RottenBrains

… brains …

Archive for June, 2006

Wright Amendment: An End in Sight

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

After decades of the Wright Amendment crippling Love Field in Dallas, it appears that an end may finally be in sight. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s plea for the involved parties to come up with a local solution instead of dragging the fight into the US Senate seems to have finally yielded fruit: last Thursday (June 15th), American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Dallas, Fort Worth, and the DFW Airport signed an agreement that represents a truce among the parties. Admittedly, this is just the first step in what will be a very long process (it needs to be okayed by Dallas and Fort Worth as well as the DFW Airport board, and then needs to pass through US Congress before December), but it is rather promising.

The good news is that, if everything goes well, the Wright Amendment is going away.

The bad news is that Southwest will still largely suffer under the same restrictions for another 8 years. Apparently, American Airlines, being unused to any sensible competition in the Dallas area, needs that long to plan a strategy that allows them to compete with an airline that can afford to charge about half as much.

Examining the finer details of the agreement: Southwest is immediately allowed to ticket connecting flights to non-Wright amendment states. In other words, you can now fly from DAL to SJC on a single ticket and check your luggage all the way through; but you’ll have to stop in an allowed destination (like El Paso) on the way.

Also, the City of Dallas will be forced, at taxpayers’ expense, to demolish 12 of the 32 gates at Love Field. Of the remaining 20 gates, Southwest will be allowed to use only 16. And if Southwest chooses to fly out of any airport other than Love in the DFW area, they lose those gates as well.

The important thing here is that American Airlines’ insistent and unattractive plea for the federal government to continue to save it from honest competition has failed. Within 8 years, there is significant promise that the cost of flights from Dallas will drop from 48% above the national average to something more in line with it. And really, that’s good news for everyone — at least, everyone who hasn’t been profiting from ridiculous, government-protected price gouging for the past 30 years.

Serious Watch Cat

Friday, June 9th, 2006

Many people have heard of Merlyn, our unusually aggressive house cat, and his dominance antics with a friends very large wolfish looking dog. It appears that Merlyn has some serious competition, in the form of a 15 pound cat chasing a bear up a tree.

Good rum from a tequila company!

Friday, June 9th, 2006

I was happily sharing some of my finer spirits with some friends recently and they asked for a reference on one of them. The beverage of note is the Planters Gold Pyrat XO Rum.

When I went to find some good web-references for it, I found the expected back-stories (all consistent, leaving no sources that might hint at how romanticized the story may be):

Then following that 2nd one to their source I got the susprise that showed this favorite sipping rum of mine is now owned by the Patron comany, makers of the finest of Tequilas:

Yum! Enjoy.

Update:

Ben got some of the newest batch that actually has the Patron URL on the label. This new batch definitely does not have either the depth of flavor nor the smoothness of the older bottles I had. Hopefully this is either an unusual problem with just that bottle or is a short-term setback.

Update #2:

I am passing this on from Ben:

Rum review site. They like the Pyrat a lot: www.rndrumreviews.com

Update #3:

Ben again: hopefully he might provide a bit more publicly visible insight as he has had a chance to visit the distillery. Plus, a tip-o-the-hat to Roger, were you searching the web for sites that reference yours or good rum? *grin*

Monkey Chow Diaries

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Or, using general insanity to get people to link to your blog.

A guy decides to eat nothing but processed primate kibble ( _for_ primates, not _from_ primates) for 5 days. If his blog is to be believed, somewhere around day 3 or 4, the monkey chow company changed their fact sheet to say for all “non-human” primates.

Some Times You Can’t Tell Who to Root For

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

A religious group in Denton, TX, put together a typical religious “tract.” Now, I don’t know if those of you without the good sense to grow up in the good ole South of the USA have experienced these things or not. But, to generalize, they are not exactly targeted to the intelligentsia–but then that pretty much goes without saying when you try to convert someone to your religion using as few words as possible. But sometimes the pictures are really, uhm … interesting.

Problem is, this one looks a lot like a piece of US currency. The US Secret Service does not have much of a sense of humor about that sort of thing. But get this–it simulates a $1M bill, peppered with religious slogans.

The largest bill the US has ever printed is a $100K note. Is it possible to counterfeit something that never existed? Apparently federal law says it is. And to add insult to injury (or is that absurdity to comedy?), someone actually presented one of these to an east coast bank.

If we had a boneheadedness world cup, I think one of the players in this farce would have the cup sewn up. But I’m not sure which one it would be–maybe a three way draw.

Headline of the Month Award

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

Because the first step is admitting you have a problem: President Takes Steps to Reduce Meth Use