Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Because There Are Waaaay Too Many Cat Vids On the Intar-tubes



And not near enough Louis Prima... or Louis Prima clones (the tune here might be done by Brian Setzer).

The Ol' Man Would Like This

English Project Seeks to Honor 8th Air Force's Friendly Invasion: Local English communities have come together under a project to preserve the story of 8th Air Force and its presence throughout eastern England during World War II. The initiative, dubbed "The Eighth in the East," has just received a development grant of some $22,800 (£14,500) to launch its activities. "Inspired by a team of archaeologists, archivists, and museum curators, the project is aimed at helping local people of all ages who live close to one of the 67 war-time airfields to take ownership of this rich legacy by recording oral histories, mapping each air base, and putting together events which will engage everyone with a three-year period that changed the course of history," reads a release from project planners. "It's almost shameful," said BBC's Nick Patrick "that, were it not for a handful of dedicated volunteers and museum professionals, this history has almost been allowed to die." (For more on the Mighty Eighth during World War II, read The Real Twelve O'Clock High and The Cost of Schweinfurt from Air Force Magazine's archives.)
My father served in the Mighty Eighth during the Big One and flew his 25 missions in B-17s over Der Vaterland.  I'm pretty sure he'd be happy to hear the legacy of the 8AF in Britain is being defended; too much of its physical presence has already vanished.  As for me... I'm glad the Brits are putting some effort into preserving the history.  Good On 'Em.

You might wanna chase both of the above links, but especially the "Twelve O'Clock High" link.  An excerpt:
It had an authenticity seldom seen in war movies. It pushed all the right buttons for airmen, who held it in such regard that the movie became something of a cult film for several generations of Air Force members. 

In those days, almost everybody in the Air Force had seen it at least once, and the film was used for many years in USAF leadership courses.
You can count me among that "several generations of Air Force members" referenced in the quote.  I've seen the film at least three times, if not more.  The linked article is a great read.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Today's Happy (?) Hour Soundtrack

A couple o' tunes and a random thought or two.  First, Colbie Caillat...

I won't do what you told me
I won't do what you said, no
I'm not gonna stop feeling
I'm not gonna forget it
I don't wanna start over
I don't wanna pretend that
You are not my lover
That you're only my friend
That was me ten years ago.  We've grown up a lil bit since then*.  And then there's this...

Isn't this the best part of breakin' up
Finding someone else you can't get enough of
Someone who wants to be with you too

It's an itch we know we are gonna scratch

Gonna take a while for this egg to hatch
But wouldn't it be beautiful

Here we go, we're at the beginning

We haven't fucked yet, but my heads spinning

Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you

Why can't I speak whenever I talk about you
It's inevitable, it's a fact that we're gonna get down to it
So tell me
Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you
Oh, damn.  There it IS.  I was gonna go off on this tangent about how and why is it that heartbreak songs outnumber those that celebrate "true love" (if there is such a thing) by a factor of at LEAST 10:1.  That ratio is based upon today's Happy Hour soundtrack, which was the Joan Osbourne station on Pandora.  And further... I didn't keep an actual count of the songs, it's just a gut-feel sorta thang.  I think I'm erring on the conservative side as well, because if I really go with my gut I'd say the heartbreak songs outnumber songs celebrating love by a factor of 20:1.  But that's just me, and we're ignoring what Ms. Phair said.

We digress.  I think Miz Phair hits on it... the feeling one gets when one is caught up in an irresistible attraction and that feeling is prolly the demise of most relationships.  I've been on both sides of this phenomenon and neither side is pretty: someone always gets hurt.  It really makes me wonder why the hell we go through this shit but I think that's mostly a function of age.  It's much easier to let it all go... to give up the chase, to accept solitude... when you've got one foot in the grave.  Yet still... so much to lose, so little to gain.  Why?

*Which is only a small lie.

Mostly Good, With a Lil Bad Mixed In


Yeah... Ron Paul is lookin' better and better.  And better.  But I just can't sign on with his foreign policy views, among other thangs.

―:☺:―

We've had a run o' good... no, great... WX this past week.  I sat out on the verandah from about 1030 hrs until twilight last evening, goin' directly from morning coffee to beer without even so much as a missed step.  We did take the odd potty break now and then, one blogging break, and spent some quality time with the neighbor ladies and my erstwhile foster granddaughter, who continues to crawl all over me like I'm some sorta amusement park.  "It's because you're so nice to her," sez my neighbor.  I just smiled while thinkin' "well, I'm nice to YOU, too, yanno?"  I should verbalize these thangs, methinks.  The ol' "faint heart/fair lady" cliché comes to mind...

There's a downside to this fine WX: the right side o' my face is severely sunburned; sunburned to the point o' pain, to the point where we broke out the Greasy Kid Stuff (Neosporin) and slathered it all over our nose and cheek last evening.  I hate it when this happens, more so in the dead o' winter.

We shall be havin' more of the same in the upcoming week.  Note:


Which is MUCH better than a year ago, almost to the day (01/30 vs. 01/31):

We Otta Be a Whole Helluva Lot Smarter By Friday...

... on account o' because we're gonna be spending the next four nights in the Holiday Inn Express just across the highway.  I thought about this long and hard before I decided to abandon El Casa Móvil De Pennington for a warmer space.  My Inner Macho Man said "don't be a freakin' wuss, it's just a lil cold, is all."  Macho Man was winning until I ran into Jenny at Wally-World and she was pretty emphatic with the "do it!" thing.  Which all goes to prove that women are generally smarter than men when it comes to macho stuff.

And just how cold will it be?  This cold:

 
I can do overnight temps in the teens but below zero stuff just ain't ANY fun.  At all.

So.  We're booked.  Registering at the front desk of the HIE was sorta funny... I was asked for address, etc. and duly gave the particulars... which got weird for the lady when she said "and your ZIP code there?'  "88130," sez I.  "Hunh?  What's that all about, if I may ask?"  We explained, she understood.  And Hey!  Free breakfast for the next four days, or at least someone else is gonna do the cookin'.  Coz it ain't exactly free, yanno?
I'll take this year over last... along with some zinc oxide for the ol' snozz.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Oh, baby... it don't get no better than this:

Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster from an old rodeo
Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
To believe in this living is just a hard way to go 
Yeah.  A hard way to go, indeed.  But what a brilliant tune. 

Broadening Our Horizons XL

Not extra large...


But the fortieth edition of BOH is extra good.  Today's Happy Hour began sometime around 1300 hrs and is still goin' on as we speak, for it is the MOST magnificent day here on The High Plains o' New Mexico.  And we should be drinkin' a most magnificent beer now, shouldn't we?   The Bros REALLY like this beer, and I gotta admit I do, too.  From their (world class) review:
Taste: Silky smooth with a nice medium bodied mouth feel. After the luscious mouth feel come the flavour which is quite malty ... light acidic twang from the roasted malts, a little dark roasted coffee flavour and an underlying toasted biscuit taste are balanced with a perfect combo of hop and roasted malt bitterness. The lingering after taste is of faded burnt sugar, drying grain and a slightly warming alcohol. A wonderful yet delicate hop character helps to round this brew also.

Notes: Oh baby! There are good porters and then there are great porters ... this one goes down as a great one, no doubt!
Yeah.  What he said.  And now it's back out on the verandah to continue as we've begun.  It's a three-cigar sorta day, and a three (or more) beer day, too.

Life is good.

In Today's Mail

This, from SN1:
Hey dad…

Just a quick story for you that goes with this pic:

Apparently this shirt isn't allowed to be worn by the forensics team now…

It seems one of the mothers on the team was shocked when she saw the back…she thought it said: fornicate.

So…because one woman can't read and has a dirty mind (not that that's a bad thing!), the kids can't wear what I think is a really cool shirt that Sean says is extremely comfortable.

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

Thought you'd appreciate this...


Isn't that SPECIAL?

Update:  Frickin' Blogger.  You'd THINK Blogger and g-mail, both bein' horses from the same stable, would be able to talk to each other.  But noooo...

