The stars at night are big and bright...

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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

A bit ahead of schedule, but what the Hell..



I usually reserve this song until Christmas, but it actually happened today at our Dysfunctional Modern Family Redneck Christmas gathering. Fortunately, I brought a quart of moonshine soaked cherries that defused the situation just enough to prevent any barefoot rasslin'/knife fights in the backyard over hurt feelings/long running feuds among the factions.

That's a win no matter how you look at it.

Science, Bitch!

At 2:09 in the 2nd I correctly predicted the outcome of the game.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Wrong Stuff

I caught the Republican Lt. Governor primary debate. It was a low budget production by KCEN Waco/Temple/Killeen and reminded me of the press conference scene from The Right Stuff.
"Why Yes, I attend church regularly!"

It was a sad demonstration of what we have in store for leadership in Texas. 

As inconceivable as it may be, one of these yahoos will be the next Lieutenant Governor of Texas. 
God save us all.


Monday, December 9, 2013

The Ticket on TV-47

If you have been watching this, you've been watching next level greatness. I'll dig up stuff for an update later, but get to a TV now and start watching this...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Good Eats: Carshon's Delicatessen

I went to the VA clinic in Ft. Worth last week and made a side trip to a place I've wanted to go for a long time, Carshon's Delicatessen. It's hidden at one of the more confusing intersections in Ft. Worth, Berry & Cleburne Road near TCU. But if you look close enough you will find this little bit of heaven at 3133 Cleburne Road by spotting their freshly paved parking. It stands out more than their sign.

Old pic. New lot is fresh paved.

Once inside you find your typical deli counter. If you plan on dining in, then head on past to the tables in the back and a waitress will be along to get your order. Otherwise your To Go order will be filled on the spot. Luckily I hit them around 2:00 so the place was practically empty.

They have a great menu that I was unfamiliar with, but after a quick scan I decided on the Rebecca. Pastrami, cream cheese & smoked turkey w/Russian dressing on 3 layers of toasted egg bread.
Not sure if I've ever had an actual party in my mouth, but this just might have qualified.

I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about the cream cheese. I tend to think of it as more of a dip than a sandwich cheese, but I was pleasantly surprised with the way it blended with the textures and flavors.

The pastrami was without a doubt the best I've ever had and I've eaten some pretty decent contenders like Carnegie Deli. This. was. better. The smoked turkey was moist and flavor packed. Both were sliced laser thin and melted in your mouth. The egg bread was something I wasn't familiar with, but trust me I'm a big fan now. It was toasted just right and the crispy goodness has to be experienced first hand, or mouth as the case may be. It's f'n awesome bread.

Damn the cholesterol, full speed ahead!

I don't know why it took me so long to finally go there, but I won't wait that long any more. I just wish I lived closer or had more excuses to go to Ft. Worth. So much menu, so little time. Carshon's.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Starting the week out on the right foot

I'm not sure what I did to piss off the Universe, but as of 3:17am this morning it began exacting it's revenge upon me. I know it was exactly 3:17am because I got a good look at the clock when I woke up drenched in sweat and a tiny alien fighting it's way out of my body without a road map. Well, that's what it felt like anyway.

I turned on the ceiling fan and tried to go back to sleep. Exactly 21 minutes later (I have a great LED clock) I woke up again but with a wave of nausea had replaced the tiny alien in my large intestine. I didn't get sick, although I probably would have felt better if I did. It's kinda like being on one of those cheap amusement park rides were you wish it was over, but aren't sure if the ride will make it to the end without breaking.

It was pretty much lather, rinse, repeat every 20 minutes for the next 3 hours. I finally gave up on even thinking about crawling back in bed. The good news is AMC shows Mad Men reruns early Sunday mornings so at least I'm entertained during my ordeal.

I got a flu shot last week, but it's too long after that to be a reaction. I think it might have more to do with the new Island Fire burger I ate at Sonic last night. On a brighter note I did find a bunch of long sleeve shirts I've been looking for. Apparently I've had a laundry basket full of them hiding in my closet under a comforter since last spring.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Arrested for stocking the cooler?

In Miami Gardens, store video catches cops in the act - Miami Gardens / Opa-locka - MiamiHerald.com

In-freaking-credible.

Babe's

I think the first time I ever heard about Babes Chicken Dinner House in Roanoke was when I worked construction in the mid 90's. I'd listen to The Ticket all day driving a truck and Babe's was a big sponsor back then. I've never heard anything negative the place other than you might have to stand in line for a seat. They have a limited menu (chicken or chicken fried steak) and serve "Family style".

