Thursday, August 28, 2008
Acting on a signed complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel, police encountered harassment when they arrested an ABC new team who was trespassing on private property, the privately-owned sidewalk in front of the historic Brown Palace hotel.
In this shocking video below we see Asa Eslocker harass and argue with a police officer, a disgraceful act from any national TV reporter.
Policemen get “crap” from bad guys all the time, especially when arresting them, and this policeman showed great restraint in not using physical force when Eslocker refused a lawful order from the police.
ABC News reporter resists arrest
As we see, the poor policeman is just trying to enforce the complaint from the hotel, and encounters Asa Eslocker, who has no remorse whatsoever. Eslocker evidently thinks that he is above the law and has the right to interefere with a police officer, and he forces the officer to chase him out into downtown traffic.
The policeman had every right to whack the crap out of this moron.
Let’s hope that ABC fires Eslocker immediately and makes an example of his disgraceful behavior. I also hope than the Denver police department gets a huge settlement from ABC news. It's about time that people learned to respect our officers in uniform.
“Based in Charleston, S.C., the bimonthly magazine appeals to well-heeled Southerners with a mix of articles about music, art, literature, food, the land and, of course, hunting and fishing.”
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
As a frequent cruises, I have collected my tips for having a great time at sea, and there are many great bargains to be had is today’s overcrowded market.
You can take a cruise today for less than the cost of staying in a Motel 6 (under $50 a day), and poor white trash are becoming a major market for the cruise lines.
The ships get bigger each year, and with over 30,000 cabins available each week, a savvy shopper can find some great deals. The new Genesis class cruise ships cost over a billion dollars and hold over 6,000 passengers.
The Genesis - A $1.2b floating trailer park with room for 6,400 rednecks
In previous blog entries, I touted the huge discounts that are to be had by booking cruises on the older ships (any ship over 10 years old), smaller, more intimate ships with savings of over 40% over the newest cruising megaships.
The 2009 Genesis class cruise ships charge a premium
The Older scows are a huge bargain!
So, where do the rednecks and working poor take their cruises?
Now we see the best deal afloat for rednecks, an old ship leaving from Norfolk Virginia, less than a day’s pickup truck ride from West Virginia!
The Norfolk-based cruises are perfect for redneck honeymooners
When we took this cruise, We met a custodial engineer (a janitor), a cab driver, a fellow on parole (judging from his prison tattoo's), and numerous and sundry people on the dole, including a half dozen sea cows, morbidly obese women who has eaten themselves into a wheelchair in order to get their Social Security Disability checks.
Good ole boys love cruising
Dining is very casual on the Grandeur of the Seas. At lunch one day, Janet and I were treated to a woman picking at a bloody scab from her brand new shoulder tattoo while their kids ran from table to table. Thankfully, the dining tables are round, so that passengers who chew with their mouths open were not able to toss food particles all the way across the tables, and they landed harmlessly in the bread baskets.
Sea cows love the all-you-can-eat cruises
This 5-day cruise to Bermuda is a remarkable bargain, costing less than an average city hotel. While the Grandeur is old (1996), she is still well-maintained and safe.
For after-dining entertainment on formal night, take a seat in the lounge by the restaurant entrance ahead of the 8:30 formal seating, order a drink and have your camera ready. Watching lower income people dress-up in formal attire is hugely entertaining, and you can make bets on when you will see the first lime green tuxedo or formal dress baseball cap.
Friendly rednecks await you on the Grandeur of the Seas
For other on board entertainment, take a seat by the purser’s desk on the last day at sea, when the cruise issues demands for payment of the passengers bar tabs. Its great fun listening to the shouting, threats and excuses from passengers whose bat tabs exceeded the cost of their cruise ticket.
Here is my redneck review of the Grandeur of the Seas, a true redneck cruise experience.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I recently spent a morning in the museum tomb of Douglas Macarthur in Norfolk Virginia in hopes of learning more about this enigma, a monumental monument to a man with an ego that was unmatched in the 20th century.
