Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, June 30, 2005

OK, Enough Is Enough!

Lay Down The Crackpipe, Monsewer!

Via The Manolo, we are treated to the latest in low-rise jeans from some pea-brained clothing designer. Witness for yourself:

Now, El Capitan would be lying if he said that pictures like that offended him. In truth, a part of his salivating monkey brain would be quite pleased if that style became de rigueur for those (and only those!) with the physique to make it look good.

The rest of his brain, however, laments the headlong rush to dress our females in articles of clothing possessing less surface area than your average postage stamp. Half of the fun of doing The Deed is getting to unwrap the package, and the longer the unwrapping goes on, especially when done in a teasing yet exploratory manner, the more... ummmm... motivated! each party will be by the conclusion of the unwrapping. This does not mean El Capitan wishes a return to petticoats, bloomers and crinolines! No, just to the point where there's still a bit of mystery to what the other party has to offer when you enter into merger negotiations.

(El Capitan knows that his gentle readers are unused to seeing him delve into areas concerning people exposing their naughty bits and making Tab A fit into Slot B. Rest assured that he'll go back to his usual monkish self after this post. He just feels very strongly about this, and couldn't remain silent.)

Now, for you young'uns... while you may have been taught via our current pop culture that the end-all be-all of intimate activity consists of ripping aside a scrap of cloth and commencing to flail away like a spasmodic wildebeest, trust to the wisdom of El Capitan and know that extra time and care devoted to the prelude always pays off by the end of the symphony. What quick yanking on that denim bikini tie can compare to the slow pull on a full-length zipper on a pair of blue jeans, starting just shy of the navel, and ceasing just north of The Promised Land? The subsequent parting of the jean front panels, so reminiscent of... well, I'll stop there. I don't need to go down to catch a bus walking funny.

OK, to pull this back on a serious basis... I've heard it said many times by women to other women, "If you put out on a first date, they'll lose all respect for you". Well, almost. Go out dressed like that, and that's probably all it will take for the Respect-O-Meter to take a dive. You can couch this style in all the "womyn's empowerment" and "personal liberation" talk you want until you're blue in the face, but the bottom line is, if you dress like a whore, you really lose your right to get offended if someone mistakes you for one.

When There's No One Else To Blame

It's Probably That Dude In The Mirror

I tried to keep things lighthearted and nonchalant, but Zibig still figured it out during a phone call this afternoon. Part of the problem of hanging out with a guy for the better part of a quarter-century is he tends to pick up on your moods no matter how good an actor you think you are.

Truth is, I'm not very happy at the moment. It's not important why. It's one of those things that was inevitable. In fact, I'm sort of surprised it took as long as it did. Nevertheless, no matter how much you think you're beyond something, some things can still slip in under your armor and stick ya pretty good. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

So... Now is the time on Baboon Pirates when we dance! I give you, via the genius of Tom Lehrer, the song for today's self-flagellating mood:
The Masochism Tango

I ache for the touch of your lips, dear,
But much more for the touch of your whips, dear.
You can raise welts
Like nobody else,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango.

Let our love be a flame, not an ember,
Say it's me that you want to dismember.
Blacken my eye,
Set fire to my tie,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango.

At your command
Before you here I stand,
My heart is in my hand...
It's here that I must be.

My heart entreats,
Just hear those savage beats,
And go put on your cleats
And come and trample me.

Your heart is hard as stone or mahogany,
That's why I'm in such exquisite agony.
My soul is on fire,
It's aflame with desire,
Which is why I perspire when we tango.

You caught my nose
In your left castanet, love,
I can feel the pain yet, love,
Ev'ry time I hear drums.

And I envy the rose
That you held in your teeth, love,
With the thorns underneath, love,
Sticking into your gums.

Your eyes cast a spell that bewitches.
The last time I needed twenty stitches
To sew up the gash
That you made with your lash,
As we danced to the Masochism Tango.

Bash in my brain,
And make me scream with pain,
Then kick me once again,
And say we'll never part.

I know too well
I'm underneath your spell,
So, darling, if you smell
Something burning, it's my heart... [hiccup]
'Scuse me!

Take your cigarette from its holder,
And burn your initials in my shoulder.
Fracture my spine,
And swear that you're mine,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango.

Stocking Stuffers For Jarheads!

Just In Time For 230th Annual Head-Shaving Day

How farookin' cool is this??

Something tells me that these silver dollars are gonna be popular as unofficial Jarhead challenge coins, and no doubt more than a few will be swallowed whole in those bizarre bar-bets that seem to come about when large groups of uniformed soldiers congregate where alcohol is served.

Still, I'm gonna try and get a couple of dozen when they're released. They look totally sharp, and will make great gifts for the Marines & Marine admirers I know. Proceeds will also help fund the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico, Virginia.

They get offered for sale July 20, 2005 until the end of the year. Go here to order!

UPDATE: Date fixed. My bad. Carry on. If still in doubt, check the date on the coin. I had 1995 on the brain today.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

RIP Edloe!

Alas, another pet cat has departed for the land of endless plates of sauteed mice and boundless catnip gardens.

Edloe, the gargantuan feline grumpus who ruled the roost at Laurence's place has died.

I'll miss seeing the frequent posts devoted to Edloe. She was a pretty talented cat, and even managed to lift Laurence's blog password and host a Carnival Of The Vanities not too long ago.

Rest In Peace, Edloe. You'll be missed! Nardo's gonna have to eat a lot of lizards to attain your celebrated girth!

Chained To The Oars

Our Department's Motto: ROW FASTER!!!

My friend Flygirl's zooming into town in the wee hours of the night for a 16 hour+ layover, and I'll be stuck at work all day tomorrow. This makes me rather sad. See, if I was past my one year anniversary, I'd no longer be subject to the "We'll fire you for looking at us cross-ways" clause of the employment contract. I'd actually have to be written up for blowing off work quite a few times before the axe would fall.

In all honesty, I've got a training class that day, and those I can't blow off. I've got to go cast pearls before swine, lest they do something egregious that causes nasty spendy lawsuits. You'd be amazed at the terminal ignorance of some of these managerial types. Here's a few quotes direct from the classes:

"What's wrong with writing 'Nice Legs!' on someone's interview form & application??"

"Teamwork is everyone doing what I tell them to do!"

"Well, you know how much the Irish drink. You'd be a fool to promote them."

Yup, actual quotes from the guv'mint people in charge of some aspect of your life. And to think about all the citizens that assume the government knows what's best for them! Silly rabbits...

Teaching employment law classes is actually fun, in a way. The phrase "Peeling back the Foreskin of Ignorance and applying the Wire Brush of Enlightenment" seems particularly apropos.

Still, I'd much rather go hang out with Flygirl. We see each other all too rarely. It's a long way from our college days, when we were joined at the hip most afternoons. Not that we had a dating relationship, mind you, it was just all the long afternoons at the local La Madeleine scarfing down the free fresh-baked bread with butter and raspberry jam or orange marmalade after buying a single glass of iced tea or cup of coffee. Well... all that jam gets sticky, and add a tiny little VW ragtop to the mix, and the song "Stuck In The Middle With You" took on a certain relevance.

I kid! I jest! She really prefers duct tape or masking tape for sticking purposes, to judge by the flood of puns rolling out of her dispenser. Now I'll layer off the tape puns lest she adhere to a schedule of retaliation that won't wrap until 3aM.

Well, maybe next time things'll work out. Gripe we may, but work we must!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

My Cranium Just Exploded Again!

This Is Costing Me A Fortune In Superglue...

Via Ravenwood's Universe, we learn the following cheery message:

Ethnomathematics is the next big breakthrough in education!!

Boy, if you liked Ebonics, Open Concept Classrooms and Self-esteem centered curricula, you're gonna love this!

Here's a snippet:
One of its precepts is "ethnomathematics," that is, the belief that different cultures have evolved different ways of using mathematics, and that students will learn best if taught in the ways that relate to their ancestral culture. From this perspective, traditional mathematics--the mathematics taught in universities around the world--is the property of Western civilization and is inexorably linked with the values of the oppressors and conquerors. The culturally attuned teacher will learn about the counting system of the ancient Mayans, ancient Africans, Papua New Guineans and other "nonmainstream" cultures.

Partisans of social-justice mathematics advocate an explicitly political agenda in the classroom. A new textbook, "Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers," shows how problem solving, ethnomathematics and political action can be merged. Among its topics are: "Sweatshop Accounting," with units on poverty, globalization and the unequal distribution of wealth. Another topic, drawn directly from ethnomathematics, is "Chicanos Have Math in Their Blood." Others include "The Transnational Capital Auction," "Multicultural Math," and "Home Buying While Brown or Black." Units of study include racial profiling, the war in Iraq, corporate control of the media and environmental racism. The theory behind the book is that "teaching math in a neutral manner is not possible."
Go read the whole thing. Try not to puke.

Hill Country Blogfest Range Report

'Cause Nothing Helps A Hangover Like Shooting Guns!

For the final outing of the Hill Country Blogfest last weekend, the various attendees still able to move under their own power drove out to the Dietz Gun Range outside of New Braunfels.

It's not a bad range. I've certainly seen worse. The free-ranging cows certainly added to the atmosphere.

After dodging all the cow-flop and getting situated under the mercifully large covered shooting area (HOT sun that day!), we commenced to break out the hardware. I brought a bunch of stuff, and ended up only shooting about half of it. The two Marlin .22 autoloaders never got fired (which means I don't have to clean them! Yay!), and two other boomsticks suffered some breakdowns.

I'd bought a whole lot of 7.62x39 ammo to run through the SKS, but the SKS just wasn't having any of it. The receiver cover scope mount and the red dot sight obstructed the stripper-clip slot, and that damned aftermarket 30 round mag firmly resisted any efforts at single-loading rounds. It kept seating them too far back, or too far forward, jamming up the action either way. Trying to hold the bolt back and stuff in rounds one at a time is problematic at best, and with the red dot sight in the way, was damn near impossible. I gave up after 9 rounds, so that's all that got shot out of it that day. Needless to say, after dismounting the red dot sight so the SKS would fit in the hardshell travel case with that enormous banana mag hanging off the bottom, the zero was off by at least an hour-of-angle. Scrub one gun. I'm going back to the factory 10-round mag, and either a gas-tube scope mount or plain iron sights. Screw all that "tactical" nonsense.

Second disappointment was the S&W 2214. Now I understand why it had a $109 price tag on it. Every other round failed to eject properly. After playing the *POP* "DAMN!" shake rattle yank-slide game for a few rounds, one spent round got jammed in the chamber after a live round pushed in behind it, and I had to put it back in the case until I got home to some decent tools. It may not have been the ejector, but the older standard-velocity ammo I was shooting. Those Smith .22's seem to like a hotter round. My buddy Zibig's S&W 422 is the same way.
I'll need to clean it and properly lube the slide rails (which were a bit dry & gritty), then try with some zippier ammo to see if the problem persists. A new extractor, pin and spring aren't but $15 or so from Numrich, and will make a fun weekend project. Scrub TWO guns!

Fortunately, the 1911, the Vaquero and the Blackhawk all performed with their usual reliability, as did the latest addition to the rifle collection, the 8mm BRNO VZ-24. I didn't have any surplus 8mm, only a box of Federal Premium ammo for the Mauser-clone, so I winced at the dollar-a-shot tariff. I put through 5 rounds just to see how it printed on paper (acceptably, considering the iron sights), then let Denita try it out. Other than taking the skin off her thumb knuckle by dragging the bolt across it while reloading cross-handed, she did great! The recoil came as a bit of a surprise, I'm sure! Still, it's not nearly as bad as a KAR-98 with that sharp-edged skullcrusher buttplate. This one you can actually shoot a lot before the bruises start sprouting.

I wish I got more range time for myself, but I was dashing all over trying to get people to burn off all this ammo I'd bought for the BlogShoot. I think most folks there got a chance to put some .45 Long Colt rounds through a gen-you-wine cowboy sixshooter, and pretty much everyone got at least a mag or two through the 1911. LC Beth really liked the Hogue Monogrip for the Ruger Blackhawk .357. That thing does tame the recoil!

Zip's neighbor Ray brought out a collection of scoped smallbores to shoot, and most folks got a chance to do some 100 yard plinking. Denita and I chatted with a guy sporting the IMAO Celebrate Diversity T-shirt, and found out that you run across blog readers in the most out-of-the-way places!

If it was 20 degrees cooler, and I had hardware that wasn't buggered, it would have been perfect, but all in all, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We decided that the BlogShoot needed to be a permanent fixture of these BlogMeets, which means sooner or later, we'll actually get Zippo out to one, clogged sink or not!

People Really Piss Me off.

Put A Cork In It, You Ignorant Peon!

Assholes! I'm surrounded by assholes!

Just got off a extreeeeeeemely long phone call with a guy that's got a beef with METRO. After the 7th time telling him that I have ZERO oversight or regulatory authority over METRO, which like most transit authorities is an independent entity, I finally gave up and just let him rant.

See, apparently it's my job as a government drone to come over and give this guy a medical evaluation, picket METRO's board meetings, gather petition signatures, lobby Congress and the DOT to change the transportation laws to allow people with minor ailments to get curbside service to wherever they want to go free of charge 24/7. Oh, and please call him and let him know when I'm finished, 'cause he's much too busy to do any of this on his own.

What a shmuck. I just wanted to grab him by the ears and shake some sense into him. Goddamn entitlement junkies! If you want something done, get off your ass and drop in on your Councilman! Attend a Council meeting! Organize with others like yourself! That's how stuff gets done!

Damn. It's not even 10 am, and I'm already PO'ed. Gonna be a long one.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Even More Silly Monday Stuff

I'm Just Too Wiped Today For Original Thought

This one courtesy of Kosher Red up in Dallas.

A - Age: 37

B - Band listening to right now: AC/DC

C - Future Career: Crooked Politician

D - Dad's name: Dad

E - Easiest person to talk to: Dead people. They so rarely interrupt.

F - Favorite song: Probably one of Jimmy Buffett's. Depends on my mood.

G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms: Neither

H - Hometown: Houston

I - Instruments you can play: Most low brass intruments, though some much better than others. A bit of piano, a bit more guitar.

J - Job: Government Drone

K - Kids: None that I'm aware of.

L - Longest car ride ever: Dallas, TX to NYC

M - Mom's name: Mom

N - Number of siblings you have: One

O - One thing I would like to change about myself: I'd like to have a 32 inch long.... waistline.

P - Phobia: Spiders bigger than a nickel

Q - Quote: "One may bask at the warm fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak uncertainty of reason- but one cannot have both." - R.A. Heinlein

R - Reason to smile: I pushed the cat off the bed *before* she yakked up that hairball

S - Song you sang last: "Elvis Is Everywhere" by Mojo Nixon. Sing like the King, baby!

T - Time you wake up: 6:15 am 7/365

U - Unknown fact about you: Haven't vacuumed under the computer desk since 2004.

V - Vegetable you hate: Okra. Little green fingers of Slimy Death.

W - Worst habit: Failure to perform household chores in timely manner.

X - X-rays you've had: Hands, chest, abdomen, head

Y - Yummy food: Chili Dogs!

Z - Zodiac sign: Is this all we could do for Z? Zodiac signs are so... Seventies. How about "Zebras You Have Molested", or "Zithers You Have Eaten", or even "Zabaglione Amounts You've Smeared On Cops"??? Sigh... never mind. I'm a Leo. You happy now?

Another Time Killing Activity

It's All In the Name Of Science!

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Weekend Accounting

The Price Of Fun

Hotel for 2 nights in San Marcos - $135
Gas There & Back - $50
Liquor for Key Lime Pie Shooters - $43
One metric shitload of ammo - $120
Ice chests, Ice, beer, limes etc. - $20
Nightly Slurp-ee fix - $3
Knocking the lower rear rocker panel off the Caddy - $???

Getting loaded on whiskey slushes and margaritas with Dash and betting on who'll take the first swing in the Eric/AJ/Stu Inaugural Constitutional Convention - PRICELESS!!

Having my face covered with BBQ sauce and not giving a damn 'cause I'm gnawing on Beth's BBQ'ed beef ribs like a starving hound - PRICELESS!!

Getting turned on to the music of Savage Aural Hotbed - PRICELESS!!

Having the lifetime opportunity to tweak Zippo about his fantastic filet mignon selection - PRICELESS!!

Just having the wherewithal and the spare time to attend one of these gigs - PRICELESS!!

A Quick Update

Sorry for the lack of posting over the weekend. As odd as it seems for a blogfest, we had umpteen bloggers there, and only one laptop. I don't think anyone got any real posting in. I only got to check email once.

I desperately need a shower and a tall glass of something cold & intoxicating after that drive, but here's some tidbits...

Thanks so much to everyone wishing little Sammy well. He did indeed have viral meningitis, but he's been fever-free for 3 days now, and my sister and BIL took him home from the hospital this afternoon. We're gonna have the Grandmas duel it out for babysitting duty over the next few weeks so the parents can get back to work and earn some $$$ to pay that hospital deductible.

LC Beth makes some fantastic BBQ ribs and a tasty but lethal frozen whiskey sour slush. Keep an eye on her site for the slush recipe. She'd tell you the BBQ sauce recipe, but then she'd have to kill you.

Kurt makes beef jerky so well, he oughta quit his job and make this stuff full time. His wife's just as nice as can be, but I think she's a bit gobsmacked by us daft Yank bloggers. Oh, yeah, we drink horrible beer, too. Sorry, Mrs. Trainwreck! I'll lay in a stock of Blackthorne and Strongbow Cider for next time!!

If anyone needs several gallons of Trainwreck Stew, contact Spats. He might have a source! For a BBQ pit and river toobs, Dash is the preferred source for professional blogparty fixings! Wish we had more of his family show up, but we'll take what we can get! It was good seeing him again.

AJ is now an official Texan via transplant. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of a giant longhorn stud bull, please let him know. We need to disabuse him of the notion that Holsteins are large cows.

Mr. Minority and family are a heck of a lot of fun. I mean, we expect one blogger, we get 5 people ready for a party! Can't get a better deal than that!

Denita and Eric were Zane-less this weekend, which meant we got to chat a lot more that the last go-round. I gotta say, Denita's absolutely fearless. Shot every big-bore gun I had, and did it pretty well, too!

Zippo was the Grand Panjandrum and gracious host for the weekend, (along with his wife Stomps With Foot) except when his tow-headed blue-eyed granddaughter showed up, in which case he turned into jello in her hands! Can't really blame him, she's a sweetie!

I know I'm forgetting some folks, mostly out of the extended Zippo clan, but I'm about brain-fried at the moment. We had Stu and Stacy and Ray and ... and.... and.... See? I just go blank. I blame those whisky sour slushes.

