Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Afterlife

I had a weird thought while sitting on the verandah last evening, enjoying a couple o' few fingers o' Bulleit Rye, a Partagas Spanish Rosado, the rain falling in the vertical (as opposed to the normal slashing, horizontal sort we usually get) and the coolness that came with said rain.  Altogether a rather marvelous experience, heightened by our soundtrack, which was the Glenn Miller station on Pandora.  My thoughts turned to my parents, Mom in particular, and my thoughts ALWAYS turn to my parents when I hear Big Band music.  So then it occurred to me that I might not be too far removed from seein' them again, assuming there's an afterlife.  Our mind began to wander on that topic... the afterlife... and we wondered about Heaven, Paradise, and other possible destinations, not the least of which was "how do we get there?"  And what's there, there?  Is Heaven one big place where all souls congregate?  Consider this, from The Wiki:
The CIA's World Factbook gives the world population as 7,021,836,029 (July 2012 est.) and the distribution of religions as Christian 33.39% (of which Roman Catholic 18.85%, Protestant 8.15%, Orthodox 4.96%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 22.74%, Hindu 10.8%, Buddhist 6.77%, Sikh 0.35%, Jewish 0.22%, Baha'i 0.11%, other religions 10.95%, non-religious 9.66%, atheists 2.01%. (2010 est.)
I KNOW some of those religions have a theology that excludes non-believers (we won't name names), so one kinda has to think there are several different neighborhoods in Heaven, including gated communities and a ghetto or two.  There's also the problem of atheists, and I assume those sorts simply go to ground and stay there.  We Buddhists, OTOH, know we have to come back and do it over until we get it right.  While we're on that subject, I'm thinking Nirvana is prolly a VERY small space, inhabited by the Buddha and a few of his minions; that's coz most of us will NEVER get it right.  I'm hoping that I got enough of it right this time around to come back as a woman, specifically as that "hooker with a heart o' gold."  (We've gone on about that before, but I can't find the link)

Devotions at El Casa Inmóvil de Pennington
I had more thoughts on this subject, particularly about the trip's beginning, wherein The Deity At  Hand (or one of her staff) announces... 
"Welcome to The Celestial Paradise Port.  Christians report to Concourse A, where you'll find your gate listed by denomination on the monitors.  Muslims report to Concourse B... Sunnis to the left and Shi'as to the right, please.  Hindus go to Concourse C.  You Buddhists aren't going anywhere just yet, and a few of you will become bugs running around Concourse B.  All other Buddhists should check in at the Wheel of Life for gate assignments.  Thank you for your attention and have a nice afterlife."
Or sumthin' like that.

In other theological news...  I had a conversation with SN1 the other night and he mentioned he forgot to tell me he picked up some pretty good incense, which he burns in his office.  He also mentioned DIL Erma stuck her head in the office while he was burnin' some of that stuff and said sumthin' to the effect of "It smells like your father's house in here."

Well.  I suppose that's preferable to a house that smells like stale beer and cigar smoke, eh?  Erma's right, though.  We do burn a bit o' incense, which is a part o' our daily devotions.  We have to keep the protocols if we hope not to come back as a bug in Concourse B.

Update, 1430 hrs:  Great Good Friend Lin sends this along with the suggestion that I update this post with same.

Heh.  Oh, that's GOOD.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Broadening Our Horizons (X4), Episode LXIX

We made a trip down to our local likker locker day before yesterday for to replenish the barley pop section of our Fridge O' Many Charms and were greeted in the parking lot by big-ass signs advertising O'Dell's Summer Sampler.  "Well, cool," sez I, "I think I'll pick one of those up."  And we did.  Here's what's in that 12-pack:

A couple o' days have passed and I've sampled all four of the beers... Loose Leaf (a session or saison beer), 90 Shilling Ale (an amber ale), St. Lupulin (a very hoppy pale ale), and their IPA (which is about par for the course for that genre) (there are great lil videos about the beers at a couple o' those links, btw)... which I've listed in order of my preference, the latter two bein' tied for dead last.  I'm not an IPA fan in that I don't like hoppy bitterness to overpower the malt flavor in my beer.  It goes without sayin' that your mileage may vary, the corollary bein' taste is ALL in our mouths.