Last night on my way back from Dallas I decided to finally sit down and try some of that famous fried chicken. The parking situation in Roanoke is nothing to brag about, but I was able to find a spot a block away. I hit at a good time because there was no line for a seat. The staff was prompt and friendly even though the place was pretty full. My tea glass never reached empty which is always a good sign. The Mashed potatoes were awesome, the gravy was good and I liked the biscuits.

Those were the good things. Now for the bad.

Their chicken sucked. It was, to quote Sir Charles Barkley "turrrable". First let me say that I know you want to serve fresh food, but you should let the food stop cooking before you serve it. My chicken had to have been out of the fryer less than a minute before it was on my table. It was too hot to touch, much less try to eat. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing because I got to load up on the mashed potatoes and gravy waiting for it to cool. So at least I wasn't starving any more.

The other side dish they served was creamed corn. Not a fan of creamed corn.

When it was finally cool enough to eat I took a bite of breast and almost drowned in the water and grease. It wasn't "juicy" it was watery grease. The chicken must have been frozen when it was put in the fryer. That's the only time I've ever seen it do that. It also made the crust bubble away from the meat which filled with the aforementioned grease and water. After wading thru all that, I was let down again when I tasted the meat. It was bland with no seasoning or flavor. Another sign the chicken was frozen when it was cooked.

I expected a lot better than this, especially after all they hype. Then my check for $16 arrives. Wow.

I went to pay and didn't intend on complaining about the meal. When the girl at the register asked me how my meal was I should have said "fine" and went on my merry way. Instead I said "Do you really want to know?" and she said yes. I told her I thought their chicken was awful, but everything else was OK. The girl takes off and goes to find the manager. I didn't say I don't want to pay, wanted a discount or anything. In fact I had my card in my hand waiting to swipe so I could get the heck out of there.

The manager shows up and asks what the problem was. So I told him the chicken was bland, watery and greasy. He told me there would be no charge but I told him I ate most of the meal and I'd pay for it. I didn't ask for a discount or to speak to anyone about it. She asked and I was honest with her, I didn't like the chicken. Now I'm having to argue with the guy to take my money and the line is starting to build up behind me. We finally settled on him charging me for the sweet tea and I tipped 50% of what the meal would have cost because the waitresses did nothing wrong.

Maybe it was a fluke and I hit them at a bad time, but they are very sensitive about their chicken at Babe's.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Why You Should Always Check Before Your Wife Takes The Car To The Garage.

 A man's wife complained about a popping noise when she applied the brakes. He wasn't home, the brakes were new, so he figured it was a suspension issue, which he probably couldn't repair anyway. Below is the diagnosis from the shop.

I know who I'll use if I need a mechanic in Austin!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Craig James is back in the news


The legal team for Craig James, the often criticized former ESPN analyst who was hired and then fired by FOX Sports Southwest, has sent a letter to the network demanding that he be given his job back, according to a report by Ed Sherman.

James was fired by FOX Sports Southwest two days – and one appearance – after being hired because of his anti-gay comments during his run for the Texas Senate.

“We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department,” a Fox spokesman said at the time. “He couldn't say those things here.”
Now, James’ legal team says the firing is discrimination because it violates his religious beliefs.

From The Washington Times:

“The actions have also led to the breach of Craig James‘ contract and the impugnment of his career,” the letter states. “We demand the immediate reinstatement [of] Mr. James to the on-air college football analyst position. If you refuse to reinstate Mr. James, millions of Americans will be left with the impression that you do not respect religious liberty and Liberty Institute will be forced to pursue subsequent legal options.”

http://tracking.si.com/2013/09/24/craig-james-demands-reinstatement-fox-sports/?xid=ob_sisports

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cool custom table gif of the day

Now that is a cool table. But with my luck it would jam somewhere halfway and be like figuring out a Rubik's Cube to fix it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Rocket Frog!

Burning out his fuse up here alone

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Whoa Nellie!!!

Johnny F'n Football!!!
A&M may have lost to Alabama 49-42 today. The Crimson Tide may have run up 35 unanswered points on a overmatched Aggies defense at home. But the 2nd largest crowd ever at Kyle Field were treated to some of the greatest plays in Aggie history by Johnny F'n Football. 

Too bad he had a Pick 6 and another INT in the end zone that led to a touchdown. Too bad the Aggie defense couldn't stop Bama from gaining double digits on every play. A&M came very close to pulling off the upset again.

It was a classic game that sealed a new rivalry in the SEC. Just how close was it? After the game, Nick Saban told Kevin Sumlin: "You just took 10 years off my life."

The full plays:

Well, ain't that just dandy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The income gap between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America last year reached the widest point since the Roaring Twenties.

The top 1 percent of U.S. earners collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012, their largest share since 1928. And the share held by the top 10 percent of earners last year reached a record 48.2 percent.

The new data shows that the top 1 percent of earners experienced a sharp drop in income during the recession, of about 36 percent, and a nearly equal rebound during the recovery of roughly 31 percent. The incomes of the other 99 percent plunged nearly 12 percent in the recession and have barely grown — a 0.4 percent uptick — since then. Thus, the 1 percent has captured about 95 percent of the income gains since the recession ended.

Read more about it here and listen to an analysis here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Move Over, Johnny Football...

His name is John David Taylor and he's unstoppable!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I can relate

Madness



They remove a child from the home because the parents smoke out after the kid is asleep? This is beyond outrageous. But we are far from done. While the parents are "being rehabilitated" CPS murders their daughter.

Isn't it time to remove the moral stigma from recreational pot smokers? The War on Drugs is a failed concept.

Things I Learned From Flight Sims

"Basic Flying Rules: Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there."


This video is a textbook case of flying into the edge of the envelope. He should have aborted his path at the 3:00 mark but he didn't and at that point his confidence overrode his ability and signed their death warrant. At the very least he should have known he was in serious trouble. He had a second chance to circle and climb over the lake 40 seconds later, but he didn't take it. Overconfidence again. Instead he pushes onward with a heavy aircraft in high alt and climbing terrain.

When he finally does decide to abort and circle 2 minutes later, it's too late. He's too low, too heavy and too slow. Sir Isaac Newton wins. The video was found by hikers 3 years later.

Never, ever think you or your passenger are immune to the laws of physics. It will kill you both every time.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Help! Somebody call the Sign Shop!



Definitely not your typical bumper sticker.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Worst Twerk Fail EVER


Here are some lessons we can take away from this experience:
Do not twerk near an open flame.
Do not twerk on or near a door.
Do not twerk if your roommate is just going to run away screaming when you accidentally light yourself on fire.
Do not twerk.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Holy Cameo, Batman!


See how many celebrities you recognise. Bonus points if you know who the hell Suzy Knickerbocker is and what her significance is on Batman. No Googling!

She's a Native Texan, btw.

Who Knew Space Surveillance Command was in Archer City?


But I didn't know the NAVSPASUR system had been turned over to the Air Force in 2004. It used to be run by the Navy. Now it looks like it's going to be run by nobody. Thanks to the sequestration, the aging Air Force Space Surveillance System is being shut down and replaced with modified operating modes for the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Characterization System at Cavalier Air Force Station, N.D., and for the space surveillance radar at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.


Why am I reminded of Charlie Sheen in The Arrival?

Kickapoo Station had a budget of over $2M a year just for electricity. Brazos Electric is not going to be happy about that.

Wildly inaccurate map. But they got San Diego right.



View Larger Map
Check out the vicious perimeter security.

Hunt or Prey



As I've mentioned before I am addicted to Aces High, an online massive multiplayer WW2 fighter sim. The game has a HUGE learning curve because the flight model is very realistic. It is a simulator, not an arcade game. You have to know how to fly a plane or you will die and do so very quickly.

But even with 1000's of hours of flight time under my virtual belt (been sim flying since 1996), I could never pull off some of the maneuvers this guy does in a P-47. Now to be honest this is not one sortie. It's not even the same model of Jug. It's a compilation of flights that jump between a N model (light color) and an M model (dark color). But it is a fabulous demonstration of what a Jug is capable of.

The M is a beast, literally. It is very heavy and even with that massive Pratt & Whitney R-2800-57-C Double Wasp engine, it has a low thrust to weight ratio. The N model is even worse. But if you get your "E" (energy/momentum)  built up and the right guy at the controls that knows how to stay on the razor edge of out of control and milk the last bit of maneuverability out of it, you can do some amazing things in a Thunderbolt. Add 8 .50 caliber guns and it's as deadly as they come.

I was beaucoup impressed with this guy's stall fighting abilities starting at the 2:50 mark. That is just incredible. In fact this whole video is incredible. Marc Tardif did a fantastic job not only flying but putting this video together.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Zombie Free* Since 1977



Pretty savvy marketing campaign to help Graham Drive-In win a free digital projector from Honda. The video hasn't quite gone viral yet, but it has spread as far a Japan where newspapers have been calling for interviews.

The Graham Drive-In is one of only 15 remaining in Texas and needs the new digital projector to stay open. You can read more in the Startlegram.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Now that's an okra recipe I haven't tried.


GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Authorities in Guyana say smugglers have found yet another way to smuggle cocaine out of the country.

The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit says a man was caught trying to ship 16 kilograms of the drug to the U.S. in hollowed out okra pods. Unit director James Singh said Thursday it was the first time he's heard of someone trying this with okra, which is known as ochro in Guyana. Singh says on a one-to-ten scale he would give the smuggler a "four for innovation."

Smugglers in Guyana have attempted to use many products, including skin lotion, frozen fish and hot pepper sauce.

In this case, there was swift justice. Hadrick Cummings was caught at the airport Monday and pleaded guilty Wednesday. The 25-year-old was sentenced to five years in prison.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Rams- 7 Bikers- 0

Now THAT'S what I call a goal line stand!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

On The Radar: Lay The Favorite


Just stumbled across this 2012 flick that literally slipped under my Doppler. A full recalibration of the Flickmaster 5000 is currently underway.

The film is based on Beth Raymer's memoir released by Random House in 2010. It's a fun and juicy romp thru the life of a professional gambler starting from the ground up to running an offshore book with it's predictable speed bumps. But you quickly become invested in the characters and their storyline. It's a great script.

Lay The Favorite stars Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It's also got a strong supporting cast with a predictably unstable Vince Vaughn, a clueless Corbin Bernsen, a  topless Laura Prepon and a fully clothed Joshua Jackson.

Well worth 94 minutes of your time.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Twinkie Shrinkie?


The new owners of Hostess have leaner operating costs now that they're no longer using unionized workers. It turns out the spongy yellow cakes may also be a little smaller than the last Twinkies people remember eating.

The new boxes hitting shelves list the cakes as having 270 calories and a weight of 77 grams for two cakes, or 135 calories and 38.5 grams for one cake.

Right before it went out of business, the predecessor company had told the Associated Press Twinkies were 150 calories per cake. Photos of past boxes online also indicate the weight to have been 42.5 grams per cake.

A spokeswoman for Hostess, Hannah Arnold, said in an email Monday that the size change was made in "mid-2012" by the predecessor company.

Remember The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys?

They still got it at the ripe old ages of 16 & under...

Born On This Day

Linda Ronstadt- 1946

Linda was very integral during my formative years as an impressionable yute. I scooted many a boot across a West Texas dance floor wishing it was her in my arms.

 Sorry, Ladies...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Little Tommy NASA

I know I've let the standards slip around here. Hell, I haven't mowed my "lawn" in years. But I'm really remiss in not commemorating Tom Hanks' birthday on the 9th. He is quite possibly the greatest actor of our time and an even greater patriot.

Patriot. That word gets thrown around and run thru the spin cycle to mean things it isn't. In this case, it refers to the root definition. Tom Hanks is an outstanding example of a true American. After reaching a level of success where he could pick and chose his work, he chose to celebrate the American spirit thru projects like Saving Private Ryan, The Pacific, Apollo 13 and my personal favorite, From The Earth To The Moon.

I remember seeing him on David Letterman during the promotional tour when this was released on HBO and he referred to himself as "Little Tommy NASA". I really connected with him on that. I grew up during the Space Race and vividly remember all the spaceflights. I had an Apollo 11 t shirt that I wore until it fell apart.

NASA was a new hope for mankind and a source of national pride. We were breaking new frontiers. We were boldly going where no man had gone before. It was a very special time. Episode 4 "1968" sums it up nicely. When you have the time watch this whole miniseries. It's truly a masterpiece of television.

Tom managed to wrangle just about every actor he knew into working on this pet project. You'll see many familiar faces throughout the series. I feel safe in saying they didn't do it for the paycheck. They did it for Tom. Please forgive me Mr. Hanks for not remembering your birthday. You deserve a much better tribute for your patriotism, but I hope this salute will suffice.

Here's Episode 1 of the best historical spaceflight miniseries ever made, From The Earth To The Moon.

from the earth to the moon epoisde 1 by UZI4you

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Wow


I stumbled across this the other day and it really shocked me. This is a map of paramilitary (SWAT) police raids gone bad. It was released by the CATO Institute in conjunction with their policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko.

There have been 31 in Texas. Most recently in 2009.

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern."
   —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006.

The interactive map can be found HERE

Monday, July 8, 2013

Oh, Mr. Harris!

I first became aware of Phil Harris watching ABC's American Sportsman with Curt Gowdy. He would get Phil and Bing Crosby together on a trip and the party would ensue. It was greatness that unfortunately has been lost to posterity.

Phil was the hipster in the 30's & 40's with his witty and fast paced swing band. He was also a regular on the Jack Benny Show and had his own show with his wife Alice Faye. But his star quickly faded despite his razor sharp wit and quick delivery with the death of radio in the 50's.

You will be challenged to find a comedian with his timing and delivery. Combine that with his musical talent and ability to improv and you had something really special.

Here's a few clips from Phil's career:


Monday Music


That gal can flat. out. sing.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

From our "Swing and a Miss" Dept


Wow, I had such high expectations for The Lone Ranger. Big budget, low CGI and of course there's Johnny Depp. I did the rare "see a movie on opening night" and caught the 10:50 XD showing at Cinemark Alliance. There were less than a dozen people in the theater. After the first 30 minutes, I considered reducing that number by 1. They butchered the story, then they gave it the Disney treatment. 

I forced myself to sit thru the entire film hoping that at some point it would redeem itself. I was sadly mistaken as it sank deeper into the abyss. This is a bad movie.

Don't get me wrong, little kids that have never read, heard or seen The Lone Ranger or read a history book will probably love it. Everyone else, not so much. It's the "Pearl Harbor" of westerns.

It tries to be a western, a kid flick and an action movie all at the same time. It's like they tried to jam everything they could think of into the film without thinking how it would actually fit in the film. Things like the wild train chase down the side of The Rockies, Utah isn't in Texas, horses can't fly and rabbits aren't cannibals. Little things like that.

There are some beautiful visuals and Johnny Depp gives a wonderful performance. A majority of the stunts are actual stunts instead of CGI. But the script is pure junk. One slight redeeming point is the homage paid to The Wild Bunch at the beginning. It was subtle, but well played. Too bad the rest of the film didn't follow suit. Sam Peckinpah is spinning in his grave. 

The critics have not been kind. This review was particularly spot on:
Alfonso Duralde, The Wrap: "'The Lone Ranger' is a drag as an action movie, it's not funny in its attempts at self-parody, and it feels like a Western made by people working off a checklist of tropes without ever really understanding the genre. Verbinski and his writers have taken a promising idea and put a silver bullet in its head."

SPOILERS! (and their fixes):

Get rid of the narrator and the kid, abandon the wimp persona of John Reid, ditch the "magic" and pay attention to continuity.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

You reckon I got permission to land?



This guy is just too cool. He even sounds like he's channeling Matthew McConaughey. NSFW language.

The Great Trout Trip Recap


Someone forgot they turned the camera on standby and let the battery run down. But at least I managed to get this.

Well, we survived. I got at least 100 bites... all mosquito. If I start walking like an Egyptian it must be the West Nile.

Let me just say that Colorado is some of the most beautiful country I've seen and they do a great job getting you access to it. All the fishing we did was from State Wildlife Areas that were well planned and maintained... kind of. The one we kept going back to had a fairly steep incline down to the river but there were crossties embedded for steps. From there a wooden walkway took you down to the water. There were a couple spots I was a bit concerned about supporting my weight, but they did just fine with a creak or two just to add some drama.

We found an old abandoned bridge and some amazing water. Here's an aerial view. We parked at the spot to the far right. You can make out the wooden walkway. I wish we could have made it farther downstream but the brush was too thick and there is a property line you have to stay behind.:

I took a pair of waders and got waist deep in the very cold Blue River. I learned quickly that wading in the river is risky business. The current will wear you out just trying to stand still on the slick rocky bottom. When you do move around taking a step without losing your balance is hard work. Toss in a dash of mild hypothermia and you've got yourself an outdoorsy experience. I managed to not take a dunk, but it was close a couple of times. I was formulating a plan to dry out my Mercedes key with lure desiccant if I went under.

Sunday we went to Vail but the water there was way beyond our skill level. When we watched white water rafters going past us at 30mph we decided to head back to Green Mountain Reservoir. Speaking of GMR, it's home to a little old lady that owns and operates Master Bait & Tackle. I'm not making that up.

Try as we may, the fish refused to hit on anything we cast and we tried everything we had. Brother Inlaw did get a couple under sized ones that he released (16 inch limit) and I had one nibble, but that was it. Meanwhile, the fish were literally jumping out of the water in a feeding frenzy 5 feet away from me. I started to take my net and just grab them midair.

Even though the Trout won this skirmish, I vow my revenge will come. I shall return! I just won't be so cheap and will break down and hire a guide from Cutthroat Anglers next time...

A couple travel notes. Do NOT take US287 to Denver, take US87/64 through Raton, NM instead. Much better road, higher speed limit and less traffic. Also there is major construction on I-70 in both directions near Idaho Springs. After mocking everyone sitting in traffic going West, it took us almost 2 hours to drive 10 miles going East. Karma.

Those are some huge forest fires in SW Colorado. We were still seeing and smelling heavy smoke in NE New Mexico. We also ran across some National Guard soldiers on the way to the fires to help relieve the local authorities with things like traffic control so the locals could be freed up for evacuations.

Here's a view from the Space Station.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

So Much For That Sopranos Movie


James Gandolfini -- who famously played Tony Soprano on "The Sopranos" -- died earlier today in Italy ... TMZ has learned.

Gandolfini is believed to have suffered a heart attack. He was 51.

Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily -- and he was scheduled to participate in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino.

Gandolfini is survived by his wife Deborah Lin, who gave birth to the couple's daughter in October 2012. He also has a teenage son from a previous marriage.

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2013/06/19/james-gandolfini-dead-dies-italy/#ixzz2WiGk1Dsc

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Samesies



Blatantly stolen from one of my favorite bloggers. Mild NSFW warning.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Johnny Fed Up?

Apparently life is not a bowl of cherries for Johnny Football:
He quickly deleted the tweet (not before it had been seen by approx 360,000 followers) and put this up:
I'm sure that instant celebrity status is hard to deal with, especially as a 20 year old college athlete at a program like A&M. They have rules about rules concerning rules that you have to put up with (all while they're making Millions off you). Just because you are suddenly a big shot doesn't mean you don't have to adhere to those rules and restrictions.

Perhaps he could use some guidance from a few players that have walked in his shoes and come out smiling. RG3 and LaDanian Tomlinson are a couple recent Texas athletes that come to mind. Both were under heavy NCAA and media scrutiny, yet you never heard anything bad and they went on to big money NFL contracts.

One thing strikes me odd about this. Look at the timestamp of the tweets. The deleted message is marked 45 minutes before the "walk a mile in my shoes" tweet that came after. Only thing I can think of is they were taken in different time zones which would make them 15 minutes apart.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I think he's serious this time...

I caught this over at Bag Of Nothing and I have to agree with Keith's assessment. I'd follow this man into Hell and back. He's addressing a sex scandal that was just discovered in his ranks. Would be nice to see our leadership be as upfront and in charge as Lt. Gen. David Morrison.


The man never blinks... not once. I think he means what he says.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Great Trout Trip of 2013 is GO!

Well the plans have been finalized and a buttload of money dropped at Cabella's. Colorado here we come. I'm really looking forward to this trip, but it's going to be shorter than I would like. Personally, I'd like to spend a week or more but the people going with me have work commitments and I completely understand. A weekend in the mountains is better than not going at all.

I originally wanted to stay in a fishing camp/cabin but the prices were outrageous. Sorry, but I'm not paying 5 Star hotel prices for a 2 Star cabin. A hotel room would have been more economical, but I've been told I snore like a Peterbilt riding the Jake Brake down Monarch Pass so 2 bedrooms was a necessity. I also wanted a kitchen so we can cook our catch. Both of those ruled out a hotel so I searched Trip Advisor for vacation rentals and found a condo that fit the bill for $90 a night. Not a bad price, IMHO. It has everything we need and then some. Plus, it's centrally located to multiple fishing spots so we have options instead of being locked into one place to fish.

I went to the Fly Shop at Cabella's and took advantage of their Father's Day sale, picking up a pair of fly fishing rod & reel combos for $39 each. I lucked out and a guy that just got back from the part of Colorado we're heading to was there shopping and gave me some very good tips on what type of gear/flies we would need. I soon learned the rod & reel were the least of my expenses. After adding all the flies, leaders, and assorted accessories it quickly went from cheap to not cheap at all. We will still need to buy more stuff when we get there depending on what the fish are hitting.

Hopefully, I will use all this stuff more than once. This is a learning expedition after all. I'd like to spend a whole summer camping up there after I trade my RV for a trailer.

Speaking of the RV, the buyer that came unannounced wasn't impressed and passed after I turned down a low ball offer. To be honest, I really didn't want to show it to them because I had done zero preparation. It was dirty and nothing was working because the batteries were dead. But I did and now I'm sure they've told everyone locally what a hunk of junk it is. It's really not, but they caught it on it's worst day and that's my fault. I should have paid more attention to it while it was parked and refused to show it before it was ready. I still haven't listed it for sale yet.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Just Plane Awesome!

Talk about cool, this just about tops the list.

A 4 engine RC B-17 with a 19 foot wingspan and weighs 187 lbs. As complicated and time consuming as it was to build, I can't imagine taking the controls and risking all that work becoming a very expensive lawn dart. Multi engine flying is a completely different kind of flying... altogether! Doing it remote controlled is just crazy.

