Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Good to Be the King Wings

Just some quotes collected during the last few days... with a BIG hat-tip to Kukla's Korner:
The Red Wing-lovers at Kuklas Korner get positively orgasmic when I write stuff like this, so consider it an early Christmas present: From a GM, “Detroit is the best team we’ve played this year. It’s not even close. Their puck control is incredible...You have to hope your goalie has a great night to give you a chance.” -Elliotte Friedman of CBC

Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, nicknamed “the perfect human” by Red Wings fans, hasn’t been far off that level. Lidstrom, 40, is winning raves for his play at both ends of the ice.  -Helene Elliot, LA Times

“It seems like everything they do is right.  Chipping pucks out of the zone, blind passes … they all end up on their tape. Sometimes it’s like ‘What else can you do?’ Over time they’ve proven that it’s not luck. They’re a very skilled team.”  -Derek MacKenzie of the Columbus Blue Jackets talking about the Detroit Red Wings. (This after the BJs were swept in a home and home series with the Wings this weekend)

Mike Modano's unfortunate injury means more power-play time for Jiri Hudler. There's more than enough depth on this powerhouse to survive the injury. -Note to ESPN's 11/29 Power Rankings, where Detroit is Number One.  Again.

As of today the Wings are atop the Western Conference with 32 points (#2 Dallas has 29 and the Wings have two games in hand over the Stars); and are #4 in the league (just 4 points behind league-leading Washington) with four and five games in hand over the top three teams.

At 13-2-2 Jimmy Howard isn't having the dreaded "sophomore slump."  Witness:

His play is like this more often than not and is a big reason the Wings are off to a great start this year.
We're only just past the season's quarter pole and it's waaay too early to begin thinking about parades.  But still and even, we're off to one of our best starts ever.  Keep it up, Boys... and stay healthy!


My Buddy Ed In Florida sent along a set of eight photos last evening with the tag line "When someone steals your Kodak moment..."  Herewith, half of said photos:

Heh.  I nearly peed my pants but then again, I'm a sick piece o' work.  Hopefully you are too, Gentle Reader.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Good Stuff in Today's Mail

We're resupplied with cigars, this time it's another box of CAO Italia Novellas, a smoke with which we have previous (and quite enjoyable) experience.  These lil beauties are only 4.5 inches long and relatively small at a 46 ring gauge.  Here's the packaging...

And here I am, enjoying one of these tasty lil buggers with the last o' the morning (heh) coffee.

Now I've gone and done it... I've revealed my shame for all to see on these innertubes.  Staying in one place has allowed waaay too damned much clutter to accumulate and my desktop ain't the worst of it.  And no, I ain't divulging the worst.  Use your imagination.  

But... just to compare and contrast... here's what we looked like almost eight years ago, shortly after our arrival here on The High Plains of New Mexico.

Life was much simpler then, albeit not nearly as convenient.

Metabolic Depression

Well, most everyone is back at work today and my blogging friends seem to be back at it after a long weekend of family and food.  I'm not anywhere NEAR completing my Daily Rounds but that's about par for the course at this time o' year.  We do tend to sleep in during winter, but it has nothing to do with bear-like tendencies.  I did get a slight grin out of this, though:
Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals, characterized by lower body temperature, slower breathing, and lower metabolic rate.
Animal?  Check.  Just ask either of my ex-es, neither of whom live in Texas.  State of inactivity?  Check.  I don't "do" cold.  Lower body temperature?  Well, yeah.  My feet are often freezing.  Again, ask any of my ex-es.  We could go on, but ya get the point, I'm sure.  And then there's the depression, but it ain't of the metabolic sort.  The holidays are the worst time o' year for me... but that hasn't really kicked in yet.  Give me three or four trips out into the world to be exposed to non-stop Christmas Muzak every-freakin'-where and that'll do it.  I can't wait.


Speakin' of Christmas, there's this:

Kinda appropriate for Cyber Monday, innit?  Someone always comes up with a piece on this subject about this time o' year, be it visual or written.  Most of us don't need to be reminded of "the reason for the season" but ya wouldn't know it if you're simply a casual observer of the American Scene (for lack o' a better term).


