Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Mystery Basket

I have one of these! At least, I used to...
Once TWWKMT see this, I'm sure she'll hide it.


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Honoring Commitments - Hurricane Matthew


This is gonna hurt...

Re: post title?
Because I committed to be in Shanghai this week.
Because I take commitments seriously.
Because sometimes I'm a moron about things like that.

Hope the house neighborhood city is still there on Sunday...


Sunday, September 04, 2016

Close Call

I almost had a Lochte moment at about 4 this morning...
I pulled into a gas-food-ice-24hours to fuel up and (more urgently) get rid of some processed coffee.
I fueled, then tried to hit the head-
I went to the security window to speak to the service attendant- a young man of ethnic origin- pointed in the vague direction of the bathroom and pantomimed  unlocking & opening the door...
He shrugs his shoulders and yells through the money slot...
TBG: "Huh?"
TBG: "Fuck."

The initial urge to urinate into the money slot/speaking tube was nigh overwhelming...
I did, however, remember the Lochte Lesson and did not vandalize the Gas&Go...
But there is a very upset ficus tree suffering from ammonia, sodium, caffine and trace elements between there and I-95...

TBG - (Relieved without criminal indictment)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Travel Pro-Tips: Luggage and Houston Airport

Two items for your edification and amusement today, Constant Readers.

First- I am assuming you are one of the Smart People that actually check your luggage at the ticketing counter.
If you are, good for you. Spot on!

<Rant 1>
If you are one of those morons who insist on schlepping all your worldly goods into one bag and ignore the pleading from the gate attendant that you bag will not fit in the overhead and drag your steamer trunk down the aisle smacking everyone along the way in the knee, shoulder or head as you make your way to steerage class seating, only to find there is no room for your "carry-on bag" and have to inconvenience everyone doing your best salmon-swimming-upstream imitation to admit defeat and gate check your bag anyway, WTF, dude?

"BUT!" You'll stammer "I beat the airline! I didn't have to pay $25! I'm the winner here."

Shut up, asshole. Just sit down and play Crunchy Fruit or V'jazzled or whatever on your smartphone while first aid is administered to the other passengers that suffered injury as you passed to-and-fro with that footlocker that was festooned with razorblades and broken glass "to make it more identifiable".


If you are one of these assholes, please skip reading this, quit your job, destroy your smartphone, and move somewhere like Irkutsk or Ulan Bataar and reevaluate your life choices.

But you, you clever Constant Reader that knows your should check your bags and your privilege to make everyone's life easier... Good on ya.
Ready for that tip?

A trip to Lost Baggage is a trial and tribulation all its own.
Might as well call it "Lost Sanity" or "Lost Souls".
Lost Baggage is were airlines send troublesome employees. Folks that they would like to see change vocation or just go away.
Most people don't make it long there. You have to deal with angry people who are missing their belongings after a long flight. It's bad when you are getting home from a month in a 3rd World shithole. Much worse to lose your bag on the outbound side- arriving for work or vacation with only the clothes on your back. You'll want to tear the arms off the Poor Bastard in Lost Baggage- to impress upon him that You Need Your Fucking Bags Pronto, Cochise. Too much of that on a daily basis will make you long for a job in Roadkill Disposal in West Texas. Or late-night gas station attendant in Birmingham Alabama.
Now, there are a few sadists out the that derive pleasure from the pain and suffering of others, and they fit right it in Lost Souls & Baggage...
This is the guy that loves to hear how much you are suffering by being deprived of your bags. He finds your bags in short order, but sends them out for delivery after 1:30am. He'll call you at 2, 2:30, and 3am to let you know they are on the way...

Waking you up each time. 

He'll give instructions to the delivery guy to honk three times outside your house, then knock loudly on the door when dropping the bag off.
Evil bastards...
But I digress.

Here's your travel ProTip:
Take a picture of your bag(s) with your smartphone.
That way, when you arrive at your destination, and your bag(s) don't and you have to make that trip to Lost Baggage you will be prepared.

You: "It's a black duffle bag."
Lost Baggage Bastard: "Yes, but what *kind* of black duffle bag?"
He will helpfully pull out an 11x17 laminated sheet with 472 different kinds of black duffle bags.
You, you smart Constant Reader will pull out your phone show him a picture of the bag, shortcircuiting his next 62 questions detailing brands, straps, piping, logos, ID tags, distinguishing modifications like ribbons or colored markers. 
It will all be there in the picture.
That will take the wind out of his sails.
You will be on your way with a song in your heart and a slip of paper ensuring the your bags will be along Any Time Now, so be of good cheer. 
And listen for the honk in your driveway at 3 AM.
That can't be helped.

Second Pro Tip - Houston International Arrivals.

Are you Global Entry? If so, good on ya.
If not, do it. Do it now.
Are you TSA PreCheck?
If not, do it. It's worth it.

What does this have to do with IAH?

When you arrive in Houston from some 3rd World shithole like, say, Rio de Janeiro  Brazil, you'll stand in line to clear passport control... Global Entry will speed this process from 40+ mins to less that 5 minutes. You may or may not claim your bags, based on the aforementioned situation with Lost Baggage.

But the idea is to make the connection as smooth as possible.

After you pass the last customs check where you hand in your blue customs form or your global entry ticket, you'll be at baggage recheck.

Give them your bags (if you have them) then they will direct you upstairs to security for entry to the sterile area of the airport.

There is a big sign for TSA PreCheck there but IT'S NEVER OPEN. You will always have to go through regular scanning (Full Monty nude-o-vision scoping, shoes off, unpack your backpack, body cavity search).

I button-holed a nice lady with a Global Services sign this AM and asked her if the PreCheck was open today.

Global Service Lady: "Oh honey, that's never open. I've been here 20 years and it's never been opened up one time." 

YT: "Is there another option?"

GSL: "Lord yes! Just drop your bag at ReCheck the go out the doors that say "Welcome to Houston and take the escalator up one level. PreCheck is always open there. Easy as pie."

And it was...

When I cleared security from that side I could see the other security lanes- easily 200 people going through 2 lanes.


And to add insult to injury, it was a shit-ton of international arrivals - half returning US citizen with lots of carry-on shit needing scrutiny,  the other half are Foreign Devils (including kids and ReallyOldPeople)  that were having a tough time navigating escalators and moving sidewalks and eyed luggage carts with suspicion. US-Style security scanning is more confusing to them than non-Euclidian geometric analysis of half-life proton decay is to flatworms.

Listen to your Uncle Jay, bypass the international arrival recheck security line. Go out the back in through the main security entrance. 

You're welcome.

TBG - still travelin'

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

You Talkin' To Me?

Names and monikers use in addressing me during the Rio Games

Big Jay
John (used by those who don't know better or know me by legal paperwork. Like cops and attorneys.)
Big Man
Big Fella
Hey- IDS guy...
Harley Davidson
Famous / Amazing!
Big American

I'm sure there were some terms/names used about me- but as long as they were polite when they actually spoke to me, I didn't rip anyone's arms off.

TBG - Travelin'

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Aussie Olympic Humor

Great bit, especially is you can decipher the Aussie slang...

"Ooh. Sailing's started."
"I'll call the wife and tell her I'll be late!"


"Is there a big statue of Jesus in Rio? Why don't they show us?!"

TBG - - [Exit - Pursued by a Boomer]

Music For Strike & Repack

Great stuff I've been enjoying-

A lot of this stuff is very reminiscent of Squirrel Nut Zippers...


Saturday, August 20, 2016

He Has A Way With Words, Don't He?

Lochte puts down his pencil...
"Here. Read this." he says to his publicist.
"I like, went to this club. Was cray cray, I was so wasted. We got some dude to take us back but I had to piss so we stop at this shithole gas station. Fucking doors locked man. Fuckers aren't stopping me though, I'm murican. So I kick down that door with one unstoppable roundhouse and we go piss on the floor to show them who's boss. Wouldn't you know it, some rent a cop starts yellin some jibberish at us and waving a gun. I'm like bro, I had to piss, door had to go. He just kept going on his voodoo speak so I tossed dude a couple hundo's and bailed. Now dudes all pissed that I went and told everyone how awesome I was. Haters. So yea murica, I'm sorry bro."
"Uh, Ryan... You wouldn't mind if we edit this just a little bit? Just so it reads a little better?"
From Lochte's Instagram account 

Let's analyze, shall we?

[1] "I want to apologize"
He's being a weasel. The "I want to" takes the force from the "apologize."
If you want to apologize you simply apologize. Dressing it up minimizes the effect.

[2] "for my behavior last weekend —"
This phrase, followed by the dash, is crucial.
It specifies what behavior he's apologizing for. He should be apologizing for being an obsequious asshole. But, no- he apologizes for getting caught.

[a] "for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and "

At the same time he's putting the focus on his description of the events, not what the events actually entailed- namely, drunken buffoonery and the lies he told about it- he sneaks in that the events occurred during the "early morning" (i.e., tired, after a night of drinking) in order to justify the supposed imprecision.
But remember that he told his lies much later, including media interviews and in official testimony to police. Post-interview damage control from the PR firm was obvious instruction "Don't lie any more, and don't admit to lying."

[b] for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics.
This is good. It shows a bit of awareness that people exist in the world besides himself.
But it does nothing to address his core misconduct: the vandalism and deliberately fabricated story (being stopped by a roadblock of assailants purporting to be cops who, among other things, held a gun to his head as he dismissed them with a nonchalant "whatever").
And there's the "for my role in" qualifying phrase- because he can't be taking responsibility for the actions of the group as a whole, or for media's role in shifting the focus away from the athletes.

Fuck this- the entire thing smacks of : "My PR Guy said to say this so you might have some sympathy for me."

The entire non-apology is basically a slab of lawyer-ese in attempt to appease but to avoid acceptance of any kind of guilt.

If he'd written it himself I'd suggest he go work for Hillary Clinton's campaign.
He'd fit right in.
But based on his older Instagram & Twitter content, its obvious that the apology is a carefully crafted piece from a very capable PR firm that probably already has ties to some noisome political organizations.
Probably Trump's, maybe Clinton's too.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Cool Stuff in Rio

There is cool stuff to see, if you can tear your eyes away from the shoreline...
The Australian Women's Swim Team... God bless 'em.
At least they aren't out falsifying police reports or trashing gas station bathrooms...

I'm talking about Portuguese pavement-
The promenades at the beaches in Ipanema and at Copacabana have very iconic designs...

In Copacabana the promenade is about just over two miles long and is covered with a 'wave' pattern designed and implemented in the 1930s.

It's an impressive work, and is a very memorable part of the scenery at Copa.

The promenade at Ipanema is also a very recognizable design...

Portuguese pavement is a very arduous process...
A little research showed a number of examples around the world, but sadly it is becoming a dying art. The exceptionally low pay for apprentice artists, coupled with the fact that the pavement itself is dangerous as hell -it's a little too uneven and is slippery as greased weasel shit when its wet- makes it more and more unattractive to municipalities.

The process is very cool...

The paving stones are prepped by hand.

The designs are placed by hand, carefully following a repeating pattern or implementing a single design in a paved area.
One the design or area is finished the spaces between the stones is filled with a thin cement mixture.

A finished example of Portuguese paving...

Cool stuff...


Thanks A Lot, Lochte.

Anyone who goes to Rio (or any Olympic Games) always gets a briefing from their sponsoring group about etiquette and how their actions reflect back on their country.
I know I get them from the Large Broadcast Entity along with the 'Shit You Shouldn't Do' briefing...

So- hand a bunch of young athletes hopped up on adrenaline and 'I'm-a-gold-medal-winning-'Murican' pseudo-steroids and free flowing alcohol, then turn them loose -ostensibly to get back to their lodgings- without some kind of supervision, and your organizing committee is asking for trouble.
Nice work , TeamUSA. Spend some money on some effective professional personnel protective assets... It's a better investment that the $$$ you'll have to shell out for PR and legal fees.

Should they be able to act appropriately on their own? Yes.

Does their bullshit activities make things difficult for all Americans here (and elsewhere)?
You betcher ass.

Is this a isolated experience - Ugly Americans reinforcing stereotypes at the Olympic Games?

Absolutely not.

Sherman, set the WayBack to February 1998...
A number (as yet still unidentified and unpunished) NHL Hockey players, after getting bounced from the competition, ALLEGEDLY broke up furniture, damaged walls, set off fire extinguishers, and broke some windows in the Olympic Village.
The official word was that a few rather light and flimsy chairs were broken through normal use, because the players are big guys and they were just playing cards...
It blew over and no one thinks about it any more.
A little vandalism is one thing. We could call it a victimless crime, but to me criminal behavior is criminal behavior. YMMV.
When, like Lochte & Co, you make up a story involving local thugs, casting aspersions at teh local police by saying police (even fake police) were involved in order to cover up boorish behavior- it will not be swept under the carpet.
Lochte and Co, imbued with confidence, alcohol and the need to urinate decided their needs outweighed the "closed" sign at the gas station, showed their (figurative) asses, then tried to cover things up with with a hastily and poorly-conceived lie...
Nice work, guys. Make all us 'Murican look like assholes...

(Overheard on the shuttle bus last night- an OBS person saying good night to an American media person - "Hey- don't vandalize any gas stations tonight!")

Popular medal-winning athletes shouldn't be doing shit like this...

That's the job of the guys in our Golf division- they get paid to look like idjits.
Let our guys do their jobs.

You guys stick to swimming and carpool karaoke, let the professionals work.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus...

Yeah, yeah... Notre Dame has Touchdown Jesus.
That's adorable.

Rio will see your TD Jesus and raise you one Unsportsmanlike Conduct Jesus.

TBG - - [Exit- pursued by a corcovado. (Spanish, not Portugese)]

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Semi-Rio-Related WTF

Conversation in the Scoring Control Center yesterday:
One of the guys I work with stuck his head in my office...
P: "Hey - we gotta change all our user names and passwords on all our machines. That gonna affect your stuff?"
YT: "Not a bit. What's up?"
P: "Fucking social media and basic stupidity. Some moron back in the home office wrote their user name and password on a piece of tape on their keyboard.
Today, she took a picture of a cupcake on her keyboard and posted it to Facebook.
With the username and password in full view."
YT: "Wow. Fired?"
P: "Shoulda been, but she invoked the Hillary defense. She didn't do it with malicious intent, so she's still around."
Jeebus. WTF?
"I didn't mean to do it, so it's okay."
TBG - surrounded by morons.

Monday, August 08, 2016

WTF Rio? - Part 207b

Now that the opening ceremonies are over and I finally have all my equipment in place, I have a little breathing room and can make some comments...

Re: Opening Ceremonies and one-off sports at Olympics.

When did walking in sparkly dress with a thigh-high slit in four inch heels become an Olympic event?

Don't get me wrong- I'm sure it was an Olympic feat for Giselle Bundchen to walk all the way across the floor of the stadium under the gaze of millions. But still...

I'm trying to find out how one gets to be a judge in that event.

Also- In Tokyo there will 6 exhibition sports - only for the 2020 Olympics.
Baseball/softball, surfing, skateboarding, karate and speed climbing.
Being in Tokyo, I wonder about the surfing event- Will they create a wave simulator or some kind of man-made wave system...

Rio Navigation and Work Fun

Opening Ceremonies is a delay in my schedule because the TV Truck used for that show pulls up stakes and moves from Maracanã to the OLS (Olympic Stadium) for Track & Field. Once it landed at the T&F stadium I had to go install my last suite of hardware...

I was sitting at breakfast on Sunday planning to go to OLS at 8:30 or so, and the NBC IT guy who had installed the network hardware on Saturday afternoon had words of wisdom:
"Make sure your driver knows the way to the stadium.
Mine didn't, and we were totally lost in a not-very-nice area. The driver finally pulled over and found a guy with a machete, no shirt, prison tattoos, sitting by flaming oil drum full of burning chunks of old automobile tires under an overpass to ask about directions.
I was hiding under the back seat of the van. I knew we were both going to die!"
Dude... Never get out of the boat.
I got my install done with only a *little* shouting and death threats...
I ran into an IP conflict with some other equipment...
Valid IP addresses are few and far between in these parts, Buckaroo.
When the Powers That Be issue you an IP, you fucking use THAT address AND NOTHING ELSE.
I didn't actually hurt the offending technician, or his gear, but I guarantee he won't 'borrow' any addresses ever again.
Trolling the interns in the men's room...

(Man, that doesn't sound right...)

The restrooms in the IBC have Dyson Airblade Vs in them in an effort to make the Games greener.

(In this case, the green is the algae growing on the wall near the Airblades- the water is blown off your hands and soaks the wall the the counter-top. Lovely design.

But there is a trick to getting them to activate... You have to approach them a certain way or they don't do anything but sit there looking evil and angry...

I was drying my hands at one and one of the Interns/Runners - a snot-nosed young lad of 22 or so saw me and asked how it worked...

Snot-nosed Young Lad: "Dang. Those things DO work!? I thought is was just an air freshener or something. I  never saw one working before now."
I guess if there isn't an iPhone control app for it, it's not worth using.

I decided to have a little fun with him.

