The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm Shocked, Shocked I Say!

A second Iranian nuclear facility has exploded, as diplomatic tensions rise between the West and Tehran 

 An Iranian nuclear facility has been hit by a huge explosion, the second such blast in a month, prompting speculation that Tehran's military and atomic sites are under attack.

Satellite imagery confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran. The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place.

Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was "no doubt" that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was "no accident". The explosion at Iran's third-largest city came as satellite images emerged of the damage caused by one at a military base outside Tehran two weeks ago that killed about 30 members of the Revolutionary Guard, including General Hassan Moghaddam, the head of the Iranian missile defence program.

Iran went into frantic denial yesterday as news of the explosion at Isfahan emerged. Alireza Zaker-Isfahani, the city's governor, claimed that the blast had been caused by a military exercise in the area but state-owned agencies in Tehran soon removed this story and issued a government denial that any explosion had taken place at all.

On Monday, Dan Meridor. the Israeli Intelligence Minister, said: "There are countries who impose economic sanctions and there are countries who act in other ways in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Remember Melissa Kellerman?

You know, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader that was blindsided by Jason Witten on Thanksgiving then tweeted about it, then had her account allegedly yanked by the Cowboys, then it reappeared, then she denied any strongarming by the Cowboys?

She's hot.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Is This How Bob Crane Got Started?


I needed to upgrade my photography capabilities before I go on vacation in January. Seeing as it's Cyber Monday (and not in an online hookup kinda way) I decided to see what was available. After digging thru the cybersale madness across the intertubes, I picked the Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2MP DSLR. (I have no idea what I just said, but it sounds impressive)

It had overwhelmingly good reviews and appears to be the most bang for the buck camera under $500. The biggest complaint seems to be the "feel". Since I've never owned a high-end camera I wouldn't know what one is supposed to feel like. Crisis averted. Also a big plus, Ashton Kutcher is not their spokesperson.

I'm really not much of a photographer. Having only owned point and shoot (a/k/a idiot proof) cameras until now, this is a huge leap for me. I just hope I can learn to take decent pics with it before I leave, so be prepared for lots of random photos in the next few weeks. The good news is I'll be staying at a place owned by a very talented photographer so there's always the chance of osmosis.

Joe Duty, you've been warned...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Old School

You're my boy, Blue!

The Bear will not quit - apparently, even 48 years after the fact.

In what no doubt ranks as one of the most bizarre episodes in the proud history of the Canadian Football League alumni luncheon, former Cal quarterback and head coach Joe Kapp, 73, got into a fight with old nemesis Angelo Mosca, 74, in Vancouver on Friday.

The fight had it all - fisticuffs, swinging canes and, of course, flowers.

As the video shows, the episode at the annual CFL alumni luncheon started when Kapp attempted to give Mosca some flowers as an apparent peace offering. But, Mosca rejected the gesture, adding an expletive.
From there, civility went downhill in a hurry.

Kapp, a former B.C. Lions quarterback, shoved the flowers in Mosca's face. Mosca, a former Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive lineman, swatted them away. Kapp then swatted Mosca with the flowers, and Mosca retaliated by swinging his cane at Kapp, apparently striking him in the head.

So Kapp retaliated with his fists - delivering a right hand to Mosca's jaw, then a left that knocked him down.
Apparently, the bad blood dates back to the 1963 Grey Cup, where Mosca delivered a controversial hit on Lions running back Willie Fleming, knocking Kapp's teammate out of the game.

(It should be noted that Mosca went on to pro wrestling fame in Canada after his football career, but his reaction to Kapp's right cross looks anything but staged.)

One eyewitness said that earlier in the banquet, when the two men were seated at a table, Mosca attempted to shake Kapp's hand, but Kapp refused.

Kapp apologized to the crowd after the incident - only to follow up with a story about Fleming having a dog named Angelo, and how he gave the dog daily beatings.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ancient TV Greatness

Search, a/k/a Probe.

The original title Probe was copyright claimed by a little seen PBS science series. So when NBC picked up the pilot they changed the series name to Search, including the pilot episode when it reaired. Search was a great sci-fi detective series that only lasted 2 short seasons on NBC (1972-73), but I was a big fan and it really made a lasting impression on me.

Search was the Star Trek of it's genre. Long before Enemy of the State, Eagle Eye or NCIS's MTAC room where Big Brother is always watching on a secure channel, there was World Securities Corporation and their secret team of uber high tech wired agents. Gene Roddenberry would be proud of the sci-fi to reality ratio of this series.

Burgess Meredith starred as Cameron. He was the man in charge of all the covert agents and the high tech Search Control Center team that included a doctor, a multi-lingual translator and a computer hacker all on standby to bail the agent out of any tight spot they may encounter and help them carry out their mission at a moments notice. Everything a covert agent could ask for in the early 1970's.

