Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Best Star Trek I'VE Ever Seen

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.

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Priorities... Again

Just in from a major re-supply run out to Cannon Airplane Patch and the damage to the bank account was thus: $91.00 for a case o' beer malt beverages from New Belgium, a bottle o' Drambuie, and a bottle o' Glenfiddich; a mere $76.00 (and change) for food. Note that we're drinking the cheap(er) Scotch these days... economizing by buying the Glenfiddich at $39.00 (and change) vs The Balvenie at $65.00 (and change). Still... there doesn't seem to be much improvement. Ah, well.  It is what it is.  And it is good.

And now it's time for Happy Hour!


Some amazing tales going down at Darryl's (aka Barco Sin Vela) place. Can you imagine retiring from the Navy in London... after living on a sail boat for three years (parked at St. Katherine's Docks)... and then sailing said boat home across the Atlantic?

Me, neither. You should go read.

Snippets From the AOR

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.

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...

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...
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.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Well, It's Monday. Back On Your Heads.

So… Hockey season begins this week!! YES! And my Beloved Wings are in Sweden as we speak, trying to get over jet lag before they play an exhibition game with a Swedish team on Wednesday and before opening the NHL season on Friday against the Blues. About that Sweden trip: here's Helene St. James, writing in The Freep:
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.

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.
Well, even though we're on about hockey here I just can't resist posting a photo of Z's hunny:

Dang. Innit GOOD to be a hockey star? We digress, of course, and there's more such digression here. Worth the trip if you admire the female form. There's more on the Wings in Sweden at The Freep link, above. Good stuff, too.


Your tip o' the week: Ken Burns is more fun than a National Park, too*. Or at least his films are. Just in case you missed it… PBS is running a five-part film by Burns on our National Park system.  The series kicked off last evening with a two-hour premiere focused on Yosemite and Yellowstone… arguably the two most beautiful parks in the system. The cinematography/photography in the film is simply stunning, and the narrative script ain't bad… for PBS. I'm of the mind it would be difficult NOT to take stunning footage in either of the foregoing places, as they are breathtakingly beautiful.

Episode Two of "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" airs tomorrow evening. Highly recommended.


Today's Pics: Apropos of the Burns entry about the parks and more specifically, Yellowstone… a couple of shots of YrHmblScrb in that vicinity. Both you long-time readers know I've posted quite a few pics of my week-long stay in Yellowstone back in May of 2000. I'm here to tell ya that a week in the park wasn't nearly long enough to see it all as Yellowstone is simply HUGE. I'm also here to tell ya that going to Yellowstone in May ain't exactly the smartest thing when your only mode of transport is a mo'sickle. It got COLD, Gentle Reader… oh yes, it MOST certainly did. But… the upside is there aren't hordes of other tourists at that time of year. As a matter of fact... some places I went were quite lonely, if you can believe that.

* in reference to the tag line I used on yesterday's pic.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Sensitive Seventies Kinda Guy

I put the above up as illustrations of the post's title, all of which are examples of the sort of music I listened to during that period of time when I was… really, in all respects… a Sensitive Seventies Kinda Guy. Both Jackson Browne and Dan Fogelberg figured heavily in my musical tastes back when I was the guy in the post's title, along with groups like The Moody Blues and 10cc (as above). While I'm tempted to put the "sensitive" bits in quotes, the reality is I was that sort of guy. Which, of course, bears some splainin', as Ricky Ricardo said.

I've been on a mini-voyage of rediscovery of late, which is to say that thanks to the wonders of the 'net… and YouTube, specifically… I've been doing some deep dives into the music that formed the biggest part of my life back when I was a Sensitive Seventies sorta guy. The videos above are icons of that period of time, but let us also be clear: there are other "icons" of that age I can MOST definitely do without… like Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, and Billy Joel, just to name three… about which I mean: there WERE (and are) limits to the amount of cloyingly sweet sentiment one man can take. If I never hear "Operator" again it will be too damned soon (and oh! how it hurt me to seek out a link for that), and ditto for the entire repertoire of the other two. It must also be said that I abandoned all that J. Browne, D. Fogelberg, and other such crap for many a year and have only recently come back to it, however briefly.  But we digress.

