Sunday, October 23, 2016


Phil Collins was on the CBS Sunday Morning show today.

I wasn't a great fan of '80s music, but I generally liked Collins/Genesis.  Unlike some in the rock-n-roll business, he seems pretty honest and well-grounded.  Apparently he is returning to performing, after nearly drinking himself to death several years ago.  While I have been aware of his interest in the Alamo, I didn't know that the collection he gifted to the State of Texas was valued at $10 million.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Don't let its misery entwine you...

This song has been covered by many artists, including Linda, Glen Campbell, and Rita Wilson [Hanks].  I missed the opportunity to see Mr. Souther earlier this year at the Kessler, as tickets sold out before I was aware he was coming to town.

I know Henley has said the Eagles are done without Glenn.  But it would be pretty awesome - and I think Glenn would have approved - if they did a tour with JD filling in.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday? Meh...

  • Clapton does Dylan:

  • What's with the new Frost Bank commercials?  They look like they could be for any other nationwide banking company rather than a Texas-based institution.  Wonder if something's up?
  • After the Dallas BLM protest where five police officers were murdered, there was some hand-wringing about the use of a robot to kill the assailant.  The other night, I caught an old movie that was in some ways prescient (from 1984 - the year, not the book/movie) of the situation.  Starring Tom Selleck (midway through his Magnum P.I. series run), G. W. Bailey, Kirstie Alley, and Chaim Witz, Runaway dealt with a police department squad in the future, formed to deal with rogue robots.
Don't think twice.
  • I don't watch Carson every night, but frequently enough to form a representative sample that indicates that whoever curates what shows air, has selected many for their campaign themes.  Quite interesting is that, even well before Monica, even prior to the '92 election, Carson was quipping about Slick Willie's indescretions, e.g., Bill was in trouble because "...Hillary found one of Amelia Earhart's shoes under the bed."
  • Interestingly, WJC was not expected to win in '92.  Another monologue bit described Paul Tsongas as the "runner up loser" (i.e., Clinton was supposed to be the loser).  It's pretty widely accepted that GHWB would've easily garnered a second term, absent the interloping of the troll from Texarkana.
  • And as if the 2016 campaign weren't stupid enough, you can buy Chia Hillary or Donald heads at retailers, Bernie by special order.
  • They market those DNA tests to 'learn your nationality' and ethnic makeup, but it's probably just as much to find out 'Who's your daddy, really?'.  Oh, the tangled webs woven...

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Somber Sábado

A lot of things have happened
Since the last time we spoke
Some of them are funny
Some of 'em ain't no joke
And I trust you will forgive me
If I lay it on the line
I always thought you were a friend of mine
  • A brief reading from the Book of Henley, My Thanksgiving chapter, first verse.
  • In my last post I favorably opined that I would not mind seeing the RNC pull the plug on its candidate for President.  As of yesterday, I upgraded that to actively wanting for the GOP to explore all possibilities for removing this arrogant buffoon, post haste.
  • In less than 30 minutes, Lorne Michaels' show will be pillorying the Republican candidate.  Tomorrow morning, I'm guessing that not a few pulpits will be asking congregants to search their consciences.  And tomorrow evening, barring a surprise announcement, we will have another campaign debate.
  • Maybe we'll have a new candidate Monday morning.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sonntag Synopsis

  • I'm afraid it's too late for Reince Priebus and the Party Poo-Bahs to stage an intervention, but I wouldn't mind seeing them try.  After nearly pulling even in several national polls after the HRC health scare, DJT and his big mouth seem determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, or at least the jaws of a respectable showing.
  • After stepping on his dong awhile back answering a reporter's question about Aleppo, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has again whiffed by not being able to name a world leader he admires.  It's a darn shame, as this is a year we could really use a credible third-party candidate.  I'll bet Ron Paul could have answered those questions.  Even before the first blunder, I sensed something was amiss when WRM praised Bill Weld, but stopped short of endorsing Johnson. If Priebus and the GOP can't dump Trump, maybe the Libertarians could jettison Johnson? 
  • Some news outlets are reporting that voting machines can be remotely hacked.  Does that include Cook County?  I wonder who the hackers support?  Are dead voters voting (D) or (R)?
  • I have not collectively watched ten minutes of NFL football this season, but did happen to see the Morris Claiborne pick today as it occurred.  That was a phenomenal play - the Большой should have such choreography.
  • The dude who wrote the Oscar Meyer jingle has died. Lots of famous people are fondly recalling hearing the song in their youth, and I don't disagree.  The Frito Bandito song was also a touchstone of my childhood, but alas it wasn't so favorably eulogized, as it was deemed culturally insensitive. ¡Ay, caramba!...
  • I just looked at that headline and realized there's a title to a tune just waiting to be written: The Man Behind the Wiener Song.  I coulda worked in the Brill Building...
  • Last outing I paid homage to the Ruger #1 rifle, the most elegant single shot rifles extant.  The other night I spied on the supermarket magazine stand a 200 year retrospective of Remington.  It featured an uncharacteristically beautiful 870 on the cover, but mid-issue there was a nice article about the Rolling Block.  
Surely not your average 870
  • The Rolling Block, to my mind, is a great blend of design and engineering.  Unlike the transitional rifles of its day, the Sharps and Trapdoor Springfields, which cobbled percussion sidelock action work to cartridge chamberings, the Remington was something new.  The action was brute strong, yet narrow, and the inline firing mechanism had a quicker lock time than the contemporary side hammer motion translation designs.  George A. Custer owned a Rolling Block.  The John Moses Browning designed Winchester 1885 high- and low wall falling block rifles are equally genius, but, unfortunately I don't own one of those.

Custer had one.  All the cool kids do.  ;-)

A modern Pedersoli repro, with pewter forend cap...yeah baby!
  • The discerning eye may note an ever so slight hint of shadbelly in the buttstocks of some reproduction versions, which is not a bad thing.
  • Billy Joe Shaver?  I don't even know 'er!

The Wacko from Waco, with some putz.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Frankly Friday

  • No, not Barney.
  • Good Morning's Friday!
  • If we thought the election season has been insane so far, fasten your seatbelts, as it's likely to go - dare I borrow the phrase/schtick (yes, I dare) - beyond insane.  A Morgan Stanley report suggests that the U.S. fast food and retail industries will implode if DJT is elected, because there will be no front line workers left at the BK, Wendy's and Taco Bell. Balderdash!  If Trump is elected, there is zero chance of mass deportations of Mexican, Central- and South American workers - it won't happen.  What should, and may happen, is that we will give the boot to troublemakers and actually control our borders.  It's not really fundamentally different from the notion of installing a deadbolt on your exterior doors, though some in American politics seem flummoxed by the concept.
  • While there's room for debate as to the absolute and relative contributions of illegals in this country, there's little questioning that most retail does not want to see mass deportations - not so much for the supposedly reduced labor force which could be filled by legal citizens - but because of the contraction of the market size.  Illegal (undocumented if you prefer) or not, those warm bodies buy groceries, shoes, gas, utilities, housing, and the like - American businesses don't want to see fewer potential customers. You know it, I know it, DJT knows it, some of the American people know it...and Bob Dole knows it.
  • Energy policy?  This could give you gas for a month.
  • Here's a political insight - irrespective of who gets elected, he/she will be a one-termer.   And, as divided as the nation has become, probably the highest likelihood since 1861 that even the one term may be truncated by some form of insurrection. 
  • Readers here know I don't care for DJT, but loathe HRC.  So, in the upcoming season of SNL, we'll have a doofus portrayed by a douche.
  • You don't often see someone making their own comparison to Der Führer. Strange.
  • Enough punditry, now for some fun stuff.  It's a delight to see a major gun magazine with a cover feature that's not a black rifle or plastic pistol.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but...I am more the fan of steel and walnut.  Saw this at the library the other day:

Now that's my kind of centerfold...
  • The Ruger #1 is like the Sophia Loren of beautiful rifles. I've taken Wyoming antelope with a #1 in .270 Winchester. Would love to own a #1-H (Tropical) in .375 H&H, even if I never hunt on the African continent. The similar Dakota falling block has some desirable traits, but Ruger kinda has the whole package right. 
  • This morning's weather was perfect for my morning bike ride. And the scenery wasn't too bad, either. ;-) 
  • Good Day!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

September Stardust

  • I'm sometimes critical of the way Willie breezes through material in live appearances, but on Stardust, he nailed it.
  • The CEO of Wells Fargo is going to, well, forgo about $40+ million in stock options as a result of the banking giant's shenanigans in opening accounts not requested by customers.  I used to manage some former Wells employees, and heard some stories, so I wasn't surprised when news broke of the government fining the company $185MM.  The pity is that of that sum, only $5MM went for restitution to the affected customers - the remainder went to the government.  Almost makes me wonder who has the bigger racket going.  
  • A former senior manager at an old job, who had not come from Wells, would probably have been right at home with them.  Although he always talked about how ethical our firm was, he essentially pushed for sales at any cost, and turned a blind eye to what some of the front line bankers did to make quota.  And some of the sales tactics that he actually promoted in managers meetings suggested to me that he was either dishonest, or had failed Finance 101.
  • Some recent Ray Vander Laan video series I've been attending have helped in understanding the news about Shimon Peres death, and life, this week.
  • No one who's read my scribbles would be surprised that I'm not much the fan of Colin Kaepernick.  Linking perceived racism of police shootings with the National Anthem is pretty random.  The government cannot force him to respect the flag or the anthem, nor should it attempt to do so.  My feeling is that he's probably more of an opportunistic prick trying to score some tail  than an impassioned SJW, but these days it's all about the packaging anyway.  
  • Some sports bars have used his jersey as a floor-mat in counter-protest, and for their 1A displays, have been labeled racists.  It's a strange world we live in.
  • Wonder what the legal eagle would make of this?
  • Mark Cuban recently said that if Trump is elected, the stock market will crash.  I think Cuban is right, but is only telling half the story.  My view is that it is highly probably there will be a substantial economic/market crash in the next 18 months - irrespective of whether DJT or HRC is elected, so he really could make the same statement about Clinton.  It has to do with fundamentals, global and domestic debt, that have little to do with who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
  • Anyone surprised that it's Texas' own Sheila Jackson Lee?
  • [Author's disclosure: Stepping onto soapbox.]
  • One of the popular blogs features lots of posts about traffic stops gone wrong, with discussion about whether cops are intrusive or drivers should just comply.  What appears to be emerging from the discussions is a confluence of the liberal viewpoint with the sovereign citizen movement.  Call it white privilege (free/white/over 21) or good raising, but I've not yet been mis-treated by cops, which in large part can be attributed to not being an a$$ when I get stopped, even if I'm not thrilled, as well as the fact that I'm not drinking or doping or fighting.  Some folks seem to think that you can be just barely skating within the letter of the law, and that it makes sense to get didactic with a cop who's trying to determine what the situation is.  While technically they're right if they're on the legal side of whatever line, trying to play Professor Kingsfield to an officer, who on average has less than a bachelor's degree, on a deserted road or at 3:00 a.m. is not prudent.  Save it for a civil courtroom.
  • A lot of videos I've seen, whether from drivers, or pro- open carry/2A supporters, look an awful lot like baiting.  Some seem to be masters of it. 
  • 'Complying' may be a bitter pill to swallow for some radical libertarians, but using a bit of Dale Carnegie can pay dividends, either in totally de-escalating an interaction, or at least living to file a complaint later.  The reality is that, no matter how many athletes take a knee, LE doesn't have the resources to have a sea change in their hiring, training, and indoctrination - certainly not in the short term.
  • If I were a legislator or senior LE type, I'd prioritize training for recognizing cognitive disabilities and differentiating, if possible, from substance-induced impairments.  It also wouldn't hurt if there were some PSAs reminding citizens that sometimes the cops are actively trying to find a murderer, and that taking the [psychological] parent role by giving a civics lesson in that context might not be appreciated.
  • [Steps down from soapbox.]  Has anybody actually seen a soap box?
  • When I was a kid, trips to the Sears store's tool section occurred about every other Saturday.  I don't recall that we got clothes there much, but certainly Craftsman tools, and maybe some appliances.  In high school and beyond, I can remember buying some power tools at their outlet stores in Grand Prairie, Oak Cliff, and Haltom City. It's now looking like the iconic retailer may not make it through the Christmas season.
  • A couple of points from last night's videos: Samson didn't lose his strength by getting a haircut, or having a glass of Merlot, or hooking up with that chick.  It was because he did not preserve those traits which had set him apart, he undermined the destiny God had prepared for him.  The message being that God's people are to reflect His values, not those of the contemporary culture.  It's an interesting exercise in the modern world.  Another point made was that young David was not so much given super power or accuracy to slay Goliath - he was doing what a young shepherd would have done every day (throwing rocks) - but because he used his meager ability faithfully, he achieved an unimaginable result.  How many times do we wait for some great event or epiphany to do something, instead of taking the small but disciplined steps in faith toward our destiny?  I know I'll be mentally marinating on this over the next several days.
  • Possibly a first step toward Texas Secession?  Perhaps, but even if not, with all the mischief that goes on in New York and inside the D.C. beltway, why not bring it back to Texas?  Just don't tell these Mobile residents where it's stored...
  • Found while looking for something else.  Too good not to post.  In 2008, taking the kids on a post-separation road trip through East Texas to the coast, we made a diversion so I could see Linden, where Henley grew up.  Apparently, he now owns about half of the town.