Thursday, January 29, 2015

Poking a Stick at the Grammar Beast

This is one that grates on my soul. Isn't it sad how the language mutates when people are too lazy -- or too stupid -- to learn the correct way to say/spell its words.

I dunno. I kinda like "aporkchop."

I think we'll have some aporkchops for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Climax in the Bergdahl Saga Approaches


After yesterday's colossal gaffe (IMHO) by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (see yesterday's post), it seems that at least one decision-maker in the DoD has come to his senses.

SGT Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion. NBC reports:

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by enemy forces in Afghanistan for five years, will be charged with desertion, a senior defense officials tell NBC News. The officials say the charges could be referred within a week.

According to the officials, the desertion charges would be based on allegations that Bergdahl abandoned his remote outpost in June 2009 to avoid hazardous duty or important service, which are grounds for charges of desertion under the Uniform Military Code of Justice, or UCMJ. According to one senior official, Bergdahl's actions in Afghanistan go well beyond the lesser offense of AWOL, absent without leave, because he allegedly abandoned his post "in the middle of a combat zone, potentially putting the lives of his fellows soldiers at risk."

The charges will apparently not allege that Bergdahl left with the intent never to return. Bergdahl was reportedly captured by the Haqqani terrorist network in Pakistan. He was released in a prisoner swap for five Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo Bay in May.
Perhaps the public will finally be made privy to the details surrounding his capture and the prisoner exchange that led to his release last year. Too many good men lost their lives searching for him -- their memory demands clarification and closure.

Wouldn't it be "interesting" if the Young President granted him clemency? You know -- traitor to traitor.

Monday, January 26, 2015

I Wonder What the Prize Will Be?

I. Am. Speechless. And I'm rarely speechless.

When I just heard this news on the radio I really thought someone was quoting an article from The Onion. But no. It seems to be something that's actually going to happen. On the taxpayer's dime.

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced today the establishment of an Essay Contest to honor Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz who passed away last week. This contest will take place at the National Defense University (NDU). reports:
“This is an important opportunity to honor the memory of the king, while also fostering scholarly research on the Arab-Muslim world, and I can think of no better home for such an initiative than NDU,” Dempsey said in a statement announcing the competition.  
The competition will focus on issues related to the Arab-Muslim world and is designed to encourage strategic thinking and meaningful research on a crucial part of the world. The program will be in place at NDU for the next academic year . . .  .
To HONOR a man who reigned over a nation that beheads people and treats women like chattel in the twentieth-first century.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have no objection to NDU students engaging in scholarly research concerning the Middle East or Muslim nations in general. Such endeavors have led to important policy measures in years past about our relations with, and approach to, emerging powers such as Russia, China, and the like. After all, as GI Joe informed us, "Knowing is half the battle."

To do so, however, to "honor the memory" of a beast -- and he was a beast, regardless of his "friendliness" toward the United States -- is distasteful at best, and Lord only knows how bad at worst.

But, should we be surprised by this development?  Remember this?

No envoy to the recent multi-nation march in Paris. No envoy to Margaret Thatcher's funeral. No envoy to the funeral for the first two star general killed in action in Afghanistan. But, Obama cuts short a trip to India to "pay his respects" to this pig. Pay something anyway.

Oh, pardon me. I'm certain the term "pig" is offensive to the deceased.



Friday, January 23, 2015

Catching Up

Hmmm. Blogger seems to be very tired today. Sloooooowwwww to load.

I know how it feels.

My brain seems to be in suspended animation, so please pardon the rambling.

We went to the CAMAN Ball in New Orleans last weekend, then spent the following night at Covey Rise Sportsmen's Lodge with Bouie (He and Pepper had done a quail hunt on Friday and Saturday morning after dropping me at the hotel in NOLA). The next morning I got to shoot skeet for the very first time ever!  I even killed two of those critters! Pretty impressive stuff, if I do say so myself. Here's the skeet shooting range:

And my "Badge of Honor" (for not holding the shotgun correctly on one shot -- shhhh, don't tell anyone! I was kinda proud the bruise wasn't any worse!):

We also got to visit with some neighbors from Moogie's Mansion's 'hood, then made a stop at Rouse's to stock up on some stuff that we just can't get in Little Rock. Hmmm. There seems to be a substantial amount of alcohol involved:

Yes, Moogie and Pepper did some pretty serious bootlegging.

