Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I'm Not Up To This Today

My Brilliance Portal Is Clogged, Must Use B.S. Instead...

I was all geared up to excoriate Andy for his latest venture into Bush Derangement Syndrome-land, but two things stopped me.

First, a long meeting this morning at the HEC center with every alphabet agency under the sun, preparing for the arrival of 25,000 soggy folks into our mostly-vacant Astrodome. An interesting side note... I remain behind a desk for the duration, yet my parents, both pushing 70, get called up for action. Go figure. Well, I told 'em to get out of town for the week. Next time maybe they'll listen.

Second, and more compelling, was this fine post from Eric of Who Tends The Fires. Excellent work, dude. You certainly have the chops to be the next reigning Voice Of Reason after I lose it completely and devolve into muttering curmudgeonhood.

Nope, no vitriol and partisan blathering today. Just a deep breath, a quick spot of thanks for not living in New Orleans, and a check to write to the Red Cross. We'll resume the ongoing spat after this disaster is brought under control.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Gee, Sarge, PT Violates My EEO Rights!

Those Recruiters Get Sneakier Every Week!

I'm not sure whether to be amused or horrified by this!

My buddy Zibig just forwarded me this via email. It's a job posting from the Texas Workforce Commission website. Take a look, and note the basic job description!

General Details
Job Posting ID: 2251289
Closing Date: Sep 10, 2005
Requires Supervisory Experience: No
Openings Filled: 0 of 1
Public Transportation: No
Job Site Address: HOUSTON, Texas 77019
Veterans Only: No

Job Requirements
Occupation: Office Clerks, General

Experience / Education: 0 yrs 0 mos

Job Description
Will perform basic office work and must be willing to enlist in the Army.

Workweek and Pay Details
Workweek: Full Time - 30 hours or more per week (much more, sucker! You're now on call 24/7/365 for the next 4 YEARS!!)

Duration: Regular (150 days or more) (about 3 years, 215 days more!!)

Shift: Varied
Additional Workweek Details: Hours/Days To Be Arranged.
Additional Pay Details: Salary Based On Experience. (Yeah, after you gain experience and get a promotion in rank, they'll pay you a little more...)

Look, I'm not knocking the Army as an employer. I just think this method of recruitment is a little underhanded...

More Music Memes

Damn, This One's Embarrassing!

Via Laurence and Ellison

Here’s the scoop: Go to the Music Outfitters website. Type the year you gradjitated high school into the search box. Pick the link that says “list of the 100 most popular songs” and gasp in shock and dismay at all the crap that will be revealed.

Go through the list and decide which songs sucked ass, which ones were groovy, and your absolute favorite.

If you dare, throw the list up on your blog with your opinions. Sucky songs get strikethroughs, good songs get boldfaced. Boldface *and* underline your favorite song. Couldn't give a rat's ass about a tune, or don't remember it? Leave it as plain text.

Now, be honest! We can't laugh as hard at what music you liked if you adjust for 20+ years of age and experience! If you liked it back then (and maybe even now) we gots ta know! This meme's popping up all over the blogosphere, and I'm of the opinion some folks are lying their ass off and trying to make us think they had actual taste in music when they were 17. Ve haff vays of makink you talk, schwienhund!

And now.... all the way from 1986, here's El Capitan's musical jubilee!!!

1. That's What Friends Are For, Dionne Warwick, Elton John, and Gladys Knight
2. Say You, Say Me, Lionel Richie
3. I Miss You, Klymaxx
4. On My Own , Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald
5. Broken Wings, Mr. Mister
6. How Will I Know, Whitney Houston
7. Party All The Time, Eddie Murphy
8. Burning Heart, Survivor
9. Kyrie, Mr. Mister
10. Addicted To Love, Robert Palmer
11. Greatest Love Of All, Whitney Houston
12. Secret Lovers, Atlantic Starr
13. Friends And Lovers, Carl Anderson and Gloria Loring
14. Glory Of Love, Peter Cetera
15. West End Girls, Pet Shop Boys
16. There'll Be Sad Songs, Billy Ocean
17. Alive And Kicking, Simple Minds
18. Never, Heart
19. Kiss, Prince and The Revolution
20. Higher Love, Steve Winwood
21. Stuck With You, Huey Lewis and The News
22. Holding Back The Years, Simply Red
23. Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel
24. Sara, Starship
25. Human, Human League
26. I Can't Wait, Nu Shooz
27. Take My Breath Away, Berlin
28. Rock Me Amadeus, Falco
29. Papa Don't Preach, Madonna
30. You Give Love A Bad Name, Bon Jovi
31. When The Going Gets Tough, Billy Ocean
32. When I Think Of You, Janet Jackson
33. These Dreams, Heart
34. Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone), Glass Tiger
35. Live To Tell, Madonna
36. Mad About You, Belinda Carlisle
37. Something About You, Level 42
38. Venus, Bananarama
39. Dancing On The Ceiling, Lionel Richie
40. Conga, Miami Sound Machine
41. True Colors, Cyndi Lauper
42. Danger Zone, Kenny Loggins
43. What Have You Done For Me Lately, Janet Jackson
44. No One Is To Blame, Howard Jones
45. Let's Go All The Way, Sly Fox
46. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On, Robert Palmer
47. Words Get In The Way, Miami Sound Machine
48. Manic Monday, Bangles
49. Walk Of Life, Dire Straits
50. Amanda, Boston
51. Two Of Hearts, Stacey Q
52. Crush On You, Jets
53. If You Leave, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
54. Invisible Touch, Genesis
55. The Sweetest Taboo, Sade
56. What You Need, INXS
57. Talk To Me, Stevie Nicks
58. Nasty, Janet Jackson
59. Take Me Home Tonight, Eddie Money
60. We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off, Jermaine Stewart
61. All Cried Out, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force
62. Your Love, Outfield
63. I'm Your Man, Wham!
64. Perfect Way, Scritti Politti
65. Living In America, James Brown
66. R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A., John Cougar Mellencamp
67. Who's Johnny, El Debarge
68. Word Up, Cameo
69. Why Can't This Be Love, Van Halen
70. Silent Running, Mike and The Mechanics
71. Typical Male, Tina Turner
72. Small Town, John Cougar Mellencamp
73. Tarzan Boy, Baltimora
74. All I Need Is A Miracle, Mike and The Mechanics
75. Sweet Freedom, Michael McDonald
76. True Blue, Madonna
77. Rumors, Timex Social Club
78. Life In A Northern Town, Dream Academy
79. Bad Boy, Miami Sound Machine
80. Sleeping Bag, ZZ Top
81. Tonight She Comes, Cars
82. Love Touch, Rod Stewart
83. A Love Bizarre, Sheila E.
84. Throwing It All Away, Genesis
85. Baby Love, Regina
86. Election Day, Arcadia
87. Nikita, Elton John
88. Take Me Home, Phil Collins
89. Walk This Way, Run-D.M.C.
90. Sweet Love, Anita Baker
91. Your Wildest Dreams, Moody Blues
92. Spies Like Us, Paul McCartney
93. Object Of My Desire, Starpoint
94. Dreamtime, Daryl Hall
95. Tender Love, Force M.D.'s
96. King For A Day, Thompson Twins
97. Love Will Conquer All, Lionel Richie
98. A Different Corner, George Michael
99. I'll Be Over You, Toto
100. Go Home, Stevie Wonder

Wow. I need to go put on some Buffett and get some of these tunes out of my skull...

Monday, August 29, 2005

First, Let's Kill All The Lawyers

Another Fun Afternoon

As an appetizer, my favorite lawyer joke!

Q: Why do lawyers wear neckties?

A: It keeps the foreskins from sliding up over their faces!

I've about had it with our resident barracudas. Day #2 spent preparing for a deposition that's still over a month away. Today's barracuda specialized in "Gotcha!" questions, asking you random things until you said something actionable, at which point they'd freak out and scream about how much money you're going to cost The Man.

I understand why they're doing it. Better to get a little bloody with a tame lawyer instead of getting bled dry by the opposite side. Still, it's left me with the certain knowledge that there's a significant percentage of the population that's getting rich off of obfuscation and hair-splitting.

I thought I could remain in this position for another year or so, building up my contacts before moving upward in whatever direction available. I dunno about that now. I'm not happy having to open up my files and methods of operation and have them pawed through by these pestilential pricks. Oh, I'll still be subject to a certain amount of scrutiny no matter where I go, but putting a little distance between The Man and myself would take a good deal of heat off.

Damn, wish we still ran the zoo. No one ever sues the guy who orders the moose chow and hay bales.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Most Unusual Thank You Note...

With Apologies To Dr. Seuss!

Every Who Up in Whoozher-ville
Liked Summer a lot...

But El Capitan,
Who lived far South of Whoozher-ville,
Most Assuredly Did NOT!

El Capitan hated Summer!
The whole Steamy season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It wasn't that his tongue hadn't been screwed in just right.
It was much more likely that his pants were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

But, Whatever the reason, his pants or his tongue,
He sat there all Summer, sweating and hating the sun
(Staring out from his lair with a big honkin' gun!)
He griped to the world on his personal blog
How the heat made his hands as rough as a log.

"Look at my knuckles!" he snarled with a sneer.
"They look like the north end of a southbound mule deer!"
Then he growled, with his itchy fingers nervously drumming,
"I MUST find a way to keep this dry skin from coming!"

He tried hand creams and lotions, applied after showers.
But most smelled like a dumpster full of festering flowers
They were greasy as the bottom of old deep-fat fryers,
And their quality touted by hordes of professional liars.

Finally El Capitan stopped looking on shelves and in bins
For a cure for this plague brought on by numerous sins,
And resigned to forever having creepy lizard-oid skins.
"It could be worse," he said grimly, seeing knuckles like croc scales,
"I've now got a built-in emery board for filing my nails!"

But one day El Capitan came home after a miserable day,
And saw a package by the front door blocking his way.
It had a Whoozher-ville postmark, and was of a good size,
He opened it, found a letter and a real nice surprise!

El Capitan grabbed the letter, and he started to read
T'was from a friend who'd read that he was really in need.
He marveled at the thoughtfulness of a friend sweet and true,
Little Lynnie-Lou Who, who's about a Size Two!

The surprise? A jar of yellow goo meant for a cow.
But El Capitan would try anything right about now!
It worked like a charm! It stifled his mutters!
Though the elixir was meant for rubbing on udders!
Lynn swore in the letter than it worked great on hands,
Much better than any of the commercial store brands.

And what happened then...? Whoozher-ville they say
That El Capitan's heart
Grew three sizes that day!

El Capitan was so grateful, he dashed to the iMac,
And resolved to send his friend out for a snack!
Alas, Lynnie-Lou Who prefers a vegetarian feast,
Which rules out gift certificates for Chateau de Roaste Beaste.

So, lacking in ideas for an appropriate gifty,
El Capitan decided on something quite nifty!
While a note back to Whoozher-ville would be quite apropos,
He decided there was an even better way to go!

Instead of a card meant for only her phiz,
He'd tell the whole world just how nice she is!

So, muchas gracias a usted, mi amiga Lynn!
You're definitely a most wonderful friend!
And while I can't promise that I'll ever sing you a ballad,
When I finally visit, I'll find you the world's largest salad!

Thanks again, Lynn!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Yeah, Saw THIS Result Coming...

Saddle Up, Pilgrim!

John Wayne

You scored 45% Tough, 9% Roguish, 28% Friendly, and 19% Charming!
You, my friend, are a man's man, the original true grit, one tough talking, swaggering son of a bitch. You're not a bad guy, on the contrary, you're the ultimate good guy, but you're one tough character, rough and tumble, ready for anything. You call the shots and go your own way, and if some screwy dame is willing to accept your terms, that's just fine by you. Otherwise, you'll just hit the open trail and stay true to yourself. You stand up for what you believe and can handle any situation, usually by rushing into the thick of the action. You're not polished and you're not overly warm, but you're a straight shooter and a real stand up guy. Co-stars include Lauren Bacall and Maureen O'Hara, tough broads who can take care of themselves.
Link: The Classic Leading Man Test written by gidgetgoes on Ok Cupid

Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the
Classic Dames Test.

OK. Let's get in touch with out feminine side... yeeeks...

Katharine Hepburn

You scored 14% grit, 28% wit, 42% flair, and 23% class!
You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

Well, that's odd. Didn't expect to get THAT result... Guess I can just live my own rendition of 'Rooster Cogburn'.

Friday, August 26, 2005

We Want Tha Funk!

Bet They Tore The Roof Off The Sucka!

Now, how cool is this?

My friends Jenni & Barry got to go hang out with George Clinton, the man who put the "PH" in "Funk" the other night. I'm SO jealous!

So, what's a suburban white boy doing listening to funk? I blame it on Mom. She used to teach at an inner-city high school when I was still in short pants, and took me along to see a talent show one afternoon about 1977 or so. Several bands were doing P-Funk covers. The music didn't interest me so much as the fashion. I came away with a burning need to own those star-shaped glasses that Bootsy Collins had.

Fortunately, I saw what a freakazoid Elton John was with the weird shades, and managed to tone it down a bit. Still, the urge for offbeat eyewear cropped up occasionally. Some of you might remember the stained-glass wraparound shades and the aviators with the electric pink frames back in the late 80's. In my defense, I was smoking a shitload of dope back then. Altered my judgement somewhat.

I'll get to hear all about it next weekend. J&B are coming down to spend the weekend at my place, and Flying Spaghetti Monster only knows how I'll keep 'em entertained for three days. Maybe I'll take 'em to the gun range, and we can blow shit up while grooving to the funk.

Roadside Corpse Update

Does This Dumpster Say "Dead Mexican Storage"?

Since you asked:

Incident at 10000 Long Point

August 25, 2005 -- Houston police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man at 10000 Long Point about 4 a.m. today (Aug. 25).

The male victim's identity is unknown at this time. He suffered gunshot wounds to the left hip, left shoulder, left forearm and forehead.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeant L. Flores and Officer F. Booth reported:

Houston police responded to a shooting and found the victim dead with multiple gunshot wounds to his body. The victim is a Hispanic male, approximately 36-years-old and is currently being named John Doe. There are no known suspects in this case.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at (713) 308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.

Nice to know this occurred less than a mile from the house...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

How To Blog Without Really Trying

Hey, Everyone's Doing It!!

I must labor on laborious things this afternoon, so instead of a well-researched diatribe against the purveyors of midget p()rn and their impact on Icelandic society, you get a wham-bam-thankeeMa'am! survey stolen from this guy.

[ ] I've run away from home.
[ ] I listen to political music.
[ ] I collect comic books.
[ ] I shut others out when I'm sad.
[X] I open up to others easily.
[ ] I am keeping a secret from the world.
[ ] I watch the news.
[ ] I own over 5 rap CDs.
[ ] I own an I-Pod.
[ ] I own something from Hot Topic.
[X] I love Disney movies.
[ ] I am a sucker for hair/eyes.
[ ] I don't kill bugs.
[X] I curse regularly. (Umm.. Excessively, some might say!)
[ ] I paid for that cell phone ringtone.
[ ] I have "x"s in my screen name.
[ ] I've slipped out a "lol" in a real conversation.
[ ] I love Spam.
[ ] I bake well.
[ ] I would wear pajamas to school.
[ ] I own something from Abercrombie
[X] I have a job.
[ ] I love Martha Stewart.
[ ] I am in love with someone.
[ ] I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS.
[X] I am self conscious.
[X] I like to laugh.
[ ] I smoke a pack a day.
[ ] I loved Go Ask Alice.
[X] I have cough drops when I'm not sick.
[ ] I can't swallow pills.
[X] I have many scars.
[X] I've been out of this country.
[ ] I believe in ghosts.
[ ] I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room.
[ ] I am really ticklish.
[X] I see/have seen a therapist.
[X] I love chocolate.
[X] I bite my nails.
[X] I am comfortable with being me.
[X] I play computer games/video games when i'm bored.
[ ] Gotten lost in your city.
[X] Saw a shooting star.
[X] Gone out in public in your pajamas.
[ ] I have kissed a stranger.
[ ] Hugged a stranger.
[X] Been in a fight with the same sex.
[X] Been arrested.
[X] Laughed and had milk/soda come out of your nose.
[X] Pushed all the buttons on an elevator.
[X] Made out in an elevator.
[X] Swore at your parents.
[X] Kicked a guy where it hurts.
[ ] Been skydiving.
[ ] Been bungee jumping.
[X] Broken a bone.
[X] Played spin the bottle.
[ ] Gotten stitches.
[ ] Drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour.
[ ] Bitten someone.
[X] Been to Niagara Falls.
[X] Gotten the chicken pox.
[ ] Crashed into a friend's car.
[ ] Been to Japan.
[X] Ridden in a taxi.
[X] Shoplifted.
[X] Been fired.
[X] Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back.
[ ] Stole something from your job.
[X] Gone on a blind date.
[X] Lied to a friend.
[X] Had a crush on a teacher/coach.
[ ] Celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
[ ] Been to Europe.
[ ] Slept with a co-worker.
[ ] Been married.
[ ] Gotten divorced.
[X] Saw someone dying.
[X] Driven over 400 miles in one day.
[X] Been to Canada.
[X] Been on a plane.
[X] Seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
[ ] Thrown up in a bar.
[X] Eaten Sushi.
[ ] Been snowboarding.
[X] Been skiing.
[X] Been ice skating.
[X] Met someone in person from the internet.
[ ] Been to a motorcross show.
[X] Gone/Going to college.
[X] Done hard drugs. (You cut da line in the cocainut, ya sniff it all up!)
[X] Taken painkillers.
[ ] Cheated on someone else
[X] Were so bored you took this survey.
[X] Have a tattoo (Three, actually)

Hey, Ya Wanna See A Dead Body?

Cold wind ripping down the alley at dawn
And the morning paper flys
Dead man lying by the side of the road
With the daylight in his eyes

- "Don't Let It Bring You Down" by Neil Young

First off, go get the Annie Lennox version of this song on her CD 'Medusa'. It's about a jillion times better than the original version by the aging Canadian whiner.

Kind of eerie on the way to work this morning. At the intersection of Long Point & Witte, the cops were out in force and had the entire SW corner taped off, and the usual horde of illegals who hang there all day waiting for a job had been hustled across the street.

It wasn't until I got to the intersection that I saw what all the fuss was about. There was a corpse leaning up against the trash dumpster, partially covered by those blue sheets the cops use to protect evidence.

At first I thought the dead guy had been hit by a vehicle jumping the curb, but he was a good 20 feet back from the road. The only reason I thought it might have been a vehicle impact was that the guy wasn't wearing any pants. I've heard of people getting literally knocked out of their clothing in accidents.

So, there's the cheery start to my day. Dead Hispanic guy faceplanted on the pavement next to a run-down strip mall, his blue skivvies pointing towards the sky. Hell of a way to depart.

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning
Find someone who's turning
And you will come around

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Carnival Of The Vanities #153

It's up, over at the Big Picture.

Go have a look.

Yeah, I'm in there. Hadn't done any link-whoring for a few weeks, so I'm shilling for Pastafarianism.

Hell, someone needs to.

Heat To Boiling, Add Lots Of Tabasco

Lower Heat Occasionally, Simmer for 37 Years

I want to be calm. I really do. I realize that being in a constant state of PISSED OFF!!!!! does my blood pressure no good, and that sooner or later I'm gonna have the top of my skull pull a Mount St. Helens and scatter brain tissue over a 5 county area.

The things that I think would seriously annoy me don't seem to matter that much. I backed the Caddy into a pole fence a while back, tearing up the rear quarter panel, and while I was angry, it was my own fault for not watching where I was going. When the cat knocked over a full glass of iced tea, there's no use nailing her hide to a wall, it's not like she meant for it to land on the Sunday newspaper. Well, maybe she did...

It's where people do stupid shit that I just start to fume, and just can't let it go. It makes it worse when they're people that you interact with on a daily basis.

Case in point... I share a housing arrangement where everyone contributes an equal share in the bills. The mortgage, taxes, power, gas, water, etc. were all averaged over a 24 month period, and adjusted for rising rates. Then, everything got sliced up into equal shares, along with the split of the non-fluctuating bills, like cable ISP, satellite TV, phones, yard service and so on. It comes to a fairly sizable chunk of change, but split equally amongst the tenants, and with half of my total monthly amount payable out of my bimonthly paycheck, it's manageable. I pays my rent, I gets my share of the rewards, no big deal. The Grand Poobah of Bill Paying takes care of getting the payments made to the various vendors of services, and I don't have to deal with it. Fair deal all around, right?

Wrong. The Grand Poobah of Bill Paying keeps fucking up. I get home two nights ago, and the cable modem is dead. No signal. No playee on the Internets for El Capitan. The call Monday night to Roadrunner revealed a local outage. OK, annoying, but it happens.

The call last night when the problem still wasn't resolved revealed the outage was still there, only it wasn't a break in the wire, it was a break in the payments. Bill is 67 days past due. SIXTY SEVEN DAYS!! Holy Farookin' Fershizzle, Batman! Watch my head asplode!

This is not the first time this has occured. In recent memory, the power's been cut twice, the satellite service twice, and the water once due to "delays" in getting the check to the mailbox.

It's not a lack of funds, I know that for certain. We're all solvent, and there have been no financial emergencies that would divert the funds. Nope, this is a mixture of laziness and an ingrained need by the Grand Poobah of Bill Paying to "game" the system, and try to go as long as possible without getting the service cut. The last time the power got cut off, and I had to spend the night sweating in a 90 degree house, we had a serious discussion about the removal of vital bodily organs if this crap continued. Obviously, my words have had little effect.

What really sucks is that I can't even make the payment myself until I get paid on Friday, so it looks like a week of no ISP service at home for El Capitan.

I feel a revolutionary coup arising... there might just be a plot to overthrow the Grand Poobah of Bill Paying in favor of someone a bit more timely. I really hate paying bills, but I hate sitting in the dark even more.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bonfire Of The Vanities #112

The 112th Bonfire Of The Vanities is posted over at RightWing Nuthouse.

Go see the worst crap the blogosphere has to offer!

Cute & Fuzzy Bunnies

A.K.A. Coyote Appetizers

Over at Army Of Mom, there's a tale of some cute widdle bunny wabbits living in the big city. I kinda like the little flopeared rascals. They don't make hardly any noise when they're going at it like, well, rabbits (it's those cotton balls, ya know...) and they're fun to watch hop around and wiggle their bunny noses.

I was living on the outskirts of Carrollton over by the Addison Airport not too long ago, and out back of the apartment complex we had a huge power line right-of-way stretching into infinity in either direction. The right-of-way acted as a conduit for all sorts of wildlife to infiltrate into the city, impeded only by the occasional road.

Many nights I'd go outside, sit on the bed of the truck to watch the sunset, and see all the rabbits creep out onto the grassy plain to have their evening feed. Most nights, there's be at least a dozen, and every so often you'd have a raccoon or opossum skulking around at the edge of the woods. Someone in the apartment complex used to dump a 5 lb. bag of dog food outside the trash dumpsters every few days, and many times you could drive by and see 8 or 10 raccoons stuffing their faces.

I remember my sister visiting one night, and we were met at the front door of my apartment by a huge 'possum that was having some sort of unnatural relationship with the doormat on the porch. I finally had to go get the jack handle out of the truck to prod him on his way. He eventually waddled off, looking like an enormous scabby rat.

Once, I got to dogsit Rockhauler's beagle for a week. We'd go have evening walks up and down the right-of-way, and she could smell all the fascinating scents. She had one of those fishing reel/leash thingies that gave her a certain amount of running room, and let me take a more sedate pace. I was paying closer attention to the hottie walking her Yorkie than to what Sweetpea was up to, when a rabbit must have broken cover in the tall grass.

Next thing I know, there's this deafening "BA-ROOOOOOOOOO!!!!" followed by me getting jerked almost off my feet by a beagle shifting from sublight speed into warp drive. I dumped the drag on the leash and gave her all the slack I could, but that rabbit was already over the Oklahoma state line by that time. Beagles got to learn to go into stealth mode and be vewy vewy quiet when hunting wabbits!!

We also had the occasional coyote trotting up and down the right-of-way. Most times, they ate the rabbits. You could tell because every so often you'd hear the death squeal of the bunny. It's an eerie sound, kind of like a child screaming. A coyote also tried to make off with a lady's miniature poodle one night, but she kicked it off her dog before it could kill it.

Nope, I'm never surprised by the variety of wildlife within the city. They've all been here for millions of years, and they'll find a way to keep on existing, in spite of what the humans do.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Video Killed The Radio Star

WTF Am I Babbling About Now? I'm Not On The Radio...

OK, the deed is done. Got through the TV taping session. It was about as bad as I anticipated.

I had to wear the Corporate Armor, so under the hot studio lights I was sweating like a whore in church. They had to stop the taping once to let me sponge off with a towel, and during the taping the camera guy would let me know when I was out of view so I could catch the random bead trickling off my hairline.

The Voices From Above running the production decreed that a makeup artist was to be found forthwith, and shortly a man appeared with some beige goo and a handful of those little sponge wedges. I was OK with the dabbing around the nose and forehead. The other guest on the show had a bit of a shine to her, so she got that treatment too. I was *not* OK with the Voices From Above asking the makeup guy to dab some on my head to cut the glare from my scalp. Bastards. Might as well have dosed me with that RonCo spray-on hair crap. Normally I don't sweat the male pattern baldness thing, but that moment really annoyed me.

Well, the plus side is that they gave me the scoop on who all in the local TV market wears a toupee. You won't believe how many it is, or how much is budgeted for the care and feeding of those head rugs. Let's just say that you could spend a week at DisneyWorld for a family of 4 for the amount of the budget for a local anchor's hairpiece.

No, I'm not gonna say when/where/why this thing is being done/aired. That's part of the whole anonyblogging thing. Sorry. I know several have asked me to post a picture, but if you want me in all my glory, show up at a blogfest!

Now, there's a need for drinks. Many drinks, in quick succession.

Money For Nothing

And Your Chicks For Free...

Daniel at Lobowalk has a book recommendation that I think I'll take him up on. I'm not a huge Cormac McCarthy fan, but I did like 'Blood Meridian' and 'All The Pretty Horses' was OK, so this one should be a good read.

The one he's recommending is called 'No Country For Old Men', and the plot is one that's near and dear to my heart: What happens when Joe Citizen stumbles upon a huge pile of cash?

The stock answer seems to be "Nothing good will come of this". Ill-gotten loot always has a collection of skeevy characters hanging about that will do just about anything to get their grubby paws on it.

Two of my favorite books use a similar plot, and coincidentally, both have been made into movies. I happen to think that the movie and books version are just about equal in quality in both cases.

The first is fairly recent, and is called 'A Simple Plan'. Based on a novel by Scott B. Smith, it features Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton in the lead roles of two brothers who stumble across $4 million in a downed aircraft. I read the novel about a year before the movie came out, and was pleasantly suprised by how well the movie followed the novel.

The second one dates back quite a ways. I can remember seeing the cover of the paperback version in the racks every time I wnt to the library when I was a kid. I was intrigued by the picture of a skeleton sitting in a jeep with a scoped rifle and a big wad of cash out in the desert. I never got it off the rack back then, but I should have.

Late one night back around 1990 or so, I was channel surfing and ran across a movie with a couple of Border Patrol agents whizzing around the desert in Jeeps. Looked OK, so I settled in to watch. It starred Kris Kristofferson and Treat Williams, and damned if they didn't find a jeep out in the desert country on the Texas/Mexico border with a skeleton, a scoped rifle and a toolbox full of cash, about $800,000 worth. I sat up straight, and went "Hey! I know where this story came from!" Turns out the money in the film dated from 1963, and the scoped rifle was a 6.5mm Mannlicher-Carcano. You can probably guess some of the plot from those two tidbits.

I rounded up the book from a used book store, and it was better than the movie, mainly because of the lack of staring at Kristofferson's craggy face. OK, the man can act, but damn he's made outta rawhide...

Anyway, the book and the movie are called Flashpoint, and they're worth looking for.

So, three cautionary tales of money outta nowhere, and the troubles it can cause. Therefore, when you run across that gunnysack full of $100 bills, just call me, and I'l gladly weather the storm for you, and give you a 10% cut!

Incidentally, given individual $100 bill measurements of 6.125" long, 2.62" wide, and .11 mm thick and a weight of somewhat less than a gram, a stack of a hundred $100 bills ($10,000) will weigh nearly 100 grams. $100,000 dollars put you close to the kilogram range (2.2 pounds) and a full mill is gonna weigh a bit less than 10 kilograms, call it 20 lbs or so. It'll be close to the size of a box of copy paper in volume.

So, if you're penning your own tale of newfound loot, remember that the $5 million stash your protagonist finds is gonna weigh almost 100 lbs, and will fill up a car trunk pretty quick!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Adding Insult To Injury

I'm Afraid To Go Outside. A Meteorite Will Hit Me!

Bad shit happens in threes. Wait. Maybe it's "people die in threes", and I've got nothing to worry about.

Damn. Another evening spent waiting for the REAL punchline to land...

I finally get most of the weekend chores accomplished, and decide to reward myself with a nice long nap. I love naps. I kick the cats out of the room, focus the fan on the head of the bed, strip down to my skivvies and collapse.

Dreaming during daytime sleep always seems more vivid to me. Maybe it's the extra light filtering through your eyelids. I dunno. Anyway, it's a real humdinger of a dream today. Had this one before. It's a variation on a theme, one from the archives. Backseat of the old War Wagon, messing around with "Maryjane Rottencrotch" and her purty pink panties. Gadzooks, to be that limber again...

Ahh... where was I? Oh.

The doorbell starts ringing. I'm dragged cruelly from my slumbers. Now I'm kinda pissed off. I roll over, hoping to get back to where I left off, knowing it's a futile hope. The doorbell keeps ringing. Fuck.

I grab my robe and head down the hall. Come stomping back to get the belt tie so I won't be hanging out of this thing. Doorbell keeps ringing.

I open the door, and it's PsychoNeighborLady from across the street. Her opening words (I shit you not) were:
"Oh, I'm sorry, did I wake you up?" No, lady. I always ignore the first 8 doorbells.

The urgent problem? Her sister in Poughkeepsie has somehow moved her Windows menu bar to the right side of the monitor screen, and it's imperative that it be fixed. It's throwing her life out of balance.

I contemplate wedging an icepick into the sister's earhole to correct the balance issue. PsychoNeighborLady is trying to point out a similar problem in an 'AOL For Dummies' book. I just sigh and flash on my dream of having no one over 60 be able to touch a computer ever again.

We get her issue sorted out. I hope so, anyway. As long as I'm outside, I might as well check the mailbox.

When it rains, it pours. Got me a Harris County Jury Summons notice in the mail.

I'd like to go get dinner now. Unfortunately, I'm absolutely positive that if I fire up the Caddy, a car bomb will explode. Or, I'll be trampled by stampeding wildebeests. Attacked by salivating badgers.

Nope, I'm staying in tonight.

A Bit O' Clarification

Yes, I'm Intentionally Obtuse Sometimes...

I've had a couple of people give me the hairy eyeball recently when I've recited one of the dozens of tired old bromides I've got laying around. The particular one people seem to have trouble grasping is "When it rains, it pours".

As it happens, I'm not trying to drum up business for Morton's Salt. They've been cranking along for 150 years, and don't need my help.

What I refer to is the phenomenon that seems to always happen to me. When bad shit starts to occur, it generally comes in heavy doses. I don't get a light sprinkling of inconvenience, I get a real gullywasher of problems.

So, when trouble is raining on you, it's usually pouring on me. It seems that way, anyway.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I've Found Religion!

I Never Really Lost It, Now That I Think About It...

After dabbling in the Church Of Internal Combustion, where I've muttered thousands of prayers to Our Lady Of Blessed Acceleration, I slowly migrated towards a more peaceful (well, quieter, anyway) belief structure once I quit driving 70's muscle cars.

Next up was a stint of Frisbeetarianism, where the only real belief was that when you die, your soul gets tossed up on the garage roof and stays there forever. It was comforting, but lacked that sense of the miraculous. I needed something more.

I debated trying out Mithraism ("Gimmee that ol' time religion!"), but couldn't swing the tariff for the obligatory sacrifice of the Sacred Bull every full moon, and the neighbors would really freak out if I started leaving the hide & horns out by the curb for heavy trash pickup day.

Asatru had potential. After all, a religion that mostly features swilling alcoholic beverages while boasting of your achievements sounded pretty cool. There were too damned many Neo-Nazis hanging around, though. Nazis really piss me off. Especially Illinois Nazis.

I thought about converting to Judaism. I figured since I was already equipped with a turtleneck instead of an anteater, I was already halfway there. I'm sure I'd feel obligated to visit Israel if I did convert, though, and that whole workin' on a kibbutz thing is *so* not me. Shooting PLO terrorists? No prob! Can't swing a hoe worth a damn, though.

This week, I may have finally found the religion that's been eluding me.

Conceived as an adjunct to Intelligent Design (the hot new fad for the folks who are mortally offended by the thought of possibly evolving from hairy ape-like hominids), this new religion is known as.... Pastafarianism!

Pastafarianism, also known as Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, emerged from a letter sent to the Kansas School Board in response to their decision to allow Intelligent Design to be presented as an equally valid theory alongside evolution in science classes.

Pastafarianism is not a refutation of Intelligent Design, but instead a competing theory. Instead of believing in an Invisible Man In The Sky as the Creator, Pastafarians believe that the universe was really created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Here's a recent illustration of the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

As an added bonus, the official uniform of Pastafarianism is pirate regalia, which is a huge plus for me, being a Baboon Pirate and all.

See, Pastafarianism contends that the rise of global temperatures is in direct correlation to the shrinking numbers of pirates worldwide, shown in this graph:

Obviously, we need more pirates running around, and if we all have to be Touched By His Noodly Appendage to accomplish that, so be it!

Here's more tenets of Pastafarianism:

The Universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster.
All evidence pointing towards evolution was put in place by His Noodly Appendage.
Global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct consequence of the decline in numbers of pirates since the 1800s.

Codes of conduct:
Prayers are ended with the word RAmen rather than Amen.
Followers are expected to dress in full pirate regalia.

Benefits of conversion:
Like the great noodles they worship, Flying Spaghetti Monsterists have flimsy moral standards.
Promise of a stripper factory and a beer volcano in Heaven.
Religious holiday every Friday.
Many convenient houses of worship offer a delectible smorgasboard of antipasti, pizza, and several pasta entrees.

The Prayer:
(or "How great Thou art... with parsley")
Our FSM, who art on a gianormic, invisible plate in the sky,
"well drained" be Thy mane.
Thy colander come, Thy will be dry, yet stick to the fridge door,
or on the floor, as it comes fresh from the pot.
Don't hold it against us when we dare to eat breadsticks,
but forgive us our leftovers for food-fighting,
as we give 'er to those who food-fight against us.
And lead us not to over-do it,
but, if so, deliver us from Domino's.
For thine is but boiling, at par-boil, to al-dente,
for less than ten minutes.
Let's eat!

So, there it is. My new religion. I'll let y'all know how it works out. Right now, I'm needing to run to the store to get a pound of so of the Eucharist, preferably the angel-hair style, and a quart of Holy Ragu. I'll slowly stir the Deity, while chanting "Two, Four, Six, Eight! Time To Transubstantiate!!!"

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Movie Recommendation!

Break Into Your Kid's Piggy Bank If You Have To!

I saw this one the other night at WallyWorld, and snapped it up in an instant. If you like Westerns, this'll be the best $10 you've ever spent.

They've finally released Once Upon A Time In The West in a 2 DVD collector's edition, with lots of extra goodies along with the main feature, shown in the preferred widescreen format.

This is the pinnacle of Sergio Leone's career, and has some of the best acting work done by Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda. Fonda's the whole reason for seeing this one. This is not the kindly old man from 'On Golden Pond', or the conscientious juror from '12 Angry Men'! Oh, no! This one has Fonda playing an ice-eyed killer that's just a joy to watch.

Go! Buy it! Enjoy It! At 160+ minutes, it'll keep you occupied for a while!

This Is SO Not Fair...

Bastards Are Playing Dirty Pool!

Like a good percentage of Americans, I could stand to lose a significant chunk of my waistline. I absolutely suck at dieting, but I do what I can. Lately, I've been avoiding the nearby lunch places like Mickey D's, Wendy's, and especially that pit of temptation, the Kolache Factory, in favor of dried fruits, beef jerky, and other foods that aren't full of glucose and/or grease. Not as good as a salad, I know, but it's a start.

I usually stop off at a store on the way to the bus stop to pick up an assortment of stuff for the day. The CVS or Walgreen's drug stores are preferable to the grocery stores or Quik-E-Marts, since there I don't have to run the temptation gauntlet of pastries and chili dogs.

This morning, though, the evil bastards at Walgreen's slipped one in through my Good Intentions armor. Just couldn't pass 'em up, and I'll regret eating every delicious one.

The instrument of torture? Chocolate-covered jumbo cashew nuts. They're worse than heroin-laced Slurpees to a junk food junkie such as myself.

Damn you, Walgreen's! How could you forsake me so????

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

More Sharp & Pointy Things

They Never Jam Or Run Outta Ammo!

Scored on another nice eBay auction! Check this out:

It's an old Connecticut valley Arms knife kit, still in the original box, and it's winging its way to me as I write this.

I bought this exact kit, minus the sheath, way back in the mid 80's at a shop here in town called Bigfoot Primitive Weapons. As I recall, it was in the bargain bin because the sheath was either missing or broken. I don't recall what I paid back then, but I doubt it was more than $20 or so. I took it home, put it together, and spent a few hours polishing up the handle and shining the brass. Eventually, I made a half-assed naugahyde sheath for it that lasted for a year or so.

At Boy Scout camp, I used to do the blackpowder overnighters, where we'd drag the kids out on an overnight "gold panning" expedition, shoot off .50 cal rifles, throw tomahawks, and so forth. I always had this knife tucked in the top of my canvas gaiters by my right knee. Eventually, I snarfed enough decent leather scraps from the HandiCrafts area to make a nice 3-layer sheath, and used a magnifying glass to burn the camp's brand into the leather since the branding iron was bigger than the sheath.

It was scary-sharp, courtesy of a professional tool grinder who helped me get a nick or two out of the blade. He also put a razor edge on the upper curve, which is called a 'false edge', since it's not usually sharpened. I'll always remember my friend Chip slicing his thumb almost to the bone when he bore down on that edge cutting hot dogs at a roadside park in Arkansas.

I loved that knife, and rarely went far from home without it. It accompanied me all over the U.S. when I was doing the roadie gig, and pulling it out usually shut up the Nooo Yarker or Chicawgoan who always asked how we Texans managed disagreements so far from our gun collections.

One day I went looking for it, and it just wasn't there. Dunno where it disappeared to. I was flirting with Cold Steel and Benchmade knives in that era, and didn't keep close track of it. I thought it was stored in a box somewhere, but when I couldn't find it after two moves, I figured what happened is that it walked off with someone during one of the huge parties I had when I lived in the house in Arlington.

I learned to live without it (what else are ya gonna do...), but it always bugged me. Now, it looks like I'm gonna get a replacement, this time with the correct sheath!

It'll go well with this one:

That's the completed CVA Arkansas Toothpick kit that I also bought at Bigfoot circa 1984 or so.

Now I just need to find the Skinner, and I'll have the whole set!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Well, That Sucks!

What Am I Gonna Do On The Weekends Now, I Ask You???!?!?

I can't believe this ruling...
Wood chippers not to be used to euthanize poultry, AVMA says

"Use of wood chippers has not been endorsed by the AVMA as an acceptable means of euthanasia for poultry." This statement is a response to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune that reported employees at two area poultry farms used wood chippers to dispose of some 30,000 live hens in February. The article erroneously stated that the AVMA approves of the method.

"It is absolutely absurd and ludicrous to believe that any veterinary medical association, especially an association that has for more than 140 years been the leading voice for humane and proper care of animals, could or would advocate throwing live chickens into a wood chipper as an appropriate method of euthanasia," said Dr. Bruce W. Little, AVMA executive vice president.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture denies that the veterinarian who was consulted is a USDA employee. The San Diego County district attorney initially decided against filing animal cruelty charges against the owners of Ward Egg Farm. But in April she reopened the case after receiving numerous complaints criticizing her decision not to press charges.

The owners of Ward Egg Farm claim that a veterinarian with the USDA had signed off on using wood chippers to destroy the hens. State quarantine rules enacted because of the outbreak of exotic Newcastle disease in Southern California prevented the hens from being transported to a slaughterhouse elsewhere in the state.

Pansies. You better believe the chickens would do it to you.

Another Damned Meme!

More Info On MEEEEE!!!! 'Cause I'm So Modest.

Well, I didn't make Andy's meme-tag list (probably because he knows my answers to most of this...) but I'm gonna steal it anyway.

10 Years Ago Today:
Living in Arlington, TX, ink still wet on my two UTA diplomas. Head of Shipping & Receiving at the HQ of a large comic book chain in D/FW. About 3 weeks away from making the leap to a tech support company where I would spend the next 7 1/2 years. Driving "Aunt Pearl", a 1972 Chevy Bel Air.

Five Years Ago:
At the top of my game. Rebounded from huge changes at work, moved out of front-line management (away from customers!!!) into support positions, began conducting employee training & traveling. Bought a bad-ass Dodge Ram pickup with all the bells & whistles, which I'd been coveting for years. Had the world bent over, smackin' it on the ass, screaming "Who's your daddy!!"

1 Year Ago:
2nd week of work at a new job after a lengthy spell of unemployment. Not driving anything, truck had been repo'ed months earlier. Basking in the light at the end of the tunnel.

El Day Shittay at work. Typical Monday.

Another day in paradise, working for The Man.

5 Snacks I Enjoy:

1. Chili dogs (is that a snack?)
2. Slurpees or a Sonic slush, the nearest reasonable facsimile
3. Oranges
4. Poptarts
5. Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream pies.

5 Bands That I Know the Lyrics to Most of Their Songs:

1. Jimmy Buffett
2. Peter Gabriel
3. AC/DC

5 Things I Would Do with $100,000,000:

1. Disappear.
2. On an regular basis, give away the max amount allowable that won't trigger the IRS's goon squads to all my friends and the relatives that don't piss me off too much.
3. Establish a dope/rum plantation somewhere in the Caribbean.
4. Establish perpetual college scholarship for extended family and Texas-area academically deficient Eagle Scouts.
5. Buy a version of every firearm ever made.

5 Locations I Would Like to Run Away to:

1. Some tropical island
2. Mare Tranquilitatis
3. Europe for historical travel & research
4. Antarctica
5. Pacific Northwest

5 Bad Habits I Have:

1. Eating more than I should
2. Staying up too late
3. Not saving enough money
4. Being an asshole when I don't have to be
5. Procrastination

5 Things I Like Doing:

1. Reading
2. Dining out
3. Taking a nap
4. Annoying my cats
5. Watching movies

5 Things I Would Never Wear:

1. rubber fetish suit
2. saddle shoes
3. white after Labor Day
4. plaid coat with striped pants
5. polyester leisure suits in pastel shades

5 TV Shows I Like(d):

1. Northern Exposure
2. The Shield
3. Firefly
4. Deadwood

5 Movies I Like:

1. LOTR trilogy
2. Topsy Turvy
3. A Bridge Too Far
4. Trading Places
5. The Blues Brothers

5 Famous People I Would Like to Meet:

This is a tough one. I'm not one much given to hero worship. Most people who are famous, when asked "How did you achieve success?" will give a variation on "hard work, a good idea, and a bit of luck." That being said, all of the people I'd most like to meet are already dead & gone.

1. Jimmy Stewart
2. R.A. Heinlein
3. John Wayne
4. Teddy Roosevelt
5. William Shakespeare

5 Biggest Joys at the Moment:

1. Watching my baby nephew smile up at me
2. Payday
3. Seeing old friends
4. Making it to another birthday
5. Not having Kerry in the White House

5 Favorite Toys:

1. Springfield Armory 1911A1 .45 pistol
2. Whatever computer I've got my paws on at the moment
3. Kershaw Rainbow Leek
4. My iMac
5. This blog

5 People to Tag:

Nah, not gonna do it. If you like it, lift it, and link back here!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Raising Cane's

Don't Even Ask About The Dog

I've driven past the new Raising Cane's on Westheimer between Kirkwood and Dairy Ashford several times since it opened, and finally decided to go try it out.

They serve chicken fingers, and that's about it. You can get 'em on a bun, you can get 'em on the run. You can try 'em in a box, you can stuff 'em in your socks. That last suggestion might even be preferable to eating them.

As chicken fingers go, they're passable, until you look beyond just the actual chunk of hen meat. There's no marinating of the meat, nor spicing of the breading that I can tell. Ditto for the fries, the Texas toast (topped with sesame seeds... the horror! the horror!) and the cole slaw. Everything has the same bland taste. This place screams for a shaker full of Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning.

See, at Raising Cane's, it's all about the sauce. They revel in their dipping sauce. They sell it by the pint. From reading their promotional literature, you'd think this sauce, properly applied, would bring Peter Jennings back from the grave to dance the watusi on Arafat's grave.

As it happens, the sauce ain't all that. I saved one of the mini-tubs they gave me, and took it home to share out and have a 2nd and 3rd opinion of what it's made of. If I had to guess, I'd say it was a mix of creamy Italian salad dressing, 1000 Island dressing minus the pickle bits, and a wee dram of BBQ sauce and tomato paste. Maybe just a smidgen of mayo for body.

The chicken fingers, hot from the pressure fryer, clash most horribly with the ice cold dipping sauce. By the time the poultry digits have cooled, though, their blandness really start to show. When they were piping hot, at least you had jets of boiling fat squirting on your tongue for taste.

I tried their "world class" lemonade. Feh. Chik-Fil-A's is better.

Leaving the restaurant after the meal, I was treated to a parting gift, the hot breeze blowing off their Fry-O-Later vent. Nothing like the aroma of overheated fowl to really send you off with a grin.

I'd eat there again, but only if the other available options were eating at Hartz Chicken or peeling a dead grackle off the asphalt. Your mileage may vary.

Comic Relief

It Beats Drinking, Anyway.

Well, when you're in a pissy mood (as I have been for the past month...) look for something that makes you smile. This little episode has always worked for me. Just reading it makes me break out in the giggles!
Les: It's a helicopter, and it's coming this way. It's flying something behind it, I can't quite make it out, it's a large banner and it says, uh - Happy... Thaaaaanksss... giving! ... From... W....... K...... R...... P!!

Les: No parachutes yet. Can't be skydivers... I can't tell just yet what they are, but - Oh my God, Johnny, they're turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they're plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenberg tragedy has there been anything like this!

Johnny: Les? Are you there? Les isn't there. (composing himself) Thanks for that on-the-spot report, Les, and for those of you who just tuned in, the Pinedale Shopping Mall has just been bombed with live turkeys. Film at eleven.

Venus: Les! Are you okay?
Les: I don't know. A man and his two children tried to kill me. After the turkeys hit the pavement, the crowd kind of scattered, but some of them tried to attack me! I had to jam myself into a phone booth! Then Mr Carlson had the helicopter land in the middle of the parking lot. I guess he thought he could save the day by turning the rest of the turkeys loose. It gets pretty strange after that.
Andy: Les, c'mon now, tell us the rest.
Les: I really don't know how to describe it. It was like the turkeys mounted a counterattack! It was almost as if they were ...organized!!
Mr Carlson: As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

I've got to get this episode on tape...

Mondays Suck

They Suck Big Wads Of Pasty White Ass

Life just goes from bad to worse. Not only am I all dolled up in the Corporate Armor for a TV interview that I have zero desire of appearing in, but it looks like that the taping might have been cancelled Friday with no one bothering to tell me, meaning I've wasted money on dry cleaning and also the cash used to park my car downtown instead of riding the bus in. It's 2 hours until I need to jet over to the studios, and no one's got a firm answer.

To add insult to the admittedly minor financial injury, I also get a notice this morning that I'm going to be deposed for an upcoming court case. Now, ordinarily this wouldn't bother me, but the particulars of this case predate my employment here, and I'll be goddamned if I want my deposition to be the deciding factor in whether or not this thing goes to trial. I certainly don't want to have to be on the stand if it does.

Our resident pin-striped barracudas are being less than helpful. To them, a deposition is an everyday thing. I'm already shooting ground-up Rolaids into my veins to offset the stress of this TV interview, and all I can get from them is "Don't plead the 5th!"

Let's make things even worse... The head honchette of the division down the hall has the day off, so all her staff decided to come in for a half day. The back half of the day, it appears... Their lowest-paid staffer is here shagging calls, and passing most of them on to me since I at least know my ass from my elbow. I've already had three people compliment me on returning calls, leading me to believe that perhaps returning calls is not the usual order of affairs for the other division. I've never understood that about people who deal with the public. I may not be able to fix your issue, but I can at least call you and let you know what's up. Ignoring you doesn't make the problem go away, it just increases it, since now you've got a pissed-off citizen to deal with as well.

Damn, I wish I could spin up a minnow of some Jamaica Mistaica. Yeah, smokin' the marijohoonie, you lose your short-term memory and a good chunk of long-term ambition, but the day sure do roll by a lot quicker. Feckin' piss tests...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Tucked In Behind A Book

Now If I Just Had Someone To Bring Me Slurpees

I got three hardback books this weekend in the mail, fruits of my eBay searching. Consequently, a good chunk of the weekend has been spent horizontal with a fan blowing on me and a cat constantly rubbing her cheeks up against the book covers. I think the previous owner of the books has a cat, so the offending kitty aroma must be covered over. Betsy Cat is such a possessive little wench...

I also managed to finally win an auction for a Canon A85 digital camera. They're getting hard to find since the A95 came out, but I wanted one that didn't put its LCD screen on a swing-out arm. I can just see that getting torn off before too long. I spent a bit more than I wanted to, 'cause twice now people with a feedback score of less than 10 have been running up the prices on A85's. Ordinarily I'd chalk it up to coincidence, but when both newbie bidders haven't used eBay since Jan of this year, I just start to hear "shill bidding" whispering in the wind. Who knows?

So, you should start seeing a few more pics around here. I hope so, anyway. I still haven't managed to pony up the annual fee for a domain, but as always, "It'll come out of the next paycheck!"

Yeah, and monkeys will fly out my....

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Carnival Of Cordite #26

The 26th Carnival Of Cordite is posted at Gullyborg's blog.

Go have a look!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Speaking Of Barbecue...

This Is How NOT To Do It!

A warning right off the bat... The link at the end of this post leads to some seriously effed-up shit. If you're squeamish about eating animals, seeing dismemberment of cows, peeled off cow faces, and sawn-open skulls, I'd highly recommend that you go find a cat-blog and come back here tomorrow.

This is a graphic representation of how to prepare tete de veau, which means cow's head. My French is really bad, but I inferred quite a bit from the pictures, and it seems that to prepare this dish, you do the following:
First, skin a cow's head, then scrape everything edible from the skull. Saw open the skull, remove brains, and add them to the pot. Finally, wrap everything in the skin, roll it up, then boil until tender. Yum, yum!

I first read about tete de veau in a book by chef Anthony Bourdain called Kitchen Confidential. If you're in the food service industry, or have escaped it to a better life, it's a must read. It has NOT inspired me to try this misbegotten dish, and to thank my lucky stars that I live at an income level that forces me to neither eat trendoid French offal-based food at pricy restaurants, nor eat stuff like this out of economic necessity.

If you were the person I lifted this link from, thanks SO much, and I wish I could remember who you were so I could point the blame your way. Dax, this kinda smells like your cup of demiglace... I was going through my bookmarks looking for blogfodder and ran across it!

At any rate, here's the money shot... tete de veau.


Dallas BBQ

It's A Treat To Eat The Meat!

Andy left me a comment wondering about good BBQ up in Dallas. I think he's in the wrong county for really good BBQ, but there are a couple of good spots that I like.

The old-school favorite is the original Sonny Bryan's on Inwood. Get your food to go, and eat it outside on the hood of your car. It's usually standing room only indoors! Avoid the satellite locations if possible.

I personally like Red Hot & Blue on Central Distressway, but I also like Memphis-style BBQ. Quite a few Texans don't share my liking of pulled pig. If you can, see if you can talk them into making their old recipe of BBQ pork nachos if they're still off the menu. Damned tasty stuff!

A lot of people really like Baker's Ribs, though I am not one of them. It's OK barbecue, but I never found it worth the drive.

If you get back across the Tarrant County line, head to Bodacious BBQ in Arlington on Division. Best BBQ beans I've ever had, and the meat's not bad, either!

Then, get thee hence to Angelo's Barbeque in Ft. Worth. It is the epicenter of all quality BBQ'ed ribs in the universe. You might be tempted by Riscky's and Railhead BBQ, but stand firm, and get the real stuff!

Oh, yeah, stay the heck away from Dickey's, Spring Creek and Colter's. Those places will suck your soul out through your tailpipe.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Taping Someone To A Wall

It's Harder Than It Looks!

There have been a couple of inquiries about a previous post where I stated it took 2 1/2 rolls of duct tape to hold a 150 lb person to a wall. So, here's the scoop:

As you might have guessed, it was a college thing. I was a freshman at a small cow college in East Texas. As part of my failing-out-of-school curricula, we were conducting illicit physics exercises after the consumption of way too much beer.

Some of my pledge brothers lived in a dorm where concrete block walls were the main feature of the room. Everyone in that dorm hated the walls, 'cause you couldn't thumbtack your posters to the concrete. You could, however, hang things with really sticky tape, since the rough surface had a good grip to it.

I forget why we had so much duct tape on hand. I seem to recall it was around Homecoming, and we had been working on a float for a parade. Somehow the discussion got around to taping one of the "actives" to a wall. Pledging a fraternity was basically a semester-long war between the actives and the pledges. If they caught us alone, they'd stuff us in a car trunk and drop us off 20 miles from town, then call your pledge brothers to go get you. Of course, we could try the same game (called "taking you for a walk"), but they had the edge due to long practice.

We wanted to tape one of the worst-offending actives to the front of one of the female-only dorms, but didn't think it would hold all that well. So, a little testing was in order. What we discovered was that you needed twice as much tape as you thought you did, since any movement on the tapee tended to pull the tape loose faster than you could add another layer.

Trying to hold someone up while taping them is also not a good idea. Finally, we had the tapee stand on a cooler, and after we taped, we pulled it out from under him. He hung there pretty well, but as soon as he started jerking his body around, the bonds began to loosen, and he could eventually slide loose.

We never did get the active taped to the wall. We settled for pawning his 12-speed bike and mailing him the claim ticket and the cash to get it out of hock. Boy, he was one PO-ed dude those three days he had to walk to school and back! Ahh, the days before they insisted on proper ID's at the pawn shops...

AS for the question about the ratio of 60lbs of weight per roll of duct tape, I think it's all about the sectional density of the item being taped up, and the amount of motion it can generate. Ten one pound cans of coffee could probably be taped up with just a bit of tape. A 10 pound cat, though, would require a lot more to not only hang up, but immobilize.

Anyway, there's the tape story.

Flirting With Addiction

I'd Almost Prefer Heroin

Had a cup of coffee yesterday. First hot cup of coffee in more years than I can remember. Fortunately, it was municipal public meeting 5 gallon percolating urn coffee, so it tasted like shit, and there's little chance I'll get back on the java wagon as a result of my dabbling with addictive substances.

I used to consume quite a bit in college, and I'll still sneak a frozen coffeeslurpee from Starbucks once or twice a year. In an effort to cut back on the caffeine intake, I just quit drinking the stuff. I figured there was no point in drinking the unleaded version. Why drink a hot bitter beverage if it's not going to kickstart your heart?

Yesterday, though, I had this coughing fit in the meeting that I just couldn't shake. We were in a secured facility, so there was no way I could go wandering the halls looking for a coke machine, and there was no water available.

So, I bit the bullet, dosed a cup with a packet of the pink stuff, and slurped it down. The hot liquid set my throat straight, and 5 minutes into it, I could feel my eyeballs tingling and hands begin to quiver. That was always the fun part of that first cup of the day. The first cigarette of the day did that too, as I recall.

Well, I'm too far down the lo-caffeine road to resume the coffee thing. I could see myself having a cup after dinner now & then, now that I'm no longer a born-again coffee virgin.

None of that funky-flavored coffee, though! Our department director drinks vanilla-flavored coffee, and the smell makes me gag. Nope, if you can't take it straight-up, you might as well be drinking tea.

Now I need to get another Diet Dr Pepper. Boy, talk about your addictions...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I'm Gonna Go Chug A Coke...

So I Can Belch And Taste Those Ribs Again!

Man O Man, that was some tasteeeee barbecue!

I was up at a facility on the north side of town for a meeting this morning, and took the opportunity at lunchtime to hunt down a barbecue joint I'd heard nothing but good things about. Rumor has it that they've got the best barbecue ribs in Houston.

Well, the rumors are true. The ribs are spectacular. The brisket's pretty damned good as well. Prices are reasonable, and the service quick and friendly. Aside from being in the middle of nowhere (relative to my usual haunts), this place could easily become a regular hangout.

It's called William's Smokehouse, and it's on the west side of Wheatley about 1/4 mile north of Tidwell. (Ella Blvd. becomes Wheatley once it crosses 43rd St.)

It's a small joint, with maybe room for 10 cars in the lot. You go in the front, smelling the aromatic smoking barbecue pits all the way around the building. You place your order through a small window, take a number, and if you're eating in the small dining room, they'll bring you your order. It's not fancy. Paper cups and styrofoam plates are the rule here. With meat this good, though, they could serve it off a sclerotic hog's back, and I'd still lick it clean afterwards.

The ribs are done up with a dry rub, then smoked for who knows how many hours over post oak logs. The brisket is done in a similar fashion, judging from the thick black crust on the outside. The smoke ring on the brisket is a good 1/2" deep, and biting into an end piece with that crust is so tasty it gives you a shiver like the first time you bust a nut kiss a girl. Makes you wanna roll around on the floor and speak in tongues.

The ribs, though... Most of the time, with barbecue ribs, I just slurp off all the meat that's easy to get to, then head for the next rib. These had me twisting and gnawing after every last morsel. Nothing left afterwards but the bone and a few gristle knobs.

The sauce is pretty good. Peppery-vinegary, with a deep spicy flavor to it. Also, I spotted the odd tiny piece of onion and tomato, which adds to the texture. The meat gets along just fine without the sauce, but adding it doesn't detract at all.

The sides of potato salad and slaw were OK, but nothing special. You're here for the meat, anyway.

$9 for the two-meat dinner, meat by the pound for $11, whole rib racks for $18.

How does this stuff rank on my all-time best barbecue list? It eases past the Huntsville, TX New Zion Baptist Church's "Immaculate Barbecue". Comes close to Jim Neely's Interstate BBQ in Memphis, TN, and falls a wee bit shy of Angelo's in Fort Worth, TX. Easily takes the #3 spot.

Seek it out, 'cue lovers! Good stuff!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I'm Not Sure What To Think About This

I Am Inclined To Be Skeptical, However.

Feisty Christina says she's hanging up her spurs. Quitting this crazy blogging biz. Going back to whatever it is that people do when they're not frantically pecking out yet another fascinating slice of life for their loyal yet fickle fan base.

I've seen this more than a few times, but usually it's preceded by a fall-off in both quality and quantity of posts, accompanied by repeated bitching about how hard it is to deal with spammers/trolls/fans/blog software. No, this time it's a bolt out of the blue, from someone at the top of their game. Makes it all the more believable.

It'd be a shame if she does indeed follow through with her "resignation". She went real far, real fast, based mostly on raw talent and a knack for getting along with other bloggers. She's got a loyal fanbase, and if you look at the comments on her Adios Post, they're not too happy about this state of affairs. Heh. If I quit blogging, the most I'd expect is a snarky email from one of my old buddies about being a quitter.

I really didn't expect to see her quit so abruptly. If I'd been handicapping the odds of bloggers quitting inside the next 6 months, she would've been about 300 to one. Looking down my blogroll, and based on what I've read and how often they post, here's my take on who (out of the bloggers I most often read) is most likely to be next to take their chips and go home.

Now, if you're on this list, don't get pissed off. I'm just pulling the odds of you quitting blogging in the next 180 days out of my keister. Still, I bet I'm pretty close. If you ain't on here, don't fret. It's not like I'm a professional bookie or anything.

Graumagus: 2-1
Zippo: 5-2
Dash: 12-1
Denita: 100-1
LC Beth: 250-1
Kurt: 50-1
Kim du Toit: 20-1
Andy: 15-1
Walrilla: 5-1
Jim: 3-1
Jenni: 40-1
Laurence: 250-1
Rob: 150-1
Steve: 300-1
George: 9-1
Tiffany: 8-1
Sheila: 500-1
Dax: 8-5
Crimedog: 40-1
Velociman: 80-1

Me? I don't see quitting anytime soon, but just like Zack Mayo, I'm usually flaked out on life's canvas, whining "I got nowhere else to go!", with the one small exception of not just having had my testicles jackhammered by a large angry black man.

BTW, I would LOVE to be proved wrong. All of y'all are part of my daily routine now, and I'd just as soon not lose any more bits and pieces out of my life.

I Can Resist Anything!

Except Temptation...

Damn the DVD industry!

It was bad enough when they just sold movies. I could resist the urge to buy them en masse, and only purchase the occasional favorite.

Then, the boxed sets appeared. Entire seasons of my favorite TV shows, available in one package. Still, I struggled valiantly to not blow the rent money on frivolous purchases. I treated myself occasionally to the ones I truly liked, such as Smallville, Firefly, and Northern Exposure. Though my gaze lingered over the Star Trek, Simpsons, Magnum PI and The Shield collections, I did not bow to the extreme pressure.

Last night, though, the evil tempters slipped one past my defenses. I was powerless to resist. I dithered, I wriggled, torn between saving money and satisfying my craven urges for old TV show collections.

I was weak... It came home with me. Season One of Hogan's Heroes, one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. 32 episodes of silliness at Stalag 13!

So, when will I be finished with them so they can be loaned out?

I know nothing! I hear nothing, I say no-thing!

Didja Ever Notice...

Odd Things I've Observed

Cats don't seem to like a sock being laid on top of their heads, even though they're OK with rooting through a pile of warm socks right out of the dryer.

Similarly, though a cat has no issues with idly batting your face with a tail while you are sleeping, they get especially peeved when you tickle their toes when *they* are sleeping.

There's always one jet on the showerhead that sprays off at a wild angle and catches you in the eye.

Baby pigeons cheep instead of cooing like adults, and the pigeon parents sit near the nest flapping their wings, apparently to cool the chicks. You see the strangest things while waiting for the bus...

The times you run out of toilet paper always seem to coincide with the times you have to "get down to business" so quickly you don't have time to check on the paper supply.

Kleenex, the other disposable paper product generally found in the bathroom, is a poor substitute for toilet paper.

A roll of toilet paper soaked in kerosene burns for a LONG time. Running through the woods with one on a stick used as a torch is not a good idea, though.

There's a way to distinguish whether the fricassee you're eating is rabbit or cat based on the bone structure, but I forget what it is exactly. Mostly, I just avoid eating rabbit.

Getting a chunk of skin caught between the frame of the pistol and the heelplate on a magazine whilst seating the mag with vigorous force hurts quite a bit. Not as much as getting your thumb caught in an M1 Garand action, but pretty bad nonetheless.

Nothing makes steel rust faster than blood. Must be all that salt and iron content causing a chemical reaction. Wipe off your gun BEFORE you go wash your hand and get a Band-Aid. My old shop teacher had a standing rule about blood on the machinery. He said if you lost a hand on a lathe or milling machine, use the remaining hand to wipe down the precision surfaces before you passed out. Otherwise, he'd remove your testicles.

While I'm thinking about shop class, you might want to know that a chuck key that's remaining in a machine lathe's 3-jaw chuck when the juice is turned on at a high-RPM setting will depart the chuck and traverse the entire length of the shop at approximately Mach 2 before imbedding itself in the garage door. The sound it makes as it passes over your head while you are bent over adjusting the cut-off saw is remarkably similar to a boomerang being thrown by a bodybuilding steroid-addicted aborigine. The screams of the idjit who launched the key are remarkably similar to a little girl's, when you are pounding on his face.

Ever notice that no matter how long you hold a dried apricot in your mouth, it never returns to its original size? Nah, me neither.

Cheap duct tape ain't worth a damn. You can always tell the quality by how it sounds coming off the roll. The good stuff has a deep loud *Reeeeowmp!" sound as you pull it off. The no-name brand crap makes a whiny scritching sound.

It takes about 2 1/2 rolls of duct tape to securely stick a 150 lb. person to a wall. If they are not cooperating, you might need significantly more.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Things You Do For Love

I Shoulda Fed 'Em Tuna Fish Tonight

I get home this evening after enduring several soakings I acquired during the transit home from the mini-monsoon we had this afternoon. As usual, my umbrella was nice & safe & dry here at the house.

No sooner do I get in the door and drop my stuff than two furmonsters plop themselves down in front of me and start a yowling duet. Shit. I forgot to buy catfood. Again.

I can understand going back out into the rain to fetch medicine for a deathly ill person, or to warn people the British are coming (Ewww! What a mess!), but it took every bit of my waning supply of good will to turn around and go back out in the rain to fetch some kitty kibble.

Damn cats. If they were surly yard beasts, I'd just let 'em scavenge a meal. They should have some atavistic instincts remaining. However, these two came from the rescue shelter minus front claws, so the only thing they can put an ass-whoopin' to is a bowl of Iams.

Sigh. After this, these two kitties are gonna learn how to fetch me a beer.

Let There Be Lips...

And No Shrieking Fan-Boys, Either!

The 30-Second Bunnies Theatre has done it again. This time, it's the Rocky Horror Picture Show, acted by bunnies, and it's over in 30 seconds.

Go do the Time Warp!

They've got 30 second bunny versions of Pulp Fiction, Jaws, The Shining, and a bunch of others. Spend 3 or 4 minutes and see 'em all!

I can't wait for their versions of Scarface and Highlander...

Another item lifted from Dizzy Girl!

Well, Hell... I Knew That!

No Big Surprise Here...

You Are a "Don't Tread On Me" Libertarian

You distrust the government, are fiercely independent, and don't belong in either party.

Religion and politics should never mix, in your opinion... and you feel opressed by both.

You don't want the government to cramp your self made style. Or anyone else's for that matter.

You're proud to say that you're pro-choice on absolutely everything!

Via Dizzy Girl by way of Ravenwood's Universe

Sunday, August 07, 2005

No Plane On Sunday

And Very Little Posting

Long, hot day here. Almost too much effort to get up and face the world, especially knowing that every parent with school-age children was going to be out in force for the sales-tax holiday on clothing.

Face it I did, though, and made it home bearing trophies. Well, a box of ammo and a couple of on-sale gun cases, anyway. Had to pay sales tax on 'em, too. I figured they'd count as clothing for rifles, but the State of Texas disagreed.

There's just something awkward about shopping for gun cases without the rifles handy for measuring. I got a medium-sized case for the SKS, and a long one for the FN-49. Neither one fit the intended recipient. So, I changed plans, put the BRNO Mauser in the medium case, and the 1920's vintage Savage .22 bolt action in the long one. That'll do until I can find my tape measure and make some notes before going shopping again.

Anyone else loathe hard-shell rifle cases as much as I do? Not the nice & spendy brushed aluminum or walnut & brass fitted cases, but those coffin-sized plastic bastards that never fit anywhere, and don't hold the gun all that securely, either.

I need a gun safe. The closet's getting crowded, and I cringe everytime I'm shifting clothes and bump one rifle into another. Rockhauler suggested lining a closet with cinder blocks and steel plate, and installing a big mofo steel door, but I'm sorely lacking in masonry knowledge. Besides, a locking cabinet will do everything I need doing. If I had a pile of $2000 Beretta over-unders, I could see springing for a $1500 safe, but instead I'm kinda heavy on the surplus and ancient rifles, so an extra rider on the homeowner's insurance covers all those and the computers too.

OK, it's late and I'm rambling. More tomorrow.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

How To Comb A Pussy

CAT! That's How To Comb A Pussy CAT!!! Got your attention, though!

I am so relieved! I thought I was going to have to shave my cats.

It turned out that shaving Betsy Cat's back and butt was unnecessary, which saves me a good deal of time and money. Both Betsy Cat and Pookie Cat started to have the fur on their backs start to clump up, kinda like little kitty dreadlocks. Pookie only had one or two that weren't too bad, given her short straight fur, but Betsy had that Bob Marley groove starting to happen. Little clumps of fur knotted up all down her back and on either side of her tail, with one big one on her chest.

I dunno what brought this on. It was just as hot and humid last summer, and they were fine then. I try to brush them out daily, but if they choose to hide under the bed instead, I'm not gonna force the issue.

I've been using a plastic rake comb, followed by a bristle brush, but it just wasn't making a dent in the knots. The one time I tried to use scissors, I couldn't get the angle right, and I was afraid I'd end up cutting out a postage stamp-sized piece of skin, the way Betsy was wriggling.

Finally, I dug through the old box of pet supplies, and came up with one of those old currycomb looking brushes with the tiny curved metal teeth. Pookie seemed OK with it, but Betsy did not go gently into that good combing.

It took a while, but I finally got her combed out. Those metal teeth stripped the knots right out, and she didn't yowl too much in the process. No more than usual, anyway. I've now got a wad of spare fur big enough to knit a hat out of.

I'm gonna do the once-over with this brush at least weekly from here on out. As cool as having a rasta cat might be, I don't need 'em smokin' the catnip and hiding all my reggae CDs.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Emergency Exercise Summary

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Well, I'm back from the emergency training exercise that had attendees from every state, local and Fed. alphabet agency in a 150 mile radius. One thing seems abundantly clear...

You remember that scene in the movie 'Zulu', where the small British force is at Rorke's Drift, surrounded by umpteen thousand pissed off Zulus, and the old Swedish preacher gets a snootful of brandy and starts spreading a little sedition? So, the Brits pack him off in a mule cart, and he's screaming over and over out the back of the cart as he leaves:

"You're all going to DIE!!! You're all going to DIE!!!"

Yup, that about sums up todays affairs.

Ask me about it at the next Blogfest, and I'll rant in depth. I've said more than I'm comfortable saying here.

Posting Forecast: Slim To None!

As If I Needed An Excuse!

Not much posting activity expected here today. I'm going to be out on a training exercise all day, and will probably be completely whipped by this evening.

Believe it or not, the Powers-That-Be actually have a plan in place in the event that some pinhead decides to unleash something nasty all over the Gulf Coast region. The plan's gotta be practiced, though, so there'll be some idea of what a complete clusterfuck it'll be when the time comes to provide care to close to 4 million panicky souls.

This oughta be enlightening...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

How Time Does Fly...

Which Is Ironic, Considering All The Clockwatching Around Here!

As of today, I am no longer considered a probationary member of Hizzoner's Horrible Horde. Yeppers, friends and neighbors, it's been a year since I surrendered a good-sized chunk of my self-respect, put on the yoke and started feeding from the public trough.

It hasn't been all bad, but I can already feel signs of the inevitable draining of my will to resist the lure of the "It's not MY job!" affliction that so many of my co-workers seem to acquire.

I figure another year or so here in the Dark Tower to keep extending my little web of contacts, then I'll start jumping around the departments until I find a position that's more in line with my personal politics.

I wonder if Hizzoner ever considered creating an Inspector of Scotch, Handguns and Chili Dogs? Damn if I wouldn't be a shoo-in for that position!

Sigh. I'll probably end up measuring shrubbery for Parks & Rec. or being the "Turn your head & cough" guy with the Health Department. I hope I get plenty of rubber gloves for that...

Which Lord Of The Rings Character Are You?

Well, At Least I'm Not An Orc

This is kinda cute. I saw it at Kathy's Arizona Cheesehead blog,

Congratulations! You're Merry!

Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

We Just Love Excruciating Pain

And This Is Only The Beginning...

I've bitched before about getting old, only to have someone even older than me pooh-pooh my quibbling by calling me a youngster by comparison. OK, fair enough. Still, there's some pretty inarguable signs that things are starting to break down on the ol' carcass.

I'm sitting on the bus yesterday, trying to stuff my cell phone and headset back into my carryall, when what feels like a lightning bolt erupts from my left elbow and shoots down to my left ring finger. It feels kinda like when you smack your elbow and your "funnybone" gets hit, only about 1000 times worse, and I know I didn't hit anything. I'm holding my arm out, waiting for the numbness to ease up, when I go to make a fist, and nearly shriek 'cause it feels like my ring finger's tearing in half. Just the ring finger, and that only between the 1st 2 knuckles, nothing else. Damndest thing I've ever felt. Just about had to tape the fingers together to keep from bending it until it settled down.

I suppose I must have had my arm at such a weird angle that I pinched a nerve, and the pain was a result. I'll tell you what, I've got a lot more sympathy for Andy's pinched neck nerves after that little episode. Hope I don't have a repeat anytime soon. (Heh! Yeah, right!)

No AARP discount is worth this kinda crap... Getting older sucks.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Signs You Might Be An Asshole

And This Is By No Means A Complete List

Now, matching any one of these items is not a definite diagnosis of Assholery, but tends to be a clear warning sign! Match 4 or more, though, and you're pretty much guaranteed to be a bunghole.

1) You let your dog crap on my lawn and don't clean up after it. Y'know, I've never really been tempted to wedge my butt up against a front door and drop a load through the mail slot, but in your case, I'm considering it.

2) You have a subwoofer in your car that causes seismic disturbances when your stereo is on. Dial it down, Sparky. Nobody gives a shit what kind of music you like, and you're acting like a tool.

3) You talk on your cell phone in a movie theater when the movie is showing. You should be thankful that silenced .22 pistols are very hard to acquire!!

4) You tip less than 15% for acceptable service. If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat at a place where the food's not served in paper bags.

5) You drive up to the curb at the Park & Ride bus stop while I'm sitting there, get out of your car, open the lid to the garbage can and your car's trunk, then proceed to fill the can to overflowing with dozens of jars and bottles partially filled with a yellowish liquid. Not only are you an asshole, you're just frickin' weird.

6) You enter your toddler in child beauty pageants. This is not for your child's benefit, it's for yours. No two-year-old ever says "Mommy, please dress me like a cheap 'ho and parade me in front of a auditorium full of pedophiles!"

7) You are an attorney. 'Nuff said.

8) You purchase anything offered via an unsolicited Spam email or a pop-up ad. There's a level in hell waiting just for you and your craven ilk.

9) You mow your lawn at 7 a.m. on Saturday. Quit that. Gas-powered weedeater use before noon on a weekend ought to be punishable by death.

10) You have 23 items in your shopping cart at the '12 items or less' express lane. I can see 15 items. Maybe even 17. After all, you probably never learned to count. Not 23, though.

11) You beg on your website for cash, then fail to improve posting frequency or site quality. Try that in meatspace, and we'd be suing you for fraud.

12) You hang out at or Democratic Underground. Nothing wrong with being a Democrat. Or with being a lunatic. Being both, though, moves you into the Bunghole Brigade.

13) You cannot end a conversation, but keep talking to me even as I've said my goodbyes and am walking out the door. Save some blather for my next visit!

14) You feel the need to run for public office to "fix what's wrong with the world". Mostly, the problems you see are yours alone.

15) As an elected member of some lawmaking body, when you are presented with new technology or products that don't confirm to your worldview, your instinctive reaction is to ban them.

16) You whiz all over the toilet seat, and make no effort to clean it up.

17) You put your clothes in the machines at the laundromat then disappear for 3 hours, tying up all the washers. I'm pretty sure I can sell those frilly knickers to perverts on eBay for quite a bit of cash.

18) You berate your significant other via cell phone almost daily while riding the commuter bus into downtown. If I wanted drama, I'd stay home and watch soap operas.

19) You feel that any conversation within earshot would greatly benefit from your learned opinion. You feel this so strongly, you will offer insults and threatened violence to those opposing your viewpoints.

20) You spend all morning thinking about things that annoy the shit out of you, and post that instead of any really good blog content.