Friday, December 19, 2014

Last don't have to go home, but you can't stay here...

About that title: Dad enjoyed the "Happy Hour" of his life to the fullest.

We (SN1 and SN2) were with him in his last days, reading comments to him from the blog and conveying the well wishes we've received from so many.  We held his hands as he took his last breath... he will be missed.

We honored his memory with a toast of 15 year old scotch. I'm sure he appreciated it.

We delayed posting this because we felt strongly about contacting loved ones personally... we apologize for any discomfort the delay may have caused.

Dad wanted us to keep the Blog going and we will.  We invite you all to share your favorite memories of our father in the comments below... just be polite, that's all we ask.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

No Post Today

I'm having a very bad day; motivation to do anything beyond fighting for my next breath is seriously lacking.  But I'm still here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Not Much In the Overnight Mail

Well, not much that would be of general interest, anyhoo.  That said, there was this from the Usual USAF Source:

US Air Force crews ferried two MC-130J Commando IIs, assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command, including the one shown here, from the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility in Marietta, Ga., on Dec. 5, 2014, to RAF Mildenhall, England. Lockheed Martin photo.

That looks like a giant slinky trying to eat a Herky-Bird.

The only other thing in the overnight mail was a link to a short article at NPR about catalogs.  The first grafs:
Many things made with paper have become relics because of computers and the Internet: the Rolodex, multivolume encyclopedias, even physical maps.

Now take a look in your mailbox or somewhere around your house. There's a good chance you'll see a shopping catalog, maybe a few of them now that it's the holiday season.
OK, I looked and found four catalogs... one from LL Bean, one from Land's End, one from, and another cigar catalog from an outfit called Thompson's.  That was it, and I haven't cracked any of those as yet. That doesn't mean I don't use 'em; I do.  My catalog consumption is way, waaay down from Former Happy Days when I'd receive at least 15 to 20 of the things each and every month.  And I remember, quite fondly, the day the Sears Big Book hit our mailbox back when I was a kid... especially when the fam'bly was stationed overseas and we pretty much LIVED out of the Sears Roebuck catalog.  There was a reading/browsing hierarchy associated with the Sears catalog: Mom got it first, then Dad, then us kids.  Woe be unto you if you tried to browse the catalog before Mom said you could.  Death would have been preferable to what would have happened to you...

And so it goes.  I might be back with a video later; it seems The Tube o' You isn't functioning properly at the moment.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

♪♫ A Foggy Day In Portales Town ♫♪

The view from the study window a few minutes ago:

Which brings to mind this wonderful old tune:

They don't make 'em like that any longer and more's the pity.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wrong. Just Wrong.


The media, mainstream and otherwise, are all about Crazy Diane's "torture report" today.  Just look at memeorandum, current as of about 20 minutes ago (1150 hrs ET, December 10, 2014):

The media aren't the only ones, there's this from the Usual USAF Source:

COCOMs on High Alert Following Release of CIA Torture Report

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered all combatant commanders “everywhere in the world” to be on high alert following the release of a report detailing the CIA’s brutal interrogation techniques conducted after the 9/11 attacks. Speaking to reporters in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Hagel said there is no “specific information or intelligence” that a retaliatory attack was imminent. However, he acknowledged the Defense Department was “concerned about the content” being released and the implications it might have across the globe. The 525-page executive summary released Tuesday summarizes some 6,900 pages of classified documents collected by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during its five-and-a-half-year review of the CIA. It offers a scathing assessment of the agency’s practices, which it says were conducted “in violation of US law, treaty obligations, and our values” according to an opening letter from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), committee chairwoman.  “The report documents a troubling program ... and it reinforces my long-held view that these harsh methods were not only inconsistent with our values as a nation, [but] they did not serve our broader counterterrorism efforts, or our national security interests,” said President Obama in a Dec. 9 statement. “Moreover, these techniques did significant damage to America’s standing in the world and made it harder to pursue our interests with allies and partners,” he added, vowing to “make sure we never resort to those methods again.” (Feinstein statement.) (Full report; Caution, large-sized file.)
I won't flog dead draft animals except to say "What the HELL was Feinstein thinking?" Well, that and the fact I hope no one comes home in a box because of this travesty.  And now it's back to reading the overnight mail.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack, With Images of Marilyn Monroe At No Extra Charge

