Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Part 5

Risky Business was a 1983 film that launched Tom Cruise’s acting career and became another iconic film of the Ferris Bueller Generation (FBG). Regular readers will recall that I do not like the FBG. Where Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was a story about scamming, Risky Business was a story about running a whore house out of the parents’ home while they were on vacation. Guido the killer pimp, prostitutes, and scams…with their late adolescent characters formed by films like these, no wonder the FBGs are unlikable today.

Be that as it may, this film has some cute scenes and lines. One of my favorites is the school scene with Nurse Bolik posted below. Maybe you had some of the same emotions about school as Cruise's character voiced…I know I did.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Aussie Folk Songs - 3

The first of these last two songs is a take-off of an old Johnny Cash song, "I've Been Everywhere" that features many of the odd sounding Aussie town names...like Wodonga, Geelong, and Wangarrata etc. I had fun puzzling the Aussies by reminding them that those words had their roots in the Aboriginal language which were then spelled out phonetically by the early English settlers...the Aboriginals have no written language! Most Aussies had a startled look on their faces when something that they had taken for granted all their life was defined by a Yank in a way they had never before thought.

Here are the last two...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Aussie Folk Songs - 2

That line, "Shame About the Flies" is something the Aussies themselves celebrate.  Whenever you go walkabout in the bush (anything from a stroll in the woods to a cross-continent trek) you are quickly aware of the flies.  There are a lot of flies and it seems that they all bite. 

The graphic comes from a T-shirt I picked up and the flies are the actual Aussie creatures...kind of pretty, don't you think? 

A couple more rousing Aussie folk songs...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Aussie Folk Songs - 1

Had a project in Australia some years ago and the opportunity to bring the family down with me for a few months. Has to be one of the best places on earth...except for the snakes and spiders. Shame about the flies. But the people are the greatest, terrific sense of humor and the music is fun. The next couple of posts feature some songs from a tape I played the whole time there. Videos are a little weak, but close your eyes and enjoy...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Thanksgiving Parrot

John was given a parrot that could talk.  At first he was very excited to have received such a gift until learning to his dismay that the parrot had a bad attitude and a vocabulary that would make even a drunken sailor blush.       

Every word out of the bird's' mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with unbridled profanity. John tried and tried for several days to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's harsh, bitter and disrespectful vocabulary.     

Finally, John got fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back.  John then reached out and shook it for a second but the parrot got even angrier and ruder. In total desperation, John threw up both hands, then grabbed the bird around his neck and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot continued to squawk, kick and scream shameless insults.  Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard from the bird for over a minute.      

Fearing that he may have hurt the parrot, John rushed over and opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly jumped out onto one of John's outstretched arms and said "Sir, I fully realize now that I may have offended you with my inexcusable lewd ignominious language and disgraceful actions. I'm sincerely remorseful and totally humiliated for such inappropriate transgressions and hope you will believe that from now own I fully intend to do everything I possibly can to correct and repent for my scandalously rude and unforgivable behavior. I humbly ask for your forgiveness."     

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.      

Then as he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird rolled his eyes to look up and said very softly, "May I ask you what the turkey did?"         


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Airport Molestation - The Brain Trust

I've mentioned earlier that since serving in the military in my youth, I've always believed that "they" are usually 1 or 2 people responsible for pretty much anything that catches your attention...good or bad. And that it is sometimes useful to have a look at the decision makers. Weak decision makers usually shrink from such scrutiny and seek to lay off blame to someone, anyone else. I suspect we've all seen them at one time or another.

If old men shown in the mash-up above are really seen as potential threats, also children, pilots and cabin crew, then how must they be treating soldiers? Don't lose sight of the fact that the responsible "decision makers" for the current airport molestation initiative are those 3 shown in the top picture. Not one of them has yet offered a credible explanation for this molestation of American citizens. Instead they threaten us of what they will have done to us if we fail to "comply" with their orders.

Each soldier repeats the following oath when he or she enters the service:

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Not one of the "decision makers" in the picture ever took that oath.

American Airlines might have other problems that irritate me, but someone in that organization got it right in this commercial:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Airport Molestation - SNL Parody

Note: This video was taken down from Youtube within a few hours after it was posted this morning. The copyright claim is the same here as it appears on Youtube. The parody was rapier sharp and presented substantial ridicule of the ongoing TSA drama currently playing out at our airports. Ridicule as an effective tactic is featured in Community Organizer Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals and has been practiced by the Left for decades. Interesting that they cannot stand in the light of scrutiny themselves, isn't it?

