F-35 Vertical Take-off with Flip

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Heart Transplants, Cigars and Jack Reacher

I was smoking a cigar on my balcony while reading the latest Lee Child Reacher book, both guilty pleasures. Neighbors are starting to arrive home. This guy, presumably a neighbor, gets out of a full sized white Ford pickup with a sticker on the tailgate that says, “John 3:16.” I don’t think much about it.

Minutes later, the same guy walks outside, taking out the trash. He spots me on the balcony and stares at me. I, in a reasonably friendly voice, say, “How’s it going?” – mainly to let him know that I’m not on display and if he wants to stare at me, he needs to know I’ll engage him in conversation. Nothing malicious, but I, like most people, don’t like being stared at.

He inquires, “Enjoying a fine cigar?”

I say, “Cuesta del Ray, not bad…”

He says, “I used to love smoking cigars, but I had to give them up because I’m waiting for a heart transplant.”

He looks to be about in his 30s. Not fat, not thin. Seems pretty affable. Got a bigger smile on his face than I do when I take out the trash.

I say, “Seems to be a good enough reason to give up smoking I guess.”

He says, “The doctors asked me, when I was signing up for the transplant, ’do you smoke?’ I said, no – and that’s when I quit cigars. When I get the transplant though, I’m going to start again.” With a kind of insider ‘wink and a nod’ he says, “Make sure you don’t tell anyone.”

I say, “Your secret is safe with me. – Hope that works out for you.”

This conversation all took place, as described, in about 30 seconds or less.

Today I witnessed and accident on the way to work and, if not for anti-lock brakes on my car, would have been the victim of an accident on the way home when a bus cut off about three cars – one of which decided to find immediate refuge in my lane.

This was sandwiched by a day at work that I could only describe as bizarre.

Some days you can’t wait to wake up, other days you can’t wait to go to bed.  I don’t know what to do with today, except for believe that days like this don’t happen very often.

Bad Brains with Leonard Nimoy?

Brilliant. I never noticed, but it’s true that you never see H.R. and Leonard Nimoy in the same room.

Booby Trapped Baja

Seeing a story about the “booby trapping”  phenomenon in the Baja 500, and other off-road racing, prompted me to do a search online. Not being an ardent fan of the sport, but definitely respecting it, I found it interesting to find that booby trapping is a regular occurance. According to wikipedia:

Each year there are reports of spectators sabotaging or booby-trapping the course by digging holes, blocking river flow, or burying and hiding obstacles. Racers are warned to beware of large crowds of spectators in remote parts of the course since it may indicate hidden traps or obstacle changes. Many of the booby traps are not created to intentionally injure the contestants but are created by the local spectators as jumps or obstacles for spectator entertainment. The haphazardly-designed jumps, created by the spectators, are very dangerous as the contestants may inadvertently enter the booby-trap at unsafe speeds, resulting in damage to the vehicles or injuries to competitors or spectators.

Off Road has some good accounts here as well:

The booby traps of Baja, however, seem to follow two different rationale. For the most part, the they are built in the form of jumps. Everyone likes seeing the race vehicles fly through the air, and the locals are no exception. Unfortunately, some have taken to building these “jumps” in areas where racers do not see them in time, forcing them to “take the jump”.

More booby trap shenanigans from race “fans.”


Barflies Come in all Kinds

This picture is begging for a caption.