Thursday, October 31, 2013

News Item

A screen-cap:

RTWT, as we Citizen-Journalists say.


You fergot the "s," Shoebox, it's JacqueS.  I guess I should just have a big ol' cup of STFU and accept the fact America is full of illiterates.

That and I have to go to the store today and buy a few Kit Kat bars.  Or not.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: Bonnie!

Yes, yes... oh, YES.  Bonnie sings the blues* while adding in some very tasty guitar licks.

These men that I've been seeing, baby
Got their soul up on the shelf
You know they could never love me
When they can't even love themselves
But I need someone to love me
Someone to really understand
Who won't put himself above
Who just loves me like a man
I've never seen such losers, Darlin'
Even though I tried
To find a man who could take me home
'Stead of takin' me for a ride
And I need someone to love me
I know you can
Believe me when I tell you
You can love me like a man
(complete lyrics here)
Ummm, Bonnie.  Darlin'.  No offense, but we men have the SAME complaint.  Or rather, some of us might do.  I'll freely admit some men have found their one-and-only but there are considerable numbers of us who've simply given up.  I mean, one can only kiss just so many toads until the warts become a problem, eh?  It is what it is, innit?

* Heard earlier today on meTunes Radio, on the Lucinda Williams station.  There be some great good stuff therein, Gentle Reader.

In Which We Kinda-Sorta Blow Off the Blog (Shorter: A Brief Intro Followed By Another Re-Run)

Yesterday I complained about sleeping in shifts... which is never good... but last night we slept the sleep of The Just, warranted or not.  I went to bed well before midnight (I don't remember the exact time) and woke up the first time at 0630 hrs.  That seemed to be a bit too early to begin my busy day, so we did sumthin' highly unusual: we rolled over and went back to sleep, for an hour an a half.  Yay, me!

And then we went out to the base, got our quarterly haircut, and made a major commissary run, getting everything done, including putting away all the provisions, well before 1200 hrs.  I'd give myself another cheer except for the fact we planned to do all that yesterday.  So here we are, a day late and at least a Yankee Dollar short.

So, re-runs.  I was curious as to how many re-runs I've actually done in my eight-year blogging career (the eighth anniversary coming up in two weeks time) so I did a search on "re-run."  Blogger brought back 160 results, but not all of 'em are actual re-runs of stuff I posted, there are a few instances where I use the term in other contexts.  Stoopid Blogger!  But, Hey!... even if every one of those 160 posts WERE an actual re-run that would amount to only 2.8% of this blog's content.  (Do the math: 5,686 posts/160 re-runs)  I don't know if this makes YOU feel any better, Gentle Reader, but it eases my mind a lot.

So, here's the re-run, from... well, you'll see:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another Re-Run: Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em

