Friday, September 30, 2016

Frankly Friday

  • No, not Barney.
  • Good Morning's Friday!
  • If we thought the election season has been insane so far, fasten your seatbelts, as it's likely to go - dare I borrow the phrase/schtick (yes, I dare) - beyond insane.  A Morgan Stanley report suggests that the U.S. fast food and retail industries will implode if DJT is elected, because there will be no front line workers left at the BK, Wendy's and Taco Bell. Balderdash!  If Trump is elected, there is zero chance of mass deportations of Mexican, Central- and South American workers - it won't happen.  What should, and may happen, is that we will give the boot to troublemakers and actually control our borders.  It's not really fundamentally different from the notion of installing a deadbolt on your exterior doors, though some in American politics seem flummoxed by the concept.
  • While there's room for debate as to the absolute and relative contributions of illegals in this country, there's little questioning that most retail does not want to see mass deportations - not so much for the supposedly reduced labor force which could be filled by legal citizens - but because of the contraction of the market size.  Illegal (undocumented if you prefer) or not, those warm bodies buy groceries, shoes, gas, utilities, housing, and the like - American businesses don't want to see fewer potential customers. You know it, I know it, DJT knows it, some of the American people know it...and Bob Dole knows it.
  • Energy policy?  This could give you gas for a month.
  • Here's a political insight - irrespective of who gets elected, he/she will be a one-termer.   And, as divided as the nation has become, probably the highest likelihood since 1861 that even the one term may be truncated by some form of insurrection. 
  • Readers here know I don't care for DJT, but loathe HRC.  So, in the upcoming season of SNL, we'll have a doofus portrayed by a douche.
  • You don't often see someone making their own comparison to Der Führer. Strange.
  • Enough punditry, now for some fun stuff.  It's a delight to see a major gun magazine with a cover feature that's not a black rifle or plastic pistol.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but...I am more the fan of steel and walnut.  Saw this at the library the other day:

Now that's my kind of centerfold...
  • The Ruger #1 is like the Sophia Loren of beautiful rifles. I've taken Wyoming antelope with a #1 in .270 Winchester. Would love to own a #1-H (Tropical) in .375 H&H, even if I never hunt on the African continent. The similar Dakota falling block has some desirable traits, but Ruger kinda has the whole package right. 
  • This morning's weather was perfect for my morning bike ride. And the scenery wasn't too bad, either. ;-) 
  • Good Day!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

September Stardust

  • I'm sometimes critical of the way Willie breezes through material in live appearances, but on Stardust, he nailed it.
  • The CEO of Wells Fargo is going to, well, forgo about $40+ million in stock options as a result of the banking giant's shenanigans in opening accounts not requested by customers.  I used to manage some former Wells employees, and heard some stories, so I wasn't surprised when news broke of the government fining the company $185MM.  The pity is that of that sum, only $5MM went for restitution to the affected customers - the remainder went to the government.  Almost makes me wonder who has the bigger racket going.  
  • A former senior manager at an old job, who had not come from Wells, would probably have been right at home with them.  Although he always talked about how ethical our firm was, he essentially pushed for sales at any cost, and turned a blind eye to what some of the front line bankers did to make quota.  And some of the sales tactics that he actually promoted in managers meetings suggested to me that he was either dishonest, or had failed Finance 101.
  • Some recent Ray Vander Laan video series I've been attending have helped in understanding the news about Shimon Peres death, and life, this week.
  • No one who's read my scribbles would be surprised that I'm not much the fan of Colin Kaepernick.  Linking perceived racism of police shootings with the National Anthem is pretty random.  The government cannot force him to respect the flag or the anthem, nor should it attempt to do so.  My feeling is that he's probably more of an opportunistic prick trying to score some tail  than an impassioned SJW, but these days it's all about the packaging anyway.  
  • Some sports bars have used his jersey as a floor-mat in counter-protest, and for their 1A displays, have been labeled racists.  It's a strange world we live in.
  • Wonder what the legal eagle would make of this?
  • Mark Cuban recently said that if Trump is elected, the stock market will crash.  I think Cuban is right, but is only telling half the story.  My view is that it is highly probably there will be a substantial economic/market crash in the next 18 months - irrespective of whether DJT or HRC is elected, so he really could make the same statement about Clinton.  It has to do with fundamentals, global and domestic debt, that have little to do with who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
  • Anyone surprised that it's Texas' own Sheila Jackson Lee?
  • [Author's disclosure: Stepping onto soapbox.]
  • One of the popular blogs features lots of posts about traffic stops gone wrong, with discussion about whether cops are intrusive or drivers should just comply.  What appears to be emerging from the discussions is a confluence of the liberal viewpoint with the sovereign citizen movement.  Call it white privilege (free/white/over 21) or good raising, but I've not yet been mis-treated by cops, which in large part can be attributed to not being an a$$ when I get stopped, even if I'm not thrilled, as well as the fact that I'm not drinking or doping or fighting.  Some folks seem to think that you can be just barely skating within the letter of the law, and that it makes sense to get didactic with a cop who's trying to determine what the situation is.  While technically they're right if they're on the legal side of whatever line, trying to play Professor Kingsfield to an officer, who on average has less than a bachelor's degree, on a deserted road or at 3:00 a.m. is not prudent.  Save it for a civil courtroom.
  • A lot of videos I've seen, whether from drivers, or pro- open carry/2A supporters, look an awful lot like baiting.  Some seem to be masters of it. 
  • 'Complying' may be a bitter pill to swallow for some radical libertarians, but using a bit of Dale Carnegie can pay dividends, either in totally de-escalating an interaction, or at least living to file a complaint later.  The reality is that, no matter how many athletes take a knee, LE doesn't have the resources to have a sea change in their hiring, training, and indoctrination - certainly not in the short term.
  • If I were a legislator or senior LE type, I'd prioritize training for recognizing cognitive disabilities and differentiating, if possible, from substance-induced impairments.  It also wouldn't hurt if there were some PSAs reminding citizens that sometimes the cops are actively trying to find a murderer, and that taking the [psychological] parent role by giving a civics lesson in that context might not be appreciated.
  • [Steps down from soapbox.]  Has anybody actually seen a soap box?
  • When I was a kid, trips to the Sears store's tool section occurred about every other Saturday.  I don't recall that we got clothes there much, but certainly Craftsman tools, and maybe some appliances.  In high school and beyond, I can remember buying some power tools at their outlet stores in Grand Prairie, Oak Cliff, and Haltom City. It's now looking like the iconic retailer may not make it through the Christmas season.
  • A couple of points from last night's videos: Samson didn't lose his strength by getting a haircut, or having a glass of Merlot, or hooking up with that chick.  It was because he did not preserve those traits which had set him apart, he undermined the destiny God had prepared for him.  The message being that God's people are to reflect His values, not those of the contemporary culture.  It's an interesting exercise in the modern world.  Another point made was that young David was not so much given super power or accuracy to slay Goliath - he was doing what a young shepherd would have done every day (throwing rocks) - but because he used his meager ability faithfully, he achieved an unimaginable result.  How many times do we wait for some great event or epiphany to do something, instead of taking the small but disciplined steps in faith toward our destiny?  I know I'll be mentally marinating on this over the next several days.
  • Possibly a first step toward Texas Secession?  Perhaps, but even if not, with all the mischief that goes on in New York and inside the D.C. beltway, why not bring it back to Texas?  Just don't tell these Mobile residents where it's stored...
  • Found while looking for something else.  Too good not to post.  In 2008, taking the kids on a post-separation road trip through East Texas to the coast, we made a diversion so I could see Linden, where Henley grew up.  Apparently, he now owns about half of the town.

Monday, September 26, 2016

On the cusp of Tuesday

  • Although I've never met him, that guy in an internet services commercial (where the family's internet is out) reminds me of an area blogger, particularly when his wife asks him if the internet's back on.
  • Here's why you should park facing the interior of a parking tower.
  • Open carry has not been so pervasive as its detractors - or even supporters - might have imagined.  I have probably seen maybe 10 people carrying openly since the first of the year.  The other day, however, I saw two within just minutes.  The first was carrying a Glock 17, and the other appeared to have a nickel-plated 1911 (yuck, to the nickel plate, not the 1911).  I had the opportunity to talk with the first one, who said he carried openly because reaching for a concealed handgun was too cumbersome and time-consuming.
  • I wouldn't swear off the possibility of ever carrying openly, but if I were carrying, I'd be more likely to do so with a concealment vest, or IWB rig.  And although I'm quite fond of .45 ACP, I can better conceal a compact 9mm on my 6'1", 176 # frame.
  • In the time that Carson re-runs have been airing, I've seen probably a half-dozen Carnac the Magnificent sketches, but only one Floyd R. Turbo.  American.
  • Silence please.  
  • "T. S. Eliot."
  • "What did Eliot Janeway's bank tell him when he complained about his account being overdrawn?"
  • The preceding was from February 20, 1975.
  • There have been more  Carl Reiner, and fewer Rickles and Newhart appearances, than I would have imagined.
  • While researching some contact info in my old phone, I ran across a text that reminded me of the mendacity of the female persuasion.  After I had asked one such a rather straightforward question, I almost immediately received the following, almost frantic sounding, mis-forwarded response, "Don sent me that previous text.  WTH do I tell him????"  It seemed out of character for her to have to ask someone else what lie to tell, as I knew her to be a shameless prevaricator.  About six minutes later, she and the unidentified other party had apparently concocted a cover story, and I received a vetted response text.
  • I presently have three opened containers of salsa in my fridge: Some chunky Sabra medium salsa, some restaurant style (kinda like Mexican Inn's), and some peach mango.  When they're both half-full, I'll consolidate the first and last tubs.
  • Overheard at work today - a couple of co-workers conversing: "Does your wife's shop do watercolor tats?"  The one asking was a woman, who did not have any visible tattoos, but seemed quite interested in getting some.
  • I did not watch the debates tonight.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Salsa Saturday

  • On the most recent bike ride, I encountered this fellow - maybe a wolf spider?
I tossed a few kernels of unpopped popcorn
to see if the web would catch them.
It caught one.
  • I wasn't trying to shoo or hurt the spider with the popcorn kernels...and also because I didn't know for sure he wasn't a jumping arachnid.  The Google says it's a Black and Yellow garden spider.
  • This kid could be the next José Feliciano, Van Cliburn, or Rubik's Cube master.
  • Our church recently concluded a sports-themed series which had a ton of pretty cool sports memorabilia, some possibly on loan by the efforts of one of our members, we'll call him "Norm".  The next-to-last weekend featured a 5-7 minute video clip of our pastor and "Norm" conversing, probably filmed at the latter's office.  If he didn't have that other gig, he would make an excellent pastor.
  • I wonder if these are any of the floating homes like Chevy Chase had in the movie Foul Play.  It's too bad Chase and Hawn only did two movies together - they are both excellent flicks.
  • After church this evening, I stopped at the local Kroger, as is my wont.  An attractive woman, between 45 and my age was wearing what appeared to be an authentic Reagan/Bush '84 campaign t-shirt.  I remarked to her that it was too bad they aren't on the ballot this year, but did not otherwise try to flirt with her, as I thought I saw a wedding band.  Bummer.
  • Somewhere, I have a pristine "Nixon - Now More Than Ever" bumper sticker.  Ha!
  • O, Henry!  What Santa could bring me for Christmas:

I like the one one on the bottom,
lever actions should have straight stocks (IMNSHO).
  • Those are .45-70s, not .30-30s.  Not that I have anything against .30-30s.  It would be pretty potent for hunting with Hornady LeveRevolution ammo, or a fun heavy plinker with some 350 grain copperplated handloads.
  • What does he do if he sees squab on the menu?  Oh, it's OK, he only reads four-letter words.
  • Every now and then I catch a few minutes of Rizzoli & Isles, mostly to see Angie Harmon, though I don't believe I've ever watched a full episode. It's also kinda fun to see Bruce McGill (not as fun as Angie Harmon...), who was D-Day in Animal House.  I also saw him awhile back on a re-run of Walker, Texas Ranger.
  • Jay Pharoah Dr. Ben Carson discusses productive dialogue about Charlotte with Megyn Kelly.

¿Es el tenedor del Diablo?
  • If it is, can la leche de la Madre - and the emerald - be far away?  No, it's just a dead tree that will likely fall on the bike path 'ere long.
  • Tonight I caught the last 20 minutes of the most excellent 'closing of the American West' film My Name is Nobody, partially directed by Sergio Leone.  Starring Henry Fonda, most of the rest of the cast, including Terence Hill, were Italian, with early appearances by Steve Kanaly and Geoffrey Lewis being notable exceptions.
Gunslinger nonpareil Jack Beauregard and Nobody
  • Afterward, I sat down to scribble this post, but the TV was still on in the den.  I kept hearing a Native American voice that sounded familiar.  Sure enough, it was the masked man's faithful companion - not that there's anything wrong with that - Jay Silverheels.  I checked the listing and found the movie was The Black Dakotas, from 1954 (color), and also featured Clayton Moore, though not in his famous role.
'Cause the eyes of the Ranger are upon you...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Endless Summer

  • Between mid-August and the resurrection of Summer, it appeared that snake season was blooming.  On a bike ride, I encountered two of the slitherers.  One was smallish, about 14-16", and beat a hasty retreat into the tall grasses as my 26" wheel approached.  The other was stationary, about 36-42" and 1-1/4" across.  I initially had mistaken it for a charred stick when I spotted it just off the path.  After discerning where its head was, I shooed it away by tossing a couple small handfuls of dry dog food in its direction.
  • Ever since FCA started running those Dodge commercials with all the rumbling engines, I've wondered if I was hearing the announcer correctly, as it seemed he said "a murderer of crows".  Apparently I'm not the only one.
  • Amusing sight:  A vehicle rear window sporting NRA and Sig/Sauer decals at the corners, and Diesel Dog Garage written large across the middle...on a Honda Fit.
  • I don't know if everyone has OCDs, but I have at least a couple.  When I eat grapes, it's seven at a time - I pick up seven, not all in my mouth at the same time.  If I'm eating Halloween peanut butter taffy, I have to get one orange and one black at a time, even though the candy inside is the same.
  • The Earth recently checked in to a Meineke Service Center for an alignment tune-up, which has resulted in a 13th Zodiac sign being added.  Thankfully, I don't hang out in bars, so if a chick were to ask me my sign, I won't have to say "It's that new one - I'm not sure how to pronounce it."
  • One more reason to like Michael Caine.
  • Don King, appearing for Donald Trump, accidentally said a word that would have disqualified a modern candidate for political office.  Wonder how the media will react to this?  Interestingly, the article's author, in identifying King, includes the phrase once convicted of manslaughter.  True enough, but I wondered how he might describe the Rev. Al Sharpton, who is supporting another candidate.  I did not find him using the term discredited in promoting the 1987 Tawana Brawley rape hoax to describe Rev. Sharpton.  
  • A bit of research indicated the author actually may be conservative.
  • Media Bias, part II: In a CBS News piece about the Mylan CEO (EpiPen maker) being questioned by a Congressional committee about recent price hikes, no mention was made that the company CEO, Heather Bresch, is the daughter of  Senator Joe Manchin III, D-WV.  CNBC's coverage did mention the link.
  • Protests in Charlotte, NC over a police shooting of a black man have left a black man dead - killed by another protester.  Edit:  The man's condition has been upgraded from deceased to critical.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Toes Go In First

  • A Friday mnemonic for blondes.
Airmeal delivery...
  • Right here, that's where.
  • It was late when I got off work, so I caught part of the Carson show, which featured a very young Mark Harmon, plugging his then-new movie Summer School, which featured the adorable Courtney Thorne-Smith.  
  • The TV was still on after the Tonight Show, and then I realized the schedule change that had put Barney Miller ahead of Johnny had made way for back-to-back Wings episodes after.  Yay!
  • Wings, of course, featured the equally adorable Crystal Bernard.  The second of last night's episodes featured Cliff and Norm flying out to Nantucket, as the show was produced by the same team as Cheers
  • Initially, Cliff was given the right seat on the twin-engine commuter plane, but when Steven Weber's [pilot] character made an unwitting comment about "busier than a pit bull at a mailman convention", he became agitated, and was asked to exchange seats with Norm (which probably helped with W&B issues anyway).
I hadn't planned to run two Peter Cetera videos in one week,
but, you know, because Crystal Bernard
  • Interesting tidbit gleaned while fact-checking: Wings co-star Tim Daly (younger brother to Cagney & Lacy's Tyne Daly) formed a company last decade named Wandering Bark Productions.  Shakespearean minds think alike.  There is a local lady whose online dating site moniker is "Ever-Fixed Mark".  I've never met her, but I think she attends my old church.
  • I'm probably more amused than outraged by the current spate of petulant prima donna athletes protesting the national anthem.  We've got  black and mixed-race football players bemoaning the state of race relations - 50 years after the civil rights act, and after nearly two terms of a black President.  Gay soccer players 'ashamed' of the U.S. - after near universal legislation enhancing the rights of LGBTIQ and the Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex marriage.  Exactly what goodies have not been afforded to these interest groups?
  • It's a very loose converse analogy, but I'm reminded of the Westboro Baptist group, who decided to dishonor American servicemen and -women because of U.S. social trends vis-à-vis homosex.  Truly a non sequitur, inasmuch as our troops do not legislate social policy.  Why one decides to specifically disrespect something celebrating our independence, because of some modern skirmishes on wholly unrelated modern issues, escapes me.  
  • Because they can, I guess.  And yes, I support that they can, though not that they do.
  • I passed a co-worker walking the other direction the other day.  "Hey Don, what's up?"   Still walking, I replied "The rent."  A few steps later, in unison, we both turned around, saying "It's too damn high!"  We had never previously discussed that subject at all.
  • Dan Aykroyd as a tripping Jimmy Carter may not have been far off the mark.  First UFOs, then killer wabbits?  Was someone giving him LSD-laced peanuts?
  • The other night, Doc was filling in for Ed in handing Carnac the envelopes, which had been hermetically sealed on Funk & Wagnall's front porch.  I didn't recall having seen anyone but McMahon do that bit.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wazzup Wednesday!

  • A Target shopper has reportedly won the litigation lottery, worth millions of dollars, for slapping a hypodermic needle out of her daughter's hand in the retailer's parking lot.
  • The speculation that HRC used an earpiece during a speech recently reminded me of this.
  • Cobie Smulders' husband is no longer in the SNL cast.  Seems a little surprising, since Killam has been the recent 'go-to' for DJT impressions.  I kinda liked his Jebidiah Atkinson bit on 'Update', but didn't care for his morning show gay husband/co-host sketches.  In Season 41, Darrell Hammond was specifically not tapped to do cameo DJT appearances - wonder if he'll reprise the role this year (his was unquestionably the better version).
  • In a recent batch of hardboiled eggs, I cracked one open to find that it only was about 2/3 full, despite no prior cracks in the shell.  It's like the egg factory has taken a page from the miniature candy bar industry, and is reducing the size of the product inside.
  • I like it, but for that kind of money, I'd expect something more.
Starting at $ an extra for a spare
  • The internet is so stupid.  This was from one of those "Can you guess what this is?" sites:

Duh!, said the Tin Man...
  • Maybe it's just raw materials for DJT to build that wall.  Or perhaps we could build a tunnel and snatch all of that bauxitic treasure.  To build a boatload of Bowlus RVs.
  • The internet is stupid, part II - It asks "Who owns this 51 year old bikini body?":
Naturally, I clicked and found that my answer of Elizabeth Hurley was correct.
  • In the interest of full disclosure, I am not running for office or anything, but my doctor visit last month showed total cholesterol of 126, CHOL/HDL ratio 3.0, triglycerides 118, BMI of 23.35, body fat 17.15%, and BP of 106/68...and a zero risk factor for voting for HRC.
  • Carson's monologue from September 5, 1990, featured the following gem: "Times are hard.  Today driving in to work, I saw a guy picking up cans from the side of the road to get pocket money.  I stopped and gave him five bucks, and said 'Have a nice day, Mr. Trump.'"

Monday, September 12, 2016

Never Forget

I'm perhaps a little late in posting this.

