Friday, September 30, 2011

No Hope

Let's face it, Jeffy. Know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. You're just plain screwed.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

One More From the Road

Well, actually, several from the road. Clearing out the ol' memory card a bit - various things that caught my eye in my never ending journey to nowhere in particular, but always with somewhere in mind.

This is one of our tanks held with two cranes - one "tailing," and one doing the placement. They pulled it off the truck, one hooked to each end, the truck pulled out, and then they began the process of taking a horizontal tank vertical without ever touching the ground. If memory serves, the biggun is a one hundred fifty ton crane. Those tanks of ours only weigh seven or eight thousand pounds, but it takes a hell of a stick to put those tanks where they needed to be. You can see one of our white tanks on the left almost in line with the red SUV. Those green tanks are steel and were not made by my company.

This'll give ya a closer perspective how high they had to lift to clear those structures. That tank is 12'x35.' This was in Wisconsin just north of Rockford IL.

HOT lookin' Pete at Brooklyn, IA.

Just not your every day bug in Western Kansas Paradise, so this puppy caught my attention immediately if not before. South of Iowa City, IA.

Juuuuust a tad over half the fleet at rest for the weekend, all scrubbed and serviced, ready for another week. The Mighty Binder is the one to the left - there is one other Navistar product, the rest are PACCAR products.

Today near Watford City, ND. My compadre unloaded and set that tank. It's a little different - it has a cone bottom with a sump hole. The crews have to set up those rings perfectly, then fill with pea gravel, dig a hole in the center, and angle the sides into the bottom before we can put the tank in it's "slot." The crane on my truck cannot lift one of these puppies unless it's mighty close if at all. This is a Cormach Model 36000 with four extensions, and it will lift the full weight at full length. These tanks are 12'x20' steel - rated at 400bbl crude oil holding capacity.

My compadre in the blue hard had - the crane operator/truck driver. He works a hell of a lot harder than I do and practically lives in North Dakota - coming home for the weekends only.

I don't care who you are, this is just plain kewl. A sculpture made from bits of cast off machinery of a cowboy riding a triceratops. This clever idea is on the main street in Lemmon, SD. Apparently, the Grand River Museum has some triceratops bones, so the idea of a dinosaur, a cowboy, and old farm machinery fits right in with the culture and history of Lemmon. When the sculptor says his chaps and saddles wear like iron, he ain't kidding. Yee Haw!!!

Lemmon is where a couple of us landed tonite. It will take a big day of driving to get home tomorrow, and Tubby Trucker is already bushed. G'nite, all - sweet dreams and don't let the bedbugs bite!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

At the Breakfast Bar This Morning

Most motel breakfast bars have a television. Most are tuned to a news channel. This morning, Fox News was on the boob tube, and one of the stories was about the manslaughter trial for Michael Jackson's physician Dr. Conrad Murry. One of the attendants (the bar at this Comfort Inn is pretty big and has two people there) and a guest were discussing about how tired and disgusted they were with all the media coverage, plus Jackson is dead and just let it go - enough already.

Which, of course, I am in total agreement.

But the gal made a statement that chilled me - I had never considered this possibility.
"Just wait. Michael Jackson is going to end up on a stamp."
God help us all, but I think shes right.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I told ya the little moron couldn't tie his own shoes. When Grandma, Daddy and Mommy all go to the Nice Place in the Sky, we as taxpayers can look forward to supporting Jeffy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What A Day.....

Yesterday started out as a pretty decent day. My mission: Deliver a single 12'x15' FRP tank to a small town northwest of Tulsa. It was loaded on one of our more conventional flatbed stepdecks, because I had to go to a supply house in Tulsa and pick up some specialized pipe. The flatter loading surface would be far better to hold and haul the pipe - most of which was 24" diameter. Been there done that and have the t-shirt.

The drawback was that the load was permitted at 15'2". We have annual oversize permits for Kansas, and we know where we can and can't go. We can also check online to see if there are any width limits in any current road construction - such as a bridge with a ten foot width restriction. Kansas also hands out a big set of maps with all the underpass heights in the state. Iowa has a pdf online for that. Missouri has a neat interactive webpage where if one enters the height of the load, the map starts flashing in spots where that load won't clear.

Oklahoma, not so much. We have to get trip permits for everything, but since they have no data available online nor any other literature, we have to trust that they will route us correctly. I was, as mentioned before, permitted for 15'2". My route was US 77 south of Arkansas City, KS to the junction of Oklahoma highway 11, then head east for another state road to go south. Several miles south of Newkirk, I ran into the scene above. There is a crossover down the road, and that's the last chance for anything taller than 13'9" to get turned around. There is no signed indication of where to go after that - all loads are permitted in Oklahoma, so even just the act of turning around can be interpreted as "going off route." And by the way, the "normal" legal height of an eighteen wheeler is 13'6," so having that low of an overpass on a well traveled route is just asking for trouble.

So, I got on the horn to the local sheriff, whose dispatcher decided she didn't need any part of this problem, and transferred me to the State Patrol. After explaining the situation once again, the dispatcher got my name and number and told me she'd have an officer call me or come on out. Sure enough, in about a half hour, I had two troopers parked behind me. The one that came to the front of the truck was pretty cool about the whole thing - he and his compadres are not happy with the permit office. Seems like this is a pretty regular occurrence, and he was of the opinion that after many years, the clerks would learn that the low clearance overpass is there. Alas, no.

I'd spent my idle time looking on Google Maps, and had found an alternate route - a gravel road. The drawback to that route was a railroad crossing that was built up really high, so that any lowboy trailers would more than likely drag and get hung up. Which is what I was pulling. The other option was for the troopers to shut down northbound traffic and have me go over the railroad overpass on the northbound side. You can see it in the picture. I chose the gravel road and hauled hiney over the tracks, which turned out to be pretty rough, and emptied out the cubbyhole in my headliner all over my lap.

Ahhh, well. I got to my destination, unloaded my tank, and rolled into the supply house with about an hour to spare. Only they weren't expecting me until today. They hadn't cut the pipe yet. But, they are all about customer service, so they got our order ready and me loaded. One of the items was a set of "caps" which look a lot like the "heads" we get from Fort Worth. They're sort of a dome in a deep dish bowl shape - there were two stacks of two on a shrink wrapped pallet. They used to use shrink wrap on a roll and just wind around the pallet five or six times, but they've got a niftier setup now - they cut out huge sheets of thick plastic and use a burner to shrink that. Lots stronger.

But slipperier. That stupid pallet wanted to walk out from under the four inch strap I had on it. The dome shapes guarantee that if anything moves, the strap is no longer tight - as it moves off the top of the dome, it slides down to the sides. I had to stop and restrap the dern thing twice, moving the pallet with my cheater bar. Because those "caps" are made of very thick steel and weigh plenty. I finally got a four inch and a two inch strap to hold it in place to get to the motel - fairly late last night. I didn't care much for driving in the dark and being unable to see the load, for sure.

But, all is good. If I have to, I'll nail the bastard pallet down to the wooden deck. I'll have to find the nails first, but I'll fix that damn thing for sure.

And the good thing - I like staying in the Comfort Inn just off I35 at Blackwell, because, well, it's a Comfort Inn, and next door is the Los Potros Mexican Restaurant. I'm hooked on their fajitas. They've got one option with beef, chicken, chorizo sausage and shrimp that is to die for. My only complaint is the shrimp aren't completely shelled - they've still got their tails. You have to do a little cleanup if you don't like eating shells. But, I guarantee you, my spice rack doesn't duplicate the flavor that dish has. If you are ever in the area, it is worth a stop. Good stuff.

So, better quit screwing around, get my shower and head on down the road. See ya on the flip side!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rest Easy, Jeffy

Fret not, Jeffy. Life is profligate - there are many living beings cranked out that just won't survive, because their fate is not to be anything other than protein in the food chain. Your inability to understand the world and thus your mindless natterings about things beyond your ken will soon come to an end.

