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Have Satellite Truck, Will Travel. — LiveJournal
If I wasn't doing this, I'd be a pirate!

Tehachapi, CA - Have you ever looked at something someone else did and thought to yourself, "They did that on purpose…" This is the Lou Ruvo Center fro Brain Health in Las Vegas, NV. They deal with brain injuries, post stroke and dementia patients. Their architect came up with this design for the building, apparently representing the perceptions or realities of a damaged brain. Can't really say for sure.

More pictures under the cut.Collapse )

Abstract art: a product of the untalented sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.
- Al Capp

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Current Location: Hotel Room
Current Mood: blank blank
Current Music: Silence

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Scene from I-15 in California, just east of Los Angeles.

Grants, NM - It has been a while since writing here. That time came with some long hard months filled with stress and pain. Some of those things are too painful to write about just now. Other things it would do no good to write about. Still others were just my own damn fault. (Got to work on that putting too much trust in other people thing.)

So this is kind of like starting over with a clean slate. What better way then a photo that Bob Ross would have been happy to paint?

Birth and death; we all move between these two unknowns.
- Bryant H. McGill


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President Obama issued a general pardon commuting the death sentence hanging over the National Turkey. Joe Biden is said to be greatly relieved.

Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.
- W. C. Fields

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Over the years in these pages I defended the TSA and their security measures taken in the wake of September 11th. I felt most of standards and procedures were reasonable based on the moronic twisted rules (No profiling for one) the TSA is forced to work under.

That was until I saw this video:

Ok, pulling off a T-shirt is not exactly a strip search. But it does not take away from what we are witnessing. Watch the pat down after the shirt comes off very carefully.

No one, and I do indeed mean NO ONE, would strip and touch my child in that manner on probable cause based solely on possession of an airline boarding pass. It doesn't matter that it was conducted there in public with two other TSA personnel looking on or out of the public eye. I assure you that would not have happened to my child.

Yes that is a battle I would lose. We are talking arrest, jail, bail, charges, fines and permanent records. But there are some lines even my government shall not cross. That video clearly shows agents of the TSA stepping way over that line. There are some things I simply will not sell out for. My children rate really high on that list.

There is no proof anywhere, no one has said anything to this effect, but it is my belief the "enhanced" pat downs are punishment for refusing to go through the new body scanners. My theory is TSA management believes if they make refusing the full body scan unpleasant enough, the vast majority of us will happily go through the full body scanner.

Enough is enough. It is time we as a country decide to grow up and start dealing with our security problems in a mature rational manner. Rational means politically correct words like "profiling" become irrelevant to security practices. That means a complete and total revamping of security systems and procedures (popularly known as Security Theater by some reading this) surrounding airports.

The United States should have followed the Israeli model from day one. The Israelis are under far greater threat then we are. (Were?) Most people don't even realize they are being screened when going through the Israeli process.

Check out this article on how Israel handles their airport security.

"The first thing you do is to look at who is coming into your airport," said Sela.

The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?

"Two benign questions. The questions aren't important. The way people act when they answer them is," Sela said.

Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of "distress" — behavioural profiling. Sela rejects the argument that profiling is discriminatory.

"The word 'profiling' is a political invention by people who don't want to do security," he said. "To us, it doesn't matter if he's black, white, young or old. It's just his behaviour. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I'm doing this?"
The Toronto Star: The 'Israelification' of airports: High security, little bother

I highly recommend reading the entire article. It is very clear and very eye opening.

As much as it pains me to admit this, the fact is our government beginning to cross some real lines here. We are not talking artificial tempests created in virtual teapots like Boing-Boing or the Daily Show here. This is not an urban myth like suggestions the government is tapping every cell phone call in the United States. This is hard evidence of a system gone nuts.

I find it impossible to believe that partially stripping and then groping that young man in front of the entire airport screening area audience is a reasonable security measure.

"Goodbye commercial flying, hello No Fly List."
- Me after proofing this post.

