Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Embearassing encounter

Hello, Mr. Bear.

Scanning negs and loupe-de-loupe

scanning negs
Once in a blue moon, somebody tracks me down to inquire about photos I shot in the distant past.
I got a query a couple of weeks ago, but then heard nothing and supposed that the interest had waned.
Nope. I got a flurry of calls yesterday that resulted in me rooting through my archival negatives to find the frames of interest and then make high-res scans of them this morning.
I’m not at liberty to say what the images are or what the project is yet, so stay tuned.
And, as a bonus, I found the really cool 5X Mamiya loupe that I haven’t seen since we moved from Indiana three years ago. It was exactly where I guessed it would be, which is nothing short of amazing. It’s so much nicer than the cheesy plastic Agfa Loupe I would have had to use if I hadn’t found the Mamiya loupe.

What the hell did you expect, kid?

Golf course etiquette.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Waiting out the storm with Pete


We’re in the middle of a thunderstorm and I noticed Pete the Aussie wasn’t flopped down on the living room carpet with Ruthie.

So I checked his kennel, which is his “safe place,” and found him bedded down and looking a little worried.

Pete hates thunderstorms because he got left outside during a particularly violent one when he was about six months old. Maria and I were out of town and my stepdaughter Morgan was at home, but she was up in the attic, cataloging her stuff and had music cranked up on a boombox. She had no idea it was storming.

Ruthie stayed on the back porch, but Pete fled in terror. A neighbor said he saw Pete streaking down the street amid flashes of lightning. He was gone all of that night and the next day and the next night. Early the following day, a woman who works at our vet’s office was driving her son to school when she recognized Pete along a road about a mile north of town. She called us and we sped out to get him.

He ran away for three days about two months later when a beefwit neighbor shot a bottle rocket across our property and it exploded over his head.

Pete followed me up to the office a few minutes ago. He’s now huddled under my desk after a loud lightning strike hit about 2 miles from here.

Monday morning report

ruthie tortilla Ruthie discovered she kinda likes tortillas yesterday.

I got in a 45-mile ride on Maria’s K75S yesterday afternoon and was reminded anew what a fun bike it is – light, nimble, low center of gravity, and lots of power. It was sunny and 55 degrees, but I was reasonably comfortable throughout. I rode up the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway from Jonesboro to Paragould, making loops through Frierson Lake and Crowley’s Ridge state parks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Boscos mug day

 boscos bar Yesterday was new beer mug day at Boscos in Memphis, so off we went with Charlie and Deb.boscos charlie

Charlie became a mug holder a year ago. For a modest fee, you get your own personal numbered beer mug that stays at the bar – in numbered rows on shelves above the bar. When you visit and order beer, it comes in your mug and in a greater quantity than the mere mortals get with their glass of beer. At the end of the year (yesterday), the mugs get retired and you can take yours home and get a new one with a new design for the new year.

I decided I’d like to join that beer fraternity and I supposed I could buy a mug at yesterday’s event. I was wrong. I missed my chance by a week or more and discovered the available mugs were all snapped up in a period of 20 minutes. So it goes.

I had a couple of glasses of Midtown Brown and a splendid Reuben sandwich, so it was a good day.

boscos mugs

Friday, November 26, 2010

What’s on your mind, Pete?


I was looking at Pete the Aussie the other morning as he gazed out the bedroom window to the back yard. Watching the yard seemed really important to him and I found myself wondering what he was thinking. And for a moment, I wished he could talk.

Then I realized it’s a good thing that he can’t talk.

If he could, it would probably be something like, “Give me a treat, I want a treat, gimme a treat, treat, treat, Oh how I want a treat, give me a treat, pleeeeeeeease!”

Or, “Open the door, open the door, I gotta go outside, open the door, open the door, open the door, open the door, open the door, open the door, open the door, open the door, I gotta poop, open the door, open the fucking door. Hey, open the door.”

This kind of prattling would drive me nuts. But it would be even worse if Pete started jabbering libtard talking points, going on about man-caused climate change, or how Republicans are racists, or that Sarah Palin and George W. Bush are stupid and evil.

Yes, that would be much much worse. I can respect a dog who has normal doggy concerns, but not one who worries about carbon footprints, Walmart, and the rights of jihadists. I love my dog, even to the point of excusing the occasional accident on the carpet, but I couldn’t bear to think of him like that.

So I’ll be content just to wonder what’s on his mind.

Mom’s pumpkin pie


My mother made the best pumpkin pie I ever tasted and I am deeply thankful that Maria has Mom’s recipe and can replicate the experience for me.

And, of course, a scoop of vanilla ice cream completes the treat.recipe pumpkin pie

Portrait of a cold front


The advancing cold front brought rain and plunging temperatures yesterday evening and overnight.

The end result was 1.1 inches of frozen rain in the rain gauge.

The temperature dropped 30 degrees in 30 minutes late yesterday afternoon and then kept falling.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Just pretend

Pretend this is entertaining new content.

I’m taking the holiday off.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It’s 68 degrees at 10:15 p.m. the night before Thanksgiving, so naturally we have a Winter Weather Advisory

Issued by The National Weather Service
Memphis, TN
3:55 pm CST, Wed., Nov. 24, 2010









More Information



Mission accomplished


Ten hours after I left home, I’m back from Cape Girardeau with Maria’s K75S parked in the garage.

We were unable to start Susan’s R1150RT sidecar rig for Charlie to ride to the BMW shop in Cape Girardeau and it was too wide to fit on the trailer he brought, so he resolved to haul it up to Grass Roots BMW on his other, wider trailer at some point in the future.

It was a nasty, bone-chilling 49 degrees with rain, mist and fog when we left Cape Girardeau about 2 p.m. Charlie led and I followed in his SUV pulling a trailer laden with two bikes down I-55, shooting this photo a few miles south of Benton, Mo. where we gassed at Boomland.

The temperature rose steadily and was up to 76 by the time we reached New Madrid – an increase of 27 degrees in only 50 miles. Charlie was buttoned up in heated pants, jacket and gloves, which made for a comfortable ride when the temperature was still in the 50s, but he was sweltering by the time we got to Arkansas.

It’s been a long day, but we accomplished our mission and can relax and enjoy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

13 years gone


My father, Charles M. Flora, died 13 years ago today. Here he is playing “hats” with his grandson Sean circa 1971.

I miss him every day.

K75S homecoming

k75s at andysMaria’s 1994 BMW K75S is coming home tomorrow.

Charlie and I are heading up to Grass Roots BMW Motorcycles at Cape Girardeau to retrieve our bikes. Charlie has a sidecar rig and an old airhead up there. Those and Maria’s bike have been there since Sept. 7.

And weather and mechanical things permitting, Charlie will ride friend Susan’s sidecar rig up to drop off for service.

Maria’s bike needed a new starter relay and battery. It could use some new tires, too. The low-profile tires that are on it now were installed about 8 years ago and even though they have plenty of tread left, are probably pretty fragile.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Where were you 47 years ago today? If you were alive then, you probably remember.

This is one of those days when my mind drifts back to experiences of long ago.
Today – Nov. 22 – is the 47th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
I was a freshman at what was then Indiana State College (now Indiana State University) and I’d just had lunch in the Gillum-Sandison Hall dining room when I walked into the Gillum lounge and found a crowd of guys glued to the black-and-white TV. I was a Kennedy Democrat at the time and thought of JFK as my president. So the news of his death was like a body blow.
I ended up driving to Washington, D.C. with five other students. We drove all night and crashed at the University of Maryland Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity house. Reed McCormick, whose parents’ car we used, was an ATO active and I was an ATO pledge at the time. We stood in a chilly line all night to file past the casket in the Capitol Rotunda and stood along the funeral procession route the next morning. We were back on the road when we learned Jack Ruby had gunned down Lee Harvey Oswald.
It was a surreal experience. I had a cheap little box camera with me and got a few shots of the funeral procession, including the caisson and the horse Black Jack, with the boots backward in the stirrups.
That's me on the left, then Reed McCormick and then Steve Dolbow.

In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year

In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Morning dog ritual

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Our dogs sleep in our bedroom, Ruthie on the carpet and Pete in his kennel.

Their morning routine is very structured. When they notice we’re awake, they start making noises to let us know they’re awake too and want to go outside.

Ruthie gets to go out first, then we open the kennel door and Pete streaks for the back door, his feet skittering on the tile as he makes a hard left turn around the opened back door.

