Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Latest From Sunny

"I don't mean YOU, Daddy!"

Not Your Father's Air Force XIII

This, from the USAF Usual Source:
Strategic Diversity: The Pentagon's Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity is working "closely" with each of the services to develop a Defense Department-wide strategic plan for diversity as directed by the White House, announced Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. The decision falls on the heels of President Obama's Aug. 18 executive order calling for a government-wide initiative to promote diversity in the federal workplace. "Diversity is the tapestry and the strength of our great nation and we are ready to take steps to accomplish the President's challenge," said Stanley. Navy Capt. Ken Barrett, acting deputy director of DOD's diversity office, said diversity goes beyond just race and ethnicity. He suggested it also could apply to things such as language skills, regional expertise, and cultural expertise. "Diversity is our strength. It's a strategic imperative for us, and it's a readiness issue," Barrett said. (AFPS report by Lisa Daniel)
Oh, my aching ass.  I'm left wonderin' just how it was, back in the day, we managed to defend the country, fight its wars, and win 'em without the benefit of a DoD Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity.  We were just lucky, I guess.

Added, somewhat later:

The Weather Girls must not have gotten the memo, coz there's not much diversity in evidence there.  Not that I care, of course, plus the fact they're only doin' the weather and not defending Taiwan from Commie aggression.

Happy Anniversary, Mimi & Crew!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In Today's Mail...

This from an Occasional Correspondent:

Do you know what happened 160 years ago this fall.... Back in 1850?
California became a state.
The people had no electricity.
   The state had no money.
  Almost everyone spoke Spanish.
  There were gunfights in the streets.
So basically nothing has changed except back then,
the women had real tits and men didn't hold hands.

That, my friends, is your history lesson for today…
Heh. That silicone thang is too, too true... as is the rest of it. But especially the silicone.


The Cadillac people are still sending me marketing e-mails for some unknown reason, and I still read 'em prolly for that same unknown reason.  But this month's missive actually included sumthin' useful, fun, and entertaining if you're a gearhead (and I AM): a link to the Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance site.  Where you can see pics o' some VERY cool cars, like this:

1938 Talbot-Lego
They did some AMAZING thangs with Legos in the way-back, didn't they?  That said... it's just too bad that what you see is as big as the photos get.  ALL of these cars could do with high-res, high-quality photos... not the way-too-small thangs such as the above.  Still and even, I spent about an hour on the site.  Very nice.

F-35 Roll-Out

Wow.  USAF went all-out for this occasion, judging by the photos.  From an Eglin AFB press release:
U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.
8/26/2011 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- An official unveiling of the F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter was labeled as a "historic occasion" by Air Force officials hosting the ceremony Aug. 26 at the 33rd Fighter Wing.

On display for the ceremony, surrounded by lighting effects, was tail number 747, known as Lockheed Martin AF-9. It was delivered here July 14 by the Air Force's first JSF pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Smith. The fanfare that welcomed both the jet and congratulated its driver repeated July 20 when Marine Maj. Joseph Bachmann delivered the second F-35.

"While this celebration is taking place in the Air Force hangar with the Air Force variant of the F-35, this is really a story about the fully integrated team of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, industry and community partners who have been working years to make this day possible," said Col. Andrew Toth, 33rd FW commander. "In fact, Marine Col. Art Tomassetti, my vice, MC, and test pilot, has been with this program for more than a decade. So, some of us have been awaiting a long time to see this day." 
The roll-out had great visuals and the aircraft just gleams in that dramatic lighting (more pics at the link).  But there was no mention of the fact the F-35 program has been plagued by delays, cost over-runs, missed milestones, and a complete swap out of DoD program management officials at the highest levels.  The US and its allies have a LOT riding on the success of this program, what with the premature cancellation of the F-22.  Let's hope it's smooth sailing... err, flying... from here on out.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I owe a big-ass debt o' gratitude to my Gentle Reader o' Many Names who took some time... and I suspect that time was considerable... to grace me with this:
The ships name was U.S.S. General H.W. Butner. She arrived on 23 October 1953 and the Captain was D. Branneman Capt, USN. It says you were 8 1/2 and your sister was 2 1/2, mother was 29 and just about over the hill (smile).

This is on and they had a free access to europe records (I was too cheap to buy the add-on).
Further to that comment, this:

That was in reference to my post "When I Was Eight, Part II" wherein I said I didn't remember the name o' the ship we embarked on those so many years ago.  A remarkable case of inner-net detective work, eh?  Looking at that manifest made me remember Mom... in oh so many ways... and on that subject, I want to remember Mom like this:

Dad, Me, and Mom, c. 1949

Mom, c.19444 or so

Ah, but there's this.  That particular piece o' nostalgia set me off on a tangent this evening, one that called back many, many memories of Mom.  Those memories included both the good and the bad, but mostly the bad.  I don't know what it is about human nature that makes us prioritize memories and why it is the memories of the bad often preclude the good.  I spent the better part of two hours this evening mentally composing a post about Mom but eventually cast every single thought aside, mainly because I don't want to write another post like this one.  Once is enough, particularly in this space.

I'd rather remember Mom as the beautiful woman with the deep, deep brown eyes... the woman who healed my wounds, both psychic and physical... with a kiss, a healing touch, and the promise that things would be better tomorrow, and they almost always were.  That's the way I want to remember her, and that's the way she should be remembered.

Thank you, Gentle Reader o' Many Names.  You fired off a great many long dormant synapses tonight, and for that I'm forever grateful.


From Saturday's WSJ, "How We Got the Best-Selling Book of All Time," by Leland Ryken.  A couple o' excerpts:
Modern readers are too quick to conclude that with its now-archaic language and grammar, the Bible's style is embellished and formal. But thee and thou pronouns and verb endings like walkest and sayeth were a feature of everyday speech in the early 17th century.

However imitated or parodied, the language is dignified, beautiful, sonorous and elegant. "Godliness with contentment is great gain"—six words and unforgettable. "Give us this day our daily bread." "The Lord is my light and my salvation." The King James style is a paradox: It is usually simple in vocabulary while majestic and elevating in effect.

Many of the formulations are impossible to forget, having passed into everyday English usage: "the land of the living," "at their wit's end," "the salt of the earth," "the root of the matter," "labor of love," "fell flat on his face." When the famous sayings from the King James Version were extracted from Bartlett's Familiar Quotations into a freestanding book in 2005, the book ran to more than 200 pages!

For more than three centuries, the King James Bible provided the central frame of reference for the English-speaking world. Former Yale University Prof. George Lindbeck well claims that until recently "Christendom dwelt imaginatively in the biblical world." During the years of its dominance, the King James Bible was the omnipresent force in any cultural sphere that we can name—education (especially childhood education), religion, family and home, the courtroom, political discourse, language and literacy, choral music and hymns, art and literature. For more than two centuries children in England and America learned to read by way of the Bible. 
Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address contains so many biblical references that someone has written a whole book on the subject. When President Truman lit the White House Christmas tree on Dec. 24, 1945, his address to the war-weary nation included an exhortation "to make real the prophecy of Isaiah: 'They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more'" (Isaiah 2:4).

The influence of the King James Bible is perhaps most profound in the realm of literature. From Milton's "Paradise Lost" to Toni Morrison's "Paradise," it is a presence quite apart from the author's religious stance. In his book "The Bible as Literature," British literary scholar T. R. Henn said it best: "The Authorized Version of 1611 . . . achieves as we read a strange authority and power as a work of literature. It becomes one with the Western tradition, because it is its single greatest source."
I'll confess that I'm VERY light when it comes to reading the Bible and long-time Gentle Readers know that I am not of the Christian persuasion.  But, that said, I am a tremendous admirer of the Bible's language and the sheer beauty o' same.  I'm also a child o' 20th century America and the grateful beneficiary of the virtues and morals conferred upon me by our Judeo-Christian culture.  I hope strident liberals of the atheist/agnostic persuasion read the linked piece; perhaps they'd come to understand why we conservatives... even those of us who do not embrace Christianity... recognize the basic truths and moral guidance contained in the Bible.  There's no better foundation for a nation and you can take that to the bank.

Thus endeth today's sermon.

Does My Diet Make Me Look Fat?

I got to thinkin' that Michelle O would NOT be pleased at the way I eat.  Sometimes.  We all do this sorta thang occasionally and I know nary a soul who hasn't eaten a whole bag o' Oreos (or the equivalent amount o' junk food o' choice) and called it dinner at one point or another.  But consider my entire caloric intake from yesterday, in rough chronological order:
  • Eight cups o' strong espresso-grind coffee, lightened with moderate amounts o' half-and-half and sweetened with raw cane sugar. Oh, and one level teaspoon o' Ovaltine, per cup.
  • A complete bag o' home made tortilla chips from Juanito's restaurant, accompanied by a quarter jar o' El Pinto Green Chile Sauce (consumed in concert with the following)
  • Three beers (Sammy Adams Octoberfest x2, Newcastle Nut Brown Ale)
  • Four Nabsico Pinwheel cookies
  • Two large glasses o' whole milk (we do NOT do 2% or any other sort o' perverted and unnatural food acts here at El Casa Móvil De Pennington... in the truest sense, meaning we also reject anything/everything labeled "organic" or "light")
  • Four fingers o' Cragganmore (well, mebbe just slightly more)
  • One tin o' Crown Prince Kipper Snacks
  • A half pint o' Häagen-Dazs butter pecan ice cream
  • One Centrum Silver vitamin pill 
I don't worry about the calories... I get plenty o' those in one form or another... but there are times when I just don't want to cook, even to the point of nuking sumthin' out o' the freezer. So, we just graze when terminal laziness hits.  Am I wrong in this?  Or is Michelle O just an overbearing, dominating, more-than-slightly-addled, busybody?  Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

Things That Kill

That would be hurricanes, Raptors, and kittehs.

First... hurricanes and Raptors.  I found this interesting (from the other usual source):
Air Force photo by A1C Kayla Newman
Langley Temporarily Lifts F-22 Grounding Order to Escape Hurricane: Air Force officials temporarily lifted the grounding of the F-22 Raptor fleet based at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., so the aircraft can avoid Hurricane Irene's wrath. The fighters, which have been grounded since May due to safety concerns over malfunctioning on-board oxygen-generation systems, started flying to Grissom ARB, Ind., around 10 a.m. Friday. They will be kept at Grissom until the storm clears and then will be authorized to fly back to Langley, where the grounding will once again take effect, Langley spokeswoman Monica Miller Rodgers told the Daily Report Friday morning. "This is a one-time flight authority to get out of the area affected by Irene," she said. The National Hurricane Center is predicting Irene will hit the Virginia area over the weekend, with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The 633rd Air Base Wing commander ordered all residents of the Heavier than Air and Lighter than Air housing areas, temporary lodging facilities, and the dormitories to evacuate no later than noon on Saturday, "provided they are non-mission essential," according to a release. All residents living off base were ordered to follow local evacuation guidance.
It makes sense to move your assets away from a hurricane but one wonders at what altitude the F-22s flew during the move, what with no on-board oxygen.  The flight covered a distance of about 700 miles or so... which is no big deal... but I'd guess they flew at no higher than 10,000 feet.  That would have made for a nice impromptu airshow for those in the flight path.

Apropos o' this... It sure is taking USAF a long time to "evaluate" those oxygen systems.


Kitteh update...  The useta-bee resident kittehs are closer to cats than kittens now and I don't see much of 'em.  They're also much more independent, meaning they don't stick close to Mom nor do they hang out as a group, so I can go for days without seein' any of the lil buggers as a result.  That said, one wandered into my field o' view during last night's After Dinner Whiskey Hour; here's a couple o' crappy cell-phone pics.

Said kitteh spent about ten minutes (I kid thee not) torturing a poor innocent moth... batting it around, pouncing on it, stalking it, yadda, yadda... before he/she/it finally killed the thing and ate it.  Yup, s/he ATE it.

Altogether now... (your favorite expression of disgust goes here).

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tonight's ADWH Soundtrack

Graham Parker from Former Happy Days, i.e., 1979-80 or so...

So if you think that’s funny I’m not really laughing honey
Your love letters are confetti I ripped them up my hands were sweaty
And then those ghastly faces recur in nightmare places
Happy hour's come and gone much too short and much too long
This tune is yet another piece part of the soundtrack from my three-year sojourn in Ol' Blighty.  It's kinda funny-strange how the lyrics to any given song change meaning over the years, innit?  Apropos o' nuthin', this tune contains one of my favorite mondegreens.  Towards the end of the song when Parker sang...
It ain’t the knife in the heart that tears you apart
It’s just the thought of someone sticking it in, sticking it in
I heard "It's just Donna Summer, stickin' it in, stickin' it in..."  Ya gotta remember, that was 1979 and 1980.  Disco.  Oh, well... ya hadda be there.

Another from the same album (Squeezing Out Sparks, arguably Parker's best):

Without a doubt I gotta intercept
Must be time someone went shouted in their ear
You look all right in that cheap red dress
But every time you swish it round you make me disappear
Yes I’m aware of exactly what I’m doing
Making everything a mystery,

Don’t bother with it, it don’t bother me
Yeah, it don't bother me.  Right.

Nothing Much Today

We're just checkin' the box, fillin' a square, so we can hold to our "post sumthin' every day, even if it's a re-run or just tripe" maxim.  So it's tripe you get...


I signed a petition while out to dinner last night, sumthin' that just MIGHT bring P-Ville a lil closer to civilization: a petition to authorize the Sunday sale of alcoholic beverages with meals in Portales.  Long-time Gentle Readers know I often go off on minor rants about our Blue Laws and this would be a welcome change to same.  I also found out that you can have a glass o' wine or a beer or two with your meal in The Big(ger) City™ on Sundays, sumthin' previously unknown to me.  This small fact is why the restauranteurs in P-Ville are organizing the petition drive:  Clovis restaurants are eating Portales' lunch on Sundays.


The Second Mrs. Pennington visited me in a dream in the wee smalls this morning and who knew you could have violent arguments in your dreams?  The exchange was so realistic, so vitriolic, and so violent (in a verbal way; no blows were exchanged... as in real-life) that the dream woke me up sometime around 0300 hrs.  I didn't... couldn't... go back to sleep for over an hour.  I find it amazing how much that woman still influences my life, 13 years after her departure.

How fucking weird is THAT?


I entered service on this day 48 years ago.  Some days are simply unforgettable and this is one such.  A couple o' few weeks later:

This day also reminds me of just young I was then and how old I really am now.  Aiiieee.

Hot, hot, hot... 

Note the extended forecast.  Is it Fall yet?

And there ya have it: tripe.  When life hands ya tripe, make menudo.  All ya need is hominy, tomatoes, and stuff.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tonight's ADWH Soundtrack

The inimitable Peter Green:

So good-bye baby
You don’t even care
Yes, I had a love so strong for you
But you treat me so unfair
This tune is pretty much the blues as it's meant to be played... and sung.   One of the better things about Pandora's J.J. Cale station is the fact it features a lot o' Peter Green, which led me to define a Peter Green station this evening.  I can't figger out why it took me so long to do that, but... better late than never.  Green had a lot of ups and downs over the years but has lately overcome his demons and returned to the real world... playin', tourin', and recording... once again.  Yet another '60s survivor.

I've been a Peter Green fan since about 1968 when a friend of mine turned me on to Fleetwood Mac, in its original blues band incarnation.  That was also the year the Mac had their first U.S. chart success with Black Magic Woman, a version of which is superior in lotsa ways to Carlos' more renowned take.  I think it's a damned shame that MOST people think of Stevie Nicks (and Lindsey Buckingham) when someone sez "Fleetwood Mac," and just slightly less so when people say "but... Christine McVie!"  Well, check that.  I have an immense amount of respect for Christine and NONE for Ms. Nicks.  That said, the BEST iteration of the Mac lasted two short years and I'm glad I was there.  I'm also glad there's lots and lots of Green's work on the Tube O' You; it seems like I'm far from alone in my admiration for the man's playin'.

Let's close with this:

Ain't that GREAT?

