Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
A day trip . . .
. . . to the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Memorial
I have a great interest in military history, so Mrs. B and I took a short trip to downtown Norfolk today to visit the MacArthur memorial for that "old soldier who just faded away."
MacArthur's biographers either hate him or love him, but there is no doubt that he was a towering figure through the first half of the 20th century.
He may have been a primadonna, but it seems that in wartime, we need them. Montgomery and Patton for instance.
The front entrance to the memorial, complete with a more-than-lifesize statue of Gen. MacArthur. I guess that's fitting. He was larger than life.
The main rotunda of the memorial is impressive, with excerpts from his speeches, flags from all the units he had under command, a history of his advancement throught the military, and his theaters of service.
MacArthur is buried with his wife Jean in a recessed area in the center of the anteroom, directly under the rotunda. William Manchester's biography, American Caesar" is well titled, as evidenced by the laurel wreath on his tomb.
I'm not sure this is MacArthur's personal uniform, but it is accurate in every detail. His citations include the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross (3), Distinguished Service Medal (4), Silver Star (3), Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and dozens of others.
Side note: His father, Arthur McArthur, was awarded the Medal of Honor for service in the Civil War.
The museum also has two of Hideki Tojo's Nihonto that were "appropriated" by MacArthur. One katana is unsigned, but believed to be late Yamato-den, Ca - 1450. The other is signed "Bishu Osafune Sukesada," and is dated February 1509. One is mounted, the other is in a shirasaya (wooden storage scabbard). Interestingly, those signed "Bishu Osafune Sukesada" are considered to be inferior, mass produced swords. They were also called bundled swords because they were sold in batches rather than individually. Essentially, considering his rank, Tojo carried a K-mart sword.
There was also a tanto in a shirsaya. However, it was stolen from the museum and a fake was put in it's place. The theft was detected when it was examined by the Japanese Sword Society for provenence. It's whereabouts is unknown.
A new shopping center nearby opened last year, and the smaller shops have been popping up like weeds. The Skinny Dip frozen yogurt shop is great. It's serve yourself. Fill your bowl as full as you please, mix in anything you want, and pay by the ounce.
We tried that last week. This week, it was Finn McCools.
I was hoping for a decent U.S. impersonation of an Irish Pub. It wasn't. It was more of a sports bar. Notre Dame vs. Purdue on one screen, Tennessee vs. Auburn on another.
Mrs. B ordered a chopped chicken salad. With fingers crossed, I ordered fish and chips. Mrs. B said the chicken salad was great.
The fish and chips wasn't.
It was served with tartar sauce. Mayonnaise with chopped bits of "stuff" in it. In my book, that's a hanging offense.
Luckily, the waitress had the good sense to leave a bottle of malt vinegar. I did not have to resort to violence.
The fish in fish & chips is Icelandic cod, right? Wrong. Try Pollack. Biologically, the same family. Different genus.
The batter was great. The fish was mushy, not flakey. Ick.
I couldn't get a black and tan.
Redeeming quality: all the waitresses were those pleated schoolgirl skirts and knee socks.
Sorry. That was inappropriate. I'm way too old for that. Or, maybe not.
And, I seem to have gone Brennigesque after reading his blog today. Apologies to the B-man.
Nebraska plays Virginia Tech tonight. Football - the oblong, pointy kind, not the silly kind where nobody scores points and fans kill each other or the referees, and the stars have poshy, alien-looking wives with 80 lb. bodies and 20 lb. breasts.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
. . . suggestions for flavors?
VERMONT -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to a statement recently released by a PETA spokeswoman.
"PETA's request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves," the statement says. PETA officials say a move to human breast milk would lessen the suffering of dairy cows and their babies on factory farms and benefit human health. "The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."
In a statement Ben and Jerry's said, "We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child."
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
. . . but I just can't help myself. I hate liars. I may hate hypocrites more.
Obama is now blaming McCain for the financial crisis in the U. S. financial market.
What Obama fails to mention is that McCain SUPPORTED regulation of Freddie and Fannie back in 2005. He co-sponsored SB 190, the FEDERAL HOUSING ENTERPRISE REGULATORY REFORM ACT OF 2005. McCain said:
"I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole."
Question 1: Who opposed? All Democratic members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. It was killed before it was given a chance to vote.
Question 2: Who deregulated the industry in the first place? Hint: The guy who signed the bill was also famous for leaving deposits on blue dresses. His advisor: Alan Greenspan.
Trivia fact: One of Obama's financial advisors was President of Fannie Mae. Yep, one of those "overpaid CEOs" who took $50 million in salary while driving Fannie Mae into the ground. Another top advisor is ANOTHER Fannie Mae CEO, who walked out with $35 million.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
. . . It's not what most people think.
Most people think "begging the question" (petitio principii) is synonymous with "raising a question." It is not. Begging the question is a logical falacy wherein a questionable premise is used to validate a conclusion. Here's one:
From CNN's Jack Cafferty
Race is arguably the biggest issue in this election, and it's one that nobody's talking about. The differences between Barack Obama and John McCain couldn't be more well-defined. Obama wants to change Washington. McCain is a part of Washington and a part of the Bush legacy. Yet the polls remain close. Doesn't make sense…unless it's race.
While there may in fact be a racial component, a close look at the logic of this piece indicates that Mr. Cafferty has a bad case of cranial rectitis* in trying to prove it it.
Premise: Obama and McCain have clear ideological differences, and the polls are still close.
Conclusion: the only reason is race.
Stupid. Racist in its own way.
I would quit obscessing about the election, except: a) I'm really concerned about this election, and b) No one reads my blog anyhow, so what does it matter.
* The technical term for Asshat.
Monday, September 15, 2008
. . . Judge for yourself.
Democrats made up 55 percent of John McCain's political partners over the last two Congresses, including on the tough issues of campaign finance and global warming. For Obama, Republicans were only 13 percent of his co-sponsors during his time in the Senate, and he had his biggest bipartisan successes on noncontroversial measures, such as issuing a postage stamp in honor of civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
. . . do you know what it is?
Liberal bloggers and talking heads are slobbering all over themselves because Sarah Palin apparently didn't know what it was.
The fact is that Charlie Gibson didn't either. He said it was "preemptive war." She said it was about eliminating global terrorism. It turns out that she WAS right, and Charlie was only 25% correct.
The so-called Bush Doctrine isn't an official document per-se, but an evolved policy for combatting global terrorisim. In fact, the term was first used by Charles Krauthammer, and consists of four parts:
1. If a country harbors terrorists, it will be treated as a terrorist.
2. The U.S. reserves the right to preemptive strikes to prevent terrorist acts.
3. Democracy around the world will be supported.
4. The U.S. reserves the right to unilateral action to prevent terrorist acts against its interests.
Not that logic matters, though.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Yesterday, Mrs. B had an epidural steroid injection at L5 to try to treat pains in her leg resulting from nerve irritation.
Scheduling Asshole: Is Mrs. B there?
Me: I'm sorry she's sleeping because of the procedure from yesterday.
SA: I know. I'm calling to schedule a follow-up appointment.
Me: I'll call you back when she wakes up.
SA: Well, then I'll just go ahead and schedule a time, and you can call back to confirm.
Me: (sotto voce - sigh. . . ) Why waste the time setting up an appointment when you don't know if we can make it?
SA: What do you mean?
Me: (sotto voce - listen, dumbass, what did I just say?) The appointment depends on my work schedule and her other appointments.
SA: Well, I can just schedule it then?
Me: (sotto voce - OK, I'll speak slowly, using small words) No, you can't do that.
Me: (mental image of wrapping phone cord around her fat neck) Because you have NO idea whether or not we can make it on the day you schedule.
SA: If you know your work schedule, let's just set it now.
Me: (mental image of drawing and quartering Mel Gibson at the end of Braveheart) No, let's not. Give me your phone number, and I'll call you back.
SA: Call back soon so you won't miss out on an appointment. They're filling up fast.
Me: (mental image of strangling her under a blue-light special light at K-Mart) Right. Bye. Click.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
. . . The blogger who became a transitive verb.
I've read her for years, and am impressed with her writing and photography skills. I particularly like her monthly letters to Leta.
However, sometimes Heather just needs to take a deep breath and contemplate her navel.
Anyone who has read my blog - both of you :o} - knows that my politics differ from hers. However, I hope I usually present logical reasons for my positions, and don't attack everyone who disagrees with me.
Monday, September 08, 2008
. . . may love this guy.
But in terms he should understand:
Although I didn't see him on the VMA awards, perhaps he is the cause of my recent first-place finish in the local cookie-tossing contest.
It really doesn't bother me that celebrities - or anyone else, for that matter - have opinions. I don't even care how logical, or, conversely, stupid they are. However, there's a place and time for everything. Awards shows are not for political punditry.
Advice that fared the Dixie Chicks well: Shut up and sing! Or, in this case, just STFU.
Oh, and grand-daughter wanted to add her opinion
Friday, September 05, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
. . . Gone to Texas.
Last Wednesday, Mrs. B. and I hopped on the big silver bird and flew to Dallas to visit son #1 (J) and family. Since arriving, we have done absolutely nothing productive - which I consider to be an excellent plan.
On Saturday afternoon, we were treated to a trip to Medieval Times. I'm sure our Brit friends would find it a bit hokey, but it was fun. Food with no utensils, jousting, duels, fair maids, busty serving wenches. Brennig would have appreciated the fact that the knights rode Andalusian horses.
A side benefit (perhaps to the backside also) is that J is a very accomplished baker. We have hot scones available every morning, and he's made lemon cookies, snickerdoodles, and a great birthday cake for Mrs. B. She's 29 again. I don't know if gen-you-wine Brit scones are better than J's, but if they are, I'm booking passage next week.
Photos later . . . when I tire of sitting by the pool with my feet up and reading a novel.