Eartha Kitt, singin' about how good it is:

Je cherche un millionnaire
Avec des grands "Cadillac car"
"Mink coats" - Des bijoux
Jusqu'au cou, tu sais?
(Full lyrics here, including an English translation for those of you in need.)
Heh.  Well, I have ONE of the prerequisites...

Wasn't Marilyn just THE most beautiful woman?

Just a Lil Too Close

So, there I was, goin' through the overnight mail when I stumble upon this:

I suppose timing is everything in life, eh?

Monday, December 08, 2014

A Few Things For a Monday

First, a funny:

Heh.  Occasional Reader and Constant Correspondent Lin sent that along.

We watched us some football this weekend... on SATURDAY, of course... and the games were pretty danged good.  The big news in college ball is the playoff picture, which looks like this:
The No. 1 Crimson Tide will face the No. 4 Buckeyes in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the second-seeded Ducks will face the third-seeded Seminoles in the Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual, both on New Year's Day.
I'll bet the air turned blue in Waco and Fort Worth when the playoff selections were announced.  Both the Bears and the Horned Frogs have their points, TCU more than Baylor, to my way o' thinkin'.  But it is what it is... and what it is is GOOD.  The smart money will be on Bama to win the whole shootin' match but, speaking as a guy who doesn't have a dog in this fight, I'd like to see Oregon go all the way.  Watching Marcus Mariota has been a pure joy this season; he's quite possibly the most exciting player in all of college ball this year.

Meg Griffin
In other news... My teevee provider is Dish Network and has been ever since I moved into Casa Inmóvil de Pennington, lo these three-plus years ago.  I discovered last night through the majik of fat-fingering a channel selection that Dish provides a full complement of Sirius/XM stations, previously (and obviously) unknown to me.  What this means is I can now listen to the lovely Meg Griffin in the comfort of home as well as when I'm in The Tart.  This is a great good thing.  Ms. Griffin's music selections are positively outstanding, part and parcel of that bein' she seems to choose music for airplay that resides in my CD rack.  You can't beat that with a stick.

In other, other news... (Whine alert)  The end game of my affliction is proving to be much more difficult than I imagined.  My meds just don't seem to work like they used to, I've spent the last three nights sleeping sitting up on the couch because I don't breathe well laying down, and I spend the first 30 minutes of EVERY morning gasping for breath in what resembles a low-level state of panic while I wait for the meds to kick in, giving me some small measure of relief.  I don't know how much more of this I can take.  It's well and truly depressing.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Pearl Harbor Day

My Pearl Harbor Day post, parts of which I've published every year since 2006.

Pearl Harbor Day

Sixty-eight years ago today... "a date which will live in infamy"... the nation was shocked out of its complacency and determination to stay out of the conflict engulfing the rest of the civilized world by the horrific Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.  Here's an excerpt from President Roosevelt's speech to congress on the following day:

The men who fought back at Pearl Harbor formed the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association about ten years after the war and they used to hold a reunion in Hawaii every five years... until 2006, when they held their last reunion there.  I published this post to mark that occasion (note that the link to the news article is dead now):

Pearl Harbor Day

The USS Arizona - Then and Now (U.S. Navy photographs)

