Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Hope Your Grace Will Live So Long


This, of course, is the famous sword fight scene at the end of Rob Roy. Liam Neeson plays the hero Robert Roy MacGregor, Jessica Lange his wife Mary, and Tim Roth as the villian Archibald Cunningham.

I don't know enough about Scottish traditions or history to know if this flick is accurate or not, but it does provide an interesting look at life there in the 1700s. It's a slow movie to develop, with a lot of heartache, and the eventual conflict is inevitable. Neeson provides a stolid performance, Roth eats up his evil character, and Lange seemed convincing enough to me.

As far as I'm concerned, it's all backdrop and buildup to this clip. It is considered one of the best sword fighting scenes on film. Roth's Cunningham demonstrates superior talent and is for sure the best swordsman if the criteria is just skill. He runs the "rope-a-dope" on Neeson's MacGregor, tiring him and forcing mistakes while wounding his opponent. However, MacGregor demonstrates that superior tactics can best talent.

Good stuff.

Rectal-Cranial Inversion

You can probably tell where this story is going, but oh well....

Last week, I made a trip to Evans, CO, as I have done many, many times. I hauled one 6'x15.5' 210bbl frp water tank on the top deck of a drop deck, plus two 10'x15.5' 315bbl steel crude tanks to the usual suspects in an oilfield supply yard. That particular load is one of our hardest pulling evah - a side wind will catch each tank and just multiply the effect. It was a windy day, but not as bad as some in the past. The trip itself takes about twelve or more hours to drive, so I don't even try, since eleven hours of driving is the legal limit. Ten or so hours finds me in Colby, KS on the way back, and there aren't many choices between there and the shop. I also usually fuel there, too. I could make it back to Garden some days, but it's best to be safe.

The Mighty Binder has two one hundred gallon fuel tanks, rated at 95% draw, which figures to be 190 gallons I should be able to rely on, correct? Uh, no. That would be if the tank had the cap at the very top, rather than tilted to the side so I can actually put fuel in the damn thing. Were the tank rolled perfectly vertical, the cap would be under the cab and inaccessible. However, the tank itself is designed and all the welded on labels are level, so the manufacturer knows damn well that the tank won't be used where the max draw figure they post is actually accurate. Trucks these days have an audible alarm when the fuel gets low, plus a warning light on the dash is activated. Aaaaand, I've run 'er pretty close a few times and have an idea what it really "holds." The fuel gauge will run on "E" for quite a while and in fact drop a ways below, too. It should be noted that this gauge never reads completely full, either.

Like I said, you just know where this is going.

I could see that the fuel level was a bit lower than it normally was during the trip home. I even thought about stopping at Limon to fuel, but I had visions of relaxing in the motel room dancing in my head. The alarm went off about the state line, but hey, Colby was only about sixty miles away, and I'd run way further than that loaded before. I could have stopped at Goodland, but my gauge wasn't even close to what I'd seen it in the past.

When I pulled into Colby, I could have fueled then. It really isn't such a hot idea to park a diesel truck after running with nearly empty tanks, because the air inside the tanks will cool, and condense any moisture in the remaining fuel. If the tanks are full, not so much. But, I was pooped. So, off to the motel I went.

The next morning, the thermometer in the truck showed eighteen degrees Fahrenheit. The ol' Clatterpillar was kinda reluctant to crank, but she fired up. If one takes off and just starts driving when the motors are cold, one can count on popping head bolts or cracking heads - having all kinds of trouble. The 'puters are supposed to prevent that by derating the motor power until it's thoroughly warmed, but that strategy still seems to place trucks in shops with the heads removed. So, I let 'er idle while I got the ol' funny pages caught up. After she was showing some water temp, I eased 'er out on the street and headed for a truck stop. I had planned on going across town to my favorite - a Bosselman's - but all of a sudden I was losing power. Well, maybe I could make it under the Interstate to the other truck stop, so I kept easing along.

Nope, wasn't gonna happen. I had enough to roll all the way to the right on the shoulder and clear the fog line. There was nutting happenin' with the engine goin' round and round no mo.

Le sigh.

I am a fat, lazy trucker. My first thought was to call someone and have them take care of it. Which would cost the company money. Money they shouldn't have to spend because of my stupidity. OK, scratch that plan.