I went looking for something this morning (I found it, too) and came across this old chestnut from four and a half years ago... which I posted right at the time I quit smoking cigarettes.  It kinda rang a couple o' bells with me; I hope it works for you, Gentle Reader.  The post, in part:
It’s been a week today and I’m still off the evil weed cigarettes, still haven’t cracked the Partagas stash. It’s still very early days, but at least I haven’t done that backsliding thing immediately. Thank you, Nicorette.
So. Just by sheer coincidence (and thanks to the inimitable Lileks, he of the cigarillos taken under the gazebo in the summer), I came across a couple of items on smoking yesterday, wouldn’t you know. And they’ll continue to pop up just like clockwork for the foreseeable future, too. Life’s like that.
The first: Barack Obama is a smoker. No sh!t.
But Obama's semisecret weapon amounts to a double-edged sword. After all, what sort of successful Democratic politician smokes nowadays? Smoking is GOP old-school. House Minority Leader John Boehner regularly smokes cigarettes—which helps explain why he didn't hesitate to hand out tobacco-industry campaign checks on the House floor some years back. But Democrats shun the demon weed, at least in public. One of the first acts of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was to ban smoking in the Speaker's Lobby, long the haunt of nicotine-crazed legislators. (The most famous Democratic tobacco addict doesn't even smoke. Former President Clinton likes to chomp on cigars—and, as the Starr report detailed, to occasionally use them for other purposes. Sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar.)
So, it's understandable that Obama, according to his aides, has been trying to kick the filthy habit as he gears up for a possible presidential campaign. The senator is refreshingly honest about his penchant for cigarettes: When asked about it by the Chicago Tribune in 2005, he replied, "The flesh is weak." When asked whether Obama still smokes, his spokesman, Tommy Vietor, hedged. "I haven't seen him for a month, so I don't know," Vietor said in late December. Vietor later declined to comment for this piece. (emphasis mine)
That Starr report link is pretty danged graphic, but I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know. Back to Barack… I really don’t give a damn if Barack, or anyone else, for that matter, smokes. I don’t think most Lefties are that tolerant, however. Because they know what’s good for you, even if you don’t…and they’re not shy about telling you, either. Still and even, I think this just has to be the most unique, if not bizarre, reason to quit I ever heard… “Well, I decided to run for President, so I guess I better quit.” Takes the cake, that does.
The second item is quite old, a Times Online (UK) item from March of 2005 titled “Up in Smoke.” (Ed: The Times link is dead and more's the pity) (No, Sparky, not that Up In Smoke) It’s a bit of nostalgia, and Boy-Howdy, do I ever relate.
Not very long ago, the whole world smoked, no room was truly furnished unless it contained an ashtray, and all of waking life was measured out in cigarettes. Doctors smoked in their consultation rooms. Chefs smoked in restaurant kitchens. Mothers smoked while dandling their babies. Mechanics smoked in oil-flecked garages. Athletes smoked on the sidelines. Teachers smoked in classrooms. Patients smoked in hospital solariums. Television presenters smoked on camera. Shoppers smoked in the produce aisle at the supermarket. We smoked in the rear halves of airliners, in the balconies at movie theatres, between courses at formal dinners, on crowded dance floors while gyrating, on elevators despite the signs, on the subway if the hour was late enough. We smoked in the office and at the beach, in the waiting room and at the hair salon, in the art gallery and at the stadium. We smoked in bed: just after waking and just before sleep, after making love and sometimes during it. We often smoked without being aware we were smoking.


In Europe - actually, in most parts of the world other than the US - everyone was perpetually offering everyone else a smoke. Sit down at a table with three people and instantly out come four packs, an expertly gradated trio of ends poking out of a corner of each, and of course you have to take one, even if it’s a brand you abhor, just as they must take yours. To refuse would be an act of aggressively bad manners, like spurning the proffered tea in an Arab country or the bread and salt in Russia. In America, by contrast, prison yard customs prevailed. The pack was kept in a shirt pocket and one pill was drawn out at a time and inserted into the owner’s mouth. This was not viewed as a breach of etiquette since, it was reasoned, everyone you encountered would already have his or her own pack. Keeping your pack to yourself was a sterling example of the American ethos, like fencing your land and shooting trespassers and considering that basic societal benefits belong to those who can afford them. (Ed: gotta get that snark in, doncha?)


Bohemians and intellectuals predictably went for Camels or Luckies. Raymond Loewy’s Lucky Strike package was a triumph of design, even after the green background was excised in the Forties so that the dye could be saved for the war effort. In the Twenties it was stylish for cigarettes to allude to the Near East, hence Murads, Fatimas - and Camels, now the last survivor of the trend. (Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade smoked Fatimas.) Supposedly, there were dirty pictures concealed within the image of the camel on the package, but though I nodded yes when they were pointed out to me, I was never able to make them out. Both Camels and Luckies appealed to a certain purism, to a nostalgia for fedoras and speakeasies, to a peculiar impression that the brands were so elemental as to be something like produce, not really commercial brands at all. Nothing was better at conveying cosmopolitan style and culture in America than possession of a pack of Gauloises, or Gitanes. The aroma of black caporal tobacco was so distinctive you didn’t need to flash the pack to stand out in a crowd. (Ed: You sure didn’t. Gauloises and Gitanes stink, in a manner that’s simply beyond the stink of an ordinary cigarette and is, essentially, indescribable. Anyone who has ever been to Paris, or anywhere else in France, knows this for a fact. It begins when you ask yourself “What the Hell smells in here?”)