There was a rotating cast of 3 agents. Hugh Lockwood (Hugh O' Brian), C. R. Grover (Doug McClure) and Nick Bianco (Tony Franciosa) who were constantly under Simon's watchful eye (like it or not). They had various never before imagined futuristic gadgets like real time audio/video communication, sattelite surveillance, pinhole video cameras, body scanners embedded in rings, glasses, cufflinks, ect. They even implanted a false tooth/radio transmitter/beacon in the agents so they could use morse code as back-up.

Very ahead of it's time and maybe that's why it suffered a similar fate to Star Trek. Unfortunately, Search doesn't get the same credit for it's vision.

DVD's of the series are hit and miss on the internet. But I definitely advise watching if you run across online streaming just for the nostalgia effect. Send me a link if you find one!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

What have they done to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade? I decided to watch a little of the annual holiday spectacle just for nostalgia purposes and I was stunned. NBC has turned it into some sort of bad Broadway musical. Instead of watching floats, balloons and marching bands, I was watching horrible skits, songs and dance numbers.

WTF? I lasted about 10 minutes then I had to turn it off it was so bad.

Hopefully your holiday traditions are still intact and you enjoy the holiday with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Thanksgiving Miracle

I didn't grab a picture, but I paid $2.97 a gallon for Regular unleaded in Ft.Worth today. As a point of reference it is $3.17 at Walmart in Decatur. I thought gas prices traditionally went up during the holidays.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spiderman He Ain't

Kids, this is what happens when you steal candy in Phoenix, Arizona. This video is so chock full o' win it's hard to find where to start. The rooftop chase, the failed leap over the Tahoe (maybe that's why Tom Bishop wanted one) or the Randy White worthy open field tackle the PPD lays on Spiderman.

Next time pay for that Snickers or face the consequences.

h/t H8torade

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Farrrm Living Is The Life For Me

One little thing I blissfully forgot about farming. It's a LOT of hard work. Getting one of the fields ready to plant oats this weekend (yeah, I know it's late) so Brother Inlaw brought over his equipment. He's got much bigger (and better) equipment than I do and it makes a hard job easier and faster.

He also (finally) brought over his backhoe yesterday and did some brush clearing around the house. I may actually be able to have a yard next spring. But today it wasn't used for clearing brush. It was used to gather rocks out of the field. Lots of rocks. I have the finest crop of rocks in Wise County. Big rocks, small rocks, medium sized rocks and half ton boulders. Some of the bigger ones I can scoop up with the front loader bucket. The rest have to be picked up and thrown in the bucket by hand.

I call it "The South 40 All Natural Full Body Workout". It's particularly good on abs and legs.

I did my best Tom Sawyer routine and offered to let my niece help me pick a bucket or two and she declined. Kids these days. They just don't appreciate the down home wholesome country memories that would make. Trust me, you never forget a day of picking rocks out of the field. Never.

The good news is I now have enough rocks to make a fine rock entryway into The South 40 (and pave a 4 lane South 40 Boulevard to boot). The bad news is I've barely made a dent in the rock crop and there's plenty more where that came from. They have to be out before we plant and we are planting tomorrow.

Now pass me the Ben-Gay and a bottle of Maker's Mark. By the way, if any of you ladies care to volunteer for the role of Eva Gabor I'm holding private auditions.

EDIT: I've already had about a dozen people tell me to get a rock rake like this:

 If you happen to have one I'd be happy to rent it for a day. Very happy...

Friday, November 18, 2011

When Ya Gotta Go, Ya Gotta Go

The whole thing lasts 6:18. But in that time all hell very nearly broke loose.

Delta Flight 6132 was in a holding pattern waiting to land at New York's LaGuardia Airport when the pilot had to take a pause for the cause and the door knob to the bathroom broke. It goes downhill from there.

First the co-pilot of Flight 6132 radios ATC that the pilot has disappeared, a man with a thick foreign accent is trying to enter the cockpit and he needs to call his boss. He'll get back to you...

At 1:45 ATC calls Flight 6132... ya'll OK? The co-pilot says he's still working the situation. You can just imagine the wheels spinning into motion at this point. Set DEFCON 3.

Approximately 30 seconds later ATC wants a clear picture of WTF is going on and the co-pilot says the Captain dissapeared and is locked in the bathroom and a man with a thick foreign accent is giving him the password to enter the cockpit and he ain't falling for it. Set DEFCON 2.

At the 3:50 mark ATC gives 6132 a turn instruction followed a few seconds later by a comment from another flight controller to push the panic button and declare an in-flight emergency. At this point they are lighting the fires and kickin' the tires on the F-16's.

20 seconds later it's all over. Maybe next time, Maverick...

