Friday, April 30, 2010

Sometimes Procrastination Pays

It's been a Bad Day at Black Rock El Casa Móvil De Pennington... in that our run of nearly 25 years without a massive computer failure came to an an abrupt and painful end this morning.  We experienced yet another bout of disruptive shut-downs today, except this time the computer would NOT come up.  The box would run a maximum of four or five minutes and then crash... time after time.  So... to make a long story short... we were advised to do a total system restore by our friends at Gateway.  And guess what?  Yep... the box crashed halfway thru the restore process, leaving us dead in the water.  The next step is to pack up the box and send it off to Texas for repair.

But... as the title notes... sometimes procrastination pays.  We've had our old box sitting on the floor "awaiting disposition" for about ten months now and it's that box that I'm using to post this update.  We have much work left to do in the "restore files from the back-up hard drive" department... but we have downloaded a year's worth of Norton anti-virus updates and the like.  Happy Hour is less than happy this afternoon and we shall amuse ourselves by painstakingly restoring mission-essential files to what is now our back-up computer.

It's ALWAYS sumthin'...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Same Ol', Same Ol'

Well it's the same ol', same ol' except for the fact we've kicked off Happy Hour jes a lil bit early today.  And the additional fact that we're taking Happy Hour indoors on account of the winds, which make sitting outdoors less than pleasant (see the image on the right).  The above is what we're smokin' and drinkin' today... the smokin' being a Partagas Spanish Rosado and the drinkin' being a couple o' New Belgium Abbey Ales.  About which... we shall only do two, given the 7% ABV character of the brew and the fact that we are lightweights in our old age.  But while we're on about Abbey Ale... I much prefer the old label, as opposed to the generic sorta label you see above.  Why'd New Belgium go and do that?

So it's two Abbey Ales and then a nap... so's we'll be fresh for Game One of the Western Conference Semi-finals.

Here's our soundtrack today...

Every so often we just need a Grateful Dead fix... and today is such a day.

In This Morning's In-Box

From My Buddy Ed in Florida... If women ruled the world...

I have first-hand knowledge of, or direct experience with, at least two of the foregoing. Example:
She:  I saw the coolest car today.
Me:  What was it?
She:  I dunno.  It was red.


In other news...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Even More Thievery

Lifted from the pages of The Blog That Nobody Reads...

I love the shadow of night creeping across the globe... and the sheer VOLUME of traffic between North America and Europe.  China is very active as well, yet another sign of an emerging economic powerhouse, eh?

Happy Birthday Captain Nick!

Forty years old today and still puttin 'em in the net in addition to being one of the best... if not THE best... defensemen to play the game.  Here's The Captain with his second goal of the evening last night in Phoenix:

Happy Birthday Nick... and MANY more!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Game Seven, Part Deux

 GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 27: Robert Lang #20 of the Phoenix Coyotes shakes hand with Dan Cleary #11 of the Detroit Red Wings after the Red Wings victory in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Arena on April 27, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

Here we are... still basking in the afterglow of a 6 - 1 Detroit romp.  I will admit that I had a lot of butterflies in the early going, especially when Bryzgalov made about ten stand-on-his-head saves on 17 shots to keep the Wings off the scoreboard in the first period.  And then came the second period when the excrement hit Phoenix's ventilating device... and it was ALL downhill from there.  

SN1 and I both agree: Game Seven just don't get no better than this.  Look out Sharks... here we come.

And then there's this, from the illustrious Abel To Yzerman blog...


Game Seven

It's a unique phenomenon and it's the sorta thing hockey fans have a love/hate relationship with.  Game Seven.  You can't wait.  Yet you can.  You must.  You wouldn't miss it for the world, yet you dread it.  It's angst of the highest order.  Here's the introduction from Paul Kukla's essay on the subject:
Why us? If you are a fan of Phoenix, Detroit, Washington or Montreal, you may be asking that question right about now. On the other hand, you may have thought your team did not have a chance to win their series and you're happy to see a Game 7, where anything can happen.

It's guaranteed that a fluke goal, a questionable penalty call, a bad line change, a funny bounce or an "off" night from a key player will come into play in a Game 7, plus every second of the game will be magnified by 10.

If you are a Coyotes or Red Wings fan, you have been dealing with Game 7 nerves since Sunday afternoon, and I am sure both positive and negative thoughts have raced through your mind. If you are a Capitals or Canadiens fan, those thoughts are hitting you right about now.

You are or soon will be finding it difficult to think straight. You continue to look at your watch; time moves so slowly when waiting for a Game 7. You find it difficult to sleep, but if you do nod off for a few hours, you will be awakened by a great or bad goal playing in your head. You will look around, realize you are dreaming but know it will soon be real.
All y'all know the Beloved Wings are playing Game Seven tonite... but we aren't the only ones.  There are TWO Game Sevens on tap, the Wings play tonight and the Caps play Montreal tomorrow.  Two teams will advance to the second round and two teams will hit the golf course.  So... there are about a million... give or take a couple o' thousand... rabid hockey fans in  four cities with a severe case of nerves.  It's probably worse in Montreal and Dee-troit, as both cities are home to Original Six teams and both have legions of long-standing fans.  Phoenix and Washington... being relative new to the hockey world... much less so.  Still and even, fans are fans and I can imagine the angst is no less traumatizing in the desert or inside the Beltway.

I quoted Mitch Albom yesterday and I'm gonna re-run a column of his I posted during the 2006 playoffs.  I was a relatively new blogger back then and didn't include a link to Mitch's piece.  No, I violated the Fair Use doctrine and posted the whole damned thing.  And I will do so again today.  Forgive me, Mitch.

My World, Right NOW

Mitch Albom, in today's Detroit Free Press:

You are down in the basement. You are pacing before the TV set. You want to watch. You don't watch to watch.

"Are you coming up for breakfast?" your wife says.

"DON'T FREAK ME OUT!" you scream.

Edgy? Of course you're edgy. You're a hockey fan, you've waited two years for the playoffs to return, you were sure the Red Wings had the best team in the NHL -- the records said so -- yet tonight, you could be watching their last game of the season.

Or not.

Who isn't edgy?

"Honey, haven't we been through this before?" your wife asks.

"DON'T FREAK ME OUT!" you scream.

Before? Of course we've been through it before. Favored Detroit team turns into underdog. Our scorers suddenly stop scoring. Someone else's goalie is better than our goalie. Steve Yzerman gets hurt.

Before? We've been through it before. That's why we know what to expect.

Or not.

"Shouldn't you be getting to work?" your wife asks.

"DON'T FREAK ME OUT!" you scream.

Work? Why work? All they'll do at work is talk about the hockey game. Do you think they can win? Do you think they can bounce back? Is it Manny Legace's fault? Is it Pavel Datsyuk's fault?

Work? By this point at work, you were supposed to hope somebody knew somebody who had tickets for the second round.

Now, you don't believe the Wings will MAKE the second round.

Unless they do.

A history of hot goaltenders

During lunch, your wife calls to check up.

"How's your day going?" she says.


You have enough questions. You can't handle more questions. You've overdosed on "What happened to our play around the net?" or "Why are we getting outworked?" or "Why did we ever think Legace was a playoff goaltender?" Questions? You have enough questions. You are haunted by the biggest question of them all: "Why does this keep happening?"

After all, you say, it's not as if this is a new experience. Red Wings playoff collapses are as interchangeable as Lego blocks. If it's not Edmonton in 2006, it's Calgary in 2004, or Anaheim in 2003, or Los Angeles in 2001.

If it's not "I Never Heard Of That Goalie" Dwayne Roloson this year, it's "I Never Heard Of That Goalie" Miikka Kiprusoff two years ago, or "I Never Heard Of That Goalie" Jean-Sebastien Giguere the year before that.

If it's not Yzerman out with a back injury, it's Yzerman out with an eye injury, or Yzerman out with a knee injury. If it's not the speedy Datsyuk not scoring when needed it's the speedy Sergei Fedorov not scoring when needed. If it's not Legace letting us down, it's Curtis Joseph letting us down, or Chris Osgood letting us down.

"Well," your wife says, over the phone, "I guess I'll see you tonight."

"STOP PRESSURING ME!" you scream.

A history of long games

It's torture, isn't it? It's truly torture. The game approaches not as a game but as a guillotine blade. Will it fall? Do I want to watch? Is it better to just keep my eyes closed and pray? As the opening face-off comes, you pace around the basement like a nervous cat.

"Do you want some coffee down there, honey?" your wife asks.


Coffee? You have coffee. You have Diet Coke. You have, in case of emergency, a pack of NoDoz. After all, don't these deciding playoff games always go to overtime? Didn't the last game against Calgary go to overtime? Didn't the last game against Anaheim go to overtime? Didn't the last game against L.A. go to overtime?

Then again, the Wings lost all three of those games.

Maybe it won't go to overtime.

But maybe it will.

Maybe you want to watch, maybe you don't. Maybe the Wings will find their character. Maybe they won't. Maybe this will truly be the end for Yzerman. Maybe it won't.

You pace. You wait. You circle the TV like a feral animal. You are tense. You are angry. You are torn between your affection for this hockey team and your disgust at how it can underachieve in the playoffs.

Your bloodstream fills with coffee. Your fingernails are nibbled. Your eyes are bloodshot. You are coiled into a tight ball of nerves.

"Sweetheart," your wife says, "maybe you shouldn't watch hockey anymore?"

"WHAT?" you scream. "AND GIVE ALL THIS UP?"

The puck drops in about five minutes... I may, or may not, live through this.
We lost that game in 2006, by the way, and it wasn't a Game Seven... it was just an elimination game and we were eliminated. Here's hoping things are different tonight. 


Swag From the AOR

Lately we've been taking our morning coffee from a unique USAF souvenir mug... pictured here:


Back... which obviously needs some splainin'.  

Well, Hell... so does the front.  SN1 and his boss, Colonel Hopkins, deployed to Kandahar from Shaw AFB, SC... where Col. Hopkins was the maintenance organization commander and Buck was one of his maintenance officers... thus "Kandashaw."  The legend on the reverse stands for "I've Been Touched By Hopkins...So To Speak... And Survived."  The "People, Pains, Processes" is a take-off on the Good Colonel's mantra... substituting "pains" for "planes."  It goes without sayin' this is a "ya hadda be there" kinda thing but those who drink from these mugs most definitely understand.  I get it, too... albeit second-hand and with the understanding I've fought similar "battles."

There are any number... thousands... of these sorts of things floating around the military and I used to have a bunch of 'em.  But, sad to say, all of mine seemed to disappear over the years. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Albom On the Wings

A lot of you may know Mitch Albom by his bestsellers "Tuesdays With Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet In Heaven."  I first came across his work as a sports columnist for the Dee-troit Free Press (aka Da Freep)... and more specifically his writing on and about the Beloved Wings.  It's interesting (to me, if no one else) that Albom and I hit the Motor City in the same year (1985)... I left Dee-troit in '96 but Albom's still there.  And I still read him... most especially during the playoffs.  Here's an excerpt from his column on Sunday's Wings debacle:
The Wings are one of the great franchises in sports, a perennial playoff team and an occupant of the past two Stanley Cup finals. But teams like that -- talented, savvy, experienced teams -- don't let young teams off the mat. They don't let upstarts embarrass them in their own building -- especially when a victory would have sent those kids home.

Let's be blunt. Dance time is over. If the Red Wings want to prove that they are still, when it counts, the Red Wings, if they want to prove that being a five seed was just a number, not an evaluation, they will have to pluck some new strings out in the desert Tuesday night.

Because they are suddenly out of tune.

And soon to be out of time.
The above is just part of Albom's introduction.  He goes on to dissect... accurately and succinctly... exactly what went wrong yesterday and who the passengers were on Sunday's broken down playoff bus.  The column is classic Albom and worth a read if you're a hockey fan.  Hell, it's worth the read even if you're not.  The man is simply one of the best writers in the bid'niz... whatever the subject matter might be.

Image credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cheesy Videos XVII - Sunday Happy Hour

So... there we were, enjoying Happy Hour under the awning on the verandah on a lazy Sunday afternoon...

I got it only slightly wrong, coz the cottonwood blossoms (or whatever they're called) are quite visible... at least in full-screen HD.  It only got better as the afternoon progressed... in that the sun caught the cottonwood detritus better and better as the sun sank ever closer to the horizon, increasing the angle of my view and bringing those blossoms into their full glory.  Which, I suppose, is a classic case of "ya hadda be there."

