Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, January 30, 2009

Date Night In Karachi!

Feel Free To Write Your Own Caption!

Mustafa & Abdullah lived for Friday nights! First, dinner in the meadow with their dates, then off to Mustafa's place for music, dancing, and sweet, sweet loving!



Winner! - Army of Dad takes the pole position with the caption "Two desperate men on the lamb!"

I'm still wiping iced tea off my monitor!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sonic Shootout

Guess They Didn't Like Their Chili-Cheese Fries

I'm driving home Tuesday night after having dinner with my parents and sister, BIL & their kids, and right by the turnoff into my subdivision there's about 82 cop cars with their rollers on, blocking in the Sonic Drive-In on Gessner St. across from my old high school.

Turns out that some jagoff decided to express his ├╝ber-manliness by unloading a pistol at the other customers. A 14 year old kid was hit in the head, and at last report was in critical condition at Ben Taub Hospital.

This irks me for a number of reasons, the least of which is that it happened in my neighborhood. I just can't understand what twisted logic justifies pointing a gun out your car window and spraying rounds at random.

I hope they catch this guy, and he ends up getting cornholed for the next 25 years by a 450 pound lifer named HorseCocked Jim. There's just no excuse for that kind of action. If you're pissed at someone, go up and throw a punch. Shooting up an entire crowd is the act of a coward. Or, to use street parlance, a punk-ass bitch. Which hopefully, he'll be very soon, and to such an extent his cellmates will have to say, "Hey, you punk-ass bitch! That's a rectum, not a clown car!"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Armed With A Laser

Suddenly, It's A Black & White World

After some anonymous muppet destroyed my inkjet printer, I finally got a replacement.

When we had Hurricane Ike roll through town last fall, we moved all our computing equipment inside the interior rooms in our building. After carefully stacking my PC, monitor & printer on a rolling chair, for ease of movement before & after the storm, some pinhead decided to steal the chair, and leave my printer laying on its side for a week.

By the time I got back to the office, the ink cartridges had leaked and coated the interior of the printer, including the fiddly bits that can't be ink-coated in order to operate the printer. So, as a result, I've been printing to the Xerox copier on the other side of the building for months.

I got an HP Laserjet printer today, but even that's a mixed blessing. The ham-fisted IT person blindly yanked out the wrong power cord, and killed my PC as she was installing the new printer.

Did I hit "Save" beforehand? Of course not...

Ah, well. When I file my complaint, it'll be a sharp clean laser copy that gets sent to her boss!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Needed: One Motorhead

Can't Trust Those Discount Tire Bastards.

I have a question for any supplicants of Our Lady of Internal Combustion, especially an acolyte who knows about all the peripheral accoutremonts that get bolted on.

I've got rims currently holding a threadbare set of LT305/70 R16 offroad tires.

What's the smallest tire those rims will hold? Can I get P265 70 R16's on them?

I don't go offroad more than once a year, so I'd just as soon spend $150 each on a highway tire instead of $280 each for an LT offroad tire.

Moochas Grassyas!

Subterranean Facebook Blues

You Don't Need A Networking Tool To Know Which Way The Wind Blows...

I dabbled a toe in the Facebook pond last week, and promptly got sucked in over my head.

One of my cousins has been nagging me to sign up. Following the family reunion last summer, most of the Familia Del Padre got linked up via Facebook as a way to keep in touch. I thought email and phones were sufficient, but that sort of attitude obviously makes me some sort of Luddite.

So, I sign up. Use my real name, my main email addy, I let it all hang out in public.

Within 48 hours, I'm linked as a "Facebook Friend" by 24 people. Some are relatives, but a surprising number are people I have not seen or spoken to in over 20 years.

And therein lies the problem...

I was really not prepared to have the flood of memories generated by some of these long-buried faces & names forcibly ripped up from the dark corners of my mind. Some doors were shut for a reason, and I can't say that I'm overjoyed to have them flung open again.

Don't get me wrong, it's not entirely a bad thing. Some of my friends are kinda slippery in their choice of domiciles, and are hard to keep track of. It's nice to have another link to them in case email addys change, or Xmas cards come back as 'Undeliverable'.

OTOH, what's the proper response when someone you really dislike finds your name through your sister's Facebook page? Sure, Facebook gives you the option to block contact with people, but only if you know who they are beforehand!

So, my friends... If you explore Facebook, tread cautiously. You never know what's lurking out there.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Veering Left!

More Truck Problems

No, I'm not veering left politically!

It's my truck. Let go of the steering wheel, and it takes left hand turns by itself!

It started Wednesday somewhere between here and the airport. A squeaking sound, and a hard pull to the left. Left to its own devices, the truck will turn faster and faster to the left until you end up spinning in your minimum turning radius.

It's unlikely that a gas-guzzling, terrain-despoiling 4 wheel drive pickup contracted a case of Obamaitis, so WTF is going on?

Took it by the usual grease monkey, and the first thing he does is jack up the front end on a dolly jack, reach into the wheel well, and pull out this humongous bolt that's just laying there on top of the A-arm.

The problem was, that bolt was supposed to be holding the A-arm onto the frame!

No clue how it worked itself loose. Those things are usually torqued down tighter than Al Gore's bunghole.

Well, at least it wasn't a frozen brake caliper, or a burned axle bearing...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jury Duty

Why Does Civic Duty Require Hours Of Doing Nothing?

I survived one more jury duty callup. 6 1/2 hours parked on a hard wooden bench, with only one break, and no chance to sneak in a nap or two.

This was Muni Court, so mostly traffic cases, some code violations, and a few Class C misdemeanors get tried there. Texas allows a trial by jury for any finable offense, hence the callup.

They called in over 100 possible jurors, but only impaneled 28, of which only 12 actually made it through voir dire and heard a case. The rest of us sat on our keisters until they cut us loose around 4 pm.

The people watching opportunity was excellent. For a true cross section of humanity, nothing beats the State Fair or Traffic Court. There were grotty old bums there for Public Intoxication, and Gucci & Chanel-clad trophy wives there to plead nolo to driving their Mercedes SL at 120 mph down Allen Parkway.

I got a pretty good laugh watching folks get through the metal detector at the entrance. One dumbass had his britches belted on below his asscheeks, and when his huge steel belt buckle kept setting off the metal detector, he whipped off the belt, took three steps and FLOP! Down went his pants around his ankles. Good thing he was wearing boxers, I suppose.

Got paid $6 for my sittin'. Already spent most of it tipping the pizza delivery guy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

'LOST' - Season Five Begins!!!

I Should Have Started LiveBlogging Earlier...

My one TV addiction resumes tonight.


Locke's got to be getting a bit ripe by now...

Juliet is soooo smokin' hot. Even though she's spent the last two seasons mostly covered in sweat, dirt & grime, well, that just enables images of long, slow spongebaths... Mmmmm....

Wow. Death by dishwasher! Go Sayid!

Why rope Desmond back in? He deserves a rest!

Gahh! Ethan's alive, the troll-faced bastard!

Oh, wait, he's dead again. Sweet.

Nice to see Ana Lucia, even if she is dead...

Heh. Flaming Frogurt. Cool!

Hmmm. Even more Others. Interesting.

Well, more next week!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Busy Week

I Want Some Bacon

Posting might be a bit thin here this week. First, it's a 4-day workweek. The Man's Craven Horde was released from servitude yesterday to celebrate Robert E. Lee's birthday.

Well, that's what *I* was doing. Other folks might have had different ideas.

Today's mostly holding down the fort while most of the workforce watches the Obamarama on TV. Tomorrow is a long trek up to the airport to indoctrinate some new supervisors in The Man's preferred management methods. Thursday I'm tapped for jury duty. Not fun jury duty, either. Just traffic court. Bleh.

That leaves Friday to play catchup, and we're back at the weekend again.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Prodigal Pookie

When In Doubt, Try The Kitty Treats...

The problem with having indoor cats is those rare occurrences when they manage to get outside. Both came from the animal shelter declawed, so they're at a disadvantage in either fight or flight.

Pookie Cat escaped sometime Friday morning, probably due to Carlos The Unreliable leaving the back door open as he meanders his way through the kitchen renovation.

Due to both cats S.O.P. of holing up in a dark corner when there's strangers making loud bangy noises in their house, I didn't notice her absence until late Friday evening.

The house in in a state of chaos due to the contents of the kitchen stacked in the dining room, and the contents of the master bedroom stacked everywhere else. Lots of nooks & crannies for a cat to disappear into.