Anyway you can’t smoke any more. You can’t smoke anything - not low tar, not Sher Bidis, not all-natural additive-free tobacco in unbleached paper. It’s not yet illegal to possess the materials and implements for smoking, nor to consume them in the privacy of your own home, but it is increasingly difficult to smoke in public places, even outdoors, even in Europe. It’s true that a certain dark anti-glamour lingers outside the restaurant doorway, as you and people you will never meet again enjoy the rough comradeship of exile, puffing away in your thin jackets in February as if you were doing something heroic. It’s true that in a few Western settings - student life, for example, or among fashion models - smoking remains almost normative. It’s true that if you produce a pack of cigarettes in the right place and at the right time entire roomfuls of confirmed quitters will line up to bum one. And of course everyone knows at least one defiant and unapologetic smoker. In general, though, and especially in prosperous suburbs, you can expect passers by to glare at you with undisguised contempt, however discreetly you light up.
Barack, take note of that last paragraph. Or perhaps he’s already read the article. At any rate, every single thing in the above paragraphs is true, with the possible exception of smoking during sex. After sex? Most certainly. During? I don’t think so.
I’m old enough to remember the days when smoking was cool, the days when, as noted above, everyone did it. I learned “British Rules” on smoking when I lived in London. Not coincidentally, The Second Mrs. Pennington’s and my consumption rate doubled or tripled, even, when we went out on the town or down to the pub. We realized this almost immediately and developed subterfuges to counter the expense, which could be considerable. There were nights when the two of us would go through five packs of cigarettes, simply because all our mates were eager to accept our cigarettes when offered. I would routinely pass on the cigarettes offered in return, having never developed a fondness for Players Navy Cut or Rothschilds. We figured out what the Brits didn’t like (Trues, IIRC) and we’d both bring a pack of those along to offer around. Naturally, the offered smokes would be declined. Thus: money saved. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but it’s true.
Being the good Bohemian I aspired to be in my youth, I began with Luckies. I even did the James Dean thing by rolling them up in the sleeve of my tee shirt while on the job as a landscaping contractor’s assistant in high school. Yes, I began in high school. We all did the JD thing, and we all smoked Luckies, too. It was the thing to do. Over the years I moved from brand to brand, changing about every ten years or so. At the end (last week, ha!) I was smoking American Spirits, one of those “all-natural additive-free tobacco in unbleached paper” brands described above. Well, the paper is bleached, I think. And the damned things were still killing me, in spite of their “naturalness.” God willing, I’ll make it stick this time.
Even though I’ve excerpted from the article heavily, there’s much, much more. Here’s the closing graf:
Maybe there are ex-smokers out there who feel uncomplicated relief at having quit. I doubt there are many, however. Your cigarette was a friend - the sort of friend parents and teachers warned you against, who would lead you down dark alleys and leave you holding the evidence when things went wrong - but a friend nevertheless. It’s terribly sad that you can’t enjoy a smoke now and again without tumbling into the whirlpool of perdition, the way you can take a glass of spirits on the weekend with no danger that by Monday you will end up filtering the shoe polish after exhausting the cooking sherry. But just as an alcoholic remains an alcoholic even after decades of abstinence, so a smoker is a sinner forever after. You have breathed fire. You have experienced one of the deepest satisfactions of life: the first cigarette of the day in tandem with the first cup of coffee. (Ed: Or the two glowing cigs in the dark after wild, wild sex!) You have felt that knee-trembling rush upon taking the first drag after suffering an enforced separation from cigarettes - after a trip to the moon, for example. Your friend has come running to your side in the worst moments, and has been there to cheer you on in the best. You have tasted of the fruit of good and evil. Now that you have chosen the path of righteousness, can it be that the decision is fixed and irrevocable? Is it possible that smoking will be legislated or taxed out of existence? Is it possible that the Earth will be wiped so clean of tobacco that, like opium, it will be difficult to find without undertaking hazardous journeys in troubled regions? Is it possible that you will never again be able to enjoy the comfort of knowing that you have traded five minutes of life for five minutes of serenity? We may all have stopped smoking, but we continue to burn.
If you’re a smoker, or even an ex-smoker who doesn’t mind a trip back to Former Happy Days, go have a read. And smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em! Uh, no. Don’t.
The pic is one of the very few I could find showing me with a cigarette, which is passing strange, mainly because we almost always used ciggies as props in the way-back... before smoking went out o' style.  True confession:  I still miss the damned things.
That last sentence?  It's still true.  And you'll have to pry my cigars from my cold, dead hands if you really want 'em.  Those things are here to stay.
And now if you'll pardon me, Gentle Reader, I'm either going to have a Liquid Lunch or kick off Happy Hour waaaay early.  Because I CAN. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: Memphis

And John Hiatt goin' on about it...