I had rolled by a convenience store that sells truck diesel - maybe they'd have some fuel "cans." Turning on the flashers, I abandoned my ride and went to hiking. Six or seven hundred yards later and in the warmth of the store, I learned that they did not have anything like that at all. However, Orsheln's would probably carry them. At least a half mile away or more. Eighteen degrees.

Le sigh.

As I was crossing the street, I watched a Kansas Highway Patrol car drive by on his way to his regional office further north on that street. Never even looked at me. Now I dunno, seems to me it's kinda like his job to make sure that truck doesn't sit on the side of the road and if it's gonna for a while, it needs the emergency triangles out for safety. I didn't put 'em out because they're a pain in the ass. I realize it's not the Patrol's responsibility to give me a ride or anything, but it chapped my buttocks that he never even made eye contact with me.

I finally got to the farm supply store, and sure enough, they had plenty of fuel cans - even the proper yellow for diesel variety. I bought two.Thinking ahead, I also purchased a can of starting fluid (ether). On my long trudge back to the convenience store, my caring cop drove by me again with no reaction from him. Guess my carrying the cans told him all he needed to know. Glad I could help him out there.

After I filled the "cans" and carried them to the front door, it occurred to me that they were pretty damn heavy. They were supposed to be five gallon cans. I filled them to the line that said "five gallons" on both containers. I put in 8.4 gallons. Either the can manufacturer was lying (huh, sounds familiar) or we need to start buying all our fuel at that joint. A guy in a pickup happened to be there, so I just out and out asked him if he'd ferry me and my fuel to my truck parked down thataway. Sure 'nuff, he did. I told him he didn't need to hang around, just drop me and the fuel off. Thank you, God.

While pondering my fate - did I mention it was eighteen degrees out? - it also occurred to me that perhaps fuel gelling might have something to do with my predicament. I always carry some fuel treatment with me, don't you? I figured that if I poured the whole bottle, supposedly able to treat several hundred gallons - why that might break up any slushy blockage. So, half the bottle in one tank, the rest in the other.

I poured one "five gallon" in the passenger side, then I took the other can to the driver's side. I was standing in traffic on that side, and in a hurry. But, these new fangled cans have special no spill spouts that slow the process considerably. Took freaking forever. I also quit on the last can before I ran out. I needed to check my fuel filters - if they were empty, I was gonna have to fill them, too. This truck has two - one mounted on the firewall and one under the fuel pump on the motor. That one is a bitch kitty to change. Like most CATS, that filter has a manual fuel pump to help fill the filter, but for some reason there is no bleed screw on the housing anymore. One used to crack open the screw to let the air out when pumping fuel in. Seems to me the new fangled way just pressurizes the air in the filter rather than fill the thing with fuel, but maybe that's just me (and every other CAT drivin' trucker I know).

I also carry extra filters and a filter wrench, too. Luckily, the primary filter was still full. I finished off the last can, and crossing my fingers, I rolled down my window so I could hang off the steps, reach inside for the starter button, and reach the air filter with the ether can. I went to spraying and cranking. It took a while, and the cranking was slowing, but she finally fired. Shut the hood, put all the stuff away, drove to the truck stop and filled 'er up (less than 175 gallons total - including the 8.4 gallons, and I've put in right at 180 before), and removed my head from my buttocks and drove home.

I think the KHP has a policy of not giving anyone any rides, and maybe now they have a policy of not helping stranded motorists. I dunno. I just know that back in the day, the Patrolmen I knew would have at least stopped and asked me what was up, and if there was something they could do, even if they couldn't give me a ride. Some of the more legendary cowboys among them would have done what they damn well pleased. Things have changed for the KHP, and In My Humble Opinion - it's not for the best.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nasty Perv Nutsack Sweat

To rip off Dave Barry - that would make an excellent name for a rock band. But it's not - it's a quote from another hilarious post from Laura Ledford's Fetch My Flying Monkeys. This one involves three women planning on visiting some mayhem on a tally whacking exhibitionist that has been reported in a particular area. That's all I gotta say about it, you'll just have to go read. Then, read the comments. The interaction between Laura and her commenters adds greatly to the fun factor. She holds all comments for approval and usually answers each and every one. Since she gets close to fifty comments on all her posts, that's a lot of work and on the fly humor. She also illustrates (her "renderings") a ton of posts, features her toy dinosaurs wreaking havoc, unless Jack, her wiener dog, eats a toe off one.

It's all light hearted fun, and it comes your way about five or six times a week. Well worth the visit!

It About Took Us All To Win It

After I had selected my food from the buffet and sat down at the Colonel's today, the elderly couple came in. With their deliberate walk, together they waited their turn at the cash register, the man paying, and together they picked up their plates and filled them from the buffet as well. They moved with the comfort of knowing each other and moving as a team for many, many years.

Side by side they sat in a booth facing me, and that is when I noticed the gentleman's hat. WWII Veteran it said. I know you've seen 'em - dark royal blue with gold lettering. I got up to make one more trip (like I needed it), and decided to continue exercising my policy.

I walked towards their table, and leaning forward over it, I spoke to the old warrior: I couldn't help noticing your hat, and I just wanted to thank you for your service, sir. That's all I wanted to say, and please excuse my interruption of your meal.

Somewhat surprised, he thanked me and voiced his appreciation. I told him it was my outstanding policy to thank veterans for their service, and that I appreciated it. He said: You know, there aren't many of us left anymore.    I told him I sure knew that was true, and excused myself to continue my original plan.

Later, after I had eaten some more, reading the paper, I noticed him coming towards me to speak again. He thanked me again, and we started talking. He had been to Europe, and some of his friends had been to the Pacific. He wanted to know where I was from, and I told him and asked if he knew one of my neighbors, who had been in the Battle of the Bulge. He knew him, and some of my other neighbors, plus he knew my Dad. Once he said his name, I remembered hearing of him some years back.

That is when reflecting, he said: It about took us all to win it. He meant all his compadres and the people at home.

It damn sure did, didn't it?

I don't tell you this story to make myself sound good - I'm pretty poor at taking compliments anyways. No, it truly is rewarding to thank a courtly gentleman and his wife for the sacrifices they made, and get to see the gratitude of the recognition. I guarantee you I made his and the wife's day. It's something we should all do.

And I felt so good about it, on the way home, I made it a point to stop at another of my neighbor's place who was in the Reserves during Vietnam. He didn't go, but he was on the edge of getting shipped out for quite some time. He was ready if they wanted him to go.

I thanked him, too.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Liberals Meme What They Say


Sound familiar?

H/T Ace

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cause and Effect


Long term effects may be hazardous to your health and well being, as well as your wallet.


"I Don't Know Who You Are"


Ahhh, Ordinary People. What a movie. I'm not much of a chick flick kinda guy, and so called tearjerkers often leave me cold. Don't like someone trying to manipulate my emotions cheaply. However, as the scene above shows - the manipulation of our emotions are honestly earned with fantastic writing and acting. This was perhaps the best performances of both Timothy Hutton and Judd Hirsch. Hutton was a virtual newcomer, and Hirsh shocked us all because we were all so used to seeing him in the television series Taxi, hardly a dramatic role. I gotta tell ya, this is one scene that really gets to me.

This was Robert Redford's directorial debut, perhaps his best effort. The story unfolds showing the day to day life of Conrad Jarrett (Timothy Hutton) and his parents, Beth (Mary Tyler Moore) and Calvin (Donald Sutherland) - a Midwestern upper middle class family. This was also quite a step away from what we were used to seeing Mary Tyler Moore portray. I think the choice to cast her was brilliant, because we were shocked to see her as, well, frankly, a bitch. Other notable performances and appearances were M. Emmet Walsh (one of my fav character actors of all time) as Conrad's less than sympathetic swim coach, Elizabeth McGovern as Conrad's burgeoning love interest (lookin' ever so cute), and even Adam Baldwin (Jayne and Animal Mother, baybee!).

We learn Conrad has just been released from a mental institution and is seeing Dr. Berger (Judd Hirsch), a psychiatrist. We learn that Conrad tried to kill himself, and that the family is still suffering from the death of the oldest son Buck. Beth and Calvin's apparently strong marriage starts to unravel and we start to see more and more of the story. An apparently simple tale that turns out to be about anything but simple. We see the always positive, chirpy shiny everything is perfect Beth unravel, Conrad's journey into healing, and Calvin's self discovery and open eyes regarding his family. It really is a predictable tale, but the writing, pacing and acting make the sum of the movie greater than it's parts.


Another excellent scene. You can just see the porcelain doll that is Beth cracking, and the pain Calvin feels about his discovery of the truth. When Beth is packing to leave we really see her fall apart, and yet, will herself back into her delusional identity of being above it all. Another great scene is at the end, when Conrad and Calvin connect. Lots of honest, raw emotions in this flick - and none overblown, overacted or oversold. Redford definitely had a deft touch, and some quality actors to direct.

Four Oscars and two more nominations, and five Golden Globes with three additional nominations later, among other numerous awards has this film firmly entrenched as a classic, quality film. I'm sure most of us have seen the movie, and it's definitely worth watching again. If you've missed it - best rectify that situation immediately if not before, if you wanna claim you like movies!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Found in the Beauty Aisle

I hear it works great on captive wimmen.

H/T Ace

Wednesday, January 18, 2012




Speaks for itself.

H/T Eddie

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Birthday, Betty White!!!


Normally, I just don't watch much network television, but for a few select programs. Tonite, while waiting on a basketball game to come on, I decided to watch Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America's Golden Girl on NBC.

Totally worth it, even if Teh Won was on. Luckily, I was out in the kitchen stirring supper when he came on. I'm sure he totally owes his sense of humor to Betty White and wanted just to congratulate her on her successes, and the fact that it's an election year had nothing to do with the free shot at some tube time.

So far, I've seen a whole litany of Betty's former costars and television legends - Carol Burnett and Mary Tyler Moore (both looking pretty good, frankly), Vicki Lawrence, Ed Asner, Gavin McLeod, Carl Reiner, Jay Leno, William Shatner and Chevy Chase. There were also a bunch of more contemporary stars such as Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Morgan Freeman, Hugh Jackman, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ray Romano among others.

It's hard for me to envision a world without Betty. She's been on the boob tube since I can remember in one form or another. She was nominated for the first ever Emmy for Best Actress in television (she didn't win, dammit). She was a master at live comedic television - her timing is always impeccable. Her ad libbing is also seamless. You have to admire a woman who was worked for so long successfully in the essentially heartless and cruel entertainment industry. We hear all the time about how Madonna has reinvented herself. She can't even begin to hold a candle to Betty. Plus - take a good look at her in the clip above with Johnny Carson. That video dates to 1979 - when she was fifty seven years old!!!  The first part of that clip was played on the show, and luckily I found it!

Truly, I do not particularly want to see Madonna at fifty seven. Just sayin.'

I mostly remember her from the Mary Tyler Moore Show days, and then her appearances on Carson and on the Carol Burnett Show. On MTM, she played against type - instead of America's Game Show Sweetheart (another thing we all saw her appear in), she became the perpetually horny Sue Ann Nivens. After her turn in Mama's Family, she went on to perhaps her biggest television role in The Golden Girls.

And she's still busy! Hot in Cleveland, countless guest appearances (lots of appearances on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson), numerous film roles (Bringing Down the House with Queen Latifah and Steve Martin), a Snicker's ad with Abe Vigoda first aired on the Super Bowl in 2010 (rated the number one ad), and perhaps most notable, as host of Saturday Night Live after a grassroots campaign on Facebook requesting just that succeeded. She had the highest ratings for the show since 2008, and she quipped:
(she) "didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time."
Of course she was playing it as a bit of a ditz, which she's done for years.

I used to think the variety shows weren't cool, or were corny. Back then, they seemed pretty tame compared to SNL in it's early life, and the comedy records of Cheech and Chong and George Carlin outlined what seemed to be funny to me. However, as time has gone by, I can really appreciate the ol' hoofers' pioneering work, and how much skill was involved - and how much the survivors can still kick it up when they wanna.

I tell ya, these people are national treasures, and the ones who aren't gone ain't gonna be around much longer. Enjoy while you can.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Anybody Remember This?

From Ace's Overnight Open Thread: (from Wikipedia)
On April 7, 1994, FedEx Flight 705, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 cargo jet ferrying electronics across the United States from Memphis, Tennessee to San Jose, California, experienced an attempted hijacking for the purpose of a suicide attack.
Auburn Calloway, a FedEx employee facing possible dismissal for lying about his previous flying experience, boarded the scheduled flight as adeadheading passenger with a guitar case carrying several hammers and a speargun. He intended to disable the aircraft's cockpit voice recorderbefore take-off and, once airborne, kill the crew using the blunt force of the hammers so their injuries would appear consistent with an accident rather than a hijacking. The speargun would be a last resort. He would then crash the aircraft while just appearing to be an employee killed in an accident. This would make his family eligible for a $2.5 million life insurance policy paid by Federal Express.[1]
Calloway's plan was unsuccessful. Despite severe injury, the crew was able to fight back, subdue Calloway and safely land the aircraft. An attempt at a mental health defense was unsuccessful and Calloway was subsequently convicted of multiple charges including attempted murder, attempted air piracy and interference with flight crew operations. He received two consecutive life sentences. Calloway's appeal was successful in having his conviction for interference ruled as a lesser included offense of attempted air piracy.[2] The crew was left with permanent, disabling injuries and have not flown professionally since.

There is more detail at Wikipedia, but for a better story, go to Damned Interesting.

I don't even remember this.

No Reason

Just because I can.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I wonder if there is some sort of punishment for exceeding one's fifteen minutes of fame?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Boom Time

I unload a lot of tanks at oilfield supply yards - and today was no different. I'd already unloaded the two right and one left tanks, and was waiting for a compadre to back his trailer with three more beside that outrigger. I've got two sets of hydraulic cylinders for lifting - the twins are far weaker than the single ram. Part of that is due to simple torque - if I let the twins down a lot, the range of the boom fully extended is increased. However, when something relatively heavy comes along, it's best to use the most lifting power available. Thus, the twin rams are extended fully, and I'll do all my lifting with the single.

When I handle fiberglass tanks, I can lock in the single ram and use the twin rams for the lifting, and gain the extra length by having a section extended horizontally rather than vertical. Just about every fiberglass tank I've ever unloaded was light enough that this knuckle boom crane can handle 'em at full extension.

This crane has another two extensions retracted within the second extension in this picture. Those 12'x15' 300bbl steel tanks exceed the lifting capacity of the unit at three extensions. Once I start getting past the third, it's over, and I've got to use some tricks to "get it back" and lifted. Rode in that particular rodeo before. Heh.

Some of our heavier cranes have six extensions, and they can lift 12'x20 400bbl steel tanks run all the way out. They have to be careful, though, because the geometry can assure that a truck can tip over. I've had the front end of my truck off the ground several feet before. That will make ya nervous.

At any rate, I'm always showing pics of our other trucks doing what I was doing, or a big crane or other heavy equipment. Just lettin' ya know I do it, too.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Sheesh. Ted Goes Off His Nut Again

Well, whaddya know - ol' Mitt is Mormon! Who knew? Why, I remember well when Ted Rall posted a political  cartoon lampooning Obama eating watermelon and fried chicken while smoking a big ol' doob. Oh, wait.....

Since Mitt is ostensibly a Republican (not really one I'd claim, but there you go), this really and truly isn't bigotry at all. If you have to have that explained further, yer a racist bastard, you scum.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Dagwood Approved!

I carry a thermoelectric cooler in the ol' mobile office. I hate to stop for something to eat when daylight is at such a premium for us, and I pretty well have to eat breakfast or lunch with some meds. So, I carry sandwiches I make on Sunday and freeze, as well as something to drink. I used to carry Diet Pepsi, but the sodium was making me retain more water than the diuretics could handle. So, it's Propel and sammiches for the Tubby Trucker.

I prefer onion ciabatta rolls, but these plain ones work ok, too. I got them from the bakery clearance rack and tossed 'em into the deep freeze. Wal Mart carries these things - but not in every store. They also have a multi grain coated version, too. All have a chewy consistency that I like. I suppose if they stop carrying the ciabatta rolls, I could use Kaiser rolls. They just don't have the thicker consistency.

Wal Mart is where I get all my ingredients for these puppies. Mustard is their Southwest Spicy version, liberally applied. Then, I alternate deli sliced roast beef, pepperjack cheese, roast turkey, sharp cheddar cheese, and beef Pastrami. I buy two pounds of each at a time and freeze what I don't use. A better ratio would be a two to one meat to cheese - it just takes longer to use the cheese up. The things just about don't fit into a Ziplock sandwich bag.

I usually carry more than I'll need for lunches, just on the off chance that I might have to eat one for supper, plus if the end of the week finds me on a job site in Nowhere, ND, c/o The Bakken Oilfield, with more sammiches than I can eat - well, if my compadres are hungry and didn't bring anything for themselves, the excess is excessed from inventory. A lot of Friday nights when I get home for the weekend, a leftover sammich with a bowl of tomato soup rather hits the spot. Or chicken noodle.

I really like the onion rolls the best - that flavor, the spicy mustard, and the pepperjack give 'em some zing. More zing than without the onions in the bread. Plus, reviews from the coworkers have been overwhelmingly positive, with Dagwood's name bandied about.

So, if you're a regular sammich eater, too, and are totally bored with white, wheat,  or whatever bread, give the ciabatta rolls a try. Good stuff!

Ensign Ro, One Fetching Bajoran, Fer Sure!

Today is Michelle Forbes' birthday - born in 1965. She's been in a lot of geeky stuff over the years, and hasn't disappointed, either. From ST: TNG to Escape from LA, she had some memorable roles.

And of course she was in Battlestar Galactica, as Admiral Helena Cain.

And here she is in True Blood, which I have not seen. Clearly, I think she's pretty hawt, and I kinda doubt I'm alone in this assessment.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Green Industrial Strength Sludge

Yep, that's radioactive steam coming off the stuff, and there is an unidentified creature bone off to the left. Along with the eyeballs of newt, bat wings and such I used:

20 oz package of split peas (I think that was the weight)
The ham left on the bone from a spiral cut ham given to all us workers every Christmas by my company, trimmed off the bone, plus added the bone, too. Flavor, man, it's all about flavor.
About one and a half green bell peppers, diced very fine (in fact, all ingredients were diced fine so they'd cook away to nothing in the goop)
About a half of a yellow onion (had it on hand, and didn't feel like cutting into a new one)
Handful of sliced jalapenos from a jar
Three small potatoes, diced - didn't bother peeling (more for the thickening starch than anything)
About a half package of sliced carrot chips (generally buy baby carrots and chop them but thought this might be easier)
The packet of fake ham seasoning from the bag of peas - I wasn't gonna use it, but I don't add any more salt than I have to for my meals, and it needed something while testing it out as it cooked
Some black pepper, cilantro, basil, and garlic powder (real garlic dries out before I get around to using it). I just sprinkled each on top until it looked right.
And, as I mentioned, all that stuff with no salt was tasting pretty bland, so I cheated and added some granulated chicken bouillon. I had to add it a couple of times, because I didn't want to go overboard. I can't stand salty stuff (so used to not having it, the taste really stands out for me). I got it right.

I soaked the beans in water overnight - making sure there was water completely covering the beans completely with a little left over. Ended up adding more water as I added ingredients - and I thought perhaps I had put in too much as it was pretty thin cooking. Not to worry, the taters finally broke up and thickened things up considerably. I didn't cover all the ingredients with water when I first started - the water level was below all the stuff slightly.  I started the pot on low medium  (4 out of 9 on my electric burner), and gradually turned it down to about 1.5 as the day progressed. Started at noon and shut it off around fiveish.

This stuff has to be stirred fairly frequently. The peas all sludge up at the bottom if you don't. I never had a problem with them burning, just being super thick at the bottom.

It turned out pretty well, my main problem is that now I'll be eating split pea soup for the next nine hundred twenty seven meals. Perhaps not that many. I'd invite Linda Blair over to get her opinion, but I hear she's a vegan. Her loss, I say.

Friday, January 06, 2012

A California Love Story

A man was lying in bed with his new girlfriend.

After having great sex ... She spent the next hour just rubbing his testicles ... Something she just loved to do.

As he was enjoying it, he turned and asked her, "Why do you love doing that?"

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Boeing announced today that it is leaving Wichita, where it's presence for over eighty years gave Wichita the moniker of "Air Capital."

This, after having their nads saved after some heavy political wrangling.

Let's go back to when Airbus was awarded the contract for the new KC-X Air Force tanker aircraft to replace the aging KC-135 fleet. Boeing protested the contract, and with a ton of political maneuvering, was finally awarded the contract. It didn't hurt that Kansas Senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts (who was on the Senate Committee on Armed Services at the time) put their political muscle on the line. Wichita and Sedgwick County have certainly worked with Boeing as far as tax incentives go, too.

There was a lot of political capital spent to get Boeing the contract, with stipulations that they would keep the jobs local. Clearly, the local officials feel screwed over.

Boeing probably best not appear hat in hand begging to be saved from the evils of the world any time real soon with any of the political principals involved. Just sayin.'

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Seeing Things

Guess what - long distance shots with my cell phone camera suck. While westbound on I70 this morning, some mirages were visible. Often, if you look across a valley, the mirages will rise above the horizon, showing elevators on past the valley itself. Grain elevators miles and miles away seem outsized and float above the ground. By the time I got the cell phone out, it was disappearing fast.

Click for larger for sure - to the left, what looks like a hill is actually the mirage, and as you go right, you can see blue sky between the top of the mirage and the horizon. Headed towards the Rockies, you can see the mountains rising far above the natural horizon, but out here, there just aren't any features as tall as it looks.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Stealing a Meme

When one is looking for inspiration for posts, sometimes fellow bloggers make is pretty easy by starting a meme. This meme is from leeann at Look! A Baby Wolf! - so naturally I'm jumping right into something easily accomplished in a probable futile effort to be funny.
Take the first sentence from the first post of each month of 2011. That’s your year in review. Tattle on yourself with your link in the comments if you give it a shot, particularly if yours works out better.
January: It's pretty easy - I've found that resolving to do things like lose weight seem to be a losing proposition for me.

February: Sigh.

March: Some of our guys spent some time detailing Mike's truck so it could sit at the church today for his service.

April: Yep, it's all lollipops and unicorns!

May: Now I know.

June: I've got Scott Adam's Blog in my reader - and while he is of a decidedly liberal bent, as a businessman he certainly has some very provocative things to say:

July: Last night's Subway Jalapeno 250 winner was Joey Logano, while Danica Patrick earned tenth place, six places worse than her best Nationwide finish so far.

August: Believe me when I tell you there has been no danger of the gauge overflowing, unless the wind is right and it fills with dirt.

September: Ronaldus Maximus.

October: The Family can only afford one helmet and they put it on Jeffy?

November: Normally, Ted Rall and I are polar opposites on whatever issue he covers.

December: Clearly I live in a mentally unbalanced area.

Pretty mundane compared to leeann's enticing opening lines. She's warped, though. In a "damn, I'd like to drink a bunch of beers with her someday" kind of way.

Made Up My Mind

About who I'm supporting in the Republican Presidential Primaries. Unfortunately, Mitt will probably prevail. He really is the second coming of Flipper. He claims to be more or less against the health bill, but since it's modeled after the one he helped put in place in Massachusetts, believing him seems very self destructive. Plus, I'm tending to believe his actions towards the issue of gun control rather than what he says now. The rest of the candidates? Flashes in the pan suffering from hoof in mouth disease. Honestly, I'm not sure how a candidate can overcome the liberal bent of the press, but they'd be advised to do better than the current bunch. I'm not sure how much hubris they have collectively, because it certainly seems to be that they think more highly of themselves than the rest of us.

I'd vote for Scott Adams, who has announced his candidacy on his blog (yeah, I know it's satire). A lot of what he says makes sense, but I cannot countenance his idea of using former President Bill Clinton as his primary advisor. I'd listen to him on the subject of picking up chubby chicks at titty bars, but not much else. I do know what my definition of is is. Just. Don't. Trust. Him.

That really doesn't leave much choice - I have voted for Alfred E. Neuman for various posts in the past, but he's not revealing much about what he supports or doesn't. So that leaves one candidate in the clear:

Kevin, the Lost Bunny of the Apocalypse, the Senator from Prickly City. His openness in supporting mayhem and destruction, plus selling his soul to the devil seems refreshing to me considering his spineless competition. Try to convince me Newt wouldn't sell his soul, if the devil would have it. Or any of the other candidates, for that matter. Kevin hates everyone, so charges of antisemitism, racism and bigotry will slide right off. His only flaw so far is that it was discovered that he actually does love his wife, and is faithful to her, when he was denying it all along. I can live with that.

Since voting against the Republican stream in Kansas is a waste of a vote, and then actually having any influence being from Kansas in the first place compared to the East and Left Coasts, I might as well sleep well at night for voting the way I did, knowing I didn't have to sell out once again voting for the lesser of two evils.