Ooooh noooo… Your building fell down and junk!

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.

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

Been a while

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

The National Turkey

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

The TSA crossed a line

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.

Auburn Football Wins, Tree Loses.

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

You might have high blood pressure if…

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

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Creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle Passes

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

More EPA wisdom for the good of all, of course.

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

Happy Birthday Delosd

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