Maybe there's nothin' happenin' there
Maybe there's somethin' in the air
Before our upper lips get stiff
Maybe we need us a big ol' whiff

If we could just get off-a that beat little girl
Maybe we could find the groove
At least we can get a decent meal
Down at the Rendezvous
 'Cause one more heartfelt steel guitar chord
Girl, it's gonna do me in
I need to hear some trumpet and saxophone
You know sound as sweet as sin

And after we get good and greasy
Baby we can come back home
Put the cowhorns back on the Cadillac
And change the message on the code-a-phone

But...   Lets go to Memphis in the meantime, baby
Memphis in the meantime girl
Memphis has been on my to-do list for a long, long time.  We thought we were gonna check it off on the return trip from our recent vay-kay, but noooo.  There was no stoppin' on the way out to Virginny (we were on a MISSION) and by the time we were on our way back we'd been on the road too long to spend another day or two away from our bed... and our stuff.  So, Memphis is still on the to-do list.  Mebbe some day...


That's pretty good... better than usual... and Mr. Kelley is always good.

In other news... we're sleeping in shifts again.  I tried sumthin' entirely new last evening: I went right to bed when I caught myself drifting off on the couch while watching teevee.  That was at 2200 hrs; four hours later my eyes popped open and wouldn't close again.  I tried to get back to sleep for a half-hour then gave up, got up, fired up the coffee, and proceeded to catch up on my reading (as opposed to firing up the 'puter), figuring that might put me to sleep.  No such luck.  I was awake from 0230 until just after 0800 when I finally yawned and tried again.  Sleep came and lasted for about three and a half hours... so we have seven and a half hours o' sleep on the night, albeit in shifts.  And my day is well and truly blown.

It's always sumthin'.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: A Course Correction

It occurred to me that we've been entirely too mellow of late, what with posting a lot o' chanteuses and other sorts o' "feeling" types.  Well, let's fix this...

An' if you see me walkin' down the line
With my favorite honky tonk in mind
Well, I'll be here around supper time
With my can of dinner and a bunch of wine
The Rolling Stones are rightly (self-)described as "The World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band" and I won't argue that point.  But ZZ Top is arguably the "World's Greatest BOOGIE Band," and I say "arguably" coz George Thorogood might take issue with that appellation.  That said, I'll stand by what I said: ZZ Top IS the world's greatest boogie band.  They're also a damned good blues band when they put their minds to it.  Witness:

So, we're listenin' to The Top today if you hadn't already guessed.  Today is sorta like summer's last hurrah, what with the temps bumpin' up against 80 degrees and lots o' brilliant sunshine.  Which, of course, means that the windows and door are wide open and our stereo is cranked up... FULL o' ZZ Top CDs, beginning at the beginning.

Rock ON.

Tales From the Front, Cold War Edition... the Other Side III

Did I ever tell ya The Second Mrs. Pennington considered joining the Air Force once upon a time?  Well, she did.  Read on for more...

There are numerous ironies in this letter and we'll mention a few as we proceed.  But, about the Air Force... TSMP jumped through all the recruiting hoops and was accepted into Officers Training School (OTS), pending a successful physical exam.  It came to pass that TSMP journeyed down from South Bend to Indianapolis to take the requisite physical and was met by some asshat of a USAF captain (recruiter type) who proceeded to make a less-than-subtle pass at her, a pass that, if memory serves and if Paula was accurate in her account of the event (and I have NO doubt at all in that space), would be considered sexual harassment... if not assault... in today's military climate.  Which put Paula RIGHT off and rightfully so.  And that was the end of that.  The Air Force lost someone who would have prolly made a damned fine ossifer... and may have even decided to make a career of it.  The young TSMP was quite patriotic in her youth, yanno?

That said... it was all prolly for the best, keeping in mind this was in the late '70s and the Air Force didn't look kindly upon mixed marriages, which is to say O's and E's, together.  Life might could have been hard in that space.

So... ironies.  Actually "irony," singular.  TSMP goes on quite a bit in this letter about taking my name once we married (I had no objection, seein' as how I always thought this was the natural course of things).  So, the woman remarried almost immediately following our divorce, but did she take her new husband's last name?  Ummm... no.  She is "Paula B." today and has been so ever since the court reinstated her maiden name.  So much for that "we are one" thing, eh?

One wonders.  But, Hell... as the lady said: "Who gives a shit?"

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: Possession

I surely love this tune by Sarah McLachlan...