UPDATE: In case you were wondering where the Flight Attendants were during all this, there was only 1 onboard. When the pilot left the cockpit, by FAA regs (2 crew members in the cockpit at all times) she had to go into the cockpit until he returned. That left the pilot on his own in the rear of the aircraft.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ancient Movie Of The Week

Wow, talk about dragging one out of the mothballs. TCM is showing Onionhead this afternoon. I haven't seen that movie in over 30 years. It stars Andy Griffith in a takeoff of No Time For Sergeants. It's basically the same movie (country bumpkin winds up in the military, hilarity ensues) only instead of the Air Force he's in the Coast Guard.

Now you can see why I have an affection for this film. You can count movies about the Coast Guard on 1 hand and still hold a cup of coffee. Onionhead was such a boxoffice and critical flop that it reportedly is the reason Griffith gave up working in film and turned to television, thus bringing Mayberry to the masses. But, regardless of the branch of service, extreme resemblance to NTFS or critical pans, this is a funny, albeit predictable film that features a young redheaded Walter Matthau and pre-Rat Pack Joey Bishop as well.

DVR worthy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

He's racing every single lap.

Quote I just heard from Andy Petree on ESPN's coverage of the Kobalt 500 from PIR talking about Tony Stewart. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Smoke was one of my 3 picks to win the Sprint Cup when the season started. Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards were the other 2. So far it looks like 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

We'll see how this works out. Tony says the track's tightening up as the race goes, but he has a feel for how the car and track are responding as the race progresses.

90 laps and 1 more pitstop to go.


P3 and 3 points shy of the Sprint Cup points lead. Not too shabby. Congrats Kasey Kahne and Red Bull Racing.

Carl Edwards still has a whisker thin lead going into the final race of the NASCAR season at Homestead, Fla. It don't get any better than this.

See you next Sunday for the Championship!

Victory Is Mine!

I've had pure hell with my water system after I upgraded my wellhouse. I built a new one that will take an F5 to knock down, installed a water softner and jacked up the pressure 20lbs. Unfortunately hard water scale along with some chunks of dirt that got into the pipe during construction started clogging various faucets and lines in the house.

The pressure was great in the master bath, but on the other side of the wall in the laundry room it was so low that it burned out the water valve in my washer. The guest bath pressure was so low the toilet valve would not cut off and it would dribble continuously.

I tried backflushing with a garden hose, blew the lines clear with air, replaced valves and faucets. All to no avail, until yesterday. I was taking the cold water line off the washer for the 57th time this month but the faucet was hard to close and "crunchy". I took the line off the back of the washer and saw the screen on the new valve I had just installed 2 days ago was completely plugged with sand and scale. I took a turkey baster and flushed it clean then stuck the water hose in the mop bucket and turned it on.

I swear to God it went "Patooey!" and shot out a wad of sand and scale that would fill a coffee cup. I left it running until it exorcised all the demons from it's system. I hooked everything back up and it now takes about 2 minutes to fill the washer where it was taking half an hour. I did the same thing to the line going to the toilet in the guest bath and got similar results.

So, knock on wood, all this mess is finally behind me and I can start enjoying having nice soft water with reliable pressure. It's the little things in life...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gimme a Fifth of Maker's Mark and a F150 and I can beat that.

Who knew there was such a cool track in Wise County? Well to be honest, I did but I haven't been there yet. That is going to change and soon.

I'm sorry but this guy's reflexes are too slow. He's entering and exiting the corners late. I damn near spun myself out of my swivel computer chair stomping on the gas when he hesitates. Jesus H. Christ son... drive that thing! Put me in that car and I guarantee you won't be looking at a Bowtie in front of you.

No brag, just fact.

On The Radar

I was intrigued when I heard Kelsey Grammer was returning to TV in a drama. His on screen persona and delivery is much like that of Fred Thompson, straight forward and authoritative. Prototypical powerful alpha dog. That is what makes Kelsey's comedy such gold (see: Down Periscope), it comes from an unexpected source.

In his new series Boss, there is no comedy backdrop. It's all dry, cut to the bone drama. You would think it would allow Kelsey to flex his dramatic plex, so to speak. But what comes out is so dry it makes Death Valley look like a waterpark.

Kelsey plays the fictional mayor/powerbroker of Chicago, a la Richard Daley. He controls the politics, he's corrupt, he moves whores thru his secret apartment at a rate that would impress The L, he has his own private goon squad and of course he has the "Good Wife" that looks at the political big picture over her personal pride. They do throw in a twist, he has an incurable debilitating disease and time is running out.

It's just too cookie cutter for me to swallow. But bless their hearts they do try hard. Personally, the hot blonde Mayor's Assistant and the very married Gubernatorial candidate that are screwing like bunnies anywhere they can find a broom closet is enough to keep me tuned in for the season.

