Friday, October 31, 2008

We’re Bad, We’re Nationwide

From the OC Register: “Red Wings Nation is growing in Ducks’ neighborhood” Excerpts:

“Duckman” noticed it and made mention of it on the OC Register’s Ducks blog page during Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Register columnist Randy Youngman and a few others seated in the high-altitude press box noticed it, too.
When Teemu Selanne sealed his hat trick in Wednesday night’s overtime Ducks victory, the reaction of the 17,174 fans at Honda Center was pathetic.
It took close to 30 seconds before one measly hat went zipping through the air. I didn’t see more than two hats land on the ice.
By night’s end, more octopi had landed on the Honda Center ice than hats. And the Ducks were the winning team!!!
By contrast, it was easy to feel that buzz in the arena that was generated by the Red Wings fans in attendance.
At about 5:45 p.m., more than an hour before the game started, the cluster of Red Wings fans was already growing in section 209, near the tunnel that leads to the Wings’ locker room.
They all wore their Red Wings’ sweaters. They all shared a common bond. It was a bond that was built on their love and dedication to the Red Wings. And their knowledge of hockey.

Yep… that would be “Red Wings Nation,” about which:

“The Red Wings are America’s Team,” said (Jacqui) White, a native of Massachusetts. “I’ve suffered through horrific seasons, devastating losses and have been lucky enough to see four Stanley Cup Championships.” (Ed: Me, too! Me, too! Since 1985…)
While the city of Detroit is widely known for its burned out buildings and criminal element, the Red Wings Nation West wasn’t created to bash other teams or their fans. This nation isn’t nearly as obnoxious as those who consider themselves residents of Red Sox Nation.

Well, there’s just a lil bit of hyperbole at play in the foregoing. The Wings are hardly “America’s Team”… if only because hockey isn’t near the draw (yet) basketball or baseball is… but they just might be “America’s Hockey Team.” I could buy that.

Question: Isn’t it strange/interesting that the loyalty and dedication of Wings’ fans gets (a) noticed and (b) merits a rather extensive article in one of SoCal’s major newspapers?

Answer: No. Not really. Hockey fans know, beyond a doubt, that the Wings’ fan base is nationwide… even in sunny Southern California. Hockey fans also know that when the Wings are in town…any town… there will be a big contingent of Red Wings fans in the stands. Even casual fans can’t fail to see the distinctive red jerseys sprinkled liberally throughout the enemy arena when the Wings play away games. The only other hockey team with as a loyal a fan base is Les Habitants (arguably… hockey fans are as rabid as they come, no matter where they live)… and those fans generally don’t travel outside of Quebec, unless it’s to Toronto for a game against the Leafs or maybe down to New Yawk or Boston to watch the Habs play the Rangers (Islanders?) or B’s. Montreal is close to those two cities, ya know. So the Wings are fairly unique for a hockey team, in the sense that their fan base, while concentrated in Deetroit, is ultimately nationwide.

Coz that’s just the way we are, Gentle Reader.
(OK… you hadda know this was coming…)


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some People...

…have waaaay too much time on their hands. Case in point (“AC/DC Rock N Roll Train - ASCII music video in Excel”):

About which: pretty danged cool, time-waster or no. Hell... I’m not paying the guy, so he can do this kinda stuff all danged day as far as I’m concerned. But I gotta wonder… an ASCII music vid? Who’d a thunk it?

Lost Another One (Sorta)

Jules Crittenden:

So I was thinking, maybe it’s time to do what all the other guys are doing. Colin Powell, Ken Adelman, Douglas Kmiec, Christopher Hitchens … OK, he’s just going back where he came from … Charles Fried, Francis Fukuyama, Chuck Hagel, Bruce Bartlett kind of, Bill Weld, Lincoln Chafee, Scott McClellan, Christopher Buckley … damn, there’s a lot of them. Looking at that very long list of august names, considering where we stand at this important portal in history, I think the question anyone at all progressively minded should be asking is … hey Condi, why don’t you grow a set?

