Monday, January 30, 2006


Last week I had a layover in Mexico City. Now, in preface, I'm not fond at all of international travel. You have to worry about the water, the food, the language differences. I really don't care about different cultures--understanding my own is complex enough. On past MEX layovers, I've ventured out to a couple of restaurants near the hotel, but other than that, haven't done much.

However, this layover was different. We got directed to an artisan market, which was interesting. Wife of Azlib. would have loved the place. I'm sure she'd have decided to scrap all our current home decorating themes and gone completely Rustic Mexican. Something like this ran the equivalent of $40 instead of the $245 shown at an American re-seller. I was unsuccessful in finding a new brown leather belt to use for Concealed Carry, but I did manage to pick up a necklace and earring set for Valentines Day. I'm finally a hero in the romance department.

We also ran across a Mexican bakery which had good (and cheap!) baked goods. Most other cultures don't have nearly the sweet tooth that Americans have, so we aren't talking about Cinnabon or Dunkin' Donuts here, but good none-the-less. All told, I spent $1.30 on far too many baked goods for one guy to consume.

On my way back, the walk took me past some sort of Federal Police building. As I walked past, I tried to observe (but not too closely) the Federales. Their appearance doesn't exactly inspire confidence in their abilities or their professionalism, but it is a Third World country, so one can't expect too much. One difference between these guys and American LEOs is that all of the armed police that I saw were carrying wheel guns of some sort. I got a kick out of a couple of the guys who carried their extra ammo on old-fashioned cartridge guy had three different kinds of ammo in his 12 or so cartridge loops.

But the funniest thing had to be their motorcycle cops. It was lunchtime as I was walking back, and a couple of intersections had a motorcycle cop sitting there watching the traffic move through. It probably would have been too provacative for me to do so, but I sort of wished that I'd have had my camera with me. These guys, in addition to their Third-World-Cop authority attitude, and the I'm-A-Different-Breed attitude seen in motorcycle cops everywhere, wore spurs on their tall motorcycle-boots.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Dental Exam...

So, this morning I had my bi-annual dental cleaning and exam. For some, this is a dreaded event, but my teeth aren't terribly sensitive, and as I don't really have any dental problems, I've never thought of this a big deal. None-the-less, it's not exactly a pleasant experience either. Dental picks, sonic cleaners, rubber gloves--What's not to like, right? So, anyway, the dental hygenist I had today was, I'm sure, a very nice woman, but is it any wonder that Hollywood Torturers end up using dental equipment and looking like this?...

However, the torture didn't end there. This nice woman picking and scraping at my teeth did so with her radio set to NPR (via my tax dollars) and the awful cadence of Diane Rehm. I had to endure a discussion of the implications of a conservative winning the race for Prime Minister in Canada (Gasp!).

Oh, the Humanity.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

My God...

I am continually humbled that we can produce men such as this. H/T Spacemonkey over at IMAO.

Perhaps I'm learning something...

A while back I cursed my poor blogging skillz in the context of not being able to put up a video.

Well, here is an attempt at rectifying that deficiency...

Update: Eureka! It works!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

McCain as the nice guy...

Vodkapundit uses the "Nice Guy" test in an early handicapping of the '08 race, and in the comments, there's a turn towards McCain as winning the "Nice Guy" race.

McCain as the nice guy? This guy doesn't look all that nice. Nor this guy. And this McCain and this McCain somehow remind me of this guy.

His premise might be right, and of course it'll all be in comparison to whatever villian the D's will nominate, but I have a hard time believing that McCain will ever be able to pull off the "Nice Guy".

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Small pleasures...

I'm a homeowner with a large lot (1 acre of citrus trees). There's always something to do around the yard. And I've never seen the sense of breaking out a saw when you've got a lot of sawing to do--that's why God let us invent chainsaws. So anyway, over the years, I've collected a fair number of powered yard tools. I've got a riding lawnmower, self-propelled mower (as "back-up" to the rider), gas line-trimmer, gas blower, gas power-washer, gas chipper/shredder, gas roto-tiller, and two gas chainsaws.

However, the problem with accumulating all these tools is that keeping them running becomes a job in itself. They certainly lessen the time I'd have to spend on the chores, but the time required to keep them maintained makes me wonder if I'm getting ahead by having these things.

Well, it didn't take too long in collecting all this stuff before the wise homeowner begins to understand--There are two kinds of power tools: Those you use regularly and those you don't. Since I figured this out some while ago, and I found that "cheap" power tools are more difficult to maintain than expensive ones, I've been buying the best tool I can afford for those that I use regularly (primarily the riding lawnmower, line-trimmer, and blower) and cheaper models for those that I use infrequently.

So, last weekend, I had trimmed 4 trees rather aggressively, and was left with a fairly large pile of brush to get rid of. On my first day of trimming, I filled up my green recycling barrel with trimmings (which was due to be on the curb the following morning), but was left with much more trimmings than could be fit in another barrel.

So, says I: "Time to break out the chipper/shredder."

And imagine my pleasure when on the first pull, the thing starts up and runs like a champ. Filled up a barrel with chippings (which equates to about a 7:1 volume of trimmings), and the only thing I had to worry about was keeping enough (but not too much) gas in the thing to keep it running.

However, balance was restored a couple of days later when my riding mower was displaying a horrible clicking sound as I tried to start it up (probably a weak battery), and I ended up pulling and pulling on the rope to the backup mower before I could finally get it started.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

This is a media tragedy...

That shouldn't have happened.

Anyone who has done that party game of passing a message around the room, only to have it completely changed when it comes back to you, miscommunication is a fact of any communications.

However, as someone with no journalism training, perhaps I'm being naive, but wouldn't a responsible journalist have two sources before reporting anything, much less something of this import?

And wouldn't you know it? Geraldo is right at the front of the pack getting everything wrong. "Tell me." "Tell me." "Who's your daddy?"

Fair Warning...

Given the recent news, all who think they can sneak into this place unscathed had better think again.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Hey Irish! Hey Buckeyes! You Guys Can Party...

Football fans drink Mill Avenue bar dry of 2 beers

Jan. 2, 2006 12:00 AM

The Fiesta Bowl already is a big success long before kickoff. It's hard to imagine, but Rula Bula, an Irish Pub on Mill Avenue in Tempe, actually ran out of bottled beer on New Year's Eve.

"It was a perfect storm," said Steve Goumas, the bar's managing partner. "You have two schools that travel real well" and party as hard as their teams play.

Rula Bula ran out of Bud Light and Coors Light. Suppliers couldn't restock until New Year's Day, when Mill Avenue reopened for traffic after the Tempe Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Block Party, Goumas said.

So who drank more, Ohio State Buckeyes' fans or Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans? Goumas said: "We're an Irish pub, what can you say?"

Source: Arizona Republic