Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, July 31, 2006

Mondays Are Just Too Damn Weird

We Should At Least Get The Occasional Bonghit

Slow weekend. Didn't go to my 20th high school reunion, if you're wondering. Yes, I felt a twinge of regret as the appointed hour came and went. Yes, I feel a twinge of regret today. I'll get over it.

'Twas my birthday as well, yesterday. Celebrated by sleeping late, then staring at my square-headed girlfriend for a few hours, then taking a nap. Pretty much like every other weekend. Yay, 38. I did go see Miami Vice at the new movie grill. It was OK, but needed more pastels and Armani. Not one Bren Ten, either.

My boss was off today, so I was looking to skate a bit. Hah. As if. The hordes of people PO'ed at The Man have my phone number, and I'm apparently on speed-dial. Busy, busy day.

I'm off in a bit to meet the 'rents for dinner. They want to celebrate another year of me on the planet, and for a free meal, I'll let 'em. If you see on the news about a mass shooting in a restaurant, though, it's 'cause those idjit waiters were warned not to pull that birthday song & dance BS and did it anyway.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Enough With The Gotdamn Alligators!!!

Where Do You People Come From???

Google can kiss my ass. I thought I was finally gaining some serious readership, but easily 1/3 of my daily hits come from one source... Hundreds and hundreds of people doing a Google search for "Lake Conroe Alligator".

I posted the supposed pics of the gigantimous beastie way back in December of '04. I'd get hits off of it every so often, but somehow the floodgates got opened sometime in June, and now I get 35-50 hits a day off of that search string.

To add insult to injury, every so often some kind soul will let me know via the comments that according to Snopes, I'm in error about the source of the pictures. It's really in Florida/Alabama/South Carolina/Louisiana. What the hell ever, folks. I did post a disclaimer at the bottom of the post. Of course, you probably didn't read that far in your zeal to rush to the comments and correct me.

Making matters worse is the inability in Blogspot to go pack and edit posts that are more than 300 posts in the past, so anything past mid-December of last year is lost to the mists of time. I'm stuck with what's there.

So, please, Googlers, enough with the big lizard! Go back to searching for "Red Baboon Ass" or "Pirate Butt Sex".

Neighborhood News

Well, My Calendar's Full Now!

I can't believe I haven't been checking out some of the online community calendars! I went looking for news about this gathering of some pro-PLO knuckleheads downtown, and found the motherlode of off-the-wall Houston events.

Check these out:

Rally for Peace & Justice for Palestine
Federal Building - Downtown (400 Rusk)
July 28, 2006 , 3:00pm
Peaceful rally to: Protest U.S. policies towards the human crises and the injustice facing the Palestinians & heighten public awareness of the political and humanitarian plight of the Palestinian people and the need for peace and stability in the region
Rally at 400 Rusk: Federal Building - Downtown Sponsored by The Alliance for Peace & Justice for Palestine Contact: 713-524-6615

Would it be bad if I showed up and pelted them with matzoh balls and gefilte fish?

Singles Mixer for African American Professionals
Mia Bella
July 28, 2006 , 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Singles Mixer for African American single professionals. 2006 Lexington off I-59 and S. Shepherd. 5:30-8pm. Appetizers included. $20/appetizers included. Cash bar with drink specials.

Ladies of Elegance All White Party/Fundraiser
Club Stilettos
July 29, 2006 , 8:00pm to 2:00am
Ladies of Elegance invites you to an All White Party & Fundraiser @ Club Stillettos

I can't believe these two items were right next to each other...

Run For Life 5K Run/Walk
Pasadena, TX
July 29, 2006 , 7:30am to 10:30am
5K Run/Walk in Pasadena beginning at 3900 Spencer Hwy (intersection of Burke and Spencer Hwy) benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Register online at, search for "Run For Life" in Pasadena, TX
Cost $20.00

Next, we travel up to the Greenspoint Gunpoint Mall area for the Run FOR Your Life event.

Sunday Matchmakers Brunch
Mia Bella
August 6, 2006 , 12:00pm
Location: Mia Bella, 2006 Lexington, Houston, TX 77098 Meet Nina & Andrea and hear tips for dating effectively! $45person, includes bottomless mimosas.
Cost $45.00

After enough of our bottomless mimosas, we'll all get nekkid in a pile, and solve that pesky urge for dating.

29th anniversary of the passing of Elvis
XXXX Pine Flats Dr. Houston, Tx 77095
August 12, 2006 , 11:30am
A diverse group of Elvis fans in Houston will have their own party to remember the King. A display of collectibles, art, photography as well as a Luau-party with Polynesian dancers. Vietnamese Elvis tribute artist, Johnny Elvis will perform for the fans.

Oh... mah... ghod...

Radiesse Dermal Filler Day
Longevity Centre of Houston
August 12, 2006 , 9:00am to 2:00pm
Radiesse Open House - injectable filler for facial sculpting and nose correction. Open House special includes free touch up. 2951 Chimney Rock Rd., Suite A Houston TX 77056
Cost $800.00

$800? For $250, I'll slap a needle on my caulking gun and fill ya full of silicon.

Back to School Happy Hour for Educators
Mia Bella
August 17, 2006 , 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Back to School Happy Hour for College Staff & Faculty at Mia Bella, 2006 Lexington off I-59 and S. Shepherd. 5-8pm. Design your own pasta dish special! Mention this ad and get a free tiramasu for dessert, for educators only!

Drink up, it's another year of taking shit from those little bastards.

NSHP Houston Job Fair
Westin Galleria Hotel Houston Texas
August 24, 2006 , 10:00am to 3:00pm
The National Society for Hispanic Professionals is coming to Houston with a free Job Fair oriented to Hispanic and bilingual professionals. Dress professionally, bring resume and be prepared to be interviewed.

Once we fill our affirmative action quota, the good companies are outta here. For the rest of you, your nametag and paper hat and/or flannel shirt and leafblower will be issued as you leave.

Sista' II Sista' Conference 2006
Crown Plaza Hotel Brookhollow 290 & Pinemont
September 16, 2006 , 10:00am to 3:00pm
Conference for women of all ages, colors, and creeds. It's a Spiritual Healing Clinic - you don't want to miss it.
Cost $30.00

I don't want to miss it?? Oh, I beg to differ...

Elves & More Bicycle Ball
Hyatt Regency--Downtown Houston
September 30, 2006 , 7:00pm
This event benefits Elves & More, a (501c3) charity organized "to help children get out of poverty." The Bicycle Ball is a major fundraiser for these programs.

So, rich people in evening wear get loaded on cocktails, and some poor kids get a box of school supplies and a can of tunafish. One lucky sprog gets a secondhand Schwinn. Oh, there's a great plan.

Houston SPCA Pet Loss Support Group
Houston SPCA - 900 Portway Drive
December 5, 2006 , 7:00pm to 8:00pm
The Houston SPCA Pet Loss Support Group provides a professionally facilitated environment for people to grieve the end of a relationship with their special friend. The group meets at the Houston SPCA the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.

You had better only go to one of these. I shudder to think about the people that come back month after month.

Recovery, Inc. - Self-Help Mental Health Group
Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, Room 205
December 18, 2006 , 7:30pm
11612 Memorial Drive at Blalock/Fondren
Cognitive/behavioral techniques to help manage and control nervous symptoms and fears.
Cost $3.00

Psychoactive drugs? Not for me! Professional help? Pshaw! I can lick this pesky schizophrenia on my own! Hey, who are you? Quit pointing that mind control laser at me! I'm out of tinfoil! I'll kill you, you filthy commie spy!! AAAAGGH!!!!

