Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Plus Ça Change, La Deuxième Partie

We got off the dime and ran our errands today, thanks in no small part to the Virtual Nagging™ kindly provided by Occasional Readers Lou and Kris and even though we slept in until about the same hour as yesterday, which is to say well on the south side of the ten o'clock hour.  But the errands couldn't really be put off another day, for the food supply was perilously low and we needed to fill a prescription out at the Cannon Airplane Patch pharmacy.  So, we went.  Mission Accomplished, and all that.

We also stopped by the Class VI store and re-stocked the beer supply even though said supply was good enough to last another three or four days, at least.  The seasonal winter brews have hit the market and we picked up a couple o' sixers, to wit: Sammy Adams Winter lager and Blue Moon's Winter seasonal offering... Winter Abbey Ale.  I expected the beer snobs at BA to hate on the Winter Abbey Ale (coz it's from Coors, perish the thought), and some did.  But the overall consensus opinion is a C+, which ain't all THAT bad.  And the beer geeks rate the Sammy Adams a solid "B," so that's good news; that and the fact we've had pleasant experiences with this beer in the past.  That said, the beer was too warm for today's Happy Hour but we're looking forward to sampling one of each tomorrow afternoon.  Everyone needs a goal in life...

Ramirez Is Good Today

Buh-bye, Barney.  Don't let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out... coz it certainly wouldn't be a come on.  Don't want ya to get the wrong ideer, yanno?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


That really is how it is, no?   Mitt looks pretty good when one looks at the resumés and the "whole man" aspect of the available candidates, especially when it comes to intangibles like character.  So just what IS it about Romney that's so damned off-putting?  I'll freely admit to leaning more towards Newt of late but that doesn't mean I'll actually vote for him when the primary rolls around.  I just might come to my senses and vote for Romney, given the "electability" thang.  The MAIN objective is to send the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue packing and conventional wisdom sez Romney's our best bet.  But sometimes conventional wisdom isn't either one... conventional or wisdom.

Plus Ça Change...

... plus c'est la même chose (link for the non-Francophones).  I made lotsa plans before going to bed last night or... more accurately... early this morning.  I even set my alarm phone for 0830 hrs to ensure I rolled out in sufficient time to get an early start to The Big(ger) City™ and then to Cannon Airplane Patch for to run the Usual, Customary, and Reasonable errands.  So... the alarm goes off at the appointed time and I did the entirely predictable thang: shut it off and rolled over for two more hours of beauty sleep, which always fails in its intended purpose.  Which is to say I'm not getting any more beautiful but I am most certainly well-rested.

So here we sit with one more cup o' morning coffee left to drink and the prospect of completing our errands vanishing into the ether.  I suppose there's always tomorrow and this seems to be the way my life of sloth and indolence works.  It takes me a day to think of what must be done, another day to plan for it, a day to put it off, and yet another day before I actually get around to the doing.  Or mebbe two.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: I'm in dire need of some serious nagging.  I don't miss that sorta "incentive" 95% of the time but when I need it, I REALLY need it.  Or mebbe I just need to get that maid I've been on about.

Make Cuts, But Don't Cut MY Stuff!

It never fails...
Wait a Minute, Man: Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) called on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to ensure that the Minuteman III ICBM force is not eliminated as one of the moves that Pentagon officials might feel compelled to make to deal with potential budget cuts up to $100 billion annually over the next 10 years. Conrad wrote Panetta after Panetta told lawmakers earlier this month that such steep budget reductions might force DOD to "eliminate [the] ICBM leg of triad," among the many drastic actions that might be unavoidable. Getting rid of the ICBMs would provide an estimated $8 billion in savings, said Panetta. But such thinking is alarming, asserted Conrad. "It's a shock to hear the Pentagon say that the ICBM is a good place to find short-term savings," he wrote in his Nov. 18 letter to Panetta. "This total reversal of our long-held and successful nuclear deterrent strategy would create unnecessary strategic danger; moreover, it does not make fiscal sense," stated Conrad. Accordingly, "I ask that you protect the 420-missile and 450-silo ICBM force from cuts outside the arms control process, and refrain from considering our nation's most cost-effective and stabilizing nuclear deterrent," he underscored.
That's from the Usual USAF Source, of course.  I agree with Senator Conrad in principle but his credibility is somewhat diminished by the fact the majority of the nation's ICBMs are based in NoDak.  When I was stationed up that way we used to joke that if NoDak seceded from the union they'd be the world's third largest nuclear power.  That wasn't a joke, actually... it's entirely true if one considers the nuclear-armed B-52s at Minot along with the 150 Minuteman silos scattered all over North Dakota.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Today's SECOND GOML Moment