The BIG news o' the day is the latest malicious brain-fart from one Julian Assange, the asshat who runs WikiLeaks.  And I mean big -- click the memeorandum screen shot (taken at 1100 hrs) at right for larger; and that ain't nearly all of it.  I spent a lot o' time at various sites last evening reading excerpts of the leaks and some complete cables, of which there are more than a few.

I think Mr. Assange should thank his lucky stars we're not living in the 1950s and '60s when the CIA still ran assassination programs.  That said, the leak is attributed to a US Army private by the name of Bradley Manning.  IF this is true, and IF a court-martial convicts Private Manning, then he should face a firing squad.  His actions amount to nothing less than treason and treason during time of war is a capital crime.  It's too bad we can't kill him twice.  

But back to Mr. Assange. One would hope there's a serious and lethal accident looming in his future... a horrendous car crash, a premature heart attack, or an untimely fall from a 25th floor window. With love, from our friends at Langley.

One final note and then we'll go.  If you're on Twitter and are interested in this subject follow Blake Hounshell.  Mr. Hounshell is the managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine and his tweets have interesting links and observations... it's stuff you might not find elsewhere.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This Is Sufficiently Bizarre

So... we're trolling Viral Vids this morning and come upon this, which is currently Number Two on the list:

OK, I've been to three rodeos and a couple o' dogfights in my life but I've NEVER seen anything like that.

Update, as we continue to surf:  Well... who KNEW?

Heh.  I suppose I should add NSFW, even though EVERY workplace is chock full of 'em.  But it's ONLY NSFW if your management takes exception to the term "dickhead," nothing in the vid is offensive otherwise.

Be Careful Out There

The NYT publishes a cautionary tale as Cyber Monday approaches; here's an excerpt:
THE World Wide Web handed shoppers a few rounds of new ammo, like a way to compare prices and a big podium for ranting about transactions gone wrong. But it gave retailers some weapons, too, and for years consumers have howled that unscrupulous sellers have used the Internet the way bank robbers use ski masks.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, a partnership between the F.B.I. and the National White Collar Crime Center, announced two weeks ago that it had received its two millionth complaint since it began in 2000. Consumer losses are estimated at $1.7 billion.
The story of DecorMyEyes suggests that 15 years after the birth of online commerce, the Internet is still strewn with trap doors, and that when consumers take a tumble, they are pretty much on their own. Mr. Borker is skilled at tunneling under the few obstacles in his way, but he has hardly been hiding. With a few tweaks and added vigilance from an array of companies and public institutions that are supposed to monitor e-commerce thuggery, Mr. Borker’s approach to retail might be impossible to sustain. 
Read the whole thing if you're into horror stories of the innernet kind and this IS a horror story... complete with threats of violence and other sorts of skulduggery.  I've never had a bad experience with on-line shopping and I've been doing ALL my Christmas shopping on-line since 1998.  As a matter of fact it's rare for me to buy much of anything at brick and mortar places these days.  One could say I've been lucky on-line, but there's a method to my madness.  I practice Safe-Shopping by only patronizing reputable, known vendors and I always go by that time-tested motto: if it LOOKS too good to be true it prolly IS too good to be true.

Be careful out there.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

You've Got Mail!

Occasional Reader Rob sent along a link to The Onion last evening with a subject line saying something about them getting their mojo back, and I agree.  The mojo IS back.  Here are the intro grafs from one of their latest pieces, in case ya missed it:
WASHINGTON—Having admittedly "reached the end of [his] rope," President Barack Obama sent a rambling 75,000-word e-mail to the entire nation Wednesday, revealing deep frustrations with America's political culture, his presidency, U.S. citizens, and himself.

The e-mail, which was titled "A couple things," addressed countless topics in a dense, stream-of-consciousness rant that often went on for hundreds of words without any punctuation or paragraph breaks. Throughout, the president expressed his aggravation on subjects as disparate as the war in Afghanistan, the sluggish economic recovery, his live-in mother-in-law, China's undervalued currency, Boston's Logan Airport, and tort reform.

According to its timestamp, the e-mail was sent at 4:26 a.m.
The piece itself is pretty danged funny, but I think the accompanying graphic is just too cool.  Someone put a lot of thought into that... including the fact that Wen Jiabo apparently isn't available to chat.  Heh.  Click for larger, of course.

And now it's Big Blue and those doofuses from Columbus.  I know the outcome prolly won't please me, but there's always hope.

Friday, November 26, 2010

We're Not Off to a Good Start Today

I was awakened before daybreak this morning when the power went off... which is cause for setting off various alarms when the power returns, which, in turn, requires me to roll out and hit the reset button on the propane system, my oxygen machine, yadda, yadda.  I returned to the rack since I wasn't sufficiently beautiful yet and we DO require at least six hours of (ahem) beauty sleep.  I'd just dropped back off when the gotdamned power went off AGAIN.  So... up, reset, etc.  Only this time I fired off the coffee pot and stayed up.

We've had three... count 'em: THREE... more bumps since then, each lasting no longer than 30 seconds, or just long enough to kill everything that lives and breathes electrons AND my normally easy-going nature.  The thought of a sustained power outage when it's 18 degrees outside isn't exactly comforting, yanno?

Ya Think?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Part Two

EVERY frickin' year.  It never fails.  Conventional wisdom sez... and I'll quote... "You can stop worrying simply by leaving faucets at the end of plumbing runs turned on just enough to barely drip." 

Yeah, right.  Been there, done that, set a drip last night while the temp was still north of 32 degrees, and we awoke this morning to NO water.  We're froze up.  A slow drip is NOT enough, you need a stream.  I should know that, given my drawer is stuffed full of these gotdamned tee shirts.

Well, we do have four gallons of emergency water... we're not ENTIRELY stoopid... and the forecast is for 40 degrees.  I should get my shower sometime this afternoon.

Happy Thanksgiving

For the fourth 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. 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.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Don't Like the Looks of This

Specifically tomorrow's forecast, the rest of the week is bearable but only just.  We'll have a new record low if things come to pass as the NWS predicts.  Note the history for this date:

Aiiieee.  RVs ain't the warmest place to be when the mercury dips down into the Stupid Cold zone.  Yet I've survived worse since I've been living in El Casa Móvil De Pennington... meaning just slightly below zero degrees Fahrenheit... so we'll hang in.  That doesn't mean I have to LIKE it, though.

Hockey Funnies

From Abel to Yzerman, a Wings blog I read:
Hey, you know what’s fun? Here’s what I like to do. I like to look at Guralnick’s photos after the game and check out the crowd.  First, if you’re the parents of this redheaded kid?  Download these pictures in hi-res, frame ‘em and hang ‘em up.  Well, first you might want to send ‘em to the Flame PR guy and see if Kipper will sign them for you. I’m sure he’d be more than willing. (ed: The pics are as big as I found them.  This is just the set up for the photo below, tho.)

And hey, dude, I don’t know you. I don’t know the stage this relationship’s in.  But, if this is your first date?  Move on.  Seriously. Look at her. She’s not counting the banners up there buddy.  She’s bored.  If you’re married? I get it. I’ve seen that look, but that was before I, you know, upgraded.  But if you’re still in the “wonder if this is the one” phase?  Yeah, ummm.  When the playoffs roll around, is this the woman who’s going to understand why you HAVE TO WATCH THE WINGS every other night for two months straight?

I didn’t think so.  Thank me later.
Click for larger, of course.  The last bit really cracks me up.  I have to hand it to The Second Mrs. Pennington, tho.  While she wasn't a Wings fan she didn't mind if I was.  And she even drove to the bar to pick me up one memorable night in June of 1997.  It sure got drunk out that night.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


How this administration REALLY works...

Obama Outlines Moral, Philosophical Justifications For Turkey Pardon

I'm sorry, but this just smacks of TOO much reality.  Which is what good satire is supposed to do, no?

My Guy

That would be my congresscritter, Kevin Brady, with a Thanksgiving message included in his latest newsletter.  The cynical among us might think he's wrapping himself in the flag or otherwise going over the top with his list of "things to be thankful for."  Not me; I'm in total agreement.  I prefer to think Mr. Brady says what he means and means what he says.


I've been staring at this for about an hour now:

It just won't come.  Spare me the double-entendres if that's the first thing that came to your mind.

Monday, November 22, 2010


A correspondent sends this along...

Confucius say, 
"If you are in a book store and cannot find
the book you are searching for, you are obviously in 

No need to thank me. Just pass it along.
OK. I did.

Oh, Noes! Not ANOTHER Post About Sarah Freakin' Palin!

We have 1 year, 11 months, and 15 days until the 2012 election and already this crap is getting to me, especially where La Palin is concerned.  You can't get away from her, no matter how hard you try.  There's Palin's teevee show (which I haven't watched, thank you).  Her daughter Bristol dancing with stars or something like it.  Barbara Bush making headlines with an innocuous one-liner about Palin "staying there."  Conservative columnist Jedediah Bila doin' that "Jane, You Ignorant Slut!" thing to the equally conservative  Mona Charen's piece about why Palin shouldn't run.  And the moonbats! ... the latest of which is the supremely insufferable Frank Rich's column in yesterday's NYT.  I hate to deal in clichés but it's true: All Palin, All the Time.  I don't see how I'm gonna be able to take another 1,029,600 minutes of this.

I did read a good piece on the subject of Palin In 2012!, though.  David Boaz, writing at the libertarian Cato@Liberty blog, did a brief but excellent piece on the subject.  His main premise is this:
Liberals, on the other hand, are jumping up and down at the prospect of a Palin candidacy. She could win! they urgently insist to skeptical Republicans; you should get behind her. Don’t throw us Democrats in that Palin briar patch! The latest example is the star columnist of the New York Times, Frank Rich. His Sunday column is titled “Could She Reach the Top in 2012? You Betcha.” Palin’s got a huge television presence, Rich says — 5 million viewers for her new TLC series. Which is slightly less than the 65 million it would take to win a presidential election.
Boaz has a good point but I'm thinkin' he's missing the forest for the trees.  Yeah, the Lefties would love to see Palin run.  Like Mr. Boaz, I think the Lefties are praying for a Palin In 2012! candidacy.  But it ain't just Lefties.  Palin has a large number of followers and that camp is gettin' larger by the day.  Palin is anything BUT dumb and she's milking the populist anger at "professional pols" for all it's worth.  As Ms. Charen said: "She'd so much rather be out dog sledding than in some 'dull political office,' she tells the audience. File that."  Yup... there's a quote that will come back to haunt should Palin In 2012! become reality.

It seems like the only folks that don't like La Palin are the establishment Republicans, for better or worse.  But there's one thing about the establishment... they know how to win elections.  One could counter that Palin knows a lil sumthin' about the subject, too... just look how well the candidates she endorsed in the mid-terms did.  Well, sorta.  Except for that Delaware witch, the nutcase in Nevada, and the Alaskan Tea Partier.  They didn't do so well.  And there are more.  The endorsement thing was a mixed bag, at best.  But Palin does energize the base... that's what she's best at doing.

So.  This is gettin' long and I should stop.  Don't get the wrong idea: I'm not a Palin-hater.  I've written my share of paeans to the woman, the first of which is here.  If you peruse my September 2008 archives you'll see a LOT of that sort of stuff.  Do I like her?  Yes.  Do I want her to run for president?  Not only no but Hell, No!  Just continue doing what you're doing, Mrs. Palin... give your speeches, do the Fox News thing, write your books, smile for the camera, and stump for conservatives... coz you're good at that.

One more thing from Mr. Boaz and then we'll really go.  It has to do with the Reagan/Palin comparisons some folks are making, including La Palin herownself.
Peggy Noonan spoke for a lot of Reaganites when she responded to Palin’s suggestion that being a Fox-TLC celebrity was a reasonable platform for seeking the presidency, since after all “Ronald Reagan was an actor”:
Excuse me, but this was ignorant even for Mrs. Palin. Reagan people quietly flipped their lids, but I’ll voice their consternation to make a larger point. Ronald Reagan was an artist who willed himself into leadership as president of a major American labor union (Screen Actors Guild, seven terms, 1947-59.) He led that union successfully through major upheavals (the Hollywood communist wars, labor-management struggles); discovered and honed his ability to speak persuasively by talking to workers on the line at General Electric for eight years; was elected to and completed two full terms as governor of California; challenged and almost unseated an incumbent president of his own party; and went on to popularize modern conservative political philosophy without the help of a conservative infrastructure. Then he was elected president.
The point is not “He was a great man and you are a nincompoop,” though that is true. The point is that Reagan’s career is a guide, not only for the tea party but for all in politics. He brought his fully mature, fully seasoned self into politics with him.
I made a similar point back in February when David Broder was pushing Palin’s prospects. And two months before that I noted that the Washington Post had run two op-eds “by” Sarah Palin in the space of five months, so that one ”might almost think the Post wanted Palin to be seen as a leader of Republicans.” In the coming months, watch for it: Democrats, liberal journalists, and red-state bloggers will talk up Palin’s chances. Republicans and conservatives who want to defeat President Obama in 2012 will try to change the subject.
Yeah, what they said. Read Mr. Boaz's piece.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack Project

Two avocados, half a red onion (no Vadalias at the store, dammit) chopped finer than frog hair, half a lime, and about three tablespoons of El Pinto.

