Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Steeler Nation mourns Myron

Former Pittsburgh Steeler broadcaster Myron Cope has died. He was as much a legend in Pittsburgh as was his creation, the Terrible Towel. More on Myron Cope's passing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

His voice was charitably described as not unlike fingernails on a chalkboard (for you young-'uns, a chalkboard was like a dry erase white board, except it was black, made of slate, and you wrote on it with sticks of chalk - ask your grandparents.) But it was not the sound of his voice but his keen analysis as part of the Steeler radio radio play by play team. He was distinctive, he was local, and there was no question he was a Steeler fan.

Here's a video clip in which Myron tells the tale of the towel:

I ask, she answers

In yesterday's post regarding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, I asked, "if offered the job, does she want to run on a McCain ticket?"
Based on a video clip posted at the Washington Post's web site, the answer is a qualified "yes."
Check it out:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Looking for the Palin truth

Add Conservative Guy to the increasing number of voices mentioning Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as a running mate to John McCain.
Thomas Cheplick at American Spectator has a glowing profile of the Alaska governor running as today's lead article on the AS web page.

My question is simple, if offered the job, does she want to run on a McCain ticket?

Bonus Quote of the day

I'm off to learn how to be a good leader.
So, during my enforced absence from Internet access, ponder this:

"There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president."
- Kurt Vonnegut

Have a great day everybody!

Friday, February 22, 2008

This is the newpaper of record?

The New York Times hit piece on Sen. John McCain is drawing fire from all corners. This is my take on it.
Here are some other voices:
Still Stacy gives us "Sexing up John McCain"
Betsy Newmark offers "That New York Times McCain story"
Mary Katherine Ham at Town Hall writes, "Will the NYT speak?"
Allahpundit asks a simple question at Hot Air in "Calling all bloggers: NYT ready to answer reader questions on its super keen McCain scoop" (h/t Atilla Girl)
Lemual Calhoon at Hillbilly White Trash (not exactly a McCain supporter) offers insight into this MSM offensive offensive with "And so it begins"

There's plenty more out there. Even McCain's opponents have expressed disgust at this poor excuse for journalism.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Anybody know how to trim the wick on a whale oil lamp?

Anybody remember how to use a slide rule? Do you even know what a slide rule is? Back in the days of rotary telephones, manual typewriters, and choke controls to help start cars on cold mornings, slide rules were essential tools in the physics classroom.

Today they are obsolete, as are these:
1. Dialing a rotary phone
2. Putting a needle on a vinyl record
3. Changing tracks on an eight-track tape
4. Shorthand
5. Using carbon paper to make copies
6. Basking in the lilting aroma of freshly "run-off" mimeograph paper
7. Changing the ball or ribbon on your Selectric Typewriter
8. Getting off the couch to change channels or adjust the rabbit ears on your TV set
9. Popping popcorn over the stove in a pot with oil
10. Changing the gas mixture on your car's carburetor

I recall them all, and had those mad skills (except for the shorthand, although many people thought my
handwriting looked like shorthand) back in the day. Some other obsolete skills are of more recent vintage.

Do you recall:
11. Editing an autoexec.bat or config.sys file
12. Calling "collect" and/or "person to person" on a payphone
13. Transferring files with Zmodem
14. Parking a hard disk
15. Cleaning the head of a VCR
16. Aiming a C-band satellite dish
17. Degaussing a CRT monitor
18. Lotus 1-2-3
19. WordStar 2000
20. Winding a watch

The point of all this is to illustrate not only how much things have changed over the past couple of decades, but
how much the velocity of change is increasing. I shamelessly "borrowed" these from the obsolete skills wiki and
a posting by Robert Scobel.

Now I feel old. Guess I'll brush up on my DOS command line syntax before saddling up the mule for the ride home.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Transition to digital TV - T-minus one year

Confusion abounds over the biggest change in television broadcasting since color was introduced more than half a century ago. In exactly one year television stations will stop transmitting an analog signal. The replacement digital signals are (with a few exceptions) already on the air and providing viewers with newer televisions a new viewing experience.
This does not really matter to about 80% of U.S. households whose television is delivered by cable or satellite. For those who rely on rabbit ears or rooftop antennas (like the fourteen foot monster perched on the roof of my house) good old Uncle Sam has a coupon program to offset most of the cost of an analog converter box to allow standard analog sets to display the digital signals.
Some critics claim the new TV signals will be more difficult to receive. A TV engineer who operates the website TV Fool conducted his own analysis, The Analog Shutdown, for Better or for Worse. It makes for good reading if both statistics and technology float your boat.
The main point here is that change is coming and people in general don't like change.
My charge to you is to help spread the word, especially to older family members who rely on free over the air television, that change is coming, but that it need not be a cause for panic next February 18.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hyperbole made simple

Wendy at Girl on the Right has an excellent post comparing today's definition of "crisis", "quagmire", "disaster", etc with the definition of a couple generations ago.

Both 9/11 and Katrina were mere blinks of the eye of time. The terrorist attacks lasted an hour or two (though the fires burned for 90 days). The hurricane and flooding lasted a day or so. Neither of them could be compared to the lasting hardships of the Depression or even the sacrifices of WWII.

Go on over and read the entire post at GOTR.

Woe is the middle class?

We can forgive the fact that he hails from Cleveland. Drew Carey gets it. Check out this video essay from

(h/t Lemuel at Hillbilly White Trash)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Winter rainbow

I grabbed this photo on February 6 with my new enV mobile phone looking east from my back yard.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or a Redneck?

I think this one has been making the rounds for awhile, but since my sister-in-law was kind enough to share it with me, I figure, what the hell, it's good for a chuckle:

Here is a little test that will help you decide

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you.

You are carrying a Glock cal 40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.

What do you do?


Democrat's Answer

Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!

Does the man look poor! Or oppressed?

Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?

Could we run away?

What does my wife think? What about the kids?

Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?

What does the law say about this situation?

Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?

Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?

Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?

Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?

If I were to grab his knees and hold on , could my family get away while he was stabbing me?

Should I call 9-1-1 ?

Why is this street so deserted?

We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.

This is all so confusing!

I need to discuss with some friends over a latte and try to come to a consensus.


Republican's Answer:



Redneck's Answer:


(sounds of reloading)


Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?'

Son: 'You got him, Pop! Can I shoot the next one?'

Wife: 'You are not taking that to the taxidermist

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Veepstakes update

My favorite Michigan lawyer, E. M. Zanotti joins the debate on the merits of having the GOP look north to Alaska for a vice presidential candidate. Here's how the American Princess describes the attributes of Governor Sarah Palin:

Yes, she was Miss Congeniality when she competed for Miss Alaska, she used marijuana when it was legal in her state, loves moose burgers and snowmobiling and is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association ... She’s been a city councilman, a mayor, head of various commissions within the state of Alaska (some of which she quit because her fellow Republican commissioners were too corrupt — a character trait we need more of), and she’s done a hell of a good job as governor and is a total DC outsider.

Now that's an endorsement!
John McCain has to shore up his relationship with the conservative majority of the GOP while trying to avoid alienating his left of center base. Governor Palin would offer a little something for both groups.

Those wacky environmentalists

The global warming crowd soldiers on despite growing evidence that forces bigger than human effort affect our climate. You know, like the Sun. Seems Old Sol may be taking a holiday, something that last occurred in the early 1800s (The "Year without a summer".) Investor's Business Daily has an editorial on the topic of the Maunder Minimum. (h/t Newmark's Door)

An interesting aspect of the solar activity study is that another Canadian scientist would have those researchers locked up for heresy against the Global Warming Lord and Savior, Al Gore. Of course, once his intemperate comments began circulating around the blogosphere and even the MSM, Dr. Suzuki, through a spokesperson said he didn't really mean it. Over at Dr. Suzuki's site, I can find no mention of this kerfuffle.

Meanwhile, at Depleted Cranium (another tip of the hat to Betsy's husband) there's a thoughtful piece that takes environmentalists to task for identifying problems but not offering reasonable solutions.

In our area, a group has taken up the cause of battling against the construction of a wind farm in what they call a pristine wilderness. The area, known as Shaffer Mountain offers fine hunting and fishing, but considering the land is owned by a coal company (which has already mined most of the coal), calling it "pristine" is a bit of a stretch. Leaders of this group reject the NIMBY (not in my back yard) label, but it seems to me that is exactly the point. Another wind farm project located just a few miles from the campus where I work has certainly changed the skyline (see the title banner at the top of this page), and a few folks who live on that isolated patch of mountainside have complained of noise from some of the turbines. In general, most folks around here view the turbines as attributes to the region. The development company Gamesa, based in Spain, has opened a huge factory in our county to manufacture the turbine blades. That's jobs folks.

One final note, ATTENTION Al Gore – it's freakin' 14° outside (an improvement over last night's -1°) – where's your global warming now?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Speak up!

(h/t Stacy at Still Stacy)

I've added a new feature to this blog, at the top of the right column. It's a voice comment widget from Snapvine.
Given my meager rate of posting and the very limited audience here, I'm not exactly expecting miracles, but if you have something to say, be my guest.

As always, thanks for stopping by.