It didn't even occur to me to look outside for Pookie until late Saturday night. Betsy Cat is the escape artist. Pookie Cat's urge to go wandering was quelled when she darted outside once during a rainstorm, and she got locked out in the backyard in the mud & damp for several hours. Since then, she's been content to remain indoors. Mostly...

I used my Cat Rattle (patent pending) to lure her out of the underbrush in the far corner of the backyard... She can't resist the call of Kitty Treats rattling around in a jar.

She's back inside, much annoyed with me for not letting her in sooner.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Participation Vs. Commitment

Simple Lessons For Life

Some people don't quite grasp the difference between participation and commitment.

Here's the easiest way to distinguish between the two.

In the matter of the Bacon & Egg breakfast:

The chicken participates.

The pig? Well, the pig is COMMITTED!

Some Poo With Your Paper?

I Rant, Therefore I Am.

Once upon a time, a newspaper was a respected, even dignified entity. Oh, sure, there was always the scandal sheets and yellow journalism, but by and large, the hometown paper could be counted on to reflect community standards, and even to set the example for writing style and professional tone.

Hasn't been that way for a while. I see more grammatical & spelling errors in the newspaper than you'd find in a sophomore composition class.

And then, there's the website.

The Houston Chronicle's website has to be among the worst MSM websites on the Internet. Looking at their cluttered, frenetic layout, the phrase 'Hot Ghetto Mess' springs to mind.

And then, there's this charming item:



Mr. Editor, would you want that on the front page of Section A? No?

THEN WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH WOULD YOU PUT IT ON THE FRONT PAGE OF YOUR WEBSITE??

Morons... all of 'em.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

KHAAAAAAAAANNNN!!!!!

From Hell's Heart I Stab At Thee!

Ricardo Montalban, the actor who portrayed one of the best TV & movie villains of all time, has passed away at the age of 88.

Rumor has it his casket will be upholstered in soft Corinthian leather...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sad News...

Canis Dolor Est! Canis Mortuus Est!

Got a bit of bad news from Rockhauler, up in the D/FW Metroplex.

Sweetpea the Beagle may have chased her last rabbit upon this mortal coil. She's over 12 years old, which is getting up there for a hound.

Rockhauler said that her doggie meds aren't keeping up with the rate of entropy, and poor Sweetpea is not going to be with him for much longer.

I remember the day Rockhauler brought her home to his apartment in Dallas, just a little bitty nubbin of a hound, no longer than your outstretched hand. I'd get daily calls on her progress in housetraining and growth rate from the proud papa.

They grow out of the puppy stage so quickly. I think Sweetpea surprised everyone by getting as large as she did. I expected her to be one of those hip-pocket beagles, based on her size as a puppy, but she got to be a fairly respectable length. Lord knows there was never a shortage of tasty tidbits slipped to her when Rockhauler wasn't looking...

Her favorite thing in the world, it seemed to me, was to follow a guest into the house, about 2 inches from your heel, then as soon as you had a seat on the couch, she'd swarm up in your lap and shove her head under the nearest hand and make sure you started dispensing your required amount of dog-petting. While this was going on, she'd be coating you with as much dog hair as she could manage. I think she felt that if you stood up and your trousers weren't beagle-colored, she'd failed in her shedding duty.

I don't know what I'm gonna do the next time I ring the doorbell at Rockhauler's place... For many years, I'd hear *dingdong*BAROOOOOOO!!!!! BAROOOOOOOO!!!!! until the door was opened!

Adios, perrita dulce! May you find an abundance of slow rabbits and wide laps on the other side!

UPDATE: This morning, Sweetpea dug a hole under the Fence Of Mortality, and escaped into the Great Beyond.

Monday, January 12, 2009

How To Annoy Your Sister - Part XVII

I Told You... There's A Streak Of Asshole In Me!

I've decided that it's time my niece and nephew resumed their musical training. We've got a long tradition in this family of being somewhat proficient in an instrument or voice, and they're not progressing as fast as they ought.

See, I got them one of those Fisher-Price electronic toy pianos last Xmas, but my sister and BIL are pretty bad about replacing the batteries in it. In other words, when the first set of Energizers went flat, they weren't ever replaced.

