Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

The joint Memorial Day message from Michael B. Donley, Secretary of the Air Force, and General Norton Schwartz, USAF Chief of Staff. Click for larger, please.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30

Today... May 30th... used to be the date we observed Memorial Day, the traditional day set aside to honor and remember our war dead.  Some history (emphasis mine):
The alternative name of "Memorial Day" was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The holidays included Washington's Birthday, now celebrated as Presidents' Day; Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971.


Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.


To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed in December 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m., local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."

The Moment of Remembrance is a step to return the meaning back to the day: set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date, merely to create three-day weekends, has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."

On January 19, 1999, Sen. Dan Inouye introduced Senate Bill 189 that proposed to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30 instead of "the last Monday in May." On April 19, 1999, Rep. Jaret Gibbons introduced House Resolution 1474. The bills were referred to the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Government Reform.
I'm all for reinstating the traditional date for observing Memorial Day, which would be a good beginning for restoring the solemn and sacred spirit of our observance rituals and ceremonies.  I don't have anything against barbecues, baseball games, beer drinking or three-day weekends.  It's that I'm FOR a special dedicated day... not a generic three day weekend... wherein we honor our war dead.  Those that made the ultimate sacrifice deserve no less.

Is that too much to ask?

Lions and Tigers and Bears... Oh My

Well... right off the bat... make that O'Rourke and Coulter and Beck, if'n ya would.  And please excuse me, Dorothy.  I had to get that out o' the way.

A short time ago one of my Daily Reads put up a post about Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck, to the effect that one of the authors of this two-person blog... Naked Writing... likes these two (excuse the term) asshats.  The other author(ess) does not.  A difference of opinion, which is always good blog-fodder, especially among those who favor civil discourse and can disagree without being disagreeable.  Old Iron and KC make it work, which is a rare thing on the inner-tubes.  
We digress.  Anyhoo... to set our stage... I happened to remark on that post that I don't like these two right wing pundits either.  I could have sworn I mentioned P.J. O'Rourke in my comment as the ultimate purveyor of scathing, eviscerating, wickedly humorous right-wing snark, but my memory is apparently shorter than my breath these days.  I did not mention Mr. O'Rourke; instead I called up the spirit of William F. Buckley, Jr. who was no slouch when it comes to skewering the Left in an erudite and civil manner.  That said, I know I invoked P.J. somewhere of late... I just can't remember exactly where.  And this, Gentle Reader, is how too-clever-by-half introductions go all to Hell in an instant.

What we mean to do is point our friends to a recent piece by Mr. O'Rourke in the Weekly Standard, to wit: Not Dead Yet -Introducing the pre-obituary: a few choice words before you go.  A couple of excerpts:
I have an idea for a brand new type of newspaper feature. And gosh do newspapers need one. No industry in living memory has collapsed faster than daily print journalism. You can still buy a buggy whip, which is more than can be said for a copy of the Rocky Mountain News, Cincinnati Post, or Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

One bright idea isn’t going to solve the problems of the American newspaper industry, but it’s one bright idea more than the American newspaper industry has had in 40 years. What I propose is “Pre-Obituaries”—official notices that certain people aren’t dead yet accompanied by brief summaries of their lives indicating why we wish they were.
Jimmy Carter is 85. We must hasten to throw the Camp David Accord in his face before he heads to his eternal camp-out with Anwar el-Sadat. Gore Vidal is 84. There’s no chance he’ll end up in the same place as Bill Buckley. We ought to take up Buckley’s gauntlet and slap Gore’s face here and now. Noam Chomsky is 81. Why should Satan have all the fun? We own pitchforks of fact aplenty with which to prod his living flesh. Norman Lear is 87 and will be married to Maude forever any minute now. (Although Lear may find himself forgiven. He never meant to make Archie Bunker a hero and a role model, but perhaps the road to heaven is paved with bad intentions.) Ed Asner is 80. Put him together with Ben Bradlee (88) and Alan J. Pakula, director of All the President’s Men (died in 1998, darn it), and you have the villains in the tragic tale of the American newspaper’s self-congratulatory ossification. Ross Perot also will be 80 soon. We owe him one Bill Clinton-sized philippic. Ralph Nader is 76. High time that someone, metaphorically, flipped him in a Corvair. And Paul Ehrlich is 78. In these days of the graying workforce, baby bust, and demographic decline, surely he needs a population bomb in his underpants.
That, folks, is how it's DONE.  Coulter and Beck may have flashes of occasional brilliance (I'm being kind here) but they are mostly purveyors of lowest common denominator sarcasm at best, and... at worst... viciously insulting invective that demeans their targets while pandering to the cheap seats for laughs.  Red meat, in other words.  O'Rourke, on the other hand, is genuinely funny and entertaining.  He's also adept at the language -  a serious writer who uses wit to make deadly serious points.  And he does so by rarely employing the words "communist" or "socialist," unless he's talking about REAL commies or socialists... like Castro, Mao, Stalin, or Che Guevara.  He does use "leftist" and its variants a lot, though.  A spade IS a spade.

