Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Baby Alert! We Have A Baby Alert!

OK, Better Late Than Never...

Connecticut Yankee, my friend from college and co-founder of the infamous COSGA Cocktail Hour has brought a new rugrat into the world!

Actually, it happened at the beginning of the month, but I've been refusing to register at the got-damned Kodak site to see all the baby pics. Nothing against the baby, I just have too many frikkin' passwords to remember as it is, not to mention another source of email spam...

See, ConnYank? Curmudgeonhood and general pissantry is what you have to look forward to when you get near the big 4-0!

Little Addison weighed 5 lbs. 12 oz. and was 18.5 inches long. My guess is that ConnYank will have to change 1387 poopy diapers in the next 3 years. Good luck on that, dude!

I am so stoked about how life will be in 15 years or so, when little Addison is starting to notice boys. I'll get to remind ConnYank about what a complete horndog he was in college, and that those type of guys are now hanging around his daughter!! He'll probably keep her locked in the attic until she's 25...

Can't believe you're a dad, TJ! Best wishes to you & Melissa and Addison!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Eine Kleine 80's Musik

1982, To Be Exact...

I keep meaning to do a post about the most underrated rock & roll bands of the past 30 years. These guys would be on that list for sure!

Yes, that craptastic "band" Poison stole the guitar lick on one of their hits from this song:

Cheap Trick - 'She's Tight'

Dune Cat

I'm Pretty Sure My Cats Can Fold Space...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pigs & Parrots & Poker, Oh My!

A Dayful Of Fun! A Nightful Of Driving!

When we last left our intrepid blogger, he was getting ready to head to New Braunfels for a bodacious pig roast, so we'll continue the story there...

I packed a cooler full of Gin & Tonic supplies, plus a few Coke Zeros and some bottled water. I planned on getting righteously squiffy once I arrived at the pig roast. I threw in my favorite lime-cutting knife, which made an appearance later at the party. To show you where my head was at, I'd bought RealLime juice for the G&T's and didn't even have any limes to cut...

With everything packed and by the front door the night before, including the basket o' gifties, I went to get some much-needed sleep.

(OK, everyone in unison...)

Ha. As If.

Nope, the congestion and coughing meant I was up most of the night. I needed to be leaving the driveway at 7 am to make it to the pig roast by 11 am, in order to help molest the pig before it got thrown on the fire.

At 8 am, I'm wrapped in a towel post-shower, and sitting blearily on the edge of the bed, debating trying to go back to sleep.

Desire to attend the shindig won out, and I was speeding down the highway by 8:30.

By 9:30, I was wandering from lane to lane on I-10, trying to stay awake. I pulled into the next truck stop for a nap. Rain on the roof woke me up sometime later, so I fired up the V8 and eased on down the road.

Between Columbus and Flatonia was a deluge of biblical proportions. Every overpass on that stretch of road was crowded with moist motorcyclists trying to get out of the downpour.

I made it into New Braunfels with no further issues, and was guided in via cell phone to the Casa Del Christina y Dash.

Zonker and Dash met me outside, and helped to haul in the gear. I'd brought a large assortment of jams and preserves to help wean Christina off her Mayhaw jelly habit, but as luck would have it, the wicker basket fell apart on the way inside, so instead of a charming basket o' jars, she got a tangle o' plastic bags. That's my luck as usual...

Such is the hospitality of Christina & Dash that I'm literally having hot bacon-wrapped dove breasts and fried wontons handed to me as restorative measures as I collapse in a chair!

Note to other attendees... I'm usually a bit sharper of wit and quicker to react than I was on Saturday. No sleep the past two nights, a headful of glop and a brainpan full of decongestants had me moving at half-speed, not to mention the post-nasal drip induced coughing jags. So, sorry if I seemed a bit dead to the world! I really wasn't drunk! I ended up not drinking at all this trip, more's the pity!

The rest of the day was a whirlwind of new faces, names and and endless supply of food and drink and conversation. The offspring of Christina & Dash were present, and aside from Sweet One cleaning me out at poker again, they were a pleasure to be around. Despite my bribe of a stuffed parrot, I was unable to unseat "Mr. Goat" as Wee One's favorite guest, but I have planted the seeds of piracy, and that will more than suffice!

OK, the food in detail...

The guest of honor... Mr. Peter Porker. Dash did an excellent job putting the burn on the swine. It was a 55+ lb pig, and it took about 5 hours on the smoker to get him all tender and tasty. Dash brought in the hams first, and they were just falling apart. The tenderloin was absolutely amazing, just as tender as it could be.

I tried some of Sam & Barbie's North Carolina BBQ sauce, and I have to say it was pretty damned good. That vinegar/hot pepper tang takes some getting used to, but I could see myself enjoying it again! Now I just need to convince them to quit putting slaw on their BBQ sammiches!

The bacon-wrapped dove breasts with jalapeno and cream cheese and the fried wontons I'd had before, they were delicious as always! The baked beans were great! I'm not usually a bean person, but Christina motioned towards the pot with her patented "Try it, you'll like it" gesture, and she was correct! They were full of ground meat and bacon, and you were tempted to plant your face in the pot and go bobbing for bacon!

The 'tater salad was full of goodies, there was Gooey Cake and Chocolate cake, and Kahlua cake, and fruit tarts and bowls of fruit and croissants and a spicy corn dip, and best of all, the Shrimp Crack.

I don't know what went into the Shrimp Crack. All I know is that there's shrimp and cheese, and when spread on a Ritz cracker, you'll sell your firstborn for another helping! It's that addictive (hence, the Crack name...)

I met lots of new faces this trip! Sam, Zonker, Oddybobo and Christina's non-blogging friend Susan I'd met on earlier trips. New this time around was Sam's wife Barbie, who's just a hoot to hang out with!

I was very glad to have a chance to sit down with Sam & Zonker and shoot the breeze. One of the drawbacks of a blogmeet is that since there's so many people there, and so many simultaneous conversations, that there's always someone you don't get to visit with very much. I hadn't had my quota of face time with those two at the last meet-ups!

The other folks I met were all just as nice as could be, and I wish I had another day in order to chat with everyone in detail...

There was Michele and her hubby Kevin, Richmond from way up in Wisconsin, Laura the Trooper's Gal (who I could swear I've met before...) and her very own Trooper. There was also Miss Lolly from Tyler, whose voice sounds so much like my Aunt Carolyn's that I caught myself doing a double take across the poker table! There was also a couple from north of Austin that were friends of Barbie, and were a most pleasant pair to chat with.

Things wrapped up for me sometime near 2 am, and I reluctantly took my leave in order to run 20 miles up the road to my sister's place where a couch awaited.

Or so I thought...

I'm pretty sure I got the date right on my "room reservation", in spite of my NyQuil-induced fog, but when I arrived at my sister's place, ain't no one there! No Sis, BIL, nephew, Mom, Dad, not even the dogs. Damndamndamn...

They'd all departed for Houston that afternoon, I learned later. So, in a fit of anger-fueled wakefulness, I started for home. Hell, it's only 3 hours from Kyle, TX, I figured...

It took several 10-15 minute nap-stops in Luling, Waelder, Schulenberg, the rest stop outside Columbus and the picnic stop outside Brookshire for me to make it home! I'd pull off the interstate when the road got fuzzy, nap until the truck cab got hot & stuffy, then go for another stretch of road. I got home just after 8 am, just in time for a quick nap before the Indy 500 on Sunday!

Now, I can't recommend that you stay awake 64 out of 72 hours just to attend a pig roast, but it worked for me...

I had a great time, and can't wait for the next one! I think I'm gonna send Dash & Christina a piglet, and by the time it gets big enough to eat, we'll be ready to do this again!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Still Sick...

You May Think It's Funny But It Snot

I had a stupendulicious time this weekend, but I done wore myself right into a relapse...

So, back to Square One...

However, I can supplement my income by providing the tasty filling for these snack treats!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Things Had Better Start Improving...

And I Mean Right F#(%!*& Now!!

Jeebus H. Christ's crunchy little corn fritters...

I am about at my wit's end, patience-wise. For a sawbuck and half a pack of gum I'd be willing to crawl in my closet and hibernate for the next 3 weeks. And I don't even chew gum...

Where to begin...

Thursday saw a fun phone message from an old friend. "Hi, I'm in XXXX hospital. OK, TTYL. Bye." Not a good scenario, but it could've been a lot worse. A google search on the hospital and some phone tag finally got me to his room. This was actually the high point of the next 24 hours.

Following work, I went and got some dinner, then subjected myself to the Sleep Study Clinic for my sleep apnea. My luck being what it is, the hottie Latina medtech was off last night, and I got the Pakistani equivalent of Mr. Magoo. Nothing against his skills or patient rapport, he was great. He just wasn't the hottie Latina medtech. I mean, hey, if you have to get wires and straps and harnesses plastered all over your body, you might as well imagine some erotic fantasies while you're at it.

The actual sleep study was brutal. You're wired up like an old Bell System switchboard on Mother's Day, and you can't really move once you lay down. This was Night 2, where they put the CPAP mask on your face. Since I was still congested with all this sinus crap, I couldn't do the nose-only mask, and had to do the full-face version.

I was dealing with it fairly well until Magoonistani started jacking with the pressure settings, and I was having trouble exhaling. See, part of breathing is not just sucking air in, but being able to get rid of the last breath, too. I felt like I was being smothered, and I was about two shakes from a full-blown panic attack when I finally said "Hell with this noise" and pulled off the mask. It took about half an hour of adjusting the mask and the pressure levels before I could deal with it again.

I woke some time later with my mouth being blown open. The pressure had been run up to max levels, and it was like having a tornado funneled into your beak. This also dessicates your airways, and you get the horrible crusty boogers by the square yard.

I finally called it quits about 5 a.m., and bid my adieu to Mr. Magoo. I went home for a shower, since you're liberally coated in sticky conductive paste from all the sensor contacts.

I tried sleeping, but either sinuses or ringing phones called a halt to that idea. Somewhere there's a sensor hidden in my room measuring brain waves, and only when I'm just about to fall off to sleep will the phone ring. Four Effin' times this morning that happened. I counted...

I dug around in the medicine cabinet and found a 10 year old bottle of Vick's Vapo-Rub, and plastered a fistful of it on my chest. I pulled on an old cruddy Tshirt and pulled the neck up over my nose. That seemed to cut the crud PDQ, and I got a couple of hours sleep.

I went out about 3 pm for an oil change, and to get some gifties for my hosts tomorrow. I was halfway to the cigar store when I got caught in a serious traffic jam on Gessner just north of Briar Forest. Wasn't nobody moving. Then, a huge sneeze occurred, followed by the joyous sight of dripping claret. Oh, effin' great. Trapped in a traffic jam with a nosebleed!

Fortunately I had a big stack of paper napkins, and kept things from getting too gory until I could detour back over to the Beltway and get home. So, sorry, Dash. No smokos for you this trip.

I got some other goodies for my hosts, but I'm afraid they won't seem that funny to anyone other than me. My absurdist sense of humor doesn't always translate. We shall see.

OK, off to put my skivvies in the laundry. Never go to a pig roast without clean skivvies on, I always say!

Maybe a post Sunday after the Indy 500. Hang loose 'til then!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tag, I'm It.

You Must Play The Meme That's Dealt You!

Bleargh. I feel like Death warmed over. I've been hacking and wheezing for the past 36 hours.

My semiannual allergy attack is in full swing. I've no doubt it's somehow related to the semiannual shed of Betsy Cat's fur. Actually, who am I kidding... her fur's in a constant state of shedditation.

So, I'd planned to spend the afternoon "studying past case histories" and "filing documents" and "purging my email", with my office door shut, the lights turned off, & my chair in full recline position. Hehehe. Your tax dollars at work...

However, I got meme-tagged by ralphd00d, so I'll play along.

There's some form of elaborate rules involved, but a surplus of DayQuil in your system means you get to bypass them without penalty.

Oh, damn. It's a chain letter. Guess some rule-following is needed after all. Damndamndamn(hackwheezecoughgaspgasp). Sigh. I'm gonna do a meme that has just one rule, and that involves taking a snapshot of your own bunghole and posting it, I'm telling ya... that'll cut down on the control freak meme-sters that dreamed up this little scheme.

OK, enough whining. On we go!

1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you.Include the city/state and country you're in:

(I like trying to make a direct link to a post that hasn't been posted yet...)

Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, United States)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
Lulu (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Chris (Boyne City, Michigan, United States)
AB (Cave Creek, Arizona, United States)
Johnny Yen (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Bubs (Mt Prospect, Illinois, United States)
Mob (Midland, Texas United States)
Yas (Ahwatukee, Arizona USA)
RSP (Scottsdale, AZ USA)
Ralphd00d (Phoenix, AZ USA)
Baboon Pirates (Houston, TX USA)

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

OK, five places to eat in Houston...

1) Taqueria Cancun - I eat here WAY more often than I should. TexMex just ain't heart-healthy, any way you want to look at it. Still, for enchiladas con camarones swimming in queso or burritos the size of a baby, it's a cheap place that's rarely crowded. The waitresses let me practice my español without giggling too often, and they're usually petite, muy caliente and probably seeking a green card.

2) Kenny & Ziggy's Deli - Food for your inner Hebroo Joo. Much better than Katz's Deli, IMHO, and the bulldyke waitstaff gives it that oh-so-cosmopolitan atmosphere. Try the chocolate mousse cheescake, it's to die for.

3) Whataburger - If there's a fast food burger better than Whataburger, I ain't found it yet. Pretty good breakfasts, too. Best ketchup anywhere.

4) William's Smokehouse - This tiny little shack up in Acres Homes produces the best BBQ you've ever eaten. The ribs are the stuff of legend, and the sliced link sammich doused in 'cue sauce will have you licking the paper wrapper and mewling for joy. If you're of the Caucasian persuasion, it's probably best to go during daylight hours... that 'hood gets rough after sunset. Just ask all the dead prostitutes in the drainage ditches.

5) Mambo Seafood - A new favorite. There's several around town, and they cater mostly to the Latino crowd. They'll help a gabacho out, though, and you get enormous servings of really tasty seafood for a lot cheaper than the gringo chain restaurants. Be prepared for Latin MTV blaring on the multiple TV sets...

OK, the tagging...

Howzabout Jerry, Jerry, Nelly, Hammer and KeesKennis, if they wanna play.

Ayyy!! Ohhh!!

Joisey & Noo Yark Are Throwin' Down Again!!


Our favorite Brooklynite has been raking Jimbo's stindeens over a low & slow fire this week, while the aforementioned Joisey-ite wit' da farookin' great hair is out of the state and unable to defend himself!


We can't just stand by and let this kinda thing go unanswered!!

So, on behalf of Jimbo, here's a Joisey crew making their feelings known!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Something's Rotten In SanMarc...

Hell Ordered Ice Chippers & Snowshoes This Week...

Those thunderstorms this morning weren't your usual springtime precipitation...

Oh, no...

They were the frenzied tantrums of the gods, I tell you! The pantheon is upset at the unnatural chain of events emanating from my sister's house outside San Marcos...

You see, the customary order of things has been ruptured... the status quo shattered beyond all recognition... a bizarre chain of events has led to the most unthinkable event seen in this state in half a millennium...

My parents... have purchased... a new car!!

Since the dawn of horseless carriages, it has been written deep in the foundations of the auto factories that Yea, Verily, the parents of El Capitan shall never own a vehicle less than 12-15 years old. So it was written, so it was done. Seylah!

For years, my family owned one beater after another. Some years, we were graced with TWO smoking, rattling deathtraps! (I begged Dad to get the custom plates POS#1 & POS#2... he wisely refused.)

Even if the vehicles could maintain a good head of steam and get you to your destination, they were usually lacking in the usual amenities most people took for granted, like A/C that could blow cool air, or gauges that worked, or paint that didn't have big Bondo patches, or tires with more than 1/8 inch of tread.

Adding insult to injury, for most of the 80's, Dad refused to put more than 1/4 tank of gas in the cars, fearing a net loss of capital should a car throw a rod and die in transit. This usually led to El Capitan pushing a early 70's land yacht many blocks to a gas pump whenever the parents misjudged the available trip radius.

Dad's ancient '93 Ford Escort hatchback threw a timing belt three weeks ago. It was repaired, but the thing tossed the timing belt again last Friday while he was up at my sister's house. His mechanic would have repaired it free of charge, but we had to find a way to get it to him. So, Dad was trapped at my sister's house with Mom for the duration, and I was faced with having to tow the Escort back this weekend in that wee little sliver of time in between the Pig Roast and the Indy 500.

The unthinkable occurred last night, when Mom called me to let me know they were heading back to my sister's after a day of car shopping... in a 2007 Ford Taurus.

I was overcome by a coughing fit, unable to speak... Not only were they in a car manufactured in this decade, but this very model year!!! Holy Shit!!!

I fully expect to exit work tonight to see a lions & lambs vs. cats & dogs mixed doubles tennis tourney at the recreation center by the parking lot. I will be avoiding hens, as they now all possess many teeth, and I expect the local frogs to have grown a thick crop of fur. In short, this is just not right, ladies and gentlemen, and no good can come of it...

Ah, well. Let's just see what happens.

The king is dead!

Long live the king!

(car pics pulled off of eBay, but colors are right!)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Busy Week!

No, Not Work. The Man's Minions Are Never THAT Busy...

It should be an interesting week...

Saturday morning was the department's Great Bowling Adventure. Aside from getting the lanes next to the tween-ager birthday party and their incessant shrieking, it wasn't too bad.

We got maybe a 1/3 of the department out for the event. I completely suck at bowling, turning in two game scores that would have been fantastic had we been golfing. Alas, had we gone golfing, my scores would have been appropriate for bowling...

Saturday afternoon and Sunday was spent mostly horizontally. My head was completely congested, and it was making a weird ringing sound in one ear, plus a little vertigo. So, listing slightly to port, I ventured out for some munchies, then crashed on the bed, rolled up in my woobie, and plowed through 2 1/2 novels over the course of the weekend. I was accompanied by two fuzzy cats, a Super Gonzo Gulp of diet soda and an electric fan set on 'High'. I got up around 7 p.m. Sunday to fire up the TV for 'The Sopranos', only to discover that the bill I couldn't remember if I paid or not was indeed the Dish Network bill. So, I had my choice of the NASA channel or the Dish Network Techtalk channel. Sigh. If Paulie got whacked, I don't wanna hear about it!

For what it's worth, I've never seen Betsy Cat sleep so soundly as when she's directly in the fan's breeze, her fur blowin' like crazy.

Tomorrow's got me doing training all day, Wednesday more of the same. Thursday should be mostly paperwork, but I've got Part II of the Sleep Study that night, where they'll hook me up to the CPAP machine and I'll learn to scuba-breathe at night.

Friday's gonna be nuts. Aside from recovering from the sleep study (basically, a 6 hour nap...) I've got to do an oil change on the truck, get a haircut, go shopping for gifts and food and booze, and get everything packed up and ready for Saturday's trip out to the Hill Country for a pig roast.

I'm thinking I'll leave town bright & early, and help with the food prep before the shindig. Or, I'll simply genuflect in front of the hog smoker for 8 hours, waving fronds of mesquite and chanting "Smokey Pigbutt, Smokey Pigbutt, Pigbutt Pigbutt, Smokey Smokey, Smokey Pigsnout, Smokey Pigsnout, Pigsnout Pigsnout, Smokey Smokey." Or something like that. I won't know until I wrap myself in the saffron-colored bedsheets and drizzle BBQ sauce down my forehead.

I've no doubt the pig roast will go to the wee hours Saturday, but I've got to check out in time to go catch a few winks up the road at my sister's place, then skedaddle home in time to catch the "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" of the Indy 500 at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Haven't missed watching the race in many many years. I'd watch it at my sister's place, but her TV has got this revolting purple hue to it that's just awful to look at.

I just loves me some Indy 500. Nothing else compares. Open wheel racing makes NASCAR look like dirt track go-carts. Thoroughbreds to NASCAR's dippy little trotting horses pulling buggies. I expect some people will disagree with this opinion...

If I was a complete A-hole, I'd curl up on the host's couch with the pig carcass, commandeer the TV remote, and gnaw my way through 4 hours of the race, but that's just bad manners!

Monday is a LAN party over at the Cisco Kid's place. More opportunity for boozing and frivolity! Don't know how many people will be there, too many of the crew are subject to being on call for various professional reasons.

So, busy I'll be! Hope to see y'all occasionally, but blogging's gonna be tight!

May the Pork be with you!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Overdue Blogfest Pics

I Can Never Remember Who's Camera-Shy...

Computer glitchies have kept me from posting the blogfest pics until now. I hijacked Mom's eMac while she's on her extended babysitting mission, and finally got the image editing software loaded.

I'm not too pleased with a lot of my pics. Most of the trip, I couldn't be arsed to get outta my chair to properly frame the scene, and almost all my pics of Walrilla make him look like he's got half a head.

Still, there were a few good ones. Here they are:

This is some form of dead goat-like creature hanging on the wall outside the hotel bar. I took this one in honor of Zonker.

This is the view of the hotel from the pool. A very pleasant location!

Here's one of the Elderly Brothers in action. I like the reflection of Denny in Jimbo's new axe.

Here's Denny smoking a hash pipe playing a kazoo.

Guy & Erica under the umbrella.

The Layabout Sailor and his Irish lass.

Erica, Shoe and Confabulator playing the "Who farted?" game.

UPDATE: There... got the anonymizer in place so the got-damn stalkers will leave our favorite holster-sniffer alone. Next blogmeet, I'm bringing a bunch of Nixon masks...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blogroll Updates

I'm So Lazy About These Things...

Made a few changes, all the TX Blogfest attendees are now on the 'roll.

Sam's back in his old crib, and the Layabout Sailor is posting up a storm, so they've been rescued from the ignominy of the ass-end of the list. I'm tellin' ya, you land on that "Good Stuff, But Infrequent" list o' mine, and you're usually circling the drain, blogwise.

I'm going to probably winnow down the graphical tags to get rid of some deadwood, and allow more deserving bloggers (and those I just like better, in all honesty) have a shot at a 80x15 pixel slice of immortality...

No promises as to when, ya unnerstan??

Friday, May 18, 2007

How To Eff Up A Walther PPK

At Least It wasn't Gold-Plated...

A flame-job on a PPK? This is almost as bad as putting pearl grips on a nickel-plated revolver...

I wonder what they intend to use for custom grips? I suppose you could always find someone to engrave the Trans Am thunderchicken logo onto the sides!

There... Just right for the taste-impaired shooter!

Situation Report

I Own A Rifle, Now I Just Need A Tall Tower...

Much doom & gloom, hereabouts.

We had the big 5 hour staff meeting this week. We were supposed to hash out the problems facing the department. Instead, the ass-kissers smooched up a storm, and the null-brained motormouths dominated the rest of the event, so it was a waste of time, IMHO.

The Mac at the house is still ka-fritzed, and I've not been in a position to post a lot at work, so my output's suffered this week. Thanks for stopping by, even though the pickings have been slim. I really need to tackle that Mac issue, but I'm just not inclined to face the possible scenario of losing every single bit of data/photo/song/textfile I've collected for the past dozen years.

Bowling tomorrow. It's a departmental outing helmed by our Asst. Director. I'm usually disinclined to do extracurricular activities with co-workers, but this is fairly innocuous, and I'm pretty sure they start selling beer at 9 a.m. That'll go over well with the Pollyannas and the Nosy Parkers.

More in a bit. I need to go see a man about a horse...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What Planet Do Liberals Come From?

A World Full Of Fuzzy Bunnies, Unicorns & Free Money!

I was reading this MSNBC/WaPo article on toothbrushes (teethbrushii?) in prisons, and their easy ability to become 'weaponized', when I ran across this curious quote:
After taking his current post in the District last year, Brown instituted pinky-size toothbrushes. No inmates have assaulted each other or staff members with toothbrushes since, he says.

The small size draws users' fingers into their mouths. "It is dehumanizing to hand a prisoner a three-inch toothbrush," says Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), chairman of the D.C. Council's Public Safety and Judiciary Committee.

Dehumanizing?? Exsqueeze me?

Mr. Mendelson, it's time to pull back the foreskin of ignorance and apply the wire brush of reality...

Dehumanizing is chaining a man to a wall like an animal. Dehumanizing is beating a prisoner senseless and denying medical aid. Dehumanizing is subjecting a man to solitary confinement for years at a stretch.

Giving a prisoner a short little toothbrush is by no means a dehumanizing act. For you to claim that it is does a disservice to those fighting to prevent REAL acts of dehumanization.

Yank back on the ol' hyperbole, there, dude.

Oh, wait. You're a bleeding-heart liberal. You're physically incapable of recognizing reality as we know it. In that case, just siddown and STFU. If I was running that pen, the convicts would get a bowl of salt and a cedar twig to clean their teeth with. If that's good enough for the poor oppressed Native Americans you fawn over so often, it's good enough for convicts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Impervious Sammich

It's A Communist Plot...

I bought me a big ol' roast beef sammich at the Kroger Deli for my lunch. I can only gnaw in vain, though. The plastic wrap seems to have no seams or weak points, and I'm pretty sure my knife is out in my truck, a half-mile distant.

I wants my sammich.

My sammich laughs at me...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Zombie Last Supper

This Is My Body, Rendered & Torn For You...

How long is Eric gonna be overseas? Do we have time to sneak into his garage and paint this on the wall?

Found via Boing Boing. Go here for the biggified version!

Sammy & Grammy Pull A Whammy

I'm Getting Too Old For This $h!t...

Holy Toledo, but I'm tired.

It's physically draining to be talked at for 4 1/2 hours. Not talked to, not talked with, but talked at.

Lemme 'splain...

My nephew Sammy got banished from daycare. Like Borat said "Watch that one, he bites!" So, until the end of May my sister needed some emergency child care.

Grammy to the rescue! Dad puts Mom on the Greyhound, ships her off towards Austin. She'll be there until the end of May. I wasn't there to witness it, but Dad was likely doing his best to hide his smile. Now he can sit in his recliner & eat ice cream and watch home repair shows all damn day without having to dodge the "Honey Do" list.

This to-do affects me not at all, I'm thinking, until Dad calls me at work on Friday and asks what time I'll be available Sunday to go out to my sister's place.

"Say what???" I'd planned on tucking a nice Mother's Day card in the mailbox and snoozing all day Sunday.

Nope, no sleep for me. Dad needs my truck to haul a load of crap out there.

Well, damn. Spit. Garbage. Dirty Drawers.

"OK, Pop, but it's your gas, and you're driving the first leg. I'm gonna nap and try to keep my innards from exiting."

I'd ended up spending most of Friday & Saturday dancing with the Tijuana Trotting Bug, and I felt like a wrung-out sponge.

And so, we departed at some ungodly hour of the morning in order to arrive before 10 am. That way, we could take out Mom & my sister to brunch, and get an early start back to Houston.

Ha. As if.

We arrived to the sight of my brother-in-law mowing the yard, and he's just getting started. Within 5 minutes of entering, Sis knocks over my Super Gonzo Gulp of soda all over the floor, and things go downhill from there. No brunch reservations have been made, BIL is ignoring us in favor of the yard, and Sammy's fussing up a storm.

And all my liquor's back at the house. Sigh. I picked a fine decade to quit smoking dope.

We don't get out of there headed to an eatery until 4 pm, and we're not on the road back to Houston until after 6. Dad has talked my ear off for 4 1/2 solid hours, 'cause with Dad, there's no getting a word in edgewise when he's on a roll. He finally nods off (I'm driving back, btw) around Schulenberg, and blessed silence reigns for the rest of the ride.

I meant to post something this morning, but I've been in Zombie mode all day.

Further trips down that same piece of road in 2 weeks for a BBQ party, in 4 weeks for a family reunion, in 8 weeks +- a few days for Sis's second hatchling eruption. I'm gonna be wearing a groove in that stretch of highway...

Friday, May 11, 2007

May Monsoons

Hey, Noah Called. He Wants His Deluge Back...

Got a bit damp hereabouts yesterday evening. I skedaddled out of a boring meeting last night, and probably should have stayed.

By the time I was halfway home, the rain was coming down like a cow pissing on a flat rock. Houston being as flat as it is, the drainage system backed up pretty quickly, and the streets commenced to floodin'.

It got so bad that every parking lot up and down Gessner was packed with cars trying to escape the rising waters. I saw a fire truck stall out trying to cross the Gessner/Hammerly intersection. The medians were littered with vehicles that had crawled up there, then died as the water kept coming.

I holed up next to a KFC, hoping the rain would slow long enough so that I could dash in and get some dinner without getting soaked to the bone. It never did slacken off, and when the electricity went out, KFC was officially out of the chicken business for a while. And then, the hail came... It was time to get home.

I learned a valuable lesson last night. My 4x4 can power through deep, deep water. It can bump up curbs and go cross country and bulldoze through ornamental shrubbery if the need arises.

What it can NOT do is levitate over all the stalled out vehicles that foolishly tried to go through the flooded streets. So many cars had gotten stuck that the streets in many places were impassable. All those consumers who "felt safer" in their cutesy pseudo-SUV's took it up the tailpipe (literally) and are now vacuuming water out of their interior carpets and having their engines de-watered. Oh, and all you hippies that sneer at the Hummers and H2s? They made it home last night. Where's your hybrid? Ooops, you mean gasoline and rainwater don't hybridize in your engine compartment??