So... about that hockey game:
Phoenix, which won 50 games during the regular season and finished fourth in the West with 107 points, has not reached the second round of the playoffs since the Winnipeg Jets accomplished the feat in 1987. The Coyotes can change that when they face the Wings in Game 7 at Arena on Tuesday night. The Red Wings have not won a Game 7 on the road since 1964.


Brad Stuart and Darren Helm scored for Detroit, which was 20-4 on home ice the past two postseasons. The Wings have won only once in three home games this series. Detroit was given three power plays in the first 4:42 of the contest, but failed to convert and didn't receive another man advantage all day. Phoenix, meanwhile, went 3-for-5.

"That's probably the game right there," Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said of his team's inability to score on the power play early. "If we would have scored one or two, the outcome would be a little different. Their power play was better than ours tonight, their PK was better than ours. I think that's the game."
Heh.  Z is the master of understatement there.  The power play was non-existent, the PK, in a word, sucked.  Howard gave up one soft goal (the shortie) early but the rest of the goals were  the result of defensive breakdowns that were, in the end, inexcusable.  All in all a miserable game for my Wings and one that would be completely forgettable if not for the implications it holds in this series.  Game Seven is Tuesday night in Phoenix and it will be a corker, no doubt about that.  I hesitate to predict the outcome but you KNOW where my heart is, Gentle Reader.  We remain hopeful.

Early Game Today

The puck drops in less than two hours... and the Wings will advance to the second round with a win.  We've every reason to believe they'll do just that, too.  From the CBC:

Coyote ugly
Without a loss to give, historically, Phoenix hasn't faced up to such a scenario so well. In three previous series when down 3-2 after five games, the Coyotes as a franchise have been eliminated in Game 6 on each occasion, twice at the hands of the Red Wings. 
Detroit eliminated the Coyotes in Game 6 of the opening round in 1998, and beat the Coyotes in their previous life as the Winnipeg Jets in Game 6 of the 1996 opening round.

That was the last NHL game ever played in Winnipeg. The Jets moved to Phoenix prior to the start of the 1996-97 season.

Advantage Wings
Detroit, on the other hand, has thrived in series when holding a 3-2 edge. Before last season, when the Wings lost the Stanley Cup final in seven to Pittsburgh and were forced to go seven to oust Anaheim in the second round, the Wings had closed out 14 straight series in Game 6 when entering the game ahead 3-2 in the set.
Prior to the loss to the Penguins last year, Detroit hadn't dropped a series when up 3-2 since falling in seven games to St. Louis in the opening round of the 1991 playoffs.
And then there's this...

Winging it

Detroit is the NHL's most prolific playoff team since 1991, playing in a Stanley Cup-high 250 games. It's also the most playoff games played over that span by a team in any of the four major sports. The NBA's Los Angeles Lakers (223) rank second, while the New Jersey Devils (202) are the second-best NHL team in that time frame.

In Stanley Cup history, only the Montreal Canadiens (688, 400, 88) have played more playoff games, and won more playoff games and series than the Red Wings (568, 303, 65).

Remember November

This lil vid... which is very well done... is making the rounds on the right correct side o' the blogosphere...

Just doin' my part, yanno?  It's not so much that I'm for the GOP as I'm dead solid against the Democrats.  I've had enough and there's no viable alternative to the Democrats other than the Republicans.  I just hope they don't screw it up again this time.  

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Abbreviated Saturday Post

Abbreviated coz we have better things to do today than blogging.  I know I may be stretching your credulity, Gentle Reader, but it's true.  So let's get on with it.

First of all, there's this Michael Ramirez toon that hit my in-box earlier this week.  Shame on me for not posting it sooner, but it's one of those things that ain't exactly time-sensitive.

Heh.  This lil pitchur neatly sums up everything I don't like about The One's first year or so in office.  YMMV, but I think not.


