Lois O'Connor) (Click on image above to reach wallpaper larger version.)

From the Usual USAF source, of course.  I was curious about the major's patch, so I googled it.  Here's a larger version:

Me likee.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Toast!

One of the newer additions on the blog-roll is the "Beer and Whiskey Bros" blog, for reasons that should be immediately... if not sooner... apparent.  So... I was reading this post this weekend and put my suggestion in the comments, for what that's worth, and it ain't worth a whole helluva lot.  But their point is well-taken: we, as Americans, don't have a "national toast," and I think we should.  My suggestion:
Ahem. “F*ck Yeah!” should be the official toast, with or without the preceding “America!” Using “America” would depend on the circumstances, of course.
That said, I almost always use the British "Cheers" when clinking glasses with friends and fam'bly (coz I'm an Anglophile of the highest order).  I've NEVER used the Irish "Slainte," nor has "à votre santé" ever crossed my lips.  Same thang for "Prosit!", but I will admit to using "Kampai!" and "Salud!" on occasion, mostly depending on present company, especially in the way-back when we lived in Nippon.

And you, Gentle Reader?  How do you toast?  Further... do you have a suggestion for a typically AMERICAN toast?

(Illustration stolen from the Beer and Whiskey Bros.)


Serendipity, in the sense that Blog-Bud Jim has an amusing post today about this:

So... go read!

"Umm... No, Officer... How Fast WAS I Goin'?"

Book 'em, Danno.

From a Homestead ARB press release, via the Usual USAF Source...
Members of the Homestead Police Department and Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. transport an F-4 static display to the base, Aug. 4. The process of moving the aircraft, which took more than five hours to complete, started at 5 a.m. and involved coordination between the base, local law enforcement, a crane company, and a truck company. The static display, which normally resides near the intersection of U.S. Highway 1 and Southwest 304th Street, will undergo a three-month process consisting of repairs and repainting. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez)
This isn't the first time we've posted sumthin' like this. From three years ago:

Umm... No, Officer... How Fast WAS I Going?

The SR-71A Blackbird that is part of the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards AFB, Calif., is towed over public roads to the base’s corrosion control facility for refurbishment, Aug, 8, 2009. This aircraft, serial number 17955, will have its sun-damaged paint redone in time for Edwards’ air show and open house in October 2009. Air Force photo by TSgt. Trisha Winters
Plus ça change, and all that.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack, In Which We Contradict Ourselves

I said this, in the post immediately below...
It’s a personal thing for me. I will not ever, ever spend my money to directly or indirectly support views I hold to be reprehensible. And that goes for Neil Young, too.
Well... in my defense... I haven't bought any of Neil's stuff in about ten years or so.  But that doesn't mean I've trashed all his stuff I bought in the wayback.. Oh, Hell no!  Further... there was once a time when Neil and I were on the same page, politically.  And therein lies the difference: I grew up, he didn't.  So, with all that in mind... there's this, which still has a place in my heart o' hearts:

One more thang and then we'll go.  Churchill supposedly said sumthin' to this effect:
Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains. - Winston Churchill
Just a brief, brief comment in this space.  The Second Mrs. Pennington had a lot o' influence in my conversion from moonbat to sensible conservative.  That's sorta interesting, in that the girl was but 19 years of age when we met and of a sort that used to be described as a "good Catholic girl," with ALL that term implies.  She remained so for as long as we were together, which was about 23 years or so.  And then the strangest thang happened, as exemplified by this exchange:
She: I'm VERY liberal.
Me: I know.  What I don't understand is how a good conservative girl like you could go so wrong, so quickly.
She:  I used to follow directions well; I don't any longer.
Me:  What does that mean?
She: (Standing up abruptly... and departing, leaving me with my mouth hanging open)  I shared too much and I don't want or need YOU to tell ME about me.
Well, now.  What was that Winston said about "no brains?"  If the shoe fits...

"Return With Us Now to Those Thrilling Days o' Yesteryear," Or, the Sunday Re-Run

I'm taking a lil different approach today, to wit: instead of choosing an entire post from our back pages I'm gonna post some excerpts.  Coz there WAS a time when my daily post covered a lot o' ground... oftentimes two or three or four topics.  First, from 09/21/2006:
Time for a lil culture commentary in the form of “commercials I hate.” The last ad I ranted about was that supremely irritating “Head On” ad, with its obnoxious, thrice-repeated female voice over. But…it’s only irritating. This ad from Ford, however, hits me where I live and goes beyond irritating into the realm of cultural impact. Have you seen it?

