Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday's Whispers


  • The other day I made a Juggalo reference over at ComKev's blog.  Later I found this:
 
Maybe he can wield a Presidential hatchet instead of a gavel.
  •  I had kinda used the Juggalo bit as a throwaway gag, but it got me to wondering what actually animates the Dark Carnival.  I found this article.  While it may espouse some opinions I don't share, it offered some interesting insights.
  • It was recently suggested to me that men who voted for DJT/against HRC did so because "she represented the brainy/wonky/nerdy girl in high school or college who had rejected their advances."  I can't necessarily disprove that, but I do know lots of people - including men - who voted against HRC, and none has offered even a hint that they were motivated in that fashion.  I also know many liberals, some of whom specifically stated they were voting for HRC solely because she could be the first female President.
  • The lawyer blogger is hopped up on the notion of the new administration unraveling.  Although he may ultimately be correct, I'm not convinced.  To me, it appears to be the inevitable growing pains when the opposition party takes office.  Given that much of this administration comes from outside of government, I think it's to be expected.  To make sure I wasn't being hypocritical, I went back and checked my posts from 2008 (both pre- and post-election day) and found only a half-dozen mild references to BHO out of 53 posts. 
  • I think I've made clear before that I'm not a DJT fan, but in the main, I'm not troubled by his track record thus far, with these exceptions:
  1. He should lose his penchant for Twitter. 
  2. If he [DJT] actually supports widespread asset forfeiture/confiscation, he is wrong.  (So far, this doesn't seem to be any more than a random remark, not an action item, but if he takes a position supporting or expanding CAF, it would be very disappointing.)
  • Intel has announced, and the WH has of course glommed onto, plans to build a $7 billion chip plant in Arizona.   Being an oldster, I thought of this.  Then, this happened.  A decade later, the property was sold to be replatted.
  • It's been interesting - and somewhat surprising to me - to see the degree to which the Left seems to be losing its senses.  After generations of attempting to connect and portray the GOP as KKK sympathizers (when historically the organization was a Democratic outgrowth), modern leftists are adopting similar tactics by donning masks and disguising clothing while creating mayhem and violence.
  • I don't think I'd ever seen anything before about wine being vinted in underground cisterns:
It's said to be lined with beeswax
  • I saw this car pull up while I was walking across the home center parking lot:
No, he didn't have any.  Yes, I asked him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Some fly by day

R.I.P. Al Jarreau...



I went to one of his concerts, in 1987 I think, with Chaka Khan, at the old Starfest amphitheatre at Park Central.  It was a lovely summer evening, picnic basket and blanket, open T-tops on my 280-ZX and my date with her bare feet out the window on the drive home.

Just to be clear, my date wasn't Chaka Khan.  Mr. Jarreau was performing with Ms. Khan.  My date was a nice girl from my church, and I didn't get to do anything to impugn her reputation.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wilkommen Wednesday

  • For reasons unknown, I've started listening - at least having the radio on - on my days off.  The WBAP guy in the post-morning drive slot seems reasonable.  At mid-day, the Limbaugh show starts.  As I've come to regard El Rushbo as a mostly bombastic entertainer more than a talented observer/analyst, I don't engage too much in what I hear.  The syndicated late afternoon Mark Levin program though - that guy seems seriously unhinged. He gets combative even with callers who appear to agree with him.
  • My very favorite grocery store cookies of late have been Kroger's Pecan Sandies.  I bought another brand a while back but found they had an unacceptable ratio of shell fragments.  I wonder if Durham-Ellis (successor to Fort Worth's Ellis Pecan Company) supplies the bakeries that make Kroger's cookies.
 A North Main icon since the 1920's
  • Last night I made sure to check the western sky for Venus and Mars in conjunction with our lunar neighbor:
Internet stock photo
  •  But, I observed the moon and planets from my driveway, not the sports arena:

  • Commuting to and from classes from Euless (later Grapevine) to Denton every morning in the early '80s, my Maxell UDXL-II recording of Wings Over America got lots of play.
  • There's still much hand-wringing over the airport detentions of 109 immigrant travelers last weekend.  Also, quite a bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth.  The fact that there can be, and are, protests in this country is a healthy thing.  But it might be instructive for those proclaiming the apocalypse is nigh to have some perspective.  The United States government detained 109 persons this past weekend, for a few or several hours.  No detainees were hanged from a gallows.  No detainees were lined up against a wall and shot.  No detainees were beheaded by machete.  No detainees were sprayed with sarin or mustard gas.  No detainees were held captive for 444 days.  This is not to trivialize in any way the angst experienced by those travelers or their families and loved ones, only to set the context straight.
  • As seen in multiple EU countries, as well as some events here in the U.S., there are real threats posed to Western civilization.  Unless one has access to DHS records and methodology, it's hard to know whether prior vetting was or wasn't adequate.  And some will say that the sudden implementation of the detentions was disruptive.  However, if the threat is real, the defense must also be real, and decisive.  Monty and Ike didn't call Rommel on May 31 and say "Hey, we're planning a beach party in Normandy next week", and HST didn't cable PM Suzuki on July 31 to tell him to look for a B-29 fly-by in a few days.   Instead of talking about a solution, DJT pulled the trigger.  Maybe it will appear clumsy in hindsight, but it demonstrates a bias toward action - details can be worked out as we move forward.
  • Senate Democrats are debating whether to try to block the SCOTUS nominee in retaliation for last year's block of BHO's pick to replace Antonin Scalia.  While I'm not displeased that last year's candidate is not now sitting on the SC bench, I have attempted to show that there's no hard feelings by buying Sienna a couple of $2.50 cans of Merrick premium dog food.   ;-)
  • WBAP's Brian Estridge is hosting a trip to Germany and Austria, which will include Kitzb├╝hel (just about an hour west of Zell am See, where I skied in 1974) and Neuschwanstein Castle ("New Swanstone", said to be one of the inspirations for the castles at theme parks in Anaheim and Orlando).  If I found $6000 in the sofa cushions, I'd probably sign up for the tour.  But even if I don't, it gave me a great idea for my ED product: "Reclusive Bavarian King Ludwig II's erection of the Neuschwanstein Castle was completed in 1886.  If you're no longer feeling like the king of your castle, try Lite Lift for a Neuschwanstucker!"
Abstract metal sculpture of Schloss Neuschwanstein

The photographer's reflection needs to go on more bike rides...
  • I'm trusting my readers to recognize the Young Frankenstein reference.
  • Here's an odd: At an intersection on my way to work is a sign for a dating website.  Next to the parking lot at my work is another one.  But, so far, I've not seen any other of them around town.
  • On Carson last night (original air date 8/24/88): The Republican convention just concluded, Johnny took a studio audience applause meter poll for Bush/Quayle vs. Dukakis/Bentsen.  The audience preferred B/Q to D/B by a 2:1 ratio.
  • Colleges today are no place for diversity of opinion .  Snowflakes at UC-Berkeley are in full conniption mode over the thought of a conservative speaker on their campus.  I don't expect Gov. Moonbeam to react like a real Governor would have, and did.
  • Thanks to having repaired my bike tyre, I've logged two rides this week.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 2: Taking America Back

  • You can almost imagine Ted Koppel coming out of retirement to cover the Trump presidency. (Editor's note: I actually liked Koppel.)
  • The loony leftist blogger was less apoplectic than I would've imagined this morning, given the events of the weekend.  BTW, the voices in my head (AKA the focus group) have suggested hiring him as spokesperson for Lite Lift (see yesterday's post): "Even in a fit of malaise, Lite Lift helps me remain the hardest working man in show business!"
  • I've started listening to the Amon Carter station (WBAP) again in the mornings.  Today, in connection with the immigration detentions, Stubie Doak ran a parody song about a fictional 'Achmed Flanagan', to the tune of an old Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. song.  Yeah, the same tune that Pinkard & Bowden expropriated for 1989's Libyan on a Jet Plane.  Readers of dis here blog will of course remember that P&B's Richard Bowden is an East Texas boy who - at the invitation of The Gambler - relocated his band Shiloh to Los Angeles.  Creative differences split the band and the other main member joined up with a Detroit guy and a couple of others to form a pretty successful outfit.  In 2015, Bowden's former partner's CD Cass County, named for their childhood home, debuted at #1 on the country charts.
  • Caliexit: Voters - I guess that would include just about anybody (men/women/gender neutral persons/citizens/passersby) in that state - have until July 25 this year to collect just shy of 600K signatures to force a referendum regarding whether the Golden State should secede.  Don't know exactly where Gov. Moonbeam stands on the petition, but I would posit that most of the English speaking supporters of the effort howled with derision when former Lone Star Gov. Goodhair hinted that Texas might do the same a few years back.  
  • Note to Sacramento:  Do it!  The remaining United States will thank you, profusely.  You do recognize, of course, that your prospects of going it alone successfully are a fraction of Texas' potential, so you'll maybe want to form alliances with Oregon and Washington.  But beware, outside of your coastal counties, your Bible and gun toting America sympathizers (you know, the productive people) will turn coat on you.  Even the Mexican Army will not be able to defend a border (with or without a wall - to keep people in) more than 75 miles inland.  And the United States will retain a port easement attachment to Riverside County, and port access points in Northern Cali, Oregon, and Washington.  With the savings to the national treasury from offloading you dingleberries, we might even purchase British Columbia.


  •  Here's an odd: With Trudeau's Canada inviting the refugees that the U.S. is vetting, why did terrorists shoot up a mosque, murdering 6 people?  BTW, there is no excuse for the mosque burning in Victoria, Texas.  The perpetrators of that crime, whether they're found to be rednecks or Munchausers, should be held to account equally. 
  • I read somewhere that there were some recent actors' awards.  Did Chuck Schumer win one for his teary performance?
  • People at my work think I am a coffee-holic.  What they don't really know is that I pour the remnants of my Central Perk size green tea into my Sub-Zero travel mug when I get to work, and once it's gone (30-45 minutes later), I refill it with coffee.  Occasionally I will top it off during the day to re-warm it, but in most cases my total consumption is less than 1-1/2 12 oz. cups per day.
  • The WBAP guy whose show runs in what was once Mark Davis' time slot this morning said what I wrote yesterday, that the United States is not the designated solid waste treatment plant for all of the world's human detritus.  He didn't say it exactly that way, but the idea was the same.
  • Since LBJ, by design, our nation has been dying a death by a thousand cuts, accelerated in the past couple of dozen years.  Like MzChief over on the lawyer blog, I don't care for the current President so much, but he seems to be committed to action to restore the America that's been lost.  It won't be easy, and it won't always be pretty.  Remember Jack. T. Colton re-engineering Joan Wilder's Italian pumps in order to facilitate the journey to find the treasure...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

  • ...and I wasn't anywhere near Wichita Falls (or Iowa Park, take your pick).
  • I started to turn on the morning pundit fest(s) this morning, but instead reasoned that if anyone's press secretary or former campaign manager said anything outlandish or whatnot, it'll be regurgitated and dissected ad nauseam all week long.
  • In the evenings before bedtime, I will put Sienna up on the bed about a half hour before I retire - so that she will have the foot area warmed up for me.  Then, when I get in the bed, I nudge her out of the way, but my feet are cozy.  I would feel guilty (just a smidgen), except that she often signals to me that she wants up on the cama, and she always parks herself at the foot, even though she could choose anywhere else to settle.
  • Since repairing my bike tyre, I have not taken a ride except for around the block to circulate the Slime that I added to the patched inner tube.  Tomorrow that will change.
  • The hue and cry about temporary detentions of people at airports around the country is not entirely unmerited.  But it is well worth noting that - despite the hyperbole and comparisons to Nazis, etc. - these persons are not in danger.  It may be time to bust the myth that the USA is the world's 'crash pad'.  Emma Lazarus' excerpted words inside the base of Lady Liberty (affixed in the early 20th century) do not represent national policy.  A nation that exercises no control over its borders faces a bleak destiny and will most certainly cede its sovereignty.  Just look at Mexico's colonization policy for the Mexican Texas province from 1821-1836.  Only the feeble-minded will advance the notion of unmitigated immigration, yet there's no question those same people lock the doors of their houses/apartments at night.
  • I can't say that DJT will guide the US expertly in immigration matters, but he will act decisively.  I further trust that if/when he strays from prudent policy, our [little 'r'] republican form of government will provide the necessary checks and balances.
  • A column by pop psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow posits that DJT's bombast and fixation on minutiae are diversionary tactics to keep simpletons (which describes much of the media) fascinated, while he stays busy putting policy into action.  Even if I'm not 100% in agreement, I would say I'm gravitating toward that view.
  • The hopeful romantic in me thinks that maybe I will someday meet an honest woman.  But my realist reminds me of the wisdom of my friend Todd the Blogger, who once told me: "For every guy who thinks he's found the perfect woman, there's another guy who says [about the same woman] 'Thank God and Greyhound' she's gone."
  • I've noticed that the programmers of  the rerun TV channels are quite adept at airing episodes that reflect (or perhaps presage) current events.  Tonight's installment of In the Heat of the Night had Gillespie (Carroll O'Connor) and Tibbs trying to protect a Salvadoran refugee who has taken sanctuary in a local monastery.  The episode's title was "Sanctuary" (season 5, episode 21) - it would be interesting to know if it had been scheduled weeks ago to run in that slot, or was chosen as a result of this weekend's news stories.
  • I have about 3 dozen emails in the past 10 days with the heading "Valentines Day", though they seem to be adverts for a myriad of products or services.  I'm going to have to update my spam filter.
  • Everyone wants to create a solution for a real or perceived problem, and make a boatload of lucre for their efforts.  A generation ago, Pfizer introduced its little blue pill, and not long after, the other pharmas followed with Cialis and Levitra.  I don't know but I been told that those are about $10 a hit.  Not outrageous like $600 Epi-pens, but still, given the economy and human reality, I think I have a better product in mind.
  • Instead of $10 tablets, my ED product will be called something like 'Lite-Lift', with a price point of about 50 cents, designed to 'raise the flag' for just a brief duration. I'll have a focus group with the voices in my head, and we'll run a series of commercials with taglines like: "Let's face it - neither one of you wants to go for four hours", and "Because you both know that any more than four minutes is wasted anyway."
  • Y'all can say you knew me (and the voices) when.
  • On Carnac the other night, probably from '86-87 (not long after 18 F-111s made a brief visit to the Northern African coast): "Muammar Khadafi (we pronounced it with a 'K' back then) - Describe the sound a cow makes when it loses its lunch."
  • Further proving my theory that rerun programmers keenly watch current events, that gem aired a couple of days after B-2 bombers annihilated a few scores of ISIL operatives in Libya.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

ToT - The Thursday of Things

  •  Whether the United States of my youth returns like the Phoenix remains to be seen, but from my perspective, it's sure a great feeling to believe it's possible again.
  • Much has been made of the fuss between the media and the WH regarding the size of the inauguration turnout.  Even I found the fixation on numbers to be distracting, but evidence seems to be mounting that the media were trolling - the grassy areas of the mall had been covered by tarps for months and surrounded by chain link fences, restricting access points.
  • Anyway, it's apparently become a bit.  A Fox News report this morning about 45 going to Philadelphia aboard AF1 for a Republican retreat pointed out that the 747 (VC-25) "is xx% larger than the 757".
  • It would seem to be more efficient to simply fly the ~150 miles aboard Marine One, but I suppose there are Congresscritters or other hangers-on who need to be stroked by getting a ride on the big plane.  I'm hoping this President doesn't use AF1 like it's a personal LearJet as the last POTUS did.
  • Spent a couple of hours with my folks the other evening on the occasion of my Dad's birthday.  Hard to believe he was only two years older than I am now when he retired.  We don't do lavish gift exchanges, but I had assembled a grab bag of small items that I thought he would find useful. One of which was a Bluetooth OBD2 reader he can use with his laptop.
 
There are not so many options for Dad birthday cards...
  •  He agreed with my assessment that a short inauguration speech would've been good, but that the pomp and circumstance of the event necessitated bloviating to some degree.  We also talked about FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, and Johnson.
  • Dad says my Grandfather (of whose namesake I am), like many in his generation venerated FDR, couldn't stand Eisenhower, believing he was more of a political general than his peer George Marshall.  As a kid, I can remember that Granddad didn't much like Eisenhower's VP either, who by then was embroiled in the Watergate situation.
  • We (Dad & I), were generally both approving of Give 'em Hell HST, for his plainspoken-ness and bias for action, and hoped the current President will follow that pattern.  Dad recounted that, at the time, many FDR supporters loathed HST, recalling a joke that was told of the President flying over the heartland.  "Maybe I should open the window and drop a $100 bill out and make somebody happy today.  An aide suggested dropping 100 $1 bills to make 100 people happy.  Then a wiseacre pipes up and says: Let's throw out HST and make everybody happy."
  • We lamented that some on the left have chosen to try to cast DJT as LBJ's campaign attempted to smear BMG.  I opined that it was LBJ who bastardized the Democratic Party and deliberately strategized - for political purposes - the creation of a permanent underclass of American citizens through destruction of the nuclear family and dependence on government assistance.
  • Despite our obviously stellar policymaking qualifications, neither of us is anticipating a cabinet position invitation.  Pity.
  • If you believe a thorn this size could create havoc with your mountain bike tyre, you would be correct.
As well, I have corrected the problem... 
  • Sans the tight cropping above, my hand would appear larger.  Much larger.  Huge.
  • My company had an onsite wellness screening on my day off last week.  So this morning I did a walk-in, after fasting for about 13-14 hours.  BP 115/75.  We'll see how the A1C and HDL and LDL shake out.
  • I don't head for the arches much, but as it was just down the street and I was famished, I gorged on a burrito breakfast.  There were two TVs in the dining room, one on Fox News, and the other on ESPN (showing soccer/futbol).  More people were watching the Fox TV, including some Hispanic appearing people, but it's possible that it's just because it was farther from the doors (and chilly draft therefrom).  
  • Speaking of the cold, with no roof over their [leather-covered] heads - I'm not sure how to feel about this:
 
Should I protest the exploitation of homeless bovines?
  • At bedtime last night, I listened to Jimmy Webb's CD, Still Within the Sound of My Voice, which features this song.  It sounds as though it was custom written for KK, and I would've sworn it was originally a hit for Ray Price (I can't find any evidence he ever recorded it), but found that it was mainly popularized by Glen Campbell, and by Lynn Anderson:

Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Confession

...today is that I boycotted the Presidential Inauguration last Friday.

OK, maybe boycott is a bit strong, and maybe the devil is in the details.  I didn't go to Washington, D.C. because:
  1. I had to work,
  2. I wasn't invited,
  3. Washington, D.C. is a big town, but still probably not big enough for two The Donalds. While I am very secure in my bloghood, it seemed really not worth the risk that the other The Donald would get all envious-like that I would be stealing the limelight, and then go all nuts about it with his little Twitter hands.
I didn't take any time out of my day to watch the swearing-in live, but a couple of hours later, some gals in the company lunchroom were watching the replays, including HRC glaring at WJC for ogling the incoming First Lady's boobs.  Bubba just can't help himself.

Later on, someone was playing the new President's speech.  Some folks said it was good, some said it was combative.  Maybe I'm a bit jaded and didn't really give a rodent's hind end, but I'd have been just as happy to hear the guy say "Thank you, American citizens, for the trust you've placed in me.  I promise that I and my administration will never forget the sacred duty we owe to you.  Now, if you'll excuse me, we've got a boatload of work to do, starting right now. Thank you!"

But of course that's not how it went.  I guess it's pro forma for an incoming official to do some bloviating, but it sure would've been refreshing if he'd given my version of the speech instead.

Apparently there are a lot of First Amendment 'patriots' who didn't have to work, may or may not have been invited, and maybe are not named The Donald, who felt obliged to lend their voices, profanity laced placards, bricks & cinderblocks, and Molotov cocktails to the cluster of festivities in our nation's Capital and other urban areas around the country.  With the obvious exceptions of the violence, I am genuinely grateful to live in a country where everyone, no matter how uninformed or misguided, can speak their piece in public.  (As well, I pray that the hooligans are similarly mindful of their good fortune in not bashing in the windshield of, or trying to set ablaze, a car I was riding in.)

This morning, I tuned in to a bit of NBC's Meet the Depressed, to find the show's host Chuck Todd sparring with DJT confidante Kellyanne Conway, in what could best be described as a urinating contest.  I wouldn't say that either party's behavior impressed me much (both streams seemed about equal), and Heaven help us if this is the kind of media relationship we have for the next four years.  Todd's next guest was Chuck Schumer, whom I cannot stand, and I have to give the NBC host some props for seemingly not giving the New York senator a free pass.  Maybe the ghost of Tim Russert - even though he was a liberal - has given Chuck Todd some journalistic spine.  (Editor's note: My favorite Sunday morning TV pundit-fest host was David Brinkley.)

Anyway, with the inauguration and weekend behind us, here's to hoping that starting tomorrow, the new Administration will focus on matters of substance - it's the economy, stupid - and ignore the Nielsen ratings.

Thank you, my fellow Americans, and may God Bless the United States of America!

P.S. - Proving that what is old is new and vice-versa, I was watching a Carson rerun tonight, circa 1992.  The campaign was underway, and Governor WJC had received a great deal of negative press regarding his dalliances with one Gennifer Flowers that had come to light.  In his monologue, Carson quipped that the publicity had caused Ms. Flowers to be unemployed, but that her prospects were looking up, as she had just been "named runner up mistress to Donald Trump, in case his relationship with Marla Maples doesn't work out."