When they’ve done their business in the fenced back yard, they scratch and bark at the back door until we let them in and give them each a Milk Bone treat. Ruthie takes hers somewhere in the house that she thinks will be safe from Pete, even though he never tries to steal her treats. Pete wants to be close to us, so he brings his treat into the bedroom.

Once he’s finished it, he hops up onto the bed to snuggle with his pack until he gets restless.

Then he stands by the venetian blind-covered window and urgently looks back and forth between us and the window until we pull the blinds up so he can rest his chin on the window sill and gaze into the back yard.

We didn’t notice it when we were house-shopping, but I’m pleased that this house has dog-friendly low windows.

Sophie the Elf

sophie elfOur neighbor Sophie embarked on a fitness program more than a year ago and participates in every running event she can find on weekends.

Yesterday, it was the Jonesboro Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis.

Her sister told her everyone was going to run in costume, so Sophie bought an elf costume for the occasion.

But when she showed up to for the run yesterday morning, she discovered she was the only person in the crowd who was in costume.

Her 5-year-old son asked her if she was one of Santa’s elves and, of course, she said yes. And he believes her. What power!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Motorcycle Pin of the Day, Revisited

ama charter life pin
Ho ho, you thought we were done with this feature, didn’t you?
This is my AMA Charter Life Member pin that arrived in this morning’s mail. They never sent me one when I achieved Charter Life Member status in the spring of 2007, so I went online earlier this month and bought one. Nice fake gemstone, huh?
You get to be a Charter Life Member of the American Motorcyclist Association by being a continuous member for 25 years. Once you achieve this lofty status, you only have to pay for the AMA magazine every year.

Maybe it was a missile, just not one of ours

A Chinese message to Washington?

Some experts, including the former assistant director of operations of NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain facilities, believe the Nov. 8 contrail captured on video by a KCBS-TV helicopter crew was a missile launched from a submerged Chinese nuclear submarine.

You can read the disturbing report at WorldNetDaily.

Friday, November 19, 2010

No bugs here

The pest control guy was here this morning and gave our house a clean bill of health, bug-wise.

The inspector was a pleasant guy who was born in Noblesville, Ind. His dad was a truck driver and moved the family to Arkansas when his son was eight months old, so he has no memory of his life as a Hoosier. Even so, it was a nice connection.

And he calls the natives here “Arkies” just like I do.

In true Aussie fashion, Pete regarded the inspector with suspicion but kept his teeth to himself. For his part, the inspector opined that Aussies are his favorite breed of dog because they are so amazingly intelligent.

Mine too.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hands off my cable choices, Senator

We have to wait four more years to fire this malignant imbecile.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) wants the FCC to do away with FOX News and MSNBC because “It would be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly, in their future.”

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann points out that Rockefeller should know that the FCC has no authority over cable channels, since he is a member of the committee which oversees the communications industry.

Somewhere there’s a pet without a rabies tag

The sun just broke through for the first time today at 12:50 p.m., but the weather satellite view suggests it’s not going to last long.

I had fleeting thoughts of suiting up and riding my bike over to Memphis today to the Bagel Company of Memphis to stock up on bagels, but it’s a bit on the chilly side. The temperature stands at 52 degrees and it looks like that’s as warm as it’s going to get today.

Tomorrow’s out because the pest control guy is coming for our annual inspection and Saturday’s out because it’s a Jewish business and they’re closed on Saturdays. Sunday’s forecast is for sunshine and a high of 71, so that may be the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         answer.

This is another slow day. I’m hanging out with the dogs and just finished a lunch of leftover ham loaf.

Nothing interesting in today’s snail mail and the only thing that caught my eye on the post office community bulletin board was this rabies vaccination tag that some hapless dog or cat apparently lost. Should be easy to trace since it has the vet’s name and phone number and a serial number.

We got enough rain over the last couple of days to lift the burn ban for the county, so I can load up our patio fireplace and drag the latest crop of fallen branches into the fire pit for burning over the weekend.

The annual Association Motorcycle Club/ABATE Toy Run for needy children is Saturday afternoon. I rode Maria’s bike last year, but it’s still up at Grass Roots BMW in Cape Girardeau, so my K1200GT gets to participate this year. I’ve invited Maria to come along, but she doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about it. She has a lot of quilting to do before Christmas, so she has a good excuse.

Canadian blogger friend Lovisa Loiselle put a link to this blog, Hyperbole and a cartoonbannerHalf, on her Facebook page and I like it so much I’ve put a link to it on mine.

