Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The OnesDay Meme - 8/31 Edition

Obama goes to a primary school to talk to the kids to get a little PR.
After his talk he offers question time.

One little boy puts up his hand and Obama asks him his name.

"Walter," responds the little boy.

"And what is your question, Walter?

"I have 4 questions:
First, why did the USA Bomb Libya without the support of the Congress?
Second, why do you keep saying you fixed the economy when it's actually worse?
Third, why did you say that Jeremiah Wright was your mentor, then said that you knew nothing about his preachings and beliefs?
Fourth, why are we letting Brazil drill for oil in the Gulf, but we aren't allowed to?"

Just then, the bell rings for recess. Obama informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess.

When they resume Obama says, "OK, where were we? Oh, that's right: question time.. Who has a question?"

Another little boy puts up his hand. Obama points him out and asks him his name.

"Steve," he responds.

"And what is your question, Steve?"

"Actually, I have 6 questions.

First, why did the USA Bomb Libya without the support of the Congress?
Second, why do you keep saying you fixed the economy when it's actually worse?
Third, why did you say that Jeremiah Wright was your mentor, then said that you knew nothing about his preachings and beliefs?
Fourth, why are we letting Brazil drill for oil, but we aren't allowed to?
Fifth, why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early?

And sixth, what the HELL happened to Walter?"

(shamelessly stolen from my man Scott) TBG- ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE

Monday, August 29, 2011

Quote of the Day - Body Cavity Search on Aisle 3 Edition

People what knows The Big Guy are aware that I have a limited number of comments, jests and japes that I am willing to use at an airport, TSA gropestation or Customs checkpoint...

And by-and-large, most airport employees (gate attendants and ticket agents especially) hve either lost their sense of humor or just fail to bring theirs when they report for duty.

Which was why I was horrified and amused at the oh-so-funny comment from the girl at the bag drop counter in Calgary.

When she tried to heft my bag onto the cart, she wasn't able to lift it...

"Jeez- How much depleted uranium ya got in there?" she asked rather loudly.
Loud enough, in fact, to cause the guys at CATSA (the Canuckistan equivalent of the TSA) to all look over at me and start putting on fresh rubber gloves...

Thanks, Hon. 'Preciate it.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Quote of the Day - Canadian Fast Food Edition

Per Technician John-
"I think I found the perfect fast-food partnership...
Tim Hortons & Wendy's.
Just think: A large Frosty and a box of 40 Timbits."

That might be a little overkill, there, Skippy.

The name "Timbits" sounds a little creepy to me...
Especially given their shape and size...


Yo! Mr. House! Please consider a name change to your tasty round confections so I don't sound like a perv when ordering them.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Books, I read 'em.

The NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy novels with the ones I have read in bold: 

(Been trying to avoid this 'cause I'm busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest...  But here we go... )

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (All 4 books in the trilogy) 
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card (and sequel)
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin (Just started this series)
6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke (including the sequels)
25. The Stand, by Stephen King

26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey (All the Pern books.)
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny (I liked Roadmarks better)
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven (Again, all the sequels too)
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien (Gaaah. This was not what I expected)
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard (all 30 or 40 books.)
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock (only 6 books of the series)
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony (This dude was worse than Philip Jose Farmer when it came to finishing a story.)
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis 

Nerdly admission: I actually still own most of these books.


Busy Busy

Been busier than a set of jumper cables at a family reunion in Mississippi, so blogging has been a bit light...
A few posts and observations have been building up...  

1. Food Options

One thing about spending many many non-event hours in arenas is that food options are somewhat limited.
If you don't want to break the work flow by leaving the building to get lunch, you have two options...
Either brown bag it, or... Machine Cuisine
Mmm. Stale Doritos. Yum.

2. Quote of the Week - Edmonton to Calgary edition.

The trip between Edmonton and Calgary has some really wide open spaces. JR: "Dan Craig described it like this- If your dog ran away on Monday, on Sunday you could still see him running." True dat.

3. Beverage of Choice

I'm not a beer drinker...
So when there's a dearth of Rum,
(Or like in Edmonton where it's $8 CAD for a Captain & Coke)
I do have options...
A nice cool glass of Johnny Jump Up...
I'll tell you a story that happened to me,
One day as I worked in Edmonton AB;
The sun it was bright and the day it was warm;
Says I a quiet pint wouldn't do me no harm.

