Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Importance of Being the Earnest T. Bass-o-matic¹

  • Continuing on the theme of  'it's a strange campaign season', HRC has tried to bring the Oscars' diversity topic - or lack of same - up as an issue.  Maybe the circus blogger is right - we're at idiocracy.
  • I could not care less what a presidential candidate - any of them - thinks about the Oscars.  It has zero relevance to the office to which they aspire.
  • BTW, I noticed that The Pursuit of Happyness, garnered Will Smith an Oscar nomination in 2007.  He lost out in that category to Forest Whitaker's portrayal of Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland
  • I had no idea Idi Amin was from Archer County.
  • This afternoon at the supermarket, I ran into the lady who hired me, as a 20-year old college kid, to work the afternoon drive shift at the local bank.  While I have aged quite a bit and matured just a little, she still looks as lovely as ever.  I texted a mutual colleague of the chance meeting, who responded, in agreement, saying "Sugar wouldn't melt in her mouth."  
  • We both lamented that banking as we practiced it doesn't exist anymore.
  • My town has one each of the blue and orange home centers, but we still have a real hardware store (as well as a respectable Ace Hardware).  You can even find these there:
In a few weeks, this area will probably be reset to 
make room for the baby chicks.

One of the few places that has more
knives than I do.
  • Since I'm not running for office, I can comment on entertainment news.  Michael Douglas said in a recent interview, about his reconciliation with hot wife Catherine Zeta-Jones: "I don't think there's much chance of fixing a relationship if one of you is already out the door."  True that, brah.
Looking quite like the old man.
  • He's not quite as old now as his father was when he appeared in this video (title mis-spelled).
  • I may watch a few minutes of the GOP debates.
  • No Nostradamus I, I am finding it interesting that there continue to be new news stories, with regularity, about Mitt Romney, as he is not a candidate.  The American Conservative ran this piece today about George Romney.
  • Affluenza kid is back in Texas.  Over lunch a couple of weekends ago, former FIL likened Ethan Couch's parents to the parents at the school where his daughter teaches.
  • Lastly, Ammon Bundy has finally told his followers to go home.  If he had read MWB and followed this blog author's advice, maybe that other guy would be alive, and they could go home to their own beds.
  • ¹Weird, Wilde stuff, right Ed?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Help me out...

  • Is it just me, or is this shirt playing tricks with my eyes?

Indoors, with incandescent light

Outside (in the car), in sunlight
  • In the bedroom, with clear incandescent bulbs, it looks like a medium taupe or faded cranberry, but outside, it's clearly green.  What gives?
  • I think it was in New Hampshire where Bernie Sanders was running a campaign ad featuring Simon & Garfunkel's America.  Absolutely brilliant!  Heck, watching it, I was ready to vote for Bernie.
  • Until the commercial ended - then I of course remembered I don't vote for Socialists.
  • I received my AAA battery holders for the planned repair of my auto-darkening welding helmet, one week after ordering them.  For some reason, the Ebay seller in NJ denominated the sale in CAD.  Interestingly, my purchase of 10 holders cost only about $5 US and included the shipping, which came via FedEx/USPS.
  • Oldest son texted me this picture from the FWSSR, with the message "It's cool seeing something you personally did at the Stock Show":
He says the beadlocks are not so bad,
if you know what you're doing. 
  • I haven't been to the Stock Show since 2013.  For several years, I attended, work related, and always enjoyed it.
  • Got a haircut last Friday.  Saturday I woke up with my hair looking like a pointy fauxhawk, but after a shower it was normal.
  • A molester should not try to steal more knives than he can carry:
  • Somehow, I don't think "Shaunna" is the girl for me:
- Hello there.. ... Really hope you have thought of those things you let me know, in that old dtng cite where we had a chat, but I didn't like it much there. I just basically hope to come across real men and have lots of fun, instead of typing my life away, lol. With the help of my co-worker I put all my atfo at |luvblwjobs] |c0m] get at -lzyzuu6780- there... there; pls put up your photo so I will know you. Hit me back soon, I can t wait to have some fun !!

