Sunday, September 30, 2012

Victim of Marketing

The rib is a lie.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dallas Trip - Part 2


I got kind of a late start. I got tied up on a conference call and didn't get on the way until after 12:00.
In North Florida.

It was hot, baby.

After 200 or so miles I came to a realization-
I love my bladder.

I picked up a 2 liter Camelbak bladder. They are usually an integral part of an entire system, but you can buy them separate from the fancy backpacks they are usually associated with.
I filled it with ice & water and put it inside my tank bag... I periodically stuck the bite valve up into my helmet for a refreshing sip.
It really makes a difference on a long ride on a hot day.

I made it over to Mobile Alabama, usually a lunch stop, but in this case an early dinner.  I hit one of the seafood houses on Battleship Parkway.
All you can eat peel & eat shrimp for 9.00? Yes please!

I had a great view upon exiting the restaurant...

That's why they call it Battleship Parkway.
The USS Alabama in all her glory. Really wish I had a better camera for this shot.

I overnighted in Biloxi and was back on the road pretty early.
Google Maps said it was 4 hours to my lunch stop & I have a propensity for stopping when I see something interesting.

Like outside Roxie MS.

Riding on the 2 lane blacktop I caught a flash of yellow in the side yard of a house that was surrounded by old junk cars.

Holy crap!
That's a 72 Dodge Charger back there...
I stopped and shouted at the house, but there was nobody home...
I'm going back there and get that car and restore it.
Soon, I hope.
(edit- maybe not. Just talked to Pete- sent him a pic of the car...

"I could get a nice car out of that....with $20,000."

On one of the Food Network shows Alton Brown shared a location where, he said, you could get the best fried chicken in the USA...the Old Country Store in Lorman MS. After a little Google-fu, I found several other references to it, so I thought I'd give it a try.

It was a little out of the way...

Between Jax & DAB, Lorman was kind of on the way...

I made it to Lorman by 12:30... It was almost deserted inside.
Only 3 tables were occupied.

It doesn't look like much, but man, it's worth the trip.
For a place that supposedly has the Best Fried Chicken in the USA, I was expecting a line out the door and a 30 minute wait to get a table.

I got a table, ordered a large iced tea and headed to the buffet.
3 Bean salad, potato salad, collard greens, squash and a nice chicken thigh for my first trip... Everything was great- amazing flavors, especially the potato salad and the collards.
On my second trip through I had a little more potato salad, dirty rice, a spoon of chicken and dumplings, and a big slice of country ham.
Trip three was just for chicken- a wing and a breast...

Best fried chicken in the USA?
No. (That will be another post.)

It was pretty good. Crispy, somewhat moist.
I like juicy chicken, and most of the time chicken breasts are so dry you have to eat them in the rain, as my man Pete would say. But continuing-
Good flavor in the crust, a hint of seasoning. The wing and breast were fresh out of the fryer... Piping hot and very tasty, but just not "Best in the USA" caliber.
What was truly awesome was the peach cobbler with ice cream my waitress Tanisha talked me into. Great Googly Moogly it was gooood.

All in all, if you're anywhere near Lorman Ms, make the trip to the Old Country store. You will leave full and happy.
Unless you're some kind of commie-pinko-slacker-hipster-whiner.

An hour after lunch I was pulling on to I-20 in Vicksburg and put the hammer down heading west.

Damn... I don't know who has the worst roads...
Dallas was awful...
The last 50 miles of I95 in South Florida is really bad, as I discovered last Sunday... But that's another post.)

The slice of I20 from Vicksburg MS to Shreveport was bonshakingly painful...
On two wheels you try to pick a path that has the least amount of variation-
sometimes it's right in he tread-path of a car's tires, sometimes you want the center of the lane since car and truck tires can cause big irregularities on he road surface where tires hit the road seams.
On I-20 there is no happy medium. The road beats the crap outta you no matter where you are.
I was about 10 miles east of Monroe LA and the road went from "damn my arms hurt" to "What the FUCK, over?" in about .003 seconds. Luckily I was in the right lane and traffic was fairly light...
It was a little after 2 in the afternoon and hot hot hot...
I wrestled the machine to the shoulder and got off. Front tire had de-treaded and the right sidewall was gone.
After the adrenaline surge wore off and i was able to hold my phone, I looked up Yamaha dealers in the area.
(Thank Koeschi for smartphones!)
Bayou Powersports was down the road a piece and they said they had a front tire in stock...
A pickup shortly arrived, we loaded up and after 90 minutes of listening to the service manager expound the virtues of UL-Monroe football (granted, they ARE kicking ass..) I was a couple hundred dollars poorer, but I had a spanking new tire between the front forks. Woo hoo.
Back on the road - and about 40 minutes later the first rain started to fall...
By the time I hit Shreveport it was a full-on downpour and it was getting hard to maneuver. I bailed 10 miles short of the Texas border.
I'd had enough.

The nice folks at La Quinta (Spanish for "Next to Dennys") had a dry spot for my bike, and a clean bedbug-free room for me. The rain was coming down hard in the morning, but the radar showed it passing the area by 11 so I took it easy and got on the road before noon and rolled into Dallas just in time dump my bags, change into dry clothes and head to dinner.

Next Up: Campo Verde Showdown Chowdown


Dallas Trip - Part 1

The Dallas Area Blogshoot # 2- a/k/a DABII

I saw the first one mentioned at BAR and Borepatch's sites...
When the second one was in the planning stages, I saw it would probably fall at a time I could fit a visit to Texas into my schedule, I was pretty psyched.
I started watching 3Boxes' website for details...

I'm very fortunate to have be able to attend several blogmeets. blogshoots, and have several micro meets... Always interesting, always fun, always great people.
I met Robb, JayG, McThag and a couple others in Orlando several years ago...
I caught up with JayG again at a Eat & Shoot up in Mass/NH. At that one there was a ton of cool people including Marko, JD, TOTWTYTR, Lissa & Mike, DoubleTrouble and my first meeting with Borepatch and the famous-and-always-hits-her-target Mrs Borepatch...
I've attended two blogmeets in Indy...Wow.
Tam, Roberta, MrB & Midwest Chick, Johanna, Og, Ol' Grouch, Brigid, Old NFO, and a passle of other cool kids. And their shindigs are always held at purveyors of tasty chow. Cool folks and tasty chow- what's not to like?
I've also been fortunate to have been able to some small gatherings with Borepatch, the BAR crew in Houston, Lisa from Homesick Texan in NYC, and a few others...
(I would mention meeting one of the Gormogons but every time I do I get hit by a post-hypnotic command, and wind up naked atop a windmill reciting passages from Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot". Go figure.)

What it boils down to is...
The blogosphere is a very interesting place, and Gunbloggers are an amazing cross section of personalities...I'm a pretty poor scribe, especially in the company of these fine folks...I'm very fortunate to be permitted to sit in their midst, tell my silly stories and crack bad jokes...
If you have the time and means and there is a blogmeet near you, make the time. Even if you have to ride 2200 miles in the rain.
I guarantee, you will not regret it...

Next up: Getting There...


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Living My Life Like A Song - Part 2

(The saga continues... See part one here.)

I originally started this blog was to document some of the things I do, the places I go, and the people I meet. People would ask about my job and I'd draw a blank, so I figured this would be a way to keep up.
Sometimes the stuff I write is about work experiences, sometime it's things that piss me off or make me laugh. I'm not the most disciplined writer, and I sometimes have writers ADD... I start trying to tell a story and I either get off on a tangent or...squirrel! and I lose the track of my thoughts...

Telling the stories sometimes requires changing names to protect the innocent (or guilty) but when you're dog-paddling in an excessively small gene pool at work, people figure out who the story was about pretty quickly.
Stories like "Eight Dollars?!" from Paris or the stories from A Nice Golf Course, or tales from the Big Apple Tennis Gig, or the time a UF cheerleader made a taxi driver cry, or stories of my sordid youth in the Keys...
If I could only get them down on paper, get them edited, find a mentally-unbalanced publisher and get it printed, I too could have authored a book stacked 10-high in the "three for a dollar" bin at Books-A-Million.

If I could tell half of the stories
The funny way most things begin
Figure ways to disguise all the half truths and lies
Find the heart of my song with the point of a pen
Simple words can be come clever phrases
And chapters could turn into books
Yes if I could just get it on paper
But it's harder than it ever looks.

All alone in the edge of the water
Hidin' out by the Sea of Cortez
With my sketch pads and Flairs
Tapes and battery spares
It's just no comprehendo to what everyone says

Time alone seemed to work well for Faulkner
Time away seems to work for the kid
Life and ink they run out at the same time
Or so said my old friend the squid

Yes if I could just get it on paper tonight
I could tell you what I think I did
   -      If I could Just Get It On Paper - Jimmy Buffett
Like the song says, one of these days I will make the time, get away from the Internet, the gun range, and all the other distractions in my life, sit on a beach somewhere and try to get all the good stuff down on paper...

(Note to the PC- If Hollyweird wants to buy the rights, make sure you get final approval on who plays me in the movie. Make 'em get Vinnie Jones.)


Monday, September 24, 2012

Letters to People Unlikely to Respond - Part MCVII

Dear Karma
I have a list of people that you've missed.

You have some explaining to do.

The guy with whom you've been very creative lately.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

95 North

95 South

Friday, September 21, 2012

Living My Life Like A Song - Part 1

There was a meme going around a while back... Basically it was "your history in music"...
It got me thinking about music I like, songs that have meaning for me, and ones that I put in my playlists for driving and working...

There seems to be a preponderance for Jimmy Buffett in my music library- growing up in the Keys you couldn't avoid him.
I even met him a couple times down in Key West just as his career was taking off- after Come Monday and just as Margaritaville was hitting the charts...
His politics are pitiful and his hypocrisy is rampant... Look up the lyrics to Makin' Music For Money, then listen to the way he slams cover bands, lyric sites, and  people who do one-off t-shirt designs for personal use. His lawyers hit them with both feet...
So... I'll do my best to avoid contributing to his causes and to his bottom line - (i.e. no concerts, no purchasing of CDs, etc) and I have nothing but contempt for so-called Parrotheads.

That being said- there is still quite a bit of Buffett on my iTunes library, and the songs evoke quite a bit of nostalgia.

So, to start the series off- From one of his earlier albums, Living and Dying in 3/4 Time- I had this 8-Track in the Burning Plymouth and it got a huge amount of play...
Pencil-Thin Mustache, Saxophones, and the Lord Buckley classic Gods Own Drunk...
But this one gave me food for thought, and made the Cafe Du Monde of the must-visit locations for my first visit to New Orleans years later...
Coffee is strong at the Cafe Du Monde
Donuts are too hot to touch
Just like a fool, when those sweet goodies cool
I eat 'til I eat way too much

'Cause I'm livin' on things that excite me
Be they pastries, lobsters or love,
I'm just tryin' to get by bein' quiet and shy
In a world full of pushin' and shove

And the Wino and I know the pain of back bustin'
Like the farmer knows the pain of his pickup truck rustin'
It's a strange situation, wild occupation
Just livin' my life like a song
The Wino and I Know - Jimmy Buffett

I have been living my life like a song...
Several songs, as this series will probably tell you...


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just for the Record

1.  I'm still alive.

2.  I survived riding the FJR (who now has a name) to Dallas.

2.a I stopped at a place that according to Alton Brown has the best fried chicken in the USA.  He lied.

3.  I survived a front-tire blowout while traveling 79mph in Louisiana.

4.  I had dinner with some really really really cool people.

5.  I met even more cool people with lots of firearms.

6.  I converted money into lots of noise (and fun).

7.  I got rained on. A lot.

8.  I got rained on some more.

9.  I survived riding back from Dallas. In the rain.

10. I did not get pulled over and have to explain why I had enough weaponry on my bike to overthrow a small country.
(It's wasn't the number of weapons, it was the combined caliber.)

11. 6,000 18-Wheelers in the left lane @ 75mph + 38,000,000 gallons of  rain + 1300cc motorcycle packed to maximum density = black eye/busted lip when you ask the drenched ogre: "Hey man... It's a little wet to be ridin' a motorsickle, ain't it?" at an I-10 Gas-&-Go.

All these tales shall be told... As soon as I dry out a little more....


Saturday, September 08, 2012


I would punch this dude.


Friday, September 07, 2012

Last Olympics Post

Over in the main public concourse at the Olympics there was a puzzling facility...

I mean, I understood the need for the facility with the need to cater to service dogs, etc...

The puzzler was the additional accoutrement within...

(click if you must enlarge this pic)

Most places make do (doo?) with plastic bags...
This was the subject of much humor among the denizens of the IBC.


Let's See How Deep The Rabbit Hole Goes...

As I was breaking down our office in the IBC, I noticed our comms panel had taken the red pill...

At that point in time, it didn't take much to amuse me...


Thursday, September 06, 2012

My Hovercraft Is Full Of Eels.

"My nipples explode with delight!"


Always Check For Paper Before Sitting Down...



Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Special Effects

I've been having fun with  time lapse photography on my iPad.
Like the trip from the IBC to the Hotel and the London Tower* Bridge...

 But this is an interesting one I found on-line...

Time Lapse at the DMV

Click pic to start video

*Edit- Thanks, Anon... See note in Comments




Tuesday, September 04, 2012

689 Reasons to Defeat Barack Obama

See them all National Review Online.

Some of my favorites:

3. Because Julia needs to get off her lazy, federally subsidized butt, get a real job, and pay for her own damned birth-control pills.

6. Because the country is ready for its first African-American former president.

7. To give him the free time to write his third memoir.

9. Joe Biden.

12. For claiming that he would cut the deficit in half.

13. And then adding more than $5 trillion in new debt.

24. Because of an $800 billion stimulus bill.

29. Because there were stimulus grants in imaginary ZIP codes.

32. For 613 new federal regulations in the first 33 months of his presidency.
33. And because 129 of those regulations will each cost the economy more than $100 million a year.

37. “The private sector is doing fine.”

38. Because the private sector isn’t doing fine.

50. Because he spent all of 2007 and 2008 imploring us to send him to Washington and, now that he has the job, he can’t stop whining about how much he hates it there.

55. Because he promised to “ban all earmarks.”

56. But he didn’t ban earmarks.

57. And he promised to go “line by line” through legislation.
58. But of course he didn’t go line by line through legislation, and in the case of Obamacare apparently didn’t go through it at all.
59. “Let me be perfectly clear.”

62. Because Americans deserve the opportunity to see which White House pet will ride atop the Romney presidential limousine.

78. The fact that the stimulus spent $9.38 million to renovate a train depot that has been closed for 30 years.

112. He could spend more time with his beloved straw men, who are no doubt dating his composite girlfriends.
234. Because just as his campaign sent out an e-mail declaring that “our President and First Lady are, when it comes down to it, regular people like us,” the first family departed for a $4 million, 17-day Christmas vacation.

235. Joe Biden.

285. Joe Biden.

296. Joe Biden.

301. Opposing concealed-carry laws and supporting a national law that prohibits the practice.

315. Obama’s first presidential decision: Joe Biden.

317. “Middle Class Joe.”

357. Joe Biden telling the Chinese that he “fully understands” their draconian one-child policy.
358. Joe Biden.

372. The Nobel Peace Prize? Really?

455. He hasn’t lost Joe Biden.

569. Joe Biden.

576. The TSA touches our junk.

602. Have we mentioned Joe Biden?


Things Are Not Always As They Seem...

I thought you weren't supposed to get them wet after midnight...?


Truth In Advertising

I'm a bit disappointed that they made the owner of the sign cover the middle finger...


I'll Drink To That


Monday, September 03, 2012

Belated Olympic Content: EAT

There is a fast food lunch joint in London called EAT.

They are everywhere.

(Notice the Tower of London in the background)

I've always been tickled by signs like that- "FOOD" and "EAT"...
I remember when I was just a young'un seeing a cartoon in Playboy or National Lampoon of a large beastie approaching an all-diner witha large "EAT" sign, and one of the guys inside saying "You don't think it can read, do ya?"

I always thought it might have been a Gary Larson work, but I finally found it...
It was Gahan Wilson... Damn, that guy was funny.

One of my all-time favorites...




Sunday, September 02, 2012

After He Retired...

Robert E. Lee

After Appomattox, he became president of Washington College, and I guess he became disillusioned with college students and moved to London and opened a hair salon...

We passed this place every day on the way to the IBC...
It always gave me a chuckle.


Weekend Project - The Trunk

Since my primary transportation is the FJR and things don't look they are going to change any time soon, I have recently realized the need for more storage... And preferably something waterproof.

So, last weekend's project was to install a trunk on the back.

Now, Givi topcases are about $150-$180 for hardware and $200-$300+ for the actual trunk. Hell, I can buy a new handgun for that! (And there's a nice .357 at the pawn shop calling my name...)

Instead, I made the requisite 4 trips to the hardware store to get pieces and parts and the end result was...

Voilà!  Houston, we have trunkage.

The trunk itself was an old Pelican case I have been using as a travel tool case that I picked up for the proverbial song at Skycraft Surplus in Orlando years ago...
(If you've never been, the place is awesome. They get tons of surplus stuff from NASA and the military... The place is like a museum.
If you like DIY tech projects, it is Nirvana.)
Anyway - back to the project...

A little time with my handy-dandy drill press and some channel stock and I had mounting rails.

Mmmmm... Homemade rails... and only minimal personal injuries!

And in true McGyver re-tasking fashion, the mounting plate is an old cutting board.

That's right... At the campsite I can take off the case and fillet a fish or cut limes for the rum drinks on it. Yay for multitasking!

And while I was out I picked up another item I needed- Power, baby.

I picked up a Marinco weatherized 12v power socket at West Marine.

Now I can plug in a USB power adapter to power my GPS, iPod, iPad, mobile phone or damn near anything else.
One thing I have learned on the Interw3bs is that the power system on the FJR is not the most robust.
Folks that have put the same type of power adapter in and ridden off with a high-drain appliance (heated riding suit, heated gloves etc) and got to their destination with a dead battery. Seems that the alternator doesn't put out enough juice to keep up with the power needs of a winter riding suit.
Fortunately I don't need to worry about that...
But I will have it in mind when I use it for aux power. USB-powered devices don't usually draw that many amps.

(I wonder if I can find a USB powered pulse rifle I can mount under the front fairing for those idjits that flick cigarette butts out the window of their car in front of me.)


What's In A Name?

The Perfect Child is out of the USF dorms and is now in an apartment just off campus.

The complex provides a cablemodem for their residents, but not wifi.
 She needs one Ethernet run for her laptop, and one for her DVD player.

(Really? A college student needs a DVD with web capability?

Man, I was happy to have a portable radio to break up the monotony in my first apartment. It was a huge day when I first got a 13" B&W TV.)

So... WAPs are $20 over at CompUSA.
Easy-Peasy, lemon-squeezy.

I dug into the on-board software to set up the SSID, passwords and encryption.

I was trying to come up with a memorable SSID, not too vague, not too cutesy...
One that might give the local ne'er-do-wells something to think about.

I think I have it...

Yeah, that might just do it.


Saturday, September 01, 2012

Belated Olympic Content

IDS Oly Staff on arrival at the IBC one morning:
"Saw the sign on the main entry door. My first thought was 'What the hell did TBG do now?'"

Yours Truly:
"The Pre-Crime Unit knows how much St.Ass is pissing me off and they are just getting ready."


Withdrawl Symptoms

I've been less than prolific lately here at L2UJ...
And I think I've figured out why.

My last recoil therapy session was before I went to London...

And my blood/alcohol ration is shockingly low...
I think my last tot of rum was...hell, I can't even remember.

I think a little bang-bang and a nice snort of tafia on a regular basis...
Probably not at the same time, though... That might be counter-productive.

Xiao Jie! Ma fa ni!

Let the experiment commence.