160km and I didn't go anywhere. Well - I did. Emigration Canyon, East Canyon reservoir, I-84, SR89 and I-15. Perfect day for a motorbike ride. 18°C and sunny.
I very nearly got snookered today. I was out looking for a lightweight summer jacket, it being summer and all. Of course I'm too late - everyone is selling furs, fleeces, 1,000,000-tog winter jackets and skiing gear now.
Heaven forbid I should want to buy some clothes for the season I'm in right now. No - the clothing industry would rather I buy bulky winter clothes when its 35°C outside, and light and airy summer clothes when its 15 below zero in the winter.
Fortunately I got the last jacket in one particular store, after ages spent looking. The girl at the checkout was as surprised as me when she exclaimed "I didn't think we had any summer gear left."
Contrary to B*sh's comments on wednesday, it seems that Michael Brown, or Brownie as the "President" called him, isn't doing such a good job after all. In fact, he's been fired from FEMA and replaced with Vice Admiral Thad Allen, chief of staff of the US Coastguard. ie. someone a lot more qualified than an ex Arabian racehorse judge.
I wonder if this is anything to do with the much-embelished resume that Brown had posted on the FEMA site, which Time magazine this week tore to shreds? For example, Brown claims he has a background in state and local government serving as an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight and as a city councilman in Edmond, Oklahoma. Time magazine checked with the Edmond council; Brown was actually an intern to an assistant to a city manager, and had no responsibility and no staff. Still, he was in the old boy network with B*sh so that's how he got his job. The issue now of course is that B*sh has found his scapegoat : Brown. That means the evil son of a bitch is going to get away with it again.
Time Magazine's expose is here.
I wonder if FEMA is now going to pay attention to Ophelia? Given that it's basically standing still off the east coast of Florida, gaining strength but lacking any guiding current, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the next tropical storm, or hurricane Philippe, could become Ophelia's guiding current, and that the storms would merge and destroy Florida. At the very least, Ophelia could loop back on its own.
Or is that just me trying to think ahead ? Good grief! I'm over-qualified - I should be running FEMA :-)
What's the correct plural of 'Airbus'? Airbii? Like fungus and fungii?
Either way I've been up to my nose in a lot of Airbii for the last couple of weeks, tweaking, remodelling, adding new textures and such. I'm 43 aircraft into a 78-aircraft gamut of work right now. It's interesting (if you're into that sort of thing) that the workload of liveries and aircraft types we have to simulate closely tracks the real world. Four years ago, we couldn't get Boeing models out quick enough. Today, Airbus are the majority seller in the airliner market, and I'm on the burner for 78 new derivatives.
It seems that Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff has either adapted to the pathological liar tendencies of the Republicans, or has started smoking crack. Last week he said "We didn't think things would get that bad" and today he told the press "I think the situation in the Superdome was not as bad as the TV pictures were making out."
Similarly, on the Daily Show last night, they showed the clip of B*sh saying "We didn't anticipate that the levys would break." By "we" I assume he means "I", because NOAA, the national press, FEMA, the local city council, the mayor, the governer, the news channels and the engineers were all resigned to the fact that they would break, and that was on the saturday before Katrina hit.
As Jon Stewart put it : it is inarguably the fault of the federal government and the person responsible for that at the highest level is the President.
The republicans need to stop playing politics with people's lives, and need to stop trying to smear Ray Nagin and the other local and state officials. Unlike B*sh who stayed on vacation for three days after the event, and unlike the federal government who did nothing, state and local officials were the only ones doing anything.
iTunes fails again. No Sigue Sigue Sputnik dammit. I can't even find any on the torrents. All I want is a hit of '21st century boy' but I can't get it anywhere :-( If you have any of "Flaut It", specifically Love Missile F1-11 and 21st Century Boy, drop me a line....Mark...? Also - if you know what the font is that they used on the old album covers.....
Meanwhile the Scooby is back in business. I had the service guys baffled - fortunately it ground and buzzed when one of them was in the car with me. They now reckon it was the new pads they put on.
Really? Do carry on....
They think that because the new pads are metallic, they're "wearing in". They've put some guck on them to try to quiet them down a bit.
Amazing. I told them three times it was the new brake pads. And they finally came to the same conclusion. Anyone would think I know my car.
This page makes fantastic reading, with a breakdown of how the rest of the world is viewing B*sh's total and complete failure with regards to Katrina. I particularly like El Pais' view on it:
Up until Monday, Bush was the president of the war in Iraq and 9/11. Today there are few doubts that he will also pass into history as the president who didn't know how to prevent the destruction of New Orleans and who abandoned its inhabitants to their fate for days.
This brake problem on the Scooby is really starting to piss me off. It sounds like one of the brake pads in the calipers at the front is misaligned, or the caliper is sticking or something. About 50% of the time when I brake, it does it now, but today when we were stopping somewhere on State Street, it was buzzing and vibrating, then there was an audible and feelable "clunk" from the front end somewhere and the buzzing and vibration stopped. Next set of lights, the brakes were quiet, then at about 10mph, there was the clunk again and they buzzed and vibrated down to a stop.
I don't care what Mark Miller Subaru say, it's not the rear brakes, it's not the rotors and it's not "just me". The car did not do this before the emissions and inspection when they replaced the front pads. Since then, after 2 return visits to get it fixed, it's continued to do it. It's obviously something they did - I just don't know what. It's going back again tomorrow and they can keep it and give me a loaner until they find the problem and fix it. I'm sick of going back and forth to that place. I've never had a problem with them before now, but this is sorely testing my patience.
The Americans are never happy with using existing words when they can mangle the language by adding more words that don't mean anything, and/or are unneccessary. For example, the Army Corps of Engineers have decided they are going do "de-water" New Orleans. For God's sake - no you're not. You're going to either pump it out, or drain it. "De-water" is not a word or phrase.
And CNN keeps referring to people who are moved out to the more "healthful" environments like the Astrodome in Houston. Or "healthy" as we like to say.
Meanwhile, the stuffed shirts have been all over the TV today crying foul at the complaints about federal inaction. They've beeen giving all sorts of excuses about why it took so long to react. When a reporter asked how it was that people in Bangladesh can cope with floods better than America, the 4-star general found a reason to leave and deferred the question to his 3-star minion, who the press then proceeded to tear to pieces.
They were going on about "you don't put relief supplies in the path of a hurricane - you wait until its over". Duh! You put them at the ready, outside where you know the hurricane is going to hit, then you set the trucks going the minute the winds drop below 60mph and put all the helicopters in the air right then.
Then they started going on about procedure and how it isn't easy in government to "just do something" without it being signed in triplicate. That argument speaks volumes about their unwillingness to take responsibility for anything. What they should have done, of course, is screw procedure - save lives and evacuate first, then sort out the paperwork later. Instead they dithered and stalled and held press conference after press conference while people were dying, buildings were being torched, and gangs of armed men were roaming the streets shooting at people and committing random acts of larson, rape and looting. That the stuffed shirts value procedure over human life is another issue they need to answer to when this is all over.