Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

Celebrate! It’s above zero!

Posted by Richard on November 12, 2014

It’s 12:45 PM in Denver, and we’re no longer below zero! Woohoo?

denver1degree

I don’t think we’re going to make it to that forecast high of 9°.

Hey, Jimmy Buffet, here’s a new verse for that song of yours. You’re welcome.

Boat drinks. I think the cold makes your brain shrink
I don’t really care what Al Gore thinks
Somebody make it get warm!

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Bring back the global warming!

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2014

Today was the coldest November 11th on record in Denver, with a high temperature of 16°. That eclipses the previous record of 19° set on this date in 1916. And the worst of the cold is yet to come!

At 10:30 tonight, it’s 6° (wind chill of -7°). Tomorrow’s high may be only two or three degrees warmer than that.

I’m not leaving the house, except maybe to go to the liquor store. The only adult beverages I have on hand are beer. This isn’t beer-drinking weather. It’s hot toddy or hot buttered rum weather.

Or maybe I should get out of town. Head to St. Somewhere…


[YouTube link]

Boat drinks. Boys in the band ordered boat drinks.
Visitors just scored on the home rink.
Everything seems to be wrong.

Lately, newspaper mentioned cheap airfare.
I’ve got to fly to Saint Somewhere.
I’m close to bodily harm.

I know I should be leaving this climate.
I got a verse but can’t rhyme it.
I gotta go where it’s warm.

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A Veterans Day salute

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2014

Salute

To those who have served, and to those who serve today:

Thank you.


It Is The Soldier

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005

http://www.pattonhq.com/koreamemorial.html

Thanks, Papa, for your many years of service. I love you and miss you.

On this Veterans Day, please make a contribution to an organization (or two or three!) that supports veterans or active-duty military personnel.

The Signaleer has a nice history of Remembrance Day, which begat Armistice Day, which begat Veterans Day, and he includes the classic World War I poem, In Flanders Fields. Worth a visit.

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Polar vortex update

Posted by Richard on November 10, 2014

11 AM: Mid-fifties, calm. About 15° cooler than the weekend, but a sweater or light jacket is plenty.

11:30 AM: Sudden strong northerly wind, temperature starts to drop sharply.

12:30 PM: 30°, windy, spitting snow. Bone-chilling.

2:15 PM: 23°, wind chill is 12°, steady light-to-moderate snowfall.

It’s expected to get no warmer than this for several days, with lows in single digits. I guess it’s safe to say Denver’s mild fall is over. I’m going to miss it.

UPDATE (9 PM): 14°, with a wind chill of 3°, and it’s still dropping. About 12 hours ago, it was 62° (CORRECTION: officially 64° at 9 AM).

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Our delusional narcissist-in-chief

Posted by Richard on November 6, 2014

Judging from yesterday’s press conference, it’s pretty clear what President Obama, our delusional narcissist-in-chief, believes caused the Democrats’ cataclysmic collapse on Tuesday: tens of millions of Americans are dispirited, disheartened, and disillusioned because he hasn’t been able to fundamentally transform America faster, so they stayed home.

Go with that, Democrats.

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Creepy calls

Posted by Richard on October 31, 2014

The award for creepiest caller of the election season goes to whoever is spoofing the Caller ID to display MY name and number.

“They’re inside the house!!!!”

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Happy National Cat Day!

Posted by Richard on October 29, 2014

Yes, there is indeed a National Cat Day, and rightly so. There are countless ways to celebrate this auspicious occasion. Many involve wasting time on the Internet.

A lot of people, guys in particular, prefer dogs. They consider cats aloof, standoffish, too independent, and not loving and affectionate. They’re wrong. But here’s the thing: it takes more effort to bond with and gain the affection of a cat than a dog.

Dogs are easy. They’re the pet equivalent of the woman who’ll sleep with anybody (except you won’t need shots after being licked by a dog).

You have to earn the affection of a cat. You have to work at the relationship. They play hard to get (except they’re not playing). Once you’ve built that bond, though, you can expect the cat to curl up in your lap, follow you around, cuddle next to you in bed, groom you (my Coco likes to lick my beard), etc. And you’ll feel good about yourself for being worthy of that trust and affection. Isn’t that better than the cheap encounter with that tramp cockapoo from down the street?

Well, enough praise of cats. Coco and I are going to go take a nap together.

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Rick Wilson’s possibly prescient Ebola story

Posted by Richard on October 15, 2014

Three months ago, Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) posted a series of tweets about what might happen if someone who unknowingly has Ebola flies to the United States. Given the news of the past few days, I thought it was a good time to recall Rick’s “thought experiment,” which Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) had wisely storified. Read it. Then pour yourself a nice stiff drink.

No, wait … pour yourself that stiff drink now. This will take a while, and you may need it.

Note: If you prefer scrolling to clicking through a slideshow, you can read it at Storify.com.

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Denver Post endorsed Gardner for Senate; Mike Littwin and I discussed

Posted by Richard on October 11, 2014

Surprising almost everyone, the Denver Post endorsed Republican Cory Gardner over incumbent Democrat Mark Udall in Colorado’s hotly contested Senate race. And they did so with some surprisingly kind words for Gardner and harsh words for Udall (emphasis added):

In every position the Yuma Republican has held over the years — from the state legislature to U.S. House of Representatives — he has quickly become someone to be reckoned with and whose words carry weight. …

Udall is a fine man with good intentions, and on some issues our views are closer to his than to Gardner’s. But he is not perceived as a leader in Washington …

Rather than run on his record, Udall’s campaign has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman’s call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives. Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision. His obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince.