More after a while, friends and neighbors.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Blogfestus Interruptus

'Cause Karma Doesn't Want Me To Have A Fun Weekend

I knew that religion quiz would come back and bite me on the ass.

OK, to get straight to the point, my nephew Sammy appears to have some form of meningitis.

They did a spinal tap, and they're pretty certain it's a viral form, not the bacterial form that cleans your clock in 48 hours. His temperature has dropped since they put him in the hospital, so he's not in immediate peril.

Last report had him in good spirits and flirting with the nurses. Damn, if I'd known sticking out your tongue, cooing and gurgling attracted hot young women, I'd have been doing it long ago.

All this is going to put me on a short leash this weekend, and absolutely kill any possibility of leisurely floating down a river or getting completely plastered. I'm gonna need to be no more than 10 steps from the Caddy all weekend.

So, I'll be there when I'm there, and I'll leave when I have to. That's just how it's gotta be. Hope y'all will understand.

See ya there.

Which Religion Is The Right One For You?

Bored At Work Again...

Note: I'm not too pleased with the fact that "Satanist" came up #2 in the list based on my answers. Not that I'm worried about thinking people will assume I sacrifice babies on a dark altar at midnight (I actually prefer toddlers) but instead because it reveals a fundamental flaw in the test design.

The test designer is somehow comparing my desire for free will and unfettered personal choice & actions with Satanism, and ignoring my belief that one's personal morality, if unbound by scripture and dogma, must be held tightly in check lest one slide into chaos and, for lack of a better term, evil. I believe that one can be a good person (or at least fundamentally decent) without being a practicing Christian.

Second, if one does not adhere to path of Christianity, logic insists that Satanism be rejected as well. They are inseparable opposites. To deny one is to deny both.

Personally, though I find dancing naked through the trees extremely silly, and the whole idea of 'magick' kind of farfetched, I do like the Wiccan creed of "And it harm none, do what thou wilt" because it's rather close to my personal beliefs. Perhaps my conscious rejection of the obviously pagan-related questions on the quiz caused it to score far lower than the Satanic questions.

Anyway, here's the quiz results.

You scored as agnosticism. You are an agnostic. Though it is generally taken that agnostics neither believe nor disbelieve in God, it is possible to be a theist or atheist in addition to an agnostic. Agnostics don't believe it is possible to prove the existence of God (nor lack thereof).

Agnosticism is a philosophy that God's existence cannot be proven. Some say it is possible to be agnostic and follow a religion; however, one cannot be a devout believer if he or she does not truly believe.



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with

A New Toy For Your Blog!

Yet Another Gadget To Slow Your Load Times!

This is not as robust as it could be and was shut down for a while yesterday, either through traffic/bandwidth issues or just the javascript freaking out. I meant to post this last night after testing it, but couldn't get it to work. So, I'll try again tonight, but use at your own risk, and save a copy of your unaltered template!

Via Laurence at Is Full Of Crap, I present for your perusal the latest in blog-gadgets!


It's pretty easy to use, just enter your street address or your latitude/longitude, and it'll add your blog to the database. It also gives you handy little bits of code to paste into your template so others can see where you are!

To submit your blog, you must have one of the following feed formats: RDF, RSS 2.0, ATOM (Blogspotters, you're covered! We have ATOM.xml feeds!)

For those of you like myself who are into anony-blogging, I recommend you pull out your GPS receiver and get your position through that instead of using your home address. If you're fresh out of GPS receivers, you can go to this site and zoom in on your location. It takes a while to zoom in on your neighborhood, but it's accurate to 6 decimal places. Since it can put the "X" right on your doorstep, I spoofed it by pretending to live in a park several blocks away. Well, as far as you know, anyway.

This could be a pretty handy gadget for planning blogmeets and such. Only 4000+ U.S. blogs have signed up as of today, but you know this is gonna be as popular as accusing Glenn Reynolds of having too many puppy smoothies! Get in while the getting's good!


There's Altogether Too Many Newfangled Words, Consarn It!

What is a meme? That question popped up several times lately, so I thought I'd pass on some information.

Coined in 1976 by Richard Dawkins in a book called 'The Selfish Gene', a meme is "a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation".

Other definitions have come about, and you can read all about it here, but I choose to think of a meme as a bit of random viral RNA injected into people's consciousness, carrying an idea or thought pattern to be further replicated.

If you like, think about it as a book that's passed from person to person, each of whom adds their own comments in the margins, or illustrations on the endpapers. All those contributions might eventually alter the perception or the transmission of the message, but the underlying structure remains intact.

UPDATE: I ran across a Top 10 list of internet-related memes gathered by Chris Anderson of The Long Tail. How many of these do you recognize?

Ellen Feiss
The Star Wars Kid
Dancing baby
Bert is Evil
Bonzai Kitten
Tourist Guy
MC Hawking
Leet speak
Subservient Chicken
First post

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Thank God For Cold Showers

Otherwise We'd Be Hip-deep In Dead Kittens*

I try so hard to be a respectable citizen... to not be overtly lecherous or a perverted creepazoid.

However, I've come to the realization that it's society itself that's dragging me kicking and screaming towards dirty old man-hood! Well, OK, it's more of a polite "Please step this way, sir" as opposed to actual dragging.

I've mentioned the jail-bait chickadee that lives next door before. You'd think if you were the parents of a gen-u-wine hottie, you'd perhaps be more circumspect in her allowable attire and actions. Nope, not here. They may be hard-core Bible-beaters, but by God they sure seem to enjoy near-nekkid teenage girls layin' about.

The fine folks next door bought a pool. Not an in-ground pool, just one of the cheapo inflatable ones. Did they put it in their backyard behind a privacy fence, as required by law? Oh, no. It's in their driveway right outside their garage, right next to my driveway, in full view of the entire cul de sac.

So, sometime yesterday afternoon, Little Miss Hardbody decides to put on a little show for her younger sister and friend, involving a very small bikini, lots of water, and the best strip-club pole dance ever performed without the pole in an inflatable pool.

How do I know this? 'Cause I caught the last 30 seconds as I was pulling into the driveway. I'll say this, Cadillac does make a quiet engine. I got an eyeful of three pelvic thrusts (that really drive you insayayayayane!), one back arch and a two handed breast-cupping before she realized she had company and dashed for the back yard. I felt like dashing in the house myself, but for an entirely different reason.

I think I could have been pretty blasé about the whole thing, but the icing on the cake was the Confederate Battle Flag bikini. Damnation if that don't make a Southern boy wanta stand up and salute!

Sigh. I hope they get her married off soon. I mean, where's the ACLU to come prevent my Gitmo-style "torture"?

*Oh, here's the Dead Kitten reference explained...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

20,000 Unique Hits!

Of Course, 5000 Hits Were Google Queries For "Baboon Butt Sex"

Congrats to whoever slid in here at 10:14:08 pm from IP address 209.82.174.XXX! You came in through Kurt's site, but didn't stay too long. Well, come back again sometime!

I debated waiting until I hit 25K before saying anything, but I do like those round numbers.

Oh, Connecticut Yankee? You missed hitting it by 2 spots on your nightly visit!

"I Just Don't Get..."

What Is Goin' In You People's Haids??"

I don't get tagged by the meme bug all that often, so the shine hasn't worn off it for me just yet. Dash tossed this one my way, so the least I could do is answer it. Hell, it's a freebie blog topic, if nothing else!

The topic is:

"Five things society at large enjoys, but that I just don't get..."

Just five???

1. Going To Church: OK, this is not a slam at God, Jesus, Catholics, Muslims, Zoroastrians, whatever. This is directly solely at the activity of going to a building with a pointy thing on top once a week and putting on a piety show. This conundrum first struck me back when I was barely a teen and started to notice that the "Sunday version" of people didn't match the "Mon-Sat version".

Frankly, the level of hypocrisy is appalling. In my lifetime, I've seen many upright bastions of the church parade down the aisles every week, taking their rightful place in the front pews where they could be seen by all. Some of us were hip to the realities of life, though. Despite the display of piety, you just knew YOU ABSOLUTELY *KNEW* FOR A FACT!! that the other 6 days of the week the husband was cheating clients left and right, the wife's addicted to painkillers and schtupping the pool boy, the kids are attending rainbow parties and selling crank, but there they sit every Sunday, lookin' like butter wouldn't melt in their mouths.

It absolutely disgusts me. So much so I haven't attended a regular Sunday service in almost 20 years. I got no real issue with religion, as long as it doesn't get out of hand. Put hundreds of worshippers together, though, and strange things begin to happen. When congregations stay under 30-40 people, you seem to get less stake-burning, crusading, witch-hunts and pogroms.

2. Picnics: What's to like? Ptomaine poisoning due to someone leaving the potato salad sitting out. Trying to eat in the hot glare of the sun. Ants. Kids chasing a frisbee trampling through the Pop-Tart souflee. Wasps assaulting the watermelon. Someone overturning a full can of Coke on the blanket.
Feh. Give me a restaurant anytime.

3. Shopping Malls: Proof that a significant percentage of the population are masochists. Don't even get me started on the pre- and post-holiday crowds. Parking way the heck out in BFE, surly teenage clerks, shrieking kids, oblivious parents, horrible odiferous smogs around the food court caused by too many different cuisines in close proximity... the list of negatives goes on and on. I think I've been in a mall 5 times or so in the last 5 years, and three of those were to meet a friend working at the Apple Store.

