August 30, 2009
Rebecca De Mornay
Turns the big 5-0:
August 28, 2009
for all Catholic fathers on the importance of St. Joseph, via the good folks at National Review.
August 27, 2009
What I'm Getting Steve-O For Christmas This Year
In one word:
Beamed in from the Galley Slaves.
I decided in the end that I wasn't going to say anything about the death of Teddy Kennedy. A rehash of my opinions about his political philosophies seems superfluous to the event. As for the man himself, well, I decided that it would not be fitting to speak ill of the dead. If he was truly penitent and sincere in making his peace with God, what can we do but celebrate? (And if not, well, he's got sufficient problems now that a random bloviation from Robbo isn't going to matter much.)
As to this business of grafting his name on to the effort to nationalize health care, though, it strikes me that this is one seriously expensive memorial. Why not just build him a couple pyramids like the Pharaohs? At least the country could make back some of the dosh with tourist revenues.
August 26, 2009
Throat? Meet Knife!
This fall, law students are competing for half as many openings at big firms as they were last year in what is shaping up to be the most wrenching job search season in over 50 years.
For students now, the promise of the big law firm career — and its paychecks — is slipping through their fingers, forcing them to look at lesser firms in smaller markets as well as opportunities in government or with public interest groups, law school faculty and students say.
The frenzy has even pushed the nation’s top firms, a tradition-bound coterie, into discussing how to reform the recruitment process with an earnestness that would have been unthinkable just years ago.
Even if the economy is beginning to pick up, the legal profession has been pummeled over the last year, with some firms closing and survivors often asking associates to take leaves of absence.
How bad is it? Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, the juggernaut of New York, has slashed its hiring by more than half. For the first time in 136 years, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, a respected Philadelphia firm, has canceled its recruiting entirely. Global firms like DLA Piper and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe have postponed recruiting for several months to see if the market improves.
At Yale, students accustomed to being wooed by Big Law’s glittering names — like Baker & McKenzie; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley, & McCloy; and White & Case — were stunned when those firms canceled interviews in New Haven this month.
New York University, Georgetown, Northwestern and other top universities confirm that interviews are down by a third to a half compared with a year ago, while lower-ranked schools are suffering more. What is more, when interviews finish in a few weeks, even fewer offers will be extended, said Howard L. Ellin, the chairman of global hiring at Skadden, Arps, because many firms are interviewing students for slots they may not fill.
August 25, 2009
Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It
As the LMC hints below, he's been having a pretty hairy time of it down at the salt-mines recently.
Well my friend, Uncle Robbo is here with what I guaran-damn-tee will do for what ails ye and take your mind off things. Take it away, Martini Boy:
My good friend (and noted agnostic) Charlie Martin emails, “There is a god.” Read:
I’m not gonna lie to you, watching Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman F each other is something I would very much like to see. Oh hey good news…
Script Shadow has reviewed the script for the upcoming Natalie Portman/Mila Kunis project Black Swan … “in this movie, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis have sex. And not just nice sweet innocent sex either. We’re talking ecstasy-induced hungry aggressive angry sex.”
Directed by the great Darren Aranofsky (the Wrestler, the Fountain) the film “focuses on a dancer with a New York ballet troupe, and the in-fighting and back-stabbing over the lead role in an upcoming production of Swan Lake.”
I’m inclined to agree with Charlie on this one.
Buddy, you can thank me later.
And lest any of you out there may be tsk tsk-ing at ol' Robbo for reposting this link, let me just assure you that the LMC is Llama Central's long-standing expert on Hollywood career arcs, especially those of young, semi-talented female stars. This isn't voyeurism, it's research!
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Triple Digit Edition
Uh, oh. After losing three games out of four to the Brewers over the weekend and going 4-6 in the last 10, it looks like our beloved Nats are getting closer and closer to another 100+ loss season. If my math is right, we've got 27 games left and need to win at least 19 of them in order to stay in double digit losses.
Not very good odds, especially as we've got the Cubs, Cards, Phils, Fish and Braves to deal with.
Oh, well. What can you do except keep root, root, rooting for the home team?
Your Tuesday Reading
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Mark Steyn:
The intersection of the environment and demography continues apace. In the old days, we worried about “overpopulation” in general, which, if only by implication, indicted the fecund mothers of Asia and Africa at least as much as the developed world, if not more. But eco-demography is a more exact science these days. Issuing a stirring call for the British to breed less and doing it from the exalted perch of The British Medical Journal, doctors John Guillebaud and Pip Hayes explain the arithmetic: Every new baby born in the United Kingdom will in his or her lifetime produce 160 times more greenhouse gas emissions than a baby born in Ethiopia.
We’ve known for years, of course, that a Brit is worse than …well, almost anyone apart from a Yank. But we’ve only known it in the very general sense that the Brit is the purveyor of imperialism, colonialism, racism, economic exploitation, and other planetary toxins. Now environmentalism enables us to nail down the formula once and for all: An Ethiopian baby is 160 times better for the planet than a British baby. So, if you’re an Anglo-Celt and you care about the earth, have fewer kids. Having fewer children is “the simplest and biggest contribution anyone can make to leaving a habitable planet for our grandchildren.”
Well, we’ll come back to that.
Go read the rest.
What's going to kill the West? Not nuclear war nor climate change, but simple self-loathing.
August 24, 2009
Yesterday I was chatting with a friend after church, a woman who is beginning her second year of law school after having worked some time in an accounting/finance capacity. She asked me if there was anything I could recommend to her about getting into a firm in Dee Cee.
My advice to her? An emphatic "Don't do it."
I'm pretty sure that's not what she was expecting to hear.
Honestly, though, and I know the LMC will back me up on this, trying to make your way in the law firm world these days just isn't worth the candle. I can't tell you how lucky I feel to be shot of the whole thing, and instead being able to concentrate on a worthwhile practice in an atmosphere where billables, instead of being the ultimate consideration, simply don't matter.
It Has Been One Of Those Days
Problems with software, ruthless competitors, co-workers who expect you to not only survive the pod race, but win it AND bring the prize money back to save the day, regulatory strangers who show up and make themselves at home, and a faculty instructor who does not like the way postings are titled . . .
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A spokesman for Alec Baldwin says the actor has no plans to challenge Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman in the 2012 election.
Matthew Hiltzik said Monday that Baldwin does not plan to move to Connecticut or to run against the independent senator. He says Baldwin doesn't want to see Lieberman leave the Senate because there are so few moderate Republicans in the Senate.
It's a reversal from Baldwin's comments published last week in Playboy magazine, in which the "30 Rock" star mulls a Senate campaign and says he had "no use" for Lieberman.
Lieberman, who was asked about the issue Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," says he respects Baldwin as an actor, but dared him to "make my day" with a senate challenge.
Heck, I'd have bought tickets to watch Holy Joe wipe the floor with that guy.
Bring Out Your Dead
My email quote of the day guy notes that today is the Feast of St. Bartholomew and, therefore, also the 437th anniversary of the Bartholomew's Day massacre in France.
Among the quotes he includes is this one:
Those who believe in their truth - the only ones whose imprint is retained by the memory of men - leave the earth behind them strewn with corpses. Religions number in their ledgers more murders than the bloodiest tyrannies account for, and those whom humanity has called divine far surpass the most conscientious murderers in their thirst for slaughter. - E. M. Cioran (1911-1995) (A Short History of Decay, Ch. 1)
I've never heard of E.M. Cioran, and without the context it's impossible to properly weigh this passage, but I sincerely hope that he somehow includes the various brands of 20th Century totalitarianism as "secular" religions in his book-keeping, because otherwise he's a moron.
(I would also note that the Bartholomew's Day massacre was the result not of religious differences alone, but of political machinations as well.)
Llama Weekend Round-Up
It's Monday morning and my braims have not yet engaged, so here is the traditional collection of random odds and ends:
***Remember how I posted last week that I was enjoying picking out new counter tops for the Orgle Manor kitchen? Strike that. I now heartily wish that I didn't care.
***Went to see Funny People on Saturday night. I didn't realize beforehand that Adam Sandler was in it. Damn. As George Costanza would say, "Hate the Drake!"
***Your quote of the week comes via regular reader Mink Monica: "I just don't want Atlanta to win it, I don't want Florida to win it, I don't want the Phillies to win it. Washington, if they win it, I'll be happy." - Jerry Manuel, Soon-to-be-former Mets manager. Heh, indeed.
***I was approached by a fellah with a clipboard at teh Metro on Friday afternoon who asked me if I was interested in helping with health care reform. "Of course," I exclaimed. "Please tell me what's being done about tort-reform and insane malpractice insurance premiums!" Crickets.
***After 15 years of service, I finally got rid of my old Weber 22" circular grill and bought a much larger Grill Master barrel model. Cooked myself the best damned steak I've had in ages last night.
***My lawn is now saturated with all kinds of weeds, crabgrasses and the like, but I've reached that point in my life where I simply say to myself that so long as it's green and as long as it can be kept trimmed short, it's good enough.
***Courtesy of Netflix, I watched Executive Decision over the weekend. The movie was made in '95 or '96 and featured, gasp!, radical Islamist terrorists. Given that the plot revolved around hijacking a plane and turning it into a "poor man's atom bomb," the movie was eerily prescient. I couldn't help speculating that there's almost no way it could be made nowadays.
August 22, 2009
LMC Disaster Prep
The looming arrival of more offspring triggered new flooring, renovation of the lauundry room/pantry into a home office, and movement of the Future ROTC Scholarship Recipient into the room over the garage to make room for the baby. Mrs. LMC was chatting up the electrician who moved the dryer outlet to the garage, got a quote to install a junction box for the generator, and $750 later, it is ready to go. Now in the event of some disaster, wheel out the Generac, plug it in, and away we go. Of course, this means a hurricane will not strike the Virginia Beach area for at least another twenty years.
Too Little, Far Too Late
Via PilotOnline.com and MSNBC. William Calley apologized for My Lai over forty years after the massacre that was one of the darkest pages in the history of the United States Army. One of my ROTC instructors was an armor platoon leader working in the same area as Calley before the massacre. This lieutenant colonel's succinct response was typical of him when asked by a classmate in the early Eighties what Calley was like: "Immature d--khead." Vietnam vet, War College professor, and author Colonel Harry Summers once said that Calley should have been drawn and quartered and his remains hung on the gates of Fort Benning was a warning to generations of infantry officers about their duty to protect the innocent.
August 21, 2009
Steele Calls Out The One
and dares him to pass the bill.
Via the good folks at Hot Air.
Because Blogging About This Beats Writing a War College Paper
Seriously, how can a decision paper on the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act complete with the Ten Hottest Chicks from Quenton Tarantino flicks?
Featuring LMC fav:
May The Farce Be With You
Because it's Friday:
I gather this is Episode II which either just did or is just about to come out. The Llama-ettes and I watched the first episode last evening courtesy of Netflix. Hy-larity ensued, although they watched it again this morning and informed me that they didn't think it was as funny the second time.
And speaking of such things, here's a hy-larious article on the most epic FAILS in Star Wars design. A sample:
They stand out like a sore thumb in every environment but snow, the helmets restrict view ("I can't see a thing in this helmet!" -- Luke Skywalker), and the armor is penetrable by single shots from blasters. Add it all up and you have to wonder why stormtroopers don't just walk around naked, save for blinders and flip-flops.
Go enjoy the rest. Probably ought to respect the no hot beverages rule, too.
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "Bloody But Unbowed" Division
I suppose it's only fair that I balance my crowing over Nats victories with acknowledgment of their defeats as well.
So I will just say this about last night's completion of the 3-game sweep of the Nats by the Rockies this week: Yes, we lost, but we've got absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. The Rockies are en fuego at the moment and charging hard to win the NL wild-card slot. Yet we played 'em tough all three games, coming right down to the wire each night. Any number of fractionally different plays and the scores could have been a lot different.
That's baseball for you, of course.
Anyhoo, it'll be interesting to see what happens next, as we open a four-game homestand tonight against the flailing Brewers, who we swept last time we visited them. (I speak here purely from an academic viewpoint and in no way mean to excite the wrath of the Baseball Gods by unseemly over-confidence.)
UPDATE: Diane tags my faulty memory. In fact, we split the last series with the Brewers. It's probably because we took two off San Diego before visiting Milwaukee that I got the numbers jumbled. My bad.
Scots - What the Hae?
I've held off commenting on the decision by the Scots Judiciary to release the Lockerbie bomber to go home to Libya on grounds of compassion, given that he apparently has only a short time to live.
Fortunately, David Cameron says it all for me:
My sister was in London for school herself when the Pan Am flight was brought down and knew a number of the Syracuse students who died on board. As she was also scheduled to fly back to the States at around the same time, you can imagine that we were all the more wrought up over the attack.
Frankly, I cannot see any above-board reason for this move.
I'm Not Sure What To Make Of This
What does it mean that not only have I got involved in picking out materials and colors for potential new kitchen countertops for Orgle Manor, but I'm actually enjoying it?
The world wonders.
August 20, 2009
75.3 years for men and 80.4 years for women.
U.S. life expectancy reached nearly 78 years (77.9), and the age-adjusted death rate dropped to 760.3 deaths per 100,000 population, both records, according to the latest mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The report, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2007,” was issued today by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. The data are based on nearly 90 percent of death certificates in the United States.
The 2007 increase in life expectancy – up from 77.7 in 2006 -- represents a continuation of a trend. Over a decade, life expectancy has increased 1.4 years from 76.5 years in 1997 to 77.9 in 2007.
We are making gains against some of the big diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Between 2006 and 2007, mortality rates declined significantly for eight of the 15 leading causes of death. Declines were observed for influenza and pneumonia (8.4 percent), homicide (6.5 percent), accidents (5 percent), heart disease (4.7 percent), stroke (4.6 percent), diabetes (3.9 percent), hypertension (2.7 percent), and cancer (1.8 percent).
If you want to cut your own risks read my archives Aging Diet Cancer Studies and Aging Diet Heart Studies. A lot of the dietary factors heart disease risk reduction also slow brain aging. But you can also read Aging Diet Brain Studies for more ideas.
Conventional drugs and diet can only take us so far. What we need for bigger steps toward longer lives: Rejuvenation therapies. We need stem cells, gene therapies, immune therapies that remove accumulated junk, and nanodevices that do repairs. When do these therapies start hitting clinics and hospitals in substantial numbers? Hard to say. But experiments on animals with some of these therapies make me think most of us will live to see these therapies hit the mainstream.
(Go on over to get the links embedded in this post.)
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that while I think it's swell that lifespans are increasing through diet, exercise and sensible living, it strikes me that we cross some kind of line when we start talking about "rejuvenation therapies" and the like. I haven't really mulled it out into a coherent moral, ethical and spiritual argument yet, but I have always found something disturbing about the quest for the Fountain of Youth.
I'm hardly the morbid sort, but I wouldn't want to live forever. Or even beyond the span naturally programmed into my body, for that matter. Enjoy what time you do have. Memento mori and be at peace with it. And look forward (dare I say it?) to the next world. Eternal life resides in the soul, not the body.
RTLL Is Currently Listening To....
Steve-O originally introduced this vid to Llama Central a while back. While he was disturbed by it, I immediately decided that I liked it. So I trot it out every now and again.
(And yes, in this post's formatting I'm again stealing FLG's shtick, but no, I'm not trying to do his voice like I did with our Maximum Leader's. Too much potty-mouth for this humble Llama.)
August 19, 2009
What's In A Name?
Several alert readers have noted that in my King for a Day post I used the term "blogsphere" instead of "blogosphere" and asked if that was deliberate or a typo.
In fact, it's deliberate.
I don't like the word "blogosphere". Yes, I know it's supposed to capture the idea of the Greek logos. Yes, I believe the guy who originally conceptualized this mad web of overlapping bloviation coined its name in this form. But to me, "Blogo" sounds like the name of some Balkan communist partisan leader and is, frankly, off-putting.
So I'm sticking with "blogsphere".
Juuuuust A Bit Outside
I noted an ABC story that popped up on Google-Nooz this morning that began:
An unexpected tornado tore through the southwestern Texas town of Beaumont Tuesday, destroying the roof of a department store, flipping cars and stunning residents.
The storm touched down at around 2 p.m., hitting a local shopping center. Winds topped 110 miles per hour, leaving a trail of destruction half a mile long. Cars were thrown on top of each other, bricks were stripped from exterior wall, and chunks of metal and debris were littered around the parking lot.
And so on.
The by-line lists Ryan Owens, Joshua Gaynor and Lindsay Goldwert as the authors of the story. A hat-trick of reporters and none of them realized that Beaumont is, in fact, in the extreme southeastern part of the state. And in Texas, that's an error of a solid 500+ miles.
Just thought I'd mention it.
Random Commuter Observation (TM) - "King For A Day" Division
Greetings, loyal camelidophiles.
Standing on the metro this morning, your Maximum Llama said to himself, "Self, it might be fun to start out the day with a post in the style of your favorite blogsphere despot."
Your Maximum Llama is not sure why he got the idea. Perhaps it was because after watching his beloved Nats juuuuust miss pulling off a 9th inning come-back against the Rockies last evening, he began to wonder whether his recent post about possibly coming in under 100 losses this season might be hexing the team. Your Maximum Llama certainly hopes this is not the case.
Perhaps it was the (yet another) Llama-ette potty-stoppage overflow crisis that greeted Your Maximum Llama at the Llamahaus this morning, coupled with the fact that a contractor is coming 'round today to discuss new kitchen cabinets and countertops with Mrs. Llama, that got Your Maximum Llama thinking on the perils and pitfalls of home-improvement.
Then again, perhaps it was just that Your Maximum Llama smelled bacon somewhere.
In any event, it's good ta be da King.
Speaking of such things, Your Maximum Llama would direct your attention to a post recently written by Jen on the subject of political posting. Your Maximum Llama noted this post because he is, so to speak, in much the same boat and has been thinking much the same thing. It's too bad, but there it is. While at his work-station, it seems to Your Maximum Llama that prudence requires him to adopt the personal motto of Good Queen Bess, "I see, but I say nothing."
Carry on yipping.
August 18, 2009
Drudge has a link to a Daily Mail article about Madonna celebrating her 51st birthday with some big bash in Italy, attended by her 20-something y.o. boy-toy and those two kids she
bought adopted in Africa.
The story (including photos) is icky enough. But what is worse is Drudge's headline for it: "Portrait of a 21st Century Family."
Calling Madonna, her props and her toys a "family" in any real sense of the word is just grotesque mockery. And when a publicity-mad hedonist of her ilk is set up as the standard for family values, you know the devil is firmly in control.
Perhaps Drudge is trying to be ironic or funny, perhaps not. In either case, I'm not amused.
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "Whoa" Division
Jeez, I leave town and what happens? The Nats have won 11 out of their last 14, including a dazzling 8 game streak last week.
I'm not saying there's any connection there, necessarily.....
Anyhoo, almost needless to say, the gremlin bogie is dead and dead, the '62 Mets retaining their hold on the worst record in history. The Nats are now no longer horrible, but have moved up to just really bad.
I say that in jest, of course. The guys are playing tough and playing proud. What's not to love about that?
Since we've cleared one record-book hurdle, perhaps it's time to start thinking about another - namely the avoidance of back-to-back 100+ loss seasons. By my extremely crude arithmetic, there are 44 games left. The Nats are at 75 losses at the moment, meaning they can lose 24 more and still come in under the century. In order to do this, they'll have to play something close to .500 ball for the remainder of the season.
Think they can do it? I dunno.
Think they're gonna try? You betcha.
(Oh, and before you ask, I'll tell you that I have no opinion whatever on the signing of Stephen Strasburg, despite all the hoopla. Too many of these things have come unstuck for me to get excited yet. When he's up in the show fanning the side on a regular basis, then I'll get excited.)
Brunette of Yesteryear
who is 51.
August 17, 2009
Biting The Hand That Got You Elected
Upon our return to Orgle Manor yesterday, we picked up a dead-tree copy of the Sunday Pravda on the Potomac just to see what's been going on in our absence.
Idly flipping over to the opinion section, I found myself reading an op-ed by one Rick Perlstein which combines two cherished Lib memes - that conservatives actually are mentally unstable and that the push-pack against ObamaCare consists of nothing but attention-hungry knuckle-draggers being fed false talking points by the insurance industry - and goes on to suggest that the mainstream media has violated its traditional liberal watchdog role and is now in cahoots with the Right. A sample:
It used to be different. You never heard the late Walter Cronkite taking time on the evening news to "debunk" claims that a proposed mental health clinic in Alaska is actually a dumping ground for right-wing critics of the president's program, or giving the people who made those claims time to explain themselves on the air. The media didn't adjudicate the ever-present underbrush of American paranoia as a set of "conservative claims" to weigh, horse-race-style, against liberal claims. Back then, a more confident media unequivocally labeled the civil outrage represented by such discourse as "extremist" - out of bounds.
The tree of crazy is an ever-present aspect of America's flora. Only now, it's being watered by misguided he-said-she-said reporting and taking over the forest. Latest word is that the enlightened and mild provision in the draft legislation to help elderly people who want living wills - the one hysterics turned into the "death panel" canard - is losing favor, according to the Wall Street Journal, because of "complaints over the provision."
(You can go read the rest if you really want to, but you'll have to go find it yourself because I don't link the WaPo due to its subscription requirements.)
It has struck me for some time now that the effort of The One and his flacks to dismiss the angry backlash against his vaulting ambition as nothing but the bloviations of lunatics and Big Business dupes is an arrogant, tone-deaf miscalculation of major proportions. It also strikes me that taking gratuitous shots at the MSM for not smothering it is the fastest way to make this miscalculation absolutely suicidal.
August 12, 2009
How Not To Dodge A Question:
As demonstrated by the deputy press secretary to "His Most Serene Highness Emperor Barack Hussein Obama II, Keeper of the Most Holy Places of Honolulu and Chicago"* Via Hot Air.
*Title shamelessly poached from National Review Online.
August 11, 2009
Etiquette Question For The Group
"What is the appropriate response to meeting the new squeeze of a friend who recently separated from a long-time spouse?" There is a noticeable trend among our acquaintances around here that suddenly hubby decides his wife/mother of his children is not cutting it/he never loved her, etc. and they feel the need to take up with a bartender in a country-western place, singer in his garage band, etc.
August 09, 2009
Can Be Enjoyed With The Sound Off or On
Mrs. LMC and I watched the latest installment in the "Mummy" series last night: The Dragon Emperor. Rachel Weicz was nowhere to be seen, plot development was thin, but we have:
Isabella Leong, and the aging gracefully
Michelle Yeoh, who just turned 47.
August 08, 2009
August 07, 2009
There is the one in which the mistress of a former senator and presidential condidate appears before a grand jury and the one in which the rest of us live. Linky via Hot Air.
August 06, 2009
"Don't You...Forget About Me"
R.I.P. John Hughes.
Over at Big Hollywood they call him the Frank Capra of the Gen X era. At first I scratched my head a little, but they're right. What other director has added so much to the pop culture (and the wonder years) of those of us who grew up in the '80's? And who else introduced us to so many of those '80's babes - many of whom are still bringing it after all of these years?
We'll miss you John. Your work will never be forgotten.
Ripley "At The Bridge"
From NR comes this story of a Marine who helped stop the Easter Offensive.
Apparently, Communication Only Goes One Way
Via Hot Air:
I Know I Must Be Getting Old . . .
when I attended an alum function for Mrs. LMC's alma mater and gave a referral for a divorce lawyer to a gal who graduated from college ten years ago.
Steny Hoyer Gets Smacked
Registered Democrat asks why health care is being rammed through in less time than it took The One to pick his dog:
Via Hot Air.
What Did Bill Give Up to Get Those Journalists Back?
This question is echoing in the alternative media.
11the Anniversary of Embassy Attacks
Madame Secretary remembers the terrorist attacks on our embassies in 1998. I doubt it will be pointed out that her husband did nothing.
August 05, 2009
Gone on holiday. I may have Intertube access, but I'm going to ignore it anyway. See you in a week and a half.
Yip! Yip! Yip!
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "Care For Some More Fried Fish?" Division
The Nats take the second game off the Marlins tonight in a 5-4 nail-biter to extend their streak to four wins. The gremlin bogie remains at 50 and the magic number to kill it drops to 5.
Under our new interim manager, we're playing something not far off .500 ball now. Is it too soon to demand just a little bit of respect?
I won't be able to see tomorrow's series closer, but I'll be thinking about it.
Stormy Weather - Not So Much
MIAMI (AFP) - Weather experts on Wednesday reduced the number of projected hurricanes in the north Atlantic this season to four, two of them major hurricanes with winds above 178 kilometers (111 miles) per hour.
After one of the calmest starts to the hurricane season in a decade, the experts from Colorado State University said the development of an El Nino effect in the Pacific had caused them to scale back their projections for the Atlantic.
The El Nino phenomenon, which involves changes in atmospheric pressure in the southern Pacific, occurs every three to six years, disrupting global weather patterns.
In the Atlantic, El Nino events are associated with decreased levels of hurricane activity, said Philip Klotzbach and William Gray of Colorado State University.
"We continue to call for a below-average Atlantic basin tropical cyclone season in 2009. We also anticipate a below-average probability of United States and Caribbean major hurricane landfall," they said.
They now project that there will be 10 named tropical storms this season, of which four will become hurricanes, and two of those major hurricanes.
Actually, I think things are going to be hotter than that. We put up a tree-house for the Llama-ettes out back this summah. Our handyman got a real kick out of designing the thing and sort of got carried away with it, the result being a two-room affair anchored to three different tree-trunks. As I stood looking at the thing the other day, I couldn't help thinking that it's been a good six years since we had a serious tropical storm come through the Dee Cee area and such construction might well be viewed as waving a red flag at Mother Nature and daring her to send in another.
I mentioned this to the gels. It didn't go over very well.
We've had several notes dropped in the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack of late informing us that the Llamas have been invited to be added to some folks' Face Book accounts. (I don't recognize any of the names on the accounts.)
This is swell, I guess, but I thought I'd just let you all know that if you're expecting us to respond or confirm or whatever it is one is supposed to do upon receipt of such an invitation, well, don't hold your breath. I don't have a Face Book account, don't know how it works and am enough of a Luddite that I don't care to learn.
Random Commuter Observations
There's a tanning salon next door to my office building. Yesterday I noticed a new ad poster in the window. It featured a bronzed and (admittedly) hawt young lady in a bikini and a caption that read, "Get the Tan, Then Get the Man".
I couldn't help musing on what a fantastic foundation for an enduring relationship this must make. I'll betcha that Neil Clark Warren, for all his fancy-pants PhD and his "finding your soulmate" hoo-ha, never thought of that one.
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Fish-Fry Edition
Ha! What's better than coming from behind to beat the drifting Bucs? How about coming from behind to beat the shmokin' Marlins? Nats did it last night 6-4, snapping a ten game sweep of us by the Fish. That leaves the gremlin bogie at 50, while the magic number to kill it drops to 6.
I confess that I didn't watch the game, having turned it on just in time in the middle innings to watch the Marlins' pitcher launch one into the stands and figuring I was just too tired for this sort of thing. However, I plan to watch tonight, especially as our best pitcher, John "Owl Man" Lannan, is starting.
Palin and the Kobiyashi Maru
An interesting take via the good folks at Hot Air.
Yips from Robbo: Do I understand from this article that in the "rebooted" Trek universe, Spock actually designed the Kobiyashi Maru test? The whole Spock story-line in Wrath of Khan was that he had never even taken the test at the Academy!
August 04, 2009
Reach Out And Orgle Someone
Oh, why not....
UPDATE: Yes, that's us. Steve-O is the one in the Peruvian ski-hat thingy. He used to wear it to crew practice all the time, even in hot weather, and after a while let me tell you that thing stank something fierce!
Gratuitous Touron Blegging
Yes, although regular camelidophiles know that a substantial portion of my spring and summah blogging is devoted to savaging the tourons who invade Your Nation's Capital, the shoe is shortly to go on the other hoof. (Lest you believe I hold Dee Cee to be anything special, by the way, let me clarify that I don't. I just happen to work here and would gripe equally about the tourons if I worked in Los Angeles, Chicago or Sioux Falls.)
Aaaaanyway, our progress up the East Coast this year is going to involve a stopover in Bahstahn to visit Mrs. Robbo's sister and her family. And in that Energizer Bunny way that she has, Mrs. R has gotten the idea that it would be nice for the gels to go into the city and do something touristy with their cousins. Thus, on Friday the plan is for all of us to go to the Museum of Science and hop one of those Duck Tours.
I am breezily assured that there will be no trouble driving into town, parking at the museum and making our rendezvous, but I have a keen sense of fuss and bother and the truth is that I smell trouble coming down the wind.
Thus my bleg: Is my premonition justified? Or am I just being needlessly crabbed about this business?
(BTW, I intend to wear my loudest pair of bermudas, a day-glo fanny-pack and a t-shirt saying "Michael 4 Evah". I also intend to break every traffic law I can think of; to stand in the middle of the sidewalk pouring over maps and dropping ice-cream; and to constantly ask passers-by if they can point me to Fenway Field.)
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Dodging A Bullet Edition
Last evening, as the Nats were down 3-0 in the bottom of the 5th, with the Bucs having loaded the bases with no outs, I said to myself, "Self, here's where we get crushed."
Oh, me of little faith!
After Clippard came on for the hapless Monk and skunked the Bucs, the Nats then proceeded to turn on the powah and win the game 8-4.
Aaaand, with that win we not only split the series with the Bucs, we also split the whole road trip.
The gremlin bogie remains at 50 and the magic number to kill it is now 7.
BTW, you Pirates fans out there can stop laughing about Adam Dunn's play at 1st. Yes, I had gels on my softball team this spring who could field better than him, but the truth is that we need his bat and we really don't have anywhere else to put him. I'll bet he finishes his career as a DH in the 'Murican League somewhere.
Tonight we open a home stand against the Marlins. Who we haven't beat all farookin' season. The. Heat. Is. On.
August 03, 2009
For no reason other than my retirement account took another beating today.
In Honor of MTV's Anniversary Over the Weekend
"Video Killed the Radio Star":
Robbo Is Currently Listening To...
Today is Tony Bennett's 83rd birthday.
They don't make 'em like that anymore.
I'm Shocked! SHOCKED!
Drudge has been making a lot of hay with this story the past day or two:
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Director Larry Summers both sidestepped questions on Obama's intentions about taxes. Geithner said the White House was not ready to rule out a tax hike to lower the federal deficit; Summers said Obama's proposed health care overhaul needs funding from somewhere.
"There is a lot that can happen over time," Summers said, adding that the administration believes "it is never a good idea to absolutely rule things out, no matter what."
During his presidential campaign, Obama repeatedly vowed "you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime." But the simple reality remains that his ambitious overhaul of how Americans receive health care -- promised without increasing the federal deficit -- must be paid for.
I must say that I simply can't imagine anyone actually believed that promise in the first place.
Random Commuter Observation - Dog Daze Edition
After giving us a surprisingly mild June and almost all of July, Heat Miser has returned to reassert his suzerainty over the Dee Cee area with a vengeance, bringing a heat that gives me headache and muscle cramps, plus a humidity that captures every odor - human, mechanical and otherwise - and turns it into a miasmatic soup that clogs up my lungs and covers me with a maddening stink.
Fortunately, I've only got three more days before I light out on vac, but if my posting between now and then seems both crankier and more incoherent than usual, well, you'll know the reason why.
Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Weekend Surprise Edition
I didn't get a chance to watch much baseball over the weekend, but I see that the Nats dropped two more before taking one off the Bucs last night. Thus, the gremlin bogie stands at 50 with 8 wins needed to kill it. Considering we have to face the Marlins this week, I'm not optimistic that we're going to get that much closer any time soon.
I was also surprised to see that the Nats actually did get rid of Nick Johnson, just as I had suggested to the eldest Llama-ette the other night. Rather like leaning against an open door or expecting that last stair when it isn't there.
Mrs. Robbo and the Llama-ettes lit out for the north yesterday and I'll be following them up Thursday. I had thought that since I'm on my own this week, it might be a good time to take in a game down the park, especially (as I mentioned) since we're facing our arch-Nemeses the Marlins. But it's going to be just too damned hot n' humid this week, so I think I'll stick to the tee vee.
August 02, 2009
Fair Winds and Following Seas
This comes from Legal Insurrection via Hot Air:
The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) has positively identified remains recovered in Iraq as those of Captain Michael Scott Speicher. Captain Speicher was shot down flying a combat mission in an F/A-18 Hornet over west-central Iraq on January 17th, 1991 during Operation Desert Storm.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Captain Speicher's family for the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country," said Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy. "I am also extremely grateful to all those who have worked so tirelessly over the last 18 years to bring Captain Speicher home."
“Our Navy will never give up looking for a shipmate, regardless of how long or how difficult that search may be,” said Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations. “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Captain Speicher and his family for the sacrifice they have made for our nation and the example of strength they have set for all of us.”
Rest in peace with the thanks of a grateful nation.
Decisions, decisions . . .