Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Quick Update

Remember that Whiskey Seven post I put up last week?  Here's an update:

That's from a U.S. Air Force tweet.  There aren't quite as many troops in the new photo, but the intent is there.  Well done, 37th Airlift Squadron.

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: More Hippie Music

The Moody Blues, c. 1970...

Ride along the winds of time and see where we have been,
The glorious age of Camelot, when Guinevere was Queen.
It all unfolds before your eyes
As Merlin casts his spell.
Ah, yes... Former Happy Days and all that.  That was then and this is now; all that's similar is the fact we ARE sitting comfortably today, wrapped in the warm embrace of sweet memory and brilliant weather (it's 91 big-ass degrees, as we speak... with a gentle breeze).

In other news... we could have put up a "Broadening" post, seein' as how we're smoking a new-to-me stick on this Happy Hour.  The stick is a fat "My Uzi Weighs a Ton" robusto (srsly... see the cigar band illustration at right) and by "fat" I mean a 60 ring gauge... which is fat, indeed.  The cigar is brilliant, the name much less so.  I got this stick as part of a sampler which my good buddy Tim at included in my latest shipment and I really, rilly enjoyed it.  That said, I find the name to be sumthin' of an embarrassment.  I'd hate to have to answer this question while burnin' one of these sticks, which might could go sumthin' like this:
Q: What are ya smokin', Buck?
A: Ummm... ahh... never mind.  It's good, and let's just leave it at that.
Yeah... it's like that.  It's a perfectly good... if not great... cigar, which is to say it's an almost perfectly balanced blend, good construction, and knock-yer-socks-off flavor.  Too bad about the name.

Saturday: Clever

I never cease to be amazed by the creativity that's out there.  I also wonder why **I** didn't get any of that.

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Brief Hockey Update

The Rangers won the Eastern Conference series last night, winning game six and beating the Habs 4-2.  Game six of the Western Conference final is tonight and with any luck we'll have a NY - El Eh final (El Eh leads Chicago in the series, 3-2), which begins this coming Wednesday.  A Left Coast - Right Coast Final would be VERY good for the game.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack


Now she's gone and I'm back on the beat
Oh, a stain on my notebook says nothing to me
Oh, now she's gone and I'm out with a friend
With lips full of passion and coffee in bed
Now she's gone, I'm back on the beat
A stain on my notebook says nothing to me
Now she's gone, I'm back on the beat
A stain on my notebook says nothing to me
Oh coffee in bed, coffee in bed
The images in the video are seriously good for us caffeine lovers, especially the ones depicting the brewing of Turkish coffee.  That said, the images don't get to the gestalt of the song... but I suppose that's not too terribly unusual.  We won't elaborate on the concept of "coffee in bed," except to say we've got a few o' those tee shirts... and the memories that go with 'em.

Squeeze, OTOH, is one of my favorite '80s bands.  I came to know them while I was stationed in Ol' Blighty in the early '80s and they've occupied a spot in my heart ever since.  They wrote and performed some of the best pure pop, evah.  Good stuff, Maynard.

It's Hard to Keep Up

I'm still going through the overnight correspondence and took a look at my Twitter feed...

I'm thinkin' more than a few of those 934 new tweets (since I last looked) just MIGHT go unread.

My De Facto Co-Blogger Has Practical Advice for the Day

I'm that far (visualize thumb and forefinger in close proximity) from putting Mia on the masthead.  Srsly.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Roots music...

I searched... in vain... for the lyrics to this tune but came up empty.  No matter, the lyrics are easily decipherable and there's no annotation required.  That isn't always the case with these ol' blues tunes but it is with this one.  Enjoy!

Whiskey Seven

A feel-good story from the Usual USAF Source:
Gooney Bird's Normandy Nostalgia
Douglas C-47 Skytrain troop carrier aircraft, designated Whiskey 7, lands on Ramstein Air Base, May 26, 2014. Whiskey 7 was the lead carrier of 37th Troop Carrier Squadron that took part in dropping the 82nd Airborne Division near St. Mere Eglise, France during D-Day, June 6th, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jordan Castelan)

A 37th Troop Carrier Squadron group photo taken in 1944 at RAF Cottesmore, England. The aircraft in the photo is the same Douglas C-47 Skytrain, designated Whiskey 7, that landed at Ramstein Air Base, May 26, 2014.