Back to the subject at hand… There were those sorts in the wayback that adopted the "sensitive" pose as a ruse, a way to connect to women. While it's possible to divine the same sort of motive to YrHmblScrb… and one would be correct, in a somewhat literal sense, to ascribe that sort of behavior to present company… the truth of the matter is I really believed in that krep. At the time, and that time being from around 1968 until about 1980. I adopted for my own the talismans of that particular class of dudes… the blue chambray work shirts, the tattered embroidered jeans, the expensive stereo system showcased on plywood boards and cement blocks… bookended with sand-cast candles… and the ever-present baggie of proscribed vegetable material. All of the foregoing were part and parcel of the expected baggage of said sensitive males… not to mention decidedly Left-Wing political views. And it's the latter I want to be on about…

I began by saying I've been revisiting the music of my ill-spent youth and that is true enough. But what motivated that recent inquiry is pretty much a mystery to me. I think a very large part of it is this: I've really been disaffected and disenchanted by politics of late, both on the left and on the right, but much more so by my comrades-in-arms on the right. A large part of my alienation with the political right is the right's tendency to pick nits and to ascribe sinister motives and radical labels to our fellow Americans on the left (see: Glenn Beck, among others). This really bothers me, in that while I strongly disagree with the Left's policies and prescriptions for what ails us as a nation, I do not for a moment think they are "the enemy" in any way, shape, or form. They are simply political opponents... nothing more and nothing less... to be debated and argued with, but NOT to be slandered or demeaned. Which brings us back to the Sensitive Seventies Kinda Guy. I'll not be naïve and say that there wasn't an "us and them" mentality in play at the time… as there most certainly was. But… in the circles I ran in at the time, there was willingness to listen and openness to any and all points of view. The people I hung out with at the time… predominately Lefties… were open to debate and argument. All that changed, however, and I left the Left when they became Politically Correct to the extreme and supremely intolerant… which is to say sometime around 1980 or so. We could go on at length here, but we won't. It's my habit to be brief in my blog posts and respect the reader's ability to read between the lines. We can debate fine points in comments, if you've a mind to do so... or expand a particular line of thought, if that's the case.

So. My journey back into the music of my youth… and I use the term "youth" loosely… is more than likely an attempt at revisiting what I perceive to be a "better time," a time where the folks I hung with could agree to disagree and get on with what really mattered: having a good time. And we were quite good at that, Gentle Reader. Oh yes, we WERE.

Now… perhaps the next post in this vein will be an exploration of the sexual politics of music… specifically the sexual politics of the Sensitive Seventies Kinda Guy (Heh: Marvin Gaye)… and that's a subject I could warm to, but not necessarily one that lends itself to brevity. We'll think about that.

Today's Pic:  The Sensitive Seventies Kinda Guy in Kyoto in 1975:

Yes... we were oh-so-sensitive, not to mention being more fun than a National Park.  (The foregoing is a quote from a female friend of mine, verbatim, and predates my first observation of such as a graffito on a bathroom wall. Srsly.)  Heh.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

If This Is Saturday...

... then it's football. And an EIP re-run. From March of last year:

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.
Ah... I miss those Ol' Ladies, even still.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Most Effective Public Service Announcement EVER

So... I gotta admit I saw this ad on Red Eye last evening and Bill O'Reilly did a piece on it, too, in which he (O'Reilly) asked the ridiculous question... "Is this TOO sexy?" Not-frickin'-even, to state the obvious. I'm thinkin' this ad will get more results than a million pink ribbons.

Oh... and Morgan? This woman beats every single one of your "competition girls," hands down. Just sayin'.

A Blast From the Past...

The inimitable Joe Cocker...

