Sunday, November 23, 2014

Heh. Sorta.

The 'toon is funny in one way but not so funny in another.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday: The Final Frontier

I can't get enough of this stuff.  It's best viewed in full screen mode.

Astronaut - A journey to space from Guillaume JUIN on Vimeo.

What's best?  The lightning?  The northern lights?  The cities at night?  Well, all of it, actually.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dumb Stuff We Hear On NPR

There's a LOT that might could fall in that category; this is just the latest:
And what that means is that 1 in 3 adults drinks excessively.

What counts as excessive? Less than you might think.

Women who consume eight or more drinks per week are considered excessive drinkers. And for men, excess is defined as 15 or more drinks a week. (The researchers defined a drink as just 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of spirits.)
Well, now.  It appears that I drink excessively, what with two beers every afternoon and a couple o' single malts or bourbons... on rare occasions more than two... after dinner.  This adds up to a grand total of about 28 drinks a week on average, nearly twice what the quoted study defines as excessive.  I'm not gonna worry my semi-pretty lil head about this, however.  According to my doctor I'm as healthy as the proverbial horse... aside from the fact I can't breathe, which has nothing to do with alcohol.  I trust my doctor one whole helluva lot more than I trust these so-called studies.

Thanksgiving Comes First

Blog-bud Jim has his annual post about Thanksgiving up and it's later than usual.  There's a reason for the late posting and... well, here's Jim:
Since I've often been all about Thanksgiving, some of you were probably wondering when I was going to write a post about it this year. If you were wondering, I thank you for thinking about it and here it is.
I made a conscious effort to NOT post about Thanksgiving. I wanted to see what was happening without being clouded by thoughts of what was happening as a result of anything here.
I still kept plugging away on Facebook (on my own personal page and at THANKSGIVING COMES FIRST, a page I manage there - ) and I get the feeling that there may be a tipping point being reached, one way or the other. There are boatloads of people who are fed up with the commercialization of Christmas and the incursion of store openings on Thanksgiving itself. I mean, some folks are seriously angry now. That's a good thing. And there are lots of stores specifically advertising that they will be closed on Thanksgiving, another good sign. On the other hand, stores are opening earlier than last year (when they opened earlier than the year before that) so...
We support Jim's efforts, we totally agree with him on this subject, and we hope that you do too, Gentle Reader.  Jim posted this graphic as a part of this year's post:

Now you know where to shop and where NOT to shop.  Act accordingly!



The full explanation and more examples of "elastic cars" are here.

Speaking of "elasticity"...

"We had our cocktails and cigarettes."  Well, yes.  We did.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Got Nuthin', You Get the WX

Happy Days are here again...

Yep, we're back to what passes for normal after last week's spate of sub-freezing temps.  We took Happy Hour out on the verandah yesterday... comfortably... and will do the same today.  It's back in the barrel late next week, though.  We'll work through that when we come to it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Ooooh... shiny!

Preliminary and limited specs, from the ATS-V web page:

The car's made out of unobtainium, at least where YrHmblScrb is concerned, what with a predicted asking price around $60K.  We'll make do with The Tart and be happy about it, too.

Some People's Kids...

... are playing with much less than a full deck:

And we're glad we're not in Buffalo*, where some areas got six feet... yes, six FEET, of lake-effect snow.  So much for our recent bitching about a light dusting of the white stuff.

* There's a Buffalo newscast video at the link that I'm unable to embed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

MOST Excellent

Keith Olbermann on Gordie Howe:

I used to hate, Hate, HATE Olbermann when he was doing politics on MSNBC.  Sports is quite another thing altogether and this video is a fitting... even elegant... tribute to the great Number Nine.  Olbermann  notes that Mr. Howe has taken a turn for the worse; The Freep has details about his condition and it doesn't look good.  Our best thoughts go out to Mr. Howe and the family.

Are You Happy?

The answer might depend on your age.  I spent about 20 minutes earlier this morning learning about the U-curve, which attempts to explain why some... most, even... people go through what's known as a midlife crisis.  The opening grafs from "The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis:"
This summer, a friend called in a state of unhappy perplexity. At age 47, after years of struggling to find security in academia, he had received tenure. Instead of feeling satisfied, however, he felt trapped. He fantasized about escape. His reaction had taken him by surprise. It made no sense. Was there something wrong with him? I gave him the best answer I know. I told him about the U-curve.

Not everyone goes through the U-curve. But many people do, and I did. In my 40s, I experienced a lot of success, objectively speaking. I was in a stable and happy relationship; I was healthy; I was financially secure, with a good career and marvelous colleagues; I published a book, wrote for top outlets, won a big journalism prize. If you had described my own career to me as someone else’s, or for that matter if you had offered it to me when I was just out of college, I would have said, “Wow, I want that!” Yet morning after morning (mornings were the worst), I would wake up feeling disappointed, my head buzzing with obsessive thoughts about my failures. I had accomplished too little professionally, had let life pass me by, needed some nameless kind of change or escape.

My dissatisfaction was whiny and irrational, as I well knew, so I kept it to myself. When I thought about it—which I did, a lot—I rejected the term midlife crisis, because I was holding a steady course and never in fact experienced a crisis: more like a constant drizzle of disappointment. What annoyed me most of all, much more than the disappointment itself, was that I felt ungrateful, the last thing in the world I was entitled to be.
Illustration from the article.

The article is relatively long but seriously interesting, none the less.  After I finished the article I sat and reflected for a while, asking myself if I went through a midlife crisis and were things better today than they were, say, ten or 20 years ago?  It's a mixed bag.  I definitely went through some difficult times following my divorce (some people would say I'm not out of those woods yet) and I experienced what author Jonathon Rauch calls a "constant drizzle of disappointment" about life in general during that time.  Yet I think I remained happy in an overall sense and went on to achieve the pinnacle of my professional career after running away from home and gallivanting all over the country for a year.  

These days, when that U-curve should be on the upswing as I approach age 70 (this coming March, if you must know), I range from ambivalent to reasonably satisfied with most things in life.  There's at least one caveat, however: I'm not a terribly introspective person.

So... midlife crisis?  Here's one answer:

Heh.  From The Shoebox blog, obviously.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Just Because

Bikes and wimmen... what's NOT to like?

We were floundering around, trying to find sumthin' suitable for posting on this too-damned-cold Monday morning (23 degrees as we speak, on its way to 41) and came across what you see above.  Which brings to mind that ol' Richard Thompson song, wherein he maintains "red hair and black leather" is his protagonist's favorite color scheme.  Or blonde.  Or brunette.  Whatever floats yer particular boat.  I'm rather partial to blondes, myself.

The Second Mrs. Pennington on my box-stock RD400, 1979.  The bike didn't stay stock for long.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Aiiieee Redux

From the study window at 1045 hrs:

I'm SO not ready for this: snow for the second time in the last three days.  The damned leaves haven't even fallen from the trees yet... and to think it was 66 degrees yesterday.

Get OFF my frickin' lawn!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

It's Our Blogoversary...

... and here we are, entering our tenth year of disseminating drivel to an uninterested world.  Our first posts:

So far: 6,379 posts, 726,193 page views (according to Blogger), and 45,951 comments; a lot of those comments are mine in response to what other folks had to say.  That said, I never thought I'd keep it up this long.  Srsly.  I'm at the point now where I only hope I can make this thing last a full ten years.

In other news... I don't believe what ol' Ben said about "early to bed," mainly coz I'm neither healthy (well, sorta), nor wealthy, nor wise.  But I AM up early, yet again.

Friday, November 14, 2014

It's Already Begun, With a Twist

I'm pretty sure I saw the first Christmas shopping ads on my teevee at least a week ago, or longer.  It's getting to the point of ridiculousness if it hasn't already passed that point.  (Minor digression: we're waiting for blog-bud Jim to kick off his annual "Thanksgiving Comes First" campaign; we don't want to jump into the fray before he does.)   That said, this week I noticed a completely new aspect to the usual Black Friday crap.  This:

Americans are exceptional at creating spectacle out of commerce. And yes, the eager-to-normalize marijuana biz is ready to behave (and benefit) like all of the others. At least one pot shop in Colorado will be marking Black Friday with legitimate “door-busting deals” that will bring many a toker to the lines that will inevitably stretch outside its doors on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

But when Denver recreational pot shop The Grass Station opens its doors for Black Friday sales at 8 a.m. Nov. 28-30, what will be their equivalent to Walmart’s dirt-cheap flat-screen TVs?

“It’ll definitely be the $50 ounces,” said Grass Station owner Ryan Fox. “Right now our cheapest ounce is $250, and some of those ounces in the $250-$325 range will be selling for $50 an ounce on that weekend.”

Celebrating Black Friday with loss-leader deals in the hopes of luring more regular customers is Fox’s way of saying that legal marijuana businesses are normal businesses.

There's no word if The Grass Station will advertise on teevee but I don't think they'll really need to do that (if Colorado law even allows pot shops on teevee).  A 50-buck bag in this day and age is advertising enough. 


Oh, this is good...

Just in case you've been under a rock for the past week or three, the vid is a parody of this "tempest in a teacup."

H/t: Cassandra.