I'm in the process of shutting down my mail forwarding service in Texas, which requires me to contact everyone and anyone who mails me at that address.  All that's pretty much been done but there are a few cats and dogs I forgot... one of them being Sprint.  When I first switched my cell service over to Sprint these many years ago I still entertained notions of getting back on the road at some point so I gave the Sprint folks my Texas address.  They're still billing me at that address, so we placed a call to their customer service center in Bangalore.

That was the first irritant, given the guy on the other end of the line was nearly unintelligible due to (a) his accent and (b) the poor quality of the connection, which is to say cross-talk and background noise.  Sprint is a fucking PHONE company, so the connection quality is inexcusable.  And Sprint is a US company, so outsourcing/offshoring their call center is also inexcusable.  More so on the second rather than the first, actually.

The second irritant... not counting the 20-plus minute wait to get to a live human... was the rep telling me he was unable to verify my address as it didn't show up in his reference, what ever the Hell THAT was.  We went back and forth for a few moments, him telling me "this is a problem" and me responding with "but it's not MY problem, it's YOUR problem" and variations on that theme.  I finally asked to speak to a supervisor and three minutes later the guy... same guy... came back on-line to tell me everything was cool.

The THIRD irritant is me going to Sprint's web site to try... repeat TRY... to validate the address change took effect.  I finally gave up on their web site after 15 minutes of abortive tries to access my account (fail), set up a new account (fail), and go through their registration process, which Sprint assured me was successful via a text message to my phone.  Well, it fucking WASN'T successful because I still CANNOT ACCESS MY ACCOUNT.

It's no damned wonder Sprint is about to go under because they suck mightily at the IT bid'niz.  I must not be alone in my thinking, as you get about 1,270,000 results for this Google image search.  No surprises there.

Today's GOML Moment

I don't do Black Friday or Cyber Monday but that doesn't stop the mercenary sons o' bitches in this fine land from doin' ME.  Witness:

It seems like EVERY organization I've ever bought anything from, no matter HOW long ago it was, remembers me and is inundating me with offers I can't refuse.  Except that I CAN... refuse.  You'll note that only two of those messages were read before being deleted, and both were read out o' curiosity more than anything else.  Except for's message, given we hardly ever refuse a deal from those guys.

Bottom line:  Get the HELL Off My Lawn and outta my in-box!


From the Usual Source.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What's For Dinner, Buck?

BLTs!  Some assembly required...

In the beginning

Building the perfect beast

Dinner is served

Yum.  Our beer was a Santa Fe Nut Brown Ale.  Or two.

A Meme

There's no accounting for how these things start...

... but Fenton is sweeping the inner-tubes, especially in the UK.  From the Guardian:
Somewhere – probably in south-west London – lies a dog that this week took its rightful place in the Unofficial List of Famous Labradors.
The 47-second video of Fenton (Benton?) chasing deer across Richmond Park has now been viewed more than 1.5m times – And here's the man who shot the original video talking to Absolute Radio's Christian O'Connell. And then there are the mashups. Oh, the mashups!
From Alan Partridge to Alien, countless YouTube creations keep coming. 
And here's one such: 

There's more at the Guardian's PDA page.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Weekend Continues

I almost always title my blog posts before I write them... it's the very first thing I do.  And then I write, keeping the post title in mind and trying not to venture too far afield from the thought contained in the title.  That usually works for me except for those times when I'm more scattered than normal, and be kind, Gentle Reader, as you read that last bit.  When I'm scattered I'll choose some sort of post title like "Potpourri" or "Miscellaneous Ramblings" or "A Few Things" or something of that ilk.  Today is such a day, so forgive me my trespasses and I'll forgive you yours. 