So, that said... I really like the Loose Leaf and the 90 Shilling but I won't be buyin' another of these 12-packs... mainly coz I don't care for half of the contents.  I'm hopin' against hope my likker locker will stock the 90 Shilling but when the Loose Leaf is gone... it's gone, seein' as how it's an experimental brew and is only available in the summer 12-packs.  I hate it when that happens, mainly coz Loose Leaf is a damned near perfect summer brew (I'm drinkin' one right now, as we speak).

Oh, well.  It's always sumthin'.

Saturday: In Which We Bring Teh Cute

Cute overload, actually.  The Usual Source sez Adweek has already named this ad "Cutest Ad o' the Year," which MIGHT be a lil premature.  Mebbe not... there aren't many things in this life that are cuter than bunnies.  Well, except for all o' thesesmilies

Friday, June 28, 2013

With All Due Consideration For Those Who Work For a Living...


Same Ol', Same Ol'

It's a regularly recurring thing here at  El Casa Imóvil De Pennington.  Some examples:
(Sigh)  I have a classic case o' The Blahs today and don't feel like doin' much o' anythang, which includes writing a new and riveting blog post.  Or even goin' shopping, which is sumthin' I MUST do later on today, assuming the Motivation Fairy flits in and dusts me with the appropriate stuff.  Or hits me with her wand, or however that works.  There are mysteries in life and this is one of 'em.  (08-12-2012)

Yes, We Have No Bananas...

... for we are decidedly short on motivation and our left arm is throbbing.  In re: the left arm... we got our flu shot today, nuff said about THAT, I suppose, except this year's vaccine stung a lot goin' in and hurts like hell several hours later.  I'm such a wimp...  (10-12-2011)


Aiiieee.  We are becalmed in the worst blogging doldrums I've experienced in quite a long while.  Mebbe I'm experiencing some sorta post-headshot let-down, or some other semi-obscure form of ennui.  It's pretty serious, whatevah it is, as I can't seem to draw any sort of inspiration from anywhere.  (05-04-2011)

Calling In Well

Towards the end of my working life there was a point in time I took to calling in well whenever "things" got a bit too much.  Which is to say something like this hypothetical phone call:
Boss: Hello? Me:  Hey.  It's Buck.  I won't be in today. Boss: Are you OK? Me:  Oh yeah.  I'm great.  As a s'matter of fact I feel too damned good to come in. Boss: (short pause, followed by laughter)  OK... see ya tomorrow!
That was about the way it went the first time I pulled that stunt.  I didn't do it all that often, mind you, mebbe once or twice a year and NEVER when there was "stuff" going on that required my presence.  I usually did it after some sorta death march was completed, which is to say the kind of activity that required an endless procession of 12 to 14 hour days.  It was my own personal form of R&R, in other words.  I never once pulled that trick in the Air Force, needless to say.  The military, even the AF, tend to take a rather dim view of that sort of attitude.  There's that "duty" thang, yanno?  But it isn't so in the civilian world, given you have the right sort of leadership.  And I did.

We're calling in well today here at EIP.  While I feel REALLY good I also have zero motivation my inner eight year old pulling his usual stunt.  Even My Buddy Ed In Florida seems to be on hiatus at the moment, having failed to send me any of his drollery.  Mebbe everyone is kinda-sorta calling in well today.  (09-30-2010)

So... we were sitting here wondering where the Hell our Muse has traipsed off to, given as how she apparently decamped sometime over the long weekend. It's sufficient to say our blogging motivation levels have dropped off considerably over the last 48 hours or so... we've just been going through the motions for the last couple of days. (02-18-2009)
And you know there may be more, but I got tired o' scrolling down through old blog posts that say the same thing: we are NOT motivated.  I absolutely HAVE to go shopping today unless I wanna call up my good friends at Domino's when it's time for dinner.  It's hot outside, too.

Sigh.  First-world problems... we has 'em.

He'll Be Missed

I've posted a lot o' Mr. Asay's work here at EIP.  I'm gonna miss him.

Happy (Second) Retirement, Chuck!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's Always SUMTHIN'

So... we made TWO trips to The Big(ger) CityTM today.  There I was... out on the verandah, beer close at hand, settling into my favorite chair with a lit cigar idling in the ashtray, and I go to open Pandora on my phone.  We shall now make a long story MUCH shorter: my phone died.