Yours Truly: "What, you haven't got your chip yet?"
S-NYL: "My what?"
YT: "Your chip. Your RFID chip from NBC."
S-NYL: Puzzled look, like a cocker spaniel when you make a squeaky noise.
YT: "Yeah, you need to go down to Engineering and ask for your chip implant. It activates the hand driers, but the really cool stuff they do is things like giving you access to the VIP sections in different venues- really useful in the Gymnastics and the Swimming venues. It also gives you access to the motorpool to get from site to site... Just get in one of the NBC cars and wave your hand over the reader and tell the driver where you want to go.
There's a bunch of other stuff... It'll be in the brochure they give you when they implant the chip...
S-NYL: "Everybody gets them?"
YT: "Yep...If you know who to ask. Just keep it on the down-low. The less people that know, the better."
I gave him the name of a certain Curmudgeon who hates EVERYBODY, especially the interns...
I'll be interested to see how that shakes out...


Day One:
Venue: OAS (Swimming)
Tech manager is trying to figure out a cable run for some in-truck services back to the TOC.
(TOC = big room full of operations equipment, especially the network switches that provide all the connectivity for each venue.)
In his effort, he pulls my connection out of the main switch...
My phone rings...
EG: "Hey- I've lost my connection."
YT: "WHAT?!" (Frantically pinging his switch and computers. Nothing. Oh shit.)
YT: "Find your Truck Guy, trace the blue cable from your switch to the patch block, make sure it's still plugged in. Then, look in the TOC for the cable bundle labeled 'GRAPHICS" make sure #6 is in port 45 on switch 2."
EG: "Find the truck guy. Got it."
YT: "Oh shit..." I grabbed my tool back and headed out the door.
Before I got to the shuttle bus, my phone rang.
EG: "Found it. Someone moved the cable."
YT: "Who? Who did it. What moronic motherhumper in the OAS compound is going to wind up with a 4 pound hammer embedded in his forehead?"
EG: "Don't know, but it's fixed."
YT: "Find out." (click)
Day Two:
Venue: ROA (Gymnastics)
We are live on the air... Phone
RJ: "Hey- I've lost my connection."
YT: "WHAT?!" (Frantically pinging his switch and computers. Nothing. Oh shit.)
Grab my bag and head to the shuttle.
I arrived at the ROA and started to go to the truck, but headed to the TOC instead...
I ran into the Tech Manager...
TM: "I know why you're here... Sorry- my fault. it's fixed now."
YT:  stunned silence
TM: "Yeah, one of the guys in the A-Truck had a problem with his internet connection. Your cable wasn't labeled and I didn't know what it was, so I pulled it."
YT: "Dude, are you fucking kidding me? There are 200 unlabeled cables in here...
You didn't pull them... Why are you pulling mine?"
TM: shrugs shoulders - "I don't know... I just thought it was in the wrong place."
Is it unreasonable for me to expect that while we are ON THE AIR that people don't pull out cables that they don't know what it's attached to?

(Oddly I am reminded of Buckaroo Banzai performing brain surgery:
"You can check your anatomy all you want, and even though there may be normal variation, when it comes right down to it, this far inside the head it all looks the same.
No, no, no, don't tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to."

I grab a roll of neon-yellow gaff tape and a Sharpie.
There... It's labeled.

I stuck my head in the B-Truck. My guy gives a thumbs up.
I head to Diving.
Tape. Sharpie.
I labeled Track & Field too...
Golf will get one as soon as I go back out there...

Morons. I'm surrounded by morons.


Thursday, August 04, 2016

Come Stay in Lovely Media Favela #3!

(Caution- Parody.
No one should infer that the following pictures and descriptions bear any resemblance to the truth or actual conditions. Things are actually really nice and we are having a great time. Seriously.)

Welcome to Rio2016!
We want you to relax and enjoy your stay in Rio as part of the 2016  Games.

We have tried to make you accommodations at our Media Favela #3 as nice as possible with all the comforts of home!

The common area of your room will be suitable for close intimate gathering of friends to enjoy an after-work beverage or an evening of good conversation.

When you retire for the evening, the cool crisp sheets will comfort you as you enjoy a full nights sleep in clean & fresh surroundings. Be careful that you don't oversleep and miss your shift tomorrow!

Out modern plumbing facilities will ensure a clean and sanitary experience for your morning ablutions.

Cutting edge technology will bring you the best electronic experience- great internet connectivity, clear, crisp telephone calls, and a host of TV channels for your entertainment all through our brand-new high-end technical infrastructure.

Meet your neighbors and coworkers from around the world... Make new friends as we all work and play together.

Enjoy a refreshing swim in our lovely swimming pool complex. A nice caipirinha poolside or other beverage will help you unwind after a long day.

If physical activity is more your style, shoot a round of hoops with your co-workers and neighbors.

...Or visit our weight room to have an intense workout and stay in shape.

Please enjoy your stay in Media Favela #3, and be sure to let us know if you need any assistance with your stay... Our lovely and talented admin staff will be happy to help!

TBG - - [Exit- pursued by howler monkey riding a capybara]

Saturday, July 30, 2016

WTF Rio? - Four Wheels Bad, Two Wheels Better - But Very Hazardous

(Caution: Graphic Content Below)

So... Traffic in Rio sucks.

Tons of motorcyclists and scooters practice lane splitting and filtering and oddly enough, no one cuts them off or actively tries to kill them for moving faster through the traffic.
(Which is what the legislators try to tell us here in the US.
If you drive down the dividing line between two lanes of traffic, someone will merge into you or intentionally cut you off because it's not fair! Blood in the Streets!")
It works here for the Cariocas- bikers (and scooter..ers) slip through the traffic quickly.

As I sit in traffic, I really wish I could use a bike here...
Thursday we went from the Olympic Park in Barra to Copacabana...
It took nearly 2 hours- for a 42km trip...
Back home that's about a 20 minute trip.
35 tops if it's on surface roads.
I would love to ride a motorcycle here to cut down on travel time.
After a little research on Bike Life in Rio, I've changed my tune.
The scary thing for me is the major inherent danger of riding a bike- Decapitation.


This is a cop bike at the airport- see the antenna looking thing on the handlebars?
It's not for the AM/FM receiver.

During the winter, it's kite season.
And there are two fun pastimes for kids- Kite fighting - like in the book 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini - and when the wind is right, dive bombing motorcyclists as they ride by the favelas.

So most bikes are outfitted with a kite string catcher...

The kite fighting is actually more dangerous to motorcyclists-

Every year there are about 500 motorcyclist injured by kite strings.
Two kites engage in battle, one's string is cut and the kite falls, the string trailing behind it, often lying across a heavily-traveled highway.
So- the motorcyclist travels along and catches a kite string across the neck or face.
Ant to make it worse, it's not just regular string- that would be bad enough- they amp it up here in Rio.
The old practice of coating your string with glue and ground glass (referred to as Cerol) has been outlawed...
but there is new product called 'linha Chilena' containing aluminum oxide and quartz power- and it's a shitload stronger than Cerol...

So this is why you need that antenna on the front of your bike:


I'll just stay in the car... Forget the bike.

As Chef said "Never get out of the boat."...


Friday, July 29, 2016

WTF Rio? - Waterboarding the Russian

No Water Shortage an Media Favela #3

St.Ass got out early last night (Wed Night).
He's been staying very late - anywhere from 10pm to 1 am sometimes...
(Lots to do, little time to do it.)

Burning the candle at both ends was taking its toll on him so he and The Apostle headed out at about 9:30, anticipating a good night's sleep.
A nice serenade from the howler monkeys and the giant jungle insects that are drawn to the lights in the favela we are living in will lull him to sleep - a gentle trip into the arms of Morpheus...

However- up until now, there had been no one in the room on the floor above St.Ass., but that changed on Wednesday.
St.Ass had just gotten to bed when a relentless "Splat...Splat...Splat...Splat...Splat." rang through his room...
The AC from upstairs was dripping down huge heavy drops on to the top of HIS AC enclosure making a massive racket.
On top of that, the water was seeping into St.Ass's room...

So instead of a nice night's sleep he was up most of the night undergoing the dreaded Russian Water Torture-
Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat.... deep into the night.

About 1am the Mad Russian could take no more.
Heaven save the poor village maintenance staff from the anger of a sleep-deprived Russian.
About 8 of them showed up in the middle of the night to survey the damage and to try to figure out how to fix the problem.
(You, clever Constant Reader, know how to fix this- a small piece of host to direct the condensate out and away from the building... But this is Rio. This is a puzzler to them, and it takes the brain-power of the entire staff to figure out exactly what's going on, and even more imported intelligence to come up with a solution.)

St. Ass comes in at about 10 this morning fuming, and tells us the tale.
"Pictures- Let me send zem to you!" says he.

Here's the situation... We know a little something water, gravity and seepage...

And here is the end result...
And by the way- the water dripping down past that 220volt power circuit?
Might want to make make sure you don't step into the pooling water on your floor- you might be in for a shocking experience.

Really- this is want the combined brainwork of 8 people (approx IQ of 75, maybe 80 total) comes up with?
"We'll put a towel on it."?

"We'll put one on the floor too. That should fix everything.

As your humble correspondent was scribing this little missive, I got a note from The Apostle.
He's also quartered at Media Favela #3.
And guess what? He has the same problem tonight...
He's using a plastic plate to dampen the dripping, but it's a short term solution. A light breeze will send that thing down to the pavement below.

TBG - Drip...drip...drip...drip....

WTF Rio? - US Athlete writes: Dear Olympic Media- Please Change The Narrative

US Olympic Athlete asks media to lighten up, Francis.

Megan Kalmoe- US Olympic Rowing Team-

(Pic by Megan Kalmoe via ESPN)
I will be traveling to Rio as part of one of the most talented and decorated women’s rowing squads in history.  I am incredibly excited for this trip, and this opportunity.  I have worked for ten years to get to this point and will continue to work as hard as I can over the next few weeks to make the most of this very special and unique opportunity.
But all you want to do is talk about shit in the water.
My request to everyone who is fixated on shit in the water:
Stop trying to ruin the Olympics for us.

She really makes an excellent point- The media really just wants the Bleeding Edge headlines.
I will grant you that during the Olympics there are so many athlete stories and profiles that you get sick of them, but seriously- right now it is all "ZOMG-Shit in the water! OMG Favela killings!! Corruption! OMG - Unfinished Athlete Village!" ad infinitum.

Megan makes an excellent point... It would be nice if they could dial it back and talk about the positives.
But they don't.
And they won't.
And it's frustrating for the people who have dedicated so much of their lives to their sports on behalf of our country.

Another money quote:
Think of it this way: every time you sensationalize the poor water quality, or try to get athletes to react to Zika, or chastise the Brazilian people for allowing their government to collapse, you’re not just insulting the Brazilian people. You’re also insulting us, your American athletes.  Every time someone asks an athlete who is not a sociologist, epidemiologist, ecologist, microbiologist, or entomologist their position on water quality or some other crappy negative topic, they’re telling us:
“I care more about your non-expert opinion on these issues than I do on your performance in Rio.”  But –But–
There is no but.
You’re not being helpful, and it’s not coming from a good place.
Olympic athletes are experts on one thing, and one thing only: our performance.  And you damn well know it.  Every time you ask us to shift our focus from our specialty during the one time in a four-year cycle that we get the opportunity to share our expertise with the world, it’s an unnecessary distraction that we as competitors do not need and should not have to deal with from people who are supposed to be on our side.
Every time you steer the conversation away from the athletes and competition and on to things that are outside of our control, you’re suggesting to us: “I think you should probably waste some of your energy worrying about this, don’t you?”
That’s not helping anyone to be faster or perform better in Rio, so why would you do it?  It seems a little mean-spirited and like you don’t care if we do well.  Or that you somehow think that we should not enjoy our trip to the Olympics...

