Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm Missing Something...

No Stranger Than Dunking People In A River, I Suppose.

OK, the following photo was posted on MSNBC, with the accompanying caption:
An Orthodox Jewish couple in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood begin the Kaparot ritual by reciting a prayer and then twirling a chicken over their heads to release the sins accumulated over the past year, ahead of the Yom Kippur holiday, which is the Day of Atonement.

I keep trying to make sense of the chicken-twirling, but every time my brain's logic functions get into gear, it gets derailed by an image of Topol as Tevye singing "TRADITIONNNNNN!!!!!!"

I can't help wondering if you need a bunch of chickens, or can you pass the chicken along to someone else after you've given it a spin? Do you eat the chicken afterwards, or has it acquired a foul taint after being wafted through all those airborne sins? If you can't eat it, do you end up with a bunch of sin-ridden chickens wandering the streets of Jerusalem?

I may need to consult with Elisson and the Brooklyn Jooette to help me out here...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm On A Roll

Somebody Stop Me Before I Photoshop Some More!


Methinks Thou Doth Protest In The Buff!

More Photoshop Buphoonery

You just never know who's gonna turn up at one of these "Tea Party" tax protests!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Going Uphill On A Three-Wheeled Skateboard

There's a project in the works that's got me a bit preoccupied. Too soon to give the particulars. I need to give it a few more weeks to see if it takes, or if this is a momentary fad. Last time I had a run like this was back in 1998, and that flamed out about 5 months in after a holiday upheaval. Still, it worked well at the time.

The party's in Port Lavaca this weekend. I imagine I'll try to arrive at the RV park in the early afternoon. It's bloody hard for me to get up early on a Saturday...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Work In Progress

Phriday Photoshopping

GuyK continues to oblige my inner creativity demons by posting pics on his blog!

I got this far, and decided I didn't really want to spend all afternoon "disappearing" the Vietnamese general from the picture...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Geezer Road Trip

Please Don't Clean Doves In The Motel Sink!

This weekend is the Haskell High School Homecoming, up in Haskell, Texas. Haskell happens to be my Mom & Uncle Robert's hometown, and they decided to trek up there for the festivities.

Their plan was for my aunt & uncle to meet my parents at 6 am, then hit the road north. Then, first bathroom break 10 minutes later, and then every 30 minutes for the next 8 hours!

Oh, I'm giving 'em grief, but there's a lot of years packed in that Dodge. With Mom 6 weeks out of neck surgery, and Uncle Robert 12 weeks out of quad bypass surgery, there's enough narcotics and oxygen in that car to lift a junkie to the Moon and beyond. I shudder to think what would happen if Dad gets pulled over for speeding and a sniffer dog alerted on the car...

They'll have a grand old time up there. After you cruise the town square and get a burrito at Allsup's, you drift down to see the stockyards, and then over to the DQ to see the ranchers drinking coffee. If they get real excited, they might even head over to Rochester or Paint Creek and watch the stoplight change.

Then, back to the high school football field bleachers to hang out and watch the Indians get beat like a red-headed stepchild. Hey, it's tradition.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obligatory Wednesday Post

The Postest With The Mostest!

I'm actually kind of swamped at work this week. Monday was insane, yesterday I was out at a conference, and today's just like Monday.

Regular blogging will resume... someday.

And now, for your viewing pleasure...


Monday, September 21, 2009

New Shoes Blues

I'd Go Barefoot If I Had Prettier Toes!

Part of the problem with being a bachelor is there's no one around to nag you about your grotty old clothes.

I'd pretty much worn out my old pair of Rockport boat shoes. Bought 'em who knows how many years ago, and they'd progressed from respectable to somewhat suspect to "Oh dear Lord, is that a possum hide wrapped around your foot?"

Well, I retired them this weekend, replacing them with... another pair of Rockport boat shoes.

I actually had to wear some socks this morning. The new leather's a bit tough on my ankles. I imagine it'll take a month or so to get 'em fitted to my feetses, then about a year before they really get comfortable.

I bought a pair of Crocs, too. All-black, no vent holes. I'd intended them for weekend and around-the-house wear. Comfy, but you look like you're wearing a Thermos on each foot. I can't bring myself to appear in public with them just yet...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Bet Ya Didn't Know There Were Pirate Curmudgeons!

OK, OK, it is indeed International Talk Like A Pirate Day.


Ahoy, Matey!

Moisten the wenches and hoist me yardarm!

OK, I'm all done.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vacation Photos

More Photoshop Phoolishness

You just never know who's gonna turn up in your picture...

"Yo AoM, I'm really happy for you, I'mma let you finish but Princess Cruise Lines had one of the best vacation packages of all time! One of the best vacations of all time!"