Lovisa is a good judge of cartoon art, since she does the drawing for the Urban Blah. Allie, who does the Hyperbole blog, has a drawing style all her own, albeit reminiscent of Ralph Steadman. The illustrated story of their move from Montana to Bend, Ore. with two bizarre dogs is outrageously funny.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Social Security

Today is the third Wednesday of the month, which means it’s the day when my Social Security payment rolls into my checking account.

I just went to my bank’s web site and confirmed that it’s there. I don’t understand people who insist on getting their Social Security check in the mail instead of using direct deposit. They obviously don’t have much going on in their lives if they enjoy taking the check to the bank themselves.

I don’t feel at all guilty about taking it. After all, I paid into Social Security all of my working life and this is just my money coming back to me. I also paid a Medicare tax for a lot of years and find it puzzling that they still think I owe Medicare $138 a month deducted from my Social Security payment.

Even so, I would take a reduction in my Social Security payment if I thought it would save us from being owned by China.

There, I said it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Degrees of latitude and degrees of heat

Being an expatriate Hoosier who soldiered through 62 Indiana winters before moving to the Mid-South, I still have a very different sense of hot and cold weather than do my Arkansas neighbors.

I may suffer a little more than the Arkies when the summer heat index soars into the triple digits and stays there for weeks at a time, but the payoff is earlier springs, later autumns, and milder, mostly snow-free winters. This will be our fourth winter here at 35N latitude and, while we’re slowly acclimating, it’s amusing to see the North Face cold weather gear and woolly boots come out when the mercury dips into the 50s. North Face stuff is a big deal fashion statement around here.

I’m sitting in the Seattle Grind Cafe and just noticed a young woman in an enormous pink down-filled expedition jacket. And it’s only 43 with a light drizzle.

That said, I don’t care to spend another winter in Indiana. That difference in latitude of about 5 degrees translates into an average temperature difference of 10 degrees.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sophie

sophie Happy birthday to our next-door neighbor Sophie. We’re blessed to have some really great neighbors here in our little subdivision in the woods.

Pumpkin Pancakes! Westward Ho china! Life is good!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Maria whipped up a batch of spectacularly delicious pumpkin pancakes for breakfast this morning, served on my favorite Wallace China Westward Ho Boots & Saddle plate.

The Westward Ho series of dinnerware was created by cowboy artist Till Goodan. Here’s what the True West company says about his work:

Till Goodan designs appeared in virtually every medium. But, the most famous was the four lines of dinnerware produced by Wallace China: Pioneer Trails, Longhorn, Boots and Saddle, and Rodeo. The "Rodeo" pattern was a tremendous success. The wonderful action drawings of Rodeo events surrounded by authentic cattle brands appealed to Westerners of every persuasion. "Rodeo" dinnerware graced the tables of restaurants, hotels, and ranches. Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Bing Crosby owned sets of "Rodeoware." Today all the dinnerware patterns are prized collectibles.

All but the Longhorn pattern feature a border of cattle brands. The Wallace China Company operated in Vernon, Calif. from 1931 to 1964. The company specialized in hotel and restaurant china and was eventually bought out by the Shenango China Company.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         My parents took me to Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1956 and we ate in restaurants that used the characteristic Westward Ho series of dinnerware with the cattle brand border. I was fascinated with it then and I still am.

The True West company of Royse City, Texas bought the rights to the Westward Ho series and continues to produce the Rodeo, Boots & Saddle, Little Buckaroo and Christmas patterns.

I bought a bunch of True West Rodeo Pattern stuff on Ebay several years ago.

This is the only original Wallace stuff I have and I used it for breakfast today.

Motorcycle Pin of the Day

This pin is from an American Motorcyclist Association District Rally I attended in 1993. I have absolutely no idea what rally it was, but I’ve got the pin to prove I was there.

I have some other AMA pins but, oddly enough, they never sent me one when I became a Charter Life Member after 25 years of continuous membership. I got a sticker, but no pin. What’s up with that?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Motorcycle Pin of the Day

This is my 10-year member pin from ABATE of Indiana. I taught the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s beginning rider course for ABATE for 10 years from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. I estimate I helped about 1,000 students learn to ride or to ride better.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A little early? Probably not, now that I think about it.

xmas in brookland

I was startled to see this woman putting up her Christmas decorations this morning across the street from the Brookland Post Office.

