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Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Bird Is the WORD!

cluck, cluck indeed.

Meet The New Boss...........

While there is NO replacing the king of conservative talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Doyle is an up-and-comer. This guy's not just quick-witted, smart and bald, (bald is truly beautiful) but like me, he's a rock and roller. He doesn't just play rock and roll bumpers but he constantly makes public R & R references.

A clip from a Lou Dobbs interview:

(what an influence on a young teenaged Finebammer. In my early teens I had never seen The Who outside of a ragged Circus magazine and a concert poster on my bedroom wall. But I later fought viciously with my Dad for my "right" to my pathetic excuse for my Roger Daltrey hair and despite having never seen Pete Townshend play, the guitar riffs over my tiny transistor radio inspired me to remarkably similar air guitar renditions in my bedroom, miles away from the evangelical wailings of my loving Baptist parents)

Don't let 'em fool us again, Jerry. Rock on!

As I Sit In My Room..................

and make mental preparations for tonite's big, hairy, nightshift, papermill shutdown grind......

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mathews Caught With His.........Well......

Funny stuff by Stewart. Give the guy credit, he'll rip his own when necessary.

And this was sooo necessary.

If I could ask Chris a follow-up question it would be:

'Chris, what jogged your memory?'

(a shout out to my buddy, Hawk. Tanx for the kind words, buddy)

(hat tip to the jammiewearingfool)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thinking About Coach Bryant

Dispite all the revelry and good feelings of the '09 National Championship at the Rose Bowl, I'll never forget the greatest coach at Alabama, Coach Bryant.

R I P, Coach.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rammer Jammer 2010

Stolen from "bradcurfman" off the 'tube. Thanx Brad and ROLL TIDE!

Title Celebration

The celebration begins.........

and in the stands Derrick Lassic, starting running back from our '92 National Title team, and I give you a big ROLL TIDE!!!!

(in the interest of truth in advertising, I met Derrick during halftime. He was visiting with friends in the stands behind me and the rumor was floating in the crowd that he played on the '92 team. I turned and recognized him immediately. Derrick is a super guy and graciously shook every hand and signed every autograph for the duration of the half. I later felt bad about outing him and interrupting his visit but he handled it all with the patience and class one would expect of a high profile representative of the University)

(also take particular notice of that fat championship ring on his hand. That hunk of gold was a significant blip on the radar of my peripheral vision while posing for that shot. Again, Derrick Lassic, super guy)

More Pre-game

The eyes of Texas and all that.

The Rose Bowl skyboxes and press box. This is an incredibly old and storied facility. In a lot of ways it reminded me of Legion Field. The stadium is......old. The neighborhood around it (on the west side of the 210) dangerous and hard to navigate if you're not familiar with the area. (still, no gps needed) But I had absolutely no worry of my vehicle and it's contents due to the competent parking plan. And the palm trees with the magnificent mountains in the backdrop distract you from the warts.

Hard to believe just four days ago we leave the Heart of Dixie and sub-freezing weather and are now about to enjoy the Alabama's thirteenth National Championship in 70 degree temperatures.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Game

Pre-game warm-ups.

Tunnel Thirteen. We took this a good sign as our team was playing for it's thirteenth national championship.

I thought this was a cool concession set-up.

Susie showing off her program in front of the Rose Bowl.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vegas To Pasadena

The gameday van. I purchased this unit summer '08 after gas prices went thru the roof and everyone was dumping their "clunkers" for new econo-box deathtraps and new car payments. (in a case of cruel irony, the bottom fell out of the economy just a few short months later and many with those new payments were on the street looking for a job) I paid cash $2800. This unit was a garage-kept piece with 72,000 actual miles. Beautiful interior and an undercarriage one could almost eat off of. Rides and drives like a Caddy. 350 four bolt main. Again, as my wife has a significant fear of flying, this unit provided us with comfortable transportation to the game and a chance at a great tailgating experience at the game.

There are no pictures that can justify these mountains between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Certainly mine far woefully short.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More Dam Pictures

A cool pic of the dam with the shadow of the bypass construction cast on it.

The gorge and the hydro-electric generation facility.

The base of the dam and the hyrdo-electric turbine facility.

The Hoover Dam

Susie at the dam.

The dam bypass. Currently the dam is part of Highway 93 running from Kingsman, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada. Tourist travel slows traffic across the dam to a crawl and I would imagine infuriates the locals having to travel 93. (I know it would me) To me, the bridge construction is as fascinating as the dam itself. I was disappointed with the photos as I could not get the afternoon sun behind me. The bridge is being built with two trolley cranes suspended on cables spanning the gorge. These cranes are operated by remote control. The bridge members are pre-cast concrete. The construction workers are hundreds of feet above the river downstream from the dam. I can't imagine a better view from a corner office.

A memorial to those who died building the dam. A different era for safety.

A floor display featuring the positions of the moon, the planets and the stars on the night of the dam's dedication. Cool.

On to Las Vegas.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


After the snow in Arky and my dead battery blunder, things have gone smooth. Cold as hell in Oklahoma. In northern Texas we were surprised at the lack of recognition for the Longhorns. No flags. No bumper stickers. Texas is a BIG place. Austin is a LONG way from Amarillo.

I must insert the obligatory George Strait video here:

(I've heard Strait won't appear on stage with others due to his insecurity about his height. Never seen him in concert so it's just a rumor)

Lots of windmills in Oklahoma and New Mexico.

T. Boone must be proud although talking with electrical generation techies in the past, windmill generated electricity is a long way from practical application.

One: the wind doesn't blow all the time. When the wind doesn't blow, you must have the traditional generating capacity to supply the need. Power storage (batteries) technology to save the power generated by the mills for when the wind doesn't blow is decades away.

Two: Parts. These windmills are apparently incredibly expensive. According to those I've talked to, so are repair parts.

We saw a small percentage of the windmills inoperable. Makes one wonder.

T. Boone has also been a big promoter of power generated by CNG. (compressed natural gas) As there is plenty of the stuff domestically and the technology is way more current it seems to be the more practical alternative at the moment.

On to Albuquerque. More later.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Road To Pasadena

Well, it's been a long but interesting drive to Pasadena but we're finally here.

The trek got interesting early as we hit snow just past Memphis on I-40 in Arkansas. After driving into the evening in the snow we decided to bed down at a Best Western in Clarksville. My daily driver has many of the modern creature comforts, one being the interior lights shut off after a period of inactivity. Not so with the Game Day van. My dumbass leaves the lights on all night and the next morning I awake to a dead battery.

Now let's take a moment to set the scene:

It's 4 am and snowing like a bitch.

I call a "24 hour" wrecker service and tell the attendant (who I can't help but believe I woke up) I need a jump. He then proceeds to run down a checklist of hurdles that will have to be crossed to get me jumped-off. Icy roads. Wake somebody to get to me. ("24 hr." ???) After about 5 minutes on the phone with the guy he finally gets around to telling me it will be one hundred and twenty five bucks to get me going.

I've got the cash, okay? Just not inclined to bend over like that so quickly. (and so early)

I'm a morning person.

I'm in Arkansas, home of Walmart. There has to be one on every corner.

Out comes the trusty I-phone. (Merry Christmas to me)

After a brief search, sure enough, right across the interstate.

I'm fortunate in that a cold blast hit the state of Alabama before we left and I was prepping things in the Game Day van wearing my thermal coveralls. Made it easy to shed them when it was time to leave and just throw them under the seat. Don the coveralls and off to Walmart.

The purchase of a 70 buck battery and an "invigorating" hike back through the snow got the Game Day van purring again and off we go into the morning darkness.

It didn't take long to discover the "24 hour" wrecker guy wasn't bullshitting me about the icy roads. About five miles into our excursion a Ford F-350 duelly with a trailer-load of equipment of some sort passes us on a rise. Dude had gotten about three hundred yard past me we he lost traction on the ice and spun out right in front of us. Off the road he goes, slams against the embankment, pointing the opposite direction he was headed originally.

Experienced drivers (such as myself - no gps needed) know that using your brakes on ice is a recipe for disaster. Less known and spoken of is the dangers of a vehicle in "cruise-control" on ice. This accident occurred while driving up a rise in the highway. I'm convinced this guy had his truck in "cruise". When the on-board computer sensed the resistance of the grade, it applied pedal and the truck lost traction. It now momentarily "over-revs" trying to regain traction and further complicates issues for the driver. I believe this happened because I never saw his brake lights until he was well around in front of us, totally out of control.

I wanted to stop and check on the guy. In fact, I did pull over. I twas at that point my beloved better-half (the street-smarts in the family) began screaming like a banshee, her contention being that another slob was going to come along and wipe out taking our good Samaritan asses with them.

(you know, no good deed goes unpunished)

A quick look in the rear view confirmed her fears. A convoy of tractor-trailers headed for us. They passed without incident but the combination of her correct thought process and that siren she was born with obliterating my eardrums convinced me to move on.

On pulling out special care had to be taken on the ice. The next thirty miles or so was driven at a snail's pace. Coasting across bridges. Judicious braking. The siren wailing.

Patsy Cline's on the radio:

There's a message here I'm thinking but too distracted to focus on it for the moment.

More later.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

On Our Way To See The Tide Play

About to pull out for Pasadena, Cali. Tailgate ready. In route I plan to re-read Stephen King's "The Stand" to commemorate Larry Underwood's trek across the country. Hopefully we can avoid Nadine, the Trashcan Man, Randall Flagg and Captain Tripps. (and the swine flu - i call it Miss Piggy)

I'd love to tell you I'm reading from a rare first edition hardback but no such luck. Just a dog-eared pb.