Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack...

...featured a schlock tune, but it's good (and pertinent) schlock.

I'm thirty three fifty three for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm of age
A kid on the way
A family on my mind
(That was oh-so-true at 53, in my particular case)


Half time goes by
Suddenly you're wise
Another blink of an eye
Sixty seven is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on
Ah, yes.  My 67th turn around the sun will be completed in less than a month's time, but 100?  That's only a pipe dream.  Each breath comes harder than the last and I'll consider it a gift from The Deity At Hand if I see 70, all things considered.  Still and even: there are nice thoughts in this tune.  I'm not immune to schlock, as long as it's good schlock.

Oooh... Good One! (And a Not-So-Good One)

A lot of us who use Google's services, most especially g-mail, are rather up in arms over their new privacy policy.  Me?  Not so much.  I NEVER put sumthin' on these inter-tubes... even in e-mail... that I wouldn't want my Mom to read.  Or my grandkids.  But I will admit that the folks in the Googleplex DO scare me from time to time.


Apropos o' not much... my day got off to a lousy start today.  I got to bed around 0530 hrs this morning and was rudely awakened by loud, persistent pounding on my front door at 1000 hrs.  I struggled into some clothes, answered the door, and was surprised to see a P-Ville cop standing there, his squad car parked next to The Green Hornet under the carport.  "Is that yer car?" sez the ossifer, pointing at a Mustang parked in front o' the dumpster at the curb.  "No," sez I, "you're parked next to my car."  "Sorry to disturb you," sez he, "but we don't wanna tow that car unless we have to." 

Too late... the damage was done... so I trundled into the kitchen and made the coffee.  Four and a half hours o' sleep ain't NEARLY enough and the day has been all downhill since.  I'm anticipating a rather longish nap after Happy Hour.

Out Take, Part Deux

A couple o' interesting thangs happened this past weekend... aside from me goin' green... one o' which was me bein' graced with an impromptu visit from the pastor o' the church next door.  Yeah, I live next door to a church, which makes me wonder if they shouldn't have their insurance coverage re-evaluated coz... well, just be-coz.  The possibility o' lightning strikes on their building have prolly increased exponentially since I moved in, but we digress.

So... said pastor pressed a couple o' flyers into my reluctant hands on Saturday afternoon and we exchanged pleasantries for a moment or six, at which time he noticed my USS Mason ball cap and inquired if I'd been to Viet Nam, seein' as how he and I are "of a certain age."  We exchanged military stories and I learned he had been an Army helicopter crew chief and door gunner during Viet Nam, serving one three-year tour and then mustering out.  Our similarities began and ended right there, as Thailand was the closest I got to Viet Nam during the war, and I was a "lifer."   

The pastor then switched topics and asked if I'd ever attended a Baptist church before.  "," sez I, adding that I'm not a very religious sort o' person.  I told him that I've lived in a number o' cultures that aren't Christian and that those cultures seemed devout, were generally good and happy places to be, and weren't much different from us (Americans) in ethical and moral respects.  I added that I thought it was just a LITTLE bit presumptuous for anyone to claim any religion knows The Truth, especially those of the Christian persuasion, when two-thirds of the world's population... at least... believe in sumthin' other than Christianity.  I hastened to add that I acknowledged there IS a Supreme Being and my personal issue is I don't know what Her name is, largely based on my experiences with other cultures.

That was the wrong thang to say.  What followed was about a ten minute dissertation on the fact that The Deity At Hand most certainly IS a Him and why his way... said pastor's way... was The Way, which reminded me a LOT of sumthin' like this (start at 2:18, everythang before is just static):

Emphasis on "The Church o' the Presumptuous Assumption," and heavily... at that.  Now I'm not against missionary work and I understand the place it holds in all o' the major religions.  So I listened ... or rather let the pastor run on until he was outta breath and outta biblical quotations... at which time I thanked him for his time and wished him well on a lovely Saturday afternoon, which it had been, up until this point in time.  

If there's ONE thang I wish The Deity At Hand would save us from it would be door-to-door proselytizers.  That's mainly coz I don't really NEED to be saved, thank ya very much.  We're doin' just fine, as we speak... thanks be to Athena or whatever Her name is.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Apropos o' Nuthin'

This, from Wunderground:
Speed / Dir
41.4 mph from West
Wind Gust
57.5 mph
There are waves in the water in my toilet bowls, and I shit thee NOT.  It's not nice outdoors. 

Most Interesting

From the comments under this video:
When I first heard of this movie," says John Blundell, "I immediately was a little worried because of Meryl Streep's own ideas and polices and so on that are very distinctly not Thatcherite."

