Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nuge: The Anti-Obama

If Ted, and I don't mean Chappaquiddick Ted, were running against The Junior Senator from Illinois, we wouldn't have any bland references to "that one" in debates. No, the Nuge doesn't mince words in his references to the Democratic nominee. Rock on, Ted!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Just Pass the Pepper Only, Please...

Even though gas prices have somewhat normalized in the past few weeks, due to the economy I am trying to save money by consolidating my shopping trips, like a lot of Americans whose last names are not Rockefeller, Morgan, Gates or Buffett.

So, in the same trip that took me to the Home Center, I also found myself for a time in the dollar store - you know those places that sell a bunch of crap made in China, but, since it's only a dollar, you buy it. I'm saving my rant on Chinese made stuff for another post, but will tell you that the three things I bought tonight were made in the U.S.A., which is rapidly becoming known as Los Estados Unidos.

Anyway, on the food and spice aisle, I saw boxes of salt. Iodized, non-iodized, like Morton's salt, with the metal pour spout on the top, except these are unknown brands.

One brand caught my attention: San Francisco Bay Sea Salt.

I know that sea salt is sort of a current fad. In fact, I have some in my pantry. People with more money than brains can pay several dollars for a couple of ounces of specialty sea salt, as opposed to regular salt that sells for 50 cents for nearly a couple of pounds.

San Francisco Bay Sea Salt? Well, surely that must be a Chinese company thinking it's a good marketing angle, right? Wrong! I checked the package, and it was in fact, made-in-the-USA salt from, it proudly exclaimed, San Francisco Bay seawater. Aaaargh!

I'll be putting SFB Sea Salt on my food just about the time I start drinking "Genuine Trinity River Bottled Water" with my Taco Bell combo meal...

D-I-Y Taken Too Far

I like doing handyman work. You know, fixing and building things with my hands. More power, Tim "The Toolman" Taylor kind of stuff. Except I actually know what I'm doing.

Just returned from the Big Orange Box That Sells Building Supplies, and I have to say, I'm shaken to my core. I've always thought it was a good thing for homeowners to get in touch with their inner Bob Vila, Norm Abram, or Dean Johnson and learn how to do some of the basic construction in their homes.

But, after tonight, I'm reconsidering.

Milwaukee makes some of the best power tools in the business. A bit pricey for me, but if I had to make my living with them, they're probably worth it. There's nothing equivalent to the feel of a 15-amp pivoting, orbital SawzAll in your hands - with the right blades, you can demo that stupid mother-in-law room addition to make way for a new media center, or fit that jerk who cut you off on the freeway into a six-quart crock pot. Really good tools.

On a display near all the Christmas specials, Milwaukee has introduced the "M-Spector", a hand-held "Digital Inspection System", the specifications of which follow:
  • Digital technology delivers superior image quality
  • Large, 2.4", high-resolution (320X240) color LCD display
  • Exclusive adjustable image zoom (2x)
  • 3 Stage LED Brightness Control w/ Digital Glare Reduction
  • Up front camera controls for true one-hand operation
  • Rugged, detachable 3' water-tight flexible shaft
  • 3' extension cables also available
  • Small camera head and shaft diameter fit into holes as small as ¾"
  • Thumb Controls for One Hand Operation
  • Model 2300-20 Includes 4 AA batteries, hard case

There's a lot of things I enjoy doing myself, but I'm not sure I even want to know what this is supposed to be used for...

Sheriff Andy, How Could You?

By now you've probably seen the nostalgic campaign ad in which liberal (yet talented) Hollywood director Ron Howard dons a hairpiece and reprises his role from "The Andy Griffith Show", in the end saying: "Pop, I hope when I grow up I'll be able to vote for someone as good as Mr. Obama."

Andy never mentions the politician, just waxes philosophically about people.

Given California's politics, I would of course expect Mr. Howard, Mr. Reiner, Mr. Spielberg, et al to be BO supporters. But really, Andy Griffith lending his support to an ad for Obama?!

Maybe he should've been cast as Goober!

Harvey, There's Someone I'd Like You to Meet...

Honestly, I wasn't even thinking about any classic films or actors when I took this quiz. So, it was a pleasant surprise when I scored the quiz, and the following result returned:

Your result for The Classic Leading Man Test ... Jimmy Stewart

You scored 21% Tough, 10% Roguish, 43% Friendly, and 29% Charming!
You are the fun and friendly boy next door, the classic nice guy who still manages to get the girl most of the time. You're every nice girl's dreamboat, open and kind, nutty and charming, even a little mischievous at times, but always a real stand up guy. You're dependable and forthright, and women are drawn to your reliability, even as they're dazzled by your sense of adventure and fun. You try to be tough when you need to be, and will gladly stand up for any damsel in distress, but you'd rather catch a girl with a little bit of flair. Your leading ladies include Jean Arthur and Donna Reed, those sweet girl-next-door types.
Like I said, I didn't take the test with any particular outcome or movies in mind. I would've been happy if the results had compared me with Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwood, Steve Martin, or Dennis Quaid.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pickens, Schmickens - I'm a Patriot

Some of you know that I have spoken, or written, admiringly of T. Boone Pickens' plan to help us (U.S.) cast off the shackles of dependence on foreign energy sources, specifically, crude oil.