4. Roller Rinks: Despite the alluring temptation of the Hokey-Pokey, I could never quite grasp the appeal of rollerskating rinks. You've got your gnarly skates, soaked in the foot-sweat of thousands of previous people. There's the carpet covered walls, the dim lights, the über-dorky tiny orange traffic cones. I'd mention the all the fantastic roller rink cuisine (first place I ever had a deep-fried hot dog), except that my stomach's a bit twitchy right now from McD's at lunch.

You can put your whole self in, I'm keeping my whole self out. That's what it's all about!

5. Fashion: It just burns my ass that I can't go get a replacement pair of shoes or article of clothing that I've enjoyed because they're no longer available. Sure, things like topsiders and jeans never really change, but it'll probably be 10 years before I see another pair of good chambray pants or a linen pullover, or a dual-color weave oxford shirt because those styles are no longer in fashion. It's gotten to the point where I buy two of everything just to make sure I don't run out. I need to start my own clothing label. "Old Fuddy Duddy - Fashion for people that don't give a shit about fashion".

Next victims? Well, if they want to play follow-the-meme, how about these fine bloggers:

Mike at Grendel's Dragon
Crimedog at Parrothead Ramblings
Donny at Walrilla's Wonderings
Jenni, 'cause I haven't linked her in ages! Hi, sweetie!
Rorshach at Red Ink: Texas

I'm Glad I Called!

When A 30 Minute Job Takes 8 Days

Just called the gunsmith at Gander Mountain this morning to check the status of the Mauser I'd left to be headspaced last week. They hadn't even started on it!

Now, normally this would not distress me so much, except that I was told it would only be two or three days. I drove all the way out there this weekend, and found the gunsmith department closed for inventory. OK, my fault for not calling ahead. I needed to buy ammo there anyway. Incidentally, when did standard-quality rifle cartridges get so damn spendy?? $1 a round for 8x57 Mauser?!?!?! I've gotten spoiled by shooting pistols and surplus ammo.

I just looked up the price on a set of headspace gauges on Brownells. Sure, they cost 3 times as much as the gunsmith is charging, but I could always sell 'em on eBay for at least 2/3 the price after I get done with 'em, making it a wash, really. Hell, I just checked eBay, and they're selling new gauges there even cheaper!

Sigh... I knew I should've gone the gunsmith route. I have (ok, had) the machine shop experience, I have the firearms interest and knowledge, and I would have actually enjoyed it, I think.

Then again, boring holes with gundrills for custom barrels is a massive PITA. You really need to be a full-service gunsmith to make any $$$. It's hard to feed a family if all you can do is mount scopes and glass-bed stocks.

Well, they assure me it'll be ready Thursday evening, so I'll just swing by there on the way out of town on the way to the Hill Country Blogfest. Leaving Houston via 290 will put me on a weird path to New Braunfels. It's better to go out I-10 and turn north at Seguin. I just suppose I'll have to back track down to I-10 on the insanely long stretch of stoplights known as "Highway" 6.

I wouldn't go to all this trouble, but I just can't wait for these AK & AR shooters to get a taste of what 8mm recoiling through a steel buttplate feels like!

More Baby Stuff

Our Own Little Soap Opera Continues

Little Sammy is still running a fever, and it's staying up in the 101-102 range. Turns out he's got some form of viral infection. My sister and BIL say he didn't get it from the babysitter's place, but who really knows how these things happen. Probably one of their dogs ate something dead and smelly, then swiped a tongue over Sammy's face while he was in the swingy chair. Might even be an outbreak of Horrible Poisonous Toads in the area. Damn warty bastards!

If he's not still under the weather, I'll get to see him again this Saturday. He's just growing like a weed. As much as I'd like him to stay a cute little baby forever, I'm looking forward to him growing up so I can do a better job of spoiling him rotten, and sending him home to my sister full of sugar and bearing noisy toys. I'm pretty sure there's a AA ball club somewhere in his neck of the woods for us to go watch. I'm going to start lobbying for Tee-ball and Little League as opposed to soccer. If the kid's getting into sports, it might as well be a homegrown one, not some Eurowuss pastime. Yeah, yeah, I know... soccer players run constantly for the entire game. whatever. Try doing that AND tackling people, twinkletoes. Besides, MLB and NFL are good names for sports leagues. "FIFA" sounds like a damned poodle.

Alas, Sammy's still not quite got the manual dexterity to chamber a round in even the teensiest of my pistols. Sigh. All those guns to shoot, so many years to wait...

Andy's daughter Anwen will probably not be allowed to reap the benefit of my large firearms collection. OTOH, I'll likely be able to supply her with all manner of pointy bladed objects as she grows up with Andy's full approval! Hell, I can even instruct her in the fine art of scalping and dismemberment about the time she reaches dating age. Sure, there might be a minor kerfuffle the first time a grabby suitor pulls back a stump, but that's what growing up is all about!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Mystery Solved!

'Cause I Ain't Got Nothin' Better To Do Today

I've long wondered what the point was to the anemometers (that's translates as "wind speed gauge" to you non-geeks out there) that reside in the courtyards outside the front of my building.

We've got two glassed-in courtyards down in the basement level, both open to the sky, with plenty of tables and chairs underneath oak trees that provide decent shade for lunchtime napping, reading, eating, etc. There's a trio of bubbling fountains inside a small pool against the inside wall on either side. I sometimes read out there, but more often than not I just stare at the bubbling fountains for minutes on end. Large quantities of moving water are to me what tinfoil is to a crow. I can't take my eyes off it. I'm so used to the big, brown slow-moving rivers down here in Texas that the first time I saw a rushing, burbling river up north, I must have watched it for an hour.

Dammit, I'm digressing again. Y'all holler out when I do that!

So, I'm puzzling over these wind speed gauges, trying to figure out what ninny decided to measure wind speed down in a glassed-in canyon. Seems to me you'd want them up on street level, or on the roof. Each one's mounted on a length of electrical conduit topped with a junction box that juts out of the concrete near the inside wall.

The conduit was what clued me in. You usually don't get a lot of wind down there, being 15 feet below street level, but sometimes on a blustery day, you can get a surprising amount. I've seen the fallen leaves down there whipped up into mini-whirlwinds by the air ricocheting around the glass. When the wind gets really fast, the water off of the fountains can get sprayed around quite a bit, soaking everyone within a 10 yard radius. I was sure that if the wind got too high, the water might become a huge problem, especially since the exit door was right next to the fountain.

So, to test my theory, I walked over to one of the anemometers, and gave it a really hard spin. Sure enough, the fountain pumps shut off. Pretty damned clever!

Now I just need to figure out how to hook up one to the news feeds, so the endless yammering of the hurricane-addled TV weathermen shuts off when we get a light breezy rain out in the Gulf.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Pretty Damn Good Weekend

Unfortunately, That Means Tomorrow Will Likely Suck

I had a good visit with my buddy Rockhauler over the weekend. He dropped down from D/FW to see his uncle and hang out with me for a bit. I spent way too much money, of course, but we don't see each other more than 3 or 4 times a year now that I'm down in H-town.

I may have to change his nom de blog from Rockhauler to Holesucker since he's gonna quit rockhauling and start hanging out at gas & oil drilling sites and relieving them of their watery sludgy buildup. Somehow, I think he'll object to the namechange. After all, it'll be all in good fun until some future blogparty when someone gets a load on and instead of Holesucker, calls him 'Felcher', and as we all know, that's how fights get started. Yeah, best to maintain the status quo, I'm thinking.

We tried a couple of good restaurants for dinner Fri and Sat nights, Yia-Yia Mary's and Pappadeaux. Yia-Yia Mary's is Greek food, and aside from an extremely anemic rice pudding, it was pretty tasty. I'm getting addicted to taramosalata and skordalia. We waited until far too late to go get food, but luckily they were open until 11. They finally tossed us out at twenty after 11, but by that time we were stuffed. Next time I'll get their baklava cheesecake and the dinner'll be perfect.

Pappadeaux I normally avoid like the plague, because it's usually way too crowded. However, Rockhauler wanted fish, so we found one that wasn't too awfully crowded, and we didn't even have to wait to be seated.

Best meal I've had in a while, though I did pay for the privilege! Big meaty boiled shrimps with cocktail sauce, a huge platter of fried seafood, and a very tasty Mason jar full of 'nanner pudding for dessert. I overcame my usual dread of asymmetrical bivalves, and ate the fried oysters. I love fried clams and smoked oysters (see, the tin can is symmetrical!), so it seemed silly to not eat them. They weren't too bad. A bit spongy, maybe, but OK. Cocktail sauce hides a world of sins.

We raided the nearest Half Price Books to maintain our printed word addiction, then headed to to see 'Batman Begins'. We are both Batman-o-philes, and our last Batman movie experience was the dungheap with Ah-nuld, that whiny pusbag Chris O'Donnell, and that bitchy blonde chick from 'Clueless' and the old Aerosmith videos. I remarked as we left that godawful experience that the high-pitched whine we were hearing was Bob Kane spinning in his grave.

Ol' Bob would have been OK with this one. It wasn't perfect, but I'll spare you the BatGeek nitpicking and just say it was worth the $8.50 ticket.

No, I lied, I will nitpick. Katie Holmes, your weird lopsided mug reminds me of Katie Couric, and I *loathe* Katie Couric. I was never a Dawson's Creek fan, and while your perky little breastesses are magnificent, your acting sucks ass. While I deplore your upcoming brainwashing by Tom Cruise and his Scientology nutcases, if it keeps you off the silver screen, I can live with it.