As a longtime Margaret Thatcher ally, few people are in a better position than John Blundell to assess the veracity of the Oscar-nominated bio-pic, The Iron Lady. The former head of influential free-market organizations such as The Institute of Economic Affairs, The Institute for Humane Studies, and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Blundell is also the author of Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady (2007) and the new Ladies for Liberty: Women Who Made a Difference in
American History.
Lady Thatcher is in my "A" rank o' heroes.  I was fortunate enough to witness the impact she had on Britain first hand, as I lived in London from 1980 until mid 1983, when she was Prime Minister.  This short little clip re-emphasizes how important Dame Thatcher was to the UK and further sharpens my desire to go see "The Iron Lady."  I like Ms. Streep a lot, too.

Update:  The complete list o' my heroes, and why.


Plus Ça Change...

... plus c'est la même chose.  It's just more of the same.  From the NWS in ABQ:
.. High Wind Warning in effect until 6 PM MST this evening...

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has issued a High Wind Warning... which is in effect until 6 PM MST this evening.
The Wind Advisory is no longer in effect.

* Location... Curry... Roosevelt and the Chaves County plains.

* Winds... west to southwest at 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph.

* Timing... hazardous winds will continue through sunset. The strongest winds are expected around mid afternoon.

* Visibility... locally reduced to 3 miles or less in blowing dust.

* Local impacts... expect strong cross winds... especially on north to south oriented roads. Loose objects may become airborne. 
Yeah... like my lawn chairs that I had to retrieve from next door when I got up this morning... but at least they stayed here in Portales.  Yesterday was chilly and windy, today it's warm and windy.  C'est la même chose. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Out Take

I mulled over this subject quite a bit while sittin' out on the verandah yesterday afternoon and wondered how I might could work it up into a blog post without making me look batshit crazy and/or small-minded and petty, or both.  Prolly both.  But we shall try.

First... I was greener than the Grinch beginning on Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and up to and including noonish yesterday.  Kelly Green.  Bright, frickin' florescent green.  As in jealousy.  Y'know how people use the term "insanely jealous?"  Well, that was me, with emphasis on the insanity part.  I mean, isn't it insane to be possessive and feel jealous over a woman who is just a casual acquaintance, at most?

But there I was.  My neighbor has a long distance relationship going ("I LIKE this one," she sez) and the friend lives in another state,  a five-hour drive from here.  So, he rolls in around 1700 hrs Friday afternoon and neither one o' them emerge from her apartment until sometime around 1300 hrs yesterday.  (Minor digression: the lil girl was off with Dad this weekend, so...)  I KNOW what was goin' on next door, what with the blinds drawn all weekend, the take-away bein' delivered, and all that.  I have many of those reunification tee shirts in my wardrobe, tattered and worn as they may be.  In my Air Force days we used to get a couple days off when we came back from a deployment and I remember not even bothering to get dressed during that post-deployment time on more than a few occasions.  Hell, it was pretty much the same when I returned from an extended bid'niz trip in civilian life, even though I was older and slower then.  So we KNOW, Gentle Reader... yes, we does.  And I ate my heart out, all weekend.

I discussed this situation with SN1 at some length Saturday evening during lulls in the hockey game, with the emphasis on me not understanding the hows and whys o' my feelings.  I was relieved to hear that SN1 had experienced the same sort o' feelings in the way-back and he had no explanation for why he felt that way, either... other than "sometimes it just bees that way."  (Short parenthetical aside: yeah, I DO talk about stuff like this with The Boys.  And I'm glad we can.)

The ending: I just happened to return to the verandah with a refilled coffee cup as they were leaving yesterday... she to work and he for home, one assumes... when the neighbor sees me, flashes a big-ass smile and waves enthusiastically as she pulls away.  I don't believe I've ever seen her happier.  But me?  Not so much, and I have NO idea why.

I suppose it's like Etta sez:
Can't control the feelin'
Coz after all, I didn't make myself

A Couple o' Follow-Ups

First... remember that "World's Largest Rope Swing" vid I posted about ten days back?  Well, here's the back-story, thanks to Occasional Reader CL, who saw the article in the Amarillo paper today and sent it on to me.  You have to read all the way to the end to get to the part that tickled me...
Some viewers questioned in the comment section what Baird’s parents would think of the daredevil act. Baird laughed.
“My mom actually jumped with us,” she said. “1:26 (into the video), that’s my mom. My mom’s kind of a badass, though.”
Yeah, I went back to the vid and looked.  Bad ass, indeed.


