Thursday, December 29, 2016

TinderDog Profiles - 13

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

TinderDog Profiles - 12

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

TinderDog Profiles - 11

Monday, December 26, 2016

Shut Up. Just Shut Up. Please.'re fucking up my coffee break.

Sitting at the counter at my diner in Tampa, and this moron a couple stools down is going on and on to his hipster buddy about his aversion to capital punishment and how Trump is going to swing all states back to pro-death-penalty status.
Not that this is a bad thing, but his explanation on WHY he is opposed to it just torqued me a bit...
He cited his religious objections as grounds for opposition.
"The 10 commandments, Dude. Number 6- Thou shalt not kill. That's why it's wrong."
Jeebus spare me from ignorant bible thumpers...
Step away from your KJV, asshat, and find a more accurate translation.
Murder is the term used in the Hebrew is lo tirtsah- definitely murder.
There is no biblical prohibition on killing- as a matter of fact, the Bible, especially the old testament- that thing is just dripping with justified homicide...
So shut up, moron. 
Find a different way to justify your precious snowflake feelings that doesn't involve a poor translation of the Pentateuch...

And there is a good chance Trump is going to step on his dick, but refrain from speculating on extreme impossibilities...
The universal death penalty for minor infractions, starting a global thermonuclear war, shit like that...
The stuff keeping 13-year-old progressives (or the progressive parents of impressionable teenagers) up at night...
Gosh, if we only had a system of checks and balances to keep a out of control despot from blowing up the Earth...
Oh, wait a sec...


TinderDog Profiles - 10

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

To all my Constant Readers and others, A very merry Christmas...

 In the past 20 years I've spent about 2/3rds of them somewhere other than my home.

Early years at IDS/SMT I was almost always at the NBA Christmas Day games... Occasionally I would be home for Christmas eve and morning, but catching a flight to setup for other events like Winter Classic or on the way to Oz, or like the last 4 years actually IN Oz for the holidays.

Now I'm in Tampa for a majority of my time, but I did make it back home for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day but I’m heading back to Cigar City on Monday...

 One thing about being responsible for all the IT/technical elements of the arena (as opposed to only for one event in the building) is that on most issues USED to be what we referred to (ironically) as TAMPA- 'That Ain't My Problem, Asshole'...

 Now, it's my building, it's *all* my problem.

Friday, December 23, 2016

TinderDog Profiles - 9

Thursday, December 22, 2016

TinderDog Profiles - 8

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

TinderDog Profiles - 7

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Style. I Haz It.

At the new job, most days the dress code is business casual.

But -

Game night...  Suits required.

Gotta make another run to Shanghai for more suits.
Mine are suitable for bodyguard duty or funerals, as a rule.


Elections... Decisions, Decisions

Over the weekend I was in a discussion regarding the election. While I wasn't thrilled with Trump as a whole, in my book it was no contest when I entered the voting booth (figuratively speaking, of course).

We were discussing how it really was not a hard decision in the end for me to cast my vote...
And in reflection, it never has been, at least for me.
But... Shouldn't the decision be close?
Shouldn't it be the best of the best of both sides?

I mean, let's look at the choices I have faced when I went to vote:

1980  Reagan / Carter  - Easy decision - Carter was a horrible failure as President. FTMF
1984  Reagan / Mondale - No problem - No reason to think about changing the administration.
1988  Bush / Dukakis - Easy - Dukakis couldn't compete with GHWB's election machine.
1992  Clinton / Bush - Never even thought about voting for Clinton.
1996  Clinton / Dole - Dole was not my first choice, but he didn't make my skin crawl like it did when I heard Clinton (either one) speak.
2000  Bush / Gore - Easy choice, after listening to the man-bear-pig speak.
2004  Bush / Kerry - No problem pulling the lever for Bush.
2008  McCain / Obama - I saw through the smoke and mirrors early. No thought of voting Obama.
2012  Romney / Obama - Even more resolute about the choices.
2016  Trump / Clinton - Not even a tiny thought of giving her a chance to carry out her grand plan of fucking up the country even more than Obama already has.

Seriously- shouldn't we expect better candidates? Shouldn't it be difficult to choose because both should have great potential to do good for the WHOLE country, not just special interests?


TinderDog Profiles - 6

Monday, December 19, 2016

TinderDog Profiles - 5

Friday, December 16, 2016

TinderDog Profiles - 4

Thursday, December 15, 2016

TinderDog Profiles - 3

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

TinderDog Profiles - 2

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

TinderDog Profiles - 1

Monday, December 12, 2016

On The Left Coast -

...The left coast of Florida, that is...

I've been busy as the proverbial paper hanger since I arrived here in Tampa...
Folks in the arena have been very welcoming, and I'm doing my best not to scare anyone unnecessarily. At least not my co-workers. My vendors are a different story.
I've had a come-to-Jeebus meeting or two with Brighthouse and another vendor who think that it's a good idea to come to the Arena on a game night under the pretense of "preventative maintenance" or to be on hand "just in case" and hang out in the suite level or the club level and watch the game.
They could get away with that shit under the previous regime- but no more.

So... Last week was the company Holiday party-
The Woman Who Knows Most Things came down for the festivities- as always, she was a delight, and her very presence increased my social standing at the company through her charm and personality.
Interesting to note- We were sitting with my boss & his wife, our in-house network engineer (stag), our marketing Exec VP & his wife.
There were 3 or 4 empty chairs at the table when we went up to the buffet, and when we came back the CEO (Mr. Griggs) and VP of Corporate and Community Affairs - Dave Andreychuk followed us to the table and sad down with us to eat. Dave was the team captain when the Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004.

This is Dave...
Seems he spent some time down in Marathon during the beginning of lobster season this year- 
He, Mr. Griggs and I talked Keys fishing & diving, and we all talked about kids, our own and others...

During the party I opined that in my former position I didn't lack for fresh air and (occasionally) sunshine as many of my events were golf or tennis tournaments, and thus outdoor work kept me in Vitamin D and that now I would need to guard against the standard IT Manager's pallor by making sure I got outside - preferably near the beach, as often as our schedule would permit.

The day AFTER the holiday party I made the trip back to Jacksonville with The Woman to pick up my motorcycle, or as she calls it - my Japanese girlfriend, and bring it back to Tampa.

Now, suitably equipped for getting outside and into touring mode I headed out on Sunday morning...
No sense in overdoing it, I headed just a few blocks, over to the Blind Tiger in Ybor for a cortadito and to read the local fish wrapper.

After the tiny glass of carbon con Leche, I headed west eventually hitting Clearwater Beach, then turned south.
As I headed down the Beaches I made note of several likely spots that held the promise of adult beverages, served in questionable conditions, probably by some nefarious people, for exorbitant prices. Just my kind of places.
After a long midday ride I crossed back from the Beaches into the lovely community of Pasadena,  and finally stopped at Ted Peters Smoked Fish restaurant- famed in several Food TV mentions as a foodie destination.

AND they weren't kidding- if you like smoked fish, you'd love this place...

I had a lovely dish of smoked fish dip... Ambrosia.

Folks sitting near me indulged in smoked salmon, smoked mullet, smoked mackerel, and one Airedale had a tasty-looking (not smoked) burger.
My server Chris tempted me with a taste of their hot German potato salad. I was, however, able to maintain my will power and didn't put in for a side order of it- trying to conserve caloric intake as much as possible.

I was back on two wheels shortly thereafter- it looked like some ominous weather approaching from the South so I eschewed the scenic route and took I-275 back to Downtown Tampa, arriving back a my humble abode just before the rain began to fall...

A little 100 mile jaunt around the Tampa- Clearwater- St. Pete communities...

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday...

TBG - - Livin' the Dream

Saturday, November 19, 2016

For What it's Worth - Refugees, Emigration & Immigration

Just my humble opinion on packing up and getting out...


Not doing it...

I just wrote a rambling screed about people fleeing so-called tyrrany; Moronic celebs talking big and then not following through, then countering with my oh-so-brief thoughts in 2008 of living on a sailboat off the coast of South America to escape Obama's Folly...
And any discussion of refugees needs to touch on the Great Middle East Diaspora and the backdoor invasion or Europe.

The whole thing went from a 2-paragraph opinion piece to a 4 page lecture on refugees, Emigration, sleeper agents, patriotism and history if Sandbox Countries.

When my thumbs started cramming from writing I saved the draft and did a wikiwander on Syria, Lebanon and other garden spots in the ME...
I came up for air 30 minutes later....
Listen to Uncle Jay... if you haven't done any recent serious reading on the history and situations in the ME, and are relying on the Rand McNally maps from your junior high school years,  go do some research. Especially on the historical aspects...
I deleted several pages of foolscap that no one (not even me) would have enjoyed reading.
Instead of wasting time here, go edumacate yo'sef.
Start with Wikipedia, and if you read the US news sites take them with a grain if salt.  Don't shun BBC and some of the Aussie stuff. And some of the smaller blog that try to provide "Understanding the Syrian Civil War for Dummies" actually have some interesting points to make.
'Nuff said.
Someday I'll write a coherent screed about it, and try to keep it under 2000 words.

TBG - moving out

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Entitlement: Not Just For The Underprivledged Any More

Sitting in 'upscale' diner in Hyde Park, waiting to go look at a shoebox in a retention pond at 10am.

A well-dressed woman is picking up a togo order at the counter...
Looking at her ticket she has a hissy fit that her 2 eggs and turkey sausage to go is $11.
WDW: "When I eat here Delores (another waitress I guess) always rings them up separately so its only $4.00."
Manager explains that although the other waitress was violating restaurant policy, he would make an exeception and ring her up that way, but moving forward they would have to go by SOP.
Woman continues to have a meltdown, customer is always right, such poor customer service,  how can you possibly expect to stay in business...yadda yadda yadda.
The dude is a testament to diplomacy and tact- took the entire tirade in stride. Sorry you feel that way, and we do appreciate your business,  have a nice day.
I'm wondering if Delores will be getting a talking-to... I know places where she'd be getting her walking papers.

I like to think I'd have voided her charge, grabbed her Styrofoam box and pitched it in the trash and bade her Good Day, Madam. I said Good Day!

But probably not...


Monday, November 14, 2016

Housing Market is Scary

Been out of the market for 20+ years.
I didnt realize how bad getting reasonably priced accommodations was getting...

Places in my price range are either geographically undesirable  (too far of a commute for my blood pressure) or are just a shithole in general...

And if it is somewhat close to Downtown, and it isn't insanely overpriced, the neighborhood is bad.
Like really bad.
Like I'd walk down dark streets in NYC with $20 bills hanging out of my pockets just for excitement, and in these places I would need to be fully-armed - defcon 1 - condition red locked and loaded just to walk to (whats left of) my car every morning.


TBG - Apartment Hunter

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Moving On...

From my AMF letter to the other employees at my (former) employer.

Yes- I Am Moving On…
(Stick with me here… It’s long but it should be worth it.)

As (the big boss) said, it is with mixed emotions that I am leaving…

The 20 years I spent here at the company were amazing- Working here taught me a nearly infinite number of lessons:

Many technical skills, project management, problem solving, diplomacy, how to get an alligator out of a hotel bathtub and many more life skills.

I have a section in the old company policy handbook dedicated just to me… Talk about a legacy.

I have gone to interesting places and events and been called upon to fill many roles over my tenure...

Golf events like the Masters, PGA Champs, USGA Events, CPC and many more;
Tennis such as the US Open, China Open, the French Open- where I nearly destroyed a pair of servers singlehandedly, Kazan Russia, Miami Open/Lipton and Sydney, but never Wimbledon or Indian Wells, thank Ghod.
Countless NBA Events from All Star ’97 in Cleveland to the Finals to Global Games in Guangzhou China…
NHL Events like the Winter Classic in 2008- an outdoor game in Buffalo NY, All Star games, Stanley Cup Finals over several years. Also a 6 month on-site contract that grew into a 13-month slog through every arena in the country several times installing waves of new equipment.
Multisport Events like the Olympics (Salt Lake, Athens, Torino, Beijing, Vancouver, London, Sochi and Rio all left some scars;  Goodwill Games were also a specialty- New York in ’98 was…interesting, as was Brisbane Australia in 2001- Especially since the games ended on September 10th, and the next day The World Changed courtesy of al-Queda.

I’ve wedged my size-13 ass into size-10 seats on airplanes for countless flights…
I’ve been on a flight with only 3 other people on a United 757-200, and I’ve been shoe-horned into a middle seat in the back of a fully-packed Japan Air Lines 747- a plane designed around the average Japanese passenger- not a 6’5” 300lb Ogre… Not a pretty sight. 

When it comes to hotel rooms I’ve been in all manner of rooms at every major chain from Marriot to Starwood/Sheratons, to Comfort Inns and LaQuinta Inns – and as Rallis would tell you, “La Quinta” translates to “Next to Dennys”…

I’ve been quartered in a Russian bordello, a Chinese Jìyuan, a by-the-hour capsule hotel in Saitama Japan after missing the last train to Tokyo, but I’ve also stayed in luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and at the Four Seasons in Tokyo- where the bathroom was the size of the average Marriott hotel room.

I’ve driven forklifts, lulls, cars, pick-ups, and a rowboat while on the job. I went cross-country in the old company #2 box truck – where the sound level inside the cab was 90+ decibels and it would only go 62 miles per hour. Downhill. With the wind.
And the capper- in October 2001, while on a site survey for the nascent NBA Development League, I was on a trip from Jax, to Mobile AL, to Columbus GA, Charleston, Greenville SC, Ashville, Fayetteville NC, Roanoke VA and up to the NBA offices in New Jersey. While on this trip (on my motorcycle) I wound up behind a pig truck in southern Georgia, and  in order to provide service to our client and enhance value by going above-and-beyond, I was required to be covered in a shower of pig snot, pig slobber, pig earwax, pig shit, pig semen and pig urine, essentially causing me to throw away half of my wardrobe that I had on the 8-day trip.

This, as they say, is Taking One For The Team…a/k/a The Pig Truck Story

I’ve endured a lot over my tenure with The Company, and conversely, the company has endured a lot from me.

(See comment regarding the TBG section of the company policy manual.)

Over my tenure I have traveled, worked, drank, dined and broken laws with countless other company staff members;

Working with other staff at events was always one of the best parts of the job, especially the new, young impressionable idealists that want to set the event world on fire. (Figuratively speaking of course…).

It’s always nice to be an influence on our new staff- it’s not necessarily always being a ‘good influence’… Sometimes all you can do is be a cautionary tale, or at worst, a horrible warning to others…

And it’s not all work…
Probably some of my favorite (and most painful) memories are the “Career Development seminars” that we held down in the Dry Tortugas…

Great food, sunburns, fishing, adult beverages… and…uh… Well... the Law Enforcement Ranger that visited our campsite at 1:00am starting his lecture with the words-“We’ve had some complaints…” would be a good indicator of the Inebriation Quotient.
You know what they say- Work hard, Play Hard.

Let me try one last time to be a good influence-

Listen to your Uncle Jay:
·        Communicate with your project manager promptly and clearly.
·        Label everything.
·        If you’re done with something, put it away.
·        Put the damn cart on charge at the end of the day.
·        Never let a laptop, piece of electronic equipment or software program know you are in a hurry.
·        If it’s broken, either label it, fix it or throw it away.
·        Don’t run with scissors.
·        If you arrive early enough parking isn’t a problem.
·        Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules.
·        Leave early for the airport.
·        Use the right tool for the job.
·        Don’t piss off Susan.
·        Do your expense report on time.
·        Carry the message to Garcia.
·        Take the time during your event travel to enjoy the city you are working in. (I suggest going early, rather than staying after the event is over.)
·        You can never put too much butter and garlic on escargot.
·        If everything seems to be going well, you have overlooked something critical.
·        Put your name tag on your luggage.
·        There is a time to be looking at your smartphone. Use good sense while on the job regarding this topic.
·        If you wouldn’t say it to your Grandmother or clergy, don’t say it on the radio.
·        Never mix plaids with stripes.
·        A dead cart battery is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
·        You are not Superman. Go find someone to help you with that box, cable, rack or angry bartender.
·        Always store beer in a dark place.
·        If a cable has one end, it has another.
·        The man who knows “how” will always have a job. The man who knows “why” will always be his boss.

I’m heading to Tampa FL and a new job.
I can be reached at my old mobile number  and at (email) beginning next Wednesday 11/16.
And of course will continue to be updated at odd intervals.

Take care of business, and take care of each other.

With my kindest and most heartfelt regards-


Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Ponderables: Election Results 2016

One wonders how the Obama Administration is not going to let this crisis go to waste...?


Holy crap...

Well... its all over but the shouting...

Things are really going to get interesting now.


Monday, October 31, 2016

I Am NOT The Man With Whom To Fuck

"Hey Big Guy...
tell us something about that latest trip to Shanghai."

Jeebus, where to begin.

Well, this year the cameraman that covered the player walkouts for the broadcaster is a slight Spaniard named Juan.

We usually stand together for about five minutes waiting for the players and the ATP Tournament Managers to arrive, then we walk out for introductions before start of play.

I'm usually there because we transition a semi-public area where high-end sponsors can stand and watch the behind-the-curtain pre-match ritual.
Part of the percs of being a title sponsor at a 1000-series ATP event...
It would be bad for some crazed fan to rush a player to get an autograph/selfie when the players have their war faces on...