Listen as the wind blows
From across the great divide
Voices trapped in yearning
Memories trapped in time
The night is my companion
And solitude my guide
Would I spend forever here
And not be satisfied 
I heard this on iTunes Radio this afternoon, on the Norah Jones station I defined a couple o' few days ago.  There's this about that... iTunes Radio is pretty good, as long as you set your preference on each and every station at "Discovery."  One has three options... "hits," "middle o' the road," and "discovery"... I've tried all three and "discovery" is the best, by far.  I now have eight stations defined on the meRadio and I've been exposed to some new-to-me artists performing some genuinely good stuff.  Me likee.

So, yeah... OK.  I said sumthin' good about Apple stuff.  Don't go thinkin' I'm turnin' into a fanboi, mmm-kay?  Just sayin'.

Wherein I Bring the Sunday Funny

This made me laugh right out loud...
Suddenly, a cow runs out into the road and a Limo driving late at night hits it head on and the car comes to a stop. The woman in the back seat - in her usual abrasive manner, says to Stan, the chauffeur, "You get out and check on that poor cow--you were driving."  So Stan, the chauffeur gets out, checks, and reports that the animal is dead but it appeared to be very old. “Well,” says the wealthy, abrasive woman, "You were driving, so you go and tell the farmer in that lighted farmhouse over there."
Two hours later Stan, the chauffeur, returns totally inebriated, a full belly, his hair ruffled, with a big grin on his face. "My God, What happened to you?" asks the woman.
The chauffeur replies, "When I got there, the farmer opened his best bottle of single malt scotch, the wife gave me a meal fit for a king, and the daughter made love to me."
"What on earth did you say?" asks the woman.
“Well, I just knocked on the door..........and when it opened I said to them, ‘I'm Stan, Nancy Pelosi's chauffeur, and I've just killed the old cow.’"
The h/t goes to an Occasional Correspondent (who knows who he is).

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday: Veddy British, Indeed

I drank Tetley's while I was in Ol' Bighty.  Still do, actually... but I'm kinda like the most interesting guy in the world in that space ("I don't always...").  And now to pour my first cup, of COFFEE.  (<=== no joke, that.  We're sleeping later and later these days.)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wherein We Wax Nostalgic, Yet Again

I saw one of these today while I was out and about...

That would be a four-door 1961 Chevy Bel Air, which was about as butt-ugly a car as could be found on the street back in '61.  The roof-line was the principal cause of the ugliness, however... as you can plainly see from this vintage ad:

Yup.  I think I'd love to have me a '61 coupe with the optional 348 cu. in. motor.  What a beauty, eh?  The Beach Boys thought so, even if they were on about the '62 model...

OMG.  I didn't really do that, did I?  I guess I did.

Another Giant Passes

From the Usual USAF Source:
Robbie Risner Dies
Retired Brig. Gen. Robinson "Robbie" Risner, who spent more than seven years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, shot down eight MiG-15s during the Korean War, and served during World War II, died on Oct. 22 in Bridgewater, Va. He was 88 years old. "Risner was part of that legendary group who served in three wars, built an Air Force, and gave us an enduring example of courage and mission success," wrote Chief of Staff Gen. Marc Welsh in A True Airpower Giant, his tribute to Risner. "I'm proud to serve in Robbie Risner's Air Force and to try and live up to his example," stated Welsh. Born in Mammoth Spring, Ark., in 1925, Risner flew the P-38 and P-39 in Panama during the latter portion of World War II. Recalled to active duty during the Korean War, Risner completed 108 combat missions in that conflict, downing the eight MiGs in the F-86. On Sept. 16, 1965, the North Vietnamese shot down Risner's F-105 during a bombing mission and took him prisoner. He endured torture and solitary confinement at the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison during his captivity. Risner retired from the Air Force in August 1976. Among his decorations, he received two Air Force Crosses for his heroism in Vietnam. Risner authored the book "The Passing of the Night: Seven Years as a Prisoner of the North Vietnamese." A statue of him is on display at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Includes Washington, D.C., report by MSgt. Angelita Colón-Francia) (For more on Risner, read Nine Feet Tall from Air Force Magazine's February 2012 issue and Valor: When Push Came to Shove.)
Gen. Risner was a contemporary of Col. Bud Day, who also passed this year.  Both men were veritable giants among men and examples for all of us.

RIP, General Risner.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Well, That's ONE Way to Look At It...

