Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Best Government Money Can Buy

Toady's LA Times

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who spent his first two years in office battling Indian tribes with casinos, is now giving at least four of them a vast expansion unlike anything they received from the man Schwarzenegger swept from office.

Under new Schwarzenegger compacts awaiting lawmakers' approval, Southern California would have up to 19,500 more authorized slot machines. The region could become home to some of the world's largest casinos, each containing as many as 7,500 slot machines.
Pechanga's backers include state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland), who is among the authors of the bill that would ratify its deal. Last week, Pechanga donated $50,000 to a political account controlled by Perata.

There was no connection between the donation and the legislation, said Paul Hefner, Perata's political spokesman: "The pro tem makes decisions based on the merit."
Morongo, Pechanga, San Manuel and Agua Caliente have spent more than $2.5 million on state political campaigns this year. Indian tribes overall have spent $220 million on campaigns since 1998, the year of their first big push for legalized gambling on their land.

Right - no connection at all.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Slim Pickens

Black Dog's post today is a clip from White Line Fever. The starting shot features Slim Pickens, one of my favorites, mostly because of these two.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Peter - What are you doing?

Get yer mind outta the gutter.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Lost Forever War

A compelling video from the 5,000 strong “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition” on the never-ending failure of the never-ending “War Against Some Drugs.”


Spy Kats

Maxwell Smart couldn't have done better.

One of the CIA's most bizarre Cold War efforts was Operation Acoustic Kitty. In declassified documents from the CIA's super-secret Science and Technology Directorate, it was revealed that some Cold-War-era cats were surgically altered to become sophisticated bugging devices. The idea was that the cats would eavesdrop on Soviet conversations from park benches, windowsills and garbage containers. The cat was meant to just stroll up to the sensitive conversations, completely unnoticed. The clandestine cat's electrical internals would then capture and relay the audio to awaiting agents.
“They slit the cat open, put batteries in him, wired him up. The tail was used as an antenna. They made a monstrosity.
After several surgeries and intensive training, the cyborg cat was ready for its first field test. The CIA drove the cat to a Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C., and let him out of a parked van across the street. The cat ambled into the road, and was struck by a taxi almost immediately. Five years of effort and over $15 million in spending were reduced to roadkill in an instant. Shorty after its demise a CIA operative returned to the accident site and put the cat's remains into a container to prevent the Soviets from getting their paws on the sensitive and expensive listening devices.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I Got You Babe


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Customer Service- We've Heard Of It

We just don't offer it. I was in CompUSA yesterday looking for a new carry case for my laptop. Now I don't shop - I hate it, but this is a pretty important buy as I need it to fill my needs and be easy to carry and use. Not too big and not look like a backpack or one of those lawyer type briefcases. So I probably spent twenty minutes checking them out which anyone who knows me realizes is extraordinary. Not once did a salesperson bother me, which is fine because in stores I prefer to look and get help when I ask for it.

But now I had made up my mind and was ready to leave. I walk up towards the check out and no one is there. Two guys are behind the service desk dealing with returns I guess. Another is right there behind the camera counter next to the check out. I sort o standing there looking and two other guys come up and start talking to camera man. Now some other people who want to complete their purchases are standing behind me. I look around and there are Red Shirts everywhere so I say to the group at the camera desk, "Is there anyone working the cash registers?" They seem somewhat bewildered (and I did ask it nice). They look around and about that time another guy comes walking up and one says to him, "Hey Bill, you can work the checkout." Bill is carrying a lanyard with a key so it looks good but Bill says "I'm not a cashier."

So being the ass I usually am, I walk up to the check out counter, place the case down and proceed to walk out. As I do so I see the little manager office to the right with two guys sitting in there so I holler to them "You just might want to actually get somebody out here who can take money, it's better for business."

Some would say I only wasted my own time but CompuUSA lost a $60 sale.
I hate big box stores.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

It's Been Bad - Watch Out


Friday, August 11, 2006

New Rules

New TSA flight rules to go in effect

And this from RBT today

Initial reports about the conspirators who planned to blow up numerous airliners said that among them were an elderly Swedish man, a young Japanese woman with two children, four American business executives, a Mexican grandmother, two U.S. Marines in uniform, three Canadian nuns, and a middle-school soccer team from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Oh, wait. It turns out that those initial reports were wrong. By a simply amazing coincidence, all of the conspirators who have been identified so far are young men of Middle Eastern appearance. What are the odds of that happening? Don't you think it might make sense to concentrate enforcement efforts on people who are actually likely to be terrorists?


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sympathy For The Virgins

Well here we go again. New plots to kill everyone on an airplane - and their reward awaits them.

How can any woman support the Islamic faith? - Seeeeesh.... they're worse than the Baptists.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Good Stuff

I mentioned a bad experience with BK a couple of days ago (and it was bad). Just so you don't think all I do is bitch and moan (quit laughing) lets cover some good food.

First I love food. My waist line proves it. So what are good choices. Bakersfield has gotten so big there is no way to try it all anymore.

Basque - what else?. Woolgrowers, Noriegas Pyrenees and Benjis are all good. WG has become a bit of a victim of it's own success. Too long waits, too high prices but the food is still outstanding. Pyrenees very good but a little uneven at times. In summer the dining room can just cook you. Noriegas, I love the food, not everyone does as sometime they get too authentic for American tastes but I come from an Italian family so bring it on. Some people don't like the border tables(shared) but I do. I almost always meet people I can share stories and acquaintances with, but that's just the way I am. Benjis I've really started to like. Love the tongue with that thick sauce.

Speaking of Italian. Luigis. Great food but like WG sort of a victim of it's success. Saturdays and the burgers are the best. Great fun to sit in the bar. It's not like it was in the old days with Tula and Louie to entertain you but honestly the food has just gotten better. Caeser's Deli for wonderful sandwiches and the best tongue, tastes just like grandma used to make (but mama mia, the price. $11 a pound now but worth it).

Mexican food. Tough call. Mexicalli always good, and El Sombrero for the basics. La Colonina and La Tapatia are good. My favorite is still The Red Pepper. There are so many in town and it's rough to get people to agree, everyone is sure they know the best.

Now my newest recommendation. I love Mediterranean food. Cafe Med always great but ouch. Many years ago a fellow named Saul Herosh (???) had a series of places here. He was a strange and shady character but man his food was great. Falafel and kabobs, shaslik and stuff I don't even remember. He was an Israeli, loud and somewhat obnoxious, stereotypical med type but he seemed have to a fire problem at his restaurants. So now, The Flame and Skewer at 24th and L comes along. Better than any I've had in a long, long time. The lamb kabob sandwich is absolutely the best (med-rare please - never over cook lamb. one of my rare complaints of Basque places). I've only been a couple of times so I haven't tried a lot of the things but I have very high hopes. I'm not too sure of the nationality of the people that run it, not that I care, just curious. Maybe Turks. No matter. Support them so I can keep going back.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Why Do They Hate Us

Very good reading from Fred

And some additional insights from Jerry

This is what we reap from political correctness and a poor educational system.
You can't bring people into submission with bombs alone.
We should be waging a cultural war. iPods and Levis, rock and roll and bling, american tv and movies. Sure it's a lot of crap but it beats the hell out of listening to mullahs and praying five times a day.
Bush has no clue.
It'll be interesting to see if the dems decide to boot their moderates today. They stand a real chance of winning back some control if they just don't swing too far left. Unfortunately, just like the repubs the far fringes seem in control.


Monday, August 07, 2006

The Worst

Well I've said before that I don't much care for fast food chains.
I ended up at Burger King the other day, not by my own choosing. I was really hungry however and I was dumb enough to be swayed by a god damn poster ad.The Angus Burger (I didn't get mushrooms like the picture shows).

(I've removed the image at request of the host site...)

See the nice looking grill sear marks. Hmmmmmmm......

What I got was a steaming gray glob of something. The meat must have been loaded with water to steam so much. It had obviously been microwaved. The meat wasn't spoiled but did taste kind of old. To top it the sauce on it was equally as bad, very sweet with no tang as steak sauce should have.

I should have taken it back and complained. Instead after about 3 bites I couldn't take it and lost my appetite altogether, so why bother. I left it sitting right on top of the tray and left the tray on the table and walked out. I refilled my DP trying to get the taste out of my mouth. Hock - spit - yuckkkkkk.........

I think I need a Happy Jack's bacon cheese burger to recover.

Down with the King.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Catching Up

Busy after vacation.

Black Dog hears from Uncle Woody. No more clowning around. (it all started back here).

Israel continues to pound Hezbollah. Maybe they could have choosen other tactics but I'm amazed at the news focusing on civilian casualties. Yes they happen in war. The rockets can't be ignored by Israel. Hezbollah started it. It will be tough to finish but the IDF seems inclined.

Mel Gibson still anti-semitic. (Maybe not - read this in today's LA Times. Appears the man is one of those drunks whose whole demenor changes after a few.)

More good stuff from Fred. Read his last two #325 & 324.

Locally a little less heat. I need a rest so I can catch up at home this weekend.