So it's into the house to put the beer in the fridge, the cigar in the ashtray, collect my keys and motor BACK to Clovis.  Sprint is my cellular provider, but there are no technicians at the Clovis store.  The girl that waited on me said I could drive to Lubbock or Amarillo and see if they could fix my phone, if'n I wanted.  "OTOH, you're eligible for an upgrade!" sez she, smiling sweetly.  So: new phone.  Like this:

Yes.  Yes, I did.  I went over to The Dark Side.  I can't believe I did that.  

OTOH, I'll be able to amuse myself by asking Siri dumb-ass questions.  My first: "Can you kill someone for me, Siri?"  Her answer:  "I don't know what you mean.  Would you like to search the web?"  "Nah," sez I... "I'll just do it myself."

In Which We Use Our Head For Sumthin' Other Than a Hat Rack

For once.  By that I mean we were up at what passes for oh-dark-thirty at this point in life... 0630 hrs, actually... so we could (a) get semi-caffeinated, (b) head on over to The Big(ger) CityTM for to get The Tart serviced and (c) do all that before the heat of the day is upon us... which will be substantial (the forecast bein' 108, or so).  

So, out the door at 0730, a quick stop at the local coffee house to pick up a big-ass cappuccino for the road, and then we headed on over to Clovis, arriving at Bender GM at 0815 hrs where we were first in line, which was a decided improvement over our last experience.  We were back on the road to P-Ville at 0925 hrs with eight quarts of fresh oil in the crankcase, a full-spectrum check-up, and rotated tires... all at no charge, thanks to four years of included maintenance that came with The Dowager.  I like that.

I feel like I deserve a beer after doin' all that, so I think I'll go out to the verandah and shock the neighbors before it gets too bloody hot.

Not Your Father's Air Force XXXI

From the Usual USAF Source:
DOD to Offer Benefits to Same-Sex Couples Following DOMA Ruling
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Pentagon will "expeditiously" move forward in making benefits available to all military spouses—including same-sex couples—following the Supreme Court's June 26 decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act. The Supreme Court struck down a major provision of the 1996 law, saying it's unconstitutional to deny federal benefits to same-sex couples who are married in states where it's legal. However, the ruling left in place any state laws banning same-sex marriage, reported the Washington Post. In a statement released following the ruling, Hagel said DOD "welcomed" the decision and "will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court's decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies." During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Hagel said it's not yet clear how much it will cost to implement. "We are now exploring all the pieces," said Hagel. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen said the ruling "means the Defense Department will extend all benefits to same-sex spouses of military personnel that are currently extended  to opposite-sex spouses, including medical, dental, interment at Arlington National Cemetery, and with-dependent Basic Allowance for Housing." Christensen said he anticipates it will take six to 12 weeks to update the identification card issuance infrastructure and to update applicable ID card guidance. In addition, he said DOD is "carefully reviewing command sponsorship for overseas tours and all applicable status of forces agreements."  (AFPS release)
—Amy McCullough
We knew it was coming now, didn't we?  I wonder what the SOF with, say, Egypt or Saudi Arabia says about same-sex couples.  Are they exempt from stoning or being hung from a crane?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: Still Stuck in the '80s

Yaz, from about '82:

now he's in control he is my lover
nations stand against him he's your brother
been a long time, been a long time now
i'll get to you somehow

move out, don't mess around
move out, you bring me down
move out, how you get about
don't make a sound just move out
Ah, yes... just move out. And don't make a sound, please.

In other news... we took Happy Hour on the verandah, mainly coz (a) we went early, before it got too hot and (b) we went outside directly from the shower, leaving our head wet to take advantage of the evaporative cooling that's innit.  That worked, for a while, but our hair was completely and totally dry by the end of our first beer.  Here's why:

No matter... we just wet our head down again as we poured our second beer and continued as we'd begun.  But... that said, we shall remain indoors until such time as the sun dips below the horizon.  It's REALLY hot outdoors.


It's not even noon yet...

We MIGHT do Happy Hour indoors today and for the foreseeable future, too.  Mebbe.

Hey Virgil!