I went in to a bar for a bottle of stout.'
Says the barkeep to me 'All the beer is sold out;
Try whiskey or brandy, ten years in the wood.'
Says I, 'I'll try cider, I've heard that it's good.'

Oh never, oh never, oh never again,
If I live to a hundred or a hundred and ten;
I fell to the ground and I couldn't get up,
After drinking a quart of that Johnny Jump Up!
4. Location is Everything

Where else would you expect to find Moriarty but in Sherlock Holmes' shadow?
Pretty creative bar names.

And last, and probably the most puzzling...

5. Damn, they've got some mean junkies in Calgary. 

a. That's a pretty stout container.
They have to make it hard to get at the goodies inside...

b. ...Because the Calgary junkies have no problem with stealing and using used needles, I guess.

c. Big container... Is that because they're using giant needles? Or is it a quantity thing?

d. This receptacle was outside the Saddledome and the Calgary Stampede grounds...
Lots of junkies at the hockey games and the rodeo?


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake Reaction

As with everything else that "unexpectedly" happens these days...
Just wait to see what kind of knee-jerk reactions, new procedures and
government-driven precautionary regulations get put in place due
to the earthquake...


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Location Location Location

Huh. So that's where they come from. Who knew?

Not only no, but Hell No.

I've seen too many science fiction horror stories to think this might be a good idea.

Yeah, sorry about the broke link. Thanks for the heads up y'all... 
And Pissed, you can pick up your beer next time I see you...
Calgary later this week? 
Denver next week?
Toronto? Detroit? 
You pick.

You Never Want To See This...

...pull into the truck dock if you're working in an arena.
Can you guess what's happening tomorrow night in Edmonton?

This is going to throw an extra large curare-tipped cast iron monkey wrench into the works for tomorrow.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Postcards from the Edge

...of Martha's Vineyard
(So I'm a day late for the The One'sDay Mockery... Sorry)
Make your own? Go here. TBG- ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Starting To Recover

...but...I'm...still in shock.

I met The Czar.

And (mostly) lived to tell about it.

Once the paralysis wears off, that is...

Every time I start to write about the encounter some sort of post hypnotic suggestion kicks in and...Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок.

Oh, what the hell, man? It's happening again.

All I can really remember is waking up handcuffed to the front pew of St. Peter's Church on West Madison, with a bottle of Strongbow Cider super-glued to the bottom of my left foot, a glass jar of scorpions balanced precariously on my forehead, and I was naked except for a blue ribbon reading "1st Place".
I'm not sure what happened, but I *think* I won.

Father O'Malley was not amused.

My bail hearing is on Friday.


Breaking News...


Epic... Truly Epic Event!

So, on Monday, I Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок. Я уничтожу ваш язык, вы гнилой ублюдок.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quote of the Day - In Da 'Hood edition.

Background - What good is being in these different cities if you don't get a taste of the local cuisine? And by all means, let's try to patronize the small business owners. So, it's my turn to pick a place to eat- let's find some good ol' Chi-Town Bar-B-Que.
I consult the oracle...
"Oh Mighty Google, Find us some BBQ near the UC. Some place tasty. And not too expensive..."

Here ya go:

Mary's BarBQ

Ok..Perfect- Pulaski and Harrison. Not too far away.

Kids- I thought the UC was in the 'Hood.

Pulaski and Harrison is the 'Hood...

So... As we (finally) arrived at Mary's after numerous stops, starts, going the wrong way down one-way streets, and getting examined as if we were on a menu by some rather dubious-looking gentlemen on the street corners, John uttered the words that might have been needed for his tombstone, had we not seen the error of our ways...
"Are you kidding? I'm not getting outta the car.
I'm a white guy in khakis... I wouldn't last 5 minutes down here."

No BBQ for us.


I was just trying to broaden their horizons.


Anarchy in the UK

(Fixed. Thx Pissed, you da man.) TBG- ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE

Chicago - Pros & Cons - Part III

And one last unique-to-Chicago episode...
We arrived at the arena at 7:30am, there was a long line of girl flesh waiting.

Today is tryout day for the Luvabulls- The cheerleaders for the Chicago Bulls...

So... I was hoping for a quick install today...However...

The Techs are a little distracted.