You know what Mom always said, if everyone else was jumping off a cliff …. But maybe it is time, right now, in 2008, to do what everyone else is doing. Shrug, say what the heck, get on the Bush-bashing wagon … you have to admit, that does look like fun … and finally acknowledge what the deep booming voice from that opening in the clouds with all the blinding rays of light has been telling us. Obama is the Anointed One.

Heh. OK, Jules ain’t David Burge (aka Iowahawk) but he’s pretty danged good today. You could do a lot worse…

(h/t: Lex)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Space In Time...

So… the weather was exemplary yesterday, and I managed to get in yet another Happy Hour before winter closes in. And in so doing I cranked up my very expensive radio, aka my computational device, and tuned Pandora to the Rolling Stones station for the Happy Hour soundtrack. And was rewarded by this “blast from the past”… Ten Years After… playin’ and singin’ “I’d Love to Change the World,” circa 1971:

The lyrics got me to thinking (parenthetical aside: How is it that the brain can recall EVERY single word in the lyrics to a song that’s over 35 years old? And one you haven’t heard in at LEAST three years, perhaps more?). Things are kinda bad here in 2008, but things were arguably JUST as bad in 1971, if not worse. For those of you who weren’t around in 1971, here’s some stuff that happened that year:

February 5 - Apollo 14 lands on the Moon.
February 8 - A new stock market index called the Nasdaq debuts.
March 1 - A bomb explodes in the men's room at the U.S. Capitol; the Weather Underground Organization claims responsibility
March 8 - Boxer Joe Frazier defeats Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden.
March 29 - U.S. Army Lieutenant William Calley is found guilty of 22 murders in the My Lai massacre and sentenced to life in prison (later pardoned).
April 9 - Charles Manson is sentenced to death; in 1972, the sentence for all California Death Row inmates is commuted to life imprisonment.
April 24 - Five hundred thousand people in Washington, DC and 125,000 in San Francisco march in protest against the Vietnam War.
May 3 - Anti-war militants attempt to disrupt government business in Washington, D.C.; police and military units arrest as many as 12,000, most of whom are later released.
June 27 - Concert promoter Bill Graham closes the legendary Fillmore East, which first opened on 2nd Avenue (between 5th and 6th Streets) in New York City on March 8, 1968.
July 5 - Right to vote: The 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution, formally certified by President Richard Nixon, lowers the voting age from 21 to 18.
August 15 - President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value, effectively ending the Bretton Woods system. He also imposes a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.
October 1 - Walt Disney World opens in Florida.
October 25 - The United Nations General Assembly admits the People's Republic of China and expels the Republic of China (or Taiwan).
October 29 - Vietnam War: Vietnamization - The total number of American troops still in Vietnam drops to a record low of 196,700 (the lowest since January 1966).
November 3 - The UNIX Programmer's Manual is published.
December 18 - The U.S. dollar is devalued for the second time in history.
Yep… it’s that ol’ “Plus ├ža change” thingie. But 1971, like this year, wasn’t ALL bad… as you can plainly see. I mean… Hey! Disney World!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some Good News, Market-Wise

Finally… an up day in the markets! From the link:

Wall Street seemed to find its energy Tuesday afternoon as the major exchanges were all up about 10 percent on the day.

Much of rally, analysts said, came as investors began looking for bargains among beaten down stocks as well as expectations of that the Federal Reserve would cut its key rate after its meeting ends on Wednesday. Investors seemed to set aside a consumer confidence report that showed Americans were more pessimistic about the economy in October than at anytime in 41 years.

At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 889.35 points, or 10.8 percent, to 9,065.12, closing above 9,000 for the first time in a week.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was 10.79 percent higher, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq was up 9.53 percent.