So... while we wait, I usually shoot the breeze with CameraDude.
Except this year the usual CameraDude (Skippy) isn't there. Juan is the videojockey.

He is on headset with the Director in the TV Truck...

As we chat,  he gets the thousand-yard stare then he points the camera at my face.
I can tell he is getting some instruction from the director and it doesn't look like good news...
He keeps the camera on me as he relays the conversation.
Juan CameraDude: "uh...From the director I have a message."
Yours Truly: *raised eyebrow stare*
JCD: "He says that you are the big man but he can...-his words- kick your ass."
YT: "(scoff) I'm sure."
JCD: "He is saying this. Not me."
YT: "Players coming. We'll pick this up another time." I give the camera the forked-fingers to the eyes 'I'm watching you' gesture and we walk the players out to the floor.
This exchange escalated daily... Always started by Director via JCD.
JCD: "The Director...I'm sorry, he says to tell you he will be...opening the can of Whip Ass? on you.."
Points camera at me to get reaction.
YT: "Really. Well... tell him his won't be the first snot-nosed TV-dweeb ass I have kicked, but he can be the next."
And things escalated...
JCD: "Director- he wants to know if you are ready for your ass kicking."
YT: "This is getting tiresome... Tell him to bring a sandwich, a cold drink and a band-aid 'cause I'm going to be hungry and thirsty after I'm done whipping his ass."
JCD: "Director would like to know what kind of flowers your widow would like."
YT: "Tell him when we tangle, I'm gonna knock one of his lungs loose... I'll be on him like rust on a pump handle."
Now in the old days TV trucks were man-territory- very few of the fair sex were in the production vehicles or on the PL circuit. Now, there are women everywhere...And as some of my more colorful and creative comebacks are quite, uh... descriptive, I was a bit apprehensive to really rip into him, but after a little reflection, any woman in a TV truck has probably got some pretty thick skin and has probably heard some pretty bad stuff.
So, by the end of the week I had a great script running through my mind for our final confrontation...

JCD: "Uh, Sir. The Director. He says you are obviously the little girl, and he has won the war with you. He has lost all respect as he can insult you and you will not face him."
YT: "Hm." I address the camera directly- "Hey Director Man- I hope you wore your pretty pink panties today... After I do this walk-out, I'm coming out to the truck and I'm going to bitch-slap you silly, then knee-walk you to the middle of the broadcast compound, bend you over and have my way with you, and I'll sell your ass to any takers for 5 kuai a pop. You're going to fly back to Australia with a size 14 poop-chute and knot on your head so big it's gonna need it's own postal code."
JCD: "*speechless*" then  "In the truck, they are all laughing."
YT: "Laugh it up, ladies. I'm gonna tear into him like a stray dog into a restaurant dumpster." 

We do the final walk-out and I have a cold drink, then head out to TV Land.

TV Trucks aren't made for Ogres to pass through silently and stealthily, so I embrace my entrance.
I fill the doorway on my entrance... The guys on the back bench have a deer-in-the-headlights look.
YT: "Where is that piss-ant motherfucker who needs a mudhole stomped into his ass?"
One of the Back Benchers: "Oh shit... Someone better call 999."
The closest one half-heartedly points toward the front bench.
I stomp past them up to the front.
As I arrive, a long rally is just beginning, so no switching will be needed...
The three guys on the front bench look up and the two on the right point to the guy on the left.
Front Bench Guys: "He's the one who thinks he can kick your ass..."
YT: (*loudly cracks knuckles*) "I've been waiting all week for this... Are you ready, Little Man?"
Director stands up and faces me... I tower over him....
A long moment passes. The truck is deadly silent.
Finally we both break into a laugh and have a firm and hearty handshake and bro hug- 
YT: "Dude! Good to see you... Sorry I couldn't make it our earlier."
Director: "Absolutely... Glad you could make it out. Drinks tonight after we get back to the hotel?"
YT: "Absolutely... See you tonight."
The entire truck is agog.  Their hearts start beating again and are all grinning and breathing a sigh of relief.
The Director (Guy from Gearhouse) and I ran into each other at the hotel on the day before the tournament started and laid the groundwork for this... 
He had been playing it up inside the truck all week.

Most of the guys in the truck were at the bar that night- 
Guy had done a masterful job leading everyone on, and when I went out there they were absolutely certain that I was going to rend him into little Director bits...
We all played it perfectly.
Poor Juan, though...
He had to relay all the messages every day and he was absolutely sure I was going to take my anger out on him...

Not my best prank, as practical jokes go, but probably one of our most successful ones.
No one injured, no property damage, and some good old-fashioned trash talk...
Good times... Good times.


Current Events

The character 變 is bián.
Representing 'change'.

Not the pocket or loose kind...

The defecation has launched and should impact the oscillating ventilator in 4...3...2...


Monday, October 24, 2016


Monday, October 10, 2016

The Mystery Basket

I have one of these! At least, I used to...
Once TWWKMT see this, I'm sure she'll hide it.


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Honoring Commitments - Hurricane Matthew


This is gonna hurt...

Re: post title?
Because I committed to be in Shanghai this week.
Because I take commitments seriously.
Because sometimes I'm a moron about things like that.

Hope the house neighborhood city is still there on Sunday...


Sunday, September 04, 2016

Close Call

I almost had a Lochte moment at about 4 this morning...
I pulled into a gas-food-ice-24hours to fuel up and (more urgently) get rid of some processed coffee.
I fueled, then tried to hit the head-
I went to the security window to speak to the service attendant- a young man of ethnic origin- pointed in the vague direction of the bathroom and pantomimed  unlocking & opening the door...
He shrugs his shoulders and yells through the money slot...
TBG: "Huh?"
TBG: "Fuck."

The initial urge to urinate into the money slot/speaking tube was nigh overwhelming...
I did, however, remember the Lochte Lesson and did not vandalize the Gas&Go...
But there is a very upset ficus tree suffering from ammonia, sodium, caffine and trace elements between there and I-95...

TBG - (Relieved without criminal indictment)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Travel Pro-Tips: Luggage and Houston Airport

Two items for your edification and amusement today, Constant Readers.

First- I am assuming you are one of the Smart People that actually check your luggage at the ticketing counter.
If you are, good for you. Spot on!

<Rant 1>
If you are one of those morons who insist on schlepping all your worldly goods into one bag and ignore the pleading from the gate attendant that you bag will not fit in the overhead and drag your steamer trunk down the aisle smacking everyone along the way in the knee, shoulder or head as you make your way to steerage class seating, only to find there is no room for your "carry-on bag" and have to inconvenience everyone doing your best salmon-swimming-upstream imitation to admit defeat and gate check your bag anyway, WTF, dude?

"BUT!" You'll stammer "I beat the airline! I didn't have to pay $25! I'm the winner here."

Shut up, asshole. Just sit down and play Crunchy Fruit or V'jazzled or whatever on your smartphone while first aid is administered to the other passengers that suffered injury as you passed to-and-fro with that footlocker that was festooned with razorblades and broken glass "to make it more identifiable".


If you are one of these assholes, please skip reading this, quit your job, destroy your smartphone, and move somewhere like Irkutsk or Ulan Bataar and reevaluate your life choices.

But you, you clever Constant Reader that knows your should check your bags and your privilege to make everyone's life easier... Good on ya.
Ready for that tip?

A trip to Lost Baggage is a trial and tribulation all its own.
Might as well call it "Lost Sanity" or "Lost Souls".
Lost Baggage is were airlines send troublesome employees. Folks that they would like to see change vocation or just go away.
Most people don't make it long there. You have to deal with angry people who are missing their belongings after a long flight. It's bad when you are getting home from a month in a 3rd World shithole. Much worse to lose your bag on the outbound side- arriving for work or vacation with only the clothes on your back. You'll want to tear the arms off the Poor Bastard in Lost Baggage- to impress upon him that You Need Your Fucking Bags Pronto, Cochise. Too much of that on a daily basis will make you long for a job in Roadkill Disposal in West Texas. Or late-night gas station attendant in Birmingham Alabama.
Now, there are a few sadists out the that derive pleasure from the pain and suffering of others, and they fit right it in Lost Souls & Baggage...
This is the guy that loves to hear how much you are suffering by being deprived of your bags. He finds your bags in short order, but sends them out for delivery after 1:30am. He'll call you at 2, 2:30, and 3am to let you know they are on the way...

Waking you up each time. 

He'll give instructions to the delivery guy to honk three times outside your house, then knock loudly on the door when dropping the bag off.
Evil bastards...
But I digress.

Here's your travel ProTip:
Take a picture of your bag(s) with your smartphone.
That way, when you arrive at your destination, and your bag(s) don't and you have to make that trip to Lost Baggage you will be prepared.

You: "It's a black duffle bag."
Lost Baggage Bastard: "Yes, but what *kind* of black duffle bag?"
He will helpfully pull out an 11x17 laminated sheet with 472 different kinds of black duffle bags.
You, you smart Constant Reader will pull out your phone show him a picture of the bag, shortcircuiting his next 62 questions detailing brands, straps, piping, logos, ID tags, distinguishing modifications like ribbons or colored markers. 
It will all be there in the picture.
That will take the wind out of his sails.
You will be on your way with a song in your heart and a slip of paper ensuring the your bags will be along Any Time Now, so be of good cheer. 
And listen for the honk in your driveway at 3 AM.
That can't be helped.

Second Pro Tip - Houston International Arrivals.

Are you Global Entry? If so, good on ya.
If not, do it. Do it now.
Are you TSA PreCheck?
If not, do it. It's worth it.

What does this have to do with IAH?

When you arrive in Houston from some 3rd World shithole like, say, Rio de Janeiro  Brazil, you'll stand in line to clear passport control... Global Entry will speed this process from 40+ mins to less that 5 minutes. You may or may not claim your bags, based on the aforementioned situation with Lost Baggage.

But the idea is to make the connection as smooth as possible.

After you pass the last customs check where you hand in your blue customs form or your global entry ticket, you'll be at baggage recheck.

Give them your bags (if you have them) then they will direct you upstairs to security for entry to the sterile area of the airport.

There is a big sign for TSA PreCheck there but IT'S NEVER OPEN. You will always have to go through regular scanning (Full Monty nude-o-vision scoping, shoes off, unpack your backpack, body cavity search).

I button-holed a nice lady with a Global Services sign this AM and asked her if the PreCheck was open today.

Global Service Lady: "Oh honey, that's never open. I've been here 20 years and it's never been opened up one time." 

YT: "Is there another option?"

GSL: "Lord yes! Just drop your bag at ReCheck the go out the doors that say "Welcome to Houston and take the escalator up one level. PreCheck is always open there. Easy as pie."

And it was...

When I cleared security from that side I could see the other security lanes- easily 200 people going through 2 lanes.


And to add insult to injury, it was a shit-ton of international arrivals - half returning US citizen with lots of carry-on shit needing scrutiny,  the other half are Foreign Devils (including kids and ReallyOldPeople)  that were having a tough time navigating escalators and moving sidewalks and eyed luggage carts with suspicion. US-Style security scanning is more confusing to them than non-Euclidian geometric analysis of half-life proton decay is to flatworms.

Listen to your Uncle Jay, bypass the international arrival recheck security line. Go out the back in through the main security entrance. 

You're welcome.

TBG - still travelin'

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

You Talkin' To Me?

