Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, March 31, 2006

Aaaauugh! My Ass!

This Is Worse Than An Alien Anal Probe!

Just so ya know, when your doctor gives you a scrip for some pills, and says, "Oh, by the way, these might cause some mild gastric discomfort and bloating", you are in for the effing ride of your life.

I've been doing a hovercraft impersonation all day. The downthrust isn't strong enough for flight, but I've got my air hockey puck action working pretty good. I've got 20 minutes to go, and I've still got 1/3 of a can of my Ozium air freshener left, so I think I'll make it.

Y'know, when I was a kid, farts were hysterically funny. Nowadays? Not so much...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

That's A Big Pile O' Suck!

Adding Insult To Injury Is Our Policy!

Just got off the phone with a friend of mine who shall remain nameless for the time being. Normally, he calls from the office. Today he called from home. Seems the Unemployment Fairy passed by during the night and sprinkled him with magical Termination Powder.

What makes this moderately amusing is that he was actually canned earlier in the week, but no one on a local level knew about it. He got a call from Corporate looking for his final time sheet. Guess the HR flack didn't expect to get the target of the termination on the phone when they called to inquire!

So, my friend wanders over to the local managers, and makes a discreet inquiry about the current employment status. Everything seemed A-OK from their end, so back to the grindstone for more fun & excitement.

Today the paperwork caught up. When the new org charts arrive, and you ain't on 'em, that's a pretty clear sign that it's time to polish up the resume again.

Looks like it was just the cyclical nature of the gig. They needed him last week, this week they don't. So, see ya! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

I keep sayin' that The Man has openings, but somehow, I think that's not gonna be the best matchup of employer and employee!

Warning! Smug Alert!!

Oh Goddess Brigid, please make Andy watch this show! Blessed Be!

I very rarely remember to watch the new episodes of South Park. I'm usually blogging or gaming, and forget to turn on the TV for days at a time.

I had it on last night, though, and I very nearly pissed myself laughing. Best episode I've seen since... since... well, the last episode, where they skewered Scientology yet again.

This episode had Kyle's dad driving a new hybrid car all over town, lecturing other drivers on their gas guzzlers, and basking in the praise of other treehuggers. Every time someone said something nice about the car, Kyle's dad would close his eyes, give a thumbs-up and say "Thank Yewwww!". Impossibly smug, and therein lay the problem...

The Broflovskis decided they needed to move to San Francisco, where they'd find people as forward thinking and progressive as they were. So, off they went. Stan, meanwhile, wrote a song praising hybrids in an effort to 'green up' South Park and lure his friend Kyle back.

Long story short, South Park is inundated with hybrids, causing a severe case of 'smug' pollution. The smug cloud grows, and threatens to link up with the San Francisco smug cloud, and the smug cloud released by George Clooney's Oscar acceptance speech to create the perfect storm... of self-satisfaction!

Catch it on reruns if you can. It's a great episode. If you can't, here's the transcript!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Mouth-Breathers Are Lurking...

Probably All AOL Users, I'll Bet!!!

OK, you numerous pea-brains that have found your way here via various search engines using the search string: "what great lakes locale was once clubbed the yankee state"

Both YOU and the author of your little web-quiz are COMPLETE FARGIN' IDIOTS!!! It's *not* "clubbed", it's "dubbed"!!!! You dumbasses!

Oh, the answer is "Michigan".

You're welcome.

How Messed Up Is This?

Speaking Of A Sick Sense Of Humor!

OK, let's get something out of the way first. I really do have a twisted sense of humor. In my lifetime, I've done some pretty questionable things, taste-wise. Leaving flaming sacks of dog turds on someone's front porch and then ringing the doorbell. Making Satanic Easter eggs. Paying good money to see Quiet Riot. I'll admit it, I barely belong in polite society.

Second, I don't particularly like the Po-leece. Sure, there are plenty of good cops out there just trying to protect and serve, but all too many I've met are arrogant dickheads with an authority complex and a burning need to beat people with nightsticks. And those are the ones I meet when I'm doing nothing wrong!

Nevertheless, we live in a society of laws, and we need someone to enforce them. Despite my personal feelings towards the dickheads among them, police are an absolute necessity.

So, when I see something like the picture below, it makes me want to napalm the entire goddamn city of San Francisco, and eradicate every last one of those ignorant Marxist/Leninist fuckheads that ENCOURAGE their children to approach society with this kind of attitude. Pin the Molotov cocktail on the cop car? How fucking sick is that?

This pic was taken at the 2006 San Francisco Anarchist Book Fair, btw, courtesy of Zombie. Check out his site, and marvel at the concentrated fuckwittery that is the Bay Area.

OK, now before anybody starts pointing the Hypocrite stick at me... Yes, I still support the 1st Amendment. They absolutely have the right to be complete and utter assholes.

What torques me off is not the fact that someone made a Pin the Molotov cocktail on the cop car game. In a different environment, like an art gallery, I might even find it amusing. It's the fact that they're cramming the propaganda down the kid's throats. Jeezus... kids at that age just want a Poptart and a showing of SpongeBob Squarepants. They could give a fuck about anarchism, nihilism, or any other ism. OK, maybe they need a bit of maternalism and paternalism.

Whatta bunch of maroons! Hope they have a good time singing 'Kum Ba Ya' while the MS-13 gangs whack their heads off with machetes.

This Is SO Wrong...

Bet It Makes Good Kaiser Rolls, Though!

Man, I thought I had a sick sense of humor. The hyenas at Tshirt Hell have me way outclassed.

Whatever you do, don't poke his belly! He won't giggle, he'll invade Poland!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Blogroll Updates

Hell's Getting Frosty Around The Edges...

Yeah, OK, I'm a bit overdue for updating the blogroll. If you're one of us poor schlubs still on Blogspot after a year or so, you know what an incredible PITA it is to republish the whole shebang.

Still, work has been continuing behind the scenes. The little 80x15 tags I use for links have been laboriously constructed for the next batch of linkees. I've ID'ed most of the ones who are gonna get unceremoniously dumped off the roll.

I've tried to make my blogroll consist solely of folks I read, not just the ones who give me a link. Tastes change, though, and I'm gonna pare down the ones I'm no longer reading on a regular basis. I'm sure I'm already making Denita, Eric and Kurt cringe everytime they have to load my page over dialup. Even at 4k per tag, it's getting to be a sizable download.

I've got to redo all the .png tags, convert them over to .jpg format. For some reason, IE wants to balk at loading .png images from time to time. Typical Microsoft WTF-ware.

Dammit, lookit all these .png files I gotta fix! Each of you owes me a beer for this!



Oh, actual blog content? Y'all wanted content??? BuWahahahaa!!! Oh, man, y'all just kill me...

Pyracantha Jelly

Bastard Plant's Good For Something, Anyway...

I griped about the vicious Pyracantha plant in the backyard a while ago. It heard me, apparently, and overnight shot out branches every which way that I'll need to go prune. I've already alerted the local blood bank to have a couple of pints warmed up.

For those unfamiliar with Pyracantha, it's a shrub composed solely of thorns. No roots, just subterranean thorns. No leaves, just wide green thorns. Every so often it produces red berries in abundance, but when the little birdies swoop in for a meal, you can hear 'em going "Ow! Damn! Ouch! Bastard Plant!!" as they get their little birdy feet perforated.

You can be all the way on the other side of the yard, and somehow you'll turn around and bump into the thing and whatever dye was used on your clothing is now tattooed into your flesh. I'd burn the thing out, but it's marvelous at keeping the rampaging hordes that dwell in the apartment complex behind the house on their side of the fence.

As it happens, the berries are edible, sort of. I ran across several recipes for making jelly out of the Pyracantha berries. Naturally, I had to blog about it!

This one seems easiest, but it still involves canning, so boil up them Ball jars, kiddies. I'd love to get into canning. I can plow through a jar of pickled carrots or brussels sprouts in no time at all, but at $3.49 a pop, it gets spendy. Now, if you could just get pre-sterilized jars and lids, kinda like they sell Band-Aids, I'd be good to go!

Here's the recipe -


7 cups pyracantha berries
5 cups water
1/2 cup lemon juice
7 cups sugar
1 bottle liquid pectin
Melted paraffin

Place 7 cups washed pyracantha berries in a very large pan with 5 cups of water. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Strain through a cloth. Measure 3 cups berry juice, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 7 cups sugar into a very large pan. Over high heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Immediately stir in one bottle liquid pectin, bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim off foam and pour into sterilized glasses. Cover with 1/8 inch melted paraffin. Prepared berry juice may be refrigerated or frozen prior to making jelly.

UPDATE: To the Recipe Carnivalites - I submitted this to the COR *before* I read that this was the April Fool's Edition. More fool me! As it happens, this recipe is NOT one aimed at pulling your collective legs! It's the real deal!

Monday, March 27, 2006

And.... They're Off!

Holy Geritol! A Ship Full Of Old People!!

If you ever need a visual example of lightly organized chaos, go have a look at the nearest cruise ship pier. Hundreds of tourists, dozens of vehicles, a smattering of stevedores and ship's crew, all working to load 2000+ people on a ship. Now, imagine there's more than one cruise ship! That place was a madhouse...

Here's the ship from a couple of blocks away. Damn thing's the size of a 30 story building laid sideways. Royal Caribbean liner, called Cash Register Of The Seas, or something like that.

The Retiree faction was exceedingly strong, but there were more families with small kids than I would have guessed. All manner of people were jumping on the boat. As I'm unloading the parents, this Corolla whips in, blocking in the Cad, and out pops three people speaking some weird-ass language. Probably Croatian or Bulgarian. Something from deepest darkest Eastern Europe. The two men were obviously father and son, and both were (and I'm being polite here) unbelievably ugly. Faces like syphilitic bulldogs. So much body hair their t-shirts look like pillow-top mattresses. The woman with the younger man, OTOH, was unbelievably hot. If that mangy mutt can score a woman like that, I'm gonna have to head over to Rumanigaristania and learn to like goulash. Then again, it coulda been an arranged marriage, I suppose.

Meanwhile, I get the 'rents disembarked from my land yacht, and all their assorted krep is loaded on a rolling cart. There's plenty of stevedores around to help out. With tips, I'll bet these guys make pretty good money.

Here's the parents, off on their adventure. Note the bulky raincoats. This is because there's a whopping 10% chance of rain in the Caymans (and ONLY the Caymans) on Wednesday. Me? I'd just get wet rather than lug a coat to the Caribbean.

After they disappeared into the bowels of the terminal, I wandered over towards the Seawall. Galveston's a pretty bizarre place, all things considered. Look at this...

Avenue Q 1/2? WTF??? That's gotta be a puzzlement for youngsters just learning the alphabet. Never knew letters had fractions in 'em.

Beautiful day. Just a hair over 70 degrees, light breeze, barely a cloud in the sky. Nice salt tang in the air, and not too much traffic along Seawall Blvd.

Lunch at Gaido's cost way too much, but it was pretty damn good. Had a combo plate with grilled shrimp& scallops and a big chunk o' grilled flounder. The bisque wasn't as good as I remembered, but it was still most tasty.

Outside, the Gaido's crab still guards the entrance. That thing's been there as long as I can remember.

I'm back there next weekend to pick up the parents when they return. I imagine their luggage will have doubled in size. I better go call U-Haul and reserve a trailer...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Headin' South

But Only For 58 Miles. Gets Kinda Moist If Ya Go 59.

I'm leaving for Galveston in an hour or so. Gonna gas up the car, clean all the crap out of the back seat, then go reload it with two old folks and their accumulated luggage.

My folks are off on a cruise today, their first. I got volunteered to deliver them to the dock. I'm hoping they have a map on where the cruise ship gets parked. I've got the locations of the Seawall and West Beach hardwired into my skull, but I rarely go anywhere else on the island.

I'm happy my parents are going, they never took many vacations once us kids grew up. Still, they're at that age where things that seem perfectly logical to them fall into my 'hairbrained lunatic' category. I can just see Mom trying to smuggle a parrot back in her makeup case, or Dad get schnockered on fruity umbrella drinks and buy a timeshare condo in Cozumel.

Well, I'm sure it'll turn out all right, and they'll have a great time. I tried to convince them to mail me some Havana cigars from the Caymans or Mexico, just rip off the labels and bring 'em back separate. They wouldn't even consider it, so maybe they'll be OK making their way through the tourist traps!

As for me, I'm gonna drop 'em off, then go treat myself at Gaido's. Man, they've got some gooood lobster shrimp bisque!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Don't Stop The Carnival!

Unless It's A So-So Broadway Show

Two Carnivals you should know about...

Carnival of Vanities #183
(Amusingly titled??!?!? The whole frickin' thing was amusing, FSMdammit!)

Carnival Of Satire #26

Drop in for some fun reads. These guys work hard putting them together, so please give them your business, so to speak!

Fluff & Filler Friday!

I Can't Be Moderately Amusing All The Time...

Got a bit busy doing actual work today, then the boss came in and jawed for 3 hours. Yes, you saw that right. Three solid hours. Topics related to work in that span of time? Maybe 20 minutes.

Well, it coulda been much, much worse. I might have had to deal with minions of The Man!

Here's something I've been saving for a day like this...

"The Cat Who Walks Through Walls"
You belong in the Cat Who Walks Through Walls. You are creative and cunning. Your works often feel empty to you, though others love them. You suspect that the universe and everyone in it are just characters in someone else's story.

Which Heinlein Book Should You Have Been A Character In?
brought to you by Quizilla

Found at Mostly Cajun's place a long while back!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Things To Do Before You Die

By No Means A Complete List

Got to thinking recently about my multitude of plans I had as a youth, and how many have come to fruition. Sadly, the 'Ain't Done It" pile is considerably bigger than the "Done It" list.

I've got plenty of time left (I hope, anyway) to knock off a few more items, but the accumulated wisdom of the years has let me know that there's a few things that probably just ain't gonna happen as I push awfully near 40. There's a few others that will only be possible by a sudden acquisition of lottery winnings.


Ain't Never Gonna Happen
Emigrate to the moon or beyond.
Serve as a Texas Ranger (no, not the baseball kind)
Be an A-10 Warthog pilot
Have a foursome with Monica Bellucci, Alicia Witt, & Dana Delaney.

Need Some Serious Cashflow
Own a C-130 cargo plane and fly all over the world in it.
Race in the Iditarod
Climb Mount Everest
Hike the entire Appalachian Trail
Ride a arctic-white 1200cc riceburner crotchrocket at 150 mph dressed in stormtrooper armor
Go on an African safari for Cape Buffalo, leopard and rhino. No heffalumps or woozles.
Start up a premium whiskey distillery
Road trip around USA, see a baseball game in every ballpark in one season.

Could Probably Still Pull It Off
Get married, maybe have kid(s)
conduct a symphony orchestra
Own a strip mall with a titty bar, liquor store, porn & sex toy shop, gun store and head shop. I'd call it "The Vice is Right".
Own a ranch stocked with buffalo & longhorns. Eat one occasionally.
Shoot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.
Become a published novelist (NOT through a vanity press)
Travel to Europe for several months/years
Retire to a hacienda. Have the peons flogged monthly.

OK,now what'd I miss?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Reunion Approacheth...

Wonder If I Can Still Open My Old Locker?

The folks still infected with traces of school spirit just announced the location of our 20th High School Reunion fiesta.

To my great dismay, it's being held at the end of July at a Dave & Buster's, a venue I swore I'd never return to after a particularly bad experience some years back. Damnation. Phlegmy Spitwads. Dirty Underdrawers.

I mean, jeezus.. look at this image from their website.

Looks like a psychotic harpy is trying to feed this Agent Smith-lookin' dude her magic neutering potion. Dude, don't drink the Cosmo. You look like a tool. The bartender's laughing AT you, not with you...

Anyone remember that old National Lampoon article called "Desperate Fun"? The one about how people pretty much give themselves an aneurysm trying to convince themselves that the time they've wasted on a tragically pointless vacation was fun and exciting? I see the looks on those faces, that's what I think. Desperate Fun.

I'd ditch this thing completely, but the organizers are some of the few friends from the old alma mater that I've managed to not completely alienate after 20 years of increasingly acerbic curmudgeonhood. Besides, it's not like I've had any hand in the planning. You sits on your tuckus, you loses the right to bitchus.

Naturally, this post will sooner or later make it back to the organizer, who no doubt will be highly pissed at me for dumping on the locale. Well, there's no way they could've known how I felt about D&B.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What An Asshole!

ChemLawn Strikes Again!