One of my dearest childhood friends and her husband spent a few nights with us this week after her sister-in-law passed away unexpectedly and they came to town for the funeral. I haven't really gotten to spend any time with her in probably 25 years. I wasn't sure what to expect, but we picked up right where we left off, as if not a day had passed. In fact, we were so engaged in visiting and catching up that we totally missed the Young President's State of the Union Address! What a lovely lagniappe to the visit (and panacea for my blood pressure!).

So, I guess you can go home again.  Nice to know.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It's Tuesday

This is more pleasant to contemplate than Muslims, radical or otherwise, or the White House, or GEN Patraeus, or Attorney General Holder. Especially Holder.

Or Ohio State. Shoot -- I just detest Ohio State. Anyway -- stay warm!

Friday, January 9, 2015

So, It's Still Boehner. Yay.

Let's hope he can learn what to do with it.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

There Just Might Be Some Hope Left After All

After yesterday's slaughter in Paris I think we've all been a little numb. We sit here, jaws agape, mind reeling, feeling impotent and violated by the deaths and injuries rendered, yet again, in the name of the Religion of Peace. Unspeakable evil. Today, the City of Lights and the world watched as the Eiffel Tower went dark in honor of the slaughtered.

Pretty moving.  But, wouldn't it have been just a teensy bit wise to arm the Paris gendarmes with something other than bicycles? Ah well. Judge not lest . . .

Anyway. The news today isn't all doom and gloom. No, indeed!  There is very good news on the horizon:  Barbara Boxer will be leaving the Senate after this term!  That tacky, nasty, condescending hypocrite will be slithering out of the Beltway to "go home."  After watching a hysterical video over at Lagniappe's Lair, I recalled a letter I wrote to the Senator a few years back after she stepped in the big middle of a fat faux pas, to-wit:

Senator Barbara Boxer
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

re: Your boorish behavior


How high is that horse you're perched upon? What were you thinking when you, with a put-upon and exasperated tone of voice, challenged Brigadier General Michael Walsh's use of the respectful salutation, "ma'am," when addressing you? You stated that you "worked very hard" to acquire the title, "Senator," and preferred that you be addressed by that title. Well, la-ti-dah.

It's clear that you were not reared in a home that practiced and taught common courtesy, much less protocol. Perhaps you should study the State Department's protocol order of preference list, or that of the U.S. Army. In doing so, you would learn that, as a Senator, you outrank the good General in civilian affairs. He was giving honor and respect to you by referring to you as "ma'am," just as he would to a military member who outranked him.

General Walsh was doing your bidding, testifying to provide you with information about Gulf Coast restoration efforts. He was there at the invitation of your committee, so he was, in essence, your guest. Is this how you treat your guests? If so, I'm grateful that I'm merely a member of the great unwashed who will never merit an invitation to see you in action as a hostess; my husband is a retired Army officer, and I might be tempted by training and genteel southern tradition to refer to you as "ma'am." I wouldn't want to offend.

Your behavior, Senator Boxer, is that of the worst kind of feminist. Your behavior is the kind that causes the good ol' boys to smile and shake hands to your face, then laugh and refer to you by derogatory names in the men's room. Your kind of feminism makes it all the more difficult for young women to break into a "man's profession." I should know -- I watched your kind make it all the more difficult for me to gain the respect of my fellow attorneys a generation ago. I thought we, as a society, had grown beyond petty sniping between the sexes.

Or, instead of sexism, is it the military that is the subject of your disdain? Either way, take a breath and think before engaging your mouth.


I got no reply, but I did get a blog post out of it!  So, when I saw this video, I chuckled all the harder:

Priceless. I can't wait to see her in the rear view.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

More Good News From Your Governments

So now it seems that, to protect their citizens from their own folly, many cities are banning -- wait for it -- SLEDDING!!!

As a lawyer, I can appreciate the potential liability issues, but as an American citizen and adult human being, I detest being treated like a child. There, there, little lady. Don't tax your pretty little head -- let us do the thinking for you. After all, we know best.

Just consider the near-impossibility of enforcing such an overreaching law. It would do no good to ban the sale of actual sleds -- kids are creative and can turn most anything into a makeshift snow glider.We used to use trash can lids when I was a kid. And somebody's always got cardboard.

And, what's the penalty for engaging in said banned activity? Throw gleeful schoolkids in the hoosegow?

Sheesh. No one overthought this nifty little idea, huh.

Farewell, Rosebud and American Flyer.

We're doomed.

Monday, January 5, 2015

At Loose Ends Here

I'm kind of in a funk. Just kind of antsy for some unknown reason.

And I'm seriously sick and tired of governments getting more and more involved with the minutiae of daily living. Take Dallas, for example.

On New Year's Day, a new ordinance took effect in Dallas that imposes a new "environmental fee" on paper and plastic bags used to transport purchases made at retail stores.  Five cents per bag! The "fee" purports to be a means to reduce litter and the customer is permitted to bring his own reusable bags or purchase them from the merchant. AP reports, "The Dallas rules have sparked some confusion. But officials say the idea is to encourage shoppers to bring their own, reusable bags — thus avoiding the new fees."

I'm sorry, but this sounds like a "nudge" to "encourage" sanctioned behavior and a revenue generator all rolled into one handy-dandy rule. A tax by any other name . . . .

So, I think I'll go along with Calvin in the upcoming year:

Gee, I miss Calvin and Hobbes.

And, I need a hug.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

No Longer Exiled in Portales

There's a hole in the internet.

It's the spot once occupied by Norman "Buck" Pennington, who self-identified as "a twice-retired guy (USAF and IT industry) who lives in a motor home, semi-permanently docked in Portales, NM."  I mean, don't you just intuit that a huge spot would be occupied by a guy who's twice-retired, and lived in "interesting" accommodations?

Back in 2011, when I nominated Buck for the "Stylish Blogger Award," (an honor which he politely declined), I described his blog as "Buck's ruminations on most anything that crosses his mind.  And beer.  And cigars.  And music." But there was much more to that blog, and to Buck, than just those few throw-away words.  Much more. I mean, that list doesn't even mention planes, or Buck being a "sensitive seventies kind of guy" (on occasion -- ;-) ), or HOCKEY, for crying out loud!

I first started following Exile in Portales when I ran across one or another of Buck's comments on some blog (probably conservative or satirical. Or both.) back in 2009 when I first started exploring the Blogosphere. It wasn't long thereafter that I began to think of Buck as an actual flesh-and-blood friend. We emailed, we were both Grammar Nazis, we sent each other jokes that shouldn't have been put out there in the Blogosphere to serve as ammunition against us or our families at some point in the future, we commiserated, and gave advice to one another. He schooled me in the phrase, "get off my lawn!" Shoot, he and Andy even taught me how to make the Internet do italics and bold!

I got to know his family -- he adored his family -- and shared his pride in their accomplishments. He got to know my family. He put up with all my posts about our dogs. He rarely failed to post a comment on my posts whether they were about politics or weather or birdfeeders. I could always count on a visit from my friend, Buck.

But, he fell through that hole in the internet late last month, and now he's off on a new adventure in What Follows Next. He's truly no longer bound by physical limitations, or Exiled anywhere in this plane of existence.

I can expect no more visits from my friend, Buck.

But, I can visit his place from time to time and maybe read his Blog from its beginnings. And I can look for updates from his sons on how they plan to carry out Buck's last wishes: to be cremated and scattered at a bunch of fun places.  Well played, sir. Well-played.

I'll miss you, buddy. Enjoy Happy Hour, wherever you are. *clinking of glasses (preferably Waterford)*