I first heard this excellent version when a top M-B Credit executive gave me a copy of  a sampler CD that they used to showcase the audio systems on the Teutonic automobiles.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

There's just so many summers...

  • ...and just so many springs. 

  • A painful reminder of great plans not realized - reprising the trip to the coast with my kids in 2008, a hunting trip with my dad and oldest son, canoeing/kayaking with my daughter.  Life can be such an interloper.
  • Honey, I may be late getting home.  Gotta love the line, "Some of the bees flew away from the accident scene."  Ya think?  Does that mean the rest stayed and gave statements to the accident investigators?  At least these were domesticated bees, and not like this one:
Gonna look into your bones, when de bees come down.
  • Surely they don't teach this at Baylor's College of Dentistry.  And, no, you're not Shirley.
  • Sexit? I don't know that it's reached that point, but the Swiss, a generally reasonable group, have reservations about following rules from nitwits in Brussels.  I guess they may not be willing to wait until concert venues are getting bombed and people get run down by trucks to maintain control of their scene.
  • A few years ago I read The Day After the Dollar Crashes, believing the sub-heading that it was a survival guide for economic chaos.  While it did correctly identify several drivers for an impending worldwide economic meltdown, I found that it quickly devolved into the author's 'one-world' fantasy, as I so opined on these pages at the time.  Subsequent events have reinforced my contention of the irrationality of expecting that any one person or cabal can successfully govern all peoples of the globe.
  • "A Republic - If you can keep it."  Those guys in 1787 realized that although all men [and women] may have been created equal, not all geographic, ethnic, and cultural groups have the same desires. Maximizing local autonomy and control is more likely to produce lasting peace than an attempt at centralized global hegemony.
  • Even in North Texas, within a neighborhood, there's not unanimity.
  • Sorry Elvis, no Suspicious Minds here.
  • I frequently feature, shall we say, dated musical references on MWB. One might assume I am a fan of all old music.  
  • I am not.
  • Watched a bit of a documentary from last decade about The Mamas and The Papas.  Although I like a couple of their songs, count me as Not. A. Fan.
  • 60 Minutes was actually sorta interesting this evening, with segments about cellphone hacking (vindicating my decision to not load mindless apps on my phone - although such abstinence does not guarantee security); a Louisiana man released after 30 years of imprisonment; and the CERN Hadron Collider.
  • I consider myself as smart as an average bear, Boo-Boo, but for the life of me, I don't understand the whole Higgs Boson thing.  I wonder how much CERN's Reliant bill is to power that whole collider contraption.
  • PBS had a concert special of The Highwaymen from 1990. If I recall correctly, it opened with Jimmy Webb's title tune, then Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies..., Ring of Fire, then Me and Bobby McGee, before I decided it was more important to take an evening bike ride. Of the four, Cash seemed to be in his best voice, with Kris and Waymore tied for second. Willie was doing his hurriedspeakingoflyricsoutoftimewiththemelody as he has come to do in recent years. I've seen the red headed stranger about a half-dozen times, mostly prior to 1990, and don't remember such widespread use of that technique back then. Sort of reminded me of how Neil Diamond lazily strolls through what used to be some of his best material (of course, he can never top his 1972 Hot August Night performances).
  • Raised mostly on folk/pop, I remember sitting in a shady parking area at Texas Lil's (I think my Dad's company was having a cookout/corporate event there), looking at the radio of his K-5 Blazer when Good Hearted Woman came on.  
  • W/W paved the way for me to check out country music, and for the next 20 years or so, I kept both metromess country FM stations on my presets.

Friday, September 2, 2016

It doesn't really matter anyhow...

But this is one of my most favorite Chicago tunes.  There is a remastered version of the original arrangement (from Chicago Transit Authority) which is really tight and perfectly paced, but I wish it featured Robert Lamm's slightly transposed vocals, as in this 1969 version, complete with hippie-dippy chicks:

Jimi Hendrix reportedly said that Terry Kath (in green jersey) was his favorite guitarist.  When the group decided to continue (partially at the urging of  Carl Hilding Severinsen) after Kath's death in 1978, they hired Donnie Dacus (raised in Cleburne) as guitarist. Kiefer Sutherland subsequently was married to Kath's widow for a time in the late '80s.