Friday, September 30, 2011

See The USA In Your Classic Chevrolet


What fourteen year-old kid didn't love cars around 1960? OTR was no exception, and he kept the evidence to prove it. Just imagine, my friends, there was a time in the U.S. when a maintenance reminder was much more than a simple email message or robo-call.


It was a very good year....

and just so you Ford lovers don't feel left out...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Nathan Bedford Forrest Loved Waffle Cones So Much

Any psychiatrist worth his or her sheepskin will tell you that political correctness carried to its logical conclusion leads to insanity. OTR would have said "nuts" instead of insanity, but even a bad pun can't make up for the absurdity of this story coming out of Ocala. This is nothing short of mind rot at its best. God help us!

H/T The Drudge Report

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Summer Reading

OTR's summer reading ended today just three days before the end of summer--Friday, September 23--in the northern hemisphere. He hasn't shared past lists with his Internet readers, but this season's mix has been especially satisfying. Here are the titles listed in the order in which they were read:

Ronald Reagan: How An Ordinary Man Became An Extraordinary Leader, Danesh D'Souza, 1997

Berlin Stories, Christopher Isherwood, 1945

Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson, 1919

Memoirs of An Amnesiac, Oscar Levant, 1965

The Unimportance of Being Oscar, Oscar Levant, 1968

Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller, 1934

The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken, Terry Teachout, 2001

A Man in Full, Tom Wolfe, 1998

Witness, Whittaker Chambers, 1952

OTR has no intention of providing tight little reviews here. He will say that reading D'Souza's favorable portrait of Reagan helped fill some knowledge gaps incurred during his "childbearing" years. The Mencken book confirmed Terry Teachout as an outstanding writer. And reading three autobiographical novels--Isherwood, Anderson, and Miller--helped fill a long-standing literary gap. Wolfe was a most interesting read for an Atlanta resident. Chambers's "autobiography" was a difficult read for its detail, frightening revelations, and credibility, As for Oscar Levant, he remains the most under appreciated wit--perhaps entertainer--in 20th century America.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Yosemite Sky Islands: "The Frontier Is Still All Around Us"

OTR seldom refers to his life before retirement when he found himself immersed in this nation's most extraordinary resources, cultural and natural. Though he may be "out of the traces" the "green" blood runs deep and every now and then the preservation ethic surfaces. This video struck him as so worthy of sharing because it reaffirms life and beauty in the smallest of things in the harshest of environments. OTR walked among these resources in other places and earlier times. He hasn't been the same since and he's quite happy for it!

If you enjoyed this Yosemite Nature Note you can watch the entire series on YouTube or at the park's official website. 

H/T National Parks Traveler

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Memoriam: 9/11/2001

Words taken from Walt Whitman's Sea Drift poem, Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Waiting For The Rabbit

Tomorrow night our "hope and change" president speaks about his new plan to address joblessness and the economy, two points that have plagued his administration from its outset thirty-two months ago. OTR doesn't hold much hope for anything new in this upcoming proposal because Obama and his policymakers have an extraordinarily narrow ideologically driven view of how a big and small economy works. This is an administration driven by the academy and well-versed in the command and control of centralized government theory. Their plan will "craft a vision" for recovery based on spending more money borrowed from China, increased taxation on the perceived greed of "the wealthy," and "targeted infrastructure investment for clean energy." This translates into debt, class warfare, and subsidized green industry.

Americans are in general are a practical, pragmatic and smart people.  They've heard debt, class warfare and subsidized green industry for thirty-two months and it's beginning to wear even on the unicorn wing of the Democratic Party. This phenomenon among Americans isn't new as history does indeed repeat itself. Back in 1976, the electorate placed James Earl Carter in the White House in response to the political dark ages brought upon us by the Nixon years. Carter's entry was a clean sweep, wrapped in optimism and its own visionary thinking, including new departments for education and energy. Carter, like Obama, governed an America hobbled by stagflation and expensive energy. His administration was characterized by its inexperience and by the "hands on" attitude of its leader. Late in his term and stymied by a lack of options to address a drifting economy and crushing energy shortage, Carter's frustration emerged in his famous "crisis of confidence" speech where he placed much of the blame on ordinary Americans and their lifestyles. To a large degree Carter was right, but Americans took umbrage at his remarks and used this speech as well as a series of crises in 1980 to vote him out of office.

There's one more part to this story. It involves Carter's encounter with a swamp rabbit a few months before his "crisis" speech. That incident involved a terrified rabbit's attempt to escape the hounds by seeking refuge in the president's rowboat. It was a small lake and a small boat, and the President wasn't about to share it with a frenzied Sylvilagus aquaticus. Who would? Nevertheless, the story emerged of Carter splashing the water with his paddle and forcing the hapless bunny into the hinterland. Though there were no photographs until well into the next decade, the vision of a harried president thrashing at a killer rabbit were fixed in time and place.

OTR sees many parallels--how can one not!-- in the Carter and Obama presidencies. Tomorrow's speech may well be another one unless this president can redirect his policies toward hope and change based in practical and pragmatic capitalism. Otherwise it's going to sound like all the rhetoric we've heard these last and long thirty-two months. And the patience among Americans is already thin. Should Obama bring us more of the same, he simply will be waiting for the rabbit.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Itzhak Perlman: A Belated Birthday

Yesterday was Itzhak Perlman's sixty-sixth birthday. OTR wanted to write a personal recollection of what this master has meant to our generation, but he was pulled away from writing over the past week. Instead of an essay, his readers can enjoy this tribute featuring Perlman performing the theme from Cinema Paradiso (1989), one of OTR favorite films.

Grazie, grazie, maestro!

Photo: Perlman (l) with Ed Sullivan, 1958.

Obama's Green "Investment" Begins To Smell

Most savvy news junkies already know that Obama's $535,000,000 guaranteed loan to the "exemplary" green industry manufacturer, Solyndra, is a complete loss to taxpayers. What they don't know is this: "Solyndra's majority owner, Oklahoma billionaire, George Kaiser, was a major fundraiser for the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign."

This administration promised us transparency. Fortunately, even the corruption is readily apparent. Unfortunately, our traditional/leftist media will do its best to hide the stench from the American people.

UPDATE: Drudge linked to this story from The Daily Caller. Could go viral.


OTR read a short post yesterday about a rather minor issue surrounding Kansas State University's new eco-mascot, Eco-Kat. That issue is environmentalism carried to its hilarious--and not well thought out--extreme. Friends, the story went viral on the Internet today. Here's your link to the rest of the story.

If you're having a bad day, this is guaranteed to wipe it away.