300 Channels and Nothing On


WTF?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How Thick Is Your Bubble?

A nifty lil quiz via a tweet from Taranto...  "How Thick Is Your Bubble?"
This quiz is inspired by American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray's new book, "Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010," which explores the unprecedented, class-based cultural gap in America. How culturally isolated are you? Answer these 20 questions to find out.
Taranto scored 7, I scored 13.  And 13 means...
On a scale from 0 to 20 points, where 20 signifies full engagement with mainstream American culture and 0 signifies deep cultural isolation within the new upper class bubble, you scored between 13 and 16.

In other words, you don't even have a bubble.
Well, that's nice to know.  I think.  And I did it without having seen a movie (in a theatre) in the last year, not having gone fishing or hunting in the past five years, and bein' unable to ID a pictured NASCAR hero.  They must give bonus points for bein' in the military.

How did you do, Gentle Reader?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Faces...

Oh Cindy ain't you noticed 
that several of your friends have moved on
And the street outside is just a little too quiet
And your local paper's run out of news
I'm not persuading you or disengaging you
But Cindy you and me we've got to move
Faces weren't a band of any great significance but they WERE one of the best party bands, evah.  Loose, mebbe much too loose, but as I said: one for the Good Times.  I think Rod Stewart's gigs with Faces were his finest hour (outside of "Every Picture Tells a Story")... they beat the shit outta that "Great American Songbook" krep.  IMHO.

And yeah... we've run outta news.  Didja notice?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

One Thing I Meant to Post but Didn't

Joe Queenan in this past Saturday's WSJ:
Devotees insist that yoga would help me deal with the herniated discs in my neck, would ease pressure on my spine, would lower my blood pressure. They say—thereby providing false hope to my family—that yoga would make me more mellow, more accepting, perhaps even induce me to stop and smell the roses.

But I do not want to stop and smell the roses. I don't even want to smell the roses if it were possible to smell them without stopping. For years, I have told those of the yoga ilk: I can't practice yoga or tai chi or therapeutic jujitsu or dien bien phu because I'm too working class, I'm from Philly, it's just not my style. If my hard-drinking, heavily tattooed Dad ever caught me doing yoga he would come back from the dead and strangle me. Then my neck would really hurt.
Joe... he speaks for me.  The rest of the piece... "Assuming the Pose of 'Guy Saying No'" is worth your time (subscription may be required).  And when it comes to yoga there's this and we NEVER pass up an opportunity to be self-promoting. 

Actually, there's a plethora of New Age crap that should be rejected out of hand.  Like crystals (what's so mystical about a clear rock?), "organic-fucking-anything/everything" (I was raised before "organic" took over whole aisles of our food stores and I seem to have turned out alright), feminism (of the strident sort -  real men have ALWAYS respected women and women have always known their worth), and left-wing politics (you really need a parenthetical expansionary comment?).  Among other things.

Yamaste.  (My Bad.  I meant Namaste.  Thanks, Skip.).

Things I Wish I Hadn't Seen



Yeah, I watched it.  No, I have no comment... other than "blah, blah, blah."  Wait.  I do have a couple o' things.  His "spilled milk" joke was stupid.  And his references to the military were simply bizarre and just a LITTLE bit offensive to me, speaking as a military kinda guy.  I should have said this yesterday, I know.  But that's life here at EIP: a day late and a dollar short.  Always.

―:☺:―

Except for hockey, where we're never a day late. Some quotes about last night's game:
“We realize the scope of what we’re up against tonight. This is the best team in the NHL right now and they’re definitely playing like it. They’re a group of veterans that all play very intelligently. They control the puck a lot of the time and they really make you fight for possession. We’re going to have to be at our best and try to push our style of game.

“We have to be ready to go for 60 or 65 minutes if need be to come out of this with two points. We’ll have all the time we need to rest up after tonight, but right now we need to set our sights on winning this game.” --Montreal Canadiens assistant captain Josh Gorges. (as quoted at the Usual Hockey Source)
And...
Wings' Babcock: “I'm not going to look at the video of this at all, I'm going to go out and drink, actually, is what I'm going to do.''  --A tweet by

"I thought because we were playing in such a great building in such a great environment that it was going to be a no-brainer," Babcock said. "But we just were awful."  -- Mike Babcock, quoted in The Freep
Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall reacts after Detroit yields another goal during the 7-2 loss Wednesday in Montreal.
 Jean-Yves Ahern/U.S. PRESSWIRE
Montreal 7, Detroit 2.  Worst game of the year... even worse than the 7-1 loss to the Caps and that 5-1 debacle on the Island.  I almost turned it off.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Twilight Landing...

... in El-Eh.


While watching this vid it occurred to me that about the ONLY thang I miss about air travel... which I did a lot of back in Former Happy Days... is the spectacular nighttime city views one gets during a night landing.  My favorite night landing was always Dee-troit but that was more a function of coming home than the view itself.  The view was pretty good, however, given that Dee-troit is essentially flatter than flat and spread out over a VERY large area, compared to other cities.  And then there's Noo Yawk, of course, and London, and a plethora of other cities.  They are all spectacular from the air on a clear night.

But the most amazing night landing I ever experienced was at the old Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong (at right)... and it was ALL about the terror, mainly because one gets the feeling your pilot is setting you down on some boulevard rather than an actual airport.  You could actually SEE people walking around inside their high-rise apartments as you were on final into Kai Tak.  THAT, Gentle Reader, is a most unnerving feeling.  I can only imagine how the residents of those apartments felt about having a 747 whistle... or roar... by their windows every two minutes or so.  I'm thinkin' those people were sure glad when Kai Tak shut down.  Me?  I was glad to have survived the landing, which was a close encounter of the disconcerting sort.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack


I will be your father figure (Oh baby)
Put your tiny hand in mine (I'd love to)
I will be your preacher teacher (Be your daddy)
Anything you have in mind (It would make me)
I will be your father figure (Very happy)
I have had enough of crime (Please let me)
I will be the one who loves you
till the end of time
Is all.

I Think I'll Pass

I saw this on the Shoebox blog...
A whole bunch of artists are doing brand new, totally different renditions of Bob Dylan songs. Kind of like Dylan does every time he plays them.
And then I trotted off to investigate.  The first few paragraphs of the review... and it IS a review... had me thinkin' "no frickin' way."  No way in HELL, to be frank.  I detest hip-hop or rap or Urban Whatever and the very thought of one of those asshat "artists" desecrating what is dear to me makes my skin crawl.  Then I had a "waitaminnit" moment as I read on.  A couple of 'em, actually... like these:
The savviest musicians here flip Dylan's messages for their own aims, just as Dylan reappropriated protest songs by civil rights heroes. Celtic-rock stalwarts Flogging Molly take on ''The Times They Are A-Changin' '' -- which itself was inspired by Irish drinking songs -- and reclaim it for Dublin. Sinéad O'Connor recasts 1981's born-again ''Property of Jesus'' as a fiery church-reform anthem. And Carly Simon smartly plays ''Just Like a Woman'' as a feminist ballad. When she sings ''You break just like a little girl,'' it sounds like she's telling Dylan to man up.

[...]

By contrast, Kronos Quartet and Philip Glass sound almost revolutionary on their gorgeous, avant-classical ''Don't Think Twice, It's All Right,'' the only song that appears twice here. It takes major innovation (and some musical-saw interludes) to create a wholly original take on an artist who reinvents his own songs every time he plays live.
Interesting... yet those artists still ain't enough to make me pay the freight.  There's simply too much possibility for too much disappointment.  Make MY Dylan Dylan, please... straight up, no ice, no mixer.

Interesting

This 'toon is obviously aimed at the Geriatric Set...


I'm not sure if anyone but us geezers geddit, mainly coz we're talkin' about a cultural reference from 1953.  1953!  But I could be wrong.

On sort of the same note... Ann Coulter was on Red Eye last night and she lost it a couple o' times on the subject of Newt.  I always thought that woman was a bit of a nut case... now I'm convinced she's nuts.  I understand being supportive of your candidate (she's a Romney fan) but bein' batshit crazy, to the point of shrieking, yelling, and constantly interrupting someone who might not think the way you do, is over the top.  Which is the problem with zealots, on the left or on the right.  Neither flavor works for me.

