Monday, November 28, 2005

Cowboy Kitsch

When I was a kid, we would take a classic car vacation. This was the time before jet airfares became affordable. Dad would take one or two weeks off from work and load the wife and us kids in the car and hit the open road for days and days.

These trips would consume thousands of miles of highway and would crisscross the country. Most of our car vacations took place in the southwest, west, and northwest. (Although there was one trip to the east coast to visit the east coast, but that's a tale for another day.) You drive each day several hundred miles to reach a new item of interest such as: Disneyland, The Grand Canyon, Cedar Breaks, The Seattle World's Fair, etc.

At many of the places we would stop it was common to encounter a style of decorating that was inspired by themes of cowboy gear and western vistas.

Recently while looking for travel information on Nevada, I was thrilled to find that this style still lives on at websites such as:

Looking at this stuff makes me wish I had a classic mountain cabin (or a steak house) I could festoon with these nifty items.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Put Down the Crack Pipe

TedTurner, another man like Jimmy Carter (who never met a communist dictator he didn't like), is proposing a park for the Korean demilitarized zone (aka: DMZ). Like the Holy Roman Empire--it wasn't Roman and it wasn't Holy--the there is nothing demilitarized about the DMZ and a person would have to be daft in the head to think that all the North Koreans need is a smile and a hug to make them into good people. Ted go back to baseball or whatever it is you do with yourself now a days.
The money quote in this story is:
Mounir Bouchenaki, UNESCO's assistant director-general for culture, called Turner's proposal "very interesting" and said it should be explored. He said it would preserve the DMZ as a place of peace.
I can just see Bouchinake trying to edge to door and make his escape before Ted really goes over the edge and starts talking about how aluminum foil can block the mind control rays and he got the idea for DMZ park from the queen of the space unicorns.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Back to the Future! Please

I don't know if you'd call it googie, modern, or missiles-pointed-at-God architecture, but the Air Force Academy's chapel has to be the prime example to come out of the late 1950s of the building-of-tomorrow-today style. It was an attempt to design buildings with tailfins to go along with the ones on our Cadillacs.

When I came upon this photo at first I thought it was cheesy, but then I remembered how at that time we were planning to send astronauts to Mars , drive flying cars , and fly in atomic airplanes. It was time when the United States still believed in technology. Now this view is considered naïve, but when I think of our current state I say we've lost a hope in a bright and shining future for us and our kids.

Here in the Puget Sound we'll spend billions on a light rail system that starts in downtown and goes to the airport—basically a train to nowhere. Most people don't live downtown and most people don't do business in downtown, e.g., Microsoft is in Redmond, Boeing is in Everett, and the Army and Air Force bases are in Tacoma. Trains have been dead since the 1950s, but our best and brightest in government continues to think that the public cries out for rails. Why not stage coaches or goat carts

I saw stop. Stop now. Give up the past and let us get back to embracing the future. ? Once we dreamed of roads 16 lanes wide with flying overpasses crossing rivers and deserts. Lets start putting wings and chrome on our world again, embrace googie, mega engineering projects, crass materialistic consumption, and offer our children a future that is bright exciting, and full of promise they'll do more and be more than us.

(P.S. I still want my flying car)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Think Before You Ink!

Tian of Hanzi Smatter gives you living proof why you should not have Asian languages tattooed on your body--the fact that despite what people tell you the translation is usual wrong, gibberish, or not even properly rendered.

Stick to English kids or if you have problems in that area seek out a high school graduate or GED holder to help you.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Paleolithic Vidoes: The Robots

Back before cable television and MTV there were Scopitones an early attempt to blend image with sound. A classic example of European hipsters can be viewed in: The Robots, by the Tornados.

Better Late Than Never

I don't know if this is correct or not, but I just read that on December 31st of this year the United Kingdom will complete the paying off of the War World I and II loans owed to the United States.
As the Brits would say: "About bloody time mate!"

Friday, November 04, 2005

Smile as if Your Job Depended on It

It's has a touch of Orwell's 1984, but in general I think I could get behind this rule: No Whining at Work!"
A German company has decided those who are always at odds with the world and must share their unhappiness with their co-workers make the office a bad place to be. I can support this if it also banned complaining about your love life, relationships, and relatives.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

It's a Crime to Punish Adultery

No smirking or snigger out there. This is a serious subject. We turn to the cruel and unjust fate of those punished for adultery in Korea and why humanity cries out for repeal of the law.

The Marines will have a special warfare unit too, according to the Washington Post.

Right before I left the Army, one of the new hot tickets (an assignment that would add to your changes of selection for promotion) was to serve on a Joint Staff (aka: J staff=J-1, J-2, J-3, etc.). Makes me wonder if special ops is the flavor of the month now?
Considering how all the services have historically been hostile to special units:

  • Will this trend last?
  • Or, will once again will a special ops assignment become a career killer?