Tuesday, May 31, 2016

You're No Good

Possibly Linda's best backing band, comprised of Andrew Gold¹ (Bryndle), Waddy Wachtel (later Stephanie Nicks' musical director), Kenny Edwards (Stone Poneys and Bryndle), Mike Botts (Bread), and Dan Dugmore (James Taylor, S. Nicks, many others).

¹ Gold and Nicolette Larson were briefly engaged in the early 1980s.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

  • Bloggers more eloquent than I have posted Memorial Day tributes, including Brigid, Denney Crane, and the Liberally Lean guy.
  • The latter has also posted Bill Kristol's prediction that an independent candidate could enter the 2016 election mêlée.  Never at a loss for tweeting, the presumptive for-the-time-being Republican candidate has lashed back, as one would expect.
  • Only in an election cycle with BHO as the incumbent President, and HRC as the Democrat front runner could the Mouth of Manhattan have possibly garnered as much support as he has done.
  • Or, have the media been gleeful accomplices?
  • One notes that the long knives are starting to come after DJT, and wonders to what extent his [possibly false flag] candidacy has been abetted by the pundits seeking interesting copy.  I'm suspecting his run has just passed its apogee, and much turmoil - with or without the participation of  'spoilers' - awaits the candidate.  Corroborating evidence?  Adverse news about his defunct University, nagging questions about his transparency and ethics, lack of specificity in policies, and generally lacking the demeanor of a Head of State.
Much coverage of the candidate has focused on
 his turning criticism into surging poll numbers.
  • Kristol hasn't yet named the would be independent.  The list of possible candidates is pretty short, and many suspect that WMR is who he has in mind, inasmuch as Gary Johnson is with the Libertarian (large L) party, and not independent.
  • No The Donald le Carré I, I'm nonetheless not convinced that DJT and HRC will carry their respective parties' banner come November.  While 'The Bern' has not overtaken the former Secretary of State, the fact that he's still a contender telegraphs considerable weakness of the leading candidate. The possibility of continuing adverse DOJ action, coupled with internal unrest at the DNC, the 'safest' candidate for that party would be the sitting VP.
  • Enough politics.
Are Dutch Deer prevalent in Tarrant County?
Do they wear little wooden cloven shoes?
  • An inattentive mother at the Cincinnati Zoo let her special snowflake wander into the gorilla exhibit, resulting in a primate's death.  Dr. Zaius may have been smarter than Dr. Spock.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Fickle Friday

  • The venerable Mr. Crane has reported that our current President is purchasing a retirement home just two miles distant from the one currently provided by his employer.
  • Heck, I know of lots of people who would probably pony up to buy him some nice digs 6000-8000 miles from where he lives now, if he would promise to stay there.
  • Not necessarily related, but in the interest in keeping my traveling readers safe, I'm passing along this tidbit: Don't travel to Gambia.  
Like, is that a map or an illustration from Gray's Anatomy?
  • The leader there, Yahya Jammeh, whose name purportedly translates from the Lakota to "works in his pajamas", is apparently pretty cranky. Unsubstantiated reports indicate as a teenager he was president of the Idi Amin Fan Club.  Neil Young would not like him, as he has been known to order live fire into groups of demonstrators, if they pi$$ him off.
I would gladly send a fondue pot - postage paid - as a 
housewarming gift if these buffoons would move into his palace.
  • Maxi Mini.
  • Chinese factories are ramping up production of fake Trump masks.
  • I made a most excellent batch of tuna salad yesterday: 3 diced HB eggs, 2 cans of tuna in spring water, 1/2 diced red onion, 2/3 diced Granny Smith apple, 3 tablespoons Miracle Whip, tablespoon horseradish sauce, chives, mustard/celery/chia seeds, salt & pepper.  You could steal my recipe and make a fortune at your own sandwich shop. 
  • Farewell and Godspeed to another from The Greatest Generation.  Rest in Peace, Sir.
  • I have recently reported my enthusiasm for the Schick Quattro razor, which also features a single blade at the top for getting in close below your nose and mustache area.  Nice feature.
  • Uno, dos, tres, Quatro:
  • Yeah, I have that LP.  But you probably already knew that.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Why Not Wednesday?

  • BLM catalyst George Zimmerman states that he auctioned his Kel-Tec 9mm to ensure HRC doesn't get elected in November.
  • Huh?
  • Dude, I don't want HRC - if she is her party's nominee - to get elected either, but I don't think your support for her opposition is in any way beneficial.
  • If GZ had any sense, he'd just be grateful that a jury found him to be within a couple of gnat's eyelashes on the lawful side of lethal force usage in Florida, and he'd go crawl under a rock somewhere for the rest of his days.  Heck, if he were even semi-decent, he could do some PSAs or a lecture tour advocating for people to use better judgment than he did in conflict avoidance and resolution.
  • This week we learned that a second officer tried on murder charges in the Baltimore death of Freddie Gray has been exonerated.  The first trial, which concluded in December, was supposed to be a watershed event for the politically motivated prosecution (which rippled from the wake of the Zimmerman trial), which hoped to create a domino effect with his conviction.  Except that he was declared not guilty.
  • At the time, some questioned whether prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, who no doubt hoped her dog and pony show would propel her into the upper stratosphere in the Democratic firmament, would continue with the remaining five trials, given that what she believed to be her strongest chance for a conviction had failed miserably.
  • Now, the fan blades at least seem to be getting a little yucky, as she's no longer the left's darling as her sham strategy seems to be unraveling.
  • CBS news, and the Wall Street Journal report that young adults are increasingly staying, or returning, to their parents' homes, at the highest rates observed since before WWII.
  • My empirical observation, if that includes 20-23 year olds, is that the stories are true.
  • I'm obviously not the most interesting man in the world, and because I often drink tea in the evenings, I get up during the wee hours to wee.  And sometimes I don't.  Last night I didn't.  This morning when I arose to lope my lizard, it was an event that would've made Seabiscuit proud.
  • Like extinguishing the Chicago fire, or flooding the 9th ward.
  • Here, have another:

Der Stingelhoffer

A friend at work recently apprised me that he was a Sting fan.  After some initial derision, like randomly quoting 'every cake you bake'  - hey, what're friends for - I allowed him to make his case for why he was not a nerd.  So, yesterday in the break room, he pulls up the studio version of this song, with lyrics, and I was adequately persuaded that he is not entirely undiscriminating musically.

Last night I found this duet version which is sonically and visually more interesting, IMO.

Even though much of my musical palate  (if you are thinking "he should've written palette", you are mistaken; if you would've used 'pallet', you are possibly thinking about industrial rock) was formed in the '70s, I was not the Police fan.  Probably not so much into his 'new age' stuff either, but his sparse jazz arrangements do spark a resonant chord, for me somewhat evocative of Ronstadt's Nelson Riddle sessions, though with less instrumentation.

h/t: Eddie

Friday, May 20, 2016

Thursday's Thoughts and Friday's Reflections

  • Yeah, I couldn't find a good alliteration for Friday...
  • Veteran CBS newsman Morley Safer has died.  One of the original 60 Minutes correspondents, he was also one of the best.  The end of an era.
  • I read on Combat Kevin's blog that Venezuela is in imminent danger of collapse.  The late President Hugo Chavez used to delight in tweaking the U.S., but the country's economy was overly concentrated on petroleum exports, and the global collapse of oil prices - combined with rampant corruption - has led to a debilitating inflation spiral.
  • An article the other day suggested that former Olympian formerly Bruce Jenner may be having doubts about her conversion.  If I get insomnia, there's a thought to help me fall asleep.
  • The Trump knows who downed the EgyptAir flight with 66 aboard.  Or so he claims.
  • Sure, we all know who tops the suspect list.  But Trump, the master social manipulator, uses the puffery to advance his candidacy.  I read that DJT actually embraces comparisons with Phineas Taylor Barnum.  
  • Go figure.  This is shaping up to be the strangest election year ever.  
  • There was a Nebraska guy on Carson last night who rescued a disfigured goose that lacked feet and made some makeshift shoes for him.  Tragically, Andy the goose was murdered a couple of years later.  The next guest on the show was Martin Short, who walked out with a caterer's warming tray, which he placed on Johnny's desk.  It contained - you guessed it - a large fowl...with shoes.  While it wasn't hilariously funny, you know that PETA would be all over that if it happened today.
  • A news article about a supposed Nazi nuke research facility.  I say 'supposed' not because I doubt that the Reich was pursuing military exploitation of the atom - it was all the rage at the time - but because the news source seems a bit vague and iffy.
  • Commenting on another blog made me think of Catherine Bach, then Barbara Bach (but not J. S. Bach), then Ringo Starr.
  • I tried to find a version featuring Joe Walsh (sometimes part of the All-Starr Band, and now brother-in-law), but it was embedded in a full length concert, and Walsh's performance was unremarkable.
  • All the hot women want me.  Abella Danger (could that be her real name?) emails: hru, do u wanna see sum hot pics of my gorgeous butt? Just sms me @ nmbr - +1 xxx~291~xxxx. After that, wish hook up with you at your place so we can bang xx.  And Amaya Miller writes:  I'm a young and beautiful gal with big boobs. 2get my nudes and 2have a chance 2make out with me, just txt my number that's 1 xxx 933 xxxx bb.
  • My foot is better since the other evening, but probably not so well that I should risk a romp with these lovelies, huh?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wazzup Wednesday

  • Vigilante justice hero (~sarcasm) George Zimmerman's gun, used to kill Trayvon Martin, has reportedly sold for $120,000 - about 600 times its worth.  Its buyer is unknown.
  • Zimmerman, you will remember, confronted Martin while making his rounds on security patrol in a gated community in Florida.  Martin, who may or may not have been up to mischief, got into a physical brawl with Zimmerman, during which Zimmerman mortally wounded the teen.  The case became a catalyzing event for what became the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • It is my opinion that Zimmerman was barely within the bounds of use of deadly force in the encounter - an opinion a jury shared - and substantially out of bounds on the use of good judgment.
  • If he'd had even half a brain, he'd have thanked his lucky stars that he was acquitted for murder, and would've thereafter led an upstanding, or at least unremarkable - life.  But, that doesn't appear to describe George Zimmerman.
  • I bring this up in contrast to a recent incident (but non-event) in the Crescent City, in which esteemed blogger Murphy's Law encountered a pair of individuals who were actually targeting him for a robbery/carjacking.  Although ML is extremely proficient with firearms and knowledgeable about laws/enforcement, he used his good judgment to safely extricate himself from a tight scrape without violence.  
  • Moving on.
  • One of my pet peeves is the notion of  'seagull management'.  The term apparently dates to the mid-'80s, from one of Ken Blanchard's management  books, and the premise is that such managers "fly in, crap over everything, and fly out".  The term is equally applicable to any supervisor or manager who is otherwise disengaged from his/her workforce, who, when issues arise, arrives on the scene, makes snap judgments and lots of noise, then hastily leaves, having not solved the issue or perhaps making it worse.  I occasionally see this at my company, among low-level supervisors who lack either the experience, wisdom, or temperament to patiently assess a situation and prescribe a useful remediation.
  • It's reported that Texas is bracing for an influx of Cuban migrants/refugees.  Stock up on Coca-Cola and Myers's?
  • The White House has announced new rules set to go into effect in December to require that more workers be paid overtime pay.  Obviously, this is met by resistance from business trade groups, and I am skeptical of it, given this administration's track record.  But, I'll wait to see how this plays out.
  • I stepped out of the shower this evening - no fancy ninja moves or anything - and got a severe pain right above the ball of my foot.  That was over an hour ago.  It's diminished now, but still sore.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tuesday's Twinkles

