Saturday, July 30, 2016

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

(Caution: Graphic Content Below)

So... Traffic in Rio sucks.
Duh.

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.

Seriously.

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.
Ouch.
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:






Jeebus...

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

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

TBG

Friday, July 29, 2016

WTF Rio? - Waterboarding the Russian

-or-
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....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....
Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....
Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....
Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....
Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....
Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....
Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....
Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....
Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....Splat...Splat....
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

-or-
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.
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–
No.
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

Mexican
Coffee Cup
Brazilian
Fuzebox
Lebanese
Doorknob
Afghan
Suitcase
English
Binoculars
Finnish
Extension Cord
Russian
Wheelbarrow
Eskimo
Cell Phone
Latvian
Bicycle
Spanish
Sunglasses
Morocco
Fountain Pen
Greek
Christmas Tree
Canadian
Punch bowl
Polish
Chainsaw
Cuban
Earphones
French
Tape Dispenser
Argentinian
Bath Towel
Egyptian
Lawnmower
Japanese
Vacuum Cleaner
Mongolian
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."

Enjoy-



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

WTF Rio? - Sunday 7/24

First-
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.


Next:
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.

TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE

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.”
Well...
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!
TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE

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
Kids
Grownups
Boys
Girls
Girls that look like boys
Boys that look like girls
Anyone with a pulse
Anyone without a pulse

And finally-
Don’t eat/drink:
Meat
Vegetables
Fish
Dairy products
Eggs
Gluten
Starches
Name brand liquor
Off brand liquor
Homemade liquor
Cachaça
Aguardiente
Water (bottled, tap, bay, beach, bath/shower, ocean and rainfall)
Beer
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


TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE

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...

Really?

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...

TBG

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...]

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

-or-
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.
Anyway.
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.

TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE

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...
Fuckit.

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.

But
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.)
Really.
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...

TBG

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.
Seriously.
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...
"Maintenance!"
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

FIFTEEN BUCKS!!?

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.
Shit.
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
http://listen2unclejay.com/webgallery/index.php/RIO/20160529_133247
(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

-or-
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.


So... 
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]