Read the whole linked article and see if you agree... or not.  It's marvelously entertaining and the premise he puts forward is a great idea... although I sincerely doubt any of our broadsheets will grab Mr. O'Rourke's suggestion and run with it.  They should.  Maybe they'd survive for a little while longer and give Jon Stewart some serious competition in the process, aside from what he already gets from The Onion.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Scrapin' the Bottom o' the Blogging Barrel

What 45 Yankee Dollars worth o' laundry looks like...

That would be three bundles of clean clothes that weigh 30 pounds and measure... in the aggregate... 25"(w) x 14"(h) x 16"(d).  Some people will spend this amount or more on a single bottle of Veuve Clicquot and this gives them great pleasure.  It's the same thing with me and sent-out-laundry... it's just one of life's lil luxuries with which we indulge ourself.  The champagne of chores if you will, ergo: à votre santé!

"I Don't Even Go to Taco Bell Anymore..."

"...coz it sounds too close."   Heh.

Blog-Bud Phlegmmy sent her readers off to discover this lil rip on Pachelbel's Canon in D, which is so good it frickin' hurts.  I'll never hear Pachelbel's piece ever again without thinking of that poor kid, his cello, and eight lousy quarter notes.  Dang.  There's creative, and there's this Paravonian guy.  Dang!

I've Been Doin' MY Part

And you hate actively dislike me for it, don't you, Gentle Reader?  Well, all except SN1, Seattle Andy, Jimmy T, Small-Tee, Glenn, Mr. Webb, and the elusive Virgil Xenophon, who hasn't been seen in these parts since his Hawks made the Final.  Not even to gloat... and it's disappointed we are.  That was a Hella long intro to what amounts to a simple link-job... which is to say... Hockey fans are obligated to do the following during Finals, by the inimitable Puck Daddy hisownself.  Excerpts:
5. Drink Beer. This really has nothing to do with growing the sport. But we find the Finals to be much more enjoyable after a few frosties. What's your beverage of choice for the title round? 
Right up my alley, this one.  Our first brewski will prolly be a Labatt's Blue in honor of the game's origins.  Well, that and the fact there's still one or two left in the fridge.  After that it's anyone's guess.  Fransizkaner would be a good one.  Guess, that is.
7. Above all else: Don't be apathetic. Yes, it's hard watching the Flyers potentially take the "1975" arrow from our comedy quivers. Yes, it's going to be even harder to watch a mercenary coat-tail rider like Hossa potentially get his name on the Cup. And yes, just like every other year, the minute your team is eliminated from the playoffs was the minute you stopped watching hockey.

But it's on us to elevate our sport by celebrating our sport. The NHL isn't perfect, and its broadcasting partners sure as [expletive] aren't. But the more apathetic you are, the less attention the Finals get and the more everyone else will continue to treat you like a sports leper in this country. 

We know hockey's the greatest sport in all the lands. We know it's way more popular than it's ever given credit for being here in the States. But it doesn't win the beauty pageant in the ratings or the coverage, and it's on us to change that. 
Aiiieee.  Hossa.  Hopefully this is the final year for NHL Interim Rule 2008-27(b), to wit: "Marian Hossa MUST appear in every Stanley Cup Final.  This rule expires upon completion of the last game of the 2010 SCF, regardless of which team wins the Cup.  Three strikes and you're OUT, with apologies to MLB."  I think that's the way it reads... but I could be wrong.  It's happened before, albeit rarely.  Unless you take into account my woeful hockey predictions.  Let's not go there, mmm-kay?