Ok, rant over.

4 day week coming up! Gonna be off Friday to head to New Braunfels for the blogmeet. Should be a lot of fun!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Baby's First Emergency Room Visit

Or, How To Panic A Grandmother

Little Sammy got rushed to the emergency room last night. Apparently there was a bit of a fever. No worries, all is well. If it wasn't, I know for a fact the phone lines would be melting under an overload.

I'm thinking this is a rite of passage for new parents. First time the thermometer scoots past 99F, they spare no horses racing for the medic.

I don't blame them, really. I'd probably do the same thing if I was a new parent. Still, after observing many multiple child households (my own included) I'm pretty certain if this was kid #2 or #3, he'd get a baby aspirin dissolved in the formula, and be put in the vegetable crisper drawer in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down. The earth-shattering crises of Child #1 kind of lose their intensity on the subsequent children.

How many times have you seen brand new parents steam-clean every square inch of the house, and boil the laundry before applying a Lysol varnish to disinfect for the new baby? Almost without fail, by the time kid #3 hatches, the attitude has changed somewhat.

"What? Little Billy's eating cat poop? Well, lots of protein in that. Cheaper than Twinkies, and now I don't need to scoop out the litter pan!."

Friday, June 17, 2005


C'mon, Get Off Your Keister And Join Us!!

Just one week to go until the opening ceremonies of the Central Texas Blogmeet, aka The Bacchanal On The Comal, aka Gettin' Jiggy At Zippo's Crib!

Go Here and leave Zippo and/or Beth a comment or an email and let 'em know you're gonna be there. Leave me a comment, if you're just too busy to click another link!

Here's a rough version of the scheduled activities: (All events in or around New Braunfels, TX)
Fri night - Dinner at the Grist Mill, then music by Buckwheat Zydeco at Gruene Hall!

Sat a.m. - Gather at Zip's place, prepare for Toobing the River!

Sat day - Toobing, Drinking, Talking, Blogging, Baptizing Nephews (OK, I'm the only one doing that last one...)

Sat. p.m. - Back at Zippo's place, prepare for BBQ and Blogging

Sat night - Zippo gets nekkid BBQ, Cocktails, Fun and Merriment! Party 'til you're dead!

Sun Noonish - Gunplay! The Bloggers head to the shootin' range!

You know you want to do this! Surrender to the impulse! Duct tape the kids to the wall, kick over the bag of dog food and leave the faucet running and join us!

Life's too short for another weekend spent watching reality shows!

See y'all there!

Turkey Jerky!!!

With The Emphasis On "Jerk"!

So I get this message on my voicemail from Rockhauler, who's coming down for the weekend. Goes something like this...

"Hey, I was on my way down to Houston when I lost control of my car. It ran off the road and ended up..."

By this time, I'm shitting bricks. Crap! I'm stuck here in the office, and it'll be at least an hour before I can get on a bus back to the Transit Center, and head north on I-45 to help him pick up the pieces.

Naturally, that's the moment he springs the trap. He continues...

"It ran off the road and ended up in the parking lot of Woody's Smokehouse. I'm calling to see if you wanted to place an order!"

I'm gonna kill the boy...

But not until I take delivery on their world-class turkey jerky!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Exploding Cranium Alert!

Those Filthy Swine!

The bendover continues. I opened up my bank statement this morning. Aside from the $2 charge for talking with a live person (to correct THEIR problem) I just got hit with an $18 fee for a new box of checks!! You poxy rat-bastards! $18???!?!?!? That's freakin' highway robbery! (Which is especially ironic considering I bank with Wells Fargo...)

You'd think that I'd have gotten a price break for ordering them online. It's not like it took them any effort to process the order. I doubt it was even looked at with human eyes until the package hit their mailroom.

For that price, I really ought to have gotten a lap dance from the mail carrier.

Grrrr Grrrr Grrrrr!!

Reason #57876 Socialism Sucks

Where's The Swedish Bikini Team When You Need Them?

In addition to the general decline in prosperity and personal liberties, sometimes socialism creates unexpected consequences in its quest for uniformity and equality.

Lack of taste, for one.

(Scroll down for the full effect. It gets worse as you go along, though!)

Via Boing Boing.

Which 'Pulp Fiction' Character Are You?

Well, At Least I'm Not Marvin.

What Pulp Fiction Character Are You?

An Elvis man, you like you women dangerous and your steaks bloody. You often get wrapped up in landscapes and fail to realize the danger you put yourself into. Don't get cocky, and don't get caught. It might be good to lay off the drugs every once in a while. Just a suggestion.

Take the What Pulp Fiction Character Are You? quiz.

Oh, yeah! As long as we're discussing all things Tarantino... My birthday's fast approaching. One of these would just about make my year! (Heh, now I'll probably end up with 8 of 'em!)

Found via The Anarchangel

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Carnival of the Vanities # 143

It's Scrumpdillyishus!

This week's Carnival of the Vanities is up at Mister Snitch.

Go roll around in it!

Redneck Reloading

When Frugality And Social Darwinism Collide...

In this post, I mentioned the redneck headspace test. After Rockhauler and I got done with the resulting case of the giggles thinking about it, we worked up a good comedy routine about "redneck reloading". It's been a few years, but let's see if I can remember a few of the things we thought up...
(Disclaimer: DON'T try any of these, OK?)
Preferred tools for decapping are an ice pick and a 2x4.

Never mind a crimping die, just grab your can of roof sealant.

All those different cans of powder just clutter things up. Dump 'em all in a big bucket!

Them powder dippers is awful small. There's a much better one in every can of Folger's Coffee!

You don't want that powder rattling around in the case and scaring off them deer. Fill that case up to the neck, and cram that bullet in to pack it tight!

Corollary: Keep a hammer handy to open bolts and knock out revolver cylinders after firing these 'stealth' rounds.

That pile of .30-30 shells will fit in that .30-06 chamber if ya wind a wrap of duct tape around the case shoulder!

You don't need a bullet puller when ya got vise grips!

If the primers stick out of the case a mite, try a deadblow mallet and a concrete floor to pound 'em flat!

In a pinch, tapioca pearls are about the size of #7 birdshot.

Why buy a case tumbler when Efferdent is so cheap?

I'm sure y'all can come up with more. Let's hear 'em!

For That Price, They Oughta Spit-Polish My Barrel!

Or At Least Consider A Reacharound.

I finally found a place nearby that'll headspace that BRNO Mauser I bought last month. For the low low price of $25, the guy will place three gauges in the chamber and see if it's in spec. Oh, yeah, he'll have to pull the extractor off the bolt. Add 5 minutes tops to the time total.

So, $25 for maybe 6 minutes work. That makes it... $250 an hour? Good work if you can get it.

I ought to have done the redneck headspacing method. My buddy Rockhauler explained it to me. It involves tying the suspect rifle to a tractor tire, tying a string to the trigger, covering the whole mess with a blanket, stepping off about 10 feet and yanking on the string. If the blanket flies up like a bat out of hell, you had a bad rifle.

For the record, I'm generally opposed to this testing method!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It's The Person, Not The Payment Method

A Former Renter Speaks Out

Daniel at LoboWalk has had a bug put up his ass by the "mobile people" infesting his condominiums.

While he's careful to mention that not all renters are scumbags, I think he's putting too much emphasis on the method of paying for housing versus the actual problem, which is the ignorant slack-jawed yokels that our society seems to have in endless supply. Plenty of people rent for reasons other than poor credit or lack of cash. I chose renting over ownership for flexibility. I never knew where my job might go to, and it's a lot easier to break a 6 month lease than try to sell a house from 1000 miles away.

To be sure, there's a certain amount of pride that ownership brings. Most folks take good care of the most expensive item they'll purchase in their lifetimes. Not always, though.

Some owned homes decline through benign neglect, in the case of the poor & elderly, who are unable to do proper maintenance. Some homes are just fucked from the get-go. I was shown a subdivision in Arkansas that consisted of extremely low-cost homes designed to get the poor out of Section 8 housing and into a proper home. To keep costs low, these houses were sold partially finished, with the understanding that the homeowner would complete the work themselves. The poor and shiftless being what they are, 10 years later, a good number of these homes still have plain concrete for floors, the sheetrock is still bare and unsanded, and lights dangle from unfinished sockets. How do I know this? Mainly because their windows and doors are all wide open, 'cause none of 'em pay their utility bills and they need the light and fresh air.

I've also known homeowners that do the most ridiculous shit imaginable, and piss off their neighbors through their ignorant actions. There's a guy down the road that decided to build a carport big enough to cover his 32' RV, and put it out in front of his house. That whistling sound you hear when walking by is the plummeting of local property values, unless it's hurricane season, in which case it's likely that 32' aluminum roof swooping through the neighborhood.

Another homeowner/neighbor insists on rebuilding hot rods in his garage. I can't tell you the joys of hearing him tune a 351 c.i. unmuffled engine early on Saturday morning.

No, the kind of behavior Daniel hates is not "renter", it's "white trash asshole".

I have a friend that got all bent out of shape when I used the term "white trash". She was just mortified that I'd "label people according to their income level". I took pains to explain that the term was not "poor white trash", although that term is certainly used. You can be a multi-millionaire, and still be white trash. White trash is, by my definition, stupid assholes that don't care about the present or plan for the future, and ruin things through abuse and/or neglect. The kind of people Daniel abhors certainly fit in the white trash category. I know for a fact there are other terms used for that type of person in different ethnic groups, but propriety demands that I restrict my labeling to my own ethnicity.

While all men may be created equal, they certainly don't remain that way. Through upbringing, (or lack thereof) people learn habits they'll carry with them for life. One of these is proper treatment of items of value. If you've learned, either through patient parenting or through repeated ass-whoopings, not to draw on the walls or carve your initials in the doors, chances are you'll grow up to be a person that respects property. If you can't grasp that concept, then more than likely you're gonna end up the kind of shitheel that degreases transmissions in the bathtubs and rips out all the copper fixtures the night before you're evicted.

I think you'll find that by & large, most renters put no more wear & tear on property than owners. For one, there's always that sizable property damage deposit at stake.

So, let's put blame where it's due, and direct our ire at the person, not the payment.

Decisions, Decisions...

If This Was November, It'd Be A Slam-dunk.

Ever have the sneaking suspicion that your tendency to procrastinate about important decisions is really your subconscious telling you something?

I'm running out of time to get my hotel room bought for the upcoming New Orleans blogmeet. I've already reserved the time off, but that didn't involve any dollar outlay, and canceling it is as simple as an email.

It'd be an expensive trip, what with the room, meals, booze, gasoline, and bail money for these guys, but that's not really the sticking point. Sure, the $26 dollar-a-day parking charge sucks ass, but I can deal with that. The 5 hour drive out there is a PITA, but easily do-able. The fact that I'll know only two people there certainly adds a level of trepidation, but not one that's insurmountable.

What it boils down to is prior commitments, and how freakin' hot it's gonna be.

Until her email arrived last week, I'd forgotten I'd talked with my friend Jenni about doing a pub crawl up & down Division Street in Arlington for our birthdays in July. Between the 2005 Texas Blogfest and the upcoming Hill Country blogmeet and the one in New Orleans, I've gotten all wrapped up in this new crowd, and slacked off on the pre-blog friends, which ain't good at all. In fact, I feel pretty bad about it. Knowing Jenni, she'll be all for me doing the N'Awlins thing, but she did have first dibs...

Second, unless some unseasonable weather either drops the temps 20 degrees, or drops rain for the entire weekend, July in New Orleans is pretty frickin' miserable. I know, I've been there/done that before. 10 years and 12 inches of waistline ago, I'd have no problem marching back and forth on Bourbon Street in a Hurricane-induced haze in 95 degree heat. Now, I've got genuine concerns about turning into a greasy puddle halfway to Cafe Du Monde.

It's a question of utility when you get right down to it. Most folks wouldn't be so crass as to calculate ROI on a pleasure trip, but I've always been wired differently, constantly calculating risk vs. reward in almost everything I do. Given outlay of $X, which offers the greater rate of return? Stepping into the unknown (and a HOT unknown at that), or going with the friendly and familiar?

This may honestly come down to a coin flip. I've got until the 22nd to catch the cheap room rates. After that, my indecision adds $20 to each day's hotel bill.

I could always blow off both trips, and dump the money into my "Cap needs a new computer" fund.

Sigh. I hate decisions.

Monday, June 13, 2005

OK, I Expected This From Baby Sammy...

But NOT From Teenagers!

Ewwwww. I just had our office's admin supervisor bring in a tour group of summer interns. Not only did they enter my office, by so did the unique aroma of eau de unwashed ass, obviously emanating from at least one of them.

OK, guys, basic hygiene lessons are not in my job description. No effin' way are you gonna funk up my digs, especially when I'm still queasy from drinking like a fish last night.

Ick. Now I think I'm gonna need to go hide in the bathroom for a while.

I'm all for giving kids a summer job. It beats having them take up alternate employment running 'hos or selling rock. Still, there's got to be some minimum standards in the selection process involving daily bathing!

It's gonna be a long summer, methinks.

Monday Morning Misery

How Many Times Will I Swear Off Of Gin & Tonics?

I feel like such a boozer right now. No headache to speak of, fortunately, but the sour stomach and alky sweats are here in force. That'll teach me to polish off the bottle of tonic water (with just a *bit* of gin, natch!) for Sunday dinner.

I picked up a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin Saturday afternoon for the family reunion. Since it was a family affair, I kept the gin light, probably no more than a finger's worth per drink, but I did have 6 or 7 over the course of the day.

On the way home from Wimberly yesterday, I dumped most of the leftover ice in the cooler on top of the gin bottle, and had the leftover tonic water in there as well. Once I got home, I just dragged all my assorted krep in the house, and forgot about it in pursuit of a nap.

When 8:30 rolled around, I went looking for some dinner before sitting down to watch The Shield, but I didn't have time to go out and get anything. Waitaminnit! There's a couple of those Reese's Giant Cups in the cooler! Perfect! Oh, and while were in the cooler, let's just make one more G&T! After all, the gin is nice & frosty, and the tonic water'll just go flat!

It was a gigantomous gin & tonic. 32 oz glass full of ice, and probably 4 fingers of gin topped with lime juice and tonic water. Deee-lish! Of course, when 10 pm rolled around, and it was time to get out of the recliner, the world did seem to be listing to starboard just a bit.

Now, a sane rational person who had to go to work the next day would have just gone to bed at that point. Unfortunately, I'm not a sane rational person, so I had another one. Best sleep I've had in weeks, but boy, am I ass-dragging today...

Next week... Margaritas!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Gone Fishin'

OK, so I'm not really fishing. I am, however, off the reservation until tomorrow night. Posting will therefore be nonexistent until that time.

I'll be in the stupendously large metropolis of Wimberly, TX for a family Ree-Yoonyun. The experience will be fun for the most part, marred only by the incessant shrieking of the under-10 participants. I will therefore be well tranquilized by copious applications of gin & tonics and a stupefying dose of all-you-can-eat BBQ from a place called The Salt Lick this evening.

Sunday might involve a meet-up with Zippo, but he's kinda involved in the hatching of grandkid #2, so we'll play that one by ear. I'll be back in this general area in two weeks for the Bacchanal On The Comal, so I'm mostly making this trip under the radar, and not trying too hard to link up with the numerous bloggers in the area.

See y'all tomorrow night!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Gratuitous Cajun Joke

For Which I Apologize In Advance

Marie Laveaux gets worried when her husband Thibodeaux Laveaux decides to geaux out fishing in his pirogue. He always carries a cooler full of beer (Thibodeaux, he likes the Streauxs beer, him), and gets likkered up out in the bayeaux. Sometimes, he even snorts a little bleaux, and tries to wrestle them there alligators. Marie just kneauxs that Thibodeaux is gonna get too blotteaux on one of these trips, and drown out in the swamps, floating down the bayeaux, his eyes pecked out by creauxs.

One night, Thibodeaux Laveaux doesn't return from the bayeaux. "Oh, neaux!" says Marie.

In the morning, she calls up her cousin Boudreaux, the parish sheriff. "Cher Boudreaux" says Marie Laveaux. You gots to geaux out to the bayeaux and find Thibodeaux! He ain't returned from his fishing trip in his pirogue. Oh, weaux is me!"

Boudreaux is kinda sleaux, but agrees to geaux look for Thibodeaux. He gets his deputies Fonteneaux and Longfelleaux in a pirogue, and off they reaux.

Later that evening, Boudreaux knocks on the Laveaux's door. "Marie, I got the good news, and I got the bad news. Which one you want first, cher?"

Marie is so nervous, she wants to threaux up. "Geaux ahead and give me the bad news, Boudreaux."

"Cher," says Boudreaux, "We done found ol' Thibodeaux floatin' on the bayeaux. He been pecked by creaux, and was just covered in the blue crabs."

Marie was laid leaux. Who now would squire her to the fais do-do? Who would bring in the deaux?

"What's the good news, Boudreaux?"

"Well," says Boudreaux, "We gonna float him out again tonight, and you get half de crab!"

And now, away I will geaux, before you all find something to threaux at me.

Scrubbing Mouse Balls For Fun And Profit!

Just Be Sure And Wash Your Hands Afterward

One of the perils of owning a long-haired cat is the shed factor. Despite daily brushings that remove enough fur to knit a decent hat, the amount of hair that comes off of Betsy Cat is unbelieveable. Using a wet cloth, I can swipe at her favorite napping spot on the head of my bed daily and come up with a fistful of fur. I wake up most mornings, and immediately have to spit out at least one stray cat hair that's pasted itself to some part of my mouth. I use more sticky lint rollers monthly than most third world countries use in a year.

The electric fans in the room suffer as well. Since the ceiling fan and the oscillating fan run whenever I'm in there, they attract their own amount of lint, and need to be wiped down often. The computer fan is no different. About every two weeks, I lift up the iMac and scrape along the vent holes underneath, and get a good-sized wad. I shudder to think about what the inside of the case looks like.

When my USB mouse started screwing up the other evening, my first thought was "Damn, gotta drop another $15 on a new mouse." The older mice you could open up and clean out, but when an optical mouse quits, you just go get a new one.

Still, it's worth a look under the hood before I shitcan it. So, I grab my handy little multi-bit screwdriver and open 'er up.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear... but a wad of cat hair the size of a deer!

That fuzz was all jammed up around the scrollwheel, and pushing the optical sensors out of alignment. That in turn was causing the main LED to get out of its proper place, and respond erratically. Normally it responds to the movement of the mousepad underneath, but it was getting discombobulated but the waving wads of cat hair and acting like it was moving even when it wasn't.

I ended up taking it completely apart, down to the little springy things that regulate the scrollwheel. It seems that a lot of those little moving parts had been given a coat of white grease. Anyone that's familiar with firearms knows that grease attracts grit and gunk like a magnet. This was no different.

After tweezering out all the greasy matted cat hair, dirt, and other unspeakable filth resulting from simultaneous snacking and computing that had taken up residence inside the mouse, I scraped off the gunk jammed up around the scrollwheel as I vowed to never eat in front of the computer again. That resolution lasted approximately 26 hours, btw.

It took a few tries and a quick perusal of the Redneck Duct Tape & Baling Wire Technical Institute reference manual to get it all back together, but now it's like having a brand new mouse. Using teflon gun oil instead of white grease might keep the gunk factor down, too.

Open up them mice, boys & girls! There's a jungle in there!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

No Way I'm Touching That Melon.

So I'm walking through Tranquility Park on my way into the office this morning, when I spy with my little eye a watermelon just sitting there underneath a tree.

Wasn't much of a watermelon, really. Barely as big as a basketball. Still, they're not known to be a free-ranging species, so I was sort of curious how it came to be there.

That hour of the morning, Tranquility Park has a collection of homeless types sleeping on park benches, but the park was empty today. Just me and that watermelon. Mmmm... I do like watermelon.

Of course, as soon as I thought about taking a closer look, something held me back. I mean, really, how often do you see watermelons free for the taking in downtown parks? This thing had to be wired to a hidden camera or something. I go to pick it up, it explodes and covers me with goo, and you all get to watch it on America's Funniest Videos, or Punk'd, or some similar show. No way, José.

No, the watermelon stayed where it lay. I'll get one from the store this evening.

Carnival Of Comedy #7

Comedy? Indeed!

Drunken Wookies

If you're not reading The Bleat by James Lileks every morning, you're missing out on a treat.

His comments this morning on Star Wars: Episode 3 are priceless! Here's the sample that had me spraying tea on my monitor...
Not enough Wookies. And I don’t see them as the kind of guys who’d use a bowcaster, frankly; they seem more like shotgun types. You would not want to fight an army of a pissed off Wookies with shotguns. I bet they drink, too. They’re probably always drunk all the time, which is why their language seems so incoherent; for all we know they’re not saying anything at all, just yelling. Because they’re all hammered.

Go Read!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Random Things That Piss Me Off

'Cause I'm In That Kind Of Mood

Coke machine vendors that only restock once a month, forcing me to choose between the evil of Sunkist Orange, and the festering nightmare that is Big Red.

Cats that pace back and forth on my bed chirruping at me when they know darn good and well they've had too many treats already.

Getting a bunch of hits from TotalFark, but not making the editor's cut to get the cat treat post put on Fark's main page. Your Capitan wants an 'Amusing' tag.

Chinese restaurants that make their lo mein out of fettucini or spaghetti.

Having no A/C in the Caddy as daily temps reach 95 degree averages. Even through trousers, you stick to the leather.

Forgetting your lunch, and trying to survive until 6 pm on Altoids.

Still paying on student loans 10 years after graduation. You want fries with that?

Having 17 (yes, that's SEVENTEEN) single socks lacking a mate. Where the hell do they go to? They're not inside the dryer's innards or the vent hose, 'cause I've checked there.

The nearest 7-11 (and Slurpee machine) is in Smithville, a 2 hour drive west of here.


METRO's plan to save us all from terrorist jaywalkers.

Next-door neighbors that buy a screechy bird and leave it in a cage outside their front door. I foresee posting a recipe for Cockatiel Tetrazzini in the near future.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

For Your Friends Who Worked At Enron

I'm Sure They'll Appreciate It!

Somewhere in all my websurfing, I ran across an unusual picture that made me sit and ponder it for a while. "Surely", I thought, "there's a metaphor in here somewhere".

After I made a note to not call myself Shirley, it came to me. This needed the Demotivator treatment.

Remember Demotivators? Those wonderful posters that poke merciless fun of the inspirational craptasms that your company probably insists on hanging everywhere?

My personal favorite is this one, with this one as a close runner up.

So, without further ado, here's the picture that inspired me:

Click to see my version of a motivational poster!

Oh, Yeah... The Soap!

Almost Forgot To Mention It!

I'm going to pass on one of El Capitan's secrets to comfort and relaxation. No, it's not munching on kitty treats.

I learned this little trick one hot summer in Chicago circa 1993, courtesy of a pair of groupies that had opened up their house to the band I was roadie-ing for. We had crashed there for a couple of days during a summer tour, and while we appreciated not having to pay for hotel rooms, staying in a non-airconditioned brownstone during a heatwave in Chicago was pretty scorching until the sun went down.

Fortunately, they had one of those old-style bathrooms buried deep in the house, with plenty of cool white tile, and an old claw-footed tub with an overhead 'rain'-style showerhead. While I didn't take the groupies up on all of their offerings (a herpes-free life is its own reward, thankyaverymuch!), I did take them up on their soap.

For the record, there are few things nicer and more relaxing on a hot day than a cool shower with Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap. It leaves ya all cool and tingly for hours.

One of the true lunatics of the 20th century, Dr. Bronner had some unique philosophies on the future of humanity. Nevertheless, the man made some fantastic soap. This stuff is pretty versatile. You can use it for just about anything that needs cleaning, be it skin, hair, dishes, floors, teeth, whatever.

It's not cheap. I paid $6.49 for a pint of liquid peppermint soap, and $3.69 for a bar of the eucalyptus soap. Still, a little bit goes a long way.

Oh, yeah. Try not to get it in your eyes. Not only will you have soap rolling around your retina, but also oil of peppermint. Stings like you wouldn't believe!

Infiltrating The Hippie Stronghold

Alas, The Necktie Gave Me Away...

I made one of my semi-regular expeditions to Whole Foods Market yesterday afternoon. I had run out of my favorite soap, and the only place to get it is at the Land Of Tofu & Granola.

I liked the Whole Foods Market I used to shop at up in Dallas. It was tucked away in a spendy area of town, so you got lots of limousine liberals that shopped there, but rarely any of the unwashed & tie-dyed. Say what you will about limousine liberals, for the most part they're polite and respectful, and not looking to seek a confrontation with The Man, even when you go in with your NRA hat on.

Houston's Whole Foods Markets are a different proposition, though. Even though the one I went to was near the ritzy Tanglewood subdivision, it's near enough the Metro bus lines that unshaven legs and dreadlocks are a common sight. So, when I approached the front entrance, and encounter an old woman in her late 70's ranting to all arriving patrons about "the store is letting in filthy people!", I just assumed she'd encountered a member of the unwashed patchouli patrol.

On entering the store, though, the first thing I saw was a black man with a pissed-off look on his face. Obviously he'd just had a run-in with the old biddy Karen Klanswoman outside. I'm amazed there's still people like that left alive. Not so much people that hate other people, as I think racism is hard to completely erase. It's just very odd to see people that still announce to the world that they hate black people. I guess she slipped her leash and escaped the George Wallace Memorial Home for Aged Racists.

Once inside, I had to sort through all the shelves of useless crap to find what I needed. I'm always amused by the insane prices people pay for chunks of quartz and bottles of smell-pretty oil. Even more amusing are the racks and racks of homeopathic "remedies", which is the best scam to separate the gullible from their cash since the invention of three card monte. I keep thinking about opening a mail order business selling cut-rate 'natural remedies' consisting mostly of lawn trimmings and ditch water. I'd throw in with every order a free "Native American spiritual focusing amulet" made from pebbles, twigs and feathers off of dead birds I find, and make a mint off of these poltroons.

Sigh... overly cynical, I am that. Je ne regrette rien.

I got my soap, took a pass on the Marcona almonds that I like so much (and have increased to $18.99 a pound!) and got the hell out of there before I succumbed to the lure of a turkey leg carved out of tofu. No, I didn't plan on eating it, I just had a morbid fascination to see if it would bounce if I dropped it.

Next time, I'll need to let my beard grow and wear a Phish shirt to blend in a bit more.

Monday, June 06, 2005

63rd Carnival Of The Cats

The 63rd Carnival Of The Cats is up at Enrevanche.

Go dig around in the litter!

Taste Test Aftermath

Every Saga Must Have An Ending

Here Pookie Cat resorts to extreme methods to get the taste of the moist cat treats out of her mouth.

After those godawful kittystix, I kinda wish I was flexible enough to do that myself. Then again, if I was that flexible, I'd never leave the house...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Great Cat Treat Challenge

The Foolish Things I Do For Amusement...

Cats are finicky, no doubt about it. Some will happily gorge themselves on cat food that other cats turn their noses up at. You never know how they'll react until the 'moment of truth', when you drop the plate in front of them.

Fortunately, my cats Betsy Cat and Pookie Cat agree on the food I give them. Since Betsy Cat is a solid furball shaped like a Maine Coon Cat, I feed her Iams Hairball Control formula, which does seem to reduce the amount of moist mouse-shaped lumps I find underfoot. Usually in bare feet, I might add.

Pookie Cat, a calico with thick fur herself, also eats it with a gusto, which greatly reduces the hassle of having to maintain two separate food bowls and feeding times.

It's in the area of cat treats, though, that their tastes diverge. Pookie Cat seems to prefer the crunchy kind, whereas Betsy Cat usually likes the moist kind. I can't seem to find one that will be eaten by both of them. Usually, I keep a spare package of each type in reserve, but every so often I'll run out of one, and then I've got a pissed off kittycat in the house 'cause I'm feeding the other one treats, but not to her. This seems to always lead to the aggrieved party crapping over the back edge of the litter pan instead of inside it, or overturning a flower pot. Vindictive little minxes!

