Monday, December 31, 2012


May the best parts of the old year be the worst parts of the new year for you and yours.

Enjoy  - -  Bear

Another Bluegrass Loss div

When I was adding the addendum of 2012 losses to Saturday's Bluegrass post, I  didn't know that Mike Auldridge was passing away at his home in Silver Spring.
I've enjoyed his gentle style and superb musicianship for many years. He'll be missed.
This morning's obit from the Post really says it all.

RIP Mike.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass .... div

Rawhide by Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys circa 1971 -

Addendum - -  Was a sad year for Bluegrass with the loss of the banjos of Earl Scruggs, Doug Dillard and Joe "Snuffy" Smith. Also passing were guitarist Doc Watson, mandolinist Everett Lilly and radio personality Tom "Cat" Reeder.
The music will live on, RIP.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

St. Stephen's Day div

My favorite carol of the Christmas season (maybe because it's not religious). A fun version by the Irish Rovers.
Heed especially the final quatrain:

Therefore Christian men be sure,
Wealth or rank possessing.
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas div

I first heard John Henry Faulk's "Christmas Story" four years ago while sitting at the airport waiting for passengers. When it finished, I needed a kleenex.
I listen to this every year to remind me what the Christmas Spirit is all about.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass ..... Div

Conceived about a traffic jam here in the vicinity of the GWTP; would that they were so short ........ or as much fun !!

Mike Andes - Mandolin; Mitchell Davis - Banjo; Gary Farris - Guitar; Chris Sexton - Fiddle; Tont Shorter  - Bass

HOW MUCH ??? ....... div

Yesterday, "Ricochet" Wayne LaPierre of the NRA advocated placing a "policeman" in every school in America. Since there are about 135,000 schools this would be a wonderful jobs program and drastically reduce unemployment.
Screw fixing our roads, bridges and other crumbling infrastructure with a "public works" program. Hell no. We want safety !!!! Our children come first !!!  - -  Er ....... except for healthcare or nutrition, then you are on your own.
Great idea Wayne. How we gonna pay for it ???????
Here again the math is the real killer.
Figure 135K schools @ one armed cop per school X a reasonable salary (say $30K per year) and you come up with a figure just over $4 BILLION. Now, figure in reasonable benefits (health, modest pension or 401k match) and mandatory requirements (proficiency training - to include ammunition and range time, psychological screening and liability insurance) and we're probably talking something closer to $6 Billion. And remember, this is every year.
Jesus H. Christ with a grenade launcher Wayne. We're arguing about budget cuts and effing asusterity in order to preserve tax cuts for the richest among us and the corporations that fund our Congress.
Last week, Melissa Henneberger of the Washington Post asked: "If guns alone — or even guns plus lousy treatment options — were the entire problem, why were no little red schoolhouses fired on in the Wild West, where everyone was armed and mental illness completely untreated?"

Gosh, Golly Wayne: don't you think there are a few places that maybe $6 Billion bucks could be better put to use ???

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Another's Experience .... Div ( place in hell subsection)

My heart goes out to this lady who has her own portion of hell to deal with. May she and her son find peace.
There but for fortune ............

(h/t Crooks and Liars )

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass ... div

Wonderful old fiddle tune: "Angelina Baker"

Blaine Sprouse - Fiddle; Mississippi Chris Sharp - Banjo; Bryan Hayes - Guitar; Clint Jordan - Resonator Guitar; Augie Joachim - Bass;

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Special Place in Hell ..... Div

Here we go again  - - -

  Another person with a gun (or two or three - not much known as yet) takes out his anger, frustration, vengeance or whatever with a firearm. It's becoming an almost daily occurrence here in our country. This time so many of the victims are, tragically,  children

I posted about this subject after the Aurora shooting incident back in July as did Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station. (Jim has gotten a lot more hate mail than I have   - -  and we're both gun owners !)

I don't know where our nation is going, but I do know there is a special place in hell for this guy - and anyone else that harms children.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Solutions .... div

This morning's "Pearls Before Swine" kinda sez it all, eh ???
Think of it, using just our Congress we could power the entire country.
......and FOX News would do everything else (including going to the moon and beyond).

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass div

Shenandoah Breakdown

Tony Trischka - Banjo, Mike Marshall - Mandolin, Bryan Sutton - Guitar, Darol Anger - Fiddle and Missy Raines - Bass

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Shipwreck Div ........ (Canadian subsection)

Today in 1917, at about this time, two ships collided in the Narrows section of the Halifax, Nova Scotia harbor. The resulting explosion killed and estimated 2000 people and leveled much of the city. At the time, it was the largest man-made explosion ever recorded.
When we were in Halifax this year, I was surprised at how many people had never heard of it.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass ..... div

Bryan Sutton - Guitar, Tim O'Brien - Mandolin, Pete Wernick - Banjo and Nick Forster - Bass

Friday, November 30, 2012

Watch What You Eat div (Snark subsection)

So David Frum thinks the menu at the White House luncheon for Mitt Romney was supposed to be funny ???

Obama served Romney white turkey chili? Was that meant to be funny?

What's next Dave ??  Black-Bottom pie for dessert ????

Thursday, November 29, 2012

This Just In - - Hold the Presses ....... div


This morning's op-ed page of the WaPo contained an interesting tidbit written by Mitt's Chief campaign strategist, Stuart Stevens . There wasn't any mea culpa or such, but a wonderful list of just how close Mr Romney came to capturing the hearts and minds ( not to mention the votes) of the American voting public.

Much was made about how, through a strenuous series of intra-party debates, Mitt won the hearts of Republicans over the likes of Michelle Crazy-Eyes, Cowboy Rick, 'lil Ricky, "marry me" Newt, 999 Herman, Grampy Gold-Standard and a couple of other also-rans. Talk about competition. (The only candidate who was worth a damn was Huntsman and we all know he was a "traitor").

I was surprised to learn: "While John McCain lost white voters younger than 30 by 10 points, Romney won those voters by seven points, a 17-point shift."
Funny, that's not what the Pew Organization found out.

Then there's this: "Nor are we idiots because we came a little more than 320,000 votes short of winning the electoral college in 2012." Well, Mr Stevens' concept of "a little more" (like about 25%, eh ??) leaves a bit to be desired.
Actually, the margin in the "swing / battleground" states was 407, 000 , but then again, who's counting. You can slice and dice it anyway you want and find justification in that if crazy uncle Cecil hadn't drunk a fifth of Old GrandDad the night before and had managed to find his driver's license and had managed to stagger down to the poling place and hadn't been waylaid by a sexy female poll monitor ......... well, you get the picture. The old saw that "if the hound hadn't stopped to take a shit, he'd a caught the rabbit" seems to be working here. Face it Mr Stevens, President Obama got more votes (i.e., he won).

"Mitt Romney carried the majority of every economic group except those with less than $50,000 a year."
I guess I won't belabor the point that almost 50% of the country earns around (or below) that $50K figure a year.

So, Mr Stevens (who won two out of three and like the Meatloaf song goes: " I want you, I need you, but there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you...") knows what really happened: the black guy won, but not by very much, really.

........... as always, the losers sit there sayin' "Shut up and deal."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Could Possibly Go Wrong ....... div

Every year, I receive notices of people who go out "messing around in boats" and fail to return to land ( at least while breathing). Usually they all include the mention of "no Lifejacket" (PFD). Many involve spiritous beverages.
At least in this case no one died. Though I'm sure that if they had, Walmart (as bad as it is) could not have been held responsible.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Watch What You Eat .... div

Remember that age old advice your mother gave you ???
There seems to be no end to the stupidity that abounds out there. It's not bad enough that the python is an ever increasing menace to wildlife in Florida; that now idiots are giving them away as prizes in contests. It makes even less sense when the contest is pretty gross and ends up killing you.

Maybe they should have just let his prize eat him, eh ???    ( I didn't bother to include the photo of the fully-grown deer removed from this guy - the snake that is).

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass .... Div (Contemporary subsection)

Heard this playing in a little shop on Prince Edward Island last month. Certainly not Maritime Canadian influenced, eh ??  One of my favorites of the "Newgrass" genre. The geographic references are a bit off,  ...........   and then, there's the video. But what the hell, if ain't fun, you shouldn't be doin' it !!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Today (yeah, it's Thanksgiving) ....... div

Though this year's "get ready to shop" holiday falls on the 22nd, how many of us remember where we were on this date in 1963 ??
It's one of those days in one's lifetime that (like 9/11 - to a younger generation) is as vividly remembered as if it were yesterday.
It was a clear, warm Friday, just after noon (my easy day) and I had just finished an engineering class at university. Walking to the parking lot to retrieve my (even then) ancient Volvo, a classmate from high school called out to me and asked if I'd heard the news. Naturally, I hadn't, and looked at him as if he were insane.
I can, even now, close my eyes and visualize every nuance of the day: the news reports, the speculation and the remainder of the weekend. Our holiday meal the following week was subdued and we hadn't yet, as a society, deteriorated into the rampant consumerism that burdens us today.
So, while the turkey is still warm and the pie uncut, take a moment and reflect (if you can) on another moment of our lost innocence.

Happy Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass ... div (International subsection)

A Group from the Netherlands - Four Wheel Drive - doing Daley's Reel

Joost van Es-Fiddle/. Jürgen Biller-Banjo. Jan Michielsen-Guitar, Alfred Bonk-Upright Bass. Edu Grin-Mandolin 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cutting off Nose ..... div

Seems another Arizonan is upset that Mr Obama won (and he's a comin' fer yer guns, ya kno). You really gotta click the link to appreciate this one.

I wonder how he's gonna check ???

Retrospectocracy .......... div

Been over a week now of being back in the United States of Reality and listening to all the printed pundits discussing the autopsy of the election and selecting just which bits of the pathology caused the demise of the Republican Party  (of course, there are some out there who say they really won, us normal folk just can't see it yet.).
But , why am I still receiving the various and sundry e-mails about stuff that didn't seem to pan out so far.

(h/t Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Safe Water .... div

What the hell is going on in Georgia ???
First we have one of their congressmen (who even sits on the House Science and Technology Committee) going bonkers.
Now the Republican end of the State legislature has broken with reality. They've even managed to get self-admitted liar Dick (heh) Morris to help them journey down the road to insanity.
Could it be the water ????
Who elects these people ???

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Every Vote Counts ..... div

With all the wailing and gnashing of teeth (not to mention the sackcloth and ashes) by Republicans over the election of that Kenyan, Communist, Muslim,  a woman in Arizona seems to have arrived at a better solution.  Despite her husband's lack of civic participation, Romney won there anyhow.
Go figure.

Jobs ......... div

I normally don't get to watch 60 Minutes since I'm out there risking my life and sanity navigating the pavement in and around the GWTP.
Since my "vacation" has been extended due to a rotten cold, I got the chance this past Sunday.
The segment on jobs  - - and the fact that there are so many of them out there without any "qualified" applicants was pretty amazing. A couple of things really struck me:
1) basic skills  - -  like showing up on time and paying attention  - - was really no shock. These are basic social skills that aren't being taught any longer. Perhaps it's the fact that families no longer sit down and eat dinner anymore or that Mom and Dad are so busy holding down two jobs each that they can't recognize their kids.
2) The business owner saying that he had no need to train his people. What, you expect workers (and at $12 bucks an hour for a machinist) to spring fully formed like Athena from the forehead of Zeus ??
Used to be that unions (before they became management institutions) trained apprentices to fill vacancies.
3) the fact that basic supply and demand  - -  i.e. the marketplace  - -  seems to have failed. If there aren't enough applicants (low supply), and unfilled positions (high demand), shouldn't there be a "bidding war" to get people on board ???  Seems that business owners only tout the "marketplace" when it's to their advantage, eh ??
I remember when I retired from the service   - -  over 600 resumes, 3 interviews and no job (this was during the Bush I recession). I certainly had the basic skills and was willing to start at the bottom (hell, I even sanded drywall to buy groceries) but (and it was never said) being over 45 didn't help.
Later working in the travel industry, my "rigid" background of the military was a basis for not moving up.
With the conflicts in the sandboxes drawing down, why aren't these "job creators" utilizing the people with the very training they say they need. The US military establishment is probably the finest training organization in the world. You learn fast, you learn well and are soon teaching others. As the Marines say, you adapt, improvise and overcome when presented with a challenge. Why is it that only the worker is expected to make the sacrifices ??
Today's WaPo cited the fact that  companies are maintaining profitability by "squeezing" worker pay.
Wanna bet that "Executive Compensation" and "Shareholder Equity" are being squeezed as well ???
I've got a dollar.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass ..Div (USMC subsection)

 What other song would be appropriate for today ??
It is also the oldest official song in the United States' military.
You probably know the words  - -  I learned them in the cradle.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Reality ......... div

Tomorrow, we pull in to our final, disembarkation port. The Goose Girl and and this klunky Bear have been treated like royalty for the past 15 days (and at times it was difficult- -  but better than hunting dead moose). I'm sure that when the mice pull the pumpkin up to the doorstep we'll need  couple of days  - -  or more - -  to adjust.
I'm sure that several of the Fox News republicans aboard will cast themselves overboard tontine (but I doubt it, these folks care more about themselves than a cause).
We have met some really lovely folks that we (maybe, sort of) disagree with, but haven't let that interfere.
 We've also had our sanity questioned.
I'm sure the noise machine will soon start up again  - - - so look for more here in the days to come.
The Voyage has been Bon.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass ....... div

Steve Martin's composition "The Crow"

Tony Trinschka, Bela Fleck and Steve Martin on the banjos.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Eva ........div

Today, in 1996, Eva Cassidy passed away.
Though cancer claimed her life, her career was a victim of her talent; so great and so varied that none of the record company suits could find a marketing box to put her in.
I think this is the finest version of Sting's composition that has ever been recorded (and there is a rumor out there that Sting cried when he first heard this).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Seaborne div ........

Well, watching the news (as it is - - BBC, SKY, MSNBC, CNBC and unfortunately, FOX) that's available here in the ship, It appears that the Goose Girl and her Bear escaped the brunt of Sandy.
Last nite, we were subject to the full force of the North Atlantic with 12-16 foot swells and 4-6 foot waves. Fortunately the welcome harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia was waiting. We'll overnite against the pier and depart tomorrow morning on our celebration of thirty years of marital bliss.
Our ship is wonderful, everything (and I mean everything) is provided. Unfortunately, it seems to be passengered by mostly Republicans. We did have one "run-in" with a couple from Southern California and have decided to not reveal too much about our leanings.
An interesting thing is that the Europeans are very concerned about what the election of Mittens would mean. The Canadians we've met are of a similar mind. One even said that if Mr. Obama isn't re-elected, they would be overjoyed to have him. Both the Europeans and Canadians have questioned whether the American right-wing is living on the same planet that the rest of us populate.
Tomorrow, we're at sea and headed for Boston to pick up with our modified itinerary ....... sailing !!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass ... div

"Molly and Tenbrooks," an old Bill Monroe favorite  .........
with two wonderful female musicians .

Alison Brown  -  Banjo, Bobby Hicks - Fiddle, Sierra Hull - Mandolin, Sam Bush  - Vocal and mandolin

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gone Vacationin' .... div

Thank heaven (or whatever), the Goose Girl and her Old Klunky Bear will be leaving the environs of the GWTP soon to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their conjugal happiness. We'll be gone before the wonderful celebration of democratic happiness voting event and won't be back 'til after it's over - - -(PS, we voted absentee, so whatever the result, it ain't our fault).
I can't seem to understand how anyone is "undecided."  Given the state of the economy (thank you "job creators"), the intransigence of the idiots in Congress, the stupidity of Mittens and 'lil Budddy and just the simple answer to the question "Which side are you on?"
I guess I could include cites to various and sundry links, but it's a useless process. There's no use to preach to the choir or wrestle with pigs.
Saturday Nite Bluegrass will continue courtesy of the scheduler (hopefully) and perhaps a random thought or two - depending on access.
Should anything of note require comment prior to our departure, see it here.
Otherwise check the places the Bear visits for info and guidance.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Evening Entertainment .... div

I wonder how many have considered the ironic timing of this evening's upcoming entertainment event.

I sure that tomorrow there will be lots of analysis as to which of the three people involved was the real "winner," but I know who is getting a real award.

"The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them."
-- Mark Twain, Notebook, 1898

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass .. div (Benny Goodman subsection)

They don't use clarinets in Bluegrass music  - -
First heard this on Mike's album Eight String Swing

Mike Auldridge - 8-string dobro, Darren Beachley - Guitar, Dave Probst - Mandolin,
Mark Delaney - Banjo, and Tom Gray - Bass.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

War, Empire and Futility ..... div

Today, 200 Years ago, Napoleon Bonaparte began his Grand Army's retreat from Moscow.
General Winter would hasten its destruction.
History tends to punish those who don't pay attention.

If ya cant't win their minds ......... div

Seems that the GOP in Virginia has to settle for making the fraud it's masters are accusing everyone else of (read: Democrats) a reality.
Jesus H. Christ with a polling stick, can't these people do anything honest ???
Golly, Gosh, Gee ...... where do these folks come from  ??
Like I've said before, Republicans are great at running for office, Lousy at governing.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wonder Why ??? ... div

Ah, this cyber stuff  - -
Looked at the stats today  - - seems the whole thing has reset on page views. Yesterday it was 3250 or so, today it's 3 ......... go figure.
More hits than I ever figured when I started this thing on 1 Jan.
Guess it's a "Blogger" thing  - - thanks Google.
Edit: 15 Oct  - - now it's back to the way it was  - -  go figure.....???????

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass ... div

The old Earl Scruggs tune " Groundspeed"
Scott Vestal - Banjo, Mike Compton - Mandolin, Mike Bub - Bass, Barbara Lamb - Fiddle and Jim Hurst - Guitar.
Don't exceed the speed limit, eh.