But kudos to the pilot, he did a fantastic job even after losing an engine in flight and makes a perfect landing. I wish I spoke German so I could understand what they are saying, but I pretty much got the gist of it. Kind of odd, Austrians building a B-17. What's next, a Japanese RC B-29?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Got Verizon?

Verizon is giving the feds phone records for all of its US customers

Of course if you have nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about. Right?

The National Security Agency is gathering telephone records of all Verizon customers — who number in the tens of millions — in the U.S., a bombshell report revealed Wednesday.
The top-secret court order, obtained by the Guardian newspaper, requires the carrier to hand over information regarding phone calls — which does not include actual conversations — on an “ongoing, daily basis” to the FBI.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Joe Duty's days may be numbered

Chicago Sun Times Fires All Its Photographers To Replace Them With iPhones

In a shocking sign of things to come one of the nation's major newspapers has fired its entire photojournalism department and replaced them with reporter's iPhones.

An internal memo reads:
The Chicago Sun-Times is training its journalists in iPhone camera work to replace its staff photographers, who were all laid off last week.

The training commences on Friday and will include “iPhone photography basics”, as well as capturing and editing video on iOS, and uploading it to the appropriate social sites, according to a staff memo leaked by Sun-Times stalwart Robert Feder:

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be working with all editorial employees to train and outfit you as much as possible to produce the content we need.

These sessions will be mandatory and will concentrate on several areas:

iPhone photography basics
Video and basic editing
Transmission and social media

… Suggestions on topics, in particular, are definitely worthwhile.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I decided not to fight the law because they would win.



I got it on very good authority that, believe this or not, almost every DOT officer in the state of Texas will be in Wise County Roadcheck 2013 takes place on June 4, 5 & 6th. They will be doing an intensive sweep inspecting 18 wheelers, dually pickups and ANY vehicle pulling a trailer.

That means if you are Jimmy Joe Bob Nobody driving down the road in your dually to get a burger at Chico Mart, you are subject to being stopped for absofreakinglutely no reason other than the private vehicle you are driving has extra wheels. If you're driving a car pulling any kind of trailer, expect the same. If you happen to have a CDL you get the whole DOT enchilada with extra sauce even if it's your private vehicle.

(Guess who's not driving the F350 next week!)

This "fund raiser" has prompted many companies (all of the ones I contract with) to plan on shutting down during their 3 day sweep. Of course there will be plenty of out of state truckers to feed the Kitty off of, but the lack of local trucking participation will increase the odds of smaller vehicles pulled over. [cough]But there's no ticket quota.[/cough]

Trust me, if they pull you over you will get a ticket. I once had a Texas DOT Trooper tell me he could write at least a dozen citations on a brand new truck or he wasn't looking close enough.



UPDATE: You probably noticed the edit above. My source was a wee bit off on the facts. It wasn't a sweep on Wise County, it was a nationwide sweep.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bored, bored, bored, bored bored

Did I mention I was bored? 

It's been painfully slow around the South 40 lately and my feet are starting to itch. No, not a fungus among us. I need to get outa Dodge. The latest destination that sounds enticing is Colorado trout fishing. It's something I've never done and always wanted to try. Seeing as how I've been whittling away at my Bucket List, it kinda fits right in.

I actually lived in Colorado for a few months after I was discharged from the Coast Guard, but it was in the metro Denver area and I ha-ha-hated it. The cherry on top was when my Suzuki GS-750 was stolen leaving me afoot. I couldn't get a plane outa there and back to Texas fast enough.

As much as I hate Denver, I really love the mountains. My favorite part of trucking was driving thru the Rockies. It's amazing scenery, but unfortunately you don't get the chance to stop and explore. Then there's the hauling 40 Tons down the side of a mountain thing that kinda distracts you. All in all, not the best way to take in what nature has to offer.

This time I want to trek into the mountains and work my way thru the fishing hot spots. Although it might be pretty ugly because I've only fished for bass and catfish with a Zebco, not including the one deep sea trip I took in Belize. Fly fishing is an entirely different kind of fishing, altogether.



I've been looking at the Colorado Fishing Atlas and think the Fairplay and Snowmass areas might be pretty cool to check out. Seems to be quite a bit of public access with good fishing reports. The scenery ain't bad around there, either.

I do have a few hurdles to overcome before I can do this. Not the least of which is my RV. I don't want to drive it to Colorado and back. Plus I would be pretty much stranded once I got there since I don't have a tow vehicle.
May the Schwartz be with you.

