Thursday, May 31, 2012

Legendary Leaks

The following was lifted in its entirety from the Ranger Up website. Ranger Up was started by current and former members of the military, and sells patriotic and military-themed clothes and gear. Check 'em out - I think you'll find something you'll like. (Disclaimer: I have no financial or other material interest in the company. I don't even know any of the founders or employees. I just like their stuff.)

Anyway, here's the story.

Taking a Leak with a Legend
Marines have an eternal love affair with Full Metal Jacket.  While mainstream America may just like it, Marines have elevated this film into the top annals of cult-status.  But, why do we like it so much?  Why has this flick become a fixation with every generation of Marines (and many people in other branches)?  It certainly can’t be the question of morality in the Vietnam War; films like Platoon already delve into that topic.  I don’t think it’s the combat scenes, either; Hamburger Hill does a wonderful job of highlighting the struggles of battle.  The fact is, the second half of that film could be compared to any other war drama.  What separates FMJ from all the others is the first half of the picture—the bootcamp experience.

Not every Marine has been to ‘Nam.  Not every Marine has been a grunt.  And not every Marine has been in combat.  But we all share one thing in common (except for some Korean Vets): we went to bootcamp.  And to us—whether ours was better or worse—R. Lee Ermey (who played Senior Drill Instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman) is the archetypal Marine Corps drill instructor.  As a result, not only has the character reached god-like status amongst Marines, but the actor has himself.

Nobody respects this man more than brand new Marines—because our drill instructors tend to be the only real Marines we’ve ever dealt with.

Back when I was a lowly private at the School of Infantry, I happened to be relieving myself in one of the many heads (bathrooms) on the camp I was training at.  Yes, just me and my optimistic, ill-informed, and ridiculous looking self.  From out of nowhere I heard the door slam behind me.  I kept my skull down, thinking it could be some NCO who would berate for a small infraction.  I didn’t hear anything after a while, so I decided to take a peak to my right and see if it was anyone I knew.

I DID know him! It was R. Lee Ermey!

You met the President?  I don’t give a shit.

The Pope personally blessed you?  Forgive me for not caring.

You had a genuine conversation with Jesus?  That’s because you’re an undiagnosed schizoid.

None of your feeble claims to fame will ever impress me.  I was taking a piss next to Gunny Mothafuckin’ Hartman, himself.

He was taller in person than he was on-screen.  A large tattoo decorated his liver-spotted forearm.  And he reeked of saltiness and manhood—and I believe he was wearing Brute, too.

As soon as I looked at him, I couldn’t stop staring, and then the most incredible thing happened: he looked up and locked eyes with me!

“Hey, Devil Dog,” he said in his immortal rasp.

I had to give a reply, but I was too star struck to respond, “………………”

My mouth was dropped, my eyes were wider than Marty Feldman’s, and I was flat-out speechless from being in the presence of his greatness.

“Do you like something over here?” he added.

I immediately shot my head back down toward my pecker, finished my business, and left the head without saying a thing… and no, I didn’t wash my hands.

Did I just leave and neglect to inform anyone of my encounter?  Fuck no!  I was telling every Marine within earshot about the man taking a piss inside our bathroom.

When the old man stepped outside, it was on like Donkey Kong!  Dozens of young Marines swarmed him like a Mongol Horde, and he was taken aback by their aggressive solicitation for autographs.




The man was a sweetheart, an absolute darling.   He signed every single piece of clothing, paper, and body part that the Marines asked of him, and he did with a king-like quality of grace.

“Alright, Marines, that’s enough.  We need to get going,” said a uniformed Master Sergeant.

I assumed he was a PAO Marine, someone that was tasked with escorting the actor around because he was filming his Mail Call show for the History Channel.

The senior Marine ordered us little peons aside and escorted the Gunny back to his van.  As the renowned actor was walking back to the vehicle, he glanced over at me—the Marine who started all of the commotion—and shot me the most epic mean muggin’ look I’ve ever seen.

You got Gunny Ermey’s autograph?   Big fuckin’ deal.  I pissed him off.  (No pun.)
Leave it to a Marine to spin a sea story out of a head call...

Ground-Breaking Research (Pun Intended)

A few days ago I posted something about new research that focused on the "sexual exploitability hypothesis - the idea that men are genetically programmed to look for 'easy' sex."
When it comes to finding a mate, men may not be looking for charm and intelligence, but rather a woman who looks dumb - or drunk - enough for a one-night-stand, according to a new study.
Now comes a paper slated to be published in the Iowa Law Review:
The U.S. stands on the precipice of a financial disaster, and Congress has done nothing but bicker. Of course, I refer to the coming day when the undead walk the earth, feasting on the living. A zombie apocalypse will create an urgent need for significant government revenues to protect the living, while at the same time rendering a large portion of the taxpaying public dead or undead. The government’s failure to anticipate or plan for this eventuality could cripple its ability to respond effectively, putting us all at risk.
At first glance this seems like a WTF moment. Is a reputable law review actually publishing a paper devoted to zombie-related tax issues?

Well, actually, it's not as far-fetched as it sounds. Consider that the U.S. government's Center for Disease Control has a section on its website dedicated to preparing for a zombie apocalypse. As the CDC states:
"If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack."
Similarly, the law review paper actually does raise some interesting legal and tax issues, albeit in the guise of a tongue-in-cheek zombie context. For example:
The legal definition of death, and therefore of a decedent, has generally been left to the states, each of which has its own definition. That said, there has been a recent trend away from a definition that focuses on heart function to one that focuses on brain function. It is not at all clear under current state standards whether people who become zombies would be considered dead for state law purposes.
When does death occur? When the heart stops beating, or when the brain stops functioning? If the latter, then congress is already populated by numerous zombies.
The second tax issue to consider is whether the income tax should apply to zombies. Income can come in two forms: earned and unearned. One does not typically think of zombies as earning income, but it can happen. By some reports, zombies have been known to return to places where they used to work...
I can testify to the accuracy of that last sentence.
Another interesting question that may have far-reaching tax consequences is whether someone remains married once he becomes a zombie.
Or whether someone becomes a zombie once they get married. I have an ex-wife who fits that description.
While it seems unlikely that anyone would willingly become a zombie for tax purposes, it is not unreasonable to suppose that someone might voluntarily become ... some form of ... undead to take advantage of loopholes in the tax laws.
Man, talk about an epic battle: zombies versus the IRS. It'd make a great movie. (My money's on the IRS. They'll hound you to the grave - and beyond.)

While it is an interesting and well-written article, it raises a truly scary possibility: a potential alliance between lawyers and the undead.

Be afraid ... very, very afraid...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Incredible Shrinking World

I just wrapped up a short research project. My collaborators were a Thai who lives in Switzerland and a Chinese who lives in Virginia. I'm an ol' country boy who grew up and lives in Central Texas. The actual research was conducted by some colleagues in Spain. We worked together using free technology for phone and video conferences (Skype), along with standard data storage, statistical analysis, file transfer, and word processing packages, and, of course, the Internet. All of this marvelous technology was available at little or no cost, even for a modest, small-scale project like ours.

After our final conference call I got to thinking about the advances I've seen in just the last few decades. When I was a kid we lived out in the country in West Texas. For telephone calls we had a rotary phone - on a party line. Television was in black-and-white, with only three channels (helped along by rabbit ears and tin foil). Music came in two forms: AM radio, or 45's.

Cell phones? Computers (much less home computers or laptops)? Hell, we didn't even have air conditioning in the house or an automatic transmission in the car. The car windows were rolled down by using a crank and muscles, not by pressing a button.

I could go on, but you get the idea. And what has made all this progress possible?

The Free Market.

So why is it under attack by so many people?

Maybe because they lack the historical perspective to appreciate it...

Politically Incorrect - And Damn Proud Of It

Yesterday I posted something about Marion Barry, disgraced former mayor of Washington D.C., who managed to offend (some) Polish-Americans while apologizing to Asian-Americans.

Today's post is about thin-skinned overly-sensitive cry-babies.
Marion Barry says he misspoke when he referred to the Polish community with the disparaging term "Polacks."

Barry was asked Thursday about racial tensions in the United States and he said: "The Irish caught hell, the Jews caught hell, the Polacks caught hell."

The word "Polack" is a (allegedly) derogatory term that describes people of Polish descent.

Gary Kenzer is the executive director of the Chicago-based Polish American Association. He has called on Barry to apologize to the Polish-American community.
I am an American of Polish descent. My father's family came here in the early 1900s. He's the only one of his family that was born here – the rest were born in 'the old country.' We can take care of ourselves, thank you. We don't need some whiny wimp named Kenzer speaking for us. (Kenzer - that's not even a real Polish name - where's the "ski"?)

We are proud of our Polish heritage, but we also love Polack jokes. My personal favorite:

Q: Why don't Polack women use vibrators?
A: It chips their teeth.

I like that one because it insults two groups of people -- Polacks, and women -- at the same time.

I don't know when people in this country lost the ability to laugh at themselves, but I rue that day. Ethnic groups, women, gays, left-handed redheads … no one seems to have a sense of humor anymore. To those who believe jokes targeting certain groups are offensive, I say lighten up.

Someone once said that an insult is like a drink; it only affects you if you accept it. So with that in mind here's a few politically incorrect jokes that are not intended to insult anyone, but which will probably piss off a bunch of folks.

Ask me if I care...
 * * * * * * * * * *
Q: How do you know when a woman is about to say something smart?
A: When she starts a sentence with 'A man once told me...'

 * * * * * * * * * *

Women always say that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the nuts. There is no way to prove that they are wrong.

But a year or so after giving birth a woman will often say “It would be nice to have another child”.

You never hear a guy say, “It would be nice to get kicked in the nuts again”.

 * * * * * * * * * *

Here's some for the ladies:
Q: Why does a penis have a hole in the end?
A: So men can be open minded.

 * * * * * * * * * *

My husband came home with a tube of K Y jelly and said, "This will make you happy tonight." He was right.

When he went out of the bedroom, I squirted it all over the doorknobs. He couldn't get back in.

 * * * * * * * * * *

A couple is lying in bed. The man says, "I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world."

The woman says..... "I'll miss you."

Now for the ethnic groups:
An American, a Dutchman and a Chinese are stranded after a shipwreck on an uninhabited island.

The American says: "I've been in the army for many years, I know how to survive. So if you guys don't mind, I'll give the orders". The Dutchman and Chinese find it very well. The American goes further: "Ok, each of us will will have to search for something. You, Chinese guy, take care of the supplies. Dutch guy, you take care of the food, and I'll take care of the wood. In two hours we'll meet back here." Everyone finds it a good plan and they go their own ways.

After two hours the American and the Dutchman are on the agreed spot. The Chinese is, however, nowhere in sight. They wait for a couple more hours and as the Chinese still doesn’t arrive, they get worried. They decide to search for him. Some hours later they have combed the complete island, but no Chinese found.

Thinking that he might have been eaten by a wild animal, they sadly decide to go back. Arriving at the spot, they sit down, looking despondently at their stuff, as suddenly the Chinese jumps from the shrubs and yells: "Supplies!!!"

* * * * * * * * * *

Q: What do you call a Mexican picking cotton?
A: Confused

* * * * * * * * * *

Q: A Mexican and a black man are in a car. Who's driving?
A: The cop.

* * * * * * * * * *

A U.S. Navy cruiser pulled into port in Mississippi for a week's liberty. The first evening, the Captain was more than a little surprised to receive the following letter from the wife of a wealthy plantation owner:

"Dear Captain, Thursday will be my daughter Melinda's coming of age party. I would like you to send four well mannered, handsome, unmarried officers. They should arrive at 8 p.m. prepared for an evening of polite southern conversation and dance with lovely young ladies. One last point: No, Mexicans. We don't like Mexicans."

Sure enough, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, the lady heard a rap at the door. She opened the door to find, in dress uniform, four exquisitely mannered, smiling black officers. Her jaw hit the floor, but pulling herself together she stammered, "There must be some mistake!"

"On no, madam," said the first officer, "Captain Martinez doesn't make mistakes."

* * * * * * * * * *

Q: Why did the white guy cross the road?
A: To get away from the black guy coming toward him.

* * * * * * * * * *

Q: How do you stop four white guys from raping a woman?
A: Toss them a golf ball.

Q: What do nuns do when they want to have sex?
A: Dress up as an alter boy.

* * * * * * * * * *

Q: How do muslims practice safe sex?
A: They mark the camels that kick.

And finally, for the gays:
Q: How do you fit four homosexuals on one barstool?
A: Turn it upside-down.

* * * * * * * * * *

A straight guy walks into a bar, but once inside he realizes it's a gay bar. "But what the heck," he says, "I really want a drink."

When the waiter approaches, he says to the customer, "What's the name of your penis?"

The customer says, "Look, I'm not into any of that. All I want is a drink."

The gay waiter says, "I'm sorry but I can't serve you until you tell me the name of your penis. Mine for instance is called 'Nike,' for the slogan, 'Just Do It.' That guy down at the end of the bar calls his 'Snickers,' because 'It really Satisfies."

The customer looks dumbfounded so the bartender tells him he will give him a second to think it over.

The customer asks the man sitting to his left, who is sipping on a beer. "Hey bud, what's the name of your penis?"

The man looks back and says with a smile, "TIMEX."

The thirsty customer asks, "Why Timex?"

The fella proudly replies, "Cause it takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin!"

A little shaken, the customer turns to the fella on his right, who is sipping a fruity Margarita and says, "So, what do you call your penis?"

The man turns to him and proudly exclaims, "FORD, because 'Quality is Job 1.' " Then he adds, "Have you driven a Ford, lately?"

Even more shaken, the customer has to think for a moment before he comes up with a name for his penis. Finally, he turns to the bartender and exclaims, "The name of my penis is 'Secret.' Now give me my beer."

The bartender begins to pour the customer a beer, but with a puzzled look asks, "Why secret?"

The customer says, "Because it's STRONG ENOUGH FOR A MAN, BUT MADE FOR A WOMAN!"

Did I leave anyone out?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Four Years Later, It's Still Bush's Fault

This story (the Nutting MarketWatch piece) about how obama isn't really responsible for the recent massive increase in federal spending (it's all Bush's fault, don't you know) has been getting a lot of exposure in the mainstream media lately, even though it's been thoroughly discredited (here and here, for example).

But wading through articles full of numbers and percentages isn't the most exciting way to spend one's time. Thankfully, there is an illustrated version available. I've posted the first part below. You can see the rest here.

Birds Of A Feather

Marion Barry, former mayor and current city council member of Washington D.C., convicted crackhead, and race pimp, is in the news again.

You may remember Barry from his 1990 arrest and subsequent trial for cocaine possession and use. There was even undercover video showing Barry taking hits off a crack pipe.
Barry was charged with three felony counts of perjury, 10 counts of misdemeanor drug possession, and one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to possess cocaine. The criminal trial ended in August 1990 with a conviction for only one possession incident, which had occurred in November 1989, and an acquittal on another. The jury hung on the remaining charges. Six or seven jurors (of whom two were white and the rest black) believed that the evidence against Barry was overwhelming and that he had displayed "arrogance" during the trial. Against these, five black jurors were convinced that the prosecution had falsified evidence and testimony as part of a racist conspiracy against Barry, and even disputed factual findings that had not been contested in court.
In other words, several black jurors ignored the evidence -- the uncontested, stipulated-to-by-the-defense evidence -- and voted based on race. Talk about foreshadowing 2008... but I digress.

Fast forward to May 2012.
When apologizing to the Asian community for comments he made last month, D.C. councilmember Marion Barry may have offended another minority group on Thursday: Polish people.

Barry was at a meeting with Asian-American advocacy groups at the Matthews Memorial Baptist Church where he was expected to apologize for comments he made at an election night victory party.

"We gotta do something about these Asians coming in, opening up these dirty shops," he said on April 3. "They got to go. I'll say that right now."
In his 'apology,' Barry said that other ethnic groups have experienced what he termed "tension."
"The Irish caught hell, the Jews caught hell, the Polacks caught hell," Barry said.

The word "Polack" is a derogatory term that describes people of Polish descent.
According to who?

I'm an American of Polish descent, and I am not offended by the term "Polack." (More on this in a subsequent post.)

I am, however, offended that a drug-using lying scumbag is involved in governing our nation's capital.

And that a drug-using lying scumbag is president of our country...

Future Leader of the Free World

Monday, May 28, 2012

More John Wayne Bonus Material

I'm constantly surprised how once I post about something, related material seems to fall into my lap. The latest example is a John Wayne theme.

The original John Wayne post is here, and the first follow-up is here. Below is a recent bit that just showed up in my in-box.
John Wayne's answer in a 1971 interview when asked whether entitlement programs were good for the country:

"I know all about that. In the late Twenties, when I was a sophomore at USC, I was a socialist myself — but not when I left. The average college kid idealistically wishes everybody could have ice cream and cake for every meal. But as he gets older and gives more thought to his and his fellow man's responsibilities, he finds that it can't work out that way — that some people just won't carry their load ... I believe in welfare — a welfare work program. I don't think a fella should be able to sit on his backside and receive welfare. I'd like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living. I'd like to know why they make excuses for cowards who spit in the faces of the police and then run behind the judicial sob sisters. I can't understand these people who carry placards to save the life of some criminal, yet have no thought for the innocent victim."

Has anyone else noticed how California has gone downhill since John Wayne and Ronald Reagan moved on?

Memorial Day

For most Americans, military service -- and sacrifice -- is a vague and distant abstraction. But there are still some places where it is as real as the kids next door.
Tina Priest struggled a bit in high school. Josh Farris was the quiet one. Cody Stanley was the country boy from nearby Rosanky and Mario Rodriguez was the popular class clown.

The four were pretty typical kids for this small Central Texas town, 45 miles east of Austin. And after high school, each joined a long and respected local tradition of putting on a military uniform.

When Priest, Farris, Stanley and Rodriguez died overseas between 2007 and 2010, the town reeled from the successive blows. The impact was greater and far more enduring than the wildfires that last year threatened to burn Smithville off the map.

The military has always played a prominent role here. Those of a certain age still tell the story of the return of four survivors of the Bataan Death March in World War II. Others remember the deaths in Vietnam, including the Marine whose body was finally brought home in 2003.

And if further reminders were needed, a Vietnam era “Huey” helicopter, parked outside the American Legion Post beside the river, greets visitors arriving from Austin.

“We're a small community, but a damned patriotic community,” said Bunte, whose father fought in Europe in World War II but never spoke of it at home.

“This town has always been like this with its veterans. They are appreciated by us, they come home with honor and their families are taken care of by their neighbors,” he said.

“You see the people who have (been) directly affected all the time. You see them in the grocery store, at the high school games,” he added.

What began as a fairly modest plan to honor the recent casualties quickly grew.

Now, alongside the skateboard park and the recreation center, a memorial park covering three city lots is taking form. Sometime soon, a towering bronze angel will gaze down on local children playing in a splash park beneath a gigantic pecan tree.

“It's been a labor of love. We're getting close to completing our goal. We've raised over $600,000 in cash, labor and in-kind donations,” said the mayor, who took on much of the hard labor, pouring concrete and sinking metal fence poles.

Not by accident, the design requires children and families heading for the water sprays to pass by the memorials and the plaques listing the names of the veterans.
Go here and read the full story. It says more about the true meaning of Memorial Day than I ever could.

FOD 2012.05.28

Unlike previous years, this year obama will appropriately honor Memorial Day.
President Obama is doing Memorial Day right this year, with an appropriate schedule that may even keep him too busy for fun and games.

You may remember that last year Obama draped a wreath over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and then promptly went golfing.

But this year, the president will start the day with a breakfast for “Gold Star” families who have lost a loved one in battle. He then will travel to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where he will deliver remarks. And in the early afternoon, he will be at the Vietnam Memorial to mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War.
Of course, it is an election year...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bonus John Wayne Material

Below is an AR-15 receiver inscribed with a quote from True Grit, the only movie for which John Wayne received an Oscar (typical Hollywood bias against conservatives).

Anyway, the image is followed by a scene from the movie that includes the quote. Very fitting...

Sunday Funnies 2012.05.27

Yesterday was John Wayne's birthday (May 26, 1907). It brought back memories of a simpler, less politically correct America - but also a strong America that was like John Wayne toilet paper - it was rough, tough, and didn't take crap off anyone.

Q: What's the difference between John Wayne and Jack Daniels?

A: Jack Daniels is still killing Indians.

 * * * * * * * * * *

At school one day, the teacher was trying to approach the topic of sex education and asked her students if they'd ever seen anything that was related to sex education on TV.

Mary raised her hand and said she had seen a movie about women having babies. “Great,” said the teacher, “that's very important. ”

Then Judy raised her hand and told the teacher she had seen a TV show about people getting married. “Well, that has to do with it too,” said the teacher.

Then Little Johnny raised his hand and said he had seen a western where some Indians came riding over the hill and John Wayne shot them all. The teacher said, “Well, Johnny, that really doesn't have anything to do with sex education.”

“Yes it does,” said Johnny, ” it taught those Indians not to f*ck with John Wayne.”

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Makes Me Proud To Be A College Professor - And A UT Grad - And A Male

Stories like this make me proud on so many levels. The research was conducted under the auspices of a college professor (that's 1) at the University of Texas (number 2). It examines what men (#3 - I hit the trifecta!) find attractive in women. (H/T JammieWearingFools for the link.)
When it comes to finding a mate, men may not be looking for charm and intelligence, but rather a woman who looks dumb - or drunk - enough for a one-night-stand, according to a new study.
In an article in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, University of Texas at Austin graduate student Cari Goetz and her team focused on the so-called sexual exploitability hypothesis - the idea that men are genetically programmed to look for 'easy' sex.

Men, the researchers think, are 'born' to have little concern for the consequences of casual trysts, given that their bodies produce somewhere around 85 million sperm cells every day -- per testicle.
That's right, ladies. We can't help it. We're genetically programmed to behave that way. It's not our fault!

Seriously, though, this is the type of research that non-academics often see as an example of wasting resources just to confirm what everyone already knows - in this case, that horny guys prefer women that are easy to get into bed.

While that may be somewhat true for this particular study, there is value in confirming -- or disproving -- what everyone 'knows.'

For example, everyone 'knew that the sun revolved around the earth until Copernicus demonstrated that that was not necessarily the case.

Similarly, everyone 'knew' that the Earth was flat until Columbus and Magellan proved otherwise.

I'm not suggesting that these UT researchers are in the same league with Copernicus et al. But they are kindred spirits of a sort, in that they are challenging long-help but never confirmed beliefs in a scientific manner.

By engaging in what seems like simplistic research, these young graduate students are honing the skills that they will need to study more meaningful topics.

So smile indulgently at the notion of studying frat boys to see if they're attracted to drunk chicks, but keep in mind that first we must take baby steps before we can walk.

(FWIW, I was able to type that last paragraph with a relatively straight face...)

And Hook 'em Horns!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2012.05.25

Memorial Day Weekend:

I defy you to watch this video without getting misty-eyed. I know I can't.

Bless 'em all...

Meat, Fire, and Heroes

I'm a little late coming to this particular party, but I plan on catching up as much as possible this weekend:
May is National Barbecue Month, and I know that, as Texans, there are a lot of us who take our barbecue very seriously.

But Nick Pencis, the owner and pitmaster at Stanley's Famous Bar-B-Q in Tyler, said there's one thing we all need to keep straight.

"Well first and foremost, there's a pretty big difference between grilling and barbecuing. Grilling is what most people do when you have a bed of charcoal or a gas grill and you have direct heat and you're putting your heat right about the heat source," said Pencis. "Barbecuing, you're using an indirect heat source, which is going to be off to the side, and the heat's going to flow and come past it, which takes a lot longer, but then you get to incorporate the smoke and the essence of the fire into the meat."
I appreciate meat cooked with fire as much as the next man, but I'm not enough of a fanatic to seriously differentiate between direct and indirect heat. I subscribe to a more simplistic approach.
"The story of barbecue is the story of America. Settlers arrive on great unspoiled continent. Discover wondrous riches. Set them on fire and eat them."
 -- Vince Staten, Real Barbecue
But seriously, folks, a good argument can be made that without barbeque the world would be a much different place.
Barbecue made human civilization possible.

