Stolen from Lex. Now someone needs to do a Monty Python/Star WARS mash-up and my life will be complete. People take this silly shit to extremes; it's good to see someone let the air out of the balloon.
Back to work, Col H has a lot for me to do already. This place makes Balad look like a 5-star cruise. My favorite sightseeing highlight were the two minefields…don’t worry…I plan on staying FAR away from those places.9/26/2009:
The net connection won't be established for a good while. While they do have net available, it's only in the "mods" and I'm in a tent. I had better living conditions as a two-striper in Desert Storm! I'll be in this tent for a long time...possibly up to 3 months! There's only 1 place on base that has wireless, and I've heard it's VERY slow, due to the number of people trying to access it all the time.
The one big (good) change from Balad is I can access your blog from the GOV machine. So that's cool!
(we were talking about cigars) There's actually a "smoke shack/observatory" at the entrance to our compound. I picture myself there until the move to the mods...There's a Chief here with over 100 cigars! I know we'll be smoking a couple together...Heh. There might have been talk of smuggling involved here. And there might not. There's also a care package in the mail with a few Deep Dishes in it. The Captain needs trading material for his interactions with that Chief.
I'm told there are Cubans at the bazaar on Saturdays...but I didn't make it there yesterday. I'll have to check that out next weekend. I've spent very little money here, so buying the occasional cigar will be one of my treats...
One is as popular as a rock star back home in Sweden, while the other will go down in history as one of the country's best athletes.Well, even though we're on about hockey here I just can't resist posting a photo of Z's hunny:
Led by Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom, the Detroit Red Wings -- an iconic hockey franchise built today around Swedes in a sport dominated for nearly a century by Canadians -- are to leave for Stockholm tonight in preparation for the 2009-10 NHL season opener Friday. For nearly half the team, it's nothing short of a giant homecoming party.
"A lot of people back in Sweden have stayed up late over the years to watch the Red Wings play," Zetterberg said, "and now they get a chance to watch us play live. It's very special to do this."
The Wings boast a Swede in every position: Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Andreas Lilja and Jonathan Ericsson on defense; Zetterberg, Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen up front; and newcomer Daniel Larsson may soon be part of Detroit's goaltending.
Tickets for the games at Globe Arena sold out within an hour.
Zetterberg's popularity in Sweden began with his dazzling play in the Swedish Elite League and for the Swedish national team -- with which he won a medal in four of the five years he played in the World Championships -- and grew to astronomical proportions when he began dating Swedish TV personality Emma Andersson. Since the two got engaged in summer 2008, they've become the "it" couple of their summertime home on the island of Alnon outside Sundsvall.
"Hank is the king there," Jonasson said, "and Emma the queen."
Lidstrom, on the other hand, is more of a national treasure, and an underappreciated one at that. It's partly because he's been gone since 1991, and partly because he hasn't played nearly as much on the national teams as same-generation stars such as forwards Peter Forsberg and Mats Sundin due to the Wings' regular playoff runs.
Even with six Norris trophies as the NHL's top defenseman, along with four Stanley Cups, Lidstrom's stature isn't fully recognized in Sweden.
Ah... I miss those Ol' Ladies, even still.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Apropos of nothing…except for the fact that there’s waaay too many frickin’ cat pictures on these here inter-tubes…here are a few pics of my late, lamented puppies. Late is an understatement: the last of these old ladies left this life back in 1996, well over ten years ago. I’ve been dog-less ever since, mostly because having a dog is semi-incompatible with my lifestyle. Yes, people who live in RVs own dogs. I’m more than aware of the fact. But a dog is a big commitment, and I tend to be commitment-averse these days. Let’s leave it at that… and get on with the biographies.
First…FiFi La Bonne, otherwise known as The World’s Ugliest Dog. She was a mixed-breed terrier and was so damned ugly she was cute. She was also a hunter extraordinaire, and was one of the few dogs I’ve ever seen who could run down a squirrel and kill it. Which she did about two or three times a year when I lived in Michigan, always making sure to bring The Second Mrs. Pennington and I some sort of trophy from the kill. We really appreciated that, ya know. She was also quite adept at assassinating gophers and moles. The gopher-hunting wasn’t nearly as popular with me, as she tended to dig huge holes in my yard in pursuit of her underground quarries. When I say “huge,” I mean bomb-shelter huge. Large enough for me to drive my riding lawn mower into one of the holes and flip the mower over on its side. That huge.
I wish the above photo of FiFi in the snow was better… she had the strangest habit of burrowing in deep snow, and it was a hoot to watch. She’s pictured after coming up from one such snow-burrowing exercise. FiFi came to live with TSMP and I while we were in Oklahoma (around 1984, or so) and lived with us until 1996, when TSMP put her down due to complications associated with old age.
And then there’s Bōgus Dōgus, who was a Lab/Border Collie cross. TSMP and I got Dogus shortly after we arrived in England in 1980, and she was with us for 16 years. She was my favorite, even though she was TSMP’s dog first and foremost. That dog was crazy… in that she had this “thing” for food. The “thing” being she’d eat anything that wouldn’t eat her first. Anything. Everything. Including, on at least two occasions, an entire loaf of bread…snatched off the table once and out of a bag of groceries another time, and consumed within 45 seconds. The first time she wolfed down a loaf of bread I thought she was gonna explode from the resulting bloat and gas. I had to put her outside until the gas went away, for what should be obvious reasons. But not until such time as she laid at my feet… moaning, farting, and generally making life uncomfortable for everyone within ten feet of her.
This is also the dog who tried to commit suicide by leaping off a bridge in Wales. If we hadn’t had her on a leash she would have died in the fall to the river and it was a near-run thing, anyway. Have you ever tried to pull a strangling dog over a bridge railing? It’s not easy, Gentle Reader. As to why she jumped… I have NO earthly idea. I said she was crazy.
Lastly we have Fritzi Ritz, a German Shepard cross. Crossed with what breed is unknown, but a cross she was…and she was small for a Shepard. Fritzi had all the good traits of a Shepard… intelligence, loyalty, and beauty. She also suffered from hip dysplasia, which eventually got so bad we had to put her down. Fritzi was the alpha female, as might be imagined, and kept the other two dogs in line. The first pic was taken in Oklahoma, the second in Ferndale, MI.Each dog was a mutt; I’ve never owned a pure-bred dog. Further, two of the three were “rescued” dogs. TSMP was active in a dog rescue organization when we lived in Oklahoma; FiFi and Fritzi arrived in our household via that organization. All three dogs slept in the bed with TSMP and me, and they each had their places…never varying position from night to night. You might think things would get a bit crowded, but it really wasn’t. They were very discreet Old Ladies, too, always being considerate enough to give us our space when it was time for TSMP and me to play. It's a great good thing dogs don't talk. Coz those dogs could have told some stories, Gentle Reader.
AFA Members, Congressional Staffers, Civic Leaders, DOCA Members, this week the Air Force released its long awaited Draft Request for Proposal for a new tanker. This occurred after Sec Gates transferred responsibility for the tanker's acquisition back to the Air Force.
Concurrent with this, the Air Mobility Command (AMC) released a White Paper which talks about the Imperative for a new tanker. This document is an exceptional piece. It details not only the rationale for a new tanker, but gives the reader some idea on its concept of operations. I especially like the following parts [listed by PDF page]:
Page 5 where AMC asks if we had ever tried to buy parts for a 1950s vintage Zenith television [I have … but found it cheaper to replace the TV rather than get someone to provide the parts.]Operational scenarios which begin on page 9 show the range of missions our tanker fleet is expected to support.
Page 6 – the chart which shows the average age of various airline fleets
Page 9 – where a RAND study is cited saying that the present KC-135 fleet will be 90 years old when fully retired … and the operation of a 90 year old fleet is unprecedented in aviation history
You can find the White Paper on our website at: http://www.afa.org/edop/2009/TheImperativeforNewTankerNow.pdf
A while back, one of you wrote me … your were the "Grandfather" who flew as a crew member on the KC-135 in the early 60s. Your dad was the "Great Grandfather" who got into the system near the end of his career in the late 1950s. Your son flew on the aircraft in the 1980s. And you were hoping your Grand daughter – who was in pilot training at the time got the chance to fly the aircraft next year. We all hope this family tradition does not continue for 40 or more years … as you will surely set a record for 6 generations of one family on the same system.
