I have one of these! At least, I used to...
Once TWWKMT see this, I'm sure she'll hide it.
TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE
Famous the Uncle Jay will explain- no...it will take too long. Uncle Jay will sum up all the weird shit happening around him. Famous!
I almost had a Lochte moment at about 4 this morning...
I pulled into a gas-food-ice-24hours to fuel up and (more urgently) get rid of some processed coffee.
I fueled, then tried to hit the head-
I went to the security window to speak to the service attendant- a young man of ethnic origin- pointed in the vague direction of the bathroom and pantomimed unlocking & opening the door...
He shrugs his shoulders and yells through the money slot...
YMEO: "IS OUT SER-BISS"
YMEO: "OUT SER-BISS. BROKE."
The initial urge to urinate into the money slot/speaking tube was nigh overwhelming...
I did, however, remember the Lochte Lesson and did not vandalize the Gas&Go...
But there is a very upset ficus tree suffering from ammonia, sodium, caffine and trace elements between there and I-95...
TBG - (Relieved without criminal indictment)
Two items for your edification and amusement today, Constant Readers.
First- I am assuming you are one of the Smart People that actually check your luggage at the ticketing counter.
If you are, good for you. Spot on!
If you are one of those morons who insist on schlepping all your worldly goods into one bag and ignore the pleading from the gate attendant that you bag will not fit in the overhead and drag your steamer trunk down the aisle smacking everyone along the way in the knee, shoulder or head as you make your way to steerage class seating, only to find there is no room for your "carry-on bag" and have to inconvenience everyone doing your best salmon-swimming-upstream imitation to admit defeat and gate check your bag anyway, WTF, dude?
"BUT!" You'll stammer "I beat the airline! I didn't have to pay $25! I'm the winner here."
Shut up, asshole. Just sit down and play Crunchy Fruit or V'jazzled or whatever on your smartphone while first aid is administered to the other passengers that suffered injury as you passed to-and-fro with that footlocker that was festooned with razorblades and broken glass "to make it more identifiable".
If you are one of these assholes, please skip reading this, quit your job, destroy your smartphone, and move somewhere like Irkutsk or Ulan Bataar and reevaluate your life choices.
But you, you clever Constant Reader that knows your should check your bags and your privilege to make everyone's life easier... Good on ya.
Ready for that tip?
A trip to Lost Baggage is a trial and tribulation all its own.
Might as well call it "Lost Sanity" or "Lost Souls".
Lost Baggage is were airlines send troublesome employees. Folks that they would like to see change vocation or just go away.
Most people don't make it long there. You have to deal with angry people who are missing their belongings after a long flight. It's bad when you are getting home from a month in a 3rd World shithole. Much worse to lose your bag on the outbound side- arriving for work or vacation with only the clothes on your back. You'll want to tear the arms off the Poor Bastard in Lost Baggage- to impress upon him that You Need Your Fucking Bags Pronto, Cochise. Too much of that on a daily basis will make you long for a job in Roadkill Disposal in West Texas. Or late-night gas station attendant in Birmingham Alabama.
Now, there are a few sadists out the that derive pleasure from the pain and suffering of others, and they fit right it in Lost Souls & Baggage...
This is the guy that loves to hear how much you are suffering by being deprived of your bags. He finds your bags in short order, but sends them out for delivery after 1:30am. He'll call you at 2, 2:30, and 3am to let you know they are on the way...
Waking you up each time.
He'll give instructions to the delivery guy to honk three times outside your house, then knock loudly on the door when dropping the bag off.
But I digress.
Here's your travel ProTip:
Take a picture of your bag(s) with your smartphone.
That way, when you arrive at your destination, and your bag(s) don't and you have to make that trip to Lost Baggage you will be prepared.
You: "It's a black duffle bag."
Lost Baggage Bastard: "Yes, but what *kind* of black duffle bag?"
He will helpfully pull out an 11x17 laminated sheet with 472 different kinds of black duffle bags.
You, you smart Constant Reader will pull out your phone show him a picture of the bag, shortcircuiting his next 62 questions detailing brands, straps, piping, logos, ID tags, distinguishing modifications like ribbons or colored markers.
It will all be there in the picture.
That will take the wind out of his sails.
You will be on your way with a song in your heart and a slip of paper ensuring the your bags will be along Any Time Now, so be of good cheer.
And listen for the honk in your driveway at 3 AM.
That can't be helped.
Second Pro Tip - Houston International Arrivals.
Are you Global Entry? If so, good on ya.
If not, do it. Do it now.
Are you TSA PreCheck?
If not, do it. It's worth it.
What does this have to do with IAH?
When you arrive in Houston from some 3rd World shithole like, say, Rio de Janeiro Brazil, you'll stand in line to clear passport control... Global Entry will speed this process from 40+ mins to less that 5 minutes. You may or may not claim your bags, based on the aforementioned situation with Lost Baggage.
But the idea is to make the connection as smooth as possible.
After you pass the last customs check where you hand in your blue customs form or your global entry ticket, you'll be at baggage recheck.
Give them your bags (if you have them) then they will direct you upstairs to security for entry to the sterile area of the airport.
There is a big sign for TSA PreCheck there but IT'S NEVER OPEN. You will always have to go through regular scanning (Full Monty nude-o-vision scoping, shoes off, unpack your backpack, body cavity search).
I button-holed a nice lady with a Global Services sign this AM and asked her if the PreCheck was open today.
Global Service Lady: "Oh honey, that's never open. I've been here 20 years and it's never been opened up one time."
YT: "Is there another option?"
GSL: "Lord yes! Just drop your bag at ReCheck the go out the doors that say "Welcome to Houston and take the escalator up one level. PreCheck is always open there. Easy as pie."
And it was...
When I cleared security from that side I could see the other security lanes- easily 200 people going through 2 lanes.
And to add insult to injury, it was a shit-ton of international arrivals - half returning US citizen with lots of carry-on shit needing scrutiny, the other half are Foreign Devils (including kids and ReallyOldPeople) that were having a tough time navigating escalators and moving sidewalks and eyed luggage carts with suspicion. US-Style security scanning is more confusing to them than non-Euclidian geometric analysis of half-life proton decay is to flatworms.
Listen to your Uncle Jay, bypass the international arrival recheck security line. Go out the back in through the main security entrance.
TBG - still travelin'
Names and monikers use in addressing me during the Rio Games
John (used by those who don't know better or know me by legal paperwork. Like cops and attorneys.)
Hey- IDS guy...
Famous / Amazing!
I'm sure there were some terms/names used about me- but as long as they were polite when they actually spoke to me, I didn't rip anyone's arms off.
TBG - Travelin'
"I like, went to this club. Was cray cray, I was so wasted. We got some dude to take us back but I had to piss so we stop at this shithole gas station. Fucking doors locked man. Fuckers aren't stopping me though, I'm murican. So I kick down that door with one unstoppable roundhouse and we go piss on the floor to show them who's boss. Wouldn't you know it, some rent a cop starts yellin some jibberish at us and waving a gun. I'm like bro, I had to piss, door had to go. He just kept going on his voodoo speak so I tossed dude a couple hundo's and bailed. Now dudes all pissed that I went and told everyone how awesome I was. Haters. So yea murica, I'm sorry bro."
P: "Hey - we gotta change all our user names and passwords on all our machines. That gonna affect your stuff?"YT: "Not a bit. What's up?"P: "Fucking social media and basic stupidity. Some moron back in the home office wrote their user name and password on a piece of tape on their keyboard.
Today, she took a picture of a cupcake on her keyboard and posted it to Facebook.
With the username and password in full view."YT: "Wow. Fired?"P: "Shoulda been, but she invoked the Hillary defense. She didn't do it with malicious intent, so she's still around."
"Make sure your driver knows the way to the stadium.Dude... Never get out of the boat.
Mine didn't, and we were totally lost in a not-very-nice area. The driver finally pulled over and found a guy with a machete, no shirt, prison tattoos, sitting by flaming oil drum full of burning chunks of old automobile tires under an overpass to ask about directions.
I was hiding under the back seat of the van. I knew we were both going to die!"
Snot-nosed Young Lad: "Dang. Those things DO work!? I thought is was just an air freshener or something. I never saw one working before now."I guess if there isn't an iPhone control app for it, it's not worth using.
Yours Truly: "What, you haven't got your chip yet?"I gave him the name of a certain Curmudgeon who hates EVERYBODY, especially the interns...
S-NYL: "My what?"
YT: "Your chip. Your RFID chip from NBC."
S-NYL: Puzzled look, like a cocker spaniel when you make a squeaky noise.
YT: "Yeah, you need to go down to Engineering and ask for your chip implant. It activates the hand driers, but the really cool stuff they do is things like giving you access to the VIP sections in different venues- really useful in the Gymnastics and the Swimming venues. It also gives you access to the motorpool to get from site to site... Just get in one of the NBC cars and wave your hand over the reader and tell the driver where you want to go.
There's a bunch of other stuff... It'll be in the brochure they give you when they implant the chip...
S-NYL: "Everybody gets them?"
YT: "Yep...If you know who to ask. Just keep it on the down-low. The less people that know, the better."
EG: "Hey- I've lost my connection."Day Two:
YT: "WHAT?!" (Frantically pinging his switch and computers. Nothing. Oh shit.)
YT: "Find your Truck Guy, trace the blue cable from your switch to the patch block, make sure it's still plugged in. Then, look in the TOC for the cable bundle labeled 'GRAPHICS" make sure #6 is in port 45 on switch 2."
EG: "Find the truck guy. Got it."
YT: "Oh shit..." I grabbed my tool back and headed out the door.
Before I got to the shuttle bus, my phone rang.
EG: "Found it. Someone moved the cable."
YT: "Who? Who did it. What moronic motherhumper in the OAS compound is going to wind up with a 4 pound hammer embedded in his forehead?"
EG: "Don't know, but it's fixed."
YT: "Find out." (click)
RJ: "Hey- I've lost my connection."Grab my bag and head to the shuttle.
YT: "WHAT?!" (Frantically pinging his switch and computers. Nothing. Oh shit.)
TM: "I know why you're here... Sorry- my fault. it's fixed now."Is it unreasonable for me to expect that while we are ON THE AIR that people don't pull out cables that they don't know what it's attached to?
YT: stunned silence
TM: "Yeah, one of the guys in the A-Truck had a problem with his internet connection. Your cable wasn't labeled and I didn't know what it was, so I pulled it."
YT: "Dude, are you fucking kidding me? There are 200 unlabeled cables in here...
You didn't pull them... Why are you pulling mine?"
TM: shrugs shoulders - "I don't know... I just thought it was in the wrong place."
I will be traveling to Rio as part of one of the most talented and decorated women’s rowing squads in history. I am incredibly excited for this trip, and this opportunity. I have worked for ten years to get to this point and will continue to work as hard as I can over the next few weeks to make the most of this very special and unique opportunity.
But all you want to do is talk about shit in the water.
My request to everyone who is fixated on shit in the water:
Stop trying to ruin the Olympics for us.
Think of it this way: every time you sensationalize the poor water quality, or try to get athletes to react to Zika, or chastise the Brazilian people for allowing their government to collapse, you’re not just insulting the Brazilian people. You’re also insulting us, your American athletes. Every time someone asks an athlete who is not a sociologist, epidemiologist, ecologist, microbiologist, or entomologist their position on water quality or some other crappy negative topic, they’re telling us:
“I care more about your non-expert opinion on these issues than I do on your performance in Rio.” But –But–
There is no but.
You’re not being helpful, and it’s not coming from a good place.
Olympic athletes are experts on one thing, and one thing only: our performance. And you damn well know it. Every time you ask us to shift our focus from our specialty during the one time in a four-year cycle that we get the opportunity to share our expertise with the world, it’s an unnecessary distraction that we as competitors do not need and should not have to deal with from people who are supposed to be on our side.
Every time you steer the conversation away from the athletes and competition and on to things that are outside of our control, you’re suggesting to us: “I think you should probably waste some of your energy worrying about this, don’t you?”
That’s not helping anyone to be faster or perform better in Rio, so why would you do it? It seems a little mean-spirited and like you don’t care if we do well. Or that you somehow think that we should not enjoy our trip to the Olympics...
Dear Uncle Jay,
You’re right that the key word for traveling to Brazil is “don’t.” Of course, that makes it sound like you shouldn’t travel there at all; in reality, (1) you shouldn’t travel to South America at all and (2) the word don’t really applies to everything related to Brazil.
|This actually is Rio. This may not be one of the Olympic sports, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see this at some venues.|
Brazil is basically all the cut-throat lunacy of a Mexican pirate town plunked helpfully in the center of a sweltering jungle, featuring a river filled with creatures that have teeth the size of your aunt and the predilection to eat something her size with them.
Another feature of Brazil is the fact you can drive about ten minutes in any direction (in theory, as there aren’t nearly enough roads) and find yourself in a stone-age culture equipped with blowguns and cell phones. They will not hesitate to use both. No, the Czar doesn’t mean “either,” he means “both”: they’ll gleefully put a dart in your neck while talking to their agent.
Brazilians, on the other hand, are great for parties. The Czar strongly recommends befriending a Brazilian if you like to eat, drink, roller skate, dance, and basically repeat this every hour until four or five in the morning. These people do not quit.
It has been decades since the Czar went to Rio, though, so let’s see what we remember. Your high school Spanish will be just as useful to you here as when you went to Cozumel, by which we mean totally useless. Brazilians, as you already know, speak Portuguese, not Spanish. Portuguese is an interesting language that’s half-Spanish and half-arrogance. It has a lot of shushing noises, which is linguistically interesting: since Brazilians spend about two-thirds of their day inebriated, they simply modified the spelling of their language to reflect drunken slurs.
Helpful phrases:Don’t worry about pronouncing the Portuguese correctly: just read it loud and in a drunk voice. They won’t understand you, but that’s because they’re too hammered themselves. “Vamos roller skating,” they’ll say in sympathy.
“These are not my drugs, therefore you can keep them.” — Não minhas drogas; portanto, você pode mantê-los.
“Waiter, my seafood is threatening me.” — Garçom, meu frutos do mar me ameaça.
“What can I drink that won’t kill me?” — O que eu posso beber que não vai me matar?
“If I drink this caipirinha, will I still have two kidneys in the morning?” — Se eu beber esta caipirinha, vai ainda tenho dois rins na parte da manhã?
“Get me on the next flight home.” — Quero que o próximo vôo do avião casa.
“No, I’m Canadian.” — Não, sou canadense
The Czar is also familiar with Brazilian cooking, being something of a grill-master himself. The Brazilian method of cooking is quite simple: subject thick cuts of meat—python?—to extremely high heat until the food is charred black on the outside and bloody raw in the middle. If you look carefully, you might find some medium-well fibers of meat between the two, but these will be utterly soaked in salt.
The heat is unbearable in Rio, but clothing is totally optional. Actually, the bigger and hairier you are, the less you want to wear. The Czar guesses for a mostly shaved Sasquatch guy your size, Jay, you should wear an eyepatch in place of a thong. Surprisingly, that won’t be the most surprising thing you’ll see someone wear.
Everyone talks about the gigantic statue of Jesus up on the hilltop, but what they don’t tell you is that, over the last 50 years or so, the statue has totally turned itself around so it looks away. It would be a Vatican-sized miracle, but no one admits it because it reflects nothing but shame on the city. Hey, if you had to gaze down on that mess, you’d at least squint.
Anywhere you go, look for the nearest exit and use it.
Fortunately, you’ll be traveling there with fiber optic cables, which is good because you can use them to strangle the hotel clerk when he arrives in the middle of the night to perform his customary turn down service and leave something minty on your pillow. Don’t worry about the body: murder is not only sanctioned there but positively encouraged. If the authorities ask, simply say what all Brazilians say and claim you thought he was a poor person. You’re off the hook, and you can just leave the body where it is. There will be no air-conditioning in your room anyway, and within moments his corpse will be swollen with bottle fly maggots, so dumping it won’t matter.
For the last 50 years or so, the Czar has become increasingly convinced that the Olympics are just a huge joke that we’re not getting…so the organizers are choosing even dumber locations each time. “Let’s pick a disease-infested pithole that’s corrupt, filthy hot, and has no transportation or clean lodging.” “How about Rio? Chicago said no.”Well...
O Most Dread and Awful Czar, Lord of the Flies, Keeper of the Pile, Master of the Steppes, Bringer of Kinetic Military Action, Torturer-in-Chief, Slayer of the Yaw and the Goiter, and Protector of the Holy Cities of Moscow, Chicago and parts of Louisville...Once again I find myself in need of Pro Life Tips from Your Czarness…As per usual I have been assigned to work in a place that the mere mention of evokes fear and palpitations in the hearts of travel professionals and dollar signs in the eyes of Personal Executive Protection agents.Yep- you guessed it. I’m heading to Rio.Your guidance regarding my sojourn in Sochi was invaluable; Your tip regarding quality horsemeat was spot-on, and I did use “გვამი მდინარეში ერთხელ,” very often, given the construction contractors that received bids and money for projects that were either unfinished (tons of them) or didn’t even exist (arguably even a larger quantity).Your knowledge was so useful I would once again visit the well of your vast wisdom and know-how and draw upon your knowledge of all things dangerous and deadly.Word around the campfire is to stay away from:
Beaches at nightBars bearing any signage 1) in English, or 2) with the words “Nós Matar Turistas” (“We love tourists” I think...)Downtown RioNorthern RioSouthern RioWestern Rio(There is no Eastern Rio. Word has it that is was sold to Uruguay and carted away in a truck years ago.)Also avoid:Local copsCity copsFederal copsHighway copsSubway/Metro copsAnyone with a uniformAnyone without a uniformKidsGrownupsBoysGirlsGirls that look like boysBoys that look like girlsAnyone with a pulseAnyone without a pulseAnd finally-Don’t eat/drink:MeatVegetablesFish
Name brand liquorOff brand liquorHomemade liquorCachaçaAguardienteWater (bottled, tap, bay, beach, bath/shower, ocean and rainfall)BeerCoke and other ‘soft’ drinksAnd the biggest no-no-Favelas – Don’t even look at the damned favelas.As a matter of fact, according to the keeper of my leash, visiting a favela, no matter how well armed and capable I am, or the size of my personal protection detail is a violation that will get me a spot on the next plane out. (That’s my escape plan, by the way.)Help me, Obi Wan CzarnobiYou’re my only hope.Uncle Jay
TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE
In the ol' RSS feed today:
From the Washington Post-
'The FBI has found no evidence so far that Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded more than 53 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, chose the popular establishment because of its gay clientele, U.S law enforcement officials said.'
I don't have a whole lot of confidence about anything the FBI says any more.
They couldn't find enough evidence to recommend charges for Hillary Clinton...
I have a feeling they couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the sole.
A certain broadcast news conglomerate should really stop using Obama's gushing praise of Hillary as a centerpiece...
"“There has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton, ever. And that’s the truth.”
-Obama, at NC speech endorsing Clinton.
Anyone with two brain cells to rub together should see this for the sack of horseshit that it is.
Not even Obama could possibly believe it, narcissist that he is...
In a January 2008 debate, Senator Obama accused Clinton of being “willing to say anything to get elected.”
He repeated the charge in a radio ad that same month, in which he attacked Clinton as “what’s wrong with politics” and claimed she “will say anything to get elected."
Maybe that is what he's talking about?
That that is what a Democrat thinks makes the best possible candidate?
Gosh... in about 2 weeks France was going to drop their "Elevated Alert" status.
Guess they might need to rethink that and exactly what Elevated means...
(Hint:don't ask DHS/TSA)
Civil unrest in the US &
BLM and their ilk...
Hard to believe we are in this state 8 years after electing Obama - the self-proclaimed healer of racial unrest.
How is this possible?
No doubt Obama will find it difficult to find the motive behind the attack in Nice...
What could it possibly be?
On that thought...
If only we could find a prevailing element connecting attacks in Nice, Orlando, San Bernardino, Batacan in Paris, Brussels airport, Istanbul airport etcetera ad nauseum.
What could it possibly be?
I keep hearing the terrorist attack in Nice being referred to as a "truck attack", as if the truck was the culprit, not unlike any of the AR-platform weapons are responsible for any and all gun violence...
Terrorist attack in America = "gun violence because assault rifle!"
Terrorist attack in France = "truck attack"
After listening to Obama preach at me during the Dallas memorial, and tonight's rehash of his bullshit, I went woolgathering a bit...
I'm kind of looking forward to Obama going full-on "War on Guns!"
Look what that did for access to every possible recreational chemical when the War on (some) Drugs started.
It's going to be interesting...
A few days back the Dread and Awful Czar posted a lovely bit o' foolscap about not falling into the trap of discussing gun rights with the Anti-Gun crowd.
I used this bit of advice to my advantage and peace of mind in the follow-up to a gun rights discussion... worked like a charm.
While waiting on a delayed flight at SFO today I discovered that the Czar's advice can be applied to many situations, especially in the coming months.
Airport CNN was spewing drivel regarding the Democrat's Bengazhi report...
For some reason the Dems report had many references for The Donald in it, like he had some hand in the actual operation or administration response...
A short discussion started up with the group I was standing with...
An older woman, well dressed and erudite opined:
"I think Trump is the worst thing to happen to this country since Richard Nixon." and waited for approval from her fellow passengers.
My measured reponse: "Honey, I couldn't give a fat rat's ass what you think."
And went back to reading my twitter feed.
That pretty much shut down the political discussion for the afternoon....
After 19.5 broadcast hours of skinny dudes in Speedos and jailbait in wet one-piece bathing suits, US Diving Team trials comes to a close.
Indy was, as always, a pleasure.
Worked with some old TV Friends, made some new TV Friends, and had a healthy dose of LeftCoast/NYC gun control stupidity- just enough to keep my blood pressure high enough to ensure failure on my next DOT physical.
I did get an opportunity to visit with my two favorite Broad Ripplers, RobertaX and Famous the Tam... I was able to tear them away from the Sunday morning political talk shows for breakfast at a nice little joint called Taste up north of the city.
We chatted, talked about other bloggers, the TSA, Olympics and other fun stuff...
Meeting up with them is the best reason to visit Indy...
(It sure isn't the $15 shrimp cocktail, amirite?)
So... off to slay my next dragon...
TBG [EXIT-Pursued by a Hertz agent...]