Monday, September 15, 2014

PSA

It's Monday and it's a pretty slow day, so far.  We've read the overnight mail and made our blog rounds, the upshot bein' we have nothing... zero, zilch, nada... that piques our interest enough to create a post.  So, here we are... reduced to talking about what we watched on teevee last night.  Not that that's a bad thing, mind you, coz this is what was on last evening at El Casa Inmóvil De Pennington:


That would be a screenshot of episode one of The Roosevelts, another tour de force from Ken Burns.  Last night's event featured parts one and two of the seven-part film, which runs all week on PBS.  You can watch all seven episodes here, including the ones scheduled to run all this week (a fact I find middling-strange: why would PBS want to dilute their audience by allowing them to watch episodes before they're broadcast?).  I'll be tuning in tonight and the rest of the week to watch the remainder of the series which, if subsequent episodes are as good as last evening's, promises to be the best thing on teevee this year.

The Roosevelts is "can't miss" teevee, assuming you're an American history buff.  OTOH, you could always go with the flow and watch SpongeBob or the Kardashians, not that there's anything wrong with that.  Much.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Life's Minor Regrets, Line Item #2,361

I never went to Burning Man...



... but I (used to) have friends that go every year.  That was when I was working and living in the Bay Area Soviet Socialist Republic, but dumb-ass me was always "too busy" to take a week's vacation and go.  (Sigh)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday: Off To the Races

My money was on the F1 car before this even started...



I watched this all the way through, given I'm something of a gear-head and most definitely a biker (albeit a retired biker).  The guy on the bike ran a pretty good race even though he came in third.  There's not a bike in the world that can keep up with a car in the twisties... it's all a matter of physics and amount of rubber the vehicles put on the road, as in "contact patch."  Among other things.

Friday, September 12, 2014

It's an Indoor Happy Hour Today

Currently:


The picture is wrong, coz it's raining as we speak (note the thumbnail radar picture).  I doubt if the AC will run much today but the heat MIGHT.  I like this kinda weather... it makes me feel like watching football tomorrow.  A lot o' football!

Ch-Ch-Changes

So... Skip and YrHmblScrb had this lil exchange in comments yesterday:


  1. Uh, Buck, if being married to a Michigander counts, I have more time in grade than you.
    Oh, and she lived withing spittin' distance of Woodward Ave.
  2. I lived about ten houses west of Woodward (or about three-fourths of a block) while I was in Dee-troit. I couldn't spit that far, but I sure could run it without getting out of breath. Then. (Google 351 West Oakridge Ave, Ferndale)
Bein' the anal-retentive kinda guy we ARE, we immediately went to Google Maps to verify what we said was true concerning our old physical location vis-a-vis Woodward and we received a minor shock in so doing.  This is how I remember the ol' Ferndale homestead:



That pic was taken sometime in the early '90s and note the two large trees in the foreground.  There was another, equally large tree to the immediate left of the two-trunked tree on the left hand side of the pic.  Those were big-assed trees, Gentle Reader, at least 40 to 50 feet worth o' tree, and they towered over the house.  And here's how Google's Street View depicts the house in 2012:


There's significant lens distortion here, given my house was about the same size as the one to the right (in the pic).


Those big-ass trees?  Gone!  The "new" owners of the ol' homestead dropped a significant amount of cash to have the trees removed, if one can believe the cost estimates at this tree service's web site.  I know change happens, it's the way o' the world.  But I don't think this change improved the "curb appeal" of this house... as a s'matter o' fact I think it hurt.  But, Hey!  I can take my opinion, add about three Yankee Dollars to it and buy a cup o' coffee at nearly any Starbucks.

Update, later that same day:  We did it again, just (a) for drill and (b) because we CAN.  Here's a "then and now" of yet another old homestead, this bein' the house I owned in Fairport, NY, a suburb o' Ra-Cha-Cha.  First the near-now:




And the way we were:


I don't have a summer shot of the house, unfortunately, but I think the new owners here have increased the curb appeal significantly.  The ol' place looks a lot better now than it did when I was in it.  

I don't have very many happy memories about this place.  There are a few, granted.  The four years I spent here weren't all THAT bad, especially if one discounts the worst singular experience of my entire life that played out (in slow motion) within the walls of this house.  Forgetting that might be asking too much.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Completely Inappropriate"

That's putting things mildly.  The prof critiques an e-mail:



You can't make this shit up and who would want to, anyway?

I need a new tag for stuff like this, something along the lines of "idiots."

Remembering


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: Dee-troit!

This is the first and prolly the last time I'll ever post a tune from Bob Seger.  Herewith "Detroit Made:"



I wanted to post the "official" video available at Vevo, but Blogger has issues with Vevo's embed code.  About which, this:
Above, watch the music video for the record's lead single, "Detroit Made," a John Hiatt-penned tribute to the singer's hometown and the cars that it has produced. Shot largely at Detroit's Woodward Dream Cruise, a hot rod parade that passes through the city on the third Saturday of every August, the video features footage of classic rides owned by other Michigan natives.
The offical vid is cooler than cool and I hope you chase that link.  Just a couple o' things... the first bein' any and every time someone/anyone mentions the Dream Cruise I can't help but tell those someones/anyones that I drove my ol' Caddy* in the first-ever Woodward Dream Cruise, and what a fan-fuckin'-tastic THAT day was.  Second: why no Seger here at EIP?  You go live in Dee-troit for ten years and then come back and ask the question again.  I'm the victim of severe Seger burnout due to MASSIVE over-playing of his songs.

* The Cad:

I loved that car even though it was a serious money-sink.  I had other reasons to love that car, aside from it bein' our ride in the Woodward Dream Cruise.  From an old post:
T (he)S (econd)M (rs.)P (ennington) 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.  (more on the car here)
Ah, Former Happy Days.  We remember them fondly.

Just For Fanbois

If you're a fanboi you already know all of this.  But, Hey!  We're all about service, dontcha know.  That and we just LOVE those Taiwanese folks who put this sorta stuff together.



And there's this from Digg:
The bottom line: You will feel like a lesser human being if you don’t immediately purchase one of these phones.
Spoken like a true fanboi.

T-Birds!

From the Usual USAF Source...

Air Frame: F-16 Fighting Falcons Thunderbirds perform a five-ship formation after refueling from a 92nd Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker on Sept. 1, 2014, over Glacier National Park, Mont. The Thunderbirds were making their way back to Nellis AFB, Nev., where they are assigned to the 57th Wing's U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron. (Air Force photo by A1C Janelle Patiño)
Note the photo credit.  I think bein' a USAF photographer HAS to be the best job on the E side o' the house and boom operator would be a close second.  Fixing heavy ground radar would be somewhere near the bottom of the pile.  Go on... ask me how I know about my last.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

We Don't Get Out Much

So, there I was... reviewing the monthly OnStar report those kind folks at GM send me on a monthly basis.  One metric the OnStar folks provide is "average miles driven" during a particular month and here's the graphic:


Quite the difference from days gone by, by which I mean the post title sez it ALL: we don't get out much these days.  I suppose this is graphic evidence that we all slow down in our dotage.  Or at least **I** do, anyhoo.  Those day trips?  I could tell ya where I went, Gentle Reader, but then I'd have to kill ya.  And you don't want THAT now, do ya?

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack, or, Where's My Flying Car?

One half of Steely Dan with the quirky I.G.Y...


Standing tough under stars and stripes
We can tell
This dream's in sight
You've got to admit it
At this point in time that it's clear
The future looks bright
On that train all graphite and glitter
Undersea by rail
Ninety minutes from New York to Paris
Well by seventy-six we'll be A.O.K.

What a beautiful world this will be
What a glorious time to be free 

(full lyrics here)
I was a big, big Steely Dan fan in the wayback, so it was only natural that I'd buy Mr. Fagen's first solo effort and I was NOT disappointed.  I love this album; it's very much like the Steely Dan albums that preceded it before Mr. Fagen and Mr. Becker decided to go their separate ways.  Which is to say a jazzy, upbeat collection of tunes with interesting lyrics, wonderful (and catchy) music with lots o' hooks, and spectacular production values.  What's not to like?

It's a mystery to me as to why I never bought another of Fagen's albums (and none of Becker's), given I like the guy(s) so much.  That said, "The Nightfly" is one of the better efforts to come out of the '80s, an era not particularly known for great, or even good, music.  Here's an excerpt from that last link:
The Nightfly was certified Platinum in both the US and UK, and produced two popular hits with "I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World)" and "New Frontier". It also received several 1983 Grammy Award nominations. This relatively low-key but long-lived popularity led the Wall Street Journal in 2007 to dub the album "one of pop music's sneakiest masterpieces."[2]
Sneaky? That's an interesting term to describe what's clearly a masterpiece.  But, Hey!  There's prolly no finer endorsement than that given by the Journal.

Cold War, Re-Visited

The current administration has bent over backwards since the Ukrainian brouhaha began this year to reassure the public the Cold War isn't breaking out all over again.  I'm thinkin' someone needs to tell the Rooshians that.  From an article in the Washington Free Beacon ("Russian Strategic Bombers Near Canada Practice Cruise Missile Strikes on US"):
A 3rd Wing F-22 Raptor escorts a Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bear bomber near Nunivak Island, 2007. It was the first intercept of a Bear bomber for an F-22 which was alerted out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s Combat Alert Center. (Courtesy photo, Wikimedia Commons)
Two Russian strategic bombers conducted practice cruise missile attacks on the United States during a training mission last week that defense officials say appeared timed to the NATO summit in Wales.

The Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers were tracked flying a route across the northern Atlantic near Iceland, Greenland, and Canada’s northeast.

Analysis of the flight indicated the aircraft were conducting practice runs to a pre-determined “launch box”—an optimum point for firing nuclear-armed cruise missiles at U.S. targets, said defense officials familiar with intelligence reports.

Disclosure of the nuclear bombing practice comes as a Russian general last week called for Moscow to change its doctrine to include preemptive nuclear strikes on the United States and NATO.
Gen. Yuri Yakubov, a senior Defense Ministry official, was quoted by the state-run Interfax news agency as saying that Russia’s 2010 military doctrine should be revised to identify the United States and the NATO alliance as enemies, and clearly outline the conditions for a preemptive nuclear strike against them.

Yakubov said among other needed doctrinal changes, “it is necessary to hash out the conditions under which Russia could carry out a preemptive strike with the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces”—Moscow’s nuclear forces.
It hardly ever fails: what's old is new again.  One wonders when the ol' "duck and cover" stuff will be re-purposed.  Then again, given the administration's "it ain't there if I can't see it" approach to foreign affairs, little or nothing will be done.  It'll be bid'niz as usual.

The ol' Chinese curse has come to pass: we're truly living in interesting times. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

I've Been Doin' It Wrong Redux

My original "wrong" post was all about sushi.  Today we learned we've been eating Thai food wrong, according to this lady:



What would we do without these inter-tubes?  OTOH, now I'm hungry for Thai food.  Mebbe I'll head over to The Big(ger) CityTM later today.

Aches and Pains

I feel like someone snuck into the house last night and beat the HELL outta me while I was sleeping.  It's kinda like this:


Seriously.  My neck, back, and legs are just not right today.  We don't complain a lot around these parts, but this krep has put me off my feed.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Sláinte!

Well, now.  This is rare: "The Truth We Won’t Admit: Drinking Is Healthy."  A few excerpts:
Not discussing the beneficial impact of alcohol on heart disease has been a systematic policy of the U.S. public health establishment, one example of which is the Framingham Study. The National Institutes of Health, which funded the Framingham research, forbad Harvard epidemiologist Carl Seltzer from publishing this finding, he later revealed. Why? NIH’s reasoning, published in a 1972 memo, still pervades American thinking:
The encouragement of undertaking drinking with the implication of prevention of coronary heart disease would be scientifically misleading and socially undesirable in view of the major health problem of alcoholism that already exists in the country.
Flash forward to 2011, when the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were finally released by the Department of Agriculture and HHS. One reason for their delayed publication was the uproar raised by public health organizations to the Guidelines’ alcohol committee’s report of “strong evidence” that moderate drinking prevents heart disease, and the “moderate evidence” that it prevents dementia. Such battles are old hat: Similar campaigns against mentioning alcohol’s health benefits are mounted every five years when the Guidelines threaten to include them, starting with South Carolina senator and teetotaler Strom Thurmond’s strenuous objections to the 1995 edition.

Epidemiological study after study (that is, research tracing drinkers, their consumption, and their life outcomes) produces consistent findings—there are now hundreds of such studies. But whenever any sort of research can be teased out to suggest drinking is bad for you, it will be put on full display to confuse the picture.
The whole article is worth the time you'll spend to read it.  There's one important caveat, however: not everyone should drink.  My mother was an alcoholic and it killed her, quite literally.  I've seen the damage alcohol can do to a person's life and to the alcoholic's loved ones and it's not pretty, believe me.  If I had to give thanks for one single thing in my life it would be that the alcoholism trait went missing in my genetic make-up (and that of my children, too).  Otherwise?  I believe I'm the beneficiary of alcohol's prophylactic effects.  My doctor agrees with me, sayin' my "numbers" are so good I'd prolly live to be 100.  If I could only breathe.

Sláinte!

I Can See Why...

... this thing has over 7.5 million views, in only a week.



Ah, just another night somewhere in Russia, eh?

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Saturday: "You In a Heap o' Trouble, Boy!"



The Powers-That-Be don't think this is funny.  From the Usual Source:
When the Queen’s away her guards will play. Our top video this week – filmed while the Queen was on holiday – shows a guardsman outside Buckingham Palace injecting some fun into his two-hour shift by pirouetting and performing comic walks for giggling tourists. The laugh-a-minute Ministry of Defence is apparently taking the incident very seriously and launching an investigation into the unruly Grenadier Guard. 
Spoil-sports.