Really- you should go read the whole thing.
She eloquently makes many excellent points.

Also check out the profile ESPN did on her.
It's not easy to be an Olympian...Here.

TBG - Live from the IBC.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

WTF Rio? - Sunday Evening Edition

 The Interns that work for a certain major broadcast rightsholder in Rio, supposedly to get 'experience' and 'business connection' for their future endeavors, are always a hoot.
For a good number of them it is their first out-of-USA experience, and often their first relatively unsupervised work experience.
They are funny though- they tend to flock together when left to their own devices- especially early and late in the day... At the commissary, for instance.

I was sitting one table over from a large gaggle of Interns who were have a grand time this afternoon... Basically, it came down to the fact that if you pair almost nationality and almost any noun, it could be the name of a (deviant) sexual act.
The Interns were coming up with some winners like Colombian Earmuffs, the Angola Keyboard, and the dreaded Peruvian Salad Fork...

Give it a try yourself-
To help you out, I'll give you a start... Pick one from column A, and one from column B.

Column A                         Column B

Coffee Cup
Extension Cord
Cell Phone
Fountain Pen
Christmas Tree
Punch bowl
Tape Dispenser
Bath Towel
Vacuum Cleaner
Dish Strainer

For instance-
"Hey, I gave my old lady the Greek wheelbarrow earlier tonight...
Boy, she's gonna be pissed when she wakes up."


 TBG - - [Exit, pursued by a Swathmore Womyns studies student]

WTF Rio? - Sunday 7/24

NBC will be having two Victoria's Secret models as part of their late night coverage.
I guess they are trying to balance Ryan Seacrest...?

Story here: Brazilian supermodels and actresses Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima will join NBC Olympics coverage of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro

Now, to avoid charges of exploitation and sexism, I chose these pictures of the girls carefully...

Alessandra Ambrosio                                                Adriana Lima

I feel certain that anyone who needs further scientific study of these talented sports broadcasters know how to exercise their Google-fu for more information and pictures.

Hey, I saw 'Poltergeist'... I'm outta here.

Olympics media village built on 'sacred' mass grave of African slaves
Guess who's living in Barra Media Village #3  Media Favela #3 
Desecrated Graveyard #3?
This guy! And St. Ass, and a bunch of the Usual Suspects...
Anyone know what's the best caliber for irritados fantasmas de escravos?
And where are Scooby and the Gang when you need them?

Seriously- the church they talk about in the article?

This is the view from my balcony.
I will not be exploring up the hillside after dark...

And finally- a Life Pro Tip
Always Arrive Early
I'm one of those people who's philosophy is:
"If you're early, you're on time; If you're on-time, you're late; If you're late, you're fired.

So- I usually try to make an early arrival at the IBC or wherever. Gives me room for uncontrollable delays, a no-stress passage through Mag & Bag... Only took me 5 minutes to pass through the security check this AM.
St. Ass however...

Guess who came in on a later shuttle from Ghost Favela #3?
And now look at Mag & Bag... Heh.
It's been over 40 minutes since he sent me this pic...
He's going to be an angry Russki when he gets here. Heh.

TBG - - [Exit - Pursued by a howler monkey]

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fearmongering For Rio - Gizmodo Amps Up "ZOMG Olympics R Gonna Die!"

So, a Gizmodo writer (Sophie Kleeman) posts a bunch of "very recently" taken pics (all photos by AP) as representative of the entire city of Rio...
Her story HERE.

Now, I spent 6 hours in various locations around Rio yesterday- in Maracanã Norte, Centro, Copacabana, Ipanema, and down in Barra de Tijuca and lots of small roads and highways in between. I saw shitloads of bad drivers, but the only guns I saw were (probably) full-auto carbines being held at ready by the policia, the federal policia, and other uniformed security personnel. And man, I saw a lot of them.

Now, the pics from the article- My first impression is that the people in the pics have some awesome trigger discipline. Better than most of the folks at my home range, and probably most of the cops in the US. But that's just a first impression.

The other takeaway is that the author seems to think this activity/culture is endemic of Rio.
As I have said before many times- if you show me a horrific picture taken in (name of Olympic Host City), I'll bet you dollars to donuts that I can find similar vignettes in any large US city.

Don't believe the hype, y'all...
Remember 'If it bleeds, it leads' and the Media will do everything they can to get your clicks.
Take it all with a grain of salt.


Bus Bus, No Bus

The first official Olympic Miracle has occurred...

The bus ride from Barra Media Village #3 Media Favela #3 only too 14 minutes this morning.
Yesterday it took 40 minutes, and Thursday it took 45 minutes.
(The miracle is that I was up and out the door before 7:00 AM. The ease of travel is easily explainable as most Cariocas spent all Friday night rollerskating, drinking hooch caipirinhas and throwing up. Only Americanos loucos heading to Barra de Tijuca are up and about at the unGodly hour of 7:00 on a Saturday morning.

TBG - - [Exit- Pursued by a hungry capybara]

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Helpful Hints for Rio from The Czar

After I fired off a cry for help, The Czar (may his toenails never fester) comes through with a timely and accurate assist:

Dear Uncle Jay,
You’re right that the key word for traveling to Brazil is “don’t.” Of course, that makes it sound like you shouldn’t travel there at all; in reality, (1) you shouldn’t travel to South America at all and (2) the word don’t really applies to everything related to Brazil.

This actually is Rio. This may not be one of the Olympic sports, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see this at some venues.
Brazil is basically all the cut-throat lunacy of a Mexican pirate town plunked helpfully in the center of a sweltering jungle, featuring a river filled with creatures that have teeth the size of your aunt and the predilection to eat something her size with them. 
Another feature of Brazil is the fact you can drive about ten minutes in any direction (in theory, as there aren’t nearly enough roads) and find yourself in a stone-age culture equipped with blowguns and cell phones. They will not hesitate to use both. No, the Czar doesn’t mean “either,” he means “both”: they’ll gleefully put a dart in your neck while talking to their agent.
Brazilians, on the other hand, are great for parties. The Czar strongly recommends befriending a Brazilian if you like to eat, drink, roller skate, dance, and basically repeat this every hour until four or five in the morning. These people do not quit.
It has been decades since the Czar went to Rio, though, so let’s see what we remember. Your high school Spanish will be just as useful to you here as when you went to Cozumel, by which we mean totally useless. Brazilians, as you already know, speak Portuguese, not Spanish. Portuguese is an interesting language that’s half-Spanish and half-arrogance. It has a lot of shushing noises, which is linguistically interesting: since Brazilians spend about two-thirds of their day inebriated, they simply modified the spelling of their language to reflect drunken slurs.
Helpful phrases:
“These are not my drugs, therefore you can keep them.” — Não minhas drogas; portanto, você pode mantê-los.
“Waiter, my seafood is threatening me.” — Garçom, meu frutos do mar me ameaça.
“What can I drink that won’t kill me?” — O que eu posso beber que não vai me matar?
“If I drink this caipirinha, will I still have two kidneys in the morning?” — Se eu beber esta caipirinha, vai ainda tenho dois rins na parte da manhã?
“Get me on the next flight home.” — Quero que o próximo vôo do avião casa.
“No, I’m Canadian.” — Não, sou canadense
Don’t worry about pronouncing the Portuguese correctly: just read it loud and in a drunk voice. They won’t understand you, but that’s because they’re too hammered themselves. “Vamos roller skating,” they’ll say in sympathy. 
The Czar is also familiar with Brazilian cooking, being something of a grill-master himself. The Brazilian method of cooking is quite simple: subject thick cuts of meat—python?—to extremely high heat until the food is charred black on the outside and bloody raw in the middle. If you look carefully, you might find some medium-well fibers of meat between the two, but these will be utterly soaked in salt.
The heat is unbearable in Rio, but clothing is totally optional. Actually, the bigger and hairier you are, the less you want to wear. The Czar guesses for a mostly shaved Sasquatch guy your size, Jay, you should wear an eyepatch in place of a thong. Surprisingly, that won’t be the most surprising thing you’ll see someone wear.
Everyone talks about the gigantic statue of Jesus up on the hilltop, but what they don’t tell you is that, over the last 50 years or so, the statue has totally turned itself around so it looks away. It would be a Vatican-sized miracle, but no one admits it because it reflects nothing but shame on the city. Hey, if you had to gaze down on that mess, you’d at least squint.
Anywhere you go, look for the nearest exit and use it.
Fortunately, you’ll be traveling there with fiber optic cables, which is good because you can use them to strangle the hotel clerk when he arrives in the middle of the night to perform his customary turn down service and leave something minty on your pillow. Don’t worry about the body: murder is not only sanctioned there but positively encouraged. If the authorities ask, simply say what all Brazilians say and claim you thought he was a poor person. You’re off the hook, and you can just leave the body where it is. There will be no air-conditioning in your room anyway, and within moments his corpse will be swollen with bottle fly maggots, so dumping it won’t matter.
For the last 50 years or so, the Czar has become increasingly convinced that the Olympics are just a huge joke that we’re not getting…so the organizers are choosing even dumber locations each time. “Let’s pick a disease-infested pithole that’s corrupt, filthy hot, and has no transportation or clean lodging.” “How about Rio? Chicago said no.”
I do plan on going to the beach at least once...
Let's see if I can find that eyepatch/thong he's suggesting... To Amazon!
(How appropriate!)

Wow. That would look frightening trying to hold in all my dangly bits...

Here's something even MORE better! A steampunk eyepatch/monocle!
This might be the ticket- but...
If that thing isn't the size of a one-quart oilcan, I'll probably be causing a ruckus on the beach at Copacabana...

Stronger, Higher, Faster - forsooth!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Life Pro Tips Needed...

Back in 2014 I sent a missive to The Czar over at Castle G, looking for guidance prior to my trip to the Sochi Olympics and got excellent advice which proved invaluable, and in one case, kept me from being shipped off to a gulag...
I saw the coquettish batting of fake eyelashes by a waitress in Rosa Khutor as a 'come hither'; Instead it was actually an advanced case of pink eye and a rather sizable stye causing the eyelid flutter.

I realized my mistake after cornering her in the space between the restaurant's outhouse and the offal pile by the river. Moments later I was having a close encounter with a 10" butcher's blade wielded by her boss/uncle accompanied by 2 members of the FSE.
Needless to say, I racked my brain for a plausible explanation when the advice for The Czar come ringing through- I shouted “გთხოვთ, არ მომეცი მწერები!!" Out of the corner of my eye I caught the flash of in incoming nightstick and everything went dark (or rather darker).
I woke up face-down in a landfill just south of Estosadok, bound in several yards of burlap and bailing wire, and a sign reading "სიკვდილი ამერიკული ღორის ძაღლები".

Since things worked out so well in Sochi I thought I would tempt fate and seek guidance again, this time invoking The Czar to assist me with suggestions for Rio de Janerio.

My petition:
O Most Dread and Awful Czar, Lord of the Flies, Keeper of the Pile, Master of the Steppes, Bringer of Kinetic Military Action, Torturer-in-Chief, Slayer of the Yaw and the Goiter, and Protector of the Holy Cities of Moscow, Chicago and parts of Louisville...

Once again I find myself in need of Pro Life Tips from Your Czarness…
As per usual I have been assigned to work in a place that the mere mention of evokes fear and palpitations in the hearts of travel professionals and dollar signs in the eyes of Personal Executive Protection agents.
Yep- you guessed it. I’m heading to Rio.
Your guidance regarding my sojourn in Sochi was invaluable; Your tip regarding quality horsemeat was spot-on, and I did use გვამი მდინარეში ერთხელ,” very often, given the construction contractors that received bids and money for projects that were either unfinished (tons of them) or didn’t even exist (arguably even a larger quantity).

Your knowledge was so useful I would once again visit the well of your vast wisdom and know-how and draw upon your knowledge of all things dangerous and deadly.

Word around the campfire is to stay away from: 
Beaches at night
Bars bearing any signage 1) in English, or 2) with the words “Nós Matar Turistas” (“We love tourists” I think...)
Downtown Rio
Northern Rio
Southern Rio
Western Rio
(There is no Eastern Rio. Word has it that is was sold to Uruguay and carted away in a truck years ago.)
Also avoid:
Local cops
City cops
Federal cops
Highway cops
Subway/Metro cops
Anyone with a uniform
Anyone without a uniform
Girls that look like boys
Boys that look like girls
Anyone with a pulse
Anyone without a pulse

And finally-
Don’t eat/drink:
Dairy products
Name brand liquor
Off brand liquor
Homemade liquor
Water (bottled, tap, bay, beach, bath/shower, ocean and rainfall)
Coke and other ‘soft’ drinks

And the biggest no-no-
Favelas – Don’t even look at the damned favelas.
As a matter of fact, according to the keeper of my leash, visiting a favela, no matter how well armed and capable I am, or the size of my personal protection detail is a violation that will get me a spot on the next plane out. (That’s my escape plan, by the way.)

Help me, Obi Wan Czarnobi
You’re my only hope.

Uncle Jay


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday - Running Thoughts, Continued

In the ol' RSS feed today:

From the Washington Post-

'The FBI has found no evidence so far that Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded more than 53 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, chose the popular establishment because of its gay clientele, U.S law enforcement officials said.'

I don't have a whole lot of confidence about anything the FBI says any more.
They couldn't find enough evidence to recommend charges for Hillary Clinton...
I have a feeling they couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the sole.


A certain broadcast news conglomerate should really stop using Obama's gushing praise of Hillary as a centerpiece...

"“There has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton, ever. And that’s the truth.”
-Obama, at NC speech endorsing Clinton.

Anyone with two brain cells to rub together should see this for the sack of horseshit that it is.
Not even Obama could possibly believe it, narcissist that he is...


In a January 2008 debate, Senator Obama accused Clinton of being “willing to say anything to get elected.”
He repeated the charge in a radio ad that same month, in which he attacked Clinton as “what’s wrong with politics” and claimed she “will say anything to get elected."

Maybe that is what he's talking about?
That that is what a Democrat thinks makes the best possible candidate?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Hmmm - Running Thoughts for Today

Gosh... in about 2 weeks France was going to drop their "Elevated Alert" status.
Guess they might need to rethink that and exactly what Elevated means...
(Hint:don't ask DHS/TSA)


Civil unrest in the US &
BLM and their ilk...

Hard to believe we are in this state 8 years after electing Obama - the self-proclaimed healer of racial unrest.
How is this possible?


No doubt Obama will find it difficult to find the motive behind the attack in Nice...
What could it possibly be?


On that thought...
If only we could find a prevailing element connecting attacks in Nice, Orlando,  San Bernardino,  Batacan in Paris, Brussels airport, Istanbul airport etcetera ad nauseum.
What could it possibly be?

I keep hearing the terrorist attack in Nice being referred to as a "truck attack", as if the truck was the culprit, not unlike any of the AR-platform weapons are responsible for any and all gun violence...

I guess:
Terrorist attack in America = "gun violence because assault rifle!"

Terrorist attack in France = "truck attack"


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Obama Prevarications

After listening to Obama preach at me during the Dallas memorial, and tonight's rehash of his bullshit, I went woolgathering a bit...

I'm kind of looking forward to Obama going full-on "War on Guns!"

Look what that did for access to every possible recreational chemical when the War on (some) Drugs started.

It's going to be interesting...


Monday, July 04, 2016

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

Yeah- I'm gonna call Bullshit on that old saying...

Someone used it in conversation a few days ago and I had to take exception...
There may be instances where it may be somewhat accurate, but on the whole, things that hurt you badly but don't kill you generally fuck you up for long periods of time and leave you debilitated for a longer time...

Things like:

  • Diabetes
  • Getting hit by a truck while crossing a busy road and having your spine crushed and a skull fracture.
  • Contracting chronic Lyme disease.
  • Asthma 

I know a guy down in Australia who contracted Ross River Virus from a mosquito bite during a camping trip in Queensland several years ago and now he needs to be pushed around in a wheel-chair, moaning the whole time about his joints and inadequate ramp access to public buildings and mass transit issues.

TBG - - [Exit- pursued by a LPGA golfer]

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Useful Phrases

A few days back the Dread and Awful Czar posted a lovely bit o' foolscap about not falling into the trap of discussing gun rights with the Anti-Gun crowd.

I used this bit of advice to my advantage and peace of mind in the follow-up to a gun rights discussion... worked like a charm.

While waiting on a delayed flight at SFO today I discovered that the Czar's advice can be applied to many situations, especially in the coming months.

Airport CNN was spewing drivel regarding the Democrat's Bengazhi report...
For some reason the Dems report had many references for The Donald in it, like he had some hand in the actual operation or administration response...
A short discussion started up with the group I was standing with...
An older woman, well dressed and erudite opined:
"I think Trump is the worst thing to happen to this country since Richard Nixon." and waited for approval from her fellow passengers.

My measured reponse: "Honey, I couldn't give a fat rat's ass what you think."
And went back to reading my twitter feed.

That pretty much shut down the political discussion for the afternoon....

TBG- out

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...]