Names and monikers use in addressing me during the Rio Games

Big Jay
John (used by those who don't know better or know me by legal paperwork. Like cops and attorneys.)
Big Man
Big Fella
Hey- IDS guy...
Harley Davidson
Famous / Amazing!
Big American

I'm sure there were some terms/names used about me- but as long as they were polite when they actually spoke to me, I didn't rip anyone's arms off.

TBG - Travelin'

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Aussie Olympic Humor

Great bit, especially is you can decipher the Aussie slang...

"Ooh. Sailing's started."
"I'll call the wife and tell her I'll be late!"


"Is there a big statue of Jesus in Rio? Why don't they show us?!"

TBG - - [Exit - Pursued by a Boomer]

Music For Strike & Repack

Great stuff I've been enjoying-

A lot of this stuff is very reminiscent of Squirrel Nut Zippers...


Saturday, August 20, 2016

He Has A Way With Words, Don't He?

Lochte puts down his pencil...
"Here. Read this." he says to his publicist.
"I like, went to this club. Was cray cray, I was so wasted. We got some dude to take us back but I had to piss so we stop at this shithole gas station. Fucking doors locked man. Fuckers aren't stopping me though, I'm murican. So I kick down that door with one unstoppable roundhouse and we go piss on the floor to show them who's boss. Wouldn't you know it, some rent a cop starts yellin some jibberish at us and waving a gun. I'm like bro, I had to piss, door had to go. He just kept going on his voodoo speak so I tossed dude a couple hundo's and bailed. Now dudes all pissed that I went and told everyone how awesome I was. Haters. So yea murica, I'm sorry bro."
"Uh, Ryan... You wouldn't mind if we edit this just a little bit? Just so it reads a little better?"
From Lochte's Instagram account 

Let's analyze, shall we?

[1] "I want to apologize"
He's being a weasel. The "I want to" takes the force from the "apologize."
If you want to apologize you simply apologize. Dressing it up minimizes the effect.

[2] "for my behavior last weekend —"
This phrase, followed by the dash, is crucial.
It specifies what behavior he's apologizing for. He should be apologizing for being an obsequious asshole. But, no- he apologizes for getting caught.

[a] "for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and "

At the same time he's putting the focus on his description of the events, not what the events actually entailed- namely, drunken buffoonery and the lies he told about it- he sneaks in that the events occurred during the "early morning" (i.e., tired, after a night of drinking) in order to justify the supposed imprecision.
But remember that he told his lies much later, including media interviews and in official testimony to police. Post-interview damage control from the PR firm was obvious instruction "Don't lie any more, and don't admit to lying."

[b] for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics.
This is good. It shows a bit of awareness that people exist in the world besides himself.
But it does nothing to address his core misconduct: the vandalism and deliberately fabricated story (being stopped by a roadblock of assailants purporting to be cops who, among other things, held a gun to his head as he dismissed them with a nonchalant "whatever").
And there's the "for my role in" qualifying phrase- because he can't be taking responsibility for the actions of the group as a whole, or for media's role in shifting the focus away from the athletes.

Fuck this- the entire thing smacks of : "My PR Guy said to say this so you might have some sympathy for me."

The entire non-apology is basically a slab of lawyer-ese in attempt to appease but to avoid acceptance of any kind of guilt.

If he'd written it himself I'd suggest he go work for Hillary Clinton's campaign.
He'd fit right in.
But based on his older Instagram & Twitter content, its obvious that the apology is a carefully crafted piece from a very capable PR firm that probably already has ties to some noisome political organizations.
Probably Trump's, maybe Clinton's too.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Cool Stuff in Rio

There is cool stuff to see, if you can tear your eyes away from the shoreline...
The Australian Women's Swim Team... God bless 'em.
At least they aren't out falsifying police reports or trashing gas station bathrooms...

I'm talking about Portuguese pavement-
The promenades at the beaches in Ipanema and at Copacabana have very iconic designs...

In Copacabana the promenade is about just over two miles long and is covered with a 'wave' pattern designed and implemented in the 1930s.

It's an impressive work, and is a very memorable part of the scenery at Copa.

The promenade at Ipanema is also a very recognizable design...

Portuguese pavement is a very arduous process...
A little research showed a number of examples around the world, but sadly it is becoming a dying art. The exceptionally low pay for apprentice artists, coupled with the fact that the pavement itself is dangerous as hell -it's a little too uneven and is slippery as greased weasel shit when its wet- makes it more and more unattractive to municipalities.

The process is very cool...

The paving stones are prepped by hand.

The designs are placed by hand, carefully following a repeating pattern or implementing a single design in a paved area.
One the design or area is finished the spaces between the stones is filled with a thin cement mixture.

A finished example of Portuguese paving...

Cool stuff...


Thanks A Lot, Lochte.

Anyone who goes to Rio (or any Olympic Games) always gets a briefing from their sponsoring group about etiquette and how their actions reflect back on their country.
I know I get them from the Large Broadcast Entity along with the 'Shit You Shouldn't Do' briefing...

So- hand a bunch of young athletes hopped up on adrenaline and 'I'm-a-gold-medal-winning-'Murican' pseudo-steroids and free flowing alcohol, then turn them loose -ostensibly to get back to their lodgings- without some kind of supervision, and your organizing committee is asking for trouble.
Nice work , TeamUSA. Spend some money on some effective professional personnel protective assets... It's a better investment that the $$$ you'll have to shell out for PR and legal fees.

Should they be able to act appropriately on their own? Yes.

Does their bullshit activities make things difficult for all Americans here (and elsewhere)?
You betcher ass.

Is this a isolated experience - Ugly Americans reinforcing stereotypes at the Olympic Games?

Absolutely not.

