Monday, June 27, 2016

Done. Next!?

After 19.5 broadcast hours of skinny dudes in Speedos and jailbait in wet one-piece bathing suits, US Diving Team trials comes to a close.
Indy was, as always, a pleasure.
Worked with some old TV Friends, made some new TV Friends, and had a healthy dose of LeftCoast/NYC gun control stupidity- just enough to keep my blood pressure high enough to ensure failure on my next DOT physical.

I did get an opportunity to visit with my two favorite Broad Ripplers, RobertaX and Famous the Tam... I was able to tear them away from the Sunday morning political talk shows for breakfast at a nice little joint called Taste up north of the city.
We chatted, talked about other bloggers, the TSA, Olympics and other fun stuff...
Meeting up with them is the best reason to visit Indy...
(It sure isn't the $15 shrimp cocktail, amirite?)

So... off to slay my next dragon...
Stay tuned.

TBG [EXIT-Pursued by a Hertz agent...]

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Should I mind my own business, or risk life, limb, and look like an idiot?
DATELINE - Indianapolis International Airport. 6:00AM.
Thanks to prior planning and TSA Precheck I made it into the depths of Concourse A with a minimum of drama.
At 6am, people watching is quite entertaining - zombified people staggering around the airport are always fun...
Indy has that famous Airport Carnival Ride, the moving sidewalk...the one that airport employees love to board then stand, blocking the aisle and chatting about how they are getting paid to stand around and ride the magic carpet.
Whilst blocked from getting to my gate at the far end of the concourse...
(And let me take a second to ask about ask why the hell my gate is always at the furthest point from where I enter the airport? I hate Denver because no matter what, I'm at the furthest gate and I have to take a train, 2 shuttles buses and still have to walk 3 or 4 kilometers. DEN sucks. Same with Atlanta. And don't  get me started about Chicago.)
Back to our story- if you aren't walking on the moving walkway, you are actually moving slower than if you are walking on the floor. At least that's how it is for me...
So I have even more time to people watch.
As we are slowly passing a Delta gate in the final stages of boarding, I see a girl slumped over sleeping.
I wonder if she was there because she missed a flight the night before, or if she just arrived very early, or maybe did one of those "I'll stay up all night so I can sleep on the plane" things.
The Delta gate agent does a 'Paging so-and-so, Last call for flight X to Y.'
Now, even though I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, I can do the math.
Missing passenger+girl sleeping in waiting area=case solved.
Sadly, way back in my career as a Sports Nomad, I fell asleep at a gate and missed a gate change announcement, and consequently my flight.
Only happens once... After that, you become gun-shy of airport announcements.
I watched the gate agents... They don't even look at Sleeping Beauty. I will give them the benefit of the doubt since she was slumped down a bit...
The Good Samaritan in me pummeled my Inner Cactus and after LaShondagh and Taniqila got out of the way I went back to the gate we had passed.
At the gate desk I addressed the attendants...
"I'm only butting in because I've slept through a flight announcement, you think it's possible the lady you just paged might be the girl sleeping over there?, indicating the girl snoozing 20 yards away.
I was completely expecting some kind of "It's against company policy to wake up sleeping passengers" or something to absolve personal responsibility...
Happily that wasn't the case.
One of the gate attendants, a grandmotherly-type went over and gently woke Sleepy who immediately jumped up and ran to the door of the jetbridge.
I'm glad Fairy Godmother woke her up-
I hate to think of what would happen if I had had to wake her...
I probably wouldn't have been maced,  being an airport and all, but surely screaming and some fingernail-clawing would have probably been in my future, along with a session with the airport police or the TSA.
No twenty something young lady needs to be awakened by an Ogre.
It can only end in tears.
Mine, most likely.
TBG [exit- pursued by a Hoosier]

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hazardous Duty - Redux

Earlier today I had another discussion with Clueless TV Girl...

I had put on my "edumacation" hat on earlier in the week and came away irritated and disillusioned with idiots from NY/LA, nearly weeping with despair about what is happening to The People.

Fortunately, in the interim I reread a piece by The Dread & Awful Czar over at Castle G...
He says, basically, quit trying to educate them. They don't want to listen and refuse to see any kind of logic, so fuck 'em.

Clueless TV Girl: "I still think all weapons should be banned."
I calmly turned my attention away from the cooler filled with bottles of water and fixed her with my Withering Gaze.
Yours Truly: "I really don't give a shit what you think."
Drop mic. Head back to my lair.

Yeah... That's much better.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit? How about Texit?

TBG - [Exit, pursued by Polanball]

Hazardous Duty

I hate people.
I hate stupid people.
I hate working with stupid people.
I hate working in TV.
Stupid people piss me off.
I hate stupid people that work in TV.
Stupid people are stupid.
People who don't think like me are stupid.

Stupid people can't...

Actually, I just hate working with people from a certain network that could be considered
Nothing But Communists.

I got into a heated discussion yesterday coming back from lunch with one of the many staffers, this one from NYC but now living in LA. She lamented that the Democratic Sit In had folded without getting a new ban on Assault Rifles.

Ghod. This woman votes.

I attempted to explain that that's not what the Sit-In was about.
I wasn't able to get into the fact that ARs aren't assault rifles and the the 'no-fly-no-buy' is a revocation of due process... (Due process? What's that?)
She went straight to 'Repeal the 2nd Amendment!'...

How do you have intelligent discourse with this kind of person?

Her position is that NO ONE should have any kind of weapons.
Yours Truly: "No one?"
Except the police, in her opinion. (And that works out so well...?)
YT: "And the military?"
Clueless TV Girl: "Yes, only when they are in battle."
YT: "No practice time?"
CTVG: "Well, that too..."

YT: "Know what it's gonna take to revoke the 2nd Amendment?
Why don't you google it?"
Fortunately we had access to Teh Googlage right in front of her.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
(oooh so many werdz. my head hurts!)
Maybe in NYC, LA and Chicago people would be willing to roll over and take it up the ass...
Outside of that, people won't stand for it.
That's why repealing the 2nd amendment will never happen.
That 2/3rds and 3/4ths of States will outnumber NY, CA, CT, MA, NJ, WA, OR.

IF you could get that done...
YT: "So... Confiscate all the guns?"
CTVG: "Yes."
YT: "Know how many there are in the hands of law-abiding Americans?"
CTVG: Clickety-click.
CTVG: "270 to 310 million. 150 Million LEGAL gun owners."
YT: "So- gonna send out the cops to confiscate 'em? That's a lot of guns to confiscate."
CTVG: "You said they are law-abiding. They should give up their guns if they are made illegal."

Even if through some kind of chicanery they were able to get the 2nd Amendment repealed, the Common Man (outside NYC, LA & Chicago) won't stand for it.

CTVG: "Send the military?"
YT: "Not allowed. The Posse Comitatus states that the U.S. Military is not permitted to be used against U.S. citizens." (Posse Comitatus? That sounds dirty...)
CTVG: "Well... The President could order it. The military would have them outnumbered. No problem." (Clueless about Exec Orders too I see.)
YT: "Google 'number of US military firearms'."
CTVG: clickety-click
CTVG: "Military has 2.7 million guns. Wow."
How many members of the military?
CTVG: clickety-click
CTVG: "Military has 1.4 million front-line personnel."
They're a little outgunned, so to speak.
Even if only 10% of gun owners came out, that's a 15 million man militia...
And the Military is US citizens..
Think they will fire on follow citizens?
Friends? Family?
(Long pause)
CTVG: "But why do we need a 2nd amendment? Why do YOU need guns?"

You're kidding.

Google "non military armed government agencies".

The Internal Revenue Service, with its 2,316 special agents, spent nearly
$11 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spent $3.1 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment. The EPA has spent $715 million on its ‘Criminal Enforcement Division’ from FY2005 to present even as the agency has come under fire for failing to perform its basic functions.

Federal agencies spent:
$14.7 million on Tasers
$1.6 million on unmanned aircraft,
$8.2 million on buckshot,
$7.44 million on projectiles
$4 million on grenades/launchers. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spent
$11.66 million including more than:
$200,000  on ‘night vision equipment’     
$2.3 million on ‘armor – personal’
$2 million+  on guns
$3.6 million on ammunition
Veterans Affairs has 3,700 law enforcement officers guarding and securing VA medical centers.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service spent
$4.77 million purchasing shotguns, .308 caliber rifles, night vision goggles, propane cannons, liquid explosives, pyro supplies, buckshot, LP gas cannons, drones, remote controlled helicopters, thermal cameras, military waterproof thermal infrared scopes, and more.

Similar stories for the Department of Education, Social Security Administration, and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.
Fucking NOAA needs Glocks and Shotguns and millions in ammo?

If THESE agencies and officers need them, I need them.

I didn't change her mind- 'GUNS BAD' too ingrained in her psyche.
Maybe a home invasion and a few trips to the range might change her mind.
But I doubt it.

TBG - - [Exit - pursued by a peacock]

Friday, June 24, 2016

Me and My Big Mouth

...Are gonna get ourselves shot, jailed or banned from CVS.

Next door to The World's Shittiest Sheraton is a CVS Pharmacy shoehorned into a very small space.

Given its location (Downtown Indy) and proximity to a busy bus stop, there is a large spectrum of humanity patronizing the place... From the panhandler just outside in his wheelchair with the illegible 'Plese Help' sign to the tourists, business folk, homeless people, politicians,  street people, students and Yours Truly trying to buy Useful Shit, it's a busy place.

I skip the 8-person deep line for the cashier and head for one of the 2 express self-checkout machines...
(Credit card only, no cash, no cash back.)

