28 January 2011

Does life imitate art or vice versa?

I read this article about hooking up a cell phone to a hand-held scanner to do basic medical scanning. The image can be sent over the web to the family doctor for analysis. The apparatus looks something like this:

Pretty cool, huh? That could be a lifesaving setup for people that live in remote areas or far away from a specialist.

But for some of us in geekdom, it looks a bit familiar.

Kind of looks like we aren't terribly far from Dr. McCoy's Feinberger medical scanner (which looks like a salt shaker-because it is a salt shaker). Or from the tricorder, come to think of it.

I thought the communicator from the original Star Trek looked pretty cool.

 But there's no way we'd ever have a handheld wireless device that would allow people on opposite sides of the planet to talk to each other. Would we?!?

Oops. Guess so. And a modern smartphone has way more apps than Kirk's communicator had.

In some episodes of the original Star Trek, Captain Kirk could be seen signing some sort of tablet with lights on it. No doubt some high-tech device connected to the ship's mainframe. The tablet looked like this:

Certainly, something like this would take a century or so to develop, wouldn't it? Well, no, actually.

Here, Spock can be seen programming a computer with some sort of portable media. Back in the days of tape reel data storage, that must have looked highly implausible.

Hmm. Been there, done that.

Get those big clunky 3.5 inchers out of here and bring me a flash drive!

A tiny color television monitor on a tabletop? Surely not!

Or is the proper question Why is the screen so big and clumsy?

About the only thing we don't have is a decent hand phaser:

The best we can do there is the Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser...

...which won't fit on a belt.

Next time you laugh at the 'cheesy' special effects on an episode of the original Star Trek, think about how much they got right on a shoestring TV budget.

I can't help but wonder that if we didn't have science fiction shows on TV, would we have some of the neat devices we use every day? Did the engineers who came up with some designs imitate what they saw? Or would the natural progression of events naturally mean that these items would have been developed anyway?

Something to think on for the weekend.

yankeedog out.

25 January 2011

One more step toward idiocracy

A topic on the radio this morning concerned a move to remove the teaching of cursive writing from the curriculum of schools in 40 of the 50 states. You can read a story on it here.
One woman called the station. Her son was getting his driver's license when the DMV rep asked for his signature. Seems a 16-year old kid didn't have a clue how to sign his name. His mom actually had to write his name in cursive so he could copy that.

You gotta be kidding me. Welcome to the 1800s. Put your 'X' on the line.

Most children going to school these days use computers and texting for communications and to do their schoolwork. There aren't that many people these days that probably sit down to handwrite a paper. Those that do most likely print. I mostly print. 25 years of being a draftsman-and doing lots and lots of lettering by hand once upon a time-brought that on.

The educators who think teaching cursive is a waste of time need to consider that most places still require a real, honest-to-God signature for most official documents. And the next generation or two will only be able to sign with 'X''s. A nation of 300 million medieval peasants.

Seems to me that learning cursive writing is one of those skills that we shouldn't be so quick to dump, along with learning to do basic math by hand, without a calculator. You might not ever perform that particular function on a particular day-but those skills will still work after the power goes out.

Sometimes I hear things like this and just shake my head. I can't help but think that perhaps filmmaker Mike Judge might well have a bit of prophet in him:

yankeedog out.

23 January 2011

Well, bugger all...

The Packers beat the Bears 21-14. Unfortunately, it was about what I expected. Reckon if you expect your team to finish 6-10 or 7-9 in the regular season, and they end up in the conference championship, you can't be all that disappointed.

Bad thing is that the Bears have a lot of holes to be filled, and finishing near the top means their first draft pick will be toward the bottom of the list. Since GM Jerry Angelo doesn't have a good track record in player drafts, not much good will probably come of the 2011 NFL draft for the Bears.

Ok, then. Pitchers and catchers report in six weeks for baseball spring training. The Cubs look all set to have another mediocre baseball season in 2011.

Blackhawks look bad. Not sold on the University of Illinois basketball team. The Bulls don't do much for me. Looks like a long year sportswise.

Anyone got a team I can pull for? Anyone got a team that needs the hex put on?

yankeedog out.

22 January 2011

Breakfast at Therbs' Place

I got a comment on the last posting from our man Therbs, who's looking to watch the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks and wants to have a Super Bowl party. If I was in Australia I'd be at the beach or watching the cricket (not the game-actually watching a cricket rub his legs together and chirping), but to each his own.

Kickoff where he's at is 8:30 am. Hmm. That's breakfast time. That adds a whole new dimension to the party. Most of what we serve at football parties is more lunch and supper type stuff.

Now, most college and pro football fans and Milwaukee Brewers baseball fans have tailgate cuisine down to a fine art-but they're not usually doing breakfast nosh. I'd bet it's the same with AFL and rugby fans there.

He's thinking of an American-style breakfast (pancakes or ham and eggs) and hot dogs for halftime. Not bad. Even wants to buy some American brew for atmosphere. If he wants to make it authentic he'll charge his guests $8/cup and it'll be watered down in the interest of maximizing profits.

For a sports party, of course, the big key is that the food needs to be portable-something you can eat while sitting in front of the tube. You don't want to be getting up to a table and risk missing a play.

So, since Therbs has asked me for some ideas, here goes:

-For breakfast, maybe go with bacon instead of ham. Yeah, bacon is a nutrional time bomb. Everyone likes it anyway. How about scrambling the eggs with onions and bell peppers and serving with salsa on top for quick and dirty huevos rancheros? I don't know what the salsa situation is there, but you all eat tomatoes with your breakfast anyway so it won't be a foreign concept.

-A proper Midwesterner would grill up some bratwurst for his tailgate instead of hot dogs. Not that hot dogs are bad, but bratwurst generally have a better aroma and taste. You could even do up brats for the breakfast meat instead of bacon. If you can get good bratwurst, I'd run with that. If frankfurters is what there is, so be it. Grill them if you can.

-Still another option for the halftime/in-game snack is doing a batch of chicken wings. Buffalo wings are popular here (though not my personal favorite). If you have Buffalo wings, you need to serve them with celery sticks and blue cheese or blue cheese dressing on the side. As an alternate you could do up barbecued wings-just bake up a bunch smothered in your favorite barbecue sauce (if you have one). You'll want to do a few dozen since they don't have a lot of meat on them.

-The halftime fallback can also be pizza, which I'm sure you can make or have delivered right around late morning.

-You may want to have a bowl or two of salty snacks on hand-crisps, popcorn, etc., or a tray of cheese, sausage, and crackers. You could put out a tray of vegetables like broccoli, carrots, radishes, cauliflower, etc. or a tray of fruits. Some roughage might help push everything else through the system.

-As for libations, well, you could go with a run-of-the-mill Yank brew like Bud or Miller. Personally, I'd see if I could get Samuel Adams beer. That may not be available most places outside of the US, but you may as well have a decent American product. I'd have no problem with serving whatever Melbourne's best is, though. Life's too short to drink bad beer.

It wouldn't be unheard of to see Bloody Marys at a tailgate, either. Or hot chocolate or coffee fortified with a splash of whiskey or rum. Might think about those as well.

So, maybe:

Huevos rancheros, with bratwurst as the meat for breakfast.

Halftime/in-game of wings and assorted snacks.

Beer/Bloody Mary/Hot cocoa-coffee

There you are. Unfortunately, the hard-and-fast rule of Super Bowl parties is that there aren't really any hard-and-fast rules for what to serve (other than keeping the food portable). Different regions of the US have different specialties. Someone in Louisiana might do Cajun seafood, while a Midwesterner might serve brats and a Texan serve pulled beef or chili. Whatever you and your guests might like will work just fine. Knock yourself out!


But before the Super Bowl are the conference championships this weekend. In what I would consider a minor miracle, my Bears are in-and playing their greatest rival, Green Bay, for the marbles in the NFC. This may possibly be the greatest sporting event ever played in Chicago. I suspect a good portion of the football-watching segment of the American population will be watching this one. Two of the original teams in the league who've been going at it since 1921. What could be better?

The Packers are favored to win, and based on what I've seen, the oddsmakers and conventional wisdom are right. The Pack had a ton of injuries this year but held it together good enough to bull their into and through the playoffs. They were a favorite to win the conference in the preseason, so it isn't like they came out of nowhere.

The Bears will, I think, have to play near-perfect ball in order to beat the Packers. Their talent level on the offense is not great overall. Jay Cutler can at times look like the greatest QB to play in a Bears uniform, and at other times make you wonder what his thought processes are. He's going to have to be the Cutler that showed up v. the Seahawks last week in order for the Bears to get to Dallas. Same with the offensive line, which at times has been putrid. The Bears are about even with or slightly better than the Packers overall on defense, and the Bears special teams (kicking and returners) are way above what the Packers have.

I'd love to see the Bears get to Super Bowl XLV. Unfotunately, I see the Packers winning it in a close match.

The AFC matchup is the New York Jets v. the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh is a pretty well-balanced team overall, playing at home. I've not seen much Jets football so I'll refrain from commenting in-depth on them. I'm thinking that the Jets will run out of gas against the Black and Gold on Sunday afternoon. I think Pittsburgh has more weapons than the Jets do-and to be honest I don't want a New York team in the Super Bowl. ESPN will fall all over themselves telling the world how great the Jets are until the sporting public develops collective nausea, and I have to think that Bears/Steelers or Packers/Steelers would be of more interest to the average football fan. Two tough, hard-nosed teams from tough, hard-nosed Rust Belt cities that know how to play REAL football, and all that.

Should be a good Sunday afternoon. However the Bears/Packers game comes out, the Bears considerably exceeded my (fairly low) expectations of them in 2010-11.

yankeedog out.

17 January 2011

Stuff you can learn from TV and movies

There's a lot of things you can learn from watching TV and movies. I saw this list an another board and stole borrowed it-as a public service.

Large, loft apartments in New York City are plentiful and affordable, even if the tenants are unemployed.

One of a pair of identical twins is evil.

Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don't worry about which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one.

It doesn't matter if you are greatly outnumbered in a fight Involving martial arts. Your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one dancing around in a threatening manner until you have dispatched their predecessors.

When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will still be clearly visible but slightly blue.

If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to be a world-famous expert on nuclear fission, dinosaurs, hieroglyphics, or anything else, at the age of 22.

Honest and hardworking policemen are usually gunned down a day or two before retirement.

Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their enemies using complex machinery involving fuses, deadly gasses, lasers, buzz saws and hungry sharks, all of which will give their captives at least 20 minutes to escape.

During all crime investigations, it is necessary to visit a strip club at least once.

All beds have special L-shaped covers that reach up to the armpits of a woman but only to the waist of the man lying beside her.

All grocery shopping bags contain at least one French bread and one bunch of carrots with leafy tops.

It's easy to land a plane, providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.

If you are beautiful, your makeup never rubs off, even while scuba-diving or fighting aliens. However if you are overweight, your mascara will run and your lipstick will smear.

The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there, and you can travel to any other part of the building without difficulty.

You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.

Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it is not necessary to speak the language. A German accent will do.

A man will show no pain while taking the most horrific beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.

If staying in a haunted house, women must investigate any strange noises in their most diaphanous underwear, which is what they happened to be wearing when the car broke down.

If someone says "I'll be right back", they won't.

Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel from time to time.

All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.

A police detective can only solve a case after he has been suspended from duty.

If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone around you will be able to mirror all the steps you come up with, and hear the music in your head.

Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure each is assigned a partner who is their total opposite.

When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.

The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in France.

Police cars are always going the wrong way when they get a call on the radio.

You can always find a parking spot right in front of the police department, city hall, or any important building.

yankeedog out.

16 January 2011

From one river rat to 4.5 million others...

...Well done!

I have to admit that I have been impressed with the people and government of Queensland during their recent flooding. I've followed most of your reports on Twitter and seen some articles and live feeds, and I was amazed at the lack of reports of looting, lawlessness, and general assclownery, and by the prompt and efficient response from the individual citizen all the way up to the federal government level. There just isn't a whole lot you can do when a column of water comes roaring your way except get yourself to high ground...quickly!

It made for a shocking comparison and contrast to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, where what little system there was broke down. Now, I'll state (hopefully once and for all) that what happened in New Orleans in 2005 wasn't all President Bush's fault. New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana get hurricanes every year, so it shouldn't have been a big shock to anyone. For the city of New Orleans to have had an evacuation and relocation policy of  'If you know someone with a car, try to catch a ride out of town' was, to say the least, shameful and more likely criminal. To have fleets of buses underwater and old people left in nursing homes indicates to me that no one had the least idea of what to do.

Civil defense plans for natural disasters need to come from the bottom levels of government up-not imposed by the central government. In other words, it isn't up to Washington/Canberra to come up with a plan to evacuate New Orleans/Brisbane. That job is best left to Louisiana/Queensland.

Except that Louisiana and New Orleans never bothered, and Queensland and Brisbane did, it appears.

I'm told that the US offered Australia disaster management specialists. The Good Doctor said that got a good laugh when that came out, given the black eye the Katrina debacle gave us. Personally, I'd have offered Australia an amphibious ready group if one had been in the area, because 1000 Marines can fill and stack a lot of sandbags, the helicopters in the group could have shuttled food and medicine around (and a CH-53 can carry a pile of vegemite), and the amphib ships have good medical facilities on board if onshore hospitals suffer flooding or damage. I'd've told Governor Bligh to put 'em to work. You all would have known best where and how to use them.

Then I read Murph's blog, and he pointed out that perhaps a better comparison would have been to the Flood of 1993 along the Mississippi/Missouri/Illinois River watershed.

I've lived along the river for four decades and change, and everyone here knows that almost every spring the river will go up and probably go over its banks for a while. If it rains nearly every day for two months up north, the river will go up. Most of us just sandbag where we can, get stuff up high where necessary, and get the flatboat out because we'll be needing it before too long.

The Midwest gives its residents a little bit of everything to deal with-floods, droughts, blizzards, lake-effect snows, and tornadoes. So generally our local and state governments are ready and have a plan for most events.

1993 was a nasty flood here. It rained hard up in Wisconsin and Minnesota for most of June and July. By August, most of the floodplains of Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri were underwater. You can compare the satellite photos of the Illinois and Missouri River confluences with the Mississippi north of St. Louis.

It was damn soggy up here, but, like the people of Queensland, we just went about the job of sandbagging, watching, making sure people were taken care of, and cleaning up afterward. Citizens worked along public works crews, church and civic groups, and National Guard units to shore up levees, feed and house evacuees, and make sure the elderly and infirm were looked after. Here in Illinois, we even had prisoners working on the levees. Chain gangs-just like a modern-day Cool Hand Luke. Never had a problem with escapes or uprisings either. I suppose a Humvee with a manned machine gun will take the 'fuck you' right out of most groups of prisoners, anyway.

The state and local authorities and individual property owners did what they needed to do without waiting for the national government to step in and coordinate everything-which is probably how it should be for a great many things. We didn't loot, and we didn't fall apart under the strain.

Now the citizens of Queensland get the lovely task of cleaning up all of the debris and mud. I suspect the place smells like a giant armpit and will for a few days or weeks if it stays humid. That won't be fun. But you same citizens have earned a pat on the back. You did magnificently! I think a lot of people that live around the Mississippi river valley would say the same thing. And we grieve with you for the people that died.

As a final note, I read in some blogs posts from people wondering why anyone would build an expensive house right on a known floodplain. It happens here too, and it's still a stupid idea. Give me an old mobile home, put it on stilts, and park it right by the shore. If it gets water in it, I'll hose it out afterward. Done.

yankeedog out.

09 January 2011

On redemption and second chances

One of the stories making news this week is that of Ted Williams. Not the Red Sox hitting legend of the 1940s and 50s, but the homeless man from Columbus, Ohio. Williams claimed to have a 'God-Given' gift of a mellifluous voice. As you can see and hear in the video, he does have the classic 'radio pipes', and sounds like he should be doing morning drive or some late-night call-in show.

Turns out he was in radio back in the 1980s until he started doing crack cocaine. Eventually, the crack got the better of him and he ended up out in the street-and having run-ins with the law for things like harassment, theft, and pimping. It happens, of course-and all too frequently in the entertainment field.

When the reporter from Columbus heard this man and caught it on camera, the offers started coming in for Mr. Williams to do voiceover work from such organizations as the Cleveland Cavaliers and NFL Films (Personally, I think he'd be the perfect successor to the late Harry Kalas-the 'voice' of NFL Films).

He claims to have been 'clean and sober' for the past two years. Business owners near where he used to hang out beg to differ. I don't know, because I don't know the guy.

My comment to Mr. Williams:

The networks put you on TV to showcase your talents. Big-time organizations want your services. Through fate, or divine intervention, or a slow news day, you're getting a second chance to get your life back and together.

Don't fuck it up.

Dennis Miller, on one of his radio shows, said "I'll gladly help the helpless. It's the clueless that need to get it together." That pretty much sums up my philosophy, and that of a lot of people I know.

I'll admit it. I'm a Midwest, rural-born, conservative. What that means is that I believe in working hard, taking pride in your work, being as self-sufficient as possible, being rewarded for your efforts, and, yes, a bit of old-fashioned flag-waving patriotism. It also means helping your neighbors and the people down the street if they're having a problem or they're down on their luck. It means assisting the elderly, taking care of the vets who sacrificed for us, and trying to make things a little brighter for people with medical issues. It also means that you might have to chip in for the greater good at times.

Might be that I'm not as 'conservative' as I think. If you call yourself 'liberal' and you believe in any of what I wrote above, then you just might not be as 'liberal' as you claim. Stalemate.

It can be a tough thing at times, discerning those who really need help versus those who just want to live off the work of others. And those that want to live off the backs of others, to use a trite phrase that most of our parents and teachers used on us, spoil it for those who do desperately need assistance.

Here in the QCs, we have some panhandlers on the street corners, all with their cardboard signs proclaiming their various tales of woe. At first, they were getting money and food gifts from passing-by drivers. I think a lot of people have in their mind 'Hey, someday, that could be me-and I'd want to have someone help on that day'. Until the local TV and newspapers started tracking down some of these people and found out that most of them made a better living begging then they would in a regular job. A couple of them readily admitted that panhandling was their way to make beer money for the weekend.

Excuse me? I'm subsidizing your weekend? Don't think so.

I once belonged to a church that did free meals on weekends for the needy. Generally, it was rewarding and fulfilling work. There were those who came in who helped out by clearing tables or sweeping-and I never minded helping them out. There were a few, though, who came in all demanding and complaining about the menu. My desire to help that type waned significantly. There is, in a segment of those receiving assistance, an attitude of entitlement. And those, my friends who think we 'conservatives' are cold and heartless, are the type I hate having to shell out my hard-earned dollars for. I suspect you do as well. And, yes, their attitude of entitlement does harden me toward wanting to help anyone-even those that are in desperate straits.

And while we're at it-as we all know, there's been quite a debate on the issue of universal health care here in the States. I have serious issues about how well the current system works. I also have issues with what's coming. My colleague from Missouri, Senator Murphy, figures that our current health-care system will become a giant version of the Veteran's Administration medical system-which is not the best care available. And I haven't seen any evidence to indicate otherwise. I fail to see the difference between a government bureaucrat denying a medical procedure and an insurance company bureaucrat denying a medical procedure-the end result will be the same.

Some of you live in places that have universal health-care, and from what I hear, think it's great. Might be your system works well for you. I've also heard of Canadians coming over the border to the States to get procedures done that were either denied in Canada or so poorly scheduled that a patient would be dead by the time they got it. I want to believe that universal health care would provide quality care for the vast majority of people and not bankrupt the country in the process. I just don't think it can be done in a nation of 300 million people. And I'm fairly sure a lot of people here have the same concerns.

 Perhaps if we had a bigger tax base, say by having some decent jobs for everybody that wants to work, the average citizen would be more receptive to universal health care. President Obama and the Democratic Party quite possibly made a mistake by forcing the health care bill through in the middle of the worst economic mess since the 1930s as well, and then having the Congressional mouthpieces giving us such gems as 'We have to pass the bill to see what's in it' and 'I haven't read the whole bill.'. Well, what the hell do we send you people to DC to do? Never mind. They ain't doing it all that well.

I just don't know. I'm a simple man-a man of the land. A moron. Just a singer in a rock and roll band. I'll leave it up to you to tell me I'm wrong.

yankeedog out.

04 January 2011

To start or not to start

Last week was the final week of the regular season in the NFL, and for teams that already locked up their seed in the playoffs, the same old question comes up-do you start your regular players, and risk them getting injured for the playoff run, or do you sit them, risking losing the game (and as a corollary effect, providing fans a 'substandard' product)?

The Bears had this type of decision in the final game against the Packers. The Bears knew they had the #2 seed and a 'bye' next week, so one could argue that there was no need to risk the important starters. The Packers needed to win the game to get into the playoffs. The Bears had the opportunity to knock what would have been an extremely potent team (but for an extraordinary number of injuries) out of contention. The possibility would exist for the Bears to play the Packers for a third time this year. As a rule, it's best not to have to play the same team three times in a season-the teams have a pretty good pile of knowledge on each other by then.

As it worked out, the Bears did lose to the Pack, 10-3. The Packers are in the playoffs, but the Bears had no major injuries. They'll have two weeks to regroup, get healthy, and figure out what the hell they have to do to win a game in the run to the Super Bowl. But there'd have been screaming all over Bear Nation and cries for head coach Lovie Smith's head on a platter if Jay Cutler got a separated throwing shoulder or Devin Hester blew an Achilles tendon running back a punt in what many would say is a 'meaningless' game.

A few seasons back, the Indianapolis Colts were 15-0 with a chance for a perfect 16-0 record. They had already wrapped up all the advantages they could get in the playoffs. So Coach Caldwell opted to sit Peyton Manning and his big players and put his reserves in for Game 16. The Colts lost the game but I believe ended up in the Super Bowl that year.

I'm sure a lot of Colts fans would like to have seen the regulars in there slugging it out trying for 16-0. And I suppose one could argue that if one pays $80-90/seat for an NFL tilt, one deserves to see the best players in the game.

The coaching staff, however, isn't all that interested in providing a good game for the fans. Their mission is to best manage the assets they have to get to and win a Super Bowl. Anything else is a bonus.

My opinion on the whole start/sit thing is....

...it depends on the situation.

If I were Lovie Smith going into week 16 and the playoffs, and playing the Packers, I'd have put the starters out there. My thought would be to try to eliminate a team I've already played twice and is showing signs of getting healthy at the right time.

Now, if it's 35-3 (either way) at halftime, the starters get to watch the second string finish up. As it was, the score never got to a point where it was a blowout. Indeed, most of the Bear starters seemed pretty disinterested in the whole affair from what I saw.

In the case of the Colts, I think Caldwell made the right call. There wasn't much incentive in playing a team that wasn't going anywhere, and the extra week can work wonders in getting bodies in some semblance of fighting condition for the postseason. Personally, I'm a big fan of getting the second stringers some quality time as well. One never knows when that reserve player may have to go in and make an impact on the game. So I'm for what the Pentagon calls 'total force concept' with my sports squads as well.

Teams have won Super Bowls using both approaches and to me it seems a no-brainer how to approach that last, possibly meaningless game. I'm sure most coaches look at the physical condition of their key players, and their opponent for the last game. I don't know why most sports fans even think about it all that much.

Baseball, basketball, and hockey have different dynamics. Most of the players will get game minutes as a matter of course. Baseball teams like to clinch with a week or so left in the regular season to give the manager time to get his pitching rotation set up. Basketball and hockey will see most of the players get game minutes as a matter of course. The only reason you'll see scrubs in those games after they clinch is because the regulars are generally too hung over or clubbed out to play the next day.

I don't know if, say, Oz rules or rugby has similar considerations. The level and type of impacts and violence is different. But the same thought processes might come into play. I'm sure someone will clue me in.

yankeedog out.

03 January 2011

Writer's block

I have topics, but I don't know what to write about. Can't seem to muster desire enough to write up anything big.

What sounds good?

a) The Great White Fleet of 1906 and its impact on relations with Australia/New Zealand?
b) The common man's guide to capitalism?
c) Playing vs. not playing starters in a meaningless sporting event?
d) Some local history?

Anything sound good?

yankeedog out.

01 January 2011

First post of the year

Well. I see 2011 is here. Looks a lot like 2010. Still no flying car in the driveway or antigrav belt in the closet.

The Better Half's relatives left on the 30th. Christmas around here a something of a six-day long whirlwind. It's good to see everyone. It's also good to see everyone go.

I skipped the New Year's Eve festivities. If I knew of a little place out in the country with a big fireplace and not much in the way of noise I'd have made for it for a weekend getaway. However, if you did go out and/or do New Year's up big, hope it went well for you!

Not much to say right now. I'm going to go read about the British naval mutinies of the 1930s. Later all!

yankeedog out.