A World War II veteran C-47 Skytrain flew 3,600 miles from New York to recreate the airdrop it led over Normandy, France, on D-Day 70 years ago. Volunteers flew "Whiskey Seven" from a grass strip in Geneseo, N.Y., hopping from Canada, via Greenland, Iceland, and Scotland, arriving at Ramstein AB, Germany, two weeks later on May 26, according to a base release. In the wee hours of June 6, 1944, Whiskey Seven led the 37th Troop Carrier Squadron—forbearer of Ramstein's 37th Airlift Squadron—dropping elements of the 82nd Airborne Division behind German lines over Sainte-Mère-Église, France. After the stopover at Ramstein, the volunteer crews will drop re-enactors over the same drop-zone for the 70th anniversary D-Day commemoration next week, according to the release. In 1944, unit aircraft flew from RAF Cottesmore, England. Today, the 37th AS flies C-130Js. (See also a New York Times report on flight preparations.)
Let's hope all those re-enactors make it safely to the ground.  We wouldn't want to see one of them hung up on the Sainte-Mère-Église church steeple like the first time

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

J.J. Cale...

You told me you didn't love me no more
Yes I heard that one before
Same thing, same news
Treat me like a fool that you can use
Let me tell you, I won't be kind
You can put it right there
Where the sun don't shine
There are some great good guitar licks in this tune, as there are in all of J. J. Cale's work.  It goes without sayin'... although I will say it... that the lyrics get a "Heh," as well.

In other news... today's a maintenance day here at  El Casa Inmóvil De Pennington, which is on-going as we speak.   The dishwasher has finished its cycle and the second load of laundry is about ready to be committed to the dryer.  Maintenance days, such as they are, are few and far between in these parts, aside from the normal daily clean-up and wipe-down we must do to keep things tidy.  I run the dishwasher about once a week (as opposed to daily, in past lives) and do laundry about once every two weeks... depending on when the tee shirt supply runs low.  Tee shirts are the pacing factor here, as we have enough other garments, linens, and towels to last at least a month between laundry episodes.  But, Hey!  This ain't much cuttin' for a cutter, as we used to say.  And it's kinda sorta amazing at how the laundry cycle and the beer cycle matches up.  Serendipity?  I think not.

Why Your Dog(s) Is (Are) Always So Happy to See You

Alternative title: "Shoebox saves my blogging bacon yet again."  Mebbe I should give 'em equal billing on the masthead.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

The President:


- - - - - - - 



Constant in the American narrative is the story of men and women who loved our country so deeply they were willing to give their all to keep it safe and free. When a revolution needed to be won and our Union needed to be preserved, brave patriots stepped forward. When our harbor was bombed and our country was attacked on a clear September morning, courageous warriors raised their hands and said, "send me." On the last Monday of each May, our Nation comes together to honor the selfless heroes who have defended the land we love and in so doing gave their last full measure of devotion.

Today, we pause to remember our fallen troops, to mourn their loss, and to pray for their loved ones. Though our hearts ache, we find a measure of solace in knowing their legacy lives on in the families our heroes left behind -- the proud parents who instilled in their sons and daughters the values that led them to serve; the remarkable spouses who gave our Nation the person they cherished most in the world; and the beautiful children who will grow up with the knowledge that their mother or father embodied the true meaning of patriotism. To those we lost, we owe a profound debt that can never be fully repaid. But we can honor the fallen by caring for their loved ones and keeping faith with our veterans and their fellow brothers and sisters in arms. 

The security that lets us live in peace, the prosperity that allows us to pursue our dreams, the freedom that we cherish -- these were earned by the blood and the sacrifices of patriots who went before. This Memorial Day, as we near the end of more than a decade of war, let us never forget their service and always be worthy of the sacrifices made in our name. And today and every day, let us pray for and hold close the families of the fallen. 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth. 

I do believe this "Prayer for Peace" thing is new this year.  While I have nothing against prayer, especially prayer for peace, I have everything against diluting the circumstances by which we honor our war dead.  Choose another day, Mr. Obama, and leave Memorial Day alone.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What I SHOULD Be Doin' Today

The Thunderbirds are flying... hopefully... out at Cannon Airplane Patch today.  Here's some great historical footage on the 'Birds:

I won't be there today, nor was I there yesterday.  The weather just isn't cooperating, to wit:
Nowcast | as of 1:05 PM MDT on May 25, 2014
Scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue to develop over eastern New Mexico through the mid afternoon hours. Storms will favor Quay and Curry counties though 3 PM...though additional storms may develop along an outflow boundary stretching as far west as Fort Sumner and Roswell. Brief heavy rain...pea size hail and wind gusts to 45 mph can be expected...though a few storms may become severe later this afternoon. Areas likely to be affected through 3 PM include Nara Visa...Logan...San Jon...and Broadview.
More's the pity.  I have reasons other than the weather for not attending, but let's not go THERE.

Star Trails

Via High Fructose Mag...

That's a screen shot of what you'll see here.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday: I Think This Has Been Done Before

Interpreting Joe, is what I mean by "done before," as I seem to remember another effort in this space.  The Usual Source sez this is an old video, so mebbe it's the same one I'm thinkin' about.

Apropos o' nuttin' much... I was in Beautiful Wakkanai By The Sea when Woodstock happened and the Stars and Stripes ran a front page picture of the traffic jam the next day.  "The New York state thruway's CLOSED, Man!"

Friday, May 23, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack...

... is a re-run.  We heard this tune a couple o' few minutes ago and just knew we'd posted it at some point in the way-back.  And so we did:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Same As It Ever Was, Same As It Ever Was

Which would be part of today's Happy Hour soundtrack:

Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime by hushhush112

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
You may find yourself in another part of the world
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
You may ask yourself: well... how did I get here?

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground

You may ask yourself
How do I work this?
You may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
You may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
You may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife!

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground

Same as it ever was... Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was... Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was... Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was... Same as it ever was...
Heh.  We're just tryin' to be cute.  It ain't as bad as all that.  It might be worse.  (insert big-ass grin here)
"After the money's gone..."  (sigh)

Broadening Our Horizons LXXXII

Another offering from Left Hand Brewing...

We like Left Hand's Milk Stout so very much we figgered most all of their brews would be worthy, so we picked up a sixer of their Sawtooth All-American Ale.  Our go-to guys like this beer a LOT, giving it a "94" rating.  An excerpt from their review:
Taste: A malty brew with caramel, light chocolate, toasted and some biscuit malt flavours. Very firm mouthfeel, medium-bodied. Pleasant fruit flavours follow and mingle oh so nicely with the even malt sweetness and complexities. Hop bitterness is mild, but balances the malt with light citrus and raw hop flavours that linger through to the end. Mineral-like flavours can also be detected. Finishes a bit dry with light grain tannins and faint background chocolate malt.
Notes: A freagin' spot on ESB, and a very impressive ale. I thoroughly enjoyed tasting this beer, and only wish I had more. 
I'm drinkin' my second Sawtooth this afternoon and I have to say that familiarity breeds sumthin' other than contempt.  My first Sawtooth encounter, i.e., yesterday, left me thinkin' the brew was too hoppy for my taste but I don't find that to be true today.  It remains to be seen if this beer will earn a spot in our rotation, but the sticks seem to be lining up that way.

And now it's back out to the verandah to enjoy our moderate temps and interesting Spring skies.


This is just about the only GOOD thing that ever came out of Earth Day...

NASA has released a 3.2 gigapixel "Global Selfie", comprising 36,422 individual images stitched into a mosaic representation of the Earth.

The agency explains: "On Earth Day this year (22 April), NASA asked people all around the world a simple question – 'Where are you on Earth Right Now?'" We asked people to answer the question on social media, with a selfie. The goal was to use each picture as a pixel in the creation of a 'Global Selfie' – a mosaic image that would look like Earth appeared from space on Earth Day."
Well, Dang.  I didn't know this was happening, which is the story of my life: a day late and a dollar short.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: Drop Out


Well I'm not paranoid, there is no conspiracy
But I swear big brothers watching me
Turn on, tune in, drop out, give up, with me

So you're serving aperitifs to the local survivalist militia
In camouflage you're fine but the locals still call you Morticia

Well find a little meadow
high up in the Cascades

Baby we wont ever come down
Turn on, tune in, drop out, give up, with me

Buy a little cabin in the Adirondacks
Baby they'll never find us
Turn on, tune in, drop out, give up, with me

Hand stitch our tepee
Windy East Mojave
Watching for black helicopters
Heh.  I just LOVE the lyrics to this song.  Love 'em!  I've always looked at the Preppers and other strains of the survivalist movement with a mixture of amusement and disdain; Cracker seems to be on the same page as I am.  There are certain aspects of that thinking that ring some bells with me, none the less.  I can't help but think "what if they're RIGHT?"  The optimist in me always prevails, though.  I hope I'm not wrong...

I heard this new-to-me tune in the car yesterday but I was basically "off the grid" at that time (read as: all day), which is why I'm posting this today.