Or, you could have rodents...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust

If You Don't Use It, Your Hoo-Hah Will Rust!

Mom just called me at work. She and her brother have hatched a plan to travel back to Ye Olde Hometowne next week in order to scatter my grandmother GiGi's ashes.

I'm surprised they're not going to wait until next summer, and take care of it at the usual Gathering Of The Clan. It's not like GiGi's ashes are going anywhere. She died in 2002, and the marble urn has been sitting on Mom & Dad's buffet table ever since. I always got a giggle the few times Mom & Dad had relatives over for an Easter cookout. You'd pick up a plate at one end, and select your food from the items lined up on the buffet... Chips, hot dogs, relish, mustard, GiGi's ashes, onions, cheese...

To tell the truth, I'm not sure how I feel about them dumping the ashes, especially after all this time. I'm sort of tempted to sneak in one night when Mom's not around, and scoop out a teaspoon or two, just for old time's sake.

I suppose that's pretty morbid... I also have no clue what I'd put them in. It's not like you could use an old film canister. Well, I suppose you could, but you'd have to stash it away forever. Can you imagine this?

"Dude! You're back! Man, I hope you're cool with this, but we just snorted up all those old bong-scrapings you had in that old film can!"


Ah, well. Probably best to let Mom & my uncle dump 'em all.

I wonder... what does one do with the empty urn afterwards? I think GiGi would agree that it might make an excellent cigar humidor!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For Whom The Bell Tolls

The Ring's The Thing

Going through my daily list of blogreads, I ran across a reference to someone taking their kid to bell choir practice.

I didn't quite expect the flood of memories that mentioning 'bell choir' set off in my skull. Handbells. Wow. How long ago was that?

As a teen, I was a reluctant churchgoer, to say the least. Mom & Dad pretty much quit forcing the issue about midway through high school, and more and more frequently Sunday mornings would find me snoozing until past noon, and finding some reason to avoid the evening church youth group.

Bell choir, I actually enjoyed, though. As a band geek, I was already up to my ears in music, and bell choir was just another outlet for my middling dose of musical talent.

The downside to bell choir practice was that at some point, they expected you to perform. And of course, the church service was the preferred venue. Not just the 10:30 service either. Oh, no. You had to be there for the crack-of-dawn service as well.

I always preferred the times we'd provide background music for some part of the service, as opposed to being the "featured performer". It seemed more appropriate, as opposed to a "Hey, look at my kid ringing them bells!" opportunity. Christmas was always fun, too, with all the carols.

The other downside, at least for me, was being a strapping six-footer with some beef on my frame. Not for me the rows of teacup-sized alto bells, and the chance to play the melody. Nope, I got the big mondo bells the size of the Stanley Cup. The biggest was probably a G two octaves below Middle C, which on a piano isn't that big a deal, but on a hand bell translates to 20+ pounds of bronze. You definitely got a workout on any uptempo song.

It would be fun to make a little music again. I understand that there are a few community-based bell choirs, as opposed to a church choir. Nothing against churches, I'm just afraid that if I was to enter one after all this time, I'd leave smoking, charred footprints on the carpet.

It seems like an expensive proposition to fund. I just checked on the Schulmerich website, where a set of 5 octave bells runs in excess of $20,000. That's a big pile of bronze...

So, anyone else wear the white gloves in their youth?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It Is Accomplished...

Now, I Need To Finance A Boat!

Wow. 14 years after graduation, after numerous refinances, buyouts, transfers, grace periods and dozens of Past Due notices, I have paid the final installment on the last of my student loans.

Finally, I can sleep soundly knowing that large thugs will not be strapping me to a gurney & applying a drill and vacuum to my skull, forcibly repossessing my college education!

Monday, September 14, 2009

More PhotoShop Phun

I Am So Gonna Get Slugged For This...

It's a little-known fact, but when ABBA toured the States, the brunette singer would sometimes skip out to Popeye's Chicken for a three-piece and a biscuit, and they'd snag a replacement for the show that evening.

The Brooklyn replacement was a hit, and even agreed to take her pay in B Train tokens!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Group Grope

Tales From The 'Hood

There are times I wish my bedroom window did not face the street.

Sometime in the wee hours last night, I was awakened by some sort of teenage commotion outside. I managed to focus on the clock. Ye Gods... 3:15 AM. What in the world induces teenage squealing at that hour?

Since the neighbor across the street uses a 1,000,000 candlepower front porch light, it wasn't hard to see who the culprits were. The youngest girl from Maison Hillbilleé next door was jumping up and down out in the circle with the girl from across the street. They were either texting or talking on a cell phone, you could see the light from the screen being waved about like a glowstick at a rave.