I’m not the only one that’s upset. The Family Scholars Blog (dead link) has this to say:
‘Course the whole thing is “good divorce” fantasy. Mom and dad split up but still take the kids to the beach and the farmer’s stand. The only note from the child’s point of view is the telling (and surprisingly accurate) look of apprehension on the son’s face right before they drop off dad. I wonder, is Ford trying to reach divorced moms with this ad? Perhaps. But I think the viewers even more susceptible to it might be moms who imagine themselves unhappily married and fantasize that a “good divorce” will make it all better. And Ford understands!
Well, that and the “mainstreaming” of divorce. It’s acceptable these days…Hell, it might even be better than staying married, ya know? That woman driving doesn’t look all that unhappy, and Dad? Well, he’s just grateful Mom “invited him this weekend.” So, damn the impact on the kids. Damn the impact on either Mom or Dad, whichever one didn’t want the divorce, and I submit that most divorces involve one party that is less than thrilled at the thought of the emotional and/or financial devastation divorce brings.

I understand reality. I understand 50% of American marriages end in divorce. I understand “when love goes missing,” and I know not every marriage can be saved. I don’t understand why a frickin’ car company would use an all-too-common modern-day tragedy to flog their products. I can’t imagine the focus group that nodded appreciatively when shown this ad, and I can’t imagine any executive with just the normal amount of common sense approving the ad for broadcast. If this ad, with its “sensitive” depiction of a divorced couple, tips just one family into divorce court then Ford has done the country a major disservice.

“See you next week, Dad.” Damn.
And there's this from 06/17/2006:
Natalie Maines, quoted in The Telegraph (UK) (another dead link):
"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."
You’re free to express yourself as you please, Darling Natalie, and I, in turn, am free to not buy your frickin’ music. Ever. 
Insulting the President of the United States before an audience on foreign soil is, in my eyes, relatively small potatoes compared to questioning the very concept of patriotism. By making that statement above, Natalie Dear revealed a shocking lack of understanding of one of the most basic American moral values, to wit: personal responsibility to, and respect for, the nation. In a time of war, patriotism may also be defined as the personal obligation to support and defend the country. In other words, patriotism is the deep-seated feeling that what we have…our traditions, our history, our values, our laws, our society…is not only worth defending, it’s something we must defend. And Natalie apparently doesn’t believe that is true.
I suppose our collective memory as a nation is short, because the Chicks new album was number one on the Billboard charts the week after its release. On the other hand, I have read that dates on the Chicks’ current tour are being cancelled due to poor ticket sales, one of those cancelled dates was supposedly in Houston. The fact concerts are being cancelled due to poor sales is good news. 
The three Dixie Chicks are still popular, highly visible entertainers. And, like it or not, entertainers are powerful role models in our culture. Entertainers achieve power through sales. Less sales, less power. Poor sales, little or no power. Recording contract cancellations follow, as do interview opportunities, appearances on late night talk shows, and other publicity, thereby denying these people a platform for spreading their views. Patriotism has been under assault for a while; the three Chicks are just part of a small, albeit very vocal group of folks assailing patriotism. I don’t care to support people who denigrate the core values of our country, and I damned sure don’t believe the Chicks’ values in this one specific but important area are worthy of respect or emulation. In this regard the Chicks are not suitable role models, period.
It’s a personal thing for me. I will not ever, ever spend my money to directly or indirectly support views I hold to be reprehensible. And that goes for Neil Young, too.
The Wiki has a pretty good recap of the whole Dixie Chicks brouhaha just in case yer memory needs refreshing.

Back in the day when I first started blogging I posted a "Pic of the Day" which was usually found at the bottom of the day's post.  That was if I posted a photo at all... my posts for the first year or so are strangely devoid of photos.  But then again: we were learning, weren't we?  Here's one of those photos of the day, from 07/26/2007:

Today’s Pic: For the Children! This is perhaps my absolute favorite pic of SN3 and I. I may have posted this before, but whatever…everyone goes into re-runs occasionally.
Key West, FL. March, 1998. And my our (? - The Second Mrs. Pennington took the pic) 52nd digital photo…ever.
Dang... aren't they (BOTH!) just the cutest lil buggers?  This might be the 52nd time I've posted this photo, too.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Today we make an exception to our rule about hip-hop, which is to say "We DON'T do none.  Ever."  Except for this:

From the Usual Source o' such thangs.  Apropos o' everything... I want the machine head in the stars and stripes bikini.  She's right smack dab in the middle of my envelope.  Please... seven minutes o' terror.  Just once.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Well, OK Then

Sumthin' else from The Shoebox Blog... "Why Are Americans So..."  in which the blogger lets Google auto-complete a statement about each of the 50 states.  Fascinating stuff, this, and you should go... coz there are all sorts o' fun facts and graphics.  And you KNOW what my favorite excerpt had to be, eh?
The single most common result of all was “boring,” which appeared for 18 states with no particular regional concentration. Other popular terms (returned for >10 states) were “humid”, “windy”, “expensive”, and “liberal”. Strangely, Connecticut and Pennsylvania both returned “haunted”; apparently there are a lot of ghost sightings (and related walking tours). My favorite result of all was “enchanting”: New Mexico is beautiful.
Well, PARTS o' New Mexico are beautiful.  Less so in my particular neck o' the woods, where there are no woods to speak of... just lots and lots o' empty spaces, which have a beauty all their own once you learn to appreciate it.  And have I ever mentioned our sunsets and the night sky?  Why, yes... I do believe I have.

This Is the Kinda Day I'm Havin'...

Yup.  All I wanna do is break stuff and just be generally disagreeable.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tonight's ADWH Soundtrack... In Two Parts

First... The Lovin' Spoonful:

You and me underneath the roof of tin
Pretty comfy feelin' how the rain ain't leakin' in
We can sit and dry just as long as it can pour
'Cause the way it makes you look makes me hope it rains some more
Yeah, well... it ain't QUITE like that, more like this:

This makes the third day in a row we've had "cow (doin' sumthin') on a flat rock" rain in the afternoon/evening.  And I ain't complainin'... not one lil bit.

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack and Broadening XLVIII

The music, first.  Anders Osborne with a brilliant suggestion...

Well, yeah... why dontcha meet me in New Mexico?  Hell, I'll even drive up to Santa Fe if'n ya don't wanna hang in P-Ville.

On the broadening front... I'm looking forward to tonight's after dinner whiskey hour, because o' this:

Yup.  We scored our bottle o' Bulleit Rye this afternoon when we went out to Cannon Airplane Patch for to do the UCR bi-monthly commissary run and likker-locker re-supply.  And yeah, that would be our second bottle o' Bulleit bourbon.  I kinda like this stuff.

I asked the manageress at the Class VI about the possibility of stocking Bulleit Rye as a "normal" offering and got a "I'll ask our manager" in reply.  I also expressed my displeasure at the recent price increases on all their scotch and told her in no uncertain terms that I was NOT willing to pay those inflated prices.  I got a nod and sympathetic look in response, along with another "I'll try and find out why those increases happened."  Well, OK... I suppose that's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

And now we must consider what's for dinner.

Good Stuff, Maynard

So we chased the links in this lil blurb from The Shoebox blog's "Newsdroppings..."
In an uplifting story, a blind horse is helping disabled riders. Meanwhile, wild horses keep trying to drag people away.
The blind horse bit is good, but the "Wild Horses" performance is the BEST I've ever seen of my second-favorite-ever Stones song (plus the fact I'd never seen this particular performance) (my fave?  This.).  The singin' and playin' is simply brilliant... particularly Keef and Ronnie Wood.

OK, I'll give ya the fact that Jagger emotes a lil too much.  But that's a nit, Gentle Reader.

Asshats and Aardvarks

From the Usual Source o' these thangs...

Cute concept for the 'toon, but the reality the image represents is NOT cute.  Holbert has it right, too: both parties share blame for this mess we're in.


More for me than thee: 
Baghdad Express Debuts at Shaw: An F-111 Aardvark that once served with the 20th Fighter Wing proudly took its place this week on display at Shaw AFB, S.C., after a lengthy refurbishment by wing technicians. Airmen painstakingly restored the F-111E, nicknamed the Baghdad Express, in the authentic markings it wore during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, according to an Aug. 14 Shaw release. On the previous day, the Aardvark joined the four other 20th FW heritage jets on display at the base. Wing officials plan to formally dedicate the F-111 in a special ceremony next month. The aircraft, serial number 68-0039, flew with the 20th FW from 1970 to 1993 before the unit moved from RAF Upper Heyford, England, to Shaw in 1994, states the release. It had been in storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., prior to its transport to Shaw in February. (Shaw report by A1C Krystal Jeffers)
There's a pretty good chance I've seen that ol' Aardvark fly.  The 20th TFW at Heyford was my support base during the three years I spent in Ol' Blighty and I made the run from Uxbridge to Heyford quite often.  From an old post:
Here's a semi-interesting aside.  You'll note Big Ben in the mural above and that's a hat-tip to the 20th's history.  Back in the 1980s the 20th Tac Fighter Wing flew F-111s and were based at RAF Upper Heyford in England.  I know this because my squadron... the 2119th Communications Squadron, RAF Uxbridge... was attached to the 20th TFW for logistics and administrative purposes.  I made weekly trips up to Heyford from Uxbridge back in the day, so I'm well acquainted with the 20th TFW.  I find it interesting that SN1 and I share a small bit of USAF history.
The old post in question was a bit o' touristy USAF stuff while I visited Shaw AFB back in 2010.  

(Article from the Usual USAF Source)