Coulter really worked Fox a lot yesterday.  I looked for the Red Eye clip and couldn't find it... but this is close:



Nutcase.

I'm Gonna Sue

I open up the mailbox this morning and see this item from NatGeo... the one that's checked near the bottom:


So I'm thinkin' "Cool! This is RIGHT up my alley!"  The actual copy:

Texas Showgirls
One photographer is on a mission to photograph as many animal species as possible. Browse his gallery of beautiful creatures, including these Silkie showgirl chickens at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas.
Photos: Butterflies >
How to Build a Dog >
The Chimp Incident >
Life on the Serengeti >


It's just WRONG to get a man's hopes up like that first thang in the morning.  Time to call The Hammer!


Heh.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack (And Some Miscellaneous Ramblings)

The musical equivalent o' Comfort Food (The Wiki, she has EVERYthang)...

Take it easy, take it easy
Don't let the sound of your own wheels
Drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
Don't even try to understand
Just find a place to take your stand
and take it easy
Comfort Food...which is easy to eat and it makes ya feel good.... and I suppose it's the same with Comfort Music.  I actually heard the Eagles version o' this tune earlier but I much prefer Mr. Browne's original version, seein' as how I'm one of those Sensitive Seventies Kinda Guys (the comments to that post are pretty interesting, btw).  Or I used to be, at any rate.  Not so much, today.

But.  Comfort Music are the sorta tunes where ya know ALL the words and ya have this tendency to sing along, which we did, of course.  And the Eagles version of the tune ain't half bad, all things considered.  Ya pays yore money and ya makes yore choice.  I LOVE this tune, as it seems to remain relevant after all these years.  Time was when I really had "seven women on my mind" but that's not quite the case any longer.  But I've found a place to make my stand and I'm definitely takin' it easy these days.  More so than I prolly should, actually.

―:☺:―
 
A few Random Notes...  We spent the better part of our day cleaning house before adjourning to the verandah for Happy Hour this afternoon.  Which was mainly because we were graced with a three and a half hour visit yesterday with Isabel, the two-year old daughter of our neighbor.  And her babysitter, of course.  Our living space is not quite child-proof, which necessitated extreme vigilance on my and the babysitter's part(s) lest Young Isabel cause damage to herself on the many sharp glass-and-chrome edges that abound in El Casa Inmóvil de Pennington, and there are many.   Said glass and chrome is also very susceptible to lil fingerprints and other such tarnishing, and that was what we spent some time cleaning up today.  It must also be said that Young Isabel, despite all our attentiveness, managed to whack herself on the noggin by spinning one of my bar stools on its axis and not QUITE getting out o' the way when the bar stool was in close proximity to her head... which resulted in a fairly large bump on the young girl's head and much wailing and crying.  But no serious damage was done and I managed to make it better with a kiss or two.  Imagine that, if you will.
 
I think I've acquired a surrogate grand-daughter.  Imagine that, yet again.  Imagine also that her mom might come along.  Yeah... there's a fantasy I can live with!
 
―:☺:―
 
So... I noticed Miller Lite has a new ad they're running and it begins with words to the effect of "there's a place for strong dark beer but on the other six days when you want sumthin' lighter..."   Wrong.  I can sorta relate, from a cigar perspective, coz there ARE days when I want sumthin' other than a full-flavored, robust maduro or the like.  But BEER?  Frickin' NEVER.  I'd rather drink Perrier than Miller Lite or its bros-in-arms.  As a s'matter o' fact I'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between Perrier and "light" beers with the possible exception of Blue Light, but there's an exception to every rule.  Miller makes some pretty cool ads, but this ain't one of 'em. 