Just as I'm drifting off to sleep, the harsh glare from the porch light flickers several times as people walk in front of it. More kids are arriving. Oh, joy. It's not that I mind them being out there so much, it's just that as a former teenager, I know that Being Out At 3 AM & Doing Stupid Shit goes together like pizza and beer. Besides, they're only 20 feet from my truck.

I doze off, waking up an hour or so later when Betsy Cat stomps her way down my body to head for the litterbox. Not a bad idea, cat...

On the way back from the can, I look out the window, and the teenybopper parade is still out there, only now they're all sitting in a circle giving each other back rubs. Ah, Young Lust. I remember it well... When you can't ask her for a hand job, at least ask her for a back rub.

I was tempted for one brief moment to call Johnny Law and complain about a teenage orgy out in the cul de sac, but they were being quiet, and as long as they weren't using my truck for a Love Wagon, I had no gripe.

So, it's 3 AM. Do you know where YOUR children are? Are you sure??

Friday, September 11, 2009

Still Alive

There Should Be A Shrimp Cocktail Delivery Service!

Two days of rest and fluids, and I still feel like crap. Better than Wednesday by a factor of 100%, but still not perfect.

Odd thing, though. Temperature of 101F two days ago, now it fluctuates from 96.9F to 98.2F. Weird...

I need to get outside and away from the cats for awhile. They're starting to think I'm home for no other reason than to pet them for 12 hours a day...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

West Nile Flying Hog Flu?

Whine, Whine, Whine.

Man, I feel like I just got my ass whomped by a Little League team armed with frozen turkey legs and high-heeled shoes. Where there's not a dull ache, there's a piercing pain.

I hope I'm not coming down with anything. I happen to live in one of the two Zip Codes in the Houston Metro area that they're actively spraying for 'skeeters due to some dead birds found infected with the West Nile virus.

We've also had kids in school for a week now, more than enough time for those cute little disease vectors to pick up the Plague, give it to a parent, who then comes to work and gives it to me...

No fever, or at least I don't think so. I'll have to get home and remember where I put that thermometer. I thought about getting one of those ear-gun heat readers, but the glass & mercury version has been rolling along fine for 30+ years now. I just wish I could remember if the damned thing has ever been jammed up someone's ass. It'd be just like my sister to pull it out of the bathroom cabinet, check one or both of the kids, and "forget" to wash it...

Mmmmm... Tangy!

Sigh. Three hours to go. I need a tall drink and a handful of muscle relaxants...

Update: The thermometer is showing 100.9 F. Sounds like it's time for lots of bedrest and fluids. And NOT going to work tomorrow...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

More Photoshop Phun With GuyK

It always starts out the same...

Someone posts an innocent picture on the Internet. In this case, it's GuyK napping with his poodle:

I see the picture, and I just get the urge to merge... To insert a fellow blogger into great works of art. I just can't stop myself! First, it was Jimbo, now it's poor Guy!

I do hope Guy's wife Sweetthing forgives me for putting him in a compromising position with a couple of nekkid shameless strumpets...

Source Image: Death Of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David

Source Image: Haymakers by István Csók

Source Image: Le déjeuner sur l'herbe by Édouard Manet

Source Image: The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau

Source Image: Sleeping Beauty by Maxfield Parrish

Source Image: The Naked Maja by Francisco Goya

Source Image: Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth

Cats Got Claws...

A Public Service Announcement

Well, there was a bad idea...

So, I wake up this morning to find Betsy Cat curled up on my back, right between my shoulder blades. I guess she likes a heated vibrating mattress.

I needed to get up and visit el baño in a most urgent fashion, but Betsy Cat was either sound asleep, or ignoring my efforts to gently wiggle her off.

My sleep-muddled brain decided it would be really amusing to play Cat Rodeo, and commence to bucking and see if the cat could remain in the saddle for 8 seconds.

Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch...

Friday, September 04, 2009

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time...

I'd Pay Good Money to See That!

After a few complaints, Wolf Chili was forced to acknowledge that using the new 747 airtanker to airdrop 20,000 gallons of chili on the Texas State Fairgrounds might not have been the best idea for a successful promotion...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Another Typo On CNN

More Lefty Crap From The Communist News Network!

Saw this link on CNN's feed on my ISP's website. Didn't bother to read the article...

Sen. Snowe not afraid to buck her party

Hey, CNN? You misspelled a word. You needed an "F", not a "B"...

Ten Twenty-Twos

Trying To Maintain My Gunblogger Eligibility...

There is nothing quite so handy as a .22 rifle! It's good for target shooting, plinking, and vermin disposal. Plus, you can use it on game animals up to and including deer-sized critters. Oh, it's all kinds of illegal to use it on a whitetail, but you could, if you absolutely had to.

I've read here and there in the gunblog world that a .22 rifle shouldn't be classed as a weapon, but a household commodity, something everyone should have tucked in a closet. I firmly agree!