I spent pretty much the entire day yesterday listing hard to port and taking on water.  It all began Thanksgiving night when I settled down in the early evening to watch the end of a one-hundred-plus game college ball rivalry, which is to say Texas-Texas A&M.  The game was magnificent and I'll say that as a disinterested party with no affiliation whatsoever with either school.  But I loves me some rivalry games, they're always intense and usually result in hard-played football, which is the finest kind.  It saddens me to see the end of a tradition and I watched one end Thursday evening.  But we digress.

I fell asleep on the couch almost immediately after the game was over and slept for well over six hours, awakening just after 0300 hrs.  Six hours of sleep falls within the Usual, Customary, and Reasonable range for me of late and I was faced with a dilemma: do I go back to bed, in my real bed, with every expectation of tossing and turning fitfully for a couple o' hours until it gets light or do I make the coffee and stay up?  I opted for "make the coffee."  That was my first mistake and the rest of the day was pretty much downhill from there.  I managed to stay awake for a lil over six hours and then took a two hour nap.

I said my day was downhill but it wasn't all downhill.  The Beloved Wings played an afternoon game in Bawston yesterday, the broadcast start time being 1100 hrs MST, which was right around the time I awoke from my nap.  The game was a good one, except for the fact the Bruins' only two goals both came as a result of Dee-troit turnovers.  They have to stop that stuff, to be kind.  The Wings also scored two goals and we went into OT as a result and then to a shootout where Dee-troit won, snapping Bawston's ten-game win streak.  Both the game and the final result were VERY satisfying.

We then switched over to yet another rivalry game... already in progress... and watched what was left of the first half of LSU-Arkansas, followed by the remainder of the game.  I had hopes for Moogie's Hawgs when I switched over and saw the score was 14-0 in their favor, but Andy's Tiggers regained their composure and blew the Hawgs out in the second half, which was never close.  So:  Andy glad, Moogie sad.  Me?  Asleep on the couch, again.  Blowouts just aren't that entertaining, unless it's YOUR blowout.

I woke up sometime after dark and hied my old ass off to Mickey Dee's, where I suffered a major disappointment (see below).  I should have known better and that's all I'll say about that.

I then retired to the study where I dragged the Emergency Desktop out of the closet and set to getting it running.  Eighty-five Microsnot updates (85!  Eighty-freakin'-five!), numerous anti-virus updates, and one Firefox upgrade later (from 3.0.19 to 8.0.1) we were done, sorta.  I still have to restore my financial software to its current state before end-of-month close out, but that's no biggie.  The laptop is current in that space, as is the outboard hard drive.

I find it interesting that this is the second time my spiffy desktop has failed in its sweet short life and it's the second time I've had to fall back on the obsolescent box I replaced three years ago.  Both 'puters are Gateways, but the old one is so much more reliable than the newer one... even if it's slower than molasses on a January day.  The old box runs XP, which takes forever to boot up, but at least the thing runs once it's finished gnashing and thrashing its way through the boot sequence.  It has a much slower processor, too, but once again: it's adequate for the tasks at hand.  I'm simply glad I have a fall-back position other than the laptop.

And the weekend continues...

Friday, November 25, 2011


You've prolly seen the ads on yer teevee announcing with varying degrees of faux excitement that the "McRib is back!"  Well, I'd never had one before so I tried one today.  I'm of the opinion that the McRib should have stayed wherever the hell it went; it had no bid'niz comin' back.  I'm told (by reputable sources recommended by Mr. Google) that the "meat" in the McRib is genuine pork and not some sorta mystery meat but ya coulda fooled me.  The "meat" has a rubbery consistency and such a complete lack of meat flavor that it reminded me of the canned substance found in C-rations long ago and far away.  That stuff was allegedly meat, too.  

My bottom line:  I couldn't finish the McRib; one third of it went down the garbage disposal.  What's worse yet is I bought TWO of those abominable thangs; the second sandwich followed the remnants of the first into the disposal.

I agree with this guy:
McDonald's would be much wiser to serve actual smoked rib meat pulled off the bone with a better tasting and spicier BBQ sauce. Short of that, they could easily offer a REAL pulled pork sandwich made from one of the popular brands like Curly's or Lloyd's.
What he said.

