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Member since: Sat May 17, 2014, 11:02 AM
Number of posts: 3,107

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I do not know about y'all,...

but I have a huge ignore list that grows bigger by the day. Many of the names in purgatory may be the same asshole creating more accounts with which to harass the board. However, I can not rule out the possibility that there are more than just one or two assholes here at Discussionist. There may be a fucking team of them.

It may be time to throw in towel.

Miami police use stun gun on man accused of touching female airline passenger

A 28-year-old Chicago man was in custody on Monday after police used a stun gun to arrest him aboard an American Airlines plane after he refused to move seats when accused of touching a female passenger without her permission at Miami International Airport.

Jacob Garcia began screaming insults on Sunday when airline staff tried to move him to another seat after the woman and her boyfriend accused him of touching her inappropriately, according to a Miami-Dade Police Department arrest report.

Police ordered everyone off the plane, which was about to depart for Chicago, according to the arrest report and an American Airlines statement. Garcia began fighting with the couple, and officers hurried aboard.

Garcia refused to budge from his seat, police said. A stun gun had little effect on him, possibly because it did not attach properly through his clothing, the arrest report said. Eventually he stood up and walked off the plane under police escort, but continued to resist and twice attempted to grab a police officer’s gun.

"I was wrong": Armenian leader Serzh Sargsyan resigns unexpectedly

YEREVAN, Armenia -- Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned unexpectedly Monday to quell massive anti-government protests over what critics feared was his effort to seize power for life. Residents of the capital, Yerevan, poured out on the streets to celebrate his stunning departure. People hugged and kissed each other, and motorists honked their horns.

Protest leader "Nikol Pashinian was right. I was wrong," Sargsyan, a former Armenian president, said in a surprise announcement on his website. "The movement on the streets is against my rule. I'm complying with their demands."


The appointment was part of a transition to a new governmental system that reduces the powers of the presidency and bolsters those of the premier. Critics saw that as an attempt by 63-year-old Sargsyan, who served as president from 2008 until term limits forced him out in March, to stay in power indefinitely.

It echoes similar tenure-lengthening maneuvers by Russian President Vladimir Putin -- Armenia's closest ally. Leaders of other former Soviet republics from Belarus to Central Asia have also engineered themselves lifetime jobs.

Driven to his death: Mystery of motorcyclist body on M4

David Evans had been working the Christmas Day shift monitoring CCTV at a power station on the south Wales coast.

In a gesture of seasonal goodwill a colleague had told him to leave early and get home to his family; he'd take over from here.

As Mr Evans, 49, set off on his Honda CB 500 motorcycle for the hour-long ride home in the wind and rain, his wife and two young daughters were putting the finishing touches to Christmas dinner, awaiting the familiar rumble of his bike pulling up outside.

The call came through to the police control centre 40-or-so minutes later at about 18:00 from a member of the public.

Been there. I experienced a similar incident involving a driver leaving the Tennessee Christian Medical Center near a house I owned in Madison. Fortunately the weather was clear and the sun up. I survived by finally pulling over and letting the enraged man drive by mouthing what I image were profanities through the window of his car.

Thirsty patriot steals beer truck

A man on an apparent beer run led Santa Rosa police on a chase Thursday morning after allegedly stealing a delivery truck filled with beer.

The delivery driver was inside MD Liquor & Food and in the process of dropping off an order of Coors Light beer, when a customer informed him of the disaster unfolding in the parking lot: A man wearing American flag shorts had just jumped into the beer truck and drove away with its alcohol content.

While it's unclear whether this type of crime happens often, it seems the trucks are prepared for this type of emergency. A GPS tracking system onboard the truck located the vehicle "within minutes," drawing officers with the Santa Rosa Police Department, Henry-1 (a helicopter unit with the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department) and even a K-9 officer to the scene, according to a SRPD press release.

The truck was abandoned and law-abiding (and assumedly beer-loving) citizens reported seeing the suspect running from the scene, "wearing nothing but the red, white and blue shorts," the police department noted.

On the subject of beer, I recently ate at a new restaurant near the Sounds park at Sulphur Dell. With my meal I had a beer, the name of which escapes me, that has been brewed for 8 or 9 centuries. The taste has the distinct hint of banana. The people who first brewed this beer are not likely to have known what a banana is. Do you suppose any European explorers who tasted a banana for the first time thought, "Hey, this thing tastes like beer. Let's get drunk!"?

I am outta here.

Suicide bomber strikes voter registration center, kills 57 in Afghan capital

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A suicide bomber struck a voter registration center in the Afghan capital on Sunday, killing 57 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). More than 100 others were wounded, said officials form the Afghan interior and public health ministries.

Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro said that among 57 who were killed in the attack, 22 were women and eight are children. Majro added that 119 people were wounded in Sunday's attack, among them 17 children and 52 women.

"The tolls could still rise," he added.

Gen. Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said the suicide bomber targeted civilians who were registering for national identification cards. The large explosion echoed across the city, shattering windows miles away from the attack site and damaging several nearby vehicles. Police blocked all roads to the blast site, with only ambulances allowed in. Local TV stations broadcast live footage of hundreds of distraught locals gathered at nearby hospitals seeking word about loved ones.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it had targeted Shiite "apostates."

How stories have shaped the world

From a young age, Alexander the Great was groomed to be the leader of Macedonia. The small kingdom in northern Greece was perpetually at war with its neighbours, above all Persia, which meant that Alexander had to learn how to lead armies into battle. When his father was assassinated and Alexander ascended the throne, he quickly exceeded all expectations. Not only did he secure the safety of his kingdom, but he also defeated the entire Persian Empire, conquering a vast realm that stretched from Egypt to northern India.

Alexander possessed an additional weapon: Homer’s Iliad. He had learned to read and write by studying this text as a young man, and thanks to his teacher, the philosopher Aristotle, he had done so with unusual intensity. When he embarked on his conquests, Homer’s story of an earlier Greek expedition to Asia Minor served as a blueprint, and he stopped at Troy, even though the city had no military significance, to re-enact scenes from the Iliad. For the entire duration of his conquest, he would sleep alongside his copy.

Despite its place in literature, Homer’s epic poem had repercussions far beyond the libraries and campfires of ancient Greece. It helped to shape an entire society, and its ethics. “Homer… paints, among many other things, the ‘thought forms’ of early Greek culture,” writes Howard Cannatella. “This story would indicate… how the community was to embody, live, and enact… were designed to reveal to the audience in an acceptable manner the kind of effect moral choices in life, like being courageous, could have on the general public.”

The influence between the Iliad and Alexander went both ways. Having drawn inspiration from the epic, Alexander gave back to Homer by turning Greek into the common language of a large region, thus laying the infrastructure for turning the Iliad into world literature. Alexander’s successors built the great libraries of Alexandria and of Pergamum that would preserve Homer for the future.

I am currently reading The Ugly Renaissance: Sex, Greed, Violence and Depravity in an Age of Beauty by Alexander Lee. Mr. Lee's book provides the sort of material from which I draw inspiration when I explore historic sites. There is nothing on this world quit as fascinating to me as recreating in my mind's eye the hustle and bustle of city streets in Medieval, Renaissance, and early modern Europe. Really, that is what I do on every historical journey I take whether the focus is 10th century France, 14th century Italy, or 18th century America.

It was a long day at the old house.

My tenant asked me to make some repairs to the deck. I knew some work needing doing. I did not know the repairs would include partial joist replacements as well as surface boards. Consequently, my free day became a five hour, uncompensated job while my new scoot was sitting in the garage.

I did get to the motorcycle store before beginning my unanticipated work day. Josh was not there to finalize the sale as we agreed. He had to drive to Clarksville for something or another, so I had a stand-in for delivery. I burned about an hour and a half of my morning as a result. I was not happy about the lost time, but I am satisfied with the price after a small correction for the removal of the windshield from the agreement due to the unavailability of parts for this new design. I may have to buy it from a European distributor where the bike has been made in different engine displacements for a couple years already. I can not wait another year to get my bike equipped the way I want it. I will need to give her a name too.

This 2018 XMax 300 is my fourth scooter. My first one was a Vespa GT200. A respectable ride I bought from a BMW dealer in Pittsburgh, PA. It had a solid feel, but 60 mph was stretching its capabilities and those little tires left me wanting.

My next scooter, but not in chronological order of motorbike ownership was a Suzuki Bergman 650. That was a pretty impressive ride. Strange as it may seem I would call my initial impression of the bike as automotive. I rode it for about 8500 miles. Overall, a far superior bike to the Vespa.

Then, I bought a Yamaha TMax 500. The TMax has larger tires that the Burgman and more like a sport bike with a automatic transmission. It had a three cylinder motor. Only two fired. The third piston acted as a counterbalancer. Very quick it was and easily moved with Interstate traffic. However, it was not a good choice for short riders and too cramped for riders over about 5' 9". I guess I was not the right height.

The TMax did not sell well. I made a long ride to eastern Kentucky on it to gauge what it could do. That ride taught me TMax could never serve as a good touring bike even if customizing options were available.

I have considered BMW. They have 400cc and 600cc scooters now, but they can not come close to the Yamaha price.

I eventually found my way aboard a Goldwing which well serves touring enthusiasts like me. My gripe, if you will, is the size and weight do not make it a good ride for neighborhood errands. So I decided, after a half a lifetime of gainful employment, I earned a second bike. I am keeping my transcontinental Wing and adding a motorcycle designed specifically for the city. Highway capable, but more at home on secondary streets. In short, the XMax best meets my criteria for a city bike.

Twenty first century scooters have transcended the era of the 50cc scooters owners could almost put in their pockets. They are heavier and much of their technology is adapted from small sport bikes which makes them a viable, inexpensive alternative for budget riders like me who are looking for a sophisticated second ride. The XMax has traction control, ABS brakes, and many of the same dashboard amenities a car has including ambient air temperature, clock, and fuel consumption estimates. It even has a DC plug included in the locking left glovebox for charging a cellphone.

As for your question, no I have not ridden either bike. My nephew looked at the Ninja, but decided to go with the Yamaha because the price was right for him. He thinks he can resell it almost immediately and get his money back if he does not like it. I hope so. I think he is going to lose interest in that bike pretty fast and begin looking for something that fits both his stature and riding skills.

Now, a mocking bird calls.

The sun shines and the road beckons

My nephew bought a low mileage motorcycle like this one last week. It is a good starter bike although perhaps a little small for him at 6 feet 3 inches or so. After reassuring my sister that her youngest son made a good choice I ordered a battery tender from Amazon for his motorcycle.

In a about a half hour I am going to our local Yamaha store to buy the XMax 300 I rode yesterday. I don't like the rear view mirrors. Compared to my Goldwing the ride is choppy, but it is stable at 60 miles an hour without wheezing. I am adding a rack and top case as well as a taller windshield which will be included in the purchase price.

Mine is white.

Ride on.

Documents provide window into Scott Pruitts controversial $43,000 phone booth

Career officials at the Environmental Protection Agency who oversaw the funding and construction of a controversial secure phone booth for Administrator Scott Pruitt's office were acting at the behest of political appointees and security staff, documents obtained by CBS News show.

The documents show that the project started soliciting bids at an estimated $13,500 last summer. It eventually cost $43,000, which included painting, floor and ceiling work and prepping the room. Presented with four pricing options ranging between $20,560 and $24,570, career officials chose the most expensively priced because it included "expedited materials and working outside regular business hours."

Yet the emails also indicate that flags may have been raised.

In one email, dated June 28, 2017, Gayle Jefferson, Director of Facilities Management and Services Division, says "The secure room for the Administrator appears to be taking on a life of its own."

I have a counterproposal for Mr. Pruitt. How about the Cone of Silence? It is only $1799.99 delivered.

The producers have an economical model too (below). This one can be had for $49.95 plus shipping and handling.

Over and out.

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