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Current Location: Home
Current Mood: angry Flaming Death on a Stick
Current Music: TV - 60 Minutes

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The TP-tree at Magnolia and College in Auburn, AL.

Auburn, AL - I don't get this. Somehow, sometime ago it became traditional to cover this tree (and everything else in sight) with toilet paper whenever the Auburn Football team wins. The people charged with this responsibility are remarkably diligent in their duty.

There has got to be a great story behind this. Other then it began in the 1970s, no one seems to know exactly how this ritual of thanks came to pass..

More Pictures

These young ladies really wanted to help with the photo mission. I want to thank them for all their kind efforts. It really was a boost to the effort. Really.

A culprit and her accessory caught in the act. (Can't you just hear the theme from Cops playing in the background?)

Even the fire hydrant was not spared.

And a good time was had by all.

"A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn't easy. You may ask 'Why do we stay up there if it's so dangerous?' Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: tradition!"
- Reb Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof

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Current Location: Aubrun Diner
Current Music: Restaurant Noise

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This pretty much describes the mood of the electorate from all political views.

My daughter drew this cartoon based on an inspiration from my cousin. Feel free to pass it on.

Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against.
- W. C. Fields

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Current Location: Home
Current Music: TV - Fox News

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You might have high blood pressure if...

- The machine says "Flaming Death on a Stick" when the test is finished.
- The inflatable cuff around your arm pops like a cheap balloon.
- The machine displays a message directing you to the "Industrial Model" on your right.
- The entire Eastern Seaboard blacks out during the test.
- The test stops and the machine tells you to "sit quietly, remain calm, paramedics are on the way."
- The fire sprinklers over your head go off during the test.
- The machine asks if your living will is up to date.
- At the conclusion of the test a spectral cloaked and hooded figure bearing a large scythe appears in front of you. It is staring at you, slowly shaking its head.

One way to get high blood pressure is to go mountain climbing over molehills.
- Earl Wilson

Current Location: Home
Current Music: TV - Peoples Court

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In 1959, Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose made their network television premier on ABC. For the next seven years, "Moose and Squirrel" entertained millions, thwarting Boris and Natasha, delivering Fractured Fairytales and traveling through history via the WABAK (WAY-back) with Peabody and Sherman.

As a youngster much of the humor went over my head. 15 years later as an adult I rediscovered the series and never laughed so hard. The show was written for adults too. To this day Rocky and Bullwinkle still brings my channel surfing to a halt.

Rocky, Bullwinkle and Dudley originally came from the imagination of Alex Anderson. Anderson died last Friday at the age of 90. He left a legacy of hundreds of millions who all got a laugh from his work. There is almost no one of my generation that doesn't know who Dudley Do-right is.

Thanks Alex. You and Jay Ward brought smiles to more then you can ever know. It was a little taste of home in bad place far, far away.

"Hey Rocky, wanna see me pull a rabbit out of my hat?"
- Bullwinkle J. Moose

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Current Location: Home
Current Music: TV - NCIS

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Lenoir, TN - In yet another stroke of stunning consequences-be-damned thinking the EPA, acting under a directive from the idiots leading Congress, are going to increase the percentage of ethanol allowed in gasoline blends. The old line was 10%, the new line is 15%.

In a move that triggered immediate, furious controversy, the government said Wednesday that gasoline now may contain up to 15% ethanol — grain alcohol, usually from corn in the U.S. — instead of just 10%.

The Environmental Protection Agency ruling approves E15 only for 2007 model and newer cars and trucks. But EPA hinted it soon will include vehicles back to 2001. "Thorough testing has now shown that E15 does not harm" newer vehicles, EPA chief Lisa Jackson said.
USA Today: Ethanol content of gasoline can be 15%, up from 10% now

The EPA says that this blend is currently only legal in 2007 or newer cars. But how are they going to guarantee that fuel stays out of older cars in states that require ethanol blended gasoline? I think we are about out of nozzle sizes. We could go to the round peg in the square hole concept, but what about all those 2007 and newer vehicles already on the road? It will be even worse if they extend the standard retroactively to the 2001 models. (Wonder if we can get that "won't hurt newer cars" in writing…)

This new glitch in logical thinking will finish what "Cash For Clunkers" started. Older vehicles designed before the Gasahol craze with rubber based parts in the fuel system are already suffering some damage from the alcohol in the fuel. The 50% increase in ethanol will rapidly accelerate that damage. Those cars will either have to undergo costly repairs or they will scrapped.

It does not take a social engineer, in depth surveys or the US census to tell us who drives the vast majority of older vehicles on the road today. Those are people that can least afford to replace them. A brief and highly unscientific survey among the servers here at the Cracker Barrel in Lenoir, TN reveals that 7 out of 11 drive vehicles from the 1990s. Only one drives a car that is newer then 2007.

This change in fuel blends eat a lot of tip money. Money most of these severs say they don't have.

For an administration that is supposed to be all about the little guy, they sure spend a lot of time screwing him.

Oh yeah, almost forgot. Hope you aren't too fond of that trusty old lawn mower. If it even runs on that mix, it will probably kill it in just a few tanks of the 15% blend.

As we all know, no crude oil refineries have been built in the United States since 1976. During that time, close to 100 ethanol refineries have been built.
- John Shimkus

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Current Location: Cracker Barrel
Current Music: Restaurant noise and screming infants

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Have fun, party hard, don't do anything I wouldn't do. Take two whole wheat pieces of toast and a half grapefruit out of petty cash.


For my birthday I got a humidifier and a de-humidifier... I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.
- Steven Wright

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Freshly minted Nobel Prize Winner Professor Ei-ichi Negishi addressing the announcement press conference.

West Lafayette, IN - Today finds me on the campus of Purdue University making television for a Japanese television network. Professor Ei-ichi Negishi won a Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling. As I understand it, the process will revolutionize many industries from electronics to DNA marking to possible cures for cancer.

Here's the cultural difference.

Professor Negishi is Japanese. The Japanese media and people are praising him as a hero, someone to be looked up to and a roll model to follow. In fact the parking lot here outside the Dauch Alumni Center is crawling with Japanese print and electronic media tripping over themselves to get this story out. It ran live on all the national morning shows in Japan. They are still here preparing for their evening news shows. (Japan is ahead of eastern time by 13 hours.)

As for US media, two of the local TV stations showed up for the 11:00 a.m. presser. One rolled tape and left. The other went live at noon, then left. There was a shooter from Associate Press TV that shot the presser then uploaded the video to the home office. If you see anything about this on any of the national networks, that is probably where it came from.

There were no other takers from the US media.

Had this been Mel Gibson with his highly public foot in his mouth again, some wayward sports star busted in a massage parlor sting or the latest octo-mom type of event, the US media would have been the ones tripping all over themselves. The morning show bookers would be slitting one another's throats trying to get that exclusive one on one interview. Photographers and satellite trucks would be camped on the street outside the subject's home waiting for the slightest glimpse of the even subject's cat so they can be first on the air with it. Neighbors that never met the subject would be getting face time while explaining their take on the incident d'jour.

The US Media does publicize winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. Take for instance Jimmy Carter's 2002 win, apparently for rolling over and playing dead rather then nipping that Iranian thing in the bud while we had the chance. Let us not forget the 2007 award went to Al Gore for his work strengthening The Church of Global Warming.

But you are going to be hard pressed to find more then a couple paragraphs buried in the back of the paper or more then a 15 second mention on television about anyone winning an award of any kind for the hard sciences.

So while the Japanese media publicize Nobel Prize winners, we in the US would rather check out Lindsay Lohan's latest screw up. One of us is doing something wrong. The standings of US students in the world rankings should be no surprise to anyone.

If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn't have been worth the Nobel Prize.
- Richard P. Feynman

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Current Location: In the truck, where else?
Current Music: Conversation

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Ft. Pierce, FL - Can you believe they actually pay me to do this?

