Friday, October 28, 2011

Still Alive...

Sorry for the light posting.
I'm up to my elbows in documentation...

As I sit here grinding away at pictures and data, I have the TV on in the background.
And since I can't stand talk shows, and have come to hate CNN, FoxNews, & the other "news" channels, I have been keeping AMC or FX on...
Being the Halloween season, there is a preponderance of slasher flicks on the tube. I Know What You Did Last Summer, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream, Halloween  numbers 1 to 34, Friday the 13th, 14th and 15th... All the classics.

There is an interesting phenomenon in these movies that I believe the screenwriters lifted from the Hack Writer's Handbook...
They always say that if you come to a point in your story where you are stuck, just have a man burst into the room with a gun.

I'm not sure how well this would have worked if, say, Shakespeare had an issue while writing Hamlet, for instance...
    Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
    Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
    Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
    But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
    For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
    And they in France of the best rank and station
    Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
    Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
    This above all: to thine ownself be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

    Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.

    Enter: A Man with a blunderbus.

   Zounds and gadzooks, tis an AK47!
   Complete with a clip of the banana style!...
So... It seems that in slasher movies, when you reach a point where no teenagers have been killed in 8 minutes, or no red herrings have been flung upon the audience in 6, two teenagers (but not the main characters) must break off from the group and have sex.

(I will spare you the Shakespearean example utilizing  Rozencrantz & Guilderstern as the teenagers in question.)


Damn shame I've run through all the episodes of Top Gear available on OnDemand...

Back to normal blogging soon.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Overheard in the Family Room

The PC also came home this weekend, gracing us with her presence at least some of the time, since the Boyfriend was also in town.
(Talk about being conflicted...)

While watching AMC's The Walking Dead we were remarking how everything is zombie-centric these days.
Books & movies, TV Shows, iPhone Apps, preparedness pamphlets...

PC: "What's up with all this zombie stuff?"
TBG: "Zombies are the new bacon."


Sunday Morning Recoil Therapy

I'm back in Jax for a couple days, so I decided to join the guys at the Sunday Morning Breakfast Club & Shooting Society in Ponte Vedra.
I met Jingalls for breakfast, then we headed to the range.
Seems that the Southern Secret Shooty Spot has received a makeover...
A couple weeks ago they poured a slab on the firing line.

I got to put 100 or so rounds through the M&P 15/22, and another 50 rounds of 9mm;
I had most of a box of .44 magnum, so I got to take the .44 Rossi out for a spin, in addition to firing a couple cylinders through Athena...

Firing from 25 yards out, traditional offhand standing position...
(Near the 3rd slab line on the new pad)

I'm not unhappy with these groupings.
(Except that stray 9mm at 11 o'clock one of the other shooters put in my target. WTF dude?)

But I still want a ghost ring rear sight for it...

Seems there is/was lots of other gunny goodness going on this weekend...
Good times...good times.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

What The Hell...?

Thursday - Game Day
8:00am - Depart hotel
8:30 - Arena
8:31a - 3:30p Testing, tweaking & general maintenance. Everything is 100%
3:31p - Training & game operations mode. (Not 100%, but not bad.)
7:30 pm to 10:30 Game time.
10:31p - Depart arena

Apart from some machine cuisine (a Snickers bar) in the arena I didn't have any food, so I was ravenous...
I headed to the Chili's near my hotel and had a burger for dinner.
Beverage of choice: Diet Coke.
11:15pm - Back at hotel.
11:17pm - Dead asleep.

Friday - Heading home!

8:10a - Head to hotel parking lot.

Uh oh. There's a note on my car.


Uh, I must have missed something last night...Or...
Did some Hockey Operations groupie follow me and sneak a Roofie into my Diet Coke?

And... Oh no...
That handwriting looks a little masculine to me.

What the hell happened last night?


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Specialty Hardware

Let me get this straight...

Sumdood, ostensibly a responsible lackey with a class B or class A license, stopped for an overnight and had his truck 'jacked.
(FWIW, when I drive company-owned equipment cross-country, that prospect always scares the crap outta me.)

Inside was some Expensive & Important Stuff.

Seems that there was some pretty powerful magic items too...

Sources said inside that vehicle was about $200,000 worth of sound equipment, several podiums and presidential seals, behind which only the President himself can stand.
So, there is some special force field surrounding these items that keeps anyone except His Serene Majesty the Emperor Barack Hussein Obama II, Lord of the Flies, Keeper of the Hoops, Master of the Greens, Bringer of Kinetic Military Action, Vacationer-in-Chief, Slayer of Osama, and Protector of the Holy Cities of Honolulu and Chicago, the Kwisatz Haderach of story and song from standing behind it?

Man, that's some mighty powerful mojo.

Nothing to worry about anyway... I hear they were up for replacement anyway.


Monday, October 17, 2011

So That's Where He Went

Looks like the guy who once owned my house moved to Everett WA and made the same kind of 'Home Improvements' on his new place that he did on my house...

Worst. Wiring. Job. Evar.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quote of the Night Week Month

From an arena technician I first saw waaaay back in May,
when I ran into him again last night at The Game:

AT: "Still at it, eh? Are you DOING this cat, or are you just holding it's tail?"

TBG: "(stunned silence)"

Succinct, descriptive and creative.
Very nice.

I'll be using that one.


Ticking Time Bomb

It seems that Young People Today don't understand the rules concerning how to act in public, and that yes, you are living in a society that values free speech (no matter the volume or how much profanity is contained therein) but not everyone wants to hear you run your mouth.
The other thing is that as a rule, you don't know ANYTHING about the people that surround you in a public venue. And you definitely don't know what will set them off.
It would probably behoove these ladies women stupid bitches females to learn some manners.

Two loud customers push a McDonald’s cashier to his breaking point and a fracas breaks out. One customer suffered a broken arm and had her skull fractured after being beaten by the cashier with a metal rod. The second loud and unruly customer was wounded with a deep cut.
Police said that the cashier served 10 years for manslaughter after a shooting conviction in 2000 and was paroled last March. He had been working at McDonald’s since his parole.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Duel


Cat Fancy

Having owned been owned by a couple of cats, I would have believed her...


Friday, October 14, 2011

Random Items

A couple items while I wait for my arena contact to arrive...

From Phoenix:

From a label on a bottle of tequila I was served from a couple weeks ago.
(Pretty sure it was tequila... We were eating big salads...)

Onward, into the fray with my trusty battle-speculum aboard my war-chicken!

I really like the whimsical imagery...

From Berlin:
I want one.

Actually I want two...
One for each foot.

Really? A really sporty Smart car?
It'll never make it over here.
The catalytic converter they'd need to install would double the weight of the car.

From the WTF File:
Wild Thing

From the "I'm NOT OCD, Leave me alone!" department:
This drove me nuts for 4 hours.

The strokes don't match...

This typeface designer must be taken  out and shot...


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tagged - First Car

Borepatch tagged me on the current cool kids chain letter, to wit:
1. What was your first car? Model, year, color, condition?
2. What adventures did you have in it, good or bad?
3. What happened to it, what's the end of the story?
My first car was a hand-me-down from my sister.
And contrary to Borepatch's suspicion, I didn't drive a Zamboni.
(Where he got the Zamboni thing I guess is due to my current "infatuation" with all things NHL. Alas, when I started driving had you asked me what a Zamboni was, I would have guessed it was one of those folded-over pizzas....but I digress.)

The car of my sordid youth was a 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring...
(Mine was blinding white, visible from 12 miles away, but that's another story.)

 It was a wonderful car- I could pack the ne'er-do-wells I hung around with into the machine and in less than an hour we're be breaking the underage drinking laws in Key West...

By virtue of the fact that I worked at the FBO at the local airport, I augmented the .68/gallon fuel with 100LL AvGas...
(This comes into play later in the tale.)

I did more than a fair amount of driving up and down US1...
I had a 30 mile (one way) commute to school that included 10 different 2-lane bridges, and being a high-school student, I was usually running late and burning up the highways.
I got pretty adept at high-speed driving on the bridges...

One of the good things about the bridges back then, they weren't wide enough for a u-turn, so if you did pass an FHP Trooper or a local cop, they couldn't turn around and chase you down...
And as a rule in the late 70's, they didn't call out SWAT for a roadblock to issue a ticket for doing 80 in a 65 zone.

Unfortunately, as time went by, and since I was dogpaddling in a pretty small population pool, the Burning Plymouth  became rather well known, as evidenced when I was on a return trip from dropping off a friend in Big Pine Key and I was late for work at the local radio station (my other job).
I was on the 7 Mile Bridge and passing the tourists that were creeping along at 30 mph ten cars at a clip... The front end was a good bit out of balance, so when the machine got moving upwards of 70 or 75, the steering would shake like a dog trying to pass a peach pit.
I didn't notice the Monroe County sheriff's deputy car in amongst the station wagons and other vehicles.

About an hour after I got to work, the officer showed up...

MCSD: "Son... I saw you on the bridge this afternoon..."
Uh oh.
MCSD: "Do you have any idea how fast you were going?"
TBG: "Uh, no officer... I was concentrating on my driving."
MCSD: "Well, neither do I. You went by so fast I thought my car had stopped and I started to get out to investigate."
As luck would have it I knew this officer, and he'd recognized my car. He knew he'd find me at the station or the airport. I got a 25 minute lecture about speeding, especially on 2-lane bridges, and contrary to popular opinion, 17 year old males are not indestructable, and although the community would likely survive the loss of a local highschooler, it would go badly were I to take a family of 4 from New Jersey along with me when I went.
Alas, he also knew Dad, who found out about my transgression immediately thereafter and, well, let's just say there was "some punishment".

I did some damage to the car during the course of my ownership...
I had a load of live rock and several 5 gallon containers of ocean water in the machine once, and tried to drive back up on to the highway from down on the shore access road... We were a bit tail-heavy and bottomed out hard...which is a nice way to say I smashed the shit out of the gas tank.
Did you know the gas tank on a '72 plymouth sebring was nigh on impossible to find back in the pre-internet days? And when the mechanic finally found one, it was re-dicking-fuckuously-expensive.

All good things had to come to an end...
The machine was in bad shape- burning that AvGas had taken it's toll on the seals and gaskets and I was putting in a quart of oil for every tank of gas I used...
Dad was not keen on me heading off to college with a car that was ready to fall apart...

I sold it to a local guy, not mentioning the oil consumption issue. (Caveat emptor, eh?) He came looking for me about a week later...
Purchaser: "Uh... Did you notice that the car burns, uh, quite a bit of oil?"
TBG: "Yeah... I noticed that. I usually put in a quart of oil every time I fill it up. That's why left you a case of oil in the trunk."
Not a happy camper...

I went off to UF with a florescent green VW Dasher with zebra stripe seat covers...

But that is a completely different story.


Saturday, October 08, 2011

O2 World Arena - SRO

(This is only interesting if you are into arena minutiae...)
We seem to be missing some seats in the north end zone.

I asked one of the arena guys what the story was... It's the Standing Room Only section...
The crowd loves it... They get packed in like sardines.

Nothing like standing for 2+ hours amongst a ton of people that have only a fleeting relationship with soap and deodorant.


Steve Jobs - Iconic Image

Lots of folks have been putting up their Steve Jobs mementos...

This was always my favorite.


I Am Not A Jelly Donut

...but, for the last few days Ich bin ein Berliner!

Having absolutely nothing to do but wait for my partners in crime to return to the O2 World Arena last night, I went on walkabout at about 9:30PM until almost 1:00AM.

Note to Constant Readers- Avoid the Kebab/Doner/Pizza joints that abound in (East) Berlin...
The Kebab/Doner is probably highly spiced rat & rabbit, while the hunk of cardboard slathered in catchup and sprinkled with grass clippings that they suggest is pizza, well, you'd be better off just eating your euros instead.

During my walkabout I was able to get quite up-close and personal with the old Grenzmauer 75 section of the Berlin Wall in Friedrichshain, near the arena.

Constant Readers will also recall that I'm a sucker for Graffiti, and man, the Berliners Berlindians Berlinites Berlinese folks that live in Berlin love their street art, especially when it comes to the old Antifaschistischer Schutzwall

For instance:

As a side note, the Oberbaum Bridge (Oberbaumbrücke) over the river Spree has an interesting feature: there is a neon art installation called "Stone Scissors Paper" that plays a constant game of roshambo at the center of the span...  
 I kind of hope they eventually modify it to play rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock...

But then, I'm a dreamer.


Friday, October 07, 2011



A week ago:

Guess where I'd rather be.


Signs of Our Times - Part 100101

I know exactly what this guys feels like...

If things don't start improving soon, I'm going to find a high-powered rifle and a clock tower and start thinning out the neighborhood.

And let me tell ya, there's plenty of clock towers in Berlin.