When I got home, the cul de sac was a smooth-surfaced pond. I had to line up on the Caddy's tail lights in the driveway as my landing beacon, since you couldn't see the pavement. (I've got deep drop-offs on either side of the driveway.) I called the ball and landed that sucker, but had to kick off my shoes and socks before wading inside. The water was easily a foot deep in the driveway, and was within an inch of the front door sill.

I'm gonna go get my truck detailed after work. It deserves it after a praiseworthy performace last night.

Ring Of Fire

More From The T.M.I. Files...

When you're on the whiz-pills, you're trying to pump all the excess fluid outta your carcass so your system don't back up as much.

It's good for keeping you sleepless with 3 am pee-breaks, though I imagine if I was so inclined (I'm not...) I could diaper myself in the NASA-approved fashion and learn to sleep though the night.

The downside is that you tend to leach your body of essential minerals and such, and that can lead to muscle cramps. I try to get a multivitamin & mineral supplement daily to counteract this, but I still manage to work up a good cramp once or twice a day, just by stretching or moving around. The muscles you don't use as often are the ones most likely to cramp, so in my case that's pretty much all of 'em.

What I'm wondering is this... is it possible to get a charleyhorse in your bunghole?

I'm just askin', is all...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Why I Don't Have Kids

Aside From That Lack-Of-A-Wife Thing...

Stories like this one absolutely piss me off beyond all reason...

Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death
Malnourished baby was fed soy milk and apple juice, weighed 3 1/2 pounds

ATLANTA - A vegan couple were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for the death of their malnourished 6-week-old baby boy, who was fed a diet largely consisting of soy milk and apple juice.

Superior Court Judge L.A. McConnell imposed the mandatory sentences on Jade Sanders, 27, and Lamont Thomas, 31. Their son, Crown Shakur, weighed just 3 1/2 pounds when he died of starvation on April 25, 2004.

The couple were found guilty May 2 of malice murder, felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children. A jury deliberated about seven hours before returning the guilty verdicts.

Ignorant assholes. They deserve to be beaten to death with big bloody chunks of dead animal.

So, what does this have to do with my lack of offspring?? Let's see if I can tell this without getting too bizarre.

Here's the question... Is your child your property to do with as you please, or an individual in their own right that deserves the chance to choose their own path?

In other words, is it moral and/or ethical to pre-load ideas into your kid's head before they have the mental acuity to both understand the position you're forcing them to take, and also possess the maturity level to make an informed consent? Do you have the moral right to insist your child to follow your dietary or political or religious beliefs when doing so could be detrimental to that particular human being's mental and physical makeup?

Now, before you reach any quick conclusions about what an absolute lunatic I am, let me set up the playing field:

I believe every child should be reared to be a productive, cooperative member of society. This means you teach the kid safety, hygiene, manners, ethics (including a work ethic), etiquette & protocol and also educate them to a reasonable degree in matters both practical and scholastic before you turn 'em loose on society. To do otherwise is detrimental to both the child and the neighborhood.

Now, if you want to teach 'em ballroom dancing or upland bird shooting or golf or underwater basket weaving, that's all just icing on the cake. Those are pastimes that the kid can walk away from later in life if they don't like 'em.

Now, I *don't* think you necessarily have the moral right to force a kid to adhere to your personal beliefs through behaviors either persuasive or coercive.

Yeah, I'm talking about religion, too. Go ahead and freak out and call me names. I'll wait.

Look, this is a very weird philosophical position to take. I'm well aware of that. However, if it's wrong to convert the heathen savages or spread Islam by the sword or brainwash a P.O.W. into believing that there are five lights, how can you defend insisting that your child become a vegan, or a Republican, or a Pro-Lifer, or a Lutheran, or a flat-earther? In some ways, I think it's worse to indoctrinate a kid, as they tend to blindly trust you in all things, where an adult would have reason to doubt.

"But El Cap! I'm a Jew/Hindu/Rastafarian/whatever! I have the right to teach my kid about his cultural heritage!"

Yes, you certainly do. You're born into your culture, no denying that. I do believe you can teach your kid about his Scottish heritage without forcing him to be a Presbyterian, though. It's a tough row to hoe, however. Religion and culture can be so intertwined that it's very nearly impossible to teach one part without including the other.

It is done, though. Among some religions, notably the Amish, even though you are brought up fully immersed in the culture, you are not required to take the faith until you are of age. At that point, it's reckoned that you can make an informed decision on your own.

"Hey, El Cap, ya commie pinko scumbag! Don't you want your kid to grow up a patriotic American/Loyal Texan?"

Ouch, Mister. You cut me to the quick...

Yes... yes I do. Very much so. I'd prefer it if they were exactly like me in every way, brought up to love Texas, fly the American flag every day, and ride, shoot straight and speak the truth. Doing so would please me greatly. Just because something pleases me, doesn't make it morally defensible, though.

My parents brought me up in their image, just as yours probably did, and you're likely doing with your kids. It's just the way things are done, for millenia untold. Also for millenia untold is the inevitable adolescent upheaval, where the kids strain against and often break free of the beliefs and attitudes of their elders. True, some parents stomp this rebellion down with ruthless vigor, even making sure there's sacred verse to defend their actions, but the end result is usually trauma on both sides.

The bottom line is this... is it possible to raise a well-adjusted child in a manner where they're free of indoctrination or coercion until they're old enough to take an informed and considered position on their own?

I suspect it is... but I have no clue how to do it. As a result, I'm in no great hurry to try. I'd like to think I'd make a good father, but I just can't philosophically come to terms with making little clones of myself.

Sigh. Maybe I'll buy a dog. Of course, then I'll have to train him not to poop on the rug, thereby indoctrinating him in my humano-centric beliefs in No-Rug-Pooping Behavior...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Big Wheel, Keep On Turnin'!

I Must Own This Vehicle!

Shoe is really PO'ed at my parents since they neglected to supply me with a Big Wheel when I was a child.

Well, I think I've found out how to set things right... I just need to get the 'rents to save a few shekels, and get me this thing for Xmas...

New-Age Pseudo-Celtic Hippie Music

Oh, Go On And Watch It! You've Got Time!

I was futzing around on HBO or Skinemax or some other movie channel when I happened upon this movie called 'Jade'. I'd first seen it back in college a decade or so ago. It was supposed to be the Big Break for David Caruso, fresh off the 'NYPD Blue' set. He's back on a TV cop show, so obviously it didn't quite go as planned...

As a murder mystery movie, it kinda sucked. As a movie filled with "grisly afterviews of murder victims, violence, language and strong scenes of aberrant sexuality", it totally kicked ass. Besides, anytime you can get Angie Everhart & Linda Fiorentino in various states of nekkidness, that's a Good Thing.

While I didn't think much of the movie, I loved the song that played over the end credits. An unusual mix of Spanish, Arabic & Celtic influences, with a bit of Gregorian chant thrown in. I ended up having to go rent the damned videotape, and fast-forward to the credits to find out what it was.

Turned out to be a Canuckistanian singer named Loreena McKennitt, the song is called "The Mystic's Dream" off her album 'The Mask and Mirror'. You can listen to it here on YouTube, if you're so inclined.

I bought a couple of her albums, but it just never took. Her music is just a bit too... too... well, when I figure it out, I'll let you know. Maybe it's all that big red hair. If you crossed Helen Mirren with my friend Hatchet Slut from college, you'd come pretty close to how McKennitt looks.

Sigh. I just realized that makes no sense, since you have absolutely no idea what my friend Hatchet Slut looks like. Well, that's OK. Due to that mathematics commutative property, you can subtract Mirren from McKennit and get a Hatchet Slut as a remainder.

I have no idea where I'm going with this post anymore... Oh, yeah...

I was bombing around on YouTube, and ran across this McKennitt video. Normally, I'm of the opinion that live performances rarely measure up to the polished efforts of a recording studio. This video surprised me by being pretty damned good:

Heh. I'll never make it as a DJ. 8 paragraphs to do a song lead-in!


Giving Credit Where It's Due

In my post about last year's Texas Blogfest, I might have given people the wrong impression...

When I said that there was a stuffy/standoffish Tig guy, I was *not* referring to T1G, aka That One Guy.

See, that 1 intead of the i makes all the difference! T1G is a stand-up guy, a real mensch! The stuffy/standoffish Tig guy? Not so much...

OK, back to bed now... Couldn't sleep with that hanging over me.

Monday, May 07, 2007

BlogThrilla In Kerrville-A!

Blue SMERF Goo & Cravin' Brown Bush!

No, no explanation of the subheading. If you weren't there, you don't need to know...

Sounds of a blogmeet:

"Ayyy!!!" "Oh!!!" (In proper Joisey tones)

"She used to be pretty, now she's pretty fucked up!!"

"Erica, you lost FOUR lighters already?"

"I had to feed my dog Buttfood!"

"Jimbo travels light. One guitar case, one bag full of hair-care products..."

"I'm pretty sure pepperoni is kosher... It's made outta cow, right?"

"There's no poodle in this gumbo, is there?"

"This restaurant does *not* need more cowbell..."

The 2007 Texas Blogmeet has now come & gone... The poolside trash bins at the Inn of the Hills groan under the strain of uncounted empty beer bottles, and all the bloggers are still trying to massage the diamond-pattern from the pool chairs off of their posteriors! The music was great, the conversations non-stop, and everyone seemed to have a great time. We chattered like monkeys, drank like fish, and smoked like chimneys.

I discovered that if you drink gin & tonics in 30 oz. batches, you might acquire a bit of a potty-mouth as you slowly marinate your noodle. You also forget the words to Grateful Dead's 'Ripple'.

Also, next time I'm bringing a pillow to sit on...

I never did find out who I owed for those two beers. One of the bottles had a horny toad on the label, and the other had a sorta reddish-brown label. If that was you, let me know and I'll make good on it.

Alas, my computer is still phuct, so it might be a while before my pictures will be available.

Muchas Smoochas Gracias to the lovely and thoroughly cop & camo-crazy Shoe for going *way* over the call of duty during the Fest. Every time we turned around, she was showing up with huge amounts of food. The fantastic homemade BBQ dinner Friday night, the free pizzas she wrangled using threats of Guv'mint hitmen, and the afternoon mercy mission to Taco Casa were all greatly appreciated!

Extra props to Walrilla's buddy Robert, The Layabout Sailor's better half, and GuyK's wife Sweet Thing for being non-bloggers brave enough to face this den of reprobates for a weekend, and to Josh the blog-commenter for dropping by to say hello.

Kurt, Alan, Marcus, Dash, Christina, Ambulance Driver, Big Dick, and any others who had distance or time conflicts preventing your attendance... We sure missed having you there! Maybe next time for sure!

The other attendees will no doubt be posting bits and pieces of the sordid affair... Go take a look!

The Confabulator
Richie da Pup
The Layabout Sailor

More later. I'm still rotisserating a few of our late-night conversations in my skull, and I'll be wanting to post about those in a little while.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Pre-Trip Jitters

All My Bags Are Packed, They're Ready to Go...

Wow. 2 a.m. the night before I make a long-ass drive, and here I am posting to the damn blog. "Hi, I'm El Capitan, and I'm a blogging addict..."

I always get the jitters before a road trip. Doesn't matter if I've made the run a dozen times, I still work my colon into a knot wondering if I've brought enough crap. After all, having the proper amount of crap packed can mean the difference between overloading your vehicle, and REALLY overloading your vehicle.

Just so y'all know, I'm bringing clean skivvies, just in case I'm in an accident. Mom insisted on that for years, and now I'm incapable of leaving the house in torn or stained undies. I'm also incapable of leaving the house without a deck of cards, a bottle of booze, and at least one firearm, so If you want to know where the party is, just find my hotel room.

I'm also in possession of a full liter bottle of Monopolowa vodka, and a liter of Bombay Sapphire gin. These were discovered hiding in my traveling liquor suitcase, where they've been since the last Texas Blogfest. See, I'd planned on drinking Gin & tonics and Vodka Collinses, but that got-damned Cadillac fire threw things off track.

Jerry posted some tips about fitting in with the blog crowd on the Blodger site. He makes a good point. Just throw yourself into the mix, and damn the torpedos. Nobody's been stuffy or standoffish so far, except for this Tig guy at the last Texas Fest, and he ain't making this trip.

I'm gonna do my damndest to make sure you blogfest newbies don't get shut out of anything. I got my knickers in a twist last year when the Jawja crew tucked themselves into a corner booth in the hotel bar, pretty much shutting out the rest of the Texas crew. They didn't do it intentionally, I'm sure, but it grated nonetheless. I was brought up on Texas Hospitality, and believe me, if you're not having a good time, then *I'm* not having a good time! If you insist on telling cocaine-crazed chipmunk stories, though, you're on your got-damned own. I ain't going there again...

Damn, it's 12 hours until I need to be rolling into Kerrville, and it's easily a 5 hour drive. Best get some sleep. It's gonna be in short supply the rest of the weekend!

See y'all there!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Monthly Reports

Those Fun Little 30 Day Summaries Of The Year So Far

Just finished Scutwork Project #1 for the day. Still got Scutwork Projects 2 & 3 to do before I can slither out of here and start loading up the truck with booze and chipmunks and mullet wigs for the blogfest this weekend.

I truly dislike doing the monthly report. It's a sordid little document that's been cut & pasted so many times, it's a mix of Frankenstein's Monster and the floor-sweepings from an L.A. plastic surgeon's clinic. No chance for any creativity or originality, just boring numbers for the Finance wonks to spooge over.

Ah, well. Here's another monthly report that suprised me. Best. Traffic. EVAR!!

Maybe another post this afternoon... If not, see y'all in Kerrville!

Check Your .22 Ammo!

Your Boomstick Might KaBoom Itself!

Go wade through your buckets of .22 ammo, there's been a recall!

Olin Corporation, through its Winchester Division, is recalling several lots of its WILDCAT® 22 (Symbol Number WW22LR) and XPERT® 22 (Symbol Number XPERT22) 22 Long Rifle rimfire ammunition.

Lot Numbers containing Letters: XN, YA, YB or YC

Through extensive evaluation Winchester has determined the above lots of WILDCAT® 22 and XPERT® 22 ammunition may contain double powder charges. Double powder charge weight ammunition may cause firearm damage, rendering the firearm inoperable, and subject the shooter to a risk of personal injury and/or death when fired.


I know I've got a couple of old boxes of Wildcat tucked away somewhere...

Via Jeff @ Alphecca

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

This Isn't Funny Anymore!

Calgon, Take Me Awaaaayyy!!

You're not gonna believe this. Hell, I was there, and *I* don't believe it.

After all the Po-leece shenanigans yesterday morning, guess who got pulled over driving home from work?

My method of displaying my front license plate by wedging it between my windshield and dashboard isn't acceptable, it seems. What am I s'posed to do? I got no bracket on the front bumper, and no place I'm willing to drill for one, either!

No ticket issued, he heard my tale of woe from the a.m. and let me go, despite my additional infraction of not wearing a seatbelt.

So, this morning, I decide I'll avoid the Valero gas station @ I-10 and Shepherd for my morning Diet Coke & HoHo fix, and avoid the HPD presence.

I head to the one over on Memorial Drive, and no sooner do I pull in and park, when the placed is swarmed by cops. Three cruisers, and two pickups and a horse trailer from the Mounted Division all converge on the convenience store for coffee and pastry. Two of 'em recognized me from yesterday, as did two more in the elevator lobby of my building.

Dammit, my life's plan involves *NOT* being noticed by cops!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Where's My Tinfoil Hat?

It's A Gotdamn Conspiracy!!!


What ELSE is gonna go wrong this week?

I'm on my way in to work this morning. Got a training class, so I'm driving in early so I can get my emails & voicemails handled before I do the class at 9 am.

I stop in at the local Stop & Rob in order to get a packet of Hostess HoHo's and a Super Gonzo Gulp of Diet Coke for breakfast, congratulating myself for actually planning the time for the munchie-stop.

I'm standing outside my truck with the driver's door open, the drink balanced on the truck floor as I'm tucking my Hoho's in my carryall so they won't get smooshed.

One of Houston's Finest gets in his patrol cruiser, and starts backing up. He's heading straight for my truck. The whole time he's in reverse, I'm thinking "He's gonna stop soon... He's gonna stop soon...He's gonna stop soon..."

He didn't stop.

There's an earth-shattering kaboom.

I've been rear-ended by a cop, who also got rear-ended. I didn't even get a reach-around.

My drink is knocked over, and that tight-fitting lid promptly shoots me the finger before dumping 44 oz. of ice & diet soda all over my carpet and down my left leg.

The cop is mostly apologetic, but he took my driver's license & insurance anyway & I assume he ran 'em for warrants. He then asked how long I'd been parked there. WTF???

Then the long wait for the on-duty sergeant to arrive, then wait for the paperwork/photo guy, and I'm now looking at missing my class.

Total damage to my truck seems limited to a ding on my right rear exhaust pipe and a smudge on my bumper. The cop's bumper was cut up pretty badly.

Of course, my luck being what it is, I'll have my entire exhaust system fall off the truck halfway to Kerrville, and get jailed in Podunk TX for egregiously violating a noise ordinance.

Made it to class with minutes to spare, but I didn't realize until just now that when the cop handed me my license & insurance, that's all I got. No incident report, no contact info, no nothing. Want to bet I never even get a "We're Sorry" card from the Chief?

I'm gonna stop off and buy a helmet and a nut-cup on the way home. I think I'll need 'em before the week's out.