Sunday, May 29, 2016

Rio - Expectations and Realities

I made it to Rio, despite United Airlines doing their best to screw me over yet again.

When I got notified of the flight delay I got on the horn and got rerouted, on an American 2-hop because that was the only way to get to Houston in time to make the Rio flight.
And of course my PreCheck didn't carry over so I got to join the hoi-polloi in the take-your-left-shoe-off, take-your-right-shoe-off, stick-em-in-box Hokey Pokey - at least we didn't do quite as much "guess whats in TBG's backpack" going through the x-ray. Zero status with AA, so I had the Shittiest Seat On The Plane on the way to Charlotte, and Charlotte to Houston wasn't much better. I won't be switching to American any time soon. FTMF

Charlotte Airport sucks, as does American Airlines in general.
Just sayin'.
Spent 90 minutes in Houston swilling three gin & tonics up in the United Lounge, getting my courage up to board the Rio flight...
Bulkhead seat on the aisle- Yay.
In the other two seats were two middle-aged Brazilian women who talked non-stop for 4 hours...
Neither spoke a word of English, which was just peachy for me.
What was really good was the one sitting next to me was about 5'2", so there was no crowding or fighting for the armrest.

I did sleep about 4 of the 10 flight hours, thanks to the generous pour of Hendricks Gin back in Houston.
Made Rio a few minuted ahead of schedule, skated through C&I with no problems, though I did have a bit of a scare with my baggage.
Because I was on American (spit) through Charlotte to Houston, then back on United to Rio there was some discussion whether I would have to claim my bags in Houston, then recheck them on United to get them to Rio safely.
At check-in in JAX the ticket agent said checking them all the way through would be no problem.
He printed the tags, I verified the flight numbers and carriers, (AA- JAX-CLT-IAH UA- IAH-GIG)
and they were off...
Because they started on American, they didn't get United 'Priority' tags, so my duffle bag (clothes) showed up on the 4th or 5th cart, but my equipment case never showed up on the carousel.
Oh shit.
I hate that- the feeling you get when your bag is late, and all the mental gymnastics you go through... Did it miss the flight? Did it get stolen? What will I do if it's stolen? I'll bet the baggage handlers just the other side of the wall have opened it and are divvying up my laptops right now?

Bags stop coming out, carousel quits moving.
I head to the baggage service desk with about 20 other people. Looks like I'm not alone in my dilemma... Then I notice the oversize/weird baggage area- all the baby seats, surfboards, etc... Along with a familiar black Pelican case.
Woo hoo!
Okay- I'll take back some of the horrible shit I was thinking about the Rio baggage crew...

I headed out of Baggage Claim, found the guy with my name on his cardboard sign and we headed to his car.

I expected to be besieged by A. Aegypti as soon as I walked out of the airport.

(What I was expecting)
But oddly enough, I made it to the hotel relatively unscathed.

Rio traffic, on a scale of 1 to China rates about a 6- at least on the main roads from the Airport to the Barra area. Surprisingly sedate. Maybe because it was Sunday?

I got to the Hilton, then to my room, took a good nap to make up for the hours I missed on the plane, then went up for a nice libation at the poolside bar on the roof of the Hilton.

Oh, I love me a good caipirinha... This trip might be fun after all...

The rooftop pool...

More of a lap pool, but still might be a nice spot for a dip.

Nice view
(Click to see large view)
The Olympic site off on the Barra peninsula.

I'll leave you with a Sign of the Apocalypse - Rio Edition #1 -

From the Hilton- "Watch your step, Gringo."

TBG - [Exit- Pursued by Anopheles Darlingi]

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Once Again, United Airlines Makes My Life Miserable

Busy Weekend, Fucked Up Flights

So once again, United is fucking me in the ass with 10 feet of shit-smeared wrought iron fencing.

I HAD a 3 hour afternoon flight to Houston and a long layover to to enjoy the United Club before my 11 hour flight to Rio.

