Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What Artist Should Paint Your Portrait?

Another Silly-Ass Quiz

Found it at Leslie's place. Enjoy!

Who Should Paint You: M.C. Escher

Open and raw, you would let your true self show for your portrait.
And even if your painting turned out a bit dark, it would be honest.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Oh, You Feelthy Bastiches!!

They Shall All Drown In Lakes Of Blood...

What sort of diabolical bastards put out a DVD set for an entire season of a TV show, then don't have the good sense to include ALL the shows from that season??!?!?!?


Bought the box set of Battlestar Galactica Season Two, naively assuming it'd have all the shows. Bitch leaves me hangin' just as Adama launches his Vipers against the Pegasus!!! FSMDammit!!!

Sigh. At least I can download the next 4 shows off of iTunes. The quality is inferior, and I don't like the way iTunes forces you into preset screen sizes, but at $1.99 per ep, I'll at least get a little satisfaction for a few bux.

Incidentally, Michelle Forbes was quite the cast-iron beeyotch when she played Ro Laren on Star Trek: The Next Generation. In this series, she manages to crank up her unlikability all the way to the level of.... (Say it for me, Zibig!!!)

I Double-Dog Dare You!

Bow Down Before The Cheese That Cannot Die!

I saw this recipe while perusing an extremely frightening website consisting mostly of advertisements of small children leering demonically at food. The kind of website Lileks might do, if he gets a bad pepperoni slice at Chuck E. Rat's Pizza and followed it up with a fistful of peyote buttons.

Anyway, the website was disturbing enough, but upon reading this recipe, I needed to make a -8 saving throw vs. Losing Sanity. I have no idea where my old gaming dice are, however, so basically I'm phuct and consequently gibbering like a loon right now.

Come risk *YOUR* sanity (and your intestines, and your colon, and your general well-being) and create this masterpiece of culinary artistry: (For me to poop on!!)

'Golden Glory'


4 hard-cooked eggs
1 8-ounce pkg. elbow macaroni
1 lb. pkg. Kraft Velveeta Cheese "Food"
4 tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
4 ripe tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste

Cut four hard-cooked eggs lengthwise. Remove and mash yolks with 4 tbsp Kraft Mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper and fill the whites.

Cook one 8-ounce package elbow macaroni in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and place in shallow casserole.

Now for the Velveeta magic! In the top of a double boiler, melt one pound of the famous cheese food. Into the melted golden Velveeta gradually stir one-half cup milk. Combine half of that gloriously rich, smooth Velveeta sauce with the macaroni.
Arrange the stuffed eggs on top and pour the remaining Velveeta sauce on the eggs. Bake 20 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. Place casserole on a chop plate, surround with broiled tomato halves, and treat your folks to "Golden Glory"!

Ed. notes:

Baked Mayonnaise??? EEEWWWWWWW!!!!
Eggs and macaroni? EEEWWWWWWW!!!
Broiled 'maters? Eww... well, that's OK, I suppose.
WTF is a "chop plate"?

The Fungus Is Among Us

I May Never Eat Blue-Green Food Again...

Yeeks... Looked in my desk drawer, and found the Tupperware container that I thought I'd taken home last Thursday. Brought in a bit of spaghetti for snackies last week, and had it sealed up in a Ziploc baggie so it wouldn't leak in my new carryall.

Ate the pasta, put the whole shebang back in the Ziploc, and tucked it in the desk drawer pending removal that evening.


5 days later, it didn't look so bad from the top. Then again, the top is made of opaque plastic, and I couldn't see the WMDs brewing in the interior until I flipped it over. I'm just glad I thought to put it back in the Ziploc, lest we had already fallen victim to the fungal spores a la "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill".

Into the trash with that one. Not enough hot water and bleach in the world, and ain't no rubber gloves thick enough to make me pop the top on that horrorshow!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Moist Pussycat Update

Didn't Mean To Drag Out The Drama So Long...

So, did I, or didn't I?

Nope, didn't do it. It was in the morning before work, and I didn't have time to properly bathe and blow-dry a Maine Coon cat. A sopping-wet Betsy Cat would have made a beeline for her favorite sulking/sleeping spot i.e. the head of my bed, and commenced to offload pounds of wet fuzz onto my pillows.

So, Betsy Cat got off with a handful of water flicked at her, and a stern warning!

Thanks SO much, Denita...

I Need A 24 Hour Produce Delivery Service!!!

Can't say exactly why I'm up and blogsurfing at 4 a.m., really, but there I am. I click over to Eric and Denita's little Internet cubbyhole, and there's this post on planting a spring garden.

That's not so bad, really, until I click on this link she has for a company selling tomato seeds and plants.

Oh, man... page after page of luscious ripe 'maters. Grape 'maters, beefsteak 'maters, Roma and heirlooms and Goliaths...
I have a serious tomato jones now, and drool all over my chin. Even this hardcore carnivore and chili dog devotee is completely entranced by a big plate of sliced fresh tomatoes, hot off the vine, sprinkled with a bit of kosher salt & cracked black pepper, and schpritzed with just a touch of extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar... Ohhh, man. I'm killin' myself here wanting some 'maters!!

Damndamndamn. I know I'm now gonna have to pull on a t-shirt and some trousers and drive over to the 24 hour Krogers and pray they have some 'maters worth eating!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Rifle Comparisons

A Side By Side Shootout!

Drop by Head's Bunker for a very funny comparison between the AK series, the AR series, and the old Mosin Nagant your grandpappy brought back after the Occupation after trading a Russki two packs of Luckies and a stump-broke sheep.

Be sure and swallow your beverage before getting to the pic at the bottom!

Go take a peek!

I loved this line...

AK - You buy cheap ammo by the case.

AR - You lovingly reload precision crafted rounds one by one.

Mosin Nagant - You dig your ammo out of a farmer's field in Ukraine and it works just fine.

Heh. I suspect the Mosin Nagant list is also valid for those folks with Sveedish Mausers!

Call Center Crazies

Fuck You For Calling, Please Kill Yourself Now!

Before taking a job with The Man, I worked for many years at a tech support outsourcing company. We hired out to most of the major computer & software companies to supply phone & web-based end-user and Tier 2 support for computers, software and peripherals.

I haven't mentioned it much on the blog 'cause it's still a bit of a sore spot, even 3 1/2 years after we parted ways. Rather, I should say, *they* parted ways, by taking our Dallas business sites up to Canada and leaving the workers behind.
Nothing like spending almost 8 years climbing the ladder, only to see it get pushed away from the wall just as you get near the rooftop.

Yeah, yeah, I know. No such thing as lifetime employment, you're in charge of your own career, yadda yadda yadda. Still, it sucked some major ass, left me teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and put me in a position of starting over from scratch. Yeah, nothing's more appealing to personnel managers than a balding overweight applicant with a pissy attitude.

Still, I had it easier than most. I at least came away with plenty of management and training experience. Lots of the phone techs went back to flipping burgers or shilling for vacation timeshare companies or doing straight-up telemarketing, which I consider a fate worse than death. I honestly think I'd rather live under a bridge and eat raw pigeons than cold-call people trying to sell stocks or insurance.

So, why bring it up now? I saw an article this morning on Wikipedia's 'Selected Anniversaries' section that reminded me of one of the techs that worked there, and his ongoing "Create Your Own Adventure" quest to get terminated for cause.

"Bill" was a bright but somewhat lazy tech on the Apple contract. He wasn't one of my direct reports, but had a cubicle not too far away. We had a great deal of latitude as to how we decorated our cubes, and as this was before the days of 'hoteling' or 'hot-cubing', once you were assigned to a cube, it was yours for a long time.

First thing "Bill" did was to cover every square inch of his cube in jet-black vinyl, using those tablecloths you get at party stores and a shitload of electrical tape. OK, not too cheery, but it's his cube, and he's meeting or exceeding all his metrics. If you're making us money, generally we'll leave you alone.

It wasn't too long before one of the authoritarian pissheads from the Dell contract wandered into our area, spotted the Cube Of Doom, and excreted kittens all over the carpet, leaving a trail of them all the way to the Site Manager's office. Before long, we were called into a meeting with HR types and the higher-level muckety-mucks, and told "Bill" needed to take it all down.

For once, our Division managers showed some backbone, waved "Bill's" stats around, and basically told the pissheads "Hey, Stay out of our corner!" The end result was that the black vinyl came off the front & sides of the cube (to maintain a uniform appearance) but the interior could remain as is.

"Bill" did not take this well. His mutterings about 'fascism' and 'Nazis' continued for about a week.

One magical Monday morning, I came in the back door, and didn't walk by "Bill's" cube as I would normally have done if I'd come in the front. I'm getting the morning emails squared away and preparing for new hire interviews when I hear someone shout "MOTHERFUCKER!" and suddenly there's crashing and screaming and yelling over in the next section.

I bolted out of my cube, just in time to see "Joel", another Apple tech, trying hard to tear down this archway that had appeared over "Bill's" cube door, and "Bill" was pushing on "Joel" to keep him from doing it. Due to the staggered start times, "Bill" had time to get his new cube decoration up before most of the staff had arrived. What had angered "Joel" so much was the wording on the new archway. In black letters cut out of cardboard, it said simply:


Look it up if you need to. The rest of you who already know can probably imagine why "Joel" was so incensed.

Needless to say, the sign came down, people were written up for various transgressions, and life went on. "Bill" didn't understand why not everyone saw the point he was trying to make.

I felt "Bill's" pain, having been through a similar experience when I was still a phone tech. Our company mascot, Mr. Bendy, was handed out to all new employees and as a result experienced a lot of abuse. I was the first one, AFAIK, to tape two rulers into a crucifix, use thumbtacks to affix Mr. Bendy, and give him a Crown of Thorns using rubberbands and staples. I thought it was cute. Other people let me know in a quite rapid fashion that I was "not acting in an appropriate and professional manner".

So, here's the lesson of the day from yer ol' Unca Cap. What's funny to you, ain't always funny to your co-workers, and they'll call "Shenanigans!" on your little party.

Keep your sense of humor reined in on the job! Unless, of course, you're a professional comic!

Babies! They're Everywhere!

They're Just Crawling Out Of The Woodwork These Days...

My friends Laura and Winn just hatched their first kid last weekend!

His name is Byron Brady W-, and he's a cutie!

Have a peek:

"Lighten up on the 'swaddling', there, Ma! I'm roasting in here!"

"I am... the Kwizatz Haderach!"

Good work, there! Congrats!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Your Pravda Or My Pravda?

Truth Seems To Be In The Eye Of The Beholder

Flygirl got all bent out of shape by my mentioning of the alleged vandalism of the White House by departing Clinton flunkies.

Unfortunately, her smoking gun that nothing untoward happened by those oh-so-saintly Democrats were links to websites that have historically supported Democrats, and have been sources of leftist rhetoric throughout their existence. This is kinda like handing me a copy of Mein Kampf and saying "See! Toldja Jews are evil!" You've got to take into account the source material before you can give it full faith and credence...

I've now spent more time than I really wanted to Googling up "White House Vandalism" to see what I could dig up, and have reached the following conclusions: 99% of left-wing sites deny it happened. 99% of conservative sites don't mention it at all. There are conflicting GAO reports that seem to indicate something happened, but it wasn't enough to make a case out of.

So, I'm inclined to believe that there were probably one or two naughty Xeroxed messages left behind, somebody accidently put a foot through a wall back in '99 (done that myself), a few 'W' keys were pried off of keyboards, and a shitload of used condoms were found stuck to a bottom drawer of the desk in the Oval Office. The Repubs blew it all out of proportion, and the Dems rallied to support the Clintonistas.

Believe what you want to. It's not like I'm gonna sway your opinion if you've been voting Dem for the past 20 years.

I can only go on my past experiences, and after having been to gatherings of conservatives and gatherings of liberals, the odds of there being rowdy behavior and blatant dipshittery are significantly lower with the hard-core conservatives. They're too busy praying to Jesus and not drinking alcohol to get up to much hooliganism.

Cat In The Shower!

I Have Longed For This Day...

BetsyCat screwed up this morning!

Instead of her usual dash for the food bowl and litterbox when I got up and opened the bedroom door, for some reason she took a hard right and scampered down the hall.

She paused in front of the guest room, then shot back into the bathroom, which happens to be my usual destination at that hour of the morning.

I've been in this house for 3 years now, and BetsyCat usually avoids the bathroom like it was a Doberman Pinscher storage facility. This morning, though, not only did she dash inside, she leaped into the tub.

Not one to lose an opportunity like this, I shut the bathroom door to keep her from escaping. Much mirth and glee rolled through my body as I pulled the shower curtain closed, with BetsyCat still pacing in the tub.

I can't do a Darth Vader voice worth a damn, but I was feeling a bit like the Sith Lord when he finally got a bead on Skywalker's X-Wing in the trench on the Death Star.

"I Have You Now!!!" sez I, reaching for the faucet.

BetsyCat knew something was amiss. Looked a lot like we were gonna have a moist pussycat!

So, did I, or didn't I? How well do you know El Capitan????

UPDATE! The answer is here!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I Hate This Building

It's Like A Vertical Slum, Only Without Noticeable Rats

Never buy a used high-rise building. Take your banker to a high-class titty bar to get him drunk and pliable, float some junk bonds, do anything! Just don't go secondhand when you're looking to relocate 5,000 workers.

Like the Clintonistas that ravaged the White House before turning over the keys to the Bushies, the large energy company that had this place prior to our occupation must've known they were on their way out, 'cause they apparently did little or no upkeep on the property.

We've got dozens of water fountains scattered throughout the building, but you can't use 'em. They've taken down the "DO NOT DRINK" signs (causes poor morale, they say...) but everyone knows not to take a sip lest you contract a virulent mix of lead poisoning and Legionaire's Disease. We get bottled water shipped in almost daily so we don't have to live off of the Coke machine and the dew that collects on the windows on cool mornings.

There's no hot water most of the time. Rumor has it that it makes it up to the 5th floor, but chills down to room temperature before getting any higher up the pipes.

Twice now I've tried to rotate the sink faucet neck (which is designed to do that, btw) only to have it come off in my hand and have water shoot to the ceiling.

The fire alarms have a mind of their own. There's been more than one occasion on two separate floors where there's been a full evac of the building (usually caused by one asshole burning their microwave popcorn, and another asshole panicking!) that our department never got word of. Our first clue that anything was amiss was the Fire Department trucks pulling up out front, alerting us to crowds of co-workers out on the sidewalks.

Then there's the elevators. Don't even get me started on those abominations. First of all, we have a 13th floor, but not a 3rd floor. Go figure. We have two banks of elevators. The ones feeding the upper floors are actually pretty good. They whisk you up and down with no problems at all. Unfortunately, I no longer work up on 20. Now I have to use the lower bank, which are the red-haired stepchildren of the elevator family. Even the crappy pneumatic elevators in Tranquility Park garage work better than these POS's.

Every night going home, I never know which of 5 Boxcars Of Doom is going to attempt to get me downstairs. Will it be Groany, Creaky, Jitters, Slowpoke, or Deathtrap??

We're having our ventilating system shut down this week so they can do some repairs on the water lines that feed the cooling system. This ensures that we'll spend an unknown amount of time living on stale air as the building slowly heats to a parboiling level.

Sigh. I've gotta figure out a way to work from home...

Anyone else have a crappy building they work in?

Hey! Look Who's Back!!

The Bloggy Goodness Continues Into The Week!

Looks like Walrilla has decided to throw his big ol' walrus-sized hat back into the ring! That's fantastic!

Walrilla was one of my first regulars. He had his own blog running for a while, but contracted a case of the screaming fan-tods last year and shut 'er down.

Well, he's back up and running, and that makes me happier than a pig in a puddle of poo!

Go say hello!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

How Cool Is Andy?

Pop Quiz, Hotshots!

Time for a quick little quizzle, my faithful readers!

The question of the day is...

How Cool Is Andy?

Is he....

A) Cool As A Cucumber?

B) Cooler Than Cool Whip?

C) Cool Like Fonzie?

D) Liquid Nitrogen Cool?


E) All Of The Above?

The correct anser is...

E) All Of The Above!!!!

Why? 'Cause Andy bought himself a new iPod, and in an act of über-coolness unseen since Steve McQueen felt a bit cramped in the Stalag Luft III and went out for a bike ride, he boxed up his old iPod and mailed it to me!

Now, how farookin' cool is that???

Thanks, Andy! I'll enjoy this immensely!

Breaking News!!

Damn, That's A Lot Of Google Hits For "Baboon Sex"!

We interrupt this Weekend Update to bring you breaking news...

Almost there....


Baboon Pirates has crossed the 50,000 visitor mark! Wooohooo!

Ok, so at least half are search engine hits, but I'm still kinda spiffed about it. Sure, the Puppy Blender gets that many site visits before breakfast, but I have it on good authority he's auctioned off his soul under several assumed names to achieve that level of fame...

So, Happy 50,000 to me!

I don't know who exactly flipped the odometer, but the hit came in at 9:32:44 AM from a subscriber out of Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Thanks, Flyboy!

El Capitan's Extra-Spiffy Weekend, Pt. 2

The Thrilla Up On The Hill-A

Part Two of my weekend was the BBQ & mini-blogmeet at Casa del Feisty out in the Texas Hill Country. I'd missed the last BBQ out there due to some conflict or other, and was most pleased to be able to attend this time.

Don't underestimate the incredible magnetic pull of one of Christina's fiestas. This one pulled folks from as far away as North Carolina. I'm always a bit awed by folks who can travel across the USA just to hang out for a weekend. Hell, the last time I managed to leave Texas for any reason, it was strictly on business.

Casa del Feisty is a beautiful house set way back in the low hills outside of New Braunfels. There's lots of wandering wildlife, room enough out back for pellet-gun shooting competitions, and enough smokers and grills to feed an army!

So, how does one sum up a visit to Casa del Feisty? Let me put it this way... you'll want for nothing!

Unless of course, what you want is to win at poker, in which case her 12 year old daughter 'Sweet One' will hand you your ass on a silver platter. Christina calls it "erratic play that can't be read". Heh. I call it diabolically clever and fiendishly aggressive! Nah, she beat me fair & square. I went all-in on a 10-high straight, 'Sweet One' ended up having a Jack-high straight. Chit happens...

I was most impressed by the Feisty offspring. 'Sweet One' and 'Wee One' are both bright and personable, and dealt with a crowd of adults better than I would have at their age. Yabu applied a mystical stripey-sock charm on Wee One upon his arrival, and had a 4 foot shadow for three days as a result!

I got there in time for breakfast, which was helpful, as you're never really sure where your next meal is coming from at Casa del Feisty! (laughgigglesnort!) Mostly they come at you from the front, but then they'll come at you from either side, and overhead, and behind you, and then little hands sneak in from under the table and pile more food on your plate!! Aieee!!! For a dedicated food-o-phile, it was pure bliss!

We had a pretty righteous crowd o' bloggers, plus a few folks that wandered in from out in the underbrush. Dash was the GrillMeister for the event, and did a bang-up job on about 3 metric tons of dead animal. If you ever get a chance, don' t miss his bacon-wrapped dove breast, with cream cheese & jalapeno. MMM... lip-smack...drool drool....

Much drinking, talking, singing and socializing went on until late in the evening. Denny played us some gee-tar, and a cigar or two was fired up.

Aside from the folks I already mentioned, the other bloggers present were:

Zippo and his extended clan.
Shoe, who loves her cell phone!
Beth who's one of the nicer people you'll ever meet!
and AJ, the Humble Devildog.

Christina's friend Susan brought her new squeeze Mark to the bash, and there was another couple of non-bloggers there that I was just too squiffed to get their name into long-term RAM storage.

Everyone was just as nice as could be. It was great getting to talk with some of the folks you know only as words on an LCD monitor. With a crowd that size, though, you couldn't get to everyone. I would have liked more chatting time with Denny & Shoe, but that's what future blogfests are for!

Pictures! We have pictures!

Now, some folks get all flibbertygibbetted when their pic gets posted online (myself included) so I've anonymized everyone with big ol' smiley faces. Well, except for Denny. Since he blogs as the Grouchy Old Cripple, I gave him a frowny face. He's really not all that grouchy in person, though!

Lookit all that food! Here, Dash spices up some fowl before cooking them.

Note the gigantimous pile o' chips in front of Sweet One!

Mmmm! Yummy yummy dove breasts and pig slices!

Unexpected backyard visitors!

Needless to say, I had a fantastic time, and I can't wait for the big Texas blogfest in April.

Thanks again for the invite, y'all! Next time I'll crank up my mAd CooKin' skIllZ and repay your hospitality!

El Capitan's Extra-Spiffy Weekend, Pt. 1

You'd Think I'd Be Quicker To Post About It...


I'm still catching up on sleep from this weekend! Lots of stuff to talk about, but I keep having a nap attack before I can get it down on the blog!

It was a dual-purpose weekend, really. I met two of my favorite people in the world for dinner Friday night. I met both 'Chainsawed' and 'Harriet' in college, where we spent quite a bit of time hanging out and avoiding our more boring classes.

Note: Chainsawed probably isn't going to like her 'nom de blog', mainly 'cause she mentioned a long time back that I should quit tweaking her about using a powered-up chainsaw as a personal grooming device. You can see how well I take hints...

For that matter. 'Harriet' is gonna go apeshit at being called Harriet. She probably shouldn't have married Ozzie, then, huh? Heh. For someone who voted herself Least Likely To Marry & Have Kids 14 years ago (Yes, you DID! I was there!) 'Harriet' has taken to marriage and family like a fish to water. Hence, the 'Ozzie & Harriet' moniker for her and her husband! Hey, it coulda been Archie & Edith, or Ralph & Alice!

At any rate, we visited over dinner, then went back to Ozzie & Harriet's little love-nest for some more conversation. It's the first time I've seen Chainsawed since her wedding 6 years ago, and I haven't seen Harriet in about a year. Damn, time flies.

It was great seeing them both, and I wished we had more than a few hours to talk. Harriet & I have a standing invite to come visit Chainsawed up in Alaska. One of these years...

I could have kept them up until dawn talking some more, but I had to go home to pack and get just a bit of sleep for Part 2 of the weekend...

Monday, January 23, 2006

To Shriek Or Not To Shriek

Either Way, Someone Will Be Amused

Connecticut Yankee is apparently much amused by tales that include El Capitan shrieking like a kindergarten-age girl being chased by rabid mutant weasels.

One of his favorites is the one where El Capitan was attempting to change out Rockhauler's radiator hoses in the dead of night using tools barely fit for the task. Rockhauler was stuck inside at work doing inventory or something, and had called me up to ask me to go buy the hoses while the parts store was still open. ConnYank drove me (car-impaired, as usual) to Pep Boys, then out to Computer City where Rockhauler's truck was located.

While Connecticut Yankee stood neatly out of the way holding a ciggie butt in one hand, and presumably his unit in the other, I'm underneath the truck holding a mini-Maglite in my teeth and sweating trying to get the damn things changed out so Rockhauler will be able to drive home that night.

About the time I remembered that I ought to have opened up the radiator petcock beforehand, the clamp on the lower hose loosened, the hose slipped off the bracket, and 3 gallons of a 140 degree F water/antifreeze mix come cascading down on me.

If you allow Connecticut Yankee to give his version of events, when he gets to the part where I get soaked, he'll start making these horrible ululations somewhat reminiscent of a marabou stork being gangraped by a troop of proboscis monkeys with 3rd stage syphilis.

Now, I'll admit to making some sounds indicating my relative discomfort. With a mouthful of flashlight and a faceful of hot propylene glycol, however, they were much more subdued than the wailing cacaphony that Connecticut Yankee is fond of producing.

Shrieks. Feh. More like deep, manly yells, carrying the full range of my emotional capacity within their tonal vibrations. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Well, That'll Wake You Up...

Big Toe: 1 Styrofoam Cooler: 0

Brought home a few souvenirs from my weekend jaunt. (More on that trip later!)

Since I had to drive Saturday night to get to the hotel, I couldn't get as blotto as I might have if I'd stayed over. Therefore, there were a few bottles of hooch left over. Brought 'em into the bedroom after getting back home fully intending to have one or two while typing up the weekend's exploits, but I didn't escape a tidal wave of sleepiness, and my "quick nap" at 8 pm lasted until about 3 am.

So, when I made that bleary-eyed excursion to the bathroom, I failed to remember the foam cooler was set down by the foot of the bed. All that ice had plenty of time to partially melt, and the bloody thing was about 2/3 full.

Just so ya know, when a person's big toe intersects a foam cooler at right angles while traveling at "Damn, Gotta Pee Like A Racehorse On Diuretics" velocity, it punches a big ol' hole in the side, which quickly dumps about 2 quarts of 32.5 degree ice water all over your foot.

After the shrieking died down, I managed to get the rest of the cooler scooped up and dumped into the sink, but the damage was done. Ain't no duct tape gonna be able to fix this one.

Sigh. One more cooler sacrificed to appease the Beer Gods...

Friday, January 20, 2006

Off The Reservation

Got Places To See, People To Do, Things To Go

El Capitan's got a full plate this weekend. Off to dinner at Carrabba's tonight with some college friends, one of whom is making another of her irregular jaunts back to Texas from her frozen home up in Alaska.

No doubt that'll go on into the wee hours, but I've got to depart for Brew Naunfels no later than 5 a.m. if I wanna get to the meetin' place before all of these folks eat up all the pancakes and bacon.

As much as I'd like to nap the day away, I hear there's all sorts of activities in store for us. My main plan is to hold down a chair and apply liberal amounts of fermented beverages until the BBQ's done. I expect I'll be able to wrap a few others into my little scheme.

Remote blogging is a possibility, I'll know when I get there.

See y'all Sunday night, more than likely.

Brokeback Pandas

Someone Call Sexual Harassment Panda!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Parrothead Alert!!!

Bubba's Got An Acting Gig!

Go check out the trailer for Hoot! It's based on a book of the same name written by Carl Hiaasen. Hiaasen usually does adult novels (which have inspired some Buffett tunes), but Hoot was his stab at juvenile fiction.

Hiaasen is a liberal tree-hugger, to be sure, but he's funny as hell, and it'd take an absolutely humorless paleo-conservative not to find his books an absolute... well... hoot! If you're not familiar with his novels, I'd recommend his earlier ones, Skin Tight, Double Whammy, Striptease and Native Tongue. They're the best he's done so far, IMHO.

Bubba's got a prime spot in this movie trailer! Go take a look!

(Requires Quicktime, which you should already have installed anyway!)

Message From Hizzoner

The Man Waves His Big Stick

This was too good not to pass on. You don't send out something like this unless there's a problem, or you're trying to pre-empt an upcoming indictment by some of the more dishonest underlings before the newshounds pick up on it.

For the record, all the current corruption cases in the courts seem to involve appointees and lackeys of the former HNIC Lee "Out Of Town" Brown. Hizzoner has yet to be tarred with that brush. We just had one of our Parks & Rec guys get arrested for being a kiddy-diddler, but you can't really blame that on The Man.

Love Hizzoner's final sentence. Nothing like a cookie tossed at you after a rough spanking.

Oh, I changed a few terms to maintain my fragile illusion of anonymity.



We want the REALM OF SAURON to be known as the most responsive, efficient, transparent and ethical local government in the country. Building this reputation will enhance public confidence in everything we do. By setting high standards, we will enhance the pride of all employees when they tell folks they work for the REALM OF SAURON.

I focused my Inaugural address two weeks ago on the contributions of our outstanding REALM OF SAURON employees. One survey last week showed that our citizens, in all neighborhoods, overwhelmingly believe our REALM OF SAURON Government is heading in the right direction. Thousands of us began and continue to work for the REALM OF SAURON because we wanted to make a difference when we went to work each day. We owe it to each other, as well as the citizens we work for, to maintain high ethical standards in our conduct of the REALM OF SAURON’s business.

We also know that in all large organizations there are people who may break the rules. It hurts all of us, and the citizens we work for, if people put their own agendas above our rules and the public interest.

So, I invite you to assist me in making sure that the REALM OF SAURON’s Standards of Conduct are enforced. Attached to this email you will find those Standards of Conduct which are part of the Ordinances - the laws - of our great REALM OF SAURON. Please read these standards carefully.

I want to specifically highlight for you one provision of the Ordinance which makes it unlawful to “[u]se one’s official position or the REALM OF SAURON’s facilities, equipment or supplies for the private gain or advantage of the official or others, or use or attempt to use one’s official position to secure special advantage for the official or others.”

We won’t tolerate violations of these standards. Violations will be actively investigated, respecting the rights of all employees and former employees. There shall be legal consequences for proven violations.

At the outset of this Administration, and often since then, I have described to REALM OF SAURON employees and public meetings the criteria that we use for procuring goods and services by the REALM OF SAURON. We will base procurement, whether through competitive or non-competitive processes, subject to limitations of law, on the following criteria:

(1) Performance, including value for the dollar received and fair consideration of a contractor’s prior track record;

(2) Furthering our commitment to helping build a diverse and competitive range of firms in our community; and

(3) A contractor’s commitment to REALM OF SAURON as indicated by employment and community involvement.

I believe we should expect firms working for the REALM OF SAURON to do an excellent job in satisfying all three of these. We should always insist on a high, reasonable standard for contract performance. Accountability for performance includes value for the dollar, so that the taxpayers know we use well every dollar with which they entrust us.

The REALM OF SAURON’s ethical standards are broad and clear. A team within the Legal Department, coordinated by Deputy REALM OF SAURON Attorney XXXX XXXXX, will be available at any time to answer specific questions.

We should all be alert to any procurement action which anyone tries to hide. Also, any procurement or contracting that has at its heart some “personal relationship,” rather than performance-based criteria, is not proper within the REALM OF SAURON. Obviously, some REALM OF SAURON employees will know and work as a team with particular vendors on some projects. Those working relationships are important; vendors are not "the enemy.” But you know that is not the type of personal relationship that I am talking about.

In the chain of recommendations within procurement processes, not everyone up or down the line will always agree on a final vendor selection or recommendation. That does not mean that people who have different views on vendor selection have impure motives. But generally, people should be willing to put in writing or express in some open forum the reasons for their preference for one vendor or another, based on objective criteria. And, anybody pushing for a particular agenda in a manner that is outside their expertise and is undocumented and done with an expectation of secrecy would raise a red flag.

If you know of some violation of the REALM OF SAURON’s Standards of Conduct that is attached, please inform Deputy REALM OF SAURON Attorney XXXX XXXXX.

Again, I’m proud to work with you in this exciting time in the REALM OF SAURON. The REALM OF SAURON is making progress and you are a big part of it. Sometimes email can sound a bit harsh or lecturing. That is not my intent. I am trying to set a tone that helps each of us take pride in our job.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Don't Go Dancing In 'Em!

We Reveal The Heels Of Steel

El Capitan wonders what The Manolo would make of this collection of stainless steel high heel shoes.

El Capitan is thinking, from the perspective of the design and the craftsmanship, they are indeed super fantastic! For the wearing to the store of the grocery? Not so much...

Via BoingBoing

Guinness Ice Cream!!!

This May Be The Perfect Food...

This purloined recipe is dedicated to my two good friends, Connecticut Yankee and Zippo the Pirate, both of whom have made the pilgrimage to the Holiest of Holies, the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland.

I'll have this recipe mastered by the Spring '06 Texas blogfest, guys! Hope you're able to drop by and share it with me!

Guinness Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart (so therefore we must quadruple it!!!)

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup Guinness stout
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons molasses
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a medium saucepan, scrape in the vanilla bean seeds. Add the pod, milk, and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the flavors infuse for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the stout and molasses. Bring to a boil and turn off heat.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk in a few tablespoons of the hot cream mixture, then slowly whisk in another 1/4 cup of the cream. Add the remaining cream in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
4. Stir the beer mixture into the cream mixture. Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.
5. Strain the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Process the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions


A Shout Out To My Homies

'Cause I'm One Seriously Lazy Bastard

OK, here's some messages for some friends who are regular readers. Ordinarily I'd send out emails and/or phone calls, but I've still got most of my email archives/addys on the dead iMac, along with my snailmail address book. Therefore, I either a) don't have a way to contact you directly, or b) you're here often enough you'll catch this.

So, pay attention, I might be talking to you...

Flygirl: The book I promised is sitting right here, all boxed up and awaiting shipping. Couldn't hurt to email me an address, the one I've got may be for your old place. When the stars align and I can get to a post office when it's open for business, you'll get it a couple of days later. Oh, and "Blech" is NOT an acceptable form of reasoned debate on the plight of the objectified female! ;-P

Andy & Laura: Ditto, 'cept you didn't know a book was coming. Mea maxima culpa. Oh, you don't need to ditto the "blech" message, though you'd probably agree with Flygirl.

Lynnie Lou Who: Spoke to the folks asking for the employment reference. Be advised they now assume you can walk on water, so best fill up the wading pool and start practicing!

Chainsawed: I'm good to go for dinner with you and Ozzie & Harriet Friday night. Can't stay out too late, have to leave for Points West at the crack of dawn Saturday. Just let me know where & when.

Connecticut Yankee: Be as snarky as you want, nothing will escape the fact that you had a phallic symbol hanging off your lower lip for years in band! Didn't you mention that one time... at Band stuck a...??

Rockhauler: Cannot begin Jordan #11 just yet. Urge to re-read entire series is overwhelming. Will attempt to find CliffNotes in an attempt to stay sane and not plow through 10,000+ pages of overwrought fantasy novels for THIRD time.

Kosher Red: Where are you? Jack Burton called, he wants his truck back. It's all in the reflexes, sweetie!

Assorted commenters: You're welcome!

Zibig: Ahhh, I got nothin'. Didn't want you to feel left out, though!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

NOR Beauty Contest??

Well, Sort Of...

KDT reminded the assorted crew of fusileers over the weekend that this year's Miss World contest is running, and that it would behoove us to pick a top trio, mail the results in, and let him tabulate what sort of female the Nation Of Riflemen crew finds most splendiferous.

For my ever-changing tastes, the results were a bit of a surprise. Normally I lean heavily towards the Central & South American contestants, but this year in El Capitan's private pageant, Miss Denmark took the crown while Miss Canada and Miss Philippines took #2 & #3, respectively.

I always feel a little weird about not going with the hometown favorite, but this year's Miss USA just didn't tweak any knobs. Guess I just felt like a little Danish instead of some apple pie...

So, go have a peek at 100+ wimmens, pick your top three, and after reading his instructions and editing out your salacious droolings, mail in your picks! He'll get the results up PDQ.

Renew Those Domains, People!!

Hope She Didn't Quit Altogether...

I dropped by Tiffany's place this morning on my usual blogroll run-through, only to see some web hosting company has squatted on her site. Looks like she might have forgotten to renew that domain name for another year!

Let's hope she gets everything squared away soon. I've been reading her snarky goodness for about as long as I've been reading blogs. I can't say for certain what the appeal is for me, 'cause FSM knows I don't exactly have a lot in common with a young black female from the Carolinas. We both have blogs, we both have two cats, and that's about it. Still, she's got a way with words, ain't afraid to show her face to the entire world, and... well, hell, she's on the blogroll. 'Nuff said.

I Think My Boss Is A Cylon...

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

OK, odds are my boss is probably not a Cylon. Still, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for anything odd.

I spent yesterday inhaling an entire season of the Sci Fi Channel's revised Battlestar Galactica series. A buddy of mine has Season One on DVD, and since I had yesterday off, it seemed like a good time to plow through the whole thing in one swell foop.

The downside is that now the series has permeated my brain. I'm not certain, but I could swear that when the alarm went off this morning, I grabbed the phone by the bed and screamed "Red Alert! Launch all Viper Squadrons!" before subjecting the cat to the Cylon detection process. She was not amused.

I got really tempted to slurp down the 12 available episodes of Season Two off of iTunes, but another 12 hours in front of the iMac would send me to Geek Purgatory, where you are unable to move from your chair and must watch your screensaver until Judgement Day.

DVD box sets are gonna be the death of me...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Yay!!! My First Real Troll!!!

OK, So He's More Of A Comment Spammer...

Check out this gooey goodness left in a recent post. Somehow, giving a thumbs-down movie review makes me a traitor to the USA. Go figure.



He left a link and an email addy. The website's pretty lame, and I'm not gonna bother emailing this twit.

Anyone else hear from this guy?

Blogroll Updates

About Three Months Overdue...

The sidebar has changed. Some deadwood was cleared out, some alterations were made.

Hope everyone can live with it...

Friday, January 13, 2006

More Movie Reviews

Bookstores Look Better & Better All The Time

Seen a passel o' movies lately. Been staying home nights, and the urge to spend some money at the local video peddler was overwhelming. I ought to get a partial refund for some of these awful flicks, though.

Sorry if you're expecting a more in-depth review. Most of these don't require more than a sentence or two!

Fantastic Four - Fantastic Flop. Muddled story, miscast actors, lame villain, so-so effects. Even Jessica Alba's toned little tuckus wasn't enough to keep me interested. Yes, I'm aware it's just a comic book movie. Let me refer you back to Batman Begins. THAT was a comic book movie!

Mr. & Mrs. Smith - OK, so I sometimes long for an afternoon spent lingually exploring every square inch of Angelina Jolie on a whipped cream-covered trampoline. (Only after thoroughly scrubbing her in Listerine to remove every last trace of Billy Bob...) This level of animal magnetism doesn't mean she can act worth a damn, though. The gadgets were fun, the guns were numerous, but the plot was DOA.

Four Brothers - Four Boys N The Hood. Early on, you're treated to the sight of Wahlberg taking a dump. Kinda sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

The Great Raid - Typical WWII flick. Good guys win, bad guys die in a hail of machinegun fire. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll hit pause and go take a leak.

Kinsey - I enjoyed this flick about Albert Kinsey and his studies on human sexuality a lot more than I thought I would. I rented it after seeing a brief snippet on HBO, and have no hesitations in recommending it. NOT a movie to watch with kids about, though!

War Of The Worlds - This moovie's like a Spootnik! Mostly round, but quite pointy in parts! Didn't much like it, but there were several scenes that were oddly gripping. Cruise did an OK job.

The 40 Year Old Virgin - Funniest movie I've seen in a while! It's perverted, a bit misogynistic, uncouth, and completely enjoyable! Don't miss the excerpts and deleted scenes!! You know how I know you're gay? You're still reading this review!

The Brothers Grimm - Haven't seen this one yet. It's on the agenda for tonight or tomorrow. With any luck, it'll be more entertaining than Van Helsing, and I won't have to watch Heath Ledger play hide-the-salami with another flannel-clad sheepherder. Has Monica Bellucci in it, but I know there won't be nearly enough of her lovely tanned Italian hide shown, since it's a PG-13 movie.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Fried Chicken Dicks

That Was Some Nassssty Stuff...

Got me a jones for some Popeye's Fried Chicken last night. It hits every so often, and I go pick up a box of the extra-spicy and then spend the next day belching and regretting it.

Usually I just get the chicken strips. You get to eat the whole thing, and since there's no bones to worry about, you don't have to peel your cats out of the trashcan at 3 a.m. from their dumpster-diving expedition. They introduced the 'naked' strips last year, with no breading, just the spice mix rubbed into the meat. Those are pretty damned tasty!

Last night, though, they had a special on an 8 piece mixed box for about tree fitty. Got my fried dead bird, took it home, fired up a DVD and settled in for dinner. First thing I noticed when I opened the box was some enormous chicken breasts with some godawful contraption hanging off the front of it. WTF?? I couldn't figure out just what the hell was attached to the breast, so I started peeling off the fried crispies, and revealed....


OK, it was really a chicken neck, but I was still kinda grossed out. I was not aware that Popeye's served chicken with offal still attached, but I guess they do. I can't see the point of eating a neck. From what I saw, it was mostly bone, and I just couldn't see trying to suck the meat off of it. It would've been too close to actually sucking a... well, you get the picture.

Kennedy Kapers

He Goes For 8 Hours On Just One Fifth Of Scotch!

My buddy Zibig called me yesterday and told me about Teddy "Splash" Kennedy's shameful display at the Alito hearings. I heard a few sound clips on the radio on the drive home. I especially liked the ones where Feinstein was pulling the strings to his speech center. I bet you could hardly see her lips move when The Walrus From Hyannis started to bloviate.

As much as I'd like to see Kennedy's liver spontaneously combust and burn like one of those out-of-control oil well fires, I'm thinking maybe it's better if he stays right where he is. Heck, with all that alcohol preserving his cells, he could probably give Strom Thurmond a run for his money in the longevity department.

I'm fairly certain most people see him for what he is, a pompous blowhard with an endless capacity for self-aggrandizement and very little in the way of original thought. Far better to have a poltroon we know sitting in the Senate and mostly just occupying space, instead of whichever liberal Dimocrat replaces him, and who might actually have two brain cells to rub together.

For more juicy bits on everyone's favorite Masshole, GO HERE!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

National De-Lurking Week

Go Ahead! Expose Yourself!

Sheryl at Paper Napkin has expanded last year's 24 hours of de-lurking festivities into a whole week! Now all you shadowy characters that creep in here in the dead of night have plenty of time to quit skulking about and drop me a comment so that I know who you are!

Better yet, if you lurk a lot, and you're not on my blogroll, put a link to your site in my comments. I'm due for another revision of the blogroll soon, and you might as well be on it!

C'mon! Don't be shy! Leave a comment!

Found at: Leslie's Omnibus

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I Can't Believe I Sent That Email...

A Momentary Lapse Of Reason

Mom emailed me to ask what we should do for my Dad's 70th birthday, which is approaching in a couple of months.

I hit the "Reply All" button (so now my sister has it, too. Double Trouble!) and just typed in what popped into my head first.


"I think you should give him $200 in $5 bills and let him go to a titty
bar. He's 70 years old, after all. I'd say he's earned it!

Uncle XXX might go, and so would Uncle YYY, as long as no one saw him go in. Uncle ZZZ? Nope, too self-righteous."

Fuck, I'll never hear the end of this one...

The Sharks Are Circling

Just Look For The Union Label...

The SEIU and the AFSCME (no links, Google 'em up) are both actively courting various employees of The Man. We've got the AFSCME folks here tomorrow, camping out in the breakroom for two hours in an attempt to indoctrinate workers into joining hands, singing the union fight song, and marching on Minas Bagby to wrest control of their destiny from The Man and the Nazgül Council.

The SEIU is fresh from its victory in organizing the downtown janitors, who will now probably go from $6 an hour wages to $5.50 an hour wages (Union dues, ya know...) and a fresh, shiny promise for future gains. The SEIU is also being questioned for some highly irregular campaigning on the part of one of the newly elected Nazgül, but it's one of those things that will likely never be proven.

Both are claiming the right to represent The Man's downtrodden serfs, and the stakes are a slice of rougly 13,000 eligible worker's paychecks. I expect the scene to get ugly before it's all over. Moreover, I highly doubt either crew is going to tell the downtrodden serfs that The Man is under no legal obligation to participate in collective bargaining. This IS Texas, after all!

I made a tactical error by speaking my piece regarding blood-sucking snakeoil salesmen union representation at the end of the department's staff meeting today. Not only am I now (in the eyes of 80% of the staff) the office pariah that wants to keep these poor overworked (bwahahaha!) workers from earning what they so rightfully deserve, I'm probably also a capitalist running dog spy for The Man.

How's this for weird? Not 10 minutes after the staff meeting, I get a phone call in my office from... the AFSCME! They wanted to know if I'm gonna be at tomorrow's meeting. I checked around... I'm the only one who got the call. Guess I've already been marked as a troublemaker by their plant inside this department.

Fortunately, we've got a brand new baseball field, football field and basketball arena here in town, so it's unlikely I'll end up buried under either home plate, the 50 yd line, or the free throw line.

All the same, if they pull a reverse Silkwood on me, someone tell my Mom I don't want any of her New-Agey earpudding muzak played at the memorial service.

Note to "PAB"

I'd Hoped This Wouldn't Be Necessary

Dude.... You say you're a friend of Crimedog, and since I LIKE Crimedog, I'll go easy here.

WTF is your malfunction?

Three posts after I say "Nah, we better not talk about this", you jump into the Comments section on a completely unrelated post and leave a neon sign pointing right back at it.

Yes, I am well aware that I left an earlier hint. Yes, I am aware that a smart, observant reader could make the connection, do a bit of Googling, and get a line on the story. That's called an Easter Egg, and it's meant to reward the curious.

What I did NOT expect is for those aforementioned "smart" readers to go back and start waving a red flag. You have some sort of problem with me? Just want to raise my blood pressure a little for the hell of it? Were you looking for recognition for your detective skills? Dude, send me an email. I'll say "HEY! Look at the big brain on PAB!!" and I won't have to do what I detest, which is to edit comments for content, as I did on yours.

Oh, and the toilet in the yard & destroyed mailbox? Not mine. I try to be a bit more clever than that...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pucker Up And Blow

The One Where El Capitan Grosses Out Half His Audience

This post is going to start with a quick stroll down Memory Lane for all you ex-Band (Insert applicable label of choice here, e.g. Fairies, Geeks, Moose-cocked Studs, etc.) out there. You know who you are, you can still do a perfect 8-to-5 glide step, and often do without realizing it. You catch yourself marking time while waiting in line at Kroger's. You shriek abusive sarcasm from the stands onto the current incarnation of your high school band for their ragged lines and pitiful route marching, 'cause NO pimply herd of snotty punks was as good as YOUR band. You often feel the need to heap scorn upon the Whore Corps Drill Team just on general principles even though you (and they) have been out of high school/college for 20 years now.

Actually, this post is really only for the brass players. All you reed-suckers and hole-blowers, take a seat. Nobody sitting in the bleachers really ever heard y'all make a sound anyway, unless the brass players were taking a breath. OK, maybe the piccolo. Sorry to burst your bubble. Drumline, you cats put the cool in school, so lay down a cadence while I pontificate.

I'm here to talk about "The Numb Lips Effect".

Remember how numb your lips got after a halftime show? Not the mild little tingles you got following a concert in the auditorium, or following a long practice session. I'm talking about the hardcore pins & needles stinging and novocaine-style deadening that you got from really pushing some air through your horn, when you really just blew your guts out. Screw trying to sound good, you were outdoors at the local stadium, just trying for as much volume as possible. Where your sole object in life was to make the popcorn-muncher in the very top bleacher seat spill his Coke down the shorts of the guy in front of him because his brain got jellified due to the massive sonic blast that just hit him in the skull. The sonic blast you've trained years for, that your section leader at Fish Camp nearly burst a blood vessel in his forehead for, screaming at you "BLOW, MAGGOT!!!! BLOOOOOWWWWW!!!!!" as your 13 year old lips struggled to produce even 1/3 of the decibels that the juniors and seniors could produce. The kind of volume that, when the band slid to a final stop at the far hashmark, the bells went up at a 45 degree angle and the final fanfare of that year's Hal Leonard masterpiece went rocketing up in the stands, making that old deaf guy who came to every game piss himself due to the vibrations in the metal seats jiggling his kidneys loose.

THAT kind of volume makes "The Numb Lips Effect".

OK, I took you there to get you here.

Let's say that you contract a minor respiratory tract infection. Mostly clogged sinuses and a few sneezes, but quite a bit of coughing as well, as the post-nasal drip trickles that evil goo down into your bronchial tubes where it can set up residence and fester for a week or so.

Every so often, as a result of your body trying to expel the green slimy demons, you get deep wracking coughs, the kind that make your whole body tense up. The kind that makes your world shut down for a few seconds until the momentary muscle seizure has passed, and your body resumes its regular regimen of oxygen transfer.

Let's say that every so often, you get a cough that's of such force that it's like an electric current being passed through your frontal lobes via your toenails.

It's entirely possible that due to the involuntary muscular contractions occuring at every point in your body all at once, you could, at the time of such a massive earth-shattering cough, (in theory, mind you!) have an unexpected gaseous eruption of such stentorian emphasis and precipitate velocity that the "Numb Lips Effect" is perfectly replicated, albeit at an entirely different orifice.

Numbness, tingling, the whole nine yards.

I'm just sayin', is all.

Friday, January 06, 2006

No More Catgirls!

I Won't Even Mention The Litterbox Thing...

I'm told I need to explain the catgirl comment from an earlier post. OK, it seems I do requests!

First, we need to define catgirls. Just being female and wearing pointy ears & a tail doesn't necessarily make you a catgirl. The Wikipedia definition I offered in my earlier post comes close but doesn't quite capture the pure essence of the typical catgirl.

First, you need to understand the concept of 'Kawaii'. It's a Japanese term that means "cute", more or less. It's the essence behind the Hello Kitty and Pokémon fads. Big-eyed critters (or cartoon people) with no aura of threat or danger about them. Rated 'G'. Safe for all ages. Boring as hell, IMHO.

Certain females (and some confused males) find this concept of kawaii incredibly appealing, and as they get older, graduate to other carriers of kawaii, which tend to lead them down the path to Japanese cartoons and comics, aka Anime.

For some, this leads to a fascination for all things Japanese, and your typical introduction to catgirls is at a comic/anime convention where they run around shrieking in high-pitched voices dressed in ears and tails as they wait for the next showing of 'Ranma 1/2' in the video room. I worked for a brief period of time in the employ of a large chain of comic book stores, and got to experience catgirls in all their varieties.

Now, as some catgirls mature into their late teens and early 20's, they can morph into sexkittens. These are highly prized by the catgirl connoisseur. They purr when you pet them, and use their tongues for mutual grooming in the most amazing manner, usually in return for non-dubbed import anime DVDs. Occasionally you have to claw through a pack of fanboys and anime geeks to meet one, but a regimen of daily hygiene and a steady paycheck easily puts you at an advantage.

Sadly, a larger percentage of catgirls morph into "scaredycats". They're so immersed in their kawaii world that real life is an unwelcome distraction, and only maintain jobs to keep themselves supplied with Pocky sticks and soba noodles. Trying to date a scaredycat is somewhat akin to dating a nun. You might actually convince one to go out with you to dinner and a movie, but you really need to be planning to crank off a round into your favorite tubesock (I call mine "Teri"!) at the end of the evening, 'cause their plumbing's been spackled shut long ago.

This inherent chastity is embedded in quite a bit of anime. Watch some for a while, and you'll see that the typical hero (a non-threatening rebellious type with a huge shock of hair) will endure great misfortunes, including assault by herds of raccoons with gigantimous testicles, and anal probes by tentacled beasts, all in return for a quick peck on the cheek by the heroine. This invariably causes the hero to stammer, whirl around and fall into a dead faint, proving (to me, anyway) what a huge wuss he really is.

So, I told you that story to tell you this much shorter one... My swearing off of catgirls was the result of an attempted fling with a catgirl of the Schrödinger variety. This is the type that could be either sexkitten or scaredycat, but determining which archetype occupied that physical body at any particular moment required a good working knowledge of quantum mechanics, and a lucky roll of the dice as well. I won't go into the morbid details, but let's just say that it wasn't worth my time and effort. I learned to a) never chase cattails where you work, and b) dating someone 10 years younger than you is just asking for trouble. Plus, she liked 'Xena, Warrior Princess' as well, which in my opinion indicates a person perfectly suited for being the subject of horrible medical experimentation.

So, if you're a female type of person that just happens to dig wearing pointy ears and a tail, but are relatively normal in most other respects, drop by for some tender vittles and I'll show off my catnip stash. Otherwise, take your Sailor Moon and Catgirl Lum videos and go climb a tall tree!

Nope, Not Gonna Do It.

Wiser Minds Than Mine Have Preached Caution!

Sorry to get you all worked up and not deliver the goods, but it's probably best if some things stay quiet for a few more years.

I will make this offer... If you go here this April, or just happen to bump into me between now & then, ply me with some good bourbon and I'll tell you a story about something that might have happened to some guys somewhere.

It takes about an hour to tell properly, so be warned!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

My Sordid Past

What's The Statute of Limitations On Deviltry?

During the evening with Connecticut Yankee last week, a subject came up that's common knowledge among my close friends, but one we've kept quiet about to outsiders. Well, I have, for the most part.

It involves one of a series of pranks inflicted upon various targets during our stay at the local university. I was motivated by tales of the spectacular pranks pulled off at Stanford and MIT, and sought to emulate them in some small manner.

No paltry fountain-soaping or tree-papering here! We strove to be original, or at least not completely juvenile. I'm also a big fan of Penn & Teller, and their credo of No Permanent Damage also weighed into the planning stages of most of my pranks. It's easier to convince the Disciplinary Board not to expel you if no one has died, and the Chemistry building's not currently on fire.

Some pranks went well. Others, not so good. Very early incarnations of the pranking crew attempted to deposit a life-sized stuffed cow in the lap of the William Marsh Rice statue at Rice U., only to be dissuaded from our pursuit 50 yards from the goal line by security officers.

The scheme to dye the Architecture College fountain blood-red to offset the hideous navy blue sculpture recently added to the courtyard failed due to my complete lack of mathematical skills involving computing relative volumes. Despite industrial-grade food coloring, the best we could do was pale pink. There's a reason additives to water are computed in parts-per-million (PPM), folks! Think in LARGE numbers for water pranks!!!

The plot to hijack the scale model of the cruise missile from Aerospace Engineering and re-deploy it nosediving onto the roof of the Business Building never happened because A) I couldn't learn to pick those wonky Medeco deadbolts, and B) Engineering students with passkeys are notoriously hard to social engineer due to their relative lack of social skills!

In spite of those setbacks, many more went off without a hitch. Message was sent, fun was had, and no one went to either the hospital or jail. Want to know how to mummify a Ford Escort in the dead of night with 100 yards of 2" manila rope? How about how to replace the interior of a watermelon with 3 gallons of chocolate pudding without leaving a trace? Hijack a chuckwagon? I'm your guy! Need a live chicken in a milk crate epoxied to a door? Howzabout a marquee sign rearranged to say something naughty? Been there, done that. Maybe you want to outline every fixture and piece of furniture in a room with glow-in-the-dark paint? Got the brushes right here. I'm particularly fond of the occasional press releases on University letterhead sent to local media outlets announcing the conversion of prominent faculty members to Satanism, or the grand opening of discount brothels along Sorority Row.

The one prank I'm dying to tell about, though, is the one that's probably still not safe to mention publicly. Oh, the statute of limitations is long past, but some enterprising tort lawyer with a bug up his ass could probably still make things difficult. It's arguable that financial damages are still being suffered, though I think that's a bit of a stretch.

It was a throwaway, a fluke, a one-shot half-assed effort meant to be just a needle in the administration's capacious buttocks. It took on a life of its own, though, and while it never swelled to gigantic proportions, it hung around longer than normal, like a particularly painful ass-zit.

So, Rockhauler? ConnYank? Limey Bastard? Flygirl? Hatchet Slut? Andy? I know you're out there lurking. When's it safe to unlock the stable doors and let that rock-hard bastard trot on out?

Oh, be judicious and circumspect in your commenting, please! I don't want to have to edit y'all for content!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Some Pics Of The Trip

'Cause I Coulda Been Making All This Chit Up!!

Here's a few pics that managed to leak outta my camera.

Connecticut Yankee & Mrs. CY (aka Schoolteacher)

Quick! Make a gang sign!!

My Mom Sara and Jenni

A Lengthy, Mostly Pointless Recap

Well, It Beats A Sharp Stick In The Eye...

In a perfect world, I'd effortlessly jot down 5000 words on my recent travels, edit it not a whit, and have it read like the perfect amalgamation of Wodehouse and Cheever. Millions of eager literati would flock to my blog for a daily dose of insouciant japery, and I'd revel in the knowledge that my blogad revenue for the week will cover my gambling losses at Monte Carlo.

Then, the NyQuil fog lifts for a bit and I realize I'm just another one of the 90% of blogs that are tainted with the aroma of unrefined bovine excrement.

Oh, well. Might as well press on.

Last week was a bit of a blur, really. Back at work for two days after Xmas, then the jaunt up to D/FW for a weekend of frivolity.

Despite my late start last Thursday, the trip up north proved mostly uneventful. Lots more roadkill than normal littered the highway, but given the rather dessicated state of the assorted flatcats and possumblossoms, I'll wager the increase was due to roadcrews being on vacation and not scooping them up, rather than any increase in vehicular-assisted suicide by furry critters.

Stopped for a pee break at a truck stop in Buffalo, with what had to be the filthiest bathroom in Texas. It's hard to say which was worse, the bloodstains around the toilet bowl, or the algae-encrusted stopped-up drain. I'd tell you which one it was, except that might deprive you of an interesting biological observation of your own.

I got a call from the Connecticut Yankee just as I was pulling into Tarrant County. Disliking trying to talk & drive, I shooed him off the phone, promising to call back after I was checked into the hotel.

The less said about the hotel, the better. Horrible place. Surly staff, indifferent service. How giving me, a solo traveler, two full-size beds instead of a king and considering it "doing me a favor" is sort of lost upon me.
Add to that the lack of maid service for 3 days, and being locked out not once but twice, and you have the sort of fleabag inn that makes traveling such a joy. "Quality" Inn & Suites, my bulbous ass...

I met Connecticut Yankee & the lovely and charming CY wife at old Mercado Juarez in Arlington for dinner. As longtime institutions go, Joe T's over in FW has weathered the years better than Mercado Juarez. It wasn't bad, but wasn't great either.

It was great to spend time with Connecticut Yankee again. He's got a gig applying scholastic paddles to privileged buttocks up at some über-preppy private college up in Connecticut, and in spite of the years since I've seen him, it took about all of 5 minutes before we were back in rowdy college mode. We did an abbreviated pub crawl along Division St. for the remainder of the evening. He's talking about possibly relocating down here in the near future, which would be pretty damned cool.

Friday was spent sleeping late, then meandering all over Tarrant County looking for a cheap .38 revolver and a range bag. Neither one was located at a suitable price, so I pointed the PimpSled towards NW FW to go meet Rockhauler for dinner. After exchanging Xmas gifts and shooting the breeze for a while, we stopped to check out the new LIQ-O-RAMA!! booze shop near his place and pick up some libations. Good spot for buying hooch, but it needs about 5 more years of skeevy customers paying for rotgut vodka with purloined WIC cards before it picks up that air of disreputable clientele that all good licka sto's need.

We headed south on I-35, surreptitiously tugging on a pair of Jack Daniel's Lynchburg Lemonade pints. These were tasty in the 8 oz. version. The 16's will set your toes tingling! They ran out just as we hit The Keg, our destination for some grilled dead cow. I had a great shrimp cocktail, followed by the Sirloin Oscar, a big chunk of medium-rare meat topped with shrimp, scallops, asparagus and Bearnaise sauce. Damned tasty dinner!

Saturday, I slept in even later, got up and tuned into the USA Network's all-day Law & Order marathon for a bit. I considered calling up Connecticut Yankee to go shooting, but figured if I hadn't already heard from him (it was noon-ish) he already had a spousal-driven agenda happening. So, I went and got some BBQ for lunch (a disappointment, Bodacious BBQ has slipped quite a bit) then wandered over to Dallas County for more gun-hunting.

Came up dry at all the usual retail outlets for firearms. Plenty of new .38 revolvers, but the used stuff must have all been purchased as stocking-stuffers. Oh, well.

Stocked up on foodie treats for everyone at the Central Market over on Greenville Ave., then started the trek up into Carrollton. The New Year's Eve party was at a guy named Billy's house. He's a friend of Jenni, who was onboard as the co-host.

One thing about Jenni Parties, they never lack for an eclectic mix of guests! As an added bonus, most of the guests brought a variety of intoxicants with them, so there was no lack of ways to anaesthetize your gizzard.

When I got there Jenni was still getting breakfast prepped for the following morning. She was decked out in what we decided was 'diesel dyke trucker chick' apparel, which suited me fine. As far as I care, you could wrap her in a burlap sack, and she'd still be Jenni! She vetoed that idea, though, and went and got all girled up for the party.

There was a fairly decent crowd, ranging in ages from late teens to early 60's, from all possible backgrounds. The mysterious Vampire Twins from Jenni's wedding reappeared, (it was after dusk, so I guess they just flew in). Never did catch their names, but they were each rail-thin, with long dark waist-length hair and pale skin. They seemed to really like lurking in corners and looking morose, but I caught one smiling once or twice, so who knows. Maybe he just sucked the blood of a clown for dinner.

I had a pretty good time, but I think I liked it better earlier on, when there weren't as many people there and the smoky haze wasn't quite so thick. We had all sorts of smoked dead animals to feast upon, thanks to Billy's BBQ wizardry. Though I wished I could partake, there was definitely NOT any illegal herbage to settle your frazzled nerves, damn the bad luck! One partier showed off a wad of vegetation that was roughly the size and weight of good-sized pine cone, but according to DEA sources, it was just oregano. So, all you government lurkers can just fuck off back to your hidey-holes. Nothing illegal here!

Alas, there weren't a lot of females there that weren't already attached, or that batted for the other team. There was a catgirl wandering around, but I swore off those back in the late 90's. They're fun for a while, but then they start pestering you for airfare to Tokyo, and you're always finding anime DVDs in your disk drive and tofu in the toaster oven.

I had a great conversation with a woman that was 1/2 Irish & 1/2 Hawaiian, who managed to tell me most of her life's story in less than 15 minutes. In spite of the verbal barrage, she was attractive and seemed willing to listen to my tipsy tales as well. Something kept flicking my "DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!" switch though. Couldn't quite figure it out, until later in the evening when she took off her glasses for a minute. Damned if she wasn't the spitting image of my Mom, back before Mom was... Mom.

That sent me into a Freudian death-spiral for a while, needless to say. I managed to pull out at the last minute, put on a happy face and rang in the New Year with everyone else. Got smooched by a wide variety of attractive females, which helped matters immensely. Snuck out early to beat the drinks home, and managed to avoid all the checkpoint roadblocks. I was well under the legal limit, but who needs the hassle?

I was starting to really drag-ass on Sunday. All the secondhand smoke the night before was making things wheezy, and I was so wiped on the road home I stopped and slept for 2 hours at the rest area outside Corsicana. Once I was back in Houston, I had dinner with Mom & Dad, and got my yearly dose of black-eyed peas. Damned things never taste very good, no matter how much hot sauce goes on 'em.

So, there it is, friends & neighbors. El Capitan's grand adventure. It's even PG-13 and family friendly, damn it! One of these days I'll have one that's rated R.

The Butler Did It

There, I Saved You The Effort

Just finished the 'Da Vinci Code' by Dan Brown, and I really must be about the last person on earth to slurp down that frothy literary concoction.

I'm not overwhelmed by it. For every tidbit of interest, there's eight paragraphs of exposition, and also much abrupt changing of the main POV that makes it feel a bit like a ride on a Tilt-A-Whirl. The characters are somewhat akin to cigar store Indians that are moved from place to place by unseen hands, and the "great revelation" that's got the Catholics in such a tizzy should come as no surprise to anyone who's done any peeking into the Apocrypha.

I understand that there's a movie being released this summer to bring this bestseller to the silver screen. Normally, I like for the screenplay to at least make the effort to follow the plot line, but in this case, I'll be praying for the addition of legions of Vatican Ninjas and Pyrates Templar warring across Europe just to provide enough impetus to stay awake until I finish my small bag of popcorn.

As usual, your mileage may vary.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Anyone Need Any Surplus Phlegm?

I knew I was pushing myself harder than I needed to over the weekend, even with the low-impact schedule I was following. That icky crud I'd been fighting came back for a final counterattack. I've just spent most of the last day and a half sliding in and out of a cough syrup coma in an effort to get back on my feet by tomorrow when I'm due to go back to work.

I feel a little like some bits of random dogpoo that have been gone over with a meat tenderizing mallet. Posting has suffered as a result. I fear I'm only up long enough to rehydrate and feed the cats, then I'm back off to the Land Of Dextromethorphan for the remainder of the day.

Perhaps a warm mug of whiskey, lemon juice & honey is in order. It certainly couldn't hurt!

Patience, my little dust bunnies! I'll be back to regular posting soon!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I'm Back!

Miss Me? Anyone? Bah, I Suspected As Much...

Full disclosure of assorted dark deeds to appear shortly. I'm kinda wiped right now, and need a long nap.

Here's a sneak peek of my wonderful Xmas gift from Rockhauler. My friends are SO good about feeding my pirate paraphernalia collection!

This lovely thing is about 2 feet long assembled, has cannons that shoot, and real cloth sails that furl & unfurl. Excuse me while I go act like a child for a while! Yar!!! Moisten the wenches! Rotate me yardarm! Yarrr!!!