Homo erectus probably first tasted cooked meat after a forest fire burned animals, and it was good. So good that it influenced human evolution. Traits that enhanced their ability to hunt and eat cooked meat were favored: Larger brains, better hand articulation, speed, communication skills, and smaller jaws.

The Hebrew Old Testament contains what may be the first detailed plans for the design of a barbecue. In Exodus, chapter 27, probably written somewhere between 1300 and 1500 years before Christ was born, after Moses brings down the 10 Commandments, he tells his flock that God wants them to construct a tabernacle with an ark for the Covenant and an altar for burnt offerings of animals.

In chapter 29 there are instructions of how to prepare the sacrifice of a young bull and two rams and describes the process as "a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the Lord." Apparently the scent was all the Lord wanted because Aaron, Moses' brother and the priest in charge, and his associates, were allowed to eat the sacrifice

... in 1951, George Stephen, Sr., frustrated by his inability to control the heat in his backyard grill, had the welders at the Weber Brothers Metal Works where he worked, cut up a buoy that was to be used for Lake Michigan boating. The Weber Kettle was born and introduced in 1952...
Coincidentally enough, I was born in 1952. God does indeed work in mysterious ways...
A few years later, "...hungry Texas oil rig welders began building heavy duty steel cookers from oil barrels, huge pipes, and large propane tanks creating tubular "pits" that could be mounted on boat trailers and towed from jobsite to jobsite. Some were fitted with boxes on the side to hold logs and allow the cook to smoke meats with indirect heat, low and slow."
Barbeque has even influenced politics and world affairs at the highest level:
On Christmas Eve 1963, just a month after President John Kennedy was murdered, President Lyndon Johnson and his wife Ladybird, frazzled from, as Ladybird described it, the "tornado of activity that has surrounded us" retreated to their Texas ranch on Christmas Eve. West German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard was scheduled to visit Kennedy to discuss the Soviet threat, the Berlin Wall, and other important matters. Rather than return to Washington for a formal State Dinner, LBJ invited Erhard and his entourage on down to what historians claim was the first official Presidential barbecue in history. Yes, Johnson's first state dinner was a barbecue for 300 in Texas on December 29, 1963.
So take advantage of this holiday weekend and combine meat with fire. Toss in a few cold beers and you'll be all set.

And while you're doing so, please take a few moments to remember and honor the men and women of our Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy life in America, the greatest country the world has ever known.

Facebook vs. General Motors

Heard a local talk show dude discussing this on the radio today. Googled it when I got home. Interesting...
Facebook’s IPO launched at $38 a share, and the stock is now trading at $32, and the company and its bankers stand accused of having “hyped up” the stock.**  There are lawsuits and hearings.

GM’s post-bailout IPO launched at $33 a share, and the stock is now trading at $22, after being repeatedly touted by the highest officials  of the U.S. government. Yet the suckers investors who bought it aren’t having a cow. …

(** I understand there is a specific complaint that material info about Facebook’s earnings was disclosed only to selected big investors. But there is also an underlying anger that Facebook’s stock has dropped so far. GM has dropped more.)
BTW, just a few days before the Facebook IPO GM pulled its advertising from Facebook.
General Motors (GM) really knows how to time an exit.

The automaker has announced that it will no longer advertise on Facebook, just days before the social networking giant is set to go public.
Coincidence...? I think not.
GM isn't giving up on Facebook as a promotional platform. It will continue to milk the social-viral nature of the website, reaching out to visitors of its official fan pages and those who have GM and its cars in their Facebook news feeds.

It makes sense. Why buy the cow when you can milk it virtually for free? However, Facebook isn't going to look too kindly at this practice if more large corporate customers follow suit.
In any event, GM's announcement should have given pause to potential Facebook investors. But they were so caught up in the social media giant's hype that hope overruled common sense.

Gee, where have I heard that before...?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Here Lies Tombstone - Killed By The Federal Government

I know obama and his minions hate the state of Arizona because it has challenged his lordship on issues pertaining to illegal immigration, voter id, and obama's eligibility to be president. But have they seriously reached the point where the feds are willing to let an Arizona town wither and die due to a lack of water - especially when the lack of water is due to the actions of the federal government itself?

In a nutshell, ranchers and the U.S. Forest Service used to keep undergrowth in check in the national forests through a combination of thinning, removing dead or diseased trees, and prescribed burns. But over the last decade or so "these efforts have been put on hold because the Forest Service is constantly being dragged into court, using taxpayer dollars by environmentalist groups through the Equal Access to Justice Act, to prevent any management of the forests." Consequently, tinder and fuel built up over the years, culminating in last summer's massive AZ wildfires. Then when it finally rained there was nothing to prevent mudslides and erosion, because all the plant life had been burned off.

Specifically, last year the water supply lines to the Arizona town of Tombstone (yes, that Tombstone) were severely damaged in a flood caused by heavy runoff over a burnt-out area.
Since the damage, Tombstone residents have been fighting to repair the water lines, but because they run through a wilderness area, the feds are saying the only option they have is to literally dig up miles and miles of water lines by hand. Why? Machine use in wilderness areas is prohibited by federal law.

Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Frank Zapata denied Tombstone, Arizona’s emergency request to restore its Huachuca Mountain municipal water supply. Over nine months ago, the historic town’s 130-year-old water system was destroyed by massive flooding resulting from torrential rains and the destruction of surrounding forests in the Monument Fire.

Despite the burial of water reservoirs and water lines under boulders the size of Volkswagens and as much as 12 feet of mud, the Court denied Tombstone’s request to allow it to use mechanized and motorized equipment to restore its water system. In denying the request, the Court ruled that the town did not exhaust efforts to obtain federal permits to use the equipment despite nine months of continuous efforts by the town to secure the U.S. Forest Service’s cooperation. The Court was not moved by a state of emergency declared specifically for Tombstone by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.
The city of Tombstone has property rights to the water from its source, and to access roads and pipelines delivering the water to the city.
Until last year, the U.S. Forest Service recognized and respected those rights, which date back to the days of Wyatt Earp. Today, the federal government denies they exist and refuses to allow Tombstone to restore more than three of its spring water catchments.
The saying here out West is that whiskey's for drinking and water's for fighting. Arizona has already shown that it's not afraid to stand up to the federal government. I'm willing to bet that this will be a water-fight the feds will regret.

(H/T to iOwnTheWorld for the link.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Teachers Don't Suck

Goodness knows I bitch a lot about the public school system in this country. And I'm not too thrilled with our higher education system either. I place a lot of the blame on government meddling, administrative bloat, and teachers unions. But there's one group of people that, at the end of the day, is ultimately responsible for how well -- or how poorly -- our schools do their jobs, and how well our students learn. The video below makes it perfectly clear just who that group is.

(H/T to A Nod To The Gods for the link.)

An Open Letter To American Express

Earlier this week I alluded to an issue I was having with American Express. The letter below explains it in more detail.

This is a perfect example of how U.S. companies are blindly emphasizing the short-term benefits of cutting expenses by automating customer service operations or, even worse, moving them overseas where front-line employees who interact with American customers neither speak the language well nor comprehend our culture, to the detriment of customer service standards.

I get globalization and the cost-savings motivation. I do, after all, teach in the business school at an international university. But there is a balance to be struck between expense reduction and customer service. In this case American Express has placed too much emphasis on cost savings at the expense of customer satisfaction, and ultimately, customer retention.

May 16, 2012

Mr. Kenneth Chenault
Chief Executive Officer
American Express
200 Vesey St.
New York, NY 10285

Dear Mr. Chenault:

The purpose of this letter is to express my disappointment at your company's customer service – or lack thereof.

On Wednesday, May 16, I logged into my American Express account online. I was attempting to add my son to my account and get a card issued to him. However, the website was no help. When I clicked on the "Want to add someone to your account?" link, I received a response that said "Sorry, we can't find that page." When I called the customer service number listed on the web site I was shuttled off to an automated voice response system that repeatedly told me what my account balance was and repeatedly reminded me to pay my account balance by May 28 – a date that was two weeks away.

After several efforts to navigate this voice-response hell I gave up and ended the call. I have since contacted another credit card company and obtained a card for my son through them.

Bottom line: because American Express has decided to make it as difficult as possible to speak with a real live human being who can provide a modicum of customer service -- and I remember the days when American Express prided itself on setting the gold standard for customer service -- your company has lost one potential card member, and a competitor has gained one. Furthermore, you have caused me to seriously rethink my relationship with American Express. What's the point of paying above-market rates for a credit card when I get below-market service?

I await your response with interest.


Member since 1983

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wives, Kids, And Frozen Meat

We have a freezer in our garage. It's a stand-up model that looks like an ordinary one-door refrigerator. We use it to store wild game and meat that we buy when it's on sale. My wife also insists on keeping 25-pound bags of birdseed in it, claiming that the seed stays fresher in the freezer. The kids put popsicles and other frozen treats in there as well. Normally I don't care what they put in there, as long as there's room for my meat (and no, that's not a joke).

So this evening I went to the grocery store. There were several nice steaks on sale, marked down after the weekend. I snagged a bunch, figuring I could freeze them and grill them down the road. When I got home I opened the freezer door prior to putting the steaks in.

Someone -- no one will 'fess up who -- had rummaged around in the freezer and rearranged its contents. When I opened the door a 7-pound ham tumbled out and landed on my foot - or more precisely, the toe equivalent on my ring finger.

After several moments of hopping and cussing I limped into the house. Both the toe and the toenail were turning blue, as was my language. Do you have any idea how hard it is to isolate your ring toe and put ice on it?

Of course, I would never play an incident like this to my advantage. As I sat there with my toe/foot wrapped in an ice pack, my wife was pleased beyond mention to fetch me dinner and Shiners.

Q: How many men does it take to open a bottle of beer?
A: None. It should be open by the time she brings it to you.

Something To Think About

While trying to track down information on another topic, I came across this thought-provoking article. The author is addressing the rising cost of a college education.
In ancient Athens, students generally became educated by going to a learned man, paying him something, and in turn then received his wisdom in the form of lectures and dialogue. Suppose 10 students paid Socrates 10 drachmas each, or a total of 100 drachmas. Socrates’ “salary” would then be equivalent to the amount of tuition payments made by students. The proportion of tuition payments going to pay the “professor” would be 100 percent.

Writing in 1776, Adam Smith lamented getting away from the financing scheme of the ancient Greeks, famously noting that the quality of teaching fell at Oxford when students stopped paying the professors directly and gave their tuition payments to the university. Before that happened, the Oxford dons would collect, say, 100 shillings in tuition revenue, and perhaps pay 15 or 20 shillings of that to the University for the use of space and minor other administrative services, so the percent of tuition fees going for faculty salaries would be high, perhaps 80 percent.
When I first read this I thought that having my students pay me directly sounded like a great idea. After thinking about it a little more, however, I decided that it wouldn't work today. They already have an abundance of that "the customer is always right" entitlement attitude. If they handed over cash straight to me they'd all expect to pass, regardless of performance. (Heck, they expect that already. If they paid me directly they'd be impossible to reason with.)

Currently, the ratio of tuition to faculty salaries is approximately 50% - that is, half of what a student pays in tuition goes to the faculty, and half to the university. When other sources of funding are considered -- gifts, endowments, grants, state and federal subsidies -- the ratio of faculty salaries to total revenue is closer to 25%.

Where does the rest of the money go? Facilities (buildings, labs, grounds), support services (IT support, maintenance, student services), and administrative and athletic programs.

Facilities and support services are, at some level, necessary. Most schools could probably trim some fat from them, but the big money is in the administrative and athletic programs.

Some random observations: (from here and here).
...the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor has 53% more full-time "administrators and professionals" (9,652) than full-time faculty (6,305), or a ratio of 1.53 administrative and professional positions for every full-time faculty member.

"Michigan public universities increased their spending on administrative positions by nearly 30% on average in the last five years, even as university leaders say they've slashed expenses to keep college affordable for families. The number of administrative jobs grew 19% over that period at the state's public universities, according to data submitted by the schools to the state budget office.

(At The University of North Caroline system) ... the administrative ranks have grown by 28%, from 1,269 administrative jobs to 1,623 last year, UNC-system data show. That's faster than the growth of faculty and other teaching positions ... and faster than student enrollment... The number of people with provost or chancellor in their titles alone has increased by 34% the past five years, from 312 in 2004 to 418 last year. The cost was $61.1 million, up $25 million from five years before.

The Chancellor of the University of Texas system -- the CEO equivalent who oversees nine universities and six health-care teaching institutions -- makes around  $750,000 per year. The head football coach at the University of Texas makes slightly over $6 million per year.
It is obvious that priorities are out of whack, and that there is substantial administrative bloat that could be eliminated, at least at public universities. What's lacking is the political will to do so.

And yet most schools still have the gall to include something in their mission statement about educating the youth of America.


Monday, May 21, 2012

FOD Bonus - TIME For Humor

I'm sure everyone is familiar with the recent TIME magazine "Are You Mom Enough" cover showing a mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old child.

That cover triggered an avalanche of parodies, several of which are shown below. Enjoy the creativity of your fellow Americans...

FOD 2012.05.21

It's been a busy weekend -- lots of cookouts and parties (springtime in Central Texas is a tough time of the year) -- so I'll let someone else do the heavy lifting today.

Obama is our first female president
The current issue of Newsweek has a photo of President Obama with a rainbow-colored halo superimposed over his head and the title “The First Gay President.”

Nonsense. Obama is not the first gay president. He is the first female president.

Consider his activities Monday: He sat down to tape a session with the ladies of ABC’s “The View” — his fourth appearance on the talk show by women and for (mostly) women. He accepted an award from Barnard College and gave the commencement speech to graduates of the women’s school.
Question of the day: He sits like a woman. Does that mean he squats to piss?

Obama was still early in his address when he acknowledged that his praise for the young generation of women is “a cheap applause line when you’re giving a commencement at Barnard.”

But Obama was being modest. He didn’t deliver a cheap applause line. He delivered an entire speech full of them. His re-election campaign has been working for months to exploit the considerable gender gap, which puts him far ahead of likely GOP rival Mitt Romney among women. But Monday’s activities veered into pandering, as Obama brazenly flaunted his feminine mystique.

There were some ironies in the appearance. When the White House asked Barnard for the commencement speaking role, the college dumped its original speaker, Jill Abramson. In addition to being an actual woman, Abramson is the first of her gender to become executive editor of the New York Times.

Barnard President Debora Spar, bestowing a medal on Obama, lauded his support of same-sex marriage and his furthering of “a whole lot smarter world.”
"a whole lot smarter world"

And this person is the president of a prestigious woman's college?

I don't know which is worse. The (alleged) republican war on women, or the patronizing pandering of the democrats...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rot In Hell You Worthless Bastard

Lockerbie bomber dies more than two years after release
Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the only person convicted in connection with the Lockerbie airline bombing that killed 270 people, died Sunday, the Libyan government and family members said. He was 60.

The former intelligence officer, who had suffered from prostate cancer, will be buried Monday, according to a Libyan foreign ministry spokesman.

His death came more than two-and-a-half years after he was freed from a life sentence in Scotland because he was said to be dying.

The destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 was the deadliest act of air terrorism targeting Americans until the September 11, 2001, attacks...

Eight years after his trial and conviction, a fresh uproar arose when he was released from a Scottish prison because he was battling terminal prostate cancer. He received a hero's welcome upon arriving home in Libya.
I hope that worthless bastard suffered a painful, agonizing death.

One equal to the pain and suffering of every one of his victims - and their loved ones.

God is merciful. God forgives.

I'm an imperfect sinner.

I don't...

Sunday Funnies 2012.05.20

I'm having a bit of an issue with American Express (more on that later). So here's some credit card humor for today.

Why is your pen!s better than a credit card?

(a) Once spent it recharges itself.
(b) It is accepted worldwide.
(c) You can let your wife use it as much as she wants.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Failing History

One week ago, 49 decapitated bodies were found on a major highway outside Monterrey, Mexico. (Monterrey is a major business, tecgnology, and academic center located about 80 miles southwest of the U.S. border. It is often compared to Austin, Texas.) The bodies are considered to be just another byproduct of the battle for supremacy between rival drug cartels in a war that has killed more than 47,500 people in six years. The latest pile of bodies was found about a week after 23 tortured and dismembered bodies were found. Those 23 bodies were found a short while after the discovery of 14 mutilated bodies. That's 86 people killed in a variety of gruesome ways in less than a month.

In a sad but understandable commentary on human nature, the Mexican people (and those of us on this side of the border who follow such things) have become desensitized to the escalating violence.
... the people who live near the crime scene seem detached, said Mexico-based journalist Ioan Grillo. He has covered the drug war for more than a decade. That's increasingly how many Mexicans act, he said, an understandable coping mechanism when you live in a country battling a drug war that has killed more than 47,500 people in six years.
Speaking in an interview with CNN, Grillo offered some insights into the genesis of the violence, and when it might end. In some ways it's a cynical, jaundiced perspective, but IMO it's also a realistic one. (FWIW, it's also similar to my thoughts on the matter.)
CNN: Mexican President Felipe Calderon belongs to a party called the PAN and was elected in 2006. He declared war on the cartels and sent the military fanning out across the country, and he fired hundreds of corrupt police officers.

Some say that his actions fueled the violence with the cartels fighting back harder and more creatively. In July, Mexico will hold a presidential election. Calderon cannot run again because of term limits. The party opposite Calderon's -- the PRI -- could take power. How would the PRI in power change the drug war?

Grillo: Unless something extraordinary happens, the PRI are overwhelmingly in front in polls and are going to win. So far, the PRI have signaled some quite positive signs for the drug war by having concrete goals of reducing rates of homicide, kidnapping and extortion.

So they are doing something other than having a broad goal of defeating the cartels and reconquering territory. The PRI has said these are the anti-social crimes we want to reduce. It's also possible that the PRI could have a majority in Congress.

If that happens you could have a more powerful government that could bring together different police forces. One huge problem in Calderon's administration is that you had different police forces in different states fighting each other rather than working together.
If you read between the lines in Grillo's comments, what he is saying is that the PRI's goals of reducing "anti-social crime" would be achieved by going back to the old way of doing business: the Mexican government would turn a blind eye to the cartels' smuggling operations, in exchange for the cartels keeping a lid on the violence.

