Sunday, January 30, 2011

Got a Smoke?

I could use a salmon too, if you have one in your backpack...


Time Travelers Paradox

Any paradox can be paradoctored.
 - RAH - The Cat Who Walks Through Walls


Decorative Acting

Well. That's different.
(Try the shrimp & grits. Seriously!)

TBG - Post Partying

Saturday, January 29, 2011

AllStar SuperSkills

Countdown to Skills Competition

TBG in Raleigh

Welcome, Not

Another great welcome mat....


Serious What Material?

Anyone catch the Heat/Knicks game pre-show on TNT Thursday Night?

Tracy Morgan (30Rock, SNL) regarding
Sarah Palin vs Tina Fey

Holy Crap...

I guess if you're going to interview Tracy Morgan on live TV, you better be prepared for something interesting.


Signs of Our Times

(Back to your regularly scheduled weirdness.)


Wondering about that Minnow Shot...
And one hopes they have a nice selection of condoms in the gift shop.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Raleigh, Night 1

The Woman Who Knows Most Things and Yours Truly arrived in Raleigh in late afternoon.

The only NHL-centric activity was the fantasy draft at the Convention Center which I didn't feel the need to attend, so we checked into the hotel (La Quinta, which we all know means "Next to Denney's" in Spanish) in Morrisville, near RDU.

We decided to get dinner so I fired up my laptop and started looking for restaurants...

Now, Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill is ground zero for some awesome BBQ, phenomenal Southern Cuisine, and other Southeastern specialties.
And to top it off, not 2000 feet from the hotel is... wait for it....a Hooter's restaurant.

So... Where did we wind up?

Well... As we were perusing the entries on Visit Raleigh (which was TWWKMT's idea) we settled on a little place not too far from the hotel, right next to the Vegetarian Indian Joint, across from the Islamic Center. It's called Mawa's Taste of Africa.

We settled in and ordered beverages- Moroccan mint tea, which was refreshing and very sweet.
I decided to skip the lamb and goat specialties, deciding to stick with the chicken.
TWWKMT chose the Tiga Deggeh from Mali which was chicken with potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage & carrots in a peanut sauce with couscous, and I had Chicken Yassas from Senegal - citrus marinated grilled chicken with a spicy onion/olive sauce and jasmine rice.
At the last second I also ordered a cup of Harira, slow cooked lamb and lentil soup with a great blend of spices from northern Africa.
The verdict- everything was great, and the service was prompt and very friendly...
The entrees were flavorful, the couscous had peas and carrots and a hint of sweetness, and the jasmine rice was light and had a hint of coconut.

There were a few items on the starter menu that I would have liked to try- the felafel(sic) -chick pea fritters, in case you didn't know, or maybe the Accaras - black-eyed pea fritters, kinda like Cuban bollos... and there are some other entrees- the Ganar Ginger or the Doro Wat, or perhaps the Merguez - a spicy lamb sausage from Tunisia, that have my interest piqued...

Mmmmm. Tasty tasty...

If the fit for unique cuisine takes you, I highly recommend Mawa's for a vicarious trip around the Dark Continent.


"Come Get Me!"

Steve is asking for it...

From my man Peter who, being from Shreveport, has probably seen this kind of thing many many times.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh Me, Oh My.

Gonna hafta start saving my pennies...
Saw two of these at Shooters yesterday at lunchtime.

TDI - Kriss Super V, in .45 Caliber

Let's see, if  cashed in all my jars of loose change, and I sell the Makarov, the Snake Slayer, and maybe one or two of the shotguns...then mowed lawns, washed cars, and did a little late-evening "Can I see your ID sir?" part-time stuff I might be able to afford to buy this beast, and more importantly, feed the bitch...

Mmmmm. Daddy wants.... And I'm not even a .45 kinda guy.

UPDATE 1/25/11:
For the MANY people that commented on this post (by comment, several emails and in 2 cases, by telephone):
You are letting Hollywood warp your thinking into believing that anything that looks so evil has to be a 6000-rounds-per-minute death-spewing full-auto weapon.
Sorry to pop your bubble.
(As in "What the hell do you need a machine gun for?")

Yes, it's ugly, black and tactical-looking, but it only shoot one boolit at a time, one for each time the trigger is pulled, just like any other commonly available legal firearm.

Before you cast aspersions and show that your knowledge of firearms is only what you saw in a Bruce Willis movie, take some time to do a little research...
Hollywood = Entertainment. PERIOD.
It's insanely bad that Hollywood thinks it's their job to tell you how to vote and how to think.
It's worse that you believe everything you see on the screen.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Webcam Back On-Line!

Y'all might remember the Webcam from Beijing, Torino,
Athens, Stockholm or any of the other places I had it running...

Finally got it back on-line...

Take a peek, you never know where it might be pointing-

(Click for live cam)


Friday, January 14, 2011


It's bloody damned cold.

Update 1:20 AM Saturday 1/15/2011:
Lovely- I Mobileposted this message on Monday 1/10 afternoon, and it finally made it to the website on Friday.
Blogger is doing a great job of processing posts from my cell phone.

I'll just leave it for future reference...


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'll Have To Give That A Try...

I was chatting with one of the flight crew that was doing the flight from Edmonton to Calgary as we waited for the plane to arrive.
We were telling stories, and I was lamenting the fact that most of my good stories start with:
"We were drinking heavily and..."

He said he knew how that was...
The last time that it happened to him he wound up getting Mirandized and of course, the alcohol had left his mouth in gear but had shut down his Common Sense.
Hence, the following exchange:
"So I was palms-down on the hood of the police car and he was all 'Anything you say will be held against you.' and for reasons I still can't fathom I said 'Your wife's big breasts'... I don't remember a thing after that."

Yeah... I have the feeling that Captain Morgan will whisper that one in my ear one evening, at the worst possible moment.
If that happens and you're around, quit video taping the scene; Put down the iPhone
and stop the cops from beating the crap outta me, m'kay?


Calgary - A/K/A The 3rd Circle of Hell

...Please don't feed Cerberus as you make you way to Baggage Claim.

Nice doggy...

They weren't just whistlin' Dixie at Intellicast...

From my dashboard infosystem:

And that is while I'm sitting in the sunshine at the airport...

You'd think that folks that live up here in the Frozen Tundra would know how to drive in icy conditions.

Obviously the local pick 'em up-driving Snowbillies are having issues with vehicle control too.

The tracks left by this fender bender are puzzling...
I shot another snap as I went past in the opposite direction, just to get the full impact (heh) of the mishap...

Amazing how he just barely missed the traffic control post as he skidded to a halt. The back fender must have missed the upright by millimeters...

Ah well- off to work...

Time for walkabout in McMahon Stadium...

Home of the CFL Stampeders (The Stamps for short)

Man, it looks coooold out there.
I'm here to tell ya, it's cold3.

And since it's so damn cold, let's go walk around in it.

First- a hike up to the top of the temporary stands.
Much more dangerous than it sounds, actually.

This is why- there is a coating of the really really really cold white stuff on most of the steps.

This makes the climb treacherous enough.

But events conspire to push the risk to the next level, so to speak.
Hidden under the icy rime is the fact that some of the flooring planks aren't fastened down completely.
One false step and you'll fall down through the scaffolding like a pachinko ball.

This little widowmaker is up at the top where the cold wind has blown away the crust of snow, but also made the temp of the aluminum structure about -30°F.
Don't touch it with your bare hand, Florida Boy... Let someone else fix it.

Nice view from the top, though. Worth the climb.

If the wind isn't blowing too hard, these might be the best seats in the house.

The view from HITS isn't too bad...

It'll be Hockey under the Lights-
Puck drop is February 20th at 4:00pm , Sundown is at 6:01pm that night.
Breakdown is going to be a joy.


Dogs Vs. Cats

Yes, it is a plot.

Beware the Cat


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Wonder Where Can I Get One Of These


Disturbing Food-like Images


Monday, January 10, 2011

I Must Be Living Right

Checked-in on my flight in < 5 minutes, no charge for checked bag, bulkhead aisle on both flights, and no backscatter or prostate exam at TSA.
Think I'll play the slot machines here at the airport- it's my lucky day.


Tomorrow Is Gonna Suck

And the next day, and the next...


Sunday, January 09, 2011

Autocorrect is Satan

There is so much shit flying around regarding the Tucson shooting, it's hard to tell fact from fiction, supposition, rhetoric and sensationalism.
I'll wait until some concrete facts are provided before commenting.

I will quote a recent missive I penned in regards to the issue:
"... it pisses me off too. Killing anyone is a fucking tragedy. Violence is never an answer for any question or problem- we both know this.
But along with the senseless violence comes the assholes and opportunists that want to capitalize on the situation.
Gun Control nutjobs (Paul Helmke, etc) are doing their blood dance, now that they have fresh meat to dangle in front of the cameras.
You have far-Left groups using this tragedy as a fund-raising opportunity.
Pretty sleazy, if you ask me."
That's all on that for the moment...

Let's get into something a little lighter-

Has Autocorrect on your cell phone or other SMS device ever thrown you under the bus?

Ya gotta watch those things every second... They'll screw you over every chance they get.


Saturday, January 08, 2011

CES 2011 Stuff

I'm on the hunt at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, looking for some very specific products for several projects I'm involved in.

Loads of cool and nifty stuff at the show, covering all manner of interests, from auto accessories to home theater to lifestyle goods like the Roomba and the Scooba, to the 1000 different niche electronic device producers from Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Taiwan, and Korea.

Big thing this year: 3D TV in all shapes and sizes, from laptops to arena video walls. Including on-the-fly HD to 3D conversion.
Pretty cool, actually.

Big also: Skins & wraps for iPads, iPhones and iPods. 500 makers and distributors all hawking different colors and designs to wrap your little timewaster in.

Another thing there was waaaay too much of: Ear buds of all colors & flavors.

Pretty big: Batteries & Power, especially personal solar panels.

Needs to be bigger: 3D eye wear. Several manufacturers, but there needs to be more choices.

Ain't that Cool: the Zuumer. TBG WANTS!

Booth of Ridiculous Size: Tie between Sony & Samsung. Micro$oft was also going for the "congressional district" sized booth.

Stuffs I want but it just ain't gonna happen:

Samsung D7500 or D8000 nearly bezel-less flat panel display. Wow.

And a Casio TRYX camera

And some really nice big glass for Canon cameras. (Even though I don't have a Canon any more.)

And a FLIR Scout scope

And a Laser etching machine. (Drool drool.)

Beyond stupid Condition White.

(Click for their website - caution, video starts immediately w/ no controls.)
If I ever see anyone wearing one of these (in public or no) I will hit you in the back of the head with the nearest blunt object, just because you obviously need it.

And from our "What the hell are YOU doing here?" department:

Right between the car-based GPS and Guidance systems and the Audi electric car display...

What, exactly, are you doing an electronics show?

(Rub and click picture to make it bigger. Heh)

Showing off some their product line, of course.
Including some uh... personal therapy devices... and a few nasty little rubber novelties...
I did have to ask their booth rep about their logic in being at CES.
Yours Truly:"So, CES because...?"
Trojan Man: "I've been getting this question all day. Why not. There are electronics in our devices..."
And a comment was injected from another company rep-
Trojan Girl: "And they're kinda 'digital'... Some of our stuff you use with your fingers." *giggle*

YT: "Is she always like this."
TM: "Yeah." (rolls his eyes.)
YT: "Yikes."
Before leaving I gave Trojan Girl another line to use... I heard her use it as I was making my way down the aisle...
TG: "Actually, all our soft*wear* is primarily for virus protection." *giggle*
Ye gods! instance of poor booth location:

FLIR and Lelo.

FLIR is a company that specializes in thermal imaging- they are the premiere company in the field...
Every time you see a night shot from a helicopter with the thermal image of a bad guy running through the woods, most likely it's from one of their devices.
(FLIR - Forward Looking Infra Red)

So they have this nice setup to display their consumer and law enforcement-grade equipment, and they were placed next to Lelo.
Lelo makes some...well... Let's see what their website says...
"The classic LELO line is for females and their favourite partners – a wide selection of vibrators and massagers for all moments and needs. Take the time to explore your possibilities."
Well. There you have it.
Right next to the night spotting scopes surveillance devices.

(Click for more detail)
Talking to the FLIR guy, he said there's been a parade of girls flocking to the Lelo booth. Word has gotten around that they are giving away some kind of special trinket or toy if you know some secret password. All the booth babes are coming to the Lelo booth during their breaks.
FLIR Guy loves it.
FG: "Except when the president of our company was here yesterday.
I had to explain who and what Lelo did, and what the 5 heavily-augmented stripper-type girls were discussing (in great detail) about the devices next door."
I guess he wasn't pleased.

Man, you just can't make this shit up.

More "WTF" Moments to come, I'm sure.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

Letters to People Unlikely to Respond - Part 23

Dear Hillbillies at the table next to me:

That comment card will be taken more seriously if the content is spelled accurately.

Her: "Write down that mah steak was tough."
Him: "Is there one or two 'F's in 'tuff'?"

I weep for the English language. We Americans are destroying it...


Flying Assholes

Y'know, I thought it would be hard for a US-based airline to beat Continental for being overall Asshats, but Delta has overtaken them and is in the running for The Most Shitty Airline In The World.
In the last 2 years Continental has gone downhill badly, becoming unpleasant AND overpriced, with crappy gate and ticket attendants...
Delta calls with shitty attitudes in all personnel, flight crews and terminal staff alike, non-existent customer service and a most uncomfortable ride...

There was a Leprechaun two rows behind me bitching about legroom, so you can imagine my discomfort.
Congrats, Delta.
Your airline is a steaming pile of rhinoceros feces.

More to come, I'm sure.


(Edited to correct egregious spelling errors)

Monday, January 03, 2011


Looooong lines at primary and sooper-secrit alternate checkpoint.
Entered TSA Line at 6:10, exited at 7:01. Included backscatter and prostate exam. Oh joy.

On to CLT & JAX..


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Quote of the Day

JR: "...Yeah, she's stronger than me... And she could probably get more chicks than me."



Saturday, January 01, 2011

Game Over

Stick a fork in it... It's done.

Strike, breakdown, pack up, and/or GTFO.



Cat-5 cable has been the bane of my existence.

I'm marginally color blind (red-green) so sometimes making a cable, especially in low light, is problematic. But overall, I can strip, order and crimp a cat-5 connection pretty quick.
Yesterday JR threw a helluva curve at me.
Cold-Weather-Rated Cat-5.

Now, I've worked with Cat-5, Cat-5e and Cat-6... Even bonded pair, which I hate with a passion, but the cold-rated stuff has replaced bonded pair as my most-hated cable.
The sleeve around the cable pairs has a silicone gel in it...and it is vile stuff.
And it gets all over everything. Hands, tools, connectors, work surface. Gah.
It takes solvent of some sort to get it off... Soap & water just won't do it.

Yours Truly trying to strip and order the strands of this crap.

Fortunately I always carry several pairs of rubber gloves in my backpack, "just in case"... Sure glad I had them yesterday.

Nasty. Yuck.
I hates it.

But- if your cables are running out to a tv truck in temps below 32 degrees, it's better to be safe than sorry.

(Guess what we'll be using a lot of up in Calgary? Cold-Rated Cat-5 & a shitload of Nitrile gloves.)

(Photos by GoodPhil)

New Years Morning at the Confluence

Warm air, cold water... Fog on the river.

Look at that building in the mist... Who is that River Guardian?

Holy Crap! It's Andre the Giant!


View From The Cheap Seats

Click pic to Enlargificate
Considering the altitude the view is still pretty good.


Worst. Hat. Evar.

Yo, Dude. Chicks dig the monkey, but that hat would scare a buzzard off a shitwagon.


2010 In Review : TLDR?

2010 was a relatively good year.
My year started out in Boston with the Winter Classic in Fenway, working with the the NHL and later met some great folks at a Blogmeet.
I spent a large amount of time in Vancouver with some great co-workers at the Olympics...
In March we got a chance to try out our roasting skills by cooking a whole pig in a Caja China, a marvelous way to cook pork for a crowd.

We began to see where the whole Anthropomorphic Climate Change proponents and the IPCC cooked their results and colluded to sell the general public a bill of goods that would ultimately cost nations and businesses billions of dollars... The Public has finally begun to wake up and smell the coffee regarding the Man-Made Climate Change Agenda, and they see that is is a pile of shit too...
Yeah- the wheels are falling off that gravy train pretty quickly.

I was up at the Masters for another Tournament this year- My 12th year working there... This year the pollen was worse than normal...
Musta been all the Global Warmening...

All year long I have been getting quite a bit of Recoil Therapy since I joined the range at the SSSA... Great folks to shoot with and the range is a joy to shoot at.

Travel is always a big part of my life-I've already mentioned Vancouver, but I also made it to the NBA finals for a couple days, several working trips to New York, a trip to Madrid (my first time there) and Greece with my friend and NBA Statistician extraordinaire Pat Gehm.
I got to make several road trips this year- Jax to Texas and back, an aborted trip to California and a return trip to New York that was a comedy of errors. "You're jus' a leeeeetle overweight." was an understatement- I was over by 3000 lbs... And a couple trips (Barclays and Deutchebank) from the Northeast back down to Florida to help out with the events equipment distribution.
I also did my yearly sojourn to Shanghai and I worked in the new Consol Energy center in Pittsburgh, then came back for a site survey for the Winter Classic via a snowstorm in December, So I have had a good amount of Pittsburgh time this year...

Jingalls and I made it down to the Keys for some lobster diving this past summer, and right on the heels of that trip I got involved with some new technology testing for the NHL draft, spending some time in LA for that test.

From a family standpoint it been pretty good- The Perfect Child is a senior this year; When TWWKMT & I got married, her nephew Chip was in our wedding. This year, Chip got married and the PC was a bridesmaid in his wedding... What goes around comes around, eh?
(The wedding weekend was memorable for other events too, especially for a one guest who- how shall we say - over-imbibed?
We shall let that episode remain shrouded in mystery... Heh.)

We had some close brushes in Jacksonville by some tropical storms this year- Earl and Danielle threatened to make life interesting, but they never actually got close enough to do too much damage. They did make the local surfers happy though...

I took on a semi-co-blogger for, the wife of a friend up in Franklin MA who volunteered to fill in for me while I was MIA in October and scared the crap out of the PC and other Constant Readers with her posts... Proxi has continued to post sporadically, and refuses to use any restraint or taste in some of her posts. Be careful when you read her stuff- it might require mind-bleach.

Jingalls and I made it out for some hog hunting this year too- Neither of us got one, but Chief Propeller Head MitchM did bag one, and we promptly cooked it up in the Caja China- mmmmm. Tasty! We have plans for more hog hunting come February.

Relationships are all going well- Bozie and Koa are still enjoying their morning romp, The PC and Boyfriend are doing well, even with the spectre of his enlistment in the Navy looming over them. A final milestone for us this year- The Woman Who Knows Most Things and I celebrated our 20th Anniversary in December. Or as TWWKMT opines "Seven happy years!"
Wait, what?

There were some rough spots this year too...

On March 21st, the Obama Administration passed sweeping healthcare reform. It was promised that we could keep our existing insurance if we wanted to, and that it would bring costs down and improve services, it has since been shown to be a complete crock of shit that will be so expensive and so invasive that it will be an anchor weighing down out entire healthcare system and will drive our medical programs into becoming a government-run nightmare monopoly.

The BP oil spill was a nightmare for many concerned parties, and a boon and blessing for many others. Fishermen, tourist sites and the residents of the Gulf coast (including the critters that live therein) go the short end of the stick. Scammers and the Obama Administration took every advantage of the crisis to advance their own purposes... The Gummint got to go through a huge amount of command and control theatrics and wring billions out of BP "for the victims" then wound up lining the pockets of cronies and co-conspirators. Scammers and crooks that learned their trade through the Katrina aftermath on how to siphon money from the Gummint got to make another killing, capitalizing on the crisis, just like the Community Organizer in Chief taught them.

On a more personal note, my car was once again burgled and I lost 3 firearms, a .40, a .22 rifle and a 9mm, which has me developing a silent alarm for the driveway. The trick is NOT having it go off when a raccoon or a possum wanders up the driveway.

The TSA has made my life extra-miserable, I got Backscatter scanning AND a rather intimate patdown in 6 of 8 flights this fall, since they started their new "Piss Off America" imitative. Makes me want to drive everywhere I go...I wonder if Avis would mind if I drove one of their rentals to Beijing?

We did experience the loss of a beloved family member this year- Our Dalmatian, Maggie Mae, crossed the Rainbow Bridge this summer- No doubt she's found some sunny space that she can run and play, and some big shady trees to rest under. She took good care of us for 14 years, and she earned her place in the sun...

Next Steps-

2011 promises to be a doozy-

The PC will be off to college this summer, and it looks like I'll have a full slate of events to work on though the year.
We'll make time for more hunting, diving, lobstering, recoil therapy and experimenting in the kitchen...

Stay tuned for another year of fun here at