Today’s surge doesn’t begin to make up for the losses sustained over the past month and may not even reflect the bottom in our latest bear market, however much we hope. And believe me, Gentle Reader… I’m hoping we’ve seen the bottom as much as anyone. It’s oh-so-painful to look at my 401(k) these days… when I’m brave enough to venture there. Which ain’t often. The last time I looked I was down a lil bit over 20%... which isn’t as bad as it could be, yanno?

The graphics for this post were obtained from the NYT article at the link.

A Couple of Political Items...

As if we needed yet another reason to NOT vote for The One… along comes the WSJ with this op-ed (Will Obama Gut Defense?... Capitol Hill Democrats want to target the Pentagon). The lede grafs:

Barney Frank will not soon be named secretary of defense or, insha'Allah, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. So there's really no reason to fear that his recent call to cut defense spending by 25% is a harbinger of what to expect in an Obama administration.

Then again, maybe there is.

When it comes to defense, there are two Barack Obamas in this race. There is the candidate who insists, as he did last year in an article in Foreign Affairs, that "a strong military is, more than anything, necessary to sustain peace"; pledges to increase the size of our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines while providing them with "first-rate equipment, armor, incentives and training"; and seems to be as gung-ho for a surge in Afghanistan as he was opposed to the one in Iraq.

And then there is the candidate who early this year recorded an ad for Caucus for Priorities, a far-left outfit that wants to cut 15% of the Pentagon's budget in favor of "education, healthcare, job training, alternative energy development, world hunger [and] deficit reduction."

"Thanks so much for the Caucus for Priorities for the great work you've been doing," says Mr. Obama in the ad, before promising to "cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending . . . slow our development of future combat systems . . . not develop new nuclear weapons."

Joe Biden also cut an ad for the group that was even more emphatic: "I'll tell you what we cannot afford . . . a trillion-dollar commitment to 'Star Wars,' new nuclear weapons, a thousand-ship Navy, the F-22 Raptor."

MY emphasis is on Ol’ Joe’s comments in that last paragraph. The National Missile Defense program has made some impressive progress over the course of the last few years, the Airborne Laser is in the flight testing stage of its development as we speak, and the Navy’s AEGIS/Standard Missile system proved it’s worth earlier this year. And that’s just one item on Ol’ Joe’s hit-list. Frequent readers of EIP should know how I feel about the Raptor, given as how the F-22 is something of a recurring theme for bitch-moan-and-complain posts in these parts.

As a military “survivor” of the Carter years I know only too well the negative effects of active cuts in the defense budget. Other, more recent veterans can attest to the impact “benign neglect” can have on national defense, as well… think Clinton, if you will. So… there’s ample reason and precedent for worry should the Democrats win the White House AND working majorities in Congress… not to mention the Democrat candidates’ own words in this space. As I said in the opening paragraph of this post: yet another reason not to vote for The One.

But Hey! What the Hell do I know, anyway? Well… it seems I know a little more than Joe Biden, if nothing else.


I find I’m a little bit out of it when it comes to politics, of late. A great good deal of my disinterest has to do with the fact the election is over for me. I cast MY ballot last week and I’ve done all I can do… personally… to affect the outcome. So my mindset is “let’s just get this shi’ite OVER with, if you please.” The sooner, the better. Just one more week and then it’ll either be cryin’ time or slack-jaw amazement at one of the greatest comebacks in American political history. I’m still holding out hope for the latter, ya know.

Speaking of politics… Blog-Bud Phlegmmy has come up with her very own and oh-so-unique way of harvesting Presidential Timber from the political forest, and calls it “The Toothpick Test.” Her first installment is here, the second is here. Here’s a sample, just to whet your appetite, Gentle Reader:

Some have expressed surprise at the elevation here of toothpick to political barometer, but it is indeed a very humble and yet marvelous device on closer examination. Let us consider the lowly toothpick which has been with us as long as the domesticated feline. Paleontologists have found scrapings on the teeth of neanderthals, which would seem to indicate that the dilemma of dislodging chunks of meat and veg from the grille predates such modern fancy grooming niceties as Dippity-Do, eyelash curlers and banana clips.

Picture the poor average guy (Joe the Caveman) out dragging his knuckles around just for giggles, hoping one day his descendents will quit inbreeding long enough to vote republican, except that he can't quite concentrate on such abstract concepts because he's got a bit of wolverine rib meat stuck between his molars. Ouch! Perhaps Joe picked the spine from an obliging nettle or succulent, and thus was the first toothpick born.

Phlegmmy’s on-going series is the brightest spot in what has become a dark, dark political scenario… she’s both enlightening and entertaining, to say the VERY least… with Art!

Do go…

A Lil Electioneering Ditty, Zydeco Style

Yep... them Coon-Asses got THIS one right!

Via Blog-Bud Morgan... who got it from Gerard.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Some USAF News

A Rose by Any Other Name… or… SAC IS Back (sorta):

Nuclear Roadmap:
Air Force Global Strike Command, a new major command to be led by a three-star general, will be activated by next September, with responsibility for the Air Force's nuclear missiles and nuclear-capable bombers, service leaders formally announced Friday. The move is the centerpiece of the Air Force's response to nuclear weapons-related problems that have surfaced over the last year. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, presenting his service's new nuclear roadmap to reporters at the Pentagon, said the plan is the result of "painful lessons learned" from a series of internal and external reviews. Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said the roadmap highlights a "back to basics approach" to tightening up the nuclear enterprise. The new command will comprise the ICBM force of 20th Air Force—now under Air Force Space Command—and the B-52 and B-2 bombers of 8th Air Force—now under Air Combat Command. According to the organizational chart in the roadmap, 8th AF and 20th AF would become AFGSC elements. The conventional-only B-1B bombers of 12th AF will remain under ACC's control. Maj. Gen. Donald Alston, director of Nuclear Plans and Operations, who oversaw development of the roadmap, said a provisional command and commander should be in place "in the next two or three months." Alston, who is the likely officer to head the service's new A10 Air Staff dedicated to nuclear matters, described the September 2009 target for operational status as an "aggressive" timetable. He declined to explain why Global Strike Command will be led by a three- and not a four-star general, except to say that several leadership options were considered.


Sorting out the Nuke vs. Conventional Roles:
The new Air Force Global Strike Command (see above) will have charge of nuclear-capable bombers, but will provide the aircraft to any theater commander who requests them for conventional missions, Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said Friday. Gen. Norton Schwartz, USAF Chief of Staff, said that Air Combat Command, at least for the time being, will have responsibility for setting requirements for the new 2018 bomber, although he acknowledged that the new aircraft would have a nuclear role. The commander of the soon-to-be-minted AFGSC will have responsibility for advocating new ICBM and nuclear-capable bombers. Gen. C. Donald Alston, who developed USAF's new nuclear roadmap, said that the new command will provide nuclear-specific requirements to be used in developing the capabilities of the 2018 bomber. Donley also said the Global Strike commander may be involved in meeting any requirements for a conventionally armed ICBM, should the nation pursue one, but that US Strategic Command, which provides deterrence and global strike, would state any such requirements.

No word if any of the SAC accoutrements will return, e.g., the motto “Peace Is Our Profession” and the heraldry seen above. Resurrecting some of SAC’s “stuff” ain’t a bad idea, in my book. Nope. Not at all. But then again, I’m an Ol’ Fart who might be prone to a lil nostalgia in this space… even if I never actually served in SAC. I can claim some association, though, what with having spent a little over three years (1964 – 1967) in a tenant unit on Vandenberg AFB, back in SAC’s heyday.

