Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fiction As Dystopian Reality In Detroit

Although OTR never reads fiction and fantasy on a regular basis, he has made a big dent in the best of both genres over the years. This has occurred in part because he has a strong belief that science fiction in particular--fantasy to a far lesser extent--has a curious habit of approaching fact. Daniel J. Mitchell has more to say about this regarding Ayn Rand's fictitious Atlas Shrugged and the dystopia known as Detroit.

OTR needs to read that book. So do a few folks in Washington.

H/T Instapundit
Photo: United Artists Theater, Detroit, from Yves Marchand and Romaine Meffre's 2010 publication, The Ruins of Detroit.

Friday, July 29, 2011

EAA AirVenture 2011 Heads For Weekend Wrap Up

The world's largest fly-in is in full swing in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this week. It's the Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA) AirVenture 2011. What started as a small convention at the Milwaukee airport in 1953 has grown into a week-long, world-class gathering that addresses virtually any aviation topic.

OTR had the privilege of working at five AirVentures beginning in 1999. Some may interpret that as overkill, but he left each one thrilled at the thought of returning for the next event.

Nothing can replace being at Oshkosh mixing with the 20,000 or so folks who fly into the convention, the thousands of exhibitors, and the half million visitors. Fortunately, if you can't attend, the EAA maintains a comprehensive up to the second website where you can spend hours reading, watching and listening to the day's/week's events.

OTR hopes to return to Oshkosh in the next few years. Can't wait, in fact. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Food Rap

Here is an example where the culture has produced advertizing so far beyond Madison Avenue that it deserves our applause. Most creative.


Monday, July 25, 2011


Last Friday, Obama said Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a "fiscal conservative?" That's right my friends, Obama is talking about the architect of the New Deal during the Great Depression of the 1930s. This leads OTR to some serious conclusions about our current occupant in the White House. He is: 1) stacking on more evidence he is a pathological liar, 2) demonstrating more of his profound historical ignorance, or 3) exhibiting symptoms of delusion. OTR will let his readers draw their own conclusion.

H/T Gateway Pundit

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One Reason Why MSNBC Is On Life Support

Congressman Mo Brooks is from Alabama. You can tell he's a good ol' boy because he says "yes, ma'am" just like his momma taught him.

It doesn't get much funnier than this.

H/T to Powerline.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Defining Poverty

For most Americans, poverty is perhaps best defined through the lens of Dorthea Lange as she photographed the forgotten men, women, and children of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Poverty is still with us in every part of the nation, but we have come a long way from a time when there was no federal program for those in need. One of the outcomes of that program has been the distortion of the definition of what it means to be poor. John Hinderaker explores the subject in his post at Power Line.

OTR's sons know poverty firsthand through their travel and work in north Africa, the Middle East and central Asia. They have little patience with those who claim that poor Americans number in the tens of millions or that the republic--and its economic system-- is an oppressive master.

Footnote: The woman in Lange's photograph, Migrant Mother, is Florence Owens Thompson. You can read more about her and see other photographs from the series here in a Wikipedia entry.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Atomic Age Begins

Sixty-six years ago today, the world entered the Atomic Age with the explosion of "the gadget" at Trinity Site, near Socorro, New Mexico.

The immediate impact extended well beyond science and world conflict.

Today, the Atomic Age seems almost an afterthought as the Information Age rushes us toward technological singularity and a new age of being.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"It's Amazing That It Was Possible At All."

As the last space shuttle mission orbits Earth, OTR is reminded of that day in October 1957 when Russia placed the first artificial satellite in a similar orbit. He turned eleven that year and since then has spent many a night peering into that infinite, dark and jeweled dome overhead. OTR knows there will be more manned space missions coming out of both NASA and private endeavors. Still, it seems difficult to say goodbye to the thirty-year-old shuttle program that has given us so many opportunities to extend our reach of possibilities. And furthermore, we must now face an immediate dependence on the Russian space program to give us access to the International Space Station. Yes, we are stepping back a bit, but OTR hopes it is only for a moment.

Some imaginative minds at The Sagan Series on Facebook,com have created a most entertaining video on our once vigorous space program and why it is such a compelling aspect of the human--especially American--experience. OTR thinks it will be the most uplifting five minutes and forty-four seconds you'll have today. Do enjoy.

Here is your link via Moonbattery. Don't let the accompanying commentary depress you. Though what is says is honest, OTR doubts the policies will survive beyond January 2013.

Photo: Atlantis liftoff, July 8, 2011. Credit: NASA

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Vacation

Yes friends, we're moving into the middle of vacation season. And just to remind you of what's happened or whet your appetite for that upcoming trip, this is what it's all about...

...the exciting destinations...

...the new friends along the way...

...the luxury accommodations...

...the fine dining...

...and the modern transportation and shopping opportunities....

Seriously, we at OTR Haus do hope your summer is turning out to be all you hoped for. We just concluded a whirlwind week with a visit from our son and his girl friend, dinners with friends, and a big holiday bash. More frequent blogging will now resume.

Notes on the 1950s postcards:

Akron, Ohio, National Tower Building and Derby Downs,

Mt. Cranmore Skimobile, North Conway, New Hampshire,

El Cortez Motel, Williamsport, Maryland,

Southern Kitchen, New Market, Virginia,

Monroeville Shopping Center, Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Independence Day 2011

Best wishes for a happy July 4.

OTR saw Virgil Fox perform way back in the 1960s. He was amazing and there's been no one like him at the keyboard since. Fox was only too happy to add a bit of his personality to everything he played. Like Fox, Charles Ives was a serious original. He debuted Variations on America on July 4, 1892 to a somewhat shocked audience. The piece wasn't published until 1949 after listeners and the music world began to recognize his genius. In the spirit of the American Experiment established on July 4, 1776, our cultural experience continues to reinvent itself every day. We can thank the Founding Fathers for that freedom, but with that freedom comes the awesome responsibility to preserve the system that created and sustains it.