More tales o' great customer service...  Flash back to the tenth of this month, when I posted a couple o' cigar box pics So this past Friday I go to the mail box to retrieve about a week's worth o' mail and what do I find?  Two more boxes o' cigars.  We sent this lil missive off to Mr. Tim Blythe at shortly after we opened the box...
Hey Tim,

I received an unexpected shipment from y'all today, which was two more boxes of those Isla de Sols I ordered around the first of this month.  The invoice in the box is dated 02/08/2012 and read "replacement for scanning error;"  the invoice total was $0.00.  The shipment prolly came sometime last week but I am notoriously bad about checking my mail... unless I know something is coming.

Anyhoo.  I checked my credit card transaction history and only see one bill from y'all recently, in the amount of $99.90 (on 02/04/2012, IIRC).  I wanna keep these sticks coz (a) I like 'em and (b) they'll keep well in the humidor.  At the same time I don't wanna cheat ya out of a hundred bucks.  The bottom line is I owe ya a hundred bucks.

Best Regards,

Tim replied today with this:
Aw Thanks Buck!  I’ll just charge ya $75 and call it a day.  What’dya think?
Like I told Mr. Blythe:  I'll take it!  I most certainly love doin' bidniz with Tim.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Or: A cultural snapshot of the mid-sixties.

Fer geezers only, obviously, but the person who put the video together did a brilliant job of illustrating the lyrics, dint he?  The tune is from Simon and Garfunkel's seminal album "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme..." which is playin' on the stereo, as we speak.  The post title is actually a misnomer, as we're still drinkin' our morning coffee, on the verandah.  The day is positively brilliant:  we hit the verandah at noon in short sleeves and can see ourselves out there all freakin' DAY.  It's in the mid-sixties, the wind is only a light breeze, and the skies are completely cloud-free.

The house is gettin' aired out, too.  Brilliant!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wherein We Flog Dead Draft Animals, Yet Again

Said draft animal bein' why hockey is superior to ALL other brands o' professional sports.  A couple o' few excerpts from an article at
In a year the NBA’s image was supposed to be napalmed by a prolonged lockout, the league instead salvaged a decent chunk of this season and then stumbled ass-backwards into Linsanity. Knicks guard Jeremy Lin is more than a good underdog basketball story. He has become a cultural phenomenon.
Hockey desperately needs that kind of buzz infusion, and will not get it.

I am going to make a glaring geographical stereotype now as I try to explain why. Hockey is too bleeping Canadian. And Canadians are too bleeping nice.

No, really, they are nice to the point of almost being boring.

There is a reason you do not see "Real Housewives of Montreal" and why hockey players for the most part remain virtually anonymous. Do not bother emailing me about how I am generalizing and how you are offended. I recognize not all of y’all are nice. I am sure there are some real jerkholes up there. Although, off the top of my head, all I can come up with is Nickelback (and their biggest crime is against music) and Sean Avery (of course).

The NHL, to its great detriment, plucks extensively from this frozen tundra of nice — which helps in finding Lady Byng candidates and kills them when trying to sell hockey down here. This is partially why there is no Igin-love.
The rest o' the article focuses on Jerome Iginla, Calgary's captain, star player, and the source of many, many trade rumors.  But we're on about the introduction, which is all about "nice."

OK, there IS a point to be made in that introduction, which basically comes down to hockey players being bona-fide role models our kids can look up to and emulate.  We shall skip further sermonizing about drugs, thugs, and ugly mugs in the other pro sports.  If you've been reading EIP for a while you KNOW this is a recurring (if not frequent) topic o' conversation in these parts.

I do take issue with Ms. Floyd Engel, though.  Hockey might be nice and hockey players might be nice enough when viewed at a macro level.  OTOH, there's this:

That would be Number 24, the deceased Bob Probert (and a one-time hero o' mine), in a fight with Troy Crowder in 1991, during the Golden Age o' The Enforcer.   Bob was a nice guy off the ice but he was a holy terror when you either crossed him or took a run at Stevie.  And then he wasn't so very nice.  

Fighting is a hot topic in and around the NHL right now, mainly because it ain't NICE (and because of the spate o' untimely deaths among enforcers last summer).  But fighting is an integral part of the game and I would miss it if it went away.  I suppose that makes me not nice... but it is what it is.

This Is Good

Not the Auntie YOU might know.  Yeah, it's Brit-centric but it is VERY good:

If this is Saturday, then the first post of the day... and sometimes the only post... comes from the Usual Source for viral vids.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack


I saw these guys at the Fox theatre in downtown Dee-troit back in the day (It was either '88 or '89... on their tour promoting their one and only Top 40 hit), and it was a fine, fine concert.  The Second Mrs. Pennington and I rocked for DAYS after that concert.  FYC might have (only) been a one-hit wonder, but Boy! that one hit was certainly fine.

So... apropos of everythang... there's a line in this song that fits really well, at the moment:

Happy hour has come and gone
Much too short and much too long
Yup.  We got started early today, and we're already done.  For the time being.

It Worked. Except For When It Didn't.

Well, let's begin with the "it didn't" piece.  You know this already if you're a hockey fan... the Beloved Wings' streak ended at 23.  Those pesky Canucks managed to tie last night's game with a mere 15.4 seconds left on the clock in regulation time and went on to win it in the shootout.  There was no joy in Mudville last evening.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out.

So, Buck... what, pray tell, did work?  Just this... the most-effective piece o' spam to ever elude g-mail's wonderfully efficient spam filter (a couple o' excerpts):
ODESSA, UKRAINE--(Marketwire - Feb. 24, 2012) - Even though major St. Valentine's legends spawned in Eastern Europe, Cupid's play day is just now hitting its stride as a lover's feast in such places as Russia and Ukraine. In fact, ground zero for Valentine's Day festivities in this part of the world is the mysterious and sensuous Black Sea resort of Odessa, Ukraine, where on Valentine's weekend international online dating leader invited 23 beauties from across the country to compete for the title Anastasia's Miss Valentine 2012.

Held at exclusive Club Palladium in Odessa's center, the beauty pageant featured 3 stunning rounds...swimsuit, evening gown and Q& part of a Romance Tour Social hosted by AnastasiaDate. Present were dozens of select gentlemen members of Anastasia who experienced a unique dating encounter in the elite company of not only the exquisite contestants, but over 300 single female guests, also members of Anastasia.

All this was folded into what became Odessa's entertainment event of the year amid actors, musicians and singers who performed scenes from popular Ukrainian plays before the heaving international crowd. A sub-zero Arctic freeze notwithstanding, the panel of judges, like kids in candyland, finally chose 21-year-old raven-haired goddess Zina of Odessa as Anastasia's Miss Valentine 2012. While Zina's hot curves and sweet elegance won her top prize, other of Odessa's finest swept the field with breathtaking runners-up, blue-eyed wonder Viktoria and blonde perfection Irina.

This is Anastasia's 3rd St. Valentine pageant on the Black Sea shores, with each event becoming more popular and outstanding, each gathering more audience and media attention. AnastasiaDate, who stages such stirring soirees around the world, by doing so introduces her male members to world class beauties who are also on her global online dating site, making them equally available as romantic partners.

Eastern European dating spam, all gussied up as a press release. Feel free to click on the links... I've already checked them for you and they aren't toxic.  But here's a screen shot from one o' the links, just in case you have a highly developed case o' inter-tubes paranoia:

Dang.  Sultry, eh?  I don't mind spam like this.  At ALL.


This works, too.  You may recall me mentioning the fact Grandson Sean is a guitar player.  What I might NOT have mentioned is his favorite genre is the Blues.  Based on evidence I received in my in-box late last night I'd say the boy is cultivating a Blues persona... whaddaya think?

**I** think two thangs.  First... he's done his homework, and done it well.  Second... it's a damned good look.  Beats the livin' HELL outta the current droopy-drawers, backwards-baseball-cap look we see every-freakin'-where these days.  Breeding tells.

Weird Stuff You Read In the New York Times

Or weird stuff you MIGHT read in the NYT, if you gave a shit.  Apparently there was this article in Thursday's Times that claims living alone makes you strange.  And the article apparently focused on wimmen, rather than men that live alone.  I didn't actually GO there, choosing to read what Althouse and The Awl had to say on the subject.  Plus the comments at both places, of course.  I liked what The Awl had to say, seein' as how they read between the lines and posted a list of stuff that either makes you weird or contributes to pending strangeness.  Their list (and my comments, in parens):
1) Standing naked in kitchen at 2 a.m. eating peanut butter from jar.  (Been there, done that.  At much earlier times than 0200 hrs, too.) 

2) Singing Journey Rolling Stones songs in (the) shower. (The Awl sez: Especially "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'." That's the jam.  I say EVERY-freakin'-thang Journey ever recorded sucks.  Big time.  The ONLY exception is when the crowd at The Joe joins in on the line "born and raised in SOUTH DEE-TROIT" at hockey games... and that's three bags full o' awesome.  I join in on those occasions.)