It’s said — quite often and by many, many people — that 9/11/2001 “changed everything.” And it is indeed true for the current generations of Americans. But I’ll submit that 12/07/1941 “changed everything” to a degree it is impossible for us who were not alive and going about our business on that Sunday in December, 1941 to realize. Those of us whose parents were members of The Greatest Generation understand my point. A smaller subset, those of us whose parents fought in World War II, understand the point a little bit better, perhaps. We have the benefit of hearing the first-person narratives of that day in December 1941, and stories from the long, long days that followed…from the dark and despair of the war’s first year to the signing of the Japanese surrender on the decks of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay not quite four years later. And a lot in between.
They are leaving us. The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association is holding their last meeting (dead link) today.
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - With their number quickly dwindling, survivors of Pearl Harbor will gather Thursday one last time to honor those killed by the Japanese 65 years ago, and to mark a day that lives in infamy.
This will be their last visit to this watery grave to share stories, exchange smiles, find peace and salute their fallen friends. This, they say, will be their final farewell.
"This will be one to remember," said Mal Middlesworth, president of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. "It's going to be something that we'll cherish forever."
The survivors have met here every five years for four decades, but they're now in their 80s or 90s and are not counting on a 70th reunion. They have made every effort to report for one final roll call.
Their last meeting. I know All Things Must Pass, but it saddens me so. We owe them so much, and our thank-yous seem inadequate compared to the sacrifices they made.
But: We shall continue, we shall honor their sacrifices, we will remember, and we shall rededicate ourselves to the task that faces this generation…the one that began on 9/11/2001. The Greatest Generation expects it from us.
The 2006 news article may not be available any longer, but the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association is still alive and kicking.  They are few now, but thank God some of those heroes are still around.  It won't be too much longer until they're all gone and as I said above: "It saddens me so."
I did some looking around on the inter-tubes and found out the PHSA ended its corporate status on December 31, 2011, which means they no longer exist as a formal association with a government charter.  There are still some living survivors, however, and a Google search turned up numerous articles about these men.  You could do a lot worse than reading a few of those articles today. 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Saturday: Science!

This is longish but it's still pretty cool, none the less.

(s)He Blinded Me With Science!

Friday, December 05, 2014

It's Come To This

We're just in from a run out to Cannon Airplane Patch to pick up the monthly meds and do a major commissary run (major = >$100.00).  In so doing we took our very first ride in a conveyance similar to what you see on the right.  You have no ideer how much it hurt me to break down and do that, but our breathing capacity is such that we get out of breath simply walking from room to room these days... on oxygen.  So: It was a motorized shopping cart for us today and I'll admit it made the shopping thing a LOT more pleasurable than the last few times I've been to the store.

The shopping might have been a piece of cake but unloading the car and humping groceries into the house was a minor production.  No worries, we just sat our tired ol' ass down for a couple o' three minutes in between trips, caught our breath, and went back to bid'niz; four trips from car to kitchen and we were done.  The bottom line is we just have to take things a lot slower than we used to do.  (This is where we usually put that ol' "It's always sumthin'!" phrase.)

OK.  I'm done unburdening.  The chores are done and it's a lovely day out on the verandah.  I DO believe I hear a beer calling me.  Or two.

Right Up My Alley

I found this somewhat enlightening article while surfin' around the inter-tubes this morning.  A couple o' screen caps from the piece:

I don't have anything against polytheism so mebbe I'll build me a small altar in honor of Tenenit.  The old gods and goddesses are sometimes the best o' the breed, doncha know.  I smirked when I read the second screen cap, given the fact one of my used-t'-be favorite wimmen was quite the beer drinker in her youth.  The woman's morphed into a wino now that she's well and truly over 50 and I don't view that as a good thing.  And, yeah, beer is MY favorite alcoholic beverage, by far.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Goin' To the Dogs

I really, rilly like this clip:


Now, how cool is that?  Answer: very.

Hat-tip to Occasional Reader and Constant Correspondent Lin.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

An Early Christmas Present

The Brown Truck o' Happiness just pulled away from the curb after the nice gentleman in the brown suit put a big-ass box in my hot lil hands... the contents o' which, this:

That would be a box o' Drew Estate Acid Kuba Kubas, a nice lil five-stick travel humidor full o' some seriously good cigars, and a spiffy Bugatti butane lighter... all o' which were part o' the Black Friday Box Bedlam.

We are NOT immune to the joys o' shopping, especially when we don't even have to leave the house.  I'm gonna have too much choice for After Dinner Whiskey Hour this evening.

An Update to Virgil's Air Force 3 Tale

Coz we're all about "the rest of the story" (with apologies to Paul Harvey).  Here's Virgil (the first part of the story is just below):
Virgil flew F-4s out of RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge
I also left out what really is the kicker. You see, I (and another guy in my squadron) were on the Wing Commander's sh$$t list. He wanted to jerk our wings for some, um, "unauthorized" tangling with some RAF (English) Electric P1 Lightnings in mock air-air combat. Now, I didn't ask for my cousin come to come to my aid--I didn't even know he was coming and he knew nothing about my travails, but everyone on the base assumed that was what he was there for--especially when the Wing Commander showed up at the O-Club in dress blues to greet the General. As one 2nd Lt in the 92nd TFS (who knew of my situation) assigned to the command post said later: "I thought Virgil was in really deep serious, but after we got that call from Air Force 3 I realized he didn't have any troubles at all." LOL!

What was REALLY interesting was the "repartee" between the Wing Commander (O-6) and my Cousin (O-7) and myself at the O-Club bar before my cousin and I went to dinner. The Wing CO trying to suss out how much the General knew of his attempts to ground me, and my cousin's realization that there was a "disturbance in the force" but he couldn't quite put his finger on it. A very stilted "polite" conversation all round.
One assumes Virgil didn't get grounded, after all.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


Via Digg, where they say:
Can You Spot Every Reference In This Brilliant Animation?
The music video for Cruisr's "All Over" is one cultural reference sliding into another. And another. And another. Good luck keeping up.

I think I got most of 'em and there were a lot!  That said, if the pairs of heads were cultural references it's time to put me out to pasture coz I didn't recognize a single one.

In other news... we went down early again last evening, i.e., 2230 hrs, with predictable results: my eyes popped open at 0430 hrs and simply refused to close again.  Boy, do I EVER hate it when this happens.

In other, other news... Occasional Reader Virgil Xenophon left this comment on yesterday's post titled "Ike's B-25" and I thought it deserved promotion to the main page.
"...use by lower-ranking generals."

Most people know that Air Force 1 is the designation of the Presidential plane and Air Force 2 that of the VP, but did you know that there is an "Air Force 3?" That is the designation given to a similarly-equipped aircraft for the use of members of the JCS or the Heads of the major commands. From this I'll relate a funny story. At the time I was stationed in the UK my 1st cousin, then a Brig General, was the Deputy Commander for Ops, (DCO) HQ USAF in a 2-star slot. As such he was technically the # 3 guy in the Air Force (working directly under the CinC and ViceCinC USAF (despite the presence of many 4-star generals in the major commands. From all this I have a story:

One night I returned fairly late to the O'club @ RAF Woodbridge after drinking at a local pub: "Jesus Christ, Virgil" they said, "call the command post IMMEDIATELY, the Wing Commander has been rising hell trying to find you!" Turns out the Wing CP had gotten a call from "Air Force 3" en route requesting that I be located so that the DCO, HQ, USAF (my cousin) could have dinner with me. LOL! Of course they didn't know that he was my cousin, and that he was on his way to a USAFE conference in Wiesbaden, so they--including the Wing CO--were jumping thru their a-holes trying to locate this Jr Capt that must have SOME KIND OF PULL! With failure to do so perhaps seeing certain careers sink before their very eyes. The situation was saved only by the wx which caused AF 3 to divert to RAF Mildenhall, from whence Maurice was driven down to Bentwaters by staff car. There were some puckered you-know-whats for a while on that dealieo, lol!
Virgil has the BEST stories.

Monday, December 01, 2014

♪♫ What a Difference a Day Makes ♫♪

So sang Dinah Washington (the tune's below) and she was RIGHT.  We're talking about our WX, of course.  Here's what we look like now:

I don't think we're gonna make it to 43, based upon where we are right now.  But we might.  Here's the history for yesterday:

That's one helluva temperature swing, innit?  We were in the low to mid-70s all Thanksgiving weekend and it was just loverly outdoors.  We'll be warmer tomorrow and that's a good thing.  In the meantime, here's Dinah with the title tune.