In previous posts I have noted that Macarthur was a scoundrel, awarding himself medals that he clearly did not deserve (including the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Flying Cross), but I was amazed at his memorial in Norfolk.
The memorial is befitting a king, surprising since he was not nearly as successful as many of his contemporaries (Patton, Marshall, Eisenhower).
Stolen Valor - Underserved medals of Duuglas MacArthur
In one of the most appalling event of WWII, FDR awarded “Dugout Doug” the medal of honor for his dismal surrender at Bataan, a disaster for his personal incompetance directly caused thousands of men to perish at the hands of the Imperial Japanese army. What a disgrace.
It's no wonder that his son, Arthur Macarthur, changed his name and went into hiding, probably from shame if being the son of "Dugout Doug"
Of course, the museum fails to feature the fact that he was drummed out of the Army by Harry Truman for disobeying a direct order, but it was fascinating to note that MacArthur, Whinston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt were all cousins, all descended from a Belcher:
Sara Belcher – Common ancestor of FDR, Winston Churchill and Doug Macarthur
It was cool to see his famous corncob pipe and his golden hat, a megalomaniacal crown of gold leaf, befitting someone of his titanic ego:
Where is Arthur Macarthur today?
But the most amazing part of the museum has Douglas Macarthur’s son, Arthur Macarthur IV, born in 1938 when Douglas as 58 years old! (Douglas was also a late child, his Dad being 35 when he was born.)
I was also a late child of a late child (my Grandpa, James Vespasian Burleson, was born in 1870), but Arthur Macarthur has me beat by a mile.
Imagine having a grandpa who was born in 1845 and fought in the Civil War!
Young Arthur was a media favorite, the heir to the family dynasty and he appeared in magazine and trade periodicals like a celebrity:
But something important happened in the late 1950’s. By law, Arthur was guaranteed admission to West Point (as the son of a Medal of Honor winner), but instead he chose a very different path, favoring Columbia University and an interest in “non macho” subjects like music and art.
In 1959, Ole Douglas was 79 year old, and I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when he learned that young Arthur had a bad case of the fagnasties! I’ll bet the old prick really blew a gasket!
Arthur Macarthur IV with his elderly Dad
The trail stops there, and for reasons which are never officially explained (although we can all guess!), Arthur changed his name. Today, many folks speculate about Arthurs whereabouts, and whether he survived the AIDS epidemic.
Today (in 2008), Arthur is 70 years old, a senior citizen allegedly living in Greenwich Village under an assumed name, doing art and music.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
After he works on it for a few minutes, it is idling smoothly. She says, "What's the story?"
He replies, "Just crap in the distrubutor'
She asks, "How often do I have to do that?'
“Nobody travels commercial anymore”
Well, this lady did not look like the billionaire class, but at the same time, I know that many executives are fed-up with commercial air travel, and are moving to shared-jet companies like DayJets, a great new service where the cost of the ride depends directly upon your flexibility.
As of 2009, the real costs of a private jet (for one person) are aboput 50x higher than flying coach, and about 6x more than first class. For example, these rough costs, RT, LAX to Frankfurt:
- Coach on commercial air - about $1,200
- First Class commercial - about $12,000
- Private jet rental - about $80,000
So, for a private jet that holds 8 passengers, renting a private jet is cheaper than riding first class, and much nicer, no TSA . . .
Also, the trend is towards smaller commercial point-to-point jets these days. It's sad that Neyjects and Dayjets went out of business, but in the next decade, expect to see more small, point-to-point jets, small jets, not behemoths:
So, how rich does a person have to be to own a private jet? Some zillionaires have amazing aircraft for pleasure, even for extreme water skiing:
I did some investigation and I was surprised to find a huge variance in the costs of private jets:
- A brand-new Gulfstream 5 costs $59,000,000
- A used Learjet can be had for under $600,000
- A used commercial jet can be had for under $10m
The 2010 Gulfstream 5 – only $59m
Affordable private jets?