Yes, life is cruel, but you, Jeffy, have provided another creature far more value as food than you would ever add to human society with your inability to process complex thoughts. Au revoir, Jeffy, and reflect well on the fact that Mommy will be free of rolling your pants cuffs every day while she tied your shoelaces! Maybe now a newly liberated Mommy will have the time to cure the common cold or find an alternate energy source to save the world. It's all good.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tubby Truckin' Weatherman Reporting In

that the past two nights I have witnessed actual rain at home. I didn't have to travel to see it. It was accompanied by a couple of big blows and lots of lighting and thunder. Unfortunately, the rain was more of a steady sprinkle. I don't have a rain gauge (got a brand new one in the house I've been meaning to put out, but never have), but we'd be hard pressed to claim a half inch total for the two nights, I'm betting.

The last rain amounted to about ten or fifteen hundredths about a month ago, so even though this won't even keep the dirt down for more than a day, it's still welcome. We're only about a foot or so behind on rain for a year long period here.

I'm sure glad I'm just one of those rich landlords glomming off those .gov payments and not having to actually work at farming. Why, just the other day, the feds sent me a check for $144! That stimulated the economy, I'm here to tell ya. That kind of real money keeps me in the lifestyle to which I'd prefer to become accustomed to living. Kinda keep that quiet, willya? I'd sure hate to see some inner city welfare mom with internet access, two or more tvs, cell phone, 'puter and other amenities all funded by Uncle Sam become jealous with all the bling I can get with payments like that. Yep, us farmers and landowners have got it made.

All $hitting around out of the way here - I'm extremely tickled that I have absolutely no money of any kind in the cattle business right now......

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

This sort of thinking has definitely stopped shooters in malls, schools, military bases and - oh wait......

Ripped off from Firehand

Saturday, September 17, 2011

We've Been Doin' It All Rong


Who knew? All these years with the horses, pickups, dogs, motorcycles, four wheelers and even on foot? Frankly, I've never seen cattle chase after something quite like that silly little R/C off roader. Yeah, load up the back of a pickup with some tasty feed to get the herd to follow - but at a dead run?

I have seen cattle move like that when a domestic hog gone feral got 'em all worked up. That was different. The cows bunched up into a big circle looking outward protecting the calves in the middle, and the bulls hounded the hog. The free life hadn't really treated that hog very well in the first place, so he was hardly a threat. The cattle didn't care - they did not like that hog. My buddy, who owned the cattle and rented my pasture, had seen this and come to me because he knew I was appropriately armed. So, we drove out there and I shot the hog, and frankly, I put it out of it's misery. It had not adapted as well as this hog.

Another thought - sooner or later, whomever is behind the wheel of that R/C car would get their a$$ chewed by the stockman for running off the pounds and unnecessarily stressing his cattle. If you were to believe the animal activists' insistence that cattlemen are cruel, heartless bastards, you might be surprised to find how protective those bastards are with their charges, and how they can go from zero to highly PO'd in under five point nine seconds if someone is screwing with their wards. Just sayin.'

Stolen unmercifully from Facebook posts by Laura and Lorrie

Friday, September 16, 2011

I've Got Those Ol' Marxist Blues


Ahh, but Johnny Cashless, doncha know it was all Bushhitlercheneymchaliburton's fault?


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Natural Selection, Revisited

We only thought they were looking for fire.

Scott Adams on early man's shenanigans:
I'm no Darwin, but I have a few observations of my own. My first observation is that the only species that have survived to modern times are the ones able to fend off unwanted advances from horny pre-humans. Take the giraffe, for example. Its long legs keep its naughty bits well above the pelvic thrusting level of our ancestors. Then you have your cheetahs that can outrun us, your fish that can hide underwater, your birds that can fly away, your zebras that can kick, and so on. But the poor Neanderthals and other slow-moving bipeds all got banged out of existence by our horny ancestors.
He blinded me with science.*
*apologies to Thomas Dolby

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Practical Example of How the Human Mind Works

Got this in an email - may be NSFW, so posted below the fold:

Monday, September 12, 2011



This is a group called The New Hot 5, serenading cattle in Autrans, France. Cattle are curious creatures, but they do not have long attention spans. For most of them to stand there and listen sure seems to show they are enjoying the performance! There is even some horseplay (cows doing horseplay? Who knew?) going on there. I can hear me ol' Dad sayin' "Buncha knotheaded cows!"

Ripped off from SondraK

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Remember

I'm probably gonna piss off some people with this post, but I don't care. I remember what I was doing and how I found out about the first plane hitting on of the Twin Towers and had the television on when the second plane hit. It was obvious. Some entity wished us ill in the worst way. Other events proved that out.

I remember the scenes of the people jumping to certain death to escape the flames. I remember the anguish and pain in the survivors and first responders on the street. I remember the towers falling, sealing the fate of so many.

I remember hearing of a group of terrorists called Al Qaeda taking responsibility. I remember finding out they were Muslim extremists. I also remember the shots of people in the streets of major metropolitan areas in the whole of the Middle East celebrating the blows dealt to us - The Great Satan. I do not remember any sort of condemnation from any Muslim leaders. I do not remember any significant condemnation from the so called "moderate" Muslims. CAIR says they condemn terrorism, but I don't remember any of their spokepeople doing so in a large public forum. They say they did, but I don't remember that.

I remember that these so called terrorists were overwhelmingly Muslim Middle Eastern males within an age range. I do not remember there being any Western European elderly ladies or men, or any of the other profiling victims of the TSA having any sort of involvement with the terror attacks.

I remember finding out about fatwas, and the teachings of Mohamed regarding infidels. I remember the moral equivalence crowd insinuating that Christianity is equally guilty of similar crimes. I do not recall the Pope or any of his Bishops calling for a fatwa against Salmon Rushdie or anyone else. I recall from history books that these Christian crimes did happen, but hundreds of years ago and in a similar struggle against the same religion we are engaged with now. I do not recall local ministers advocating the torture and killing of women to preserve some warped sense of male honor. I do, however, remember seeing mullahs support the mutilations and murders of young women. I also do not remember seeing any major Middle Eastern government condemn this sort of thing.

Don't accuse me of racism. If you do, you haven't read the definition and are a knee jerk idiot. The followers of Mohamed are not a race. Other people of Middle Eastern descent are Jewish. In order to be racist, I'd have to hate them, too. I do not.

I might be considered a bigot. I'd be more inclined to agree with that assessment if someone could point out to me how I am wrong in what I've seen from the Muslim religion in the past thirty odd years. Prove to me how they are the Religion of Peace and that all the horrors we have witnesses are not seen as a good thing by the majority of said followers. You cannot. If I was being unreasonable, I would be a bigot. I am merely noting actions, which if you'll recall, speak louder than words.

I also note that the term "prejudice" may apply as well. OK, prejudice means an unfounded hatred, fear or mistrust of a group of people. Show me how my feelings are unfounded. Prove it. Then we'll talk.

Too often we are forced to ignore the elephant in the room. We don't want to hurt "tender feelings." Those who are offended and have such tender feelings should have spoken up and taken action a long, long time ago if they want my sympathies.

I remember all right. I remember I'm pissed.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tony Seems Testy


Tony Stewart getting pissy with the press? Imagine that. He's obviously feeling the pressure of making "The Chase" in NASCAR. He's in tenth place at the moment with no wins. If Brad Kesolowski should happen to score some big points and Tony gets knocked out early in tonight's race at Richmond, since he has no wins, he can be knocked clear out of the contenders list for the Chase.

