Archive for September, 2011

Random observations from the day.

September 21, 2011

• Sign on the fence at Kelly Field Annex, aka the former Kelly Air Force Base on San Antonio’s southwest side (paraphrased): “No parking, photography or loitering.”

Me: “Well. What a bunch of gorramed spoilsports!”

It was pretty neat to get to see the F-16 take off, though, especially when the pilot opened up the throttle. 😉 But then there was one sitting on the tarmac a few minutes later, with its engine running, taunting me. “Take off, you bastard!” Never did…

• A squeaky belt tensioner is an annoyance, albeit a minor one compared to having to keep to the bus schedule if I want to go anywhere. Man, is it ever good to have my wheels back.

• I don’t give a damn how cheesy Queensryche’s Empire (the album) might have sounded; the greatness of “Anybody Listening” more than cancels it all out. I bought that cd more than two years ago and that song still gives me goosebumps. (Funny how, as far as I could tell, few if any people bitched about the love songs on Rage for Order or Operation: Mindcrime. Can’t say that I ever quite understood that…)

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I sort of suspected this…

September 21, 2011

…but I wasn’t quite sure it was the case.

I don’t know about all you other folks who use Facebook, but if my news feed is any indication the New Facebook is going over about like New Coke did. I had that thought and just for grins I put “New Coke” in teh Google. I’d heard Coke Classic differed from the actual original formula and wanted to see if perhaps I could find out what it was, and sure enough

Many who tasted the reintroduced formula were not convinced that the first batches really were the same formula that had supposedly been retired that spring. This is partially true because Coca-Cola Classic differed from the original formula, as all bottlers who hadn’t already done so were using high fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar to sweeten the drink.

Also, according to Snopes, five years before New Coke was rolled out, bottlers were allowed to replace half the cane sugar with high-fructose corn syrup — and about three months before New Coke came out, pretty much all Coke was being made with high-fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar.

So, it would seem, Mexican Coke is pretty much the bona fide Coke of the olden days. Who knew?

Speak for yourself, guy…

September 20, 2011

…or, God, I am such a curmudgeon….

“If you took any teenager in 1991, they probably wanted to sound like Nirvana or Green Day to a point. Today, my influences come from my life and my family and the (expletive) I go through every day. But starting out, hell yes, you want to be somebody like John Lennon or Kurt Cobain.”

I guess it just goes to show you how stuck in the ’80s I was even as a young teenager that even back in 1991 I didn’t think Nirvana was anything to write home about. I was mainly into country back then, and my forays into other genres largely consisted of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Motley Crue and the like. Not that I run screaming from them, but just like Lennon and the Beatles, I find Cobain and Nirvana to be incredibly overrated. And yes, I thought that even before I discovered real metal.

But then I managed to be somewhat happy as a teenager, which may be why I never found Cobain and company’s music to be something that spoke to me…

No, actually, it wasn’t that demeaning at all.

September 19, 2011

From the letters to the editor in today’s Express-News:

In the Sept. 11 Express-News, on the first page of the Comics section, the cartoon Zits displayed a panel of three people hugging and the comment, “Seriously … do we have to do this every September 11th?”

I firmly believe in our right to freedom of the press, but do we have to do it in such a demeaning manner? There was nothing humorous about the events of 9/11 and the victims don’t need further suffering from a comic strip. Can’t we be more considerate and respectful of others?

I saw the cartoon and really didn’t find it to be a big deal. Messrs. Scott and Borgman might have been trying to be funny, but they did make a good point even if it was inadvertent. Most if not all the Sept. 11 commemorations treated the whole thing as it were some sort of freak weather event instead of what it really was, and the whole thing was more than a little off-putting, at least to me. That’s pretty much why you didn’t see a related post here on that day. I didn’t really care to recount where I was, and vis-a-vis the whole “terrorist attack” angle I really just didn’t have the words. I just went about my daily business; the way I saw it that was the best way for me to poke my finger in the eye of the movement responsible, considering I wasn’t, say, somewhere in Al-Anbar province drawing a bead on someone with an M24.

Do we have to do that “where were you and how did it make you feel” ritual every September 11? It all just seems so useless and counterproductive. I’m all about the not forgetting, but it seems a vital part of it would be to remember who the hell did it and do our damnedest to make sure they don’t do it again — or at least make sure they know the consequences if they do.

“All right, Osama. You called down the thunder. Well, now you got it. You see that? It says, ‘United States Marines.’ The Islamists are finished. You understand me? I see jihadis, I kill ’em. So run, you cur. Run! Tell all the other curs the Marines are comin’! You tell ’em I’m comin’! And hell’s comin’ with me, you hear? Hell’s comin’ with me!

So, Texas bloggers, where all have YOU been in our fine state?

September 18, 2011

Inspired by this post from Borepatch, with all the towns in Texas that I’ve either been to or driven through in bold. (Click here if you wanna hear the song; it’s by far my favorite version of it. The only version I can even remotely stand, let alone crank every time it comes on!)

I was totin’ my pack along the dusty Amarillo road
when along came a semi with a high and canvas covered load.
“If you’re goin’ to Amarillo, Mack, with me you can ride,”
and so I climbed up in the cab and then I settled down inside.
He asked me if I’d seen a road with so much dust and sand,
and I said, “listen, bud, I’ve traveled every road in this here land…”

I’ve been everywhere, man,
I’ve been everywhere, man,
I’ve crossed the deserts bare, man,
breathed the mountain air, man,
of travel I’ve had my share, man,
I’ve been everywhere.

I’ve been to Waco, Hico, Hondo, Navasota,
Winnsboro, Jacksboro, Hillsboro, Santa Rosa,
Austin, Houston, Galveston, Texarkana,
Frisco, Buffalo, Conroe, Corsicana,
Goliad, Groesbeck, Glen Rose, Red Oak,
Post Oak, Live Oak, Lone Oak, no joke…

I’ve been everywhere, man,
I’ve been everywhere, man,
I’ve crossed the deserts bare, man,
breathed the mountain air, man,
of travel I’ve had my share, man,
I’ve been everywhere.

I’ve been to Krugerville, Pflugerville, Van Horn, Val Verde,
Brackettville, Bartonville, Beeville, Bulverde,
Bear Creek, Cedar Creek, Mill Creek, Mineola,
Maypearl, Monahans, Telephone, Tuscola,
Redwater, Round Rock, Round Top, Round Lake,
Sour Lake, Southlake, Springlake, for Pete’s sake…

I’ve been everywhere, man,
I’ve been everywhere, man,
I’ve crossed the deserts bare, man,
breathed the mountain air, man,
of travel I’ve had my share, man,
I’ve been everywhere.

I’ve been to Greenville, Gatesville, Gainesville, Alameda,
Kerrville, Kellyville, Bastrop, Benavides,
Somerville, Smithville, Stephenville, Prairie View,
Luckenbach, Longview, Plainview, Idalou,
Justin, Junction, Panorama, Pasadena,
Angelina, and Lorena…see what I mean-a…

I’ve been everywhere, man,
I’ve been everywhere, man,
I’ve crossed the deserts bare, man,
breathed the mountain air, man,
of travel I’ve had my share, man,
I’ve been everywhere.

I’ve been to Valley Mills, Pine Mills, Dime Box, Duncanville,
New Home, New Hope, New Deal, Liberty Hill,
Rockport, Rock Creek, Bridgeport, Brownwood,
Cleburne, Comanche, Cut & Shoot, Cottonwood,
Bayview, Bayside, Baytown, Bay City,
Falls City, Center City, Bridge City, what a pity…

I’ve been everywhere, man,
I’ve been everywhere, man,
I’ve crossed the deserts bare, man,
breathed the mountain air, man,
of travel I’ve had my share, man,
I’ve been everywhere.

When it comes to travelin’ Texas, friend,
I’ve been everywhere.

Can’t beat a man who shoots, either.

September 17, 2011

I loved this comment to this story:

Never fight an old man. They know they are not strong enough to beat you so they will just shoot you.

I’d be interested to see what kinds of behavior the victim’s wife was putting up with from him, considering how he allegedly got violent with that old man. Sounds like she might need a gun too…

Operation: Thoughtcrime, maybe…

September 16, 2011

So pretty much everybody’s had their say on this. Such evoked some Operation: Mindcrime for That Guy. I thought of another Queensryche song that’d also be quite apt:

Uniform printout reads end of line. Protect code intact leaves little time.

Erratic surveys, freethinking not allowed. My hands shake, my pushbuttons silence the outside crowd.

One-world government has outlawed war among nations. Now social control requires population termination.

Have we come too far to turn around?

Why not be a real journalist…

September 15, 2011

…and report what he actually said?

The tea party is turning from the voice of anger to its target, and Republicans have it hanging around their neck. The first trumpet blast of wrath came in labor leader James Hoffa’s intemperate call at a Democratic rally to — and I tone him down — turn its candidates out of office.

Oh, right. That wouldn’t fit with the narrative Froma Harrop’s trying to spin here. Anyone who’s been paying even the slightest bit of attention knows the Tea Party has been catching shit ever since they came on the scene from everyone who’s afraid of their gravy train getting derailed. And how does Harrop explain this?

In a special election to replace disgraced Rep. Anthony Wiener, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dropped $485,000 into the coffers of David Weprin.  The Hill reported that “the House Majority PAC, a Democratic outside group, will also help Weprin with a six-figure ad buy that will run on cable and broadcast television.”

Bill Clinton campaigned for Weprin.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo campaigned for Weprin. The New York Times endorsed Weprin.

A Republican hadn’t won in New York’s 9th Congressional District since 1921.  Barack Obama won the district with 55 percent of the vote in 2008.  That same year, Weiner defeated Republican Bob Turner, Weprin’s opponent, by 22 points.

Despite the money, despite the high-profile support, despite the endorsements, despite the history of the district, Turner is headed to a stunning victory in the special election.  In the latest vote total, Turner leads Weprin 53 percent to 46 percent.

I wonder if Froma Harrop (or E.J. Dionne, for that matter) is familiar with the phrase “whistling past the graveyard.”

Uh, you can already do that.

September 14, 2011

A letter-writer in this morning’s Express-News, pining for light rail:

I look forward to the day I can travel around here without driving a car.

So, apparently the last couple of days of me riding the VIA buses took place in some parallel universe. I rode from the northeast side (close to FM 78) to the kids’ old school off Hackberry Street on the south side and back yesterday, and the day before yesterday I rode over to Vance Jackson Road on the near-northwest side and back, with breakfast sandwiched between rides (or, rather, wrapped in a flour tortilla with some brisket).

Seriously, you can go just about anywhere in this city without having to get in a car. VIA has buses that will take you to The Rim, way the hell out and gone on the northwest side! And there’s fairly easy access to several other popular shopping and dining establishments — North Star Mall, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy (on the other corner of Loop 410 & San Pedro), HEB, Walmart, and pretty much any other destination you’d care to name. Seriously, it strikes me that light rail is a solution in search of a problem.

Just because they can, doesn’t mean they should.

September 14, 2011

Yeah, I have a real problem with this column. Not necessarily because of what Brady says in it, but because he’s specifically calling out somebody who wrote a letter to the editor. He has the right to do that, and the Express-News has a right to run it, but there’s just something unseemly about calling out a single letter-writer in a column. It strikes me that such shows Brady to be rather thin-skinned, that he can dish it out but he can’t take it. I shudder to think about what he’d have said about me if I’d written in about his lack of respect for the First Amendment.

Of course, the second comment to that post probably explains a lot about Patrick Brady’s mentality.