Three Shots of Jose Cuervo and...

Thanks Michael!

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 at 11:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in | Comments12 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Monday Punday - Miracle Ham

Let me apologize in advance…

Regular contributor James sent this, and he got it from Grouchy Old Cripple. Looks like a spinoff of another popular cartoon used on reusable grocery bags. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Anyway, blame them!

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 at 07:30AM by Registered CommenterDoug in | Comments5 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Super Bowl XLIII - My Prediction

The biggest sporting event of the year has arrived. Super Bowl XLIII, or 43 for those whose education omitted Roman numerals, is here. The favored Steelers are hoping to make history with what could be their sixth NFL championship. The underdog Cardinals are looking to gain some respect by winning the franchise’s first Super Bowl. Conditions will be sunny and clear in Tampa Bay, Florida. With Bruce Springsteen performing at halftime and an estimated $3 million spent on 30 second commercial breaks, this Super Bowl promises to be a great game.

People have been asking me all week which team I think will take the trophy, and for a while I was non-committal, telling them that the Steeler defense would be hard to penetrate. I still believe that, but I’m going with the Cards. I believe this is their post season and I think they’ll win despite the line heavily favoring Pittsburg.

Here’s how I see it going down. Edge and Hightower will deliver a decent running game, subbing for each other so neither tires out. Warner will continue to throw to Fitz and Anquan will explode after another tirade like the one he threw during the conference championship game. That’ll get everyone’s emotions running high.

I also like the Cardinals’ defense; they’ve been keeping some great offenses in check. I know everyone is talking about the Steeler D, but I think the Cards great offense and good defense trumps the Steelers’ strong defense and sub-par offense.

I’m expecting a close game which will surprise many of you who are primed for a trouncing. The Cards by 3 in an upset.

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 at 11:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in | Comments19 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Friday Fly-by - Mike's Socata TB20

Instead of military aircraft in this week’s fly-by, we’re featuring my friend and dive buddy, Mike, and his Socata TB20 Trinidad. (Wife Michele refers to it as “his beloved”.)

I’ve traveled with Mike and Michele to many of the most exotic dive destinations in the world and, besides a love of world class underwater adventure, we share an affinity for general aviation. Michele shares this photo and cockpit video of Mike and the TB20 in flight.

Suggestion: If you have the bandwidth, move your cursor to the triangle at bottom right and select HQ (high quality) viewing.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , , , | Comments20 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

The Economy Bailout Song

From James along with the lyrics. Go ahead, sing along…

Click to read more ...

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , , , | Comments7 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

WWII Posters - 1

WWII Posters played an important roll during WWII, helping mobilize the nation. Inexpensive, accessible and ever-present, the poster was an ideal agent for making war aims the personal mission of every citizen. Government agencies, businesses and private organizations issued an array of poster images linking the military front with the home front—calling upon every American to boost production at work and at home.

Deriving their appearance from the fine and commercial arts, posters conveyed more than simple slogans. They expressed the needs and goals of the people who created them. I was just a kid then, but I remember seeing many of them, still hanging in garages and plants long after the war ended. They represented a way of life, a collective spirit to do what was necessary to win the war and bring our boys home.

Cousin Mike emailed a collection of such posters to me the other day and I thought I’d share some of them over the next few weeks. I wonder how we’d respond today if asked to make such a commitment to the war effort. (Click to enlarge)


Above: The Treasury Department financed the war through the sale of bonds and stamps to the public. War bond posters called upon all citizens to share in “ownership” of the war.

To be continued…

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , , , | Comments11 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

From Closet to Naked Socialism

“While Americans were asleep at the wheel, a faction of our government was planning the nation’s shift to socialism, a drastic move calculated to preserve their power after their brutal rape of the treasury had rendered the country technically insolvent. Liberal lawmakers, and those that influence them, had been moving in that direction for years. Now, with control of both houses and the strategic placement of Barack Obama as president, they were ready to move to the final phase…”

Sounds like the plot of a Michael Crighton doomsday thriller, doesn’t it? But it’s not as far fetched as you might think. We’re already quasi-socialists. Socialized medicine is next, to be followed by our government taking larger portions of our incomes for redistribution to others. We’ll become increasingly dependent on government for more and more services, surrendering more of our incomes for redistribution until, finally, we’re a nation of socialists with government “sharing” all wealth - yours and mine - for the good of the state.

How did we allow this to happen? Well, the GOP put us here by giving us eight years of George W. Bush and then, when Romney could probably have beaten Obama by a good 20 points, backing over-the-hill war hero John McCain instead. Don’t get me wrong, I like and respect John McCain, but he was the wrong choice for such an important campaign.

But I’m through licking my political wounds. Now I’m bracing for eight years of well orchestrated programs and tax initiatives aimed at advancing us from “closet” socialism to “naked” socialism. That’s the “change” Obama promised, what his political upbringing taught him was needed in America, and what he and political adviser Robert Reich, along with other socialists like Charlie Rangle, are already working hard to implement. Get used to social engineering the likes of which this country has never seen. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments18 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Forrest Gump's Take on the Mortgage Crises

Got this from several readers and it clears all the smoke and mirrors Congress has put up to divert blame and responsibility for this mess from the real culprits - them.

“Mortgage backed securities are like boxes of chocolates. Crooks on Wall Street stole a few chocolates from the boxes and replaced them with turds. Their criminal buddies at Standard & Poor rated the boxes ‘AAA investment grade’ chocolates and they were sold to investors all over the world. Eventually, somebody bit into a turd and discovered the crime. Then nobody trusted American chocolates anymore.