Broadening Our Horizons XXX

Otherwise known as the triumph of hope over adversity... or sumthin' like that:

That would be a State Pen Porter which, unlike that moose piss in a bottle from the Santa Fe brewery that was labeled as "hefeweizen," is quite good and very enjoyable.  The folks at Beer Advocate agree with me, giving this beer a B+.  It's at least that, if not a solid "A."
State pen is a tasty porter, displaying a nose with bits of coffee, strong sweet roasted malts and slight fruit notes. The taste is textured with hops that bitter the sweeter roasted malts, and some nice black coffee/dark chocolate type bitterness. As I sip this it becomes evident that it is heavier on the hops than other examples of the style, which may be positive or negative depending on your opinions of hop levels in American Porters. To me, this is a plus as the hops meld in nicely with the chocolate and roasted barley notes. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with high carbonation (in part due to the lower temperature at which I am drinking this).

Conclusion: This is a very nice porter, and in my experience it scores in the top 20% easily. Great work Santa Fe! I wish there was more beer of this quality coming from New Mexico.
Yeah... what he said!  I take it back, Santa Fe.  You may not know from hefeweizen but you brew an excellent porter.  And it only took me two years to figger that out.


We're doin' an indoor Happy Hour today, seein' as how it's just two ticks below 100 degrees outside.  We're thanking our lucky stars, mainly coz we have power (and cool, cool AC) and we DON'T have 80-mph winds and lashing rain like some folks on the right coast are experiencing.  But Hey!  Ol' Irene didn't turn out to be half the nasty vindictive bitch everyone was fearing, and that's a great good thing.

Food Fight!

“I get he’s upset and/or jealous of RedState and thinks, I suppose, that we should be in the tank for Palin or should not have let Perry announce at the RedState Gathering or whatever the reason du jour is,” Erickson wrote of Riehl in an update to his post.

Less than 20 minutes after the original Politico story was published, Erickson also posted an item in which he pointed to recent polling to suggest that Palin’s potential entry into the GOP field “would not shake up the race terribly at this point.”

“All of the above suggests, if Palin got in, it would not be hers for the taking as many of her supporters might think,” Erickson wrote. “Instead, she’d struggle for third place and not be guaranteed, even in Iowa, of a strong finish.”

Eighteen minutes after Erickson’s post went up, Riehl published his own blog item, which he titled “Perry Versus Palin,” and observed “how various voices and forces seem to be aligning themselves as relates to their support for Rick Perry or Sarah Palin.”
Oooh, Bay-bee... bring it ON.  I can't wait to hear the Palinistas explain how their darling's incomplete one-term performance as governor of a smallish state... speaking in terms of population and gross domestic product... compares to Perry's 11 years as governor of Texas.  I will admit that La Palin has much higher teevee ratings, better legs, and the hair is a wash.  Other than that?  No contest.  It seems like most Tea Partiers prefer Perry over Palin, but that might change if Palin formally enters the race.

Good times are comin'...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tonight's ADWH Soundtrack...

... which is more like a review of a book review.  So... there I was... reading a review of a new Ambrose Bierce anthology, a late 19th/early 20th century author and columnist previously unknown to me, when I came upon this (subscription may be required):
Bierce's definitions are a joy to quote—even if they are more wicked than accurate. An abstainer "abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others." A bigot is "obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain." A cannibal is a "gastronome of the old school"; longevity is the "uncommon extension of the fear of death." Once is "enough." Twice is "once too often." He who is alone is "in bad company." And a year is "a period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments."

Bierce is acerbic on the matter of friendship, which is "a ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul." The back is "that part of your friend which it is your privilege to contemplate in your adversity." The faith of his fathers he shreds: A Christian is "one who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin." A saint is "a dead sinner revised and edited." He even rewrites the Decalogue: "Kiss not thy neighbor's wife, unless / Thine own thy neighbor doth caress." 

Bierce's politics amount to an aristocratic libertarianism. "In a republic," he writes, the rabble are "those who exercise a supreme authority tempered by fraudulent elections." The "dominant and controlling" tribe in human affairs is that of the "idiot." A revolution is "an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment." 
Oooh.  How freakin' exquisite are those?  I think I've found my next read; a casual perusal of Amazon's inventory shows the book will be available on September 1, but NOT in a Kindle edition.  Bierce appeals to my inner cynic and that inner cynic will NOT be denied.  Ergo, we shall order the book post-haste, Kindle edition or no.

Speaking of cynicism... more Greg Brown, which is what this post is supposed to be about... by that I mean music... right?