If you are interested in seeing this video, take a look around on Youtube using various search terms...it may go viral...I hope it does.  One thing is certain, there is an active push to suppress this video. 

Here is a replacement copy...let's see how long this one stays up.

And while we're on the subject of NBC copyright claims, why hasn't this SNL Tina Fey video and the hundreds or even thousands like it been taken down on similar NBC copyright claims???

A conservative who is paying attention will know the answer to this question, an honest (if there is one) Liberal-Progressive-Democratic should feel compelled to crawl under a rock.

R.I.P. - 2010

Just a short post to update to record some of the passings of our teachers and classmates, or at least those I know of:

Roy C. Johnson - 1998
Billy Sills - 2002
Ruth Priddy - 1993
James L. Willingham - 1997
Johnny Howerton - 1981
Melvin Avery - 1990
Kenneth O. Vaughn - 1990
John Psomas - 1997
Ron McBee - 2000
Judy Oxford Hibbitts - 2009 (a '62 Highlander);

Below is a list taken from the EHHS 1965 site showing the Memorial listing of their lost classmates.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

EHHS 1962 Homecoming - Susan Begley, Linda Dunham, Candy Hamilton, Mollie Howell, Marsha Meyers

I sent this picture to a friend recently and noticed how innocent those times were...look at the caption.  Not only were their pictures published along with their names...nothing odd there, but their home addresses are there too !!  Can you imagine doing that today?

Like all high school elections, this one was based somewhat on popularity, but with a twist.  The nominees were chosen by a vote of the football team, as were the final choices, and to some extent, the choices were influenced also by the regard members of the team had for each of these girls' steady date.

I don't remember all of the dating relationships, but as I recall it went something like this:  Susan Begley-Paul Shields; Linda Dunham-Jimmy Aitken; Candy Hamilton-don't recall; Mollie Howell-Sam Scott; and Marsha Meyers-David Bane.  Susan won and Sam & David (as co-captains) kissed her on the field at halftime which irked Paul & Mollie & Marsha...or something like that.

A high quality copy of a lot of these old pictures may be obtained from the UTA Library where the Star Telegram archival negatives are kept--not sure where the Ft. Worth Press negatives are now.  As far as I know, all of these ladies, except Marsha are still doing well.  Marsha married a guy named Andy Wilson in 1966, who 6-years later in a domestic dispute, in September 1972, shot and killed her before taking his own life.  Marsha was 27.

What I do recall about Marsha was that she was smart, small, attractive, smiled a lot, and had a very upbeat personality.  I think she went to Texas Tech after EH, but I'm not sure about that.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Sampson Scott III - 2010 Update


Everyone knew that Sam was the strongest football player on the team. Even when we were underclassmen, the older ones didn’t press Sam much, at least none that I ever saw or heard of. He wasn’t a particularly aggressive kid, but he was just strong without really looking the part. There were other kids who had some size and had built up their muscles by that age, but even then Sam was just stronger. The coaches really loved this kid and lettered him all 3-years we were at EHHS—the only lad to do so in our class.

He was quiet spoken in the way that people who feel little need to impress others tend to be quiet. I never recall seeing him angry and whatever frustration he might have shown was always muted. Everyone liked him, but even more importantly, everyone respected him. If you needed 3-4 yards, give the ball to Sam.

Sam, a team co-captain, was also an outstanding All-District inside linebacker and started on both the offense and the defense. You never had to worry about anyone running over or by him. He had pretty good mobility, wasn’t too tall, maybe 5’10” and weighed about 185. I don’t recall him being much of a pass receiver, but as the fullback, that wasn’t his job. He had a kind of springy step, as he walked on the balls of his feet with a little up and down motion to his stride.

He seemed a little awkward with the girls even though they seemed to pay him attention at the parties. He was also smart in an unusual way. Although he wasn’t a leading class scholar, he was always in the hunt for top grades in most classes and graduated Cum Laude, or in about in the top quarter.