NOT Racist

But most definitely sport-ist:


If you saw this pic standing alone (and you ARE, Gentle Reader), you'd be forgiven for thinkin' it came from the pages o' NatGeo in some sorta article about South African ritual dances.  But no, it's from a CBS News slideshow titled "The NFL's Most Rabid Fans."  Or sumthin' like that.  My first thought was rabid is rabid and there isn't such a thang as "most rabid."  You just shoot 'em... those poor animals so afflicted... period, end o' report.

My second thought?  You RARELY see these sorts o' thangs at hockey games.  Yeah, there IS some occasional weirdness, but it's weirdness I can really get behind.  Or in front of, as the case might be.  Example:


I rest my case.

Cannon In the News

From the Usual USAF Source:
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Logistics Terry Yonkers, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and State Land Commissioner Ray Powell were among many Air Force, State of New Mexico and county officials at the lease signing ceremony on Jan. 18, 2012, in Santa Fe.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Armando Perez)
Air Force Receives Land Grant to Expand Melrose Range: The Air Force accepted a land grant of 11,000 acres from the State of New Mexico that will allow Air Force Special Operations Command to expand live-fire ranges and desert and urban warfare training on the Melrose Air Force Range adjacent to Cannon Air Force Base. "It's an honor for me to be here today to accept this very gracious gift," said Terry Yonkers, the Air Force's assistant secretary for installations, environment, and logistics, during the Jan. 18 land-transfer ceremony in Santa Fe. He added, "Ranges and airspace are the lifeblood of our ability to train and be ready to fight those conflicts the nation asks of us." The land gift is valued at approximately $3.2 million. It is the result of a June 2008 memorandum of understanding between the Air Force and New Mexico. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) was one of the dignitaries at the event. (Washington, D.C., release)
Cool.  More s'plosions in the night!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Humor From the Humidor

I was gonna make this post another in our "Broadening" series but we've pretty much reserved that title for beer.  Yeah, cigars ARE included in those posts from time to time, but we're mostly on about the beer here (or there).  Today we're drinking more of the same...which this week is sumthin' from those oh-so-delicious Sammy Adams Winter Seasonal 12-packs... but we're smokin' sumthin' quite different.  One o' these:


That would be a Kinky Friedman Texas Jewboy.  No, really.  Look:


It's a damned fine cigar when ya get right down to it... and I'm about one-third of the way down to it (the end of it).  There's jes one small lil drawback, however.  From the linked review:
Overall: For a cigar that started as a gimmick and a prop for my sense of humor it turned out to be a pretty good cigar. The only thing that bothers me is the price. At 10.00 a stick it is a lot of gelt (Yiddish for money) to be handing over for a cigar. At that price point there are other cigars I rather smoke, but it was nice to have Kinky over for the holiday and he won’t be a stranger to my humidor.
Yeah, what he said.  I don't think I'll buying Kinkys by the box anytime soon, but I will keep my eye out for samplers that include one of his cigars... which is how I came by this one.

The Usual, Customary, and Reasonable Lament

Which is to say the freakin' wind.  WeatherUnderground sez it's clear or "mostly cloudy" outside but it is NOT; the blowing dust has reduced visibility to the point where I cannot see 18th Street across the vacant lot outside my window at times.  It's simply fugly outside.  I don't think we'll be goin' anywhere today.

At least it's not snowing.

Public Service

I may have piqued your interest in hockey, what with all my scribblings, rants, moans, groans, and magnificent videos of beautiful goals and bloody fights over the past six and a half years.  If I have stimulated your curiosity... and if you're not interested in following the Beloved Wings (you twisted, misguided, and wholly uninformed soul, you)... then here's just the thing for you: a handy flowchart titled "Which NHL team should I root for?"

Click to embiggen

"Because we always win!"  Heh.  (Note:  Purists and other pickers o' nits will note this flowchart is out o' date, what with the inclusion of the Atlanta Thrashers now Winnipeg Jets.  But the attached legend is close enough.)

h/t: A tweet by ("I'm determined to make everyone an NHL fan," sez she), re-tweeted by GeorgeMalik.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Your Usual, Customary, and Reasonable Hockey Post

I got a link to this lil blurb in the mail today from NHL.com:
They are celebrated as the Original Six -- the half-dozen NHL clubs that pre-date the 1967 expansion and hearken back to a different era. But not since the early days of expansion have the Original Six been on track to be as dominant as they've been this season.