We used to say I don't care if I never grow old
I'm gonna flame, gonna burn, take one quick turn and be gone like James Dean
Now we don't say that. It's too late to die young
So we sit at the table long after supper and a good wine
Here's what we sing, we go, hey hey, hey hey, who woulda thunk it
Hey hey, hey hey, who woulda thunk it
Yeah, really: who'd a thunk it?  So, it turns out that Mr. Brown has been around for quite a long time.  I remain amazed at all the good stuff I missed in the way-back and am kinda-sorta determined to fix that.  Beginning with Mr. Brown's oeuvre.  I really like this guy.

Apropos to the Post Below

I've been listenin' to Pandora on my phone of late and just now became aware of their new PC-interface (which we use when indoors or when the WX allows us to open up the windows and listen to the indoor device when outdoors):

MUCH better than the old version, IMHO  Click for larger, if'n you have a mind to.

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

J.J. and Ol' Slowhand...

Well I got lots of children, an ex-wife or two
I never hear from them, 'till the bills are due
The money I gave 'em, they already spent
If I could just slip'em out, you've put me in that last will and testament

You know I'm going over sixty, I'm older than most

It won't be long now, I'll be nothing but a ghost
My intentions, it's my intent
To leave all of them people out of my last will and testament
Most of above applies to YrHmblScrb and I DO find it gratifying when my life is reflected in song.  Well, that sentiment about the kids isn't true at all (two of 'em call at regular intervals and are a great boon to me in my old age) nor is the expressed sentiment about inheritance valid, coz I intend to make all of my children hundredaires.  My ex-wives?  Don't ask... unless you want to hear concise statements about anatomically improbable sex acts.  Sorta, in that I know one of which has a most impressive toy box.  Or at least she used to (the other I kinda doubt).

And now it's back out under the awning to continue as we've begun. 

This Just In...

"This" bein' me... after a run over to The Big(ger) City™ for to make yet another car doctor's appointment for The Green Hornet, followed by a trip to the Cannon Airplane Patch Class VI store for the weekly single-malt run.

The latest car glitch involves one of the latches on TGH's top, which has been sprung for six years or so.  I useta could live with that when TGH still had her original top, which fit much better than her new hat... which apparently has yet to stretch out adequately.  But the new top is SO tight that a positive latch is required on both sides, otherwise there's about a quarter inch worth of air gap on the non-positive latching side.  This is NOT good for doin' stuff like goin' thru the car wash or drivin' in rain... the latter scenario bein' not much of a problem in these parts, of late.  Still and even...

So.  BOHICA, Car Parts Division... two hunnert Yankee Dollars worth.

Repeat after me:  "Cheaper than a new car, cheaper than a new car, cheaper than..."


And then there's this, from My Buddy Ed In Florida:
Mother Superior called all the nuns together and said to them, 'I must tell you all something. We have a case of gonorrhea in the convent.'

'Thank God,' said an elderly nun at the back. 'I'm so tired of chardonnay.'
(I got the pic from a generic web search... here.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Hate It When This Sorta Thang Happens


Three hours, 46 minutes, 15 seconds and 34 page views.  Comments?  None, as far as I can tell... but a comment from a new reader came in at 1345 hrs so I might could be wrong and that wouldn't be the first time.  But, Hey!  It's good to have readers in the AOR and that's where this person is, judging from his org/IP address (not published here) and the time zone.

An Endorsement

Kinky Friedman, left, listens to Texas Gov. Rick Perry during the 2006 Texas gubernatorial debate, Smiley N. Pool / AP-pool (photo snagged from The Daily Beast)
As a Jewish cowboy (or “Juusshh,” as we say in Texas), I know Rick Perry to be a true friend of Israel, like Bill Clinton and George W. before him. There exists a visceral John Wayne kinship between Israelis and Texans, and Rick Perry gets it. That’s why he’s visited Israel on many more occasions than Obama, who’s been there exactly zero times as president. If I were Obama I wouldn’t go either. His favorability rating in Israel once clocked in at 4 percent. Say what you will about the Israelis, but they are not slow out of the chute. They know who their friends are. On the topic of the Holy Land, there remains the little matter of God. God talks to televangelists, football coaches, and people in mental hospitals. Why shouldn’t he talk to Rick Perry? In the spirit of Joseph Heller, I have a covenant with God. I leave him alone and he leaves me alone. If, however, I have a big problem, I ask God for the answer. He tells Rick Perry. And Rick tells me.