No slavish devotee I, I do at least agree that it's more of plan than the current administration or either Presidential aspirant has put forward. And it troubles me not that Pickens would make a few sheckels if certain aspects of his plan find acceptance - someone will always make some money, no matter what energy delivery mode. He's just putting it on the table, it really would be up to everyone to hash out the particulars. Others, and I, have said: Conserve, drill (ANWR), transition fleet transportation to CNG, plug windpower into the grid, and re-visit nuclear in order to wean ourselves from foreign oil.

Anyway, much as I've thought ol' Boone's plan makes sense, I've decided to go another direction.

Today I read an article about alternative energy sources, and I hereby offer my services to the next administration, McCain or Obama, as our Nation's Energy Czar. Under my supervision, I pledge to personally maximize the USA's research and utilization of new, clean, energy sources.

Work Rules Are Work Rules

At least he's not hanging out at the car wash.

I'm the NKA

First, I have to admit I don't know who this young woman is. But she's apparently riled the anti-knife crowd with a photo of herself shown 'wielding' a bladed instrument.

Said the accompanying article; "Anti-knife activists are concerned over this promotional shot for Katy Perry's album, in which the singer is brandishing a knife." "This woman's behavior is unacceptable. She must be out of her mind to pose for a picture like this," Richard Taylor, a father of a stab victim, says. "Any youngsters seeing her will think it is OK to carry a blade," he adds.

My informal survey indicates that approximately 99.9% of British households at present support the right to keep and bear knives, even though many are used to lacerate bovine, porcine or barnyard flesh prior to mastication on an almost daily basis. Often, these devices can be witnessed in use, many at a time, in common households. Current law does not restrict the number of knives that may be purchased or owned by an individual, nor provide any means for registration to the proper authorities.

One supposes that perhaps this is a nascent movement to restrict, possibly ban, the use of knives in the U.K., modeled after the successful gun bans (page 43) in that country.

By the way, when will that naughty, naughty 007 give up his PPK? Isn't he setting a bad example?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


MSN Dictionary defines this term as:

- imitation of sound in words: the formation or use of words that imitate the sound associated with something, e.g. "hiss" and "buzz".

It's also been commonly defined as a word that sounds like what it is or describes.

So, with that in mind, I thought of the coronation that many in this country seem to believe is inevitable for one Barack H. Obama. Many describe with glee the prospect of his election creating an Obama-Nation.

Such a prospect gives me no glee, but, in the spirit of onomatopoeia, I can agree it would probably be what it sounds like.

Born to be Mild

Since you've seen various two-wheelers on this site, you recognize the theme. Now, I want to share one that I'm not making fun of. This is an example of my first motorcycle that I bought (second-hand, for $125) when I was eleven.
The seat was a rough naugahyde something or other, and it gave good grip to my blue jeans during rough riding. It possessed two rear sprockets - by inserting an extra length of chain with quick links, you could turn it into a rock-crawlin' dude, but no speed. The only downside to this bike was that the fuel tank had a 1/4" vertical seam (hard to see in the photo) running fore and aft down the top centerline. If you were on rough terrain and happened to shift your body too far fore, it could be painful. At 80cc, this weren't no barn burner, but I sure had many hours of fun on my Old Red.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Songs That Resonate

This has rattled around AOL music columns under several labels. It's still one of my favorite stories, about the best musical kiss-offs:

'Go Your Own Way'--Fleetwood Mac (1977)

The Kiss-Off: "Packing up, shackin' up's all you want to do"

Stevie Nicks supposedly insisted that her then-boyfriend, bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, remove the line from this enthusiastic sayonara, which gave the Mac arguably their most enduring hit. Buckingham refused, and he had the added satisfaction of getting his soon-to-be-ex to sing backup on her own send-off.

Interesting Names...

I guess I’ve sort of established that I like to look at, and sometimes poke fun of, interesting motorcycles. I was reading one of my favorite magazines when I came across the following advertisement, together with the accompanying copy:

John Taliaferro Thompson founded the Auto-Ordnance Corporation in 1916 with John Blish and Thomas Fortune Ryan to design and develop a hand held machine gun. The product of this collaboration was the world famous “Tommy Gun.”
Since its inception, the “Tommy Gun” has become an American icon.
Carried by G-men and colorful characters like Al Capone and John Dillinger in the 1920’s and 30’s and trusted by our soldiers in WWII. The Thompson was the coveted weapon among specialized troops such as Rangers, Marine Raiders, armored and parachute units. The “Tommy Gun” went on to see
service in Korea and Vietnam. At Auto-Ordnance we take great pride in continuing General Thompson’s legacy by producing finely crafted semi-automatic versions of the historic Thompson submachine gun. Put a piece of history in your hands. Own a Thompson! Made with Pride in the U.S.A.