We are Happy Hockey Campers on this fine Saturday morning.  The Beloved Wings played a patient game last evening, made very few (if any) mistakes and took advantage of mistakes made by those Feral Dogs in the process of thrashing them soundly in their very own "sea of white" den (albeit with significant splotches of Red Wings Red visible throughout the arena).  And Young Jimmy Howard... Calder Trophy finalist... was superb in net.  Here was the turning point in last night's game... two of the prettiest, most timely saves you'll ever see:

The score was tied early in the third when Hanzal the Feral Dog came out of the penalty box and took off on his breakaway.  Big Mo could have turned against the Wings had Hanzal scored here... but Jimmy slammed the door and the Wings went on to score two more goals plus an empty netter, winning 4 - 1.  The Wings can move on to the second round tomorrow afternoon with a win at The Joe.  As Pierre LeBrun sez... they smell blood.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Me Too

Alternative title: "Buck Gets Musical Advice From His Favorite Republican."  A tweet from Michigan Representative Thad McCotter:
ThadMcCotter: Must buy "Exile on Main Street" for 3rd time. Stones put 10 "new" tracks on it to plunder my wallet.
Me too... sorta.  This would be my fourth purchase of "Exile," seeing as how I completely wore out my first vinyl copy, bought another, and then bought it on CD.  Ergo, four upcoming... assuming the album is re-released in the US of A.  The article is from The Beeb, therefore we can't automajikally assume it will be released here.  But the odds are good, I'd say.

Earth Day Redux

Occasional commenter and sometimes poster at Washington Rebel Rob dropped a link to this George Carlin rant about Enviroweenies in comments last evening.  If you didn't chase the link and watch the vid... well, you should have.  So, just as a public service... here it is for your viewing pleasure.

I sure do miss Mr. Carlin.

Me and Every Other Wings Fan With a Blog...

... has posted this video.  Here's Stevie Y's double-overtime game winner against St. Louis in the second round of the '95 - 96 playoffs.  You can see The Great One just off to Stevie's left as the video unwinds... he coughed up the puck to Yzerman for the Wings' winning goal.  The Wings lost to the Hated Avs in the Western Conference Final that year... but this goal is one for the ages.  The NHL obviously agrees, making this moment in time a part of their "History Will Be Made" campaign for this year's playoffs.

The Wings went on to win their first Cup in 42 years the following year.

Speaking of double overtimes... we're getting ready to go to a third overtime in the Pens - Sens game as I type (2125 hrs MDT).  Those pesky Senators just won't give up.

Update 2140 hrs:  Sens win to stay alive, seven minutes into the 3OT. Now I can change the date/time stamp on this post.  (Insert smiley face thingie here.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010


SN1 stopped by for a beer and a cigar a few minutes ago, but mainly to show off his new toy (click to embiggen, as always):

It's a Jeep Renegade... six cylinder, six-speed, with a few other bells and whistles... like aftermarket rims and tires.  Which is pretty cool, I do admit.  But since we're doin' toys... there's this:

I'm partial to Miss Zukiko.  But then again... I would be.

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

Just a quickie...  I know I'm gonna come off as an ingrate, or a snob, or worse with this mini-rant, but so be it.  I've been known to share my beer with my neighbors and I do so willingly, manly coz I genuinely enjoy my neighbors' company.  And my neighbors reciprocate in the beer department, frequently repaying me in kind.  But what do I get in return for sharing my Fat Tire, Franziskaner, Mothership Wit and whatever happens to be in the fridge at the time?  

Miller-frickin'-High Life.  Bud-frickin'-Light.  

I mean, here I am... doing a God's work (Dionysus', to be exact)... and laboring mightily to raise the level of beer appreciation here in Beautiful La Hacienda Trailer Park, all seemingly for naught.  And it ain't like any of my neighbors ever say "What the HELL is this moose piss you're giving me?"  Oh no... it's all "Damn!  This is GOOD beer!  What'd you say this is?"

There ain't no justice.

Image from the Village Voice's Daily Fork, who shares my opinion.

It's All About Mama Earth Today

Well... let us celebrate Gaia!  To begin with... remember that post last week about all the dandelions here in Beautiful La Hacienda Trailer Park?  Well, I stand corrected.  It seems like the caretakers/groundskeepers in BLHTP are just slightly ahead of the curve, and are obviously thinking about our Earth Mom.  From Tuesday's NYT ("The Dandelion King"):
As I’ve told my neighbors, I feel bad about lowering the value of their property. I mean, it isn’t my goal to have a front yard that, by standard reckoning, is unattractive. The unkept look of my lawn is just a byproduct of a conclusion I reached a few years ago: the war on weeds, though not unwinnable, isn’t winnable at a morally acceptable cost.


