Back in NTX

NoTex? NorTex? Just, northeast Texas then.

Beaten, damn near broken. They assure me that it will get better. Don’t expect much out of me for a few days, though.

“Nachos Now $1 Off!”

The game hasn’t passed me by, but the people running it, selling it, and attending it sure have. MLB is actively adding reasons for people to look at their phones instead of the game on the field:

The league is looking to have twenty parks outfitted with roughly 100 iBeacons each by Opening Day at the end of March. Boston, Milwaukee, San Diego, LA Dodgers, and San Francisco are among the teams that will have iBeacons installed.

I will be enjoying as many games as the good Lord lets me from the comforts of my La-Z-Boy.

Keep your eyes peeled for the first iBeacon hack that sends 1/2 off table dance coupons for the strip clubs around the parks.

Word

Great Caesar’s Ghost | National Review Online.

The annual State of the Union pageant is a hideous, dispiriting, ugly, monotonous, un-American, un-republican, anti-democratic, dreary, backward, monarchical, retch-inducing, depressing, shameful, crypto-imperial display of official self-aggrandizement and piteous toadying, a black Mass during which every unholy order of teacup totalitarian and cringing courtier gathers under the towering dome of a faux-Roman temple to listen to a speech with no content given by a man with no content, to rise and to be seated as is called for by the order of worship — it is a wonder they have not started genuflecting — with one wretched representative of their number squirreled away in some well-upholstered Washington hidey-hole in order to preserve the illusion that those gathered constitute a special class of humanity without whom we could not live.

It’s the most nauseating display in American public life — and I write that as someone who has just returned from a pornographers’ convention.

It’s worse than the Oscars.

The national self-debasement begins well before the speech is under way. Members of Congress — supposedly free men and women serving as the elected representatives of the citizens of a self-governing republic — arrive hours early, camping out like spotty-faced adolescents waiting for Justin Bieber tickets, in the hope of staking out some prime center-aisle real estate that they might be seen on television, if only for a second or two, being greeted by the national pontifex maximus as he makes his stately procession into the chamber.

Halfway Done and a surprise brain MRI

Not much to update. There are no majors, and the minors remain few.

The radiation doc ordered up a brain MRI because of headaches. These are the same headaches I’ve since I embarked on a career as a Fat Guy when I don’t get enough to eat. I’m not concerned, except the part of me that’s convinced it’s naught but a rotting shell of tumors in my skull, which is a tiny part of me.

Let me say this about brain MRIs — if that’s the best we can do as a human race, a generation of eggheads has dropped the ball. What an ass-whipping. 45 minutes of beating and banging and carrying on. It’s easy to lose the will to live when you’re lying in there being still. All I could think was, “You know, I could be in Key West dying slowly and learning to fly-fish for bonefish or tarpon, instead of laying here in Houston being assaulted by a GDMFSOBing machine.” It’s not just the viciousness and the volume of the damn noises, it’s the variety, like a junior college industrial music octet warming up for the Big Shoo.

Well, that’s enough whining. Back to the Varian in a couple of hours…

A: because Americans deserve contempt

Jeopardy Style, bitches: Why do elected officials hold Americans in such contempt, Alex?

A Loophole Allows Lawmakers to Reel In Trips and Donations – NYTimes.com.

Excerpts below. Didn’t bother with ellipses. When was YOUR last hot tub, 2.5 hour dinner, coctail party, ski/fishing/hunting lobbyist-funded circle jerk?

After some time in the hot tub, an evening cocktail reception and a two-and-a-half-hour dinner in a private dining room named Out of Bounds, Representative Adrian Smith, Republican of Nebraska, made one last stop, visiting the lounge at the Four Seasons Resort hotel here to spend more time with the lobbyists and other donors who had jetted in from Washington, D.C., to join him for the weekend getaway.

On the other side of the Rocky Mountains, in Utah, Senator Kelly Ayotte, Republican of New Hampshire, kicked off the new year in the equally upscale resort town of Park City by hitting the ski slopes in the morning with her chief of staff. She then joined a roomful of corporate executives and lobbyists at a mountaintop resort for lunch, her face flush from the mountain sun.

They allow members of Congress to hit hot spots like the Napa Valley wine country, famed golf courses and hunting preserves, as well as five-star hotels in Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, South Florida and even Bermuda.

Political campaigns and so-called leadership PACs controlled by the lawmakers now pay the expenses for the catering and the lawmakers’ lodging at these events — so they are not gifts — with money collected from the corporate executives and lobbyists, who are still indirectly footing the bill.

On the Democratic side, both Representatives Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland and Xavier Becerra of California have picked the Ritz-Carlton’s Dorado Beach hotel in Puerto Rico for their destination events, while Representative John Conyers of Michigan is scheduled to be at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., this weekend, for a fund-raising event tied to the Grammy Awards. Mr. Hoyer’s political action committee alone spent $91,000 at the Puerto Rico resort in 2013, records show.

“This was a good way to raise some funds,” he said as he emerged from the Flame restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail. The meal, with campaign donors and lobbyists, included kimchi brussels sprouts, bacon-wrapped prawns, Wagyu strip steak and Franciscan Estate Cabernet, a Napa blend that cost $60 a bottle.

The fund-raising events that are not in the lawmakers’ home states often dovetail with their hobbies. Representative Aaron Schock, Republican of Illinois and an avid skier, made the trip this month to Vail, for example, while Representative Collin C. Peterson, Democrat of Minnesota, has hunted turkeys in Florida, geese in Texas and quail in Georgia over the last three years, according to invitations sent to lobbyists.

A spokesman for Representative Smith said that the lawmaker had bought his own ski pass in Vail, but that his travel, lodging and meals had been provided to him at no personal expense.

“The most important thing is we want all of you to have fun, because I know we’re going to have a lot of snow tomorrow,” Mr. Whitfield said as he greeted a room packed with lobbyists in the $8.75 million penthouse suite at the Four Seasons, which featured a candlelit rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Vail Mountain, as waiters struggled to keep up with the demand for drinks. “Thank you again for your support,” he said, “and continue your celebrating tonight.”

After the reception at Mr. Smith’s house, Ms. Ayotte went to a hotel bar, at Chateau Deer Valley, and spent more than an hour chatting with two aides and a donor who is a lawyer and who had attended the party.

Mr. McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has hosted an annual golfing and fishing fund-raiser at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla., which his donor list suggests is largely attended by defense contractors, who have relied on Mr. McKeon to help block cuts in spending for new weapons systems. He held the event last year — with his travel costs provided — though he announced last week that he is not running for re-election.

“We would also need to have numerous events to come close to raising what we do from the Key Largo event, and it’s a fun and popular event for supporters,” Ms. McCurley said.

Tar and feathers are too good, but the worst that these sleek, overfed fucks are going to have to worry about is a primary opponent looking to get his or her snout into the trough.

Make It Go Faster

Alternatively, Burn It All Down

Alternatively, well, I can’t say it. People on the internet tubes have, and they ended up with the 5-0 in their house taking their stuff.

Some books are worth all the radiation in the world

Kirkus has the following review of JUDGE OF AGES, which comes out next month:

This gives me great happiness! The first two books of Wright’s Menelaus Montrose trilogy have been a joy to read, and I was deeply worried that I wouldn’t make it to the publication of the wrap-up.

This is sci-fi, for those members of the Lazy Dog Literary Society who remember to read my drivel. It’s SF you would probably enjoy, if you would just try (Otis, Dr Messerstien, Senator — I’m talking to yall.)

Long-term Stay Travel PROTIP

Bring your own pillow(s).*

If necessary, for image camoflauge purposes, put it in an ACU MOLLE-equipped tactical load-out duffel:

loadout

NB: the load-out duffel has room for your favorite blanky, too. And probably a 16″ barrel battle rifle & enough magazines to fight your way back to your home base if the balloon goes up.**

*I thought I could ride it out and make do, but nope. I am so stove up, I’m fixing to get into the opiates. After I go buy the one I need, which fortunately is available at the Wal-Mark.

**I fret about these things.