2nd Annual Houston BBW Cruise 11/11/06-11/17/06
Houston, TX
July 23, 2006 through November 1, 2006, 12:00am to 12:00am
7 day cruise- Playa Del Carmen, Cozumel, Belize & Progresso.
Large Ladies & Admirers.$469 inside/ $550 oceanview pp $250 dep is all that is required at this time. Balance due in of August.

Um, I've seen those rooms on cruise ships. Saying they're small ain't doing them justice. Thin people get jammed up in those things. Look, go chase a chubby if ya gotta, just be aware, she ain't showered in a week, 'cause she can't get into the bathroom.

2006 Prophetic Conference
Crossroads Cathedral Church
July 26, 2006 through July 28, 2006, 7:00pm
These 3 nights promise to be an amazing time of worship, equipping and releasing of . . . "A DOUBLE PORTION"!
Love, R.L. and Deborah Simmons, Conference Hosts.

I prophesize I'll stay far away from this event. I'll be having a double portion of...LIQUOR AND WHORES!! Love, El Capitan.

The Alpha Conference
Christ United Methodist Church
July 31, 2006 through August 1, 2006, 8:00am to 4:00pm
3300 Austin Parkway Sugarland, TX
Alpha is a 10 week practical introduction to the Christian faith. Bring your team and learn this groundbreaking approach to reach the unchurched.

Ummm.. the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons have that door-knocking thing pretty much figured out by now. Thanks, anyway.

Ice Hockey Tournament
Sugarland Ice Center
August 11, 2006 through August 13, 2006, 7:00pm to 11:00am
All-Women's Ice Hockey team will be playing against their male counterparts in an ice hockey tournament in Sugarland, Aug. 11-13. We're currently recruiting women in Houston area to play ice hockey.

P.S.: Please be a large dyke that really hates men.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Missing Gramps and Failing Amps

My Typical Effed-Up Afternoon

I got a call from Mom around 3 pm yesterday. Dad had gone to a meeting with the local City Councilperson in the morning, and was due back around noon. When he failed to show by three, and Mom hadn't gotten a call from him, she was beginning to get wound up. Naturally, Dad had left his cellphone on the charger, as usual.

You have to understand, Mom is one of the world-champion worriers out there. When I was living up in Dallas, she'd hear on the news about a car wreck somewhere in North Texas, and then spend the next two hours burning up the phone lines until she found me. Dad literally could not convince her that whatever poor schlub was trapped in burning wreckage wasn't me. (Dad: "Look, Dear, the burning car is a red sedan! El Capitan drives a blue truck!" Mom: "I don't care! He could've been getting a ride!" et cetera ad nauseum...)

When I called her about 5:30 pm, and there was still no word from Dad, she was getting that frantic edge to her voice. In truth, I was a bit concerned. Dad's not given to disappearing for more than 2 hours at a time. Usually, he gets into a hardware store and loses track of time, or will go chat with his Civic Association cronies for a while before finally wandering home. He's just turned 70, and there *is* a history of Alzheimer's in the family, but apart from a stubborn refusal to admit a need for hearing aids, he's in good health. Also, though Dad can be a gadfly to the City Council at times, he's not so much of one that they'd have him whacked and dumped in Buffalo Bayou.

Dad had some car trouble last weekend, and I assumed he probably broke down again. His starter was giving him fits, and the mechanic ended up installing a push-button ignition to wire around the faulty relay. I planned on taking the bus to the Park & Ride, picking up my truck, then following the route between downtown and the mechanic's place in hopes of running across Dad.

I get to the Park & Ride, and there's my new truck. My reliable, big, clean, spiffy 4x4, the one that's gonna haul me through hurricanes since I'm "essential personnel" for The Man. Did I mention it's reliable?

You can see what's coming, can't you?

I get in, turn the key, and... RURRURRurrurBzzzzzzzKliklikliklikliklik.

Fuck. Not today. Try the key again...


Cue the insane amount of screaming and wailing about my impossible luck with motorized vehicles. Truck ain't going anywhere. Plus, I gotta pee. Things are looking grim.

A very kindly gentleman in a Mercedes gets out of his car, rummages through his trunk, and approaches with a set of jumper cables. "Need a jump?" Hell, yes I do!

Incidentally, I was unaware that Mercedes sedans have the battery in the trunk. What's that all about?

The truck started right up. I thanked Mr. Samaritan profusely, and headed towards the mechanic's place. The alternator gauge showed a strong charge, so I had no clue what had caused the battery to go flat. I never leave my lights or radio on.

I call Mom again, and guess who answers! Dad had finally wandered home. He'd decided to go to a couple more neighborhood meetings, (in other neighborhoods... Dad's nothing if not civic-minded) and "couldn't find a phone anywhere". In his defense, I will say that payphones have been a bit thin on the ground since the advent of the cellular market. Still, Mom wants to ground him for 2 weeks.

Since Dad was no longer an object for hunting, I took the truck to the closest battery dealer and had the battery checked out. Deader than fried chicken. It looked brand new, too. The shop guys thought that since it was not mounted correctly and canted to one side, the cells wore unevenly or some odd explanation. Personally, I think that we effed it up somehow attempting to jump Dad's car last weekend.

Whatever the reason, their diagnostic gizmo readout said "BAD BATTERY", so I've got a new $83 battery. That and a full tank of gas drained my account to the point where the question about paying $50 to go to my 20 year high school reunion tomorrow night just became a moot point. I suppose I could go sell plasma or pawn my TV, but I really don't like my old schoolmates that much...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Suffering Through Suffrage

One Ignunt Man, One Ignunt Vote...

This morning, I read on Mostly Cajun about Neil Boortz's gripe regarding universal suffrage. I can't say I entirely disagree, but any attempt to alter our present system will be met with howls of fury and endless whining from the permanently panty-wadded.

I then remembered Mark Twain's commentary on 'The Curious Republic Of Gondour', published in the 1870's that also addresses this issue. Most of what Twain had to say is still valid, though the substance of a high school and university education in this day and age pales in comparison to what was common back in Twain's era. Hell, I've got two B.A.'s and I consider myself barely educated, and certainly not in the classical sense, in spite of my struggling through Latin & a couple of philosophy courses.

Read a bit of what Twain had to say:
As soon as I had learned to speak the language a little, I became greatly interested in the people and the system of government.

I found that the nation had at first tried universal suffrage pure and simple, but had thrown that form aside because the result was not satisfactory. It had seemed to deliver all power into the hands of the ignorant and non-tax-paying classes; and of a necessity the responsible offices were filled from these classes also.

A remedy was sought. The people believed they had found it; not in the destruction of universal suffrage, but in the enlargement of it. It was an odd idea, and ingenious. You must understand, the constitution gave every man a vote; therefore that vote was a vested right, and could not be taken away. But the constitution did not say that certain individuals might not be given two votes, or ten! So an amendatory clause was inserted in a quiet way; a clause which authorized the enlargement of the suffrage in certain cases to be specified by statute. To offer to "limit" the suffrage might have made instant trouble; the offer to "enlarge" it had a pleasant aspect. But of course the newspapers soon began to suspect; and then out they came! It was found, however, that for once, - and for the first time in the history of the republic - property, character, and intellect were able to wield a political influence; for once, money, virtue, and intelligence took a vital and a united interest in a political question. For once these powers went to the "primaries" in strong force; for once the best men in the nation were put forward as candidates for that parliament whose business it should be to enlarge the suffrage. The weightiest half of the press quickly joined forces with the new movement, and left the other half to rail about the proposed "destruction of the liberties" of the bottom layer of society, the hitherto governing class of the community.

The victory was complete. The new law was framed and passed. Under it every citizen, however poor or ignorant, possessed one vote, so universal suffrage still reigned; but if a man possessed a good common-school education and no money, he had two votes; a high-school education gave him four; if he had property likewise, to the value of three thousand sacos, he wielded one more vote; for every fifty thousand sacos a man added to his property, he was entitled to another vote; a university education entitled a man to nine votes, even though he owned no property. Therefore, learning being more prevalent and more easily acquired than riches, educated men became a wholesome check upon wealthy men, since they could outvote them. Learning goes usually with uprightness, broad views, and humanity; so the learned voters, possessing the balance of power, became the vigilant and efficient protectors of the great lower rank of society.

Now, go read the whole thing!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

50 Randoms

Without Blatant Theft I'd Have No Blog At All!!

2nd Time in 2 weeks I've snoggled something from Sheila's site! I really really need to come up with some original thought before my brain jellificates completely.

What curse word do you use the most?

Do you own an iPod?

Who on your MySpace "Top 8" do you talk to the most?
Do I look like a teenager?

What time is your alarm clock set for?
6:10 am

What color is your room?
It's this horrible peachy-apricot color. I need to repaint it, but am too gotdam lazy to move all the furniture out.

Flip flops or sneakers?
Neither. Topsiders, mostly.

Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture?
Take the picture.

What was the last movie you watched?

Do any of your friends have children?
Just about all of them, either by home-brewing or via corporate mergers.

Has anyone ever called you lazy?

Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep faster?
Every so often I'll have a shot of rum before bed.

What CD is currently in your CD player?
Jimmy Buffett compilation CD

Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk?
I pretty much quit drinking milk 5 or 6 years ago. Just lost my taste for it.

Has anyone told you a secret this week?

Have you ever given someone a hickey?
Not since high school.

Who was the last person to call you?
Zibig with the latest update.

Do you think people talk about you behind your back?
I doubt I fly high enough on anyone's radar to merit gossip.

Did you watch cartoons as a child?
When you find yourself in danger,
When you're threatened by a stranger,
When it looks like you will take a lickin',
(puk, puk, puk, puk!!)
There is someone waiting,
Who will hurry up and rescue you,
just Call... for Super Chicken!!!

How many siblings do you have?

Are you shy around the opposite sex?
Yeah, a bit.

What movie do you know every line to?
Blues Brothers
Star Wars
Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Do you own any band t-shirts?
Quite a few. They're all in storage now.

What is your favorite salad dressing?
Creamy Italian

Do you read for fun?

Do you cry a lot?
Only when tortured by Cossacks.

Who was the last person to text message you?

Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?

Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?
Yeah, I'd like some more ink.

What is the weather like?
Pouring down buckets.

Would you ever date someone covered in tattoos?
Yeah, probably.

Is sex before marriage wrong?
Nope. 'Try it before you buy it' is just sound fiscal policy.

When was the last time you slept on the floor?
Two weeks ago.

How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
I can get by on 4, but 6 is better.

Are you in love or lust?
I'm a single guy, so lust is a constant companion. Love? Not so much, these days.

Are your days full and fast-paced?
No. Working for The Man is OK, but not fast-paced.

Do you pay attention to calories on the back of packages?
I do now.

How old will you be turning on your next birthday?

Are you picky about spelling and grammar?
I kin spel purty gud, and nevir my verb confooze tensis.

Have you ever been to Six Flags?
Not since high school.

Do you get along better with the same or opposite sex?
Both just about equally.

Do you like cottage cheese?
Mmmmm cottage cheese mixed with crushed pineapple!

Do you sleep on your side, tummy, or back?
All three.

Have you ever bid for something on eBay?
Quite often.

Do you enjoy giving hugs?
I've never really been a touchy-feely-huggy person. I'm fairly sizable, and I always feel that people get a bit weirded out when I move into their personal space. So, I tend to get hugs, rather than giving them.

What song did you last sing out loud?
'Roxanne' by The Police

What is your favorite TV show?
'Northern Exposure' still sits in the top spot.

Which celebrity, dead or alive, would you want to have lunch with?
Such a subtle difference between lunch and dinner! Lunch implies a more casual meeting, one where you can be more relaxed and chatty. I can't help thinking that haivng lunch with Errol Flynn in the '30s would be a great way to spend an afternoon.

Last time you had butterflies in your stomach?
Not for years.

What one thing do you wish you had?
Financial independence.

Favorite lyrics?
The Wino And I Know - Jimmy Buffett

The ice cream man he's a hillbilly fan
Got seventy-eights by Hank Snow
Walks down the street, shufflin' his feet
To a rhythm that only he knows

And I've seen him in so many places
I saw him the night I was born
In a Bourbon Street bar, I received my first scar
From an old man so tattered and torn

And the wino and I know the pain of street singin'
Like a door-to-door salesman knows the pains of bell ringin'
Strange situation, wild occupation
Livin' my life like a song

Coffee is strong at the Cafe Du Monde
Donuts are too hot to touch
Just like a fool, when those sweet goodies cool
I eat 'til I eat way too much

'Cause I'm livin' on things that excite me
Be they pastry or lobster or love
I'm just tryin' to get by bein' quiet and shy
In a world full of pushin' and shove

And the wino and I know the pain of back bustin'
Like the farmer knows the pain of his pickup truck rustin'
Strange situation, wild occupation
Livin' my life like a song

Sweet senorita won't you please come with me
Back to the island honey, back to the sea
Back to the only place that I want to be

And the wino and I know the joy of the ocean
Like a boy knows the joy of his milkshake in motion
Strange situation, wild occupation
Livin' my life like a song
Yes it's a strange situation, a wild occupation
Livin' my life like a song

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Records You Never Want To Hear

Pray They're Not Double Albums...

Oh, dear... Please wear headphones when listening. I want no part of these!

Link to make your own albums found at Parkway Rest Stop.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Un Agujero Grande En La Taqueria

Don't Cry For Me, Encheeelaaaadaaa!!!

I felt the need to consume something other than rabbit food this weekend, so I went over to my favorite Mexican taqueria for some gooey shrimp quesadillas and a couple of cheeeken enchiladas.

Alas, someone with worse brakes than the ones on my Caddy got there before me.

Mire esto:

Bastards took out my favorite table. Damn good thing I waited for the weekend and didn't go the night before. I mighta been tostada con jamón presionado.

He Followed Me Home.

Can't Sleep, Monkey Will Rape Me! Can't Sleep, Monkey Will Rape Me!

Another diabolical simian has appeared. I'm pretty sure it was supposed to end up on Velociman's doorstep, but I drew the short straw, I suppose.

Velociman, should you wish to acquire the original clipping, suitable for scanning or arse-wiping, please send me your snailmail addy via the email address in the sidebar! I'll get this foul thing mailed out forthwith.

Mysteries Revealed!

Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out!

I've often wondered how Elisson consistently manages to crank out post after post of decent blog material, whether he's home or on the road. The man can be winging over the frozen tundra, or braving the wilds of suburban Atlanta, and yet he rarely fails to post daily.

I knew there had to be a story behind this prolific output, and I was determined to seek it out. It took the application of some hi-tech sleuthing methods, (namely, duct taping a midget with a cell phone to Ellison's car undercarriage) but I at last winkled out the source of his copious verbiage.

All those times he told us he was traveling to Houston, TX to visit the Corporate Salt Mine was a clever ruse... in reality, he was visiting his secret Houston lair. (And, no, not this Houston Lair!)


Yeah, it's spelled a bit differently, but that's just another clever ruse, I'm thinking...

I peeked in the window, and the place is just chock full of little gnomish creatures cranking out copy on old 386's, prodded along by what appeared to be female gorillas in dominatrix gear. Not wishing to alert them to my presence and possibly suffer the indignities of a banana up the tailpipe, so to speak, I didn't take any snapshots of the crew at work.

Next assignment for your intrepid undercover sleuth... to catch Dax Montana ending a conversation with something other than Just Damn!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Leaning Just A Bit To The Right

OK, Today You Get The Goofy Webquiz

Your Political Profile:
Overall: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Yeah, I might be a bit... ah... ethically challenged. That's one way of putting it, anyway.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

100 Word Story

It's Either This, Or A Goofy Web Quiz...

Frank was napping in the city park on his lunch break the day of the homeless gathering. He snoozed on, oblivious to the hundreds of street people filing into the area. When he was at last awakened by the noise and fetid aroma of the gathered masses, he was unable to leave, hemmed in by the hordes of homeless. As if on cue, the street people began to freestyle some hip-hop rhymes, blaming their plight on The Man. Frank had no choice but to endure the noise.

Everyone in the office agreed that Frank got stuck with a bum rap.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Cannibal Jokes

Can't Let Things Get Too Serious!

Q: Why don't cannibals ever eat clowns?
A: They taste funny.

A cannibal walks into the clearing his tribe uses for a toilet. He sees his best friend having a shit and crying his eyes out.
"What's wrong with you?" he asks.
His pal looks up at him with watery eyes and says: "I've just dumped my girlfriend..."

Two cannibals, Edgar and Bob, meet one day. Edgar said, "You know, I just can't seem to get a tender missionary. I've baked them, I've roasted them, stewed them, I've barbecued them, I've tried every sort of marinade. Just can't seem to get them tender."
Bob asked, "What kind of missionary do you use?"
"Oh, you know, said Edgar. "The ones that hang out at that place at the bend in the river. They have those brown cloaks with a rope around the waist and they're sort of bald on top with a funny ring of hair on their heads."
"Aha!" Bob exclaimed, "No wonder! Those are fryers!"

Q: What did the cannibal get when he was late for dinner?
A: The cold shoulder.

Q: What do cannibals do at a wedding?
A: They toast the bride and groom.

A man gets captured by cannibals and every day they poke him with spears and use his blood to wash down their food. Finally the guy calls the chief over and says, "You can kill me or you can eat me, but I'm tired of getting stuck for drinks."

These two cannibals kill a missionary. They argue for a while about how to divide him up, when finally, one of them says, "Okay. You start at the head and I'll start at the feet."
So they begin their tasty feast. After a while one of them says, "Hey, this is really great. I'm having a ball."
"Slow down!" cries the other cannibal "You're eating too fast!"

M. Night Shyamalan Still Sucks

I See Dead Studio Executives...

On the release day of M. Night Shyamalan's new movie 'Lady In Water', I'm pleased to announce that if you do a Google search for "M. Night Shyamalan sucks", yours truly is sitting in the pole position. I could only manage the #2 spot for 'M. Night Sucks", but that's behind the Ain't It Cool News movie review site, where Harry Knowles's collected posse of mouth-breathers can't spell 'Shyamalan' correctly.

I slagged M. Night's films pretty hard in January of last year, and with the new movie release, I'm getting tons of hits off that search term. I'm having a ball watching the server logs. Someone at the Dreamworks movie studio came in, then several more IP's from that domain followed. Guess my post was the topic du jour around the water cooler...

Then, sometime in the wee hours of the morning, some anonymous M. Night ass-remora left this comment:
you're an idiot. wonder why you keep going to his films if you thought 6th sense was a waste of money. stop hating and let's you make a film that someone like you can ramble on.
night in shining armor

I love these little tidbits of erudition! I'd fisk his/her grammar and word errors, but that's too easy a target.

"night in shining armor", let me explain... (and I'll use small, easy-to-grasp words)

Criticism is not hatred. I bear no personal ill will towards Mr. Shyamalan. I don't wish for rabid hyenas to gnaw his testicles off. I reserve that wish for people who post irrational anonymous comments!

He's simply an overrated filmmaker. His ideas are juvenile, his dialogue is stilted, and his decision to insert himself into his movies is the product of an overweening ego.

So, why do I continue to spend the money to see his films? Mostly, 'cause I'm an optimist. Visually, he's very good at what he does. His films suck plot-wise, but they look great. His casting choices are usually very good. I take exception to his choice of Paul Giamatti as the lead in this latest film, but that's mainly because of my admittedly prejudicial behavior. See, I first saw Giamatti in Howard Stern's movie, and he's now forever typecast in my brain as "Pig Vomit".

One of these days, the studios will clamp down on his ego and bring in a real scriptwriter and producer to rein him in, and he'll turn out a decent film.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to the theater to see.... Clerks II.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Summertime Drinks

It's Just Too Damned Hot For Whiskey Drinkin'!

It finally topped 100 degrees in this neck o' the woods. It's officially hot enough to parboil a gunnysack full of armadillos in a galvanized horse trough.

I'm usually a brown liquor drinker, but when the thermometer starts to climb, I put away the scotch and bourbon bottles in a cool dark place, and start mixing summer drinks.

Here's three of my favorite summertime cocktails. I don't measure to the ounce when I'm mixing them, preferring a more casual approach. If these proportions seem a bit strong for your taste/body mass, keep the same recipe, just do it in a smaller glass!

Gin & Tonic

15 years ago, you couldn't get near me with a gin bottle. Hated the stuff, and sneered at those who drank it. Ah, youth.

One scorching summer day following a shameful attempt at completing 18 holes of golf, I staggered into the 19th Hole, gasping and croaking at the bartender to get me any cold liquid. He took my random arm flailings as a sign I wanted what the other customers were having, and set a tall drink in front of me.

I was quickly revived by the tasty cool liquid. A masterful concoction that engaged every part of the tongue. Sweet, yet tangy. Floral and fizzy. A touch of the bitter, balanced by the citrus. Amazingly good hooch! I've been eagerly drinking them ever since.

In a tall glass packed with ice (and I mean packed!), fill to the 1/3 level with good gin. I like Bombay Sapphire, but use Plymouth and Gordon's as well. Tanqueray and Beefeater are a bit too "ginny" for a G&T, IMHO.

Squeeze half a lime over the ice & gin, then fill to the top with tonic water. Toss in a lime slice to garnish, and you're good to go!

Tequila Sunrise

If I could only have one kind of alcoholic drink for the rest of my life, the Tequila Sunrise would be a likely contender. It's a good getting-started drink, an excellent maintain-the-buzz drink, and works well as a winding-down drink. As a hair-of-the-dog drink, though, it's the very best there is!

Now, there's all kinds of tequilas and OJ's available, but to make El Capitan happier than a puppy piddling on paper, here's how you make one...

In a hurricane glass or a balloon winestem, fill halfway with ice. Pour enough Gran Centenario Reposado tequila to about halfway cover the ice cubes. Trust me on the amount, it's less tequila than it looks like.

Pour in enough Minute Maid Pulp Free orange juice to almost fill the glass. You need to leave enough room to stir without spilling.

Get your bottle of Rose's Grenadine Syrup, and pour one good-sized splash dead center in your glass. Stir just once or twice, enough to get the orange and red colors mingling.

Sit back and watch the sunrise as you get slowly schnockered!


This last drink I have to be cautious with. I have a bad habit of not keeping track of how much rum I've consumed until it's far too late. So, one or two of these is all I'll have.

Dark rums, demerara rums and añejo rums tend to overpower a mojito, it's best to stick with a white rum or a light gold variety.