Sam taught himself to play piano by ear sometime during the Jr. High years, which in itself was a pretty good indicator of his intelligence. I recall seeing him working the piano keyboard out at some parties but don’t recall him ever playing a complete piece those times. Toward the end of high school and for some years afterward he played in a local band.

I lost track of Sam after graduation until our paths crossed once again, but briefly about 1982 when the picture above was taken. It appeared that life hadn’t treated him too well, but we didn’t talk about those things…to tell the truth, I don’t recall what we talked about, but do recall that we shared a pleasant hour or two.

Anyway, it seemed to me that Sam had a fine early potential that may have gotten side tracked after he grew up. My friend, Sam Scott passed away in 1990, at age 45.

Sam's sister (yes, he had one--she came along after we knew Sam) contributed some family history information recently. I had recalled that Sam's father, Sam II, was an airline pilot for the old Central Airlines and that he had retired as a Captain for Frontier Airlines; I also recalled seeing Sam Sr. sitting up on the hill watching a lot of our afternoon football practices. Tom Koebernick's dad was also there fairly often.

I recalled Sam Sr. as an enthusiastic, muscular man who was a real supporter of our Sam III. He had declined an appointment to the USNA to play football for Cornell. During WWII he flew Navy transports over the Pacific, then worked for a South American Cargo carrier owned by some USA oil companies, then to Central Airlines which was later merged with Frontier Airlines..

Perhaps even more interesting was the family Navy and Army lineage. Sam III's great grandfather was a Coastal Artillery officer at the turn of the century, and 2nd great grandfather was Admiral W.T. Sampson, a Naval officer who is well recorded in history...he was the Commander of the Navy force supporting Teddy Roosevelt in Cuba during the Spanish American War. A graduate at the top of his USNA class, Admiral Sampson served aboard a number of ships from a Civil War Monitor through a succession of larger ships until his last where he served as Captain of the Battleship Iowa (BB-4) in 1897. Afterward he commanded the North Atlantic Squadron during the Spanish American War.  Our Sampson Scott bore his name.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Airport Molestation - A Suggestion

Comedian Dennis Miller offered a reasonable suggestion for the Airport Molestation situation last night on TV. I liked it.

Miller (paraphrased) said he didn't mind the naked scanner too much since he didn't have anything he was ashamed of under the cloth. However, he went on to suggest that since we have a significant medical problem getting people to participate in early cancer screening, and since we have already made a big investment in labor and equipment at our airports, let's reconfigure the machines to provide mammograms at the same time.


Airport Molestation - Touching Junk

During my military service I recognized that there was really no "they" in this world. "They" usually resolved into 1 or 2 individuals having decision authority over a given situation. I also observed that low level workers like to invoke the generic "they said" or "they told" as an impenetrable defense in the event that someone had had enough abuse or delay at the hands of a low level minion and voiced a strenuous objection.

"They" are really not prepared, nor do they want to deal directly with objections from the masses "they" are charged with serving. This is true of both government and corporate "they" authorities. In fact, in recent decades "they" at the top have erected elaborate fortresses designed to disguise just where and who "they" really are. Just try to quickly find where a CEO is located. Of course, it's a reasonable position in most cases that "they" not expose themselves to us, because "we" are not always correct, nor do "they" at the top have the time to deal with a high volume of us. That is what lower tier "they" are for. Assuming the top level "they" are not complete idiots, then it's amongst the lower tier "they" where the problems begin to arise. Lower tier "they" can run the gambit of very good to very bad, but it is still the responsibility of "they" at the top of the stack to control their subordinate "they."

Still with me? I always found it useful to dig into an organization to find "they" at the top and direct my ire at them with a written document. In both corporations and in government organizations written documents have a special protected status. Although the document can be destroyed it doesn't mean that it didn't exist. Destroying such a document can be problematic for a chieftain because a copy can often resurface at a later date. So a written document to the top "they" of an organization is nearly always retained and very often answered. It's a legal thing.

Depending on the quality of the response to your ire, you have a choice of dropping the matter or taking it further and to other audiences. If your ire is expressed as a "dammit" and the response is something like "screw yourself, very truly yours" then you have a great picture of what you are dealing with that you can wave far and wide.

Youtube and other online avenues are providing direct access to a lot of people that we never before had and "they" are only now beginning to learn the threat it poses to their business as usual approaches. I think it's great, but beware.  "They" will almost certainly move to throttle those avenues over time..

John Tyner, 31, took a stand at the San Diego airport a few days ago by refusing to have his junk touched in a physical search and was refused his boarding rights. John had recorded his encounter and posted it to Youtube within a few hours. It went viral and the furor rose so quickly that "they" could not ignore it. John may be a present day Patriot. In taking his stand he illustrated the effect of Airport Molestation that was going on and forced "they" out from their fortresses all in one short event. That's a remarkable feat.

I tend to dismiss younger guys like John as inexperienced and impulsive, but in his case I think he may be that horse of a different color. At 31, he is very young....Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he penned the Declaration of Independence; George Washington was 43; and John Hancock whose large signature is an icon on the Declaration was 39. In those days "they" were George III and his assorted subordinate "they."

Forward Freedom

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SMU - Dallas

Pretty good clip from Dick Cheney commenting on the George Bush Presidential Library about to be built there....

Airport Molestation - Heat Rises

Bob Hoover, one of history's finest aerobatic pilots, used to fly at most of the LAX area airshows.  The shows were held at both commercial airports and military fields, most of which in that area were Naval Air Stations.  I think his first show plane was a yellow P-51 Mustang that was kept at the LAX airport in a North American Aviation hanger.  Stories of both his skills and his antics were already legend in the 1960s. 

As an early introduction to dumb government, even before my military service, I was subjected to an amazing display of bureaucratic dumbness at an airshow where Hoover would be flying his Mustang.  I got to NAS Point Mugu late and there was a line to purchase the 50-cent tickets.  Large temporary stands had been erected that effectively blocked view of the field except for a small slit between them.  Through that small slit I could see a yellow flash as Hoover's P-51 shot by; first one direction, then another.

The line was stalled because the 2 sailors selling tickets had run out of tickets and were waiting for a new supply.  Rather than just take the 50-cents and pass people through, the line was halted until some more tickets could be located.  I was fit to be tied--Hoover was doing the thing I had traveled a couple of hours to see and 2 sailors and whatever supervisor was there were in a classic brain-fart preventing me and a lot of others from seeing the main event.

Why the story?  In a sense, something like that is going on today within the TSA at our airports.  Bureaucrats, when faced with a situation requiring adjustment from the "rules book" tend to take the safe position and just point to the "rules."  That's understandable when one's livelihood is at risk; however, I think even many of those within the TSA rank and file know that in this case the rules need to be adjusted.  Is there evil intent at the top?  We all need to make that judgment ourselves.  Perhaps it's another example of Ben Franklin's warning about the "busybodies". 

Here is a link to an editorial out today--worth a read.  Drudge is linking to a lot of information on this matter.  I think it is a big deal.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Airport Molestation - CEOs

In his testimony before a Congressional panel following his ditching in the Hudson, Captain Sully Sullenberger succinctly summed things up. Years of “revolving door management teams treating airline employees like an ATM” had taken their toll on the airline industry. Placing a face with a CEO job is somewhat futile because before much time passes their faces will be replaced by other faces and the revolving door will simply keep spinning.

Expecting these temporary CEOs to “grow a pair” and object to the fondling of their customers by an out of control federal bureaucracy is just expecting too much from these kinds of men. These are the same guys responsible for stranding their passengers on hot tarmacs for hours, for enhancing their revenue by sticking it to you by the bag, for making “business” decisions to reduce costs by eliminating the peanuts, and for drawing multi-million dollar compensation packages for themselves each year.  Yes, I know they serve at the pleasure of the Board, but I also know that the Boards are often made up of a tight little group of cronies, some of them with notes pinned to their sweaters and their oatmeal drooling down their chins. 

Be that as it may, these are the men running the nation’s airlines today. Are you aware of any of them voicing objection to the molestation of their passengers? I haven’t heard them either.  It is not a CEO's job to look after day-to-day operations, but it is (or once was) his job to defend his company, its employees, equipment, and most of all...its customers. 

Capt. Sullenberger, shown below, is about as good an example of the consummate airline pilot as I can muster. His career started just after Vietnam and has spanned the period encompassing deregulation; his words bear re-reading...they are included at the bottom of the picture below.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Airport Molestation - Chicago Tribune

This is really a pretty good piece published today...worth the read:


Airport security: Government in our pants
Screening gets way too personal

Steve Chapman
November 14, 2010

When it comes to protecting against terrorism, this is how things usually go: A danger presents itself; the federal government responds with new rules that erode privacy, treat innocent people as suspicious and blur the distinction between life in a free society and life in a correctional facility; and we all tamely accept the new intrusions, like sheep being shorn.