So, in an effort to find a common cat treat solution, I went to PetSmart and got 8 different types. We're gonna have us a little Cat Treat Taste-Off to see which one they'll both eat, and you're invited to watch.

To make this even more amusing (for you, not for me, I'm guessing...) I'm gonna sample the wares myself. After all, if I'm gonna feed it to my cats, I oughta be able to eat it myself. I'm just thankful I don't feed them canned cat food. No f#$&%ng way could I stomach a spoonful of gopher lungs and trout lips.

The process is pretty simple. I'll toss down a treat of each type in front of both cats, and see if they'll eat it. Bonus points if they beg for more. I'll also record what my reaction is, and post pictures (or a reasonable facsimile) of all the participants during the process.

For the record, I will be using ice water to cleanse the palate between treats, backed up by some dark rum if I need to rapidly disinfect and deaden the palate.

Here are the participants: Betsy Cat, Pookie Cat, myself.

Here's the lineup:

OK, Off we go!

Purina Moist AquariYums:

Betsy Cat: Two Paws Up!!
Pookie Cat: Wouldn't touch it.
El Capitan: Smells like old sneakers. Oh, god.. this is awful. It tastes like you'd expect a spoonful of maggots to taste after you scraped 'em off a dead carp. Suddenly this idea got a lot less funny. I don't know if I can do 7 more. Rum was needed here.

Purina Crunchy AquariYums:

Betsy Cat: Ate 'em like she was starving, which I know NOT to be the case...
Pookie Cat: Ate 'em up. Asked for more. I'll be damned...
El Capitan: Ehh, pretty bad, but not gag-inducing. Tastes like a 10 year old Triscuit. With 10 year old cheese spread on top.

Purina Shrimp & Tuna Whisker Lickin's:

These are Pookie's regular treat. Betsy will eat them if she's in the mood.
Betsy Cat: Two Paws Up!
Pookie Cat: Two Paws Up!
El Capitan: No fish taste to speak of. Not half bad. I mean, they won't replace Cheetos or anything, but I'd eat these before resorting to cannibalism.

Pounce Moist Chicken Flavored Treats:

These are Betsy's regular treat. Pookie hates 'em.
Betsy Cat: Two Paws Up! Besty loves these things.
Pookie Cat: Won't even sniff at it. This bodes ill for my tasting...
El Capitan: Gahhhh! Chicken soaked in lye! Where's that bitter aftertaste coming from? This one's about 12 kinds of nasty.

Purina Roasted Chicken Purr-fections:

I'm so scared of this one... "tasty crunchy outside... rich creamy inside". I can see my innards being yakked up on this one.
Betsy Cat: Nosed at them a while, then got down to business. Ate 4 of them.
Pookie Cat: Turned up her dainty little nose and gave me the evil eye for having the nerve to offer 'em.
El Capitan: Kinda grainy-corny tasting. No noticeable chicken taste. Hell, a little cream of chicken soup and 30 min in the oven and these would make a decent casserole. If you're a dog, maybe.

Pounce Crunchy Ocean Whitefish & Crab:

"Now with MORE CRAB!" Gee, I can't wait. An extra bushel basket of ground-up carapaces & bellyplates makes all the difference in the world!
Betsy Cat: Ate every one I gave her. Still wants more. What a pig.
Pookie Cat: No dice. She'd rather gnaw a plastic bag.
El Capitan: Hmmm... which one is the crab, the red ones or the white ones? Oh, Christ, I think I'm gonna hurl... Whose crazy idea was this??? They must have used crab lips and assholes on this one, and forgot to boil them first. I think I'm dying here.

Whiskas Temptations Stix:

They're a treat! They're a cat toy! It's two kinds of fun in one! Actually, they look like mini Slim Jims. Guess they're for redneck cats. (note: After reading the package, I learned I was supposed to break these up before feeding them to the cats. Betsy managed to swallow one whole, gagging it down. She came back for more, though.)
Betsy Cat: She's hooked for life. I just gotta remember to chop these up.
Pookie Cat: She's mortally afraid of these. She tries to suffocate herself in a plastic bag to escape the stench.
El Capitan: These do NOT taste like a Slim Jim. They taste more like Fat Jim's unwashed asscrack. I had to spit this one out double-quick to prevent a dry-heave. I think I'm scarred for life. Rum is not helping.

Whiskas Tasty Chicken Temptations:

Betsy Cat: Two Paws Up! This damn cat eats EVERYTHING!
Pookie Cat: Won't even go near them when I toss 'em near her.
El Capitan: Another 'soft center, crunchy outside' type. Sigh... at least it's tiny. About the size of half a Chiclet. Tastes like a crouton made out of dark rye bread. Yeah, you could live on 'em, if you had to.

So, what have we learned?

First, I've got too much time on my hands.
Second, these cats eat some *nasty* stuff!
Third, I now have this uncontrollable urge to go crap in the neighbor kid's sandbox and go lay on top of his mom's car after whizzing on the hubcaps.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Central Texas BlogFest!!! June 24-26, 2005!!!

Go On, You Know You Want To!!

OK, time once again for the weekly plug of the upcoming blogfest in New Braunfels!

We've got about 18 different names for this event, the latest being the "Bacchanal On The Comal". Here's the ultra-spiffy logo Zippo came up with:

This week , we offer refutations to the various "Well, I want to, but..." excuses that I've heard.

Q) "What'll I do with my kids?"
A) Bring 'em along! We just love the little critters! The residents of Casa DosDragones brought along Zane to the last 'Fest, and he promptly became the Official House-Ape of the Dallas Blogfest. He seemed none the worse for wear after the event, barring a bit of dirt acquired whilst excavating Lord Spatula's courtyard.

Q) "But I don't know anybody!"
A) Well, you didn't know anyone on your first day of kindergarten, either! That turned out all right! If you show up at my blog regularly, you know I'm a bit off-center, but basically a decent person. The fact of the matter is, most of the other folks who will be there outrank me on the 'nice person' meter. Sure, it's not always easy to step outside your comfort zone, but the experience is well worth it!

Q) "I don't wanna go tubing in river water! Fish do The Nasty in it!"
A) Don't go tubing! You're not locked into every single activity! As a point of fact, I've got to skip the tubing myself to go see my nephew get christened that Sat. afternoon. There's a gigantomous outlet mall just outside San Marcos, a 15 minute jaunt up I-35. You can go to Aquarena Center and see where Ralph the Swimming Pig used to do his act! Stay in your hotel room and pound down vodka! The possibilities are endless!

Q) "Traveling is expensive!"
A) Well, this is true, but Zippo has kindly opened up his house to whoever will fit within the property lines. Bring a tent and sleeping bags and make it a camping trip! Just don't cut down his fence for firewood... Consider blowing off a family event in the near future. Hell, they see you all the time anyway. Besides, do you really want to get your cheek pinched by Uncle Harvey, or eat another helping of Aunt Mabel's pickled marshmallows in oyster sauce? Trust me, we're a LOT more fun!

So, there you have it! You got no more excuses! Be there or be octagonal!

Carnival Of Cordite #16

For this week's dosage of all things gunnish and bangish, get thee hence over to Gullyborg's place for the 16th Carnival of Cordite!

Go check it out!

Friday, June 03, 2005

A T-Shirt I Gotta Have

'Cause It's Just So Tasteless!!!

This would be perfect to add to my collection of tasteless T-shirts. It'd go along great with my Killbilly "A Good Posse is Tight Posse" shirt, my 1988 Bong-Olympics Bronze Medal shirt, and my long-lost Last Rites "Smoke This, Cheesedick Motherfucker!" shirt.

If you have to ask, you really REALLY don't want to know.

I'm frickin' serious, now! If you get to Googling up goatse, I'm not responsible for retinal burns and projectile vomiting. Be warned.

Now all I need is a line on some tubgirl shirts, and my plans for world domination through extreme nausea will be complete! Buwahahahaaaaa!!

Poobah Or Panjandrum?

Zippo jumped in my Comments pool to leave me a suggestion this morning. He thinks I should have used Panjandrum instead of Poobah in this post. As he noted, Grand Panjandrum is a made-up name coined by Samuel Foote (1720-1777) in a piece of nonsense writing. It was composed on the spot to challenge actor Charles Macklin's claim that he could memorize anything. Macklin is said to have refused to repeat a word of it.

Here's the phrase:
So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf to make an apple-pie; and at the same time a great she-bear, coming up the street, pops its head into the shop. "What! No soap?" So he died, and she very imprudently married the barber: and there were present the Picninnies, and the Joblillies, and the Garyulies, and the grand Panjandrum himself, with the little round button at top, and they all fell to playing the game of catch-as-catch-can till the gunpowder ran out at the heels of their boots.
The phrase 'grand Panjandrum' entered into common usage, coming to mean an important personage or pretentious official, and it still remains in use today.
However... In spite of Zippo's plea for literary accuracy (and his not-so-subtle plug for Apple's OSX.4!), I'm gonna leave it as Poobah. Why?

Because Grand Poobah is an equally valid phrase, just one with a more ancient source! See, instead of 18th century dramatists, I was referencing -100th century cavemen! Namely, this guy:

Remember the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes? Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were always scheming to get elected Grand Poobah, or else getting in hot water with the current Grand Poobah!

So, there's the reason I used Grand Poobah! Sorry, Zip! All those cartoons as a kid have polluted my brain!