...serenading you and me for Happy Hour.  I used to know a Delta Lady of my own once upon a time in the way-back.  I found her standing wet and naked in the garden...  (sigh)


Lotsa stuff in the USAF pipeline today (and yesterday) about the Air Force releasing the long-awaited draft RFP for a new tanker... Third Edition. Long-time readers... both of you... know that we've talked about this subject before, and often, too. Like here, here, here, and here.  So... we'll refrain from flogging the dead horse, so to speak, and keep this kinda-sorta short by reverting to what others have said on this subject. More specifically... I'll take the liberty of quoting (in full) an e-mail I got from Gen. Mike Dunn this morning:

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.]

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
Operational scenarios which begin on page 9 show the range of missions our tanker fleet is expected to support.

You can find the White Paper on our website at:

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
It's that last paragraph that really gets to me. Just to think we have evidence of FOUR generations of war-fighters flying the EXACT same aircraft just boggles my mind. There is absolutely NO excuse for that sort of thing. Or this, either.  Sad, in both cases. 

(photo credit:  Boeing... and that's a KC-767 in JASDF livery)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Hour... For the Birds

Just a few minutes ago... the birds and I sharing a wee dram (well... me, anyway... the birds were just there to chirp amongst themselves):

There were tons more on the wire before I went and got the camera... click for larger, as always.

"Sporting News' NHL Player of the Decade: Nicklas Lidstrom"

Nick and the 2008 NHL President's Trophy (Detroit Free Press)

That's the title of an article in The Sporting News... which leads off like this:
We say...

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...

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

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.

Plato On Music

So... last night I watching this show on my teevee and one of the subjects of the piece I was watching had this lil homily embroidered and framed on her wall:
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 quote is ostensibly by Plato (as attributed above) and as referenced by the woman on my teevee who brought this previously unknown quotation to my attention. But since I'd never heard of the quote before... I went googling. And I came upon this fascinating lil bit of inquiry, from which I'll quote briefly:
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.

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).
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.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Today's skyscape...

Dunno why... but these puffy, slow-moving and kinda-sorta ponderous clouds make me think of dinosaurs. And I'm only on my first beer.  And now back outside to continue as we've begun...

The One at the UN

It didn't take me a whole helluva lot of googling to find a negative review of The One's efforts this morning in New Yawk, but I did have to wade through quite a bit of leg-tingling prose. That said, here's Nile Gardiner, writing in The Telegraph (UK):

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.

Did I watch the speech? Not only "no," but HELL no. I'm beyond tired of listening to Obama... I'm sick-to-frickin'-DEATH of him. I just wish there was some way I could put myself in a state of suspended (political) animation for the next three-plus years. I believe I wrote in this space... once upon a time... that America is strong enough to survive four years of this sort of world-class incompetence and naïvete. I'm not so sure now.  We all have a LOT of praying to do.

(photo: Reuters)

Update, 20 minutes later: I went off googling on my own to find fodder for the above, rather than consult the usual source. About which, this:

Heh. There's more realism there than you can shake a stick at... chase the "usual source" link above.  Mr. Crittenden is particularly good.


My Buddy Ed in Florida sends along something that's been floating around the 'net in various forms for a while but it's oh-so-true, none the less:

(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. 

I think I got a "Whatever" in the photo at left... but OTOH it most certainly could have been a literal and emphatic "Fuck You."  She never did pull her punches...  (Click for larger, of course.  This pic is part two of a two-part photo essay originally published here.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Well. There I was, reveling in the wonderful weather we were having yesterday afternoon and it was wonderful, indeed, with emphasis on the past tense. Sometime around 1730 hrs a front moved in, complete with the Hellish sort of winds one only experiences on the High Plains... and I'm talking winds of the 50 mph sort. And a little rain. And a BIG drop in temperature, as well... notice the forecast above.

We got our little ceramic heater out last evening and put on an extra blanket, too. All in all, yesterday's events were appropriate and timely for today's Autumnal Equinox... it looks like Fall has well and truly arrived. My favorite time of year!


Speaking of "favorite time of year"... Hockey season kicks off in a little over a week. The season openers begin on October 1, with Colorado raising Joe Sakic's number 19 to the rafters of the Pepsi Center in Denver. I'll be watching that because I've admired Joe for years and years... and cursed him almost as often, too, as he did a LOT of damage to my Beloved Wings over the years. Still and even, Joe Sakic was a lot like that other number 19, and it was a pleasure to watch those two guys go head to head. I think the Avalanche are really gonna miss Super Joe, as he has no heir-apparent. There's gonna be a BIG hole to fill in Colorado...