I mean, sure, an expanse of green probably does appeal to the typical human’s sense of beauty. But so does a snowcapped Alpine peak — and I’m definitely not putting one of those in my front yard. The question isn’t whether carpets of green are intrinsically attractive, but whether the more natural alternative — my front yard — is intrinsically unattractive.
I think not. If it were, why would hikers pause, look out on an unruly expanse of earth and reflect on how great it feels to escape civilization for the great outdoors? Moreover, given our species’ long history of traversing various unkept landscapes, how could natural selection have imbued us with an intense aversion to them?
So I think it’s possible in principle to engineer a new ethos that allows us to fight chemical negative externalities without creating aesthetic and hence financial ones. Maybe someday suburban neighborhoods will consist of lawns that look like mine, and everyone will admire them.
Back to BLHTP's management.  In addition to being considerate of Mama Earth, it seems there's also a considerable amount of trendiness in play here.  P-Ville?  Trendy?  Who'd a thunk it?

As implied above... today is Earth Day, one of those non-holidays celebrated by All The Best People Who Really Rilly Care.  And here's the latest shot across the bow for us troglodytes who tend to turn a jaundiced eye on the whole Earth Day thing...  from "How to Green Your Parents," in yesterday's NYT...
Thursday is the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day. Over the years, the impact of this once seminal day has lessened. Earth Day brings people together for nice gatherings and noble efforts but has, for the most part, made sustainable action more of an annual event than a daily habit. We’ve got to change that.

Here’s a move in the right direction: launching this Earth Day is Green My Parents, a nationwide effort to inspire and organize kids to lead their families in measuring and reducing environmental impact at home. Not just on Earth Day, but every day. GMP’s initial goal is to have its first 100 youth advocates train and educate 100 peers (who will then turn to 100 of their respective peers and so on), with the aim of saving families $100 million between now and April 2011.
Ah.  Good on the American Young Komsomols.  You're following in some well-defined and heavily trafficked footsteps.  That said... a brief cautionary note to MY offspring:
Don't. Even. Think. About. It.  

I'm just being sarcastic, coz I know you wouldn't lecture me in any way, shape, or form.  It's not that we don't care about Gaia - quite the contrary.  We just don't like to wear our heart on our sleeve in that smug and patronizing sort of way.  And we hate indoctrination of any sort.

Gaia image from here.  Dang.  I need me one of these.  I think she'd look good among the dandelions, kind of a 21st century garden gnome.  Doncha think?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

All You People Going On About "Government Motors?"

Just shut-up.

Thank you.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled Wednesday evening.

It's Always SUMTHIN', Part Deux

So... it's a beautiful day here on The High Plains of New Mexico.  We had planned a lil moto-excursion for late morning today, or until our friend Andy The RV Doctor called with the news our new water heater had arrived and would I be around so he could install same?  Why, yes... c'mon down!

So.  We were advised our hot water heater was on its last legs when last The RV Doctor visited us.  Being the prudent type I AM... and thinking it's much easier to replace something now than endure a crisis later... we ordered the new appliance.  

Two hours and change later and the deal is done.  I now have a new water heater that should last me at least eight years or so, if the normal replacement cycle holds true for the hard water area that I live in.  I was lucky to get ten years out of the previous appliance and I fully intend to stretch this new one out for as long as I can.  For they are expensive, Gentle Reader... to the tune of six Benjamins when all is said and done (tax and installation).  NOTHING about RVs is cheap.  But we knew that going in.

And our WX has changed in the meantime... we are all clouded up and threatening rain.  So we shall defer our putt in the countryside for another day, because we hates getting wet while on the mo'sickle.  That just isn't any fun any longer.  Not like it used to be.

Miss Zukiko, all dressed up with nowhere to go.

General Lightness of Being

First... some linkage.   I visit English Russia every so often because I find it to be among the quirkiest sites on these here inter-tubes.  ER isn't a daily visit for me but I go there often enough and my visits are almost ALWAYS rewarding.  Such was the case yesterday, when ER linked to a couple of sites with subject matter near and dear to my heart, the first such being a series of Hunter S. Thompson motivational posters.  Like this:

HST was one of my heroes back in my young adult days.  I picked up "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" when it was first published and was hooked. HST's later work on Rolling Stone's National Desk was some of the BEST political writing, evah.  We need more campaign coverage like that today... and I'm as serious as the proverbial heart attack.  But then again, times have changed and not for the better.  There's not an editor alive in these Politically Correct days that would tolerate HST's normal behavior, let alone some of his more outrageous shenanigans.  If you're a politics junkie there's no finer reading on the subject than "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail."  Read it... if you can find it.

And then there's this... "10 Weird Beer Facts."  My fave:
4. Brewing is Woman’s Work
In ancient and medieval times the job of making beer fell to women. In some cultures it was considered such an honor that only beautiful or noble women could do it. In medieval Europe brewing was one of a housewife’s regular tasks, just like cooking and cleaning and baby making. Some of these women became famous for being exceptional brewers and started supplying people other than their own families.
It appears I was born about a thousand years too late.  But then again, we have a plethora of microbrews today and life in general isn't nearly as poor, nasty, and brutish.  Or short.  So we'll take what we get and love it.  Still and even, the thought of a beautiful woman brewing beer for me has its attractions, no?


Seattle Andy, in comments, sez "We're swapping good days as far as our hockey success goes. Good job Wings, tough one for the Avs."  He's referring to the fact our Beloved Wings triumphed last evening over those Feral Desert Dogs by a score of 3 - 0 while his Avs lost in the third overtime game (out of four games played) of their series... 2 - 1.  Note I didn't make any derogatory references to Andy's team. We shall save those for later, when it's likely the Wings and Avs might meet in the Western Conference Final.  Or earlier.  From where I sit the Avs definitely have the mojo in this series and will more than likely win it.

I really do think a Wings - Avs series may come to pass, as the top seeds in the Western Conference are all having a tough go of it at the moment.  Most shocking, perhaps, is the vaunted Blackhawks find themselves down to the upstart Preds, 2 -1.  Vancouver is having a tough go of it with the Kings, too, and are down by the same 2 - 1 margin.  This is what we all love about the playoffs: anything can... and does... happen.  This is the BEST time o' year.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Which must be abbreviated, by necessity.

An old fave and what might could have passed for my theme song back in the day... when we were young and (more) stupid.  Actually, this ol' chestnut from that balding, fat, and aging hippie (Heh.  I'm not one to throw stones, but at least 90 % of my hair is still in place.  And I'm most certainly NOT fat.) could well and truly be my theme song today. We just be sayin'.

So.  We're awaiting the arrival of SN1 and anticipating the puck-drop at The Joe in about ten minutes or so.  Which is a must-win for Dee-troit.  It's awful early in the play-offs to be using language like that, i.e., "must win."  But it is what it is.


I Think I'll Enter

I've always wanted a customized trip to ABQ:

Seein' as how it's a lot closer than, say, Europe:

I mean... Customized!  And only a four hour drive!  How could I go wrong?

Long After the Midnite Curfew...

... we sat starry-eyed:

Nowhere to go but back to sleep... whoa-oh, whoa-oh... I'm gonna be up for a while...

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Always SUMTHIN'

In this case it was a blown fitting on our hot water heater... which resulted in massive flooding of the kitchen compartment.  The offending fitting:

We quick like a bunny shut off the water to El Casa Móvil De Pennington, whereupon we went without water for approximately 12 hours, or until such time as The Pro From Dover... in the form of Andy The RV Doctor (Bless His Heart!)... could arrive on scene and rectify the situation.

One would ask why we just didn't take matters into our own (incapable) hands and one would just as quickly answer that we know our limitations.  This pic should explain things:

We just aren't all that into pulling the stove and assorted panels to get access to the aforementioned fitting, nor do we have said fitting in our bench stock.  Checkbook maintenance is highly underrated among the handy do-it-yourself set.  Shorter: we know our limitations.  And we have funds to defray the cost of doing what we cannot (or will not) do for ourselves.

All is well: we have hot water again and our kitchen is leak free.  Life is good...

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

We're deep into the remastered Zep catalog today...

These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion - I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient - Upon us all a little rain must fall
We seem to return to the familiar a lot lately.  Which isn't a BAD thing, Gentle Reader, especially considering the quality (or lack thereof) in current pop offerings.  I foresee an extended Happy Hour today.  I dunno why, but it's senseless to fight it.

Fifteen Years Ago

Today is the 15th anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City which took the lives of 168 innocent people, including many small children.  The following are pictures of the Oklahoma City National Memorial taken in 2000.