On the low end, I was surprised to see than some old Learjet’s were very affordable, like this on for only $650,000. That may sound like a lot of money, but considering that a nice home in Manhattan is over a million dollars, it’s a great bargain.
And this, a Boeing 727 for only $2.5m! For course, it costs over $100,000 for a fill-up, so the cost of the jet is about equal to 25 fill-ups!
Just like when buying a horse, the purchase cost is a tiny part of the investment. You need $100k a year for a pilot, and fill-ups can easily top $10k.
I was impressed to hear that the Google whiz kids, Brin & Page, have their own private 767, a huge jet:
But I was shocked to see that a 767 can be had for only $15m, less than one-third the cost of a new G5.
I’ve been a licensed private pilot for over 30 years, and while it may be tempting to have a private jet, I think I’ll stick to commercial air travel.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I came across this magazine ad recently, and it’s interesting that anybody can own their very own fighter jet. This place sells the F5, just like Larry Ellison's fighter jet.
I went to the web site for prices but, I guess if you have to ask, you can’t afford it!
Here is Larry Ellison in his fighter jet:
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
My surgery required over a foot of internal stitches in my abdominal muscles and the removal and replacement of several square feet of skin on my belly. It was literally like being skinned alive and even breathing hurt for the first week!
Immediately following my surgery I was outfitted with two lovely drains which managed to take care of most of my drainage and a straightjacket to keep my guts inside while the stitches healed.
I later discovered that the only thing worse than having tubes sticking out of you is not having them! Even though I still had massive internal bleeding, the surgeon had to cut the drains out of me after one month, saying that they could not stay inside me for prolonged periods of time. (In most cases a month is enough, but in cases like mine with large internal damage, the drainage can continue for up to a year! In my case, I was still seeping several ounces (about 170 ml) per day when my tubes were removed.)
It’s funny how squeamish people are. I was not going to become a recluse simply because I had tubes jutting from my gut, but I was surprised at people’s reactions when I drained by bulbs:
Don't do this in public - Some people are too squeamish
So, what do you do when your abdomen fills-up like a water balloon every day? The only way to remove excessive would draining is to go in a get it.
Remember those rabies shots that they give you right in the middle of your belly? It’s like that, except it’s even more painful because the needle must stay deep inside you for up to 10 minutes!
In my case, my wounds must be drained every 48 hours a very painful deal. The doctor says that the drainage could go on for many months (in his 30 years as a surgeon he says he has never seen anything like my case where a wound drains for so long).
The doctor was planning to teach me to drain myself, so that we don’t have to drive for three long hours to the doctors office every other day.
The perils of Self Immolation
The trouble with draining yourself at home is that there can be no hesitation with the horse needle. You must drive the needle though cleanly, deep into my abdomen. While it’s easy to do this on other people, it ain’t so easy punching yourself in the gut with a horse needle, knowing that it’s gonna hurt like pure sin!
So the doctor is training Janet to do it for me, and Janet took this instructional video which shows the whole process.
Video of the drainage process
1 - First, the skin and abdominal muscles are numbed with Lidocaine and bicarbonate of soda
2 - Then you punch-in the needle, full-force and start filling the syringe.
Janet loves her toys and she filmed this with the new “Flip video” camera an amazing video camera not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes:
For complete details of the procedure for removing internal drainage, here is a video of the whole process for your enjoyment. Janet picked the background music herself and she did a great job! (WARNING: DO NOT view this video while eating).
This is one of the most creative apps I've seen in quite awhile.
VERY CREATIVE! Try it:
Viral Marketing Interface for Election 2008
Make your own campaign ad, running for president, and watch the video until the end, and then you can see how it's done!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Janet with Noah Wyle (Dr. Carter) on the set of ER
The grumpy puppy!
The dog training is going quite well, but Noël gets grumpy! She does not like begging and waving her paw, but she will do it, albeit quite reluctantly.
In the video below, note how Noël become increasingly pissed-off at Janet, growling and complaining! Who ever said that the life of a dog actress would be easy! (double click to play video)
Thursday, August 07, 2008
In my other blog entries, I’ve discussed by idea for a redneck gift basket, and I talk about the perfect food gifts for fiends and co-workers, but I think that I’ve found the perfect gift!
I used to send people Texas Style ribs and brisket at Coopers BBQ, a life-changing experience for the meat lover:
BBQ by mail is not for everyone . . .
Different people like different things, and there are lots of opportunities for a FUBAR when sending a gift:
- Sending BBQ pork to a Kosher family
- Sending Carnegie Cheesecake to an obese family
- Sending steaks to a Hindu family
So, what makes a great all-purpose food gift? Something upscale, affordable, with a taste that everyone likes . . . .
Everybody likes candy, and we may remember back in the 1980’s when President Reagan quit smoking and started eating “Jelly Belly” gourmet jelly beans”. Back then, they were very expensive (they still are not cheap), and they had the aura of a true gourmet food.
You may not be able to live in a mansion and drive a Rolls Royce, but you could now afford the world's best jelly beans! These Jelly Belly 50 flavor samplers are great fun at parties, guessing the flavors blindfolded:
It’s especially fun to have a blind tasting contest, and see if you can guess the flavors. It’s just like a Whitman Sampler; there is a “key” to the flavors on the back of the box lid:
The Jelly Belly 50 flavor sampler - Only $16.95
It’s fun for young and old alike. Some flavors like “buttered popcorn” sound weird, but the taste is true! And the Jalapeño jelly beans area real treat too!
As candy, they are not too fattening either! They are only 4 calories each!
The best place to buy these is on candycrate.com, best prices and fast shipping. At only $16.95 on Candy Crate, it’s a great deal, since they wholesale for over $12.00 (hey, somebody has to buy retail!).
Jelly Belly goes Mainstream
No longer just a gourmet snack, Jelly Belly is redefining themselves, andf they are constantly introducing new Jelly Belly flavor concepts, like these “manly” flavors:
And these, “energizing” Jelly Belly beans, just for sportsmen:
And, of course, they need a creepy mascot:
With all of this expansion, and the emerging interest in gourmet redneck cuisine, it won’t be long until Jelly Belly starts making flavors just for rednecks:
For more, see my other notes on buying gourmet food online.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Saturday, August 02, 2008
The Swoose comes home!
Growing-up watching “Twelve O’clock High” on TV in the 1960’s (and because my Dad flew over 50 combat missions in B-17’s), I’ve come to think that the B-17 is one of the most amazing aircraft ever built.
On July 15th 2008, the Air Force announced that “The Swoose”, one of the most famous aircraft of WWII has been moved from the Smithsonian to a permanent hone at National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright Patterson in Dayton Ohio.
The Swoose - a rare sharkfin B-17 D
A very rare B-17 D (the only one still in existence), the Swoose got her name from the popular song of the day, about a half-goose, half-swan, the “Swoose”. It’s a national treasure and will sit nest to the “Memphis Belle”, but it hold special significance to me because it was one of the B-17’s that my father maintained in the Philippines.
The battle for the Pacific
I’m currently researching the history of the US Air Corp in the desperate days following Pearl Harbor (and the horrendous damage to the Air Corp at Clark Field in the Philippines), and I’m reading the book “Queens Die Proudly”, by W. L. White (1943).
This is a firsthand account (from the men of the 19th Bomb Group), how they were chased by the invading Japanese into Australia, and how we fought back to regain a foothold against overwhelming odds.
The Swoose became a transport aircraft for Generals
I’m especially interested in accounts of the 5th Air Force from late 1941 up to September 1942, events during their stay in Australia, and their raid against the Japanese forcesin Java.