So would I support Rick Perry for president? Hell, yes! As the last nail that hasn’t been hammered down in this country, I agree with Rick that there are already too damn many laws, taxes, regulations, panels, committees, and bureaucrats. While Obama is busy putting the hyphen between “anal” and “retentive” Rick will be rolling up his sleeves and getting to work.
Full disclosure:  I "threw away my vote" in the 2006 Texas gubernatorial race by voting for Mr. Friedman.  I could cloak myself in self-righteous virtue and tell ya I voted my conscience.  Which isn't a bad ideer, come to think on it, so, yeah:  I voted my conscience!  Kinky's platform appealed to me in every possible way...

Two things:  (1) read the whole endorsement; it's great in that Kinky way.  (2) We are edging ever closer to putting a "Perry 2012" widget in our sidebar.

Fault Identification

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tonight's ADWH Soundtrack

Greg Brown:

people meet somebody new & they leave the rest behind
we can have it all even though our lives are short
the kids they'll get used to it it happens all the time
no one is even surprised any more
'cept you and me babe 'cept you and me

i take my coffee black or with a little cream

i wake up every morning with the sun
i wanted to be your man that was nothing but a sweet dream
i always tell the truth to everyone
'cept you and me babe 'cept you and me

One of the things I love about Pandora is the new artists I'm exposed to.  Mr. Brown is new to me, kinda-sorta, in the sense I don't own any of his music and only became aware of him through Pandora.  But, that said, Mr. Brown is in heavy rotation during After Dinner Whiskey Hour and I like him... a lot.  He's kind of a cross between Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Tom Waits... which isn't as bad as that may sound.  As far as not owning any of his albums goes... I think we shall rectify that in the near future.


I've written about the birds at sunset before... and even tried to capture them on video flitting about during After Dinner Whiskey Hour, with marginal success.  Beautiful La Hacienda Trailer Park is the closest thing to a bird sanctuary as it gets in these parts, mainly because we have lotsa trees on the premises and trees are a rare commodity on The High Plains o' New Mexico.  So it follows that we would have a lot of birds... and we do.

We don't have many varieties of birds... we're limited to doves, grackles, the odd crow here and there, and LOTS of little sparrow-like birds of an indistinguishable genus... well, indistinguishable to ME, anyhoo.  When I say "lots" of little birds I mean lots as in a Numbered Air Force of birds.   Watching them wheel about the sky at sunset is most entertaining and they usually assemble in squadron proportions... which is to say multiple flights of eight birds or so.  Sometimes they'll get a Wing together and pass overhead in review, 20-something of them in formation and going god-only-knows-where.  But what's REALLY impressive is when the Bird-General calls for the entire complement of the Numbered Air Force to assemble and zoom around the AOR... several hundred birds strong.  That doesn't happen often but it's a magnificent sight when it does.

Keep in mind this is a nightly occurrence... be it squadron, wing, group, individual solos, or elements of two... and it always happens at sunset.  Sigh... this is just another thing I'm gonna miss when I leave BLHTP behind and move into town.  I'm sure there will be other things to take the place of the nightly air show.  Or at least I hope there will be.


First... Michael Ramirez weighs in on what might be the most bizarre pronouncement from an economist, ever:

Well, check that.  Krugman outdoes himself in the bizarre category each and every day... he should have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, Stand-up Routine Division.  For those of you who may not know what Mr. Ramirez is on about, there's this:
Just last fortnight, for instance, appearing on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS show, Krugman argued, somewhat bizarrely, that preparing for an attack by space aliens would ramp up spending to levels that would drag the US economy out of its downward spiral.

“It’s very hard to get inflation in a depressed economy,” Krugman said. “But if you had a program of government spending plus an expansionary policy by the Fed, you could get that….

“If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat – and inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that – this slump would be over in 18 months. And then if we discovered, oops, we made a mistake, there aren’t any aliens, we’d be better (off).
So, yeah.  "Damn the Aliens... full speed ahead!"


We're just in from running our errands, which included picking up our last-ever bundle of outsourced laundry.  I know what they say about never sayin' never, but I also know I'll have my very own washer and dryer for next month's laundry.  

Why, yes... laundry IS a once-a-month proposition for me.  Why do you ask?  Bein' retired means having to dress up only rarely or having to actually get dressed at ALL, for that matter.  Besides that I have a HUGE inventory of serviceable tee shirts and levis.

TMI?  Prolly.  Beer me!

See That Kid On the Left?

Buck and Sam, c.1971

He's 45 today.  He's also changed a bit in the intervening years...

Last year in Kandahar.

Happy Birthday, Buck!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tonight's ADWH Soundtrack

Which is a re-run:

A year or so ago I said this about that...
This is just about the perfect song for a semi-gray May Day.  "Samba Pa Ti" and I go waaay back, from the time Abraxas was first released back in 1970 up until the present.  I've experienced many, many exquisite moments with this tune, beginning when The First Mrs. Pennington and I did numerous turns to this song on dance floors many and varied (including our living room), up until recently when relatively new women and I did the same.  And oh-so-many points in between.  I can't begin to enumerate the emotions this song invokes... but they always involve passion, heartbreak and longing.
All that is still ça change and all that.  We'll not flog dead draft animals here, but the visions of past lovers this tune calls to mind are SO very poignant.  I suppose if it ever comes to pass that I embark on a "new" love affair I'll roll this tune out at the appropriate moment.  I mean... you can't improve on perfection, now, can ya?

So... that said... Carlos began pickin' and playin' just for ME as the stars began to achieve peak glory in the crystal-clear New Mexico skies tonight.  If there EVER was a time that cried out for company of the soft and cuddly kind...


This Is Different

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake on the EAST coast.  A quake that large is pretty unusual for the area, according to sources quoted in McPaper.  I haven't read of any injuries, so we can play with it.  And then there's this:
Update at 2:48 p.m. ET: Halley Pack, 24-year-old paralegal, was putting on her sneakers in the basement-level gym of her office building in downtown Washington, when the shaking started. She said she didn't realize that it was an earthquake at first," USA TODAY's Fredreka Schouten reports. "I've never been in an earthquake before," she said, standing in her exercise clothes outside her office building at 2:20 p.m. "I thought something was wrong with me, like I had a headache."
The probability of Ms. Pack bein' blonde?  I'd put it at ≥ 90%.

The Twitterati are havin' fun with this, too...

Heh. Plus... Cue Up Tevye

Lotsa 'toons at the usual source today about Ghaddafi's demise and The One's vacation.  Here are two:

I don't begrudge any president a vacation; I DO question Obama's timing, though.  And his choice of vacation spots.


In other news... there's this from the (other) usual source:

8/19/2011 - Members of Team Minot recreate a historic photograph of the arrival of the first B-52H Stratofortress here Aug. 19. The B-52, named the “Peace Persuader,” had nostalgic nose art painted on the airframe to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its arrival to Minot AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Michael J. Veloz)
Note that the airframe's serial number is 0033, meaning this is the 33rd BUFF to enter the USAF inventory.  I think the nose art is very, very cool; click for larger.  Good On the Powers That Be for the hat-tip to SAC... I loves me some tradition!

The B-52 has been in active service for more than 50 years.  Isn't that freakin' AMAZING?  Sad, too, that the world's most powerful country has to keep bombers in front-line service that are way older than the guys who fly them.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Difference Between Craft Beer and Bumillecoors

It's all in how it's brewed...

This is actually a beer ad for Hahn Super Dry, an Australian beer.

h/t:  A tweet from beer47.

I Just Got Off the Phone...

... with Flo.  We had a short and VERY pleasing conversation, at least as far as I'm concerned.  Which went something like this:
Flo:  How can I help you today, Mr. Pennington?
Me:  I need to cancel my policy, please.
Flo:  Oh, I'm sorry to hear that... may I ask why you're cancelling?
Me:  Because you wouldn't give me your preferential rate due to bogus "bad credit" information.  I'm with USAA now.
And that was pretty much that, except for minor details.  USAA is charging me MUCH less than half the amount Progressive was bending me over for.  I smiled broadly throughout the entire conversation.

::Chirpy Flo voice:: 
::/Chirpy Flo voice::