For your consideration.
Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association
Lidstrom is an anomaly—the first European-born player to win a Conn Smythe (2002) and the only one to captain a Stanley Cup champion ('08). But the Swedish defenseman's accomplishments cannot be trivialized. Twice in this decade—from 2001-03 and 2006-08—the 17-year veteran has three-peated as the winner of the Norris Trophy. In a word: ridiculous.
The numbers say...Brodeur was the runner up for "NHL Player of the Decade," in case you're wondering. There's more at the link. I'm thinking Lidstrom's trophy case is pretty danged full and is liable to need a significant expansion before he's done.
Lidstrom: 127 goals, 447 assists, plus-232, six Norris trophies, two Stanley Cups
Brodeur: 356-194-48-23 record, 2.22 goals against average, four Vezina trophies, two Stanley Cups
Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form (Plato). (Wordsworth Dictionary of Musical Quotations, 1991, p. 45).Now that resonates with me and I can see why the woman... a professional chanteuse with a Big Band... had the quotation framed and hung on her wall. Music, after all, is her life. While music isn't exactly my life it most certainly is a large part of life as I know it, and arguably one the most important things in my lil corner of the world.
The Wordsworth Dictionary attributes this quote to Plato, but curiously does not cite from which book of Plato’s writings the quotation is derived. As a music therapist who also practices the Bonny Method of Guided imagery and Music, this quote is particularly appealing to me. It speaks of the essence of music within the moral fibre of a society, as well as the extra-musical attributes, enhancing imagination, creativity, and passion. It is therefore a quote I like to use often. A Google search on "Music is a moral law" unearths hundreds of musicians, politicians, T-shirt vendors, bands, orchestras, churches, and music schools who all confidently attribute the quote to Plato.And that just scratches the surface. As I said... the piece is a fascinating bit of inquiry and its twists and turns take the reader on a remarkable journey, not to mention the interesting yet unresolved ending. And speaking of endings... we'll end our digression right here, as I had only intended to find the Plato quote and publish it as something that resonates within me. But there ya go... sometimes you get much more than you expect.
I was always taught, however, to check the primary source of quotations. There are good reasons to check the original author’s words rather than cite a middle person, who may have misinterpreted, or inaccurately reproduced the original words. And so I set about confirming that the words of this favourite quote were indeed Plato’s words. The Collected Dialogues of Plato Including Letters, edited by Hamilton and Cairns, (1961, Bollingen Series LXXI), states that Plato was born about 428 B.C. and died at eighty, or eighty-one, in 348 BC (p. xiii). He was a philosopher and poet, but not, according to Cairns, a mystic (p. xv). In the 28 dialogues (and one book of letters), Plato speaks of the arts and specifically about music. He writes that music, as a whole, (and discourses, and tales of imagination), have the effect of delighting us "if they are beautiful" (Hipp maj 298a).
Was this though Obama’s most naïve speech ever? It is a very strong candidate, but I think there is intense competition for that accolade. The president’s speeches in Cairo, Strasbourg and Prague would all vie for that title. Still, his address today will go down in history as one of the weakest major addresses by a US president on foreign policy in a generation, by a leader who seems embarrassed, even ashamed, by the power and greatness of his own country.
This was an exceedingly dull, poor speech that overwhelmingly failed to advance US interests on the world stage, or project American values and principles onto the rest of the globe. As Barack Obama will eventually discover, soft power will only get you so far when you have to confront and defeat brutal enemies that seek America’s destruction.
WORDS WOMEN USE
(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)
(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome.' That will bring on a 'whatever.')
(8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying F-- YOU!
(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.