That's just SO damned pretty, innit?

Ike's B-25

Air Force Magazine has an interesting article on one of General Eisenhower's personal transport aircraft during WW II (well, interesting if you're an aviation buff, which I am, sorta).  The first few grafs from said article:
As Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower needed to be able to travel—quickly—to meet with top alliance leaders and field commanders and get a close-up view of the unfolding war.

Eisenhower had an eclectic collection of aircraft at his disposal for a variety of uses, but only one was specially made for him. It was a heavily converted B-25 Mitchell medium bomber, built and modified by North American Aviation, the same company that produced the B-25s that attacked Japan in 1942 in the famous Doolittle Raid. Eisenhower's B-25—serial No. 43-4030—is poorly documented and deliberately so.

The year it was built, American P-38 pilots in the Pacific executed a daring, long-range mission to shoot down a bomber known to be carrying Japanese Adm. Isoruku Yamamoto, who had planned and carried out the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. His death was a severe blow to Japan's strategic effort and morale. Army censors did not want German pilots to be able to repeat that success by shooting down Eisenhower, and so photography of his aircraft was severely restricted—especially because it had a unique profile.

Although by early 1944, B-25s were rolling off the North American-operated Kansas City plant at a sustained pace of about 300 per month, a VIP version of the Mitchell was a wartime rarity. Serial No. 4030 came to be known as RB-25J(3), denoting that it was a rebuilt airplane and only the third Mitchell to be specially modified.
Note the article sez "wartime rarity," not unique.  General Hap Arnold, chief of staff of the wartime Army Air Forces had one, too.  General Arnold got his personal B-25 before Ike got his, actually.  From another article (link below) on B-25 executive transports:
The second B-25 modified by North American belonged to USAAF General Henry "Hap" Arnold- visiting the Inglewood facility at Mines Field one day, Arnold got to see the Whiskey Express and as the Chief of Staff, he decided he needed one, too. This was 1943 and production was rapidly accelerating in the B-25 program, so it was easy to divert a B-25C from production to be fitted out by North American to a similar standard as Whiskey Express. After the war, General Arnold's personal transport was purchased by Howard Hughes who used for another twenty years before it was retired. 

The same year Arnold got his own B-25, a B-25J was taken off the production line in Kansas City and flown to Inglewood on a "secret" mission. Tail number 43-4030 was fitted out to become the personal transport for General Dwight Eisenhower. Unlike Arnold's B-25 which had olive drab upholstery, Ike's Mitchell had a more stylish blue interior. Clamshell doors were fitted to the nose for easy access to the extra communications and navigation equipment and more floor space in the aft fuselage was created by moving the gunner's aft hatch further back, giving the rear cabin more seating and a drop leaf table. Overhead luggage racks were also fitted and extra fuel tanks were fitted to the bomb bay to give it more range. Officially it was designated an RB-25J to hide its true nature as Ike's personal transport, but as the war in Europe progressed, it was redesignated CB-25J and when Eisenhower moved up to larger aircraft as the Supreme Allied Commander, the CB-25J was passed on for use by lower ranking generals and was used by the USAF postwar until it ended up in the possession of the South Dakota Air and Space Museum where it can be seen today. 
Most interesting.  While the Air Force Magazine article is a good read, the second article ("The First B-25 Mitchell Executive Transport") is much more comprehensive and detailed.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

There Are Some Things In Life I Don't Understand

Like this:

"Meatless" MEATballs?  What's the point?  Not to flog dead draft animals or anything, but I'll bet what are in those bags are really tasty.  (/sarc)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday: A Different Football Post

She's pretty damned good at what she does.  Yes, she.

