May 312009

Fine. The “Big Ass Hole In The Ground” award has to go to nature for this one:


Oh, and a question for any European or Asian tourists-in-America who may be reading this blog:


Over the years I have noticed an odd quirk among Asian tourists (presumption has always been Japanese, but I cannot confirm that) that I have recently also noticed in a great many European tourists (most notably German, or at least German-speaking) tourists: the elevator or bus door opens, and those *outside* rush to get *inside.* This is not only rude, it’s fricken’ stupid. The people inside need to be let out first, otherwise there is a needless “traffic jam” within that confined space.

This happened again today, on a shuttle bus at the Grand Canyon – a shuttle bus which spends several minutes stopped dead at each stop. Bus stops, and two scrawny German-speaking dorks rush onboard, and tried to shove their way past me. Now, y’all know I’m an even-tempered, peace-lovin’ kinda guy, but this annoyed the hell out of me, especially since one of my party is a cripple (yes, that’s right ya bastards, a cripple. Not handicapped, not handicapable, not physically challenged… the cripple in question self-references as a cripple, so if that offends, feel free to bend over, pucker up and bite my shiny metal ass) and needs a little extra time and space to exit the bus. Consequently I stuffed them into a small corner, making it clear that they did not have the right of way. Granola-gnawing vegan Euro-hipster stick figures cannot easily shove their way past an annoyed American carnivore on the upper end of the bell curve in terms of height, weight, width and stubborn-ness. Sure, they gave me dirty looks, but like the UN, that’s about all they were capable of.
So what this hell is it? Is it a common cultural thing to rush onboard a bus that’s not going to leave for five fargin’ minutes, or am I just running into (and over – but that’s another story of high hilarity, elevators, small Japanese tourists and demonstrations of momentum and the advantages of mass) a particularly annoying breed of lame-ass tourist?

So, here’s my little bit of advice if yer planning on visiting the US: calm the hell down. The bus ain’t gonna leave without you.

NOTE: I have no doubt that Americans similarly make asses of themselves while touristing overseas. I’ve seen “European Vacation” and watched Obama in action.

 Posted by at 11:35 pm
May 302009

This time caused not by mining operations, but by a chunk of nickel-iron falling out of the sky:



Note the interesting stitching artifact in the second image above, with the railing sorta vanishing. That’s what happens when you don’t pay adequate attention to staying still while taking pictures of nearby objects. Still, it’s kinda neat.

Meteor Crater in Arizona is a sight not to be missed if’n you’re in the area. The photos above do not do justice to describing how big it is. As hugenormous as it is, though, it pales in comparison to the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah, as documented here earlier.


Note that the Crater, shown in the lower right, is a drop in the bucket compared to the Mine. Humans win again!

 Posted by at 11:57 pm
May 262009

Many falsely claim that “trickle down economics” (the idea being to lower taxes – or at least not raise them – on the rich or businesses so that these rich folk/companies will then prosper, spend money, create jobs, etc) doesn’t work.

Yeah, uh-huh.

Millionaires Go Missing

Maryland couldn’t balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were “willing and able to pay their fair share.” The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would “grin and bear it.”

One year later, nobody’s grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller’s office concedes is a “substantial decline.” On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year — even at higher rates.

Let The Strike begin.

 Posted by at 8:07 am
May 252009

I gather than in the days before the internet, a “Worlds Fair” was an event of some note. And it seems that in those long-gone Before Times, NASA actually had interesting things to show people, with actual  plans for the future. Huh.





 Posted by at 9:51 pm
May 242009





Question: how quickly can a person travel through a city that *defines* the very worst in modern life?

Answer: just as damned fast as traffic conditions allow.

 Posted by at 8:59 pm
May 232009

Seen and photographed in the Hiller Aerospace Museum were a number of 1940’s and 1950’s vintage wood aircraft model kits, ranging from about $12 to about $30. Made by the likes of “Guillow,” “Hobby-Time,” “Maircraft,” “Eagle Solid,” “Strombecker,” “Ray” and “Comet,” I’ve never seen these outside of history books. Apparently someone bought a stash of them back in the day and never did anything with ’em, and they got donated to the museum. I would’ve thought they’d be worth more than the prices that are on ’em.  But not being in a position to buy ’em myself…. if one of y’all goes in, buys them and then makes a mint on eBay… I really don’t want to hear about it. Unless you cut me in for 10% as a finders fee…

img_6717.jpg  img_6718.jpg

 Posted by at 11:27 pm
May 232009

… at half price. That’s air drawings 1 through 37, with the exception of non-downloadable air drawing 13, for the price of $98.00, rather than the usual $196.00.

Sale has ended. 

Since I’m travelling and will be for a while, delivery may take a little longer than usual. Also… hard to tell when I’ll get around to ending the sale.

image1.jpg image171.jpg img_6813.jpg

 Posted by at 8:45 pm