Read this.  An excerpt:
The core stayed intact, but the rest of the roster was in shambles. In 2011, the Blackhawks lost in the first round. In 2012, they did it again. By the end of last year, there was talk that coach Joel Quenneville was on the verge of losing his job. The process worked. Thank you, Chicago, we hope you enjoyed your moment. Now please step back into the line and let someone else have a turn.
But that didn’t happen, and now we have to figure out how the Blackhawks were able to glitch the system.

For starters, they managed to keep that core — and their core was really, really good. And it may not be going anywhere soon. Toews, Kane, Seabrook, Keith, Hossa, and Sharp are all signed through at least 2015, and each one comes with a lower cap hit than Paul Stastny.
Sound familiar? It should.  smileys

Do As I SAY, Don't Do As I Do

Spare me the Climate Change rhetoric, Barry, including yer smart-ass comments about the Flat Earth Society.  It turns out they're on the same page as you, anyway. 

But about that Africa trip... it's gonna be expensive:
In the days before his departure on Wednesday, much of the attention in Washington has focused instead on the high cost of the trip, estimated to be somewhere between $60 million and $100 million.
Ya know what they say... "A 100 million here, a 100 million there and pretty soon you're talkin' REAL money."  Not to mention all that CO2 you're gonna spew into the atmosphere.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What Might Be This Season's Last Hockey Post

Hockey Night In Canada's closing montage after last night's game.  "War, children, is just a shot away!" 

Ooh... hockey and the Stones.  YES!  Well done, HNIC, well done.

H/t: the Usual Hockey Source.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Congratulations Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks... 2013 Stanley Cup Champions.

Jonathan Toews hoists the Stanley Cup. — Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune, June 24, 2013

It was a GREAT series, some of the best hockey I've seen in years.

Broadening Our Horizons, LXVIII

A danged-near PERFECT summertime brew...

That's an Easy Street wheat beer from the O'Dell brewery and it's tasty, indeed.  It goes down VERY smoothly, too, so it might could be a lil bit dangerous.  I can see me knocking back about three of these today, easily, especially given it's rather warmish outdoors at the moment (about 92 fat ol' New Mexican degrees.  But they're DRY degrees.). 

Here's what our Go-To Guys have to say:
Taste: Medium body with a mildly creamy complex malt palate, sweet malt stays throughout with some doughy bread flavours. Hops are a touch spicy with a light yet balancing bitterness, flowery and herbal flavour fades quick. Nutty and powdery yeast character with an earthy undertone. A relatively sweet brew and all around pleasant to the tongue.
Notes: Clean cut American wheat brew, well focused on the malts with a well balancing hops and yeast. Optimum lunch time beer material here! Right up there with Widmer’s and Harpoon’s UFO.
I've never had a UFO but I have had Widmer's wheat and I agree with Mr. Alström, who gave a nearly unprecedented 100 points to this beer, Easy Street is most definitely a world-class beer.

And now it's out to the verandah to enjoy that Partagas Spanish Rosado you see in the ashtray above and my second Easy Street.

Life's pretty danged good right now.

More Proselytizing, Coz It's What We DO At This Time o' Year

From an article in the Chicago Tribune...
"Everyone who picks up a stick and puts on skates one day wants to place the Stanley Cup over their head," said Philip Pritchard, curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. "It's a lot bigger than the game itself. It's an icon of the sport. It's the pinnacle of everything they do."

This isn't the case in America's three other major sports: football, baseball and basketball. (No offense, soccer.)

"It's easy to say if you're a hockey player that I want to win the Stanley Cup, but you don't hear many football players say they want to win the Lombardi Trophy," said Richard Davies, author of "Sports in American Life: A History." "'I want to win the Super Bowl' is what you hear them say. Or, 'I want to win a ring.'"


"I think of the World Series trophy and the Lombardi Trophy as something that's really part of the TV age, a part of the birth of televised sports," said Anne Madarasz, director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. "Both those trophies came in 1967, the beginning of the Super Bowl era. They were created to give people a reason to watch these contests, developing and driving the commercialization of sports."

The Stanley Cup also acts as a historical document, with the names of every player from the winning teams engraved in rings that stack up under the crowning bowl.
RTWT, as we citizen journalists and hockey evangelists say.  You prolly won't learn anything new if you're a die-hard fan (you will, if'n you're a newbie), but it IS a good read.

The Cup might could be awarded tonight... but let's hope not.  I wanna see one more game and I wanna see those Broons take it all.


Naps are VERY underrated in our culture, unless you're younger than six or over 65.  I qualify, fortunately.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: Wallowing In Nostalgia

We've spent the afternoon out on the verandah listenin' to music from the '80s, which is to say we're wallowing in nostalgia.  We've defined a Thompson Twins station on Pandora which gives us a lotta tunes from that duo trio, in addition to stuff from Spandau Ballet, The Psychedelic Furs, Wham!, Depeche Mode, and others... including The Fixx.  About which, this:

There's nostalgia and then there's Nostalgia, with a capital "N."  I can be somewhat nostalgic about the '60s but the truth o' the matter is I couldn't find my ass with both hands during that time, seein' as how I was still growin' up.  The high point(s) of that decade were the birth of SNs One (1966) and Two (1968) and the rest of it was eminently forgettable, characterized as it was by near-poverty (read as: having to work two jobs simply to put food on the table), and a marriage that was notable mainly for the conflicts we endured.  Not the best o' times, as it were.

The '70s were pretty much more of the same... more poverty (read as: paying off all the freakin' bills The First Mrs. Pennington ran up on our way to divorce and living off of per diem checks from my travels around the Pacific Rim), leavened only by the fact that I met and fell in love with The Second Mrs. Pennington at mid-decade.  And the fact TSMP and I married towards the end of that ten-year period.  Other than that?  Forgettable.

The '90s were mostly good, except for the end when the cataclysm hit in the form of yet another divorce.

We're still too close to the Oughties to form an opinion but I cannot point to any one single thing that makes that decade memorable... in any way, shape or, form.  I spent that decade just gettin' by.  That said, the "gettin' by" was pretty good, from a strictly financial perspective.  The rest of it?  Not so much.

Ah... but the '80s?  It was the BEST of times, beginning when TSMP and I sold our first house in 1980 (and pocketed a good chunk o' change in the process), and were subsequently posted to London for three years.  It was there that I achieved senior NCO status and the money finally got good, allowing us to indulge in long weekends in Paris and take delivery of a spanking new Beemer in Munich... among other things.  We came back to the States in '83 whereupon I wrapped up my USAF career in 1985 and we moved to Dee-troit to begin my civilian career... which went famously.  We bought our third house in Dee-troit and were about as happy as any two individuals have a right to be.  In other other words: it was the best o' times and there simply weren't any worst o' times.  It's just too bad the rest of life couldn't have been as good as that decade.

So, yeah: "Nostalgia Я Us" today.  With good reason.

Quick Hit

My Buddy Ed In Florida sends the following along (which I think I've seen before, but no matter):
A university creative writing class is asked to write essays containing these four elements: religion, royalty, sex and mystery.

The prize-winning essay reads: "My God," said the Queen, "I'm pregnant. I wonder whose it is?"

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: Including a War Story

Ah, yes... take us back to 1977:

So, there I was... at the ADCOM NCO academy down at Tyndall Airplane Patch in late 1977.  Tyndall had a fine, fine NCO club which was my local watering hole during my six or seven week stay there.  And there was this fine, fine late-20-something waitress who worked there who was built like the proverbial Brick House.  I made a habit of playin' "Brick House" on the jukebox when she was on duty and servin' us... and also made a point of sayin' "that's YOUR song, Darlin'."  She'd grin and we'd exchange friendly banter.  I hit on her numerous times but was always rebuffed... kindly and gently... until my very last week at Tyndall.

It came to pass that the academy graduation ceremonies were capped with a Dining Out... which differs from a Dining In in that spouses and significant others are allowed to attend... and it also came to pass that I asked our waitress to be my date for the evening.  I almost fell out of my chair when she accepted, given the fact she'd resisted all of my previous attempts to get to know her better.  There was a rather significant fly in this ointment, however, in that I was chosen by the academy staff to be Mr. Vice (the person who proposes all toasts), and Mr. Vice sits at a small table at the foot of the mess, all by himself.  That meant that I wouldn't have either the time or the occasion to chat my date up, given as how she would be seated at another table.  But, no matter.  I sat my date with a group of instructors and their ladies and hoped for the best.

A short digression... after dinner and during the course of toasts, one of the instructors wives stood up and said "Mr. Vice!"  "Yes, Ma'am," sez I.  "I'd like to propose a toast to News In Briefs!" says she.  My face IMMEDIATELY went red as the lady laughed but I recovered sufficiently to address the President of the Mess and say "Mr. President... to News In Briefs!"  And we drank the toast.  

Explanation:  There was a daily ritual at the academy, rotated among the four flights of students, wherein a group of four or five students did a daily presentation consisting of news and current events.  This presentation was held in the school's auditorium and was about a 15 minute affair, which was almost always boring.  I took it upon myself to liven up things a bit when it came my flight's turn to present and I made sure the table at which we sat had a skirt around it which concealed all the presenters from the waist down.  So... we each gave our short presentations until such time as it came for the "news in brief" portion... when I announced to the assembled student body and cadre... "And now... the news in briefs!"  At which time we all stood, clad only in our blue shirts, ties, and underwear.  The room went nuts... and I think I secured my place in ADCOM NCO Academy history.

So there's that.  I noticed after the toast that the lady who proposed it explained the significance to my date who threw her head back and laughed about as hard as I've ever seen any woman laugh.

Fast forward to the end of the formalities and the subsequent dance, yadda, yadda.  My date and I spent a couple o' few hours of quality time together during the rest of the festivities and it also came to pass that she and I didn't part company until about 0900 hrs the following morning.  That night remains one of the fondest memories of my entire military career.  She most certainly was a Brick House... and mighty, mighty... as well.

And the girl?  We promised to stay in touch and we did, for a brief time.  But I was committed to The Second Mrs. Pennington (who was my intended at the time, so there was no technical infidelity involved), there was all that distance... she remained in Florida, I returned to North Dakota... and life went on.  I often wonder what happened to her, though.

Good tune, this.


Occasional Reader Rob sends along a link to 43 ads from the 40s and 50s, as seen in Field and Stream.  Here's one such (click for really larger):

Somehow I just can't picture Mom wearing these.

Something else I can't picture:

If you were a kid you'd go to jail for rolling one of these into a group today.  Hell, you'd go to jail just for having one.  

Full disclosure: I had a mini-arsenal of grenades, pistols, rifles, swords, knives, and other assorted weapons as a kid and look how I turned out.  Wait.  Mebbe that isn't a good ideer to do.

Saturday: A Movie I Might Watch

Nah, not really.  I tried watching "Lord of the Rings" but couldn't make it through the trilogy, mainly coz Peter Jackson's interpretations of LOTR deviated from the images I'd created in my lil imagination, sometimes mildly and at other times wildly.  I HATE it when that happens.  Still and even, the special effects were pretty good and look good here, as well.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: Dangerous

We were semi-dangerous today, seein' as how we got up at oh-dark-thirty (which would be sometime around 0630 hrs) and set out into the world to get stuff done around 0800 hrs, said stuff bein' gettin The Tart her long-promised beauty treatment (a thorough wash 'n' wax), and a run out to Cannon Airplane Patch for to resupply whiskey and victuals.  We did all o' that... in addition to patronizing the local coffee shop... and were home before 1100 hrs, at which time we rewarded our-self with a verandah sit, a couple o' beers, and a fine cigar.  Coz we CAN.  So anyhoo... we heard this tune on our way out to Cannon:

I'm a Danger Man from a dangerous city
And I lead a very dangerous life
I got a dangerous car, goes dangerous speeds
And very dangerous wife
I got 16 or 17 dangerous girlfriends
Not counting one or two
Look out kid you don't want to get hit
I'm dangerous to you
You better look out 

(full lyrics here: they're good!)
I don't have any David Bromberg in my music collection but I just might have to remedy that oversight.  This tune made me laugh right out loud as I listened to it, in addition to striking a small chord in my black lil heart.  I might coulda been dangerous at one time or another in the way-back... given as how I lived in Dee-troit for ten years, owned a few dangerous cars, drove dangerous speeds, and most definitely had a dangerous wife and a few dangerous girlfriends, once upon a time.  And then there are the mo'sickles and no truly dangerous man can be without same.  Yeah, we qualified.

These days?  Not so much.  But we still can dream, eh?

Hey! It's Summer!

But this year, the solstice happens on Thursday, June 20 for places in North America west of the Central Time Zone, occurring at 11:04 P.M Mountain Daylight Time and 10:04 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time.
Well, OK.  No matter what time zone you're in... summer's here by the time you read this.  Let's PARTY!

About that image... While we were living in Ol' Blighty The Second Mrs. Pennington and I had it on our agenda to travel down to Stonehenge to party at the summer solstice but we never got around to doing that, and more's the pity.  Rumor has it the summer solstice at Stonehenge is one of the premier parties in all of creation.  Yet another missed opportunity.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Anna Nalick singin' about sumthin' that's kinda hard for me to do...

Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table.
No one can find the rewind button, boys,
So cradle your head in your hands,
And breathe... just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe
Breathe.  We all take our breath for granted until such time as it goes away and mine's been goin' away for about the last six or seven years.  I don't go on about self-inflicted wounds all that much in these pages or anywhere else, for that matter, mainly because they're self-inflicted.  No cryin' or whinin' allowed, in other words.

But, that said... we're about to go on full-time oxygen for our COPD.  We had a battery of pulmonary tests run today and the results weren't too terribly good.  They sucked, in fact.  So it looks like I'm gonna be hooked up to a frickin' machine for the rest of my life, such that it is.  But, Hey... we knew this was comin'.

It's always SUMTHIN'.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It's Her Birthday

We have a habit of celebrating our cars' birthdays here at EIP and have done so every year we've been disseminating digital drivel on these here inner-nets, here's one such example:  

The Green Hornet on the day I bought her, 2000.
The Tart on the day I brought her home.
The first pic is quite the glamor shot, innit?  The second?  Not so much.  I did have a photo-op planned for The Tart, in that I was gonna get her all dolled up and pose her in some exotic locale... like in front of our WPA-era Art Deco courthouse in the dead o' night.  Well, the best-laid plans, and all that.  The Tart is still waiting for that promised beauty treatment and will continue to wait until the monsoons are over.  I ain't gonna get her looking all spiffy only to have her look like death warmed over six hours later.

But anyhoo.  She's a year old and here we are.  Do I still like her?  Yes.  Do I have any issues?  Yes.  Particularly when I see this frickin' ad on my teevee:

And why is that?  Simply coz that cheap-ass lil car (about half the cost of The Tart) has a full-color, seven inch LCD screen, built-in voice-activated nav system, a power sunroof, and a heated steering wheel, The Tart having NONE of those.  It's not that those things aren't available from Cadillac, they are.  It's that all of them are extra-cost options which we did not choose to purchase, bein' the cheap-ass frugal person we are.  That said, you'd THINK a company with the audacity of billing itself as "The Standard of the World" would make those sorts o' things... ummm... standard.  Or mebbe you'd think the buyer, had he really wanted those things, would have actually bought them.

All nits, however.  The basics, after a year's worth o' driving:

The average speed and average fuel economy have both decreased since the six-month report... 45.5 to 43.0 mph and 23.1 mpg to 22.7, respectively.  Both of those numbers reflect mostly in-town driving and I believe they're fairly respectable.

My bottom line?  I love her... still... and I'm gonna keep her.  Everything I said at the six month point holds true: "She's fast (enough), comfortable, quiet, reasonably frugal, and an overall joy to live with.  She's also downright freakin' beautiful, mebbe even THE most beautiful car I've ever owned."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Our nose is jes a lil bit out o' joint.  We've just returned from a fruitless trip to The Big(ger) CityTM, the object bein' to get The Tart serviced but one in which we wasted our precious time.  I called the dealer yesterday to set up an appointment for The Tart's service, bein' the conscientious sort I AM about motor maintenance, and was told that routine service was a walk-in affair with no appointment necessary.  "Just don't come during lunch hour," sez the kind lady, "anytime between eight and noon and from 1:30 until five and you'll be good."  Not so.  I arrived at precisely 1330 hrs today and was told the service department was all booked up and would I like an appointment for 1500 hrs?  "No," sez I... "I'll come back another day."  I hope this isn't a harbinger of things to come.

But, oh well.  Walk on...

"Sooner or later it all gets real"
Heh.  Beer me!

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Favorite Kinda Clouds

Took a break during the second intermission of the game to step outside and was rewarded with these views:

Those are embryonic mammatus clouds.  They're not fully formed, like these (see the images at the foot of the article).  But, Hell... close enough for me.  We had a helluva good t-storm earlier this evening and these clouds are the result of same.

Now it's back to the game... Let's Go Broons!

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: A Hard Day

Cowboy Junkies with "Anniversary Song:"

And I don't know how I survived those days
before I held your hand
Well I never thought that I would be the one
to admit that the moon and the sun
shine so much more brighter when
seen through two pairs of eyes than
when seen through just one

Have you ever seen a sight as beautiful
as a face in a crowd of people
that lights up just for you?

Have you ever felt more fresh or wonderful
as when you wake
by the side of that boy or girl
who has pledged their love to you?

Well I've known all these things
and the joys that they can bring
Now every morning there's a cup of coffee
and I wear your ring
and I wear your ring ♥
I never once forgot our anniversary when we were married... and the ultimate foolish thing is I STILL remember that day, all too well.  The Second Mrs. Pennington went me one better in the way-back when she'd come to me sometime in September and say "Do you know what day today is?"  "Well, no," I'd respond... "what day IS it?"  "The day we met," she'd reply.

The day we met.  There's a back-story, of course.

They always go us one better, don't they?


The Tart gets monthly diagnostic reports from OnStar and I really like that feature.  But I kinda wonder about some things.  Here's an excerpt from last month's report:

And here's an excerpt from this month's report:

What happened to that 33% oil life?  I only put another 200 miles on the car in the last month, so one would THINK The Tart is still good to go, no?  But mebbe she just needs annual check-ups, like the rest of us.  In any event, I guess I'll take her in.  Sometime.

Posted Without Comment

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

In honor o' the day, kinda-sorta... Cat Stevens before he got weird, found Allah (even though Allah was far from lost or misplaced), and changed his name:

I was once like you are now, and I know that it's not easy,
To be calm when you've found something going on.
But take your time, think a lot,
Why, think of everything you've got.
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.
There's something of a minor back-story here.  The First Mrs. Pennington and I were goin' through some hard times a couple o' years after Tea For the Tillerman... the album from whence this song comes... came out.  To be more specific, **I** was going through hard times, agonizing over my marriage and whether I should go or stay.  My father recognized the signs even as I tried to conceal them and he did what any good father feels compelled to do: he intervened.  His intervention took the form of  a rather strident and forceful "here's what you SHOULD do" and I was less than pleased with his "advice," as might be imagined.  We'll not go into any of the sordid details (which were sordid, indeed) but the upshot of this turn was that my father and I didn't speak to each other for a couple o' years after that.  "Father and Son" got listened to a LOT immediately following our "talk" and in the days, months, and years that followed.

There's a happy ending in that we made nice in the end, thank The Deity At Hand.  I think I learned a lil sumthin' from that episode; at least I hope I did.

Father's Day

Today is one of the few days in the year in which we recycle.  That would be pixels, in this case.  Without further ado...

Happy Father's Day

Today is the day we celebrate the Ol' Man, Dad, Pop, or whatever name you apply to your father. He’s the guy who is our earliest impression of what it means to be a man... and the guy who is primarily responsible for molding boys into men. Here's my role model:
Dad in his Army Air Corps lieutenant's uniform, me, and Mom... c.1948 (maybe).

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

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

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

But anyhoo: call yer Ol’ Man.
So... Holding with our tradition here at EIP we have recycled last year's post on the subject.  It occurred to me that I'm Green in at least this one regard... we do NOT send old blog-posts off to the landfill or otherwise harm our ecosystem, beyond actually publishing this pixelated fertilizer.  Blog posts have a half-life of at least 5,000 years, yanno?  Coz the inner-nets are forever.  Or so I'm told.
That was what we said in 2010 and the year before that.  We don't QUITE have a standard Father's Day post aside from what you see above.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Chuck and Linda, in their primes...

Oh well, oh well, I feel so good today,
We touched ground on an international runway
Jet propelled back home, from overseas to the U. S. A. 
The lyrics?  That would be SN1, who's back home yesterday after his year in the desert.

Welcome home, Buck.  Ya done good.