From the Usual USAF Source:
Two Million Flight Hours for Predator-Reaper Fleet
The Air Force's fleet of MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft this week hit the mark of two million total flight hours since the service began flying Predators in 1995, announced RPA operators at Creech AFB, Nev., on Wednesday. A hand-picked crew from Creech controlled the MQ-1 that reached the milestone flight hour on Oct. 22, states the base's release. "There is just no way to describe what an amazing event that was," said Col. James Cluff, commander of Creech's 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing. It took the Air Force from 1995 to April 2011 to reach one million flight hours, but only an additional two-and-a-half years to accumulate the next million, according to the release. "The fact that commanders have had this [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] and precision-strike capability from remotely piloted aircraft when and where they have needed it for so long is a remarkable milestone," said Lt. Gen. John Hesterman, head of Air Forces Central Command. "But perhaps the bigger story and true achievement has been the unwavering dedication of the men and women who have made this capability available for such a sustained period of time. They have saved lives and made us and our coalition partners safer and more secure," he said.
One wonders just how many hours USAF's drone fleet would have accumulated if Obama were not the president.  Then again, USAF isn't the only outfit flying Preds and Reapers; the CIA has a rather large fleet of the beasties, as well.  It's gub'mint policy to "neither confirm nor deny" drone strikes and the agency that performs those strikes... in most cases.  As for me?  I get totally weirded-out whenever I go out to Cannon Airplane Patch and see a Pred shooting touch-'n'-goes.  Which they do.  Weird, I tell ya.  Just WEIRD.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Madeleine Peyroux singin' a live version of one of my favorite Warren Zevon songs...

That's an interesting take on the song.  I particularly love the string ensemble on this version, so very apropos for a song that still tears at my heart.  Here's Warren doin' a live version of the song:

Is that not just frickin' BEAUTIFUL?  We sure do miss ya, Warren.  A LOT.

Life Is Still Interesting

I intimated life could get a lot more "interesting" exactly a month ago today.  Well, things haven't changed one way or the other in a month's time: my back still hurts but the pain is neither lessening nor worsening, it's just there, all the damned time.  I suppose I should be grateful for the fact it's not getting worse, but this crap is beginning to wear me down... or it's making it hard for me to roll out of bed every morning, at the very least.  The only person or persons benefiting from this shi'ite are the kind folks at Bayer AG, whose "Bayer Back and Body" formulation is wonderful stuff.

Yeah, I know: bitch, bitch, bitch.  Alternately: It's always sumthin'.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Heh. There IS a slight difference in the personae involved, isn't there?

And then there's this.... completely and totally unrelated to the above:

Now isn't THAT clever?  (h/t: a tweet from Brilliant Ads)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack, Wherein We Let It Loose

We have three of our favorite Stones albums queued up in the CD player... Exile, Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out (THE best live album, evah), and Sticky Fingers (which includes "Moonlight Mile," my ALL-TIME favorite Stones tune)... for today's Happy Hour, which we are taking on the verandah with all the windows wide-open and stereo blasting, for it IS a brilliant sorta day day here on The High Plains o' New Mexico.  We just now popped in for a refill after hearing this track:

Who's that woman on your arm?
All dressed up to do you harm
And I'm hip to what she'll do
Give her just about a month or two
Bit off more than I can chew
And I knew, yeah, I knew what it was leading to
Some things, well, I can't refuse
One of them, one of them the bedroom blues
She delivered right on time, I can't resist a corny line
But take the shine right off your shoes
Yeah, right off your shoes
Carryin', carryin' the bedroom blues
That's my very favorite song off this album and one that's served me well over these many years and through many a woman, too.  Looking back it seems like every single one of those wimmen were "all dressed up to do me harm," without fail.  But, Hey!  I was always about "beat me, hurt me, make me write bad checks" where wimmen were concerned.  That said, I never wrote that many bad checks in the literal, monetary sense (one? two?)... but I wrote MANY more than a few in the metaphorical sense ("Do you love me?"  "Oh, yeah, Baby... yes I DO!").  That said (yet again), I sure as Hell got beat up and I'm (mostly) thankful for the experience(s).  I think that says sumthin' good about me, but I'm not exactly sure what.

Well, OK then.  Beer me and let us continue as we've begun.  We have quite a few more memories to work out before we're done today.

Home, Kinda-Sorta, Once Upon a Time

From a tweet by Amazing Pics...

That's the world-famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées running up the center of the pic from the Arc du Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde (northbound orientation in the photo, but the street actually runs ESE in real-life).  I've walked the entire length of the avenue more than once, pausing at strategically-placed cafes along the way for refreshment.  Said cafes get few and far between as you approach the Place de la Concorde, though.  There's not a finer walk in creation when the weather cooperates, like on a wonderful summer's day.  Which brings to mind this ol' chestnut...

That's not the Champs, true, but Paris is a fine, fine place to be (relatively) young and in love.  I was that.  I also said Paris was home, once upon a time... and I do not lie.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

In Which We Rectify an Embarrassing Situation

I had some of the neighbors over for After Dinner Whiskey Hour last evening, an impromptu sort o' gathering which usually works out to be the best kind.  But not last evening, however.  I hadn't been payin' very close attention to the status o' the likker locker and was mortified to find I was almost out of every-damned-thing.  I had enough Bulleit to make the male neighbor a few drinks (he took his whiskey with but a single ice cube... good man!) but the two girls weren't whiskey drinkers.  I cavalierly offered to whip up a couple o' G&Ts for the ladies and they accepted.  At which time the mortification set in: I only had enough gin to mix but two G&Ts.  Tonic?  Yes, lots of it.  Limes?  No doubt.  But GIN?  Ummmm, no.  We WERE embarrassed.  (Further: I killed off what remained of the scotch, too.)

Well, we fixed THAT today by making the 30 mile round-trip out to the Cannon Airplane Patch Class VI store.  And we are resupplied:

Until such time as we aren't, of course.  Rest assured I'll have the troop responsible for monitoring the inventory on the carpet later on today.  This is a situation with which we shall not up put.

The Sunday Re-run...

Four years ago on this date:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


There are war stories and there are sea stories... and then there's this. Do your fine self a favor and go... and then grin. A LOT.

Impulse Buy

So... we were in Wally-World yesterday, doing a mini-resupply run (beer and such) when this caught our eye:

We DO like Dan Brown and $17.50 seemed like a small price to pay for several hours of page-turning entertainment. I picked up "The Da Vinci Code" a couple o' years back when the ex-girlfriend and I were off on a long weekend in Dallas and was enthralled. That book made it through me, the ex-GF, her family, and mine before I lost track of it. And everyone said the same thing, to wit: "Wow! What a page-turner THAT was!" Yup. And we can only hope there's more of the same lurking within the pages of his latest...

All that said, I should note I read Mr. Brown because of the way he writes... and NOT out of any belief there's hidden truth or any such other "deeper meaning" in his plot lines, which is to say I ain't buying into the various alternate Gospel theories and such.  He just tells a damned good story.  Period.  End of report.
Yup, two posts.  Go read Lex's story at the link, it's one of my favorites of his.  Lord, do we EVER miss the man.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday: Reality As We Know It

I never understood the appeal o' horror films, but I think I might enjoy this one.

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Mood's Improving...

... due in no small part to this:

Izzat YOU, Mom?  Sure looks like you!  Well, sorta, but a lil bit too chubby.

Added, somewhat later:

See the resemblance?  And yeah, that's me.  I wasn't ALWAYS skinny thin and dashing.

Get OFF My Lawn!

A couple o' irritating things in the overnight mail... this, first:

On the one hand I thought "Democrats.  Can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em."  OTOH I thought "I'm sick to death of the Tea Party."  OTOOH I thought "they DO have a point."  OTOOOH (and I'm running outta hands at this point), they picked a piss-poor time to make THAT point, if it's valid and I'm not sure it IS.  I'm so confused, or mebbe I'm just not fully caffeinated.  Prolly the last.

And then there's this:

I don't subscribe to the Dream Houses Twitter feed, but someone I follow does.  And FuckingTwitter (all one word) ALWAYS includes one of these dumb-ass pictures (as a re-tweet from that org I follow) in a love note I get from them every morning.  First of all: mansions bore me; I couldn't possibly care less about architectural excess unless it's over 200 years old.  Second: there are never any people in these pictures, none.  Which leads me to believe the mansions are prolly made out o' Legos.

And now to pour my second cup.  I have a feeling raising my caffeine level will significantly improve my mood.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What's For Dinner, Buck?

If you think you've seen this movie before... well, you have.  We're doin' almost exactly the same thing we did in our first BLT post, so just call this the sequel, mmm-kay?