Now that Sammy is heading towards 4 years, and Gracie is well into the toddler stage, they need that musical influence so they can be ready to join the marching band as soon as possible. God forbid Sammy becomes a jock, or Gracie feels the pull to join the Whore Corps drill team.

I checked on the cost of shipping the upright piano out to their place, but it's ruinously expensive, and knowing my BIL's attitude towards a cluttered house, it might end up moldering in the garage or the back patio. Can't have that....

So, Plan B!

I'm going to send them the family xylophone! It was Mom's practice xylophone when she was in high school. She marched with that monstrous lyre-shaped glockenspiel, but had this smaller 2-octave hammer-piano at home.

You know those lovely wooden xylophones with the burnished rosewood bars that you play on with yarn-padded soft mallets that make sweet dulcet tones?

This is NOT one of those. Nope, steel bars played with hardwood mallets, making a strident ear-piercing chime with each tap. Kinda like this one, only more beat-up.



And it never runs out of batteries...

Rejection!

Guess It's Back To The Singles Bars...




(Pic found in a dark corner of the Internet...)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Spoodle?

Them Rednecks'll Eat Anything!!

Sometime in the recent past, cock-a-poos became spoodles. I was not aware of this until recently.

See, when you cross a cocker spaniel with a poodle, you used to get a mutt, sometimes called a cock-a-poo, mostly by people who like saying "cock" and "poo".

Generally speaking, mutts & mongrels have no curb appeal, so the dog breeders did some spin control and marketing, then created puggles and Labradoodles and Chihuamareiners and spoodles. Now we have new breeds of dog that you can charge $400 for, as opposed to getting them free by the bushel basket from the local pound.

OK, so that being said, I can get on with the tale.

I'm at a Sonic the other morning, getting my daily breakfast burritos. My life is so culinarily diverse these days. Breakfast burritos in the a.m., a salad in the p.m., lots of iced tea and Diet Dr Pepper in between to fill in the gaps.

While standing at the counter placing my order, (It's a rare variety of dine-in/drive-through Sonic) I saw they had left out the cook's guide to making the items on their new 99 Cent Menu.

To make a 99 cent breakfast burrito...

1 6" tortilla
1/2 oz shredded cheese
1 spoodle
egg mix
foil wrapper

Wait... WHAT??? I'm eating SPOODLE???!?!?!

Turns out I was reading it wrong. You use one spoodle full of egg mix.

OK, waitaminnit... You feed the spoodle egg mix until he's full, then use him as a dispenser? GROSS!!

Scratch that... wrong spoodle.

Turns out there's a professional kitchen implement called a spoodle.
Spoon + Ladle = Spoodle.

Well, that's a relief...

Which would you prefer?

This?


Or This?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Three Hundred Thousand

Another Odometer Rollover!

Thanks for dropping by, everybody. Muchas Gracias!






Logic Bored?

This Will Twist Your Noodle!

It appears that I'm still somewhat logical, in spite of my erratic spending habits and deplorable time management.

I saw this logic quiz over at Mostly Cajun's place, and gave it my best shot.

Amazing as it seems (to those of you who know how twitterpated my thinking usually is) I managed to get 100% correct, fifteen out of fifteen.

I will not claim any great mental agility, just that I have a good memory, and must have paid attention to this professor's Philosophy class in college.

I think I only got a B in that class, though...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tactical Crotch Errors

"I Recall..... Central Park In Fall..... How You Tore Your Crotch! You Let Me Watch! Called Me Beeyotch!"

Didja ever have one of those days where you're stuck in your office chair hammering away on an Excel file for hours at a time, and your trouser fabric and the chair upholstery are completely incompatible, so you slide around a bit every time you move?

In the course of all the readjusting and weight-shifting in an attempt to recenter your keister on the chair, your elastic legband of your skivvies (unbeknownst to you...) is slowly becoming tangled with portions of Ye Olde Balzac, until you finally stand up and bounce up and down a few times to get things settled properly.

While you're standing, you decide to go ahead and offload the 32 oz of diet soda currently percolating through your kidneys, so you walk like Marty Feldman's Igor (That's Eye-Gore!) to the can, dragging a leg in a futile attempt to undo that last underwear/scrotal entanglement...

Upon reaching the can, you drop trou, and in an attempt to get things settled once and for all, you grab the waistband of your skivvies and yank 'em down. (AoM, you oughta quit reading now...)

In the process, you might hear a tearing sound. For a few precious seconds, you might just assume you've torn the fabric of your undies.

In reality, however, there's a pretty good chance that what you've done is to perform a large-scale removal of pubic hair from 3 or 4 square inches of crotch, due to the remarkable clingy properties of elastic legbands and unshorn pubes.

Y'know, this stings like a mofo. Like a spoonful of fire ants tucked up by the starboard gonad. I really ought to look into one of those Brazilian wax jobs if I'm gonna keep wearing the tighty-whities...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Turn Of A Friendly Card

Why Not Bourbon Rummy? Scotch Rummy? RUM Rummy!

I grew up playing Spades for a penny a point, so I wasn't too worried when Cisco Kid suggested we play Gin Rummy for money last Friday night.

1st Friday of every month is our usual poker night, but we fell afoul of people's vacation/holiday schedules, and couldn't manage to reach quorum. Rather than waste the evening watching the tube, we decided on playing some rummy for a nickel a point.

There was some debate as to what to play for per point. A penny a point seemed lame, but a dime a point could get expensive. While Cisco Kid & I have a steady paycheck, Nash Rambler is on a fixed disability income, and we didn't want to put him in a bind towards the end of the month if he lost big.

Well, when you play according to Hoyle using all the rules, even a nickel a point got pretty freakin' expensive. After just the first game up to 100 points, after calculating all the bonuses, Cisco Kid was up something like $14, and we'd only been playing for half an hour!

So, a little editing of the rules was agreed upon, and those bonuses that doubled and tripled scores were done away with, leaving a small bonus for going out via a gin hand rather than knocking, and a larger bonus if you "skunked" the other players.

It worked out well. With three players and two decks in play, we got some serious card playing accomplished. We quit about 3 a.m., with Cisco Kid's lead completely evaporated, leaving him owing each of us about $7 each.

All things being equal, I prefer spades. Gin rummy is a fun game, but there's just too much of a reliance on luck and the order the cards are dealt out. Spades has a better strategy element to it.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Ultima Ratio Capitan

Sorry, Readers... I Need A Quick SoapBox From Which To Pontificate!

To Cisco Kid & Spinstopper:

OK, here's the plan, as originally envisioned.

Until I can get someone to solidly convince me that it's cheaper, faster and more efficient to build a (pick one or more) towed, reverse trike, hydraulic, VW putt-putt powered or other technowizardy contraption, this is the plan I'm willing to contribute time and money to.

I want to build another ArtCar. I'd prefer a ship on wheels. Longship or pirate sloop, doesn't matter. If we can get the sheetmetal, I'll do the QEII.

The key word here is CAR. Starting from an existing truck frame & engine gives us:

A) Mobility

B) Carrying Capacity

C) Pre-paid Engineering

D) Power (both in the torque sense and electrical sense)

Start with this: (or a reasonable facsimile thereof...)



Add 2" square tubing uprights, welded directly to the frame. (try that with a VW rear end...)



Build steel platform on uprights. Use whatever's cheapest, 1" round tubing, rebar, whatever.



Build boat around platform.



Trust me on this... It is MUCH easier to engineer the steering and operating controls relocation than it would be to build a scratch-built design. Being able to make this street-legal is just the icing on the cake. Leaving the wiring harness intact will make mounting the lights dead simple.

Plus, being a titled & plated vehicle gives us legal protections that a trailer might not have. ("Wanna search my Viking Longboat, Ossifer? Got a warrant?")

Let's talk. Don't let the engine exhaust scare you off. We'll pipe it right up the mast and out the top. Driving this bad boy to Austin and Galveston at highway speeds would be an adventure!

Remember... 18 foot truck frame means 36 to 40 foot longboat! That's a lotta longboat!

Buy A Boner For $20!

I Got Yer Wonder Boner Right Here!

OK, this is pretty funny...



I don't know how fish filets stand up to being treated like a tube sock, but it does look like a handy gadget!

It doesn't look like you can still purchase a Wunder Boner. A bit of webcrawling seems to indicate that it was a real product, but was sold back in the '90s. Ah, well. Guess I'll have to be content with a Butt Out.

Via BoingBoing.