Digressions about overcompensated, marginally performing, mercenary SOBs hockey players aside, we always watch the Finals and since we've been retarded retired we've watched all the other rounds as well.  Which wasn't the case when we were gainfully (heh) employed.  That's actually been easier than it looks, given the Beloved Wings went to the SCF for the last two years running.  But a casual perusal of Our Back Pages for the months of May and June prior to 2008 will reveal more than a few hockey posts.  Because we care.  We've always cared.  Well, always... assuming one defines the term as "since 1985."  And we do, of course.

And YOU should care too, Gentle Reader.  As Mr. Wyshynski sez: "'s the greatest sport in all the lands."  It will be easy for you this year as the first two games are on the Peacock Network and not that squirrelly lil ESPN-Wannabee no one... outside of hockey fans, the spandex crowd, and rodeo groupies... has ever heard of and still fewer actually receive on their cable or satellite systems.

Tonight.  2000 hrs Eastern Daylight Time... which is Eight Pee-Em for the 24-hour clock challenged... on your local NBC affiliate.  Be there.  There will be a quiz on Sunday.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ho Hum

This may be the first time I give the Winter Classic a pass.  Because... this just in from

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin will lead their respective teams when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, in the 2011
Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® on New Year’s Day, at 1 ET on NBC, CBC and RDS. This will be the fourth NHL® regular-season game played outdoors in the United States, and the fifth in NHL history. 
I watched all three of the predecessor games but I've seen enough Frickin'Crosby (all one word, that, with suitable letter substitutions where appropriate... think "R" and "I") to last me the rest of THIS lifetime and all of the next and that includes freakin' commercials, highlight reels, yadda, yadda.  Mebbe even the next TWO lifetimes, assuming there's some sorta continuity in the space-time continuum.  Just sayin'.

Just a Quickie

I have time to toss down a couple o' cups before I hit the shower and head out for a follow-up visit with my doctor.  About which...

This is a real cart-before-the-horse situation.  It may come as a surprise, but the whole oxygen thing happened BEFORE I saw my doctor for a follow-up.  American Home Patient Services, the folks who did the oxygen/sleep test, are also the purveyors/providers of oxygen machines and oxygen tanks.  They also happen to be the folks who relayed the oxygen test results to me and informed me I had the referral for oxygen, at the same time.  I didn't have a problem with that and half expected oxygen was in my immediate future anyway.  My doctor's office did call yesterday afternoon, saying the doctor wanted to see me before our next scheduled follow-up to discuss "next steps."  And I'm down with that.

But this morning I got a call from a lady at High Plains Sleep Center, who informed me she had a referral from my doctor for a sleep study and would I like to schedule it now?  Ummm, no.  No, I wouldn't like to do that scheduling thing right now... I'll get back to you, if that's OK?

So.  We shall talk, the doctor and I, in about an hour.  I'm going to decline the sleep study unless he can give me a good, medically justified reason for it... and preferably two.  Or three.  I sleep well, always have, prolly always WILL.  I always get at least six hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep... most often more... it just happens at odd hours.  The beautiful thing about being a Gentleman Of Leisure is I sleep when I'm tired.  I answer to no one's schedule or timetable where sleep is concerned and I like that.  Which might could be a problem where a sleep study is concerned, no?  I mean... suppose I'm instructed to "Report at 2200 hrs."  Hell, that's the middle of my damned DAY.

Back in a bit... but in the meantime here's a cool link I found in my wanderings last evening: The Most Famous Classroom In New York City.  If you're a movie buff you'll recognize it immediately.  And if you're not a buff you'll still like it... coz it's cool.

Update, 1200 hrs:   Fucking bureaucrats.  This is the sorta thing that happens when the gub'mint is in charge of medical care... a mandatory face-to-face follow-up visit.  My doctor was all apologies just now, explaining that "the rules" required this visit and since you're here... how are ya feelin', anyway?  "Jes fine," sez I... we had a laugh or three and I was outta there.  And the sleep study?  Another "trigger" action as a result of the oxygen study... more apologies.  "Don't worry - I cancelled that this morning."

I'll bet ya can't WAIT for Obama-care, can ya? 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Saved, Part II

We failed our oxygen test... the one we mentioned back here.  Failure has its consequences, so we just took delivery of the spiffy lil machine you see at right... an oxygen generating machine.  Which means we are now officially on oxygen therapy, of the "nighttime use only" variety.  Which also means I'm not gonna be one of those sad old folks one sees here and there, pulling an oxygen tank along with them where ever they go.  Not yet, anyway.

Sigh.  I may have mentioned this before... gettin' old ain't for sissies.

Enough of this doom and gloom shit.  Let's do Happy Hour!


Picked this up via a Tweet from Lileks...

Ah.  Doesn't it make ya wish for days gone by?  When good people were free to drink and smoke on teevee (as opposed to only the bad guys) and there were flat-out hotties around like Ms. Rigg?  I mean hotties in that sophisticated and oh-so-stylish sense, of course.  These days one tends to equate female hotness on the tube (but not in Real-Life) with bein' slutty... more or less... or is that just me?

Saved, Part One

This prolly sounds-oh-so-trivial to those of you with normal lives, which is to say being in possession of your very own washer and dryer.  Read also as: NOT having to deal with laundromats.  Ever.

I shall now join your company.  Which isn't to say I figgered out a way to squeeze said big-ass appliances into El Casa Móvil De Pennington.  Nope, not that, for it would be a near impossible task and I say "near" only because we all know nothing is actually impossible.  

Just this: I found out this morning that our local dry cleanery also provides a "wash and fold" service for a mere one and half Washingtons per pound of dirty laundry.  That sounds more than reasonable to me and we dropped off our filled-to-bursting laundry bag on their premises about 20 minutes ago.  We shall be rewarded with packages of freshly laundered Levis, tee shirts, towels and the like on the morrow... and for a mere pittance of a fee.  Which we'll gladly pay so as not to spend four hours in the company of oh-so-interesting people and their oh-so-interesting offspring doing less-than-interesting things.

Ah.  Saved.  In many more ways than one.  You really have NO idea what a welcome development this is, Gentle Reader.  It kinda sorta takes me back to Former Happy Days Part II, when we dropped our laundry off each and every week with this really nice Vietnamese couple just up the street from my apartment in Beautiful-Beserkeley-By-The-Bay.

Totally Bad-Ass

Sent along by blog-bud Lin, a long-time rider who owns a vintage Norton and was once an officer in the US Norton owners organization.  Like all humor, there's a grain of truth in this (if not a whole frickin' dump truck full).  I tend to agree, never having been one of those guys who ride in the "sit up and beg" position.  YMMV, of course.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spendin' Some Quality Time...

... with a couple of OLD friends this afternoon.

We're (obviously) renewing our acquaintance with Blue and it's been at least a year and more likely two since we've had the pleasure.  I'm struck immediately with just how light the taste is... and that's not all bad.  Blue prolly falls into my "summer beer" category now, which is to say light on the palate, crisp, and most definitely NOT overbearing in any way, shape or form.  But if it's REAL beer criticism you're looking for I'd suggest you head over to Beer Advocate.  Be advised: they don't look kindly on Ol' Blue, rating it a C-minus and determining the beer is "not worthy."  But taste is ALL in our mouths, n'est-ce pas?

So.  It's a war, after all.  And blog-bud Dan posted one of my... ahem... favorite old war horses.  You just can't go wrong with Led Zep when it comes to straight-ahead rock 'n' roll, after all is said and done.  They do a good job in the pretentious category, too... with MANY fine examples on Physical Graffiti.  

But we're on about war horses here.  I racked my brain for an inordinate amount of time on this one... for all of about four minutes, which is all the racking my poor ol' brain can stand these days... before I came up with this, another old friend with whom we've spent many an hour.  About which, and before we begin, let's quote The Wiki:
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine listed it at #25 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time."
Deservedly so.  Let's do it.

Boy, does this EVER work for me... on oh-so-many levels.  It's got killer guitar, honkin' sax, and is just drippin' with sexual angst.  The guitar solo at the end just might be Mick Taylor's finest work, ever.  But it was usually the angst we were on about in the way-back.  "Throw me down the keys," indeed.  These days?  Not so much.  We're ALL about the memories now.

A Slow Start Coupled with Obsession 19

I've spent my morning neglecting my usual, customary, and reasonable blog-reads (with some exceptions) in favor of consuming a lot of the press on Stevie Y's new job, the reactions in the hockey world, and those of 19's MANY fans, yadda, yadda, yadda.  And there is a TON of such reading to be had.  I know there's all of about one of you Gentle Readers who might actually care about such things... so this link's for you, SN1.  George Malik... the preeminent Wings blogger... has the best recap on the subject (and it's a link-fest).   It's great good stuff.  And this is but one of about elebenty-lebben of his posts on the subject.

Exit question... unrelated to the above... just WHAT is up with the NHL's scheduling of the Finals?  Why must we wait until frickin' SATURDAY for the show to begin?  Why not tonight?  Or tomorrow, at the very latest?  This sucks.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mammatus Clouds at Sunset

My favorite type o' clouds... at my favorite time o' day:

Mammatus clouds are fairly rare... they're also associated with severe weather.  Both images were taken with my SLR with the 50mm lens mounted, rather than the grab-shot camera.  The first pic was taken in full-auto mode, the second in shutter-priority mode at f1.4 and 1/320th of a second.  The second shot is much closer to the true color of the sky.

Just a Tune We Like

Joe Walsh...

I'm tempted to put out words out to the effect that this tune helped me get laid a lot.  That may or may not be true; in the end any man with half a brain knows that women are the ones that decide when and where El Supremo happens... if it does.

Still.  We included this tune in those "enhance the mood" cassettes we built back in the day and played to good effect during seduction scenarios.  Or so we thought.  At any rate... this song played in the foreground more than a few times when we got lucky in the way-back, either by accident or by design.

This tune also qualifies for the ongoing-and-still-alive-in-this-theatre guitar war/show... by virtue of the ten-second guitar outro at the very end, which is one of the most emotional guitar solos evar.  The interplay between the acoustic and electric guitars throughout the piece is sublime, as well.  On the whole: Marvelous.


Detroit -- Kris Draper put it best.
"It's going to be so weird seeing the name Steve Yzerman attached to anything other than the Detroit Red Wings. You just never thought that would ever happen."
It's happened. After more than a quarter century of service, the Captain is changing ships. Senior vice president Jim Devellano confirmed to The Detroit News on Tuesday that Yzerman had accepted a long-term contract offer to be the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Music We Love to Hate - "Our Song" Dept.

One of life's deepest mysteries is why WOMEN always... without fail... get to choose "Our Song."  A secondary but no less profound mystery is why we men go along with this... erm... stuff.  Well, not really.  We ALL know why.  It's coz women have what we WANT and we, all of us guys, will do what's required to ensure we continue to get what it is we want.  And need.  Up to a point.  I've passed that point and am therefore free to poke fun at "Our Song," in two cases and two cases only.  Lord knows there are more, but let's just limit it to The Two Mrs. Penningtons, mm-kay?

First Up... this is the tune The First Mrs. Pennington designated as Our Song:

That would be Len Barry.  I'm surprised this song is available on the Tube of You.  I would have thought it sufficiently obscure as to be relegated to the trash heap of musical history... but no.  Go figure.  I hope the song is complete.  I still can't listen to it.  If I had to choose an "Our Song" for TFMP and I... it would be this:

We got married on a Monday as fate would have it and that song was in the Top Ten the week we married.  I can still listen to this one.  It makes me laugh.

Fast forward ten years or so and we get to 1975, or about the time I was courting The Second Mrs. Pennington.  TSMP decided we should have not one but TWO tunes that would be Our Song(s) forever and ever or until divorce did us part.  The first:

Ah, yes.  The ever-popular-but-oh-so-obscure Golden Earring, with their ONE hit.  I'll give TSMP major points for appropriate association; I was a Team Chief on a traveling USAF radar installations team stationed at Yokota AB in Japan when we met.  There was that.

And then there was this:

Aiiieee.  I cringed whenever I heard this song no more than a year after TSMP and I became One.  Every. Single. Time.  And this time around it remains one of those tunes about which I can only bear the first three bars before copying the embed code.  It happens to be the sappiest goddamned song ever penned by man.  Or woman.  I mean really... "I got a taste of the real world when I went down on you?"  Damn.  Seriously?  Do you REALLY mean that?  Or, more to the point... did you?

I'll be the one to choose the next Our Song, if there ever IS a next time.  I already have it picked out, as a s'matter of fact.  Funny you should ask...

SHE can pick whatever the Hell she wants... whatever floats her boat... but this is mine.  Ours.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Music We Love to Hate

I got to thinkin'... we've posted a LOT of music over the last four and a half years that floats our boat, makes our heart sing, brings back memories of Former Happy Days, or otherwise tickles our fancy.  And in so doin' we have studiously avoided the dregs of our musical experience, which is to say... Music We Love to Hate.  We'll change that with this post... and you KNOW there may be more.  Lots more.

First up... the supremely over-rated and sickeningly sweet Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. This dude is Number-Frickin'-ONE on my list of artists that make me dive for the remote or the radio button or whatever that will JUST MAKE IT STOP.  All of his songs... any of his songs... but this one in particular:

Aiiieee. Saved at age 27 by camping out in the frickin' mountains?  Spare me.  PLEASE.  You can get diabetes thru repeated exposure to this shit.  That goes for all the rest of his dreck, as well.

And then there's the "If I NEVER hear this again it will be too damned soon" category. The all-time winner:

The one exception: Tina Turner's version. All others please leave NOW.  CCR, in particular.  And every damned one of those Filipino cover bands that played this song ad nauseam in every single Angeles City bar I ever set foot in.  This is the tune I'd choose in the "if I had a nickel for every time I've heard this" category.  Coz I'd be blogging from an upscale condo in Miami Beach or in the south of France if that had ever came to pass.  Unfortunately...

We'll not flog this dead horse too much in this first-ever installment of Music We Love To Hate.  Let's close with this:

Aiiieee.  Yet AGAIN.  Get on back to your Sit-TAY and frickin' STAY there.  Don't abuse my earholes with this shit, ever again.  I'll admit that the screen-cap above... reminiscent as it is of electric vomit... is MOST appropriate.

OK we're done.  For now.  You cannot BELIEVE how painful it was selecting these tunes, Gentle Reader.  Please accept my apologies if the songs are truncated or otherwise incomplete.  I'll freely admit I only listened to the first three bars... if that... of each tune.  It IS Music I Love To Hate, after all.

You know there will be more.  I'm gonna have fun with this.

Some FINE Dobro Playin'

So... I heard some Jerry Douglas on Pandora this mornin' while makin' the rounds and went off to the Tube of You in search of a tune called "Takarasaka."  Alas... the clip I found isn't embeddable and more's the pity.  But I'd encourage you to chase the link, coz the playin' is most excellent.  But this piece is ALMOST as good and might could be better, since it features Bela Fleck on banjo:

Good stuff, eh?

My Work Here Is Done

But your post inspired me to try something different. So, last time at the market, I looked through their selection and for no particular reason picked out a six pack of Labatts Blue Light. I'd had Molson before but never Labatts. Best beer with food I've ever tasted. Best beer period. So out with the Miller and in with the Labatts. Thanks for the inspiration. 
Well, I can now die a happy man... my efforts have borne fruit.  Speaking of Blue Light...

That would be SN3 putzing around in the garage in Ra-cha-cha, Noo Yawk... July of 1998.  We'd been playing in the summer rain, which is why his hair is so wild.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Few Minutes Ago

We have t-storms in the area around us but not ON us... at the moment, anyhoo.  There were some interesting cloud formations right around sunset.  Two examples:

I'm more than a little disappointed with these shots; they're very grainy for ISO 400.  These were taken in shutter priority mode with my grab-shot camera at f/2, 1/1000 and 1/1200 sec (less than a minute apart), respectively.


How 'bout them Hawks, eh?  Down 2-0 early in the game they battle back to win it, 4-2... the last goal an empty-netter.  The Fish didn't choke in this series, they were simply outplayed by a superior team.

And just how tough are hockey players?  Chicago D-man Duncan Keith lost FOUR teeth when he took a puck in the mouth, missed one shift and returned to play the rest of the game.  Wow.  Tough.  To say the VERY least. 

On to the SCF...