Years of chemical fertilizers used in lawn care had apparently soaked through the hide and up into the brain of some asswipe up in Ohio. When a teenage neigbor walked across his meticulously tended yard once too often, instead of turning a water hose on him, Mr. Lunatic YardCare kills the kid with a shotgun.

Fuckwits like that not only give responsible gun owners a black eye, but it just reinforces my belief that a perfect green lawn is the sign of a troubled mind.

You won't see me siding with tree-huggers too often, but on the topic of overfertilized, overwatered lawns, we'll agree. I have ZERO use for a turfed lawn. You all thought I was kidding earlier when I claimed I wanted to pave my yard over and paint it green. Hah. Give me xeriscape any day over turf. Hell, for that matter, lay down a paving of plastic pink flamingoes.

Tending a yard is an exercise in futility, especially down here in a subtropical zone where plant life grows like crazy. Trying to maintain a golf-green quality yard is a Sisyphean task, and one that fights against the entropy inherent in the universe. Your yard yearns to return to a state of tangled shrubbery, and in this instance I have no desire to try and impose order over chaos.

Bah, that reminds me... I gotta go home tonight and set fire to the jasmine that's enveloping the garage. Bastard plant requires a flamethrower, almost. Between the lebensraum-motivated jasmine and the goddamned vicious pyracantha hedge, I could almost believe the plants are plotting to kill me...

Not A Lot To Say

Bloggus Interruptus Temporarae

I'm kind of at a loss for words today. I could talk some more on my K31 issues, but that's getting boring. I could explore the possible reasons my eyebrows itch, but that's kinda ooky. All my cat pics are on another computer, so no catblogging. Ditto for an infuriating piece I read in the news. (It involved the French, so you can kinda guess where I'd go there)

Yabu and & are passing the peace pipe (don't Bogart it!!!), so no more spatting over Phish. The Man is behaving himself, so no news there. Zibig hasn't been tossed bodily from his office yet. I've got a couple of good long rants in the works, but I'm not in the mood to complete 'em just yet.

Sigh. Maybe I'll go read the paper. I'm sure to find something to get my dander up.

Back soonish...

Monday, March 20, 2006

While We're On The Subject...

More Of My Pet Peeves

Let's talk about homophones. No, not the cellular gadgets with a penchant for antiques and Judy Garland albums. These are words that sound alike, but are spelled differently. Homonyms sound alike, but are spelled the same. Or so I recall, anyway.

I used to rarely ever see spelling or grammar mistakes in the newspaper. Now, I catch them fairly frequently. Most involve homophones, and the fact that today's crop of reporters and editors couldn't spell their way out of a paper bag.

Here's some of the worst offenders. I've included a definition, and for extra credit, even used them in a sentence!

sheer vs shear

Sheer refer to something with properties of abundance. The sheer size of something, or the sheer mass of an object, perhaps the sheer bravado of an individual. It can also refer to altering direction, to sheer away from something. It can refer to the thinness and transparency of an object.

Shear refers to the act of cutting. You can shear a sheep, or subject something to shearing stress.

The sheep sheered away from the hippie trying to shear its wool, causing the hippie to fall headlong into the pile of manure. The shepherd laughed at the sheer stupidity of the hippie, and made plans to wrap the hippie in sheer gauze right before he dropped him down the old abandoned well.

grisly vs grizzly vs gristly

Grisly = bloody
Grizzly = bear
Gristly = full of tendons and/or cartilage

It was a grisly scene as the grizzly bear snacked upon the misguided hippie that thought he could live among the bears as an equal. The bears might have eaten more of the hippie, but years of heroin addiction had rendered his carcass tough and gristly.

shoot vs chute

Shoot is used to describe firing a weapon, or a means or process of moving something rapidly. You can shoot a gun, shoot someone a letter, shoot across the street. Shoot is also used as a substitution for saying "shit". A chute is a ramp, pipe, or tube used to move objects.

After dropping the hippie down the chute, we tried to shoot him with tranquilizer darts before he landed in the pit of rabid weasels. After all, we didn't want our lovely weasels damaged by the hippie's tortured flailings.

affect vs effect

Affect is to have influence on something. Effect is the result of an influence.

The stench of the hippie's patchouli oil had a strong effect on my psyche. It affected my ability to tell right from wrong, and the effect was that I fed the hippie to the mutant badgers. See, that was wrong! I should have fed him to the radioactive muskrats.

hoard vs horde vs whored

A hoard is a stash, a collection, a treasure pile. A horde is a large unruly group. Whored is what politicians have done to gather votes.

The horde of hippies were eager to pounce upon the hoard of Guatemalan serapes and hammocks, not knowing that the importers have whored out the workers, forcing them to sell their cultural identity in return for less money than the hippies spent on soap & grooming products.

duel vs dual

A duel is a fight between two individuals, usually under a strict code of conduct. Dual refers to two items, a pair.

I was eager to duel with the dual VW vanloads of hippies, but they whined like girls and refused to open the dual side doors so I could draw my dual sixguns and scatter their shit to the wind.

phase vs faze

Phase refers to a period of time, or a period of growth. To faze someone is to upset them, to disconcert or embarrass them.

When I was in my long-haired lookin'-like-Jesus phase, I liked smoking dope and chasing hippie chix. I was never fazed by their commie Marxist rhetoric, however, and remained a gun-toting redneck under all that hair.

gauge vs gage

'Gauge' is a unit of measurement, be it shotgun bores, railroad tracks or wire thickness. 'Gage' can refer to varieties of the plum fruit, or also something, such as a glove, that is offered or thrown down as a pledge or challenge to fight.
Some people would have you believe gage is an acceptable variant for gauge, but they're invariably the same lighten-the-standards, Ebonics-promoting assholes that have been screwing with our educational system for years.

After pelting the hippies with greengage plums, I pulled out my 12 gauge shotgun, conveniently loaded with rocksalt rounds, and commenced to drive them out of the park via judicious applications of salt crystals to their bulbous posteriors.

reek vs wreak

Reek is a strong objectionable odor. Wreak means to inflict, or bring about something, usually negative in consequence.

The reek of the unwashed hippies wreaked havoc on my upset stomach, so I doused them all in undiluted Lysol before I ordered my minions to scrub them raw with Scotchbrite grill scrubbers.

udder vs utter

An udder is that big dangly thing on a cow or goat that milk comes out of. Utter means complete, absolute, or entire.

The utter stupidity of the hippies attempting to make a milkshake via poking a cow's udder with vibrators rendered me speechless. The cow seemed to enjoy it, however.

(Incidentally, I used to always write snarky sentences like these in school. It used to annoy my teachers to no end, but they couldn't say squat as long as I got everything correct!)

Nitpickery And Pedantry

Or, How To Annoy People Over Inconsequential Trivia

I slipped a burr underneath Yabu's saddle this weekend. For the record, I don't recommend torqueing off The Yabu, but as I'm currently laboring under a full load of Bad Juju, the repercussions for this transgression will be minor.

Or will they? It just occurred to me that perhaps my continuing struggles to find a decent gunsmith might be the result of Yabu foreseeing my actions by a matter of days or weeks, and he laid down a pre-emptive time-release hex. Ah, so! Yabu very clever!

Anyway, it's all Dax's fault. He's the one that posted the misattributed song on Yabu's site. Just Damn! There's a bluegrass cover of Snoop Doggy Dog's 'Gin & Juice' floating around the internet, and it's usually labeled as being performed by Phish. Feh. That group of endlessly noodling hippies couldn't play bluegrass if Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs took turns stuffing Bill Monroe 78's up their kiesters. The song's actually done by a group called the Gourds, out of Austin, TX.

When you've pirated as many MP3s as I have, you see a lot of songs mislabeled. Some are just misidentifications. Some are a result of sheer ignorance. I can't count how many times I've run across an MP3 of a song by... oh, let's say Sarah McLachlan, and have it attributed to artists as varied as Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Annie Lennox, etc. Comedy songs by Tim Wilson or Rodney Carrington are always found under the label of Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and even Larry the Cable Guy, NONE of whom are singers... I won't even get into the misidentification trio of Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Jeezus, they don't even sound anything alike, yet some crew of tone-deaf dipshits out there continue to fuck up their MP3 tags, and out it goes into the ether.

I've seen Traffic songs labeled as Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top labeled as Freddie Fender (WTF???) and Cheap Trick labeled as The Cars. Filesharing enables these mistakes to get spread far & wide, and in ten years, everyone's gonna think it was Run-DMC that first recorded 'Walk This Way'!

Clean up your music files, people! Just 'cause iTunes or WinAmp shows the correct tags, your file titles might be buggered up! Let's stem the tide of musical ignorance!

Otherwise, there'll be Bad Juju up to our armpits! Just Damn!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Measure Twice, Cut Once, & Cut Some More

This Is Why I'm Not A Carpenter...

Well, if I'da gone to Woodshop in high school insteada hangin' out with the metalheads, I might not be in this fix. I've always been better with steel, though.

I measured carefully, then promptly removed 1/4" too much wood going down, and 1/4" too little going across. Damndamndamn. OK, everybody sing together to the tune of 'The Bear Went Over The Mountain'...

"$100 rifle! $100 rifle! $100 rifalllllll.... It's not the end of the world!"

My leetle experiment of inletting a stock so the scope mount would fit has been a miserable failure, IMHO. In fact, the entire scope mounting process has been a bust so far. At least it's all cosmetic up to now, not functional.

Rockhauler has expressed his reservations about what I'm doing, and he's got a very good point. The K31 was just fine as is, and I probably should have kept my paws off it. However, I have a reason for doing what I'm doing.

My plan was to make my VZ-24 the primary hog gun. With 8mm Mauser horsepower under iron sights, it's a pretty damned good anti-swine rifle. OTOH, the person who owned the rifle before me went to a lot of trouble to refinish and checker the old military stock, and it's a purty ol' thing. I really don't want to drag it through the mud, muck, brambles and briars usually associated with hog hunting. There's also a tiny crack in the stock under the receiver, and it got a bit larger on the last range outing. I'm gonna start looking around for an old beater 8mm, like a Turk or Yugo model, to burn up the 835 rounds of ammo I just bought, and save the VZ for special outings.

So, the K31 with its buggered up stock just moved into the "off the pigs" slot. It's more accurate than the VZ by a factor of 3.1404040404 (minute of fried pi), and I like the action better. When I committed to putting a scope on it, I chose the left-side permanent mount not only for the stability, but also because it would let me retain use of the iron sights, a BIG plus when you're out brushpopping. The bolt-on mount fits on the right side, and would have me leaning my face over to the other side, or shooting left-handed, neither of which appeal to me.

I'd thought about cutting down the stock all the way back past the sling band, but it would look a bit silly leaving the front iron sight in place. However, even though it'd be easy to remove, I'd lose the backup sight option. So, it's gonna be sporterized, just not as much as your typical conversion.

Cheer up, Rockhauler. I'm planning on getting another K31, and leaving it pristine. Maybe I'll win the Lotto, and be able to afford the sniper version! Then we'll find out who's the better shot...

Friday, March 17, 2006

El Capitan's In A Snit

Beware... Years Of Mature Emotional Control Gone In A Flash...

No use infecting y'all with my pissy attitude. I'll be back after a while.

Here's one from the vaults, for all you folks that feel like having a meltdown in a public place.
Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms,
Long, thin, slimy ones; Short, fat, juicy ones,
Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.

Chomp off their heads and squeeze out the juice
And throw their tails away
Nobody knows how I survive
On worms three times a day.

Long thin slimy ones slip down easily
Short fat fuzzy ones don't
Short fat fuzzy ones stick to your teeth
And the juice goes slurpin' down your throat

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms,
Long, thin, slimy ones; Short, fat, juicy ones,
Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Case Of The Origami Taco

A Little Parody For Our Mutual Amusement

Joe Hardy shuddered as the huge gulp of whiskey rasped its way down his throat. Once he drank only top shelf boutique bourbons, but the current financial state of the Hardy Brothers Detective Agency left him scraping up barely enough loose change to get a plastic jug of Old Crow.

Fucking 'CSI', he thought, taking another swallow of the rotgut liquor. Back when 'Magnum PI' and 'Simon & Simon' were on TV, we had all the business we could handle. Now, no one gave a shit about private detectives. Everyone waited for those pencil-necks from the crime lab to show up to save the day, and no one wanted a shamus hanging around. Liability, the cops said. Assholes! They were grateful as hell when he and Frank would solve the really tough cases, but now that their father Fenton Hardy had been forced out of the Chief's Office due to mandatory retirement, they were about as welcome at a crime scene as Anna Nicole Smith at the Marshall family reunion.

Joe hadn't had a client walk through the office door in weeks. Shit, at least when 'Murder She Wrote' was in reruns, he'd get the occasional wife coming into the office looking to get some photos made of her wayward spouse bangin' the nanny. The last client he'd had was some punk rocker looking for a strongarm job on his ex-roommate. Joe felt a little bad about pistol-whipping that hippie until he forked over the sackful of DVDs owned by the punker, but hey, $50 was $50. Damned if his Colt Python didn't still smell like patchouli oil, though...

Continue Reading "The Case Of The Origami Taco"

Credit for the phrase "Origami Taco" goes to Zibig's friend John. Just giving credit where it's due!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Always Read The Fine Print...

The process of mounting a scope on the K31 just got a little more complicated.

The drill & tap mount and the curiously expensive scope rings arrived this afternoon via UPS. Naturally, they arrived right at 5 p.m., leaving me no time to get over to the gunsmith's shop before he closed. I took today off just to deal with little tasks like this, but apparently conspiracy and ill will on the part of the goods-schlepping industry have left me out in the cold.

I was reading the directions for installing the mount, in the vain hope I'd be able to tackle it myself with a power drill and a bench vise. Ha. As if. No, this one's gonna require a proper drill press and a set of "V" blocks to hold the barreled action tight before any drilling commences. I don't even own a set of 10-32 taps, so I'll probably drop the gear off with my father, along with a wad of cash so he can run the errand for me while I'm out toiling for The Man. He's retired, and it's high time he was inducted into the fine art of loitering around gun shops.

The fun part came right at the end of the directions. I quote: "Some wood must be removed to accomodate the base."

Well, damn. That'll bump the gunsmith tariff a tad bit, unless I do it myself. I hate the thought of carving on the stock of any rifle with the handy Dremel, even a rifle stock as bunged up as this one. Still, I keep telling myself "$100 rifle... $100 rifle... $100 rifle". I could carve "Ted Kennedy Fears This Rifle" deeply into the stock, inlay the words with hot pink epoxy, then varnish the whole thing with gold metalflake finish, and actually INCREASE the value, just as a novelty item. Heck, I could probably sell it to those whack-a-zoids at the Birch Society booth for double my investment at the next gun show.

So, I'm carefully doing a test fit, marking off the section of stock that's gotta go. If it goes well, I might take some pics. If not?? Well, let's just say there's one more use for duct tape. Covering up mistakes!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Best Fan-Boy Video EV-AR!!!

I Am SO In Awe Of These Kids...

I hear a lot of talk about how the current crop of America's youth is simply gutter-trash heading for the sewers at top speed.

Then I see something like this... (5 minute film, just click and watch it!)

Damn... something tells me those kids have a bright future!

For more fan films, look here!

Via Michelle Malkin

How Winthorpe & Valentine Pulled It Off

I'll Bet You Were Wondering Too!

One of my all-time favorite comedy movies is 1983's 'Trading Places', with Dan Ackroyd, Eddie Murphy, Denholm Elliot, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche.

Trading Places is one of the few movies I can recite along with the actors from beginning to end. I've probably seen it 50 times. It's just a stone groove, my man! YEAH!

One thing that's always kinda irked me, though, is that I didn't know enough about the commodities market to know exactly how Louis and Billy Ray got rich and sent the Duke Brothers to the poorhouse at the same time.

Well, now I know, and so can you! There's a condensed version at Wikipedia, and a longer, more detailed explanation at Dangerous Logic.

Go read and be enlightened!

"Wait a minute... there's TWO gorillas in there!"


Monday, March 13, 2006

Batfishing & Other Nocturnal Pastimes

When Worlds Collide...

I've been dreading this moment.

Not the running/screaming/pissing-your-drawers kind of dread. Just the general feeling of queasy unease when your destiny (and history) is no longer solely your own.

My buddy Rockhauler has started a blog.

This is not a bad thing. In fact, I'm glad to see he's dipped his toe into these piranha-infested waters. I've known him for years, and with his wit and insight, he'll make a good blogger and commentator, if (and in all honesty, it's a farookin' HUGE if...) he can keep up with it on a regular basis, and not quit after 40 posts.

Rockhauler and I share the gene for excessive slack and naptaking. I manage to fight through my slackitude and post regularly simply because I need to have an outlet for my brain-spew. Rockhauler's a little more of a social animal than I am, and his blogging seems to be more of a "want to" than a "need to". Nothing wrong with that, it's just a difference in priorities.

What does concern me is our shared past. We've walked/drove/hiked/been chased many a mile together, and a lot of my stories are his stories too, albeit from a different perspective. I can't claim copyright to any of those tales, nor can I get bent out of shape if he tells a story before I do.

OTOH, I've been banging away on a novel/memoir of the years I spent working at Boy Scout summer camps. That's where he & I met almost 20 years ago. I'm nowhere near completion, and if you've noticed a complete lack of summer camp stories here, that's why. I'm saving them all to be released in one fell swoop when I get it finished.

So, I'm a bit concerned with what Rockhauler's gonna use for source material. Not only the summer camp stuff, but there's also a whole shitload of tasteless shenanigans we've perpetrated over the years that I don't know that I necessarily want to see aired. Things that were funny when you're 22 can look pretty crass when you're 38.

I've talked to Rockhauler about this, but not in any great detail. Ultimately, it's his blog to do with as he wishes. Maybe it'll jumpstart my writing, and force me to complete it before I turn 40...

At any rate, here's Rockhauler's new blog 'Just Another Bat-Fisherman' at

Wish him well!

Oh, yeah... "Batfishing", (as in 'going fishing for eeky squeeky bats', not 'bludgeoning carp with Louisville Sluggers') was our codeword for nights we were going to skulk out of camp and go drinking up on Eagle's Peak. But that's a story for later...

Better Late Than Never!

I've Been In That Position Before!

The 51st Edition of the Carnival Of Cordite is up over at Countertop Chronicles!

Go savor the Gunny Goodness!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ancient Eddie

Don't 'Jump', Eddie, You'll Break A Hip!

Oh... mah...Ghod...

I cannot believe this picture of Eddie Van Halen from the Oscars. He looks to be older than Keef Richards, and that's no mean feat!

Here's Eddie as I remember him:

Here's the 2006 Eddie:

Wow. What a difference two decades makes. Then again, if I had the chance to bang Valerie Bertinelli for 20 years, I'd be worn down to a dry husk, too!

This one's for you, Eddie. Keep rockin'!!

To the Tune of Van Halen's "Panama"

Jump back, what's that sound ?
Got-damn, that's my colon shuttin' down!
Luby's Special, cloggin' up my guts again,
Two hours parked on the can tonight...

Don't you know that there's a cure for me?
I get one once a week!
I'm due for an....

Enema, Enema
Enema, Enema

Ain't nothin' like it, that nozzle that gleams.
Got the feel for the hose, keep my colon real clean.
Hot brew, burnin' through my backed-up poo,
Got an on-ramp comin' through my dookie chute,

Don't you know that there's a cure for me?
I get one once a week!
I'll get an...

Enema, Enema
Enema, Enema

Yeah, we're runnin' a little bit hot tonight.
I can barely see the bag from the heat comin' off of it.
Ah, you reach down, between my legs,
yank the hose out....

She's crying, poo's flying,
Right behind and onto the mirror now.
Ain't no shirking, power squirting,
Sphincter popping, ain't no stopping now!

Enema, Enema
Enema, Enema


Friday, March 10, 2006

Confession Time

It's Either This Or Posting Nekkid Pics Of Myself...

There's been some not-so-discreet whispering here and there that some folks don't give the whole story about themselves on their blogs. Ain't that da troot!

For this blog, the fact that I post under a pseudonym ought to be a big farkin' clue that I'm not lifting my skirts all the way up. There's enough hyenas online without making it easy for them to grab a mouthful of your nethers and scamper off with 'em, leaving you twisting and grabbing at your trailing innards in a futile attempt to retain some portion of your dignity. Oh, I also work for The Man, and retaining some shred of deniability about who I am is a must.

Nevertheless, the wimmenfolx seem to like it when you're open and honest about yourself. I've already run off one or two regulars due to one indiscretion or another, so I'll probably scare off the rest with this little tidbit of truthfulness.

Here's the thing. I've got this problem. Had it since childhood. It's one of those things that could probably be corrected if I invested a great deal of time and effort, but I know myself well enough to realize that making that effort just won't happen.

It's really embarassing, so I try to hide it as best I can. Most of my social interaction is done via web or phone, where this problem doesn't matter hardly at all. Some of y'all been dropping by here for months, but only a handful have a clue of my secret shame.

Hell, there's no way to candycoat it, so I'll just say it.

My handwriting *sucks*.

No, it goes beyond sucks. It's like giving a wall-eyed microcephalic gibbon a Marks-A-Lot and having him attempt Pitman shorthand. Calling it chicken scratching does a disservice to normal chickens. It's more like the tracks of spastic meth-addicted chickens who've had their little toes caught in an electric pencil sharpener.

My handwriting's so bad that if I jot something down on a notepad, after a week or so of having the phone call fade in my memory, there's a better than even chance that when I go back to transcribe my notes into the database, I myself won't even catch every letter, meaning that I get people's names wrong and put down the wrong addresses. Numbers aren't so bad. My cursive script is cramped and ugly, but basically legible, but I never, ever write in cursive. Haven't since I took my last essay test in college 10 years ago.

See, every job I've had since then used a computer as the primary method of communication. There's just no need for writing things out by hand very often.

When I do, though, it verges on the physically painful to know others are gonna read it. I sent out a few thank-you notes recently, and I just cringed to the core of my soul knowing that people were gonna see my childish scribblings and (whether they realize it or not) make judgements about my character based on how I represent myself through pen & ink. Still, it's bad form to include a printed message inside a card, IMHO, and failing to send thank you notes when they're warranted ought to be a flogging offense.

When my friend Flygirl was living overseas, I used to send her these long typed letters, claiming that I didn't handwrite 'em because my typing was faster than my writing. That statement was true, but it was just not the whole truth. I used to get back these handwritten letters, and the difference between my typewritten tomes and her handwritten letters was like the difference between listening to Mozart over a portable AM radio versus sitting in the recital hall. Sure, you're transferring the basic information, but you're leaving out the soul.

I suppose if I was of the liberal ilk, I would blame the public schools for my lack of legible handwriting instead of owning up to the reality that it's my lack of effort in improving my handwriting that's truly to blame. Pointing fingers outward is always easier than pointing them at yourself.

When I transferred to the elementary school up in Indiana during our 3 year exile in the Frozen Wastelands, they had begun teaching cursive script back in second grade. That was a 3rd grade class down here, so I was already a year behind. My print script, none too good even back then, was quickly jettisoned as I was forced through a crash course in cursive. Neither one improved to better than "C" level, and as time passed, I spent more and more time behind a typewriter/word processor, then a computer.

Fast forward to today, and I'm pushing 38 and still writing like I'm 8. Oh, I've made stabs at trying to improve. I bought a book on calligraphy. If you ask me to write something on a whiteboard or an easel pad, it'll look OK, 'cause I've got plenty of room to work with. Once I get down to 8 1/2 x 11, though, look out! There's just so many other things in my liife that seem need to take precedence. I'm not the most patient person in the world to begin with, and I honestly think I'd rather pull my own teeth with rusty pliers that sit down and carefully practice my print and cursive alphabets over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

No, this shame's likely going with me to my grave. I suppose it could be worse. I could be a secret straight-party voter...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

50 Days 'Til The Blogfest!!!

It's time to get your drink recipes nailed down, and your supply of "around the fire" stories laid in. We've got 50 days until the Great Convergence begins!

If you've been dozing since December, let me bring you up to speed...

All these folks are planning to be in Austin, TX the weekend of April 28-30.

Acidman, Average Joe, Beth, Catfish, Christina, Confabulator, Dana, Dash, David, Delftsman (Currently on Injured Reserve Roster, Probably out for the season...), Denny, El Capitan, Elisson, Eric, Jack, Jim, Karen, Kelley, Knine, Livey, Lord Spatula, Marcus, Mike, Nancy, Oddybobo, Omnibus Driver, RedNeck, RSM, Shoe, Sammy Baby, Twisty, Walrilla, Yabu, Zippo (Who'd better not bail just to see the Buffett show!), Zonker

Now, how can you miss being part of that????

Specifics on the bash can be found here. No one's set any hard agenda for the weekend beyond going out to The Salt Lick for BBQ that Friday night, and having the hotel as the base of operations. Beyond that, it's all up for grabs. Oh, best to be careful if you grab Christina, though. The woman knows how to shoot!

We really need a good name for this... That "blodger" thing is *so* East Coast...

Trouble is, my creative engine is stuck in neutral today. Can't come up with anything very appealing.

Mistake-A on Town Lake-A?

Hill Country Hoedown?

Lone Star Open Bar?

Invasion Of The Goober Shuckers?

Damn it, Looks like I shot my wad when I came up with Bacchanal on the Comal for last summer's bash.

Your suggestions are welcome! Email Shoe (her addy is in the 1st post, scroll down!) if you want to be added to the list!

See y'all there!

Carnival Of The Vanities

Please, Come Stroke Our Egos! Faster, Baby! Faster!

Carnival Of The Vanities #181 is up at The Global Perspective.

Yours truly has posted his poignant tale of Love and Rockets. Go get a taste of the best posts last week had to offer!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This Swiss K31 Is Great!!!

Hats Cracked Out To 500 Yards. Call For Bulk Pricing!

Ich liebe dieses Schweizer gewehr!
Je t'aime le fusil Suisses!
Amo questo fucile Svizzero!

OK, that should cover all major Swiss dialects. Sort of, anyway. I'm sure the Babelfish translator bollixed something up.

I took the new K31 last weekend to the Hot Wells range up on Hwy 290 for a workout, along with 40 rounds of ammo. I also toted along the BRNO and 120 rounds of that surplus 8mm to see how many rounds I could pound through it before my shoulder gave out. (Answer - 65 rounds! That thing kicks hard!)

Zibig and the Cisco Kid joined me for the fun, bringing along some .22s and CK's very nice Remington 700 in .30-06.

Aside from 4 mystery rounds, the K31 shot like a dream. I'm so in love with that straight-pull bolt. You don't need to shift the rifle off-axis by farkin' around with a tight turnbolt, it's just a pull straight backwards and a firm push forwards and it locks up tighter than a bank vault. The only downside is occasionally the top-ejecting rifle will fling an empty up, and it comes down on your noggin, or drops that hot case down the back of your shirt collar.

I wish I'd remembered my camera to get some proof of how it grouped, 'cause the Hot Wells range doesn't let you go downrange to retrieve your targets. They have a crew that swaps out all the targets every cease-fire, and sorting out your target from all the others is kind of an iffy prospect.

Most of the three-shot strings I was shooting were grouping less than 2.5 inches . I know, not the greatest, but that's over iron sights, and the first time I've shot a rifle in a caliber larger than .22LR in months. With some more practice, I'll tighten that up a lot. The trigger is amazing for a military rifle. You've got about 1/2" of takeup, then it breaks clean with less pressure than you'd expect. The trigger on my Savage NRA Match .22 is better, but the K31's trigger gets a solid #2 spot in my "arsenal".

I had a flyer screw up a group more than once, which I'll chalk down to my fidgeting more than any fault of the rifle. I did have four rounds 'disappear' on me. Shooting at a fresh target, I fired four shots that failed to print on the Shoot N See target. Completely baffled me. This is after shooting 60+ rounds out of the BRNO, and 25 rounds from the K31, and having none outside an 8" circle.

After staring at the target for a few minutes through the spotting scope, I reloaded the K31's mag, and commenced to grouping them on target right where they'd been all day, 7 o'clock low, about 2" outside the bull. Weird. Cisco Kid thinks I somehow got 4 in a row with low or degraded powder charges causing them to shoot way low. Who knows...

At any rate, I think I've got myself a winner here. I'm gonna poke around looking for scope adapters for this rifle. I'm thinking this might become a rifle that gets a lot of use in the future!

Don't wait for 'em to get scarce! Go get yourself a K31 and a couple of cases of ammo while it's relatively cheap! You won't regret it!

Painter of Kitsch

If You Really Want To Buy Art, This Ain't It...

I don't remember when I first heard about this painter named Thomas Kinkade. Probably one of those ads in the Parade section in the Sunday paper.

Anyway, this guy Kinkade paints mostly pictures of quaint little houses lit from within, usually on the edge of a forest or covered in snow. The kind of art that appeals to the same folks that collect the kitschy crap churned out by the Franklin Mint, I suppose.

He portrays himself as a painter inspired by God, and himself as so devout he gave his children the same middle name of "Christian".

According to a recent article in the L.A. Times, though, there may be a little bit of the asshole mixed in with all that oil paint!

Here's a tidbit...
Thomas Kinkade is famous for his luminous landscapes and street scenes, those dreamy, deliberately inspirational images he says have brought "God's light" into people's lives, even as they have made him one of America's most collected artists.

A devout Christian who calls himself the "Painter of Light," Kinkade trades heavily on his beliefs and says God has guided his brush — and his life — for the last 20 years.

But some former Kinkade employees, gallery operators and others contend that the Painter of Light has a decidedly dark side.

In sworn testimony and interviews, they recount incidents in which an allegedly drunken Kinkade heckled illusionists Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas, cursed a former employee's wife who came to his aid when he fell off a barstool, and palmed a startled woman's breasts at a signing party in South Bend, Ind.

And then there is Kinkade's proclivity for "ritual territory marking," as he called it, which allegedly manifested itself in the late 1990s outside the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

"This one's for you, Walt," the artist quipped late one night as he urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure, said Terry Sheppard, a former vice president for Kinkade's company, in an interview.

Judging from the article, it appears that the 'Painter of Light' is also the 'Asshole mas Grande'!

Well, whenever someone needs an injection of reality, those hyenas over at Something Awful are eager to oblige!

As part of their regular Photoshop Phriday contest, they've had not one but two episodes of altering Kinkade's work to do some much needed improvement.

Go check them both out!

Some of them are mildly amusing, but these two made me spew Diet Dr Pepper on my monitor screen.


Via Boing Boing

That Was A Close One!

How Do I Get To Hide Things Beneath The Jump?

I coulda sworn that Wizbang! had just jumped the shark due to crack-smoking by one of the main contributors.

For a minute there, I was afraid I was gonna have to bitchslap Jay Tea for jumping on the "duty to flee" foolishness that got me so torqued off last month.

Fortunately, he was just pulling our collective hoofies.

Here's how he did it...
I've been wondering if there really is any "right" to self-defense, and I have come to the reluctant conclusion that I do not believe so. We have no right to self-defense.

At this point, he hid the rest of the post behind the fold/jump/extended section. Silly Rabbit!
To me, a "right" is an action that one can choose to exercise or not, depending on the individual. We all have the right to speak freely, but we can also shut up. We can assemble, or we can stay home. We can worship how we wish, or not at all.

In that vein, in our society and in the world today, I don't think we have a "right" to self-defense.

It should be a duty.

Amen, brother!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Uncle Bob Went Offroading!

Roadside Tree - 1 --- Lincoln Sedan - 0

My Dad's brother Bob plowed into a tree yesterday afternoon. Hit that sucker doin' about 30 miles an hour. He's still in the hospital, and is currently listed as being in stable condition. They think he had a seizure while driving, 'cause there were no skidmarks to indicate he tried to avoid the crash. His lack of broken bones and internal injuries also support the hypothesis that he was unconscious and relaxed when the impact occured. They were going to let him go home last night, but he had a second seizure that worried the docs enough that they pumped him full of sleepy-juice so they could run additional tests.

He's got no prior history of seizures, so why this occurred is all sort of a mystery to us. I'm pressing my memory hard, and can't recall ever seeing him take a drink of anything alcoholic, so that certainly wasn't the cause.

For those that go back with me a ways, you'll recall Uncle Bob was the bane of my existence when I was in college. He was always showing up at odd hours to see what I was up to, and usually to dragoon me into some form of hard labor involving shifting heavy things from one locale to another. I was determined not to get along with him during those years, but as I moved out of Arlington and the years ticked by, we finally reached a form of detente that's been in place for a while now.

So... Best wishes towards your recovery, Uncle Bob! When ya get better, can you come down and help me tear down the old greenhouse? ;-)

Message To The Hair Fairies

No, Not The Poofters Over At SuperCuts...

Look here, you miserable gnat-sized terrors!

I know your cousin the Tooth Fairy has given you leave to prey on us older types 'cause we no longer swap teeth for coinage. You show up in the middle of the night every so often and give us severe cases of bedhead, and sometimes weave these awful little knots that won't comb out.