From the "about" section at The Tube O' You:
Sam Gordon is the smallest player in her tackle football league . . . and she's a girl. But that doesn't stop Sam from fearlessly running down the football field, dodging boys left and right all the way to the end zone for a touch down!

Sam scored 15 touch downs and had 13 Yards per carry as a running back. Sam also did well on defense, registering 59 tackles, 3 interceptions, and a fumble recovery during her 2014 football season!
Impressive.  Pretty cute, too.

Friday, November 28, 2014

It's Here, For Better Or Worse

But mostly worse: this morning my inbox was filled with e-mails shouting BLACK FRIDAY DEALS!  Everyone from the GOP ("George H. W. Bush socks!") to Grassfire ("40% Off On Grassfire Christmas Gifts for all members") to Cigar dot com ("Box Bedlam") to HP ("Up to 50% off!") to... well, you get the idea.  Everyone wants my money, and yours, too.

That said, here's a rather unique Christmas gift ideer: a "Fuck you Anderson Cooper" tee shirt.  Really.  Like this:

And here's what it's all about:
Last month, Anderson Cooper dedicated a segment of his show "Anderson Cooper 360" to mocking the Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan for posing with cats on the cover of PAWS Chicago Magazine (the magazine for the no-kill animal shelter PAWS Chicago). Corgan initially came back with a pair of angry tweets, but since this is a musician beef in 2014, it's not official until someone responds by making a T-shirt about it.
That's from an article at Pitchfork, where you can see the Cooper segment on CNN that prompted the shirt.  It's actually a nice looking shirt, if you're into cats.

In other news... Ma Nature is giving those of us living on The High Plains o' New Mexico an early Christmas gift.

Isn't THAT nice!?!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

One Foot In the Grave

I had to journey over to The Big(ger) CityTM for a follow-up appointment with an ear, nose, and throat specialist earlier today; last month the specialist diagnosed me with a deviated septum caused by being on full time oxygen.  There was good news and bad news today; the good news is the ointment he prescribed for me resulted in "definite improvement," but... Well, here's kinda-sorta what he said (we're paraphrasing): "If you were in your 20s we could fix this surgically, but at your age..."  There was more to it than that, of course, but I had to chuckle at the age remark.

I think I'll go online and look for funerary urns.


One of the best things about bein' an adult is eating whatever you want, whenever you want, and that includes pumpkin pie for breakfast.  I might have seconds.

Totally unrelated, this:

Heh.  "I'm sorry, Dave..."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Update

The weekend wasn't the best o' times here at  El Casa Inmóvil De Pennington, but it was far from the worst.  Saturday was almost a complete bust, what with the Wings getting blown out in Toronto, the Irish losing yet another game they prolly should have won (and that makes four losses out of the last five games), and Florida State winning yet again in a squeaker against a scrappy Boston College team.  (I won't link the FSU game coz I hate actively dislike those prats.)  Saturday's only saving grace was near 70 degree temps, which enabled us to take an early Happy Hour on the verandah before the UCR all-day football orgy.

Sunday?  We hit our high o' 52 degrees before noon.  A miserable cold front blew in right after that and just before Happy Hour, dropping the temps into the 40s with a wind chill in the 30s.  That meant we took Happy Hour indoors, what with us being of sound mind and lacking a sufficient insulating layer o' fat to brave the verandah in that sort o' weather.  We used that time to finish off the book we were currently reading, took a short nap, and fixed dinner... consisting of leftover spaghetti and a salad... after which we watched at least four episodes of "Eat: The Story of Food" on the NatGeo channel.  The absolute BEST parts o' that show were the frequent appearances of Nigella Lawson.  Ooooh... what a hottie she is!  The second best part was the segment on beer, which you can see here (Blogger doesn't like NatGeo's embed code).  Ah, yes.  Beer is life, innit?

And then there's this...

Occasional Reader and Constant Correspondent Rob sent that along this weekend.  I suppose you have to be of a certain age to get that.  And I AM.

Onward and upward...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack...