If you want to watch a clip of not-so-talented wannabees flail about,
click here... It's a long download, but funny.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chicago Pros & Cons, Part II

When traveling on business I don't ask for a lot when it comes to hotels.
Close to the work site is a primary concern.
Working AC, clean towels, hot water that is actually hot, relative quiet in the hallways at the night.
A guest laundry is nice but not mandatory.
(I won't have the hotel do the laundry- it's cheaper to throw away shirts, socks and underwear and buy brand new ones rather than pay hotel laundry prices.)

But bed softness machinery, pillow varieties, bathrobes, moisturizing lotion made from unicorn earwax, 50" plasma 1080i TV, on-call guest services...
Don't really need it.

And I've been staying at the full spectrum of hotels on this gig...
Small chain places, medium market hotels, and some pretty nice places.
Everything from small Comfort Inns to Sheratons, Westins, and W hotels.

The one here in Chicago is a hoot- the W Hotel on Adams.
Very frou-frou. Lots of soft edges, pastel lighting, frosted glass, techno/jazz ambient music.
It's got a happenin' nightclub in the lobby too... This comes into play later.

W Hotels have a habit of classifying their rooms by a puzzling set of adjectives -
You can get a Wonderful room, a Spectacular room, a Fabulous room, a Mega room, a Fantastic suite, a Marvelous suite, a WOW suite and the Extreme-WOW suite.

Extreme WOW Suite:
Who needs dreamland when you have the master bedroom's king-sized custom-designed opium bed with the signature W pillowtop mattress? As sheer drapery falls over the bed's faux leather finishing with pewter shimmer, a bench on the other side of the headboard creates a semi-private indoor cabana for the perfect intimate conversation, complete with circular chrome accent tables for drinks and a 42" flat screen LCD TV in this sunlit island of leisure. In the bathroom adorned with Bliss® Spa sinkside six bath amenities, will you settle into the chromatherapy whirlpool soaking bath tub or step under the rainforest shower which opens up to the terrace. The signature W bed, spectacular city views and the 32" LCD TV make the guest bedroom a sight to behold, together with a free-standing concrete cast tub surrounded by river rocks.

60" LCD Flat Screen TV in living room
Books and Board Games
Oversized Bathroom with Walk-In Closet
Dining/Conference Area
Master Bedroom with 42" LCD Flat Screen TV
Full-Service Kitchen
Oversized Wraparound Terrace with Access From All Rooms
Panoramic Views
Wet Bar
Guest Bedroom with 32" LCD TV and Bathroom
Separate Bar and Coffee Table
Powder Room
Bang & Olufsen BEOSound 1 Entertainment System

Holy crap.
It's all wasted on me.

As long as my wake-up call comes at 6:10, I could give a rats ass about 350-thread-count sheets and goose-down comforters.
I'd rather stay at a Hampton Inn or Marriott if it was closer to the United Center.
The problem with that is the UC is in the Hood...So, nope.

So... I'm ready to head to UC this morning at 7am- I'm down at the front door, waiting for my car...
And the parade is going on... The Walk of Shame.

Sorry, stock photo. I'll see if I can catch some originals tomorrow.

During my 10 minute wait I saw 6 girls head out, little black dresses, sunglasses, raccoon eyes or smudged mascara, one of them was barefoot- carrying her stiletto heels rather than wearing them, all of them very focused- a straight line from the front door to the taxi...

Which led me to a little research...and a pretty cool piece of marketing genius.

The Walk of Shame Kit.

A white dress/coverup, flip flops, drawstring backpack, sunglasses, pre-pasted toothbrush, wipes and a call me/don't call me card.

An enterprising youngster might find a great niche business, running a walk-of-shame-kit delivery service.
Operating from 4am to 8AM, discretely delivering rescue kits to hotel rooms and frat houses across the city.
(Maybe even offer the Deluxe version that contains a heavy-duty antibiotic and a Morning-After pill.)


A Fly on the Wall

I was giving some of my co-workers a ride from the airport into town yesterday...

Somehow the conversation in the back seat turned to sex* and the many variations thereof.
One of our number was commenting on the pros and cons of hair pulling mid-coitus, especially in some of the more canine positions... and how disturbing it is when the hair comes off (heh) in your hand because its a cosmetic extension...
Hence, the technician has a personal rule: 'no hair pulling'...
To which another tech replied: "That's unbe-weave-able."

I almost wrecked the car, I was laughing so hard.

(*Always remember Uncle Jays 3rd law of Guynamics: 2 or more guys + 10 minutes = conversation topic:sex)


Chicago - Pros & Cons Part 1

Ah, the Windy City.

I hates it.

This place is frustrating on many levels...
The frustrations began way before I got here this time.
I booked a rental vehicle at ORD - 4 days, it will be almost $400 dollars.

WTF? Are you kidding me?

(Believe me when I tell you $341 is almost $400- they have tons of little surcharges that only show up when you check in to get your ca...)

I looked for an alternate location...

Oh look... Elk Grove is a 5 to 7 minute cab ride from ORD. Same car, same period, less than $200.

Done and done, thankewberrymuch.

Now- that 5 to 7 minute ride... That was a different story.

After arriving at O'Hare, I got loaded up into the taxi and told the driver I wanted to go to Elk Grove.
He got out and went to talk to the taxi dispatcher.
I thought it was to ask for direction, but the body language told a different story.
He was pissed because it was such a short drive and he'd have to wait in the taxi queue again to get a high-ticket fare into town.

He finally got back in and asked where I wanted to go...
I told him the address.

He professed no knowledge of where Elk Grove could possible be, maybe I'd better get a cab with a driver who knew the area better?

Bullshit, motherfucker.
You're a cabbie- that's your damned JOB.
(This is a line that one co-worker once delivered in Paris and actually made a cabbie cry.)

Start driving- I'll give you directions...
He hesitated, trying one last gambit to get rid of me.
So we drove...
I gave him turn by turn directions from my smartphone in order to get us to the rental location.

On arrival he wanted cash money for the $17 dollar fare... I told him I didn't have any folding green and I wanted to use the Credit Card swipe device.
He gave me a dirty look and jabbed the fare display a couple time and the fare went from $17 to $22...
(Well, that's his tip then...Fine by me.)
I swiped my card and accepted the amount- then waited for my receipt- he waited a moment- then shrugged his
shoulders - sorry, no receipt. must be broken.

Dude, you are in for a world of trouble.
The City of Chicago has an office slap full of people that just loooove to hear complaints about cabbies.

I indicated to him that a complaint to his company and to the city was on the way if I didn't get a receipt tout-de-gorram-suite... He finally rummaged around in his briefcase-satchel and found an old-style blank credit card receipt and threw it at me and sped away.
But not before I got his cab # and driver #.

(And I've been having a grand old time last night and this morning filing complaints with Yellow Cab and the City of Chicago.)

We'll see how that goes.


This Is Why There Are Riots In (used to be) Great Britian

A mother-of-ten who nets more than £30,000-a-year in benefits has begged for charity donations to help raise her brood - because her state 'wage' is not enough.
Moira Pearce, 34, has insisted her weekly government handout of £600 is insufficient to feed and clothe her children and she needs donations to survive.

Moira Pearce now lives with her latest boyfriend, jobless Mark Austin and her ten children


But of course, it's as bad, if not worse over on this side o' the pond.

If you subsidize bad behavior, expect to get more of it...


Friday, August 12, 2011

Apes Will Rise


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Steaming Pile of Excrement

The "officially" sanctioned photo shows President Obama saluting the coffins of the Navy SEALS. (not shown) (White House photo) 

Campaign Procedures #23175: Control the Media
When the coffins of the fallen Navy SEALS came back to US soil, the Pentagon and the White House closed the event to the press. That's understandable. After all, the George W. Bush administration made similar restrictions for such ceremonies, although President Obama overturned the policy. The press complied as well, but when the White House released a photo yesterday of Obama saluting the coffins at the ceremony, they raised their eyebrows. When Associated Press reporter Ben Feller asked about the photo today at the White House Press briefing, Carney answered:
"The reason we were able to release a photo, is that it was carefully done so that none of the transfer cases that contained remains were in the picture . . . we were able put those restrictions and control the White House photographer so that the photograph that we released does not cause any of those problems."
So, just in case you were wondering, this full-on campaign mode.
It's not about fallen heroes.
It's ALL about TheOne...
...And as with everything else he does, he gives a sloppy, half-assed salute.
They (and we) deserve better.



R&R, Dallas

Havana Social Club
Victory Plaza Dallas
Smoke: Fuente Signature, from the Hemingway series.
(the smoking guy)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Rules of Engagement

Things are getting really really ugly over in the place that used to be Great Britain...
There is a gallery of photos here...
Worth taking a look.
Another aggregation here, courtesy of Pissed@FeralIrishman
Go ahead, I'll wait.