In a big sturdy glass, cover the bottom with a layer of superfine sugar. Go outside to your garden hose faucet, and pluck 3 or 4 good-sized mint sprigs from your mint plant. If you've neglected to plant mint around your faucets, you should be ashamed of yourself!

Place the mint sprigs in the bottom of the glass, and get out your muddler. No muddler? Well, just use your spice pestle (after washing it!) or the handle of a wooden spoon.

Gently grind ("muddle") the mint leaves into the sugar. This releases the aromatic oils. After a dozen muddles or so, squeeze half a lime into the glass and muddle around a bit more.

Fill the glass with crushed ice. Pour in light rum to about 1/3 of the way up the glass, then finish filling the glass with club soda. Stir just a bit, then serve. I like using mint sprigs, lime slices and strips of fresh sugar cane as a garnish.

Cheers! L'chaim! Prosit! Salud! Skål! Sláinte!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Party Time!

Getting Older Ain't ALL Bad!

The purpose of this weekend's trek to Dallas was for a birthday party. Jenni & I share July birthdays, along with our friends Billy & Eddie. Billy was kind enough to turn over his house & pool for a real blowout, the "White Trash"-themed birthday party.

It was quite the event. Costuming ran the gamut from overalls and NASCAR gear to assless (and crotchless, oh my...) jeans, hair curlers, broken teeth and black eyes. And that was just on the women!

We grilled burgers & dogs, and topped them with generic Wal-mart condiments and plenty of American cheese. Vienna sausages, Slim Jims and canned cheese were in abundance, as were bowls of Mac & cheese with the sliced weenies, and plenty of cheap beer. Billy made a huge cake topped on one side with a bottle of bourbon jammed in like a candleholder, with a candle duct-taped to the bottle, and a little trailer-park scene using toy cars and trailers on the other.

Rockhauler trekked over from the other side of the Metroplex and we were able to show off our new trucks to each other. Zippo was supposed to show, but ended up AWOL for the evening.

Now, just so we're all clear on this matter, Jenni, Billy, Eddie, Rockhauler and I are absolute paragons of moral rectitude. We frown on all manner of frivolity and licentiousness. Therefore, we had no involvement or spectatorship of the 3 a.m. conclave of nekkid lesbians in the ceee-ment pond. We certainly didn't lower ourselves to participate in the "make your own chocolate chip cookie bikini top" contest in the kitchen, and we're all completely horrified that half-dressed wimmens were intoxicated on trashcan punch and draping themselves over other partygoers. We categorically deny any knowledge of buttocks being played like bongos, or the awareness of any nipple-ring "try it before you buy it" comparison shopping.

That's our story, anyway, and we're sticking to it, by gum.

There's a rumor floating about that I was drinking tequila until 4 a.m. Nothing could be further from the truth! There's been word about counterfeit bottles of cactus juice being imported into Texas lately, and I was simply performing a crucial public service by testing the assorted bottles for quality control purposes. I wasn't completely sure about the Patrón, so I had to retest that one several times. Fortunately, they all passed muster.

Great party in all respects. The po-leece drove by, but didn't linger. No one blew chunks in the pool, and I'm happy about that. (Jerry 'Chunks' McGee is a little disappointed, however) No serious party fouls, apart from one broken bottle.

Next up, I think we need a Viking party. No one needs to bring anything, we'll just load up in the trucks, ride down to the M streets, and commence looting. There shouldn't be any opposition. It's doubtful anyone in that neighborhood will own a gun...

Beat & Battered

Headed For The Deep Fryer, Probably...

Hayzooz Krispies, I'm about wore out.

Long, long weekend. Fun, but the kind of fun I need to have closer to home. There were days where I could drive across the state in 100 degree weather, then spend hours and hours drinking like a fish sipping iced tea, getting barely 2 hours sleep before trying to drive back home. Those days are passing me by, I'm thinking.

It wouldn't have hit me so hard, but the last week or so, I've had one of my infrequent bronchitis flareups. I've spent most of that time hacking and coughing 24/7, and getting very little sleep as a result. Add to that the muscles strained by the constant coughing and a general feeling of fatigue, and I was one wore-out puppy before the trip even began.

I also need to remember my air mattress (or my hotel reservation) for these little jaunts. Sleeping on the floor reminds you why mattresses were invented. I tried sleeping in my new folding camp chair, but it just didn't quite work out.

Going home was the real challenge. A couple of times around Corsicana, I had those "blink" moments. That's where you blink your eyes, and you're suddenly a mile further down the road, with your tires halfway over the rumblestrip on the shoulder. A 90 minute nap at the next rest area helped fix that problem.

Got home around 4:30p. I had every intention of staying up to watch Deadwood at 8, but the gravitational pull of my bed was overwhelming, and I crashed hard until about 2 a.m.

I'm still in a daze this morning. Good thing we're on Business Casual attire this week. I don't think I could have managed to get a tie knotted this morning. Just too much effort.

Wonder of wonders... no email and no voice mails stacked up waiting for me this morning. Either the Powers That Be are cutting me some slack, or this is the calm before the storm...

Saturday, July 15, 2006


A Weekend Indulgence

It's been far too long since I've borrowed a meme from Sheila's site, so I'm going to do what she did, and copy someone else's brilliant idea.

The theme is faces, and whose face you find intriguing. Not necessarily attractive, just... interesting to look at! Sheila went a bit farther afield than I did, my collection is limited (mostly) to screen actors.

No names, of course. I agree with Sheila, it's more fun when all you have to go by is a face with no names attached. I got lucky in finding a couple of pics that had two of my favorite intriguing faces in the same shot.

It's not a favorite actor poll, by any means. (OK, except for La Bella Donna Monica... Usilo ed abusilo, mia signora dolce!) There's a couple of people on here whose politics just make my blood boil. But dammit! They have a most intriguing phiz!

Enjoy the I.D. guessing game, and post your own favorite faces!

Hehehe! Just noticed three of my choices are wearing Stetsons! Oh, well, like Ol' Willie sings, "My heroes have always been cowboys..."

Friday, July 14, 2006

Psychevella Finale

Wrapping It All Up, Except One Or Two Plot Holes

Look, I tried. If I was a professional writer, I probably could have wrapped up this hydra-headed tale in 1000 words flat, and had it logical and believable as well. I just couldn't make it work. So, since this 6 chapter novella is 20% larger than Feisty's usual 5 chapter novellas, I took poetic license and gave myself 20% more words for the last segment. So, it's a 1200 word segment. I'm sure you'll understand...

Here's the first five chapters:

Chapter One by Bob: Bitter Herbs

Chapter Two by Christina: Heads Up

Chapter Three by Leslie: Shrink This

Chapter Four by Amelie: The Old Neighbourhood

Chapter Five by CalTechGirl: Dead End?

And without further ado:

Chapter Six by El Capitan:

Silver Bells And Cockleshells

Cahill glanced around the room. Aside from the bloody sheet on the floor, nothing looked out of place.

"Body's upstairs? What's with the sheet?"

"No idea," said Ryan. "Perp probably used it to drag the vic upstairs. There's blood on the sofa. Likely Schoedel was killed there, then moved later."

"Whole, or in pieces?"

"Probably whole. There's not enough blood spilled if she was chopped up downstairs. I’d have found trace spatters otherwise."

A tiny tag on the corner of the sheet caught Cahill's eye. Tattered and almost illegible, he could still see a name. Doniphan's. The old department store over on 124th street. Place has been closed for 25 years. That far back, Monica Schoedel was in pigtails and saddle shoes. Very unlikely she'd purchased the sheet.

Cahill trudged upstairs. There was no effort made to hide Schoedel's body. A pentagram was crudely marked on the carpet in blood, with body parts arranged along the lines of the star. Cahill peered closely at the lacerations on a forearm. Contrary to what Ryan had said, this was not crude machete work. Someone had carefully removed the appendages at the joints, neatly as a boned chicken. Schoedel’s head was balanced carefully atop her gutted torso in the middle of the pentagram.

The coppery tang of blood was leaving a bad taste in Cahill’s mouth. He went back downstairs before it got any worse.

“Seen enough?” asked Ryan.

“The finger and toe arrangement was a nice touch,” replied Cahill. “Looked like a damn flower bouquet.”

“Yeah, got a real sicko working on this one.”

Cahill couldn’t get the taste of blood out of his mouth. He grimaced and headed for the door. “I’ve gotta get a drink. Call me if you find anything.”

“Gotcha, Mitch. Toss one back for me!”

Halfway to the nearest Starbucks, Cahill remembered Mrs. Romano and his mother griping about something… something about Doniphan’s… The sheets! That was it. Mrs. Romano still insisted on air-drying her sheets. She’d had half a dozen stolen off the clothesline some years back, and wanted him to investigate.

Pulling a U-turn at the next light, Cahill forgot about coffee and sped towards his old neighborhood. Starbucks could wait.

Cahill wondered about the connection. George doesn’t exist except to his mother and his shrink. The rest of the world sees ‘Lenny Markowitz’, Hasidic Jew by day, turban wearer by night. George gets killed and dismembered two days ago. His shrink talks to me two hours ago, now she’s dead and sliced up. This one made no sense…

The street was quiet as he eased his unmarked cruiser up to the curb by the old McFarland place. Crime scene tape was across the door, but he saw no sign of the lab techs.

Getting out of the car, he headed for Mrs. Romano’s. He was almost to the porch when he stopped, grimacing in frustration. Bingo night. The ladies wouldn’t be back for hours.

The sun was setting, and Cahill decided he’d check out George’s linen closet. Perhaps George liked to filch sheets. You could make a damn fine turban out of a cotton sheet.

The front door was locked, so he went around back. Passing through the gate into the back yard, he stopped and gazed in awe. The McFarland’s patch of dead grass and wilted shrubbery had been transformed into a showplace garden.

Cahill was amazed at the lushness and variety of the garden. All manner of herbs and flowers grew thick around the perimeter, and several large pots filled with huge round flowers dominated the center area, set in a long line. Dark purple, almost black blossoms. Odd color, he thought.

“Can I help you, Detective?” spoke a voice behind him. Cahill turned and saw Mrs. McCuddahey poking her head outside the garage apartment door.

“Mrs. McCuddahey. Sorry to disturb you. I was in the neighborhood and just had a few questions.”

“All right, Detective. I’ll help if I can.”

“First, whattya call those big purple flowers? Never seen anything like them.”

“Those are dahlias, Detective. I’ve been growing them since 1947. My pretty maids, all in a row!” Mrs. McCuddahey stepped outside the garage door.

“I see,” said Cahill. “Could we maybe talk inside?”

“Oh, where are my manners today? Please, step inside out of the heat, Detective. Would you like some coffee?”

Cahill grinned. Free Folger’s beat a $4 Starbucks cup anyday. “I’d like that very much, Ma’am.” He wasn’t supposed to accept gifts from civilians, but he was still tasting Schoedel’s blood.

Cahill perched on a tired old couch as Martha McCuddahey puttered about in the tiny kitchen. “Were you and George always New Yorkers?” he asked.

“Oh, my, no, Detective. We moved out from California some years back. Lived there all our lives. I even acted for Republic Pictures for a while.”

She came out bearing a tray with a pot and two mugs. Cahill took the nearest, and drank deeply. Not very hot, and he grimaced a bit. Bitter...

“I’m sorry, Detective. I just reheated some from this morning. Is it all right?”

Cahill nodded and held out his cup for a refill. Martha was talking again, but a high-pitched ringing in his ears distracted him from her words as he sipped some more. He looked up, aware that the room had suddenly gotten darker and fuzzy around the edges… he could swear he saw two Mrs. McCuddaheys!

“I see we have a guest, Martha.”

Cahill shook his head and looked again. There were two Mrs. McCuddaheys…

“Oh, Mary, I’m so glad you’re awake.” said one of the Mrs. McCuddaheys. “This policeman came around again, and I didn’t know what to do…”

“How much has he drunk?” asked the left hand Mrs. McCuddahey.

“Almost two full cups!” replied the right hand Mrs. McCuddahey. Cahill began to sway slowly. His throat was tight, and he was having trouble breathing. He dropped the mug as his fingers lost their grip, and he was unable to move.

“How's the coffee, Detective? We brew this one for special guests. Some belladonna, a touch of aconite, just enough oleander to make things interesting.” He saw a hand raise his eyelid, but felt nothing.

“Wh… wh…whooo…” Cahill could barely breathe now.

“Martha’s my twin sister, Detective. Georgie was her little… mistake. Georgie was the sweetest boy, but he was, well, different. Liked to pretend so much he never really stopped. I kept him around as long as I could, but that latest phase? It was time for a change. Even Martha agreed he wasn’t bringing in the girls like he used to. Our garden just won’t grow without fertilizer, you know.

Cahill could only watch in terror as Martha came out of the kitchen carrying an electric carving knife and a stack of towels.

“Shame about Schoedel.” Mary continued, taking the knife from Martha. “She got too close to making Georgie crack. That pentagram ought to keep your department looking for Satanists, and away from old ladies.”

“Elizabeth Short was the first, Detective. You’ll be the 28th, and we’ve got all night to make you disappear.”

The last sound Mitch Cahill heard was the whirring of steel blades...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Poo Hand Luke

Never Thought I'd Take The Plunge With This Tale...

The year was 1977. Star Wars had burst onto the local cinema scene, and completely captivated a certain 9 year old boy. He saw it twice that first summer day, begging his parents to stay for a second showing. Over the course of the summer, he'd seen it 5 or 6 more times. He'd started collecting the action figures, gotten all the Burger King promo posters (which 29 years later he wishes he still had...) and even got a new shirt with a Luke Skywalker iron-on decal for his 10th birthday. That shirt was only removed under protest for the occasional bath and laundering until it resembled a tattered rag.

He never told anyone, but he secretly thought he looked a lot like Mark Hamill. He was a lot skinnier and blonder back then. He started mussing up his hair not 5 minutes after Mom combed it to give it that rumpled farmboy look. He pissed & moaned for days until Mom finally gave in and bought him the novelization of the film, then read it and reread it a dozen times.

All the neighbor kids loved playing Star Wars games. Our pack of Huffy, Schwinn and Raleigh bicycles became fleets of TIE fighters and X-wings. The big hill down Campbell street became the Death Star trench, where trios of boys would race down at top speed, while other boys serving as turbolaser gun emplacements would hurl tennis balls and dirt clods as we raced past, intent on tossing a football "proton torpedo" into the Mertz basketball goal at the bottom of the hill, just before we slammed on the brakes before ending up in Pleasant Run creek.

Our cowboy capguns became blasters, and many a football helmet and pads got spraypainted and overlaid with cardboard to become stormtrooper armor. We were insanely jealous of the kid with the domed trashcan painted like R2D2 by his father. We raided our piggy banks for enough pennies to buy just one more pack of Star Wars trading cards, in hopes of getting the elusive #37 card.

Then there were the lightsabers...