Grillo also states that a problem with Calderon's administration is that different law enforcement agencies were fighting each other instead of the cartels. What he didn't say, however, is that those conflicts arose because many of the local and regional police forces are corrupt and, in many cases, controlled by the cartels. The federal agencies are more reliable, so Calderon has used them extensively. If (or more likely, when) the PRI returns to power, enforcement duties will be restored to local agencies, at which point we're back to payoffs and blind eyes.

When you get right down to it, there are only two things that matter in the Mexican war on drugs: bodies and dollars.

48,000 bodies.

$39 billion profits annually raked in by the cartels.

Until the dollar number decreases, the bodies number will increase.

Street-level drug dealers in the U.S. don't know -- or care -- where their product comes from. Neither do their customers.

The only thing Prohibition did in the 1920's was make the Mafia and other criminal enterprises more powerful. That's also one of the consequences of America's war on drugs.

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Why My Father Is No Longer Allowed At Mardi Gras

Dad is 94. He's slowed down a little but he still gets around...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2012.05.18

Steaks last night. Enchiladas tonight. BBQ tomorrow.

All washed down with muchas cervezas frías.

My diet and exercise program start Monday...

Things That Keep Me Up At Night

Two things combine today to make me a little uneasy.

First, I have always believed that the next world-shaking event will have its roots in the Middle East. The tensions between Israel and the Arabs is ancient, deep, and very, very bitter. They lurk, evil and silent, beneath the surface of everything that takes place there. The most recent friction arises from Iran's efforts to process nuclear 'fuel' for their reactors.

While the Israelis are open to reason, at least to some extent, there is no reasoning when it comes to the Arabs perspective on the Jews. For example:
Textbooks used in Saudi Arabia’s schools (and distributed throughout the Muslim world) contain virulent forms of anti-Christian and anti-Jewish bigotry that continue to fuel intolerance and violence around the globe...

Christians are referred to as “swine” and Jews as “apes,” while being blamed for much of the world’s ills.
  • From a Grade 8 text: “The Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians.”
  • Suggested lesson for Grade 8 class: As an exercise, students can spend time listing “Jews’ condemnable qualities.”
Second, one commentator that I read with great interest and respect is Charles Krauthammer. I've generally found him to be spot-on with his insight and analysis.

That's why I am troubled by his latest column, in which he draws a disturbing parallel between the 1967 Arab-Israeli war (the so-called Six-Day War) and the current threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.
In May 1967, in brazen violation of previous truce agreements, Egypt ordered U.N. peacekeepers out of the Sinai, marched 120,000 troops to the Israeli border, blockaded the Straits of Tiran (Israel’s southern outlet to the world’s oceans), abruptly signed a military pact with Jordan and, together with Syria, pledged war for the final destruction of Israel.

May ’67 was Israel’s most fearful, desperate month. The country was surrounded and alone. Previous great-power guarantees proved worthless. A plan to test the blockade with a Western flotilla failed for lack of participants. Time was running out. Forced into mass mobilization in order to protect against invasion — and with a military consisting overwhelmingly of civilian reservists — life ground to a halt. The country was dying.

On June 5, Israel launched a preemptive strike on the Egyptian air force, then proceeded to lightning victories on three fronts. The Six-Day War is legend, but less remembered is that, four days earlier, the nationalist opposition (Mena­chem Begin’s Likud precursor) was for the first time ever brought into the government, creating an emergency national-unity coalition.

Everyone understood why. You do not undertake a supremely risky preemptive war without the full participation of a broad coalition representing a national consensus.

Forty-five years later, in the middle of the night of May 7-8, 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shocked his country by bringing the main opposition party, Kadima, into a national unity government. Shocking because just hours earlier, the Knesset was expediting a bill to call early elections in September.

Why did the high-flying Netanyahu call off elections he was sure to win?

Because for Israelis today, it is May ’67. The dread is not quite as acute: The mood is not despair, just foreboding. Time is running out, but not quite as fast. War is not four days away, but it looms. Israelis today face the greatest threat to their existence — nuclear weapons in the hands of apocalyptic mullahs publicly pledged to Israel’s annihilation — since May ’67. The world is again telling Israelis to do nothing as it looks for a way out. But if such a way is not found — as in ’67 — Israelis know that they will once again have to defend themselves, by themselves.

Such a fateful decision demands a national consensus. By creating the largest coalition in nearly three decades, Netanyahu is establishing the political premise for a preemptive strike, should it come to that. The new government commands an astonishing 94 Knesset seats out of 120, described by one Israeli columnist as a “hundred tons of solid concrete.”

So much for the recent media hype about some great domestic resistance to Netanyahu’s hard line on Iran ... “Everyone is saying the same thing,” explained one Knesset member, “though there may be a difference of tone.”

... The wall-to-wall coalition demonstrates Israel’s political readiness to attack, if necessary. (Its military readiness is not in doubt.)

Those counseling Israeli submission, resignation or just endless patience can no longer dismiss Israel’s tough stance as the work of irredeemable right-wingers. Not with a government now representing 78 percent of the country.
Netanyahu forfeited September elections that would have given him four more years in power. He chose instead to form a national coalition that guarantees 18 months of stability — 18 months during which, if the world does not act (whether by diplomacy or otherwise) to stop Iran, Israel will.

And it will not be the work of one man, one party or one ideological faction. As in 1967, it will be the work of a nation.
Left unsaid in Krauthammer's column is another reason for Netanyahu's actions. It's no secret that he and obama do not get along, or that obama is no friend to Israel. Netanyahu has bought 18 months of unity while he waits -- and hopes and prays -- for Romney to defeat obama this Novemeber. If Romney wins, Israel remains on hold. If obama wins, expect Israel to follow the advice of Marc Antony in Julius Caesar: "Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war."

We would do well to remember, however, the remainder of that quote: "that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial."

I don't pretend to be able to predict the consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran, but I doubt that they'll be good. Let us hope that it never comes to pass.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Only In Texas

Steaks for dinner tonight - Texas style!

Accompanied, of course, by plenty of ice-cold Shiner Beer!

I'm outta here!!!