Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Wishes

To the mother of my kids, and to Todd the Blogger, who share the same birthday, two or three years apart.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How could they not know?

An Ocala, Florida ice cream store has discontinued using the following mascot, after some area residents complained that it resembled - can you believe it - a KKK robe.

While I've never seen a Grand Wizard with sprinkles (heck, I've never seen an actual Grand Wizard or any Klan member in person, for that matter), there's no way they wouldn't have recognized the similarity.

Knowing just enough about guerrilla marketing to be dangerous, it's my considered opinion that this was intentional, and got them free pub the two month old store would never have had the capital to afford.

Oh, the humanity!

Local news outlet reports that 30 Dallas zoo patrons were stranded for 90 minutes today on a monorail in sweltering, 90 degree heat*.

"We were freaking out; everyone was freaking out," Jessica Tell said. "There's no other way to get us down? It's 40 feet up! I wasn't prepared to do that ... I can't go down in sandals. It was a very shocking, scary experience

*For those readers who feel 90 degrees is hot, please understand we've just been through a summer with 70 days of over 100 degrees - today was quite pleasant by comparison.

The TV news reported that many of the riders were, gasp!, children.

Do you suppose those kiddos will breathlessly tell their friends about the black rhinos or giraffes they saw at the zoo - or the fun adventure with the ladder truck crew?


Weekend wrap up

Of late almost all of my posts have been 'phoned in'- figuratively, that is, as I've relegated to just linking some songs and posting photos that caught my attention.
A lot of thoughts rattle around, though, which at some point I feel compelled to journal (whether anyone reads them or not). It probably has the effect of making me appear a curmudgeon - something which I've many times acknowledged.
  • A radio ad that I've been hearing lately is trying to lure buyers to purchase lakeview and lakeside lots because they're a better investment than stocks or gold.
  • First point of order: Gold is a store of value, not an investment - it does not intrinsically generate any revenue stream.  It may appreciate in value, and conversely, may depreciate.
  • Second point of order: For those sleeping during the 2008-present real estate market downturn - real estate may not be such the great investment.  With the exception of income-producing properties, real estate is at present as volatile as other investment vehicle, but with the added bonus of being incrementally confiscated every year through property taxes, the imposition of which is not subject to the owner's control, as well as various and sundry maintenance/upkeep costs.
  • Land may offer the owner a certain utility (primary shelter) or recreation (lake/beach/mountain home) factor, but it shouldn't cloud the investment analysis. 
  • Disclosure - At the time of this rant, I did not own or control significant positions in gold or stocks (nor too much real estate either, for that matter).
  • One week into the new TV lineup, just within the past half-hour, two prime time sit-coms have used the word masturbation.  Well, isn't that special?
  • As much as anyone, I'm in touch with my inner prude (no, I wasn't always one - in junior high and high school I could do Rich Little spot-on recitations of a score of Carlin, Pryor, or Redd Foxx routines).  Similar material, though, is now standard fare for early evening TV.  The amount of cultural garbage entering the typical American home & family life is staggering.
  • Yeah, I know - there's an off switch on the TV.  So I used it.
  • With the TV off, I forgot about Monday Night Football.
  • Oh, well.  Didn't bother me.
  • I'm not saying you read it here first, but Barack Obama will not be the Democratic candidate in 2012.
  • Not just because his hometown Chicago Trib has advised him to not run, though it's a factor. 
  • Despite his current fundraising on the left coast, the next quarter will likely mark a significant downturn in his ability to maintain a campaign war chest.  Though Wall Street is typically thought of as Republican, the truth is much different, and 'streeters' are shifting their donations to Romney.  Mind you, these are people who invest large sums for a living, they are not going long on a perceived loser.  You don't get any ROI if your guy doesn't win.
  • Even if he had a good plan, Obama cannot turn the current economic situation around.  And he doesn't have a plan, much less a good one.
  • Romney, Perry, Christie, or Cain - any of them could likely best BHO, easily, whether the election were November 2011 or 2012.  If BHO were the candidate, wouldn't a Cain-Obama contest be interesting?  Tough to play the race card there.
  • Who'll be the candidate, then?  Hillary, of course.  She's been pretty low-key lately, careful not to appear disloyal to the administration she serves.   The media have instead used Bill as a proxy, to keep the Clinton name active.
  • While Obama's Wall Street donations slow to a trickle, the Clintons enjoy solid support there.  1999's Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, though R-sponsored (and which factored significantly into the present economic implosion), was signed into law by WJC. 
  • Her major campaign theme will be "I didn't get us into this mess", with an implied undertone of "Vote for me - get Bill in the bargain.  Remember how good your life was in the '90s?"
  • Most voters will have no idea what the Rose Law Firm or Whitewater were, much less care.  Or even that National Healthcare, now heading for Supreme Court review, was previously pitched by HRC.
  • With Hill as the D-candidate, I wouldn't hazard a wager on the election.
  • Lastly (on this subject, anyway), who do you think has the stronger drive to be President?   I'm not making any predictions right now of how the candidacy will transition, but transition it will.
  • Well, I'm feeling my oats today.
  • Over at the Merry Prankster blog this weekend there was a post about a family upset in Nevada when their daughter's band director [accidentally] sent them a text referring to said daughter as a b____ and a c___.  The commenters to the post mostly ridiculed the family and agreed the daughter was a 'drama queen'.
  • Reading the story that was attached to the post, there wasn't really sufficient evidence to determine whether the premise was true or not.  So, one would have to conclude that the chorus of apologia for the name-calling teacher had more to do with bias than the actual elements of the situation.  But, again working from the evidence as presented, I would say that if any school personnel were so careless as to accidentally text me and refer to any of my children in a similar fashion, there would be issues.
  • Not advocating that he be fired, but if I referred to my customers/constituency in that manner, and were stupid enough to let slip that sort of communiqué, I expect that I would be.  Being a teacher is in the public trust, and demands a higher standard of conduct.  Turning the tables, I would not allow my children to refer to their teachers that way, either.
  • Since the Labor Day weekend I've allowed my facial hair to grow, in what I guess you'd call a Van Dyke (I didn't know that's what it was called until just now researching it).
  • Growing tired of it, I decided to get some feedback from co-workers.  (Hint: Bad idea.)
  • Two, one woman, one man, advised me to shave it.  Two other women liked it, and one added that I would look "odd" without it - she's known me over two years without facial hair and only now tells me I'm odd-looking without it?  Thanks.  The last, another woman, suggests I shave the white, chin portion, and keep a moustache and soul patch.
  • The last time I wore a moustache-only I was in my freshman or sophomore year of college - it was so cheesy I vowed never to do it again. 
  • I may try the soul-patch only, though.  Just to look subversive.
  • 'Night.  My fingers are tired.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekend Retro-rock

Hall & Oates jammin' live from the Troubador:

Oh, yeah - Dew, before you remind me that this is paleolithic (am I using too many syllables?) - remember what blog you've tuned into - everything here is retro...

Friday, September 23, 2011


As if driving on I-35 wasn't hazardous enough:

(Click to enlargenate to read the yellow bumper stickers)

OK, we didn't have ourselves so much of a convoy as we had a parking lot, good buddy.

For an interesting explanation of how radio (APCO) Ten-codes (now largely obsolete) came to be developed, click here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Halloween's near...

Wouldn't this be just the berries for your Halloween tailgate party?

How to tell if your postman is a munchkin

Well, your mailbox might look like this:

Very punny...

Yeah, I like bad puns:

Real estate crisis? What real estate crisis?

"Parsonages a specialty!"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thanks, Dude...

For bringing some cooler weather, and rain,  last week:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

'Roundhouse Midnight

Yesterday morning, I arrive to work, noticing I have a text from former colleague Shay:

"Chuck Norris made Journey stop believing."

Recognizing the genre, I picked up the gauntlet, responding throughout the day [in between, uh,  important work], with the following, mostly song references:
  • CN can check out from AND leave the Hotel California.  Anytime.
  • CN messes with Slim AND Leroy Brown.  At the same time.
  • CN CAN get satisfaction.  Always.
  • CN passed The Point of Know Return, and returned. Twice.
  • CN illuminated the Dark Side of the Moon.
  • CN swam away from The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.  Wearing hip waders.
  • CN completed the Boston Marathon AND the Gumball Rally in seven minutes.  Concurrently. On a unicycle.  Backwards.
In return, Shay responded with several additional entries:
  • CN sleeps with a pillow under his gun.
  • CN once urinated in the fuel tank of a semi truck as a joke.  Today that truck is known as Optimus Prime.   (I had to look up that reference.)
  • CN doesn't have to flush toilets.  He scares the ____ out of them.
  • All in all, CN is NOT just another brick in the wall.  (Wonder where he got THAT one?)
  • The opening scene of Private Ryan was loosely based on a dodgeball game CN played in 3rd grade.
  • CN lost his virginity before his father did.
  • "The Most Interesting Man in the World" only has that title because CN was through using it.
  • CN's tears cure cancer.  Too bad he's never cried.
Speaking of important work, I had to go to the courthouse yesterday - the one that, until my oldest son was about six years old, we referred to as "Walker's Courthouse" (since it was supposedly where Walker had his office).  Yeah, I had to run about 100 yards back to my colleague's car when I realized I had my penknife with me - one I've carried since about 1996.  No way I'm giving that up.  The security guy said he'd have done the same.

    Keepin' it straight...

    Bert and Ernie take to the road to dispel rumors that they're gay:

    The rumors apparently began from each making statements to media outlets that throughout their careers they had been continually groped from below and behind by the other.  The forty plus year controversy was finally put to rest when the pair were informed that they're puppets.

    Jellin' with Ellen...

    "So, it was like in the middle of sophomore year, fifth period algebra.  Tom leans over toward my desk and starts whisperin' something in my ear.  I tried to shush him, but he wouldn't give up.  Finally Mrs. Teewinkle looks over and says she's gonna make both of us stand in the hall until the end of class if we don't cut it out."

    "What happened then, did you break into a dance?"

    "No.  Tom spent the next several minutes with a pencil and some paper, and when Mrs. Teewinkle wasn't looking passed me a folded up message."

    "Was it a love note?"

    "No,  he doesn't roll that way.  It was a drawing.  Really exquisite art.  I still get a tingle when I think about that."

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    In time of crisis, where do you turn?

    Who can you blame?  Who do you praise?  Has anyone had it as bad as Job?
    That's someone I need to remember next time I start to feeling sorry for myself...

    The final episode of Plan B, from 9/10/11:

    PLAN-B: Part 4 from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

    Like the first responders entering the twin towers as the workers exited, someone's waiting to enter our lives to make a difference, even if everyone else is walking out.

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    The Good Doctor

    Carl Hilding "Doc" Severinsen, one of the musical greats, performing Leon Russell's A Song for You:

    I was originally looking for a copy of MF playing The Spirit of St. Frederick, but the sound quality wasn't quite what I'd hoped for.  It's from It's My Time, and sounds amazing through some Carvers or Bose, Sennheisers or Koss.

    And because of the date (I originally drafted this post on 9/11/11),  here's  another Maynard clip that's apropos:

    The end of summer is near...

    So the Sno-Cone stands are closing for the season, including this one:

    Now, I don't know what the secret ingredient is in the little blue sno-cone. 

    But I think if Limp Willie tried one, he might not look so sad...

    Say it isn't so

    I'm gonna surprise you - I get some/lots of emails from conservative groups, mostly demanding me to write my elected officials and/or send money.  I also recently got an email thanking me for my past support of President Obama (at least that's what the subject line said).  WTH?  Of course, it may have also been from a conservative group, a ploy to get me to open the email - either way, it didn't work.

    The other day, I got a message reading Obama Begins Passing Anti-Gun Laws Via Executive Fiat.

    Well, I once owned a Fiat 850 Spyder, right out of high school, so I'm skeptical.

    I really can't imagine much of anything being passed by an executive Fiat.

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Because I couldn't remember...

    ...whether this person was half-Mexican or half-Italian:

    Turns out Sonny was of Italian descent.

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    The times, they have a-changed

    This was posted over at the Jar-Jar Chronicles this morning - a look back on those monochrome days a half-century or more ago:

    Heck, even I'm smart enough to know that approach won't fly in getting me a 'helpmate' here in the '90s, er, I mean the 21st century.

    Here's a differing perspective: