Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random Questions

Pointless Ponderables

Why is it that dried apricots and apples are tender & delicious, yet dried peaches and pears (which come from juicier fruits) look and taste like severed & mummified human ears?

Have you ever wondered if dried plums (aka prunes) aren't really plums at all, but the squished & dessicated abdomens of really large nectar-eating beetles? Would you know the difference?

If Barack Obama's campaign staff can enlist Missouri law enforcement to prosecute those "telling untruths" about his candidacy, can we enlist the FBI to go nut-punch Barney Frank & Nancy Pelosi? (Yeah, I'm aware that Pelosi is allegedly a woman, but with the whoppers she tells... Boy, that's one heavy-hangin' pair she's got...)

When did they start using mostly chicken in Vienna sausages? I was used to the previous taste of only beef & pork lips and @$$holes, I can't quite get with the addition of chicken offal.

Why do you get sudden cravings for foods you usually never eat? Normally I avoid certain foods like the plague, 'cause they might GIVE you the plague... Foods like Vienna sausages, for one. Nevertheless, once a year or so, I'll reach out zombie-like, and pull a can off the shelf. Won't eat it again for ages. I did the same with a bottle of orange-flavored soda last week. I really don't care for fruit-flavored soda, but I guzzled that bottle in no time at all.

Why do cats sometimes leave the tip of their tongue hanging out of their lips? And why do they get so irate when you reach over and stuff it back inside?

Spy In The Sky!

Your Boats Need Painting, Tovarishch!

Y'now, if you were to have told me back in the 80's that within 20 years time I would have the ability to sit in my house and view high-resolution satellite pictures on my home computer of Russian nuclear subs and aircraft carriers tied up at the dock in Polyarnyy and Severomorsk, I would have accused you of smoking lots of locoweed wrapped up in pages from a Tom Clancy novel!

Google Earth is a truly amazing thing... I don't think most people are even aware it exists.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

More Star Wars Geekery

I Bet Vader Hangs Out In The Castro...

Apparently it's Imperial Fleet Week in San Francisco.

Since the Empire's a dictator-led oppressive regime that favors the collective over the individuals, I'll bet the local hippies just fawn all over 'em, as opposed to they way they get their panties in a wad whenever the U.S. Navy steams into port...

(Seriously, watch the video! It's quite amazing!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Adieu, WaMu!

And Don't Let The Vault Door Hit You On The Way Out!

To all you folks that used to bank with Washington Mutual, I'm sorry you're being hassled by the shutdown and forced sale.

On a personal level, however, I say good riddance to them.

I prefer my banks conservative & stodgy, not hip & trendy. Any financial institution that voluntarily prefers to have their name pronounced "Wah-Moo", and uses that as their corporate branding, does not have my complete confidence. Plus, they apparently lent all their liquid assets to deadbeat borrowers aka Subprime Specials.

Adding to those poor decisions, IMHO, was their explosive growth. During the last year or so, they were opening up branches right & left. They even tore down a semi-historic honky tonk to build one in my area. Banks should be slow & deliberate, not reproducing like horny jackrabbits.

I remember the first time I heard Bank of America called "Boh-fa". It bothered me on a deep, almost cellular level. I'd never consider calling my bank "Wel-Far". People might think I was on the dole, for one thing...

80's Art Retrospective?

Girl, I Want To Leia Down!

OK, confession time!

Back in the 1980's, how many of you had a Patrick Nagel print hanging on your wall?

(How many of you still have one?)

Well, combine your 80's nostalgia and your Star Wars fanboy tendencies with the Nagel-style Princess Leia poster!

Available at Star!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One Particular Harbor

An Antidote To The BlogBlahs!

One of life's great pleasures is an evening spent surrounded by Parrotheads!

I speak, of course, of attending a Jimmy Buffett concert. If you haven't added that to your To Do list, I'd recommend you rectify that situation!

Here's a taste:

If that fails to lift your spirits, well, why don't you get drunk & screw?

I Can't Has Cheeseburger!!

The Possums Ate Well Last Night...

It's 3 in the afternoon, and I'm still mildly traumatized by the events of last night.

I had to pitch $7 worth of cheeseburgers, dammit!

Cheeseburgers, I say! Not some pissant ham sammich, but glorious fresh hot delicious double-meat cheeseburgers! Second only to chilidogs in the Pantheon of Godlike Comestibles!


Distrust. I did not believe my burger purveyor.

See, it happend like this...

I was at Sonic Drive In for the usual Tuesday Night Two-fer. Buy one cheeseburger, get the 2nd free. One yummy double cheeseburger for dinner, a 2nd one to pop in the fridge for lunch today. (I usually peel off the lettuce & tomatoes and nuke it)
As it turned out, they didn't do the Two-fer deal last night for some reason, so I paid full price.

As I'm waiting in the pole position in the drive-thru lane, I see a carhop drop a bag of burgers off at one of the tables out front. The occupants open the bag, pull out two burgers & unwrap them, and are about to chow down when the manager comes racing out, scoops up the burgers (which looked a lot like double-meat cheeseburgers) and takes them back inside.

A few seconds later, I see the carhop bring another bag of burgers out to the table. Obviously the wrong order got delivered. So, what became of the other burgers?

Well, a conscientious manager would dump 'em in the garbage and make new ones. However, the carhop went back inside, was in there no more than a few seconds, when out she comes with a bag of burgers for me. Looks a whole heckuva lot like the bag that just got pulled back inside...


While she's inside running my credit card, I peel open the bag and unwrap the burgers to peek inside. Yep, they're double cheseburgers, but... but...

Do these burgers look shopworn?? There's mysterious divots in the bun, like fingers that squeezed too hard stuffing them back in the envelope-style wrapper. The burgers look slightly disheveled, too.

Nope, I ain't falling for it. These are secondhand cheeseburgers!

When the carhop comes back out, I was pretty direct. I told her I suspected that cheeseburger shenanigans were in effect.

Naturally, she denied any knowledge of cheeseburger shenanigans, but would go ask the manager.

His reply via the carhop? Enjoy your fresh tasty cheeseburgers! Yes, we have no shenanigans! ThankYouComeAgain!

So, I drive off, headed for home.

That seed of doubt sprouted quickly, however, and a mile down the road had grown into a tree of raging indecision and mistrust.

There just wasn't time for fresh burgers to appear. The staff was severely in the weeds, only one carhop, one grill guy, an order taker and the manager were busting ass to fill orders on a crowded evening. It's possible that fresh burgers were on deck, but I was watching them stage orders, and I just didn't believe 'em.

So, a block from home, with a howl of disgust, two double cheeseburgers went soaring into the night air, to land I know not where. I ended up eating a can of soup, which is pretty gotdamn far down the list in the Pantheon of Godlike Comestibles

I'm eating at Burger King or Whataburger for a while... Sonic has received a Vote of No Confidence from El Capitan!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Daylight Home Invasion!

I Know, The Suspense Has Been Killing You...

All right, time for the squirrel story.

So... it's H-day + 1. Ike has passed through, leaving a swath of destruction on the Gulf Coast, and was busily plowing through the Midwest.

Following the storm and having been awake most of the previous night, El Capitan is dozing the morning away on the settee in the den. He really ought not to be on the settee, given his girth and the advanced age and largely ornamental nature of the furniture, but it happens to sit directly in front of the French doors leading out to the back patio, and any hint of a cooling breeze that happens by will intersect with the person or persons occupying that spot.

He rests fitfully, ear cocked for any ominous creaks or groans that might emanate from the Victorian-era settee and signify an impending collapse. El Capitan realizes that he really ought to string up his hammock on the front porch, but there's no A/C, the portable generator which would bring some relief still rests under a huge pile o' crap in the garage, and even the effort of mentally debating the issue is exhausting.

With no real option available other than resorting to physical labor, he dozes on...

Sometime that morning, a sound brings him back to the lowest levels of consciousness. For reasons lost to antiquity, a large concrete block has been placed outside the door, directly in the path of egress. Since the French doors are rarely opened when the A/C is flowing, the impediment to exiting is not a huge deal.

Today, though, the concrete block is serving as a pedestal and al fresco dining area for a large squirrel, who's busily chewing on one of the pecans pilfered from the backyard pecan tree. The squirrel pauses every so often to chatter away at his pecan-thieving co-conspirators, and it's this sound that rouses El Capitan from his fitful snooze.

El Cap is somewhat amazed to see the squirrel in such good spirits. It appears to be in good health, and in spite of the recent deluge, has perfectly dry fur. El Capitan ruminates on this unlikely condition, and realizes that this is probably one of the rat-bastard fuzz-tailed c@cksuckers that have tunneled in through the soffits and are residing in the attic directly over his bedroom, where their tunneling through the layers of blown insulation is clearly audible in the wee hours of the morning.

Looking around for a handy ferret or mongoose to sic upon the squirrel, El Cap finds none, and so settles for an empty can of Tecate beer, which when hurled towards the offending rodent bounces off the concrete block with a raucous CLANG!

The offended squirrel departs, and El Capitan goes back to sleep. All is well...

Some time later, El Cap is dragged back out of his doze by the sound of little claws scrabbling over the aluminum doorjamb. Opening sleep-deprived eyelids, El Capitan expects to see a cat exiting the house, but instead spies a small bedraggled squirrel that has had the temerity to walk right into the house!

Unlike the pecan thief, this squirrel has clearly ridden out the storm. Its fur is damp, & the tail has got a serious case of bedhead, er... bedtail.

Well, this ain't no home for disadvantaged Rodentia! El Cap hauls himself to an upright position, and waves his damp face-wipin' towel at the intruder.

"Shoo! Shoo! Go back outside, ya varmint!" he yells.

The squirrel pays him no mind, and dashes under the TV stand.

El Capitan groans and curses Fate. Now he is obligated to perform physical action in the muggy, sticky, not-havin'-any-A/C climate.

Using his mad locker room skillz perfected way back in Junior High, El Cap winds up his towel into a rattail, and commmences to make loud popping sounds with the towel in the squirrel's general direction. With each pop, the squirrel scrambles to a new and unexplored piece of furniture, completely ignoring the wide-open door.

Realizing the sonic dispersal method isn't working too well, El Capitan retreats to the bathroom to get the Secret Weapon. To catch a squirrel, you need a Gopher!

The Gopher is a reaching/grabbing tool hawked on TV by that really annoying bearded guy. It was received it as a gift several years back, and is used mainly for picking up the hairballs barfed out by the cats.

Since the squirrel is carrying who knows what type of macro- & microscopic vermin, plus has an impressive set of dentition, the suction cup-tipped grabber seems just the thing for rousting out & seizing the the wayward rodent.

The squirrel disagrees and makes a break for it, dashing into the dining room and a whole new selection of furniture to hide beneath.

Several times El Cap thought about the box of .22 ratshot cartridges in the gun closet, but the thought of scraping up splattered squirrel in the traumatic heat made that an option of last resort.

By this time, the aroma of frightened squirrel should have permeated the household and attracted the attention of the two resident felines. These cats should immediately converge on the squirrel, and open up a cat-food sized can of whoop-ass on the rodent.

You'd think so, anyway...

One of the cats hid in my bedroom throughout the fracas, and the other perched on a dining room chair and watched in amazement as the squirrel was pursued by the freely perspiring & cursing Giver Of Tasty Cat Food & Ear Skritchies. At no point did either cat lend a paw to help out.

The cats and the Gopher proving completely unsuitable for grasping ahold of an intruding squirrel, a garbage can lid was pressed into use as a percussion instrument, a large fan, and a blocking device to herd the squirrel towards the front door.

At one point, the squirrel dashed behind the piano, but a quickly pounded out combination of a barely-remembered Van Halen keyboard solo caused the squirrel to flee in terror into the front parlor. Yeah, it was from the Sammy Hagar era. Most sane creatures would have run in sheer terror...

Eventually, the squirrel took the wrong turn, zigged when it should have zagged, and was gently herded out the front door, departing for parts unknown.

All of this ruckus could have been avoided if only there were still screen doors. Alas, in this modern centrally-cooled era, screen doors in suburbia have gone the way of the station wagon and the lawn flamingo!

The next time a hurricane comes along, I'm going to have a special set of screen doors made up for the front & back porch. A Squirrel Excluder Device, if you will...

Monday, September 22, 2008

An Even MORE Tasteless Post!

Some Days I Can't Chase My Readers Away Fast Enough!

Post-Hurricane Ike, the news media is still riding the adrenaline high, and doing what they can to keep the ratings rolling in.

One story that refuses to die is the "government coverup" aimed at keeping the media from seeing the acres of dead floating bodies that surely must be littering the beaches and bayous.

No piles of corpses have been spotted so far, but those who claim to be in the know are insisting that they likely suffered sufficient trauma to sink to the bottom of Galveston Bay rather than float out the Ship Channel.

Likely we'll see a 'CSI: Miami' episode before too long exposing what really happens to storm-battered bodies.

Still, just to be on the safe side, I am NOT eating any crab fished out of the Gulf for the next couple of years. It'd be just my luck to crack one open and find someone's wedding ring...

As long as we're all here, I might as well repost my Gratuitous Cajun Crab Joke: (Originally told to me by Rockhauler)
Marie Laveaux gets worried when her husband Thibodeaux Laveaux decides to geaux out fishing in his pirogue. He always carries a cooler full of beer (Thibodeaux, he likes the Streauxs beer, him), and gets likkered up out in the bayeaux. Sometimes, he even snorts a little bleaux, and tries to wrestle them there alligators. Marie just kneauxs that Thibodeaux is gonna get too blotteaux on one of these trips, and drown out in the swamps, floating down the bayeaux, his eyes pecked out by creauxs.

One night, Thibodeaux Laveaux doesn't return from the bayeaux. "Oh, neaux!" says Marie.

In the morning, she calls up her cousin Boudreaux, the parish sheriff. "Cher Boudreaux" says Marie Laveaux. You gots to geaux out to the bayeaux and find Thibodeaux! He ain't returned from his fishing trip in his pirogue. Oh, weaux is me!"

Boudreaux is kinda sleaux, but agrees to geaux look for Thibodeaux. He gets his deputies Fonteneaux and Longfelleaux in a pirogue, and off they reaux.

Later that evening, Boudreaux knocks on the Laveaux's door. "Marie, I got the good news, and I got the bad news. Which one you want first, cher?"

Marie is so nervous, she wants to threaux up. "Geaux ahead and give me the bad news, Boudreaux."

"Cher," says Boudreaux, "We done found ol' Thibodeaux floatin' on the bayeaux. He been pecked by creaux, and was just covered in the blue crabs."

Marie was laid leaux. Who now would squire her to the fais do-do? Who would bring in the deaux?

"What's the good news, Boudreaux?"

"Well," says Boudreaux, "We gonna float him out again tonight, and you get half de crab!"

And now, away I will geaux, before you all find something to threaux at me.

This Is *SO* Wrong...

The Sad Thing Is That This Was Probably Done On Purpose.

Picnickers at the Heinrich Himmler Secret Police State Park will be amazed by the SSBBQ! That's "SS" for Super Speedy!

It's been specially engineered to allow barbecuing at four times the usual rate!

Enjoy your stay at Himmler State Park, but whatever you do, stay out of the showers...

Pic found at

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Obligatory Weekend Post

Ike's Aftermath Is Still Making Life Difficult!

Sorry to leave y'all hanging yesterday. They had to shut off the water in the building, and that's one of the "pack up & go home" occurrences, according to The Man.

We had the option of working from home (working on a nap...) or going to one of the POD sites to volunteer. See, The Man can get federal $$$ to reimburse payroll if we're volunteering, so we were strongly urged to do so.

At any rate, it's the right thing to do, regardless of FEMA perks, and I've been light on my non-paid civic duty this year. So, I moseyed over to the POD at Second Baptist @ Voss & Woodway to see if they needed any help flinging ice & MRE's in people's cars.

Alas, by the time I fought through traffic to get there at 12:45 pm, all that was left were several empty truck trailers and stacks of empty pallets. I got home and found out that the POD sites had been moved further NW and SW that morning. So, I did indeed indulge in a lengthy afternoon nap.

I was able to get the old trailer frame removed from the side of the garage, where it has been slowly decomposing for a few years. It's the remains of the old family pop-up camper, and my plan was to turn it into a custom camping rig. SOB weighs about 800 lbs, and between the cluttered garage, my laziness, and the price of gas (towing drops my MPG to around 8-9), the chances of me completing the project wavered somewhere between Slim & None.

One of the hillbilly kids from next door wanted to know if he could make a BBQ trailer out of it, so since the fence separating our properties was currently in pieces, it was not difficult to get it shifted. Actually, it was incredibly difficult, but not for me... I was napping at the time! Hahaha!!

I'm heading off in the morning to go see what's up at the POD over on Pinemont. More later...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Talk Like A Pirate Day!

I Be Goin' To A Barrrrrrr, Fer A Cigarrrrrr!

Yes, it's International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Alas, I have industrial strength weirdness occuring at the workplace, and we're being ordered out of the building in 9 minutes, so I'll continue this line of thought somewhat later and from very far away.

Avast Mateys!!! Cast off the hawsers and hoist the mainsail!

It be time fer pillagin' and plunderin' and grabbin' some booty!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Later, Gator!

Reptilian Migration

A Texas Gulf Coast alligator, having lived through hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Humberto, Gustav, Edouard and Ike, has had enough.

Last seen heading north on I-45, the 'gator was reportedly headed for New Jersey, where it would take up residence at a Parkway Rest Stop, and learn to blend in among the locals.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Looks Like Stormy Weather...

Trying To Reason With Hurricane Season!

I'm not too sure that I have many exciting stories to tell about riding out Ike. Certainly nothing like the folks down on the coast, who had the rising tide take out their foundations while the howling wind decapitated their roofs.