... which we listened to yesterday and more about that below.  But first, the tune.  "Proud Mary" is normally one of those tunes that I never want to hear again, if one only considers the original by CCR.  Is that version overplayed?  Oh, hell yes.  But I can listen to Ike and Tina cook on their version over and over and over and NEVER tire of it.

I heard this yesterday while listening to Ann Delisi's show on WDET out of Dee-troit.  We've gone on about 'DET and Ms. Delisi before here at EIP, like this:
I think I discovered Roy by listening to WDET in Dee-troit.  I'd bet money on it, actually.  Speakin' of WDET...

We're down to our emergency tee shirt supply, given the state of our laundry bag and available clean clothes.  This example happens to be well over 20 years old, what with me having acquired it back around 1987 or so.  I wear it rarely these days as it is thin beyond belief.  It's also something of a personal treasure as well, being a memento from Former Happy Days.  This tee was part of the swag one gets for supporting public radio, and I was a BIG supporter back in the day.  Read as: when public radio was worth supporting.  I was saddened to find DET has sunk in the metro Dee-troit radio ratings, but not all that surprised.  DET was a powerhouse back in the '80s and a veritable fount of new music... and Ann Delisi (a deejay and then programs director) was to die for.  But that's another story altogether.
We were quite pleased to find DET is on iTunes Radio; this means we can listen to the lovely Ann on the weekends now.  Ann had a daily show back in the day and we'd speak on the phone sometimes during the course of her show.  I also had occasion to meet and speak with her in person, albeit  briefly, during a couple of the annual cocktail parties DET threw for donors who contributed at a certain level.  We had a nice e-mail exchange after her show yesterday afternoon... which I'd publish if Blogger wasn't such a pain the ass about formatting cut 'n' pasted e-mails.  I can't get the formatting to work to save my ass, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  It's always sumthin'.

Heh. Sorta.

The 'toon is funny in one way but not so funny in another.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday: The Final Frontier

I can't get enough of this stuff.  It's best viewed in full screen mode.

Astronaut - A journey to space from Guillaume JUIN on Vimeo.

What's best?  The lightning?  The northern lights?  The cities at night?  Well, all of it, actually.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dumb Stuff We Hear On NPR

There's a LOT that might could fall in that category; this is just the latest:
And what that means is that 1 in 3 adults drinks excessively.

What counts as excessive? Less than you might think.

Women who consume eight or more drinks per week are considered excessive drinkers. And for men, excess is defined as 15 or more drinks a week. (The researchers defined a drink as just 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of spirits.)
Well, now.  It appears that I drink excessively, what with two beers every afternoon and a couple o' single malts or bourbons... on rare occasions more than two... after dinner.  This adds up to a grand total of about 28 drinks a week on average, nearly twice what the quoted study defines as excessive.  I'm not gonna worry my semi-pretty lil head about this, however.  According to my doctor I'm as healthy as the proverbial horse... aside from the fact I can't breathe, which has nothing to do with alcohol.  I trust my doctor one whole helluva lot more than I trust these so-called studies.

Thanksgiving Comes First

Blog-bud Jim has his annual post about Thanksgiving up and it's later than usual.  There's a reason for the late posting and... well, here's Jim:
Since I've often been all about Thanksgiving, some of you were probably wondering when I was going to write a post about it this year. If you were wondering, I thank you for thinking about it and here it is.
I made a conscious effort to NOT post about Thanksgiving. I wanted to see what was happening without being clouded by thoughts of what was happening as a result of anything here.
I still kept plugging away on Facebook (on my own personal page and at THANKSGIVING COMES FIRST, a page I manage there - ) and I get the feeling that there may be a tipping point being reached, one way or the other. There are boatloads of people who are fed up with the commercialization of Christmas and the incursion of store openings on Thanksgiving itself. I mean, some folks are seriously angry now. That's a good thing. And there are lots of stores specifically advertising that they will be closed on Thanksgiving, another good sign. On the other hand, stores are opening earlier than last year (when they opened earlier than the year before that) so...
We support Jim's efforts, we totally agree with him on this subject, and we hope that you do too, Gentle Reader.  Jim posted this graphic as a part of this year's post:

Now you know where to shop and where NOT to shop.  Act accordingly!