The trouble with photographing beautiful women is that you never get into the dark room until after they've gone.
- Yousuf Karsh

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Current Location: Just abother $89 a night room
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: Hotel Doors Slamming

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I made these buttons just for that low life, scum sucking, lying sack of waste material currently impersonating my Representative in the United States Congress. That would be Allen Boyd (Liar-FL).

Rep. Boyd lied to the town hall gatherings when he said he could not support the healthcare bill.

Friday morning before the vote he was still in the no column. But Friday afternoon, shortly after all his offices closed a mass e-mailed press release went out to most of the national media and the local media in his district stating he was not only voting for the health bill, he was giving it his full support.

This is not his first sin against the people of his district. Nor was it his last. But it was the most grievous.

So these buttons are just for Congressman Boyd. I made them with my own two hands. Anyone living or working in his district that promises to wear one may have one free of charge. Heck, I'll even give you a spare.

Here is hoping for not just a Republican win, but a landslide victory in favor of honesty, integrity and just a little back bone. Qualities that are severely lacking in our district right now.

"The way the [Healthcare] bill stands now there is no way I can support it"
- Congressman Allen Boyd during the Monticello, FL town hall meeting

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Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
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The environmental nut-jobs have taken their brand of stupidity to new and previously unimagined heights. Check this out:

Lost in the images of aircraft dropping giant red plumes of retardant on a Colorado wildfire this week is the fact that the practice may not be legal under federal environmental laws.

A federal judge in July declared that the government's current plan for dropping retardant on fires is illegal, and he gave the U.S. Forest Service until the end of next year to find a more environmentally friendly alternative.

The aerial assaults have become a permanent fixture of television and media coverage of wildfires in recent years as planes and helicopters drop big loads of red chemicals over blazes. But environmentalists say the efforts are essentially public relations stunts that can send millions of gallons of hazardous chemicals into waterways while doing little to contain fires.
The Associated Press: Fire retardant drops come under scrutiny in West

So… Would the environmentalists prefer the fire? What about all the wildlife death that goes along with it? I don't think fires discriminate between endangered and non-endangered species.

Andy Stahl of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, argued his case by telling the court any farmer that puts fertilizer into a creek or river knows he can go to jail for it. It would appear this clueless idiot cannot tell the difference between farming and fire fighting. I wonder if any of these idiots considered the collateral damage from the forest fire. From what I remember the ash, heat thinned tree sap and charred debris poisons the streams and lakes far more thoroughly then over splash form a slurry drop.

What is even more shocking then Stahl's stupidity is that a federal judge actually signed off on it.  Last July U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy gave the forest service to the end of 2012 to come up with something more environmentally friendly. Does that mean we have to stop slurry drops on wild fires beginning in 2013? If that is the case, California and the southwest are going to have a hellacious 2013 fire season.

So the environmentalists believe human lives and property are to be allowed to burn rather then risk collateral damage from a slurry drop.  Think these clowns might want that slurry drop if they or their homes happened to be in the immediate path of a fire?

I wanted to pursue information on the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, but nothing comes up on Google other then the news stories about this case. Guess their idea of the web is something strung between two trees in a forest.

If our country goes down the crapper, one of the root causes is going to this casting aside common sense in favor of extremist ideology.

I resent the fact that people in places like Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco believe that they should be able to tell us how to live our lives, operate our businesses, and what to do with the land that we love and cherish.
- Wilford Brimley

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Current Music: TV - Star Trek TNG on BBC

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"While other ran out, they ran in."

Gainesville, FL - On this anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington and Flight 93 I would like to take a moment to recognize those who ran in while everyone else was running out. Those are the police, fire and EMS personnel who were just trying to help. Many gave their lives. Many more were injured.

Most are still haunted by dreams of the things they witnessed on and after that terrible day. I know I am.

After the chaos and carnage of September 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers.
- George W. Bush

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Current Location: Texas Roadhouse
Current Music: Restaurant noise and screming infants

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