3) Working 24 hours straight for days on end.  (Not lately, but I did that when I was single and gainfully employed.)
4) Letting (the) apartment fall apart on you and not washing dishes.  ("Fall apart" is entirely relative.  I wash dishes twice a week, or whenever I run out of coffee cups and/or beer glasses.)
5) Having nobody care.  (I'm not quite sure what this means.  If it means no one really cares about the WAY I live, then yeah... I agree.  Otherwise?  Ya got me.)
6) Wearing specially designated home-wear that you change when company comes over.  (Not applicable, other than lounging around nekkid in the summer.)
7) Not closing the bathroom door. (Awl comment: Well, at least for just peeing.) (My comment: what's the point?  If you're alone, you're ALONE.  Don't you close a door to get privacy?)
8) Talking aloud to pets.  (Did that, too... when I had pets.  Now I talk aloud to myself sometimes.  Well... a lot, actually.)
9) Subsisting largely on cereal, nuts or seeds.  (Yes, occasionally.)
10) Staying up working on computer until 4 or 5 in the morning.  (Working?  No.  Playing?  Yes.)
11) Having a baked potato for a meal.  (Can't say I've ever done that; I rarely use my oven.  But I have eaten an entire bag of potato chips and called that dinner.)
OK... I guess I'm weird by the NYT's standards.  But **I** feel perfectly normal, and that's all that really counts, innit?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

We finally had enough o' that Al Green groove we've been in for the last two weeks or so.  That's not a BAD groove to be in, but there comes a time when even Pandora begins to repeat themselves.  Accordingly, we switched stations when we heard "I'm So Tired of Bein' Alone" for about the eighth time.  I do love that tune... but enough is enough.

So we switched to Roxy Music radio... which is a pleasin' pastiche o' pop, mostly Brit-Pop from the '80s and '90s, with bands like Tears For Fears (that song contains the BEST freakin' rhythm guitar break EVER recorded, beginning around the 2:30 mark),  The Cure, Queen, Bowie, and such... but also features American bands like The Cars and Talking Heads, which we chose for this post.  

I don't know why I love her like I do
All the changes you put me through
Take my money, my cigarettes
I haven't seen the worst of it yet
I wanna know that you'll tell me
I love to stay
Take me to the river, drop me in the water
Take me to the river, dip me in the water
I think one o' the better thangs about livin' in Portales is the fact there ain't no river near by... but we digress.  I was hard pressed to choose just ONE tune for our soundtrack today, as the selections were ALL magnificent (some which I linked, above) and seemed to hit our sweet-spot.  And we've yet to hear "Avalon"... my absolute FAVORITE Roxy Music tune.


Apropos o' not much... the only downer about today's Happy Hour occurred when my lovely neighbor stopped over for some conversation and then invited me in to her place.  That wasn't a bad thang, in and of itself.  Nope... the downer came when she had to excuse herself to get ready for work and I said "Ok, c'ya later."  To which she replied "OK, sir... have a great day." 

We shall pause for just one moment to let the implications of that form o' address sink in.

Got it?

We'll belabor the obvious just in case you didn't geddit: Sweet Young Thangs NEVER sleep with men they routinely address as "sir."  And so dies Popular and Recurring Fantasy Number Two, not that it had much life to begin with, but ya know how these thangs go.

Take Me to the River.

The Thangs I Learn From My Blog Buds

Today I learned that I'm normal, or normal for another time, or more normal than most.  Courtesy o' Blogfaddah Lex, this (The myth of the eight-hour sleep):
In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month. 

It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep. 

Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists. 
I gave up worrying about my sleep habits some time ago, accepting the fact that I sleep in shifts to be somewhat normal for a man of a certain age and station in life.  That said, it IS a right-royal PITA when your day begins sometime around noon (on most days) and you go directly from your "morning" coffee to Happy Hour.

And we'll have none o' that "Neanderthal" stuff, thank ya very much.  The foregoing assumes you read the linked article, of course.

On the Line, Again

Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings makes a save on Dale Weise of the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on October 13, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  Photograph by: Dave Reginek, NHLI via Getty Images
The Beloved Wings host the Vancouver Canucks tonight at The Joe and hope to extend their home winning streak to 24 consecutive games.  The Canucks, OTOH, hope to end it... which will make for a VERY interesting game.  Some words from the Canucks home press (The Vancouver-based Province):
DETROIT -- Like anyone needs another reason to look forward to a game between the Red Wings and Canucks.

They are the two best teams in the league, based on points.

They play two of the most exciting styles and employ some of the game's most exciting players.

And now history is on the line.

Short of a Western Conference final, it doesn't get better than this: The Canucks have a chance to end the Wings' amazing string of 23 straight wins at home.

Think about that for a moment, those 23 wins in a row at Joe Louis Arena.

The Canucks this season are in the top 25 percentile of home wins and their biggest streak is four victories in a row.
Last year they were the best home team in the league with 27 wins and they managed to twice win six in a row.
So what Detroit has done, surpassing the 20 straight wins the 1975-76 Flyers and 1929-30 Bruins managed at home, is one of those records you think can never be broken.