I guess I knew at one time, and had since forgotten, John Thompson's middle name, Taliaferro.

What I'm curious about is its pronunciation. Is it like it's spelled, or did he say "Tolliver"?

Just wondering.

Trigger Would Never Do This...

From the animal kingdom come these reports of horses. Clearly, these specimens were not in mind when the term "horse sense" was coined.

The second panel raises the question: "If Tonto is riding a horse that has been gorging itself on fermented apples, should the Lone Ranger write him a ticket?"

Monday, October 20, 2008


Some days, you find articles that are seemingly custom made for the blogosphere. Without further comment, consider the following about a hapless and lonely man in Michigan, code named "Herbert Hoover".

Are Your Loins Girded?

Now comes word, via a Joe Biden campaign speech, that the Delaware Senator who would be VP advises us to "gird up our loins". After first checking my daughter's whereabouts and confirming that the last Democratic President was not running amok in my community, I read further to learn that Senator Biden meant that we, the great unwashed masses should prepare ourselves for actions we don't agree with. It turns out that They Who Have All The Answers want us to understand that, in a BO administration, "...if [decisions are] popular, they're probably not sound."

I certainly understand and agree that popularity and rectitude often lack a positive correlation (how else do you explain Britney Spears?). But it doesn't logically follow that they are mutually exclusive, or that there's "probably" an inverse correlation. Moreover, though, possessing a few shards of intelligence, I resent the inference that being on the right side of an issue with a majority of people who believe as I do is an indicator that my thought process is somehow unsound.

Though there's never a perfect candidate, I'll be voting for candidates who believe that "the people" (and don't have difficulty understanding this term - can you say "Heller"?), not bureaucrats, determine our government.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Hope I'm Not Too Late...

My friend and fellow blogger Todd (so far, he is the real blogger, and I a poseur - I'm working hard to catch up) recently wrote of an incident in which a non-English speaking person had some car trouble, inasmuch as her battery apparently had given out. Todd is a very good writer, and makes excellent use of imagery, narrative, and dialogue: "Click-click-click", began his blog post. The entry went on to say that he attempted to help the woman from her predicament, but due to the language barrier, she understood nary a word.

Now, I often read Todd's posts, then submit as many wise-acre comments as I can muster, and occasionally offer insightful commentary, replete with not a few references to Don Henley, Shakespeare, or both. But, I digress, frequently.

Setting the tone for his piece on communication by using the nearly universally understood "click-click-click" was a stroke of brilliant writing, but not to be left unpunished. I wracked my brain to come up with some goofball cracks, with varying degrees of success.

Then it occurred to put the "click-click-click" into another context. After all, he had said that the woman was, presumably, Spanish-speaking, so I thought: "Why not use the clicks instead as the sound of castanets?" So, one Google and thirty-eight seconds later, I'm knee-deep in information about Mexican Dance, which brings me to the subject of this blog entry (did I mention I digress?).

Seems that in Mexico there is a deer dance, in which a participant wears a headdress consisting of, well, the head of a deer. From the pictures I saw, these are REAL deer heads, not made in China or Taiwan.

And so, dear reader(s), given that we are into October (archery and youth season already open), and rifle season is just around the corner, DO NOT, for any reason, agree to participate in a "deer dance" at the behest of your amigos. You could give venison a bad name (or taste).


Next blog: "Tragedy Ensues as VP Hopeful Sarah Palin Visits Fraternal Order of Moose Lodge"


I think I established previously that I am against ridiculously expensive motorcycles that serve no function.

Now comes this, and I'm not sure really what to think. It's probably not expensive, and you could say it serves a practical purpose - no need to wait to finish bathing before leaving for work!
Anyway, I'll let y'all decide:

h/t: "That Dude" @

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Periscope Not Included

Recently, we were treated with this year's Neiman-Marcus Fantasy Christmas catalog - just chock full o' stuff that makes no sense whatever, and that, in all likelihood, even people who have means would not buy. As my friend Todd correctly points out, and encourages others to do, there are better ways to steward one's financial treasures (if you're lucky enough to have any left), such as Samaritan's Purse, and I'm sure a good many other worthy organizations.
One of this year's N-M entries was a really goofy (and uncomfortable looking) carbon fiber/titanium motorcycle selling for $110,000.

Now, I'd like to have a motorcycle, but if I had that kind of money, I could have eleven, which I don't need. Anyway, it was ugly, but the attached photos show what I believe is a close runner up in the 'stupidity' class. I wonder when someone will try to take a fiberglass carousel pony and try to mount it over an S&S V-twin?

One notes that there are no pictures of a rider astride this cat, as it would likely highlight a major shortcoming, namely, visibility.

Wonder if this is the bike of choice for the Black Panthers?