In the beginning

Near the end

Dinner is served!

Our sides were a bowl of Kettle brand sea salt chips and three Claussen dill spears; our beverage was an Anchor Steam beer... which we began drinkin' during the build process.  Boy, I sure do love me some BLTs!

And now it's out to the verandah for After Dinner Whiskey Hour, to be followed by the Beloved Wings playin' the Hated Avalanche, in Denver.  Life's pretty good at the moment.

Tales From the Front, Cold War Edition... the Other Side II

Some of you Gentle Readers commented on my art work in the first letter I published from that passel o' old correspondence that's still sitting on my kitchen counter, as we speak.  Like this:

Another bad mePhone pic
But we digress.  We're supposed to be on about art now, aren't we?  I found this in one of The Second Mrs. Pennington's letters to me:

Click to embiggen

That was from March 10, 1976, when I was off in Doi Inthanon, Thailand for four or five months building a radar site for the Royal Thai Air Force.  TSMP was remarkably accurate in her rendition of the radar tower, if nothing else.


This time-lapse vid is from NatGeo and was in today's mail.

I've never been to Iceland, but only through the luck o' the draw.  The Air Force had two radar sites in Iceland during the whole of my AF career, one at Hofn and the other at Straumnes Air Station.  Neither location were what one would call "garden spots," but they were better than, say, Thule.  That said, the video above certainly displays Iceland's natural beauty.  I'm simply glad I didn't have the opportunity to enjoy some of it for a year.

In other news... we've been trying to watch the ALCS, which is a duty and obligation thing, given as how I'm an American and bezbol IS the National Pastime (so I'm told) and, further, Dee-troit is one of the two teams vying to represent the American League in the World Series.  And you KNOW I'm a big fan of things coming out of Dee-troit.  There's just one problem, though: compared to hockey the game is SLOW.  Painfully slow.  "Put you to sleep" slow.  I fell asleep on the couch during the third inning last evening and didn't wake up until the top of the ninth.  That said, I was gratified to see Dee-troit held on, won last night's game and tied the series up.  I've watched at three of the four games in this series... which is to say an inning or two before I fall asleep and another inning or two after I wake up... but it's hard to stay awake.  I'd do MUCH better at the ball park.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


In my in-box, just now:

I shot that vid three and a half years ago and what's at issue would be music... by Van Morrison, of course... coming from my window as I talk about what a beautiful Spring day we were having.  This really blows my mind.  I understand copyright issues (even though nearly all of the music videos on the Tube o' You violate the spirit, if not the letter of the law) but music wafting out of someone's WINDOW?  Gimmee a break!

So, I resolved the issue by clicking on a "remove music" link on my copyright notice page.  The edit is still in progress as we speak so I have no ideer how this will come out, not that anyone would ever WATCH the gotdamned video ever again.  We only had a grand total of 61 views during the whole three and a half years the video's been public.  What bullshit.

Shorter:  Get off my lawn!

Update, much letter that same day:  So, the first 1:01 of the video was muted to remove the end of that Van Morrison song that was coming out o' my window.  We are now in compliance with Mr. Morrison's lawyers.  Here's the result...

Isn't it rather strange that Dylan coming out o' my window is OK, but Van ISN'T?

Wherein I Bring Teh Funny, Again

This one's courtesy o' My Buddy Ed In Florida...
The Black Bra (as told by a woman)

I had lunch with 2 of my unmarried friends. One is engaged, one is a mistress, and I have been married for 20+ years.

We were chatting about our relationships and decided to amaze our men by greeting them at the door wearing a black bra, stiletto heels and a mask over our eyes. We agreed to meet in a few days to exchange notes.

Here's how it all went.

Engaged friend:
The other night when my boyfriend came over he found me with a black leather bodice, tall stilettos and a mask. He saw me and said, 'You are the woman of my dreams...I love you.' Then we made passionate love all night long.

The mistress:
Me too! The other night I met my lover at his office and I was wearing a raincoat, under it only the black bra, heels and mask over my eyes. When I opened the raincoat he didn't say a word, but he started to tremble and we had wild sex all night.

Then I had to share my story:
When my husband came home I was wearing the black bra, black stockings, stilettos and a mask over my eyes. When he came in the door and saw me he said:

(You are going to love this...)

"What's for dinner, Zorro?"
I'd prolly STILL be in the hospital if I had done/said that last bit in those circumstances when I was married.