The Stewart brothers got them first, wooden laths painted red & blue. Then the Mertz kid got a piece of PVC pipe painted blue. The Weinberg kid had the best so far... a metal flashlight tube crammed full of modeling clay, supporting an old curtain rod covered in aluminum foil. He'd unhook that flashlight from his belt, jam the curtain rod into the clay making a "whisssh" sound, and commence to flailing about. Eventually we all had a chunk of wood painted up red or blue, usually with tempera paint filched from the summer YMCA art class.

Bruises and scrapes along hands and arms became more and more common. Heads were verboten as targets, nor could you stab with your "lightsaber", but everything else you could swipe at was fair game. Dads who'd played Knights of the Round Table when they were kids implored us to grab a garbage can lid as a shield, like they used to. We scoffed. Jedi knights used no shields!

An exceptionally hard smack across the knuckles by the elder Stewart boy one fall afternoon led me in seach of some hand protection. I ventured down into the basement to see if I could find a pair of Dad's work gloves. I dug through the piles of junk in vain, then, feeling the call of nature, I used the old clanky toilet down by the water heater. Beside the toilet lay the answer to my problems...

A magnificently polished length of hardwood timber, 2 inches in diameter and almost three feet long that just happened to be attached to a big rubber plunger bulb. If I could just get that rubber dealie off... But wait! Look inside! There's a big socket inside the rubber bulb that the wood is attached to. It's long enough to use as a handle!

I reached inside the bulb and grasped the handle of my new lightsaber. This was gonna be great! Sturdier wood than the old laths. Longer reach than Weinberg's curtain rod. This one even had a built-in guard for my hand! No more busted knuckles!

I gave the walls a solid shot with my new lightsaber. A bit unwieldy, but I could manage. I ventured upstairs with my prize in hand.

Out to the backyard I ventured, humming and whooshing and my blade bit the air. I was dealing the death blow to Darth Vader himself when Mom & Dad pulled into the driveway, and saw what I had affixed to my arm.

30 minutes later, my hands were red and beginning to be chapped. I'd completed the 15th handwashing of the day under the glare of my mother, using liquid Lysol and Comet cleanser in equal measures. Mom never saw a germ she wouldn't crush utterly.

So ended the short but happy era of Poo Hand Luke. It took until Christmas before I got another lightsaber, a deluxe model with a long plastic tube that lit up from within. Damn thing broke after the third whack.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

About Damned Time!

As We Melt Into Big Sweat-Puddles...

Nine weeks into our annual period of 95+ degree days, the boss finally says we can begin dressing in Business Casual attire Mon-Fri.

With any luck, the same degree of procrastination will apply to the switch back to Mon-Thurs professional dress, and I won't have to resume tie-wearing until after Thanksgiving.

One can only hope...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy!

All The Pews That's Knit To Frint...

Just a quick note for those of you aspiring authors who are contemplating joining into Christina's 1000 word stories...

Resist the urge to volunteer to be the clean-up batter!

This story's got my noodle in a knot. I had about 700 words down and was sprinting towards the finish line, when I went back to check continuity and noticed a tidbit Leslie had dropped in. I had to scrap about half of it just so things would make sense.

I'll make this thing work if I have to throw it down and hogtie the rascal. Posting might be light between now & Friday!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Damn! Helen's Out Of Reach...

One Blodgermeet Per Year Might Be My Limit...

Part of the joys of having new, reliable transportation is that it allows you to drive long distances in a single hop, and attend faraway functions with the knowledge that you'll actually return home without resorting to Riding the Dog.

Alas, the down side is that those new wheels need to be paid for, and all my usual abundance of discretionary income is heading towards the car note.

Helen, GA, site of the 2006 Southeast Writers' Conference, is almost exactly 900 miles away. Times 2 = 1800 miles of gasoline, or nearly $400. Add $200 for hotel rooms, another $300 for booze, poptarts and bail money, and we're nearly at a grand. No, I won't be flying. Thanks for asking, though.

Not gonna make it out to Jawja this year, unless The Man doubles my salary between now and September. I'll be installing a control tower on my taint to direct the squadrons of flying monkeys departing from my bunghole before that feat of financial wizardry ever comes to pass.

Sigh. Maybe next year. Mobile, I coulda squeaked in, maybe. We shall see. That may still come to pass.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Decision, Decisions...

I've GOT To Start Carrying My Camera Every Day

So I'm coming out of the office last week, about 6 pm. Blinding glare from the sun, about 90+ degrees. I'm schlepping my way over to the bus stop, when I'm stopped in my tracks by the most amazing pair of legs I've seen in years. I'm talkin' serious gams, here. Betty Grable-grade legs. Attached to a pretty blonde woman about 5' 10" tall, they're just awe-inspiring. Probably better than 35 inches from hip to ankle, with the definition of the quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscles surely the product of serious Stairmaster or bicycle use. Clad in white shorts, with heeled sandals, it was enough to make you trip over the curb. Which I promptly did.

In the process of regaining my balance, I looked down the street, and what to my wondering eyes did appear but the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, heading right here.

And here's where my internal child starts warring with my libido. See, the kid in me says "Cool! The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile!! Check it out" and my id is saying "Shuddup, ya maroon. Go over there and offer to buff her calves with your tongue!"

As it happens, I gave myself a serious neck cramp swiveling my head back & forth as my warring factions raged. I might have suffered a serious neck rupture, but for the timely arrival of the bus. Naturally, the Freudian implications of my little yin/yang squabble were not lost upon me.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ah Figgered As Much

Well, Dip Me In Sorghum And Call Me "Biscuit!"

You Are 50% Redneck

You're just about as welcome up in town as a hair in a biscuit.
Ain't no hidin' your redneck roots!

It Takes A Village

We Can Learn *SO MUCH* From These Simple Cultures...

Usually, you need a convention of Comparative Literature & Cultural Anthropology professors to reach this level of concentrated ignorance.

'Breast ironing' to stunt girls' growth widespread
1 in 4 girls in Cameroon suffer this abuse to protect against rape

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (Reuters) -- Worried that her daughters' budding breasts would expose them to the risk of sexual harassment and even rape, their mother Philomene Moungang started 'ironing' the girls' bosoms with a heated stone.

"I did it to my two girls when they were eight years old. I would take the grinding stone, heat it in the fire and press it hard on the breasts," Moungang said.

"They cried and said it was painful. But I explained that it was for their own good."

"Breast ironing" -- the use of hard or heated objects or other substances to try to stunt breast growth in girls -- is a traditional practice in West Africa, experts say.

I'd be shocked and appalled, but this is Africa, after all. A land where visiting medical workers explained to the locals how to use condoms to reduce pregnancies. By way of example, the workers unrolled condoms onto broomhandles to explain the function. When pregnancy rates stayed the same, their investigation revealed each hut had a broom tucked in a corner, wearing a condom.

Other fun Africa essays here and here.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

100 Word Story

About All I've Got Time For Today

The office worker gazed at the clock, hoping the phone would ring.

Not just any caller would do. All too often it was just cranky customers, or irate suppliers. Those calls added nothing to the day's ambiance.

No, the call needed to be a misdial, a wrong number. Someone hoping to reach Accounts Payable, or even Fleet Services. Then, fun would commence.

"Sounds like you're from up north somewhere. Is it true y'all eat boiled pig's balls there?"

"Your last name's Havelock? Wow. I banged the snot out of a girl named Havelock. Any relation?"

The hours just fly by...

Leaky Arm

High Grossout Factor Ahead...

That nice crispy scorchmark I got on my forearm from an ejected 7mm rifle shell last Sunday has developed into a lovely 2nd degree burn. I find this out due to the previously unnoticed blister popping, and oozing lymphatic fluid through my nice clean white shirtsleeve.

