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And... [May. 21st, 2017|10:39 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , , ]
[Current Location |Not too far from Indiana]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Genesis: Apocalypse in 9/8]

Takuma Sato's starting inside the second row Sunday, with an excellent car, and a strong team behind him. I'd love to see that man win the Five Hundred. He drives like an old-style sprint car driver, which so few still do these days. He's also the only man that I ever saw intimidate Michael Schumacher on the track, a performance that stays with me yet.

*****

Alonso's car is painted McLaren orange :) I'm inevitably reminded of Johnny Rutherford and the Yellow Submarine.

*****

The great Jim McElreath has died. He never won the Five Hundred, but he certainly could have. He and Bobby Unser and Art Malone were the Novi Team for 1964. Back in 1964, I don't think anyone would have bet a nickel that all three men would live to retire.

That leaves, so they say, only seven men who've driven front-engine cars for the Five Hundred. I can think of A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Parnelli Jones, and Bobby Unser right offhand. It's interesting, and probably relevant, that those four who survived those cars have eleven Indianapolis wins between them. So, if they're counting people who actually raced a front-engine car in the Five Hundred, that leaves me three short, which is going to bother me.

Gary Bettenhausen did his rookie test in a front-engine car, but didn't drive it in the race. The remarkable Ralph Liguori also drove a goodly number of front-engine cars at the Speedway (including the Kurtis-Novi that McElreath later raced), but never actually qualified for the Five Hundred, despite being an excellent all-around driver. It was like there was a curse on the poor man. It was he who, in 1969, had he not waved off his qualifying attempt, would have taken the pole as the only car to qualify on Pole Day before the downpour began, and would subsequently have been bumped from the field on the last day. That was Ralph Liguori at the Speedway.

Edit: Gordon Johncock drove a front-engine Watson in 1965! I'd forgotten that. So, thirteen victories among those five drivers...

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/10983.html
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Safer Barrier [May. 20th, 2017|11:28 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Sebastien Bourdais is lucky to be alive after a hit like that. That was the hardest impact I've seen in years. I'm glad to note that I was completely wrong about the "safer barrier", which I thought was a bad idea when they first installed it.

*****

I'm finding that I'm actually getting worked up for the Five Hundred this year, after some years of 'meh'.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/10678.html
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All Alone, or in Twos... [May. 19th, 2017|11:18 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |discontentdiscontent]
[music |Pink Floyd: The Wall]

In some ways, I hate Pink Floyd's "The Wall". It's solid madness, horror, disgust, and despair from beginning to end, relieved only by a tiny flicker of hope at the very end, a Pandora's Box of human failings. And despite all that, it's musically and artistically magnificent, on a par with Wagner's Tannhäuser.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/10433.html
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Steam Cat [May. 7th, 2017|09:43 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , , , , , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Transgendered Lions.

*****

Unaccountably, there saeems to be something of a fashion for building stabbing robots.

#2

#3

I can see Charles Manson as a guest star on "Futurama", re-programming Bender.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/10185.html
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A Bevy of Miscellania [May. 6th, 2017|11:48 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , , , , , , , , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Cheap Trick: The Dream Police]

Pope's all cranky because we give our weapons systems playful names.

*****

The spaces between Saturn's rings are almost completely empty, no dust or anything. I don't think anyone expected that.

*****

Notable 19th Century American Murders.

*****

Ohio - the Berserk State.

*****

A thoughtful essay about what a pet cat can mean to a soldier.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/9969.html
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Macron Leaks [May. 6th, 2017|11:12 am]
xolo
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulpoliticky]

What really strikes me as important about the Macron hack is the same thing that struck me about the Clinton hack - the information released, that would otherwise never have seen the light of day. In the end, choosing a leader is literally a life and death decision. None of the candidates, not even those we support, are actually on our side. Every bit of data we can learn about them, and especially those bits they're desperate to conceal, is to our advantage. In the end, an election isn't a sporting contest, and anyone who's shocked that hostile, or even friendly foreign governments prefer one outcome over another is a fool. How and why something got leaked is certainly worthy of contemplation. In the end, it's what got leaked that matters, though.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/9692.html
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(no subject) [May. 4th, 2017|12:10 am]
xolo
[Tags|]
[mood |worriedworried]

Praying for HM the Queen, her family and her household.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/9441.html
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Meanwhile, in France... [May. 3rd, 2017|06:18 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulpoliticky]
[music |Simon and Garfunkel: Sparrow]

So, how do people think the French election will play out? I have to concede that Macron is the favourite, but I don't think he's in nearly the commanding position that most analysts have him. If you look at it as left vs. right, then Macron ought to win a landslide victory. I don't think that paradigm is valid anymore. I know that for myself, an ardent supporter of Trump, had the election worked out to, say, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz vs. Bernie Sanders, I'd quite probably have gone for Sanders, just because the political establishment that has existed since FDR has failed so completely to address my needs.

It's interesting to note, when I look at the positions of the candidates in the primaries, how many of them, even ones I'd call hard left, are advocating French sovereignty over globalism. From the maps, it's also interesting to see in how many districts Melenchon, a sovereignist, came in second.

This will be an interesting election, I expect Macron to win, but I shall be both unamazed and delighted if Le Pen pulls off an upset. We shall see.


Edit: And ZOMG did she just get off a shot! "Either way, France will be run by a woman - me, or Merkel".

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/8964.html
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(no subject) [May. 3rd, 2017|11:10 am]
xolo
[Tags|]
[mood |cynicalcynical]

Predictably, we're being harangued non-stop by the media about their self-invented "World Press Freedom Day". Honestly, considering their performance over the past 20 or so years, we might well all be safer and better off with some sort of censorship in place.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/8881.html
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Meanwhile, in Japan... [May. 1st, 2017|10:42 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Rabbit Island

Cat Island

Fox village

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/8478.html
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