But then I realized that, even though it feels like summer or early autumn here today, it really is less than two weeks until Thanksgiving and most people with serious outdoor Christmas displays like to switch on the lights on Thanksgiving.

And I recalled the couple who lived southeast of Sheridan, Ind., who used to have the biggest, craziest hodge-podge of religious and secular Christmas lights and displays in central Indiana. They began putting things out in late July or early August in order to be able to fire it all up on Thanksgiving. I did several stories about them for The Indianapolis News and was impressed to learn that the local electric utility put a heavy-duty transformer on the pole outside their house because they drew so much power that they blew up the standard-size transformer.

They had problems with kids stealing elements of their display, so they put animal traps in the yard to discourage theft. That was until the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department found out and made them get rid of the traps.

Hi-yo, silver

silver ingotNow that we have some modest silver interests, I’m tracking the price of precious metals on Monex.

And I’m feeling a little guilty because I’m betting against the stability of the U.S. dollar.

But if the dollar collapses, I’d rather have some silver than not have it.

As it should be

They all deserve a hero’s welcome home.

BMW Motorcycle Pin of the Day

This is my 10-year member pin from the BMW Riders Association.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

I am the first person in my branch of the Flora family to wear a military uniform, going back seven generations to Europe in the 1600s.
My dad was rejected by the U.S. Army after Pearl Harbor in 1941 because he waslacklandcap2 31 years old and had a heart murmur. His father and his father’s father, and so on, all the way back to Switzerland, were non-violent protestants/German Baptist/Amish/Dunkards.
I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 22, 1965 and spent just 41 days in uniform before I received a medical discharge for allergies.
Some guys might parlay that into a claim to be a “Vietnam Era Veteran” but I make no such pretense. As far as I’m concerned, I went to a government-sponsored fitness camp for 41 days where I got free food, clothes, shelter and a haircut and even got paid $21 a month for my trouble.
In fact, I feel embarrassed every year when Veterans Day rolls around because I was excused from the horrors that so many of my generation endured in Vietnam.
They and all of the others who did the real work of soldiering for our country should be honored every day of the year.
So on this Veterans Day, I offer my deepest thanks to everyone who has taken this oath and served:
I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

BMW Motorcycle Pin of the Day

This pin features the BMW roundel in its Rennsport, or motor racing, configuration. I think I bought it at Laguna Seca in 1986.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mittwoch stuff (that’s Wednesday in German, you know)

bike seattle grind JONESBORO, Ark. - I’m having a late afternoon coffee after riding into town to do some banking. I thought about letting the banking stuff slide. Then I remembered tomorrow is Veterans Day and I think my bank is closed. So here I am.

It feels like a gift to be able to ride in 73-degree weather on the 10th of November. I would have headed out earlier, but I realized it’s been a few weeks since my last ride, so I let the bike sip on electricity from the trickle charger through the morning and mid-afternoon. I also noticed I need to reset the bike’s clock to reflect the end of Daylight Saving Time.

I still haven’t retrieved Maria’s bike from Grass Roots BMW in Cape Girardeau where it’s been since early October. We’re waiting for word that Charlie’s two bikes are finished so we can retrieve all three at once. Weather permitting, Charlie will ride a friend’s charging system-impaired sidecar rig and I’ll drive the SUV with trailer on the trip up and he’ll ride his sidecar rig on the return trip. I’d ride Maria’s bike, but I recall that the tires are eight years old and I’m reluctant to subject them to prolonged Interstate speeds. It’ll be good to have both bikes back in the garage again.

Stephen Harper gets it

Semper Fi

Happy Birthday, Jarheads. Thanks for all you do.

BMW Motorcycle Pin of the Day

This is my five-year membership pin from the BMW Riders Association. I’ve been a member for 19 years.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

This kid is going places

This inspiring story comes from Maggie’s Farm.

My cheerful, voluble friend at our local Cumbie/24-hr gas station has been working the night shift for 8 months. He's about 25, a recent single Jamaican (legal) immigrant who lives with his Mom. He is not a Rastaman. His Mom is a hospital aide who also moonlights as a home helper. She sings in the church choir.

This morning at 6 AM he announced to me "Hey, Boss, good news. They finally agreed to up my hours. Now I'll be able to work a minimum of 55 hrs/wk instead of 45."

"Do they pay you time and a half for OT?" I ask.

"Of course they do, man. Every hour over 40. The good thing is, now I can begin to put some money aside. You watch me man, I'm gonna need an investment advisor soon."

I asked "How about 60 hours minimum? I did that when I was young."

"That's my goal." he replied. "If I keep doing a good job at 55 hours and don't make mistakes, they will let me have 60. I already worked 60 last week with my extra OT."

"Beats selling beads to tourists at the beach?"

"Oh man, I thank God every day that my Mom made me come to America with her. She forced me, man. I had no choice. She is fat and mean. I was a ganja beach bum. Next week, I'll be an investor. I'm thinking of buying some some Apple Computer."

"What's your goal?"

"I'm gonna have my own Cumbie franchise. Be my own boss. Work 100 hours if I want. Hey, do you think I should buy gold or Apple Computer?"

"I think you should buy your own computer first."

"Hey, I already have that. I am online, man. I taught myself. I read everything there. I read Bloomberg news. These old guys come in early, they say 'Are the papers in yet?' Behind the times, man."

A spirited young lad with Jamaican high school and no college, enthusiastically inventing and building a life in America from scratch, with unlimited opportunity in front of him. Ya gotta love it. I want this kid here.

Far out

phantom planet posterYou know that cheesy La Quinta commercial where a conversation between two astronauts is overdubbed with a bunch of hype about renovations to the La Quinta motel chain, especially the lobby?

I discovered quite by accident that the original footage is from an equally cheesy 1961 SciFi movie called “The Phantom Planet.” (Not to be confused with the Southern California alternative rock band Phantom Planet.)

You can see the whole thing, with humorous commentary, in the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 release by the same name.

Far, far out!

Selling gold, buying silver


dhs class ringI’ve rounded up our non-essential gold and will take it to a dealer this afternoon to convert it to silver, seeing as how the price of silver is up to $29.07/ounce at the moment.

That means saying goodbye to my Delphi High School class ring. No big loss, since I haven’t worn it since graduation with the possible exception of a class reunion or two.

Given my investment history, this move should bring the bull market on silver to a screeching halt.

BMW Motorcycle Pin of the Day

This is getting kinda tedious, isn’t it? This is my 20-year-member pin from the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America. I got it 10 years ago. I just renewed my membership and expect my 30-year pin any day now.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Just sayin’

A friend who usually knows what she’s talking about warned me this morning that the economy is going to crash and burn, thanks to the idiotic (or maybe diabolical) move the Fed made last week.

She recommends laying in a year’s worth of beans, rice and potatoes and shifting as much wealth as possible into silver. (It’s trading at $26.88/ounce at the moment.) She was heading to her dealer with about 3 ounces of gold to convert today.

The trigger, she believes, is when China announces it will no longer buy U.S. bonds. The next 14 days after that event, she worries, will see the complete collapse of the global economy.

Maybe so, maybe not, but what can it hurt to have some extra food in the house? After all, we’re also in the New Madrid fault zone.

BMW Motorcycle Pin of the Day

This is my 15-year member pin from the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America. I received it in 1995.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Happy 43rd Birthday, Sean!

My son Sean is 43 today. He is an extraordinarily talented music producer and recording engineer who has worked with these artists and more:

  • The Shins (Wincing the Night Away Grammy nominated)
  • The Jicks
  • Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) and Janet Weiss (Quasi, S-K)
  • Ken Stringfellow (Posies, REM)
  • The Black Keys
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Beth Ditto (The Gossip)
  • The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Glasvegas
  • She Wants Revenge
  • Richmond Fontaine
  • Spoon
  • Portugal. The Man
  • Storm Large
  • Kleveland
  • Madness
  • Cake
  • James Mercer (Shins)
  • Smegma
  • The Minders
  • Paper Cameras
  • Richard Butler (Psych. Furs)
  • Katlyn ni Donovan
  • Castella
  • Little Sue
  • Lalitha Krishnan
  • 3 Leg Torso
  • Purekane
  • James Angell
  • Cheralee Dillon
  • Daniel Riddle+King Black Acid
  • Dahlia
  • The Altarboys
  • Storm Large
  • Kleveland
  • Roy Tinsel
  • Pepe & the Bottle Blondes
  • Vagabond Opera
  • SuckaPunch
  • Hungry Mob
  • The Joggers
  • 8 Foot Tender
  • Crack City Rockers
  • Morgan Grace
  • Sam Henry (Wipers, Napalm Beach)
  • Chris Newman (Napalm Beach)
  • The Prids
  • Michael Vlatkovich
  • RicanStruction
  • The Kingdom
  • The UpsideDown
  • March Fourth

He makes me proud.

BMW Motorcycle Pin of the Day

This is my 10-year membership pin from the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America. I got it 20 years ago this fall.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

To Memphis for a quilt show

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         We when to Memphis today to check out the Davies Manor Plantation Quilt Show, partially because Maria loves quilts and also because she has a quilt in the show – her jack-o-lantern quilt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The centerpiece of the plantation is the Davies Manor. We passed a sign at the end of the driveway that I think proclaimed it’s the oldest structure in Shelby County, which is where Memphis is situated. The home started as a one-room log cabin sometime in the 1830s. The web site says:

Between 1831 and 1837, Joel W. Royster made additions to the house, including the addition of a dogtrot, full extension of the loft above the “parlor” and the two story bedroom area on the east side.  In the 1860’s, the present dining room was added to house.  The present kitchen was added after 1950.

Vintage quilts were exhibited in the house and contemporary quilts were exhibited in an outbuilding.


BMW Motorcycle Pin of the Day

This is a pin created by BMW Motorrad to commemorate the California Highway Patrol converting to the BMW R1150RT-P. Since then, they’ve stepped up to the R1200RT-P. BMW is the largest provider of authority motorcycles in the world.

Friday, November 05, 2010

How the Gray Lady Became Margaret Dumont

How the Gray Lady Became Margaret Dumont
Margaret Dumont was the frumpy matron who played opposite Groucho Marx in several Marx Brothers movies.

Just another cycle, says the smartest guy on Fox News

A Return to the Norm - Charles Krauthammer - National Review Online

BMW Motorcycle Pin of the Day

BMW Motorrad produces its own line of commemorative model pins. This is their version of the venerable R100RS. It had a 980cc air-cooled boxer engine and was introduced in 1976. It was produced through 1984, the ‘84 models bearing the “Last Edition” label. However, the worldwide demand for the classic design was such that BMW resumed production of the R100RS in 1986 and the actual “last edition,” albeit without the label on the side panels, came out in 1992. It was replaced in 1993 with the introduction of the R1100RS with BMW’s redesigned oil-cooled boxer engine.

jmfgrattan I dearly loved my graphite gray ‘81 R100RS. It was my first true touring motorcycle and it changed my life.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Puzzling evidence


He is apparently impressing the doll on his left. Click the pic for the source story.

A Chinese-made blow-up sex doll in the image of King Zero begs so many questions:

  • Why make an Obama blow-up sex doll?
  • Is it supposed to be flattery or an insult?
  • Is it completely anatomically accurate or does it have a vagina?
  • Who’s buying these things? Women? Gay guys?
  • Is his unit just sticking out there or does the user have to unzip his fly and fish it out?
  • Are these things standard issue in Chinese prisons?
  • Is it true what they say about black blow-up sex dolls?
  • How can it be a sex doll if his mouth is closed?
  • Will they be available in the U.S. in time for the 2012 election?

BMW Motorcycle Pin of the Day

I bought this pin commemorating the R100RS in July, 1986, on my first transcontinental trip on my 1981 R100RS.

The destination was the BMW MOA national rally at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Calif.

I bought my R100RS used with about 17,000 miles on the odometer from Cycle Werks in Indianapolis in the fall of 1985 and it was my main ride until June 24, 1991 when I bought a ‘91 K100RS from BMW Motorcycles of Indianapolis. The R100RS had about 90,000 miles on the odometer when I sold it later that year.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The icing on the cake

State House Tsunami

This is who kicked Obama’s ass yesterday

paragould tea 02 When I shot this Tea Party rally photo on April 15, 2009 in Paragould, Ark. I had a feeling I was witnessing the birth of something big.

That was the first day of the Tea Party rallies.

These little old ladies were self-conscious and a little embarrassed about showing up to protest anything, but they realized things were about to go horribly wrong and knew they had to do something about it.

And they and their friends rose up across the nation yesterday and smashed Obama’s grip on Congress.