Maybe not this time.

The war on terrorism is going to get personal. Very personal. Americans have long resented the hassles that go with air travel ever since 9/11 — long security lines, limits on liquids, forced removal of footwear and so on. But if the Transportation Security Administration has its way, we will look back to 2009 as the good old days.

The agency is rolling out new full-body scanners, which eventually will replace metal detectors at all checkpoints. These machines replicate the experience of taking off your clothes, but without the fun. They enable agents to get a view of your body that leaves nothing to the imagination.

A lot of people, of course, couldn't care less if a stranger wants to gaze upon everything God gave them. But some retain a modesty that makes them reluctant to parade naked in front of people they don't know, even virtually. Henceforth, Jennifer Aniston is going to think twice before flying commercial.

Besides the indignity of having one's body exposed to an airport screener, there is a danger the images will find a wider audience. The U.S. Marshals Service recently admitted saving some 35,000 images from a machine at a federal courthouse in Florida. TSA says that will never happen. Human experience says, oh, yes, it will.

For the camera-shy, TSA will offer an alternative: "enhanced" pat-downs. This is not the gentle frisking you may have experienced at the airport in the past. It requires agents to probe aggressively in intimate zones — breasts, buttocks, crotches.

If you enjoyed your last mammography or prostate exam, you'll love the enhanced pat-down. And you'll get a chance to have an interesting conversation with your children about being touched by strangers.

Reviews of the procedure are coming in, and they are not raves. The Allied Pilots Association calls it a "demeaning experience," and one pilot complained it amounted to "sexual molestation." The head of a flight attendants' union local said that for anyone who has been sexually assaulted, it will "drudge up some bad memories."

But the option of the full-body scanner is not so appealing, either, even leaving out privacy concerns. Two pilots' unions have advised members not to go through the scanners because of the possible risks of being bombarded with low doses of radiation.

"There is good reason to believe that these scanners will increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable populations," a group of scientists from the University of California at San Francisco informed the White House.

Aviation trade groups fear the public has finally been pushed over the edge. "We have received hundreds of e-mails and phone calls from travelers vowing to stop flying," Geoff Freeman, executive vice president of the U.S. Travel Association, told Reuters.

The new policy is being challenged in court by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which says it violates the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches. But don't expect judges to save us. Says Stanford University law professor Robert Weisberg, with resignation in his voice, "Airports are pretty much a Fourth Amendment-free zone."

Though the harm to privacy is certain, the benefit to public safety is not. The federal Government Accountability Office has said it "remains unclear" if the scanners would have detected the explosives carried by the would-be Christmas Day bomber.

They would also be useless against a terrorist who inserts a bomb in his rectum — like the al-Qaida operative who blew himself up last year in an attempt to kill a Saudi prince. Full-body scanning will sorely chafe many innocent travelers, while creating only a minor inconvenience to bloodthirsty fanatics.

The good news is that last year, the House of Representatives voted to bar the use of whole-body scanners for routine screening. But only a sustained public outcry will force a change.

We will soon find out if there is a limit to the sacrifices of personal freedom that Americans will endure in the name of fighting terrorism. If we don't say no when they want to inspect and handle our private parts, when will we?

Steve Chapman is a member of the Tribune's editorial board and blogs at chicagotribune.com/chapman

Copyright © 2010, Chicago Tribune

Airport Molestation

For the past few days, Drudge and a couple of websites have been running full-bore with this story which accompanies the introduction of full-body scanners at US airports.  I don't know whether any other outlets have been dealing with it or not.  However, the outrage has grown so quickly and so vociferously that Janet (b.1957, a FBG), has had to crawl out of her cave and speak to the situation.

Both the Flight Attendants' and Pilots' unions have recommended that their memberships decline the intrusive searches.  As we approach the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays the situation bears watching.  I would vote for a complete boycott of the airlines until this matter is reasonably settled.  But that's just me...I've never cared to put up with much bureaucratic crap during my lifetime--that includes corporate crap as well as governmental crap.

I'm not too sure of what I think of Janet.  She seems reasonably well grounded when I've seen her speak, but then again her name and mug seems to be repeatedly attached to one officious pile of crap after another.  She's the one, as I recall it, whose mug was attached to that paper that leaked out some months ago stressing that veterans pose a significant threat to the country's security, because of their military training.  That outrage exploded in her face and it had to be quickly retracted as a an unapproved draft written by some unnamed, low-level flunky.  There have been a couple of other events attributed to her, so I've begun to think where there is smoke, etc.

We grew up at a time and in a place where manners were taught and respect for others was the norm.  Common sense tended to be the norm also.  We weren't burdened by so much concern about hurting feelings of others...that would have been rude and subject either to some degree of censorship or a punch in the nose.  Shelby Foote, one of my favorite historians, frequently said that there was nothing so conducive to a polite society than the threat of a punch in the nose.  It's up to the younger generations now to hold on to their freedom...I hope they have the gonads; I'm not sure they do.

Some of our classmates flew as aircrew with the commercial airlines (Alice Bretz, Sharon Hubbard,  & Sharon Ballem come to mind).  Can you imagine what they might have had to say when some bag checker started to grope them?  I can.

Of course the aggressive hand searches are some bright light's notion of how best to drive (FBGs like that word...drive, they use it a lot) people into the full-body scanners...make the hand search so repugnant that the Sheeple will capitulate.  It's how thuggery works just short of taking out the blackjacks.

BTW, where are those FBG pillars of corporate prowess and leadership...the airline CEOs?  Haven't heard a peep from those cowards.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blue Angels - A Veteran's Day Salute

Climb aboard and take a ride with the very best of the best.

Well done. Carry on Gentlemen.

Random Thoughts Wednesday - Of Ships & Planes

Powered ships have been plying the seas successfully for 150-years or so. And Boeing has been making reliable planes for over 80-years. Wonder what the problem is now? Maybe it's just more examples of leadership by accountants and financiers.

Falling Interstate highway bridges, massive electric grid failures, airlines shutdown in good weather, and other massive failures. Something is going on here...could be lousy FBG leadership. Based on my own observations of them, I tend to think so. Have I mentioned before that I don't like those people?

Another factor is what seems to me to be an overly aggressive migration to computer control of everything possible.  The Boeing plane was carrying something like 20+ computer technicians in the back.  They were lucky that the pilot had enough control left to get the plane back on the ground safely.  Some of these computer proponents are pushing hard for the elimination of pilots in the cockpit altogether...let the computer fly it, they chant, just as they are now doing with the drones.

Personally, I like the notion of having pilots aboard who have the same vested interest in completing a flight safely as I do.  A computer dweeb on a joystick thousands of miles away as with the current drones just doesn't have the same chips in the game as do the passengers.  Note that the "Dreamliner" has only 2 engines--I like 'em with more motors.  And as we all know by now, computers aren't perfect, nor do they behave themselves as advertised in all situations.  I would have no interest in flying beta.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


A friend sent me this recently – engineers will like it, maybe some others, too: HELL EXPLAINED BY A CHEMISTRY STUDENT

The following is an actual question given on a University of Arizona chemistry midterm, and an actual answer turned in by a student.

The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving, which is unlikely... I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct..... ...leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God, Oh my God.'

The student received an A+

Oh god

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Sham Wow

Already figured the wipes were a scam, but wife needed something to do some light chopping...how about a Slap Chop and its little cousin, the Graty? How badly could they screw up a blade and a spring? Pretty damned bad...the thing is NFG! Went out in today's garbage.

Yeah, yeah, I know that all I had to do was to evaluate the sleazy looking character doing the commercial to figure nothing about these products were worth a damned. Maybe the kid is available to make nomination speeches for Democratics...might be a good fit.. 


Monday, November 08, 2010

Rejecting Big Brother & Sis

An interesting development in the full body scan wars today. "The president of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents 11,500 pilots, many of whom work for American Airlines, has urged members of the union to revolt against the devices."
I'm glad I got wanderlust out of my system years ago.