  • No, I never had any 'chat' with any 'Shaunna' on any dating site/'cite'.
  • Will Michael Bloomberg, if he runs, be 2016's Ross Perot?  My sense is that he would siphon votes from the Democrat side if he does.
  • I have some favorite jeans where the zipper is missing a tooth, right near the bottom of its travel. Some time back, I handstitched several threads across the tracks to keep the pull thingy from going so far as to go off track. But after dozens of wearings and several washings, my fix was no longer up to the job. I figured out an easier hack: hot glued the zipper just above the break, and pressed the zipper flap against it - now the pull thingy has no way to go off the track. 
  • Carson the other night had 'Hanoi Jane' on, wearing the hippie-dippiest outfit.  Apparently it was 1977, as she was pitching her movie Julia.  On the same episode were Orson Bean and comic Skip Stevenson.  Orson Bean is still alive - his daughter is Andrew Breitbart's widow.  Stevenson, who looked like Richard Carpenter's brother, died in 1992.
  • Driving to Denton on Monday morning, Jody Dean suggested that the Eagles could invite Jackson Browne or J. D. Souther to fill out their line up.  Has he been reading MWB?
  • To clarify, I was driving to Denton.  I assume Jody Dean was in a Dallas studio.
  • In anticipation of my physical exam today, I have been eating oatmeal and healthy food lately (not that I indulge in much bad food).
  • I told the doctor's assistant that I knew he wouldn't find Jimmy Hoffa in there.

Friday, January 22, 2016

This post has no title

  • ...just words and some pictures¹.  I was tired last night and thought I'd saved it in [Miller Genuine] draft form only.
  • If anybody remembers Pat Boone, he would pick a Trump/Fiorina (or Carson) team to run against HRC.  I agree with him about Fiorina.  Carson may be a good cabinet pick, but he's not a forceful leader, and at this stage, not right for the job.
  • I think there are two or three better GOP standard bearers than Trump.  On the Democrat side, I wouldn't entirely rule out a dark horse candidacy for Biden, in the event HRC gets dragged down by DOJ or Bill issues, and the DNC steps in and says "no way in hell" Sanders will be their nominee.  It already seems almost likely the RNC may do the same regarding Trump.
  • "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."  Many years ago, we mocked Dean Wormer's authoritarianism, just like all those '60s hippies, counterculturists, musicians and other artists instructed us to do.  But after a couple of generations of those kind of values, and seeing where it's gotten us, I'm in agreement with the Dean.  And it kind of gives some insight - maybe - into why Trump is getting more support than any of us imagined (but he's still not my choice for President).
  • While I still enjoy coffee occasionally, tea has become my morning beverage of choice.  Of late, I've become quite fond of Chai latte, made with vanilla almond milk and sweetened with Stevia.
  • No, not from Starbucks - you think I'd pay those prices?
  • Mulder and Scully are on Kimmel tonight, talking about how they did or didn't actually get along on the set.  Kind of déjà vu, having watched Cybill Shepherd on Carson last night (from the late '80s), describing the antagonism between her and Bruce Willis.
  • Moonlighting is the next TV show that Antenna TV or ME TV should bring back.  I could watch Atomic Shakespeare every week.  Plus, there's that great Al Jarreau theme song.
What chick wouldn't dig a dude with a sunglasses-wearing Mr. Ed?

She doth, she doth.  Ahh, wedded bliss - at least until the gag comes off...
  • I saw Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan Chaka Khan in July 1987 at the Starfest grounds at Park Central, with a cute girl from my church.  The relationship never really developed, but it was a near perfect evening, eating grapes and cheese from the picnic basket, and driving home with the T-tops removed from my 280-ZX 2+2.
The top one is a reasonable approximation of the one I owned, 
but my paint matched.
  • Tell me something good?  You may not gonna like this, but Chaka Khan is not as hot as Madeline Kahn was, IMO.
  • I mentioned the Playboy mansion in a recent post.  Now comes word that the self-proclaimed First Amendment champion (but in reality a low-life slimeball) founder of another skin mag has offered...wait for it...something quite a bit less than $100 million for the property.
  • This past week I received a fancy-schmantzy package "An Exclusive Offer for Our Future Driver" from BMW.  Addressed to me.  Their data mining company should fire its assayist.
¹ Apologies to Bernie...

Oh, I wish we weren't such Oscar [Louis B.] Mayer whiners...