Let the flavors marry in the fridge for about an hour or so and then... Happy Hour Bliss!

The Sunday Re-Run

Well, sorta.  But I'll add a lil sumthin' at the end.  From about three years ago:


Lotsa railroad talk going on over at Lou’s place today. So, in honor of that railroad thing… which is waaay cool, doncha know… here’s a lil two minute vid I shot of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic railway back in June, 2004. And the video IS little, literally. My camera (like most digital cameras these days) has video capability, but it’s very basic and the output is quite small in size and lacking in quality. But…it works, and this will give you some idea of what the C&TRR is all about. (I’ve posted about the C&TRR before.)

Just a brief aside… Being “of a certain age,” I can lay claim to have ridden as a paying passenger on a steam train. The year was 1968 and the place was Japan. I was en route to Wakkanai Air Station, which is on the extreme northern tip of Hokkaido, the northernmost of the Japanese Home Islands. The normal mode of transport up to Wakkanai was via “Scare America” from Yokota AB direct to Wakkanai. Fortunately for me, Air America was otherwise occupied at the time I had to get to Wakkanai, so the nice folks at Yokota scheduled me on commercial air from Haneda to Sapporo and via train from Sapporo to Wakkanai (there was no commercial air service into Wakkanai back then; there is now). Little did I know that I was going to ride a steam train…

My journey took place in the summer and it was spectacular. Hokkaido is a lot like New England when it comes to topography…mountainous, forested, and green, green, green. Summers are mild and winters brutal up that way, so it’s a very good thing my encounter with steam trains took place in the summer. The trip took about eight hours, if memory serves, and was further enhanced by the fact that one could open the windows up (wide! wide enough to receive repeated warnings from the conductor to quit hanging out of them...) and take in the air. Which was a mixed blessing…what with the cinders and smoke from the engine swirling in constantly. But Hey! That was part of the experience. And what an experience it was…
The first vid below was included with the 2007 post; the second has never been seen in public.  Both are cheesy (for reasons mentioned) and were shot long before I bought the Mino HD.  The woman in the vids is my ex-girlfriend.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


A correspondent sends this along...

No, she wasn't trying to infer anything.  This was but one of many demotivational pics, most of which involved cats.  About which: you're welcome.

And My Buddy Ed In Florida comes through again, with "A Guys Fairy Tale:"
Once upon a time, a Prince asked a beautiful Princess... "Will you marry me?"

The Princess said "NO!"     

And the Prince lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and went fishing and hunting and played golf and dated women half his age and drank beer and scotch and had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up and farted whenever he wanted.

The End.
That sounds an awful lot like someone I know.  Except for the golf and "women half his age" bits.  Hold on... I suppose 32 wouldn't be entirely out of the question.  For me, anyway -- the 32 year old might think otherwise.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Apropos o' Nuthin'

It's nearly 70 degrees outdoors with next to no wind as I type and it's taking EVERY ounce of reserve in my frail lil body to delay Happy Hour until the post-meridian.  I mean EVERY fiber in my consciousness is demanding I get out on the verandah right this moment with book, beer, and cigar in hand.  But we shall resist as we have an image of respectability among our neighbors to uphold here, not to mention our own self-respect.  It's a matter of living up to our standards, Gentle Reader, however limited they may be.  And it's only a matter of five minutes, besides.

That said... we're in for more of the same this weekend.  Tis the calm before the storm(s), methinks.

We're (Not) Flyin' Now!

Charles Krauthammer is good today.  He's good every day but today's piece really hits the mark.  If I was one of those guys who do a "quote of the day" thing then this would certainly be in the running:
Don't touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter. Don't touch my junk, Obamacare - get out of my doctor's examining room, I'm wearing a paper-thin gown slit down the back. Don't touch my junk, Google - Street View is cool, but get off my street. Don't touch my junk, you airport security goon - my package belongs to no one but me, and do you really think I'm a Nigerian nut job preparing for my 72-virgin orgy by blowing my johnson to kingdom come?
There's much more at the link, of course.  As a s'matter of fact, the whole TSA scanner/feel-you-up thing is garnering more press than just about anything else these days, with good reason.  Everyone and their Mom is weighing in on the subject, and Red Eye is having a field day with it.  Yesterday Megan McCardle wrote a public Dear John letter to United, Delta, and American Airlines advising the companies she was "leaving them."  And in so doing she mentioned the fact she had already left.

That would make two (or more) of us.  You Gentle Readers know that I opted to drive out to South Carolina and Pennsylvania this past summer rather than fly.  I believe I mentioned at the time my primary reason for doing so was my complete and total hatred for the TSA and the hassle our benevolent gub'mint has brought down on our heads just because we're presumptuous enough to want to fly somewhere.  

This latest brouhaha only strengthens my resolve to never frickin' fly again.  Ever.  I have the luxury of choosing my mode of travel these days as I have much more time than money in retirement.  I'm thankful I'm no longer part of the bid'niz travel community and my heart gives thanks for that happy circumstance, too.  I'd be a member of the perpetually aggrieved class were I still in frequent flier mode and the resulting stress would NOT be good for my poor aged heart.

We'll close by quoting Dr. Krauthammer once again.
This time you have gone too far, Big Bro'. The sleeping giant awakes. Take my shoes, remove my belt, waste my time and try my patience. But don't touch my junk. 
What he said.


We were on about cars yesterday... specifically very cool and very fast cars.  So My Buddy Ed In Florida sends this along...

The ad is supposedly for factory-authorized BMW "pre-owned" cars.  I've never seen the ad anywhere but I'm hoping it's real.  And just in case you were wonderin'...  No, I certainly wouldn't care. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Pew Poll Quiz Time... Again

I love these things, prolly coz I have no life... defined as spending waaay too much time in the innertubes...  and as a result I'm able to score fairly well on the quizzes.  The latest Pew Poll is focused on political news and you can take it here.

My results: perfect.  I didn't guess on a single question.

An overview of response demographics.  Detailed demographics are here.  Don't cheat!

I'd be interested in your results, Gentle Reader, if you decide to take the quiz.  Here's the last post we did on the Pew Poll and quite a few of you had perfect scores.  I was... and still am... impressed.

Fall Fell

Remember last week, Gentle Reader, when I told ya about how Fall usually happens here on The High Plains Of New Mexico?  Well... it happened last night:

A longish view.

See all those GREEN leaves?  They ALL dropped overnight.  Ya thought I was funnin', dint ya?

Teh Stoopid. And Teh Not-So-Stoopid.

Let's do the dumb shit first:

I'm thinkin' this is for people with waaay too much money.  But I might could be wrong.

Speaking of too much money...

I've said this before: WANT.  It's just too bad I don't have an extra $63,456.00 - $71,675.00 laying about.  (sigh)

Debt and Spending

Sorry to keep going on, Gentle Reader, but I have a major case o' red ass.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fiscal Irresponsibility

Apropos of the above... Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the co-chairs of the president's budget commission... were on Charlie Rose for the entire hour last evening and it was compelling television.  The co-chairs released their budget/deficit reduction suggestions last week, which feature $200 billion in budget cuts, tax reform proposals, and a host of other ideas.  Bowles and Simpson were on Rose's program less to defend their suggestions... which have taken fire from both sides of the aisle... and more to discuss the dire necessity to get the budget under control, as if any sentient being doesn't realize the gravity of the situation.  I'd love to give you a specific link to the discussion, Gentle Reader, but it appears Mr. Rose hasn't updated his web site today.

I've read the Bowles-Simpson proposals and I'm on-board with them.  One of the interesting things about the proposals the chairmen put forth is the fact everyone sacrifices in order to correct the country's financial imbalance.  None of America's Sacred Cows are exempt from strong medicine and that is as it should be.  The other thing that interests me is the reaction of the Usual Suspects... which is to say the Left went totally ballistic, as evidenced by Nancy Pelosi's comment that the recommendations were "simply unacceptable."  You KNOW the co-chairs are on the right track if Nancy hates what they're doing.  The Right has its issues with Bowles-Simpson, too, but they are mild compared to the keening wails on the Left.

