Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Vrooom vrooooom, Maktoum.

Landed in Louisvillle and the sheik's 747 was at the airport.  Farm Boy had to point it out because I get let out of my pumpkin so infrequently that I had no idea the big unmarked jet was owned by UAE royalty.  

Besides, I would have thought that he would be out at the Breeders Cup. Maybe he has two planes. 


What Is Wrong With You?

Just got my latte before boarding the plane and the woman in front of me ordered -- I kid you not -- a soy milk, mocha, half caf, with caramel, light whip. 

What the hell is wrong with people? 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tombstone

It's nearing Halloween and so tombstone topics seem particularly appropriate. Found this over at IMAO.US



I want mine to read:


Lord knows, I do.

Someday it's going to kill me. Mark my words.

Young Love

Some of you may have seen the video of  "The Perfect Proposal." It was featured on Huffington Post after Ashton Kutcher picked it up and put it on his Facebook on October 23. I believe he tweeted it out as well, but I don't follow him, so can't say for certain. Then it hit the front page of Yahoo. Officially viral. There is discussion that they may appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. WOW!



Anyhow, it is pretty special. Made me cry...but then I cry at Christmas commercials for beer.



The part where I come in is that the Princess is very good friends with Levy, the young man, as well as knowing Tiffany, his new fiancee.  So I'm kinda sorta famous if I stand close enough to my daughter. You know how it is...you can pretend the reflected light of fame glows on you if you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who is famous...it's like that.

Princess met Levy through FFA. He served as a California state officer when Ellen was a pipsqueak, and they became good friends, with Levy mentoring her in her own ambitions to become a state officer. He then went on to serve as a national officer. Tiffany is involved in FFA, too. That's how they met.

It's just so darned romantic! Somebody get me a tissue.






Friday, October 24, 2014

Explaining the Second Amendment

The erudite way, from Bill Whittle.




And the pithy, and rather more acerbic way, from Penn and Teller. Well, mostly Penn...


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Your Halloween Tablescape.

Just call me Martha.


This year we won't be in Hawaii for Halloween, but we still won't be home to have a ghoulish celebration. Damn! I'm beginning to feel the need for a real SPOOKTACULAR Halloween party, but it will have to wait for next year. This year we will be in Louisville, KY at the national convention for the FFA to watch the princess compete for the national title in Parliamentary Procedure. California is always a powerhouse in Parli Pro and the princess's team won the state title pretty easily, having only one loss the entire year, and that by only a few points. At nationals, California is always a powerhouse, being one of the strongest FFA states in the country. Soooooo.....


Keep your fingers crossed that they bring home the win!


Picking up the blue at State Finals. On to Nationals!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

RIP, Cigar. You're over the rainbow bridge now.

I've been busy and haven't had time to note the passing of a Thoroughbred legend. Like Secretariat, Cigar was larger than life, breathtaking in his athletic perfection.




Cigar, a two-time Horse of the Year who won 16 races in a row in the mid 1990s, died Wednesday in Lexington, Ky., according to racing industry reports.

Cigar, 24, retired as the leading money-winner in thoroughbred history with just under $10 million in winnings and, in 1995 and 1996, he became the first horse since Citation (1948 and 195) to win 16 races in a row against top competition.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Weekend Entertainment

We went to a horse show over the weekend, and apparently, I am behind the trend yet again. It seems that a new level of competitive stick-to-it-tive-ness has sprung up among the event crowd, and it involved the rather novel idea of tacking up (or, more precisely, tacking up again) while riding.

At the recent American Eventing Championships in Texas, a rider had a wardrobe malfunction.




But eventers are "never say die" types, so she simply put the hackamore back on and continued with her course.

Now, it seems, what might have remained a singular oddity has become a trend. At the show this weekend we saw another rider accept the challenge of tacking up while riding. She managed to pull it off (so to speak) rather nicely.




Friday, October 3, 2014

The OOOOOOONNLY WAY TO FLY!

Life has a funny way of slapping me around. This has always been the case, so you would think by now I'd have learned something. But nooooooooo....!

Just a few days ago I let go with a rant about crappy airline service and the utter destruction of the idea that anyone in a major corporation could give a shit about service. But apparently, Singapore Airlines shows me to be completely ignorant of the trend in travel once again.

Behold! The SUITE way to travel. And I do mean sweet!

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO FLY THE $23,000 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SUITES CLASS

 The world's best airline experience from Singapore to New York.

Leonardo diCaprio has enjoyed the suite life, in case you were wondering.

So there you are. I KNEW there was still an extraordinary level of service out there somewhere, I just suspected (rightly) that it had moved significantly beyond my income level. I'm always playing the wrong game at the wrong time...and for a lot less money.

Now it costs $23,000.00 to get a lovely meal and a quiet nap on a plane.

Okay...I'll just keep my mouth shut from now on. I'm going for a swim.

video



Monday, September 29, 2014

Perspective

This is too good not to share.

"3 men, A Frenchmen, a Brit and a Russian are at a museum looking at a portrait of Adam and Eve. The Brit says, “Adam and Eve are British. They wear fig leaves and blush so they must be modest.” The Frenchman says, “no, they are French because they are naked and in love.” The Russian said, “You’re both wrong. They are obviously Russian. They are naked, have only an apple to eat and yet they are told they live in paradise."


From Creaky Pavillion - Life's Residue.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Warm Nuts

A quick perusal of my recent posts shows an inordinate preoccupation with big bombs and apocalyptic Fun Times. So, in the interest of diversity, this morning's rant will be superficial, shallow, meaningless and without any redeeming cultural value.

Warm Nuts.


That is simply the nicest thing I can say about United Airlines' first class service to Hawaii. They give you a cup of warm nuts. And to let you know that I don't just fly off the hook willy nilly, I felt the exact same way LAST YEAR when we flew to Kauai, and I exercised remarkable restraint in not blogging about the utter disappointment of the entire flight.

But  I can not contain myself any longer.

I realize this is a definite First World Gripe, and therefore expect to receive absolutely no sympathy, but unlike most others who might complain simply because their every precious little need was not seen to IMMEDIATELY, I am complaining because of how horrifyingly depressing flying has become...start to finish. And because every precious little need was not seen to IMMEDIATELY!

Gone are the days when flying was FUN! When you could even dash through the airport like a pre-slashing, pro football player, gleefully jumping over luggage and gate seating as you raced for your flight. Now, it is slow, methodical, monotonous, and just deeply disappointing.

Rise of the Machines. 


The computer kiosk greets you. Once upon a time, you checked in with a smiling agent. Now it's a computer kiosk. An agent won't even speak with you until you have dutifully punched the stupid screen with your confirmation number, bag totals, birth date of first born child, etc. Then the non-smiling, distracted agent weighs your luggage, checks your ID (that thing you don't need to participate in selecting the world's most powerful man), and waves past you to the next in line. Move on.

Of course, we all know by now that the next lovely experience in your flight will be the groping by the TSA agent. I refuse to go through their Radiation Ray Gun Machine, and besides, I find that there are entirely too many blue shirts just standing around doing nothing but wasting my tax dollars, so I always request that someone come over and do. their. damn. job. Which is to ensure that I am not carrying high powered explosives. Besides, it gives me the opportunity to have a discussion on the merits of Constitutional rights and the limits of federal power.

After that exciting interlude (if I shut my eyes and fantasize, it's almost worth the trip!) we are off to our gate to find our "lane" and line up under the correct sign, like the good little lemmings that we are.  Once boarded, I plunge into my seat, hand outstretched for that lovely, lovely cocktail -- and it is not there.

WTF?

And here I break into my "In My Day" rant.


In MY day, first class was an "experience." It was intended to be luxurious, not utilitarian; you weren't merely being transported somewhere when traveling first class, you were flying. And when you flew to Hawaii...well...all bets were off. You were greeted with a fresh flower lei, there was cheesy Hawaiian music playing, and the flight attendant had a drink in your hand as soon as your coat was off. Which he or she helped with and hung up for you. Now? There wasn't even a flight attendant in the cabin as the passengers boarded. They were both up front in the galley, probably warming their nuts. After we all stowed our carryons, found closet space to hang jackets, got into our seats...and waited...and waited...and waited...a flight attendant finally appeared with a tray of -- GOOD GOD! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? -- water. Fucking water to sip as we waited on the tarmac for the rest of the flight to board.

I was holding it together. Still smiling. Mostly because my husband had a somewhat meaningful grip on my arm. Okaaaaaay! I'll be good.

In My Day dinner was served on white linen with linen napkins and china, crystal and silverware. Your tray was set for you and a flower placed on each place setting. Then you received your menu, printed on quality stationery with your various choices for appetizers, salads, and a main course. There was always a selection of meat, fish, or chicken.  Thankfully this was before the onslaught of the violent vegetarians. When your dinner was served, it was from a rolling cart, also draped in white linen. If you'd ordered chateaubriand, for example, it was carved for you at your seat. After dinner, the dessert menu was brought around, complete with a full selection of after dinner drinks. Lovely.

Shall I share with you what we were offered, kittens? Yes, of course I will.

Hoisin beef and vegetarian pasta. That's what they called the selections, anyway. In reality they were gelatinous mystery meat in brown sauce and Chef Boyardee. I ordered the pasta, because how can you screw up pasta? Well, there is one way, and they managed it. You don't cook it. Crunchy pasta with tasteless red sauce. I would have preferred ACTUAL Chef Boyardee. Then I could have stuck the soft, little round circles on my nose and had some fun.

There were chocolate chip cookies in paper baggies for dessert. Imagine my delight.

That was it. Other than the larger seats and the warm nuts we received in lieu of an appetizer, we arrived in Hawaii not one bit more indulged or spoiled than anyone else on the entire plane.

In My Day we were expected to meet your expectations...and we spent enormous money on raising them through advertising that promised a wonderful experience. You were treated as a special guest. Your comfort was a priority. Every possible detail was important to create an experience that left you feeling welcomed, refreshed, and even spoiled. Of course, I am perfectly aware of how seriously this idea has been degraded over the years, but I was holding out hope that on a vacation flight like San Francisco to Kauai, first class, there would still be a noticeable effort to offer something more than just a seat and a movie. Now, it seems, there is simply no amount of money that will get anyone to treat you as anything more than a warm body that is, frankly, cutting into their chat time in the galley. I don't suppose this is one of those rants that strikes a cord in anyone else, but having been a part of the industry when it was still vitally important that you made every flight a pleasant experience for everyone on board, and a LUXURIOUS experience for those few in first class, it just sucks that the loss of customer service as a true SERVICE has completely disappeared in flying.

I'm glad I worked for the airlines when I did. It was fun to treat people special. And people were sincerely appreciative of the effort. I don't imagine it would be much fun to hand out crappy beef in slimy sauce and cold, undercooked pasta and call it your best effort. I would be embarrassed.








UPDATE! -- New Foreign Policy for ISIS

Send in the terrorists terriers.




Jacks. The original terrorists.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Boots on the Ground

Airstrikes aren't doing jack shit over in Iraq, perhaps by design, and now many are insisting that the only way to push back ISIS is with "boots on the ground."

But I remember another militaristic, brutal regime that promised to fight to the last man...and then said, "Uncle."

Hiroshima

So...I beg to differ.