Hank Paulson thought it would be good if American taxpayers bought up all the boxes of chocolate turds for $700 billion and held them until a market for turds developed. Meanwhile, Hank’s buddies, the Wall Street crooks who stole all the good chocolates, aren’t being investigated, arrested, or even indicted.

It’s like Mama always says: ‘Sniff the chocolates first, Forrest’”.

To add insult to injury, Fannie Mae has the cajones to be a double dipper. They asked for “expect” another $16 Billion to keep them afloat! (Freddie wants another $35 Billion!) Shouldn’t they both have already been flushed?

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , , | Comments13 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Outgoing Bush Wishes Obama Well in Confidential Note

From Denny Wilson

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 at 02:00PM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments15 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

'The Middle Place' by Kelly Corrigan

First, let me apologize for my lack of posting since the $170M coronation inauguration of Barack Obama. I’ve been especially busy at work and the long hours have left me neither time nor energy for blogging. Besides, I’m still a little numb from the whole Obama thing.

But that’s not really the subject of this post. What I want to share with you today, even before I’ve read it, is a memoir by Kelly Corrigan titled The Middle Place. I already have several books in various stages of being read, so it’s not as though I need another. But this one sounds like one for the reading list.

I often choose books based on the writing style of the author. I enjoy the artful twist of a phrase, the perfectly connected words that so vividly paint a picture, as much — and sometimes more — than the story they weave. When I begin such a work, it’s hard for me to put it down, yet it may take me longer to finish simply because I pause often to digest, reread and sometimes marvel at the way something or someone is described. For me, what makes a story is how it’s told.

So as Dawn and I leafed through The Middle Place, we were at once taken by Corrigan’s writing style. We know little, if anything, about the story, yet we’re fairly certain we’ll enjoy the read. If you’re like us and appreciate the writing as much as the story it tells, read this excerpt and see what you think. We want to read more; you may as well.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in | Comments11 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Barack Obama - 44th President of the United States

Barack Obama was sworn in this morning as the 44th President of the United States of America and the first African American president in our young history. To call it an historic event would be an understatement. The complexion of our nation has changed forever and, in that respect, it’s a good thing. Most would argue it’s been long overdue.

In his inaugural address, he emphasized that we - all of us - must become part of the solution to America’s problems and that we’ll need to “sacrifice”. That’s the part that I wish he’d fleshed out. I’m a believer in descriptive sentences; generalizations leave me wondering. So I have some trepidation about exactly what sacrifices he means. Is he telling us to grin and bear higher taxes to support bigger government? The question looms like a gorilla in the proverbial room.

But for the moment, I’m trying to remain positive, even (dare I say it?) “hopeful” that he will guide the Congress and our nation back to prosperity. And I think everyone is on board with that. Time will tell. I think he’s a good man; it’s some of those who surround him that worry me.

I’ve linked to a transcript of the speech so you can dissect it as you wish. The cost of this inauguration - some are calling it a coronation - dwarfs by several times any in our history. That seems odd, if not inappropriate, considering these shaky financial times. But that’s fodder for another post and another day. Like I said, today I’m positive.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 at 11:30AM by Registered CommenterDoug in | Comments23 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Baz Luhrmann's Australia

We finally saw the nearly three hour film Australia last evening after a drive out to tour Red Hawk Casino, and then dinner - peel & eat shrimp and “lazyman” cioppino - at Powell’s Steamer Co. & Pub in Placerville. Ran into our friend Candy there listening to live jazz. Yep, we covered a lot of ground but it felt good to blow off a little work related pressure and do something we don’t often get time for. Kind of a double feature weekend!

The film is a romantic action-adventure set in northern Australia prior to World War II and centers on an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a ranch the size of Maryland. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn drover (Hugh Jackman) to drive 2000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country’s most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier.

The film wasn’t in wide release for long, so many of you may have passed it by. But if it’s still playing in your area - we had to drive out the the Century on Greenback, the only theater still showing it here - make a point to catch it on the big screen. A special treat: the kid who narrates the story and plays the half Australian Aborigine boy that is more or less adopted by Kidman’s character. He is wonderful!

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments14 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino - Get Off My Lawn!

Dawn and I just got back from seeing Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. Once again, the old man turned in both solid direction and an Oscar worthy performance. The film contains sufficient humor to take the edge off and delivers a good message about life, setting it apart from other revenge movies. We also chose to watch it in digital cinema format (no film!) which further enhanced our viewing experience. If DLP (Digital Projection) is offered at your theater, opt for it.

Posted on Jan 17, 2009 at 08:21PM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments13 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Heineken Walk-in Fridge Commercial

Here’s a pleasant little Dutch treat. Developed by Czar.NL for Heineken in the Netherlands and launched in late December 2008, this clever ad projecting the perceived differences in fashion focus between men and women was viewed a million times in its first week!

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 at 09:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments14 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Apple Unveils MacBook Wheel at Macworld

At this week’s Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Apple Inc. unveiled the latest member of its laptop computer family, the MacBook Wheel. At 13.3 inches, it’s the first laptop without a traditional keyboard. As Senior Product Innovator Brian Gilman put it, “At Apple our philosophy is create products that are simple to use, and nothing’s more simple than a single, giant button.”

The MacBook Wheel won’t be available for several months, but tech reporter Jeff Tate was able to test drive one. Andrea Bennett has the story.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 at 06:30AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , , | Comments20 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint