Friday, February 27, 2015

When There Was Hope

Barack Obama greets James Gordon Meek,
Arlington National Cemetery, November 11, 2009.
Yesterday, in light of the lies that John Kerry was caught in courtesy of the testimony of the Director of National Intelligence, I was thinking about the full range of the Obama administration's lies, delusions, policy failures, and Mideast and Northern Africa destabilizations in the arenas of war and peace and foreign affairs, and transparency and disclosure of the same. I recalled this intensely personal article written by a an old Arlington friend and neighbor of ours -- the guy an informed and consummate professional who repeatedly put himself in harm's way -- when there was hope. 

I also learned from a different source yesterday that Afghanistan is a place, unlike any other it would seem, where we can actually have a thin reed of optimism.
Looks like Afghanistan may not be winding down in such a rush, after all.  I'd been predicting that "Harsh Reality" might actually force even our Idealogue In Chief to slow his yank-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory rush for the door timetable for withdrawal of US troops, and now it looks like we might actually have a temporary case of Common Sense and slow things down a bit.  I hope so, as certainly Afghanistan needs our presence for a few years, yet, as did Iraq, unfortunately-- and now look:  people being burned alive in cages, beheaded, enslaved by the hundreds, etc. There's an old phrase at the office:  "You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in you."  Not exactly grammatically correct, but it gets the idea across that some of our leaders seem to have lost or never learned.  (Sigh...)
Let's pray for the best.




Thursday, February 26, 2015

Love at First Byte

I was watching the tube when a commercial came on for "Match." Apropos of nothing, I thought isn't that "Match.com?" Why are they dropping the dot.com? I do not have an answer.

Then things got kind of hectic around the house, with two teenagers, a teenager soon to be, and a third grader raising a ruckus. 

I wondered, how the hell did this all got started? We were almost pioneers, and it was called Metrodate.com. You can look it up. So I did and here it is. I remember, someone from a Philadelphia paper called up. My only real complaint is that I'm not still 47.


Love at first byte: Personal-ad Web sites booming But some doubt quality of e-mail intimacy.



POSTED: April 20, 2001
Lorraine Kay, a 58-year-old business consultant who lives in the Poconos, tried placing a newspaper personal ad. She got one response.
Now she searches for Mr. Right online. "There are photos and you can get so much information so quickly," Kay said.
The World Wide Web might not be the place we want to go to buy pet food or bid on our groceries. But there is one thing we are flocking to the Internet to shop for, and that's love.
Online dating services are booming. According to Internet analyst Media Metrix, 5 million people visited personal-ad Web sites in December, up 57 percent since 1999. A search of the Web turns up hundreds of dating sites, with names like Americansingles, Atlastwemeet, Virtuallydating, and GetGaga.
One of the largest, Match.com (owned by Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch), claims 1.4 million subscribers. Kiss.com says it gets 40,000 new users per week (and is being purchased for $17.7 million by a competitor, Udate.com). Billing itself as the nation's largest gay personals site, Planetout.com has more than 250,000 singles ads.
Thanks to the Web, newspaper personals - where SWMs once went ISO LTRs with SFs - are going the way of the dinosaur. At newspapers, revenue from personals is down 50 percent since 1996, estimates Michael James of Minneapolis-based MicroVoice, which provides personal ad services to more than 400 daily and weekly papers.
Joining a trend among daily newspapers - including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Los Angeles Times - The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News in October discontinued personal ads. (An exception is the New York Times, which will start carrying them.)
The ads are even disappearing from alternative weeklies. This month, Philadelphia City Paper discontinued voice personals and instead runs a sampling of the ads placed by subscribers to Metrodate.com, a Willow Grove-based online dating site focused on urban professionals in 12 cities.
"Voice personals have become obsolete," said City Paper publisher Paul Curci.
It's easy to see why.
Posting and answering personals is free on popular Internet sites such as Yahoo and America Online. On the online dating sites that do charge, the rates are low - say, $19.95 a month or $49 to $99 a year for unlimited use - compared with $2 per minute to call a 900 number and answer a newspaper personal ad.
Online sites let users post photos, and offer cautious singles the chance to communicate without revealing home e-mail addresses or phone numbers. Screen names serve as aliases.
"I have to read through every [newspaper] ad to find someone who meets my criteria," said Trish McDermott, Match.com's vice president of romance. "On Match.com I can say, 'Show me all men between 20 and 25 within 50 miles of my home, that don't smoke, have a certain level of education and make this amount of money.' . . . And you're not restricted by the circulation of the publication."
"Online dating is the best thing that has happened in a long time," said Pepper Schwartz, a University of Washington sociologist who is Kiss.com's online romance expert. "There is a large pool of people out there who are isolated in their work, or in terms of geography, and have come to the end of their social network."
That's the case for Timothy Schneider, 48, who runs the electron microscopy lab at Thomas Jefferson University. "Let's face it, people in my age group spend much of our lives at work, and dating at work is a dangerous thing at best," said Schneider, who is divorced.
He's dated five women he's met through Metrodate, though none long-term. Finding a partner is complicated by Schneider's lifestyle: he lives on a yacht on the Delaware and doesn't own a car. "I have to admit, that is not going to have widespread appeal," he said. "I work about 10 months a year and then I sail. Basically, I'm looking for a woman to sail into the sunset with me. That is a niche thing."
And there is no shortage of niche services for online dating. There are sites aimed at animal lovers, disabled people, and seniors. Others target ethnic and religious groups - Catholics and Jews, African Americans and Latinos.*
Penn State student Rena Zoll, 23, has been trying Fitnessdate. "These are people who are into their bodies," said Zoll, who is from Newtown. "It's not like meeting someone in a smoky bar."
Sharon, a 38-year-old Main Line resident, also has used Fitnessdate. She is not comfortable publicizing her last name - for some people there is a stigma attached to finding dates online.Though her experience has been generally positive, she has gotten some risque messages: "There are really a lot of strange people who hide behind their computer screens."
The concern for security has given rise to services such as Whoishe.com, which provides a background report on your cyber-suitor. Another site, 24/7 Unite, offers handwriting analysis and psychological profiles of would-be suitors.
"One of the big hurdles is the legitimacy of meeting people online," said Schneider, who asks dates to contact him at his work e-mail address, and uses his title and phone number. "Women are nervous enough about meeting strange guys. What I'm trying to do is take away a layer of uncertainty."
Kay, the consultant, has heard the warnings about people misrepresenting themselves on the Web - but hasn't encountered that problem in replying to about 20 ads in two years. She dated one man for 16 months.
"What I'm finding is there are lot of really nice people out there," said Kay. "To me, it is actually safer than meeting someone in a bar. If they live in my area, I get to check out who they are."
And, she said, "after six weeks of communicating about his family and what he likes to do, you know him in a way you'd never get to know him in a bar."
Some experts, however, say that e-mail can foster a false intimacy. They say that human beings are visual creatures, getting crucial cues and information only through observation.
Sociologist Robert Billingham, who teaches a course on marriage and relationship at Indiana University, worries that online dating services encourage the idea that there is a single "soul mate" out there for each of us. "The truth is that there are probably about 875,000 perfect people out there for you," said Billingham. "But relationships take a tremendous amount of work and personal sacrifice."
"My advice to my students is trust your friends and your parents to recommend someone for you," he said.
Despite the vast numbers of singles seeking love online, there's little information on how well the services work. "To anyone dumping on online dating," said Schwartz, "I'd say, 'Have they looked at the alternatives?' "
"If we're successful, we lose a customer," pointed out Brad Pliner, a founder of Metrodate, which recently celebrated the birth of its first Metrodate baby. Washington attorney Grady Foster, 47, met computer security specialist Teresa Wagamon through the site a little more than a year ago. They live together and now have a four-month-old daughter.
"The whole thing is just amazing," said Wagamon, 41. "We had no friends in common, and we have solitary types of hobbies. We never would have met."
Eils Lotozo's e-mail address is elotozo@phillynews.com.

They used to promote themselves with one of our baby pictures. All is well. Back to it now.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Barack Obama Disses Pigs (Repost from August 24, 2013)

To mark the occasion of Barack Obama's veto of the Keystone Pipeline bill we republish ....

How could you elect this man? I mean, we know that he knows about pigs. He called Sarah Palin one. Didn't he?

Barack Obama has never had a real job -- a job that designs, locates, extracts, processes, manufactures, finishes, repairs and/or maintains products or assets of value. It's not only that he hasn't dirtied his hands or worked up a sweat from anything more strenuous than elocution, it is that his prep school background and Ivy League education never gave Obama an honest view of how value is produced and the economy works. But others of us are not so encumbered. We can detect his BS. (In my case I worked in a cardboard box factory, a culvert factory and a plastics factory, I was a caddie, a dishwasher and a janitor, all before I received a fancy pants law degree). Those in the know understand that virtually every economically driven business relationship and set of producers relies on webs of suppliers and partners, which while mostly invisible to the ultimate customer, are essential in the value chain that drives the economy and serves us all.


From his background of inexperience and ignorance Obama makes false claims like the Keystone XL pipeline will produce only dozens of jobs -- a claim that he emphasized in his New York Times interview with a smug, arrogant chuckle. We blogged earlier this year on the absurdity of Obama's left wing, kill-affordable-energy-at-any-cost claims, referencing government data documenting hundreds of thousand of jobs supported by the pipeline industry. We looked at Obama's ridiculous claims from the perspective of a relation employed as a pipeline controller. Constructing, monitoring, operating, feeding, maintaining and repairing pipelines is not a simple store front enterprise. The companies that own and operate the pipelines day-to-day are but a fractional part of the the industry. Let us explain further.

Pipeline Pigs
The reference company website Rigzone.com lists 55 companies alone under its oil and gas pipeline "pigging" category. Pigging is the process of inserting a pressure driven station (referred to as a pig because back in the day the original pigs squealed as they traveled down the pipelines) into a pipeline to perform a range of tasks including, cleaning, detecting corrosion, measuring thickness, detecting cracks and weld defects, and flushing pipeline contents, as the pig flows along.  Pigs are are also used as barriers to separate different fluids (such as crude from different oil fields) flowing through pipeline systems.  In Barack Obama's world pigs not only don't fly, they don't exist.  There is no design, manufacturing, engineering and pigging service workforce even though they are an essential part of every modern day pipeline operation.

Rigzone.com lists 145 pipeline contractors, companies engaged in manufacturing pipelines and components, and in building, inspecting and maintaining pipelines. These are companies that re-mediate pipeline spills and upgrade pipeline safety with protective liners. These are companies that weld, build and maintain pumps, and clean and map pipelines. Work in these areas counts for nil in Obama's contorted calculus. 

Cups and Discs for
Pipeline Pigs
There are 42 companies that specialize in pipeline plugging and repair, activities which are inevitably required to maintain pipeline integrity and protect the environment, once pipelines are built. Imagine building a road and forgetting about it. Cracks develop. Potholes develop and grow, and the surface begins to disintegrate, leading to the creation of ruts and a waffleboard surface. Eventually the road is so bad the roadbed is abandoned and allowed to return to its natural state by erosion, corrosion and invasive plant growth. The same principle applies to pipelines. Continuous investment is needed to maintain operability. In the world of Obama, the tooth fairy does this work.

The FERC and CFTC Chairmen sign a pact to create
even more jobs for lawyers.
My God, even the lawyers get in on the act. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates the interstate transportation of oil and gas, including the rates and practices of pipeline companies engaged in interstate transportation, establishing equal service conditions for pipeline transportation and establishing reasonable rates for transporting petroleum and petroleum products by pipeline. Washington, DC is crawling with FERC lawyers and FERC consultants. I would at least have thought that JD Barack would have caught on to the employment opportunities that pipelines afford to his highbrow lawyer and consultant pals.

An even larger impact ignored by Obama is the crude oil production and refining.  For oil to have value it needs to be transported and processed into usable form. The Keystone XL pipeline design has a 100,000 barrel a day on ramp in Montana.  At today's crude prices that is $10,000,000 a day of domestic cash flow.  No jobs associated with that eh, at least if you listen to Obama. 

We'll leave it there for now. You have elected an economic ignoramus. If only it weren't so.
   

Our Job Denier In Chief (Repost from August 18, 2013)

To mark the occasion of Barack Obama's veto of the Keystone Pipeline bill we republish....

Energy is the elixir of a strong and growing economy, a key driver of employment growth, a generator and multiplier of good jobs and economic security. It is to the economy as a whole, what water is to the American West.

Meanwhile, reflecting ignorance and perverse priorities, Barack Obama has mocked, laughed and snidely dismissed claims that the Keystone XL would be a significant job creator. 

Obama recently told the New York Times,

Well, first of all, Michael, Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator. There is no evidence that that’s true. And my hope would be that any reporter who is looking at the facts would take the time to confirm that the most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline -- which might take a year or two -- and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 [chuckles] jobs in a economy of 150 million working people.
So I see, Republicans said it. Funny, very funny. Ha, Ha! This guy is a real clown, maybe when his gig runs out in 2017 he can start a new career appearing in rodeos since he is so good with the bull. But look at what his own experts and allies say, even with their inherent biases.
The State Department reported that the pipeline would directly create 3,900 jobs per year, and 42,100 jobs if indirect jobs are included. Even the Sierra Club, one of the leading groups campaigning against the pipeline cites the 3,900 jobs figure — higher than the president’s unsupported numbers.
Consider neighboring reality instead of Obama's political straw man. Sections of the country near the proposed route of the XL Pipeline are about the only parts of the country beyond the inside the Washington Beltway government debt and spending bomb, where anyone can get a job, a decent full time job at a decent salary, due to natural gas and oil development and transport.     

Take Williston, North Dakota for example. Even at the bottom of the economic ladder, the local Walmart has advertised starting pay of $17.00 per hour.  At times, a local McDonald's has restricted business to its drive up window because it can't keep its operation well enough staffed to serve the dine in crowd, despite paying well above minimum wage. Unskilled workers can earn $50K or more working in oil and gas, while skilled workers command from $70K or $100K or more. I have neighbors here in Bozeman who work the North Dakota oil patch, two weeks on, then two weeks off, earning big and salting it away. It's an economic boom -- something that Barack Obama has no understanding or comprehension of. 

Obama's low-balled job estimates are a joke. He is outlandish.  He is an extremist.  He is a denier.  

In the same interview, Obama highlighted his views about the role of the Fed in the economy.

And when unemployment is still too high, and long-term unemployment is still too high, and there’s still weak demand in a lot of industries, I want a Fed chairman that can step back and look at that objectively and say, let’s make sure that we’re growing the economy, but let’s also keep an eye on inflation, and if it starts heating up, if the markets start frothing up, let’s make sure that we’re not creating new bubbles.
So real economic activity doesn't count for anything. But yes, Barack Obama thinks the road to high employment is paved by the Fed's printing presses -- unfrigging believable.

We've blogged previously about the strong employment and high pay in the pipeline industry. We reported on the extraction and refining opportunities that would be opened by building the XL, big job and high pay generators as well. We blogged on the burgeoning oil reserves in North Dakota that have to get somewhere, somehow, and that the Keystone XL has an on ramp for that oil. It all fits together, but the addle minded ideologue you elected to the White House is lost in a fog of ignorance.

To get to a ground up example, yesterday, it came to my attention that I have a relation who is employed directly and substantially in the pipeline industry. The job is Pipeline Controller. Think of it something like being an Air Traffic Controller but for transport on the ground, someone who is constantly monitoring capacity, movements and flows, ready to intervene, redirect or initiate emergency action on a moment's notice.  

Pipeline controller in Williston, North Dakota
near the proposed route of the Keystone XL Pipeline
Just to mention a few, Chevron employs them, Shell has controllers on staff as does Praxair Inc.. Enterprise Products and Sunoco Logistics are in the pipeline controller space as are Williams Energy and Epic Energy Holdings, as is Phillips 66.  The much hated ExxonMobil and Koch Industries are dutiful employers as well. Then there are employers such as Enbridge, Conoco Phillips and Kinder Morgan -- you get the idea. 

Not surprisingly, if unlike the President you understand how business and industry work, you might also realize there are people who train Pipeline Controllers. Pipeline personnel training and development is big business. 

Then there are the software packages and systems that controllers use, the engineers, technicians and laborers on call to address problems as they arise, security staff and the folks who are involved in upgrading, improving and otherwise securing pipeline safety and performance. Preventive maintenance is a must. It is a pyramid of jobs, not the isolated employee or two that Obama in his world of distortion and denial would have you believe.  Don't believe a word that comes out of that man's mouth -- nothing at all.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Cubes Are Coming, The Cubes Are Coming

Cube Square is rising in Huntsville, Texas. One of the coolest new ideas in apartment construction is to build using intermodal shipping containers. They call it Cargoculture. You have seen them on truck trailers, double stacked on flat bed train cars and stacked to the sky on cargo ships. Now they are beginning to appear on land, rising high in the latest green movement in apartment architecture.

