Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trust me, I'm (still) the Governor (Really !) Div

Anyone following the continuing saga of Virginia's Governor Bob McGift (yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus - but he goes by "Jonnie") ??

                                              (Melina Mara / THE WASHINGTON POST)

Last week, he apologized (well, kinda sorta) via a written statement. He then decamped to Kabul, apparently to visit Virginia troops serving there. Good chance to pick up some pointers in real corruption good government (and the treatment of women) from some real pros, eh ?

Yesterday he spent 45 minutes (of a one-hour program) answering questions about his dilemma.
One quote was prescient of his whole attitude towards the matter:

               When the hosts noted that according to reports, Maureen McDonnell
                had asked Williams for the Rolex, McDonnell said: “I have 
                not read many of the reports over the last 30 days because much
                of what I have read . . . about either me or my wife has not been accurate.”

WTF ??? Did you just read the "inaccurate" reports Bob ?? Did any of the accurate stuff make any impression ?? And how did you know the reports you read were inaccurate  - and why didn't you refute them at the time - with evidence ??

Today, his daughters have announced the return of their wedding and engagement "presents."
No mention of what's going to happen to Mrs McGuv's purchases from Bergdorf Goodman, the clothes  she bought on the campaign credit card or the cosmetic dental work performed gratis. What's she gonna do, have her teeth pulled ??? And the watch ?? I guess there will be a certain souvenir value to owning a Rolex engraved  71st Governor of Virginia.  Imagine what that will garner on "Antiques Roadshow" in 2113 ??

Even better, the Virginia taxpayers are getting stuck with a $50K + bill from attorneys for the original investigation since Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (aka Ken the Kook) also received gifts from Santa Jonnie and had an obvious conflict of interest. Ken is currently the Republican nominee for McBob's job.

The WaPo just put up an Editorial on the web saying pretty much what I've been saying.

Oh so many years ago when growing up, I was told that becoming an adult involved knowing the difference between right and wrong (the difference between legal and illegal was also discussed) and acting accordingly. It seems that Gov McBob learned the legal-illegal distinction, but not the moral.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Walkies ..... Div

I try to get my old bones out for a walk two or three times a week. Today, around the lake and took the camera. Weather is comparable to late May or early June ( as opposed to a week ago where the only polite, descriptive word would be "brutal").  We've also been fortunate here in the mid-Atlantic to be receiving plenty of rain .... so things are really green with the trees and flowers blooming everywhere. Thus, a plethora of nectar sippers and pollinators.

Here's todays keeper ........ a Giant Swallowtail butterfly (I think) and a honeybee.

Don't ask me what the plant is. My plant identification ends with "oh shit, is that poison ivy?" Flower recognition consists of "flower" preceded by the appropriate color,  ie "Blue flower," etc.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Geography div (Sin subsection)

Finally after all that, when you add it all up this is what ya get:
 Pride is the aggregate of all data from the six other sins, averaged into an overview of all evil. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass div (sad to report subsection)

Just heard on the radio machine that J.J. Cale  passed away today at age 74.

Here's the Eddie Adcock Band doing They Call Me the Breeze, one of my favorites.

Eddie Adcock - banjo, Martha Adcock - Guitar. Missy Raines, bass

Monday, July 22, 2013

Really, it's just an expression div (Alice in Wonderland subsection**)

Ya gotta wonder when the young don't know the difference between the real meaning of a word and the slang definition, eh ??
blow 1  (bl)
v. blew (bl)blown (bln)blow·ingblows
1. To be in a state of motion. Used of the air or of wind.
2. To move along or be carried by or as if by the wind: Her hat blew away.
3. To expel a current of air, as from the mouth or from a bellows.
4. To produce a sound by expelling a current of air, as in sounding a wind instrument or a whistle.
5. To breathe hard; pant.
6. To storm: It blew all night.
7. To release air or gas suddenly; burst or explode: The tire blew.
a. To fail or break down, as from being operated under extreme or improper conditions: The furnace blew during the cold snap.
b. To melt or otherwise become disabled. Used of a fuse.
9. To spout moist air from the blowhole. Used of a whale.
10. Informal To boast.
11. Slang To go away; depart.
1. To cause to move by means of a current of air.
2. To expel (air) from the mouth.
3. To cause air or gas to be expelled suddenly from: blew a tire.
4. To drive a current of air on, in, or through: blew my hair dry after I shampooed it.
5. To clear out or make free of obstruction by forcing air through: constantly blowing his nose in allergy season.
6. To shape or form (glass, for example) by forcing air or gas through at the end of a pipe.
7. Music
a. To cause (a wind instrument) to sound.
b. To sound: a bugle blowing taps.
a. To cause to be out of breath.
b. To allow (a winded horse) to regain its breath.
9. To demolish by the force of an explosion: An artillery shell blew our headquarters apart.
10. To lay or deposit eggs in. Used of certain insects.
a. To cause to fail or break down, as by operating at extreme or improper conditions: blew the engine on the last lap.
b. To cause (a fuse) to melt or become disabled.
12. Slang
a. To spend (money) freely and rashly. See Synonyms at waste.
b. To spend money freely on; treat: blew me to a sumptuous dinner.

>>>>   13. Vulgar Slang To perform fellatio on.(if you don't know what this is, look it up for yourself !)


Really folks, it's just an expression. Be Careful.

** '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

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Geography div (Sin subsection)

After all the satisfactions of the past two installments, time for this:
Sloth was calculated by comparing expenditures on arts, entertainment and recreation with the rate of employment. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A little Saturday Nite Bluegrass

Tony Trischka Territory  - The Fox Chase  - Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival 2011
The twin fiddles are nice.

Tony Trischka - Banjo, Brittany Hawes & Mike Barnett - Fiddles, Skip Lord - Bass and Michael Daves - Guitar and vocal.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Whatever was he thinking Division (2nd Amendment subsection)

You really have to question the reasoning of some folks - -  those who own guns (and, yes, I do) and those who allow others to own them.

Tuesday, down in the GWTP they arrested another one.
Apparently, he was good to his word as he was "confronted" and arrested without shots being fired. No mention was made of what direction he was going to fire, but several targets of opportunity west of the White House readily come to mind  - including the headquarters of the American Red Cross and the Corcoran Gallery, but I don't think he was considering anything on the west side of 17th St. It's been wicked hot and humid here, maybe the weather's to blame.

Then, there's this guy. Originally, he wanted to organize a "peaceful march" (I kinda thought of it as an armed mob) across the Memorial Bridge from Arlington Cemetery into DC on July 4th. Just a benign expression of that Second Amendment all hold so dear.
Instead, he brings a shotgun downtown and videos himself loading it. Talk about self-incrimination.

A couple of years ago, someone attempted to organize an armed rally in Virginia. I wonder what would have happened if legal gun owners of a darker hue had shown up to participate ??

The news and the inner tubes are all awash with opinions (again) on what constitutes "responsible" gun ownership. I'm not going to opine on the subject except to say that once someone has demonstrated that  he or she isn't responsible, then the "well regulated" part of the Second Amendment takes precedence.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bloomin' Congressman Div (Botanical, nose holding subsection)

“Like a very dead elephant,” 

Just a quote that could be a description of many of the congress-critters. But there's an official boutonnière about to bloom on the grounds of the Capitol down there in the GWTP. You can pick your favorite recipient. Of course he/she will need to be pretty large to wear this corsage, but their egos should make up the difference.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Geography div (Sin subsection)

Last week we looked at one kind of "hunger."  Here's another (you were waiting for this weren't ya ??
 Lust was calculated by compiling the number of sexually transmitted diseases — HIV, AIDS, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea — reported per capita. 
(not really what ya had in mind, eh ??)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Little Saturday Nite Dinner ... div

A nice dinner with my best friend and his lovely wife. Rack of Lamb (cooked outside on charcoal - medium rare, thank you), sauteéd mushrooms and roasted red potatoes with zucchini squash. Starters were crackers, soft cheese, Veggies and the Goose Girl's coconut shrimp (with sweet red chili sauce). Dessert was a choice of succulent sweeties (we bought 'em) and, of course, my spsecial Manhattans and a lovely wine, to wit 
(it ain't a kayak, but it'll do):

Mac and Zeke

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass

Four masters doing Sweet Bunch of Daisies  - -  

Alan Munde - Banjo, Russ Barenberg - Guitar, Peter Knupfer - Fiddle and Tom T. Ball - Bass

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

It's OK, I'm the Governor Div (Alice in Wonderland** section)

One of the things about living here in the vicinity of the GWTP, is (if you're a political junkie) you get to see the scandals of two states and the District ( not to mention that the "national" news is also "local").

Currently Gov Bob McDonnell (R-VA) is being subjected to State and Federal investigations on the acceptance of money from a Virginia businessman. 

I detect a bad smell from the whole thing.    Yeah, right, Virginia law doesn't require the Guv to report gifts made to his family ....... but what kind of father makes his daughter pay for "catering" at her own wedding ?? Hell, did he charge her rent for the wedding venue (the State Governor's residence) ???
When your wife just "gives" you a $6K engraved Rolex, did you think she's been real frugal with the grocery money ???  Then there's her (Mrs Guv) shopping sprees in NYC - - all paid by the same "businessman." I also get a whiff of Mrs Guv's active participation and encouragement in all this (oh well, we all know what Republicans think of women).

The whole thing smacks of the sense of "privilege" that our politicians today seem to exude. Though that sweat smells of corruption.

In case you're unfamiliar with the definition:

1priv·i·lege Listen to audio/ˈprɪvlɪʤ/ noun
plural priv·i·leg·es
1 [count: a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others 
 The prisoner's exercise privileges were taken away. [=the prisoner was no longer allowed to exercise] Good health care should be a right and not a privilege.
2 [singular: a special opportunity to do something that makes you proud 
 Meeting the President was a privilege. [=honor]  We had the privilege of being invited to the party.  I had the privilege of knowing your grandfather.
3 [noncountsomewhat formal : the advantage that wealthy and powerful people have over other people in a society 
 He lived a life of wealth and privilege.  children of privilege [=privileged children; children from wealthy families with high social status]
4 [noncount: the right to keep important information private 
 attorney-client privilege [=the right an attorney has to keep information shared by a client secret] During the investigation, the President invoked executive privilege.
5 [noncountBrit : the right to say or do something without being punished for it 
 parliamentary privilege

(Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary)

I call attention to numbers 1, 3 and 4.  Seen any of that goin' on lately ??? (sure as hell doesn't seem to fit #2, eh ??). How often have you heard a scoundrel hide behind the words, "... but it was legal?" -- Yeah, but it wasn't right.

McDonnell was a rising star for the Republicans (he's term limited and this is his last year in office) and often mentioned as a possible Prez or Veep contender. Guess he should check his watch and see that time's up.

** '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

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass

Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper doing the old Bill Monroe tune Road to Columbus. recorded at Bluegrass from the Forest in Shelton, WA , May 2010.

Michael Cleveland - Fiddle, Jesse Brock - Mandolin, Tom Adams - Guitar, Marshal Wilburn - Bass and Jesse Baker - Banjo.
The band has had a complete change of personnel (except for Michael) since this performance.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Holiday Stupidity Div (Driving4$$ subsection)

Worked yesterday. Business was light, traffic around the GWTP was lighter and tips were small. Thankfully, I didn't have to visit downtown for there be chaos.
Drivers in the GWTP are ranked #1 for "accidentability." Those from "Charm City" to the north come in at #2. Living half-way between the two gets me the best of both worlds.

One of the problems with working the 4th of July is the fireworks. The sudden bursts of light can be really distracting and the traffic around the show venues horrible. Last night was no exception.
This morning, I fired off a letter to the local fish-wrapper:

Dear Sir,
Please convey my heartfelt thanks to all the self-indulgent, half-witted idiots that put me and my passengers (not to mention themselves) in danger last night by feeling it was a GREAT IDEA to crowd both shoulders of Route XX south from 000 to XX Parkway (and northbound from, at least, YY Drive) to get out of their cars and watch the fireworks. You exhibited all the predictability and menace of a rabid raccoon stunned by a well thrown rock.
Thanks too, to the County Police in having a viable plan in place to deal with you fools. I will give the police credit in putting up a sign saying "No Parking or Standing" on the right shoulder. It wasn't a very successful approach. Apparently, those parked on the right shoulder couldn't read and those parked on the left shoulder thought it didn't apply to them.
Perhaps, next year, the Police can simply take pictures of license plates and issue $100 civil citations.
Thanks again - now go back to texting.

I'm really becoming an "Old Fart" eh ??  Get off my lawn !!!!

Hope you all had a happy and safe holiday.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

HOLIDAY DIV ....... (Bluegrass subsection)

HAPPY 4th of JULY 
Here's a rousing Sousa march  - - 
but please remember why we're celebrating, eh ?

 Wilbur Messer - guitar, Alan Dalton - banjo, Tommy Chapman - fiddle, Harold Ballard - mandolin  John Messer - bass . Live recording from River Bend Bluegrass Festival, Bogalosa, LA around 1988

Monday, July 1, 2013

RIP div ............

My family moved to Arizona in 1950. I maintain that we ran out of money while heading for Southern California where my Dad went to high school, but my Mom disagrees.

Arizona was a much different place. Phoenix's population had just topped one hundred thousand and the area was a rich, agricultural valley - one of the most fertile in the world. We were surrounded by groves of oranges, lemons, grapefruit and fields of cotton and alfalfa. Most (if not all) of that is gone today; replaced with concrete, asphalt and gravel. Summers were hot, but dry and an evaporative cooling unit (often referred to as a swamp cooler) was adequate due to the low humidity. The abundant green space allowed for sufficient overnight cooling; it might be 110 during the day, but the temp would drop at night into the 60's. Today the entire Phoenix area is a gigantic "heat-sink" mostly devoid of shade. The overnight temps from the triple-digit days rarely get below 80. The arrival of June marked the beginning of the "Monsoon" season with the cooling rains. Now, they arrive later, don't last as long and bring less rain.

It was a wonderful place to grow up ....... but I'd never move back.

In 1990, six firefighters were killed fighting the "Dude" fire northwest of Payson. Five were inmates from the State Prison and one a guard. My mother's church opened their community buildings to house and rest the many crews. Needless to say, the lack of rain and fire danger are a constant topic of conversation in North-Central Arizona.

I heard about the tragedy in Yarnell this morning on the radio (we listen to a Prescott, Arizona radio station on the internet). 

During the 50's and 60s, I camped and hiked and traveled many of the backroads of this area with my family and Scout Troop.

From my visits to see my 91 year-old Mom a couple of times a year, I can see how the climate, culture and condition of the state has changed; and it saddens me.

                                                  (Firefighter memorial - Payson, Arizona)

My heart goes out to the families of the firefighters that were lost. We never appreciate their day-to-day labor and effort until they make the ultimate sacrifice. Thanks Guys ........ RIP.