Update:  Toews refuses to touch the Clarence Campbell Bowl, honoring an age-old hockey tradition.  Good On Him... the Stanley Cup is officially assured.

Update 2:  Keith talks about his injury during post-game interviews... "three on top and four on the bottom."

H/T:  Kukla's Korner.

A Quickie

I was browsing the back pages of Beer Haiku Daily this morning and came across this gem:
Seeking out wheat beers
That go well with my porch swing
As the weather warms
Wheat beer IS the perfect summer drink.  Too bad I didn't have this for yesterday's post about Sammy Adams' Coastal Wheat.   Too bad I don't have a porch swing, too.  Or a porch.  

I used to have a home-built swing for two that was suspended under this huge oak tree (50 feet tall, or so) at my place in Oklahoma.  The swing was made out of some old park bench-like thing... I inherited it when I bought the house.  I spent more than a few quiet summer evenings around sunset in that swing, drinking Labatts... the beer of choice at the time.   I loved watching my three dogs romp and stomp all over the place until it got totally dark... at which time they would come lay under the swing and keep us company until it was time to go indoors.   Good times.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Broadening Our Horizons XIII

It's an indoor Happy Hour today... and the reason why is at right.  It's miserable outdoors; we've been out and about a couple of times today but only briefly and mostly to move the sprinkler to a different area of the lawn weeds.  Our shades are drawn tight against the penetrating rays of Ol' Sol and the AC is gettin' quite the work out.  But we'll survive... thrive, even.

So... the Class VI store was out of our favorite suds when we made our beer run out to Cannon Airplane Patch a couple o' days ago... so we brought home a sixer of this stuff:

About which... it's OK.  It won't get a spot in our starting line-up, tho.  It's merely OK, not super... as the general consensus at Beer Advocate indicates.  And life is just too short to drink mediocre beer.

Our cigar this afternoon is a Casa Magna Oscuro and this stick falls into the same category as the beer:  OK, but not a starter.

Speaking of starters... our soundtrack is the roar of a disappointed but hopeful crowd at the Bell Centre in Montreal.  The Flitterers are up 2-0 with about 13 minutes left in the third period... but the Habs are goin' on the powerplay as we type.  I hope I don't have to write another damned crow post.

Back to the game...

As Seen On Red Eye II (III?)

Teachers bein' cool (heh):

Didja watch the whole thing?  Me neither.  I didn't like Twisted Sister back in '84, I like this song even less now.

Update, 1400 hrs:  It seems I'm out o' step with all of you Gentle Readers.  I was holding the teachers to a higher standard.  Is all.  (Language alert)


Friday, May 21, 2010

On the Menu: Crow.

Maybe not as the entree but most certainly as an appetizer.  I wrote this lil bit of prognostication a mere six days ago:
I'm not gonna go on at length right now, but here's how I think it'll shake out:  Sharks in six; Habs in seven (or less).
Ahem.  Sorry, Charlie.  The Fish are sushi; the Blackhawks just won their third straight over the Sharks... in overtime... to take a 3-0 lead in the series.  This one is over.  The Hawks are just too fast, they dominate all three zones, and Niemi is MUCH better than "good enough" in goal.  I'm thinking we're watching the Stanley Cup Final being played out before the East is decided.  The Hawks are that good and a sweep isn't beyond the pale.

Speaking of the East... I was holding off on my "crow" post after last night's come-back performance by the Habs; had they lost last evening that one would be all over as well.  But it ain't over.  Not by a long shot.  The Canadiens played a statement game last evening and my prediction for the East may just pan out after all.  But the point is moot - neither the Habs nor the Flyers are deep enough or strong enough to beat the Blackhawks.  This is Chicago's year.  I'm pretty confident about that.

False Start

So... there I was... waay the Hell off in The Land of Nod, 0815 hrs.  I had gone to bed sometime after 0300 hrs and was deep in that sweet spot o' sleep when the phone rang.  A way-too-cheery-for-the-hour voice on the other end of the airwaves identifies her sweet self as someone from American Home Patient Services and advises me of her intention to drop by in about an hour and a half with an oxygen monitor for to do this "are we gettin' enough oxygen while we sleep" test my doctor wants done.  If'n that's OK with me.

Fine, sez I.  C'mon down.

And so we rolled out, fired up the coffee pot, cleaned ourself up, and tidied up the abode so as not to offend anyone's sensibilities.

My new lady friend arrives at the appointed time and proceeds to demonstrate how one employs this device.  Except it doesn't freakin' WORK.  Dead On Arrival.  Oh, well.  Sorry about that.  See ya Monday.

She really was a nice lady, though, with a way-cool biker tee shirt.  We had a short and pleasing chat about mo'sickles and then she was gone.

I see a nap in my future.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

A couple o' tunes from Dire Straits' first album... first off... "Water of Love:"

I believe I have taken enough
yes I need a little water of love

Water of love deep in the ground

But there ain't no water here to be found
Some day baby when the river runs free
It'll carry that water of love to me
The guitar playin' is first and foremost in this track.  The lyrics are secondary and cut a lil bit close to the bone these days.  And then there's "Wild West End."

Excuse me for talking I wanna marry you
This is the seventh heaven street to me
Don't be so proud
You're just another angel in the crowd
And I'm walking in the wild West End
Walking with your wild best friend
Dire Straits first album came out when The Second Mrs. Pennington and I were living in Oregon sometime around the 1978 - 1979 time frame and the album immediately became a favorite.  Little did we know when the album hit the charts that we would be "you and me/ we can BE/ walkin' in the wild West End" a little over a year and a half later.  Fate, and all that... GOOD fate, as it were.  Those years in London were some of the best years of my life.


An update, of a sort...  Lou, in comments to the post below, asks:
So, did you wait around to see if DVEST8R was married?
Funny you should mention that, Lou.  Just as I was pulling out of the commissary parking lot a comely young captain attired in a flight suit... long strawberry blonde hair tied back in an appropriate military bun... happened to walk right in front of me as I was leaving.  I stopped to let her pass and was gifted with an oh-so-brief but dazzling smile in return.  Flight suits aren't the most flattering thing that women can wear, but this young lady's bearing... upright, confident, proud... made THAT point moot, as she was a wonder to behold.  My mind immediately raced to all sorts of wild conjecture but I put it all away.  Immediately.  Fantasy is one thing, reality quite another.

The simple fact is this:  there ain't a woman alive and on active duty at this point in time that would even think about giving an ol' retread like me a second look.  And, truth be told, I wouldn't be much interested if she DID.  Unless she happened to be a colonel or a CMSgt on the cusp of retirement, which is to say at the end of a 30-year career.  Most of life is vertical (as opposed to horizontal) and I simply wouldn't have much... if anything... in common with someone younger than 50.  I might could make an exception if a fling were in the cards, but that's just more wild conjecture on my part.  Reality sucks.

Just sayin'.

Short Take

Just in from a run out to Cannon Airplane Patch where we did the normal beer and comestibles re-supply and dropped by the pharmacy to get our new! improved! drugs.  Mission Accomplished and all that.

So... I see this car in the commissary parking lot with a license plate that reads "DVEST8R."  What ya wanna bet the driver flies one of these (or flies IN one)?

I'd think that'd be a good bet.  (Added 05/21, for clarity's sake:  Cannon is home to a gaggle of these Bad Boys.  They orbit over Portales nearly every night when they're not deployed.  Makes me way-glad they're on OUR side.)

While we're on about the commissary... just how efficient a shopper am I?  Well, I can park The Green Hornet, drop a lit cigar in her ashtray, go in to the store, buy a week or two worth of groceries, go through the check out line (no waiting), come out to the parking lot, load the groceries, get back in the car, retrieve the cigar from the ashtray... and it's still lit.  That, Gentle Reader, is efficiency.

And now it's time for Happy Hour.  Prosit!


From My Buddy Ed In Florida...
Widdle Wabbit

 A precious little girl walks into a PetSmart shop and asks, in the sweetest little lisp between two missing teeth, "Excuthe me, mithter, do you keep widdle wabbits?"

As the shopkeeper's heart melts, he gets down on his knees so that he's on her level and asks, "Do you want a widdle white wabbit, or a thoft and fuwwy, bwack wabbit, or maybe one like that cute widdle bwown wabbit over there?"  

She, in turn, blushes, rocks on her heels, puts her hands on her knees, leans forward and says, in a tiny quiet voice...

"I don't think my python weally gives a thit."