Entering this weekend, four of the top five teams in the NHL standings are members of the Original Six. Detroit, a 3-2 shootout winner at Phoenix on Thursday, is first with 63 points, one ahead of a group of three teams that includes the
New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks, and two points in front of the Boston Bruins -- who have played only 44 games, fewer than any team in the NHL. Only the St. Louis Blues, the other team in the three-way tie with 62 points, breaks up the Original Six party.

How unusual is it to have the Original Six so heavily represented among the NHL's elite? Very.
It may be unusual but it's also very cool.  Yeah, I'm one of THOSE fans... the few, the proud, the snobs who think the Original Six play the best hockey.  Well, except for the major suckage that is the Habs and the Leafs, although the Leafs are better than usual this year.  I can cut the Habs a sprout because of their history and by that I mean the most championships in any major sport, except for those Yankees (that would be 27 World Series wins to Montreal's 24 Stanley Cups).  Ya gotta give the Habs credit for that, even in this "what have ya done for me lately" world.

Speakin' of "what have ya done for me lately"... here's Big Bert with the game winner last night:



The Wings are undefeated in the shoot-out this year (4-0) and have won too many games that way, to my way o' thinkin'.  It's BEST when you totally dominate your opponents, but two points is two points... much better than one, or none.

Wherein I Play the Proud Grandpa

Grandson Sean in his first public performance... at his high school's talent show:


As captioned by SN1 on The Tube O' You:
Jack, Caitlyn and Sean play Norwegian Wood...Starts out kinda rough, but gets better after they start singing. Focus is restored quickly. First video...let me know what you think!
Sean is sitting, on guitar and vocals.  The performance took place on the evening of 1/19/2012.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

We were in a country sorta mood, so here are two songs from Mile Marker 383...

Telephone Road is ten miles long
Fifty car lots and a hundred honky-tonks
Jukebox blastin' and the beer bottles ring
Jimmy banging on a pinball machine 


Come on come on come on let's go
This ain't Louisiana
Your Mama won't know
Come on come on come on let's go
Everybody's rockin' out on Telephone Road 
and...



I got sixteen days
one for every time I've gone away
one for every time I should have stayed
you should have worn my wedding ring
I got sixteen days
fifteen of those are nights
can't sleep when the bed sheet fights
its way back to your side

the ghost has got me running

the ghost has got me running
away from you, away from you, away from you.
I've got both of these tee shirts... bein' as how I spent a couple o' few weeks in Houston in the way-back and then there's that "16 Days" thang, about which: yeah.  Several times.

We had such a brilliant day here on The High Plains o' New Mexico today, a rare day in which I could open all the windows AND the door without the fear of bein' invaded by 1,267 flies, and that's because the cold winter nights have killed off all those pesky critters.  Which also allowed me to listen to my own record collection, which was a Great Good Thang.  I mean... Pandora is great and I love it to death, but there are times when ya wanna hear exactly what ya wanna hear.  No?

Slow Day

Slow, but beautiful:


I really, rilly enjoy all y'all's company but the Great Outdoors is calling and I see an extended Happy Hour in my future.  Right after I mail off that Thank-You card to al-Gore.

Yup

Lotsa good stuff at the Usual Source today... but I liked Ramirez best.


I think Ramirez is the best political cartoonist working today.  He's always spot-on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How Pretty Is THAT?



The pic is the result of today's restock.  Last week we mentioned we bought our fourth or fifth installment o' Sammy Adams' Winter Seasonal 12-packs and also had minor regrets about not buying more.  Well, we fixed that:


I got lucky... those were the last two 12-packs on the shelf.  Which are now in my fridge.

Beer me!

Thanks, Wales... Ya Twit



OK, my consciousness has been raised, but no more than it already was.  SOPA is dead (well, tabled) and PIPA should be, soon.  This is one place where I agree with Obama: neither bill, in their current forms, adequately address the issue of copyright infringement and both pose disastrous potential consequences for the inter-tubes as a whole.  Hollywood and a moribund music industry are doin' their worst to kill a vibrant internet.  Fuck 'em.

Still, a day without The Wiki is pretty damned painful.  I've already missed it three times and the day's barely begun.

Hey, Norman!


Why not?  It's only an 11 hour drive; if I leave NOW...

Speaking of... last night's win in Dallas puts the Beloved Wings at the top of the Western Conference by a single point and just one point behind Noo Yawk for the league lead.


LGRW!



"Dee-troit, Dee-troit... gotta helluva hockey team*..."

*Paul Simon's original not available on The Tube O' You.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

We haven't done this for a while...

And I've dropped out, I've burned up, I've fought my way back from the dead.
I've tuned in, turned on, remembered the things that you said

I'll be your crying shoulder,
I'll be love's suicide
I'll be better when I'm older,
I'll be the greatest fan of your life.

This is one of the better "one hit wonders" in my lifetime.  The Deity At Hand knows there are hundreds... if not thousands... of these one-hit artists out there but this tune resonates me with me.  Powerfully.

Yet More Thievery

From a link at the Shoebox Blog...


Them Fanbois... they don't remember what happened AFTER Snow White bit the Apple.

Update, 1100 hrs:  There are a TON of similar images out there.

Miscellanea

The 1099s are beginning to roll in; I've received two from My Favorite Uncle (the USAF one and the Social InSecurity one) already.  Private industry, which is supposed to be SO much more efficient and timely than the gub'mint, hasn't seen fit to send me their 1099s as yet... but they have until the end o' this month, right?  And I'm thinkin' they'll use every last day of the available time, too.

I'm also thinkin' I MIGHT do my taxes before the very last minute this year, on the off-chance I may get some money back.  That's because this is my year to take the one remaining child exemption I share with The Second Mrs. Pennington, which usually results in a modest refund rather than me writing a check to the Infernal Revenoo Service.  "Service?"  My ass...

―:☺:―

Did that sound bitchy?  I didn't mean to sound that way, if so.  Wait.  Mebbe I DID.  But, as long as we're bein' bitchy, there's this: I don't like Blogger's new default comment form, which takes ya to the bottom of the comments page.  Which means ya have to scroll back up to read previous comments (which I always do, so's I don't repeat what someone else said and look stoopid or redundant or both) and then scroll back DOWN to make your Astute Observation™.  Unless you're the first to comment, which is almost never the case for me, given that I lay around in bed until the crack o' noon.  Or thereabouts.  On most days, anyhoo.

WHY do coders feel compelled to fix shit that ain't broke?  That's one o' life's small yet enduring mysteries.

―:☺:―

This is interesting...
Air Force photo by A1C Ericka Engblom
F-15E Reaches 10,000 Flight Hours: An F-15E operating from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, became the first Air Force F-15 of any type to reach 10,000 flying hours, according to airmen at Bagram. The Strike Eagle, No. 89-0487, achieved the milestone on Jan. 13. A crew from Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., flew the aircraft on the historic mission. The F-15E, assigned to Seymour Johnson's 335th Fighter Squadron, has been flying for more than 21 years and is a veteran of combat going back to Operation Desert Storm. "It has taken more than 21 years of qualified maintenance technicians performing more than one million hours of inspections and repairs in all types of environments . . . to ensure aircraft #89-0487 was available," said CMSgt. John Parrott, superintendent of Bagram's 335th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit. He also credited all the other airmen, like weapons loaders, involved in keeping the aircraft operating. (Bagram report by TSgt. Vernon Cunningham)
That's from the Usual USAF Source, of course.  I wonder about the veracity of that claim, though.  I suppose it's true when one only considers the F-15, but I'm pretty damned sure each and every B-52 has at least 10,000 flight hours on the airframe, given the fact the BUFF has been in service for-frickin'-evah (read as: since 1954, the newest BUFF bein' procured in FY62).  The same could be said for the KC-135, the C-130, and god-only-knows how many other front-line airframes.  They're gonna be around a LOT longer, too, from the looks o' the budget situation.