Winter Sports .... div

There are times during the year when certain bodies of water (or portions thereof) here in the Chesapeake Bay watershed need to be avoided due to a rise in bacteria levels or sewage overflows during and after storms. The incentives to not fall out of the boat (or even roll it) are pretty obvious, eh ?

But with ski season almost upon us, why would anyone strap a couple of pieces of lumber onto the bottom of their legs and let gravity drag them down this slippery slope ??

I guess  a  


 noun \ˈsits-ˌmärk, ˈzits-\

Definition of SITZMARK

: a depression left in the snow by a skier falling backward

Origin of SITZMARK

probably from German sitzen to sit + English 1mark(impression)
First Known Use: 1935
                    (h/t Merriam-Webster online)
is better than the "fall forward" version.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Reality ..... div

What the debates aren't going to say, eh ???

(H/T Wiley's Non Sequitur)

Nuf said ...............

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

UnMittigated Camera .... div

Mitt the Plumber ????

                                         (H/T Talking Points Memo)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass div (Baseball subsection)

There's been a longtime drought (and at times hope) here in the vicinity of the GWTP for post-season baseball.
However, the Boys of Summer up the road in Baltimore and the new guys down in the District managed to come thru this year.
I figure that Buck Showalter and Davey Johnson both stand a pretty good shot at Manager of the Year in their respective leagues.
No disrespect to Sam Bush, but here's hoping the Nats beat the Cardinals and NOBODY wants the Yankees to win, eh ? So, GO O's !!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Radio Disfunction / Malfunction .... div

Driving4$$ is always interesting. I really love my "little job." It keeps my mind active, gets me out of the house three or four days a week  - thus keeping the Goose Girl sane - - and brings in a little extra money. I never know what time I'll start, when I'll finish, where I'll go or who I'll meet.
I also never know what truck I'll drive  - - - and some are definitely better than others.

Today's vehicle (not of choice) was a 2008 edition with 514K+  miles (we have a couple from 2006 with over 700K) and a radio that was stuck on an AM talk radio station (more later). No access to traffic, weather, news or sports scores (which pax like to know). That info directly impacts route selection or alteration, and the ability to engage the pax in conversation (and maybe increase the "tip" potential).

I remember the days when a radio in a car was a luxury and fixing it required its removal from the dash and the replacement of various vacuum tubes.

The other biggest problem (or annoyance) with today's malfunction was that the first thing I heard when cranking up the truck was Rush Limbaugh. Like I tell new drivers, "I can guarantee, your favorite radio station will not be the passenger's."

I don't like Rush (I don't listen to talk radio or watch the "talking head" programs). He's entitled to his opinion, but he's an entertainer not an informed or educated commentator. He was beating up Jim Lehrer (the moderator of last nite's debate) accusing him of trying to "bail out the President" (I'm sure Rush didn't capitalize that word) and intentionally mispronouncing (and ridiculing) Mr Lehrer's name. This is something he's done to the names of those he disagrees with on every unfortunate occasion I've had to hear his performances. I guess he feels that by ridiculing their name, it decreases the validity of anything they might have said. It's a wonderful tactic and has been used for years.

First, Jim Lerher is a former Marine Officer and the integrity of a Marine (past or present) is their "prime directive." To question this is an offense that requires immediate and brutal slapping down. I worked for and with Marines while on the Joint Staff (and my Dad was a Marine - so I learned early about keeping my "honor clean'), integrity was not negotiable. Mr Rush had no reason to call him out on this (and I hope Jim slaps the shit out of him should they ever meet). Quite frankly, the draft dodging, drug addict doesn't deserve to be breathing the same air as Jim Lehrer.
Second, to ridicule or denigrate anyone's name is beyond the pale. One of the few things that most people have control over is their name. You don't get to choose - if you can afford it, you can have it changed - what name gets put on the birth certificate and follows you around for the rest of your life.
Sure, you may be tagged with a nickname or two, but most nicknames are based on affection, initiation, respect and acceptance (like the assignment of a callsign) into a group. Occasionally, individuals are referred to by an epithet (like "asshole" or "dickwad") which aren't exactly complimentary or affectionate  - -  these folks usually aren't part of the "tribe."

So, I guess I'll disregard what I've written and continue to refer to Rush by any unflattering nicknames I might bestow  - - - as I will Mitt and 'lil Buddy and the rest of these jerks.

Jesus H. Christ with a microphone, I hope the owner repairs the radio !!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Debate Alternative .... div

Got a choice  - -  watch the "decisive confrontation" on the teevee or take the kayak out.
No contest  ......... really.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Paddlin' .... div

Once again, had a great weekend on the Eastern Shore (Nanitcoke River, Fishing Bay and various creeks). Decent weather (though heavy rain on Friday nite), challenging water and a great group of people.
Now back to the daily grind of Driving4$$ and listening to the news.
(H/T  - Photos  -  Manauver)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass ... div

Hopefully, the scheduler will post this  - -  I'm Paddling on the Eastern Shore

Bill Emerson - Banjo,Teri Chism - Bass , Wayne Lanham - Mandolin,  Chris Stifel - Guitar 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

JUST GREAT ........ div

No offense to Don and Phil, but thus is probably the best version of the song that has ever been done
Kenny Edwards' bass is just fantastic.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just open the window ... div (unMittigated stupidity subsection)

Just maybe this really is the guy we need to solve our problems. Right, just open a window.

Romney said. “When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem."

I really think he should try it out himself.

Other options might be; a) invest in a company developing this concept; or b) blame the
 Ni (CLANG!!).

Willard wonders ........ I wonder ............ most of America wonders.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Differences ...... div

Over the past week several people have called attention to the differences faced in the upcoming election.

Much of this has been spurred by Willard's "inelegant" dismissal of 47% of the population and 'lil Buddy's tepid support by calling him "inarticulate." I'd simply label the ticket as inadequate.

Badtux commented on voting, Jim Wright on the treatment of veterans, Paul Krugman on the concept of what constitutes work. All illustrate the differences between Democrats and today's Republican parties.

The Democrats have always been prone to engage in a circular firing squad and incessant arguing. The Republicans seems pretty much to say "get in line and march." The Democrats, at least, seem willing to stop and consider a course of action and adjust a policy if necessary. The Republicans will cling to the same old talking points forever and plunge blindly on. The Democrats, once they get their shit together,  are pretty good at governing. The Republicans are great at running for office. The Democrats believe women are equal to men and should be treated appropriately. The Republicans are afraid of women and believe they should be controlled.
The Democrats admire "The Sermon on the Mount." The Republicans long for "the Revelation of St. John."

To sum it up: Dems want people to vote, Repubs want to limit the franchise. The Dems idea of "Supporting the Troops" is pay, benefits and help. The Repubs, spend money on the industry and keep the troops engaged. Dems support people who make "things."' Repubs believe in people that "make deals." Democrats are tolerant of other's beliefs. Republicans tolerate only their own.Democrats believe the future will be better. Republicans long for the past. Democrats believe that government is there to help and protect people. Republicans believe that government is unnecessary. I guess the late Molly Ivins said it best:

"I think government is a tool, like a hammer. You can use a hammer to build with or you can use a hammer to destroy with.Whether government is good or bad depends on what you use it for and how well you use it. On the whole, it's a poor idea to put people in charge of government who don't believe in using it."

We have a really important choice coming up in November. I know which way I'm paddling.

Nuf said .............

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass .... div

One of the great bluegrass mandolin pieces  - -  by the guy what composed it !

Herschel Sizemore - Mandolin, Don Wayne Reno - Banjo, Dale Reno, Guitar

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"I'm not dead, yet ......." div

Well, Well .... looks like the business of population control has certainly taken a turn for the better down there in Texas. Suddenly, the state has about 80,000 fewer adult residents (and those are just the registered voters). If they do an accurate count we may learn that no one really lives there. I wonder if their Congressional delegation should be cut by one congresscritter ????

Registrars are sending out letters to the newly deceased and telling them to reply if it ain't so. I'm sure they are rising from the graves pleading for "BRAINS" and hoping they have enough spit left to lick a stamp. Perhaps the plaintive cries are a plea for their elected representatives and officials to acquire some ...... but since so many are Republicans ................

If they really aren't dead (maybe only pretending, eh ??) then they can still show up to vote. But if they're dead, and their name has been purged, how will they get past the poll guardians ?? Hint: if you're a Republican, then  ..... "HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST ... a friggin' miracle, he's alive."

If you're a Democrat, .......well, "....... ere's yer nine-pence, see ya on Thursday."

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shiny Thing .... div

After a great weekend of kayaking and camping:

                                     (Photo thanks: Manuverer)
I return to the "real world" and see the news and the newspaper - -  and find that nothing has really changed.

Willard still can't seem to get anything right (except for his audience) and still ain't tellin'  us anything beyond "Trust Me and my lil' Buddy."

Lil' Buddy tells the folks at the valuable voters summit that he can't really say what the plans are, but can pretty well be summed up as, "Your money and my experience will soon become my money and your experience."**

Little Ricky tells the valuable voters that the Grand Ole Party will never win over the "smart" people (as if there was ever any doubt. I'd love tto go on, but Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station already brilliantly covered the subject.

Faux news keeps right on tryin' to convince us that most folks really don't care for that Kenyan, Muslim, Socialist, America hating person in the White House ( why don't they call him Mr. President?). Ah well,  a pretty face can only do so much. Perhaps she should have interviewed Clint's chair, eh ??

It's gonna be a long slog to November .............
I think I was safer on the water.

** stolen from Carsten Stroud's  Niceville

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dead Presidents (and early Saturday nite Bluegrass) .. div

NOTE: Be away on the Eastern Shore paddling the kayak and camping. Ergo, the Saturday nite post is a day early (and besides, it fits the date).
On September 6, 1901 Leon Czolgosz fired two rounds from an Iver Johnson .32 caliber revolver into President William McKinley's abdomen. Despite rapid surgery, McKinley died on 14 September 1901 - a Saturday - at 2:15 AM.

Bill Monroe's "White House Blues"   - - - holler and squal if you must.

Sam Bush - Mandolin and vocal; Jerry Douglas - Dobro; Mark O'Connor - Fiddle; Tony Rice - Guitar;
Mark Schatz - Bass; and Bela Fleck - Banjo

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fast Bike & Pretty Girl (and a little Bluegrass) .... div

On this date in 1948, Rollie Free donned his swimming trunks and goggles and proceeded to set the US motorcycle land speed record on a production Vincent Black Lightning motorcycle.

English musician Richard Thompson wrote this in 1991. There's at least a great shortstory, if not an entire novel, in the song. It's been covered by several persons, but this is my favorite  - - and Jason Carter's fiddle licks are outstanding.  Fellow blogger Badtux posted the Thompson version back in July, so link to him if you want to make a comparison.

This was recorded at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and has the best quality (feel free to exit before the gospel number  - -  though the McCory band has excellent harmony).
I read a comment about Del being asked to perform this at Newport a few years back. He told the requester no and said to wait 'til later in the show and hear the best version -  performed by the fellow who wrote it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Zombies of the Culture Wars .... div

They're Back !!!!!
Tomorrow is September 11; a pretty horrible thing happened on a wonderful fall morning (and tomorrow's weather here near the GWTP promises to be exactly the same).
My in-box is beginning to overflow with the crank missives about the "sign on the store door in a Houston mall."  - -  I'm sure you've gotten at least one - if not two or three. For those without any friends or relatives on the far-right (or the simply excitable) here it is:

The verbiage attached in the e-mail goes on to make other claims.
Here's the SNOPES cite  and my previous post on "Calendrical Dysfunction"
As I've said before, it does no use to argue. They'll be hauling this one out of the crazy-bag every year.
The memory of the folks that died in the Towers and the Pentagon deserves better.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day ..... div

Used to be that all the stores were closed today. Working folks (except for those involved in public safety or the swimming pools) had the day off. School hadn't started and the political campaigns didn't begin 'til tomorrow.
Now, it's just another excuse to shop while the politicos pay lip service to those ungrateful slugs that are told they're lucky to have a job (and probably won't be getting a paid day off).
What's next "Capital Day"???  -- stay tuned

"...but I've got the power and I've got the will.
I'm not a charity case."

Sunday, September 2, 2012

That there speech thingee .......

The local communist/socialist/bleeding heart PBS station here near the Great White Theme Park is re-broadcasting I, Claudius. one of the best dramatic series ever broadcast. At least Livia lets "those who are about to die" know what she really thinks of them. 
I think that Digby summed it up better than I could have, but couldn't Mitt nave even made passing reference to the troops in harm's way ????? I guess that would have come too closr to calling out the name of the person who started all this, eh ???
It reminds me of the Jonathan Winter's Marine Corps' bit where the LT tells the troops how bloody the landing is going to be and saying, "I'd hoped to go with you, but they need me here."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Saturday Nite Bluegrass ... div

Since Bill didn't make it for yesterday's astronomical event, here's one of my favorites. It's a tribute to the man that taught Bill Monroe to play and influenced his career.

Bill Monroe - Mandolin,  Peter Rowan - Guitar, Gene Lowinger - Fiddle, Don Lineberger - Banjo
 ....... don't know who's playing bass.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon .. div

Tonite will be the last 'Blue Moon" until 2015. Hope you have a clear view. Enjoy !!
.... and what other song would you expect ?????? Nope, not Bill Monroe; sorry, it ain't Saturday.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Glass Ceiling ... div

Despite all the talk of "inclusion" they still can't help themselves, eh ??
Maybe they just don't get it.
I'm sure she can "make a dress out of a feed-bag," but these jerkwads ain't never gonna be "men."
 ........... No matter how hard she tries.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Alice in wonderland** div (Clean Coal subsection)

Seems that Willard's event at the coal face was staged.
And here's the best part:
"Our managers communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend,"  Rob Moore, CFO Murray Energy Company. If you care to listen to the 20 minute interview, it occurs at 6:05. For a quick synopsis see this.

Now, get your Funk & Wagnalls out and look up some of the words :
(Note -- definitions from my mac)

 mandatory |ˈmandəˌtôrē|
adjectiverequired by law or rules; compulsory:wearing helmets was made mandatory for cyclists.• of or conveying a command: he did not want the guidelines to be mandatory.noun ( pl. mandatories )variant spelling of mandatary.DERIVATIVESmandatorily |-ˌtôrəlē|adverbORIGIN late 15th cent.: from late Latinmandatorius, from Latin mandatumsomething commanded.mandatary |ˈmandəˌterē|noun ( pl. mandataries historicala person or country receiving a mandate.ORIGIN late 15th cent. (denoting a person appointed by a papal mandate): from late Latin mandatarius, from mandatum (seemandate.*******Anyone not conversant with the term "compulsory" ????This appears to directly conflict with the statement, "...no one was forced to attend."Ya got any problem with the word "force" as used in the statement ???  Here's some help; (hint, scroll down to the verb and look at #2)nounstrength or energy as an attribute of physical action or movement: he was thrown backward by the force of the explosion.• Physics an influence tending to change the motion of a body or produce motion or stress in a stationary body. The magnitude of such an influence is often calculated by multiplying the mass of the body by its acceleration.• a person or thing regarded as exerting power or influence: he might still be a force for peace and unity.• in combination ] used with a number as a measure of wind strength on the Beaufort scale: a force-nine gale.coercion or compulsion, esp. with the use or threat of violence: they ruled by law and not by force .mental or moral strength or power: the force of popular opinion.• the state of being in effect or valid: the law came into force in January.• the powerful effect of something: the force of her writing is undiminished.an organized body of military personnel or police: a soldier in a UN peacekeeping force.• (forcestroops and weaponry:concealment from enemy forces | figurativea battle between the forces of good and evil.• a group of people brought together and organized for a particular activity: a sales force.• (the forceinformal a police department.Baseball a force-out.• a situation in which a force-out is possible.verb [ with obj. ]make a way through or into by physical strength; break open by force: they broke into Fred's house and forced every cupboard door with ax or crowbar.• with obj. ] drive or push into a specified position or state using physical strength or against resistance: she forced her feet into flat leather sandals | figurative Fields was forced out as director.• achieve or bring about (something) by coercion or effort: Sabine forced a smile |she forced her way up the ladder.• push or strain (something) to the utmost:she knew if she forced it she would rip it.• artificially hasten the development or maturity of (a plant).(often be forcedmake (someone) do something against their will: she wasforced into early retirement | [ with obj. ] :the universities were forced to cut staff.• rape (a woman).• Baseball put out (a runner), or cause (a runner) to be put out, at the base to which they are advancing when they are forced to run on a batted ball: I was forced at second base as the first half of a double play.• (in cards) make a play or bid that compels another player to make (a particular response); make a play or bid that compels (another player) to make such a response:East could force declarer to ruff another spade.PHRASESby force of by means of: exercising authority by force of arms.force the bidding (at an auction) make bids to raise the price rapidly.force someone's hand make someone do something: the exchange markets may force the Fed's hand.force the issue compel the making of an immediate decision.force the pace adopt a fast pace in a race in order to tire out one's opponents quickly.in force in great strength or numbers:birdwatchers were out in force. 2 in effect; valid: the US has over $8 trillion worth of life insurance in force.PHRASAL VERBSforce something down manage to swallow food or drink when one does not want to: I forced down a slice of toast. 2 compel an aircraft to land: the plane might have been forced down by fighters.force oneself on/upon rape (a woman).force something on/upon impose or press something on (a person or organization):economic cutbacks were forced on the government.DERIVATIVESforceable adjective,forcer nounORIGIN Middle English: from Old Frenchforce (noun), forcer (verb), based on Latinfortis strong.force 2 |fɔːs|nounN. Englisha waterfall.ORIGIN late Middle English: from Old Norse fors .******I'm sure this is the kind of world you really want, eh ?? These people are incapable of telling the truth, let alone even knowing what the words they use mean.
** 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.' Lewis Carroll - "Through the Looking Glass