July 31, 2009
Andrew McCarthy in NR on The One's personal history and the MSM's unwillingness to examine it.
July 30, 2009
Just a Little Something To Add to the LMC Urban Assault Minivan
for when Our Little Debutante goes on her first car date.
Birthday Double Play
We Have A Winner in the Offspring Name Sweepstakes
Eleanor Elizabeth, because we could not pull off "Jaimie Tyronica" as a "family name."
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Bad Mojo Division
Well, the Nats' four game winning streak got snapped last night as they blew a mid-innings lead to lose to the Brewers 7-5.
Personally, I blame MASN play-by-play guy Bob Carpenter for this one.
You see, somebody sent Carpenter and "Angry Rob" Dibble an old Jose Morales baseball card at the beginning of the streak and the guys adopted it as a good luck charm. That's all well and good, but Carpenter just couldn't keep his mouth shut about it and its positive effect, and last night they even showed the damned thing taped to the broadcast desk.
Guys, you've been in the business long enough to know how fickle the Baseball Gods are. If Jose Morales is powering the team, he's powering the team...but you don't TALK about it!
Or as Crash Davis said, "Never fook with a winning streak."
So the gremlin bogie drops to 52, with 9 still the magic number to kill it. Here's hoping the Nats can get it back together this afternoon and at least take the series.
July 29, 2009
Because Nothing Says "Summahtime" Like A Greased Cod
Ol' Robbo heads out for his annual vacation jaunt up to Maine a week from tomorrow. Pity I didn't go a bit early this year, because I'd liked to have seen this:
MILBRIDGE, Maine — The annual Cod Fish Races in coastal Maine were disrupted when police say alcohol-fueled fighting led to a brawl involving up to 60 people, sending two to the hospital. State Police Trooper Barry Curtis said Saturday's melee in Milbridge stemmed from a dispute earlier in the afternoon over someone's driving.
The Bangor Daily News reported that Town Manager Lewis Pinkham — also the police chief — and another person were treated for minor injuries.
One person was charged with assault and three others were issued disorderly conduct summonses.
The races are part of the Milbridge Days town birthday party. Teams dressed in firefighters' gear run across a baseball field, clenching a greased, dead, 20-pound cod, and get sprayed with hoses.
Maybe next year.....
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "See! You! Later!" Division
How about that? The Nats took another one off the Brewers last night by a score of 8-3, including an Adam Dunn homer that still hasn't hit the ground. (The eldest Llama-ette and I spent the evening arguing about whether the Nats should just keep playing Dunn at 1st and get rid of Nick Johnson altogether. That's the kind of argument I don't mind having with the gel.) The real star of the game, however, was our new centerfielder Nyger Morgan. Why did the Bucs let him go, I wonder?
So, as I say, how about that? That's four wins in a row and six out of the last eight games. Is it now legitimate to believe that the team finally has had the fire lit under its collective backsides and might finish out the season in some style? The gremlin bogie remains stuck at 53 and the magic number to kill it is now 9.
Yup, baseball is almost fun again.
July 28, 2009
Thinking on the LMC's new family-friendly wheels some more reminded me again of this classic:
I should mention, by the way, that I continue to tool around in my Wrangler only because Mrs. Robbo indulges me with it. Had she demanded that I go get an Odyssey or a Sienna or whatever instead, I'm sure it would only have been a matter of time, and a pretty short one at that, before I caved.
Might persistent woman, that Mrs. Robbo.
On "Health Care Reform"
Watching the shuck and jive being played out in Dee Cee at the moment, I can't help being reminded of Peej O'Rourke's great line:
Communists worship Satan. Socialists think perdition is a good system run by bad people. Liberals think we should all go to hell because it's warm there in the winter.
'Bout covers it, so far as I'm concerned.
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "Calling Down The Thundah" Division
The Nats dropped the Brewers 14-6 last night, chalking up their third straight win and holding the gremlin bogie at 53. (If my math is right, we only need ten more wins to defeat the bogie. The way the Nats have been playing this week, I'm juuuuuust beginning to wonder whether we might actually come in under 100 losses after all. I may have to adjust the bogie watch to reflect this marker instead, although I am also mindful of the "Great, kid, but don't get cocky!" rule, too.)
Memorable quote of the night at Orgle Manor? "Well sure, sweetie, it's possible that Willingham could hit two grand-slams in the game, but that almost never hap--.....Well, I'll be damned!"
July 27, 2009
Oh Yeah? Tough Guy . . .
Robbo the LLama, talking trash about the LMC Urban Assault Minivan, glosses over the fact he let The Butcher's Wife do the dirty work.
Here is a bit of advice I have dispensed free of charge since passing the bar: a traffic stop or any other encounter with a police officer in the line of duty is not the time or place for you to run your mouth about what you think your rights might be. If you believe the officer was acting in an unprofessional manner, save it for later and make your complaint to his lieutenant or the chief of police. The departments I have dealt with over the years are very conscious of the image their officers present and will certainly look into any allegations their men and women stepped out of line.
One of my brothers checked in and suggested the "teachable moment" was the 911 call centers need to expand their services: "Press 1, if you are a rock star" "Press 2, if you are a generally known celebrity" "Press 3, if you are a celebrity only among left-leaning college faculty" "Press 4, if you require culturally sensitive police officers, who may not be immediately available" "For all other calls, press 5, if you want the police to arrive, get the bad guys, save the good guys, for awful hours and lousy pay."