I'd like to get under there and clean things up, but I've got these big honkin' Popeye forearms, and as a result, my sleeves are one-way only. The cuffs won't go much past my wrists when pulled up.

My other option is to retreat to the bathroom and partially disrobe, unwinding my tie, taking off my shirt and applying some of that horrible brown splintery "paper" toweling to the burn site. It's either that, or the nasty white single-ply bumwipe that sits next to the terlit that's been subjected to microscopic pee-droplets and toiletflush ejecta.

Hmmmm... on second thought, it can wait until I get home. No use contracting dengue fever or herpes complex type 57 from an impromptu first aid session in the can.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tha Roof, Tha Roof, Tha Roof Is On FIRE!

We Need Lots Of Water, 'Cause The Mother%#(%*^$ BURNING!!! AAAAAA!!!!

Oh, man. I am so bummed out right now. So much so I'm misquoting old Bloodhound Gang songs...

Dash & Christina's Hill Country home has apparently decided to impersonate a pile of gently used charcoal briquets following a lightning strike.

It was such a nice place, and they'd put a lot of work into making it more liveable. Sweet One & Wee One had finished their rooms, and Christina was getting ready to paint her vaulted-ceiling bedroom with a really long-handled paintbrush.

Thankfully, the reports tell us that all inhabitants made it out OK, including the 4-legged critters.

Stay tuned for more info... We're all waiting to see what they need in terms of essentials (or luxuries), and I'll relate anything I hear. The Ford is poised for a run out that way, if need be.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Austin Mini-Meet Recap

Big Things Come In Small Packages!

I had a completely enjoyable time shooting & eatin' wings last Sunday with the Central Texas blogcrew that made it out to our mini-meet.

Walrilla was the first to arrive at the shooting range, and LC Beth showed up with her twins & hubby a bit later. We shot the bangy things for a while (Beth's #1 son LOVES .45 autos...), then quit before something blew up.

It's not that my guns are unsafe, mind you, it's just that they're kind of like Elric's sword Stormbringer. Every so often, they demand their pound of flesh. Case in point... Last year, Denita had a chunk of flesh nibbled off her hand while pulling back the bolt on my 8mm Mauser. Earlier this year, I pinched the crap out of my palm when the bumper on the .45's mag bit me (big paws and a poor grip could be blamed, I suppose...). I had a hot case from the FN49 sizzle against my forearm and create a nice burn scar Sunday until I could unwind the carry strap and shake it loose. Beth's #2 son learned the hard way not to get his face too close to the scope of a hunting rifle when it recoils! He's OK, the shooting glasses and his own glasses kept him from getting a moon-shaped scar over his eyebrow.

Well, if they're this hard on the users on the 'safe side', God help the goblins they ever get used on...

After shooting we went to a sports pub/wing place called Pluckers. AJ joined us, and we chowed on wings and various fried things, and jawed all afternoon. I've seen fried pickles before, but these folks managed to figure out how to deepfry macaroni & cheese. Damndest thing ever...

I had a great time shooting the breeze. We discussed everything under the sun. Here's some of the topics I can recall:

written budgeting and building wealth
Logical proof that Allah is Satan
The relative suckitude of Dennis DeYoung
Lacrosse needing more armor and sharp edged net-things
FPS and tactical wargaming
The "eh" factor of the 10 year high school reunion
The need to lowcrawl when pursued by Panzers
Wondering who wore an "I'm blogging this" shirt at Rob's funeral
Setting up a blogger cruise out of Galveston

And too much more to remember...

Had a great time, y'all! Let's do it again real soon!

Austin Trip - A Family Affair

Place Is Just Chock-Full Of Hippies...

Austin. Gotta love it. 5000 coffee/aromatherapy/herbal medicine shops, no office supply stores.

Forgot my power strip/surge protector for my computer, so I thought I'd just drive around north Austin looking for an Office Depot or a CompUSA. Hah. If I needed a Che Guevara shirt, or 50 pounds of Free Trade Guatemalan 100% organic coffee, I couldn't have been better off. As it was, it took me nearly an hour to stumble across an office supply store in a tiny enclave of capitalism up near Mopac and 183.

So, I was a bit late to the family reunion. No matter, they hadn't gone anywhere.

Fun to see how much the little ones had shot up. Little Annie, the youngest of my 2nd cousins, was still being carried by her mom last I saw her, and now she's a towheaded streak that tends to shriek a lot. Heh. Kids.

I had a pretty good time. Age and many years spent down here in Houston have caused the attitudinal gap between me & my Dad's brothers to mellow quite a bit. We used to strike some glowing friction sparks 10 years back, now they've got a passel of grandkids to deal with, and poking noses in my affairs is a distant 3rd or 4th item on the reunion "To Do" list.

My more straightlaced cousins still view me as a potentially carcinogenic curiosity, I'm afraid. Lack of a spouse and kids at 37 makes me the (very) odd man out. I'm pretty sure one of my aunts is convinced I'm gay. Even perpetual bachelor Uncle Bob had managed to land him a widow by this age. Also, my hobbies of shooting and avoiding church services are not the things to give moms a lot of warm fuzzies, I'm afraid.

I was indeed dragged out onto the bowling lanes. It was a terrible sight to behold. I managed a 75 the first game, and might have beaten that the 2nd game, but our lane time ran out on the 6th frame. We were letting the kids bowl with us, and these rails would pop up on their turn to keep them from always getting gutter balls. The kids would give the smallest bowling ball a huge push, and it would slowly meander back and forth until it finally hit the pins. They had a speed gauge on the lanes, and where the adults would roll balls at 14-16 mph, the kids were getting 1-2 mph! Took a bit of time to get down the lane...

I got most of my regular Austin "must have" stops taken care of. Gingerbread pancakes at the Omelettry, lemonade from Player's, stack of books from Book People, Slurpee from 7-11. Unfortunately, the Top Notch was closed for the weekend, or I would've gotten a chili cheeseburger and onion rings.

Looks like the next reunion's gonna be up in Oklahoma. I get hives every time I have to cross the Red River into Joad-land, but maybe we'll have a rousing game of Pin the Tail on the Okie instead of going bowling. Hell, I'd play that all day long!

Monday, July 03, 2006

"Psyche"-Vella continues!

Get Your Fiction Fix On Fridays!

Amelie picks up with Chapter 4 - The Old Neighborhood where Leslie left off last week.

Apologies to Leslie for not promoting the Blogvella last week. I'm starting to get a bit lackadaisical about posting on weekends, and of course Rob's departure off this mortal coil last Monday kinda occupied my thoughts most of last week.

CaltechGirl will have her day this coming Friday with Chapter Five, and I'll wind things up the Friday after that. Don't know quite how I'll pull it off, but at least Christina knows in advance about my penchant for dropping mutant space monkeys and Nazi frogmen into the mix. After all, if you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit!

Haven't kept up? Start here!

Chapter 1 - Bitter Herbs

Chapter 2 - Heads Up

Chapter 3 - Book Your Ticket

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Last Desperate Reminder

I Even Found Some Cat Targets!

Just a final reminder of the mini-meet & shoot-'em-up in North Austin/Pflugerville, TX this weekend. Walrilla and I and whoever else shows up are gonna meet up at Red's Shooting Range about 1:30 or so this coming Sunday for some rifle & pistol shooting, then find a place to sit down and calm down and chow down and wind down. Are ya down with that?

I'll need to shoot a few holes in something. I've just been reminded that the family reunion I'm attending today includes going bowling as an activity. I can't think of anything less appealing than going bowling, including root canal surgery and IRS audits. I pray they have a bar inside the bowling alley...

See y'all there!