Sherman, set the WayBack to February 1998...
A number (as yet still unidentified and unpunished) NHL Hockey players, after getting bounced from the competition, ALLEGEDLY broke up furniture, damaged walls, set off fire extinguishers, and broke some windows in the Olympic Village.
The official word was that a few rather light and flimsy chairs were broken through normal use, because the players are big guys and they were just playing cards...
It blew over and no one thinks about it any more.
A little vandalism is one thing. We could call it a victimless crime, but to me criminal behavior is criminal behavior. YMMV.
When, like Lochte & Co, you make up a story involving local thugs, casting aspersions at teh local police by saying police (even fake police) were involved in order to cover up boorish behavior- it will not be swept under the carpet.
Lochte and Co, imbued with confidence, alcohol and the need to urinate decided their needs outweighed the "closed" sign at the gas station, showed their (figurative) asses, then tried to cover things up with with a hastily and poorly-conceived lie...
Nice work, guys. Make all us 'Murican look like assholes...

(Overheard on the shuttle bus last night- an OBS person saying good night to an American media person - "Hey- don't vandalize any gas stations tonight!")

Popular medal-winning athletes shouldn't be doing shit like this...

That's the job of the guys in our Golf division- they get paid to look like idjits.
Let our guys do their jobs.

You guys stick to swimming and carpool karaoke, let the professionals work.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus...

Yeah, yeah... Notre Dame has Touchdown Jesus.
That's adorable.

Rio will see your TD Jesus and raise you one Unsportsmanlike Conduct Jesus.

TBG - - [Exit- pursued by a corcovado. (Spanish, not Portugese)]

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Semi-Rio-Related WTF

Conversation in the Scoring Control Center yesterday:
One of the guys I work with stuck his head in my office...
P: "Hey - we gotta change all our user names and passwords on all our machines. That gonna affect your stuff?"
YT: "Not a bit. What's up?"
P: "Fucking social media and basic stupidity. Some moron back in the home office wrote their user name and password on a piece of tape on their keyboard.
Today, she took a picture of a cupcake on her keyboard and posted it to Facebook.
With the username and password in full view."
YT: "Wow. Fired?"
P: "Shoulda been, but she invoked the Hillary defense. She didn't do it with malicious intent, so she's still around."
Jeebus. WTF?
"I didn't mean to do it, so it's okay."
TBG - surrounded by morons.

Monday, August 08, 2016

WTF Rio? - Part 207b

Now that the opening ceremonies are over and I finally have all my equipment in place, I have a little breathing room and can make some comments...

Re: Opening Ceremonies and one-off sports at Olympics.

When did walking in sparkly dress with a thigh-high slit in four inch heels become an Olympic event?

Don't get me wrong- I'm sure it was an Olympic feat for Giselle Bundchen to walk all the way across the floor of the stadium under the gaze of millions. But still...

I'm trying to find out how one gets to be a judge in that event.

Also- In Tokyo there will 6 exhibition sports - only for the 2020 Olympics.
Baseball/softball, surfing, skateboarding, karate and speed climbing.
Being in Tokyo, I wonder about the surfing event- Will they create a wave simulator or some kind of man-made wave system...

Rio Navigation and Work Fun

Opening Ceremonies is a delay in my schedule because the TV Truck used for that show pulls up stakes and moves from Maracanã to the OLS (Olympic Stadium) for Track & Field. Once it landed at the T&F stadium I had to go install my last suite of hardware...

I was sitting at breakfast on Sunday planning to go to OLS at 8:30 or so, and the NBC IT guy who had installed the network hardware on Saturday afternoon had words of wisdom:
"Make sure your driver knows the way to the stadium.
Mine didn't, and we were totally lost in a not-very-nice area. The driver finally pulled over and found a guy with a machete, no shirt, prison tattoos, sitting by flaming oil drum full of burning chunks of old automobile tires under an overpass to ask about directions.
I was hiding under the back seat of the van. I knew we were both going to die!"
Dude... Never get out of the boat.
I got my install done with only a *little* shouting and death threats...
I ran into an IP conflict with some other equipment...
Valid IP addresses are few and far between in these parts, Buckaroo.
When the Powers That Be issue you an IP, you fucking use THAT address AND NOTHING ELSE.
I didn't actually hurt the offending technician, or his gear, but I guarantee he won't 'borrow' any addresses ever again.
Trolling the interns in the men's room...

(Man, that doesn't sound right...)

The restrooms in the IBC have Dyson Airblade Vs in them in an effort to make the Games greener.

(In this case, the green is the algae growing on the wall near the Airblades- the water is blown off your hands and soaks the wall the the counter-top. Lovely design.

But there is a trick to getting them to activate... You have to approach them a certain way or they don't do anything but sit there looking evil and angry...

I was drying my hands at one and one of the Interns/Runners - a snot-nosed young lad of 22 or so saw me and asked how it worked...

Snot-nosed Young Lad: "Dang. Those things DO work!? I thought is was just an air freshener or something. I  never saw one working before now."
I guess if there isn't an iPhone control app for it, it's not worth using.

I decided to have a little fun with him.

Yours Truly: "What, you haven't got your chip yet?"
S-NYL: "My what?"
YT: "Your chip. Your RFID chip from NBC."
S-NYL: Puzzled look, like a cocker spaniel when you make a squeaky noise.
YT: "Yeah, you need to go down to Engineering and ask for your chip implant. It activates the hand driers, but the really cool stuff they do is things like giving you access to the VIP sections in different venues- really useful in the Gymnastics and the Swimming venues. It also gives you access to the motorpool to get from site to site... Just get in one of the NBC cars and wave your hand over the reader and tell the driver where you want to go.
There's a bunch of other stuff... It'll be in the brochure they give you when they implant the chip...
S-NYL: "Everybody gets them?"
YT: "Yep...If you know who to ask. Just keep it on the down-low. The less people that know, the better."
I gave him the name of a certain Curmudgeon who hates EVERYBODY, especially the interns...
I'll be interested to see how that shakes out...