Today’s Pic(s): Another ride I lust after, from the same car show I posted a pic from yesterday. This time it’s an early Corvette (1956, I think) done up in a questionable color scheme. Orange? ORANGE? What was GM thinking? And why did people actually buy orange ‘Vettes, when there were other, much more pleasing colors produced that year (the aqua/white combination comes to mind…more colors here)? I suppose it all goes to prove that taste is indeed in one’s mouth…
Pictured is my Dream Car…in yellow. If I (a) bought tickets and (b) actually won a significant lottery prize, I’d have one of these babies…in black. Or maybe green like the Green Hornet. It would be a small-block…the 302…not the 427. Coz I’m all about balance. And keeping my license. And not buying rear tires every 1,000 miles or so. It should go without sayin’ that the car would be a genuine Shelby, and not one of the thousands of ersatz Cobras (read that: kit cars; not that there's anything wrong with kit-cars) that roam the highways and byways in the US of A.
I saw the car in the pictures at a car show in Amarillo and got to chat a bit with the owner. The man was as proud of that car as he is of his kids…and said so. I suppose I would be, too.
I love you in a place where there's no space or timeNo reason... just heard this right now and thought I'd share. I like Leon Russell's studio version best, but couldn't find it on YouTube. Brother Ray ain't half-bad, though.
I love you for in my life you are a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song for you
Legendary New York broadcaster Ernie Anastos had a momentary lapse of reason Wednesday night when he dropped the F-bomb live on TV.
During some playful banter with local weatherman Nick Gregory, Anastos complimented Gregory, or at least attempted to, by saying, "It takes a tough man to make a tender forecast, Nick."
Looking confused, Gregory responded, "I guess that's me."
Without missing a beat, Anastos continued, "Keep f***ing that chicken," a completely bewildering phrase that made co-anchor Dari Alexander's eyes bug out of her head. Gregory, for his part, just threw his hands up and shook his head.
I probably should have chosen another title for this post... like "Blogging While Listening to Pandora" or some such. I wasn't really sloshed... just sipping a bit o' the malt whilst surfin' and listening to Pandora's Van Morrison station. The collection of vids I posted are all the result of having heard that particular tune on The P and then going searching for it on YouTube.And that is most certainly true. Monday evenings are just built for extended surfin' and listening to tunes… either that or curling up with a good book… and I opted for the former. Further… whereas I might have been feelin' good, I most certainly wasn't sloppy drunk. We rarely get that way in our Old Age, simply because we've finally learned our lesson: hangovers frickin' HURT. I'm pleased to report I awoke yesterday morning with a head that was both clear and free of pain.
I'm easily amused. :D
Adulterers can be stoned to death and homosexuality is punishable by long prison terms under a new law passed in Indonesia's devoutly Muslim Aceh province today.Now... watch Mr. Condell again.
The regional parliament voted unanimously to adopt the bill despite strong objections from human rights groups and the province's deputy governor, who said the legislation needed more careful consideration because it imposed a new form of capital punishment.
Some members of the moderate Democrat party had voiced reservations, but none voted against the bill.
The law, which reinforces Aceh's already strict Islamic laws, is to go into effect within 30 days. Its passage comes two weeks before a new assembly led by the moderate Aceh party is sworn in after a heavy defeat of conservative parties in local elections.
This is the seventh heaven street to me
Dont be so proud
Youre just another angel in the crowd
And Im walking in the wild west end
Walking with your wild best friend
Knowing many, loving none,Dang. This single malt is GOOD, as is tonight's music. Ah... you hadda (shoulda) be there... "with sweet Melissa"...
Bearing sorrow havin' fun,
But back home he'll always run
To sweet Melissa... mmm...
The morning sun when its in your face really shows your age
But that don't worry me none in my eyes you're everything
I laughed at all of your jokes my love you did'nt need to coax
Oh, Maggie I could'nt have tried any more
You lured me away from home, just to save you from being alone
You stole my soul and that's a pain I can do without
Here I stand head in handHeh. And so it goes. And to all: a good night.
Turn my face to the wall
If she's gone I can't go on
Feelin' two-foot small
Everywhere people stare
Each and every day
I can see them laugh at me
And I hear them say
Hey you've got to hide your love away
Hey you've got to hide your love away
How can I even try
I can never win
Hearing them, seeing them
In the state I'm in
How could she say to me
Love will find a way
Gather round all you clowns
Let me hear you say
Hey you've got to hide your love away
Hey you've got to hide your love away