I hear an urban individual aggressively panhandling everyone in line, one at a time.
His patter... "Hey man, gimme a dolla. Hey man. Need me a dolla fo' ma drank. Gimme a dolla!"
Most folks ignored him and he moved on to the next possible purveyor of 'dollaz'...
Until he got to me.
The end of the line.
He felt he needed to step up his game.
Agressive Urban Individual: "Hey man. Gimme a dolla."
YT: Silence. Continue to scan my items.
AUI: "Hey man. Gimme a dolla. I know you gots a dolla fo me."
AUI: "C'mon Big Man. Don't you got a dolla fo me?"

Now, AUI is a lanky guy, 6', wraparound sunglasses, and an ornate grill with enough metalwork to set off the detectors that control the traffic lights as he crosses the street. The belt line of his 'shorts' is around mid-thigh, and he's wearing (conservativley) $200 worth of Nike sneakers fashionably untied.

I have nothing for this guy.
I have one $20 (nope), about 80 pesos, $10 Australian, 20 renminbei, $5 Canadian and €10 Euro. I doubt he'd see the humor of being handed useless Monopoly monies.

AUI: "C'mon Big Man.  I knows you gots a dolla fo me."
Shit. This dude isn't leaving.

Let me review my possible responses...
1. Continued stoic silence and ignore AUI.
2. Respond:
   a) "I'm dreadfully sorry sir, but sadly, I do not have any any coin of the realm in denominations that would be appropriate for your need. Carry on, my good man."
   b) "Piss off."
   c) "Fuck off, asswipe."
   d) "No. Hit the road."

Let's go with d) since it seems he's not leaving until I respond in some manner, and there're lots of folk in hearing distance.
Besides, trying to stay vigilant as I scan my items is making me do both badly.

YT: "Got nothing for you. Hit the road."
AUI: (incredulously) "Wha?! Wat choo say?"
YT: (Annunciating carefully while still scanning my stuff) "No. Hit. The. Road."
AUI: (mostly to himself but still loud enough) "Hit de road? Motherfucka! I go somepin' in mah pocket fo you. Hit de goddam road." Starts to turn away, back to the main cashier line.
To paraphrase Calvin Candie: "You had my curiousity. Now you have my attention."
Something in your pocket? Really?

I stood fully up, partially turned toward him,  fix him with my Withering Gaze(tm) and loudly respond:
"Excuse me? Something in your pocket for me? ARE YOU THREATENING ME?!"
We now have the attention of everyone in line, the cashier, and more important, the cop and security guard I hadn't seen near the door.
AUI is quickly escorted outside, sans 'drank' and is in serious discussion with 2 uniformed LEOs as I depart CVS a couple minutes later.

This entire episode was A Stupid Move.
I should have shut up and ignored him.
Nothing good was going to happen, and it was blind luck that the rentacop and the real cop were on hand.
AUI could have been a real bad ass and decided he needed to make a statement after being disrespected, and even though I am a big guy, all I had to back up my attitude was a hand with some skin on it.
At home things might have been different but given company policies and my desire to stay employed, I don't concealed carry when traveling on the job.
If AUI actually had a piece and was so inclined, he might have waited around the corner for me...
I really need to curb my propensity for opening my trap at the wrong time.
It's going to bad for me one of these days.

TBG, poolside.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Question on Orlando and Paradigm Shift

So, much in the same way that 9/11 caused a sea change in the way a hijacking is handled, (before=stay calm, cooperate w/hijackers vs now= let's roll! Take 'em down now!) will the experience of Orlando cause SWAT/First Responders to act quicker, since shooter was able to take his sweet ol' time killing folks since they gave him a 3-hour window?

And one wonders about the choice of Pulse as a extremely soft target...
There wasn't going to be much of a resistance given the clientele.
Wonder how he'd have fared hitting a honky tonk or a hip hop club...


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hotel Life

I spend a lot of time in hotels...
Good hotels... Sheraton, Marriott, Westin, W...
Probably some of the best hotels I've stayed in were the Hotel Oceana in Santa Monica and the Four Seasons Chinzanso (which is no longer a Four Seasons..more's the pity).
Shitty hotels- Hotel Louis in Kowloon, Howard Johnson in Downtown LA come to mind...
Basic accommodations like LaQuintas all over the US, and a handful of Mom & Pop hotels throughout the South. They are always an adventure.

I've seen and heard almost every weird thing possible...
I've lost count of the number of times I've heard the folks next door to mine having noisy wallthumping coitus at various times of the night or early morning.
I've heard arguing couples, screaming children (often the same thing), and wild parties.
I've had the hotel give my room to someone else, while I was in it, asleep...
(And you can imagine how badly that ended...)

I was checking out of the Detroit Westin to catch an early flight once and as I was at the counter a woman in bra and panties walked up and in a very matter of fact tone just said "I locked myself out. 1253."
The woman that was checking me out looked once, slapped a keycard through the encoder and passed it to her in 4 seconds... Se took the card and purposefully strode back to the elevator.
Granted- it was 4:00am, and as a rule 2 to 5 am is the oddball-shit-happens window...

At the Hilton last June, there was the incident where there were two (quite obvious) hookers walking through the lobby at 3am. A man wrapped in a towel bolted out of the elevator and grabbed one of the hookers by the hair. The other sprayed him with pepper spray. It escalated...quickly.

The hotel I'm in here in Indy is arguably the worst Sheraton I've ever been in.
For most of the week there has only been one elevator working...
In a 20 story hotel.
Needless to day, the elevator usually stops on every floor, and at times it's packed.
I do love seeing peoples faces when a really crowded elevator stops and the door opens...
The see me and everyone does the math on square footage needed inside the very full box, and what my entrance would do to the critical mass of the elevator.
"I'll take the next one..."
And a huge sigh of relief from everyone within...
More than half of the television channels don't work.
The housekeepers miss at least one or two elements during daily service...
Never replaced the used towels, bed mostly made - left the pillows on the floor... Stuff like that.
There is construction going on in the parking garage, and there are chunks falling out of the ceiling, several of them landing on my car...

And the fun one this morning...
As I waited for elevator, a maintenance man knocked at a guest room door near the elevator lobby...
Knock knock knock...
Knock knock.
"Maintenance. Is anyone there?"
Knock knock.
"Maintenance! Hello?"
Maintenance guy taps his keycard on the door and opens it up.
From inside the room:
"DUDE! WHAT THE FUCK!!" from an angry guest.
"Sorrysorrysorry..." Maintenance guy closes the door shaking his head...
"Damnit. I hate it when that happens." he says.

'When that happens'? Like it happens all the time?

And the lesson a prudent Constant Reader should learn?:
Always use the deadbolt, and doorchain/latch on hotel room doors.

Every fucking time.
(I do, ever since the hotel gave my room to another guest and someone tried to move in to my room at 1am and got a very rude greeting by a marginally clothed angry ogre...
I doubt he ever got over that image.)

TBG - - [Exit - Pursued by a disgusted hotel housekeeper]

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Are You F'ing Kidding Me - Indy Edition.

I was doing a little research on places to eat while I am here in Indy...

SMT Operations Priorities:
Noobs discuss star athletes at events;
Veterans discuss venues and stat feeds;
Real Veterans discuss local restaurants.
Since I am dug in here like an Alabama tick, I have to do a lot of research.
I did a little poking about, looking at popular local places here in Indy.
Way back when I was here with the NBA Finals (2000 I think...) we went to St. Elmos Steakhouse one night on the NBA TV dime. (They have better expense accounts than I do.)
The steak was good, but they are known for their shrimp cocktail...
(And really just for their cocktail sauce.)

The AYFKM part?

This is the serving at St.Elmo's or Harry & Izzy's.
4 shrimp. $15.00


15 bucks will get you 2 POUNDS of 10-15 Head-on shrimp at Safe Harbor in Mayport back home.

That's why I have problems eating seafood away from home.
(And by Home I mean The Estrogen Palace, not just back in Jax Beach.)

TBG - - Exit - Pursued by Penaeus duorarum

Looks Dangerous Indy...You Go First.

Doing time in Indianapolis, on NBC's Road to Rio coverage of the US Olympic Team Trials.
This week I'm polluting the back bench of Supershooter 32 covering the US Diving Team.
Springboard, Platform, Sync Diving...

All the fun disciplines.

Tried to have dinner at Fogo de Chao last night, but the waiting list was too long.
Wound up at Georgia Reese's for Nashville chicken that was passable, but nothing special.
Oh well.
I have a few other places in mind for the rare occasion that I will be able to get out in the evening...
Weber Grill Restaurant I hear is good, and folks tell me to eschew St.Elmo's and head around the corner to Harry & Izzy's.
Same food, same kitchen, lower prices.
We'll see how the week progresses.

TBG [Exit-pursued by a libtard UI social justice warrior who doesn't like the Gasden flag on my backpack]

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ironic, Is It Not?

Leftist Gun Grabbers: "ZOMG, Ban anyone that's been under FBI investigation from getting weapons!"

So... Does that mean Clinton, if elected, can't have access to the Big Red Button that launches the nukes?

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Catching Up: Rimward & Rio Stuff

Just before I left for Rio, I got a goodie from my man OldNFO.

He sent me copies of his newest stuff- Specifically Rimward:Stranded and part of his newest offering from The Grey Man series.
With Rimward, Jim is venturing into the Mil/SciFi genre with both feet.
Rimward:Stranded was a very fun read- for a short story it was detailed and technical enough to keep the reader's interest, and I liked both his characters and his story pacing.
Great stuff Jim-
More! More!
It's up on Amazon- a tiny investment for a great read... Constant Readers are encouraged to check it out, and encourage OldNFO to continue his work in the genre.
Go get some HERE.

Rio-centric stuff:

Zika. Seriously.
Everyone asks about Zika...
I have yet to see a Zika-carrying mosquito during my visit.