View of the Field of Empty Chairs, one of the two Gates of Time (9:03), and the Reflecting Pool.

Field of Empty Chairs.

Part of the Children's Area.  More than 5,000 hand-painted tiles, from all over the United States and Canada, were made by children and sent to Oklahoma City after the bombing in 1995.

And Jesus Wept.  On a corner adjacent to the memorial is a sculpture of Jesus weeping erected by St. Joseph's Catholic Church. St. Joseph's, one of the first brick and mortar churches in the city, was almost completely destroyed by the blast. 

We remember.

Sucks to Be a Sharks Fan

Dan Boyle... in overtime, in his own net:

This after three periods of scoreless hockey.  I feel bad about Sunday's Red Wings loss but not half as bad as your average Sharks fan feels tonight.  I believe in omens and this is a bad one for San Jose.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I just turned on my teevee and am gratified to see those surprisin' Habs are ahead of those disappointin' Caps... 2 - 1.  Ovechkin got his FIRST shot on goal in the series just as I tuned in.  Who'd a thunk it?

Heh.  Go Habs!

Update, 1835 hrs:  Good Grief.  The wheels are coming off the Caps' wagon.  4 - 2, Montreal.  Washington scores as we type... with 1:37 left in the second.   There's still a lot o' hockey to be played but it sure ain't lookin' good for Washington.

Update, 1901 hrs:  Caps turn up the heat... Ovechkin gets a goal to bring Washington within one.  This is GOOD stuff! 

Update, 1915 hrs:  We have a hockey game.  Backstrom ties it with a pass from #8.  Three unanswered goals...

Update, 1925 hrs:  Montreal ties it takes the lead.  This is intense; Caps to go on the power play after the teevee time-out.  Wow.

Update, 1932 hrs:  My Bad on my last... Montreal took the lead, but the Caps tie it with 1:32 left in the third.  Seven seconds left... we WILL have overtime!

Update, 1952 hrs:  That didn't take long... Backstrom gets the winner and a hat trick 31 seconds in; Caps win.  The series is tied, but what an effort on Montreal's part!  


Last night was almost TOO much excitement... and El Casa Móvil De Pennington was literally rockin'.  We got off to a rocky start last evening, given the bizarre and arcane scheduling that is Versus in these play-offs.  NO ONE... save fans of the Flightless Birds and that team from Ottawa... could have been pleased with Versus last evening.  Which is to say we got to watch the entire Pittsburgh - Ottawa game and then piece parts of Chicago - Nashville, NONE of the Dee-troit game (more about which follows) and only the last half of the third period and the OT of the Fish v. the Dive.  We were simply astounded that the Wings' game on Versus was blacked out in its entirety here in P-Ville, but our astonishment was overcome due to the fact we have Fox Sports Arizona (hunh?) on our local Comcast Cable System... which is the reason for the Versus black-out.  So... all was well.  

Buck beat feet over to our place after a quick phone call and we settled down to watch the game.  Which turned out to be one of those heart-stopping, up and back, run and gun games with the lead changing hands faster than Elizabeth Taylor changed husbands in her prime.  Highlights:

There were five goals in slightly less than four minutes in the second period, which is the third highest number of goals in that time frame EVER.  The mood swings we experienced during that time would have put ANY menopausal woman to shame... or just when one thought it was time for a sigh of relief those Feral Dogs would even it up.  Again and again.  "Excitement" isn't quite the word to describe the experience.

But.  Not to worry.  The Wings' special teams got back on track, blanking the Feral Dogs on all four of their man-advantages while scoring on two of three Dee-troit power plays.  We also think Phoenix learned they can't play "run and gun" with these Wings... which was truly a recipe for disaster last evening.  For Phoenix.

Finally... you'll notice at the end of the video above Zetterberg got a hat-trick with his empty-netter at the end of the third.  What's not shown is that it took about three minutes to sweep up all the hats that rained down on the ice in Arena, otherwise known as Joe Louis West.  There's not another team in the league that can count on nearly a hundred hats (my best guess) being thrown on the ice at their opponent's home barn.  To quote ZZ Top:  "We're bad... we're nationwide."  Yup.

Game Three tomorrow in Dee-troit.  And I'm sticking with the "Wings in five" prediction.