Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mittwoch musings

  • I watched just a bit of the DNC the other night.  Whenever I see this guy, I can't not think of this:
Apparently, the DNC had enough funds for a fixed sat uplink
  • Or this: 

Write your own joke...
  • Which led to this gem: 

The Richmeiseter - doesn't get any Laymer than that, huh?
(And, to all the statements in the pic, the answer is "No, not really.")
  • And finally, this one: 

  • I included the last because Michael Jordan just recently donated $2 million toward finding a solution to tensions between police and minority communities.  Time will tell whether it's successful, but credit is due for putting his money where others just tweet or run off at the mouth.  Good on you, Mr. Jordan!
  • If ComKev goes to Norway in about 20 years to visit Waterworld, maybe he can drive through one of these.  Driving a Ford through a fjord.
  • I'm OK with just watching Watters' World: Immigration Edition, from Philadelphia.
  • Former President WJC spoke last night at the DNC.  It's a phenomenon that totally flummoxes me, but I believe that he's probably the best resource HRC has, and if he were the candidate, he'd win in a landslide.  Go figure.
  • The persecution prosecution of the remaining officers' trails in the Freddie Gray has been dropped.   Apparently, the State's Attorney finally took some remedial reading classes, and read the writing on the wall.
  • Is this an endorsement one would actually want?  Uncle Jimmy releases a video supporting HRC.
  • Mark Cuban, at times a 'loose cannon', offers possible motive for DJT not releasing tax info.  Other pundits offer different reasons.
  • H.P. Scotsman and would-be Presidential assassin John Hinckley is set to be released.  An internet troll/commenter wrote "When John Hinckley Jr. gets out, I hope someone breaks the news about Jodie Foster to him very gently."   Although I am a bona fide admirer of the 40th President, those injured by Mr. Hinckley in March 1981 are now gone, so I am not overly troubled by his release if it's supported by competent psychiatric evaluation.
  • From Pokémon to hidden gold: Annie Lennox was right - everybody's looking for something.
  • I frequently cringe at some of the 'progressive' rubbish that land on PBS' America Reframed, but last night's episode was very good.  A historically black neighborhood in Athens, GA, sought designation as a protected site when a white fraternity moved in nearby.  Added into the mix was a former Colorado hippie/Mother Earth woman who was part of the area's gentrification.  Between the woman getting assistance from the college boys to clear kudzu from her lot and till the soil for a neighborhood vegetable garden, and the local pastor reaching out to the fraternity, strong bonds were forged that benefited the entire community.

Monday, July 25, 2016

It's Monday in America

  • The Democratic convention opens today in Philadelphia.  I said last week that I didn't have any predictions as to the tenor of this week's proceedings, but I am surprised that many are expecting more protests than at Cleveland.
  • It seems ironic to me that resigning DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been offered a senior position in the HRC campaign.  If lack of honesty, integrity & judgment were the key shortcomings dogging a candidate throughout their career, why in the world would that candidate hire someone fresh out of a scandal - a scandal involving her own candidacy?  Maybe there is something to the notion of the HRC hubris factor?
  • I don't know how effective DJT's overture/invitation to Bernie supporters will be, but apparently the Sanders crowd will be somewhat vocal in/outside the convention.  Could the party still draft the current VP?
  • After the dust clears from both major parties' conventions, and the American public wakes up to collective nausea, could an independent candidate emerge a couple of weeks from now?
  • Most automobiles manufactured after 1996 feature some form of self-diagnostic software, typically ODBII.  For under a hundred dollars, you can buy a decent code reader, and for less than $10, you can even get a Bluetooth module that displays or logs data from your vehicle's computer to your Android device.  In the past, this has caused some conflict with manufacturers, who would prefer to keep their vehicles' information in the hands of affiliated service providers.  Now, a similar brouhaha has come to the farm implement market.
  • A Colorado waitress has been fired after racist Twitter remarks.  You know, there's something to be said for self-editing, if you're inclined to those type of sentiments.
  • I didn't know this guy was still around.  The congress-critter who compared Israeli settlers to "termites" is the same guy who, a few years back, worried that the island of Guam might tip over if additional U.S. service members were based there.
  • Maybe the DNC exorcised all of the rancor & divisiveness on opening night: Speeches by Bernie Fife, Bernie Rubble, Bernie Miller, Smith Bernie, and a performance by Bernie and the Jets all urged party unity to defeat Ronald Tramp.
  • The preceding was brought to you by Mssr. Émile Litella.
  • I watched most of a 1990 suspense thriller called Narrow Margin, starring Gene Hackman, tonight.  I knew when they boarded the train, there'd have to be - at some point - an obligatory 'walking on top of the train cars' scene.  I was not disappointed.
  • Carson's show tonight was from June 1985, and featured noted primatologist Dian Fossey.  Sadly, Ms. Fossey was murdered six months later in her mountain camp cabin in Rwanda.  Although not officially solved or closed, the investigation centered on a disgruntled former employee, as well as powerful poaching interests.  The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, continues her mission of conservation and protection of the mountain gorillas.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Update weekend

  • Mark Cuban thinks HRC has a problem in marketing.   Dude, marketing is the least of HRC's problems.  The problem with her campaign is much more fundamental: It's the candidate.
  • One of the video segments they've played at church for the last two or three weeks features a snippet from an event at Burger's Lake.  I think it's been four or five years since I was out there.
  • I watched the McGoofy Group today - McLaughlin does not look or sound well.  I like the current line up nearly as well as any other: Tom Rogan, Clarence Page, Eleanor Clift, and Pat Buchanan.  Mort Zuckerman apparently still appears from time to time, and is a good contributor.  I also liked Fred Barnes and Michael Barone in the past.  Thankfully, they have retired the looney leftist moron Lawrence O'Donnell.
  • Not sure if this is proof of DJT's claim that we are in grave danger or not: Fox News is reporting today that SoS Kerry has declared air conditioners as great a danger as ISIS.  Yesterday, I was in the home center, and personally witnessed a contingent of heavy artillery 24,000 BTU, several  mechanized 12,000 BTU, and a platoon of 5000 BTU infantry units massed across the aisle from the power tools.  Of course, they were laying low, trying to play it cool, but now I'm on to them. Several even had code names: Frigidaire, GE, DeLonghi, LG, and Zenith - so be on the lookout.
  • After a better convention in Cleveland than I would have expected, and what I thought was a decent, if over-long, acceptance, DJT is apparently back to crafting insults.
  • No predictions here regarding how next week's DNC in Philadelphia will go.  I am still trying to sort out reports whether speakers will include "Mothers of the Movement", i.e. the mothers of young black men killed by police.  Conservative sources seem to be playing up the notion, but I haven't found a definitive answer regarding who exactly might speak.  It seems it would be a bit risky, as some of them - despite the reality of their loss - are not particularly telegenic.  A couple of weeks ago, Erica Garner (Eric's daughter) walked out of an ABC News Town Hall with the President, after producers deemed her behavior too volatile and incoherent for inclusion on the program.
  • I do think the week after the DNC may prove interesting, as the campaigns move into the final stretch.
  • Did Ben Matlock ever represent in front of Justice of the Peace Andy Taylor?
  • Blogger RPM reported recently taking a job in the bucolic pastures of the former Turner Ranch in Westlake.  The surroundings are beautiful, though the commute is a witch.  I myself have recently expanded my job-improvement radius, applying to jobs in Cleburne and Allen, each of which would entail nearly 100 miles round trip per day, but due to the Chisholm Trail and GWB tollways, respectively, might be manageable.  Of the two locales, I think I would prefer the Johnson County gig, as I'm not sure how well I'd gee-haw with the North Dallas/Collin County mindset.
  • In late spring, I got new contact lenses, after having not worn them regularly since about 2002.  Although I can see the veins in leaves on trees across the boulevard, I have to keep readers handy to see close up stuff (the bifocal contacts I tried out weren't to my liking).  Unfortunately, they get uncomfortable after about three hours.

When do we lose the things that we cherish?

Man, the guy can write a great song.  And here's a classic Glen Campbell performance:

Webb performs this song on his 2010 CD release, featuring J.D. Souther.  In the liner notes, Jimmy recounts taking J.D. for a sailplane ride in the early '70s, which went well, then later in the afternoon, they got into Jimmy's 172, but ran into a freak snow squall and were 'whited out'.  Luckily, Jimmy's pilot kept from getting spatially disoriented, and managed to get under the clouds, flying at just a couple hundred feet AGL in mountainous terrain (trust me, it's not fun).  They landed safely, but there wasn't much convo between Jimmy and J.D. on the car ride back to L.A., where Souther's GF was worried sick, waiting at Jimmy's place.

It was the first time Jimmy met Linda Ronstadt.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mid-week Meanderings

  • The fourth Baltimore officer charged in the death of arrestee Freddie Gray last year has been acquitted.  The officers that State Attorney Marilyn Mosby supposedly thought were most likely to be convicted have all been acquitted; nonetheless, two trials remain¹, presumably with the same outcomes. Today the circus blogger criticized a Texas judge who suggested harsher treatment for cop killers for pandering.  Although I don't disagree with the criticism offered, clearly pandering is not the exclusive province of either end of the political spectrum.
  • It's all about the outrage these days.  An Albuquerque eatery that posted "Black Olives Matter" on its outdoor sign, has angered protesters.  A trendy/hipster clothing retailer has a line of anti-Trump apparel.  Not sure if anyone's got their panties - designer or otherwise - in a bunch over this or not.
  • I like black olives, in case you were wondering.
  • The tent camp in Cleveland is apparently somewhat sparsely populated, and a bit remote from the convention site, and seemingly reflects  both Trump supporters and detractors.  One camper, echoing Herb Hoover, said of the tent city: "Everyone with a belly button has a home" and "We encourage conversation and listening with people of diverse thoughts, and so far, that's been a really groovy thing."  Far out, man.  Can't really argue with that.
  • Call it the law of unintended consequences, or perhaps proof of what Dallas PD Chief David Brown said about police agencies being tasked with trying to solve all of society's ills:  A Tempe woman is distraught after police kill her belligerent knife-wielding boyfriend.  Yes, the police she called 911 to have remove said BF from her residence.  I'm not saying the BF deserved to die, but Chief Brown is correct - police can't be expected to arrive on the scene and divine every participant's role and intention, then wave a magic wand and make everything better.
  • Last week, the, uh, adult film industry derided the RNC for a proposed platform plank denouncing pron.  The golden arches restaurant seems to at least partially agree.  While it doesn't suggest that the fast food outfit has gone all red state, it has announced that its stores' wi-fi will filter inappropriate sites from being accessed.  This seems to be a reasonable step for the company in preserving its brand image.  
  • Unsure if the ACLU will somehow take exception (since the routers are owned by the company, it seems they can use whatever filter they want). I also searched to see if perv poster boy Larry (you know the one) had any comments about the change, but didn't find anything.
Larry's brother (& magazine co-founder) Jimmy, 
with, possibly, a fan and supporter
  • There's four hands you might not want to shake...
  • Watched a bit of the RNC tonight.  Bizarre Cruz appearance.  Eric Trump's address was decent.
  • Nary a word from Carson tonight about Trump; however, he did mention that Great Britain was sending naval forces to protect the Falklands...
¹ The first officer's trial ended in a hung jury.  It is scheduled for re-trial in September.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Where to now, St. Peter?

  • Knowing my fondness for classic rock, you might take that as an intro for the song.
  • I don't think so, Tim.  Not this time.
  • It's not just me that wonders if we're accelerating toward the apocalypse: Dallas, Nice, Ankara, Baton Rouge.  With the Trump convention coming up - what could go wrong?
  • Whenever I read an article online, I'll often scan at least some of the comments that follow (if they're posted), trying to get some feel of the public's 'pulse'.  It's an old habit that dates back to the days when I read paper copies of Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report, the WSJ, DMN, and FWST.  Sometimes all in the same day.
  • It's amazing to me how polarized society is, and how many comments some are willing to make that would probably strike most as being 'beyond the pale'.  I've long since conceded that I am a curmudgeon, a fact cemented by my using Paul Harvey quotes from time to time.  One that seems especially apropos to the raging division currently going on in the U.S. is: "Self Government won't work without self discipline."
  • Those who say "We ought to send [them] back to Africa", and "Black lives splatter" - are not helping.  Those who say "Let's get some pigs in blankets", or "More dead cops" - are not helping.
  • As a last resort, let us turn to the pages of the Book of Henley, where it is written "There is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here." There's no place to run to anymore, we've got to figure this thing out. Although that was almost two decades earlier, maybe it's kind of what Rodney King meant when he asked "Can't we all just get along?"   Rodney was no poster child for righteousness, but in that instance, he was right.
  • Eighteen centuries before Harvey and Henley, though, a different Paul might have used the word κοινωνία (koinonia) to urge unity of purpose, participation, and cooperation to heal instead of divide.
  • Here's to getting along.

Friday, July 15, 2016

World Turning

  • I gotta get my feet back on the ground.

  • Political commentator David Brooks says the world is spinning out of control.  No disagreement here.
  • The full moon backdrop of that FM Youtube is the same one they used on their Rumours tour when they appeared at the Tarrant County Convention Center, March 6, 1977.  Kenny Loggins opened for them.  My friend Paul and I, being squares straight-laced, did not bring or directly consume any contraband substances.  But hey, ya gotta breathe, right?  So we did.
  • I lost track of him by the early '80s.  A dozen or so years ago, I happened to learn he had died in the early '90s of a sudden, un-diagnosed heart condition.  In 2013, when I was working in Arlington, I met a woman with the same last name spelling, and asked if there was any relation.  Turns out she had married his brother, so I asked about Paul's widow (who as his GF had accompanied me and my GF on a double date to see the lovely Linda at DCCC in December 1976).  She had passed away in 2011.
  • The location of the truck terror attack in France makes for odd-looking headlines.
  • I was in Nice in late July or early August 1974, but only have vague recollection of it.  My memories of Venice, Postojna, Jablanac, Dubrovnik, Athens, Rome, Florence & Pisa, Genoa, Madrid & Toledo, and Andorra - from the same trip - are much clearer.
  • The U.S. State Department advised against travel in the area.  Then, as now, there were tensions in that part of the globe (Greeks and Cypriots fussing). However, it was a bucket list trip for my Grandparents from heartland America.  And as four adults, one adolescent (me) and a toy poodle in a Volkswagen Squareback with Austrian plates, the only places we were recognized as Americans were the borders when we flashed our passports.  The only border delay whatsoever was entering Yugoslavia, where it took maybe a half hour to process our visas.
  • A few months ago I took an ill-fated job, the interview and background testing for which took over two months - and resigned after two weeks and one day on the job.  Somehow, my profile is still in their HR job agent database.  As of this morning, they have posted my former position 5 separate times.  Apparently no one else wants it, either.
  • As editor-in-chief and publisher of MWB, I last night lauded Chief Foreign Affairs Bureau Correspondent ComKev for alerting this publication to the imminent collapse of Venezuela.  Tonight, however, I find that I must apologize to readers, as MWB did not receive any advance intel regarding the attempted coup in Turkey.  What up, brah?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thursday's Thoughts

  • On my day off, I dropped into a couple of local resale shops.  Snagged two pairs of nearly new jeans - Wrangler and Austin - for 75¢ each at the first.  The other was a dud, but if I'd needed furniture, they had an awesome sofa, oversize chair, and ottoman set in a brown paisley pattern for $289.
  •  Apparently, they were overstocked with long pants.
  • Stopped into the locally owned small-box hardware store.  Surprisingly, they did not have the item I was seeking (3/4" black plastic keepers for nylon straps), but they did have these:
Coyote fur chaps

Here, write your own joke...
  • While I was shopping, all the ice cubes in my ice tea cup - left in the car - melted.  Oldest son taunted me with the following pic:
His Yeti-like cup that keeps ice cold all summer long

My Riscky's cup...not so much.
  • I wanted to be sure to get home to catch the evening news, thinking there might be an interesting tidbit from the RNC rules committee, only to find out that terrorists have again attacked in France, killing at least fourscore on Bastille Day.  We are not living in good times.
  • Also, my National Security Advisor, Combat Kevin, is right - Venezuela is going down the tubes.
  • Ask any married man about P-Power, and he'll probably give a knowing 'sigh'.  After all, the IRS didn't invent withholding.  But a company in Britain is developing pee-power, using urine from public loos to generate electricity to light the loos' LED lamps.  I don't know whether to be angry with Reliant Energy or with the municipal wastewater utility for all the money I've p*$$*d away over the years.
  • Not related, but...speaking of words that begin with 'P':  Several years ago, a friend told me he and his wife had had a disagreement which had gone back and forth a bit, and in which he decided to chauvinistically triumph by declaring "because I have the p*n*s!".
  • Yeah, that apparently went over about as you would expect.
  • In rerun-land, Curtis Armstrong made a guest appearance tonight on the [now syndicated] Rules of Engagement, playing himself.  Lots of 'Booger' references, but no mention of one of his best roles ever:
Petruchio (Willis) and Lucentio (Armstrong) with the good people of Padua
  • Here in Texas, we commonly insult our neighbors across the Red River. Tonight, Carson read excerpts of cross-border rivalry insults that had been sent in.  Here's one: "What's the difference between FedEx and a girl from Pennsylvania?  For $14.95, one absolutely, positively delivers overnight - the other transports packages."
  • So relaxing was my classical music splendor last night that I'll probably repeat it again tonight, as I was asleep before the second selection.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wednesday's Whispers

  • Not that any readers here ever had any doubt, but I am apparently a certified genius, having quickly (and without assistance) solved the impossible math equation.  Of course, part of me wants to point out that those are really patterns, not true equations, arranged for the purpose of the parlor trick they're doing on that website...yeah, whatever.  I mean, if you set it up algebraically, the answer would be pretty obvious, no?
  • Yes, I know some readers have their doubts.  But I did have a 750 Math SAT.
  • (670 verbal, for those taking notes).
  • The murderer of five Dallas police officers was said to be a weapons expert.  Maybe yes or maybe no, but unless he had an arm like Nolan Ryan, carrying a .25 caliber handgun was a pretty lame move.
  • Bimbo-fest on Fox as news chicks attempt to explain 'assault rifles'. Oldest son asked me if I wanted to go to the Kroger to get a Leupold scope for my Ruger #1.
  • Words and ideas do matter.  A TV news journalist has been suspended from her job for praising the Dallas killer as a 'martyr' on social media.  It's one thing to defend from an aggressor when being attacked, but there's no justification for murdering others not involved simply for their skin color or the fact that they wear a uniform.
  • Here's an interesting, that I'm kinda surprised the barrister blogger hasn't posted: The, uh, pron industry is criticizing the RNC's opposition to smut in their policy planks.  I don't expect anything to come of it, either way.
  • As an insomniac international man of mystery, I sometimes watch PBS global news.  While it's too early to say, the new UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, could be the next incarnation of Maggie Thatcher, and not just because of her gender.  The sense I get of David Cameron was that he is a decent chap, but simply miscalculated on the Brexit issue.
  • I really very rarely have trouble falling asleep.
  • An 80 year old co-worker who retired recently visited the workplace today. I had worried a bit about him, fearing that not working would lead to a decline.  I needn't have.  He looked very fit and well rested, and reported that his wife of 60 years makes him lunch every day, keeps him busy with chores (nary a complaint from him), and that they are planning to go to a family reunion in a week or two.  I remarked to another colleague that if Paul Harvey were still alive, he would celebrate them on his 'Tournament of Roses'.
  • It just struck me that my folks have a 58th coming up next month.  Good work, Mom & Dad!
  • From a recent Wendy's visit:
Dawn?  Srsly, Victor, I'm not going Caitlyn or anything.
  • Dang millennials...aren't they taught spelling anymore?  Although I suppose that's an age old (old age?) complaint, as I recall a story from a magazine when I was in high school, about a fellow who'd gone off to college, grew a beard, then mailed his folks a picture of his newly hirsute visage, inscribed: "Do I not look like a Count?".  Upon seeing the pic, the dad groused: "Stupid kid, thousands of dollars for an education, and he can't even spell!"
  • A friend and sometime reader of this blog has in the past criticized my fine musical tastes, positing that the musicians I like are either dead, or their careers are.  Unrepentant, I have continued posting from my eclectic musical palette, as recent pages bear out.  Last night, I definitely listed to dead composer music, by putting on a Beethoven CD (excerpts of 6th 'Pastorale' and 2nd symphonies).  It was quite good.  Tonight it will be CBS Masterworks' 'The Viennese Album' with Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, and Johann Strauss.
  • Not the biggest Wolfgang Amadeus fan, but as an adolescent in Vienna, I was fond of the Mozartkugeln confections.  They were to Austrian Airlines DC-9s what peanuts are to Southwest 737s.
  • PEZ were also quite the thing.  It was very common to find mechanical coin-op vending machines expressly made for that candy, attached to walls in train stations and businesses, or on outside walls of buildings near streetcar stops.  I think AS1 (about a nickel in those days) would get a dispenser's worth of the miniature sugar bricks.
  • I used to have two or three dozen dispensers - no idea what happened to them.  Maybe in Mom & Dad's attic?
  • Heard on Carson tonight:  "You see a lot of weird stuff in L. A.: A gay out-of-work Indian got a job downtown - scalping ballet tickets."  Probably wouldn't get past the PC, microaggression censors today.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

At least I can say the words

Heard this at work yesterday, probably the first time in 15-20 years, maybe more.

One of those songs like Heart of the Matter, that you may like, but with a lump in your throat.

Give us this day...

I don't know much

The backstory is that Jimmy wrote this song to impress a young lady in London, but when he performed it for her on the piano, she responded "Don't you think that's silly?", which did not endear the young lady to the tunesmith.  Around the same time, Simon & Garfunkel broke up.  Since Paul Simon had been the songwriter of the duo, Webb reasoned that Artie would need some songs, contacted the talented singer, and it became a hit for Garfunkel.

This is purportedly the last, or one of the last, recordings that Linda made before retiring from singing due to complications from Parkinson's.

Deep Trivia Bonus:  Webb wrote MacArthur Park in 1967 after his breakup with Suzy Horton (also the muse for Where's the Playground Susie?), who years later married Linda Ronstadt's cousin.  Here's a version of the song...from an open air concert at MacArthur Park in 2013.  If you want to see some of Glen Campbell's guitar virtuousity, check out this version, performed with the songwriter. Campbell's guitar solo for the Allegro movement begins at 4:44.

This has been 'In the Blog Studio' with Touch of Graybeard.

Monday, July 11, 2016

I told you so...

...Seems to be the theme of many articles, posts, and reports following the Dallas police shootings.  Although there have been some bright spots, as well.
  • Kudos to the journalist or commentator who suggested that folks - BLM sympathizers and detractors alike - consider using the word "some".  As in: "some" police engage in brutality, "some" protesters commit violence. It's straightforward conflict resolution methodology.  I recently listened to a speaker who advised much the same thing to spouses/parents/children: Don't use accusatory statements including the words "always" or "never", as the blanket labels are rarely true, and only serve to put the recipient into defensive mode.
  • As much as is known presently, the Dallas police shooter acted alone. He had no ties to the protest, and simply seized on the opportunity presented by having a large congregation of police officers - there to keep the protesters safe.  Nonetheless, there are already rumors of a conspiracy, some suggesting - if I understand it correctly - that George Soros funded or masterminded it to create a race war so that the President could declare martial law and get a third term.  We'll keep that under advisement.
  • The BLM demonstrator who thought it'd be a good idea to sling an unloaded AR-15 over his shoulder to attend the protest is reportedly seeking an apology or compensation for having been briefly identified as a suspect or person of interest during the melee.  Good grief.
  • As a supporter of open carry, I fully agree that what he was doing was lawful.  It also showed poor judgment, given the charged atmosphere.  He really should be thinking "Man, that was a dumb thing to do."   The circus blogger on Friday likened him to Richard Jewell, the Atlanta security guard who lived under suspicion for the 1996 Olympic bombing.  Seriously?  This guy was 'misidentified' for two hours, not two months.  
  • Those that want to harass him should likewise get on with their lives. Lots of people do dumb things everyday.  He didn't harm anyone, and it appears he did everything correctly to make it clear he was on the right side of the law once the mayhem erupted and he understood folks were looking for him.
  • Purportedly, additional protests are planning to shut down interstates. Hopefully, those folks will reconsider.  I wouldn't go looking for such a protest, but if I inadvertently found myself in a shutdown and got attacked, would protect myself.
  • I thought DPD Chief David Brown did a good job handling the situation.  
  • A news commentator says if this is war, there will be no winners.  That's the truth.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Fin de la semana

  • Night before last, I had the strangest dream.  I was in the McDonald's with oldest son, when a Neil Diamond song (Longfellow Serenade) came on the sound system.  I remarked to him that "those strings sound so real", then turned around to see his mother (who plays violin) and some other symphony members performing in the adjoining dining room.  
  • I shared that story with her via text.
  • Sometimes I can sort of figure out the source of dream topics.  Earlier in the week, I'd played Hot August Night (the original), and I'm Glad You're Here With Me Tonight CDs before bedtime.  Neither features the song in the dream, however.
  • There are tons of specialty burger places these days: Five Guys, Kincaid's, In-n-Out, Smashburger, Steak & Shake, etc.  As a kid and teenager, I wasn't much the Jack in the Box fan, but in recent years, it seems they've finally become a legitimate, and sometimes innovative, fast food purveyor.
  • I was tickled to find a shaded parking spot:
Unfortunately, the dining room was closed...
  • The Buttery Portobello Swiss & Onion is as good a burger as is out there.  With a small meal coupon for $5, it was a great deal, too.  I don't recommend you eat it while driving, as I did, but I had no choice.
  • I had to go to Colleyville for a, ahem, minor traffic infraction.  They have some of the most confounding streets over there.  A family of birds had made their home over the entrance to the court center:
A fourth, presumably the momma bird, flew back 
and forth as I was walking up to the door.
  • While I was waiting in line, a young mother with an infant came in and left an envelope of Starbucks and other gift cards with the receptionist, saying "I know it's probably been a sucky day - would you please give these to the officers?"  No photo-op, no fanfare.
  • The drop-dead gorgeous teen or college age girl in line in front of me commented to me on how nice that was.  She also complimented the woman ahead of her on her handbag, and me about my eyeglasses a few minutes later.  Good people skills.  When she got up to the window, she didn't try to BS the clerk.  When asked, she said she was guilty (I don't know what the infraction was) and arranged to take defensive driving.
  • Bryan Williams just can't get a break.  Like the commentator, I'm not sure why comparing the President to Pryor is inherently racist.
  • I on the other hand, caught a break while doing laundry today.  After taking clothes from the washer, I found a Sharpie at the bottom of the drum.  The cap was still on, and no apparent spillage on my clothes.  I put them into the dryer, then went to the bathroon to check out the Sharpie.  When I removed the cap, my hands immediately looked like those of a bank robber who'd exploded a dye pack.  Thankfully, it washed off.  I have no idea which article of clothing had contained the pen.
  • Carnac tonight: "Ovaltine - What was Oprah Winfrey's nickname in high school?", and "Wake up and smell the coffee - What do you do after a one night stand with Mrs. Olson?"  From the context of the bit, I think it was Johnny's last portrayal of the great Seer, Soothsayer and Sage. Interestingly, the punchline from the final envelope included a gag about Marla Maples, the punchline of which was "[something], [something], and dump Trump."
  • Borrowing from Simon & Garfunkel, the HuffPo has an interesting article today, following in the footsteps of CBS News and the Boston Globe.
  • Here's my own Carnac bit: 5 to 7 percent - The odds that either Mitt Romney or Joe Biden will be President in 2017.

Thinned, but not broken

  • Just before turning the lights out for the night, I saw the news about four Dallas police officers (now five) being ambushed and murdered while providing security for people exercising their right to protest.
  • Yesterday - during the day - watching news coverage of the LA and MN shootings, I had an odd feeling of  "Will these be the straws that break the camel's back?"  I never would have imagined that what happened last night would be in Texas.
  • Since Ferguson, I have predicted that as a society, we are careening toward civil or racial war in this country, hoping I was wrong.  Some in the blogosphere this morning have declared that "It's on!" and launched scathing [verbal] attacks on the BLM movement.  Though I'm no fan of the BLM, I was encouraged when I saw that one blogger had removed such a post.
  • There's a lot of finger pointing going back-and-forth at the over-sharing circus blogger's page and in the comments section.  Perhaps the most intelligent thought over there this morning was from a commenter (not me) who succinctly wrote: "Ive got so very much I'd like to say regarding all that's happening, but I believe there should be a period of respect for the fallen. I won't stir the pot."
  • I also have a lot of thoughts and things I'd like to say.  We may never know for sure why these public servants were coldly murdered, but we can wait for an investigation for better insight and clarity.  Rather than adding fuel to the fire, can we act - as Abraham Lincoln said (paraphrasing from Psalms 147:3) - and work to bind up the wounds that divide us?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

  • When I was a kid, we enjoyed July 4 with Black Cats, bottle rockets, roman candles, whizzers, sparklers, and, uh, 'chasers'.  I probably haven't purchased any fireworks personally in over 30 years.
  • I used to enjoy organized displays, but kinda like the circus blogger, it's become a bit of a beat down.  My favorite fireworks watching experience was two or three years ago near Panther Island.  Daughter and I decided we didn't want to be part of the throng of humanidad within the event confines, so we watched the display from atop our SUV in the parking field at the intersection of Henderson and White Settlement. 
Watching fireworks
  • Went to downtown Mt. Pilot last week for an interview on my day off.  I got there early, only to realize I'd left my change in the pocket of my shorts at home, so I scrounged four quarters from the cup holder for the meter.  After walking the block and-a-half to my destination, I asked them if they could make change for the meter (they didn't have any petty cash), and was also told the meters won't allow 'stacking' after their initial feeding.  Then, the nice lady told me about the 'pay stations' that dispense stickers to affix to the window, using a debit/credit card (which I had used years ago but forgotten about).  So I purchased a longer period with my card and put it on the window, feeling like a doofus because I'd wasted a dollar in the meter.
  • The interview was a 3 person panel affair.  I enjoy panel interviews, but was a bit surprised that it would take 3 people to screen candidates for the position I was seeking.  At the end, I answered the obligatory query "Do you have any questions for us?" by asking "Yes, when do I start?", to learn that that was just the first round - if I passed, there will be another interview.  Hope to hear something tomorrow or Wednesday.
  • I felt like a doofus again when I got back to the car and remembered the coin dispenser under the console armrest that had an adequate supply of quarters.
  • No, I don't think memory is an important issue for the job I'm seeking.
  • The markets see to have recovered from their collective Brexit-induced hiccup, as one surmised they would.
  • Saturday I drove to Mayberry in the same ZIP code as Deloitte for something.  Along the way, I passed a pasture with both rectangular bales and round bales awaiting haul-off.  The pasture was not abnormally shaped so far as I could tell, so it made me wonder if it's common to bale in both formats in the same field?
  • When I was about fourteen or fifteen, I learned that the best job in hay hauling was to drive the GMC flatbed (even if it lacked A/C).  Sweating in the Kansas sun and dust atop the deck wrassling those bales as they came up the escalator was not so much fun as you would expect, so I decided after a pasture or two that my knuckle dragging cousins would be better suited for those roles, and Gramps allowed it.
A pretty close approximation of  Gramps' hay hauler, 'cept his was blue 
with faded lettering from Caney Valley Lumber Company, its prior owner.
  • I wonder where that old truck is today.  If somehow fate reunited us, I'd restore it to its original CVLC livery, and drive it in parades.
  • The guest pastor yesterday made an aside that saying 'two' Corinthians isn't necessarily wrong or a sign of Biblical illiteracy, and is apparently even common in England.  It was kind of a funny moment.
  • Later in the sermon, discussing the Declaration of Independence, I could almost imagine that we're close to a point of making a second such declaration.  Almost.
  • A few times today, I wondered what terrorist calamity I would see on the news tonight.  Looks like most were outside the U.S..