America is a consumer nation, resulting in a surfeit of shipping containers inbound at U.S. ports -- many looking for a domestic home in lieu of an empty back haul. In our import intensive economy, the containers protect goods that are shipped in but are not needed in equal numbers for outbound export. A solution? Shipping container apartments: Reuse, repurpose and adorn to create a utilitarian industrial chic.  

Blocks away from the Sam Houston State University campus in Huntsville, Texas, here is the beginning of what will ultimately be 24 efficiency apartment units built four stories high in three buildings, using 36 containers. Note the side portal windows and the floor to ceiling glass windows looking out the end of each unit.




The Huntsville Item reports:
When driving down Sycamore Avenue, it’s almost impossible not to notice the multicolored shipping containers stacked one on top of another.
These containers are not being used in conventional fashion, however. They soon will be rentable apartments, which Wagamon Enterprises hopes to begin leasing this summer.

“The whole idea behind doing them in shipping containers is just because it’s cool,” general contractor Jack Wagamon said. “It’s student housing so we want to make it look cool. Kids like that kind of thing.
“Most of the growth on Sycamore over the last five years has been all this student housing,” he added. “So, we’re just trying to take advantage of that.”
The 540 square-foot standard efficiency apartments will come with appliances, granite countertops and industrial-looking fixtures.
Wagamon Enterprises has not yet set prices for the future apartments, but designer Tina Wagamon Felder says that it should be close to $1 per square foot.
By building the apartments, Wagamon Enterprises can increase its property value as well.
“Having discovered that our property was in the university’s master plan, our attorney did advise us that if we did increase our property value significantly it would lower the likelihood that the university could exercise eminent domain on our property,” Jack Wagamon said. “It was not our primary reason; we just want to make money. That’s definitely a benefit (though).”

Brazos Valley NBC affiliate KAGS produced a news report on Cube Square.



Our connection to the project is that thirty-three years ago my wife and her dad (around the time he retired for the first time) started a printing business in the garage behind their Huntsville home. They called it "The Print Shop." It grew and prospered, eventually developing a specialty in producing multi-part business forms. Several banks and the local hospital were big customers. As my wife moved on to other pursuits, the reins of the business transferred to her brother and sister who became full-time employee owner/operators, as they remain to this day. Wagamon Printing the business is now named.

My in-laws added on to the garage, installed an office in the bump-out, and converted most of their back yard into a parking pad. In time they outgrew all that too, so Wagamon Printing moved to a an eight tenths of an acre property that had a 3,500 square foot (formerly) retail building, which had a parking area that went way beyond current or prospective needs. 

In the digital age, the printing business not being what it once was, Jack (my brother in law) looked for ways to grow the business. One option they settled on was to equip for and move into silk screen printing of large roadside and yard signs, such as sprout up in the days and weeks weeks preceding elections, or which advertise local business promotions or real estate developments. Their sign business is brisk. Here are examples.
Signs produced by Wagamon Printing.
Silk screen printed signs stacked for shipment.
Silk screen yard sign print run, first color.



They also looked at ways to leverage unused space on their business property which is giving rise to Cube Square.

Cube Square is located at 1410 Sycamore Avenue in Huntsville and will be ready for occupancy for the 2015-16 school year. It's conveniently located several blocks from Sam Houston State's campus.


Cube Square is conveniently located to Sam Houston State University.


Tina Wagamon Felder is accumulating a list of tenants prospectively interested in an apartment. If you have questions or are interested, you may call her at Wagamon Enterprises (nee Printing) at 936-295-9586. The apartments are designed for single occupancy.

Following are pictures from the early stages of the construction project. We wish nothing but success for Cube Square!


Raising the roof (and the walls and the floor).
Porthole window view.



Lease an apartment at Cube Square and one of these gentleman will be your landlord. Ask him about the time he slipped off the top of one of the cubes, while laying on a tarp during construction to protect from the elements..

Looking inside out.


Topping out the first building.

Exterior balconies to be.




Thursday, February 19, 2015

Great Lakes Ice Coverage and Returning Winter

There won't be record ice coverage this year -- just more than twice normal.



Meanwhile we've had spring like weather much of this month in southwestern Montana. Despite above average temps there is plenty of snow in the ski areas (with little to no snowmaking) -- they are going strong. Here are a couple shots from Bridger Bowl today, post closing, a dozen miles from our home.





A bracing shot of winter weather is coming this weekend. Here is the forecast. 



The actual snowfall is usually multiples of what the NOAA scientists predict. Their models suck.

Locals have warned me that a mild February is a big head fake. When this weather pattern sets in it means feet of snow in April and May. The locals haven't been wrong yet. We will see. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Scott Walker -- Dropout

Everybody knows that after 28 years of Presidents who graduated from Harvard and/or Yale, we need more of the same, right?


Wisconsin public school teachers'
\union depiction of Scott Walker.
The left wing media is tied in knots over Scott Walker not having graduated from college. The Washington Post did a deep dive into Walker's college days finding that "questions linger" over Walker's college exit, which means not what the Post says, of course, but that the answers they found were responses they didn't like. 

Even worse for Walker, they have tracked down professors who claim the governor of Wisconsin and presidential hopeful while in school was "utterly bored" in the classroom. Jeez, I hope nobody was keeping track of how many times, back in the day, in Madison, Wisconsin, my pen or pencil trailed off, and my body slumped somnolent as my head dropped and slammed loudly on top of a wooden tablet desk arm, half an hour into a 50 minute lecture.

It is interesting, however, that Walker's professors recall him, when hardly anyone can remember Barack Obama attending classes at all.


What does Scott Walker have to say about this?
When [an interviewer] asked Walker about his college departure last August, he observed that a local TV anchor had likened his experience to that of a number of successful entrepreneurs who left college early. "Once somebody tried to take a dig at me. Ted Perry, the anchor on Fox 6 in Milwaukee … he did this whole thing where he pointed out: What do I have in common with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Zuckerberg? All of them left in their senior year. Arguably, they did much cooler things than I did. I went to go work at the Red Cross. They started these amazing companies. But it’s the same principle. It wasn’t like getting kicked out or leaving early. I had something to do,” Walker said.
If the media instead of taking politically motivated potshots, are pushing for an earnest, academically gifted candidate, they need look no further than Texas Senator Ted Cruz. 

Before Cruz rose to national prominence, the Post wrote.
At Princeton he was a champion debater. From there he went to Harvard Law School. “Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant,” Prof. Alan Dershowitz told the National Review. Cruz was a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review.
Bring it on liberal media, bring it on.

Ted Cruz marking off successful Republican gubernatorial races in 1994 while a student at Harvard Law School. Note upper left the victory of Oregon Democrat governor John Kitzhaber who is resigning this week in disgrace after decades-long corrupt rule. 




Saturday, February 14, 2015

Montana: The Butt of Jokes

Or is it derriere? 

Gotta get national notice, somehow, some way.

Here, courtesy of the Missoulian is the bare evidence.


This started last August with the "Dare to be Naked" bicycle ride in downtown Missoula, when dozens of bicyclists traversed the main drag in various stages of undress, to protest oil no less. 

Seeing that it is not unlawful to be naked as a jaybird in public in Montana, state Representative David "Doc" Moore of Missoula, responded to constituent complaints by introducing House Bill 365, to wit:

Section 1. Section 45-5-504, MCA, is amended to read: 13 "45-5-504. Indecent exposure.
 (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person commits the offense of indecent exposure if the person knowingly or purposely 
 (a) exposes the person's genitals, pubic hair, or anus or exposes the areola or nipple of the person's breast with anything less than a fully opaque covering while in a public place or visible from a public place without taking reasonable precautions to prevent exposure, and disregards whether a reasonable person would be 21 offended or alarmed by the act; or  
(b) exposes any device, costume, or covering that gives the appearance of or simulates the genitals, pubic hair, anus region, or pubic hair region or exposes any device worn as a cover over the nipple or areola of the female breast that simulates and gives the realistic appearance of a nipple or areola while in a public place r visible from a public place without taking reasonable precautions to prevent exposure, and disregards whether a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by the act. 
(2) Indecent exposure does not include an act of breastfeeding by a mother
To drive home his argument in support of the legislation Representative More said, "Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway." That lit up the internet. The culture wars were on.

Mother Jones headlined "Montana GOP Legislator Wants to Ban Yoga Pants."

The Washington Post compared the proposed nudity ban to Sharia law.

Huffington Post says Rep. Moore is "waging a war against yoga pants."

MSNBC says the proposed law "seems like something out of another decade — or perhaps even another century."

Even the Onion chimed in.

I'll register my dissent as well. Yoga pants cover would have afforded the August bike riders a considerable appearance improvment.

You can take in the entire ridership here. 





Alas the ban is not to be.


Amid giggles, House kills Missoula legislator's ban on 'provocative' clothes


HELENA – A Montana legislative panel has moved to kill a bill that would tighten the state's indecent exposure law and consequently ban some provocative clothing.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to table House Bill 365 on Wednesday. Missoula Republican Rep. David "Doc" Moore introduced it Tuesday.
The proposal would have expanded the definition of indecent exposure to include garments that give the appearance of a person's buttocks, genitals, pelvis or nipple.
Moore said the bill could outlaw some provocative clothing, and later said he thinks yoga pants should be illegal in public.
Moore and retired professor Walt Hill drafted HB365 after last year's Bare as you Dare bicycle event outraged some residents last summer.
Fearing that denying organizers an event permit would breach free speech, city officials allowed participants, many of them completely nude, to ride through downtown Missoula on Aug. 17.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1991 that state prohibitions on public nudity are constitutional given that nudity itself is not an expression. Bare as you Dare organizers call the event a celebration of body image and bicyclists' right to use public roads.
Currently, a person convicted of indecent exposure three times in Montana can be sentenced to life in jail and up to $10,000.
Although members of the committee giggled about the bill, no discussion was allowed before the voice call vote to table it.
Bare Butts live on.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Brian Williams Affair

Williams on Elm Street, Novermber 22, 1963
There is nothing to like about the destruction of NBC anchor Brian William's career. Here was the report late last week.
You know you are in trouble when Tom Brokaw is out for your blood.

NBC’s most revered journalist is furious that Brian Williams is still in the anchor chair after he sheepishly admitted he hadn’t traveled on a helicopter hit by enemy fire.

“Brokaw wants Williams’ head on a platter,” an NBC source said. “He is making a lot of noise at NBC that a lesser journalist or producer would have been immediately fired or suspended for a false report.”

On Wednesday, Williams, 55, acknowledged that he had repeatedly said he was aboard a chopper that had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during a 2003 reporting trip to Iraq, when he was actually safely traveling in a different aircraft.

Brokaw, 74, was still the “Nightly News” anchor when Williams came back from his Iraq expedition — and an insider said he knew the story Williams later spouted was bunk.

“Tom Brokaw and [former NBC News President] Steve Capus knew this was a false story for a long time and have been extremely uncomfortable with it,” the source said.


*****
“He is not going to be suspended or reprimanded in any way. He has the full support of NBC News,” a network source said.

Many of Williams’ colleagues believe his claim that he simply “conflated” two versions of what happened in 2003.

“There have been meetings about it all day. They are taking it very seriously,” the NBC source said.

“But we believe that Brian’s apology on the air speaks for himself. He admitted over time he conflated the events.”

NBC brass hasn’t been talking to lower-level employees about the situation, leaving people in a panic, the insider said.

“NBC bosses don’t understand how serious this is. Nobody in a leadership position is talking to the troops. Nobody has addressed it,” the source said.

One longtime NBC employee who has worked with Williams on several occasions had a few dirty words to describe the celebrated anchor, calling him a “real pompous piece of s–t.”

“He’s an a–hole,” he fumed. “He’s not a journalist. He’s a reader.”

“Oh, the fireworks that are going off inside,” he said. “It’s embarrassing. He’s the face on NBC. He’s a liar.

“Everyone knew it.”
In the first place, I get sick to my stomach when I see the career of someone who has worked hard his entire life crumbling before our eyes. I feel for the man and the anguish he and his family must be going through.

At the same time, it was Brian William's behavior that got him in to this fix. I am like, come on people. 


Around the time NBC transitioned from Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams, I gave the man more than a fair shot. I had watched NBC News as my go-to local and national news network for decades. When Williams came on the anchor scene, I observed his proclivity for hyperbole, insinuation and speculation. I recall in particular watching Williams make extreme claims during the Hurricane Katrina coverage that were not repeated by other news sources, nor confirmed in the aftermath. I decided Brian Williams was not credible. When I've briefly tuned in to the man's show since, I saw a television news anchor on a smug, melodramatic morality trip. Williams distorted and stacked information to prove predetermined points. A straight news reporter he was not.

If viewers, colleagues and his employers had demanded more from B
rian Williams from the get go, I suspect the exaggerations and misstatements would not have morphed into outright lies. The guy is a pleaser -- always looking around gauging what people think of him and positioning himself accordingly. The man thrust aside integrity in the name of being popular and politically correct. His employers and many fans condoned -- indeed, rewarded -- that persona for more than decade. 

As I say, there is nothing to like about the destruction of Brian William's career. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

John and Bonnie: A Profile in Oil, Finance, Politics and High Society

I admit to being a skeptic and little impressed by power, position or authority.

In part, the ‘tude goes back to my days as a caddie. I learned the lesson young. I was the youngest at the caddie shack (a converted polo pony stable actually) the first time I caddied in 1964 at the ripe old age of ten. I continued caddying most every day each summer and weekends spring and fall, through 1971. I completed my caddie career after my first year of college in 1972, when I caddied summer weekends to supplement my weekday summer factory job earnings.



I caddied at Glen View Club in Golf Illinois, whose membership included well known doctors and lawyers, financiers, old money rich, merchandisers, bankers and many leading industrialists. It was an exclusive enclave imbued with tradition.The club's pedigree dates back to 1897. Glen View Club once hosted a U.S. Open golf championship. 

On the golf course, my loops (caddie slang for the people we caddied for) were taking a break from their business or professional lives. From a couple of feet, I would see them as they really were -- least so I thought. Do they play by the rules? Does my loop wallow in adversity or dig down deep to overcome it? Is the person focused or flighty? Fast or slow? Is the guy/gal sullen or sunny? Is he/she generous or stingy? Kind or mean? I saw these people as real human beings, exposing their full range of virtues and flaws, no matter how high or mighty might be their station in life.

I recall a particular Glen View Club member -- a gruff and reserved guy who had a paunch and wore wrinkled Bermuda shorts that exposed his pasty white legs. This guy was a woeful golfer who hacked the turf unmercifully and could not clear a water hazard to save his soul. He seemed incapable of improvement. I kind of wondered why he golfed at all. There was little joy and he was totally inept.


He sometimes played couples golf with his much younger wife. His wife was his opposite -- pretty, sunny and vivacious. She affected a Southern belle persona and syrupy accent – more than a bit melodramatically. On the golf course the wife wore short culottes and dressed colorfully and fashionably, her haired dyed golden blonde. She was a pistol. 

Her name was Bonnie. His name was John.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Cottonwood Hills Friday

I feel blessed they didn't capture my swing.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

I'll take that with a side of bacon and two eggs, over easy.

In golf news today, LPGA third-year tour player, and one time University of Alabama All American, Brooke Pancake, took a one shot lead in the first round of the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, leading world number two, Inbee Park, and tour driving distance leader, Brittany Lincicome, by a single shot.

FULL LEADERBOARD

1
-6F-66767
T2
-5F-56868
T2
-5F-56868
T2-5F-56868
T5
-4F-46969
So what do you do if you are young, hot and your last name is Pancake? You team up with the Waffle House of course.
Brook Pancake at Waffle House
In a rather amusing twist, Brooke Pancake has announced Waffle House as her newest sponsor. Pancake, a former All-American at Alabama, will visit Waffle House restaurants throughout the country while traveling on the LPGA and carry the restaurant chain's logo on her bag.
“Growing up in Chattanooga, I’ve always been a Waffle House fan,” Pancake said in a release. “And to be quite honest, I prefer waffles over pancakes anyway.”
Pancake, now in her third year on the LPGA, married former UT-Chattanooga player Derek Rende one year ago but kept her maiden name. She will be serving waffle samples at the CHASE54 booth during the PGA Merchandise Show on Jan. 21 from 9-11 a.m. at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
“This will be the first time that the Waffle Nation will be cheering for a Pancake,” said Walt Ehmer, Waffle House's president and chief executive officer. 
Pass the syrup, please.
The relationship was suggested by an executive of another breakfast icon.