In his book, White does extensive interviews with Frank Kurtz (Olympic athlete and one of the most famous pilots of WWII, with three distinguished Flying Crosses, three Air Medals, and three silver stars).
The 19th bomb group in Australia in WWII:
- March Field, Calif, 25 Oct 1935;
- Albuquerque, NM, 7 Jul 1941 to 29 Sep 1941;
- Clark Field, Luzon, 23 Oct 1941;
- Batchelor, Australia, 24 Dec 1941;
- Singosari, Java, 30 Dec 1941;
- Melbourne, Australia, 2 Mar 1942;
- Garbutt Field, Australia, 18 Apr 1942;
- Longreach, Australia, 18 May 1942;
- Mareeba, Australia, 24 Jul-23 Oct 1942;
It’s always been my dream to take a flight in a B-17 (they are available this week is Oshkosh air show this week for $450 for a 20 minute ride). For B-17 books, here is a great collection of B-17 books, including this book about the Swoose.
Interestingly, Coward-general Douglas MacArthur ("Dugout Doug") rode the Swoose once, in August 1942 when being ferried to Washington DC, which brings me to a far more interesting story.
LBJ gets swiftboated
One great surprise in my research was that Congressman turned Naval Officer Lyndon Johnson, flew a combat mission in 1 B-25 out of Port Moresby, and the shameful prick put himself in for the Silver Star, even though the plane never even got to the target!
Read this, the amazing story how LBJ gave himself an award for bravery that he did not earn.
“For most of his life as a politician, Johnson proudly wore a Silver Star pin identifying him as a war hero. The small lapel pin can be seen in the famous photograph of Johnson taking the oath of office aboard Air Force One following John F. Kennedy's assassination in November 1963.
For three decades, on occasions mundane and momentous, the small red, white and blue badge of courage was often visible on Johnson's suit coat.”
LBJ taking the oath of the presidency while wearing a stolen Silver Star
According to all reports from the flight crew, LBJ did nothing to receive this award, and was in collusion with “Dugout Doug”, the despised 5-star General MacArthur, the biggest medal-grabbing asswipe in history:
“What I concluded," Dallek said," was that there was an agreement, a deal made between LBJ and Gen. MacArthur. And the deal was Johnson would get this medal, which somebody later said was the least deserved and most talked about medal in American military history.
And MacArthur, in return, had a pledge from Johnson that he would lobby FDR to provide greater resources for the southwest Pacific theater."
According to my father (who was there in Corregidor with Big Mac), MacArthur was an amazing coward and widely detested by his men. Soldiers openly mocked his “I shall Return” quote (i.e. "I’m going to the latrine. . . I shall return”)!
In one of the most shameful acts in the history of the USA, MacArthur got himself the Congressional Medal of Honor for his unsuccessful defense of the Philippines (while he cowered in a tunnel).
Read my notes on why I think that people should know what a dishonest and disgraceful man MacArthur was.
Friday, August 01, 2008
WTF? from engrish.com
The syntax of Chinese and Japanese makes it extremely difficult to translate, and I have great difficultly communicating with my oriental friends. Several of my books have been translated into Japanese, Korean and Chinese, and when I get questions (in Kanji), they assume that I speak their language! It's weird, having written books that I cannot read.
Oh, Jolly Old Engrand . . . . from engrish.com
I do my best, with Babelfish, but that’s not always enough. Once, I translated a readers question into English, and the gentleman’s name translated into “pan hundred forests”. I used this in my salutation for the response (Hi Pan Hundred Forests), only to receive a hateful e-mail back, accusing me of mocking his good name! Sometimes you cannot win!
Good Crap from engrish.com
Kanji is Cool!
When our daughter Jenny was a teenager, she liked to wear t-shirts with Kanji characters, it did not matter what it said, she thought that it was very cool because it was Kanji.
However, it always disturbed me that she had NO IDEA what the letters meant, and I often wondered if the Chinese people were making them say funny things.
It was sort of like this, where this Chinese man gets a cool tattoo with those neat European characters: