Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Drive-By Daybook August 31

Last 'blue moon' until 2015 lights up night sky tonight Tonight's blue moon also happens to fall on the day of late astronaut Neil Armstrong's memorial service.

Catchy headline of the day from the oneCʘsmos' most demented wordsmith: The Satanic Fecundity of Envy


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 31, 2012 10:38 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
State of the Union: The Tombstone Blues


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 31, 2012 10:15 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Poster
"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life." -- Paul Ryan

Power Politics in less than 24 hours. By XG | Crossroads Generation

UPDATE: This just in from Flickr: BKeyser_'s Photostream


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2012 5:51 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What to Say. What to Do: Silent Cal Gives Mitt a Clue

Once upon a time, there was another Republican and Conservative governor of Massachusetts who became president. Here is Calvin Coolidge making the first Presidential "talkie" in 1924. His subject? The runaway costs of government.

"This country needs every ounce of its energy to restore itself. The costs of government are all assessed upon the people.
“This means that the farmer is doomed to provide a certain amount of money out of the sale of his produce, no matter how low the price, to pay his taxes. The manufacturer, the professional man, the clerk, must do the same from their income. The wage earner-often at a higher rate when compared to his earnings-makes his contribution, perhaps not directly but indirectly, in the advanced cost of everything he buys.

“The expenses of government reach everybody.

“Taxes take from everyone a part of his earnings and force everyone to work for a certain part of his time for the government.

“When we come to realize that the yearly expenses of the governments of this country-the stupendous sum of about $7.5 billion -- $700 million needed by the national government. And the remainder by local governments.

“Such a sum is difficult to comprehend. It represents all the pay of 5 million wage earners making $5 a day, working for 300 days in the year. If the government should add $100 million of expense, it should represent four days more work of these wage earners. These are some of the reasons why I want to cut down public expense.

“I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves.

“I want them to have the rewards of their own industry-this is the chief meaning of freedom.

“Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty.

“These results are not fanciful, they are not imaginary, they are grimlt actual, and real, reaching into every household in the land. They take from each home annually an average of over $300.00, and taxes must be paid. They are not a voluntary contribution to be met out of surplus earnings. They are a stern necessity. They come first.

“It is only out of what is left, after they are paid, that the necessities of food, clothing, and shelter can be provided and the comforts of home secured, or the yearnings of the soul for a broader and more abundant life gratified.

“When the government affects a new economy, it grants everybody a life pension with which to raise the standards of existence. It increases the value of everybody's property, raises the scale of everybody's wages.

“One of the greatest favors that can be bestowed on the American people is economy in government."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2012 5:13 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Whittle On The Incredible Shrinking Man, or "The small and sad little fellow still looking for the love he never got from his absent father and neglectful mother."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2012 10:01 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Amazing: Isaac Makes Landfall by Moonlight


"The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby, don't cry
Don't cry"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2012 7:43 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Odd Plaques of Dealey Plaza, Dallas

"National Significance"

"One thing that always stuck me as odd on my various trips to Dealey Plaza over the years is that there is a plaque at the side of the road where Kennedy as assassinated that reads: “This site possesses national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America”. Why not say what actually happened?" -- Laughing Squid

Why not indeed? And also, what's with the "allegedly"? Did the city fathers of Dallas just get tired of beating back the whackos?

"Allegedly shot"


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 28, 2012 5:46 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Terrifying [Racist Republican] Weather Event Moves Ever Closer to Wiping [Black Population of] New Orleans Off the Planet

Population shaking in their boots. Frozen with fear. Paralyzed with panic. It's Armageddon for New Orleans in 5, 4, 3, 2....

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 28, 2012 4:50 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Life of Neil Armstrong: "Those slopes are steep, the rocks are very large....

The Boilermaker, Neil Armstrong by Brokenmouse


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 26, 2012 12:44 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Neil Armstrong Passes: The American Who Will Be Remembered.... For As Long As the Human Race Exists

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 25, 2012 2:28 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
[Bumped New Commentary] Signage: How Do You Really Screw Up Something Universal? Redesign It!

It may be said that "Not all who wander are lost," but the overweening ego that looks to redesign a common interface that has been taught to hundreds of millions guarentees that "all who read this will become lost if not injured and dead."

No profession other than politics has more raw hubris sewage sloshing about in it than "graphic" design. Manual is such a design firm; a firm so deeply sunk in slop that you know without looking that it has to be based in San Francisco and hence already targeted for nuking from orbit. But before they go out on the downstroke they'd like to take a crack at the road signage system. Why? Because they can ultimately write "an app for that."

All current drivers from 16 to 99 know what these mean.

Nobody knows what these mean. Care to figure them out at 70 MPH?

We took on the task of redesigning the US road signage system. For a country so heavily reliant on cars, we feel the current signage system is confusing, inconsistent and messy. Our plan is to modernize and add clarity to a signage system that millions of road users rely upon every day. .... For a country so heavily reliant on cars, we feel the current signage system is confusing, inconsistent and messy. Our plan is to modernize and add clarity to a signage system that millions of road users rely upon every day. The current use of shields feels dated and too “police state”, so we have abandoned them in the main system. However, we have retained a simplified shield for historic routes as we appreciate they may have a certain Americana charm. -- Manual /€” Icon Magazine - Rethink
Shields. So retro. So "police state," don't you know? Odds are whatever staff pretend to work at Manual have no problem voting for the current PC police state of San Francisco. And how does the so-edgily named operation known as "Manual" define itself? Via post-post-modern bullshit, of course: "Manual is a design and visual communication studio. Our work strives to uncover the intangible essence of a brand and express it through unique visual solutions. In doing so, we give brands more value and distinction." So would you trust your day and your life at 70 MPH to this "branding bullshit" group? If so, pre-deploy your airbags and make ready for impact with the median!

HT: Tim George

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 24, 2012 9:52 AM | Comments (49)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Might Want to Set Aside an Evening in November


"Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln."€ a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President'€™s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.
"Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook and Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln” is produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner, based in part on the book €œTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln€ by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The DreamWorks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox film, in association with Participant Media, releases in U.S. theaters exclusive on November 9, 2012, with expansion on November 16, 2012. -- /Film

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 23, 2012 3:44 AM | Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
How We Live Now: Israeli biblical park outfits donkeys with Wi-Fi


"American tourist Ella uses an iPad while riding a Wi-Fi-outfitted donkey lead by her brother Aaron, in Kfar Kedem, a biblical reenactment park in the village of Hoshaya in the Galilee, Israel, on August 22, 2012. Visitors riding donkeys through the Old Testament landscape can now also surf the web while being transported across the land of the Bible. Organizers are hoping to connect the younger generation to ancient Galillee life while allowing them to like, share, tweet and snap it instantly to their friends." -- Animals in the News - In Focus - The Atlantic

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 22, 2012 5:48 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Late Ripeness by Czeslaw Milosz


Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,
I felt a door opening in me and I entered
the clarity of early morning.

One after another my former lives were departing,
like ships, together with their sorrow.

And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seas
assigned to my brush came closer,
ready now to be described better than they were before.

I was not separated from people,
grief and pity joined us.
We forget – I kept saying – that we are all children of the King.

For where we come from there is no division
into Yes and No, into is, was, and will be.

We were miserable, we used no more than a hundredth part
of the gift we received for our long journey.

Moments from yesterday and from centuries ago –
a sword blow, the painting of eyelashes before a mirror
of polished metal, a lethal musket shot, a caravel
staving its hull against a reef – they dwell in us,
waiting for a fulfillment.

I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,
as are all men and women living at the same time,
whether they are aware of it or not.

[Translated by Robert Hass]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 22, 2012 10:13 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I've got nothing to say and I'm saying it."

Just add words.

Discovered @ This. | Primordial Slack

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 21, 2012 2:58 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obamagas: Why Pay Less?


Across the U.S., prices range from a low of $3.43 per gallon in South Carolina to $4.32 in Hawaii. Arizona, Mississippi and New Mexico also have average prices below $3.50 per gallon, while California and Illinois are up above the $4 mark.

So, Grasshopper, are you driving more or less than you did four years ago?

[Graph via The Ulsterman Report]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 20, 2012 1:40 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Old Ironsides Still Under Sail

USS Constitution sets sail again in Boston Harbor

USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat.... The crew of the Constitution and her commanding officer, Commander Matt Bonner, during the bicentennial observances of the War of 1812, sailed the Constitution under her own power on August 19, 2012, the anniversary of her defeat of the Guerriere. Bonner is Constitution's 72nd commanding officer. -- Wikipedia

USS Constitution: Engagement with HMS Guerriere

".... and gave us an opportunity of pouring in upon his Larboard Bow several Broadsides, which made great havock amongst his men on the forecastle and did great injury to his forerigging, and sails, The Enemy put his helm to Port, at the time we did, but his MizenMast being over the quarter, prevented her coming too, which brought us across his Bows, with his Bowsprit over our Stern. At this moment I determined to board him, but the instant the Boarders were called, for that purpose, his Foremast, and Mainmast went by the board, and took with them the Gib-boom, and every other Spar except the Bowsprit. On seeing the Enemy totally disabled, and the Constitution received but little injury I ordered the Sails filled, to hawl off, and repair our damages and return again to renew the action...."


Old Ironsides

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon’s roar;—
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more!

Her deck, once red with heroes’ blood
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o’er the flood
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor’s tread,
Or know the conquered knee;—
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

O, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every thread-bare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,—
The lightning and the gale!

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 19, 2012 9:11 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Mythic: "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in;
He said,"Fellas, it's bin good t'know ya!"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 18, 2012 5:28 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On "Niggerization:" An Open Letter to Toure of MSNBC

"Accusing Mitt Romney of "niggarization" is ugly, base, cheap and just plain wrong. -- Kira Davis

HT: Rob De Witt

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 17, 2012 4:49 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Amazing: "Imaging at a trillion frames per second"

Photon packet [Right] transiting bottle

Ramesh Raskar presents femto-photography, a new type of imaging so fast it visualizes the world one trillion frames per second, so detailed it shows light itself in motion. This technology may someday be used to build cameras that can look "around" corners or see inside the body without X-rays.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 17, 2012 11:15 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In•Teresting Items

Will Obama Stage a Self-Coup?

Perhaps America, needs to suffer a disastrous, doomed coup attempt that gets lots of good people killed for nothing, after a resentful Black President loses in a landslide. Maybe only that horror show will shock America into confronting the truth of Black (and White elite) dysfunction and absolute, complete, and utter failure on every level imaginable.

Weeds cover a deserted theme park north of Beijing
China's ghost towns and phantom malls
The Disneyesque castle and medieval ramparts of this theme park north of Beijing, conceived nearly 20 years ago, lie abandoned. Local farmers grow crops among the empty buildings.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 17, 2012 8:30 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Educational: How to Eat a Watermelon Tutorial

"Instructions were too vague. I woke up in Tijuana with no pants on."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 15, 2012 10:53 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink

For Sale: Check Out Card Signed by Elvis Presley

In 1948, the Man Who Would Be King checked The Courageous Heart, a biography of Andrew Jackson, out of the library at Humes High School.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 15, 2012 7:29 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Oh, the Country's In the Very Best of Hands


How's the Sooper Genius Executive Talent Due to Take Over America's Health Care Working for Veterans?

Let's review: VA office stacked 37,000 files on cabinets after running out of storage - U.S. News

At the VA's Winston-Salem Regional Office in North Carolina, an estimated 37,000 claims folders had been stored on top of file cabinets, according to the Inspector General's report released last week. Those piles had been stacked two feet high and two rows deep. The file cabinets were so close to each other that drawers could not be opened completely. More files had been stored in boxes on the floor and stacked along the wall.

A load-bearing study found that the weight of the files exceeded the floor's capacity by 39 pounds per square foot.
"The excess weight of the stored files has the potential to compromise the structural integrity of the sixth floor of the facility," said the Inspector General report. "We noticed floors bowing under the excess weight to the extent that the tops of file cabinets were noticeably unlevel throughout the storage area."

[More grisly DETAILS HERE.]

This particular office handles a mere 770,000 veterans' various disability and medical claims and records. Just imagine what it and other offices like it across the nation are going to be able to do with the records and needs of 320 MILL-I-ON! citizens.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 14, 2012 7:32 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Last Clear Victory: V-J Day, August 14, 1945

Photo from V-J Day in Contact Sheets @ Iconic Photos

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 14, 2012 7:26 AM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Second American Revolution

Relax, it's just a movie promo.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 13, 2012 2:23 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Or, as we call it around my house, "The New American Freak Show"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 11, 2012 6:06 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Smoking Obama's Crack and Yearning for the Mud

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 10, 2012 9:17 AM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When I see this fascist rig ...


Birddog @ Maggie's Farm see this spiffy new stimulus-money bought truck parked at the beach and asks, "What the heck?"

Me? I see them and go back to my car for:

Caltrop used by the US Office of Strategic Services. The hollow spikes puncture self-sealing rubber tires. The hole in the center allows air to escape even if the other end of the tube is sealed by soft ground.

At least 4. This crap's gotta stop somewhere. Time to fight them bitches on the beaches.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 9, 2012 7:42 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Famous Last Words: "No problem, I've done this thousands of times...."

It looks friendly so it probably won't bite you.
Soak the coal in gasoline first and then light it.
Let's cut down that really tall tree ourselves & save some money.
It won't hurt the mower if you go over some rocks.
My tire is low but I can still make it home without any problems.
You can point that laser anywhere as long as you don't hit them in the eye.
It's fine.... cops know the difference between real and fake guns.
Let's put some gasoline in the carburetor to get it to start....

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 8, 2012 8:39 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Okay... You're Russian and you got this Canadian Marijuana Plantation... and you got 13 bears... and they are, check it out, guarding it and then this Vietnamese pig....

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 6, 2012 12:31 AM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On First Looking Out of JPL's Rover


Much have I imagined the arcing vaults of space,
And many fiery launches and cold orbits seen;
Round the darksided moon have I been,
And raised a flag above Tranquility base.
Oft on one Red Planet would I place
Dreams of deep-brow'd Bradbury's Morning Green
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I saw Curiosity gaze upon our brother's face:
Then felt I like some sentinel in strange skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like those at JPL, when the Curiosity's eyes
Delivered them an image through the stars,
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise--
"All green" upon the dusty plains of Mars.

(Apologies to Keats. who would understand)

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 5, 2012 11:45 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Palin's Clout Continues

This just in: Sarah Palin: Senate kingmaker - David Catanese -

“She’s a rock star right now in Republican Senate primaries. She’s hit a pretty strong streak,” said Scott Bensing, a former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “She gives the impression that she has deeply held beliefs she’s willing to take on water for and doesn’t really care what her critics think. She comes off resolute and principled.”

Reminds me (courtesy of an attentive reader) of this from November, 2010:

[AGAIN] LET'S REVIEW: How Sarah Palin Will HAS Become the Most Powerful Republican... and [UPDATED] will be the next President of the United States.

NOVEMBER4, 2010: This just in from SarahPAC

Just who do you think that grizzly is?

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 4, 2010 At Morgan's place where the daggers are being drawn, sheathed, and drawn again in the comments:

House of Eratosthenes

Obama will be challenged, and He will lose. There isn’t time for the Tea Party to form, recruit, organize, and offer a candidate. Libertarians don’t have the flexibility to ever become relevant. It all comes down to, a Republican is going to be sworn in on January 20, 2013. There really isn’t any avoiding it.

It won’t be Sarah Palin…if she doesn’t want to do it.

Or if she’s hit by a bus, or eaten by a bear.

Or if aliens abduct her.

Or if a majority of Americans become simultaneously transfixed and enamored with Newt, or Huck, or Mitt. The three erstwhile gentlemen who have almost completely sat this whole thing out, while Palin has been out stumping and speechifying and endorsing, and generally being a potent force.

She’s easy on the eyes, too. Plus, she owns this night like nobody else in the country does, except maybe Rick Santelli.

At lot can happen in twenty-six months. But at this point, an awful lot would have to happen to stop her from being the next president. None of these events are terribly likely, and a whole bunch of loudmouths yammering over and over again how much they’re irritated by her, aren’t going to make it happen.

Like it or not, it would be entirely reasonable to pick out the perfect bearskin rug for the Oval Office. If that makes you mad, you can get just as mad about it as you want to. She’s headed in that direction and there’s nothing in her way.

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 4, 2010 -- Sarah Palin today:The Midterms: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward - National Review Online

"In the coming weeks there will also be a debate about the viability of particular candidates. Anyone with the courage to throw his or her hat in the ring and stand up and be counted always has my respect. Some of them were stronger candidates than others, but they all had the courage to be “in the arena.” The second lesson of this election is one a number of the candidates had to learn to their cost: Fight back the lies immediately and consistently. Some candidates assumed that, once they received their party’s nomination, the conservative message would automatically carry the day. Unfortunately, political contests aren’t always about truth and justice. Powerful vested interests will combine to keep bad candidates in place and good candidates out of office. Once they let themselves be defined as “unfit” (decorated war hero Joe Miller) or “heartless” (pro-life, international women’s rights champion Carly Fiorina), good candidates often find it virtually impossible to get their message across. The moral of their stories: You must be prepared to fight for your right to be heard."


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 5, 2012 8:28 PM | Comments (53)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Four Formerly Funny Fellows Frown

Once he quit cocaine it was all downhill into the morass of mawkishness for Williams. For the others it was just age and chance.

PhotoOp staged by Twitter / SteveMartinToGo

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 5, 2012 12:11 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Curiosity Just Days Away From Mars

Curiosity Launching

"More than eight months ago, on November 26, 2011, NASA launched its newest rover named Curiosity from Florida's Cape Canaveral, headed to the planet Mars. Now, after traveling hundreds of millions of kilometers, the landing is scheduled to take place at 1:31 am Eastern Time on Monday, August 6 (10:31 pm August 5, Pacific Time). The capsule containing the rover will experience "seven minutes of terror", decelerating through the Martian atmosphere, as a series of entry events quickly take place, ending with a rocket-powered sky crane lowering the rover gently to the surface. Curiosity is a beast of a rover, weighing one ton, measuring ten feet long by seven feet tall (at the top of the mast), and powered by a plutonium-238 fueled electrical generator. The rover carries ten instruments, including several high-resolution cameras, and a laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument called ChemCam that can vaporize tiny amounts of minerals and analyze their components. If all goes according to plan, Curiosity is scheduled for a stay on Mars of about 668 Martian sols, or nearly two Earth years, starting in Gale crater. Researchers hope to use the tools on Curiosity to study whether the area in Gale crater has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life and for preserving clues about whether life existed. (Most of these photos were featured in a November, 2011 entry, when Curiosity was launched). [36 photos] " -- - In Focus - The Atlantic

Curiosity Landing. Source of giant Martian not disclosed by NASA.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 3, 2012 7:13 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Angels Are Back and Passing Over the House All Afternoon


Blue Angels visit Seattle- - U.S. Navy Blue Angels pilots Lt. C.J. Simonsen, back, and Lt. David Tickle, middle, fly in formation with Team Oracle stunt pilot Sean D. Tucker, front, on Aug. 2, 2012, near downtown Seattle. Tucker and the Blue Angels are in town for the annual Seafair summer festival featuring an air show and other events.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2012 5:41 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Boys of Summer

Out on the road today
I saw a deadhead sticker on a cadillac
A little voice inside my head said:
"Don't look back, you can never look back"
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go

I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got the top pulled down
Radio on baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got your hair slicked back and those
Wayfarers on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer, have gone

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2012 1:40 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wicked This Way Comes: Clint Eastwood. "I Talk To the Trees"

You have been warned.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2012 10:59 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Americans: The Light Foot Militia


The panhandle of Idaho is known for its beautiful mountains, trees, and waterways.
It's also home to a growing group of men and women who call themselves the Idaho regiment of the Light Foot Militia. Members believe they are the "teeth of the Constitution" at a time of economic and political uncertainty for the United States of America.
Cody Hoyt, a corporal in the Light Foot militia, looks west over the Clark Fork River and Lake Pend Oreille near the Idaho and Montana border during an overnight cold weather training exercise.

The Light Foot Militia Slideshow is HERE.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2012 8:01 AM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
McKayla Maroney's Vault, The "Amanar" -- Difficulty: 10 Perfection: 10+

Perfection is seldom seen in this life. It's mostly near misses, hard tries, do-overs, quitting or a grudging "that's good enough." Nothing wrong with that. That is, as they say, just life and life only. Too much perfection is a mistake. But when perfection does come along, we all see it and we all applaud it. It reminds us that perfection is not just some abstract goal but something that can be achieved. Yesterday the Olympics delivered a moment of perfection to the world with McKayla Maroney's vault. Swift, quick, and soaring, it lifts the soul and the heart. It's called the "Amanar:"

As it happened. In the first three seconds above look for the glaring stare of supreme focus between the smile and the beginning. It's just there for a split-second, but it is the key.

Hard to follow? Try it in slow-mo.

And from another angle. "Look at the height!"

How difficult is the "Amanar?" Here's how it is done:

Maroney indicated to the judges that she was ready to vault. She paused for a moment, staring at the vaulting table, looking fierce. Then she slid back on her left foot, as if loading a spring, and launched down the run. At a full sprint she hurdled herself onto her hands and into a round-off. Her feet slammed into the springboard and her back arched toward the table, her hands finding the crest of the slope. She kept her arms straight and punched off the table — Maroney has one of the best blocks in the world — and suddenly she was a bottle rocket launched. Her body flew high, her torso extended, her legs straight and fused, and only when she reached the height of her flight did she start to spin, remaining totally tight as she twisted and flipped. After two and a half twists, she opened up, stopped her rotation, and prepared her body for the landing. That vault — a 2.5-twisting Yurchenko, also called an "Amanar" or, by the gymnasts, a "2.5" — has a blind landing, which means she couldn't see the floor coming. She took a large step forward, but it was a controlled step. -- The key to victory for the U.S. women's gymnastics team lies with its vault, the Amanar, a 2.5 Yurchenko - Grantland
How overwhelmingly perfect was this vault? Well, even though someone among the judges found a "reason" to shave a whisper off a perfect score, this judge's expression at the moment Maroney landed tells the truth:

Maroney didn't win gold for the team with the vault but it did give Team USA a 1.7-point lead in the first rotation. No other team could catch up to that. Long after the judges who robbed her of her perfect score are forgotten, Maroney and her team mates will be remembering those fleeting seconds of absolute perfection. And those memories will be solid gold.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 1, 2012 11:37 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The [NSFW] 2010 Women's Water Polo Team

This is the old 2010 squad, but I'm sure you`re OK with that.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 1, 2012 10:16 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
An American: Muhammad Ali / U.S. Olympic Team Tribute

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 1, 2012 8:24 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: There Is A City....

"Once a year on August 1st, the people of Warsaw pay hommage to the fallen heroes that fought for freedom in 1944 during the Warsaw Uprising. The biggest rebellion against German Nazi occupation during WWII cost over 200 000 lives and destruction of the capital. "

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 1, 2012 1:19 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
G2E Media GmbH