The full explanation and more examples of "elastic cars" are here.

Speaking of "elasticity"...

"We had our cocktails and cigarettes."  Well, yes.  We did.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Got Nuthin', You Get the WX

Happy Days are here again...

Yep, we're back to what passes for normal after last week's spate of sub-freezing temps.  We took Happy Hour out on the verandah yesterday... comfortably... and will do the same today.  It's back in the barrel late next week, though.  We'll work through that when we come to it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Ooooh... shiny!

Preliminary and limited specs, from the ATS-V web page:

The car's made out of unobtainium, at least where YrHmblScrb is concerned, what with a predicted asking price around $60K.  We'll make do with The Tart and be happy about it, too.

Some People's Kids...

... are playing with much less than a full deck:

And we're glad we're not in Buffalo*, where some areas got six feet... yes, six FEET, of lake-effect snow.  So much for our recent bitching about a light dusting of the white stuff.

* There's a Buffalo newscast video at the link that I'm unable to embed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

MOST Excellent

Keith Olbermann on Gordie Howe:

I used to hate, Hate, HATE Olbermann when he was doing politics on MSNBC.  Sports is quite another thing altogether and this video is a fitting... even elegant... tribute to the great Number Nine.  Olbermann  notes that Mr. Howe has taken a turn for the worse; The Freep has details about his condition and it doesn't look good.  Our best thoughts go out to Mr. Howe and the family.

Are You Happy?

The answer might depend on your age.  I spent about 20 minutes earlier this morning learning about the U-curve, which attempts to explain why some... most, even... people go through what's known as a midlife crisis.  The opening grafs from "The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis:"
This summer, a friend called in a state of unhappy perplexity. At age 47, after years of struggling to find security in academia, he had received tenure. Instead of feeling satisfied, however, he felt trapped. He fantasized about escape. His reaction had taken him by surprise. It made no sense. Was there something wrong with him? I gave him the best answer I know. I told him about the U-curve.

Not everyone goes through the U-curve. But many people do, and I did. In my 40s, I experienced a lot of success, objectively speaking. I was in a stable and happy relationship; I was healthy; I was financially secure, with a good career and marvelous colleagues; I published a book, wrote for top outlets, won a big journalism prize. If you had described my own career to me as someone else’s, or for that matter if you had offered it to me when I was just out of college, I would have said, “Wow, I want that!” Yet morning after morning (mornings were the worst), I would wake up feeling disappointed, my head buzzing with obsessive thoughts about my failures. I had accomplished too little professionally, had let life pass me by, needed some nameless kind of change or escape.

My dissatisfaction was whiny and irrational, as I well knew, so I kept it to myself. When I thought about it—which I did, a lot—I rejected the term midlife crisis, because I was holding a steady course and never in fact experienced a crisis: more like a constant drizzle of disappointment. What annoyed me most of all, much more than the disappointment itself, was that I felt ungrateful, the last thing in the world I was entitled to be.
Illustration from the article.

The article is relatively long but seriously interesting, none the less.  After I finished the article I sat and reflected for a while, asking myself if I went through a midlife crisis and were things better today than they were, say, ten or 20 years ago?  It's a mixed bag.  I definitely went through some difficult times following my divorce (some people would say I'm not out of those woods yet) and I experienced what author Jonathon Rauch calls a "constant drizzle of disappointment" about life in general during that time.  Yet I think I remained happy in an overall sense and went on to achieve the pinnacle of my professional career after running away from home and gallivanting all over the country for a year.  

These days, when that U-curve should be on the upswing as I approach age 70 (this coming March, if you must know), I range from ambivalent to reasonably satisfied with most things in life.  There's at least one caveat, however: I'm not a terribly introspective person.

So... midlife crisis?  Here's one answer:

Heh.  From The Shoebox blog, obviously.