They come in all sizes and flavors. Auto-shuckers, bolties, lever-action, falling-block, etc. Some are picky about what fodder you put in them, but a few will digest .22 shorts, longs, Long Rifles, CB caps, what have you.

I've got several .22's in various forms, rifles & pistols. I need to increase the number I own, though. I think to be well-kitted out in .22's, you need at least ten different variations!

I'm lacking a .22 revolver, either double or single action. I'd prefer a double action Smith & Wesson Kit Gun, since shooting .22 LR instead of .357 Magnum is an inexpensive way to practice your DA trigger pull. I'd like a single-action Ruger with the dual .22 LR/.22 Magnum cylinder, but that's a low-priority item.

I'd like a tube-fed bolt-action .22 as well. My Savage .22 boltie is scary-accurate, but the micrometer peep sight that's mounted on it makes it very difficult to use as a training tool for newbie shooters. I prefer teaching new shooters using a bolt action rather than a semi-auto, just for safety reasons, and I could use one with open notch rear sights.

At some point, I'd like to get a lever-action .22 rifle. I don't own a lever gun in any caliber, and a .22 is a good beginning!

I've got an armload of semiauto .22 rifles. All are variations on the Marlin Model 60.

I'm a pretty diehard Marlin fan. They're inexpensive, easy to use, and reasonably accurate. Above all, they're almost indestructible. While a regular thorough cleaning certainly helps, you'd have to put several thousand rounds through one before you started to see the action gum up. My biggest maintenance issue is making sure the front sight screw is snugged down tight.

Yes, the tube-fed magazine isn't the quickest to load, and you can seriously ding the mag tube if you drop the rifle while loading it. Those are minor quibbles, though.

At any rate, my love affair with the Marlin 60 has kept me from entering the Ruger 10/22 arms race. As much as I like the Marlin, I'll give the 10/22 props for being an outstanding .22 autoloader. It's a wildly popular platform for customizing, and there are literally catalogs full of aftermarket accessories for the 10/22.

I'd never really seriously considered buying a Ruger 10/22, but after seeing a must-have custom modification/accessory over at MadOgre's site, I think I'll start haunting the local pawnshops in hopes of picking up one secondhand!

Check out this bit of bad craziness!

See, you buy this:

Which turns this:

Into THIS!!!

50 rounds of .22 LR Shooty Goodness!


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Before & After

No Real Material To Post!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Hook 'Em Young!

"Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last?"

Looks like The One is taking a page out of Big Tobacco's playbook...

After all, if the ignorant peasants are dragging their heels at your Inspired Plan To Save Humanity, well, just bypass them and go after the kids!

Take a gander at this:
Obama in the classroom: Letter to school principals for September 8

Recently, U. S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, sent a letter to school principals. He informed them of President Obama's intent to address school children on Tuesday, September 8, 2009, through a live broadcast.

Secretary Arne states, in part:

This is the first time an American president has spoken directly to the nation's school children about persisting and succeeding in school. We encourage you to use this historic moment to help your students get focused and begin the school year strong. I encourage you, your teachers, and students to join me in watching the President deliver this address on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. It will be broadcast live on the White House website at12:00 noon eastern standard time.

In advance of this address, we would like to share the following resources: a menu of classroom activities for students in grades preK-6 and for students in grades 7-12. These are ideas developed by and for teachers to help engage students and stimulate discussion on the importance of education in their lives. We are also staging a student video contest on education. Details of the video contest will be available on our website in the coming weeks.

Yup, nothing like an injection of Politicially Correct Doctrine straight into those fertile young minds, so open to suggestion and free of that pesky partisan suspicion and logical thought...

"Skateboards... I've almost made them respectable! You see, I can't always get through to you, so I go for your son!" -- Joe Jackson - 'I'm The Man'

And finally...

"What is most significant about teens and smoking, however, is that, from all indications, smoking is an addiction that is typically initiated during the teenage years or not at all. For the great majority of smokers, this addiction begins before they are old enough to purchase tobacco lawfully . . . If youth access can be controlled effectively, and the decision whether to smoke can be delayed until adulthood, then, over time, smoking will be greatly reduced as a major addiction in our society."
-- "No Sale: Youth, Tobacco and Responsible Retailing," Working Group of State Attorneys General, December 1994.

Let's just reword that, Alinsky-style...

"What is most significant about teens and voting, however, is that, from all indications, Voting Democrat is an addiction that is typically initiated during the teenage years or not at all. For the great majority of voters, this addiction begins before they are old enough to make decisions rationally... If thought and reason can be controlled effectively, and the decision whether to question authority can be delayed until adulthood, then, over time, Conservatism will be greatly reduced as a major force in our society."