He's certainly had his moments in the past.
The 2001 season was not without controversy, however. Jeff Gordon pulled a "bump and run" on Stewart to gain a better finishing position in a race in Bristol, and it resulted in Stewart retaliating in a post-race incident by spinning Gordon out on pit road. Stewart was fined and placed on probation by NASCAR. He got into further trouble at Daytona, when he confronted a Winston Cup official after ignoring a black flag. At the same race, he also got into an incident with a reporter, kicking away a tape recorder. He confronted the same NASCAR official at the race in Talladega after refusing to wear a mandated head-and-neck restraint. Stewart was not allowed to practice until wearing one and only managed to practice after his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli intervened. His fines and probation periods resulting from these incidents have earned Stewart a reputation of having a hot-temper, and he became NASCAR's "bad boy".

Then there was 2002:
The second half of his season was plagued by an altercation with a photographer after the Brickyard 400. NASCAR put Stewart on probation for the rest of the season.

Then things were pretty quiet for Smoke, unless you count his on track encounters with Brian Vickers, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Elliot Sadler, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon. He was fined after his use of obscene language in the winner's circle at the Brickyard 400 in 2007. It was also roughly in this period where he had nothing good to say about the series tire provider Goodyear, and claiming NASCAR and the new car might as well be all star wrestling with predetermined finishes. All of these incidents got him into some trouble with NASCAR - with fines and probations.

Then last winter at a race in Australia when in a disagreement with a track owner, Tony allegedly smacked him in the head with his helmet.

So Tony has a history of losing his cool. This whole incident tickled me because of the furor on Twitter and even a little bit of it was covered on ESPN. Smoke started to go off on a reporter we couldn't see off to the right - that was Mike Massaro of ESPN. Jenna Fryer, the blonde woman wearing sunglasses (and towering over Tony) to the left stated that she was just trying to take the heat off Mike and give Tony an out so he wouldn't go off on a rant, but Tony wasn't having any part of it and chewed at Jenna. He'd sunk down into his anger zone and wasn't going to set it aside. Jenna wasn't upset over the incident - she wasn't trying to ask "dumb questions" - she was trying to get Tony to say what was acceptable, which Tony took exception to and he jumped her about "doing her job."  I happen to think Jenna is a fine reporter who shows no bias, and she has a rep for digging for stories that want to remain hidden. She is one of NASCAR's best investigative reporters. And of course, the NASCAR trolls on Twitter were in force - some assuming she'd tried to bang Tony and he wouldn't have her, or the size of her ass, or other pertinent debating points.

But I happen to like Tony, and one of the reasons is that he does let it all hang out. This is what comes with wanting your stars to be more colorful. They act in a colorful manner, which generally means not politically correct. It's not fair to Tony to muzzle him and then complain about how generic and predictable the drivers are. Tony is a lot like his hero Super Tex - aka A.J. Foyt, who was never afraid to mix it up with other drivers, track officials, or whomever pissed in his Post Toasties. Just ask Arie Luyendyk about a hot night at Texas Motor Speedway. Tony is like A.J. in his ability to drive about any kind of car competitively as well.  So, Tony is a kind of throwback to an era past. And, it's fun to watch and see what happens next with him, because you never know what will set him off. I imagine he'd find this "Threat Level" funny, but only up to a point!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Forever A Gearhead


And farms have machinery out the wazoo in this 'hood. I've put combine and harvest videos up before, plus I've put up AGCO promotional stuff on the site as well. Welp, they happen to film a lot of their stuff in this area, because they have a very strong AGCO dealer right up the road from me. So I'm not really shilling for Gleaner combines, even though I do have a fondness for them.

The main reason I'm posting this is because of my buddy Spud. Spud is an truck owner operator who hauls grain. Harvests are gravy time for grain haulers - I oughta know, since I did it for ten odd years. At any rate, at about the forty second mark you'll see a Gleaner swinging out the unloading auger and approaching Spud's pride and joy to unload. That would be a black Peterbilt model 359 extended hood - I can't remember the year, but it was made in the eighties. Spud does it old school. The power comes from one of the classic CAT motors - a 3406B rated at 425hp - the ol' four and a quarter kitty cat. It's backed up by the old classic hot rod transmission - the "Fifteen Over." I've mentioned this tranny before, but basically it shifts with the same pattern as most, but with the top two "holes" switched.

Another thing the video shows is a John Deere combine unloading "on the go." I've talked about this before as well, but I don't recall having video to back it up. A tractor pulling a grain cart is positioned beside the combine as it continues cutting so it can unload without stopping. You might notice the Deere unloading auger goes straight out from the top of the machine. There are several universal joints and bends in their unloading auger so the grain goes straight up to the horizontal auger from the bin to carry across to dump. The Gleaner tube is only slightly bent, so the grain runs out the bin and then up an angle to unload. Gleaner's solution is simpler and lighter, but having the auger at that angle makes unloading on the go more difficult in rough ground. If the combine's left front wheel drops into a hole, the auger drops and can hit the top of the grain cart. This is not a good thing. The Deere and most other combines won't have that problem. It's not like farmers have to replace tubes every other day - but it can and has happened, and the operator must be aware.

Another cool thang shown are some Shelbourne Reynolds stripper headers. Those are the blue headers attached to several combines in the video. They are designed to "strip" the heads of wheat from the straw rather than cutting the entire plant at a level below the heads. This is advantageous for the machine, since less straw is processed. It also leaves the wheat straw relatively intact in the field, in case the farmer wants to save it for baling.

Another thing that is mentioned quite a bit is no-till farming. I've only mentioned it in passing in previous posts, because, frankly - I have absolutely no experience with the practice. All I know for sure is that just about every piece of equipment a farmer has becomes obsolete and must be replaced by a no-till alternative. Herbicide usage is increased considerably as well. It is becoming more prevalent for sure. Farmers are, as a rule, very resistant to change, and convincing them that they need to abandon what has been working so far for so long and spend a ton of money besides? Air seeders don't come cheap, nor do the fertilizer applicators and so on. I found it interesting that compaction is such an issue with no-till. Compaction is an issue with conventional tilling if you work the ground with the same implement in the same way over and over - because the tractor runs in the same spots all the time. Part of the conventional tilling strategy is to use chisels to dig in and break up the top layers, plus alternate how you "work" a field. This time - "round and round" where you start on the outside edges and just keep driving around until you get to the center, or "back and forth" where ya pick an angle sideways to the wind and just start working in one directions - down that angle to the end, turn around and come back until done.

But just the weight of the combine alone causing compaction problems - well, I'd never thought about that before. There are aftermarket track conversions that use belted crawler tracks to spread the weight and help traction primarily in rice fields. Something to consider for sure.

And I guarantee you the height of the machines are an issue. Gleaners are a Class 7 combine, and the others compared are all Class 8s, which are not only higher and heavier, but wider as well. I've heard of some custom harvesters who have to remove the wheels from their machines to transport them. Kinda makes tearing down and setting up more of a pain for sure. A lot of combines have bin extensions that make the onboard grain bin higher so it can hold more. These usually have folding capabilities, but they are manual. The headers are very close to being drop and hook - there are hydraulic hoses and perhaps some shaft connectors to fool with. The shafts will have a sliding connector on splines, and the hoses have quick connectors. Some sort of lowboy trailer is preferred to haul these monsters - and it's far easier just to drive the machine on the trailer than having to fool with jacks and such to get it lowered enough to haul. Having a combine under 13'6" before loading helps immeasurably with your routing. If you have a trailer that has it's loading platform a foot off the ground, staying near fourteen feet really really and truly makes a huge difference. It's been my experience that just getting under most interstates is a problem - running on an interstate is usually easier. The harvest "runs" south to north through rural areas, so there aren't a lot of major interstates a custom harvester can take. But they have to cross I40, I70, I80, I90 and I94. A lot of highways go under those interstates, and most are low clearance - under fifteen or so feet. Low clearance for us starts a lot higher than it does for the average trucker. There are places where the northbound road crosses over rather than under, and those are the routes both we and the harvesters are required to follow as a rule.

At any rate, this is an instructive video in that it shows several aspects of harvest most never see. It should also be noted that if one thinks I'm shilling for AGCO, keep in mind that my ultimate boss owns (among many other things including the largest oil exploration company in Kansas) a CaseIH dealership. I oughta be praising the whee right outta those Binder machines! Honestly, I like them as well - the simplicity of their design makes working on one far easier than most. In this day and age, there are really no bad choices in selecting a combine. What is more important is that the local dealership is capable and willing to support that machine with a good stock of parts and a shop that knows how to work on one. The John Deere dealer network is so large and dense that their parts availability is legendary - if one dealer doesn't have it, one nearby will, so parts can be purchased and installed within the day after a breakdown rather than waiting for what you need to be shipped in. That is a comfort zone that lots of farmers never want to leave.

Anyways, hope ya enjoy this little peek into wheat harvest!

Choices, Choices, Choices....

If you are a Boomer who grew up in the sixties or so and actually watched television plus went to the drugstore to peruse the comic books, then you know exactly who Catwoman is. In the comic world, she was one hot number, so it fell to several hawt actresses to portray her in the Batman television series, the movie Batman Returns, and the movie Catwoman. Between Selena Kyle and Vicki Vale, Bruce Wayne was well entertained. Lucky bastard.

At any rate, in no particular order, here are the contendahs:

Julie Newmar

Eartha Kitt

Lee Meriwether

Michelle Pfeiffer

Halle Berry

Who Is Your Favorite Catwoman?
Julie Newmar
Eartha Kitt
Lee Meriwether
Michelle Pfeiffer
Halle Berry

Free polls from
I gotta go with Michelle Pfeiffer, personally. Her gradually disappearing costume added to her seductive prowling just did it for me. Sure, Halle Berry wore less, and the others projected sultriness in abundance (especially considering the restraints the actresses were under at the time), Michelle takes the cake as far as Catwomen go!

It should also be noted that Catwoman returns in the latest Batman film, and will be portrayed by Anne Hathaway. I'm fully confident that she will make a very fetching Catwoman. Just sayin.'

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Yes, I'm Just the Sort of Juvenile Minded Delinquent


That would post this video. Unfortunately, I find farts funny. Today's posts do seem to have a common theme, huh....

H/T Road Pig

Would I Steer You Wrong?

Got this in an email today and gotta share - all our political and financial government ills are clearly explained in simple, to the point language. However, due to the controversial nature of some of the concepts, I'm chickening out and putting it below the fold:


Monday, September 05, 2011

I'm Here To Tell Ya!

Consider me as a "yes" on the concept.

H/T DougM at SondraK

I Kinda Gather

That Ted Rall isn't particularly happy with the iTunes concept of purchasing songs at ninety nine cents each. I'm sure his heart bleeds for the poor music moguls having to deal with the new way of peddling their wares. Gawd knows they need his sympathy for their new found plight.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Fit


Of course, this scene is from the television miniseries Lonesome Dove, based on the novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry.

I can remember reading the book for the first time. It was such a great, rollicking adventure right out of the starting gate, until the river crossing where the young Irish immigrant was killed by a nest of water moccasins disturbed by the cattle crossing. It was like getting a five gallon bucket of that muddy river water dashed onto my head - gritty, cold and shocking. But, that is life - not always pleasant or fun, and this novel certainly captured that sentiment.

It was originally a screenplay intended for John Wayne in the Woodrow Call role, Jimmy Stewart as Augustus McCrae, and Henry Fonda as Jake Spoon. John Ford, for whatever reason, counseled Wayne to refuse the role, causing Stewart to back out as well. McMurtry eventually bought his manuscript back and adapted it into the Great American Novel we know it as now. After having great difficulties getting it made as a movie or as a miniseries, the success of the novel had networks lining up trying to get McMurtry to show it on their stations.