So I went lookin' for a suitable image for this post and found a truckload of Mickey Dee's adverhype.  And this lil thang:

I simply can't think of ANYTHING snarky enough for a caption or comment.  All y'all gotta help me out.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm Thankful For...

... my DVR.  Because I can do stuff like this:

That would be PAB, paused.  Yowza.

Happy Thanksgiving

For the fifth year in a row...  If the Wall Street Journal has been running the same piece since 1961 I figure I can get by with re-runs, too. I'm not quite as good as they are, though. But seriously: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Gentle Reader. I’m going to be lazy today and re-run what I said last year (in part...there was more), mainly coz (a) it’s all true and (b) I’m fresh out of original i-deers. So…from Turkey-Day-2006:
Of all the things I’m thankful for on this day…family, friends, reasonable health… I thank God most of all for making me an American. Most all of the good things in my life begin and end with that one single fact.
You could do much worse today than read the editorial the WSJ has published every Thanksgiving since 1961.  An excerpt:
We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.
And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.
As true today as it was back in 1961.
The images come from Thanksgiving Corner, which has a great collection of Thanksgiving wallpaper. Normally I'd only post a single topical image, but I was so taken with the second image that I had to post it. Shades of Ben Franklin, and all that.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bad Day

Didja ever have one of those pains in the neck that made even breathing hurt?  That would be me today and it doesn't do my usually bright and cheery self any good at ALL.  The worst part?  Aleve doesn't seem to be much help.  I took two of those things this morning and went back to bed but the pain hasn't gone away.  Oh, well... this, too, shall pass.

I got nuthin' (else) so you get Mimi:

Don't worry, Mimi.  I won't leave ya.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's Always SUMTHIN' XV

An Occasional Correspondent sends this along...

I can only WISH I'd seen an error message like that last night when my desktop went belly up.  There I was... installing Microsnot updates on the box when it froze.  I waited about five minutes to make sure it wasn't going to unfreeze and proceed with the task at hand... nothing.  So I did a hard shut-down and rebooted.  The result?  Blue screen o' death.  Bill Gates has a macabre sense of humor, since this particular iteration of the BSOD told me to check my computer for viruses and run CHKDSK/F if all else fails.  Three times, even.  Enquiring Minds™ REALLY wanna know how the f*ck I can do that when the OS won't load...

It's always sumthin'...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Your Hockey Red Wings Update...

... which ab-so-freakin'-lute-ly requires me to post this:

That's a SportsCenter highlight-reel save... and one of the best I've ever seen, bar none.  It's just gravy that it happens to be Jimmy Howard, who emerged victorious in last night's end of a four-game road trip for the Beloved Wings.  They didn't do TOO badly, earning four out of of a possible eight points on the trip.  The end result is Dee-troit sits at sixth place in the Western Conference standings going into tonight's games, a decided improvement on the tenth place we had before the California trip.  Me likey.

Last night's game looked like a blow-out, what with the Wings leading 3-0 into the middle frame.  But those pesky (and hapless: 6-10-4 on the season) Ducks came back to make it a contest.  A real nail-biter, when ya come right down to it... until THIS happened in the final minute:

I told SN1 Stuart couldn't do that again if he tried and SN1 disagreed, opining that "those guys are PROFESSIONALS."  Well, that's true... but even the pros need a big-ass helping of luck every once in a while.  Still and even: that was freakin' PRETTY, luck or not!

Broadening Our Horizons XXXV

We were still drinkin' our morning (heh) coffee when Happy Hour time rolled around but we think we're caffeinated enough to make it through the rest of the day, even if we're leavin' a couple o' cups in the pot.  As a good friend o' mine useta say... "Sometimes it bees like that."  Today is one of those days.

But... to the bid'niz at hand.  No, make that the pleasure at hand:

That's a Linenkugel Fireside Nut Brown.  I like this brew, unlike one o' The Bros, who gave the beer a "D."  A D!  That means "avoid" in BA-speak.  I firmly disagree and I'm not the only one who doesn't share Mr. Alström's point o' view, as the consensus opinion on this tasty nut brown ale is C+ and that's based upon 347 reviews.  Personally?  I'd give it a B, mainly coz I like the smoky taste that is quite prominent in this brew.  It's definitely a seasonal sorta thang, and it goes very well with a chilly Fall kinda day.

Today's cigar is a box-pressed Ave Maria, a stick I have some small experience with and a worthy companion to the Fireside Nut Brown.  You'll note that I'm both politically and legally correct today: the cigar sits in the ashtray unlit.

And now it's time to layer up (coz it's a mere 52 degrees outside) and take this show out to the verandah.

Update, 1555 hrs:  Well, THAT didn't last long.  I could handle the 52 degrees but I couldn't handle 52 degrees along with the brisk breeze that accompanied the chill.  So we're back indoors to enjoy our beer in the coziness of El Casa Inmóvil de Pennington.  Sans cigar.  (Sigh)


Rumor had it yesterday the Supercommittee was going to announce their failure today, but mebbe not.  Negotiations always seem to go down to the wire, that's just the way life is when there are Big Thangs at stake.  I hope those asshats get it together because the consequences of failure are pretty bad in this case.  Just for starters... the DJIA is down 282 and plummeting as I type.  And then there's this:
It's Worse Than You Think: Even without the Budget Control Act's sequestration mechanism kicking in, "we know there will be much more than $450 billion in defense cuts" in the coming decade, said Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Philip Breedlove. Addressing AFA's Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles last week, Breedlove said the service is planning for far deeper reductions that will result "in our Total Force getting smaller" and putting the nation "at a significant level of risk." If the sequester does happen—essentially doubling that $450 billion figure—it will result in programmatic chaos, said Breedlove. "Most people don't understand" how the sequester would work, he said. Every line item "would be cut equally," meaning that virtually all contracts would be broken, resulting in stop-work fees of frightening proportions and leaving programs in the lurch, he said. Such action overall would be "onerous," and compel USAF to cut deeply in readiness and modernization, since only they can hit the "hard target" reductions and yield saving in "near years," he explained. Base closures, for example, would "take years to realize savings," said Breedlove. "We have to find near-term dollars. We can't build a slope that ramps over seven or eight years," he continued. Faced with sequester, the Air Force also would have no choice but to "look at missions" and choose some to stop doing, despite the fact that seemingly every mission USAF performs is in greater demand than ever, he said during his Nov. 18 speech.
—John A. Tirpak
That's from the Usual USAF Source, of course.
Interesting times.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Still Another Sign o' the Impending Apocalypse (An Ongoing Series)

More content than pr0n?  NO way.

OTOH... I could use more vids like this:

Coz dogs are inherently smarter than cats.  And some humans.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Didja Ever?

I'm sitting here making my shopping list in preparation for today's Grand Excursion.  I think I'm done but I have this nagging feeling I'm forgetting sumthin'... sumthin' that's pretty essential yet sumthin' I can't quite put my finger onUntil tonight or mebbe tomorrow, that is, when it'll become all TOO clear.

Too True

It's lookin' more and more like Romney all the time, innit?  I like Newt the best out of all the possibilities in the GOP field, but the Donkeys would eat him alive due to his considerable baggage, both personal and political.  Cain is a likable enough sorta guy but he strikes me as a doofus of the first order.  Successful bid'niz man?  Yes.  Presidential material?  No.  And Perry... my useta-be favorite... is a good president o' Texas.  I have my doubts about how successful he'd be as president of the United States.  So who's left, really?  Romney.


How Times Change

Some plane pr0n from the Usual USAF Source...

C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft fly in formation during a training mission near Mount Fuji, Japan, as part of exercise Samurai Surge, Nov. 2, 2011. (Air Force photo by SSgt. Samuel Morse)

and a similar shot from times past:

I much prefer the top photo.  I'm thinkin' the Nihonjin do, too.


