Thursday, October 30, 2014

Of Possible Interest...

... to fans of the Allman Brothers Band.  This, from Rolling Stone:

A couple o' things come to mind here.  First, I was fortunate enough to catch about 45 minutes of the four hour concert on XM yesterday while out gallivanting around and doin' the P-Ville equivalent o' the Grand Tour, which would be Portales - The Big(ger) CityTM - Cannon Airplane Patch - Portales.  I'm pleased to report the band sounded GREAT.  So good, in fact, that I briefly considered taking Happy Hour in the car to hear what was left of the concert when I got home.  But I didn't, for there were groceries to put away and other stuff to be done.

Second, I saw the Allmans a couple o' times in the way-way-back, the best occasion being when they headlined a triple bill at the San Francisco Cow Palace on New Years Day in either '72 or '73.  That triple bill was something else: the Charlie Daniels Band opened, the Marshall Tucker Band was the middle act, and the Allmans finished it off.  That particular concert was among the top five shows I've ever seen and I was well and truly worn out by the time that evening was over.  (Aside: some day I might rank the concerts I've seen and discuss them, but then again I prolly won't.  You're welcome.)  My friends and I drove to SFO from Klamath Falls, OR to see this concert, which should give you an ideer of just how big a fan of the Bros I was (and still am).  "Southern Rock" didn't get any better than what the Allmans delivered, in ALL their incarnations.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


History WILL repeat itself:

There are ten more rejected cards here.


First, a couple o' 'toons from the Usual Source o' these things:

And then there's this, from a daily newsletter I get from the PBS Newshour:
Hardly an historical aberration: So what’s going on here? Is President Obama so toxic that he is unlike past presidents? Not quite. First, like we noted above, there are the fundamentals of this election. Despite being reelected in 2012, he lost the most competitive states where the hottest Senate races are being run by double-digits to Mitt Romney. Plus, there is truth to the so called six-year itch. Seven presidents have been reelected since the Great Depression, and in those second terms, a president’s party has lost an average of 26 House seats and seven Senate seats. The worst second midterm for any president since WWII was Dwight Eisenhower’s. And it’s a reminder that, even then, “small-ball” issues dominated news of the day and drove politics. Eisenhower’s “problems included influence-pedaling charges against his White House chief of staff, national frustration over Soviet gains in space and missile technology and a bitter economic recession,” notes the Senate Historical Office. The 13 seats gained by Democrats was and still is the single-largest gain by one party of Senate seats. That election gave Democrats a 64-36 majority and laid the foundation for the Great Society measures of the 1960s.
Six-Year Itch? Results for a president’s party since the Great Depression in a second midterm
1938 FDR -55 House, -6 Senate
1950 Truman -29 House, -6 Senate
1958 Eisenhower -48 House, -13 Senate
1986 Reagan -5 House, -8 Senate
1998 Clinton +5 House, No change in Senate
2006 Bush -30 House, -6 Senate
AVG: -26 House, -6.5 Senate
Let us hope history repeats itself this time around.

Thoughts and Prayers...

... go out to Gordie Howe and his family.  From the Detroit Free Press:
Gordie Howe — the hockey legend and giant among Detroit sports figures — has suffered a severe stroke that has his family rushing to his bedside in Lubbock, Texas.

"I feel like this is his final lap around the rink," Murray Howe, one of Gordie's three sons, told the Free Press tonight. "I'm guessing that he's not going to recover ... but then again, he's about as strong as they get. If anybody can do it he can."


Gordie Howe, the Detroit Red Wings legend so synonymous with his sport he became known as Mr. Hockey, suffered a stroke Sunday morning, one day after enjoying a pleasant stroll in Lubbock with Azia and Lahna. Gordie has been staying in Lubbock with his daughter, Cathy, and sons Mark, Marty and Murray started hurrying Tuesday to join their sister, and in all likelihood say good-bye to their famous dad.
More details at the link above.  Get well soon, Mr. Howe.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

On the Early Bus Again

I suppose an early rise is to be expected when one goes to bed around 2230 hrs.  I find it middling-strange that I only need about six hours o' sleep every night, and eight at the very most.  I don't count the two-hour nap I take every afternoon, though, and that has to figure in there somewhere.

So, all of the overnight mail has yet to hit the in-box but most of it has.  This was a piece-part of it...

I'm thinking Mr. Ramirez is the best of the current crop o' political cartoonists.  He ALWAYS gets it right.  Apropos o' not much... I was never Peter-Principled.  I came close a couple o' times, but never really got there.