So.  The commission's official report is due by December first and the Bowles-Simpson suggestions are NOT the official recommendations... they're billed as "conversation starters."  It remains to be seen what the commission will actually SAY, given that 14 of its 18 members must agree on the specific proposals that will be given to the president.  The commission's liberal democrats have already gone on the record as opposing what the co-chairs suggested last week.  This should be interesting.

Which brings us full-circle in reference to the 'toon above.  If Congress had behaved in a fiscally prudent and responsible manner for the past 75 fucking years we wouldn't BE in this boat.

Update, 1345 hrs:  The complete video of last night's Charlie Rose episode is up now.  I still can't give you a specific link but it's on the main page as I write.  HIGHLY recommended... I cannot possibly over-emphasize that point.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One o' My Favorite Subjects

Some enlightening observations on the orgasm, male and female...

Since this is a TED lecture it's work-safe.  But I seriously doubt anyone has 17 minutes to watch a video while they're at work.  As a s'matter o' fact, most people don't spend 17 minutes on ANY video they come across while blog-surfin'.  That said, this entire vid is really funny.  And informative.  

Still and even, if'n you're one of those types who don't watch longish vids, at least hit "play" and skip to the 10:47 mark.  You'll find a hilarious segment produced by the Danish gub'mint on stimulating sows to orgasm while artificially inseminating them, all in order to increase litter size.  I kid thee not.  And you think WE waste the taxpayers' money. 

Seen This?


So... the next time you see a sea of brake lights in front of you on the freeway*... just remember: you're about to be hit by a shock wave.

*freeways.  I remember those!  I remember traffic jams, too.  The worst part of this past summer's vacation was transiting Hot'Lanta during rush hour in a car with a dying clutch.  Can you imagine?  Speaking of traffic jams...

I remember this sorta stuff, too, albeit not in Iraq.  Turkey is close enough, as is Thailand.  Anyone who's ever driven ANYWHERE in the Third World... and some parts of Europe (think: Italy.  And France.)...  has no right to bitch about American drivers.  Yet I still do... go figger.


And then there's this...

That would be my in-box.  Note the red banner at top which urges me to "take extra precautions" as Spyware Doctor thinks my in-box is "highly suspicious."  Do they know something I don't?  And how?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Am I a Homer or What?

Fan voting began today for the NHL All-Star game... and here's the way I went:

It's OK to be a complete homer in cases like this, yanno?  And that would be me.


In other news...  I just don't understand wimmen but that's a given: I'm male.  I'm speaking specifically about lessons-learned where the Fairer Sex is concerned -- those things passed down from father to son -- one such lesson being "don't buy her appliances as gifts."  Well, why not?  I bought myself a new vacuum cleaner today and I'm just as happy as a pig in shit about the thing.  It's cool.  Waaay better than the old one.  More power (Tool Time!), good looks, a better tool set... what's not to like?

Well there's this in the "not to like" space... an excerpt from a conversation I had with a friend this afternoon:
Hoo-Boy am I pissed.  I had to go buy a new vacuum today; the old one just frickin' quit.  So, I get home and I REALLY like this new thing... it's much more powerful than the old, has a better set of tools, yadda, yadda.  It's actually TOO powerful, as it ate a hole in one of my throw rugs before I could power off and disengage the rug from the roller.  That's ONE.  Then... there I am, using the crevice tool to get at places that haven't been gotten at in more than a while and I hear a change of tone in the motor, followed almost instantaneously by the smell of Burning Something.  Cut to the chase:  the belt broke before the motor burned out but the brush melted in two places... not to mention yet ANOTHER throw rug with a frickin' hole in it.  The vacuum had begun to eat another throw rug and I wasn't paying attention, preoccupied as I was with crevices.

So.  New toy, broken on its first deployment.  But thank The Deity At Hand that I was on the last leg of the cleaning odyssey.  The carpets are all done... but I have to write off to Bissell and order a new brush.  You wouldn't have wanted to be in the general area when I first figgered out what was going on, believe me.  Air, blue, etc.
All is well, though. I called the Bissell customer service folks and a new brush and belts are on their way. They'll arrive by the time I notice little dust clouds emanating from the carpet as I walk to the loo, too (seven bid'niz days). I guess I'm OK with that.

Beer me!