Doesn't mean they're not here, but I think they (Rio Mozzie Control) are doing a very effective mosquito control program in the Barra and other touristy places.
Today I'm at Athletics at Olympic Stadium in Maracanã...
Yikes- this neighborhood is kinda scary- and probably not as well maintained as Barra. But we spent 45 minutes outside waiting on our arena contact and never got a bite, so I have to wonder.

But- here's the low-down on the indigenous mozzies:

The Anopheles Mosquito

The Anopheles mosquito has gained quite a reputation worldwide. This is because it is the only species of mosquito that is capable of transmitting malaria. While the Anopheles mosquito has gained itself a lot of popularity due to the ever increasing spread of malaria around the globe, few realize that this species is also responsible for the spread of Filariasis and Encephalitis. It's a nondescript blood-sucker in a plain brown wrapper...

The Culex Mosquito

The Culex mosquito is not as well known as the Anopheles mosquito. It however can transmit a number of deadly diseases. Like the Anopheles mosquito, the Culex mosquito is responsible for the spread of Filariasis and Encephalitis. In addition to these two diseases, the Culex mosquito can also carry the West Nile virus.

The Aedes Mosquito

The Aedes mosquito is known to transmit Yellow fever, Dengue and Encephalitis. Today however, this mosquito has made headlines with the newest virus that it transmits: the Zika virus!

Aedes Aegypti is a larger-than average mozzie with very distinctive coloring...
Watch for the tell-tale black and white markings on the body and the outriggers.

Now, there have been some people here that have contracted Zika-
The head guy at the field shop (warehouse) contracted Zika and it was a horror story-
Body and joint pain, headaches, swelling, just terrible to hear the tale...
Seems that the people that contract it are the most sensitive and reactive to mosquitoes.
With Field Shop Guy, if there is a mozzie around, he goes to Defcon 1 until the threat is eliminated.

It is said that the guys at the IBC collect dead mosquitoes and keep them lined up on display as a warning to the other bugs...
I'll have to come up with a dead count when I come back, if I ever actually see any live Aedes Ageypti... I have seen a few Anopheles darlingi, but they were shooed away with a stern glance and harsh language.

Been enjoying a wide spectrum of caipirinhas during my sojourn here...
Had one down on the beach at a little beach shack called Pepe's... Great spot way down the beach from Barra.
There are a couple picturesque islands just off shore calling my name- or is it the cachaça?

TBG - - Exit - Pursued by a Barra hooker.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Rio - Expectations and Realities

I made it to Rio, despite United Airlines doing their best to screw me over yet again.

When I got notified of the flight delay I got on the horn and got rerouted, on an American 2-hop because that was the only way to get to Houston in time to make the Rio flight.
And of course my PreCheck didn't carry over so I got to join the hoi-polloi in the take-your-left-shoe-off, take-your-right-shoe-off, stick-em-in-box Hokey Pokey - at least we didn't do quite as much "guess whats in TBG's backpack" going through the x-ray. Zero status with AA, so I had the Shittiest Seat On The Plane on the way to Charlotte, and Charlotte to Houston wasn't much better. I won't be switching to American any time soon. FTMF

Charlotte Airport sucks, as does American Airlines in general.
Just sayin'.
Spent 90 minutes in Houston swilling three gin & tonics up in the United Lounge, getting my courage up to board the Rio flight...
Bulkhead seat on the aisle- Yay.
In the other two seats were two middle-aged Brazilian women who talked non-stop for 4 hours...
Neither spoke a word of English, which was just peachy for me.
What was really good was the one sitting next to me was about 5'2", so there was no crowding or fighting for the armrest.

I did sleep about 4 of the 10 flight hours, thanks to the generous pour of Hendricks Gin back in Houston.
Made Rio a few minuted ahead of schedule, skated through C&I with no problems, though I did have a bit of a scare with my baggage.
Because I was on American (spit) through Charlotte to Houston, then back on United to Rio there was some discussion whether I would have to claim my bags in Houston, then recheck them on United to get them to Rio safely.
At check-in in JAX the ticket agent said checking them all the way through would be no problem.
He printed the tags, I verified the flight numbers and carriers, (AA- JAX-CLT-IAH UA- IAH-GIG)
and they were off...
Because they started on American, they didn't get United 'Priority' tags, so my duffle bag (clothes) showed up on the 4th or 5th cart, but my equipment case never showed up on the carousel.
Oh shit.
I hate that- the feeling you get when your bag is late, and all the mental gymnastics you go through... Did it miss the flight? Did it get stolen? What will I do if it's stolen? I'll bet the baggage handlers just the other side of the wall have opened it and are divvying up my laptops right now?

Bags stop coming out, carousel quits moving.
I head to the baggage service desk with about 20 other people. Looks like I'm not alone in my dilemma... Then I notice the oversize/weird baggage area- all the baby seats, surfboards, etc... Along with a familiar black Pelican case.
Woo hoo!
Okay- I'll take back some of the horrible shit I was thinking about the Rio baggage crew...