But of course,  this morning I got this message:

So, into Houston at 9:25p.
Just in time to wave my Rio flight goodbye.

On the phone with the Premier Desk...
Now I'm on an earlier flight- 2 stops before I get into Houston just under the wire for my flight to GIG.

This is shaping up to be a great trip...

TBG - in a long TSA line because my Pre-Check number didn't transfer to my new ticket. Fuckers.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Don't Hit Me...

Accordion to a recent survey, replacing words in a sentence with names of musical instruments quite often goes undetected.

Just sayin'...

TBG - - [Exit - Pursued by a gerund]

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Last Week - They Call It 'Golf' Because 'Fuck!' Was Already Taken.

Last week, in between trips to Chicago and burning Midnight Oil to prep equipment for Rio '16, I had an opportunity to get my clubs out and do a little swingin'...
Something I haven't done in YEARS. Like at least 6 years- maybe more.

Now, don't get me wrong, I LIKE golf, I just don't have the time to enjoy it like I used to.
Back in the day ('94-'95) I played at least once a week...
But just because I don't play, doesn't mean I can't play.

So, because the stars were aligned and all was right with the world, I was at this nice little club in NE Georgia with 100 of my closest friends (at least in April they are my friends...) and we proceeded to hack up the tees, fairways and greens with great abandon... I did remove my 12 Iron (the Mossberg) from the bag in order to adhere to Club requirements.
After all, it's wasn't going to be a shotgun start that day...

One person in our little band of duffers is a certain NFO some Constant Readers might recognize from his walrus mustache or his Grey Man series...

Jim's Group

Dr. Jolly, OldNFO, and The Sabatinis. Nice folks all.

Jim's Practice Swing

"Keep pointin' that damn camera at me and you'll be snappin' pictures of your colon. I don't care how big you are."

Jim fires his tee shot down the first fairway

1 Fairway

Kind of overcast that day, but it was still pretty awesome.
Looks a little odd without several hundred people lining the edges of the fairway or the big scoreboard on the right...

About 2:30 it was my group's turn to take the tee...

Peter, Pat G, Marisa and Yours Truly

A little later on we waited for our turn on the par 3 Hole #4...

Laying up on 13. (Hey! Where are all the azaleas?)
Back on 13, I was hitting my 3rd stroke up onto the green from this location...
I had crushed the tee shot then played it safe and laid up short because of the creek, snakes and bunkers...

Yes, Snakes...
Like this little jewel - a tightly wound copperhead just off the path up to the 13th Green...

It wasn't all just birdies, pars and bogies (or double bogies, or snowmen)... In addition to golf, they threw a nice little luncheon outside the clubhouse for us...

Tasty vittles all around.

Fried Chicken, Burgers, Brats, Gumbo... Mmmmm. Tasty!

What did I shoot?
Let's just say, in the spirit of mystery that surrounds the Tradition Unlike Any Other, my score was "Just enough."

TBG - -[Exit- Pursued by Agkistrodon contortrix]

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

On Engineers & Technicians: Rules to Live By

Regarding Engineers:
Angus McThag opines in response to a previous post:
"Engineers are born such, the education is a formality, thus they get called engineers as soon as they begin the sheepskin ritual."
For the most part, this is true.
Most real Engineers I know I could not possibly imagine in any other occupation.
Taking something apart, putting in (mostly) back together, fixing or adjusting it.
Guys (and a couple women) I know that are deft at wielding a screwdriver or soldering iron would just not look or sound right as a software coder, kindergarten teacher, dog trainer, or barber.
As a Chef, maybe- it's a similar cognitive process...

In reminiscing about some Engineers I have know in my life, I was reminded of an old bit of technical / engineering foolscap from back in my radio days...

Not truly geared toward Engineers per se, but Technicians as a whole.

The Technician’s Ten Commandments
1) Beware the lightning that lurketh in the un-discharged capacitor, lest it cause thee to bounce upon thy buttocks in a most untechnician-like manner. 
2) Cause thou the switch that supplieth large quantities of juice to be opened and thusly tagged, that thy days in this earthly vale of tears may be long. 
3) Prove to thyself that all circuits that radiateth and upon which thou worketh are grounded and thusly tagged lest they lift thee to radio frequency potential and cause thee to make like a radiator, too. 
4) Tarry not amongst those fools that engageth in intentional shocks, for they are surely non-believers and are not long for this world. 
5) Take care that thou useth the proper method when thou takes the measure of a high voltage circuit lest thou incinerate both thyself and thy meter, for verily, though thou hast no account number and can be easily surveyed, thy test meter doth have one and, as a consequence, bringeth much woe unto the supply department.  
6) Take care thou tampereth not with safety devices and interlocks, for this incureth the wrath of the supervisor and bringeth the fury of the safety inspector upon thy head and shoulders.
7) Work thou not on energized equipment, for if thou dost, thy fellow workers will surely buy beers for thy widow and console her in other ways. 
8) Service thou not equipment alone, for electrical cooking is a slothful process and thou might sizzle in thine own fat for hour upon a hot circuit before thy Maker sees fit to end thy misery.
9) Trifle thou not with radioactive tubes and substances lest thou commence to glow in the dark like a lightning bug and thy wife have no further use for thee except thy wages.
10) Thou shall not make unauthorized modifications to equipment, but causeth thou to be recorded all field changes and authorized modifications made by thee lest thy successor tear his hair out and go slowly mad in his attempt to decide what manner of creature hath made a nest in the wiring of such equipment.

Numbers 7 & 8 are near to my heart, and number 9 always makes me giggle...

TBG - - [Exit- pursued by a charged electron]

Kids These Days...

I don't know if I mentioned it but The Perfect Child is gainfully employed as a schoolteacher-
5th Grade language arts - at a school in the Beaches area...
I don't know who to pity more- her or The Kids...

This scene from The Simpsons reminds me of some stories she has told at the end of a long day...
(Although I don't know if is more of an indictment of the students or the teachers)

TBG - - [Exit - Pursued by an angry 5th Grader]

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Retro Pic - Seven Mile Bridge

Found this image on the Interweb the other day...
It was quite a nostalgic pic...
The view is from the old Seven Mile Bridge looking toward Little Duck Key, with Money Key off to the left. You can still see parts of  the old bridge when you drive over the new 7-Mile Bridge.
(Or watch the end of 'True Lies' when Arnold snatches Jaime Lee Curtis out of the sunroof of the limo- that was filmed on the old bridge.)
Two things to note-
First, look carefully at the guard rails... They are old railroad rails welded to more upright rails.
A very unforgiving assembly and strangely effective as a solution to keep vehicles from going over the side.

The other thing is the width of the road-
At one time all the bridges down there were that width- just barely wide enough for two cars to go past each other.
If two semis met on the bridge they usually locked mirrors with a spectacular smash and shower of broken mirror glass all over the place.

Not sure what the picture was advertising - maybe hyping car audio?
I did a Google Image Search but didn't find a genesis of the pic...
I did find some interesting "caption this photo" entries...
From the outfits the girls are wearing it seems like some they might have been implying there was a bridge Hawaii and the Mainland...

TBG - - [Exit - Pursued by a sea turtle]

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Work Work Work

Final morning at the NBA Draft Combine.


TBG - Exit, pursued by Da Bears

Posted Without Comment


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Shit That Torques Me Off, (#25,749 in a series)

We are working in a conference room with 50 seats, 38 of which are occupied.

It's general seating in the office...

One person, who arrives relatively early, sits in the back row, directly under the single AC vent in the room.
The rest of the room suffers from the generation of body heat from the crowded environment.

She's cold... so she has the Hotel shut off the AC, even though people sitting 8' away are sweating bullets.

Are you fucking kidding me?

TBG, perspiring like pedophile on a playground.