I'm far enough in from the coast that the storm surge is a non-issue, for the most part. We've had high water, and indeed water up to the front doorstep in the past, but the close proximity to one of the city's fairly efficient drainage ditches and the multimillion dollar "Golden Bathtub" retention reservoir south of our subdivision keeps most of the water flowing downstream. Even at the height of Ike's rain dump, the water never rose higher than the lower lugnuts on my truck wheels. It's been up over the hubs and damn near knee deep in other storms.

Other storms didn't go on for almost 12 hours, though. It started out last Friday evening looking rather mild, and I was considering heading up almost to Tomball to visit a friend, on the belief I could still make it back by midnight. I probably could have without mishap, but it would have been a white-knuckled drive getting home. By midnight the wind was gusting something fierce, and by 3 a.m., when our power finally cratered, it was quite the spectacle outside.

I entertained a notion of having a ringside seat for the storm by going outside and lashing myself to the oak tree, like Odysseus had himself tied to his ship's mast. Ike's howling wasn't akin to the call of the sirens, however, and Odysseus never had to worry about getting bonked on the head by falling tree branches.

So, I limited myself to peeking out the front door every so often. I've still got a bit of a bruise where the door handle ground into my hand as the 90+ mph wind gusts caught the glass door like a sail. Eventually I got tired of wrestling with the door and crouched on the porch ankle-deep in water, shielded somewhat by the low shrubbery, and watched the storm rage.

It's hard to adequately relate the experience of a huge storm like that. It's kind of like explaining the effects of certain recreational pharmaceuticals to someone who's never even sipped a beer. There's just no common frame of reference. All you can say is "Wow, man. I saw some pretty trippy shit last night..."

I mean, how do you convey the physical presence of that much meteorological power? The way that the storm seemed to breathe, where a gust would rip counterclockwise through the cul-de-sac, making all the trees simultaneously bend and sway in one direction. In the next instant, a terpsichorean counterpoint as every visible branch and limb instantly reversed itself on the exhale... The subtle choreography as the trees would shudder and shake in some eerie rhythm, then in unison cast off their load of rainwater as a deluge of droplets in a strong gust of wind, visible in the flickering lightning strikes? How the wind made one sound tearing through deciduous trees,a low moaning crackle, and the same gust hammering the nearby conifers made a different, lighter sound, akin to the sound The Broom Of The Gods might make when swept across a vast body of water?

The truth is, it's kind of exhausting after a while. I can see how someone trapped outside of shelter in a storm like that could go bughouse nuts in very short order. I'd go inside, towel off, and try to doze sitting on the couch. It was too stuffy & muggy by then to try sleep while lying down. You'd jerk awake all too often at a strong gust hammering the house, then fade out again, never quite achieving sound sleep. Every so often you'd shine the flashlight at the cell phone (the only working clock) and wince at how little time had passed since the last time you'd checked. And so it went, for hour after hour, with no letup outside.

Reluctantly, the dawn arrived. The sun was obscured by layers and layers of cloud cover, and the grey haze lingered well past 7 a.m.

The storm wound down, the wind having shifted direction from north to southwest with the passing of the eye, heading for east Texas and points north. All you could do at that point was go outside and survey the results.

Compared to other neighborhoods around town of similar vintage (late 50's, early 60's brick houses) we came off all right. We had a few big trees collapse, but only one house in our immediate area took major damage. All too often, it was apparent that the trees that collapsed were old & sickly. One impressive oak tree on the main drag into the subdivision was easily 5 feet in diameter, but after it's collapse, you could see that all that weight of the crown was supported by a thin wall of wood; the entire core was completely rotted away.

We dodged a bullet in our area for sure. By this morning, power, water, phones and internet access were back up. I didn't stop to check the cable TV before I left for work, but odds are good that's back on too. Going a couple of days without life's little amenities was nothing more than an inconvenience. Compared to the folks that had their entire lives washed away, it's hardly worth mentioning.

Thanks to all who inquired about my situation and health. I appreciate the kind thoughts and words!

And yes, I will tell the squirrel story. Just not today...

Reality Check?

I'd Love To Read The Want-Ad For THIS Job...

Every so often I see something that makes me realize that my job really isn't all that bad.

Case in point:

Coincidentally, I've spent time doing a job similar to the non-inserted guy on the platform, holding cow tails out of the way while a veterinarian squirted some bull-jizz up their hoo-hah. Vets really hate to get whapped in the face by a shit-soaked cow tail, so after you throw the lever on the squeeze cage, you grab ahold of the tail and hoist it out of the way. Don't forget to wear your work gloves!

In the aftermath, I've since lost any desire whatsoever to eat oxtail soup...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back On The Air

That Ike's One Mean Mofo...

Two days off "working from home" is all The Man would allow... I'm back at the office where I've got access to phone lines and the Interwebs for the first time since things got frisky early Saturday morning.

Thanks to Army of Mom for passing along the update on what condition my condition was in.

To recap: Lost power & water Saturday about 3 a.m., and that SOB Ike blew like a toothless 'ho at a New Jersey truckstop on payday.

Lots of tree branches down in the yard, but none bigger than a couple of inches in diameter. We lost a section of fence on two sides, but it was 20+ years old and needed replacing anyway. The best part is the neighbors we share it with will be paying half the replacement cost!

Power's still out all over town, and it's tough to find gas or food without a two hour wait in line. I'd kill for a Sonic cheeseburger right now. Eating Chef Boyardee out of a can lost its appeal about halfway through the first can. I debated going and picking up a case of MRE's from one of the Distribution Points this morning, but they suck worse than canned ravioli, and I've got plenty of supplies left. Better to leave them for folks that really need them.

Want some hints for riding out a hurricane in style?

1) Plan ahead. Buy a closetful of non-perishables and flats of water back in May, and leave them the fuck alone! Keep a shelf in your freezer full of bottled water. Move the frozen bottles to the fridge when the storm hits, and add new bottles to freezer to freeze before the power goes out.

2) Get your trees topped every so often. It wasn't cheap to have a tree guy come thin out the big oak out front and the pecan in back, but the lack of 1600 lbs of shattered squirrel-infested lumber piercing my roof decking makes it all worthwhile.

3) Buy a generator! A Troy-Bilt 3500 watt genny cost $400, and two 5 gallon jerrycans of gas cost whatever gas costs these days, plus a $8 bottle of Sta-Bil. The Briggs & Stratton engine started literally on the first pull out of the box after setup, and the genny ran 11 hours on about 3 gallons of gas. I didn't have to do a mad scramble to find ice, and had the fridge, two fans and two lamps running constantly, and also kept the cell phones charged and every so often I could plug in the portable TV to see what was going on outside our neighborhood. Also, don't put it inside your house or garage!

4) Never never never let yourself get talked into VOIP or any other phone service that requires running the phone line through a powered cable modem. I'm going back to a POTS line as soon as those assholes at Comcast get things back up and running. I'd quit now, but I can't even call them to cancel...

5) Get to know your neighbors before the storm hits. They're more likely to help you pull crap out of your yard if you know then on a first-name basis! The flip side is, go help them pull crap out of their yard, too!

More later, gotta do some work. Don't let me forget tell the squirrel story.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Calm Before The Storm

I Don't Think I Have Enough Beer...

I went out for one last look-see before the rain starts. Winds are increasing, and there's already a light scattering of broken branches out in the yards.

I drove around the neighborhood and out to the main drag just to see what, if anything, was still open. On Gessner from I-10 all the way to Clay Road, everything was shut tight except a Schlotzsky's sandwich shop, a taqueria, and two convenience stores. I found one gas station on Beltway 8 open in that same N-S stretch. No gas, but they were selling beer, pretzels and Slim Jims at a rapid pace.

I took advantage of the opportunity to grab a couple of sixpacks. Let me state for the record that Shiner Black Lager is an outstanding offering from the Spoetzl Brewery, and should give Shiner Bock a fight for which one is Shiner's tastiest beer.

Not a lot of traffic on I-10 or the Beltway. I suppose those that are getting out have already left. Lots of cops and constables out roaming the streets, too.

I'm going to go sit on the porch for a while and have some more of this tasty beer and watch Ike roll in.

More later...

We Don't Like Ike

I Need To Go Buy Some Beer...

First, Ground Zero was Brownsville. Next, it was Corpus Christi. Ol' Ike's got one heckuva slice, though, and that storm track curled right up to center somewhere close to Galveston & the Houston Ship Channel. It looks like Ike's gonna come marching straight up I-45, and rip through downtown before curling off into east Texas and points north.

We got cut loose from work yesterday at 3 pm, after moving all our computer equipment and confidential files into the interior offices. In spite of the double-pane windows of the highrise I work in, a multi-window blowout back during Tropical Storm Allison still resonates in people's memory.

We're off work today, by order of The Man. Well, we're "working from home", but since I declined to put my home number on my out-of-the-office phone message, I don't expect I'll get much traffic. The morning forecast has a high probability of sleeping late, followed by leisurely brunch, and there's a 40% chance of afternoon napping.

It was a bit insane last night trying to get some gasoline. Every station I passed inside Loop 610 was sold out, and even the tiny 2-pump Mom & Pop convenience stores that litter NE Spring Branch had a long line of cars waiting to fill up. I took a gamble on outlying supplies being better, and with 1/8 of a tank remaining, headed for far NW Houston. I cut my plan short when I passed a station being serviced by a tanker truck. They had gas for sure! $70 bux later, it was off to find some dinner.

My Poptart and canned tuna supply is stocked, and as pictured below, I have enough bottled water & buttwipe to last until December. So, it's shelter in place, and ride this bad boy out.

I'm not too worried about flooding, and the wind won't blow a Volvo through the front windows this far inland, but I do wonder about the trees outside. That monster oak that does such a good job of shading the house could do a lot of damage if half of it lands on the roof. Oh, well. It was thinned out last year, so that should help...

Good luck to all my fellow Gulf Coasters! See y'all on the dry side!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Making Tiger Tea

Some Ingredients May Require Special Handling

For a perfect batch of sun-brewed tiger tea, follow these instructions:

Dunk 3 large tigers in water
Allow to steep 2 hours, or to taste
Strain tigers carefully before serving!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Football: North Vs. South

Bring Back The SWC!!

From over at Maggie's Farm, here's an excerpt from The Sociology of Football:
Planning for the fall football season in the South is radically different from up North. For those who are planning a football trip south, here are some helpful hints.

Stadium Size:
NORTH: College football stadiums hold 20,000 people.
SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 20,000 people.

Campus Decor:
NORTH: Statues of founding fathers.
SOUTH: Statues of Heisman trophy winners.

Getting to the Stadium:
NORTH: You ask, "Where's the stadium?" When you find it, you walk right in.
SOUTH: When you're near it, you'll hear it. On game day it is the State's third largest city.

When National Anthem is Played:
NORTH: Stands are less than half-full and less than half of them stand up.
SOUTH: 100,000 fans, all standing, sing along in perfect four-part harmony.

RTWT here...

Life's Spendy Little Lessons

Embrace The Suck, But Do Not Give It A Reacharound...

So, ever wonder what happens when you leave that brand new 80-count bottle of Advil LiquiGels in a hot car all afternoon?

You get this:

There's a $10 bill I'll never see again. I tried freezing, re-heating, nothing works. It's one big-ass gelcap for keeps...

Incidentally, if you ever get one massive tectonic-plate-shifting headache, let me know. I've got just what you need. Prerequisites? A big mouth, ability to swallow like a snake, and a good lock on your gag reflex.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Water Damage

Someone Stomped A Mudhole In My House's Ass...

I forgot to tell y'all about the aftermath of the front yard water leak...

The Man's Water Dept. gnomes finally capped that leak off, and did about 4 times the yard damage that I expected. This shot was taken after they'd dumped in several cubic yards of mud to refill the gaping hole they'd created. It's a shame Code Enforcement frowns on swimming pools in your front yard... All I needed was $500 worth of gunite and a few flagstones, and I was mostly there.

The Man's minions have since come back and laid down a pallet of sod, but that tipped-over sapling will never be the same. Right now it appears to be dead as fried chicken, but I won't know for sure until spring, when it either re-buds or I yank it out and plant another one.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Caturday Portrait

I Wish I Could Sleep All Day Today! Oh, Wait, I Can...

Today is Caturday, and also laundry day, so Betsy Cat takes advantage of an unclad bed to snooze away the afternoon. I'd laid down a towel to park my moist keister on post-shower, and she had appropriated far more real estate than was her share. I got the pic of her snoozing before the Giant White Pterodactyl (aka freshly-used bath towel) swooped down to envelop her it its grasp...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sick Of Being Sick!

Boogers For Sale Or Rent! Phlegm dispensed, 50 Cents!

I am so ready for this creeping crud to exit my body...

Aside from the general malaise and the horrible sore throat, for the fourth time in two days, I've just expelled a booger outta my left nostril that's about the size and consistency of a garden slug. Not the big banana slug, mind you, just the regular ones.

Come to think about it, that last booger might have had eyestalks on one end... it was certainly slimy enough.

Have you ever seen an industrial icemaker at work? To make those big irregular ice chunks you buy in 20 lb bags, there's a superchilled steel plate over which a thin stream of water is poured. Layer by layer it freezes until the ice sheet is about half an inch thick. Then, the ice is knocked off, falling into a collection bin for bagging.

A variation on this process must be what's making these monster boogers. My upper sinuses are dripping bacteria-laden goo down along my nasal walls, where the constant stream of air is drying it out. Usually, it would just collect up there and fill the cavity, but the combination of nasal spray and decongestant/expectorant is keeping things flowing.

When the boogersicle is large enough, the air flow catches it like a sail, and with a sufficient breeze (like, say, a sneeze!) it comes flopping out onto my desktop.

I gotta get a picture of the next one. These are just too gross to keep to myself...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Spoogy-at Emptor

Somehow, I Doubt The Validity Of These "Studies"...

OK, I try to maintain a mostly PG-13 blog, and I know I've edged my way over into NC-17 territory from time to time.

So, if it's been a little bit crude, maybe a bit tasteless, I apologize.

'Cause it's about to get a whole lot worse...

See, I got this sp@m email in my inbox, one of the dozens per day selling either El Salvadoran timeshares, herbal \/!@gra, or some variety of penis pill.

In this particular specimen of the "Make your weenie/cojones bigger" variety, it has an interesting premise.

Let me quote: (I've thrown in some odd characters to squib the searchbots...)
Get multiple ()rg@sms by !ncreasing your $perm v()lume.

Studies show that a greater $perm \/olume means more pleasure for both partners. W()nderCum increases your fert!l!ty and allows you to have mult!ple ()rgasms. 1OO % natural ingredients - only minerals and herbs - will boost your $perm volume and p()tency in a safe and natural way.

Ordering W()nderCum you don't run any risk as we offer you money back guarantee. Fast shipping! 1OO% confidentiality!

OK, then... Apparently you can take this magical elixir, and you're in the fast lane to buckets of spooge. Why you'd want that, I cannot say.

I can't claim to be counted among the world's greatest trousermouse wranglers, so I might be wrong about this, but I just don't recall many women being wowed by guys who threw enough product to wallpaper the hallway. As far as I know, a greater $perm volume just means a bigger wet spot that someone has to sleep in.

I realize the Internet is full of video examples of the nekkid wimmens rolling around in orgasmic joy upon having some guy 'vent his passion' upon their faces. I always suspected that their enthusiasm was more closely tied in with the video producer's stack of $100 bills than with the prospect of a protein facial rinse.

I dunno, maybe I'm just completely out of touch with the times. Back in the day when ZZ Top sang about a Pearl Necklace, we all snickered and did the "wink, wink, nudge, nudge, Say no more, guv'ner!" routine. Still, in those days we realized the object of the game was to make the home run, not so much the champagne spritzing in the locker room afterwards...

I just can't help thinking it's related to the "Look, me make doody!" stage that all kids being potty-trained go through. A somewhat juvenile indicator of conquest or ownership. Then again, never having been the recipient of someone's crotchable largesse, for all I know I'm missing out on one of life's great pleasures.

I think I'd just as soon stay ignorant, given my druthers...

Oh, one last thing. I told myself I'd make it through this whole sordid post without mentioning the word "Jizzmopper". Ooops... Oh, well.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Angry Eyes

Bloodshot? More Like Bloodmachinegunned!

In an all-too-common moment of drunken candor, I was told a story by the lead singer of the band I used to roadie for back in the 90's. He said "Cap, you just ain't lived a full life until the day you find yourself buck-assed nekkid laying on a cold tile floor in the bathroom, your feet propped on either side of the sink, as you attempt to shave your own asshole!"

He'd caught a pretty good dose of the crabs, it seems, and it was either deny them a place to hang out, or resort to the scorched-taint method...

I've never had a mess of arthropods (or any other wildlife) reside in my crotchable area, but I'd almost prefer it to this damned case of pinkeye.

Pinkeye, aka conjunctivitis, is where the surface of your eyeball and the inside of your eyelids get inflamed due to allergies or infection. This condition sucks big hairy monkey balls.

I'm on the downhill side now. Usually it only lasts 2-3 days. Sunday night was the absolute worst. Imagine not being able to tell which was worse, having your eyes open, or keeping them shut. I ended up literally sitting on my hands to keep from scratching my eyes out of my skull, it itched so bad.

Adding to the misery was the gobs of goop pouring out of my tearducts. Even when you got the worst of it blotted off with a moist cloth, a thin film remained on the surface of the eye, making reading or watching TV a useless endeavour. Remember when you were a kid and spent way too long in a chlorinated pool, and your vision got all cloudy? Same deal, only it went on for most of the night, and it was 5 times worse.

I've got to go buy a gallon of Visine after work. Some liquid cocaine drops wouldn't be amiss, either, but I'll bet that's not on the shelf at Walgreen's...