Saturday, October 13, 2012

Brit Hume: "Biden looked like 'cranky old man, to some extent, debating with a polite young man"

Care to guess which part of that quote caught my attention? (I have a high level of confidence you did.)

Brit Hume

I watched most of the debate. I was curious to see if Joey B. would open his mouth and proceed to step on his tongue. He disappointed me, in a nice way. My first impressions were echoed all over the innernetz and TV. Not that I needed validation. I found him to be arrogant, overbearing, overly aggressive, and not a man I like to think of as "one heartbeat from the Presidency."

His lack of manners and civility were both maddening and distracting. His body language, phony expressions and BS smiles were bad showmanship. I thought was that he was trying to mimic Regans's remark, "There you go again...", without audio.

Ryan was indeed polite. Almost to the point of being deferential. And I think he missed a great opportunity. Had it been me, when Joey pointed to the fact that Ryan's home state used stimulus money for projects and seemed to want to make that a bad thing, I'd have asked, "What were we supposed to do? You wanted the funds used, you made them available and we accepted. We actually helped your administration." And then ticked off how stimulative the money was. In Wisconsin. But then I'm not a debater.

Our Flag, waving it, respecting it and

We proudly fly a flag. It's one of the type that fits in a brace on the side of a building wall. It's waving daily. Occasionally I forget to put it out. Occasionally I forget to take it down. Rarely have I ever left it out when it's raining. I love the American Flag. I love what it represents. I proudly served under it. I admire everyone else who has. I respect the sacrifices that have been made in its name.

I wanted to use a picture of the flag waving in the breeze. Enter my faithful Google. I found the one below and before I go on with the purpose of this post, I'd like to tell you about the picture.

I don't intentionally steal something that's been copyrighted nor do I plagiarise. I credit my source and try not to forget to provide a link to the originator. I found this picture and followed the link. This picture was part of an interesting story that includes information about this piece of art and blends with my reason for starting this post. I'll only include this part... 

"Image Detail: Melinda Bula of El Dorado Hills, Calif., made this art quilt for her son serving in the U.S. Marines. It’s titled 'Our Flag Was Still There.' "

When something is Wrong, it's Wrong

And political party, political point of view, religion, lack of religion, lifestyle or any damned thing else don't turn Wrong into Right.

Jason Payseno, 39, of EAP Inc. Glass Service, replaces a window shot out at the Obama for America headquarters near 9th Avenue and Acoma Street in Denver on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. (The Denver Post | Daniel Petty)

Idiots will be Idiots. It's their Nature. They do idiotic things. And firing a bullet into the window of a political campaign office is idiotic. The only message the idiot "sent," is "Hey, I am an Idiot!" He didn't change anyone's opinion, maybe he even swayed on opinion to the opposite of his.

I happen to know different

Complete fabrication
On any given day, on any given street corner in downtown Houston, Louie's unsold stuff is sold. Cheap. Some times those Freelance Sales Reps have great deals on Rolexes, too. I got the one with the diamond bezel. It's really nice. Doesn't keep real good time, though. But hey, twice a day it's exactly right!

From the mouths (and nostrils) of babes

And now, an Awwwww Moment, or a Moment of Awwwww

Mom and Dad out for a walk with the kid.

I think he takes after you more than me.

Sometimes even cats are funny

And now, a word about Helix Aspersa Müller Glycoconjugates

Or, as it's sometimes referred to, The Latest, Greatest Item To Come Along And Grab The Attention Of Eager Ladies Dying To Part With A Chunk Of Cash.

"Nope, too long to put in a cosmetics ad. No female we pitch to in our demographics spectrum will ever finish read it. Besides, it says too much about our end game." said the head of marketing.

"Well, how about we call it by it's name, snail slime?," asked the newly hired market researcher.

"You have got to be kidding me, you naive, noob nobody. This ain't no kids' Halloween candy we're sellin' here," his boss fired back.

"Time Returning Serum," came a voice from the far end of the conference table.

Chilean Snail

Thus was born another in the extensive line of products available from the fine folks at Sephora. Or, so it might have happened. Or, might not have. I made up the dialog. As in fiction. Didn't happen. No need to call Legal.

But the product is real. And the competition is not small when it comes to "gaining marketing share," as the marketing department likes say. The sales department calls it "moving product."

What, you may be asking unless you've clicked one of the links, the hell am I talking (writing) about? Ok, I'll explain...

For at least 15 years, a company in Chile has been very successfully selling, and other companies have been copying or varying, a product intended to heal and repair damaged skin. Like most things, it either works or it doesn't. Depends of who(m) you talk to.

Prices range upward to above $70. And the bottles and jars are not what you call Large Economy Size. I'll leave you with a piece of Latin Wisdom...  Caveat Emptor. (Let the buyer beware.) 

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Line on Romney and where the Smart Money is going

No, No, No! This isn't another political advertisement for, against or approved by anybody. And it has nothing to do with campaign contributions.

I was looking at the latest betting information on next month's Presidential Election and thought I'd pass it along.

By Caravaggio, circa 1594.

First, for the uninitiated, a little gambling info...
You can not bet on political races in the US. For obvious reasons. But you can place bets on them offshore. One of the largest Bookmakers (a nice term for Bookies) is Ladbrookes, or Paddy Power, both in the UK.

The "Line" is the odds a gambler gets when he either bets for against any outcome. "Smart Money" is large bets by those supposedly "In the Know." The "Over/Under" is a bet that a total during an event will be larger than, or less than, that total. It's an "Even" (no odds) bet.

Today, Ladbrokes has it looking good for the Prez, at 1/3. (Bet $100, win $300). If your choice (betting-wise) is Romney, it's 21/10 ($100 gets you $210).

I don't know if it's "Smart Money" or not, but the controversial Las Vegas casino guy and billionaire, Sheldon Adelson, has pumped of ton of bucks into Romney's campaign. On the other side of the is billionaire George Soros. His truckloads of Benjamins has been heading Obama's way. I guess it evens out.

The Over/Under on Romey is 25.5

Bottom line: It's still awfully close in the betting world. Some might say it's "You pick'em." or "Toss up." (Who the hell knows?)

At the risk of offending my Democrat friends, and I do have them...

I picked up a few funny pictures today.

I welcome any comebacks/opposing view humor.

I'm confused. Again.

Please don't laugh. I'm old. It happens a lot. And I'm sensitive. Ok? Thank you.

The USA uses a lot of oil. Crude. Black Gold. Texas Tea. We all know that.

We use so much we have to import it in gi-normous tankers and pipelines from Canada (our #1 supplier) and Mexico (our #2 supplier). Hell, some of those tankers even come from that Commie Igor Chavez in Venezuela (our #3 supplier).

Our daily production (on land and offshore) has been running at just under 6 million barrels a day. It's been going up faster this year mostly because of increasing production in North Dakota. (ND now pumps more than Alaska or California.) Output in Texas and the Gulf is also increasing.

Combined, Texas, North Dakota, Alaska, California and Oklahoma now account for about half of the total US production.

Even though our production is increasing, and we're bringing it in as fast as we can, I learned today that British Petroleum has been granted a license to export, yes, export (as in ship it elsewhere) US crude (as it they got in here). And Royal Dutch Shell has applied for an export license. That's more of the stuff leaving the USA! Is that not confusing? Can anyone offer an explanation I might understand? I'd really appreciate hearing it.

I just love this -- Kayla Macke is a Shell spokeswoman. She told a reporter ... "We have applied to the Department of Commerce to export domestic U.S. crude oil," Macke said, adding that as a global commodity, imports and exports would follow supply and demand."

Earth to Kayla, Earth to Kayla: Have you not been paying attention to what's going on around here? Do you not think there's enough demand right here that the supply should not be following anywhere. It should be staying where the demand is! Am I wrong? Did I miss an e-mail somewhere? (maybe my spam filter gobbled it up)

There's more wackiness in the story... "Other than routine movement between Canada and the United States, we have not been involved in any crude oil export requests," a Vitol spokesman told Reuters, adding they had been shipping crude to Canada for some time." We've had companies shipping oil to Canada (where we're bringing it in from) for some time? Have you begun to join in on my confusion yet? Is any part of this making sense to you?

I'm going to have a drink now. I've got a nice, domestic cabernet waiting. I need a little chillin' time.

A brief bit of humor (I hope) to help pass the remaining time until you clock out for TGIF

We have a similar problem around my house. How the hell do they do that? There's 14 assorted shapes/sizes/colors in the dish; the pieces are not very big; they still pick the red ones first and then begin the elimination process. Amazing, Grace. Simply amazing. And impressive, too.

LaLaLand star makes (another) dumb career move

No so news? Well, the "star" is Beyonce. And her "career move" involves Clint Eastwood! Yes, Clint Eastwood! Not only a personal favorite of mine, he's an Icon! A Hero! Also, he's been getting a lot of favorable PR lately.

Miz B and Clint have been "bantering" about what Hollyweird terms as a Project. The Project would be another remake of the 1954 Judy Garland success, "A Star is Born." She's claiming "scheduling conflicts." (How about scheduling a new career?) Could the "conflict" have anything to do with her politics?

At the link you'll find an interview with The Man discussing his now famous "Empty Chair" bit at the RNC national convention. You may have heard about it. The bit, I mean.

Just Making himself a Good Day.

Whilst going about your usual business today, don't be concerned about that tractor-trailer-sized meteor in Earth's neighborhood

Got your attention, huh? Sure got mine. It should be available for naked eyeballing tonight. If the sky's clear. (Based on current conditions and the latest forecast, I think that leaves me out.)

Keeping track of things.
The thing is described as "small." Lord luv a duck! How big is "Big!" The NASA Asteroid Watch folks are watching 2012 TC4 (everything in space is numbered or named) closely and tell us "Do Not Worry." I like NASA. I trust NASA.

"...will safely pass Earth Oct 12 at just .25 the distance to our moon's orbit," scientists with NASA's Asteroid Watch program wrote in a Twitter update this week. On average, the moon's orbit is about 238,000 miles."

"The asteroid is large enough to be seen by backyard astronomers using a small telescope, the night sky events website has reported."

The nice folks have a neat video they made a few days ago, of the little boogger boogety-boogetyin' along. (Note: You may have to sit through a short commercial. Sorry. Worth the wait though.)

If you're interested in keeping up with meteor and meteorite news, I highly recommend this website for enlightenment. You'll also find "Earthquake News, Fireballs, Bolides, Comets, Asteroid Impact, Meteorite Quest, Recent Meteorite Falls & Related News."

And, since you're evidently still with me (How do I know? You're reading, aren't you? duh) As I was clicking around, gathering information for you (just part of the service), I ran across a couple of geeky, spacey sites. I'm not offering descriptions. If you like this stuff you'll click and learn.

A man of medical science reconsiders more than just his life on earth

Dr. Eben Alexander is a neurosurgeon. The son of a neurosurgeon, he grew up in a scientific world. He followed his father's path and "...became an academic neurosurgeon, teaching at Harvard Medical School and other universities. I understand what happens to the brain when people are near death, and I had always believed there were good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death."

A 7-day coma turned his beliefs about an afterlife completely around. It's an interesting story.

(Photo illustration by Newsweek; Source: Buena Vista Images-Getty Images)

Thinking about doing a little beachcombing?

I'm suggesting you consider Pompano Beach, Florida. An interesting find makes me think there's got to be more interesting stuff down there. Hey, if you find one piece of something you just know there has to be more parts nearby. You might come back home a famous and maybe even wealthy. Just sayin'.

Just the first piece?
Oh, yeah, you might find yourself becoming part of Man's Never Ending Quest for Knowledge. That might be kinda neat.

Mars rover Curiosity Plinking update

Last week I told you about NASA's plans to bust'a Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer on a Mars rock. They hit it. Studied it. Results are available. 

"This rock is a close match in chemical composition to an unusual but well-known type of igneous rock found in many volcanic provinces on Earth," said Edward Stolper of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, who is a Curiosity co-investigator. "With only one Martian rock of this type, it is difficult to know whether the same processes were involved, but it is a reasonable place to start thinking about its origin."

"This image shows where NASA's Curiosity rover aimed two different instruments to study a rock known as "Jake Matijevic." The red dots are where the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument zapped it with its laser on Sept. 21, 2012, and Sept. 24, 2012, which were the 45th and 48th sol, or Martian day of operations. The circular black and white images were taken by ChemCam to look for the pits produced by the laser. The purple circles indicate where the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer trained its view"

Mitt's got a very real problem!

And I'm not sure he's aware of it. Yet. Lindsay Lohan, even though she voted for the guy in office now, says she's disappointed in the employment numbers and she...

"...also hinted at mysterious underlying motives for supporting the GOP candidate and turning her back on Obama under wraps.

"It's a long story, but you're going to have to wait for that," she remarked, adding that she would have liked to watch the Ryan vs. Biden debate, which had taken place just a couple of hours earlier, but for an unspecified reason, was unable to.

Last month, the troubled actress went as far as to tweet the President requesting he "cut taxes for those who need it: middle-class families, small businesses" as well as "those that are listed on Forbes as 'millionaires'."

Can you imagine the poor guy picked to deliver this bit of endorsement news to Romney?

"Lindsay-freakin'-Lohan is endorsing you, sir. Yes, sir, the one out there in LaLaLand. The one with the drug problems. The one that can't keep her clothes on. The one with an arrest record. Yes, sir, that's her. No, sir, there was no mention of a campaign contribution. She's broke and her mom is about to go Chapter 13."

A young Lindsay. Before the insanity set in.

Think this will influence any polls?

I'd like a room with a view, please. The bath room.

If that's usually a requirement, or at least a serious consideration when you make a hotel reservation, I offer this beauty for you to think about and and nine more.

In addition to your passport, you might want to consider packing your suitcase with your favorite bubble bath, and rubber ducky. I'm not sure the room rates are "all inclusive."

There's no Trouble in River City (this time)

 Let's play Connect the Dots.
  • 91 year old Woman
  • Mayor
  • More than 30 years in office
  • Town Hall property
  • City Coffers
  • $201,611
  • Multiple crimes
  • Guilty Plea
All right, are you ready?

Get set.


To River Falls, Alabama, for the full story.

Hang down your head, Mary Dixon, hang down your head in shame.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The US Navy believes in planning for unforseen eventualities

Today's modern, sleek Navy leads the world in cutting edge, technologically designed and equipped machines of warfare. There is no other navy that can boast of better equipment. While much of it is costly, it is effective and protects us from our enemies.

Because personnel of the Navy are far-sighted they plan for unforseen eventualities. They know "Stuff Happens." They refuse to be victims of Murphy's Law. Their planning frequently involves unique solutions. Creativity is usually called for. And our Navy has that in spades.

For instance: Modern Navy ships today are guided by a very sophisticated and complicated computer system. It's very important for these marvels to be guided accurately and correctly. If the Captain requires his vessel to proceed in the port (what we civilians know as left) direction, he orders the Helmsman to input data which will cause the ship to turn left. When a change of direction to the right is called for, he orders the Helmsman to input data which will result in the ship turning to Starboard (right).

After intensive studies, experimentation and investigation, a fiendishly clever and simple solution was found. It was deemed to be cost-effective.

Of Politics, Politicians and Google searches

Someone in an office somewhere with time on his/her hands decided to play the "Let's Google something" game. Always good for a few minutes of time-sucking and, frequently, a few laughs.

"Team Obama got a good chuckle Wednesday when it was revealed that a Google Image search of the phrase “completely wrong” yielded a series of photos of GOP challenger Mitt Romney. A spokesperson for the search giant says that there was no partisan tinkering involved in the alternately hilarious or embarrassing results, depending on which side of the aisle you sit. Instead, the gallery is a result of Google analytics, which surfaces images tied to phrases used most often in news headlines and search terms. In this case, the algorithms were responding to the glut of coverage of Romney’s statement last week that he was “completely wrong” to call 47 percent of Americans “victims” dependent on the government."

Since I, as advertised, do not take everything for granted, I Googled "completely wrong." My results page showed "About 686,000,000 results (0.21 seconds."And yes, there was indeed a glut of Romney coverage.

My intrepid investigative instincts kicked in and I did what comes naturally to a person such as myself. I Googled "completely right." Naturally, different results. "About 1,200,000,000 results (0.21 seconds)" The resulting suggestions were a very mixed bag. I did note though, the top of the list reference wasn't Rush Limbaugh.

My "right" search

Just when you thought your phone bill was high...

...some lady in France one-ups you. Or trillion-ups you.

"A French woman received an 11,100 trillion euro phone bill, which was ultimately corrected after her phone company admitted that it made a mistake.

Solenne San Jose said that when she opened up her mail, she saw that her phone bill totaled 11,721,000,000,000,000 euros ($1,510 trillion).

“There were so many zeroes I couldn’t even work out how much it was,” Solenne San Jose of the Bordeaux region told the AFP news agency."

Now, don't you feel better? You're welcome. Just part of the service we render around here. Easin' folks angst.

The British are coming! The British are coming!

Paul Revere

No, this isn't about Paul Revere. The Brits as we Former Colonials refer to them, seem to think "their" language, or their version of what's referred to as "English," is being imported for mass consumption in the Former Colonies (our beloved USA).

"After years of us importing Americanisms – taking rain checks, going on vacations, getting coffees and saying we’re good and OK – the tide is turning. Influenced by Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Harry Potter and Top Gear, the Yanks are at last turning back to the language of the mother country."

I guess the guy writing the story looks at it as Payback Time. (Rather touchy of him, I'd think.)

Another Brit has a website keeping tabs on us. (Noticed any drones bearing the Union Jack around your place?)

I plead guilty to being a fan of  the now-defunct "Monty Python," and the current "Doctor Who" and "Top Gear." There have been others I'd watch now and again. I don't, however, make much use of the words or phrases I've learned from watching.

As I was reading the story, I remembered a quote that was attributed to Sir Winston Churchill: "Two great nations, separated only by a common language." Whether or not he said it is questioned.

The author is one of the questioners... "What would the Dowager Countess of Grantham say to that? Two nations, still divided by one infinitely flexible, constantly reinvented, uncommon language."

His effort may or may not have been done in jest. I found it to be rather humorous in nature. 

Cheerio and and Ta Ta for now, Chaps (and Chapettes). That's rather enough rubbish for now. I'd think.

Really interesting day (for me) today, and it's not even close to over!

1. I declared this to be "National Hug a Farmer Day."
2. I found something from the NY Times (formerly known as The Greatest Newspaper in the World) I considered worthy of passing on.
3. The "something" concerns California (formerly known as a nice place to visit) and didn't involve LaLaLand's usual nuttiness.

The story is long. If you'd prefer just a few excerpts to pique the old curiosity, here they are... 
  • "...Bakersfield — the land of oil derricks, lowriders and truck stops with Punjabi food..."
  • "...six million pounds of carrots a day..."
  •  "...carrots whirl around on conveyor belts at up to 50 miles an hour..."
  • "...massive operations of California’s expansive Central Valley..."
  • "...exploiting ­­ — almost without limitation — its water, mineral resources, land, air, people and animals."
  •  "...bills itself as the “farm capital of the world,” but it’s actually the “famous-prisoner capital of the world.”
  • "...10,000 acres of almond groves..."
  • "...feeding China’s growing and extraordinary thirst for wine."
The story ends with this..."No matter what, though, it seems as if the valley is eventually going to become less productive. In fact, that’s already happening. Development and contamination have taken land out of production. And disproportionate swaths are being devoted to grape and almond farming solely because those crops can be reliably processed and profitably shipped to China. There are pioneers in the valley, people working to figure out ways to make their style of farming — whether big or small — work over the long term. But beyond the profit motive, there is little public support or encouragement for them or their ideas and no way for consumers or even officials to know whom to support. As a result, our land use and, to a considerable extent, our diet are dependent on the hunches and whims of landowners. If we want a system of farming that’s sustainable on all levels, we have to think about a national food and farming policy. And as I was looking out at Buxman’s amazing land, it occurred to me just how amazing it is that we don’t have one."

That doesn't sound like a situation unique to California.

Are there "Diamonds in the Sky" after all?

And I'm not referring to the songs that include that phrase.This is the article that sparked the question. Here's an excerpt...

"Move over, Hope Diamond. The most famous gems on Earth have new competition in the form of a planet made largely of diamond, astronomers say.

The alien planet, a so-called "super-Earth," is called 55 Cancri and was discovered in 2004 around a nearby star in our Milky Way galaxy. After estimating the planet's mass and radius, and studying its host star's composition, scientists now say the rocky world is composed mainly of carbon (in the form of diamond and graphite), as well as iron, silicon carbide, and potentially silicates.

At least a third of the planet's mass is likely pure diamond."

Worth a NASA trip for a look-see?
Too bad we no longer have a Space Program. That puppy, if real, could finance one helluva lot of "free stuff." Of course we'd have to control the diamond market and prices, instead of those folks over in Europe. Might be worth it though. Hate to think of a couple of Commie countries I won't name getting there first. Just sayin'.

The UN has declared today to be "International Day of the Girl Child."

And if anyone is interested or cares, I approve. Something I don't usually do when it comes to the UN.

"On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world."

The theme for 2012 is "Ending Child Marriage." I approve of that, too.

My wife and I were blessed with two girls. Raising daughters is pure hell for a guy. Our built-in maleness, the thing that played a really big part in us getting married, gets turned all catty-wampus! We know all the stuff that runs around in every other male's head. It's frequently generated/fueled by testosterone. And now, one of the most precious things in our lives... well, I think you know where I'm heading so I'll stop now.

There are more than a few songs about Daddies and their daughters. I don't recall hearing a single one I didn't like or couldn't, in some way, relate to. Another song I like, about girls, was written by an old high school buddy.

Besides bringing something to your attention that I think is a nice idea and, at the same time getting to take a poke at an organization that is probably more screwed up than our Federal Government, I'd like to mention that this is my 100th post.

Making note of reaching mile markers along a blogger's journey through the Blogosphere seems to be a "requirement" for those who blog. I don't know if there's an Official Rule Book for Bloggers" or not. I've looked and can't find one. I've seen something referred to as "Rule 5," but that's the only number I've found. Without going into detail, "Rule 5" has to do with NSFW. Or close to it.

Can we talk Comedy (not comedically) here?

Of course we can. I get to choose the topics, right? So...

I just read an online headline: "11 Awesome Up-And-Coming Funny Ladies You Should Know"
No, I didn't think they were directing that at me, specifically, but I was curious so, since I always enjoy funny stuff, I clicked.

There are pictures of the young ladies with what, I guess, is supposed to be one of their funnier gags. The very first one, right out of the box and rated as #1, has a funny line! But, it's NSFW. A couple of the others are questionable. Curiosity moved me around the innernetz looking for more about the ladies and their humor. More NSFW and stuff I won't use here. But... I laughed a lot! Some great stuff!

Like they say, "Humor lies in the ears of the beholder." To tell the truth, I don't have any idea if somebody said that or not. If they didn't, they should have.

One of the funniest human beings ever on the face of the earth, to me, was Buddy Hackett. Chubby and usually wearing a goofy look, he was constantly popping off one-liners and funny stories. He was on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" frequently. And frequently he'd say something just a tiny bit short of being censorable. Then he'd put on an innocent face, looking around as if to say, "What's wrong? Did I say something I shouldn't have?"

I saw him live in Las Vegas. One of the pottiest potty mouths I'd ever heard! And I laughed so hard my jaws actually locked up. I doubled over and almost couldn't get back up. But the way he did it just didn't seem "dirty." He used profanity in a way that made the use of profanity funny. I thought that was ingenious.

Years later I heard about a young comic named Eddie Murphy. I saw his infamous routine, "Raw," on cable TV. Bored me to tears. It was George Carlin on steroids. Except George was funny. I like Murphy. I've watched him on SNL. His "Buh-wee," stuff is hilarious. I've seen a lot of his movies. I've watched movies just because he was in them. He seems, in private life, like a nice man. Color me Fan.

Moving to the other side of the Comedic Spectrum, I offer up Red Skelton, Abbott and Costello, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Jack Benny, Flip Wilson, Charlie Callas, just for starters, as examples of humor without a single "cuss word" being uttered. On stage.

There are hours and hours of their work on YouTube if you care to sample their work for yourself. I don't think you'll be disappointed. That is, if you don't mind, or you like, "clean comedy."

I think I'll write more about the Subject of Comedy later. Stay tuned.

I hereby declare this to be "National Hug A Farmer Day!"

Federal Regulator and That Lady in the WH should just quit whining and shut up. The folks want calories!

Because I like farmers and it's my blog.

Here's your chance... Ask a question at the next Presidential Debate

Courtesy of the nice folks at Yahoo! Answers. Seriously, they want to know...

"What question would you ask Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama at the second presidential debate.?

We're partnering with the Commission on Presidential Debates to gather questions for possible inclusion in the Oct. 16 town hall event.

Please leave your question below, and be sure to tune in to the debate at on Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. ET."
First, you establish the Ground Rules
I'm working on mine now. Follow the link or put yours in the comment box and I'll get it in the pile with the others. Might just be interesting. No prizes offered, but the opportunity to ask something they might not be prepared for. Wouldn't that be a hoot!
Admirable goal
This has been a Public Service Announcement. I love doing Public Service work. I think we should have a National Public Service day. We could hold Town Hall meetings. Figure out how to get our Public Servants to serve the Public more. And better.

Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas album sales may be in for competition this year

There's another furry lil critter that just may be warming up in the wings. (that's show biz talk) If their auditions go well, there could be a multi-CD deal in the works. Potentially, a 20-city road tour.

I hope their act doesn't turn out to be something cheesey. I think Alvin and his posse have reigned long enough. I'd like to hear some fresh, new voices. And, frankly, Alvin's repertoire could use an update.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another American Icon bites the dust

The Coca Cola Company has announced the 6.5 oz. glass bottle of the Nectar from Atlanta is discontinued. The last bottle has rolled off the lines. They held an auction at the bottling plant in Winona , Minnesota, for that bottle.

"This is the last one," LeRoy Telstad, vice-president and general manager, said Tuesday, holding the bottle high before handing it off to auctioneer Jon Kohner, who opened the bidding.

Five minutes and $2,000 later, Michael Faber, president of Viking Coca-Cola of St. Cloud, became the proud owner of what is doubtless the most expensive bottle of pop ever sold in Winona.

"I plan to retire on this one day," Faber said of his prize purchase."

For me, a lot of great memories are associated with this container of delight. Putting the nickel (yes, five cents) in the slot, listening to the internal workings of the machine and bang! as it hits the delivery opening. The bottle was always icy cold. The anticipation high. Then put the cap in the built-in opener on the dispenser, pop it off, listen to the little pssssst of carbonation as the cap was freed, move it to your lips and.... ahhhhhhh, "The Taste That Refreshes!"

The bottles were manufactured with the name of the city where it would first be used, cast into the bottom. A favorite game of chance was wagering a small sum (usually just a nickel) that your bottle would be a greater distance away than your opponents. It was required that a USA map was handy for any dispute settling. So, we weren't "gambling." We was lurnin' geography!

Seen in a very nice restaurant's "facilities"

Philosophy where you'd least expect it.

Keepin' tha beer cool. Or concealed?

American Ingenuity at work.

Remember the MacGyver guy?

Click on it to enbiggenify.

Is this an example of Do-it-yourselfing run amok? Or simply Technology marching forward?

In the USAF I came in contact with and had use for, copying machines. Not what you know today... these pieces of ancient history were called ditto machines and mimeographs. If you needed a large pile of copies, that request went to the offset printing office where they used presses much like many still in use today.

Much, much later in my civilian life, I went into the printing business. We had traditional printing presses and high-speed, high volume, multifunction Xerox and Kodak equipment. We also had slower, self-service machines. Along came computers and we began to get desktop printers (copiers). The technology advanced and the desktop models began to do more and more and more operations, combining many machines into one.

When I saw the description "3D Printer," I was extremely puzzled. How can a printer be 3D? Clicking around I found a video demonstrating the process. Oh, it's not a printer in the sense I know, it's a little piece of manufacturing equipment! It builds stuff! From some kind of plastic or exotic version of similar raw materials. Neat but, meh.

Since then I've noticed a lot of interest in folks building guns with the things. Guns? (hey, it's a Guy Thing) The obvious questions began to build. Of course I'm not the only inquiring mind/questioner. The latest news I found on the subject comes from The Telegraph, a London-based English newspaper. It seems the ante has been upped. Big time. Earlier stories I read were centered around small fire arms. If you're slightly interested or want an idea about questions and answers floating around the innernetz, click the link.

Tim (More Power) the Tool Man's project?

Of numbers, polls, pollsters, and politics

I have little faith in polls. I question their accuracy and I frequently distrust what they purportedly reveal. To my disappointment, poll results never seem to disclose the how the questions were phrased. They tell me the question and usually, who(m) they questioned. The question and how it's phrased, along with the choice of replies is a piece of crucial information.

You've probably heard the saying about how a competent District Attorney can get a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich. I feel the same about polls. I've participated in polls and the choice of replies was usually two. If neither is what I wanted to reply, "Sorry, that's not an option." Not an Option? What kind of poll asks for an opinion and then tells me my answer is "Not an option?" Jeeze, Louise! Are you "polling" or Brainwashing?

The Gallup folks used to be the Standard for polls. If Gallup said it, you could book it. A few years ago Scott Rasmussen came along. Then I heard about Quinnipiac University's polls. Both have good reputations for accuracy.

Yesterday I learned of the political research center of Suffolk University. Their accuracy has been rated at 96%. Impressive. They've announcement they are pulling their resources away from Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, because, in their words, "...we’ve already painted those red." Meaning, their results, to them, accurately forecast a Romney win. 
If I were in charge of a political campaign I'm not sure I'd make rash decisions based on polls. They are frequently a good tool for decisions, but not the only one.

Disclaimer: This is not intended as an endorsement of any candidate or political party. It's just my observation and comments on items in the current news.

P.S. This gives me an idea for a later post. About numbers and math. Stay tuned.

Small towns, neighbors, the innernetz, learning things and culinary delights

Courtesy of Paula Deen

One of the advantages of living in a small town is your neighbors. They frequently do the nicest things, just because they're your neighbor. And vice versa. We don't have enough open property space to plant a garden. Lots of flowery stuff here and there, but no veggies.

Some of our neighbors have gardens. We've been the grateful recipients of potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, herbs and sweet corn. The other day one of our nice ladies down the street was clearing out her assorted crops and getting the dirt ready for next growing season. Included in what she kindly brought us was some green tomatoes.

Anybody growing up in the South knows about and has eaten Fried Green Tomatoes. (yep, just like the movie title) My Mama dipped 'em in corn meal, fried 'em, added salt and pepper and served. No big deal. (like most Southern food) Worth every minute of her time. (like most Southern food)

Being an innernetz nut and big-time Paula Deen fan, I decided to find out what she might suggest. O.M.G. She doesn't use corn meal and she suggests a Vidalia relish topping. I'd never heard of such a recipe so I studied on it a while.

We don't keep self-rising flour on hand, so I decided I'd use the all-purpose that is on hand. We don't have, and can't get, Vidalia onions this time of year. But, I remembered, there is a Vidalia salad dressing. Since I'd never tried it I figured this would be a good time to. Off to one of our two grocery stores I went.

I'm happy to report: my version was tasty. Not great, but worth repeating. The new addition to our assortment of salad dressings now includes Vidalia. It's quite tasty. I'm thinking how good it's going to be on a green salad, or a mixed-meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, hoagie bun sammich. I'm anticipating.

My result wasn't worthy of a picture, but Paul's is, so I did the "save as," "upload" things.

Comet Alert! Comet Alert!

Mark this on your calendar... Sometime before Christmas 2013 (okay, maybe it's a ways off but I think this could be worth preparing for), "A  newly discovered comet could offer a once-in-a-civilization night-sky viewing opportunity that may not come again in our lifetime." Sounds kinda neat, huh?

They just recently discovered Comet ISON (C/2012 S1), and right now it's just a tiny spec out there. They dubbed it the "Christmas Miracle Comet," (I like that.) and say it could be as bright as a full moon. See, this sucker is gonna be an event and worthy of your planning efforts.

A "Did You Know" moment

Did you know there's an online dating service for the despicable Taliban? I didn't. (And folks think the innernetz is just a waste of time.)

In my continuing quest to add to your knowledge, I offer this (click to enbiggenate)...

Screenshot of the actual website

Rubber Ducks add to our scientific knowledge

Often maligned and taken for granted, this little American Icon has been quietly assisting scientists study the oceanic currents since 1992. And they're not doing it in somebody's bath tub.

Our Hero

"In 1992, a shipping crate containing 28,000 plastic bath toys was lost at sea when it fell overboard on its way from Hong Kong to the United States."

Since then they've been turning up on shores around the world. Folks have been reporting and logging their landings. There's a website set up to report findings and they're the subject of a book.

Their "currents" travels

So, let's start showing a little respect for these lil fellers, OK?

New USAF Battle Dress Uniform (BDU)

Jimmy Buffett must have approved.

No, not for today's Airman, but at one time it seems the attire adorning the lady was actually in use. I found the picture and this...

"Washington (AP) The Air Force unveiled its new Battle Dress Uniform today. The utilitarian thing about the new uniform said Air Force representatives was that it has a built-in reversible Hawaiian shirt.

"This helps keep troops at the ready," said one Air Force Official. "If they are off duty they simply turn the shirt inside-out and come into work."

...on a Military News site. As near as I can tell, the uniform (without the shirt) was in use for about 3 years.

Their menu features Roadkill and they Deliver!

Woo Woo! What a marketing concept. Too bad those delicacies the patrons were partaking of (and enjoying) from the buffet line weren't "as advertised." But there are cook books devoted to the recipes.

Not recommended by Michelin or Zagat

On this date in history

Not an original title. Not an original idea. But these events weren't local and I was looking for an idea and happened to notice a long list of events that happened on this date some years back and a couple of events piqued my interest and I think this sentence is beginning to run on. (Did you hold your breath while reading that?)

The US Naval Academy opens for business. -- They had 50 students and 7 professors. When it opened it was known as The Naval School. The curriculum included mathematics and navigation, gunnery and steam, chemistry, English, natural philosophy, and French. Five years later the name was changed. A new curriculum required midshipmen to study at the academy for four years and to train aboard ships each summer--the basic format that remains at the academy to this day.

Custer's funeral held at West Point. -- Yeah, the guy that had a little kerfuffle with a bunch of local citizenry around Little Big Horn, Montana. Custer was at the bottom of the list the year he graduated (1861). Maybe if he'd studied more he'd have avoiding finishing on the losing side of the aforementioned kerfuffle and the bottom of the grave at age 37.

Braves beat the Yanks to win World Series. -- The final score, if you're interested, was Braves 5, Yankees zip. , but the reason it caught my attention was the year. I was stationed at, as we liked to call it, Forbes Airplane Parking Lot, Topeka, Kansas. I remember the game because it was on in every office of the building I worked in.

If you read the story, you'll find a lot of interesting facts connected with the '57 Series. If you're a "stats nut," the second link will win you a ton of bar bets.

A new expression enters our vocabulary -- "Going Postal." The incident was at the post office in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and the guy was Joseph Harris. When I read the story I wondered why the expression wasn't "Going Ninja."

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marines test new helo camouflage scheme

You know them as fearless fighters. You know them as the first to be called upon when our nation requires a Show of Force. You probably don't know, though, that in the little downtime they have, they aren't just lounging around the barracks. Or tent.

As example I offer an example of their cunning ingenuity...

Problem:  Helicopters, when not aloft, require camouflage. Not satisfied with the run-of-the-mill paint scheme, an inventive Marine developed a diabolical pattern.

As seen from a distance.

As seen close up.

I found the pictures here.  The original poster noted that he thought the guy had been "staring at the back of a semi-truck for too long."

Semper Fi!

Yahoo answers questions. Sometimes.

The folks at Yahoo! have a feature they call Yahoo Answers! Go there, post a question and wait for folks to give you an answer. They leave the questions up for a few days, so you might get a lot of answers. Then again, you might get none.

One of today's questions: "What are the necessary steps to safely sedate and approach a hedgehog in order to weigh and chip him?"

Sure got my attention. There's a TV commercial running now that features a hedgehog. (inspired by the gecko maybe?) Cute little critter. Some folks have them as pets. My insatiable curiosity (no, not the Mars rover) and inquiring mind were both entering Hyperdrive (a sci-fi scientific term). Why would someone want to sedate the little thing (nice to know he wanted to do it safely. especially with PETA spies scouring the innernetz) and just what the hell does he mean by chipping him (or her. he didn't say). The only kind of chipped animal meat I know of has to do with a ghastly dish prepared by military cooks. (it's also referred to as something else on toast, but this site is rated PG13 so I refrain)

A hedgehog. Female, I think.

First answer out of the box: "I assume you're trolling, shooting hedgehogs with a tranquillizer gun is just stupid." For the non-regular innernetz folks, the term "trolling" has nothing to do with fishing and is not complimentary. It means deliberately and cleverly (sometimes) posting something on the innernetz that is dumb, irritating to most readers and/or just tics off folks. (the troll's intent)

To which the inquirer replied:  "I am working on hedgehog research, not fish. I thought that I was abundantly clear about that Sir. Trolling for hedgehogs, really now. That is just silly, those sharp teeth will gnaw through any net, unless you can afford a titanium one. I don't have that much funding for my research." Take that, troll!

But wait... The retort gained nothing in the way of knowledge. For him or me. I still don't know what/how/why he wants to chip the object of his research. The answers he did get, though, were funny.

I just remembered something I forgot...

Happy Columbus Day!!!

Okay, it was yesterday. But, it's the thought that whatevers, right?
Now, heeeere's your card!

Forgive me? Please?

This came from a neat website I found. Their cards are plastered all over the innernetz. Visit them.