All I'm askin' is that if ya gotta make these knots in my hair that force me to yank out hair by the roots to get 'em out, PLEASE do it lower down, where I've got plenty of hair left?


Monday, March 06, 2006

Just Desserts

And Might I Add, It's About Damned Time!!!


(OK, for those of you who clicked the link, and are now mortally offended that I found it incredibly amusing, you need to go back through the archives of Something Positive to discover what a truly despicable twat Kharisma really is!)

Bravo, Randy! Bravo!

The First Time...

Another Silly-Ass Meme!

Stolen from Jenni the Sweetie!!

1. Who was your first prom date?
That would be The Main Squeeze, my g/f all through 11th and 12th grade.

2. Who was your first roommate?
A guy named Chuck V. from my high school. We both attended SFASU, and were both assigned to Hall 16. He became a Resident Assistant and moved out 2 weeks into the 2nd semester, leaving me a private room for the rest of the term. Haven't spoken to him since 1987, and still owe him a set of socket wrenches.

3. What alcoholic beverage did you drink when you got drunk the first time?
I'm so embarrassed by this... Sloe Gin mixed in Sprite.

4. What was your first job?
Workin' for The Man. In this case, The Man was my dad, who hired me at criminally low wages to do incredibly painful and strenuous manual drudge labor on the properties he managed. I oughta sue...

5. What was your first car?
The War Wagon, a 1977 Dodge Aspen station Wagon. I drove it 'till it exploded.

6. When did you go to your first funeral?
I was present at the funeral for Mom's father, but I was still wearing onesies. The first one I remember was for my Dad's father in 1975.

7. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown?
18, headin' off to college, try to gain a little knowledge, but all I wanted to do was learn how to score...

8. Who was your first grade teacher?
Either Mrs. Milligan or Mrs. Washington. I had the same teacher for either K & 1st, or 1st & 2nd, so those years blend together in my memory.

9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane?
Flying Braniff out to Florida to see my "Gigi". I musta been about 7 or 8.

10. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?
Heckle & Jeckle, but mostly Heckle.

11. Who was your first Best Friend and are you still friends with them?
I moved and/or switched schools every 2-3 years or so, so I never really got real tight with anyone until high school. I hung around this kid Steve quite a bit during the 3 year exile up in Indiana, but that was mostly due to his Dad's pinball machine collection, and his sister Lori's enormous hooters.

Nah, the spot goes to Zibig, who I met while we were both whizzing behind a dumpster (both of us still wearing our marching band uniforms) following a football game at Tully Field back in 1982. 24 years later, we don't even need to finish each other's sentence anymore, usually an expression suffices for an entire conversation.

12. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents house?
Do dorms count? If so, Hall 16 at SFASU.

13. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
I know better than to piss on people's parades. Usually I stew in silence.

14. Who's wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid or a groomsmen?
Andy's wedding. The wedding picture's priceless, me in a tux with long hair and my custom shitkicker boots.

15. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Move the cat out of the way so I can get up to take a whiz.

16. What was the first concert you ever went to?
Heh. This one kills me. It was a free afternoon concert, right after school in the school auditorium. Band was called 'Free Fare', sang covers of pop tunes, and apparently eked out a living by touring the Teenybopper Circuit.

17. First tattoo or piercing?
Did my own ear standing up in front of my dorm room mirror in 1986, used ice cubes to numb it out, then jammed a sewing machine needle through.
First tattoo was in '92 or '93, with my friend Chainsawed. I think she had just turned 18,and wanted a tat.

18. First celebrity crush?
I'm pretty sure it was one of the girls on the PBS show 'ZOOM'. Don't remember her name, but she did that goofy shit with her arms. Might even have sent a love letter to... (remember where???) ZOOM! PO Box 350, Boston Mass., Oh, Two, One, Three Foooourrrrr!!!!

19. Age of first "real" kiss?

20. First "real" crush?
I really wanted to go play "Doctor" with this girl named Heidi in 4th grade. You know that comic book character called Valkyrie? Imagine Valkyrie in 4th grade, and you'll see the attraction. OK, so the giant metallic bra was still a few years from filling up. Sue me, I was just edging into puberty myself...

I gotta tag someone else with this... but I ain't gonna! Someone will be brave enough to pick up the ball and run with it!

Busy Weekend

Oscars? What Oscars??

Whirlwind weekend, y'all. Barely time to feed the cats, much less post anything. We had the family in town for Dad's 70th b-day, and most of Saturday was spent cleaning and baby-proofing the house. Little Sammy can crawl faster than I believed possible, and if he can get a handhold on something, either he goes up, or it comes down.

Dinner out at a nice seafood place, Dad's choice. He likes his fried shrimpies. After a colossal shrimp cocktail, an amberjack filet the size of a Buick covered with scallops, crawfish, shrimp and a spinach/cream sauce and asparagus on the side, I could barely squeeze in a most delectable wedge of Key Lime Cheesecake. After dinner, we all sank into a food-related coma and let Sammy chase the cats around.

Sunday was a big breakfast with the family, then off to go break in the new rifle. More on that in a separate post.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Borders, Language, Culture

Despite The Post Title, Michael Savage Is Still An Asshole.

I haven't squabbled with Andy in a while. I guess we're overdue.

He posted about the Chimpy McBushitler Katrina briefing videotape two days ago. It just really got under my skin, and I was less than diplomatic in my commenting.

I shoulda waited until the MSM finished watching all the tapes, and the Kathleen Blanco fuckup became known. Well, we already knew she was a worthless party hack, but the repeated revelation that she hadn't a clue about disaster recovery took some of the wind out of the sails of those trying to lay it all at the feet of President "Smirky".

So, Andy blasts back at my call for increased border security. I guess he agreed with me on the issue of Bush's lips being firmly attached to Saudi buttocks.

Here's a snippet:
I view borders as being more trouble than they are worth. People should pretty much be able to come and go as they please. It's not unreasonable to require passports or customs. It's just that those things should serve to identify criminals and terrorists and not act as barriers to people seeking new opportunities.

Let me put this as bluntly as I can: I think that the latino immigrants tend to come to this country willing to work hard - incredibly hard, much harder than fat, middle class whites such as myself are willing to work - and that no country has ever been harmed by people who want to work hard to earn an honest living and have a chance at a better life.

Oddly, enough, I have no real beef with what he says here at all, barring the first two ridiculous sentences. I've never had a problem with Latino immigrants. Christ, I'm from Texas. We grow up learning to habla español. I'll be the first one to admit that picking lettuce is something I'll never aspire to, and if someone wants to LEGALLY immigrate so I can have a salad, more power to 'em.

The key word here, obviously, is LEGALLY. Knowing who's coming and going across your borders helps prevent the undesirable element from having easy access. When I say "undesirable element", I do NOT refer to the Latinos who want to earn an honest living in a better environment. In my case, when your adopted sister is of Latino birth, it's kinda pointless to have a gripe with brown-skinned people.

No, the ones I want kept out are the coke & heroin pushers, the pimps, the car thieves, the burglars, the gangs, those that have no intention of making an honest living, but prey on those who do. We breed enough of those vermin here already without letting more in.

Something the Mainstream Media is loathe to tell you is that we spend billions of dollars dealing with the costs of illegal immigrants. A National Academy of Sciences study way back in 1997 showed that in California, the cost of subsidizing illegal immigrants was nearly $1200 for every native household. You can buy a shitload of Poptarts for $1200.

You want in the U.S.? Come in ready to work, register as a guest worker or apply for citizenship, whichever floats your boat, and pay some freakin' taxes! The libs want fair and equitable treatment for everyone, I'll go along with it. If I gotta pay Uncle Sugar every April 15th, so do the immigrants!

Next from The Kilted One:
What about the loss of American culture? First, it isn't a loss, it is a change. Second, throughout all of human history various kingdoms, empires, city-states, etc. have attempted to prevent the loss of their culture to barbarians and they always lose. Besides, it's not like our culture is so damn special anyway.

When a change to a country is so far-reaching and thorough that it erases the advantages present before the change, it most certainly IS a loss. I won't argue with the barbarian statement, it's happened too often to dispute. All we can really do is try to delay the inevitable long enough to get the pathfinders and pioneers out to another frontier to try once again to create that elusive Shangri-La.

The last sentence in that paragraph infuriates me beyond belief. Let me repeat it for the ones not paying attention. Quote from Andy:

"Besides, it's not like our culture is so damn special anyway."

Nope, just another run-of-the-mill Evil Empire, I guess. One so morally bankrupt that it only donates almost 40 billion dollars a year in aid to over 150 countries around the world. A country that shells out millions upon millions of dollars in private donations to help poor brown (and mostly Islamic) people covered in seawater in Indonesia. A culture so bereft of meaning that it routinely provides food, schooling and medical care to anyone that crosses our borders, regardless of citizenship or nationality. Yup, they're a bunch of bastards, all right.

Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ, while your treehugger friends are paying for saving spotted owls and the endangered New Mexican two-titted prairie toad, the Red-state "Republic of Jesus" types you seem to hold in such low regard are sending bargeloads of grain to starving kids in Africa. Yeah, OK, they're also shipping in Bibles and missionaries to convert the heathen, and I don't much like that, but who's really got the moral high ground? Oh, I forget... with a liberal, it's all relative. Snail Darters and Whooping cranes have the same rights as humans. What was I thinking????

For as much as the libs whine about the inequities of our economic system, not only is it deeply embedded within our cultural framework, it's also the only one so far to have achieved the overall level of relative prosperity we currently enjoy. We've got the richest poor people the world has ever seen! No, we'll probably never achieve true economic equality for all. Then again, we're not ants or bees, either. IMHO, the best way to become a "Have" is to spend some time as a "Have Not" long enough to get disgusted with it, and work your ass off to achieve a better life.

OK, last bit, before all this anti-liberal ranting makes someone think they're on Lord Spats's site.
What about terrorists? Shit, first of all, if we'd stop acting like assholes, we would not be such a big target. Second, if we weren't so dependent on oil, we would not be tied to the Middle East. Third, why should we let people determined to use violence to scare us into changing our behavior succeed? In other words, if they want to create a holy war between Islam and America, why play their game?

Let's take this point by point...

A) Acting like assholes? Have you paid no attention to what's going on in Europe? The Euroschmucks have bent over backwards to accomodate the Muslims for 2 generations now. Look what their reward is! Riots, unrest, murders, rapes, vandalism, you name it. The Islamists want their Caliphate, and they know you libs will buckle under rather than offend their 'delicate sensibilities'. They're devout, intelligent, and above all, patient. We'll be getting their terrorists visiting us sooner or later even if we acted like Mother Teresa. If you ever do manage to disarm and muzzle the rednecks and reactionaries in the U.S. and allow the seeds of Shariah law to embed over here, well, all I'll say is you'd best teach your children and grandchildren how to wear your chains of dhimmitude lightly.

B) Dependent on oil? I've only been in support of nuclear power for how many years now? Nope, the treehuggers won't have it. Never mind that your beloved Frenchies have a solid record of using clean nuke power, it'll never fly over here.

C) Why play their game? Mainly 'cause we're in it whether you like it or not. It's not something you can refuse to participate in. Sooner or later, everyone's gonna have to hop off the fence and take a stand. The positions I take politically are not for me, not for my nephew Sammy, not really even for his kids. The best hope we have for our offspring to thrive and continue advancing in terms of human achievement is to foster an environment conducive to long term personal, economic, and political freedom. That future is threatened by those who would revert the globe to an idealized version of 10th Century Islamic culture.

Whether we vote Red, Blue, Elephant, Donkey, Whig, whatever, isn't as important as maintaining the borders, language and culture of the ONE SINGLE COUNTRY on the globe with its guaranteed rights and freedoms that has the best chance of making that future possible. If we can manage along the way to be more helpful to others around the globe, that's just icing on the cake. We cannot, however, allow the feel-good (and increasingly masochistic) urges of the Perpetually Whiny to put brakes on our ability to achieve that outcome.

OK, rant over. Go on about your business, now...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Talk About Your Trainwrecks...

The Implosion Of My Productivity!

Lesson One: Don't read blogs at work.

Lesson Two: If you DO read 'em, don't explore sidebars.

Lesson Three: If there's a sidebar section CLEARLY LABELED as "Time wasters/games", just shut down your browser and run away!!!

Sigh. I could blame Kurt for this, but it's ultimately my fault.

He's got a link on his sidebar for a Flash-based confection called "Falling Sand Game".

This thing's more addictive than heroin-sprinkled 'tater chips.

Nothing but four falling columns. Sand, Water, Salt, & Oil. You get to add walls, water spouts, plants, fire and wax (called 'cera').

Here's some hints, 'cause I know y'all are inquisitive little bunnies, just like me!

Water makes plants grow, sometimes annoyingly fast.

Fire and oil don't really mix well.

Burning oil will damage walls, and if you ignite walls made of wax, they slowly burn until they're gone!

Water, sand and salt don't extinguish fires.

The '???' button is somewhat akin to the Genesis Effect from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. Be warned.

You will start to see the falling sand every time you close your eyes.

Have fun...

Neck Deep In Ammo

Now We Just Need A Canuckistanian Invasion To Repel!

My ammo arrived yesterday. That's one heavy-ass crate. All that "lift with your knees" advice just gave me creaky knees.

Opened up the cardboard box to find a grey-painted wooden crate inside. Seemed a bit superfluous to box it up, when you coulda just slapped a shipping label on the crate. Maybe they were afraid all the Cyrillic lettering painted on the ammo crate would alarm the UPS crew.

The crate had the latches on it sealed shut with these wire and stamped lead gizmos. Nail clippers seemed suitable to the task, but now I've got little circular dings in the clipper blades. Hello, future hangnails...

Opened the latches and saw a solid box o' metal inside. You yank on a wooden toggle attached to a wire, and that zips open the sealed metal liner.

Here's what's inside...

It's got a 1953 date, and I lucked out that the ammo's on stripper clips. I test-fed some into the BRNO vz24, and it strips off the clip into the mag well, loads and ejects slicker than Astroglide on ice.

Here's a closeup of the box label.

The boxes seem a bit scungy for being sealed up. That might be more to the acid-content of the cardboard breaking down the fibers than any contamination.

Hope to get out to the range this weekend and see how this stuff shoots. I gotta go pick up some black powder solvent first. This ammo is corrosive, and I gotta clean the rifle PDQ after shooting.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

El Capitan's Mansion!

I'll Call It 'Palacio Cuello de Rojo'

The always invigorating Velociman donned his stylin' pimp hat and waxed eloquent on the discovery of a dwelling fit for a king in a shuttered structure that was a county courthouse in a previous era.

I can groove on the notion of getting awarded Historic Preservation status, a bushel basket of federal grant monies, and creating El Capitan's personal playground.

I've had my eye on this place for years...

The Baker Hotel, in Mineral Wells, Texas. Opened for business in 1929 and continued rentin' rooms until 1972. 14 stories of Roaring Twenties Pseudo-Deco, with 460 rooms, a big outdoor pool acessible via a footbridge, and all the mineral water you can drink, splash, and soak in.

That old postcard doesn't do it justice. Here's the Baker in the 50's, probably past its peak, but still rolling along nicely in the pre-Disney days, when a trip to a natural springs spa was still considered a worthwhile vacation.

So, what's the attraction for El Capitan? Why would your curmudgeonly buccaneer treasure such a relic from the last century?

Take a look at the 50's-era picture above. It doesn't look that way any longer. Oh, no. Years have added layers of grime and wear to the old hulk. Sitting vacant for 34 years hasn't helped matters, either.

Here's a more recent daytime shot:

Still not seeing the possibilities? Here's a shot that might cut through the fog.

At night, this place is creepy as hell. The Faux Deco architecture takes a turn for the gothic in the fading light, and the looming facade set so close to the small country highway makes it seem like it was transported there via sorcery.

The first time I saw this place, I immediately wanted to rent it, open up the old ballroom, and hand it over to my friend Jenni, so she could shuttle in every gothy type in a 300 mile radius and have the biggest gloomfest ever seen. Heh. What would I get out of that? I wanted to do it for the sheer culture-fuck factor, seeing all the locals deal with hundreds of pale-skinned vampire types wearing lipstick & lace! Dunno if there was enough AquaNet and sunscreen in Palo Pinto County to keep that party going for more than a day or so...

Oh, that's not the best part! Place is rumored to be haunted, too! One 'psychic' claims that 49 different spirits lurk in the old hallways. MMmmm... tasty Ectoplasm!

That'd also make for one hell of a blogfest base of operations, I'm thinking!