I don’t know about you guys, but all I really want to do today is watch bears fish for salmon. It’s 11 p.m. as I write this, but still plenty of daylight in Alaska. I haven’t seen any of the bears catch anything yet, although a couple of small fish have jumped. The bears stare at the water with a certain comical level of concentration.
I can’t deny it: These bears are my husband. It’s why I can’t stop looking. I recognize the concentration.
And now it’s the next day, and you can see how my writing hours are going these days. Well, last night was Project Runway, and I made an actual dinner (stuffed portobello mushrooms on the grill, plus corn on the cob). It included wine. I got tired. So now, a sugary breakfast (lotsa fruit), and a lot of coffee, and let’s see what the new day reveals to us. (Pause.) It just revealed a commotion outside, which I thought was a late-retiring raccoon, but no: A blue jay and a grackle, mixin’ it up on the deck. I think the grackle won, because the jay just took off. The grackle strutted around for a bit, ate an ant, preened its feathers. These birds are hard to love, but they certainly have attitude to spare.
In the meantime, this is what was revealed on my morning media run:
The Instagrams of Wall Street. Evocative and depressing. (Who wants to work on those trading floors? Hell. On earth.)
Every so often I consider doing one of those 23 and Me DNA scans, but didn’t I read somewhere it’s a big joke? Can’t remember. (Can’t remember much these days.) But somewhere along the line, perhaps I’d meet some interesting ancestors.
Via Hank, that rare treat, a Michael Kinsley column, and a good one. It starts with the victory of gay marriage and asks what will be the next thing we’ll look back on and wonder how we ever tolerated it otherwise. Kingsley’s nominee:
My own favorite nominee will win me no friends: high school football. In 20 years I think it may seem incredible that loving parents used to send their kids out to bang their heads against each other in the certain knowledge that this was damaging their still-growing brains. “Certain knowledge” may overstate the case now. But this smells just like smoking, about which the evidence dribbled in until it was undeniable. Let me add (for my own self-protection): I hope I’m wrong.
This week was the 45th anniversary of the Detroit riots. I will look at any picture of this event, any time, ever. Here’s a slideshow.
Late add: If you’d like to die of Cute today, the Green Bay Packers participating in a long-standing start-of-summer-practice tradition — riding kids’ bikes to the stadium.
Enjoy your weekend, eh?
Connie said on July 27, 2012 at 8:33 am
I had an (older) coworker who was a young fresh college grad in a new job when his national guard unit got called up to go to the riots. He talked about all the young “dutch” boys getting on the bus and how quiet with fear it was on that bus ride. I always found it an interesting story.
Prospero said on July 27, 2012 at 9:40 am
The Detroit Police Department in 1967 was a seething hotbed of racism. Wonder who had the bright idea to raid a blind pig at 3am on a sunday morning? Monumental stupidity.
nancy said on July 27, 2012 at 11:16 am
If only it didn’t smell so bad. They’ve certainly got the commercial angle covered.
Jakash said on July 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm
That Packers site managed to intersperse 3 ads among 20 photos. Pretty impressive and annoying rate. Especially for an operation that makes money a zillion different ways and made a $42.7 million profit last year. This is one of many reasons why I’ve all but given up on professional sports. A few sentences with Andy Rooney…
beb said on July 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm
I liked the bug-zapping salt-gun
Boingboing also links to an article about a shut-down escalator at a San Francisoco BART station. The mechanism jammed because it was full of shit. Ah, literally, since homeless people were defecating on it.
And the outrage of the day:
So much for our 1st amendment rights.
Prospero said on July 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm
MichaelG said on July 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm
Thanks for that link, Basset. (From yesterday’s thread.) I had no idea that there was a project to create replicas of the aircraft. The video was very good and the Me-262 is a very pretty little airplane. The porn music background didn’t help, though. Unfortunately the group’s website appears to have been last updated in 2009, so it looks like the effort may have died out.
I had a girlfriend once whose father had been a test pilot on the original P-80 program back in the late forties. They flew out of Burbank where the old Lockheed factory was located. He told me something that I had never realized. The engines on these very early jet aircraft would last only three or four hours. That’s a pretty scary prospect. He told me that they lost a couple of aircraft and pilots. He had a P-80 quit on him once when he was on short final for Burbank but landed all right. Fortunately, progress in engine reliability was dramatic and things quickly became much safer. The P-80 (renamed the F-80) went on to have a very long and honorable career. A stretched, two seat version was produced as the T-33. Refurbished and modernized T-33s are still in service fifty years later.
Since then I’ve wondered about engine reliability in the early German and British jets.