The Wings open in Europe this year, playing their first two games against St. Louis in Stockholm. The first game (Oct. 2) will be televised, the second one will not. But hey... at least we'll have back-to-back "hockey nights in Portales" next week... My favorite time of year!


Today's Pic:  Seasonal, we are... a suitably autumnal photo from days gone by... to wit: YrHmblScrb in Letchworth State Park near Rochester, NY.  The Fall of 1999, complete with an amusing attempt at a regimental mustache.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lordy... What a GREAT Day!

Ah... it's SUCH a beautiful day outside. Those bright crystal-clear blue New Mexico skies I've been missing for so long have returned, the temps are moderate (low 80s), and there's a sweet soft breeze blowing. I'm just in from running the day's errands... whereupon I was most fortunate to encounter the lovely Jenny in Wally-World... I've put the awning down, broke out a couple of Grateful Dead bootleg CDs, thrown the windows wide open, and am getting ready to see how a couple o' Blue Moons mix with the re-supply of Tylenol Cold and Flu (which has stanched the flow out of my head and soothed my still-scratchy throat). Everything is done and I have no reason to be back out on the road today... so it's "do your worst."

Or best, as the case might be. I hope your day is half as good as mine, Gentle Reader.


Blog-Bud Andy posted some car-show pics today and in comments to his post I threatened to do the same. Since we're not in the habit of making idle threats, herewith a few re-runs from posts past:

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.

Today’s Pic(s): Two pics of an immaculately restored ’53 Corvette, including the (in)famous “Blue Flame” Six. Who, back in 1953, would have thought that a car with such an inauspicious beginning would evolve into a world-class sports car? It was (and is) beautiful, though.
So... the above pics and supporting narrative are all from a car show I attended in Amarillo in the not-so-distant past.  I find it curious that I only posted pics of sports cars, most especially since I have a few dozen other pics of traditional Amercun  muscle cars.  Hmmm.  Maybe later.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Song For You

I love you in a place where there's no space or time
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
No 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.

Do It RIGHT, Chuck!

It's a good thing Ms. Sebelius ain't hangin' around El Casa Móvil De Pennington the last couple o' few:

I'm sorry... but I just can't relearn incredibly old habits. I still sneeze into my cupped hands, which is the latest no-no according to the Nanny State.  I can wash my hands easily... it's another thing entirely to walk around with a snot-soaked sleeve.  And what if you're only wearing a tee shirt?  You'd still have to wash your forearm, wouldn't you?

And yeah... I'm still sick.  The ONE thing that pisses me off about this cold is it looks like I'll have to cancel tomorrow's long-awaited dental appointment, wherein I was scheduled to get my dental implants installed.  But Hey... I've waited 18 months, I suppose I can wait another week.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Who Said...

...ecdysiasts aren't athletic?

Not me! (sent via e-mail from a friend)

Today's Question

Is the bottle of Tylenol Cold and Flu in my medicine cabinet that expired in September 2007 still good? It seems to work, in that the scratchy sore throat, body pains and congestion kinda-sorta went away.... and by that I mean as much as they ever do.

Yeah... I've got either a bad cold or the flu of unknown origin. But I've had a pretty good run, judging from the expiration date on that bottle of Tylenol. I'm thinking it's been three years or so since I've had a cold/flu that required medication.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I don't read the HuffPo... I got this via a Tweet from Greg Wyshynski... a hockey blogger I follow:
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.

And now... the vid:

And this:  "wyshynski: Can't. Stop. Watching. Ernie Anastos "chicken" video, if only for this reaction (pic)..."

Heh.  Those eyes!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cheesy Videos XIV - Drainage, or Lack of Same

Just a lil trip out and about in P-Ville on a rainy day, the purpose of which is to illustrate the fact Portales has no storm sewers or a drainage system of any sort... other than our streets.

Sorry about the shakiness of the video. The roads in these parts are rough, the video camera is small, and I was mostly preoccupied with my driving. But... this should give you a flavor of the high entertainment value that comes from driving around town on a rainy day... but not on a mo'sickle.

Gray, Gray Day

I was awakened at oh-dark-thirty by the sound of thunder this morning. That was almost two hours ago and it's still oh-dark-thirty outside, which is to say: DARK. And it's raining, albeit raining rather gently at the moment. You'll note from the pic that P-Ville is about to be assaulted by a significant line of t-storms that are currently gathering steam just off to our west. I swear… this has been the wettest summer I've experienced since I came to live here on The High Plains of New Mexico. All this rain could be annoying if I lived elsewhere, but one simply doesn't complain about rain… EVER… in these parts. The Ogallala Aquifer needs recharging, yanno?


I'm gonna take the liberty of bringing something I wrote in comments to Monday evening's post up to the front page, to wit:

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.

I'm easily amused. :D
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.

Yet another thing about Monday evening: Van Morrison must have some world-class lawyers. As noted above, I was listening to Pandora's Van Morrison station Monday evening, and I went looking for a couple of tunes by Van The Man, only to find there ain't NO Morrison-music on YouTube other than stuff from the Official Van Morrison site. Which: a shame. I always wonder about people… especially artists… who apparently don't "get" YouTube. My thoughts are an artist benefits from the exposure of embedded video and or recordings of his/her work and they lose NOTHING in the process. Where am I going wrong, here?


In the "Get Off My Lawn!" Department… I went searching on YouTube for an obnoxious ad that's been in heavy rotation in my teevee market for about a month, with no joy. But you may have seen it… This ad, which is apparently directed at idiots, opens with a fake "CNN reports homes selling for $1,000 in some markets," (which is somewhat true, on the face of it… if you consider burned out crack houses in Detroit) before cutting to the words "PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT" in big-ass flashing red all-caps letters superimposed over a picture of a house and an equally large 800-number at the bottom of the screen. All this while an announcer drones on about the "tremendous" values in foreclosed homes… along with the exhortation that you should call this 800 number right now to get YOUR "free" list of homes. But the part that REALLY frosts me is the voice over that says "renters can call today, all others may call tomorrow." This ad has been running for well over a month… so one just HAS to ask when, exactly, does "tomorrow" come?

Get OFF My Lawn!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Apologists For Evil

That inimitable Brit Pat Condell in a superb rant against "Lefty Liberal Multicultural Appeasement Monkeys:"

His sub-points include things like "words matter," "burqas suck" and Western Culture is worth defending. Mr. Condell and I don't agree on everything, such as the fact he's an adamant atheist and I'm not, but we agree on everything he says in the video above.

In related news...

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.

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.
Now... watch Mr. Condell again.

h/t:  Alison.  I should maybe sub-contract the writing at EIP to her, seeing as how she's given me most of my ideers of late.  (insert smiley-face thingie here)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Drunk Blogging...

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
Well... yeah.  You hadda be there.  Walkin' in the wild West End... walkin' with your wild best friend.  Many times, in fact.  And there we shall leave it lie.

Update, later that same night (2130 hrs):  Yeah... and this, too:

Knowing many, loving none,
Bearing sorrow havin' fun,
But back home he'll always run
To sweet Melissa... mmm...
Dang.  This single malt is GOOD, as is tonight's music.  Ah... you hadda (shoulda) be there...  "with sweet Melissa"...

And hard on the heels of the last (about 2145 hrs)...

I just wanna know how Pandora can get into your head so easily?  How does this happen, really?
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

heh.  Oh, HELL yeah... 

And then... 2330 hrs:

So... there we are, northbound on the Southfield Freeway... she's just picked me up at the airport after I've been away on a two week biz trip... Dave Matthews comes on the radio... I reach over and touch her knee... we smile.  And the video above doesn't come close to the reality as we know it, once we're home. (sigh... yet again)

0115 hrs... and we shall end the evening with this:

Here I stand head in hand
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
  Heh.  And so it goes.  And to all: a good night.