We generally allow the Llama-ettes to watch teevee for half an hour or so before dinner in order to get them out of the way.
Over the weekend, as I was passing on my way to the patio to grill, I noticed the seven year old watching iCarly.
We've had trouble with this gel talking like a sit-com teenager of late, and when I realized what she was doing I said, "Hey! I thought I told you not to watch those Disney teeny-bopper shows anymore!"
"But Dad-Dee!" she replied, "This isn't Disney, it's Nickelodeon!"
I knew the gel was trying to game me because she hasn't yet developed a poker-face, but gets a glint of divilment in her eyes when she thinks she's being clever.
What he said!
Yips! to Jonah.
Late Saturday afternoon I happened to overhear Mrs. Robbo talking on the phone with the LMC. From what I gathered, it appears that the LMC is attempting to paper over the fact that he has recently succumbed to the Minivan Collective by referring to his new ride as an "urban assault vehicle". I assume he's thinking of this:
I burst out laughing when I heard this attempted euphemism. And Mrs. R, bless her, refused to let the LMC get away with it.
Face it, my friend: You're whipped!
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Celeb-Sighting Bleg Edition
Well, how about that? The Nats take a pair off the Padres, getting their second series win in a week and holding the gremlin bogie at 53. (I suppose I ought to figure out the magic number for beating the gremlin bogie, just to be thorough. But I never did care for math.)
We're off to Diane's neck o' the woods to take on the Brewers tonight. My understanding is that the Brewers are a pretty tough team, so we shall see what we shall see. (Just as a side note, years of watching Cheers has made me incapable of thinking of the name Diane without hearing in my mind Rhea Perlman's derisive pronunciation "Doy-annnnn".)
Speaking of seeing, perhaps one of you knows the answer to this question: There is a Heineken's ad that runs during the Nats games. It features two guys at a basketball game. They're just about to sit down in their nosebleed seats when some other fan accidentally spills beer and food all over said seats. The guys are so cool about it that the usher who led them up decides to reward them by taking them courtside instead. Once there, they're handed a couple of Heinies by a beer girl. The ad ends with the camera discovering some chick sitting next to them asking if she can have one as well.
So anyway, every time this ad comes on, the eleven year old says, "Who is she, Dad? I think she's supposed to be someone famous."
To which I reply, "I think you're right, but I don't know who she is."
I won't begin to try and describe the gal. If you've seen the ad, you know what I'm talking about. And the question remains: Who the heck is she?
July 25, 2009
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM)
The Nats dropped the first of a series against the Padres last night by a score of 6-2. The gremlin bogie number now stands at 53.
The denizens of Orgle Manor were out at a dive team season wrap-up picnic and did not arrive home until the end of the 7th Inning. After the eleven year old indignantly reported that the Nats were already well down, there simply didn't seem to be any point in watching the rest. I forget what the team's record is when trailing after seven, but it's something pretty horrendous. Much better off reaching for a book and saving your blood-pressure.
Still, we'll try it again tonight.
July 24, 2009
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "What'r You Going To Do, Bleed On Me?" Division
The Nats dropped a rain-shortened make-up game to the Cards last night, 4-1. The gremlin bogey now stands at 54.
When they stopped play, it was raining heavily enough that we reckoned the game would be washed out altogether. So instead of waiting around to see, I popped in my battered old tape of Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the Llama-ettes.
Now my philosophy is that there are certain culchahrul references with which any young lady or gentleman should become familiar in the course of their education. (The significance of Birnam Wood, for instance. Or the melody of Bach's Wachet Auf! Or what NFL team is still the only one ever to have had a perfect season.) And among those references, I feel it is very important that they also should know that there's a difference in the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow depending on whether it's an African or a European variety.
I'm happy to report that the Llama-ettes ate up all that they should have, from the first appearance of the coconuts, through the Black Knight, "Bring out yer dead!" "Run awaaaaay!!", Camelot being a silly place, Brave Sir Robin, the Knights Who Say "Ni!", the Holy Hand-Grenade of Antioch and all the rest of it.
The only joke that sailed completely over their heads was the anarcho-syndicalist commune and "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" The only slightly sticky point for me was when they asked, "But Dad, why do all those ladies WANT Galahad to give them spanks?" (I responded with a nonchalant "Never mind." Do not underestimate the value of the non-answer in dealing with the young.)
Interestingly enough, the Llama-ettes all thought the end of the movie was, to quote the eldest, "pretty lame". I have heard this criticism before from more sophisticated mouths, and although I am more or less neutral on the topic myself, I can recognize that the position has some merit. (Certainly the ending is the movie's weak point, and of course it can't compare with the ending of Life of Brian.) I was impressed that the gels swooped in on it so emphatically.
So this morning, the eleven year old sidled up to me and said, "Dad? Did Monty Python make any more movies or shows? They're really funny." "That's good!" I replied, slipping into a completely different reference. "You've taken your first steps into a wider universe!"
Incidentally, they're all outside playing "Answer Me These Questions Three". Only instead of being hurled into the Gorge of Eternal Peril, those who miss an answer are made to suffer the Hose of Eternal Soaking.
"The Aristocracy of Intent"
This piece from Hot Air is a must read:
President Obama’s bizarre prime-time press conference last night illustrated one of the worst aspects of socialism: the insularity of its elites. This was clearly the performance of someone who expects to be shielded from criticism, opposition, practical considerations, and the results of his actions.
