Saturday, July 31, 2010

The more things change, the more they remain insane

Enjoying a little bit of Red Hot Chili Peppers and planning out my weekend. Two weekends in a row I was going to post and, as far as I know, didn't. My goodness, what a slacker I have become. But life is short, and doing things against your will only shorten it. Doing things against your better judgement, however, quickens the pulse. Which may lead to a shorter life, incrementally speaking, but really, who the heck cares? So just remember, against your will = bad. Against your better judgement = whatever.

If I died and came back as John Prine, it would not be so bad. I would have Smells Like Teen Spirit as my life's background music. (So why not just come back as Kurt Cobain? 2 Words...Courtney Love.) And I'd be quick to strike a pose. ....With the Lights out it's less dangerous. Here we are now entertain us. I feel stupid and contagious. Here we are now entertain us. A mullato. An albino. A mosquito. My libido. Yay.....

I saved some military themed stories on my other computer and intend to add them somewhere on this post. Probably at the bottom. Yep, since if I add them to the top, by this point you've already read them and this explaination would be made somewhat ridiculous. And before the thought gets away from me again, I just want to say that the coolest thing about living in the Tampa Bay region is how often you can be watching COPS and recognize the area they're pulled over in.

Switched to a mostly fruit and veggie diet. No, I'm not a vegan, I'm not cool enough for that or owning a Mac. I put meat in my crockpot with the beans and corn, and all. And when we take the class out to lunch on Friday's I have a big, ol juicy burger. I just decided that I had to cut back on how much I was eating because I was getting fat, fatter, fattest. The biggest I had ever been. So I dropped my intake down to about 600 calories a day for a while, shed a hair over 50 lbs, and have had success maintaining that by keeping my calories to around 1200 a day. However, my body did react for a while with displeasure at the loss of it's customary pepperoni based diet. Peaches that went in all sweet and tasty, exited all spiteful and angry. But now, all is peace and harmony in Temple Ed.

RWH Rhyme #1

Didn't know that I hadn't been watching
til I didn't know where I'd been
Can't really say if it's a mess or problem
this here fix I'm in

I never was one for better judgement
it was seldom against my will
what don't kill you gonna make you stronger
if you're still standing, friend

What I've got left
Is what I hold here
Knock back the rust
on what I hold dear

So hard to figure what I've been saying
But I'm talking all the time
Save me the whip smart, pop tart theory
one mouth, I know...two eyes

Might tote every loving thing I would give you
in a kitchen bag wrapped and tied
hot like my my intentions...
and plastic as I feel sometimes

All I've got left
Is what I hold here
Knock back the rust
on what I hold dear

Now I carry those scars most everywhere
everytime I've touched someone else
So hard to keep foolin' all them people
so easy as you fool yourself

But I've never been one for better judgement
Ain't nothing against my will
what don't kill you gonna make you stronger
if you're still standing, friend

RWH Partial Rhyme #2

Had me a girl and her hair was red
She never was nothing like what I said
Called her my lover. Called her my friend
I got up one day and never called again

Sometimes we're funny. Sometimes we ain't
Sometimes we ain't even walking straight
Sometimes we rhyme and sometimes we're pissed
Sometimes it comes to this

Navy Stuff:

New Navy Missile Could Hit Global Targets
July 08, 2010
Military.comby Craig Hooper

As the venerable Tomahawk missile loses the battle against modernized air defenses, observers have long wondered why the Navy isn't racing to fill the U.S. surface fleet's nearly 8,000 Vertical Launch System cells with a new generation of anti-ship or land-attack munitions.

Now, the Pentagon's top researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are aiming to outfit ships like Aegis cruisers with weapons that can hit nearly anywhere on the globe – increasing the power of surface ships to that of ballistic missile-equipped submarines.

The so-called "ArcLight" program has the potential to change the way the world thinks about U.S. surface combatants, experts say.

"The ArcLight program will design, build, and flight test a long range vehicle that carries a 100-200 lb payload," DARPA says.

According to DARPA, the ArcLight program will use a high-tech missile based on the current Standard Missile 3 booster with a hypersonic glider that can reach more than 2,300 miles to its target. The missile could be fired out of a standard vertical launcher on many surface ships.

Outfitting Navy ships with ArcLight missiles will do far more than just "add capability," analysts say. It is a potential game-changer because the missiles would transform the largely defensive nature of the U.S. surface combatant carrier escorts to offensive strike ships.

That shift from the "Missile Defense" destroyer or "Air Defense" cruiser of old to a "Global Strike Combatant" is likely to pose a real conceptual challenge to any potential adversaries, experts say.
(I love the whole conceptual challenge part. - Ed)

Loading run-of-the-mill surface ships with "strategic" missiles would potentially be a boon to advocates of the so-called "Prompt Global Strike" mission who have faced opposition from lawmakers in Congress over concerns of a new arms race.

The ArcLight program will also likely resonate with Undersecretary of the Navy Robert Work, who has long preached the virtues of America's VLS-equipped surface fleet. Any prospect of leveraging new technologies for the old launch system will likely spark the Undersecretary's interest, analysts say.

© Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Well, maybe on the occasional really lame blog.

(This next story reminds me of sneaking up to the Northern Pacific, us, a nuke cruiser, and a nuke carrier... racing for Vladivistok, Russia in total EMCON, waiting past the horizon overnight and stealing up to the coast under cover of fog. When the fog lifted there we were, 2 miles or so off Russia's coast, 2 cruisers and a carrier. When they scrambled the Bears and fighters to run us off, we held a cookout in shorts and tank tops on the fan tail. What was our message to the Russians? "Because we can." Good times. This next story is the same. - Ed)

U.S. Sends Tomahawk Missile Filled Subs to Western Pacific

Read more:

A lot of messaging going on in the Western Pacific, by both sides. We’ve pointed to the recent China’s PLA Navy live fire exercises in the East China Sea.

Now, we learn from Time’s Mark Thompson that three former strategic missile submarines converted to carry Tomahawk cruise missiles (SSGNs) surfaced on the same day, June 28, in the Philippine’s Subic Bay, in Pusan, South Korea and at the naval base on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Each converted boomer holds up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

As Thompson writes, the alarm bells must have sounded that day in Beijing:

“In all, the Chinese military awoke to find as many as 462 new Tomahawks deployed by the U.S. in its neighborhood. “There’s been a decision to bolster our forces in the Pacific,” says Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “There is no doubt that China will stand up and take notice.”

Of course U.S. officials denied that any messaging was intended, but they did make sure news of the SSGN deployments showed up in the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post, on July 4; the same day some analysts expected China to test its DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile.

RIMPAC, the “Rim of the Pacific” war games also began on Wednesday off Hawaii. For all the attention focused on the Levant and the Gulf, its good to see these encouraging signs that at least some in the military understand that the real strategic competition of this century will play out in the Western Pacific.

Don’t miss Craig Hooper’s excellent post on how to turn the Navy’s surface ships into conventional missile carrying strike ships equivalent to the SSGNs.

– Greg Grant

Read more:

The third hand - on a watch. What is it called?, out
Ramblin' Ed

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues

So I liked the new Hank III so much I went out here, in the vast metropolis of West Des Moines, and bought two more recent albums. Plus music from True Blood becasue I saw CC Adcock and Allan Toussiant were on it. Plus I ordered the new Ray Wylie Hubbard CD, since I have looked for it in 3 states now and cannot find it in stock. And Borders needs to buy better inventory software.

I asked the nice plump lady, who insisted on helping me although I am perfectly capable of typing in a search term on my own, to see if they had the new R.W. Hubbard CD. She did the search and told me that the computer says they might have it. The computer says you might have it? I knew walking in the door that you might have it. Just like I knew you might not. The purpose of inventory tracking software is to.....oh, never mind. Customer service in the US is not dead. But it is brain-dead.

Anyway, might not have it was the order of the day, so I made the order of Wednesday to have it brought to the store via, I suppose, a truck. Yay giant carbon footprint for an eclectic artist's 12 new songs. (10 he wrote, 2 he co-wrote though. That should stand for something.)

Looks out the window that we're fixing to blow up a storm here on the plains. I think Iowa is the plains, right? I mean, I know it is the midwest, but that just says where in the country we are. It hardly describes the features, or lack of features, of the ground. Or, if you will, the topography. Anyway, I am interested in what's going to blow in and what it will drop.

I rode out a couple of storms in Denver and was very surprised by their intensity. I think I have heard that plains states storms can get pretty furyful...furyistic...ah, furious. I guess I'll see. But I think the plains states also attract tornados. I am only truly afraid of 4 things, because all are painful and sneak up on you unexpectedly. Plus you can neither predict them (I guess that's what unexpected means, huh?) nor control them. And those things are 1. Sharks (not a huge concern here unless there is such a thing as corn sharks) 2. Submerged water moccasins (I was told when I was a kid that they can't bite underwater, but if that was true, why would they hang out there?) 3. Hard work (Mine, really more than yours) and 4. Tornados. I am really afraid of tornados because they are hurricane strong without the courteous 2 week notice you get from a hurricane. You've got time to name hurricanes. All tornados are named "It was really big and it sounded just like a train a'coming".

Update: No tornado. Heavy rain and thunderstorms? Well, not them either. Just a muggy night with a heat index of 102 (when I went to bed). But the crawler had dire storm warnings all night. That was exciting.

I grew up in a region (the South East) that didn't really value education. Still doesn't really. Not to the extent that a lot of other places do. And, of course, I am a product of my enviornment. I dropped out of high school, although I did return and graduate so I could enlist, and that all turned out OK in the end. Being a HS graduate didn't really make my resume a "must read" as I eventually figured out, but I was never without food and a roof.

I don't know why, really. That my beloved south has such an anti-intellectual bent. Other than my region was agricultural and in many cases brawn was more in demand than brains. You could reason with the "help" or you could whip 'em into line. And if you owned a big old spread with a lot of crops to tend, you didn't really want your sons figuring out that they could make a decent living elsewhere pushing numbers around with a pencil without all the sweating through their hand me down overalls you had in mind for them. You get the picture.

North Carolina has a lot of big name colleges, 3 of them up near Raleigh are literally within spitting distance of each other (Carolina, State, & Wake Forest). But after pondering on it mightily (hey if you're going to ponder, just as well to go all out) I concluded that it probably had something to do with better basketball tournaments. Well, when you think of Michael Jordan do you immediately think of a) basketball superstar, b) wait'll we get our Hanes on you, or c) thoughtful college graduate? So there you go.

Everything is in a state of flux, including the status quo, out
Ramblin' Ed
----- rhymes, videos, extraneous crap -------------

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.

Think You Might 25 JULY 98

I was born here, I've been all over the place.
Like a permanent smile on a temporary face.
The night I was born my mama hung up the phone
said "my work here is done, so I guess I should go"

I was only nineteen when I turned thirty-five
I was barely awake, I was really alive.
I was on my way to see you when my brain kicked in
Saying "why you wanna go through all that mess again?"

If you take your time it all kind of seems so clear.
And I think you might...
I think you maybe ought to come to your senses.

Like a friend of a friend of someone you used to know.
Getting kind of tight here at the end of the rope.
I've been known to let you know when all else fails.
That's about the way it goes when you're riding the rails.

I was only in town for the rest of my life.
I was just passing through and handing out lies.
I was wonderin' if I'm thinking you're the girl for me.
It's as plain as my nose, it's as hard to see.

And if you take your time it all kind of falls into place.
And I think you might...
I think you maybe ought to come to your senses.

I was calling to say I won't be calling no more.
I was dropping some names, yours kinda fell on the floor.
Well it wasn't on purpose and it wasn't for spite.
It was precisely like the way you went and blew through my life.

If you take your time it all becomes so easy to see.
And I think you might...
I think you maybe ought to come to your senses.

Girl I think you might...
I think you maybe ought to come to your senses.

Yokosuka, Japan

Driftin' 'round 'bout half past four
With the blues on my back
And a bottle on the floor
Drinkin' until I think I'm gonna fall down
'Cause my sweet little baby had to kick me lowdown