I headed out of Baggage Claim, found the guy with my name on his cardboard sign and we headed to his car.

I expected to be besieged by A. Aegypti as soon as I walked out of the airport.

(What I was expecting)
But oddly enough, I made it to the hotel relatively unscathed.

Rio traffic, on a scale of 1 to China rates about a 6- at least on the main roads from the Airport to the Barra area. Surprisingly sedate. Maybe because it was Sunday?

I got to the Hilton, then to my room, took a good nap to make up for the hours I missed on the plane, then went up for a nice libation at the poolside bar on the roof of the Hilton.

Oh, I love me a good caipirinha... This trip might be fun after all...

The rooftop pool...

More of a lap pool, but still might be a nice spot for a dip.

Nice view
(Click to see large view)
The Olympic site off on the Barra peninsula.

I'll leave you with a Sign of the Apocalypse - Rio Edition #1 -

From the Hilton- "Watch your step, Gringo."

TBG - [Exit- Pursued by Anopheles Darlingi]

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Once Again, United Airlines Makes My Life Miserable

Busy Weekend, Fucked Up Flights

So once again, United is fucking me in the ass with 10 feet of shit-smeared wrought iron fencing.

I HAD a 3 hour afternoon flight to Houston and a long layover to to enjoy the United Club before my 11 hour flight to Rio.

But of course,  this morning I got this message:

So, into Houston at 9:25p.
Just in time to wave my Rio flight goodbye.

On the phone with the Premier Desk...
Now I'm on an earlier flight- 2 stops before I get into Houston just under the wire for my flight to GIG.

This is shaping up to be a great trip...

TBG - in a long TSA line because my Pre-Check number didn't transfer to my new ticket. Fuckers.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Don't Hit Me...

Accordion to a recent survey, replacing words in a sentence with names of musical instruments quite often goes undetected.

Just sayin'...

TBG - - [Exit - Pursued by a gerund]

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Last Week - They Call It 'Golf' Because 'Fuck!' Was Already Taken.

Last week, in between trips to Chicago and burning Midnight Oil to prep equipment for Rio '16, I had an opportunity to get my clubs out and do a little swingin'...
Something I haven't done in YEARS. Like at least 6 years- maybe more.

Now, don't get me wrong, I LIKE golf, I just don't have the time to enjoy it like I used to.
Back in the day ('94-'95) I played at least once a week...
But just because I don't play, doesn't mean I can't play.

So, because the stars were aligned and all was right with the world, I was at this nice little club in NE Georgia with 100 of my closest friends (at least in April they are my friends...) and we proceeded to hack up the tees, fairways and greens with great abandon... I did remove my 12 Iron (the Mossberg) from the bag in order to adhere to Club requirements.
After all, it's wasn't going to be a shotgun start that day...

One person in our little band of duffers is a certain NFO some Constant Readers might recognize from his walrus mustache or his Grey Man series...

Jim's Group

Dr. Jolly, OldNFO, and The Sabatinis. Nice folks all.

Jim's Practice Swing

"Keep pointin' that damn camera at me and you'll be snappin' pictures of your colon. I don't care how big you are."

Jim fires his tee shot down the first fairway

1 Fairway

Kind of overcast that day, but it was still pretty awesome.
Looks a little odd without several hundred people lining the edges of the fairway or the big scoreboard on the right...

About 2:30 it was my group's turn to take the tee...

Peter, Pat G, Marisa and Yours Truly

A little later on we waited for our turn on the par 3 Hole #4...

Laying up on 13. (Hey! Where are all the azaleas?)
Back on 13, I was hitting my 3rd stroke up onto the green from this location...
I had crushed the tee shot then played it safe and laid up short because of the creek, snakes and bunkers...

Yes, Snakes...
Like this little jewel - a tightly wound copperhead just off the path up to the 13th Green...

It wasn't all just birdies, pars and bogies (or double bogies, or snowmen)... In addition to golf, they threw a nice little luncheon outside the clubhouse for us...

Tasty vittles all around.

Fried Chicken, Burgers, Brats, Gumbo... Mmmmm. Tasty!

What did I shoot?
Let's just say, in the spirit of mystery that surrounds the Tradition Unlike Any Other, my score was "Just enough."

TBG - -[Exit- Pursued by Agkistrodon contortrix]

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

On Engineers & Technicians: Rules to Live By

Regarding Engineers:
Angus McThag opines in response to a previous post:
"Engineers are born such, the education is a formality, thus they get called engineers as soon as they begin the sheepskin ritual."
For the most part, this is true.
Most real Engineers I know I could not possibly imagine in any other occupation.
Taking something apart, putting in (mostly) back together, fixing or adjusting it.
Guys (and a couple women) I know that are deft at wielding a screwdriver or soldering iron would just not look or sound right as a software coder, kindergarten teacher, dog trainer, or barber.
As a Chef, maybe- it's a similar cognitive process...

In reminiscing about some Engineers I have know in my life, I was reminded of an old bit of technical / engineering foolscap from back in my radio days...

Not truly geared toward Engineers per se, but Technicians as a whole.

The Technician’s Ten Commandments
1) Beware the lightning that lurketh in the un-discharged capacitor, lest it cause thee to bounce upon thy buttocks in a most untechnician-like manner. 
2) Cause thou the switch that supplieth large quantities of juice to be opened and thusly tagged, that thy days in this earthly vale of tears may be long. 
3) Prove to thyself that all circuits that radiateth and upon which thou worketh are grounded and thusly tagged lest they lift thee to radio frequency potential and cause thee to make like a radiator, too. 
4) Tarry not amongst those fools that engageth in intentional shocks, for they are surely non-believers and are not long for this world. 
5) Take care that thou useth the proper method when thou takes the measure of a high voltage circuit lest thou incinerate both thyself and thy meter, for verily, though thou hast no account number and can be easily surveyed, thy test meter doth have one and, as a consequence, bringeth much woe unto the supply department.  
6) Take care thou tampereth not with safety devices and interlocks, for this incureth the wrath of the supervisor and bringeth the fury of the safety inspector upon thy head and shoulders.
7) Work thou not on energized equipment, for if thou dost, thy fellow workers will surely buy beers for thy widow and console her in other ways. 
8) Service thou not equipment alone, for electrical cooking is a slothful process and thou might sizzle in thine own fat for hour upon a hot circuit before thy Maker sees fit to end thy misery.
9) Trifle thou not with radioactive tubes and substances lest thou commence to glow in the dark like a lightning bug and thy wife have no further use for thee except thy wages.
10) Thou shall not make unauthorized modifications to equipment, but causeth thou to be recorded all field changes and authorized modifications made by thee lest thy successor tear his hair out and go slowly mad in his attempt to decide what manner of creature hath made a nest in the wiring of such equipment.

Numbers 7 & 8 are near to my heart, and number 9 always makes me giggle...

TBG - - [Exit- pursued by a charged electron]

Kids These Days...

I don't know if I mentioned it but The Perfect Child is gainfully employed as a schoolteacher-
5th Grade language arts - at a school in the Beaches area...
I don't know who to pity more- her or The Kids...

This scene from The Simpsons reminds me of some stories she has told at the end of a long day...
(Although I don't know if is more of an indictment of the students or the teachers)

TBG - - [Exit - Pursued by an angry 5th Grader]

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Retro Pic - Seven Mile Bridge

Found this image on the Interweb the other day...
It was quite a nostalgic pic...
The view is from the old Seven Mile Bridge looking toward Little Duck Key, with Money Key off to the left. You can still see parts of  the old bridge when you drive over the new 7-Mile Bridge.
(Or watch the end of 'True Lies' when Arnold snatches Jaime Lee Curtis out of the sunroof of the limo- that was filmed on the old bridge.)
Two things to note-
First, look carefully at the guard rails... They are old railroad rails welded to more upright rails.
A very unforgiving assembly and strangely effective as a solution to keep vehicles from going over the side.

The other thing is the width of the road-
At one time all the bridges down there were that width- just barely wide enough for two cars to go past each other.
If two semis met on the bridge they usually locked mirrors with a spectacular smash and shower of broken mirror glass all over the place.

Not sure what the picture was advertising - maybe hyping car audio?
I did a Google Image Search but didn't find a genesis of the pic...
I did find some interesting "caption this photo" entries...
From the outfits the girls are wearing it seems like some they might have been implying there was a bridge Hawaii and the Mainland...

TBG - - [Exit - Pursued by a sea turtle]

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Work Work Work

Final morning at the NBA Draft Combine.


TBG - Exit, pursued by Da Bears

Posted Without Comment


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Shit That Torques Me Off, (#25,749 in a series)

We are working in a conference room with 50 seats, 38 of which are occupied.

It's general seating in the office...

One person, who arrives relatively early, sits in the back row, directly under the single AC vent in the room.
The rest of the room suffers from the generation of body heat from the crowded environment.

She's cold... so she has the Hotel shut off the AC, even though people sitting 8' away are sweating bullets.

Are you fucking kidding me?

TBG, perspiring like pedophile on a playground.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Damn. I'm heading for a Safe Space.

Shots fired at Yankee Pier at SFO.

Getting a bite before my flight to IAD...
A couple guys sit at the counter with me, start to place their orders...
Ancient Asian Waitress: "Watchoo want drink?"
Guy1: "Water and coffee- black."
Guy2 (to Guy1) : "So... Hot, bitter and resentful?"
-short expectant pause-
TBG: "Wow. Check please!"

TBG- [Exit- Pursued by an elephant seal]

That's the best choice for me?

Jeebus Pete!
I get to bomb around the Bay Area in a 5.2 Litre Banana?
Sure, after I fold myself into a pretzel and shoehorn my not-so-inconsiderable ass and gut into the stitched leather seats.

It was ok, but I'll take Avis up on an exchange option next time.

TBG - Exit- [Pursued by a Mustang]

Monday, April 25, 2016

Please define "Safer Communities" for me?

From our "AYFKM?" File:

It seems the Obama Administration has been digging into the DEA's evidence locker and taking the tainted acid tabs again. 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will be taking new actions to facilitate the re-entry of former prisoners into society, President Obama announced in a video released Saturday.

The DOJ is focusing specifically on building up "strong re-entry programs" and showing how they can "make communities safer," according to the president.

I guess Obama has a bizarre idea of how to make safe communities.
Perhaps he can employ some of his released prisoners on his Secret Service detail if they are so good at safety and security efforts....

And regarding releasing 600,000 prisoners into the mainstream every year:

"It's about making sure that we live up to our ideals as a nation."

I'm really tired of getting lectured to about American Ideals and "That's not who we are."

TBG -[Exit - pursued by a badger]

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Job Interviews

I've been trying to fill a position here at work...
Some poor bastard lucky candidate to handle IT services for one of our clients...
Needs IT skills, proven track record in project management. The usual KSAs.

Yours Truly: "So... Describe yourself in one word."
Poor Bastard Lucky Candidate: "Great at following directions."

** [Heavy sigh] **

The search continues.

TBG - - [Exit - Pursued by a bear]

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Traffic Thoughts...

Out at lunchtime today to run an errand...
Got caught behind a old beater Buick that just positively screamed "Axe Murderer at Wheel".
(You know the type- Car hasn't been washed since 1987, faded "Mondale for President" bumperstrickers. Edges of all the windows are getting that  fogging from sun damage. Can't even describe how stereotypical the driver was- long unwashed hair, Coke-bottle glasses, wifebeater shirt.)

After following it awhile it seems I was mishearing it-  the shout was really "Paedophile!"

Say what you will about those depraved motherf'ers...
At least they slow down when the go through school zones.

TBG - - [exit, pursued by a bear]

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Few Thoughts From Last Week

1. I learned I can drive past Brunswick / Saint Simon's Island twice and my motorcycle doesn't automatically exit the highway and streak like a BBQ-seeking missile toward Demere Rd.

2. The pollen in the CSRA will (and did) destroy contact lenses.

Micrograph of CSRA pollen.

3. If your contact lenses start hurting, TAKE THEM OUT NOW.

4. Weathermen don't know shit about weather.

5. A copperhead snake can turn a 6' sprinkler salesman into a little girl.

6. There is no 6

7. After 7 days on a diet consisting strictly of of pimento cheese sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, industrial-strength BBQ sandwiches, and  Krispy Kreme donuts, do not -under penalty of an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction- trust a fart.

8. No running. Ever.
Best actual quote ever:
"I don't care if you're being chased by a six-foot-nine naked guy with an erection and a butcher knife- NO RUNNING." - from a cop in the parking lot in 2011

9. "What 'cha doing there?" is the Number 1 frequently asked question this week.

10. "Collecting data for the use of the Tournament" is the #1 answer. Vague and Infuriating, to be sure. (It is a tradition unlike any other. Heh)

11. If you make something foolproof, only a fool will be able to use it.

12. 30% of the people eat 80% of the doughnuts

13. Plastic cups from Augusta actually count as currency in some social circles.

14. If you fuck up or fuck off badly enough, even a good Cuban cigar will not save you from the wrath of the Volunteer Coordinator. (He's an unstable cuss.)

15. If you arrive early enough, parking isn't a problem.

16. In Augusta GA, "Because I said so." is a perfectly acceptable answer when Questioning Authority. Further question said Authority can result in incarceration. Or worse.

17. Do not attempt to use your GPS to get anywhere in Augusta between 6 AM and 8 PM on thefirst week of April.

18. Friends will help you move. Real friends will help you move bodies. Exceptional friends will trudge up and down 11 fairway for hours and hours, and still come back the next day with a smile.

19. If you mix the pink shit and the brown shit with a little of the blue shit, it's almost drinkable.
(But save all 3 cups. See #13.)

20. Don't piss off Susan.


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Golf Stuff: Best comments regarding Ernie Els' 7-putt on Hole 1 at the 2016 Masters

His caddy was just standing there like ... "well, there goes my paycheck for the week"

I usually start the "one of us!" chant, but fuck, that's not even one of us, man.

This will go down with the biggest disasters of all time.... Challenger explosion.... Chernobyl.... Ernie Els opening hole of 2016 Masters.

He will henceforth be known as Ernie "Motorboatin'" Els...  putt-putt-putt-putt-putt-putt-putt

Since breaking the club into 2 or 3 pieces and throwing it in the nearest trash can would be as unacceptable as tossing it into the nearest lake at Augusta, I would calmly walk over to a child in the audience and give it to them, then putting with literally any other club for the rest of the round.

The elusive Sextuple bogey!

Gawd that was painful to see...