Day One:
Venue: OAS (Swimming)
Tech manager is trying to figure out a cable run for some in-truck services back to the TOC.
(TOC = big room full of operations equipment, especially the network switches that provide all the connectivity for each venue.)
In his effort, he pulls my connection out of the main switch...
My phone rings...
EG: "Hey- I've lost my connection."
YT: "WHAT?!" (Frantically pinging his switch and computers. Nothing. Oh shit.)
YT: "Find your Truck Guy, trace the blue cable from your switch to the patch block, make sure it's still plugged in. Then, look in the TOC for the cable bundle labeled 'GRAPHICS" make sure #6 is in port 45 on switch 2."
EG: "Find the truck guy. Got it."
YT: "Oh shit..." I grabbed my tool back and headed out the door.
Before I got to the shuttle bus, my phone rang.
EG: "Found it. Someone moved the cable."
YT: "Who? Who did it. What moronic motherhumper in the OAS compound is going to wind up with a 4 pound hammer embedded in his forehead?"
EG: "Don't know, but it's fixed."
YT: "Find out." (click)
Day Two:
Venue: ROA (Gymnastics)
We are live on the air... Phone
RJ: "Hey- I've lost my connection."
YT: "WHAT?!" (Frantically pinging his switch and computers. Nothing. Oh shit.)
Grab my bag and head to the shuttle.
I arrived at the ROA and started to go to the truck, but headed to the TOC instead...
I ran into the Tech Manager...
TM: "I know why you're here... Sorry- my fault. it's fixed now."
YT:  stunned silence
TM: "Yeah, one of the guys in the A-Truck had a problem with his internet connection. Your cable wasn't labeled and I didn't know what it was, so I pulled it."
YT: "Dude, are you fucking kidding me? There are 200 unlabeled cables in here...
You didn't pull them... Why are you pulling mine?"
TM: shrugs shoulders - "I don't know... I just thought it was in the wrong place."
Is it unreasonable for me to expect that while we are ON THE AIR that people don't pull out cables that they don't know what it's attached to?

(Oddly I am reminded of Buckaroo Banzai performing brain surgery:
"You can check your anatomy all you want, and even though there may be normal variation, when it comes right down to it, this far inside the head it all looks the same.
No, no, no, don't tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to."

I grab a roll of neon-yellow gaff tape and a Sharpie.
There... It's labeled.

I stuck my head in the B-Truck. My guy gives a thumbs up.
I head to Diving.
Tape. Sharpie.
I labeled Track & Field too...
Golf will get one as soon as I go back out there...

Morons. I'm surrounded by morons.


Thursday, August 04, 2016

Come Stay in Lovely Media Favela #3!

(Caution- Parody.
No one should infer that the following pictures and descriptions bear any resemblance to the truth or actual conditions. Things are actually really nice and we are having a great time. Seriously.)

Welcome to Rio2016!
We want you to relax and enjoy your stay in Rio as part of the 2016  Games.

We have tried to make you accommodations at our Media Favela #3 as nice as possible with all the comforts of home!

The common area of your room will be suitable for close intimate gathering of friends to enjoy an after-work beverage or an evening of good conversation.

When you retire for the evening, the cool crisp sheets will comfort you as you enjoy a full nights sleep in clean & fresh surroundings. Be careful that you don't oversleep and miss your shift tomorrow!

Out modern plumbing facilities will ensure a clean and sanitary experience for your morning ablutions.

Cutting edge technology will bring you the best electronic experience- great internet connectivity, clear, crisp telephone calls, and a host of TV channels for your entertainment all through our brand-new high-end technical infrastructure.

Meet your neighbors and coworkers from around the world... Make new friends as we all work and play together.

Enjoy a refreshing swim in our lovely swimming pool complex. A nice caipirinha poolside or other beverage will help you unwind after a long day.

If physical activity is more your style, shoot a round of hoops with your co-workers and neighbors.

...Or visit our weight room to have an intense workout and stay in shape.

Please enjoy your stay in Media Favela #3, and be sure to let us know if you need any assistance with your stay... Our lovely and talented admin staff will be happy to help!

TBG - - [Exit- pursued by howler monkey riding a capybara]

Saturday, July 30, 2016

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

(Caution: Graphic Content Below)

So... Traffic in Rio sucks.

Tons of motorcyclists and scooters practice lane splitting and filtering and oddly enough, no one cuts them off or actively tries to kill them for moving faster through the traffic.
(Which is what the legislators try to tell us here in the US.
If you drive down the dividing line between two lanes of traffic, someone will merge into you or intentionally cut you off because it's not fair! Blood in the Streets!")
It works here for the Cariocas- bikers (and scooter..ers) slip through the traffic quickly.

As I sit in traffic, I really wish I could use a bike here...
Thursday we went from the Olympic Park in Barra to Copacabana...
It took nearly 2 hours- for a 42km trip...
Back home that's about a 20 minute trip.
35 tops if it's on surface roads.
I would love to ride a motorcycle here to cut down on travel time.
After a little research on Bike Life in Rio, I've changed my tune.
The scary thing for me is the major inherent danger of riding a bike- Decapitation.


This is a cop bike at the airport- see the antenna looking thing on the handlebars?
It's not for the AM/FM receiver.

During the winter, it's kite season.
And there are two fun pastimes for kids- Kite fighting - like in the book 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini - and when the wind is right, dive bombing motorcyclists as they ride by the favelas.

So most bikes are outfitted with a kite string catcher...

The kite fighting is actually more dangerous to motorcyclists-

Every year there are about 500 motorcyclist injured by kite strings.
Two kites engage in battle, one's string is cut and the kite falls, the string trailing behind it, often lying across a heavily-traveled highway.
So- the motorcyclist travels along and catches a kite string across the neck or face.
Ant to make it worse, it's not just regular string- that would be bad enough- they amp it up here in Rio.
The old practice of coating your string with glue and ground glass (referred to as Cerol) has been outlawed...
but there is new product called 'linha Chilena' containing aluminum oxide and quartz power- and it's a shitload stronger than Cerol...

So this is why you need that antenna on the front of your bike:


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

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