As David Harsanyi and The Original SPQR noted, Udall’s meeting with the Denver Post editorial board must not have gone well:

The Denver Post endorsement news led to a fun exchange on Twitter between Mike Littwin and me. Littwin was formerly a columnist for the Denver Post, and before that for the late, lamented Rocky Mountain News. He now writes for the online Colorado Independent. The conversation started with this Littwin tweet:

My response:

Littwin didn’t appreciate — or understand — that:

My response was a bit mean and unfair. Littwin is really very funny at times — for a rabid left-winger. His reply was gracious:

Littwin has been on Twitter for five years, so I’m surprised he didn’t know what FIFY means. It’s a pretty common humorous shorthand for “What you said isn’t quite accurate; here’s what you should have said” (with a 140-character limit, you need a very short version of that). It’s usually followed by a rewrite that’s worthy of a rimshot (at least the person using it hopes so).

I guess his failure to have encountered that acronym before speaks to the kinds of people he follows (not many, and mostly politicians, political consultants, and left-wing journalists). I see FIFY used all the time.

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Happy National Coffee Day!

Posted by Richard on September 29, 2014

Good morning! Today is National Coffee Day. So have a few cups. The health benefits are enormous.

I should note that Doug Mataconis is exactly right:

You can get a free coffee at various places today. But unless you cruise from one of those to another, you’ll have to brew your own to get a decent dose. Since I’m no longer working, I’ve cut back — to just six or eight cups a day.

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Mug shot of the week

Posted by Richard on September 26, 2014

michael-whitingtonMichael Whitington, the charming fellow to the right, robbed a bank on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver on Tuesday. He attempted to get away by boarding the nearby light rail train. Which leads me to my…

PRO TIP of the week: If your getaway plan involves the light rail, make sure no one sees you board the train.

Cops stopped the train a few blocks away and arrested this criminal genius.

Something tells me we taxpayers are going to be on the hook for some dental bills.

UPDATED (9/27/14) to add link to CBS4Denver that I forgot last night (yes, adult beverages were involved).

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Russians enter “Crappy American Beer” market

Posted by Richard on September 26, 2014

The Russian beer and soft drink company Oasis Beverages has bought Pabst Brewing Company, makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon, Schlitz, Lone Star, and Colt 45, among others. The Washington Free Beacon’s Sonny Bunch is OK with that:

If we’re being honest, though, we would note that the Russians are getting into the “Crappy American Beer” market much too late. The time of bland suds has passed. The future is craft beer:

Craft beer makers have experienced huge jumps in market share while the overall beer market size has shrunk. The Census Bureau announced yesterday that the number of breweries in the in the U.S. doubled in five years–an increase largely due to craft beer. On average over the past two years, 1.2 craft breweries opened each day, contributing to a total of 15.6 million barrels of beer last year.

Now, granted, 15.6 million barrels is only a modest portion of the overall beer market. According to the Wall Street Journal article quoted above, craft beers account for just eight percent of the market—an increase of more than 300 percent in 15 years, but a distinct minority of the beer population nevertheless. Still, one can’t help but feel that the future is bright for the craft beer community.

The mass-produced American beers of years gone by have their place, of course, and hey: to each his own. A lot of people still like Bud and Miller, and they should drink what they like. But their time has passed. A new day dawns. A day of tasty craft brews with complex flavor profiles that you can match with a variety of dishes. I for one welcome our craft beer overlords—and am more than happy to let the Russians have our dregs.

I’ll drink to that!

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Acoustic Yes

Posted by Richard on September 24, 2014

My old friend John shared this with me. In 2004, Yes performed an all-too-brief (38 min.) acoustic concert that was shown live via satellite in theaters across the US after the premier of the documentary Yesspeak. This is the 1972-73 lineup (arguably the best): John Anderson (vocals), Steve Howe (guitar), Rick Wakeman (piano), Chris Squire (bass), and Alan White (drums). Enjoy!

Let’s start with a wonderful version of “Roundabout” that gives Steve Howe a chance to show off a bit.


[YouTube link]

“Southside of the Sky” ends with a fine Rick Wakeman solo.


[YouTube link]

Everyone’s sounding fine on “Long Distance Runaround,” but pay particular attention to Chris Squire’s fine bass work.


[YouTube link]

 I’ll finish as the concert did, with this simply amazing version of “I’ve Seen All Good People.”


[YouTube link]

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Best BBQ smoker ever

Posted by Richard on September 20, 2014

Awesome, just awesome. I wonder if they throw a pinch of cordite on the coals to add that authentic aroma.

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In Florida, shear regulatory madness

Posted by Richard on September 19, 2014

Since the militarization of police forces began, there have been many instances of outrageous police overreach, and Mark Steyn has documented a number of them. His latest example may have you tearing your hair out.

I often joke with my hairdresser Amanda about the number of state permits she requires for the privilege of cutting my hair. As I point out on page 49 of After America (personally autographed copies of which are exclusively available, etc):

In the Fifties, one in twenty members of the workforce needed government permission in order to do his job. Today, it’s one in three.

That’s tyrannous – which is bad enough, albeit not unique to America: The entire developed world has massively expanded the hyper-regulatory state. But only in America does the Department of Paperwork command lethal force:

Go and read the whole unbelievable story.

Angry crowds should have descended upon the offices of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation with protest signs. Or tar and feathers. What will it take for a significant portion of the population to rise up and shout, “Enough! This is tyranny!”?

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