Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, June 29, 2007

My God, I Actually Used Algebra...

Ms. Buescher Warned Me This Might Happen Someday!

Well, I just spent my part of my lunch hour doing someone else's homework.

Our receptionist is currently slogging through an online college math course, and every so often I get a problem or two tossed at me as I wander into work in the morning.

They're usually word problems, and I'm sure I should be using some formula to figure out the answer. I end up using the "brute force" method, and just push the problem through my puzzler until the light comes on.

Full disclosure: I failed Algebra I in high school not once but twice, finally squeaked by with a low C in summer school. I aced Geometry my junior year, then bombed out of Algebra II my senior year. I tried College Algebra, and dropped it like a hot rock a week before the first test.

Someone check my work and see if I gave her the right answers today:

1) Family uses 132 gallons of fuel oil between September and November. November is twice the usage of September, October consumption is 12 gallons more than September.

X + (x+12) + 2X

4x + 12 = 132

4x = 120

September = 30 gallons

2) Trapezoid is 224 sq. meters. Base is 20 meters, height is 16 meters. What's the length of the other parallel side to the base?

I'm thinking 8 meters?

16h x 20w = 320

320 sq m - 224 sq m (trapezoid) = 96 sq m

96 sq m /16h = 6 m

6m x 2 = 12 m

12 m - 20w = 8 m

Muchas Gracias, all you pencil-gnawing Poindexters!

OK, This Is Getting Silly...

Supersizing Snack Foods For Fun & Profit

Anybody out there still eating Slim Jims?

I remember getting them occasionally as a kid. They'd go alongside the trail mix and granola bars for a protein hit on hiking trips. When I got to beer drinking age, you'd generally find a box of 'em on the bar counter next to the bags of pork rinds and the Fritos. Nothing like a nice salty-greasy snack when you're pounding down the suds.

Those Slim Jims were, well, slim. No bigger around than a pencil, and maybe 5 inches long.

Sometime since I was a kid, the Giant Slim was introduced. Now you had 12" of grease-slicked mystery meat to gnaw upon.

There's nothing like forgetting a Slim Jim in the front seat of your car, then rediscovering it on a hot day. You peel back the plastic, and hold it out the window to let the orange-red grease drip out, then snap off a bite of spicy carcinogen with your incisors. Mmmmmmmgood!

I was in the local Stop & Rob the other day, buying my daily dosage of Coke Zero and HoHos, when I spotted... the new Monster Slim Jim!

It's no longer slim, being as big around as a cigar, and easily a foot long. Naturally, I had to buy one. Check out the nutritional info for a 1.94 ounce serving size:

Calories - 290
Fat Calories - 240
Total Fat - 26 grams (40% rda)
Saturated Fat - 10 grams (51% rda)
Trans Fat - 1.5 grams
Cholesterol - 70 mg (23% rda)
Sodium - 840 mg (35% rda)
Total Carb - 4 Grams
Protein - 11 grams

Ingredients: Beef, mechanically separated chicken, water, corn syrup, salt, spices, dextrose, paprika and paprika extractives, flavoring, hydrolized soy, corn and wheat proteins, lactic acid starter culture, sodium nitrite.

Mechanically separated chicken?? Ye godz...

So, how's it taste? Like a bigger, greasier Slim Jim. I'm thinking I might need to stick close to the can tomorrow, just in case of that "leakage" problem that affected Olestra consumers...

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Let's Start A New Meme...

OK, the LOLcats web meme is starting to get a bit stale. Let's start applying the unique grammar to the Democratic bigwigs.

I'll start...

Gonna Be A Good Day, Tater!

Don't Just Stand There Like A Government Employee!

Yeah, stole the title from Ron White. I surely do like that guy. It's not that his jokes are that much better than other comedians, but got-damn, the man just nails the delivery!

At any rate, I've got in the habit of saying that phrase whenever something good happens at work.

Yesterday the Boss was out on vacation, and I was in semi-slack mode most of the afternoon. That rarely happens, so I felt no guilt pangs.

Then, I got a call from this Hoosier/Okie blogger. He's in town on business, so after work I wandered over to far west Houston to pick him up and haul him to my favorite Thai eatery, where Jerry got to experience spring rolls, chicken satay with peanut sauce, and Thai-style pork. I had my usual panang beef, and resisted the urge to roll around in the sauce like a dog rolling in something stinky. Damn, I love that stuff...

Jerry's a great dinner companion, 'cause he's got great stories, he didn't mock my TV series DVD collection, and he also picked up the check! Can't ask for more than that!

Today's more of the usual, but the special project that would have kept me here for 15 hours a day today, tomorrow, and likely Saturday got cancelled. Therefore, it's a great farookin' day!

Even though I didn't find bits of cheese tucked in my jowls...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Anybody Hip To The Python?

A Plea For Assistance!

OK, need a little help here...

I'm supposed to head off to a party up in Dallas in July. It's sort of a combined birthday bash for my friend Jenni, her buddy Billy, and yours truly.

This year, the party's theme is Monty Python, and it's a costumed affair. I need to come up with a costume, and brain-lock is setting in.

So, what kind of costume should I attempt? It needs to be REALLY inexpensive, somewhat quick & easy to assemble, and if we can manage funny, that's even better.

Oh, and *NO* GOT-DAMN MR. CREOSOTE suggestions! First, I don't own a tux and can't afford to rent one, and second, I ain't carrying around a puke-filled bucket all night. Anyone suggesting variations on that theme will be held down and stuffed full of "woffer-theen" after-dinner mints at the next blogmeet.

I had considered pairing up with Rockhauler and doing the fish-slapping dance, but again, I don't want to have to keep up with a couple of dead trout all night, and about the 3rd time I fall in the pool, I'll be about done with that foolishness.

Any suggestions are welcome! Muchas gracias!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Corporate Mergers

Blogging With Little Or No Effort!

I heard this one on the radio recently. I groaned so loudly, it set the truck to swerving...

There's a rumor of a huge four-way corporate merger... They say that the Fuller Brush Company will be combined with Mary Kay Cosmetics, Hale Business Systems, and the Grace Company to form a corporation called...

Hale Mary Fuller Grace.


Here's a few more:

A number of years ago there was a proposed merger between Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers. Rumor had it that the new company would be called Fairwell Honeychild.

There is a merger in the works involving Polygraph Records, Warner Brothers, and Keebler. It will be called Poly-Warner-Cracker.

Don't forget the failed merger between Yahoo and Netscape: Net'n'Yahoo. It didn't work out because they were afraid they would have to relocate the headquarters to Tel Aviv.


3M & Goodyear = mmmGood

John Deere & Abitibi-Price = Deere Abi

Honeywell & Imasco & Home Oil = Honey, I'm Home

Denison Mines & Alliance & Metal Mining = Mine, All Mine

3M & JC Penney & Canadian Opera Company = 3 Penney Opera

Knott's Berry Farm & National Organization of Women = Knott NOW

Crabtree and Evelyn & Apple Computer = Crab Apple

Swissair & Cheseborough-Ponds = Swisscheese

Zippo Manufacturing & Audi & Dofasco & Dakota Mining = Zip Audi Do Da

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Master Race Strikes Again

Assholes Like This Are Why I Support The Death Penalty.

Remember this dickhead? I blogged about him last year when he went from being Public Enemy #1 to Public Orifice #1.

This Nazi wannabe killed a prison guard while attempting an escape from a medical facility this morning. He carjacked an SUV, led police on a long chase, and eventually was cornered in an Arby's restaurant. Guess he had a helluva jones for a Jamocha milkshake and some curly fries.

An unidentified citizen managed to wrest the guard's gun away from him, and I imagine in the process of getting yanked out of the restaurant by the police, his face probably came into contact with many, many nightsticks an unfortunately placed doorjamb and tabletop.

I sincerely hope he "accidentally" falls down three or four flights of stairs on the way back to prison. With any luck, he'll break his worthless neck and save the cost of a trial.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday Night Throwaway Post

Losing My Credibility In Bite-Size Chunks

Well, the chihuahua with the pancake worked so well, I thought I'd throw up another example of "I'm too got-damn lazy to write a real post".

One of these days I'll get back to serious blogging, the kind that attracted regular readers, with lots of creativity and effort in every post.

Or I won't, and the slow slide into mediocrity will continue, and once again as always art will reflect life.

Here's a disapproving kinkajou, just for shits & giggles.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Frivolous Friday

Please, Clock... Spin Faster!!

I got nothing much to say today. A doctor's appointment this morning, a leisurely pre-work brunch at IHOP, followed by dodging bullets all afternoon. Seems that some people think I should have been doing the legwork of an appointed committee.

I *so* beg to differ... You apply to The Man to be on a high-profile team, you get the scutwork that goes along with the job. Naturally, the Big Boss won't see it that way, and I'll likely get tossed under the bus for not smiling broadly while I bend over and spread 'em. My definition of committee liaison means arranging meetings and maintaining the records. It does NOT mean doing the work of the committee.

Oh, well. That's life in the big city.

Here's a chihuahua with a pancake:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Fast Food Post

This Reveals More About Me Than Any Blog Meme...

Found a handy list of fast food restaurants online while researching that Wendy's post I did earlier this week.

There were more restaurants on the list, but I disallowed anyplace I'd never eaten, (In & Out Burger, Carl's Jr., Arctic Circle, etc.), or, had been out of business so long, I couldn't remember them (Arthur Treachers, Roy Rogers, Red Barn)

Also, I nixed pizza places, sit-down cloth-napkin eateries, and donut/coffee shops. Fast food places ought to have a drive-thru, and serve everything in paper bags or styrofoam containers.

I thought I'd list them in order of preference so y'all could see the depths of my culinary depravity.

Feel free to redo the list and arrange them according to your taste.

Strap On The Feed Bag!
Burger Chef (RIP!)
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Kenny Rogers Roasters (Are there any left???)
Sonic Drive-In
Steak 'n Shake
Taco Bueno
Taco Casa

I Kinda Like It.
Boston Market
Burger King
Chicken Express (rocket chicken!)
Del Taco
James Coney Island
Pollo Campero
Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits
White Castle

If I Have To...
Hartz Chicken
Jack in the Box
Potbelly Sandwich Works
Qdoba Mexican Grill
Steak N' Egg Kitchen (Are there any left???)
Taco Bell
Taco Cabana
Thundercloud Subs

Beats Eating At A Gas Station
Burger Street
Chester Fried Chicken (Usually *IS* a gas station...)
Church's Chicken
Dairy Queen
Long John Silver's
Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers
Texas Burger
Waffle House

Not Even On A Dare
Captain D's
General Joe's Chopstix
McDonald's (Canadian McD's are better)
Panda Express
Taco Mayo (Mayo on a taco? Ewww!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Soapy Cat Feet

Where's My Leather Gloves & Hockey Mask??

Wouldn't a front-loading clothes washer work as both a cat-bathing apparatus, and a treadmill to exercise the animal? Just as long as you take her out before the high speed spin cycle starts...

I am *so* not looking forward to tonight. I finally remembered to get some flea shampoo, and tonight Betsy Cat gets a bath.

We've been fighting fleas for a while now. I'm still not sure how indoor cats got 'em but they did. Betsy Cat's infestation is about 10 times worse than Pookie Cat's. I don't know if she's just the tastier cat, but I can barely find any fleas in Pookie Cat's fur. Betsy Cat, OTOH, is just bitten all over, and the nasty little fuckers are all over her skin.

I applied the spot treatment, and it finally seems to be taking hold, but the fleas are fighting a desperate rear-guard action. Neither cat will tolerate a collar for long, so I picked up some flea shampoo, and we're gonna see how well I can maintain a grip on a soapy pissed-off cat in the kitchen sink.

The directions say to lather up the cat, then let the shampoo sit in the fur for 5 minutes. They've got to be out of their freakin' gourd. I figure I've got all of 30 seconds before that wet squiggly cat rockets for the far reaches of the house, after leaving a trail of bite marks up my arm.

Wish me luck...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Yes, We Have No Bananas

Another Snackfood Free Of Predation

When I was growing up, Mom used to keep a carton of orange Creamsicles in the freezer. It was one of the few snack foods that I absolutely detested (along with circus peanuts, orange jelly slices, and any other food using artificial orange flavor), so she could be assured it wouldn't be devoured.

Well, there's a new addition to the snacks I abhor.

Intrigued by a comment thread discussion over at Christina's place, I made a note to keep an eye out for the recently re-released Banana Twinkies.

(On a side note, I expect everyone will now be sending Dash boxes of Twinkies. As I understand it, they work like Valium on Christina...)

When Twinkies were first offered to the public, the cream filling was banana flavored. WWII apparently made bananas an expensive commodity, and plain vanilla cream replaced the banana cream filling.

Hostess would re-release the Banana Twinkies every so often as a promotion, but enough people asked about them that they're now appearing on store shelves full-time.

Somehow, I'd managed to live almost 39 years without ever tasting a Banana Twinkie. Until today.

Via, I'd like to give my response to how it tastes.

Main Entry: NASTY

Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: offensive
Synonyms: awful, beastly, black, bum*, dirty, disagreeable, disgusting, fierce, filthy, foul, god-awful, grody, gross, grubby, hellish, horrible, horrid, icky*, impure, loathsome, lousy, malodorous, mephitic, mung, murder, murderous*, nauseating, noisome, objectionable, obnoxious, obscene, odious, ornery, outrageous, poison, polluted, raunchy*, repellent, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, rough, sickening, soiled, squalid, stinking, tough, unappetizing, unclean, uncleanly, ungodly, unholy, unpleasant, vile, vulgar, yucky*

Definition: awful
Synonyms: abhorrent, atrocious, awful, base, beastly, contemptible, cursed, deplorable, despicable, detestable, disgusting, execrable, foul, grim, hairy*, hateful, heinous, hellish, horrible, loathsome, lousy, nasty, nauseating, obnoxious, odious, offensive, repellent, reprehensible, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, rotten, sleazeball, stinking, terrible, very bad, vile, wretched

Definition: terrible
Synonyms: abominable, alarming, appalling, atrocious, bad, deplorable, depressing, dire, disgusting, distressing, dreadful, fearful, frightful, ghastly, grody*, gross*, gruesome, grungy*, harrowing, hideous, horrendous, horrible, horrific, horrifying, nasty, offensive, raunchy, repulsive, shocking, stinking, synthetic, tough, ugly, unpleasant, unsightly

* = informal or slang

Heh. Grody. Haven't used that word since Reagan was in office...

Beware The Beancounters Part II...

May 1000 Scrofulous Crows Peck Out Their Greedy Eyes...

Remember the scream of utter despair and desolation at the end of 'Godfather 3'?

How about the Sound of Ultimate Suffering from 'The Princess Bride'?

My friend Zippo makes those sounds today...

More shenanigans from the Corporate Money Counters...
Diageo mulls options for Guinness brewery

Diageo Plc said today it was reviewing brewing operations in Ireland after media reported the drinks giant may quit the Dublin city centre site where Guinness has been brewed for almost 250 years.

The review was at a "very early stage" and a report in the Sunday Independent newspaper that the company was preparing to move from its landmark St James's Gate site on the banks of Dublin's River Liffey was "speculation", Diageo added.

The site, where Arthur Guinness took out a 9,000 year lease on a disused brewery in 1759, has grown into what the brewer now describes as "a prime 64 acre (25 hectare) slice of Dublin".

I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of Guinness drinkers suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible will happen... (/Obi Wan Kenobi voice)

This next part pretty much seals the deal...
The Sunday Independent reported the land could fetch as much as €3 billion if Diageo implements plans to move production to a greenfield site on the outskirts of the capital.

"Diageo fully recognises the huge importance of St James's Gate in the history of Guinness and Dublin city and this important aspect of our brand and heritage will be fully embraced in the assessment," he said.

Hmmm.. lets's see, 250 year history, & a 9000 year lease on what is arguably the heart & soul of the Guinness brewery, versus 3 Billion in cash.

Yup, kiss it goodbye...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Beware The Beancounters...

Don't You Mess With My Frosty!

Capitalism and Logic don't always mix, it seems...

The pursuit of the short-term profit at the expense of the long-term investment never really made sense to me, but you see examples all the time.

Like this one:
Wendy's says its open to sale of hamburger chain

DUBLIN, Ohio — Wendy's International Inc. is exploring a possible sale of the company, the nation's third-largest hamburger chain said today.

The company also warned that it's earnings for the year would miss Wall Street estimates.

"While a sale remains only one of the alternatives under consideration, we believe it merits more thorough examination," James V. Pickett, Wendy's chairman and head of special committee doing the study, said in a statement.

The company, under pressure from shareholders, formed a committee in April to determine how to boost its stock price. JP Morgan, as lead adviser, and Lehman Brothers Inc., as co-adviser, will conduct a review in conjunction with the committee.

A sale would cap a whirlwind year for the company, which has spun off its Tim Hortons coffee-and-doughnut chain, dumped its money-losing Baja Fresh Mexican Grill and laid off employees at its corporate office.

(Yeah, that's "its" instead of "it's" in the title, just like it was on the Chronicle website. Nice to know those "professional journalists" were paying attention in grammar class.)

OK, let me see if I get this right... You're in the fast food-peddling business. The Wendy's burger chain is the flagship of your portfolio, and by far the most numerous of your chains with 6673 restaurants. You've already gotten rid of two of your chains, and the two remaining chains, Cafe Express (70% ownership of 19 restaurants) and Pasta Pomodoro (29% ownership of 49 restaurants) would disappear without a ripple if dropped into the sea of fast food outlets.

So, would some finance person please explain to me how selling off 98.9% of your little cash cows is going to make your stock certificates good for anything more than ass-wiping?

I mean, sure, you'll be sitting on a shitload of cash, but anytime you turn a board of directors loose with that much coin, they usually fritter it away on executive compensation packages and undervalued biotech startups...

Anybody remember Burger Chef? They pioneered the "build-it-yourself" burger years before Fuddruckers charged you 5 times as much for the same thing. Hundreds of locations, and every one of them gone by the mid-90's. At their peak, they were the #3 chain behind McDonalds and Burger King. After the beancounters and stock brokers got through playing their reindeer games, they were history.

I'd hate to see Wendy's collapse due to being nibbled to death by the financial ducks. I'd also hate to see someone like McDonalds buy 'em up, and shutter them to cut off competition. I wouldn't put anything past that rat-bastard Ronald.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

That's Tenoriffic Talent!

I'm Up WAY Past My Bedtime...

I know, I know... Posting YouTube videos again instead of writing... Still, this one's worth it.

There's apparently some minor TV show called American Idol where people sing and get voted off after being savaged by some grouchy British guy and a dipsomaniacal singer and some guy that's NOT one of the Jackson 5. I've never managed to actually see a show, but it's quite the topic of conversation at work.

Turns out the grouchy British guy does the same thing in Old Blighty on a show called 'Britain's Got Talent'. Never seen that one, either, mostly due to my residing on this side of the pond.

So, on this Brit TV show, there's this portly Welsh guy that looks like he took a belt in the kisser from a pipe wrench that comes on stage and announces that he's going to sing opera. A slightly less grouchy British guy looks at the grouchy British guy with an expression of "Oh, God, just kill me now..." The grouchy British guy tenses up, ready to tear this unassuming Welshman a new bunghole...

And then the Welsh guy starts to sing.

It's a weird edited version of Nessun Dorma from Puccini's Turandot**, no doubt edited for time constraints.

How did he do? Judge for yourself!

Gave me goosebumps, even on the 3rd viewing...

Oh, the guy's nme is Paul Potts, he won the semi-finals and is going to the Finals!

**How did I know this? Well, for one, it's on the video title. But El Capitan also has the 2 CD set of "25 Opera Arias That You Ought To Know" that occasionally accompanies him on cross-country trips. You'd be most amused to hear La donna è mobile sung (badly) in a Texas drawl, but neither love nor money will ever drag it out of me in public...

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Guy's Guide To Zombies

The Untold Truth!

OK, I haven't addressed Eric The Straight White Guy's zombie-phobia lately...

Luckily, this recently unearthed training film will help shine a new light on human/zombie relations. It's called "A Guy's Guide To Zombies". Dunno if it's this Guy, but it sure is enlightening!

There you have it!

So, get with the program, Eric! Jump on board the zombie train with all True Americans! You don't want anyone thinking you're one of those stinking Communists, now, do you?


Low-Impact Blogging!

Borrowing from Erica and Dash and Elisson and Mostly Cajun, and... and...

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yup. Two great-grandfathers, both long dead by the time I came around.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Probably the last time I was chopping onions.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Tossup between Lebanon bologna and mortadella.

DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Not a one.


DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Is a bear Catholic? Does the Pope shit in the woods?

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Nope, chopped out by sadistic ENT doctors when I was a wee lad. I got to live on popsicles and ice cream for a week, so it was a fair trade.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? It'd have to be one big honkin' bungee cord.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I got a free sample of Cinnamon Toast Crunch recently, and liked it so much I went out and bought a big box. First box of cereal I've purchased in probably 5 years. Last box, too. Too many calories, especially when you finish the box in two days.


DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I used to be. Not so much, now.


WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their attitudes via facial expressions.

RED OR PINK? What are you, some kinda Commie?


WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? College friends


WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Sonic breakfast burrito w/ Jack In The Box hot sauce.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The workmen outside banging on something.

IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? I always liked that dark blue one called Midnight Blue.

FAVORITE SMELLS? Old A/C units, The bread bakery on the way to work, the fresh lemon smell after making a perfectly sweetened & lemoned glass of iced tea.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? One of my "frequent flyer" complaint filers at work.

FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Indy Car racing, football.

HAIR COLOR[S]? balding brown



FAVORITE FOOD? Chili dogs.



WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? My blue/green/beige stripey one.


HUGS OR KISSES? Kisses. Hugs are nice, but it's the upper body equivalent of dry-humping.

FAVORITE DESSERT? There was this one dessert I had at the Macaroni Grill in Arlington, TX... Never had it since, and inquiries to the Corporate office drew a blank, but it was divinely inspired.

A green foamy mousse-like substance, heavier than a mousse, but lighter than a flan or a custard... delicately flavored of mint and chilled to just above freezing, then drizzled with a lattice-like topping of bittersweet melted chocolate that hardened into place. An amazing dish, light and refreshing, and not overpowering after a big meal.



WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? 'The Nasty Bits' by Anthony Bourdain.

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Dogs playing poker.


FAVORITE SOUND[S]? "Case dismissed!", .


WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Salem, Massachusetts. See, I've never been to Spain, but I kind of like the music...Say the ladies are insane there and they sure know how to use it... They don't abuse it...Never gonna lose it... I can't refuse it! Ooops, sorry. Almost pulled an Elisson Random Friday Ten lyrics dump there. After years of Two Cat Nights, I needed a little Three Dog Night moment.

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Pointless flights of fancy that amuse mostly myself. (see above)

WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Dallas, TX in Presbyterian Hospital.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What's Next? The Black Plague??

My Carcass Feels Just Like A Bag Of Hammered Dogshit.

Oh, for Pete's sake...

You'd think that after a week of ingesting antibiotics to clear up the gunk in my sinuses, I'd be pretty immune to other sorts of wandering bacteria.

Nope. Got flattened last night by a doozie. Fever, aches, and my personal favorite, the explosive need to pee every 10 minutes, accompanied by the sensation of having a Brillo pad dragged down your hydraulics.

Yup, rhymes with "Ladder Inspection" strikes again. I'm at an absolute loss trying to explain how I came by this one. If I'd caught a dose of the clap, at least I'd have gotten laid as part of the deal... Last time I caught this bug, it was almost 10 years ago.

Ah, well. Still got a refill on the monster-sized horse pills. I'll keep dosing myself until I can get through this big meeting I've got Thursday, then go to the Quack Shack if I'm still whizzing like a firehose. I kinda doubt it, I'm already down to 99F, and the urge to purge isn't nearly as bad as last night.

The way my luck is going, I'll be feeling fine Friday, then get hit by a falling satellite...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Well, I'll Be Hornswoggled...

You Like Me! You Really Like Me!!

It's kind of a double gold star day for El Capitan...

First, I shared the Director's Award at the monthly staff meeting with a co-worker in my section. It seems that when we completed our training goals for 2007 in a 3 month period, the Division Director assumed we needed some official recognition.

Personally, I would have been OK with an extra day off as a reward, but we got the usual Certificate Suitable For Framing and a $25 gift card. That card is destined to be exchanged for about half a bottle of some decent scotch. It's not often I get to drink on The Man's dime... I'm thinking I need some more Glenmorangie, though I have had my eye on that bottle of Lagavulin...

Next, I was the featured peon in one of The Man's house organs. (Go ahead and click the link for the definition if that's a new term for you... I don't need any grief about close proximity to The Man's nethers at the next blogmeet)

I'm not completely pleased with the article. I think the author mangled a couple of my quotes, and he certainly applied some spin to the piece to pretty it up. I didn't intend for my responses to reflect the smallest smidgen of a cheery attitude, but I suppose in an official publication, they're not going to let me be my usual curmudgeonly self.

The article is available online, but due to my usual privacy and pseudo-anonymity concerns, I ain't publishing the link. If you have an overwhelming Need To Know, drop me an email and ask. I might just reward the faithful!

It Was Probably That Adil Hoxha Kid...

Got-Damn Albanian Goat Molesters!!

Now this ranks as a pretty ballsy move... Supposedly the video on this Dutch site captures President Bush getting his watch stolen as he gladhands a crowd in Fushe Kruje, outside the capital of Tirana in Albania.

Watch visible:

Lots Of Hands!

Watch Is Gone!

I can't condone stealing a man's watch right off his arm, but whoever pulled it off will probably never have to buy a beer anywhere in Greater Europe again. Talk about your untoppable pranks!

The U.S. Embassy in Albania insists that the watch wasn't stolen, but of course U.S. authorities would never admit to such a breach of security. Other theories being put forward are that the watch "dropped off" and was recovered by an aide, and that President Bush removed it himself with the help of bodyguards.

It wasn't a Rolex Presidential, alas... It seems Bush wears a $50 Timex with an American flag faceplate.

Oh, Adil Hoxha was the Albanian spy in an episode of The Simpsons...

Via BoingBoing

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Obligatory 'Sopranos' Post

Woke Up This Mornin', Already Had Myself A Gun...


I didn't expect to be able to watch the 'Sopranos' finale last night, but someone at Dish Network screwed up. The satellite box wasn't supposed to be turned on until sometime today, but when I checked it at 11:45 last night, lo and behold, it was on! Guess the check cleared early. At any rate, the 2nd run of the 'Sopranos' finale was on HBO2 at midnight, and I got to watch the thing.

I'm not quite sure what to make of that ending. I don't buy the argument that the "snap to black" was Tony's perspective upon being whacked. That's just too artsy-fartsy for what's been done in the series. Even when writer David Chase was "going deep", it never really got that cerebral. Besides, the Jersey crew had already made peace with Little Carmine and the New York mob, and Phil Leotardo was doing his Rachel Corrie impersonation in that gas station parking lot.

To be honest, it reminded me a lot of 'Seinfeld'. One of the rules the 'Seinfeld' writers had was "no learning, no growing". The characters were meant to be unredeemable, despicable human beings.

In a sense, that's what we got with the Soprano family. Aside from half the crew being dead, for the most part they ended like they began. A little older, but certainly not much wiser. AJ's still a whiny loser, Carmela's willing to trade her soul for real estate equity, Meadow's dating a mobster's son, and Tony? Tony's killed his best friend, his cousin and his nephew, and can still face himself in the mirror each day. That's one cold-hearted SOB, and I'm kinda sorry he walked away with only a possible Federal indictment held against him. Part of me was hoping he'd be taking a dirt nap at the end of the show. Even more appropriate would have been the whole family (plus Janice) out on his yacht 'Stugots', and having the thing blow up.

The scene with Uncle Junior was perhaps the most telling. Supposedly Uncle Jun's sitting on a huge stash of cash, the spoils from a life of crime. In the end, he's got no memory of his former life or family, and is destined to die alone in an institution. When Tony visited Junior to warn him about Janice (and make a play for the $$ stash himself), you got a sense of Tony's future. No matter how well he plans, fate sometimes intervenes to give you that cosmic comeuppance.

I am glad they didn't do anything really foolish, like bring Adriana back, or have Paulie or Tony flip. That would've ticked me off to no end. OTOH, how hard would it have been to pan across the Pine Barrens, and show a mouse-chewed skull with a bullet hole and Russian dental work? That's one loose end that needed to be tied up properly!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Off-Color Seuss

There Goes El Cap With A Ganja-Type Seed; He's Hoping To Harvest A Bushel Of Weed!

I sure loved me some Dr. Seuss when I was growing up. The Sneetches, Green Eggs & Ham, The Lorax, Yertle the Turtle, Scrambled Eggs Super, and If I Ran The Zoo... I can't count the times I read and re-read those books. To be completely honest, I read 'em to my nephew Sammy as much for my enjoyment as for his!

My favorite? Fox in Socks. Something about mastering a tongue-twister book was gratifying to a young sprat.

I remembered it, too, well into adulthood. Many was the time I'd get hammered at a college party and suddenly begin an impromptu recitation concerning Tweetle Beetles, or Luke Luck Licking Lakes.

When I got REALLY hammered, though, the rhymes took a turn for the off-color. For example...

The usual segment on Slow Joe Crow usually goes like this:

Who comes? Crow comes. Slow Joe Crow comes.
Who sews crow's clothes? Sue sew crow's clothes.
Slow Joe Crow sews whose clothes? Sue's clothes.
Sue sews socks of fox in socks now.
Slow Joe Crow sews Knox in box now.
Sue sews rose on Slow Joe Crow's clothes.
Fox sews hose on Slow Joe Crow's nose.
Hose goes. Roes grows.
Nose hose goes some. Crow's rose grows some.

Apply a pint or two of bourbon, and the message changes somewhat...

Who comes? Crow comes. Slow Joe Crow comes!
Who blows crow's hose? Sue blows crow's hose!
Slow Joe Crow licks whose toes? Sue's toes!
Sue screws socks off Fox in box now.
Slow Joe Crow boffs Knox in socks now.
Sue pulls hose from Slow Joe Crow's clothes.
Fox stuffs hose up Slow Joe Crow's nose.
Nose blows. Hose grows!
Sue blows hose some. Crow's hose grows some!

Someone beat me to "Horton Hears A 'Ho". Guess I'll have to do something disreputable to "Thidwick, the Hugely-Hung Moose, or "Mop in Pop"...

Here's the real thing!

Friday, June 08, 2007

My Next Ten Guns

Assuming Money Falls From The Sky...

Haven't done a gun post in a while, so here's the top ten guns on my "to buy" list. Of course, I can't even afford a Daisy BB gun right now, but that's another issue.

#10 - Mauser Broomhandle - And I want the Chinese version in .45 ACP! I know it's not as well made as the Kraut versions, so better ship me a barrelful of 'em, and a $h!tload of spare parts!

#9 - Winchester Model 12 - A most elegant shotgun, superbly balanced and graceful. Plus, you can slamfire it like a firehose. 'nuff said.

#8 - Swedish Mauser - These long-barreled beauties are arguably the best Mausers ever made, and even the beat-up ones still shoot better than a modern bolt-action.

#7 - Lever Action Rifle - Believe it or not, I don't own one in any caliber. I'd prefer .45 Long Colt, but I'd just as easily welcome a .45-70 or .30-30 into the gun collection!

#6 - H&K G3 - I prefer the paratroop version, but I'd settle for a CETME. I just need a .308 battle rifle to freak out the neigbors.

#5 - Walther P22 & suppressor - Three words. Squirrel overpopulation problem.

#4 - Browning Auto-5 - I need a good dove & duck gun. This oughta do!

#3 - Steyr M40 - Most of my pistols are full-sized cowboy or hunting guns. I could use a concealable autoshucker to replace the .38 snubbie.

#2 - Garand - Don't have one. Must have one. Buy me one!

#1 - Ruger Redhawk - I've been wanting a .44 Magnum for a while, and I'll eventually get one, hopefully by the end of the year.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Push-Button Prayers!

Somehow, I Doubt God Will Be Fooled...

I'm not quite sure what to make of this gizmo, but think I'm gonna have to pick up a couple for Erica and Elisson. You press a button, and it recites a Hebrew prayer for whatever foodgroup in front of you that needs some divine assistance to become edible.
Say-A-Blessing Makes a Better Jew Out of You!

Makes a perfect gift for beginners of all ages!

It’s no longer hard to remember all the different blessings there are to say before eating or drinking different kosher foods! With the push of a button, this modern marvel will say aloud the correct blessing in the original Hebrew, word-for-word, followed by an English translation. No more fumbling for the prayer book or messy cards. Simply press the button for the correct food category and repeat word-for-word as the blessing is read slowly and clearly.

Comes with two BONUS prayers: Shema and Modeh Ani. It also conveniently features a LED flashlight (for late night snacking ;-)!

Oy, vey!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Words Fail Me

It's Such A Fine Line Between Stupid And Clever...

Star Trek Meets Monty Python

Odds & Ends

No Rant Today, Just Random Hedgehoggery...

Ice is nice. I like having ice around in order that my drinks will be frosty cold, and not tepid and nasty. So, I dump the icetrays in the office breakroom fridge once a day, refill them, and help myself to some of the frozen goodness. Lately, some asshat has begun taking all the ice and leaving empty trays for me to find. I'm gonna catch this goon, and give him a reason to need icepacks...

BTW, have I mentioned how envious I am of Dash & Christina's built-in icemaker? It turns out these cute little mushroom-shaped cubes by the bucketful, and has the most amusing ice scoop tucked right inside the door. I want, I want, I want!

Warm weather has emboldened the local sewer rat population to leave the comfort of the underground parking garage and seek water and food amongst the two-legged beings that share the structure. If we could just carry a .22 pistol, this wouldn't be a big problem, but The Man insists we deal with them via harsh language and disapproving looks.

To my special guest from Sugarland, who's been using a Mac running OSX and Safari on a Roadrunner hookup to tear through my archives for the last three weeks... Drop me an email! You obviously like the material, so come out of your shell and introduce yourself!

Anybody know of a Sopranos-watching event in a Houston-area watering hole this Sunday night for the series finale? I'm usually the solitary TV watcher, but for this occasion it might be fun to slurp some Scotch and nibble on some "gabbagool" with a crowd.

I'll sit here and huff and puff into a kleenex, and not dislodge anything from the sinuses, in spite of them feeling like they're full up. Then, 2 minutes later, a exhale of exasperation at an email dislodges a slug-sized booger that divebombs out a nostril and lands on my shirt. I'm gonna take these gumdrop-sized antibiotic pills I've got and jam 'em up my nose where they'll at least prevent that from happening again...

Little Caesar's pizza really blows. Pay the extra $4 per pie and get something edible. Yeeks, I'm still belching from last night's abomination.

Speaking of abominations, I'm *so* disappointed with the Pierce Brosnan/Liam Neeson western/revenge flick called 'Seraphim Falls'. Started out OK, but the characters made one irrational decision after another (poor writing, lack of writer's understanding of time period and outdoor skills) Then the writers got all artsy-fartsy with it, and the flick turned into some sophomoric morality play. Lame beyond belief at the end. C'mon, Sparky! "Louise C. Fair" for Angelica Huston's character?? Did you think no one saw 'Angel Heart' back in the 80's? Weak weak weak...

Other movies I've seen lately:
Letters From Iwo Jima - Quite good!
Smokin' Aces - Quite bad!
The Good Shepherd - Had its moments. A bit too long, IMHO.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Full Up On Crazy

Not Everyone Overflows With The Milk Of Human Kindness

I'm a pretty tolerant guy most of the time. It takes quite a bit of persistent asshattery before I blow my stack. Out in public and at social events, I calmly put up with drunken sots and malcontents, whiners, bullshitters and outright fools.

Oh, don't be misled... underneath my calm exterior, from time to time I'm cheerfully envisioning the slow evisceration via forklift and garden rake of the dumbass that's harassing me. However, I've got an hardwired Propriety Gauge that's stuck somewhere between "Miss Manners" and "Emily Post" on the politeness scale. I'd sooner foul my britches before making a scene at another person's soiree.

That being said, I'm coming very close to my tolerance limit on the infestation of loose-screwed panhandlers, bums and crackheads that are scattered throughout the greater Houston area.

Case in point: I'm in Popeye's the other day, picking up some chicken and biscuits, when in walks Crackhead X. Crackhead, because he had the jerks, twitches and general short-circuited appearance of one who's blown too many brain cells, and X, because his entire nonstop monologue involved how Whitey was keeping the Black Man down.

Crackhead X pauses just long enough to order a chicken sandwich, finds out it costs $1.99 with no addict discount, and then decides to include the Mexicans and the Indo-Pakistanis in the list of Racial Oppressors. His rant begins to build in volume and invective, until finally the manager asks him to leave. At that point, Crackhead X appeals to a black man sitting at a table by the door to help resist the Racial Oppressors. I'd kept my mouth shut up to this point,but when he started calling the teenaged girl behind the register a "beaner c#nt", I was on my way out to the truck to get my D-Cell Maglite and flatten out this asshole's 'fro. You want oppression by The Man? I'm your huckleberry...

By the time I got to the door, the manager was already dialing 911, and Crackhead X had scuttled out the side door, and ducked behind the shop next door. The manager apologized to me and the other man, letting us know that Crackhead X had been coming in for 3-4 years, and most of the time he behaved in a similar fashion.

I asked why he let the junkie in the store, and the manager's reply was that he was afraid Crackhead X would wait until he was not around, and then assault his mostly female staff. I thought about recommending a shotgun behind the counter, then remembered this was a chain restaurant, where corporate management would generally prefer the entire staff to be raped and murdered as opposed to allowing a gun in the store for protection.

On the way home, I pondered my willingness to dent the man's cranium. I'd like to think it wasn't racial, though I did note that someone who destroys their life with drugs and then blames it on "Whitey" probably needs a wake-up slap. Still, my lack of compassion nagged at me a bit. See, I don't worry about what terrible circumstances forced Crackhead X into that lifestyle, or that the mean ol' Republicans have cut mental health care spending, or that Texas provides little or no rehabilitation services for indigent addicts. All that concerned me was that this asshole had crossed the boundaries of acceptable behavior, and I wasn't willing to wait for the cops to provide sufficient Tasering in order to correct his manners.

Crackhead X isn't the only example. Most convenience stores and gas stations have a resident panhandler asking for spare change. I've started to see this at grocery stores, too, though the stores are better at calling the cops and evicting them. Downtown parks are almost unusable due to overwhelming bum populations, and I can't count the times I got hit up for money at a METRO bus stop. Try riding the Tranquility Park elevator down to the parking garage sometime. If you're not treading in BumPoo, you're inhaling BumPee fumes or having one blow BumBreath on you as you exit.

I dunno, maybe I *am* an asshole for getting annoyed with the constant begging. I've no doubt that there's unfortunate people with real issues that don't have a way out. OTOH, I've known enough tweakers, potheads and juicers to recognize an addict when I see one, and I'll be got-damned if my hard-earned money is gonna pay for their next fix. It annoys me to the point where I catch myself surfing the 'net looking for those pepper-spray foggers that park rangers use on grizzly bears. Haven't bought one yet, but one of these days...

So, what's the deal? Am I just a hard-hearted A-hole, or is the panhandler behavior getting more out of control?

Your thoughts are welcome...

Monday, June 04, 2007


Yes, You Can Has Cheezburger!!

I found a couple of cute cat pics this morning... BTW, If you need to be brought up to speed on the LOLcats meme, go here. Or here.

Pirate Kitty! MyArrrrr!!!

This one made me spew some iced tea down my shirt front...

Back To Good Health? Snot Just Yet...

I Ought To Buy Kleenex Stock

My, my, my... another weekend without a blogpost. I'm getting pretty Zonker-iffic in my posting frequency!

I had no great plans for the weekend, aside from getting some rest. Saturday was spent mostly asleep. Usually this leads to my spending all night awake, and I'm completely shattered come Monday due to a arsed-up sleep schedule.

Not this time... I just continued shoving Betsy Cat off the bed, falling back asleep, and reawakening a few hours later to find the cat reapplied to a new section of my epidermis, soaking up my body heat. I'm always concerned about rolling over on her while asleep, but so far she's always managed to move before I do.

Time not spent horizontal was spent sitting on the edge of the bed, blowing my nose. I'm amazed by the sheer amount of goopitous gunk that can be generated inside one's skull. One of my sinus cavities is a parched wasteland, each inrushing of air assaulting exposed nerve endings. The other sinus cavity is a seething swamp of white blood cells, mucus and various bacteria, in a state of constant warfare, periodically ejecting the dead and dying troops out towards the Tunnel Of Light in approximately 15 minute intervals. Every time I roll over in bed, the sinuses switch roles, quickly followed by the corresponding ear getting clogged up via the Eustachian tube acting as a storm drain.

I'm wondering if there's money to be made on one of those internet fetish sites. Surely there's some sicko who gets off on snot expulsions. I could make some serious coin here... I mean, I'm like Ron Jeremy when it comes to shootin' nose wads. I'm bustin' a Money Shot 4 times an hour.

Alas, all things come to an end. I scored some amoxicillin on Saturday afternoon, and the green & gooeys are starting to thin out. I've lost 95% of the bronchial rattle, and I'm only coughing once an hour. I imagine by Wednesday, this bout of sinusitis will be a not-so-fond memory.

Any tree-huggers out there wanna recycle a trashcanful of used Kleenex?

Friday, June 01, 2007

He Who Greets With Fire

Hyenas, Hippies... Same Thing, Really.

Here's a clip from one of my all-time favorite National Geographic shows. It's from a special entitled "Eternal Enemies: Lions and Hyenas." It used to get regular airings on PBS/KERA in Dallas/Ft. Worth, and you can buy it here.

The show illustrates the millenia-old conflict between two groups of African predators, the lions and the hyenas.

Stars of the show are two young male lions who both excel at kicking some hyena ass. One is named Mandevu, the other is called Ntwadumela, which in the local dialect means "He Who Greets With Fire".

When Rockhauler and I first saw this show back in the early 90's, it led to us adding a new class of battleship to a wargame we played. In addition to the usual Iowa-class battleship names, we had to have in the fleet a couple of BBs named Mandevu & Ntwadumela in honor of these magnificent kitties.