“That's an amazing, amazing feat,” Alain Vigneault said. “I mean, to win 23 games in a row at home in such a competitive league is remarkable.

“We're going to go in there, we're going to have an opportunity to put our best game on the ice and see what happens.”

And you know what?

Canucks players have been cheering for the Wings for a couple of weeks now, hoping they'd keep playing bad host right up to the moment the visitors from Vancouver ring the doorbell.
Well... of course the Canucks want to the end the streak... who wouldn't?  I'm thinkin' Vancouver's just another brick in the wall because the Wings have played some pretty tough teams during that 23-game run... contenders in the Western Conference like the Preds, the Blues, and the Sharks, as well as contenders from the East, most recently Philadelphia.  So, yeah, Vancouver will be tough but no tougher than  any other team.  Why?  Because EVERY team brings their "A" game when they play the Wings.  Every. Single. One.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Brief Political Comment and an AAR

First... from the Usual Source:


So... My Buddy Ed In Florida left for Taos this morning at oh-dark-thirty to begin the first leg of his annual ski vacation, which will include NM, parts o' Colorado, and end up in Utah.  We'll prolly see him again on his return trip to Florida.  But, that said, if your world seems to be a lil bit brighter this morning we'll take credit for that.  Our "fixing the world" session lasted until around midnight and consumed a lot o' beer (on Ed's part) and a significant amount o' single malt (on YrHmblScrb's part).  I'm amazed, mystified, and more than somewhat gratified that I awoke with a clear head this morning.   I'm thinkin' the "clear head" HAD to be a near-run thang.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

When Life Interferes With Blogging

That would be today, because of this guy:

That's My Buddy Ed In Florida, who's doin' double duty as My Buddy Ed In P-Ville.  So we're doin' important stuff, like drinkin' beer and smokin' cigars.  Regular programming will resume tomorrow.

Monday, February 20, 2012

In Honor o' the Day

A hundred dollar Franklin is really sweet
A five hundred McKinley is the one for me
If I get a Cleveland, I'm really set
A thousand dollar Cleveland is hard to get

Them dead presidents
Them dead presidents
Well I ain't broke but I'm badly bent
Everybody loves them dead presidents
Ain't THAT the truth.

This Might Could Be Me

An Occasional Correspondent sent this along...

I've thought about bein' a Wally-World greeter.  But not TOO seriously, though, mainly because I just ain't too terribly fond o' people.  In general.  Present company excepted.


The obligatory "well, this sucks" WX post: 

It's the frickin' wind, Gentle Reader.  All damned day, too.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack... And... 23!

Steely Dan...

She thinks I'm crazy
But I'm just growing old 

The Cuervo Gold
The fine Colombian
Make tonight a wonderful thing
We can't dance together
No we can't talk at all
No... but there might could be OTHER thangs we can do.  Which brings to mind a friend from the past, she bein' 19 and me 32 when we met.  She DID remember Aretha, to the girl's everlasting credit, and she had an appreciation for stuff that "make tonight a wonderful thing."  We're still friends to this day.


Yup... 23.  And counting.  From
DETROIT -- If you can't beat them, shoot the puck right at them and see if that works.

It sure did on Sunday afternoon for the
Detroit Red Wings. Leading by a goal, but losing steam early in the third period at Joe Louis Arena, the Wings launched three blasts on three straight shifts that struck three San Jose Sharks and knocked each out of the game for a stretch.

Down three skaters, San Jose watched momentum shift back to the Red Wings -- who used it to push their NHL record home winning streak to 23 games with a 3-2 victory in one of three games televised on NBC on USA Hockey's "Hockey Weekend in America" celebration of the sport.

Darren Helm
scored his sixth goal of the season at 7:01 of the third off a nice feed to the slot by Drew Miller to make it 3-1 Detroit, which stood up as the eventual game-winner. It happened not long after Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Joe Pavelski and Colin White were each hurt by pucks shot by Red Wings  in the offensive zone.
I'm thinkin' the writer just might have a certain bias, coz the game didn't look to me like San Jose was all that and a bag o' chips.  Yeah, they had their moments, to be sure...especially Niemi, their goalie, who kept the score from bein' sumthin' like 6-2... but I think the outcome would have been the same if Vlasic, Pavelski, and White hadn't left the game for a time.  Pavelski returned to the game, as a matter o' fact, and was instrumental in the Sharks' second goal.  That said, the Sharks were only in it because of a garbage goal, a fluky off-the-top-of-the-net goal that was questionable, at best.  Couture played the puck off of a high stick just before it fell in the net behind Joey MacDonald and if  **I** had been sitting in the War Room in Toronto I would have disallowed it.  But no matter... the Wings hung in there and added Number 23 to the current home-stand streak.  Next up... at home... those pesky Canucks.


We adjourned to the verandah immediately after the game for a couple o' beers and a celebratory cigar.  While it ain't exactly nice outside... 62 degrees and a 22 mph wind that's gusting to 33 mph on occasion... it was nice enough.  Barely.

And now I think it's nap time.

Hockey Day In America

Which is actually a part of Hockey Weekend In America, a celebration of hockey put on by USA Hockey.  Speakin' o' USA Hockey... here are some of their people, right now!

I wonder how that Avs jersey got in there?  That was just an aside...

As for the post title, Hockey DAY In America is something of an NBC marketing program, wherein NBC runs several hockey games today... beginning with either the Wings - Sharks or the Flightless Birds - Sabres or the Blues - Blackhawks... all o' which are scheduled to begin at at 1230 hrs EST.  That last bit scares me, coz it means NBC will be running REGIONAL coverage and I might not get to watch the Wings game, which will tend to make me wanna break thangs and hurt people.  Teevee people whose middle name begins with a "B," specifically.

But!  My point, Gentle Reader, is there's lotsa hockey to be had today, accessible to all.  So this message is directed to YOU, unless your name is Buck (as in SN1), Dan, Glenn, or Seattle Andy, who, as hockey fans, prolly know all about HDIA.  Watch a game!

Drop the puck!  And LGRW, of course.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The World's Largest Rope Swing

You might wanna mute the sound... unless you LIKE hip-hop.  Yeah, my biases are showing.

Heights ain't my thang but that looked pretty danged cool.  From the Usual Source for viral vids.

Friday, February 17, 2012


DETROIT -- The streak is alive -- and the Detroit Red Wings have three of their best players to thank for it.

Pavel Datsyuk
broke a 1-1 tie by scoring with just 5.8 seconds left in regulation to give the Wings a 2-1 victory against the Nashville Predators on Friday night, extending their NHL-record home winning streak to 22 games.

With overtime looming,
Nicklas Lidstrom controlled a bouncing puck in the neutral zone and backhanded a pass to Henrik Zetterberg, whose no-look pass caught Datsyuk in stride just as he hit the Nashville blue line.

Datsyuk took over from there, stickhandling around defenseman
Ryan Suter before wristing a 15-footer over the left shoulder of goalie Pekka Rinne (29 saves) for his 16th goal -- sending the crowd into hysterics.
The crowd in P-Ville and Leavenworth went into hysterics, too.  There are very few things in life more exciting than a late, late, LATE third period game-winning goal.  My neighbors... or anyone passing in the street at that exact moment... might have thought there was a murder goin' on inside El Casa Inmóvil de Pennington.  It was THAT loud.  Yes, it was.  But that was nuthin' compared to bein' inside The Joe.  Witness (and note the clock at upper left):

Beauty, eh?

Broadening Our Horizons XLII

Yes, we ARE starting rather early... but what of it?  I only do this because I CAN, yanno?  Besides... what IS it about cool, rainy days?  I've cleaned the damned house from top to bottom... vacuumed, dusted, Windexed ALL the glass, mopped the floors, stripped the bed, put a load of laundry in... the upshot bein' I feel kinda-sorta like I've put in a full day.  Already.  So... we cracked a beer just before writing this and we're feelin' pretty good about our-fine-self.  Here's today's new-to-me brew:

That would be a Snow Day from New Belgium and it's a most interesting beer.  Here's what New Belgium has to say about the beer, in part:
Pleasantly hoppy, Snow Day carries the subtle chocolate and caramel flavors of a new brewing malt known as Midnight Wheat. The Styrian Golding, Centennial and Cascade hops bring the backbone of hoppy bitterness to complement the roasty undertones. This beer is the deep garnet of a roasted walnut and presents a creamy tan head, floating artfully atop. Snow Day is bold and hoppy, drinkable and strong.

It reminds you to enjoy the unexpected.
Snow Day is billed as a Winter Ale but it's much more hoppy than any other Winter Ale I've had.  This isn't a bad thang and I quite enjoy the counterpoint the hops bring to the wonderful chocolaty malt.  This beer is a keeper.

Update, 1220 hrs:  So... I was playin' around with the Beer Finder at and asked it where I could find Snow Day within 26 miles of Portales (ZIP: 88130).  The results:

Note that P-Ville does NOT appear on the map, but Cannon does.  God bless the USAF and their Class VI Stores.  Is all.

Rainy Day, Dream Away

Mr. Ariail has it right, IM(NS)HO.  I'm sick to frickin' DEATH of all this culture war BS.  The GOP candidates are throwing it all away by concentrating on the small stuff while ignoring (ahem) the elephant in the room.  It's said we get the gub'mint we deserve but I'm thinkin' we certainly deserve better candidates than we have.


It's what some folks would call a dreary day here on The High Plains o' New Mexico.  Note:

Those of us who live here don't think that way, simply because rain is a rare and blessed event.  We NEED all we can get.  That said, I'm glad I did all my runnin' around yesterday, which included the semi-monthly big-ass commissary and beer run out to Cannon Airplane Patch.  I can sit at my window and watch the rain come down, all safe and warm and cozy and all that other stuff.


The astute among you may have noticed I killed the word verification thingie on comments.  I did that because Blogger changed their WV app to a serious pain-in-the-ass, two-word, illegible abomination and no reasonable human should have to put up with that shit.  And another thang... we used to be able to have fun with the WV stuff, some o' which was seriously amusing.  No more, alas.  A pox on people who fix shit that ain't broke.  I hope their daughters are sold into slavery.


A brief hockey update... the Beloved Wings record-breaking string of home wins is at serious risk tonight as the hotter-than-hot Nashville Predators drop into The Joe for some hockey.  The Preds have a 6-2-2 record in their last ten, but then again the resurgent Ducks had a 7-2-1 record when we beat them last week.  We shall see.



Speakin' o' hockey games...  So there I was, watching the Wings and Stars game this past Tuesday night... together but separate with SN1, as is our habit... when the phone rings right after Zetterberg got sent to the box on a questionable call.  I mean RIGHT after, like ten or 15 seconds.  So I answer the phone with "THAT was bullshit!!!"

Pregnant pause and brief silence on the other end, followed by "Excuse me?"

It wasn't SN1.  It was My Buddy Ed In Florida.  Oh shit, oh dear.  After some stammering I finally managed to apologize and explain the situation, to much laughter and stuff.

My phone etiquette really sucks these days.


Oh... the post title?  This:

You go, Jimi.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

BRAC & Beemer-Beaters

More on BRAC... Panetta & Friends testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday, yesterday they took the small horse and canine to the House:
House Lawmakers: More BRAC Just Too Costly: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday once again urged Congress to support two more rounds of BRAC during his second trip to Capitol Hill in two days to discuss the Pentagon's Fiscal 2013 budget request. Once again, House lawmakers didn't bite, just as their Senate counterparts were lukewarm to the idea on the previous day. The controversial topic was raised 31 times during Wednesday's House Armed Services Committee hearing. "There's obviously no wild enthusiasm in the Congress for additional BRAC rounds," said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.). He added, "Every one of those facilities is in somebody's district and it might be yours that gets gored. And secondly, we really don't save any money in the short term because of the cleanup." Panetta said he realizes that "BRAC costs a hell of a lot of money," but said it's "the only effective way to try to achieve needed infrastructure savings" necessary "in the long run." BRAC 2005 is estimated to have cost the Defense Department some $39 billion to execute, and lawmakers bemoaned the fact that no savings will come from it before 2018, citing the Government Accountability Office. The Pentagon is expected to present its BRAC proposal to Congress next month, said Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.). (Panetta's prepared statement) (Dempsey's written testimony)
—Amy McCullough
In other words... more of the same (from the Usual USAF Source).


I'm still a fool for car pr0n... and here's my latest automotive lust object:

Long-time Gentle Readers may remember me bein' on about the Caddy CTS for the last couple o' years, so much so that I rented one for three or four days while The Green Hornet was getting her butt lifted.  I also got a quote on a CTS and subscribed to Caddy's newsletter, which is the source of the photo and other details on the new ATS.  Cadillac claims the BMW 3-Series is the benchmark for the ATS and goes to some length in their pre-production marketing to compare the two platforms.  I owned a 320i back in Former Happy Days and it was one of the better cars I've ever driven.  I kept that thang for well over ten years; it was my personal automotive longevity record holder until last October, when TGH had her 11th birthday.  I like what I see of the ATS so far and wonder if Caddy really is building a Beemer-Beater.  If so... I might could see myself in one.

Here we go again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack


Aretha's version might be the most well known and might even be the standard, but Otis' version is the original and the BEST.  YMMV.

Today was one of those "throw the windows and door open" kinda days.  It was a "two cigars, three beers on the verandah" kinda day,  which also meant we went to our personal music collection and let Pandora have a rest.  In doin' so we leaned heavily on the nine volume Stax/Volt "Complete Singles" collection.  Ooh, baby, baby... does it get any better than this?  Well, yeah... it could get better, but not by much.