  • If it weren't serious, the current presidential campaign's embrace of social media would be laughable.  The back-and-forth Twitter and Instagram snark bites between candidates seems more apropos of a 6th grade student government election than leader of the free world.
  • I don't remember in what decade I last watched the Oscars.  I don't watch, because I don't see that many films when they're first released - it's just not a big deal to me.
  • Will Smith will apparently acquiesce to wife Jada's request that he boycott the awards show, on account of the Academy did not vote for any actors/directors of color.
  • Here's an idea: Why don't BET, Jet, the wet pets and Dr. Seuss release their own objective choices for the movie winners, instead of just carping that there's not enough inclusion, blah, blah, blah?  Then, they could be on the record for exactly who they think is best, instead of sniping from the shadows.
  • Obviously, whether a movie or actor has Oscar nominations or awards has no effect on whether I will watch a film - except maybe The Sound of Music, which I will watch almost every time it airs.
I lived in Austria in junior high school, and hiked/backpacked
 in the Alps not so far from where this was filmed
  • Has anyone heard Michael Moore scold the Washington DC officials, and ask for resignations and indictments of the Mayor and POTUS for their roles in not protecting the district from the snowstorm?  Yeah, probably not.
  • A resale store owner in Redmond, WA, called the police because someone dropped off a bag of dresses that included a KKK robe and hood.  She believes it was an act of intimidation.  She could be correct of course, although Redmond seems a quite unlikely hotbed of Klan activity.  Not trying to spin this, but maybe it was a symbolic surrendering of the items by someone who decided that the KKK doesn't fit in the modern worldview.  Who knows?  Edit:  Some of the comments following the article - notwithstanding the dolts asking "how much does she want for it?" - suggest that maybe it was donated by a widow who didn't know how to dispose of it, or, that the shop owner planted it to get some pub for her store.
  • If I were the shop owner, I'd donate it to a local community theatre group's wardrobe department, for use in Larry Shue's The Foreigner, a farcical play depicting the thwarting of a racist plot.
  • I portrayed the Rev. David Marshall Lee in an 1990 or 1991 area production of the play.  After its initial run, our troupe played two weekend performances in Jefferson, and then two in Dallas at the Grand Theater.
  • My last, and probably favorite, stage role was as Elwood P. Dowd in 1991.  Oldest son was born the next year, and priorities changed.
  • I still have the portrait, stored away, depicting me (Elwood), with [a kind of menacing looking] Harvey over my shoulder.  At the time, I had to use theatrical silver hairspray to age my temples for the role.  Now, I'd have to use Just for Men so as not to look like Elwood's father...

kwazy wabbit...
  • I never won a Tony Award.  Boo-hoo.
  • [cue tiny violins]

In pace requiescat

Lyrics to this song, written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin (Already Gone), were included in the announcement from the Frey family and the Eagles, that Glenn had passed away.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rainy Days and Thursdays

  • Colt, iconic manufacturer of the Single Action Army Model of 1873 (dubbed 'Peacemaker') revolver, 1911 self-loader, and M-16 rifle, is emerging from bankruptcy for the second time in a quarter-century.  The new CEO vows to re-balance the company's military/civilian/commercial production.
  • So what happened?  Complacency.  The company had become too dependent on government sales (a lesson one would think they'd have learned when Beretta was awarded the M9 contract), and missed much of the civilian firearms resurgence.  
'Paterson' No. 5 - Choice of Republic of Texas Navy 
  • On their website catalog you can find AR-15 variants, SAA and New Frontier revolvers, and 1911 variants.  But no Diamondback/Cobra/Python/Anacondas, the highly acclaimed revolvers which now bring exorbitant prices in the secondary market.  
  • If I were back in college, I'd love to do a case study on the company, as it appears that the company now has either zero or miniscule market share in product lines that it originated.  Single action cowboy revolvers are now dominated by Ruger, Henry, and Italian and Brazilian firms.  No Colt Lightning carbines. No Colt shotguns (although, to be fair, this was never their forte).  Colt's gone from the double action market, as well.  Most 1911s are now produced by companies other than Colt, some of which risked cannibalization of their internally developed product lines to offer a version of John Moses Browning's venerable self loader (Ruger, S&W, Sig Sauer, et al).  The company does seem to retain a reasonable position in the AR-15 market, though far from a dominating market share.
  • Martin Mull was on Carson [reruns] recently.  He was much more of a serious guy than I'd have imagined, considering himself primarily a painter. Interestingly, his Wikipedia page makes no mention of the two books he co-authored: The History of White People in America, and A Paler Shade of White, although it does reference the TV show of the same name.  Not sure if that's some form of political correctness or just an omission.
These are my people, my roots
  • Upon receiving an email purporting to be a Peggy Noonan essay supporting the other Donald, I checked Snopes (while in some regards I find the site to be biased, it's a good starting point), which of course showed the attribution to the respected Ms. Noonan was false.  While I was there, though, I learned of a spoof news story that'd made the rounds, claiming the British would reclaim the USA if Trump were elected.

  • In response to the fake news bit, someone was cheeky enough to write [not Lindsey] Buckingham Palace, and actually received a response (redaction Snopes').
  • The classic Fleetwood Mac lineup reportedly has/have one last album in the works.
Cheer up, Lindsey.  The chick that every high school dude
in my day wanted *as girlfriend* has her arm draped over you.

  • Over a dozen years ago, after two decades of using an electric razor, I returned to using blades.  I have found that I prefer the three and four blade varieties, but I still experiment with other configurations if I think I can get a closer, more comfortable, shave.  Last week, I purchased a 6-pack of six bladed razors, thinking I'd found the holy grail. 

  • Actual photograph of my tonsorial experience
    • Unfortunately, it didn't work out as I'd planned, and I arrived at work with about a half dozen bits of tissue paper affixed to my countenance, no styptic pencils having been anywhere to be found.
    • Although the markets have been unwell thus far in 2016, increasing the Fed Funds rate - gradually - is a baby step toward restoring rationality to the economy.
    • From the breech, the Chiappa Triple Crown shotgun is interesting, maybe almost elegant:
    • But from the muzzle...not so much:

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

    Already Gone?

    • Being an Eagles fan from way back, I'm of course bummed by the news of Glenn Frey's death.  When I was 16, I worked at a ice cream/fast food place, and a family friend in the record business offered to get me tickets to their DCC Hotel California tour show.  But, as luck would have it, I could not get the night off from work, and my upbringing would not allow me to call in 'sick'.  A couple of years ago, a friend (the same one who got me the inscribed Henley CD covers) invited me to go to their show at the AAC.  Arguably, it was the better show.
    • I've said for years that any genuine iteration of the Eagles would have to have Frey and Henley at its core.  Wonder if the remaining members will ever perform again as Eagles (after Henley's Cass County tour ends)?  Although no one can replace Frey, a Henley/Walsh/Schmit/Souther lineup would be worth seeing, and hearing.  J. D., of course, partnered with Frey in Longbranch Pennywhistle prior to the Eagles, and turned the Detroit native on to country rock, and frequently collaborated with the Eagles.
    • Adding Jackson Browne to the mix could be interesting, as well, but with a solo catalog that rivals, or exceeds, the Eagles' collective output, there'd be lots of concertgoers unhappy because their favorite song (from whichever artist) wasn't played.  Still, as these guys age, the idea of spreading the duties in a band dynamic might be appealing.  Another twist would be adding Detroit native Bob Seger to the line up - he collaborated on Heartache Tonight (which would have been this post's title if I'd written it last night), and performed, uncredited, on the song; Frey sang on Ramblin Gamblin' Man, and Against the Wind.  
    • Hey, some folks have their fantasy football/baseball/basketball teams - I have my fantasy rock-n-roll bands.  Get Over It¹.
    • J. C. Penney is returning to the appliance business in a pilot program in 22 of its stores.  My initial thought was that that is a crowded marketplace segment, but then I remembered a mid-size refrigerator I'd seen in the local home center, which had its price fluctuate from $679 all the way down to $528 and I think now sells at around $628.  That indicates to me that the margins must be decent.
    • Because the appliance category doesn't lend itself well to click shopping, the move adds the 'halo' effect of potential buyers (usually both spouses, if married) passing the Sephora, St. John's Bay, and Arizona Jeans kiosks/areas, so it's good exposure for their softlines.
    • Back when I was a kid, Penney's sold power tools also, and even firearms if I'm not mistaken.  I think I may even have an old Penney's-labeled sabre saw or 1/4 inch drill.  Update: Penney's firearms were sold under the 'Foremost' banner.  I don't own any of them, but do have one each of Sears' Ted Williams and J. C. Higgins models.
    Internet photo
    • One of the features of the Carson show that you don't see on late night anymore was the mix of 'ordinary' people that Johnny included in his guest line-up.  Last night he had the editor of Omni (?) magazine's puzzle page, and recently he had a truck driver, who at the time, had racked up the most miles driven.  Of course, last night also featured a 29 year young comic named Jerry Seinfeld.
    • I'm wondering if Bernie Sanders has peaked. A barrage of news articles appeared over the weekend, some about his rape essay from the '60s or '70s, and some about his hardcore socialist leanings and trips to Nicaragua.  Today I saw a piece that says he favors a $17+ trillion tax increase.  That kind of talk, of course, doesn't win elections.  One wonders how much information was packaged for the reporters by the HRC campaign staff.
    • It's hard to say who has the bigger balls, Trump or Hillary, but her capitalizing on the Flint, Michigan water situation is bizarre.  In the Sunday night debate, HRC said (italics mine): "...And the governor of that state acted as though he didn't really care. He had a request for help and he had basically stone walled. I'll tell you what, if the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had been drinking contaminated water and being bathed in it, there would've been action."  Hypocrisy much, Hillary?  Think those words won't show up with images of Benghazi in the fall campaign?  I'll bet Carville texted her before she left the stage with "R U stupid or what?"
    • In other election year news, Dr. Ben Carson has suspended his campaign, following a bad car crash that left several of his staffers injured.  I suspect that the 'susp-' in suspended will prove to be superfluous.  Also on the GOP side, Ohio's John Kasich is said to be coming up behind that other Donald.
    • The past few years there's been much criticism of police officers becoming judge/jury/executioner.  In most cases - though not all - it boils down to a split second decision, usually in defense mode. Tonight, seeing a documentary on Bonnie & Clyde, I was reminded that I'd recently wondered if the legal system had been sidestepped.  Last night I discussed the issue with a colleague, who said they'd sealed their fate when they murdered those State Troopers at the corner of  Dove and 114 (in current day Southlake).  Sounds about right.
    • Accounts dispute whether it was Bonnie or Henry Methvin who initiated the murders of the Troopers.
    •  I have been a first-class klutz today.  This morning, I turned on the bathroom faucet, with the stopper set, then stepped into the shower.  When I emerged, water was streaming across the counter and onto the bathroom floor (the overflow didn't keep up with the rate of flow).  This evening, while replacing the $&#@!% child-proof cap on a prescription bottle, it slipped and nearly two dozen tablets were strewn on the bathroom floor.  Thankfully, they are super inexpensive tablets, so I just chunked them in the toilet.
    • Entered into a gentleman's agreement with my boss today that I can continue working on a limited part-time basis at my current employer after I start my new job, so long as I give him two weeks notice if I decide that the combined workweek is too oppressive.  Seems fair to me.
    ¹ This is a pretty good cover version.

    Monday, January 18, 2016

    Monday's Mission

    • I've not historically been one to carry a clip knife, but since early summer, I have acquired four:
    Aren't they cute?
    • Oddly, I still carry a pen knife and a pocket knife (when I'm wearing jeans).
    • There's a lost verse, sometimes referred to as Genesis 2:3(a), that says that after creating the Heavens and Earth, and kicking back to rest, God opened a bag of hot pork rinds.
    • Some Biblical scholars dispute that account.  I think ISIL removed it.
    They taste even better when you get a big bag for $.50
    • The full Sean Penn interview aired on 60 Minutes last night.  Man, that dude's brain is fried.  I know he wanted to make some kind of point about the 'war on drugs', but his discourse was so disjointed, rambling on about El Chapo being a human being, yadda-yadda.
    • Let's all hold hands and sing Kumbaya, that should end the cartel violence, no?
    • It sounds like The Chapo might not have even known who Penn is, but wanted the chance to meet la mujer caliente Kate del Castillo.
    • Not necessarily related, but it's reported that the cartel kingpin had some elective surgery while on the lam.  In construction terms, the boom on his crane wouldn't raise.
    • Sienna got her shots yesterday.  Normally there is a line for those weekend clinics, but I walked up, paid and got heartworm tablets, and within two minutes she had her shots, and ten minutes later her paperwork declaring her to be HW-N.
    • An old colleague of mine, a few years more experienced, had a large family reunion at Thanksgiving, during which they had a group photo taken, with their kids and grandkids.  After the first photo, the photographer had a puzzled look, and requested a re-take 'just to be safe', and then another.  Later, the photographer told them that he/she didn't want to alarm them during the shoot, and showed them the thumbnail images: Over his and his wife's shoulders, in the middle of the shot, were two white oval 'orbs'.  They had lost an adult son, and her father during the year.
    • I'm not into the paranormal or anything, but seeing the image caught my attention, as he's not known to be a practical jokester or such.
    • Penthouse magazine is shutting down its print version.  Apparently you can get nekkid pictures of wimmin off the interwebs these days?
    • I've never subscribed to, or bought, a Penthouse or Hustler magazine.  I did buy a 25th Anniversary Playboy issue, featuring Candy Loving, from the 7-11 at the corner of Grauwyler and Story Road in Irving.  I'm sure Mom has probably cleaned it out of the attic.
    • A few years later, I was taking flying lessons, and sent in one of those college magazine postcards to get a subscription to Plane & Pilot, and had it delivered to the bank where I was working.  Well - and let this be a lesson, kids - I should have had more discernment between the lowercase "l" and the uppercase "I", because - you guessed it - I got a Playboy magazine sent to me at work. I was horrified.
    • I got it switched over to Plane & Pilot before the second issue mailed.
    • The Startlegram mobile version this morning had a headline saying that Democrats are unfriendly to gun owners.  The article is gone now.  Maybe because that's not news?
    • Over the weekend, and still up, is another article calling OC 'Much Ado About Nothing'.  Obviously, my Bardian sensibility applauds their recognition of what many had already predicted.  I'm not so naïve as to believe there will never be any OC mishaps, but I do think that having a greater concentration of lawful carriers - some doing so visibly - will give pause to the bad guys.  As well, maybe it will prompt more open conversation about gun safety - what constitutes good, or bad, carry technique.
    • I think that in the 20th century, as the culture urbanized and fewer people were raised with awareness of firearm safety, talk of guns outside the 'gun culture' became stigmatized.  As Hollywood glorified gun violence, and purchases went through the roof, many in the younger generations had little knowledge of proper gun handling.  Maybe OC will be the catalyst for re-nornalization of gun ownership.
    • Have not yet personally seen anyone OC-ing, though some people at the local home center told me they saw a customer carrying last week.
    • I'd like this yaqui slide (with some border tooling) and these grips:

    • According to Rolling Stone, [babe] Trisha Yearwood is going to portray the Virgin Mary in a TV musical "The Passion".  No word whether McConaughey will play 'Walkaway Joseph', or if Henley will sing harmony vocals.
    • Global warming will likely be an issue in the November election.  Hot opinions on the subject are all over the map.  Does it exist or not?  If it exists, is it man-made?  If it's caused by mankind, can it be altered?  If it can be altered, how?  I don't disagree that there are some common-sense actions we can take to mitigate deterioration of our environment, but I get kinda steamed when some politician tells me that we simply must shovel hundreds of billions of US taxpayer dollars to the  POTUS' homeland or other third-world countries. Even assuming global warmism is real and we can 'solve' it, how the hell does that fix anything?
    • Of course, the nit-wits keep trying.  Apparently, some enviros taught a gorilla to implore world citizens to save the Earth, in sign language.  Gorillas may be intelligent primates, Dr. Zaius, but they're not noted scientists or philosophers.
    • When politicians or causes use children or animals to justify their schemes, I say watch out.
    • I mention often that I watch old TV reruns, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I like all the old TV shows.  For example, I enjoy the old B&W To Tell the Truth, but not the Bert Convy and Bob Eubanks game shows of the '70s.  I don't care for Hogan's Heroes, Emergency, or CHiPs.  There was part of an old Martin/Lewis movie on yesterday, and I didn't pay it any attention - a Dean Martin roast would be something else.

    Sunday, January 17, 2016

    Friday fizzles, Saturday drizzles & Sunday shizzles

    Bits and pieces to wrap up the week.
    • Sean Penn is giving interviews to explain that he's not to blame for the re-capture of El Chapo, and that it screwed up his PR message (whatever that was) re: The War on Drugs.
    • Because everybody knows Sean Penn is a policy genius.
    • My latest fixit project involves hacking a self-darkening welding helmet.  It's advertised as being 'solar' powered and recharging (I guess from the arc flash), but the fact is that the cartridge pack uses two CR2330 batteries soldered to the circuit.  I'm going to replace them with a modification using easy-to-replace AAA batteries, which will supply more mAh than the OEM coin cells.
    (photo from internet)
    • It's reported that the Los Angeles Playboy mansion is on the market, asking $200 million.  I'm guessing it'll be a cold day in hell when they get an offer anywhere north of half that.  Real estate people value the property in the $40-45 million range, and I don't think that the 'ambiance' and history of the place will add significant 'goodwill' value, even in Gomorrah-by-the-sea.  As in, "...and over here is where Dr. Huxtable gave a drink to [insert wannabe starlet's name here]..."
    • Since the first of the year, I've fallen into a habit of watching reruns of Carson on Antenna TV 33.2.  One of this week's highlights was Robin Williams as guest...followed by Jonathan Winters, in a full union general's uniform.  At the end of the show, Johnny remarked "My only job tonight was to stay the hell out of the way."

    • Much has been written about Carson favoring Letterman over Leno as replacement, but the other day I caught an episode (not Leno's first, frizzy haired appearance) where, from the guest chair, Leno really had Johnny laughing.
    • I think the show Rules of Engagement ran for seven years, and I never watched it in its original run.  Now, because 21.1 airs two episodes a night, it's rare for me to see a fresh one.
    • Oldest son was texting me quotes from Tommy Boy last night.
    • For about the last year, I'd searched for my Jabra bluetooth headset.  A month ago I found it.  Now I don't know where the charger is.  Sheesh.
    • I'm not a lottery addict, but will buy an occasional ticket.  I subscribe to the theory, espoused by the head of the Math Department at an elite Dallas private school, that your odds go up infinitely by buying the first ticket; but after that it's a linear equation.  So if I play, I only buy one ticket.  (Update: I matched ONE number last night.)
    • Winning the Powerball would turn your life upside down, though, as last night's 20/20 noted.
    • I've ended up with quite a few .45 ACP case headstamped TZZ 89.  I never gave them much thought, believing they were either Russian or Turkish.  They are neither - they are Israeli manufactured (IMI), and in their original loadings, said to be quite good.  Hopefully, they will be as good or better as reloaded by The Donald.
    (web pic)
    • Michael Moore is suing the governor of Michigan over the Flint municipal water supply situation.  Why?  Ostensibly it's because the officials who changed Flint's water supply were appointed by the governor, but in reality it's because Moore is a dolt and the governor is a Republican.  If we used Moore's logic and held the POTUS responsible for all of his appointees/sycophants/Czars' stupid actions, he'd be resting now with OBL.
    • The global crude oil price drop, though a boon to consumers, has caused quite a bit of pain in the oil patch.  I'm wondering what effect it will have on the Islamic extremists (yes, they exist) who finance their terror ops from pirated petroleum.  I read an article this morning that says Daesh supplements its oil revenue with 'protection' money it extorts from people in the areas it controls.
    • Many big thinkers have noted that societies/cultures without character and morals will quickly wither, even in the timeframe of a very few generations.  Think Roman Empire.  In my lifetime, we've always thought of the Saudis and others in the region as being ultra-rich (gold trimmed Bentleys & Gulfstreams, and crisp white robes).  But, apart from all their oil wealth, what do they know how to do?  If global oil continues to stay at current prices for an extended time, will citizens of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait et al have to get real jobs?
    • I stopped at a store after church yesterday for a small armload of items, then before I headed for the checkout, realized I'd left my wallet on my desk at home (after paying a bill online), and was forced to pay en efectivo from my money clip.  I had to put a couple of items back.  Oh, the humanity!
    • Son and former FIL and I went to Frontiers of Flight at Love Field Yesterday.  There were some displays from the Zeppelin heyday (in the early 20th century, not 1968-1979), and the 270 pound tube radio from the zeppelin Los Angeles.  It had vacuum tubes the size of eggplants.
    • This is not the Ryan PT-22 that Han Solo crash landed:
    I flew with the one on the left many times in his home-built biplane.
    The one on the right took his first flight at six months on my lap in an Aeronca 7AC "Champ"
    • Luke Skywalker and a California assemblywoman are working on legislation to protect consumers from fake autographs & memorabilia.  Hey, idiots consumers, how about not buying that crap?  Know any Franklin Mint, Beanie Baby, or Yu-Gi-Oh millionaires out there?
    • I have just a few autographed items, but I don't attach financial significance to them: A Bill Jordan autographed copy of  No Second Place Winner (for those who've forgotten, Jordan persuaded S&W to produce K-frame .357 Magnums, i.e. Model 19 & 66, and with Elmer Keith - who himself pushed S&W to create the .44 Magnum - developed the .41 Remington Magnum).  Col. Jordan signed it for me after an installation dinner (ca. 1972-1973?) when my Dad was president of the local gun club.  I also have album/CD covers signed and inscribed from Peter Frampton and Jimmy Webb, in my presence, and CD covers that a good friend of mine had Don Henley and Michael Martin Murphey inscribe to me (I have an original Blue Sky Night Thunder LP (Wildfire, Carolina in the Pines) that I may take to his Kessler Theater show in March).
    (internet photo)
    • News outlets last week ran some fluff that someone wanted Michelle Obama to run for President. You gotta be *kidding* me.  Zero accomplishments, and married to the least qualified President in memory.  Yeah, that'll play.
    • At least HRC in 2008 could point to having been elected as Senator in Nueva York (before she proved to be a complete disaster as Secretary of State).
    • With the dropping temps this weekend, I'm glad I took a bike ride Friday.  The sun felt good on my face, and I wasn't as out-of-shape as I'd feared, despite not riding in nearly three months.
    • The other night, I caught an original (I think) episode of the ABC sitcom with Tim Allen, with Jay Leno making an appearance as a mechanic who'd washed out as a stand-up comic.  It was kinda fun to watch Leno and Allen as they nudged the fourth wall in their dialogue. 
    In memory of Ed Rasimus

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

    New & Improved - Now With More Emoluments

    Snippets from my email inbox:

    ...glad to announce that intercontinental company SHIP 307 ltd is looking for a postulants for the a part time employment
    • Nah, I think if I were a postulant, I'd be looking at Perkins or Brite.
    We have an oofer of convenient payment with flexible timetable. All needful instructions provided by our side on a gratuitous basis.
    • In business, as in dating, I try to steer clear of oofers.  And I loathe automatic gratuities.
    ...seeking a high skilled employees...
    • Just one(s)?  And does that mean you don't do pee tests?
    Ability of fast answer company calls and emails. Strong communication skills
    • Would that include using grammar, syntax and punctuation?  
    Emolument : $2 500 once a month + bonuses.
    • Is that the same as a paycheck? With that much emoluments for only part time work, imagine how soft my skin would be.
    If you are interested regarding this opportunity please send you Resume
    • [Paraphrasing Lionel Twain] Could you please use the correct pronouns?

    Maybe I should study this list...

    Here's an article called The 8 guys that women avoid.  Perhaps I can find some insights.

    The synopsis is here:

    8. The misogynist - no
    7. Self-righteous guy - not so much
    6. The arguer - not so much, er, I mean, what do you think?
    5. The cheap guy - I haven't asked a chick to go dutch, but yeah, I'm frugal...
    4. Boorish guy - no
    3. Arrogant guy - not so much, confident in some areas
    2. Predictable guy - maybe, but I prefer the term balanced
    1. Needy guy - no

    At least there wasn't an entire category titled 'The Donald'.

    Friday, January 8, 2016

    Note to Ammon Bundy

    This might be the time.

    If there's an opportunity to walk away with some level of immunity, take it.

    For a protest to achieve its desired PR result, you've got to be able to present your issue in a way that resonates positively with a majority of the public.

    In the Oregon situation, this doesn't seem to be the case.

    Ranching is a volatile industry, dependent on several variables (rainfall; feed, fertilizer and fuel costs; disease, predation, and consumer demand).  Historically, generations of ranchers have mitigated the cost of feeding their livestock by grazing their herds on open, or public, lands.  The subject of  grazing lands and range wars has fueled many western movies.

    Today, though, relatively few Americans have much understanding or appreciation for the ranching way of life.  Many of the commenters on news articles speak of ranchers as being recipients of agricultural welfare if their livestock graze on public lands.  While there is some basis for this interpretation, it should also be recognized that - in the main - ranchers are grazing their livestock on lands that have traditionally been open for the opportunity, and have subsequently been acquired by the US Government and had grazing fees imposed or increased.  The view that ranchers should compete with each other for purchasing grazing property is probably fair enough, but when they are competing with the United States Treasury, the playing field is a bit uneven, and it becomes a bitter, or even toxic, pill.

    Nonetheless, unless all of the major media outlets start running marathon wall-to-wall Louis L'Amour or Zane Grey telecasts, there's likely little resonance with the public regarding Mr. Bundy and his compadres, and even the locals are not enamored of the protest.  He would do well to negotiate for as much immunity as he can and walk away peacefully, and deal with the rest in a court of law later.  For its part, the government would also do well to offer reasonable immunities, even though some will get their noses out of joint about perceptions of 'white privilege' or whatnot.  But far better to take some lumps than to end up with a Ruby Ridge or Mt. Carmel redux.

    Sunday, January 3, 2016

    Week in review

    • I'm glad to see 2015 gone.
    • Was in Mesquite on December 31 at a Harbor Freight and heard, over the store's PA, the following songs: Longfellow Serenade (Neil Diamond), In the Still of the Night (The Five Satins), Higher and Higher (Rita Coolidge).  I thought I was in a time warp, until I heard an announcement that it was Mesquite Schools Radio.
    • Am considering getting the HF hobby flux-core wire welder. Out of the box, it apparently sucks, but with 2-3 mods to convert it to DC (rectifier/capacitor/choke), it will supposedly make pretty welds.  At under $90 at the store, plus about $25 at Tanner Electronics for the hacks, it's not bad.
    • On New Year's Eve, I went to bed by 10:00.  I'm old enough to know that the new year arrives with - or without - my participation.
    • Made chili on NYD, and used black-eyed peas in it.  One of my best batches ever. I also made my first pot of coffee in about 6 months (haven't sworn off the stuff, but have been on more of a hot tea kick, only drinking coffee occasionally at church, from the QT or at the folks' house).
    • Yesterday, I checked Kohl's to see if there were any good sales.  I may have to go back to check out  a very stylish Savile Row double-breasted overcoat, if it's still there, sort of a darker version of the one Bogey wore in Casablanca.
    • Last night I remembered to tune in to broadcast channel 33 for the Carson (Johnny, not Ben) show.  Johnny's guests were: The ubiquitous (and kinda hot back in the day) Joan Embery, Fffoster Brrroooks, and Victor Buono, plus a lady author.  This was from the old, 90 minute format show. Good times.  I'm looking forward to episodes with Jimmy Stewart, Berle, Hope, Rickles, Newhart, Gobel, Winters, and lots of others. (Update:  Looks like I won't be disappointed, as tonight features Carnac, Hope, Rickles, Michael Landon, and Freddie Prinze.)
    • Not including the online application and aptitude test, I am four steps into the hiring process for a new job. Tomorrow I'm supposed to pick up a package for a physical exam (step 5).