  • To no one's surprise, the gay pastor in Austin who accused Whole Foods of adding a 'homophobic slur' to a cake inscription has recanted his story.  It was abundantly clear to most thinking people from the beginning that it was a scam.
  • The gay is not something that interests me - not that I've tried it, mind you - and I tend to be a bit curmudgeonly when its proponents try to push the line from acceptance to making all people celebrate gayness 24/7.  Nonetheless, despite having not much in common with such proponents, the blame in this episode is the individual's, and not the movement's.
  • I haven't heard yet whether WFM will drop its lawsuit against the guy or not.  I'm guessing they will, out of mercy, and because in this time it's good optics.  If I were the CEO, I'd be pained by it, but would drop it - for exactly the reasons just mentioned.
  • Adventures in Shaving, Part III: I bought some cheap 4 blade razors last week - not such a good buy.  So this week I was on the shaving aisle at Kroger, and saw some genuine Schick razors on sale: 3 x Quattro, plus a bonus Hydro-5 (which I've already found to be an excellent shave).  The Quattro is actually a pretty good everyday razor.
  • I wanna know where da gold at.  Turns out, it could be coming to Texas.  Special leprechaun flute sold separately.
  • It started sprinkling as I left the house - before dawn - and stopped not long after I arrived at work.
  • Just the other night, oldest son and I were discussing the 10mm auto.  A couple of days later, I got this article from a G&A email.
  • I did not know until last week that AA and Al-Anon were not the same thing.
  • Probably fewer than five times have I carried a concealed handgun on my person, either in a jacket pocket, or in a SOB IWB carry.  Just the other day I learned I had done the SOB carry wrong.
  • The firearm's starboard side should be away from the body, not toward it.  This allows a fluid drawing motion without the need to reposition one's grip, and also helps keep the muzzle pointed away from one's self.
  • Also the other night - probably after discussing 10mm auto handguns - I played some classic vinyl cuts for my son from the transformative Waylon & Willie, Wanted: Outlaws, and Ol' Waylon LPs.  Hot music critic opinion: Waylon's cover of Gold Dust Woman pretty much sucked, but his Whiter Shade of Pale was not bad at all.
  • Some day I would like to build a screened-in sleeping porch.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The late great Karen Carpenter

   For no known reason, this song crossed my mind this evening:

   Back in the early '70s, an 8-track with this song resided in my Dad's IH Scout 800.  We used to spend some weekends at our neighbor's 'ranch', which was located 4-5 miles NW of Barton's Chapel in Jack County, where we kept some horses.  I remember we had a 2 year old stud-in-training named Skipper, who one day poked his head through the open passenger window and pulled an 8-track from the player.  I also remember, a few years later after we returned from Europe - before I had a driver's license - Dad would let me drive the K-5 Blazer west to the ranch on FM 2210 from TX-199.

   A few years ago, I was driving near that area, and noted that the southern edge of the property appears to be dotted with wind turbines, along a ridge line running east-west.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesday's Wonderings

  • The Circus Blogger's missus reports that he may return to the keyboard ere long.  With all the weirdness going on in the world, I think it'd be hard to keep him away from it.
  • A friend emailed me a story from Japan about a female 'artist' who is being fined or sanctioned for obscenity for her creation of a kayak shaped like a lady bit.  She, of course, claims to be making a statement about gender equality and such.
  • I tend to see it as a publicity ploy.  Although maybe maybe she could license the design and the Swedish automaker could offer one with the purchase of each Volvo XC-90.
  • A pizzeria owner got in a bit of a scrape for this sign:

  • Apparently it's now taboo to comment on topical issues.  The owner says he just wanted to promote discussion, which doesn't sound out-of-bounds to me.
  • I'm still unclear as to how this became an issue, kind of a chicken and egg thing.  
  • Either way, if this is what lawmakers spend their time working on, it's not hard to see why voters are fed up with the political process status quo.
  • Social entropy.
  • Also in the news, Liza Minnelli and Bette Midler fans support the former Secretary of State.  Well, isn't that fabulous?
  • Though moot now, was there ever a TransTed or Queers4Kasich movement?
  • I have worn a full beard or goatee a half dozen or more times in my life - usually not longer than a season or maybe four or so months.  When I'm not actively growing a beard, I dislike leaving the house without shaving.
  • Last night I bought some budget 4-blade disposable razors which may not be such the bargain.  A while back I got a swag bag from the Sam's Club health fair.  It included a Schick Hydro-5 sample razor.  Let me tell you: That is the Cadillac of shaving right there.
  • Unfortunately, new cartridge heads are about $4.50 apiece.
  • Does anyone know why the lubricating/moisturizing strip on a razor is on top, which, the way I shave, contacts my face after the blades have already sliced it?  Seems odd to me.
  • Daughter and I went to the SRF last Saturday.  Couldn't have asked for better weather.  We feasted on a turkey leg mid-day.
  • I first attended SF in 1984.  Don Juan & Miguel started performing there that year or maybe the next.
  • We almost always start with the falconry demonstration.  I thought this year's was the best I have seen.
  • If I had a huge workshop, I could make myself merry all the day long doing woodwork, leatherwork, and blacksmithing.  
  • After attending the Samurai exhibit at the Kimbell a couple of years ago, I'd like to make a suit of armor, incorporating design elements of my own choosing.

Got chili, huevos, beans and coffee?

The past couple of nights I've plugged in the noise-cancelling headphones to my phone's playlist at bedtime.  This post is about one of the songs on that list.

Lone Wolf, Murphey's 'rock-n-roll' album from early 1978, was a departure from his Geronimo's Cadillac, Cosmic Cowboy, and Wildfire earlier work.  It's said that Epic/Columbia wanted more edge, and was trying to develop and package him in a Dan Fogelberg fashion.  After hearing him open for America at DCC, touring to support this album, I bought a copy at the now-defunct Six Flags Mall Musicland.  Even though I don't think he plays any of the material from this record anymore, it's still one of my favorites.

This album was produced by John Boylan, who a few years earlier, as Linda Ronstadt's manager, introduced her to a long-haired Detroit country rocker, and an East Texas native who - like Murphey - had attended NTSU and later moved to L.A.  They formed a band of their own not long after.

In some respects, Lone Wolf, and this song in particular, seem to echo that band's blockbuster's theme of disillusionment with the crumbling façade of the American Dream and progress featured in The Last Resort, Life in the Fast Lane, and Hotel California a year earlier.  Prolific studio musicians Jai Winding (featured on many Henley songs) and Mike Botts (also a member of  Bread), perform on the album.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Who exactly is Bathroom Bill?


I had a dream...

   As I was navigating my ancient bones down the aisles of the Kroger on a hover-round after church¹, I heard a song on the PA that caught my attention.

   The melody sounded vaguely Beatle-esque (Carry That Weight?), but I couldn't place the vocal, and ruled it out as being new P-Mac material.  So of course I engaged the power of the Google, and discovered that this was not some decades-old song (although it is from a decades-old artist).

   Lynne really stuck the landing on this one, released late last year.  And from perusing the comments following the video, apparently I wasn't the only one to hear a Fab Four resemblance.

¹ OK, my bones aren't really ancient - just a nickel over a half-century - and I am by God's grace fully ambulatory.

For he's a jolly good fellow...

Apparently one of my Pay Pals was concerned for my online safety, and sent me this kind notice:

We see unusual activity in your account, we give you the opportunity to do the PayPal's dispute resolution process.

We see unusual transactions in your account, so we suggest you to spend less than 5 minutes to complete the resolution process.All feedback as well as other information confidentially and privacy. PayPal's is currently producing a new rule to make our costumer still feel safety, PayPal's recommends you who is active in the currency of payment online via PayPal's, please feel free to re-post the data verification. We aim to re-register and maintain all the information to you.

I of course am grateful that they keep costumers in mind.  No theatrical production goes well without their skilled efforts, even though I have not purchased any costuming accoutrements using the payment service, or any at all for that matter.  And I always like to feel safety.

Seems legit, right?