People often wonder how liberals can regard themselves as such an enlightened elite, while running down every other aspect of the society they nominally belong to. If every successful person in America is greedy, cruel, and selfish, how can financially successful liberals claim to be morally superior? The answer is nothing so simple as hypocrisy, although liberals are very sensitive to that accusation, and constantly project it onto others. The truth was visible in Obama’s press conference last night. What you saw was not a humble servant of the people, carrying out his duties as the executive of a constitutional republic. It wasn’t even a man discussing an idea he thinks is brilliant, and trying to convince others to support it. It was a monarch who could barely conceal his anger and frustration at those who dare to question his wisdom. Liberals regard themselves as an aristocracy of intent, a privileged class made superior by their dedication to “selfless” principles.
Naturally, such an insular elite sees itself surrounded by enemies. These enemies cannot, by definition, have anything but the most vile and selfish motives - otherwise, they would be supporting the liberal program, not opposing it. That’s why Obama was willing to make an utter fool of himself last night, by characterizing doctors as bloodthirsty ghouls who can’t wait to dismantle our children and sell them for scrap, starting with their tonsils. It’s interesting that Obama didn’t have anything better prepared for his press conference, since he went in knowing the public was turning decisively against him. He really didn’t think he would need to do anything other than dazzle his audience with his limitless compassion and charisma, while pointing out what soulless monsters his opponents are.
Liberal voters are always eager to excuse the failures of their leadership by emphasizing how much they “care.” You can find this sort of thinking deployed on Obama’s behalf today. At least he’s trying to “do something” about the health-care “crisis,” which we can no longer ignore! Of course, this “broken” health-care system has higher approval ratings than any politician in the country. We should be spending more time worrying about how to fix our broken government. It’s especially rich to hear the architect of the “stimulus” swindle criticize anyone else for trying to rob customers by billing for unnecessary procedures. Is the total value of all extraneous medical procedures for the past six months more than $787 billion?
As it stands, government is far more responsible than any business interest for the systemic problems that do exist in the medical industry., but this idea simply does not appear on the liberal radar screen. The intent of benevolent big-government programs places their results beyond criticism. To the Left, it simply is not possible that “reforms” intended to increase access to health care, and make it more affordable, could result in rationing and higher prices… any more than increases in tax rates could lead to reduced revenue for the government. Since nothing could ever be improved by reducing government involvement, that option is presumptively swept off the table, leaving the Left to devise increasingly wasteful and counter-productive schemes to address the problems with its previous schemes. A sinking ship is extremely difficult to repair, if you begin by declaring the big hole in the side of the hull cannot possibly by the reason you’re taking on water.
The radiant aura of their good intentions insulates liberals from even the most basic criticisms they level at others. Lots of those “greedy” health care professionals are female, but I doubt many of them are rocking $6000.00 handbags like Michele Obama. You’d have to steal a lot of tonsils to afford the kind of million-dollar night on Broadway the Obamas are known to enjoy. The moral superiority of leftist politics transcends any personal transgressions he might have committed. When Ted Kennedy finally passes away, you can expect the media to float the idea that Mary Jo Kopechne’s life was a small price to pay for decades of having this magnificent liberal lion stalk the halls of the Senate.
The Left is also very selective in who it chooses to criticize for greed and selfishness. We obviously aren’t meant to hate hard-working schoolteachers or auto workers for striving to provide the best for their families, but we’re supposed to hate hard-working dentists so much that we’ll turn their entire industry into a penitentiary. By the way, the median income for those evil tonsil-grabbing pediatricians is about $150k per year. How much is Henry Gates pulling down per year? The President seemed a lot more concerned about inconveniencing Gates than he did about disrupting the lives of the millions who are happy with their current health insurance.
The power of the free-market capitalism despised by the Democrats is that it shows far more interest in results than intentions. The free market has very little time to spare for well-meaning failures. It certainly doesn’t appropriate a couple million dollars worth of prime-time television to ram them down people’s throats. The profit motive, so casually impugned by desperate liberals, is the best thing going for the consumers of any product - from health care, to computers, to cat food - because it is the best way to ensure the highest level of sustained effort from the greatest number of producers. If health care is completely nationalized, there are some doctors who will continue to practice their trade with undiminished dedication, entirely out of concern for their patients… but neither health care, nor any other industry, can rely entirely on the efforts of such people.
The angry and confused man on television last night did not think he would ever find himself playing defense - and losing. He thought he only needed to announce he was giving away “free” health care, then bask in the adulation of the grateful multitudes, like any beloved king. Aristocrats rarely take criticism well, and they lack a capitalist’s creative energy for dealing with setbacks. If you ever do need your tonsils out, you’re better off hiring a greedy doctor than a caring bureaucrat. It looks like you might just be allowed to continue making that decision.
Continuing with the enduring brunette theme. . .
Jennifer Lopez hits the big 4-0:
And, Dodd must go.
July 23, 2009
This Long Distance Dedication Goes Out to the Voters of Connecticut from the GOP
From deep inside the post headquarters, located amidst the vast real estate holdings which comprise Fort LMC, comes this blast from the past:
And, Dodd must go.
And, Dodd must go
This in from National Review Online:
Dodd's 'Look Busy' Strategy of Recent Months Has Done Him Jack Squat
Sen. Chris Dodd has known for a while that he's been in trouble, and so we've seen him making an all-out push in recent months on an agenda tailor-made for Connecticut soccer moms — darn those credit-card companies! Stop those tobacco companies from marketing to children! Everyone gets health care!
