Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's not a matter of whether or not someone's watching over you. It's just a question of their intentions.

The day I turned 50, so did the hippo at the local zoo. Also, a day or two later bubble wrap turned 50. With all 3 of these useless, but entertaining things hitting the half century mark simultaneously, you've gotta ask: Coincidence? I think so.

Hit the local sports store for some Saints gear to take back home. It was pandemonium. Everybody in South Louisiana was in there, throwing money around. And I waded right in and got mine too. One lady had on a shirt that read "Hell Breeses Over". Yeah, like you can do something like that with the name Rothlinsberger. Who dat say dey gonna out merchendise dem Saints?

Blue Dog Cafe. Mmmmmmmm.

Watched the State of the Union address. I don't care how jaded you are, how could anybody not find something to like in the proposals? Anything. I liked it when he told the Republicans that requiring a super majority to pass ANYTHING was not really a plan. (Well, Mr. Obama, I think technically it is a plan, just a ridiculous one.) Then told the Democrats to get their heads out of their butts and try to show some leadership rather than just "running for the hills". Taking the money being recouped as bailout funds are repaid and using $30 billion of it to help the middle class was great. And you might as well go ahead and shoot me right now, but I think some of his proposed taxes are long overdue. Seriously. I'm just saying, as wave after wave of tax cuts went washing across this great nation, I don't remember my own tax bill going down. Did yours? I'm just saying. Ending tax credits for companies that take the handout and then move all of their jobs offshore. Give the tax credits for those who employ Americans. I mean, c'mon. If you're not even willing to consider any the things that were proposed, then I gotta think you're at least a part of the problem.

I went to see the monster trucks on my birthday. Not the races. They're coming back Feb 6th and I have tickets for then. But we went to Tampa Stadium and watched them being unloaded from the trailers and driving across the street to the pits where the public would be allowed to come see them. The new stadium is pretty big. And you could look up and see all those empty red seats, just like at a Bucs game.

I have monster truck pics, but this dang Sony camera is so proprietary that the cable is different and the memory card adapter does not fit anything I have. So I cannot download from the camera or the chip when I'm on the road, which is, you know, where I take the interesting photographs. Never had these problems with my Canon. I will post the photos later.

Alright. One more day to soak up the ambiance of Acadiana, then home to Florididdy.

Signs, signs. Everywhere there's signs. Blocking out the scenery and messing my mind, out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wallpaper videos

OK Go - Do What You Want (Wallpaper Version) from OK Go on Vimeo.

The road will be my home. The soft murmur of the airport security screeners will be my lullabye, gently probing and frisking my shoeless, beltless body to sleep. A hotel wil be my, well, hotel. Next week I'll be in cajun country, Lafayette, LA. Then in February I will go to Boston and then Pensacola. For starters. Business has been NUTS! We got a list of 17 trips, from Honolulu to Baltimore. And that's just for one training class. We have 3 more.

So, last things first. I finally got out of Toronto last week. I got on my plane which was delayed 20 minutes and then emptied. Yep. We didn't take off. They sent us to another plane at a different gate. The new gate was outside of the second security checkpoint that we, the poor U.S. bound international travelers had been required to endure, but on the other side of a different second checkpoint. I have taken to calling the second second checkpoint simply "the third" checkpoint.Yee Haw.

So, after waiting an hour and some change at our new gate, the announcement was made that our second plane was also, as they put it, unserviceable. Now dangit, things like, "hey, d'ya think this thing will get airborne?", are the kinds of things I expect to be taken care of BEFORE you pull it up to the gate. That announcement forced a second refugee movement, shuffling on over to a third plane/gate with our belonging in baskets atop our heads and our livestock, mostly goats, tagging along near our feet. Happy travels, eh. I got home to my Saints game, joined already in progress.

I turn 50 the day after tomorrow. I am not near as grizzled and time worn as I had expected. But the creakiness and achiness is about as advertised.But let me tell you, it's just not all bad. I figure, I get a lot more day out of the day now. You get the time you were always up, doing important crap like blogging, watching AFV, and nuke-rowaving hot dogs and buns. But you also get that peaceful and quiet extra 30 or so minutes every night as you gently pad from your soft, toasty bed over to the pee pot and back. Repeatedly. I know, right. That is so middle aged white guy that I expect to find myself next with me and my still amazingly hot wife sitting in seperate bathtubs in the woods, holding hands, and glancing at each other knowingly that..... when the time is right, I'll be ready. (You know, as long as it don't make me bleed blood, spaz out, wet myself, or call up my doctor screaming, "Oh my god, Doc, it's been OVER 4 HOURS!!)

Man, I heard a great joke yesterday.

We're expecting some storminess tonight. Blowing in off of the gulf, which is where the coolest storms blow in off. Of. Blow in off of. Off'n. . . . . whatever. Since the "OMG I can see my breath!" cold snap* things have around here been dry and brown. But we should get some good rain tonight. I think when I wake up things will have changed and we will find the Tampa Bay area wet and brown. Yep.

*Kinda weird to get to Canada, in January, and have the temp be more or less what I had in Tampa. Sucked worse, I would think, for the Ontario snowbirds who left the cold to spend a week or two down south, basking in the cold, eh.

Nothing matters very much, and few things matter at all, out
Ramblin' Ed

I didn't know how babies were made until I was pregnant with my fourth child.
Loretta Lynn

Save a little money each month and at the end of the year you'll be surprised at how little you have.
Ernest Haskins

When the candles are out all women are fair.
Plutarch (46 AD - 120 AD)

Friday, January 15, 2010

The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it

In Toronto. Not been what I expected. And the traffic is terrible. Up on the freeway it was Los Angeles or Washington, D.C. terrible. Luckily, the airport district is chock full of stuff to do.

Seems kind of weird to be in Canada in and have the weather be about the same as what I left in Florida. Now I do think Florida has warmed up since I have been gone, but still.

I was informed last night that you can't "look like you're from somewhere." That is a point well taken. I mean, I have thought about it, and she's right. How do you look like you're from somewhere, you know, short of tribal dress or facial tattoos. I guess it would be more likely that you could smell like you're from somewhere. I think that is something that would be possible. Or you could sound like you're from somewhere. Like Bitchyland.
------- End Friday, begin Saturday ---------

Had to drive all the way across Mississagua, a gritty little town whose main claim to fame seems to be strip joints and names that cannot be pronounced, to get there, but I found a great little cajun place called Big Daddy's. The food was good. Real good. My Bostonian friend sampled my jambalaya and immediately ordered his own. You know what the problem with really good food is? But first, this: mouth, stomach, brain. That is the pecking order when it comes to cajun food.

Now for the problem with the cajun foods. See, your brain will say, "We cannot possibly eat anything else." But, as you saw above, brain is last in line in the pecking order. Stomach pipes up and says, "Yes, I think if you give me one good belch I will be able to fit more in." And mouth (AKA my mouf) offers "I don't care what y'all say, this is goooood. GIVE ME MORE!" As you have already surmised, mouf wins.

I killed all day yesterday recovering from a too big lunch`(in my defense I slept past breakfast and didn't eat a dinner) and playing RISK and canasta on the computer. I had done my operator training on Wed. & Thurs. and they were spending Fri. doing the SOP training, which is developed and delivered in house. Sometimes we are allowed to observe it and get an idea on how they intend to use the technology (thanks LAX), but usually not. They were to go live with it today, Saturday, and I was to be on hand to assist the operators if they needed it. I know what you're thinking. Well, Ramblin' Ed, if you observe and/or assist them during the live use of the system, aren't you basically observing their SOP? Ummm.... OK, next question.

Last night about 2030, just after my travel office closed for the weekend, I got the call that go live had been pushed back and I would not be needed. So I am scrambling here to try to get out of Toronto and back to Tampa where I intend to drop my suitcase, comandeer the living room TV (the one with the DVR), and watch the Saints-Cardinals game. Word.

Anyway, time to get moving. I'd love to chat, but I have a country to leave.

As Plato said, Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle, out

Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Those who agree with us may not be right, but we admire their astuteness

I am headed back to Ottowa. In January. Dang! I am freezing my buns off in Tampa, and now I am headed up where they grow tundra. Which is a shame, because I really loved Ottowa when I visited there...IN THE SPRING!!

I suspected as soon as that fool terrorist snuck stuff on a plane in his drawers that I would probably be getting busier than I already was going to be. Then they started debating the technology that would screen for that, the technology that I have been training operators on for 2 years now, and I was pretty sure that I was fixing to travel a lot. Then the President and others started saying, "get those machines in the airports, now." I smiled, because I knew what that meant. Today I got the call. I had been off of vacation only a few hours. "Can you get on a plane right away. We need to train up a mess of screeners." Yes, of course I can.

I feel just a little bit of pride here, if you will pardon me the emotion. I mean, we all shook our heads and allowed as how it was a real shame that the world is so full of such hateful zealots. And that is true. But at least I am able to go from town to town, putting into place the screener skills that may help to catch the next hateful zealot before he boards the plane. Seriously, we can't expect the successfully smuggled aboard explosives to misfire forever. So far we have been lucky.

OK, the following was the original blog. But I got distracted, then sidetracked, and eventually lost the point I was ponderously moving towards. So this is how far I got before the old timer's disease kicked in:

Don't know why he wasn't more tolerant. It was in him, it just wouldn't come out. I would sit quietly and listen to him speak, although it wasn't speaking so much as ranting. Or not even that, because it was not at all impassioned. When it comes right down to it, I suppose it was just rambling, even though it was coherent and had a point. No matter how preposterous that point might be.

There must have been some method to his madness. He was consistent in his opinions. But no matter his measured tone or his clever phrasing, there was always a trace of bile that lingered in the air well after the words had echoed away. While it was a torturous path getting there, his judgements were swift and precise, requiring only the suspension of your disbelief in order to see the light. His light.

I often wondered how one could remain so focused. I would tug on that thread, fascinated as I watched the unraveling. On the one hand, you can look at the facts. On the other hand, you can ponder the dictates of common sense. Or, on the third hand, you could just hate anything you did not agree with right out of existence. After all, the ends justifies the means, right?

I have long thought that the majority of Americans are decent and thoughtful. I have some difficulty reconciling that with the representative government that they often choose to elect, but despite that I stick to my presumption that by and large most of us want to do the right things for the right reasons. Most of us have a concept of "the greater good", do we not? I cannot understand, nor do I choose to find acceptable, the notion that you being against whatever the other guy is for, and being against it only because he is for it, is in any way standing for something. It is not a principle and it is not defensable. If you disagree with him, be intellectually honest enough to have a reason why. And, if it not asking too much, possibly have an alternative to offer.

Like the pundit wrote a few years ago concerning his party's image. "The problem is that everyone knows what we are against. But nobody knows what we are for." Yep.

Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance, out
Ramblin' Ed