One illustration and one BBC quote regarding this whole mess are very telling. Quote:
Two girls who took part in Monday night's riots in Croydon have boasted that they were showing police and "the rich" that "we can do what we want".


Now, this kind of crap has been getting a foothold here...

The most recent was over the weekend at the State Fair up in Wisconsin, but the lamestream media is glossing over it...
"Riots? We go no riots here..."
Interesting enough, the response by Law Enforcement and the local bureaucrats is to establish a curfew. As opposed to, say, catching and incarcerating the criminals?
Just like imposing more controls on responsible gun owners after a criminal ignores existing gun laws and shoots up a school.

And it's been going on for a year now... The first flashmobs hit the news March of 2010

Pic from March 2010, Philadelphia

The mayor of Philadelphia finally got some cojones and dressed down the Philly Choirboys quite soundly after they pulled some rather nasty stunts over the last YEAR.

Memorial day weekend there were incidents all over the country.
Chicago, Miami, Charlotte, and several locations in the northeast were hit by flash mobs.

Thinks are really starting to get out of hand...
With things going from bad to worse here in the US, better think about upping your Personal Awareness Level to Orange or even Red at any given time.

(And keep in mind, just because you are at home, doesn't mean you are safe.)

Time for a review:

Rules of Engagement
1a. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns.

1b. Bring all of your friends who have guns.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice.
(Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.)

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough nor using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. [Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.]

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. Ten years from now, no one will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running.

9. Accuracy is relative. [Most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun.]

10. Use a weapon that works every time.  [All skill is in vain when an angel pisses in the touch hole of your musket.]

11. Someday someone may kill you with your own weapon, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

12. Always cheat; always win. If you walk away, it was a fair fight. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

13a. Always have a plan.

13b. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work.

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible. The visible target should be in FRONT of your gun.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill.  [In God we trust.  Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them].

19. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

22. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.

23. Your best option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

When working in the personal protection field (which I rarely do any more), or in a crowd environment, I find a slight modification of Number 21 to be my most-used mindset.
21b. Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to completely incapacitate everyone in your general vicinity.

Good rules to live by. Especially right now.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Damn Shame

The heat here probably killed it.
Africa hot here man.
Tarzan couldn't take this kinda hot

After Action Recreation Report

I have again departed Vancouver under my own steam and without handcuffs, a city where at one time I was threatened that if I were to return to a certain venue "ever again" that I would be leaving on a gurney or in a box...
Ah, over-empowered, youthful Olympic security guards. So full of enthusiasm, so little brains.
Who's laughing now, you most-likely-unemployed Jackwagon?

So, departing the comfortable climes of Vancouver I made my way to Texas, via Phoenix.

Getting off the plane at Sky Harbor was a little taste of things to come.
When I dropped the rental car off at YVR the temp was 64 degrees...
As we taxied to the gate in PHX the pilot announced that it was 101 degrees.
As we got off the plane, the jetbridge was every bit of that 101 and probably more.

On arrival at IAH it was even worse...

I had planned a meet up w/ KX59 & the fair Southern Belle since I was going to be in the neighborhood. We arranged a time and place to meet up- little did I know it would wind up being a chauffeured tour of Large Texas City suburb...

The festivities began w/ lunch.
I was intrigued when they wrote about a post-shooting meal of Chicken Fried Steak, complete with mouth-watering pictures... See here.
So our first stop was Goodsons in Tomball - The worlds largest and arguably the best chicken-fried steak...
If you're unfamiliar with chicken fried steak, well, it's something they excel at in Texas...
I am reminded of a quote from the CBS Show Big Bang Theory-

Sheldon: I grew up in Texas. Football is ubiquitous in Texas. Pro Football, College Football, High School Football, Pee-wee Football; In fact, every form of Football except the original: European Football, which most Texans believe to be a commie plot.

Leonard: Unbelievable.

Sheldon: If you’re interested, I also know all about frying meat that isn’t chicken as if it were chicken.

Lunch started out pretty innocuously, chit chat and talking about blogs, families, and the basic get-to-know yous...
Then the chicken fried steak appeared...
It was trundled in on the backs of 4 large native was huge... It actually had its own gravitational field.

"Oh. My. Gawd." I said...
"Oh. My. Gawd."
Hell, it was even causing a echo effect as the sound waves bounced off the damned thing's Schwartzchild radius event horizon.