We're back to our old habits, kinda-sorta, in that we didn't hit the hay until 0430 hrs this morning and slept in until 1100 hrs.   Part o' the reason is I took a two-hour nap yesterday afternoon, mainly because last night's Wings game was a late one in San Jose.  I prolly shouldn't have bothered because the Wings lost and it wasn't even close, what with a 5-2 final score.  I had high hopes last night, seein' as how the Wings completely dominated the first period when most of the play took place at San Jose's end of the rink.  Alas, the game changed radically in the second period and stayed that way.  I don't feel the loss was due to lack of effort on the Wings part, seein' as how they had 42 shots on goal, compared to the Sharks' 28.  But there are shots and then there are SHOTS... good teams find a way to put the puck in the net.  Good teams also don't cough the puck up and allow the opposition to score on them, almost at will.  The Wings better get it together, and soon... if the playoffs began tomorrow the Wings wouldn't be in it for the first time in 20 years.  That would break my hard little heart.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Noticed and Unnoticed

Noticed: Today is another one of those days here on The High Plains o' New Mexico: there's more wind than any human bean wants or needs, which is to say constant wind in the mid-20 mph range, with gusts of 30 mph and above.  That's not as bad as some days but the wind, along with temps in the very low 50s, is bad enough to make me forgo shopping that should be done but won't be.  The wind will also cancel Happy Hour today.  Oh, I'll still knock back a beer or two but I'll do so indoors and will forgo (once again) the usual, customary, and quite reasonable cigar... said cigar being one of the necessary ingredients of a successful Happy Hour.  The changing of the seasons has had a remarkable impact on my cigar consumption, which has resulted in a considerable reduction in expense (good) along with a reduction in my perceived quality of life (bad).  And winter isn't even here!  I've been thinkin' about suitable work-arounds in this space and haven't come up with any as of yet.  Got any ideers, Gentle Reader?

Unnoticed:  Our sixth blogoversary slipped under the radar this past Tuesday. We had put up 4,151 posts (according to Blogger's "edit posts" screen) as of 11/15/2011 and the sheer quantity of mindless drivel I've posted to these inter-tubes never ceases to amaze me.  It also never ceases to amaze me that people actually READ this stuff, some of whom (yeah YOU, Lou) have been with me since Day One (well, almost) and others (Kris, Jenny, Laurie, Bob) have hung with me nearly that long.  And then there are the others who came in afterwards yet continue to hang around, The Deity At Hand only knows why.  I didn't mention SN1 or SN2; there's a reason for that, which falls in the "duty and obligation" space.  But that said, I appreciate their patronage along with that of the grandbabies, who now know more than they prolly should about Dear Ol' Granddad.

I DO go on.  My bottom line?  Thank you ALL for dropping by and thank you for your friendship.  I dunno how long blog life is or can be but I don't see myself giving it up any time soon.

Unnoticed, II:  No one remarked that the state of California transgendered me before being transgendered was cool.  I didn't let California's oh-so-unilateral action go to my head (or other places), though.  It's good to get in touch with your feminine side, even if you're forced to do so by the gub'mint.


May think they're irresponsible?  MAY?  I fail to see how any reasonable American could think otherwise.  It takes the utmost in restraint to watch these Super-Committee asshats from BOTH parties pontificating on my teevee night after night, and by that I mean NOT throwing sumthin' large and heavy at my screen.  I particularly find members of the Donkey-party reprehensible when they drone on and on about "jobs," when it comes to the impending sequestration and other contexts.  WTF do THEY know about jobs, anyway?  And while we're on the subject, there's this:
What has not been discussed in the press is the impact sequestration will have on the jobs front.  First, most estimates coming from the Department believe cuts of such magnitude will cause DOD to “lay off” upwards of 150,000 troops and tens of thousands of civilians.  A new study by Dr. Stephen S. Fuller at George Mason University has given us a hint at the impact on the industrial base.  The key findings of the study were as follows: 
  • Total potential job losses (direct, indirect, community): 1,006,315
  • Total potential aerospace/defense and supply chain job losses: 352,000
  • Total loss of workers’ wages and salaries: $59.4 billion
  • Impact on national unemployment rate: + .6%
  • Impact on projected growth of 2013 Gross Domestic Product: - 25%
The impact on jobs varies by state … but California (-125,800), Virginia (-122,800), Texas (-91.600), Florida (-39,200), and Massachusetts (-38,200) are the ones with the highest numbers of jobs lost.