At any rate, the miniseries was made and released to great ratings, acclaim and awards. I'd think a three hour movie would have shortchanged the book, and releasing it as a miniseries was a stroke of genius. The story of two retired Texas Rangers and their interactions and personalities made for great entertainment on film as well as in print. It was the contrasts between Gus and Woodrow that made this work.

They were both archetypal in the sense of being opposite sides of a coin. Gus was the lackadaisical hedonist - but he was too much of a veteran of the prairie to treat his survival in that manner. He enjoyed life, perhaps too much, shirking responsibilities of the domestic variety. When I heard that Robert Duvall (one of my all time favorite actors) was slated to play Gus, I felt at that time that perhaps he was miscast. Today, I cannot envision anyone else in that role. 

And Woodrow - a tightly wound pleasure avoiding workaholic with a strict moral code that kept him upright and steadfast even in his greatest moments of self doubt. While Gus would cut loose to let off some steam, Woodrow was quite incapable of the same. Even so, he could still lose control as witnessed by the awesome scene above. His boy, who he never acknowledged as his, was being beaten, and Woodrow F. Call would have none of that. Tommy Lee Jones did a masterful job of portraying Call. Even as Call beat the Army scout, his visage was coldly neutral and businesslike. After Gus roped him and Call regained his composure, his inability to communicate emotions overcame him once again. I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. Indeed. Tommy Lee Jones, a ranch owner who breeds horses and cattle himself, shows he knows a thing or two about riding as well.

Of course the supporting cast was superb. Robert Urich, Fredric Forrest and Timothy Scott are no longer with us. Danny Glover, Angelica Huston, Diane Lane, Chris Cooper and Rick Schroder (the kid from Silver Spoons? Are you kidding me?) deserve accolades as well.

But it all rolls back to the contrasts between Woodrow and Augustus. The Latin quote (Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Fit) on the Hat Creek Cattle sign - that also included the caveat that the establishment did not rent pigs, seems to hold the major clue to the intentions of the author - from Wikipedia:
The sign for Gus McCrae and Woodrow F. Call's Hat Creek Cattle Company includes a Latin motto, "Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Fit," which appears to be a reference to a proverb first attributed to Juvenal. The proverb, "Uva Uvam Videndo Varia Fit" is translated as "A grape (uva) other grapes (uvam) seeing (videndo) changes (varia fit)." Some readers think McMurtry's substitution of "vivendo" for "videndo" is an artifice used to underscore Gus's lack of education and unfamiliarity with Latin. But later, when Call asks Gus about the motto, he jumbles it comically, not even pretending to know what it means. Having established that, McMurtry gains nothing by adding a spelling error that only Latin scholars would catch. Likewise, it seems unlikely—as other readers have suggested—that the substitution was simply a typographical error. Although the substitution is ungrammatical, "vivendo" means "living," turning the phrase "A grape changes when it sees other grapes" to "A grape is changed by living with other grapes;" or, since we are not really concerned with grapes after all, to "We are changed by the lives around us." The author's alteration takes on greater significance in light of the larger themes in the narrative that deal with how one leads one's own life and with living itself. These themes are also indicated in the remark made by Gus to Call: "It ain't dyin' I'm talkin''s livin'."


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Signifying Nothing

it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

Yannow, even I would follow this guy if he'd just lead!!!

Buuuut Noooooooo!!!!!

Teh Won's gotta whine about how nothing that's happening is his fault - even now, this far into his term, it's still Bush's fault, or the world markets, or even the NFL and the Republicans' schedule that is interfering with his plans.

And the Republicans?

I didn't get a harrumph outta that guy!!!
Both sides of the aisle are all about "protecting their phoney baloney jobs." Fixin' what ails us ain't on the docket.

To quote Governor William J. Le Petomane:
You watch your ass.

Repairs R Us

This chart is missing balin' wahr and plahrs.

H/T Darin

Friday, September 02, 2011

A Classic


Ronaldus Maximus. We ain't gonna find his like again, no matter how hard we wish it.