Apparently, Connecticut voters aren't buying it, as Quinnipiac's poll out this morning puts Rob Simmons ahead, 48 percent to 39 percent. Dodd's approval rating is at 42 percent and his disapproval is 52 percent, which is up a smidgen from the last Quinnipiac poll.
Both Simmons and Dodd are well ahead in their respective primaries.
Geeks Of Valhalla
One of the odder YouTubes I've seen, it's the Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library Book Cart Drill Team winning this year's American Library Association's Library Book Cart Drill Team Championship:
Valkyries and book carts - what's not to love?
Yips! to lloyal llama reader Bev for sending along the link.
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Turning Worm Time?
Wow, what with knocking off the Mets again last night 3-1, we've actually got ourselves a gen-u-ine winning streak going on here in Dee Cee. Granted, it's only two games long and granted also that the Cards are probably going to clobber us tonight, but still......
Am I being a) clear-sighted, b) blinded by loyalty, or c) a moron in hoping that the Nats are finally beginning to pull themselves together? We shall see.
Incidentally, several commenters have questioned my use of the term "magic number" to note the number of losses (currently 55) we still need in order to beat the '62 Mets' record o' shame. Too connotative of goodiness, they say.
My first reaction was to think of Galadriel's confusion over why the hobbits would use the word "magic" to describe both her powers for good "and the deceits of the Enemy."
My second reaction was to admit that they were correct. Therefore, from here on out the number of games the Nats need to lose in order to enter the Hall of Ignominy will be referred to as the "gremlin bogey".
(Perhaps I'll never have to use it.)
"Me and My LLama"
Via PopBytes and Special Agent Bedhead:
July 21, 2009
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM)
Nats snap their losing streak tonight with a nifty 4-0 blanking of the Mets behind the arm of John "Owl Man" Lannon and some solid D. Woo Hoo!!
I'm not going to go so far as some of the folks in the broadcast booth and get too worked up over whether this is the Turning Point of the season. We shall see about that.
Instead, I'll just say that dayum it's good to win one.
Random Commuter Observation (TM) - "Gore Effect" Edition
If late July weather were always like this in Dee Cee, I would have absolutely no complaints.
Well, not about the weather at least.
I'd still complain about the shoals of tourons blocking the sidewalks, and about the increasingly ridiculous posters down the Metro. The latest ad campaign comes courtesy of Busch Gardens - Williamsburg and features photos of various rides and amusements with statues of the Founding Fathers superimposed on them. So, for instance, you get Washington in sunglasses carrying some kid on his shoulders, Franklin sitting in a faux beer-garden, Lincoln going down a water slide with goggles and sunscreen on his nose and what I believe to be Hamilton in a can-can line. When I see these ads, I can't help wondering how the Founders would react to them. Stupified mortification comes to mind.
But at least they'd appreciate the current cool spell.
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Countdown to Ignominy
The Nats dropped another one last night, losing to the Mets 6-2. That's eleven losses out of the last twelve games. The magic number now stands at 55.
As a side bet, for those of you who watch the games on MASN, which commentator's head do you think is going to explode in rage first, Rob Dibble's or Ray Knight's?
July 20, 2009
Gives New Meaning to "Little Black Dress"
The restaurant scene, naturally:
Time to Bust TARP Myths
It has been said befoe but deserve repeating: TARP was not intended to boost lending--its purpose was to help banks clean up balance sheets and acquire troubled banks. It is easier for the feds to merge one back with another rather than have the FDIC liquidate the bank which is on the ropes. Banks do not lend against TARP funds because banks lend against deposits. Banks whose loans exceed the proper ratios have to pay other banks to borrow "brokered deposits" which is a rather expense way to get funds.
The Wrong Stuff
Tom Wolfe on today's 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing:
WELL, let’s see now ... That was a small step for Neil Armstrong, a giant leap for mankind and a real knee in the groin for NASA.
The American space program, the greatest, grandest, most Promethean — O.K. if I add “godlike”? — quest in the history of the world, died in infancy at 10:56 p.m. New York time on July 20, 1969, the moment the foot of Apollo 11’s Commander Armstrong touched the surface of the Moon.
It was no ordinary dead-and-be-done-with-it death. It was full-blown purgatory, purgatory being the holding pen for recently deceased but still restless souls awaiting judgment by a Higher Authority.
Like many another youngster at that time, or maybe retro-youngster in my case, I was fascinated by the astronauts after Apollo 11. I even dared to dream of writing a book about them someday. If anyone had told me in July 1969 that the sound of Neil Armstrong’s small step plus mankind’s big one was the shuffle of pallbearers at graveside, I would have averted my eyes and shaken my head in pity. Poor guy’s bucket’s got a hole in it.
Go read the rest. Had NASA done (or been allowed to do) what it should have done in the wake of Armstrong's lunar walk, we'd have colonies on both the Moon and Mars by now......
Random Weekend Nooz Observation
I must confess that I was surprised by the announcement of Walter Cronkite's death over the weekend primarily because I hadn't imagined he was still alive.
July 19, 2009
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Countdown To Ignominy* Division
After dropping games last night and this afternoon to get swept by the Cubbies, the Nats' magic number is now 56.
(*That is to say, for those of you not yet aware, finishing the season with 121 or more losses, thus beating the '62 Mets.)
July 18, 2009
We're Not Worthy!!!
Yes, today is a signal day here at Llama Central. And why? Because it's the birthday of the lovely and talented Mélissa Theuriau, who turns 31 today.
Yip! Yip! Yip!
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Countdown Division
Hookay, let's go ahead and kick this thing off in earnest. As all the baseball world knows, the '62 Mets lost 120 games. Two games past the All-Star Break and the Nats have already rung up 63 dings this season.
My math isn't all that good, but I'm pretty sure that means we only need 58 more losses the rest of the year to break the record. Think we can do it?
***I say this tongue-in-cheek. Of course, I'm going to stick with the team regardless of what happens. And a few years down the road when we get competitive and suddenly everyone is a Nats fan? I shall sneer in contempt at such summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.
July 17, 2009
Your seriously coo-el photo of the day:
The caption that goes with it at Yahoo Nooz reads:
A Navy jet from the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia passes an apartment building during tactical demonstration flyover as part of the 2009 Chrysler Jeep Superstores APBA Detroit Gold Cup race, Sunday July 12, 2009 along the Detroit River in Detroit.
Me, I'm more inclined to believe the city has been sold to the Pentagon on the sly for target practice......
UPDATE: I meant to add earlier that this photo reminds me of the dear old days at Dubyanell. Those of you familiar with higher education in the great Commonwealth of Virginny will know that Washington & Lee shares a common border with the Virginia Military Institute. What you may not know is that there is a tradition amongs the Viamies (as we used to call 'em), that if a graduate went on to get his wings in one of the Services, he would take the first available opportunity to buzz the VMI campus.
My first exposure to this practice came early one morning shortly after I had arrived in Metro-Lex. Nearly jumped out of my skin.
It seems that the makers of Crocs are about to go belly up:
After selling 100 millions pairs of the comfortable shoes in the past seven years, their American maker faces bankruptcy.
Loved and loathed in equal measure, Crocs – which sell in Britain for about £30 – boasted a swathe of celebrity wearers including President Bush, Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino, but they had just as many bitter enemies who regarded them as hideous.
A group on the Facebook site dedicated to their extermination attracted 1.4 million members and they were widely ridiculed in the media.
After a drastic reversal that saw a £100 million profit in 2007 sink to a £112 million loss in 2008, the company has had to sack a third of its 6,000 workforce.
A victim of changing fashions and the economic downturn, the Colorado-based company has until September to pay off its debts, according to the Washington Post.
But it seems the clogs have also been a victim of their own hardiness as their virtual indestructibility meant that aficionados never needed to buy another pair.
As the shoes became a hit across the globe, the manufacturer churned out new variants and dreamed up accessories such as trinkets that could be fitted into the ventilating holes. But it appears the firm substantially overestimated the clog's potential sales as it boosted output.
It is now sitting on a warehouse full of unsold shoes and a dwindling number of feet willing to squeeze into them. Few in the retail industry appear to believe the company will survive.
I confess that I've never really understood the polarizing effect Crocs seem to have on people, turning supporters and detractors on each other like Montagues and Capulets. I mean, they're just shoes, fer Heaven's sake.
FWIW, all the Llama-ettes have Crocs, and as hideous as they are (the shoes, not the gels), I've always liked the fact that they seem to be comfortable and certainly are extremely durable and practically maintenance-free.
July 16, 2009
Who Knew The "K" In K-Car Stood For "Khan"?
Your required coffee-break reading: A discussion of Genesis-like reconfiguration and resurgence of the Star Trek and Chrysler brands in the early 1980's, in both instances thanks to a single name: Reliant. A sample:
Just as Paramount would repurpose its Reliant and the associated intellectual property well past the original's expiration date (between the century-long reuse of both the Miranda-class and Excelsior-class hulls, I'm thinking [Lee] Iacocca lives on as Zombie Vice-Admiral of Federation Starship Development), Chrysler flogged the Reliant and its kin well past the point of appreciable sense.
Go read the rest. (The No Hot Beverages Rule is in effect.)
Yips! to the Puppy-Blender.
Gratuitous Nats Posting, Ex Post Acta Division
I'm glad to see that not everyone in the local press thinks Manny deserved the axe:
The Washington Nationals fired manager Manny Acta this week. It seems that Acta is taking the blame for the Nationals' terrible season.
That's too bad. It's always a shame when someone gets blamed for something that's not his fault.
I'm not saying that Acta was a great manager. During the 2 1/2 seasons that he managed the Nats, the team's record was 158 wins and 252 losses. That's pretty bad. But I doubt even a future Hall of Fame manager such as Tony La Russa of the St. Louis Cardinals or Joe Torre of the Los Angeles Dodgers could have made this Washington team into a winner.
If you don't believe me, ask yourself this simple question: What Nationals player has proven himself to be better than the average major league starter at his position?
I'd say Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals' only all-star, is better than the average starter at third base. But who is there after that? Cristian Guzmán at shortstop or Adam Dunn in left field or Nick Johnson at first base?
Well, Guzmán almost never gets a walk (only seven bases on balls in 72 games), Dunn can't field and Johnson gets hurt nearly every season. In addition, the Nats' pitching is awful. So Acta didn't have a lot of talent on this team.
Too often in sports, whether it's the pros or kids, players and fans make excuses when things don't go well for their team. They claim that their team was unlucky or that the referee was against them. Or sometimes they say it was the coach's fault.
It's hard to stop making excuses and be honest about why the team is losing. The truth is that the Nationals are losing because they have almost no players who could start for a winning team.
The Nationals fired Acta not because he was a bad manager, but because they couldn't fire all the players.
Incidentally, the eldest Llama-ette said almost exactly the same thing.
I agree that Zim is probably the only really top-notch player on the team. As for Dunn's fielding, well, he was picked up for his bat, not his glove. In fact, if Nick Johnson could be got rid of, I believe the Nats would have no qualms about moving Dunn over to 1st. (My only request is that somebody tell him to stop letting his gum hang out of the corner of his mouth. It's starting to drive me crazy.) They'll never do anything about Guzman because the announcer at the park has too much fun with his name. ("Guuuuuuuuuuuuzzzzzz-maaaaaannnnnn".)
As for the rest of the team, well, remember that most of these guys are pretty young. And what about Josh Willingham? He seems to be shaping pretty well. And I still believe that we have some great potential in the starting rotation, particularly with guys like John Lannan (who the gels refer to as "Owl Man") and the other Zimmerman.
As for the bullpen? Drown the lot of 'em, says I.
Probably the most frustrating thing about all this is the undeniable fact that baseball really is a game of inches. We've not really been getting blown out by anybody, but are losing a lot of close battles. It's that last couple inches that we need to work on.
Will a change in managers help? I dunno. I suppose we'll find out starting tonight.
UPDATE: Nope!. Second verse? Same as the first! Cubs beat the Nats 6-2 in a classic late-innings meltdown.
Continuing with the enduring brunette theme. . .
Phoebe Cates turns 46. Here she is, back in the day:
Light Posting Alert
On the road this evening for another long weekend with Mother Army, busy as hell at work, and war college workload is cranking up. On the up side, the long-anticipated "Twenty Year Letter" arrived on Monday which says I am now entitled to an Army Reserve pension at age sixty. Now I just have to keep breathing for fourteen years to collect it . . .
July 15, 2009
Continuing with the enduring brunette theme. . .
Linda is 63 today according to the local rag. She was up there with Farrah as an icon of the Seventies and early Eighties. Here she is, back in the day:
July 13, 2009
Love Your Mother - Or Else
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Mark Steyn:
You can work hard and get a nice place in the suburbs. If you were a 19th-century Russian peasant and you got to Ellis Island, you’d be living in a tenement on the Lower East Side, but your kids would get an education and move uptown, and your grandkids would be doctors and accountants in Westchester County. And your great-grandchild would be a Harvard-educated environmental activist demanding an end to all this electricity and indoor toilets.
Environmentalism opposes that kind of mobility. It seeks to return us to the age of kings, when the masses are restrained by a privileged elite. Sometimes they will be hereditary monarchs, such as the Prince of Wales. Sometimes they will be merely the gilded princelings of the government apparatus — Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi. In the old days, they were endowed with absolute authority by God. Today, they’re endowed by Mother Nature, empowered by Gaia to act on her behalf. But the object remains control — to constrain you in a million ways, most of which would never have occurred to Henry VIII, who, unlike the new cap-and-trade bill, was entirely indifferent as to whether your hovel was “energy efficient.” The old rationale for absolute monarchy — Divine Right — is a tough sell in a democratic age. But the new rationale — Gaia’s Right — has proved surprisingly plausible.
Read the rest.
Acta La Vista, Baybee!
Well, I've been peeking at Google-nooz every day for about the last four weeks expecting to see that the Nats had given Manny Acta the heave-ho, and sure enough, there he goes.
It's all still sinking in, but I'm of two decidedly mixed views on this move. On the one hand, I really like Acta. He's a young, class act and it's a shame to see him get thrown under the bus for the team's collective disaster of a season.
On the other hand, if Manny has a weakness, I think that maybe he's been a bit too soft on his players. From all that I've read, he never loses his cool, never pushes, never tees off on anyone. There's just not much fire there. That managerial style might work in some situations and with some rosters, but what these guys need (and have needed for some time) is an almighty kick in the collective balls.
Anyhoo, I wish Manny all the best and hope that his future turns out brighter. Meanwhile, I certainly expect that the Nats' season will get better from here on out, simply because it could not possibly get any worse.
Oh, the bright spot in all this? I heard the nooz first from the eleven year old, who's taken a keen interest in Manny's fate herself. I must be doing something right.....
July 12, 2009
Mrs. Robbo left yesterday to attend that ultimate of henfests, the baby shower for the impending arrival of Mr. & Mrs. LMC's third (who, if I had any say in the matter, would be named Jane Tiberia LMC, but let it go).
Little did any of us know that the people living across the street from Orgle Manor were planning to throw a wedding reception in their back yard last evening. They're from somewhere on the Subcontinent, so all evening I had to endure bad Indian rock music punctured by a guy on a mic who, even though I couldn't understand what he was saying, sounded just like Bill Murray's lounge singer.
This went on until well past midnight.
The Llama-ettes, of course, slept right through it, but I lay wide awake until seemingly the last car had departed.
Continuing with the Enduring Brunette Theme
She was great in Public Enemies.
Record for Shortest Time Under Consideration
As devoted readers of my rantings well know, Mrs. LMC and I are sorting through names for the perfect fit for the next addition to the LMC lineup. The record for the shortest name under consideration was Melissa, set yesterday. It occurred to my wife shortly after she woke up, mentioned it to me, and then was axed when my bride realized she has a distant relation of the same name. I rather liked it but it would have needed a waiver for the "no names of old girlfriends" which was not likely to be granted anyway.
New Ride for Mrs. LMC
We traded in my bride's 1999 Lexus RX300 for the ultimate mommy machine: a Honda Odyssey. My wife swore years ago she would not be caught dead driving a minivan and was very happy with her SUV but it had 115,000 miles and was starting to show its age with dinges and other minor issues. The imminent arrival of our third kid in September and the fact that three car seats will not fit across the back seat of the ride made the switch to a minivan inevitable. The new conveyance has room inside for a passel of kids, all of their associated stuff, not to mention all the gear I insist on having whenever we roll (maps, tools, flares, work gloves, first aid kit, jumper cables, rope, and a large fire extinguisher). It could probably accomodate a crew-served weapon with only minor modifications as well.
Historickal Revisionism? Yips! from Robbo: Whoa there, pilgrim....Who lost the bet with Mrs. Robbo made all those years ago that he'd never be caught dead in a minivan?
BACK AT YOU YIPS: Yes, indeed, I lost the bet. I am afraid the gels will want a weekend to themselves which will cost me alot more than the $100 that was the consideration for the wager.
July 10, 2009
Not because I really think there's anything in it. Rayther, just because I've been itching all day to use the term "Booty-Gate".
What really amuses me is watching those members of the MSM who feel it necessary to cover for The One. (Yeah, ABC, I'm talkin' to you!) Really, guys, it's one thing to argue that the Emperor's new clothes look just fine. Are you really so insecure that you have to insist he's not interested in anyone else's?
BTB, a special shout-out to my work colleague who confided in me this afternoon that he thought The One was getting "a bum-rap" over all this.
Why, I oughta.......
"Stay In View, Please." **
I picked up my brand-new whiz-bang security ID this morning. Among other things, it contains a scary chip which purports to hold "certain minimum personal information" about me. I'm sure that the truth is it also contains a GPS beacon, a wireless mic and some kind of sooper-sekret brainwave reading device.
I'm also sure that the next generation of ID's are going to be carried not on badges hung round our necks, but in chips inserted subcutaneously within our temples. In addition to all the other whistles and bells, these also will contain tiny explosive charges that, when detonated (pursuant to proper protocol and due process, of course), will cause fatal brain hemorrhage.
One thing I know for sure about my new badge: It proves conclusively that it is possible to get a goofier picture of me than the one on my old badge. And I'm stuck with it until 2014.
**Spot the quote.
Random Commuter Observation
We've had about a week of near perfect weather here in Dee Cee, with low humidity and high temperatures around 80. Far nicer than what one would expect for the second week of July 'round here.
Perhaps it was this thought that made NPR's presumptuous use of the line "the ravages of global warming" in one of its nooz updates this morning particularly annoying to me. What ravages? I thought the meme was that Dooooooom is now just around the corner, not that most of Micronesia has already disappeared beneath the waves and the sands of the Sahara have been welded into one giant sheet of glass.
(Yes, yes, I know. Weather and climate aren't the same thing. Blah, blah.)
Well, So Much For THAT Theory....
Following up on my musing yesterday about my possible Schrodinger's Cat jinxing of the Nats by watching their games, I turned the tee vee off while they were still up 4-2 over the Astros last evening.
Final result? Houston won 9-4 (altogether now) breaking the game open in the sixth.
If nothing else, I at least feel relieved by the thought that I'm not personally responsible for these chokes.
July 09, 2009
NR on Father Justice's Investigation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio
A little production perhaps only a lawyer would find funny.....
Actually, my favorite hearsay exception is found not under Rule 803, but under Rule 804, namely the "statement [made] under belief of impending death" - otherwise known as the "dying declaration".
The LMC will recall the bar review course we took together eons ago. The prof reviewing this particular exception (he was from Cornell, I b'lieve), put on his best Jimmy Durante voice and said, "I'm not talkin' about the speaker feeling a little under da weathah. I'm talkin' da Grim Reaper is at da top of his backswing!"
Schrodinger's Box Score
I mentioned t'other day the fact that it often seems the Nats go to pieces just after I turn on the tee vee, usually somewhere in the middle innings.
This got me pondering.....Is my observation indeed the equivalent of peeking into the box to see if the cat is dead or alive? If so, then so long as I don't turn on the tee vee, the quantum mixture of states (i.e., winning and losing) remains and thus also the possibility that the Nats won't go to pieces.
So I watched the Nats get swept by the Rockies last evening. The difference here was that it was a delayed broadcast of an afternoon game. Sure enough, as soon as I turned it on in the 5th Inning - Bang! This made me wonder: Even though the game was over and done, could it still be argued that without my observation there still was no quantum resolution? Could this state of mixed win and loss exist both forward and backward across time? Had I not turned on the tee vee, could the Nats still have ended up with a favorable resolution, even though they'd already lost?
(Hey, when your team's only won 24 games through July 8, you start reaching for just about anything.)
July 08, 2009
Apropo of nothing. . .
A gal who makes sweat look good.
Beer goggling inevitably has its price, figuratively speaking, as we learn here in the Good Times. None of this should come as a surprise to Powell. Fortunately, he will not have to do the walk of shame or chew his arm off.
Has Anyone Seen Our Governor?
The Old Dominion includes the vast real estate holdings which comprise Fort LMC so I pay some attention to activities of the governor of Virgina. With all of the concerns about the locations of governors of southern states, you would think Tim Kaine would be a little more open about his travels:
H/T to Rappahannock Red. I was in Charlottesville today and caught a Richmond talk radio host on the way who excoriated Kaine for denying FOIA requests for his schedule.
July 06, 2009
Cosmo For The Over Forty Gel
That would be More magazine. Mrs. LMC got an invitation to subscribe in today's mail which left her a little put out because she does not turn the big 4-0 until next spring. I checked out the website and sure enough, it has all everything a gel could want ranging from career and relationship advice to what to do when your man does not "get you across the finish line" as it were.
July 05, 2009
Sanford is Goading His Wife
into pulling the trigger on a divorce, IMHO. Cheating on his wife is bad enough, but AP interviews last week seemed to be geared towards making sure there was no reconcilation (e.g., hoping to "fall back in love" with Jenny Sanford while at the same time characterizing the mistress as his "soulmate"). My take is Sanford is trying to box his wife into filing for divorce, the only question is why. Is it to preserve his political viability with the Republican base ("I came clean, but she bailed"), his image with his family ("kids, I wanted to make it work but your mother would not meet me halfway"), or something more (e.g., prenup)? Whatever the reason, Jenny is not taking the bait so far.
This Is Huge
Clerics in the holy city of Qom called the recent election and the new government illegitimate. Via Hot Air. A spit in clerical support can be fatal to a theocracy.
Name Sweepstakes Update
Thus far, Eleanor is still in the running, Victoria is back, with Sophie and Cassandra as the newest entries to the field. Mrs. LMC axed Monica because of L'affair Lewinsky and my efforts to persuade her otherwise have been unavailing. Two months to go . . .
July 04, 2009
Amazing Grace on the Pipes
Never fails to brings tears to the eye so here it is:
July 03, 2009
Continuing with the Enduring Brunette Theme
Mother of five, governor of the largest state in the Union, and the main reason for enthusiasm for last year's GOP ticket:
We have not seen the last of her.
The 'Cuda Hangs It Up
Via Hot Air.
Is she retiring for good or clearing the decks for the 2012 primaries?
Fly the Colors at the Top of the Mast Tomorrow
The 1812 Overture:
The William Tell Overture:
Stars and Stripes Forever:
Aaron Coplan's Lincoln Portrait:
The Army Song:
Battle Hymn of the Republic:
Aaron Copland's "Hoedown":
July 02, 2009
Joan Jett and Kristen Stewart
Kristen is to play Joan Jett in an upcoming movie according to the linkies over at Agent Bedhead's shop so here is Joan Jett again:
Darth Rove has this column in the WSJ about a surgeon whose Marine son died in Iraq and asked the president for waiver so he could join the Navy and serve at age 61. Bush granted the request and this fellow was commissioned as a lieutenant commander in the naval reserve. My Reserve command in Charlotte has a similar story. A local surgeon volunteered for duty at age 55. He served for five years before hitting mandatory removal at age 60, including a year in Iraq at the Coalition hospital in the Green Zone when the Army must have paid him a tenth of what he could have earned in private practice. He was a standout in the local community, well-respected in his profession, good at what he did, and very successful. He could have very easily stayed in his comfortable life. Instead, he vounteered to be a soldier without any chance of staying in long enough to earn a retirement from the Army. We held a farewell for him a few months ago and he told us that serving in uniform was the high point of his career.
July 01, 2009
Random Commuter Observations - "Summertime, And The Living Is Sticky" Division
As Dee Cee settles into its traditional summah boil, I've been thinking about a couple of things on my walks from the Metro and back:
- I love the smell of fresh water on the sidewalks in the morning just after they've been hosed down. I also love the little burst of cooler air.
- A lot of guys simply abandon their suit jackets at this time of year. I can't do it. In the afternoon I'll usually carry mine slung over my shoulder, but I just can't get past the idea that not having one at all is Wrong.
- I almost regret not having A/C in my jeep. Almost.
- I'm more or less convinced that Metro has been shutting down the escalators at my stop in the afternoons just to get one more little dig in at passengers before they escape the system.
- Once again, I call on the Fed'ral Guv'mint to seriously consider my proposal that a summah capital be built somewhere up north and in the mountains.
Gratuitous Nats Posting
Two nights in a row now I've turned on the teevee just in time to watch the Nats come unglued against the Marlins. Monday night, it was a 2-2 tie blown by the bullpen (as usual) in the 8th. Last night, the Nats were up 5-1 in the middle of the 6th but didn't even have to go to the bullpen to start coming unglued, starter Craig Stammen being unable to get through the Marlins' rotation three times.
I'm starting to get physically sick watching these disasters.
The one consolation? The comforting thought that "Land Shark Stadium" is a really stupid name for a ballpark, especially when the teams that call it home are the Marlins and the Dolphins, two natural enemies of sharks.
Oh, and speaking of the Nats, a note to you Pirates fans out there: Congrats on picking up Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan from us yesterday. I happen to like Milledge and think he'll be a pretty good player once he matures a bit.
As for Hanrahan? Well, good luck with that.....
"--it is like being snowblind, only there ain't no snow" as described by Eddie Murphy in a movie with Owen Wilson.
We are treated to the sad, strange spectacle of Mark Sanford who wants to reconcile with Jenny Sanford, admits to "crossing lines with other women, want s to "fall back in love" with his wife, and will die knowing he has met his soulmate, the mistress. Via Hot Air, the AP, the local fishwrapper, etc.
Somehow, I just do not see Mrs. Sanford going along with it.