It isn’t just the defense companies that will be hurt by defense cuts, according to Fuller. “DOD buys from other sectors in the economy,” Fuller said. “Suppliers and other small businesses located in communities with large and small aerospace companies are affected by these cuts. As these companies suffer, so do the businesses further down the supply chain.”

For more information, see:
The above is an excerpt from an e-mail sent by the president of the Air Force Association. Which reminds me of the brouhaha surrounding the last BRAC round. The Donkeys always scream about cutting defense spending until the services want to close a base in THEIR district. Ain't it amazing how quickly they change their tune then?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Success, Part Deux

I'm a New Mexican...

...albeit a temporary New Mexican.  I was told my license will arrive via a uniformed representative of the Federal Gubmint sometime in the next 45 days.  Or so.

Speakin' o' driver's licenses... I've carried this old Kally-forhn-ee-ya license in my wallet for nearly 40 years now:

Ain't that about the ugliest chick ya ever did see?  And note, please, that we are our same svelte self (height, weight) as we were over 35 years ago.  It's all in the genes, Gentle Reader; lifestyle has NOTHING to do with it.  Otherwise I'd be dead now.

From the Outbox

I received one of those inspirational e-mails from an Occasional Correspondent this morning and replied like so (after selectively quoting the content of the note):

From: Buck Pennington 
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:59 AM
Occasional Correspondent
Cc: Another
Occasional Correspondent
Subject: Re: Too Good not to Share

Buddha: “What we think we become. We are what we think."

Mahatma Gandhi: “A man is but the product of his thoughts.  What he thinks, he becomes.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”

Jesus: “As you think, so shall ye be.”

OK... just for the record... I am NOT a pussy.
The sender (who is female) replied "Now THAT really made me laugh out loud!"  I prolly should add I'm not a mo'sickle, either.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Not Your Father's Air Force XV

Air University Awards First Doctorate Degree: Air University awarded its first doctorate degree Monday, seven years after the university began developing its doctoral degree program. Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, deputy director of public affairs at Headquarters Air Combat Command, at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., received his doctorate of philosophy in military strategy during a ceremony at Maxwell AFB, Ala. Sholtis said he had "the opportunity to think about what I do as a public affairs officer and why I do it, the larger picture of what national policy and civilian officials faced when discussing the US strategy in Afghanistan." Hank Dasinger, AU chief of academic affairs, said the doctoral program "reinforces the idea that we are a military school and a university," while allowing airmen to pursue their PhDs without "being away from your functional areas." Only one percent of a year group is admitted to the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies class, which makes them eligible for the doctorate program, said Bruce Murphy, vice president for academic affairs. "We need educated people at high levels, and this program keeps them current in their fields," said Murphy.
I'm not biased against higher education, per se, and I think graduate degrees for military professionals are good things... in areas like logistics, engineering, and even military history.  But I'm a lil bit nonplussed at "doctorate of philosophy in military strategy" and most especially how said philosophy and/or strategy relates to Public Affairs.  That seems a bit much.  Or mebbe I'm just thick; I was enlisted, after all, and was reminded quite often during my career that I wasn't paid to think.

While we're on about it...  There might have been professional public affairs officers back in my day but I'm betting those guys were only found at the Numbered Air Force level or above; most of the PAOs I knew were additional-duty types.  Hell, I was one myself at the squadron level, as a Master Sergeant.  And now we have professional spin-meisters with doctorates.  In the Air Force!

Monday, November 14, 2011

That's a Bargain, Actually

I think that's a bargain mainly coz I paid $3.45/gallon when I filled up last week, but that was for mid-range, not regular.  I can remember when gas was about 28 CENTS a gallon everywhere and 17 cents a gallon on base.  And that was long after the time I had to walk to school barefoot in the snow.  Uphill both ways, like everyone else in my cohort.

Things Ya Don't Wanna See

This is one:

That's the first thang I saw when I fired up the desktop this morning.  It's not as bad as it looks -- the disk is my outboard hard drive that I use for back-up.  But... bad enough.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Learned Sumthin' Today

Specifically: the capacity limit of my hot water heater, as in don't put a load of laundry in the washer (set on Hot/Warm) and then expect to take a Hollywood shower 15 minutes later.  The effect can be most chilling.  Literally.

The Sunday Re-Run

I've been thinkin' about mo'sickles a LOT of late.  I dunno exactly why that is and it seems middling strange to me, mainly coz it's usually in the Spring when a young man's old geezer's thoughts turn to love of the two-wheeled sort.  But lately it's been bikes, bikes, and more bikes.  This lil exchange over at our favorite (former) Nasal Radiator's place is of a piece:
Most other bikes are better than Harley. On this side of the pond, back in teh 70s, we used to have a saying, If you like to ride buy a ___(insert your favorite 70s era rice burner). If you like to push, buy a Harley.”
Harley-Davidson has improved a lot since AMF days, but it’s still the same basic bike.
  • As a longtime sportbike rider (Yamaha RDs… i.e., RD-350, RD-400, RD-350LC… in the past and then a Suzuki Duck clone of late) I like to twist the tails of Harley riders from time to time. Especially since my SN1 is a Hardley-Ableson kinda guy.
OK, that comment was self-serving but it DID fit, no?  And I went looking for a particular EIP piece apropos of that comment, just so I could post it again.  Herewith a couple o' my all-time favorite rides:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fast Times At Ridgemont When I Was High

High on LIFE, Gentle Reader... high on life.  And mo'sickles.  There were a few previously unpublished pics of mo'sickles-past lurking in the pages of those photo albums I brought home from SN2's place.  You know I'm gonna post those, so we might as well get started.  First up: my old RD350LC.  Here she is up against the wall, a position we rarely found ourselves in, metaphorically speaking.

If that pic looks somewhat familiar it's only because it is.  We previously posted this pic of the happy couple:

And then there's this, taken on the same day as the above but in a different place.  The day would be the day I sold her in June of 1983 (she wasn't street-legal in the USA and I was going home) and the place is High Wycombe Air Station where I lived during my three-year all expenses paid (courtesy of the USAF) vacation in London.

I kinda like that shot because you can read the tee shirt I'm wearing in the full-size version of the pic, to wit:

That 350-cc number prolly sounds laughable to Americans who routinely think "Harley" and big-ass 96 cu. in. (1600 cc) motors when they think of bikes, which is rarely (unless you're a biker).  But lemmee tell ya, those 350cc's made mince-meat out of many a cruiser back in the day and sport bikes twice its size, too.  That was one hella quick and fast mo'sickle and it could carve a corner like few others.  Fast times, indeed.

Here's the best bike I ever owned... it edges out the 350LC by only the tiniest of margins... my RD400D.  The first pic is the bike in box-stock configuration, the second is in its current mildly-modified condition:



I spent the winter of 1978 in my garage working on that bike.  Most of the mods were bolt-ons, which is to say after-market shocks, new handle bars, rear-set foot pegs, a brake/shifter kit, electronic ignition, and better tires.  The cognoscenti will note the expansion chambers on the bike and those were part of the minor engine mods I did.  I didn't want to build a hand-grenade motor so I just added expansion chambers, larger carbs, and K&N air filters to improve the bike's breathing.  I also polished all the cylinder ports to improve air flow.  And that was it... but the finished product really wailed.  I should also mention coastal Oregon was a danged fine place to own a back road burner like the RD, too.  Even more fast times.

Here's a previously posted and MUCH prettier pic of the stock RD:

 TSMP and Stock RD

I tried to get her to pose in her bikini but she wasn't having any of that.  (sigh)

Lastly... the RD400 is still in the family, sitting in the back of SN2's garage.  It still runs but is suffering from a leaky rear master cylinder.  Sam keeps telling me "one of these days..."  Heh.
And now a moment that's said to be good for the soul.  Here's part of an exchange I had with Occasional Reader Laurie a couple o' days ago:
Don't tell anyone, but I've been lookin' at Sportys for about a month or so.  I'm only six months removed from getting rid o' Miss Zukiko and find I'm missing her.  Terribly.  I'm too old and decrepit to go back to sport bikes, but I'm thinkin' I could deal with a Sporty, even with my infirmities.  So, we shall see....
The Apocalypse truly must be near.  Me?  On a HARLEY?  Aiiieee.