Wednesday, June 30, 2010

From the Road

We did 736 miles today according to Google Maps... P-Ville to Monroe, LA... with a quickie just-off-the-freeway dinner stop in Tyler, TX... which looked like this:

Grade: C-.  The meat was fall-off-the-bones tender, there was a lot of it, but Kraft makes better sauce.  The slaw and tater salad were good, the blackeyed peas were acceptable but without NEAR enough pig fat.  The toast failed (limp and cold), and the presentation value was poor, too.  The tea was weak, but at least it was sweet tea.  "Texas' Best Smokehouse" (in Tyler, Texas) ain't.

So, we're in our hotel in Monroe, Loosy-ana and we're almost exactly half-way to our destination.  We should be at SN1's house on the morrow unless we have issues.  In the meantime, here's what we looked like about an hour or so ago...

We ARE relaxed.  I'm thinkin' one beer in a hot (that would be HOT!) jacuzzi is equal to about three on the verandah.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stocking Up...

... God's Own fireworks stand.  The sign is partially obscured, but it reads "Supporting Trinity Assembly of God."

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
(Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

All y'all who are more familiar with scripture than I should feel free to suggest something more appropriate.

Catching Up and... Dishes

We got a call from our friend Greg in Dee-troit early yesterday afternoon, inquiring about our capability for receiving photos on our cell phone.  As in: could we?  Well, no doubt we could, as that's entirely possible given that our cell phone is of recent vintage and does, in fact, have a vestigial camera as a piece-part of its innards.  But our cell phone's capabilities and our own are entirely different matters.  Best send any and all photos to my e-mail addy, I replied.  And so he did.

Several minutes later... and a LOT longer than I think is reasonable, but that's beside the point... said picture arrived in my in-box.  Greg gave no indication what the photo was about, only that I would find it "interesting."  And I most certainly did.  It was a portrait of a mutual friend... a woman who Greg became friends with back in his undergraduate days at Michigan State (that's a long time ago, given the fact Greg is in his mid-fifties), and a woman who was once a close friend of mine... let's call her "A."  A was a childhood friend and neighbor of The Second Mrs. Pennington; she's a chemical engineer who has been employed with a large consumer products firm in the Mid-West for her entire working life.  I first met her back before TSMP and I were married and she was a maid of honor at our wedding.  We go back a long, long ways, to say the very least.  I haven't seen A, nor have I talked to her since TSMP and I split the blanket 11 years ago.  A was TSMP's friend first and foremost, and I lost her in the divorce.  Because people take sides.

So... I called Greg back upon receiving the photo and said "So, you were in Big Mid-Western City, eh?  What the Hell were you doing there, and how is A these days?"  He caught me up... or as much as one can get caught up in the space of a phone conversation... and I was pleased to hear A is well.  She's happy.  Content.  Successful.  Greg and she had lunch together today and caught up with each other as much as one can in that short space of time.  And so Greg caught me up, and that was that.

I hung up the phone and stared at that picture for a while.  Divorce is a terrible thing.  Not only are hearts broken and families ripped asunder but one loses an entire circle of friends, as well.  Still and even, it was good to hear that A's doing well; I expected nothing less.  I just wish I could have known this first-hand as the years have passed by.  I miss the girl.


Today's Pic:  The bolded sub-head is a throw-back, don'tcha know.  Time was when we posted a picture every day here at EIP, no matter how mundane or pedestrian they might have been.  Most were current, some were from the archives, and nearly all were breathtakingly bland.  And we shall not deviate from our blandness today...

That would be three days' worth of dishes, taken about an hour or so before this post hit the streets.  Rod Stewart told us "every picture tells a story (don't it)" in the way-back, and conventional wisdom holds that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well, this picture speaks of too many meals eaten out and perhaps of too much drink taken in, what with three beer glasses, one G&T glass (which was rinsed and reused a couple o' times), and one whiskey tumbler (similarly rinsed and reused) vs. three coffee cups, one small plate, one bowl, and a handful of silver... mostly teaspoons.  How we manage to survive... and thrive... is beyond us.  Mayhap we DO require a certain amount of nagging in our life.  Or a cook.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Re-Runs 'R' Us

Here's what we were on about exactly one year ago today...

A Couple O' Fun Things

I think a couple of o' few things have led to the explosion of craft breweries (read as: GOOD beer) in these United States, foremost among them being our exceptional standard of living and the general mobility of our society. Relatively well-off people who move around a lot… for whatever reason… are exposed to different people and things, not the least of which is beer and people who appreciate good beer. So… tastes change and evolve and almost always for the better. But there's something else in play, too. Snobbery, as manifested by the appearance of "beer reviews" and the like.
I used to think this territory was reserved for oenophiles, who tend to be among the most obnoxious folks in the world. But no longer… as we beer drinkers are beginning to encroach upon their territory. Hell, even YrHmblScrb has written a beer review… and if I can do it, anyone can. There's even a "how to" to get ya started, if'n you wanna get into the biz for fun or profit. And here it is… "How to Rate a Beer," by Jim Armstrong. Just a couple of excerpts:

When tasting and comparing many different types of beer, it is helpful to have a standardized way of rating them. If you’re serious about your suds, start taking tasting notes and build a profile of what things you like and dislike about different beer styles. This doesn’t have to be a complicated endeavor, but you have to go a bit further than “I liked that beer” or “that one sucks”.

A good place to start is by breaking down a beer’s rating into several categories. I use the same categories as the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) scorecards – those guys know what they’re doing, and their criteria works for me.

Works for me, too. Well maybe except for this bit:

When you start out, everything will smell like beer, but after doing this for awhile, you’ll be amazed at how many different aromas you can pick up. Eventually, you’ll be able to pick out specific varieties of grain and hops!

It all mostly smells like beer to me. There are exceptions, of course… any fool can smell the difference between stout and lager… but I'd sure like to meet the guy or gal who can differentiate between the different varieties of hops used in the brewing process. Then again, I'm quite sure my senses of taste and smell have been whacked by 40+ years of cigarettes. Still and even… I find that particular statement a bridge too far.

That said… the article is interesting and (I think) useful, if only to explain and differentiate what separates good beer from swill. And while we're on the subject... if you love beer and you've never heard of Michael Jackson (no, not that MJ), you've led a deprived life. The man literally wrote the book on beer.


So… how did I miss this?

"Did You Know" is only this year's ninth most popular video, according to Viral Video Chart. Number One? Susan Boyle, with a staggering 174,923,055 views since April 11th of this year. And we've ALL seen that one… right? Which kinda-sorta closes this "Did You Know" loop…


Today's Pic: A re-run that's in keeping with the lead-off theme of today's post: beer. As in, ♫♪ "These are a few of my favorite things…" ♫♪. Heh.

Well.  We don't change a whole helluva lot from year to year now, do we?  Well, check that.  Our beer o' choice of late is Fransizkaner... and of the four beers pictured above only Mothership Wit is in our fridge, as we speak.

Blogging is taking a back seat to Real Life today and prolly tomorrow.  Our procrastination habit is getting the best of us and we are preoccupied with doin' trip-planning things... which should have been done days ago.  But "never do today what can be put off until tomorrow" is my motto.  Dang it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Taj Mahal...

The lyrics are apparently made of unobtanium, at least as far as these here inter-tubes are concerned.  That amazes, and just might be the first time I've encountered such an occurrence in all these many years of posting music.  While I trust my ear... most of the time... I don't trust it all THAT much.  Still and even, a few lines in this tune resonate with me, to wit:
Some of you El-Eh wimmen
Lord you make me so doggone tired
Some of you El-Eh wimmen
Ooooh you make me so doggone tired 
You got a hand full o' gimmee
A mouthful of much obliged
We're not casting aspersions, Gentle Reader.  Much.  And then there's that whole "changed my way o' livin'" thing, includin' how Momma would "have a fit if she saw me barrelhousin' thisaway."  Heh.  Ain't THAT the freakin' truth.  There's much truth in this tune, actually.  Some folks geddit, others are beyond redemption. 

Testing... Testing... Or: Your Laugh For the Day

Doin' some testing with the laptop today... part of which was loading my photo management software and checking the CF card reader's functionality.  I had to shoot a couple of test pics to do this... and here's one:

One can see just how crooked the nose on my face is in this pic.  I came by that honestly:  in a Bourbon Street bar at age 18.  I suppose you wouldn't believe me if I said "But you shudda seen the OTHER guy!"  Like I said:  your laugh for the day.


A:  No, I'm just admiring your activism.

Speaking of which... more rioting, burning, and looting at the G20 in Toronto.  (Still) film at 11:00, at Canada's National Post.  I can't imagine any city anywhere in the world wanting to host this event, as the outcome is so very predictable.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Flagstaff Wildfire In Time-Lapse

h/t: In yesterday's Awl.  I dunno what to think about the music.  It seems strangely inappropriate at first yet grows on ya by the end.  This is yet another example of why I'll never be an artiste.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Don't Ask Why

We went looking for a specific video (in vain) and stumbled upon this:

Which is sufficiently strange.  I'm nostalgic for the '50s, a decade I never knew (other than second-hand, as a child) and those years that immediately preceded my majority.  Sometimes I think I was born ten years too late.  That said, if I had been born those ten years earlier I'd prolly be dead now.

Scrapin' the Bottom o' the Blogging Barrel V

All you Gentle Readers no doubt have heard of 100-year floods, "hurricanes of the century," and other such "Perfect Storms."  Well, the same sorta thing happened within the small space that is the likker locker here at El Casa Móvil De Pennington.  We poured the very last of the gin into a G&T last evening and decided it would be best if we took stock of our remaining supply.  And we were horrified to find we were at or below the "restock" level on nearly all counts... a perfect storm of want, as it were.  So it was off to the Class VI store this morning.  And this is what we brought home:

I had to make two stops, one at the Class VI and the other at our local Liquor Emporium, given the Class VI was out o' Drambuie.  That breaks my hard and flinty ol' heart coz likker is about 20% cheaper at the base and there's none of that noxious sales tax to be paid to an oppressive gub'mint.  And we also had to add beer to the mix as DIL Erma and I made a hard run at the beer supply night before last.

Being the drinkin' sort is gettin' expensive these days; what you see above is well in excess of 100 Yankee Dollars.   Still and even: we do what we must.  And we MUST keep the likker-locker stocked.


This falls in the "too good not to steal" category:
I recently picked a new primary care doctor. After two visits and exhaustive Lab tests, he said I was doing ‘fairly well’ for my age. (I just turned sixty-something.) A little concerned about that comment, I couldn’t resist asking him, ‘Do you think I’ll live to be 80?’

He asked, ‘Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer, wine or hard liquor?’ ‘Oh no,’ I replied. ‘I’m not doing drugs, either!’

Then he asked, ‘Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued Ribs?’ I said, ‘Not much…my former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!’

‘Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, boating, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?’ ‘No, I don’t,’ I said.

He asked, ‘Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?’ ‘No,’ I said…

He looked at me and said.’Then, why do you even give a sh!t?
I ripped that off from Capt. Lex.  I know that most of you Gentle Readers frequent the former Naval aviator's place o' bid'niz and now's as good a time as any to encourage those of you who don't hang out with the fighter pilots, ground pounders, Jarheads, and the odd Zoomie or three, to make him a daily read.  The man is about as prolific and perceptive a blogger as exists anywhere on these inner-nets and his commentariat is the BEST, period.  The discussions at the Aviators' Lounge are always erudite and it's a rare person who won't learn something by dropping in there on a daily basis. Speaking of the comments yet again... the environment is polite and civil, above all else.  That's a rarity of the highest order.  So ends today's unpaid promotion.

But about that joke.  Good advice, on the whole, if'n ya add in "ride fast mo'sickles" to the mix.  There are a few things the Good Doctor included on his list that I don't do... like whack a lil white ball around a park (my life is largely frustration-free and I wanna keep it that way), boat or sail (El Casa Móvil De Pennington in her advanced age is a money pit of more than sufficient depth, thankyouverymuch), and I don't hike or bicycle due to physical limitations.  And then there's the sex thing.  We're living a life of self-imposed celibacy which has no inherent virtue, contrary to what monks or priests might tell you, and absolutely NO reward as far as I can tell.  Well, check that.  I said I live a life that's largely frustration-free, and that would include Honey-Do lists, command performances with people I don't care for but she does, and miscellaneous nagging.  I consider that an acceptable trade-off.  YMMV, of course.

Added, 1530 hrs:  Restocked, Part II.  I'm just back from a trip up to the mail kiosk where I found these beauties... a box of Acid Nastys... the perfect little cigar for those times when ya don't wanna go whole hog.  And just in time for Happy Hour, too.  Dang.  Sometimes life is just so good I can't stand it.  But we shall muddle through.  Somehow.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Few Minutes Ago

So... we were just outside... sittin' out under the awning, drinkin' beer, smokin' a cigar, and just havin' a grand ol' time watching these guys have a grand ol' time of their own.

Note the streaks in the picture (embiggen it if'n ya can't see the streaks plainly)... that's water from the sprinkler and Mr. Bird was having one helluva good time just soaking it all up.

Who says it's just human kids that like to play in the sprinkler?  Not ME...


Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack:  More Ry Cooder.  Ol' Ry's pretty much been the soundtrack of my life for the last three weeks or so.  I could do a LOT worse, yanno?

Well, there's lots of good women who wants to marry, and they want to live well at home.
But they're 'fraid they'll might get hold of a rowdy man, can't let other women alone.
And there's lots of good men wants to marry, and they wants to live well at home.
But every time they turn their back, there's another man there askin', "Darlin', is he gone?"
Ain't THAT the truth.

We Were Cowboys Once, and Young

Blog-Bud Dan put a post up yesterday that talked about cowboys... and a good part of that post was about how he and his friends used to ride their hobby-horses all over the neighborhood chasing down bad guys and saving the ranch.  It was only a few days ago that the subject of cowboys came up here at EIP... on Father's Day, actually...  when we went off on a tangent talking about them and our youth.  It goes without sayin'... yet I always do... that I was BIG into cowboys in my yoot.  My parents had close encounters with the Poor House keeping me in cowboy paraphernalia, too.  And I have proof of my last.

That's the intro.  So cue up some appropriate music and return with us now to those thrillin' days o' yesteryear...

Weren't we cool?  Heh.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Scrapin' the Bottom o' the Blogging Barrel IV

The Navy does things up right and proper, to include sending out engraved invitations for its ceremonies, as you can plainly see.  There's much to be said for tradition... even though it's a rare thing when I'll actually admit that, let alone say something/anything nice about the Company of Squids.

Now just to get back in character... I'm fresh out of Summer Whites.  As a matter of fact I don't recall ever being issued any of those.  Will I still be admitted if I wear my blues?  Gosh, I sure hope so.

Waiting For Obama

The AP is reporting The One has relieved General McChrystal, but we are waiting for the President's announcement, as we speak.  Gen. Petraeus will replace McChrystal, supposedly.  God help us.

Update, 1155 hrs:  I think the President made the wrong decision by relieving Gen McChrsytal, but he was appropriately presidential in so doing... at least based upon the content and tone of his address, just now concluded.  This whole flap was much more about perception than reality, but the two are often confused.

I certainly wish Gen. Petraeus well, and I hope he holds up under the additional responsibility.  The span of control maxim is at the very edge of the envelope here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Today's Tonight's Happy Hour Soundtrack

I looked for Delbert McClinton's solo version of this tune but all I could find was The Blues Brothers' take, which ain't half bad... coz it features Delbert on harp and vocals.  Without further ado...

I know the Blues Bros (check that link for fascinating background) from the earliest SNL skits but their greatest claim to fame came from the movie.  Belushi's and Ackroyd's genius in putting together the Blues Bros movie (and the many iterations of the bands that carried the name).. aside from their substantial comedic talents... is they went out and got some of the BEST session guys in the bid'niz as their band.  Witness:
Steve Cropper-Guitar
Donald Duck Dunn-Bass
Paul Shaffer-Keyboards
Leon Pendarvis-Keyboards
Steve Potts-Drums
Matt Murphy-Guitar
Lou Marini-Sax
Alan Rubin-Trumpet
Birch Johnson-Trombone

As I said: the BEST.  And that made the music in the film work, and work HARD.  I don't care what the critics said at the time, there was a genuine love for the blues in evidence there and the soundtrack album was excellent.  

And then there's the lyrics to this tune:
Next I hopped a train with a hobo woman,
Said she was from Texas too.
The way she did, what she did,
what she did, what she did to me,
made me think of you.
Yeah honey made me think of you.

Doing my best to get back to you,
Ain't nothing I'd rather do,
Look for me Sunday,
Hope I'll be there, honey
With something special just for you,
Yeah a little something special just for you
"Sumthin' special just for you..."  Oh, yeah.  Delbert's version is even better than the one above... albeit quite similar... if'n ya can believe that.  Delbert is one of my all time faves, but there isn't a lot of his work available on The Tube of You, more's the pity.


All Eyes On The Skies, III:  It was yet another brilliant sunset tonite, Gentle Reader, and it's too bad ya missed it.  I'd show you photos but there are none.  SN2 and I were deep in conversation as the sun was setting and for some time well after.  I wasn't about to stop in mid-sentence and say something to the effect of "Can I call ya back?  I gotta shoot the sunset."  Nope.  Priorities, yanno?  We'll have other sunsets and lots of 'em, but time spent with our offspring... even on the phone...  is precious and not to be missed for whatever reason.

But just for grins and giggles... another shot from last evening:

I do loves me some sunsets.


Via Blog-Bud Staci... the gestalt of futbol:

See?  Bringing Marx into the game NEVER works.  But that aside, this lil clip has ALL the action of a real "match," without sweepers, strikers, wings, various colored trading cards, and all that weird stuff.

Late Night EIP Soundtrack

I hear some people
been talkin' me down,
Bring up my name,
pass it 'round.
They don't mention
happy times
They do their thing,
I'll do mine.
Ooh baby,
that's hard to change
I can't tell them
how to feel.
Some get stoned,
some get strange,
But sooner or later
it all gets real.
Walk on, walk on,
Walk on, walk on.
Ya hadda be there, Gentle Reader.  We're not often this cryptic but sometimes it is what it is.  The music is great, tho.  Just take that at face value and enjoy.

And while we're On The Beach, there's this:

You can really
learn a lot that way
It will change you
in the middle of the day.
Though your confidence
may be shattered,
It doesn't matter.
It's the interplay between banjo and dobro in that one, Gentle Reader.  And the memories the tune invokes... which have little or nothing to do with what just went before... other than the two tunes are from the same album.  We are scattered tonite, oh yes we ARE.

Monday, June 21, 2010

All Eyes On the Skies II

Colors like those on the hem of God's Own Robe...

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

In keeping with (one of) today's themes (see immediately below)...

Heh.  And there'd be giggles.  Of the manly sort, of course.  I think they're called chuckles.


One of my hot-buttons... a serious hot-button... is all those damned eee-dee drug ads on teevee.  I was only ten days into my most-excellent blogging career before I published my first rant on the subject (and you know there may be more), as a matter of fact.  What the sergeant said at that time:
Viagra, Cialis, Levitra. How many awkward conversations have there been in America when an eight year old asks "Mom (Dad), what's EEE-DEE?" For God's sake, why don't they run half hour soft-porn infomercials on CNBC at 2:00 a.m. or advertise in Golf or Field and Stream magazines? Not suitable for prime-time. Ever.
Still true, that.  I had categorized the drug ads in the "Bad" category of teevee stuff, but the ads in question are the epitome of good taste and discretion... especially the silliness of twin bathtubs sitting in unlikely places...  compared to this offense to one's sensibilities:

Apparently this ad has been around for quite a while... at least a year or so, judging from the comments at The Tube of You.  But I saw it for the first time during my epic bout of insomnia night before last.  I'll give The Military Channel credit where credit is due: the ad ran sometime around 0300 hrs and NOT in prime-time.  Still and even... perhaps the ultimate offense to my sensibilities is this device is Medicare Part B approved.  Our tax dollars are paying for something that might well be called Peter-Pumps-It-Up, a name only slightly more outrageous than Pos-T-Vac... a device formerly available only in sleazy establishments with "adult" in their bid'niz name or by mail order.   Grok THAT if you will, Gentle Reader.

Added, 45 minutes later:  Why can't I think of this stuff at the time I actually post?  So there I was... in the shower... and I'm thinking the women in this ad deserve an Academy Award (or the advertising equivalent thereof) for keeping a straight face while filming this thing.  Along those same lines... can you imagine foreplay scenarios involving this device?  I can't, coz nothing deflates the male ego... amongst other things... faster than laughter.  Nothing.  And I've not known one single woman in my life who wouldn't have collapsed on the floor in paroxysms of similar laughter had I brought one of these things home.  Or on a date.  Or whatever.  This simply does not compute.

NOT a Good Start

My morning coffee... bought.  My coffee pot went tits-up this morning.  It just quit.  I hope this isn't some sorta sign from The Deity At Hand.  

Better news:  I managed to get in the car, drive downtown, buy the coffee, return to base, and all without serious incident.  Quite the accomplishment for someone whose blood stream contained zero caffeine and whose brain was set on "autopilot."  The public was blissfully unaware of the dangers involved.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

All Eyes On the Skies

That's the drill in these parts during After Dinner Whiskey Hour, at least where YrHmblScrb is concerned.  Herewith four of the 64 shots we took as we watched the sun sink below the horizon not a half hour ago.  As always and ever: click to embiggen.

More of my favorite type of cloud... mammatus.  These are embryonic, at best.

A longer view of the above and a testimonial for underground utilities, if ever there was one.

This illustrates where the dry line was positioned this evening.  This view is looking to the NNW of P-Ville.  If you chase the link and look at the graphic in the right sidebar you'll note the entire state of New Mexico is west of the "Idealized depiction of where a dryline is located around an extratropical cyclone."  While that's usually our normal weather pattern it's not been the case of late, as the dry line has been well to the west of the NM - TX state line.  We've had more than our share of thunderstorms this Spring as a result.

Yet another view of the dry line at sunset.  We may not have beautiful craggy mountains in this part of the world, nor verdant forests, nor rocky seascapes.  But I'll put our skies up against anyone's... any time.  And that includes Montana.  I've been there, done that, and have more than a few of those Big Sky tee shirts.

Father's Day

Better late than never, as they say...

Happy Father's Day

Today is the day we celebrate the Ol' Man, Dad, Pop, or whatever name you apply to your father. He’s the guy who is our earliest impression of what it means to be a man... and the guy who is primarily responsible for molding boys into men. Here's my role model:
Dad in his Army Air Corps lieutenant's uniform, me, and Mom... c.1949.

The Wiki has an interesting article on Father's Day... including the proper spelling as opposed to common usage... which includes this lil bit:

Where Mother's Day was met with enthusiasm, Father's Day was met with laughter. The holiday was gathering attention slowly, but for the wrong reasons. It was the target of much satire, parody and derision, including jokes from the local newspaper Spokesman-Review. Many people saw it as just the first step in filling the calendar with mindless promotions like "Grandparents' Day", "Professional Secretaries' Day", etc., all the way down to "National Clean Your Desk Day."

Heh. That describes the earliest time period when a movement was on to make Father’s Day a national holiday… or during the very early part of the 20th century. I think it’s interesting to note that all those ersatz holidays actually have a day named for the occasion now… even though they may not be officially recognized holidays.

But anyhoo: call yer Ol’ Man.
So... Holding with our tradition here at EIP we have recycled last year's post on the subject.  It occurred to me that I'm Green in at least this one regard... we do NOT send old blog-posts off to the landfill or otherwise harm our ecosystem, beyond actually publishing this pixelated fertilizer.  Blog posts have a half-life of at least 5,000 years, yanno?  Coz the inner-nets are forever.  Or so I'm told.

It slipped my mind that today is Father's Day until I rolled out of bed and read a note wishing me a Happy Day.  My Bad.  As for the reason there's this apparent lag between rolling out of bed and making amends?  Not as much a lag as normal people would assume... 15 minutes, is all.  It was another episode of "Up All Night," in that we didn't retire this morning until sometime after 0715 hours.  I do it because I can.  But this sorta thing has its downside:  my day is well and truly blown.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mebbe Not

(Alternative title:  After Dinner Whiskey Hour Music.)  We were driven in from the Great Outdoors some time ago by a passing thunderstorm and its associated pelting rain... not to mention God's Own Light Show, which was (and still is) pretty intense.  Things were pretty fine up until the rain moved in... which is to say we were enjoying a welcome cooling after the heat of our day, said heat being oppressive indeed.  This is a piece part of what we were listening to as we sipped our after-dinner whiskey:

And now you know what I'm on about with the post title.  Time was when the sentiments expressed in the lyrics were something I could own.  Hell, several times, if we were to take the time to count... because there have been more than a few "leavings" in our life, both on my part and hers.  It goes without sayin' it's much easier to leave than it is to be left.  Always.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

A screen-shot of a Clovis News-Journal article...

My comment at the site:
I'm glad to see the Child Development Center got top billing over the beddown of the Osprey. You've got your priorities right. (/sarcasm)

Still and even, thanks for the coverage. On both counts.

In other news... we were out at Cannon Airplane Patch yesterday just after the CV-22 landed and I got my first look at the aircraft, albeit from a significant distance (my invitation to the ceremony musta got lost in the mail).  It's a lot smaller in real-life than I thought it would be... about two-thirds the size of a C-130.  For some reason I thought it and the 130 were the same sized aircraft but they are not.  Oh well, most things are smaller in real-life.  Just ask any woman you know.

Here's a better pic of the CV-22 from the CAFB web site:

And I cut that down to half-size (click for larger, of course).

Friday, June 18, 2010


At the Wash 'n' Fold this afternoon:
Sweet Young Thang:  (Handing me my laundry) That'll be $17.76, please.
Me:  My favorite number!
SYT:  (Handing me my change)  $2.23 is your change... and is 1776 really your favorite number?
Me:  One of 'em.  Coz it ain't every year a great country is founded now, izzit?
SYT:  (Flash of recognition, followed by a brilliant smile)  Oooh...smaaart!
Well, I guess.  In certain circles.

You Must Have Me Confused...

That would be me, addressing The Weather Gods.  A short while ago:

This is NEW MEXICO, thank you very much, not freaking Loosy-anna or Mrs. Hippy.  We don't DO humidity in these parts, just in case you forgot.  Which you obviously have, given the weather you've sent our way in the last couple o' few days or so.  I don't mind the t-storms as long as you keep the wind coming from and going to places in a straight line.  None of that swirly Okie wind, thanks yet again.  And we do need all the rain we can get, unlike some other parts of these United States.  Just back off on the humid stuff, mmm-kay?


Confused, Part Deux.  Look at this picture, Gentle Reader.  Does this not look like the front of this laptop?

Well, it's NOT.  Proof:

Note, if you will, that the screen hinge cover on the right side of the top picture is sprung.  That's because it took me NO LESS than ten frickin' minutes to figure out those silver things were NOT latches, in the course of such time I managed to spring the "latch" on the right side by trying to force it open.  I could not open the laptop to save my life... even after minutes upon minutes of trying, which included searching the owners manual (in vain) for instructions on how one would open these latches.  I finally stumbled on to the fact that there were no latches, the screen is simply spring-loaded and pops open as easy as pie.  Once you know how.  It's a nice piece of engineering even if it does tend to confuse the Hell out of an old man.

And it works pretty good, too.  My initial impressions of Windows 7 are pretty good, so far.  We shall see if that holds.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just Another Day

We remember.

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine, II

Love Her Madly

Musashi-Koganei (Tokyo) December, 1975. Late, late at Night

At least I think it was December. It could have been November but I don’t think so. Too early.

The room is quiet. All I can really hear are the sounds of our breathing although I’m sure there are other sounds coming from outside the room, this is Tokyo, after all. At this time of night, however, the trains have stopped running, the buses too, and traffic is very light. Tokyo, unlike New York or many other cities, actually sleeps. Life sorta stops when the trains do.

We’re snug in her futon, the covers pulled up tight around us, our bodies intertwined. It’s chilly in the room; there’s no central heat. But we’re oh-so-warm in afterglow, our faces touching. I kiss her forehead. And then…

I say, perhaps too quietly, “I think I love you.”

I wait for her response. Fearfully. This moment can mark either a beginning or an end. I so want it to be a beginning, because I mean what I’ve just said with all my heart. There it is. I’m exposed. Naked. Reciprocation or rejection. Joy or…pain.

“Me, too.”

And my heart literally leaps. It pounds. My eyes tear up. Can this be real? Is it really, really, true? I think it is.

We talk late into the night. I sense a beginning of incredible import. Life will never be the same, ever again.

In the morning I walk to the train station light-headed, full of hope, full of joy. I can’t wait for the day to end just to be with her once more.

And so it begins.

Fast-forward 23 years. Rochester, New York. November, 1998.

The moving van pulled away from the curb not five minutes ago, loaded with baby furniture, guest room furniture, her piano, a few odds and ends, those possessions she deemed worthy enough to retain. All in all, not much.

I slam the door behind her as she and her friend walk to her truck. I’m blinded by tears. A love that spanned three continents and nearly half my life is over.

And so it ends.

The Second Mrs. Pennington and I were married 32 years ago today.

Scrapin' the Bottom o' the Blogging Barrel III

Or... an update.  Or, further... trapped in the house.  I mentioned yesterday that I had my doubts the new laptop would arrive today as predicted, seeing as how it was in Anchorage when we posted.  But...

Well, dang.  How about that?


The first-ever edition of "Want" featured the Caddy CTS-V, a rompin', stompin' 556-hp supercharged V8 of a Gentleman's Express.  Which is also way the Hell out of our weight class, even if I were still working.  Still and even the CTS-V remains Numbah One on our list of automotive lust objects, followed by the ZR-1 Vette.  If a lottery winner's name was Buck there'd be one of each in his garage.

But if that same Buck guy were still working there's an outside chance (pretty far outside, actually) one of these might could be parked in his garage:


That's the new Bay-Em-Vay 535i.  Dang but if that ain't sex appeal on wheels; the lines on this car bring a lump to my throat.  Or somewhat lower, truth be told.  Want.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Planning Proceeds Apace

We got our initial round of uniform shopping done out at Cannon Airplane Patch's Military Clothing Sales Store yesterday and the good folks working those fertile fields were most helpful, indeed.  I was greeted with "Can I help you find something?" as I entered the door... to which I replied "You can help me find a LOT.  I need a complete Service Dress uniform, please."  And we were off.  Here's some of the paraphernalia we acquired:

That would be my stripes, collar brass, and those damned ribbons that I have to assemble into a cohesive whole sometime in the near future.  But we digress.  The overall shopping experience was pleasant, and the sales people were both knowledgeable and friendly as I noted above.  The former came in pretty handy even though I'd taken the time to read up on AFI 36-2903 (the current uniform reg) before venturing out to Clothing Sales.  For instance: I couldn't find shoulder boards for my dress shirt and was politely informed that "we don't do that anymore... we wear the smaller stripes on the shirt sleeves."  Well, OK then...

We only had one minor glitch in that there was no blouse (service coat, for the uninitiated) in stock that fit my skinny-assed frame.  But special order was just a few keyboard taps away and I was assured the blouse would arrive no later than tomorrow.  AAFES is speedier than they used to be, and that's A Good Thing.  For there is the sewing on of stripes and hemming and altering to be done, Gentle Reader.  That takes time.

Just one other thing... I bought a complete Class A uniform and no one asked to see my ID, not once.  I find that strange.


There's lotsa other stuff happening tomorrow... including this, supposedly:

That would be the arrival of my laptop, all the way from Shanghai.  I was under no illusions that a Hewlett-Packard laptop... being an American brand... would actually be manufactured in these United States.  But I still find it jarring, to say the VERY least, to see the box is being shipped directly from Shanghai.  I suppose that makes sense - there's no reason to incur additional overhead by maintaining stock in a US warehouse.  But it still feels wrong.

And I have my doubts that the box will actually make it to P-ville by 1630 hrs tomorrow if it's sitting in Anchorage as I type.  But mebbe FedEx hasn't updated their database lately.  They happen to be VERY good at what they do... and they rarely miss delivery dates.  So here's hoping.