When I bought Eagle 5 I had planned to only use it at Texas Motor Speedway on race weekends and didn't need an extra vehicle. What I need to do is sell it and buy a 5th wheel camper I can tow with my F350. If this goes as most wheeling and dealing does, it will take some time.

Guess the first thing I need to do is give the old girl a good scrubbing inside and out, make sure that everything is still in tip top shape then put it on Craigslist. Next I've got to find a 5th wheel in good shape that doesn't cost and arm and a leg.

Like I said, hurdles. By the time I get all this accomplished there will probably be 15' of powder covering everything and I'll be covered up with work. But that's my gameplan and I'm sticking to it.

UPDATE: Holy cow word travels fast. I casually mentioned it to one person yesterday and I've already had somebody show up out of the blue to look at it. I haven't even started cleaning it up yet (which it needs worse than I thought). Guess I'll be doing some scrubbing tomorrow.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Okie Spirit


Saw this on Facebook. Man, you gotta hand it to Okies. They may be down, but they're not out.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

On The Radar: We're The Millers


Jennifer Aniston plays a stripper. Chance of me seeing this film, 100%.

Monday, May 20, 2013

RIP Ray Manzarek


Keyboardist and founding member of The Doors has passed away. Ray Manzarek was 74.


Friday, May 17, 2013

This Really Happened

As long as we're getting musical...

This Ol' Cowboy



No particular reason to post this other than I really like the tune. Pretty sure I'll get a thumbs up from The Don.

Only time will tell.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Missed it by that much!"

The tornadoes that swung thru Southern Montague and Northern Wise counties last night narrowly missed The South 40. In fact there's a picture of a tornado on the ground about a mile from here on the Messenger website. It was close enough I could hear the roar, but luckily no damage.

The folks at the Top O' The Lake Country Club at Amon Carter Lake just north of me weren't so lucky.

Where's my truck?!?!




A former Team Manager for Jennifer Jo Cobb's NASCAR Nationwide Series team apparently stole her transporter. He claims innocence but tweeted "Today she was the windshield & I was the bug". I'm no simple country lawyer, but I think that was probably a bad idea.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Test


Keith at Bag of Nothing recently brought up Scott Pelley of CBS News. That made me recall my "Brush With Greatness". Back in 1983 I was a long haired street urchin (a/k/a DJ) at KWCS-FM. I also worked as a stringer (freelance reporter) for WFAA-TV. It was a particularly slow news day, but there was a huge tire fire just outside Bridgeport so I called it in to Hugh Scalon that ran the newsroom. They sent "Telecopter 8" to cover the story with a news crew led by an up and coming young reporter, Scott Pelley.

It was after dark by the time they reached the fire and the pilot was worried about trying to land near power lines and small trees. Hugh called me back at the radio station and I wound up being a Forward Air Controller via relay. I told them about the only helipad I knew of at the old Bridgeport Hospital but the pilot couldn't locate it.

"Do you see the Dairy Queen sign? Go 3 blocks west."

With that problem solved, now they were over a mile away and needed ground transportation. Being a responsible employee entrusted with watching the transmitter and programming, I naturally turned everything on automatic and left. I had about 90 minutes of music and commercials if nothing screwed up. To be honest, I did call another employee that lived next door and asked him to monitor the station for me, just in case.

I hopped in my tiny Dodge Shelby Charger 2.2 and ran into town. It was the pilot, a 3 man news crew and their ENG (Electronic News Gathering) gear jammed into my little sports car. Cameras, portable VCR's and their batteries were huge back then. The sound guy was forced to ride in the hatchback. We drove out to the fire with Scott asking me questions about the area all the way there.

After they got what they needed we headed back to the helo. When they got out I apologized for the cramped ride and told them I had to hurry back to the station before my tapes ran out. Scott walked up to me, shook my hand and thanked me for all the help. The other guys said thanks and waved but, Scott took the extra step to shake my hand and look me in the eye. That always stuck with me. He was genuine, the real deal and not a whiff of BS about him. Definitely not your typical "TV talent".

I knew from that moment that Scott Pelley was going places. I had no idea it would be Walter Cronkite's seat. But if ever there was anyone worthy of continuing the tradition of Murrow and Cronkite, it's Scott Pelley.

In 2009 Scott was asked to give the Commencement Speech at Texas Tech. Being a native of Lubbock and a former Tech student (he dropped out to take the job at KXAS) he proudly accepted. His speech was moving and inspirational. He's the same genuine, no BS guy. He is indeed the real deal. It's well worth 20 minutes of your time to hear him speak about "The Test".

UPDATE: Seems my opinion is shared by those that matter. Scott was just named recipient of the 20th annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award.