For what it's worth, Kelsey does give some powerful performances, mostly in monologues to this catatonic disabled mentor, presumably suffering from the same disease. He's definitely NOT Dr. Frasier Crane.

Boss, Friday nights on Starz. It's DVR worthy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Homemade Apple Pie

I first heard of "Apple Pie" watching "Justified" on FX. Then I found some by legendary moonshine runner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson at Mugs & Jugs. It tasted as good as it sounded, so naturally I had to make some of my own. I found several different recipes, but they were all basically the same. 

Here's the one I followed from Good Ole Ways:

1/2 gallon of apple juice
1/2 gallon of apple cider
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups of brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1/2 liter of 190 Proof Grain Alcohol

To get started, you need a large boiling pot. Add into this pot the apple juice, apple cider, the white and brown sugar, and the whole fresh cinnamon sticks. Bring these contents to a boil, then remove the pot from the stove and let it cool down to room temperature. Once at room temperature, gradually stir in the 190 proof grain alcohol. What you don’t consume in one sitting, you can bottle for later use. Store it in sterile Mason jars, place one cinnamon stick in each jar, and then store them in a cool dark dry place. After a couple of weeks your Apple Pie Moonshine will taste even better.  This batch will make about 4 1/2 quarts.

I used Mott's "Fresh Pressed" apple juice and added a little Allspice to the recipe to give it more pie flavor. I was hoping to find some fresh apple cider at one of the fruit stands on 287 near Sunset, but they were all closed, (damnit) and I had to go with what was available at Marketplace. I also used a full liter of Everclear since I didn't have any pure corn liquor. Fresh cider aside, it turned out FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!

A word of caution if you dare to do the deed. After the first sip (and barely then) you can't taste the alcohol. This stuff will slip up on you like Charlie thru the wire. By the time you realize what's happened, it's too late... your already hammered. You can also experiment with adding a few drops of artificial butter flavoring.

Enjoy in good health, my friends!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Are Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck on Standby?

"We do not think that it will ever impact the Earth or moon (but) we only have its orbit calculated for the next 100 years,"

Well, let's hope they nailed that one.

Rode Hard And Put Up Wet

Well, I survived another NASCAR weekend at TMS. I'm glad I went because it was some great racing, but I'm having serious second thoughts about going back. I can throw a bigger party in my backyard than we had at TMS. I can guarantee less of a police presence. They have finally sucked all the fun out of NASCAR camping. You can't drive golfcarts to the track on TMS property. You can't have stages, DJ's, bands or stripper poles. You can't (fill in the blank).

There was 1 band allowed on Saturday night and less than 50 people were in the crowd. Previous years there would be 3 or 4 bands per night and 100+ in the crowds. The our campground was lucky to be 40% full and the parking lots on Sunday looked to be about 50% full.

I could have stayed Sunday night and come home Monday, but I was ready to get the hell outa Dodge. After the felony stop FWPD treated me to Friday night for cruising the private, non-TMS campground in my minitruck, I pretty much made my decision on next year's vacation spending.

Rednecks With Paychecks and Bob Wills Days are moving to the top of the list.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting ready to head down to Texas Motor Speedway for NASCAR weekend. Just got off the phone with BIL and we have our gameplan lined out. I'll be set up tomorrow night in Finish Line Campgrounds (on the back row if any of you want to stop by and have a cold one).

Wendell, I know you will be at the track, but ya'll are on the opposite side of the track from me and TMS will not allow any ATV's or golf carts on their property (including the ring road), so it doesn't look good for me making it over to your camp this race, but you are more than welcome to come visit our camp. I need to buy a small moped or something similar to get around so I can go visiting.

I have a few surprises up my sleeve (as usual) for this trip. I bought new LED strobe lighting for my Suzuki Stripper Flag Pole, but I didn't get it mounted in time. (Maybe I'll install it while I'm down there.) I did install a new amplifier on my stripper flag pole sound system, so it will sound a lot less distorted when I crank it up. I also found alcoholic canned whipped cream. That may come in handy...

We will have fresh venison (thanks for hitting him, Littlesister!), steaks and assorted munchies to eat with plenty of leftovers for wander up guests. I'm thinking about making Green Chile Cheeseburgers for lunch Saturday. We'll see how that pans out... I'll also have the margarita machine set up.

It looks like the main thing to worry about (as usual) is weather. The temps are expected to dip into the low 40's Friday night and gradually warm thru the weekend and then rain on Monday. Let's hope that timeline doesn't accelerate.

I'll try to post updates while I'm there but, as usual, wireless service will be spotty at best. So your best bet is to drag your ass down to TMS and come party with us this weekend at the races and catch all the mayhem live.