Monday, October 31, 2011

Born to be Black Gold Hunters

From NOLaDishu on the sidebar.

Those Norwegians make orange boiler suits fashionable.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Houston, Again

Another pre-dawn assault on Houston. Outbound trip was uneventful. On leaving Houston the TSA was going through their routine of asking everyone their name. Their FULL name! If you left out your middle name, they asked you what it was. After observing this happen to several of the people in front of me, I stepped smartly up to the podium, handed over my ID and boarding pass and announced my full name. The agent looks up and says, "I haven't asked that yet! How did you know I was going to ask that?!"

"Because you've asked every person in front of me the same question and you ask this question every time I travel though Houston." Duh!

Meanwhile, the TSA "chat down" program being run in Boston is being ridiculed by John Mica, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee:

During a recent visit to Logan to observe the pilot, Mica said he watched about a dozen officers quiz passengers in the terminal. "I put my ear up and listened to some idiotic questions," he said of the questions that delved into where travelers were coming from, why they'd been there and where they were going.

"I talked to them about their training, which was minimal," he said of his conversations with security personnel. He went on to say that even though passengers selected for further screening were supposed to go through hi-tech scanners, on the day he visited the machines were out of service because there weren't enough trained personnel to run them.

Irony Free Zone

I guess the "Occupy" camp sites are irony free zones. It seems that the volunteer cooks at Occupy Wall Street are upset that a number of homeless people have been eating for free at their camp. To protest, they stopped cooking gourmet fare and served only brown rice and PB&J sandwiches for a couple of days.

From the NY Post:

The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday -- because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.

For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad.
So, it's OK for them to want rich people to share wealth but their stuff is for them only.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wild Game

The recent animal problems in Ohio reminded me that new Orleans once had a restaurant that served exotic wild game. Here is an excerpt from Gambit Magazine, Feb 5, 2008:

T. Pittari's was perhaps the most unusual restaurant that ever existed in the Big Easy. I know it's hard to believe, but there really used to be such a place at 4200 S. Claiborne Ave. The restaurant was established in 1895 by Anthony Pittari. When he died in 1938, his nephew Thomas Pittari acquired the restaurant and the family recipes.

The menu, which advertised French and Italian cuisine, was later expanded to include a special page where the 'wild" things were featured. It was subtitled 'large game." From here, if you were timid, you could order your basic, ordinary venison. For the adventurous, however, there were more difficult choices. Would you have bear steak, Western buffalo steak, or hippopotamus steak? Occasionally, a waiter would tell you that even more exotic creatures were the feature of the day: water buffalo, mountain sheep and whale. Appropriately, these meals were served with wild rice.

The restaurant closed in the early 1980s.

They say you can tell when you are at a zoo in Louisiana because the animal descriptions include recipes. Looks like a gourmet opportunity was lost here. Just Sayin'.

Root Canal - REDUX

I was in the dentist this morning to re-do a root canal that was originally done in 1976 in Japan. When I first went to my current dentist he was intrigued by the porcelain crown and recognized it as "Made in Japan". That crown finally gave up the ghost and he replaced it in 2003. The tooth had been giving me problems from time to time. Last July, I had a root-ectomy performed on one of the roots.

Today he found that the Japanese dentist had left paper points, usually used to dry the canal, in the root canal. These were the source of the infection that was causing an abscess. We're not sure if was intentional or not but they were removed, the root canal redone, and then refilled with current dental technology. The whole process got my dentist very excited. He took photos of the paper points and of the before and after x-rays. I suspect that my mouth may be a topic at a future dental conference.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupy This, A**hole!

I passed a smattering of Occupy New Orleans folks on my walk back to the office after lunch. A guy carrying a sign that said "Fight Back" with a bandana over his face told me that "They are coming for you next!"

I said, "Bring it on. I'm armed!"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Aviation Communications

Old NFO posted a series of tower to plane communications. Here are a few I have:

Tower: "TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees."
TWA 2341: "Center, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?"
Tower: "Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?

From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long take off queue: "I'm bored!"
Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!"
Unknown aircraft: "I said I was bored, not stupid!"

A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long roll out after touching down. San Jose Tower Noted: "American 751, make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able. If you are not able, take the Guadeloupe exit off Higway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport."

Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 124.7"
Eastern 702: "Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure. By the way, after we lifted off we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway."
Tower: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?"
Continental 635: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Eastern... we've already notified our caterers."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

Up at O Dark 30 to catch the red eye to Houston for a meeting. Twice this week and once last week. It sure cuts into my nap time. I was glad to find that the chunk of iron in my knee doesn't trigger the magnetometer at airport security. It also passes the strip search machines 2 out of 3 times. The last time, the agent told me he had to pat down my lower leg and I showed him the scar.

The TSA has lost none of its 'tude. A female agent in NOLa got testy with me as I walked up to her podium from the Elite Access lane. She yelled at me to wait on the carpet - something nobody ever does and that the people in the regular line were not doing. Of course, this set me up to tweak her a little bit more and I asked her if she had had her coffee yet. (It was 0545 hrs) She got so irritated even her fellow agent raised an eyebrow at her behavior. Hope today is better for you Officer Clayton. NOT!

TSA's new procedure for engaging travellers in conversation to determine if they are terrorists seems to consist of asking people their name - at least in Houston. Do they think that a determined terrorist is so stupid that he won't memorize his false identity? I had to restrain my self from answering "Jose Jimeniz, the astronaut", but these TSA kids are too young to know that gag. Question: Does working for the TSA give you a bad attitude or do they actively search for people with existing dysfunction?

And United is screwing up a perfectly good airline. All aspects of flying have gone downhill since United took over Continental.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Head Count

Well, I predicted that September might be a busy month for the swordsman in the KSA and it was. Nine criminals were beheaded making up for the slow month during Ramadan when none were put to the sword. Most of them were murderers, but one was convicted of sorcery. Yep, those enlightened Muslims still execute witches in the kingdom founded by the Saud family.

Total criminals executed to date in Saudi Arabia is 31, plus 1 sorcerer!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Grandfathers and Grandmothers

There was this loving grandfather who always made a special effort to spend time with his daughter's family on weekends. Every Saturday morning he would take his 7-year-old granddaughter out for a drive in the car for some quality time - just he and his granddaughter. One particular Saturday, however, he had a bad cold and really didn't feel like being up at all. He knew his granddaughter always looked forward to their drives and would be disappointed. Luckily, his wife came to the rescue and said that she would take their granddaughter for the drive.

When they returned, the little girl anxiously ran upstairs to see her grandfather, who was still in bed.

"Well, did you enjoy your ride with Grandma?" he asked.

"Oh, yes, Pop-Pop, it was really wonderful. But, we didn't see a single asshole, piece of crap, horse's ass, blind bastard, dipshit, or son of a bitch anywhere we went!"