Travel started becoming ponderous in the late 1970s when airline deregulation was thrust upon us. Air travel was great before that, though.  I recall when the airlines rarely sold the center seats which allowed for the center seat back between you and your fellow traveler to be folded down and used as a convenient drink stand--much more civil than that obnoxious little fold-down in front.  You could cross your legs and ride in relative comfort.  Flight attendants were gracious, pretty, and well trained...even the heshees.

Airline food was never outstanding, but it was pretty good then...yes you got a reasonable meal if your flight took place during a meal time.  What's changed?  Well, a couple of things that come to mind are the ascendancy of financial and accounting people to corporate leadership (I don't think they were never suited for leadership by lack of personality alone) and overreaching Democratics favoring egalitarian travel access for all.  Well, we have it, and the airports are more and more resembling bad bus stations.

Glib and unfair?  Sure...but like we gave "Peace a chance" perhaps we should give "Profiling" a chance, too.  Grandma and Grandpa aren't the problem.


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Hamburger Stands - The Clover Drive-in - Poly

While thinking about the Hawthorne "A" a few posts back, it struck me that I left EH right after graduation and never really spent much social time in the local drive-in stands.  Dates were usually to something else, somewhere else, so except for the early trips to a stand with my family, I missed the East Side hamburger stand experience.

If I recall correctly, there was a Lone Star, a Char-Bar, and a couple more I recalled from the Riverside area on Belknap.  The picture above is probably a rare one of the Clover Drive-In in the Poly area, taken sometime in the early sixties (credit and thanks to a Poly reunion site).

Kids with cameras were fairly rare in those days.  Even if you could buy a camera, there wasn't often enough money to pay for the processing and taking a night picture like this one requires a bit of special know-how...all contributing to a scarcity of pictures taken of drive-ins at night, which is how we would all remember them best.

However, as I was doing some searching for representative pictures of hamburger stands sometime back, I found those pictures to be scarce.  Not surprisingly, what pictures did exist were taken in large population areas where there were lots of professional news photographers, like Los Angeles...and Ft. Worth in the 1950s and 1960s was still a pretty backwater place.  Seems that the West Side tended to have most of the neat eateries--all 2 or 3 of them.  Of course, the West Side was only a 15-minute trip from the East Side in those days--especially after the Toll Road opened in 1957.

Even though the drive-in experience occupied most of our youth, in a larger sense, they were fairly short-lived...done in by McDonalds and the fast-food genre as they came on line in the 1960s.  Too bad, the variety was amazing and for some, the social experience was also memorable.  I saw a slight resurgence in the 1980s when some of our peers started opening retro hamburger stands...often using the same names as the original oldies.

But things had changed.  We visited the new retro stand near our home, backed the car in, called the car-hop, got the food, turned on the radio, and settled in for a pleasant automotive retro dining experience--which we accomplished.  It happened that our retro hamburger stand lacked the open acreage of the originals, so they painted a row of parking spots right against a two-story building on the adjoining property.

You had a choice--back in so you could see what was going on, or head-in and stare at the blank wall.  We, a card carrying boomer family, backed in of course and there were no other cars in the row.  All too soon we had another car containing a young FBG family pull in right next to us (don't they always?) only they parked facing the wall.  They were oblivious to the fact that their lights would not be available to signal the carhop, nor could they see the carhop, and their horn might not be very effective either.  We were delighted--watching members of the FBG squirm has always been entertaining for us.  Dumb bastards.

Drive-in hamburger stands were mostly warm climate establishments for obvious reasons.  So, northerners you encounter from time to time simply didn't have the same experience.  Most of the pictures accompanying this piece were in California.


Friday, November 05, 2010

We The People

These color graphics clearly display where we are as a country.  Of course, in most places, except where there are heavy concentrations of great diversity, the electorate is fairly evenly split with the matters solved by a gadfly group of "Independents" moving from one side of the middle to the other, depending on which issue moves them.

The green circles are areas where I would not want to live and the Xs are places where I don't want to do business.  People in those areas are simply not my kind of people and the representatives they keep sending to government do not represent my view of right and wrong.  Looks like most of the ground is held by the Rs.

Gridlock should keep us out of too much government induced trouble for the next couple of years.  The Founding Fathers were awfully bright people, weren't they?

If you are looking for a good read, find a copy of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" online.  Although written about 234 years ago, the language reads much like today's. 


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Election - 2010 - Results

A fresh start this morning.  Conservative compromise is not the lesson of yesterday's election.