(h/t: AFA’s Daily Report)

Also from the Daily Report and unrelated to the above, but of note for Cannon Airplane Patch and its neighbors:

Getting Ready to Move: Air Force Special Operations Command's 16th Special Operations Squadron is celebrating 40 years of operations and working toward moving its whole shebang from Hurlburt Field, Fla., to AFSOC's new western hub at Cannon AFB, N.M., home to the 27th Special Operations Wing. The 16th SOS and its gunships expect to call New Mexico home next year, with all aircraft, equipment, and personnel in place by fall. Lt. Col. Jason Miller, 16th SOS operations officer, said, "We look forward to training on the Melrose Range and to take advantage of the new targets the 27th Special Operations Wing has placed in the Spirit and Jockey impact areas. … We will accomplish this move to Cannon with the same intensity, dedication, and panache our previous Spectres accomplished their every endeavor." (Hurlburt report by TSgt. Sheri Kangas)

So… more on the target move-in date, announced this past May. FWIW… I’ve noticed increased activity on the flight line every so often when making my weekly trips out to the base and am beginning to see C-130s over P-Ville from time to time, as well. Good stuff.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Everyone Talks About It..."

I was gonna complain about the wind... but I won't. Things could be worse, ya know. And it looks like things ARE worse over in the AOR. SN1 sent along the following pics last evening, with little or no explanation. I've asked for clarification, but due to the time difference between us I haven't heard back.

The CSAR pics were forwarded, SN1 took the bottom pic from his vehicle on his way to work this morning. "CSAR" stands for "Combat Search and Rescue" and I assume someone from the CSAR org sent the first two pics to SN1.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Fun Quiz...

Via Blog-Bud Lou… who is an accomplished artist in her own right (and art teacher!), and with whom I share a BIG love for the Impressionists…

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.

People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aesthetically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

I loved this quiz! And yeah… I’ve been accused more than once of being less than “socially acceptable.” As with all of these quiz thingies, I have minor issues with this one. All too often examples of one school I like (e.g., the Impressionists) were bundled with paintings from another favorite school (e.g., Ukiyo-e) … forcing me to choose among faves. But that’s just a quibble. Overall, the test is a fun thing to do… especially if you’ve spent a great deal of time in museums over the course of your life… which I have.

I’d be MOST interested in your results, Gentle Reader… If’n you wanna take this quiz. One note: free registration is required to play.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Your Mileage May Vary

Which, of course, is the tag line I add to most of my… ummm… “controversial” posts and/or ideas. I do this out of a sense of politeness, a written recognition that opinions are like noses, everyone has one and no two are exactly alike. (Yeah, I know… the original quote wasn’t about noses at all. But leave us not digress.) So, with the explicit understanding that your mileage may indeed vary, here’s my take on Governor Palin and the media.

I’ve sensed over the last few days that Governor Palin is being cited by a lot of folks as THE reason they won’t vote for a McCain/Palin ticket. As a matter of fact, one of my Blog-Buds is firmly in this particular camp, as demonstrated in his comments here (first comment in the thread). But… here are a couple of items I find noteworthy in this particular space. First, a few excerpts from Brit Hume’s Special Report panel discussion… specifically what Charles Krauthammer has to say (highlighted):

KRAUTHAMMER: What's remarkable about the reaction to Palin is not only the unfavorable. It's the loathing, the absolute hatred that you hear, especially from intellectuals, feminists, sort of east coast, west coast, pointy headed. And this is because —

EASTON: But some conservative women, too.

KRAUTHAMMER: But this had a pedigree. It didn't just start.

In the '80's, you had the Margaret Thatcher and Jeane Kirkpatrick who were considered because they were not liberal, they were conservative.

They were actually — it was said of them as has been said of Sarah Palin, they were not women because you couldn't be. If you were a conservative. You were, by definition, a patriarchal thug. And if you happened to be a woman, it was simply in women's threads.

EASTON: That is not true. There is a lot of respect for Jean Kirkpatrick. There was. There was a lot of respect for her.

KRAUTHAMMER: The viciousness with which she was attacked as a contradiction in terms, a conservative woman.