Update, 0940 hrs:  On further thought about that Peter Principle thing... I think I've reached my level of incompetence in retirement, in that I don't seem to be doing it too very well.  Some folks, like President George H. W. Bush, jump out of airplanes in retirement, others take off on exotic travel binges, still others go back to school just for the fun that's in it.  Me?  I sit on the verandah and drink beer; an exotic travel binge for me means driving over to The Big(ger) CityTM every other month or so.  Incompetence.

Monday, October 27, 2014

MY Kinda Place!

I can see myself in that picture, but... alas.  I was in Prague about 14 years too early.

Clever Title

That would be this, from the Usual USAF Source:
Jurassic Raptors
Air Frame: F-22 Raptors fly in formation near Hickam AFB, Hawaii, Oct. 21, 2014. (Lockheed Martin photo by Liz Kaszynski)
The overnight mail isn't completely in at this early hour so it's quite likely we'll have more, later.  And you might ask "just what in the Hell are you doin' up at this hour, Buck?"  Well, sometimes it just bees that way.  The eyes pop open and sleep is impossible after that.  That's why.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Guest Post

Promoted from comments to the main page... Our Man Virgil Xenophon.

When I left the Air Force and landed at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, 90 miles from Baton Rouge, I wondered how I was going to get to see my beloved Tigers play during football season as all games weren't televised like they are now and, as I was no longer a student, and season tickets sold out annually, even scalped tickets were hard to come by. any good ex-military guy, I devised a plan.

It so happens that those years were the years when the student culture was changing and in flux (not to mention the national one). Whereas in the early '60s all male students and adults wore a suit & tie to Tiger games and women their best dress, the culture was changing to casual wear. The only people who wore suits were news/sports reporters and LSU Admin officials. So I devised a plan to blend in in order to sneak into the press box.

First, I dressed in a suit, with a set of binoculars hanging around my neck and carried a clip-board to fake the sports-writer bit. Then I would head to the check-in point where the sports reporters got their credentials. In those days Tiger stadium was a one-story oval seating 68,000 before they added the upper deck slabs and the southern end-zone curved 2nd deck. It was a far simpler time. Usually two guys sat at a folding card table just outside the perimeter gate with a couple of shoe-boxes full of 3X5 cards used to verify reporters, and the double gates were hugely wide (to allow for trucks, etc.).
What I would do is hang back until I saw a gaggle of around 10 or more reporters gathered around the officials and otherwise occupying their attention. I would sidle up to the back of the crowd as if to get my Press Pass, then slide to the side when attention was diverted and walk right by thru the gates and on up to the elevator door to the Press Box as if I belonged and up I would go. Once there where I sat depended. If the games were against teams that were not traditional opponents and from far away so that there was little fan interest (like, say, Wisconsin) there would be few out-of-town reporters and so I could sit right at the reporters desk row and watch the entire game from the 50 yard line! Of course when trad opponents like Ole Miss, Alabama or Auburn came calling the Press Box would be packed with legit reporters. What then? Well, PLAN B was to take the back stairs/fire-escape from the Press Box down the elevator tower to the point where it opened as a one-way door out onto the top rung of the stadium seats beneath the Press Box. All seats usually being occupied, I usually then sat on the top step underneath the Press Box on the 50 yard line. Again, a great vantage point even if the seating was a bit "hard." LOL I did this for every home game for two years!

Special Note: On the night of the Ole-Miss-LSU "one second" game I arrived a little early.  Sooo, it being early there was still room in the Press Box proper, so I thought I'd take in a bit of pre-game warm-ups, ceremonies, etc., before heading down-stairs and out into the stadium. Unfortunately, I had had too much to drink at the fraternity house before hand, so passed out face down. A security guard eventually tapped me on the shoulder and said "Nice try, son," and escorted me down and out of the stadium. Not to be deterred, however, I planned a "re-attack" in the best Air Force tradition by repeating my performance (what are the odds?) a second time only heading directly for the stadium exit door before anyone could detect me and thus I was there to watch a very thrilling and historic last-second come-back win for my Bayou Bengals!
Virgil has been threatening for well over a year to become something like a co-blogger here at EIP. I took the liberty of promoting his comment from "All's Well" and calling it a "guest post" to encourage him to deliver more stories like this.  Further encouragement from you Gentle Readers would be appreciated.

(I did a couple o' minor edits and added the photo.)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday: A Space Odyssey

From the Usual Source of these things:
And to round off a viral video chart that has been totally free of cats and unfortunate accidents, we have a British Film Institute trailer for Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which will be re-released in cinemas on 28 November. The 2 minute video reminds us exactly why the film is a classic. 
I might actually go sit in a theatre to see this.  Again.

Friday, October 24, 2014

All's Well That Ends Well

So, there I was... watching the Beloved Wings play the Hated Flightless Birds last evening with about four minutes left in the game and the Wings down, 3-1.  I was THIS close (imagine my thumb and forefinger about a millimeter apart) to switching off the teevee and doing something more interesting... like the dinner dishes... but I decide to hang in there.  Why?  I dunno.  But The Deity At Hand had plans; watch below.

SN1 rings me up after The Captain put it in the net with a lil over two minutes left to get the Wings within one.  "Well," sez I (speaking about the Zetterberg goal), "at least we'll go out on a minor high."  And then, wonder of wonders, Number 55 TIES the game with 39 seconds left, so it's off to OT we go.  You know the outcome if you watched the highlights above... Justin Abdelkader put it in the net with less than a minute left in OT for the win.

I would have been SERIOUSLY pissed if I'd read the score this morning after switching the game off.  Or, to put it another way: O, me of little faith!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Not Much

As in "I don't have much today."  But there's this lil blurb I got from Amazon the other day...

That's a piece-part of the "new music" e-mail Amazon so thoughtfully (heh) sends along every so often.  The Annie Lennox album is the only one of the four I might consider adding to my collection; the others elicit a big-ass "meh!" response.  It's been a while since I've added new music to my collection, so we'll see.  There's not a whole helluva lot in the music world that excites me today.

In other news... remember that fog picture I posted this past Monday?  And the fact that I claimed to have seen only three or four foggy days during the entire 12 years I've lived here on The High Plains o' New Mexico?  Well, you can add another three days to that particular statement as it's been foggy every single morning this week.  I suppose the message here is "If you want something to happen, say it never will (or does)."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yet Still Even More Cigar Art, Already

This is actually episode 21 of the ongoing series and we'll eventually get back to numbering these posts once we run out o' suitable modifiers.  In today's mail:

That's a box o' Oliva Serie O Habana Maduros in the torpedo size, if you're keeping score at home.  The box may look plain at first glance (it isn't) but it was the opening of this well-crafted beauty that amazed and mystified us.  Put another way, opening up this box o' beauties was the equivalent of an old reprobate's Christmas.  It's the little details... the stiff tissue liner, the shiny gold ribbon, and the interior cedar top piece... that all add up up to impressive packaging, yet again.  Art, in other words.

I think it's time to adjourn to the verandah with one of these puppies and a State Pen porter.  Dark begets dark.

Pretty Cool


That lil girl is gonna get a LOT o' candy this Halloween.  A LOT.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Passing

This lil blurb from the Usual USAF Source caused a twinge of something like regret and/or sadness in me this morning:
One-Ring Circus
Workers at Misawa AB, Japan, began a year-long project to demolish the base's "Elephant Cage" antenna that the Air Force used for gathering radio signals intelligence for nearly 50 years, announced base officials. "During its long life, the antenna played a major part in the Cold War and beyond," said Col. Andrew Hansen, vice commander of Misawa's 35th Fighter Wing. "However, the technology has outlived its usefulness," he said in the Oct. 17 release. The three-ringed, 137-foot-tall AN/FLR-9 antenna was part of a global network that intercepted and pinpointed the location of Soviet and Communist-bloc radio communications. The array, completed in 1965, could detect and locate signals from up to 4,000 nautical miles distance, according to the release. Misawa's 373rd Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group controlled the antenna until demolition work began on Oct. 15. A similar antenna at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, is the only remaining AN/FLR-9 worldwide, said officials.

The FLR-9 was the "sister system," if you will, to the FLR-12 I worked on back in the day (see here, that's the FLR-12 antenna farm and ops building at Wakkanai, Japan).  But back to the FLR-9... From The Wiki: 
FLR-9s were constructed at the following places:
USASA Field Station Augsburg (Gablingen Kaserne), Germany
Chicksands, England
Clark AB, Philippines
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, USA (formerly designated as Elmendorf AFB)
Karamursel, Turkey
7th Radio Research Field Station/Ramasun Station, Udon Thani Province, Thailand
Misawa AB, Japan
San Vito dei Normanni Air Station, Italy

Advances in technology have made the FLR-9 almost obsolete.
"Almost obsolete" is prolly being too kind.  That said, I've roamed around the vicinity of the elephant cages at Chicksands, Karamursel, and Ramasun Station and it grieves me to know the old world is fading fast, if not gone.  But Hey!  All things must pass.