I tore into that thing with the gusto of a hound dog... 8 or 9 mouthfuls in I realized that I didn't get a picture of the beast.
Oh well, that will be a good reason to get back there sometime soon!
And I didn't take KX's advice...
"If you have eyes on the delectable pies for desert, I suggest the small chicken fried steak."
Screw moderation. I had the large CFS, and a slice of the their famous chocolate meringue pie.
There was a moment of drama when the waitress tried to take my plate before I had cleaned every last tiny morsel from the enameled surface...
She had grabbed at the plate before asking- and the sub-sonic growl and gnashing of teeth sent her scurrying for the kitchen... I finished my last few bites with my arm curled protectively around the plate.

Next Stop - window shopping and tire kicking at a well-appointed local pawn shop.

Belle drooled on several shootin' irons- she's still vacillating on what she wants to get as her primary handgun...

KX examines a tool made to secure one's domicile...

The only thing we left with was a lead on a nice indoor range with a good selection of rental pistols...

We saddled up and headed to the range and we got knee-deep in some target practice.
Belle and KX rented a Springfield XDM in 9mm, and I rented my favorite stand-by, a Beretta 92f.

This was another really nice range, similar to the one in HotLanta...- nice air handling, great A/C, well-designed target trolleys...
Belle, KX and I punched lots and lots of holes in paper. A good time was had by all.

My recoil therapy session with Dr. Beretta went well, I was released with a clean bill of (mental) health, and we were off to our next activity...
A sitdown in a well-air-conditioned purveyor of frosty adult beverages.

A good host and hostess know how to treat a guest- namely, let him prattle on and on, telling tales and nodding politely at the pauses in his prevarications, and the fair Belle and KX were good hosts...
They were able to stay (mostly) awake as I recounted some of my stranger encounters and bizarre experiences. We made plans for later that evening... a dart tournament, or as Belle deems it "Drunks throwing Pointy Things", and they asked if I was up for participation...
Well... I'm not much of a dart thrower... I mean, I can blindly fling pointy stuff at a target with the worst of them...and since it was a blind draw, that means one of two things-
I'll be paired with someone as bad as myself, which means we'll have our asses handed to us quickly and painlessly... Or, more frighteningly, I'd be paired with a good player, and drag him down to my abysmal depths...probably pissing him off for thinking I could actually compete with the big dogs.
No time to dwell on it... Dinner first, then harpoons at 8 paces.

I went back to the hotel to change out of sweaty clothes and we re-convened at a local (really really good) Mexican restaurant... (What'd you expect? Hooters?) and after a great meal we headed to the pub for Darts & Drunks.

TBG: "I see you told them I was coming."

After a suitable amount of "aiming fluid" was imbibed the tournament started- I was paired with a gent named Alex who was, as I feared, pretty damned good. I'm sure he was thrilled to be paired with an ogre with 3 thumbs on each hand. We lost a tie-breaker in the first round, then we wound up playing against KX59 & his partner James in the losers bracket... KX59 is also a very skilled player, and James was really hot that night.
As I thought- the ass-handing was quick and painless, and really fun.

We sat afterward - telling more tales and having a great time-
We parted company sometime after 1am- I had planned to retire early since I needed to be in Dallas before 1:30pm and it's a 4 hour drive...

Oh well.

I have to say- I've met a really large cross-section of bloggers- Robb Allen, JayG, Lissa & her hubby, Brigid, Tam & Roberta X, Johanna, Borepatch & the Missus, Zeeke, Mopar & his better half, OldGrouch, McThag, Og, Mr.B and Midwest Chick, Munchkin Wrangler and many more...
I've yet to find any of them to be poor company; More to the contrary, everyone I've met has been several notches above the average Joes and Josephines... Bloggers, especially the gunnie bloggers, tend to be witty and intelligent- there's always great company, fun, scintillating conversation, and usually some good beverages and food...
I've been very fortunate to be able to meet some of the best and most interesting people scrawling snark across the blogosphere, and KX59 and Belle definitely fit right in...
Thanks so much for hosting me on a hot, hot, hot day under the Texas sun.
Y'all are the best!

And, really...
The whale was horrific.


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Captain Morgan is helping me blog tonight...

This is the pic I was trying to include on my last post...
Make better sense now?
TBG & The Captain