In Palin's case, I think what adds to it is her decision at her age with four other children to have a down syndrome child. This, too, as Joseph Epstein wrote, in feminist circles if abortion is not about this, what's it about?

And they look at her as sort of a back room — a backwater hick, who, for religious reasons, went ahead and had a child that they would never have.

Underneath it, I think, deep underneath it, I think it's a self-loathing on the part of these feminists, knowing that what she did is virtuous and a generous act that they would have never have undertaken. And her having undertaken it is an affront to them, a silent rebuke.

Keep in mind… Krauthammer is a licensed (although non-practicing) psychiatrist, so he should/would know from whence he speaks, particularly in this space. But Mr. Krauthammer only addresses one small slice of the anti-Palin pie, albeit perhaps the most vocal group in opposition to Governor Palin. But the anti-Palin mob is much deeper and wider than pissed off radical feminists. And how could your average American not be disenchanted with Alaska’s Guv’nor, given all the negative press she’s received? (Assuming, of course, one lives somewhere other than Alaska, where her approval ratings are still high, although they’re lower than they used to be. Dubya would probably kill for her current numbers… just sayin’.)

Enter Newt Gingrich. A lot of EIP readers will have already seen this video, since a lot of you watch Faux News, myself included. But Ol’ Newt is on an absolute tear in this video… ranting about the media’s coverage of Governor Palin. This video is just one of two vids… but the meat is in the first installment, which I’ve chosen to publish here. The video is about nine and a half minutes long…

Part Two is here. I’ve said this elsewhere… but when the history of Campaign 2008 is written, the media campaign against Governor Palin will go down as one of the most successful media campaigns… ever. It doesn’t really matter if it’s the truth or not… it’s whether the media’s campaign succeeded or failed. In this case, and at this point in time, when all the sticks seem to be falling in Obama’s favor… one would HAVE to conclude the campaign is successful beyond The Left’s wildest expectations.

Shame. Shame on them. My contempt for today’s media… teevee AND print… knows no bounds.

OK... Since I'm "Entertainment Impaired..."

... in the sense that I don't watch movies and have NO idea who these three directors are (as ID'ed in this 3:18 video)...

Could/would someone please explain what the (I'm assuming) humor is here? Coz I really, rilly, don't get it. Yet this lil vid is Numero Uno on today's "ViralVids" list.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"The Miserys"

I dunno exactly why that phrase... “The Miserys”... came to mind when I thought about whether I would post today, or not. But that’s the phrase my great-grandmother used when she was under the weather, as in “I’ve got The Miserys.” And I’m that… under the WX… and have been for the past 18 hours or so. As I’m fond of saying when I’m afflicted with this or that… “this, too, shall pass.” And so it will… none too soon, in any event.

The real weather isn’t helping things… at all. It’s chilly and quite windy out, albeit very, very bright (as you can tell from the graphic above). We’re also supposed to get our first freeze tonight, and that’s a great good thing. The flies become quite unbearable in these parts towards the end of the summer and during early Fall… but the first freeze will kill ‘em off in droves… like flies! I’ve often wondered why I’m not knee-deep in fly carcasses after the first freeze… there are THAT many of the damned things. It's the dairies, Gentle Reader.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why I'm Voting Democrat...

Via Lex… especially for Blog-Buds Barry and Doc… a letter to the editor, published at American Thinker. Just a couple of excerpts to whet your appetite (I’m sorely tempted to use a Guns ‘n’ Roses pun here, but I’ll resist):

I’m voting Democrat because like most Americans I trust lawyers more than anyone else; I think only lawyers should run the government, and all the Democrat Leaders are lawyers: Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, John Edwards, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Leader Harry Reid, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, to name just a few. (Al Gore dropped out of Law School, so I don’t trust him as much, except on Global Warming.)

I’m voting Democrat because the Democrats support the trial lawyers and I think this country needs more lawsuits and less tort reform. And I don’t believe the trial lawyers’ contributions have a thing to do with it.

I’m voting Democrat because Congress has done such a wonderful job under Democrat leadership the last two years, that I want a lot more of the same.

I’m voting Democrat because I want to get my health care from the same competent, efficient, cost-effective, customer-service-focused folks who run the US Post Office, the Pentagon, FEMA and the state Registry of Motor Vehicles.


I’m voting Democrat because I’m for putting up barriers to free trade, as they did in 1930 with the Smoot-Hawley bill. That made things much better then.

I thought about adding more excerpts… but you get the picture. And you should go read ALL the great reasons for voting for The One… and his partners-in-crime running for House and Senate seats, too. I mean… how could you NOT, based on the way they’ve run things over the past two years? (Which, of course, in no way makes up for the debacle of the previous SIX years of a GOP-controlled Congress… but those retards were voted out in 2006, right?)

Guest Post

(This post is an essay written by SN3 for his sixth grade class. Posted “as received” and with permission of the author.)

My Life

By Robert Pennington

On February 19, 1997, a blue-eyed, 9-pound baby was born squeaking and squealing in Rochester, New York. So began the life of Robert Ellis Brobst Pennington.

The Past

The win without the “n”

I swung for victory, then suddenly a dull but sharp something poked me in the mid-section. I fell on the ground and faked my death. “So close, yet so far,” I muttered, as I heaved myself up off the ground. “Win to Ian,” the ref announced. I groaned because the score was 9 to 13 in Ian’s favor. “m’lord Ian and m’lord Wesley to the field! m’lord Robert and m’lord Brendon, prepare!” the ref announced. I remarked to Brendon that Wesley was going to die. Just then we heard a heavy thump. I yelled and laughed, as I saw Wesley win. By then I was exhausted from my previous battles. Yet, I was called onto the field. I grabbed a sword and shield, and, as I trotted out onto the field, I heard something. It was Wesley. He was yelling “Look out!” I turned just in time to dodge a swing from Brendon. Then I returned the swing, I feinted, and then tapped lightly on Brendon’s chest. He was dead. I gratefully took a drink of water. After two more battles, I tied the score 15 to 15. It was time for the final match between Ian and me. As I slowly promenaded onto the field, doubt crept into my mind, as thoughts went in one ear and out the other ear. Thus, I swung for victory and struck home.

The great feast

I stepped out of the car on the asphalt parking lot. I asked my mom when the feast was, and she replied, for the umpteenth time, five o’clock. She was annoyed. Walking in the door of the church was the strangest way to change from modern to medieval but I was immediately taken back in time, by being enveloped in the enticing, exotic smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, and something like cinnamon that was lighter and sweeter. The smells became more inviting by the minute. Soon, appetizing foods, such as chicken with garlic and salt, which tasted divine, appeared. Then, an exquisite, beef stew appeared, reeked of leeks, but had an excellent salty tang. Thus, time passed, I stepped out the church and into modern time. We got in the car and went home.

The Present – My Hobbies

Drawing is a great hobby because you can take a blank piece of paper and make it into an old lamp, a girl with freckles, or a beautiful moon. If I have a chance to draw and a white piece of paper, I will draw. What I like to draw is fantasy for fun, such as a “zorcling” or a “hydralisk.” The best part of drawing is thinking up the names of the creatures I draw. For example, one name I dreamed up recently was “zyamanor.”

Another hobby that I enjoy is collecting Legos and Bionicles. It is fun because I can mix up the parts to create new and strange creatures, machines, and all kinds of objects. Why I collect Bionicles is because I am working towards my goal of making the ultimate Bionicle. I have been collecting for about 8 years and I have two big bins full of Legos and Bionicles. If I counted all the Bionicle parts I have, I would probably have about two million.

