Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blog Roll Maintenance

It was time to review my blog roll. Several of them had gone off line and I found I was regularly reading several more that were not on the list. So, welcome Breda, the gun totin' librarian and Marko who wrangles munchkins in Upper Cryogenica and provide some guidance to the Lost Goat. Say goodbye to Kaboom - FTA for making you stop your blog. And also to Boomer, who loved large caliber handguns.

And if anyone can tell me how to get an invitation to the Cranky Lit Prof's blog, I'd appreciate it.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Holiday planning is important when you have a large extended family. Who spends what days where for what meals is important. Annual visits are mentally logged and not forgotten so you must have a system. One of our systems is that the three grandsons have a sleep over on the eve of Christmas eve. We do their presents then. Everyone has a good time and the boys have an extended Christmas. (Christmas Eve is an all hands on deck family gathering and Christmas Day is with their own family and a visit to the other grandparents.)

It so happens that that day is also Festivus. Middle grandson "D" asked, "What is Festivus? And don't just tell me Seinfeld!" so we had to google the origin of Festivus and its associated rituals. There was a Festivus Miracle in that none of the boys had anything to say about each other at the Airing of Grievances. Unhappily, we had no Festivus Pole and the room was too small for Feats of Strength.

And so a new Christmas tradition is born.

Friday, December 17, 2010

12 Yats of Christmas

Merry Christmas from New Orleans

Thank you Benny Grunch and The Bunch!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Changes in Latitude

Today I left the ice box known as Ohio. When I went to the car this morning, the temperature was 7 F. Several people had started their cars and left them to warm up unattended. I guess they weren't too worried about car thieves in sub freezing weather and, besides, they were probably rentals.

This trip was a good reminder of why I like the South. You don't need to keep ice scrapers in your car. You don't need two sets of tires (snow tires and summer tires). You don't freeze your fingers and toes trying to clean the windshields. If you fall on your ass its probably because you drank too much and not the ice underfoot.

Arriving in Houston it was a balmy 75 F.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More Ice Box

Temperature this AM was 9 degrees! I had forgotten the joys of scraping ice off of windshields in single digit temperatures. Nose mucous freezing. I drove for miles before the engine heated up enough to register on the dashboard gauge. Thank Allah for the heated seats in my rental "People's Wagon".

Saw the aftermath of a spin out on the way to the office. The car was backwards into a snow bank. Police were in attendance.

This afternoon, I noted that there had been enough melt to coat the roads in a thin film of water. With a temperature of 23 F, there will be patches of Black Ice tonight.

Into the Ice Box

Yesterday I flew up to Ohio to attend a meeting. Temperatures here are in the mid-teens, and that's during the day. The rental car was a block of ice. Its so cold that the snow squeaks when you walk in it. The local businesses don't seem to understand that they should clear their parking lots and sidewalks - they are covered in packed snow and ice. Tire ruts freeze into ice ridges. This is prime condition for "slip and fall" lawsuits. I bet the insurance companies are having fits.

I can't wait to get back South.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I Opt Out

It happened early this morning as I was going through security to catch the coffee run to Houston. The TSA agent motioned for me to go through the full body scanner. I immediately, and without thinking about it, said, "No, I'm opting out." This did not make the TSA agent happy as he hollered for a "male assist" and told me to stand to the side. Unfortunately, that placed me right in the path of folks coming through the magnetic detector. (There was no obvious out of the way place to stand and he seemed to be aggravated that I was moving around to try to get out of the way of other passengers) After standing there for a few minutes, I asked where his partner was. I was told they would get someone as soon as someone was free. I suggested that perhaps the TSA's plan was to make those who opt out wait in public view until we decided it was easier to go through their machine. This really upset him and he stated that he would no longer talk to me. That sounded good to me as he wasn't saying anything worth hearing anyway.

And shortly the pat down agent arrived. I must say he was very polite and professional, describing exactly what he was going to do and he did it quickly and professionally. But I noticed that after the pat down, he wiped his gloves with a patch and put it through the bomb sniffer.

Now, what do you think would have happened had I been at the shooting range before going to the airport?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Nook, I Haz It!

My birthday present arrived and it was the new "Nook" eReader. Color, backlit, with web browser. I was the coolest kid on the airplane this week.

Head Count

The axman of the KSA beheaded two murderers last month. The year to date total is 24.