Until They're Not There Any Longer

From the Usual USAF Source...
A-10s Back in Europe
Five U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft pilots taxi on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 16, 2014. While in Germany, the aircraft will support the ground troops of 15 nations participating in force-on-force maneuver training during Exercise Combined Resolve II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Gustavo Castillo/Released)
Approximately 100 Air National Guardsmen from the 124th Fighter Wing out of Gowen Field, Idaho, accompanied A-10 Thunderbolt IIs to Spangdahlem AB, Germany, to support the Combined Resolve II training exercise. The US Army Europe-directed multinational exercise is conducted in partnership with 15 NATO and European partners, including Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Solvenia, and the US. It will be May 15 to June 30, according to a May 20 release. "This is an interoperability exercise working on partnership tasks, because this is the way we are going to fight in the future," said Christian Marquardt, Joint Multinational Training Command spokesman. The "A-10s will support ground troops participating in force-on-force maneuver training at the US Army's Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany," states the release.  The mission "is the same mission that we do back home. We provide close air support for friendlies on the ground when they are receiving effective fire from the enemy," said 1st Lt. Kristen Daigle, officer in charge of intelligence. "The A-10s will roll in and try to get the enemy off their back."
I think it was just last month that the A-10s that USED to be permanently based in Germany rotated back to the US.  And now they're back... until USAF retires the whole fleet, of course.  While it's not probable that NATO will go to war against the Rooshians, it sure would be nice to have the A-10s flying against massed armor columns if the balloon DID go up.  That's what the aircraft was designed for, after all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

There Must Be Sumthin' Wrong With Me

I say that coz I really like all these Shoebox rejects.  Like this one:

Hell, I'd buy a BOX of those things.

(Yeah, we're still goin' through the overnight mail.)

Spring On the Plains

You see stuff like this every Spring here in the Great Wide Open...

Beautiful and scary.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Time To Reap

From the Usual USAF Source...
Air Frame: An MQ-9 Reaper sits on the flight line at Hurlburt Field, Fla., on April 24, 2014. This was the first year the MQ-9 participated in Emerald Warrior, a U.S. Special Operations Command-sponsored tactical exercise designed to provide realistic military training in an urban setting. (Air Force photo SSgt. John Bainter)
We have a few of these out at Cannon Airplane Patch.  I dunno why, but these things always give me the creeps when I see 'em buzzing around.

Speaking of Cannon... The big airshow is coming this weekend, mebbe.  And why do I say "mebbe?"  The weather.

None of us here on The High Plains o' New Mexico complain about rain.  Never, ever.  That said, the timing could be a wee bit better.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Sunday Re-Run

This was a fun post... to do, but not necessarily to read.  From almost six years ago:

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I was tagged by Lin to do this here meme the day I went for my slicing/dicing. Now that I'm up to speed (sorta), I'm checking the box.

In Lin's words: “Soo ... the idea is to answer these questions with only a photo or other graphic, NO words allowed. Here goes then (but I reserve the right to complete and childish asininity).”

Me, too.

1. What is your current relationship status?

2. What is your current mood?

3. What is your favorite band/singer?


4. What is your favorite movie?

5. What kind of pets do you have?

6. Where do you live?

7. Where do you work?

8. Who do you look like?

9. What do you drive?
10. What did you do on Saturday?

11. What did you do on Sunday?

12. What is your favorite network TV Show?

13. Describe Yourself.

14. What is your favorite candy?

I'm supposed to tag some folks, coz that's the way these things work. Consider yourself tagged, if ya wanna be. There's a lot of image googling involved. But Hey! That's fun, innit?
Blog-Bud Lin no longer blogs, but her archives are alive and well (and her posts are ALL great reads).  As for YrHmblScrb?  Not much has changed in my world during the last six years, other than the fact I don't live in El Casa Móvil De Pennington any longer, gave up riding mo'sickles, and replaced The Green Hornet with something a lil big bigger and a lot more comfortable.  Wait.  I suppose that IS a lot o' change, innit?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday: In My Next Life...

... I wanna be Jay Leno.

Didja see that green '61 Bel Air hardtop?  Among other things...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: An Oddity

So, there we were, out on the verandah and this tune comes on.  "WTF?" thinks I, "that sure sounds like Rod Stewart but that ain't the lyrics we know and love."  Well, there's an explanation for that... but first, the tune:

I don't need to tell ya
That you look like a fella
But I'll kick your head in one of these days
The tune is billed as a demo version of "Maggie May" and yeah, a re-write was definitely in order here.  I searched... in vain... for the lyrics to this version and came up empty (the bits quoted above are from memory).  The instrumentation on this early version... aside from the inclusion of the extended mandolin solo... is essentially the same as the final version, and that's a good thing (Hello, Ronnie Wood!).  But the lyrics?  They're just bad, bad, bad.  I can't believe I've gone all this time without hearing the demo version but I suppose stranger things have happened.  OTOH, I can go just as long without hearing this again.  Once is just enough.

It Took Me a Minute

Well, about 30 seconds, actually... and then I literally laughed out loud.

H/t: Shoebox.  Who else?

Thursday, May 15, 2014


"Hey, there! Hi, there! Ho there! You're as welcome as can be...  M-I-C-K-E-Y..."

♪♫ If I Were a Rich Man, Ya-Ta-Dadda-Dadda-Dadda-Da... ♫♪

So said Tevye and so sez me, meaning I wish I had an extra 200K bucks layin' around to spend on this:

Oh, MY.  Back in the day when I bought my '67 Chevelle SS396 there was this guy in town who had a '67 Nova SS with the 350hp/327 small block in it.  I raced him on two or three occasions and the boy cleaned my clock every single time... by about two or three car lengths... the races were never close.  I've not-so-secretly wanted one of those cars ever since.  There are a lot of pics of this car here and they'll make yer mouth water if you're any kind of a gear-head.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Another two-fer, where we have the Stones leading off with a cover of one of the Temptations' signature songs...

That's the cover, here's the original:

Well I heard a cryin' man is half a man
With no sense of pride
If I have to cry to keep you I don't mind weepin'
If weepin' gonna keep you by my side

Ain't too proud to beg, sweet darlin'
Please don't leave me, don't you go
Ain't too proud to plead, baby, baby
Please don't leave me, don't you go
Well, that's just WRONG and it never, ever works.  I say that with the benefit of hindsight and most specifically the knowledge that I (a) own one of these tee shirts and (b) it was absolutely, positively the wrong thing to do.  The appropriate response, once we determined the relationship was beyond salvation, would have been "OK, then.  Get the fuck OUT!"  The only saving grace about my exercise of extreme self-degradation was the fact that very, very few people witnessed it.  It was pathetic, believe me, and it's one of the very few things in life I would change, given the chance.

But, Hey!  "Love makes fools of us all, big and little."  Truer words ne'er spoken.

Wat Rong Khun

Say what?  This...

This spectacular white building is called Wat Rong Khun or The White Temple. It’s a Buddhist temple located in Northern Thailand just outside the city of Chiang Rai. Designed by Thai visual artist Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997, The White Temple is an awesome blend of traditional Thai architecture and both beautiful and grotesque surreal elements. It’s as much a work of art as it is a building devoted to learning and meditation.

Via High Fructose mag, where there are more images of The White Temple.  Most amazing, eh?

O, My Aching Ass

Yup.  Just what every Zuckerberg wannabe needs, at a Zuckerberg price.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Broadening, Yadda, Yadda... Episode LXXXI

Here we are, almost at the end of heavy heavier beer season here at El Casa Inmóvil De Pennington and wouldn't ya know it?  A new favorite in the Porter category arrives on the scene.  That would be this:

Impressive.  And I'm not the only one who thinks so.  Here's what my go-to guys have to say about Cutthroat:
Taste: Impressively smooth mouth feel with a medium to full body. Rich roasted flavour going borderline astringent. Hops tingle all throughout the mouth with a vague bitterness that gets clouded by more everlasting lingering roasted malt with caramel undertones though still leaves a trail of earthy minty flavour to the finish. Roasted flavours are not over bearing but at a perfect level of balance with hints of light charcoal and over caramelized sugar.

Notes: Profound in character, Odell’s was aiming for the middle ground between Porters and Stouts … good stab at it. A more than decent Porter it is, I’m quite fond of this palatable brew.
That's part of a 99-rated review, the rating being as high a score as I've ever seen at BA even though the language might be a little bit flowery and over-the-top.  Odell is quickly becoming my favorite beer out of Fort Collins; I've yet to meet a beer of theirs I haven't liked.  Them's some strong words, given that New Belgium and I have been sweethearts since the mid-90s.  But yanno what?  Competition is a good thing!  All that said, a sixer o' Cutthroat will prolly remain resident in the fridge long after our daytime temps stay in the 90s, mainly coz it's a very easy-drinking sorta brew.  Mebbe even TOO easy.

And now it's time to head out to the verandah... in a sweater.

I said heavier beer season was almost over, didn't I?