Words provide a unique perspective, especially if you play with them. Thus, messing around with words has become a hobby of mine. One of the funniest words in written English is access because it is something you do and something you have. It is a noun, but over time it was “verbed.” Also, compound words are funny because you take one word, push it up against another, and it means something totally different. For instance, take the word home and the word work. When pushed together, they mean something totally different than what they mean separately.

The Future

In the future, I will be a writer of fiction about the beginning of the world, from a different perspective. I will illustrate in words all the different variables to describe what the world could have become. By the time I am forty, I will be married and will try to have five best-sellers. After I retire at sixty, I will move to Greece with my family to live out my days visiting famous spots in Greece. Then I will die.


Today's Pic: SN3 in this year's class picture. The Second Mrs. Pennington doesn't like this shot and I'm not too fond of it, either. But it IS better than a drivers license photo.

(Update: I had to delete the earlier version of this post. Some way, somehow, the native formatting in Bobby's essay thoroughly hosed the blog's formatting, yet again. So... a delete and repost was in order.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Signed, Sealed, Delivered...

Well, delivered to the Official USPS Big Blue Box that sits here on the grounds of Beautiful La Hacienda Trailer Park, anyway. And soon to arrive in Livingston, one would assume.

More in a bit. I'm off to yet another late start today, but my civic duty has been done.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Re-Run

“And on the seventh day…” a re-run. Occasional Reader Curtis mentioned the B-36 in comments to another post yesterday and that reminded me that I put up a post on that ol’ piston engined bomber back in EIP’s early days. So… since it’s Sunday, and much more to the point… I’m feelin’ pretty lazy today… here’s that old B-36 post. Enjoy. Or not. (Insert smiley-faced thingie here)

She Was a MONSTER...

(click for larger)
R. Lee Ermey (Mail Call) did one of his periodic hour-long shows last evening; the subject of which was the B-52. As usual, Ermey provided quite a bit of background, including an extensive history of the BUFF, Minot AFB, Strategic Air Command, and a good biographical summary of SAC's architect, Curtis LeMay. Part of the historical background included file footage of the B-52's predecessor, the B-36.
That file footage fired off some long-dormant synapses in the ol' brain.
Travis AFB, 1951 - 1952.
My father was stationed at Travis during that time, and my family lived in base housing. The neighborhood boys and I used to ride our bikes all over the base...down to the BX, the theatre for Saturday matinees, over to the flight line, and out to the end of the runway to watch planes take off. The take-offs were the best. Especially B-36 take-offs.
I was always one of a gaggle of small boys, standing beside our Schwinns about 200 yards from the end of the runway. We always stood silent, pie-eyed in wonder and awe at the spectacle before us. We were silent because talk was literally impossible; we could have screamed at each other and we wouldn't have heard a word over the incredible noise made by the combination of six huge Pratt and Whitney piston engines and four GE jet engines winding up in front of us. Each one of those Pratts put out 3,800 hp! The ground literally shook, and when I say "shook," that's exactly what I in earthquake. The exquisite, Norse-god like sound and feel of large reciprocating mass is simply unbelieveable. Nothing compares, there are no modern analogues.
We'd put our fingers in our ears and wait. After about 30 seconds of engine run-up, the big bomber would begin to move, imperceptably at first, speed increasing to a crawl, then a walk, then a run. Sometimes we'd have to brace ourselves against the prop wash, even at that distance, depending on where we were standing. Most of the time we'd stand off to the side, becaue prop wash isn't pleasant. A minute or two later the bomber would lift off the runway and disappear into the sky, trailing sooty black exhaust from the jets on the ends of the wings. Our ears would ring for five minutes after the plane was gone.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the only remaining large piston-engined bomber still flying. I saw her back in the early '90s when she flew into the Detroit area, along with a B-25, for an airshow. And I told my buddy about standing at the end of the runway at Travis after we watched her leave. "Just imagine," I said, "add two more Pratts and four jets to the sound we just heard..." I wonder if he could. Imagine, that is.