Later in his career, The Colonel was the project officer on the program to transition the F-104 to the Luftwaffe. He strongly recommended against selling the plane to the Germans because he felt it was a very touchy and dangerous aircraft to fly, especially in the mission for which the Germans intended it. For his efforts he was replaced and never received the big promotion he was in line for. He retired as a bird colonel. The Colonel was vindicated when the Luftwaffe widows association received a huge settlement from the US Government.
MichaelG said on July 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm
I was going to buy one of those bug-zapping salt-guns but the sign up, sign in, password etc. process was a bit offensive to me so I blew it off.
Bob (not Greene) said on July 27, 2012 at 4:15 pm
Strangest NNall.com comment thread, ever.
basset said on July 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm
MichaelG, as I remember they built maybe three of the replica 262s and stopped there. Engine reliability was a huge issue in the original ones, the original Jumo 004s needed a complete rebuild after every 10-12 hours and were prone to either cut off or catch fire under too much throttle; most of the 262s shot down by English and American pilots were caught during takeoff or landing.
“ME 262” was one of Blue Oyster Cult’s best-known tunes, remember seeing them do it at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis about 1974 or 5. “Goering’s on the phone from Freiburg, saying Willi’s done quite a job…”
Prospero said on July 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm
The PM’s “middle of nowhere” comment was a pretty funny riposte to RMoney’s cloddish ugly Americanism, but getting dissed by Carl Lewis, a great Olympics athlete and singer of the worst non-Rosanne national anthem ever is hilarious.
GOPers were all het up over the KeystoneXL pipeline when President Obama oppoed it. They claimed erroneously and mendaciously that the pipeline would create thousands of jobs and that it would increase gasoline supplies in the USA (unmitigated bushwa, it’s all going to China as diesel, and will actually raise fuel prices for Midwestern US farmers.) Now all of those folks in the red states are faced with the taking of their land by eminent domain. This has always been a powerful shibboleth for GOPers. How will they square this with their Big Oil Jones? Kelo vs. City of New London ring a bell?
Didn’t Chris Matthews make some rilly awkward comment about McCain’s electability in ’08 by saying he was reliable, like the old man odor of Old Spice and stogies?
Joe K said on July 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm
Americas highest scoring ace, Richard Bong was killed test flying a p-80. The engine quit and he tried bailing out by standing up and pulling his chute hoping to be pulled out as he was to low to bail, I think he hit the tail or was wrapped around it. He had 40 kills
Sue said on July 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm
Joe K – He is honored and memorialized forever in the Milwaukee area:
Prospero said on July 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm
Maybe Willard can drop in to file a review:
Nicely written piece about a punker singer who realized at 31 married with a kid on the way that she’s transexual. She’s also very articulate. I’ve always liked this band. What a spectacularly strange thing to go through.
alex said on July 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm
Sue, the Bong Recreation Area enjoys wide renown, in fact. Even amongst those who don’t know anything about American aviation history.
Prospero said on July 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm
Snoop Dogg reinvention as Rastaman:
Ain’t Marley or Toots, but considering what passes for popular music these days, it ain’t all that bad.
How the hell are RMoney, McCain Boner and the GOPers getting away with this huge fracking lie about cuts in defense spending? The cuts came right out of the Teabanger House of Representatives when the GOPers refused to raise the debt ceiling. The cuts have been a fait accompli for months and these bastards are claiming the reductions in defense spending are something the President has just sprung on them. Maybe they could have used some of those endless hours wasted on voting to repeal ACA 33 fracking times to do something about this.
Prospero said on July 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm
Official swimsuit of the Michigan State Legislature.
basset said on July 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm
MichaelG, I just now learned that someone has been trying to get an original He162 flying again:
That thing would scare the living sh*t out of any rational pilot under perfect conditions… unproven jet engine with the intake right behind the cockpit, much of the plane made of plywood glued together, the whole thing assembled by slave labor, and the plan was to have it flown by teenagers with ten or twenty hours total flight experience and that mostly in gliders. First demonstration flight in front of a bunch of Nazi big hats, part of the wing came unglued and fell off and it crashed, fatally. they went ahead anyway.
Joe, wanna try it?
Deborah said on July 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm
This comment thread is like a Jim Jarmusch movie.
MichaelG said on July 27, 2012 at 10:54 pm
Yeah, Basset, I’ve read a bit about the He-162 in the past. It wasn’t plywood because they thought that it was the greatest stuff for building jet fighters but because they were pretty desperate for materials in those days. Still, one had to be pretty ballsy to fly a jet of any stripe in the mid forties. The constructors were kind of groping around trying to figure how to make the things work. It didn’t take them long, though. Look at what was flying just ten years later. In fifteen years folks were sipping martinis in the first class section of a 707 on their way to Paris.
After I posted about my girlfriend’s (girlfriend, we were both in our thirties) father testing P-80’s I went and googled the airplane. I should do that first. Given the time frame The Colonel was talking about and given the location – Burbank rather than Muroc, and given that he was Air Force rather than civilian- my guess would be that he was involved in acceptance testing rather than initial prototype testing. Still.
The California Republican Party is deeply in debt, laying off staff and closing its Sacramento office. In a general election year.
MichaelG said on July 27, 2012 at 11:17 pm
Brian, I hope you had a good time watching the Rolex race in Indy today and were able to keep dry. I looked at it from time to time but at three hours didn’t sit down and watch the whole thing. I got the impression that several people were not pleased with Montoya. And the ever fast and reliable Scott Pruett (a home boy from Auburn) brought his car home in second.
Just to further splatter the thread.
brian stouder said on July 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm
[edit: I posted this and then saw Michael’s comment. Let me say – 3 hours is a VERY long time, indeed; but wandering around and watching from different places, and – indeed – seeing the different folks here and there keeps the whole day moving along quite nicely! And the word “splatter” is exactly the perfect word for how our rain-enhanced day went!] (…and that’s not a complaint – everyone loved seeing the rain, and feeling it. It’s been horribly dry all summer)
So, staying in step with the non sequitur flow here, I am now minutes from collapsing into bed, after Grant’s and my day at the races in Indy. We got up a little past 5 am, and rolled south. For some reason I exited 465 at 38th street, instead of Georgetown Road; but as it happened, this still worked out, as we rolled down 38th until it intersected with 16th street; and even a rube like me knows that the track is at 16th & Georgetown road, so the logistics worked themselves out. We went to park in the free north lot, and they waved us through the tunnel and into the infield, and right next to the brick bathroom between the big track’s Turn Three and Turn Four.
Grant and I must have walked 5 miles or so, by the end of the day; sitting at different viewing areas in the infield, and then through the tunnel and to the main grand stands (and back again).
He and I played it just right, as we saw the storm clouds gather and thicken, and headed from the infield back to the grand-stands, just before some genuine Dorothy (as in Gale) weather arrived. The main grandstands are a genuinely marvelous place to be when the straight-line wind gusts and the rain comes down in buckets…and those Grand-Am cars still race, too!
It was an altogether wonderful day, with lots and lots (and lots) of racey cars, and racey people-watching, and raucous rainey weather.
brian stouder said on July 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm
Michael G – our posts crossed in the ether! I apologize if this is a repeat, as I attempted to edit the post, and it looks like I failed, but that might magically change (or not) in the next 20 minutes.
Montoya “showed his nose” to the other guy several times, and the other guy didn’t leave room for JPM to pass; so ultimately, he resorted to the “chrome horn” method of getting past him. The racing was very fine, and the track was chock-a-block full of sexy race cars of all sorts (I believe 72 cars in three classes took the green flag, in one of the races)….and, in the infield, they had maybe 150 exotic and/or just plain cool cars that people in different car clubs drove in. They had several street legal Cale Yarbrough Specials, many Super Birds, maybe a dozen Corvettes of various types, another dozen Ferraris (ranging from brand new to old vintage), plus lots of Lotuses and Beemers and Porsches and the like.
And lots of then were top-down convertibles or T-tops, and lots of them got a pretty thorough soaking. But hey – I left the windows on my ’98 Olds Eightyeight down, and got a damp rearend on the drive home, so the Ferrari guys (et al) can deal with it, too, right?
Crazycatlady said on July 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm
I remember the ‘riots’. I recall my parents didn’t seem particularly concerned about it, since we were on the far west side. George Romney was our governor. My mom and dad loaded us in the car after it was over, and they toured the city to see the damage. It was rather shocking to me to see burned out buildings. Those pictures really brought back memories.
Prospero said on July 28, 2012 at 12:00 am
That torch lighting was pretty astounding. Especially liked the Pink Floyd. And Macca can still belt out the scat on the Hey Jude coda:
All that you touch
and all that you see
All that you taste
All you feel.
and all that you love
and all that you hate
All you distrust
All you save.
and all that you give
and all that you deal
and all that you buy,
beg, borrow or steal.
and all you create
and all you destroy
and all that you do
and all that you say.
and all that you eat
And everyone you meet
and all that you slight
And everyone you fight.
and all that is now
and all that is gone
and all that’s to come
and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.
“There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact it’s all dark. The only thing that makes it look bright is the sun”
Dexter said on July 28, 2012 at 1:47 am