Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Post Of 2010

That Was The Year That Was...

I'm about to head out and pick up some party favors for the fiesta up at the Cisco Kid's place, so I'll be signing off for the day, the week, the month & the year!

It's been a year unlike any other, that's for damned sure... Between Project LOLA, the budgetary upheaval at work, and the constant construction zone at the house, I'm more than ready for a bit of dull & boring!

It never seems to work out that way, though, and that's probably for the best!

I wish everyone out there a blessed and prosperous New Year, and for gosh sakes, be sure and tie one on tonight!! Get completely schnockered and kiss random strangers at midnight! Just don't go driving afterwards!!

See y'all in 2011!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Shiny New Bathroom!

Eight Weeks & Umpteen Hundred Dollars Later...

With all the holiday hoopla, I forgot to show y'all the new bathroom!

There was a significant delay in the completion, not all due to Carlos the Unreliable's "mañana" work ethic.

Nope, the cement around the drain didn't get sufficiently set before the tile was laid down & grouted, and a couple of days of showering loosened things up so badly that the tile and the cement needed to be torn out and reworked, then it got left to dry for 3 days with a heater & a fan running to make sure everything was rock solid. I was not pleased at an additional 3 days of spongebaths and washing my hair in the kitchen sink, but it's finally done!

This was the tear-out. The house was built in 1962, and as far as I know, that's how old the plumbing and tub were. The throne got replaced 7 years ago with a taller ADA-compliant model. Much nicer than squatting 12" off the deck! The old cast-iron and porcelain tub had to be sawed in half to get it through the doors, even after ripping off the door trim.

The joys of Hardie Board! Much preferable to gypsum drywall for bathrooms, but still a PITA to cut & fit. You can also see the floor tile going down. The little white circles are spacers to keep everything even and leave room for the grout.

Fun with floor tile! I forgot to get pics of the concrete work. To reroute the drain to the center of the floor took quite a bit of sledge & chisel work. Ever price the rental of a jackhammer? Concrete was mixed up in the wheelbarrow outside the back door, then carted in 4+ gallons at a time in a plastic bucket. It got poured down to surround the drainpipe & over the entire floor, leaving a slight slope to the drain.

The floor tile comes in 12"x12" sections on a net backing. Very easy to set, and much preferable to setting hundreds of squares by hand.

Driving me up the walls... The wall tile uses 12" squares. The small squares will stick to the adhesive. Not the big ones. Two fell off and cracked, so drywall screws held them in place until set.

The finished floor!

Fixtures attached! Tile grouted & sealed! Bank account empty!

The entire room. There's a curved shower curtain rod hung up to separate the shitter from the shower. It gives a lot of room in the shower, and you don't feel like there's a terlit just on the other side. I've still got to get the blinds up on the window and mount some shelves, but it's essentially complete.

Next up, painting the house exterior and drywalling & insulating the garage!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Man Who Lost 300 Lbs.

He's 1/3 The Man He Used To Be!

No, it's not me. Not yet, anyway...

Still, it's an intriguing read. Nice to see someone actually made it to the finish line. He's 100% correct about needing a triggering event, though. I might talk about mine at some point in the future.

Give it a look!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Any Gearheads Out There?

Random Things Breaking On The Truck Again...

I'm hoping one of y'all knows the interior of a Ford engine compartment.

Anybody know what this gizmo is called? It's bolted onto the firewall to the right of the engine block, just above the brake cylinder. It's got what appears to be vacuum lines and some electrical doohickies attached.

It's making an annoying musical humming sound at random times, starting with a "C" and dropping to "A", then quitting altogether.

It's not throwing an engine code, and everything seems to be running OK, but it's kinda getting on my nerves.

Any help is appreciated!! Muchas Gracias!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Santa Claus Loves Me!!

There's Unrestricted Concealed Carry At The North Pole!!

As promised, here's the latest Project LOLA dividend, delivered by Santa Claus just in time for the holidays!!

It's a stainless steel Walther PPK built by Smith & Wesson, in the venerable yet effective caliber of .32 ACP (Hey, if it's good enough for 007, it's OK with me!!), and has been tweaked by S&W to have an extended beavertail tang to keep the hammer from biting my hand under recoil.

Santa didn't tell me that extra mags cost $36 each, however... Kinda reminds me of buying parts for the Volkswagen, very small but extremely spendy!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Last Minute Xmas Rush...

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

Between trying to do laundry, wrap gifts, get the truck serviced, and a million other things before heading down the road to my sister's house, I thought I'd take a moment to wish all my friends and neighbors a very Merry Christmas!!

It's been a very strange year, even allowing for my usual elevated levels of strange. For one, try to imagine an entire calendar year where you didn't have even a single slice of pizza. I think that's illegal in NYC and Chicago...

Still, the results have been worthwhile, and I'm definitely in better health. All the better for hanging around for a few more years and continuing this Journal of Premeditated Buffoonery.

I'll try and post some more over the weekend, but unless Santa brings me the new cell phone with a web browsing app, it's likely to be a bit sporadic. Heh. Like that's any different from the rest of the year!

Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo, y'all!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Too Much Holiday Cheer?

Random Bits Of Funny

Heh... Saw these on the web, and had to pass 'em on.

Looks like Mr. Possum had a bit too much rum-laced eggnog. Reminds me of a guy I knew who got pissed off at the raccoons and possums eating the cat food he left outside, so he mixed in a quart of malt liquor to make beer-kibble stew, then scooped up the blitzed critters the next morning for delivery to the SPCA.


Monday, December 20, 2010

The Great Houston Rooster Rodeo

You Can't Make This Shit Up!

Having a houseful of hillbillies next door is always good for some weekend amusement...

Out of the 6 or 7 kids that grew up next door, all but one have been members of the Future Farmers of America in high school, (this despite living 15 miles inside the city limits), and they also bring their agricultural projects home with them.

The youngest kid is a junior in high school this year, so I'm hoping that the constantly changing menagerie will become extinct after she graduates.

So far we've had goats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, a turkey, several pet squirrels, and an endless supply of dogs that have lived next door. Horses make an appearance every so often, but they get trailered up and hauled off after a few hours. No cattle so far, but I wouldn't put it past them.

Keep in mind that there's a city ordinance against having livestock in residential areas... So far the critters have been reasonably well-behaved and mostly quiet, so I tend to go along with it and keep my mouth shut. I figure the time will come when I finally get the still up and running in the garage, when they smell the 'shine cooking, they'll return the favor and hold their tongue in exchange for a quart or two out of each run.

Anyway, this weekend I was relaxing out in the front yard with a cigar and a book just enjoying the afternoon sun, when there's this terrific kerfuffle brewing up over the fence that separates our cul de sac with the nearby elementary school.

This big-ass pigeon flaps up onto the fence, and starts bobbing its head around. At least I though it was a pigeon...

About the time I figure out that it's just a bit too large for a pigeon, Tiger the Cat leaps up from the other side of the fence right next to the bird, and does his level best to procure a meal.

The bird lets out a gobbling squawk, and the fight is on. Tiger keeps trying to swat the bird, and the bird is making a tremendous racket, and flapping about kicking at the cat.

It's this little bantam rooster, and I guess it got loose from its cage. I hear it every so often at dawn & dusk, but it's so tiny you have to be outside to hear it crowing.

So, Pint-sized Poultry gets in a couple of licks, loses a few feathers, and retreats to a higher perch in the pine tree next to the fence. By the time it has laboriously flapped its way up to a broken branch, I've gotten up and wandered over to watch.

Tiger the Cat has slunk off back towards his house. Guess he was embarassed to be seen bricking his hunt.

The banty rooster, though, has not seen the end of the drama. As he comes to a landing, he startles a squirrel that was laying next to the tree trunk. The ruckus starts up again as the treerat chatters at the rooster, & the rooster squawks and flaps 15 feet off the ground.

I'm laughing my ass off at this point. The squirrel is climbing around the tree trunk, and every time it makes a circuit, the rooster starts fussing at it.

Eventually the squirrel cedes the tree, and wanders off. I sit back down and continue working on the cigar & book, keeping an eye on the little rooster.

About an hour goes by, and the rooster's still perched up there. I don't think it has the brainpower to figure out how to get back down.

One of the hillbilly kids comes outside, and I inquire about the possibility of misplaced poultry. Sure enough, it's their rooster, and now it's 15 feet up in a tree, and not coming down.

A ladder is produced, the neighbors gather for the show, and one of the older kids goes up after the bird. I try to interest my across-the-street neighbor in even odds on the bird winning the dispute, but he's not having any. Good thing, too, 'cause the kid climbing the ladder wasn't taking any shit from a rooster.

One quick grab, and the banty rooster had its feet scooped out from under it, and was unceremoniously hauled head-down to the ground.

All ended well, though the rooster went into a cage instead of a stewpot. It got me thinking, though. I wonder if I could train roosters to hunt down and attack the treerats?? Something to ponder...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rough Day On The Road

Metropolitan Demolition Derby Day!!

You gotta LOVE Houston traffic!

Must be all the folks racing to do holiday shopping, 'cause the accidents were happening all over.

This nice little bang-up was at I-10 & Gessner. Tied things up for blocks in every direction.

This Car-B-Que was at Gessner & Richmond. A three-car bang-up that left a sedan smoldering, and eventually bursting into flames. By the time I got past the snarl, the whole car was blazing, and the fire trucks couldn't get water on it until they could fight through the traffic.

Y'all be careful out there! Do your Xmas shopping online!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Xmas Comes Early!

My Name Is Capitan. El Capitan...

I'm going to pick up the latest LOLA dividend at the gun store this morning!!

All those dollars formerly destined for pizzas and fast food got re-routed into the piggy bank, and the payoff is today!!

I'll show it off after I take it to the range and see what it can do!

I love losing weight. The rewards are so... ker-blangy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Xmas Card Game

One More Time With Feeling!!

Yeah, I played the game this year.

If I have your addy, you're getting a card.

Assuming, of course, that you haven't moved, died, been incarcerated, etc.

If I missed you, feel free to mail me a bucket of dead fish.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New NorK Threat Revealed!!

Kim Jong-Il Is Dressed To Kill!

In recent news, The People's Democratic Republic of North Korea has unveiled their new weapon for world domination!!

No, they couldn't get their nuclear ICBMs to launch without blowing up, so they switched to genetic weapons!

They had some problems there, too. No super-soldiers or engineered bio-weapons resulted from the program.

They did, however, figure out the cloning process...

(Click pic to embigginate. Well, not that Kim Jong-Il will embigginate very much...)

Guess he won't be so "ronery" anymore!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just In Time For Xmas!!!

Can It Get Much Worse? Sadly, Yes It Can!!

Oh, this is just not right...

Rivaling the Baby Jesus Butt Plug in terms of sheer societal effrontery, here's the Cthulhu Dildo:

(There's also a Zombie Dildo and a Xenomorph Dildo, should your tastes run to the necrophilic or exozoophilic)

Via BoingBoing
Necronomicox sells dildos shaped like Cthulhu and other elder horrors from the other dimension: "We saw a niche that needed to be filled, so to speak."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Project LOLA: Day 450

This Is Awfully Close To An Extended Whine. Be Warned.

Wow. Day 450 of the Long Overdue Lifestyle Adjustment. A long way from Day 365, and even longer to get to Day 730.

Can't say if there's gonna be an end point. Once you get on this crazy train, you really don't get off without a catastrophic derailment.

I talked to my Doc about what target weight I should aim for. It's hard to point to an ideal weight when you've been obese since high school. His reply was that if I could hit 250 and stay there, he'd never say "You need to lose some weight" to me ever again.

OK, sounds good to me. I may never fit into some size 36 jeans, but I can live with being a 44 or 46. Some pants size that's available for purchase in any store, and be damned if I'll ever set foot in a Big & Tall store again...

As much as I hate getting out and exercising, it's got to start being a daily routine. My rate of weight loss has dropped from around 12 lbs a month to somewhere around 9 lbs a month. Yeah, it's still going down, but I'm starting to get impatient, and with impatience comes frustration, and with frustration comes self-medicating with cheeseburgers and Supreme pizzas. I *REALLY* need to avoid that sort of thing.

I haven't really talked about the emotional side of LOLA. At times like this I wish I could be more like Old Crankypants, and just open up a vein and let all the pent-up vitriol pour out.

For starters, it's more than just impatience at wanting to fit into an airline seat, or shop at where everyone else buys clothes. It's a growing amount of self-directed anger at being in this condition in the first place. Of ignoring every person in the last 32 years who said "Hey, you really shouldn't eat that much", and "C'mon and go exercise with us". Of wanting a wife & kids and knowing you're 15-20 years behind all your friends in that regard, and the impossible uphill climb of trying to jump into the dating scene and eventually start a family in your mid-40's...

There are no guarantees in life. There's every possibility that after 3+ years of starvation and thousands of dollars in cosmetic surgery to re-upholster my sagging carcass that I'll still end up with a thrice-divorced shrew and a pre-fab family of red-haired stepchildren and all the baggage that comes with it. Congratulations, El Capitan! You win the consolation prize and also, YOU'RE THE NEW MR. CONGENIALTY!!!

Sorry, that's the anger poking through...

Well, as you can see, there's more than just the weight issue to work out.

More news as it happens, friends & neighbors, and as always, thanks for your continued support!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Slow Saturday

Making Blogposts Out Of Nothing At All

Been light on the posting here lately...

Mostly unavoidable, work has been hectic, and there's the upcoming furlough days and re-orgs and possible layoffs.

My director got the axe last week. With 20+ years working for The Man, I imagine she'll either retire or do some consulting work. Love that double-dipping! Pulling your pension check plus whatever fees you can squeeze from The Man is a time-honored tradition. Hey, it's the Houston Way.

Trying to interest Betsy Cat in a wine cork/feather-on-a-string gizmo. She's not buying into the game. Maybe if I tie a kitty treat on the end she'll be more energetic. Pookie Cat is avoiding me. I trod on her tail the other night. The ensuing shriek carved off a couple of years of my life, and I'm pretty sure there's a head-sized divot in the ceiling where I jumped. She ought to learn to keep it tucked underneath her! How are you supposed to see a black tail in the dark??

I ought to go wash the truck while there's still light outside, but I imagine I'll end up glued to the Internet Dispenser for a couple more hours...

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The $35 Cigar

The Man Needs My Money...

I got off the job a little early, and thought I'd spend a bit of time over at McCoy's Cigar shop downtown.

McCoy's is a tiny little place, but you meet some really interesting folks. Lots of attorneys (and defendants) wander over from the courthouse, and various flavors of law enforcement types hang out from time to time. There's an unending parade of eye candy cruising by on Main Street, and Brad, the proprietor, is always good for a fun chat.

So, I parked the Big Red Wagon at the meter, paid the toll (or so I thought), and sat down for a spell.

The Kristoff cigar was $9 and change. The parking ticket? Another $25.

The meters cut off at 6:00 pm. The ticket gnome dinged me for the toll running out at 15 minutes to 6.

Needless to say, I'm pretty PO'ed. I'm gonna wait for the next rainy day, and spend some time racing around downtown trying to splash the ticket gnomes...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Name Dropping

Who's Wailin' About Missing Palin?

Got this pic via that newfangled email contraption!!

My cousin and her daughter got to go hang with Sarah Palin up in Big D.

I kinda wanted to go to the Houston book signing, just to see the circus, but I had to work that day.

(Faces blurred intentionally... The kinfolk all tend to be right-of-center, but this webular venue delves to such Stygian depths that my prim & proper cousin would shriek if her presence here was known!)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Angry Woman Releases Possum Outside City Hall

Possums & Bobcats & Winos, Oh, My!!

I always seem to take a vacation day, and miss all the excitement!!

An excerpt:
Angry woman releases possum outside Houston City Hall

...Vandiver says she bought two animal traps and has captured at least 50 opossums over the last decade. Each time she would call BARC, the City of Houston’s animal control agency, and an officer would come to her house, retrieve the animal and set it free somewhere else.

"They pick it up off of my porch and they take it away," Vandiver said of the process she was expecting to happen again on Friday morning.

When Vandiver captured her latest quarry and called BARC, she said they told her they don’t consider possums dangerous so they stopped picking them up four months ago. They told her to set the possum free at the location of her choosing.

"Oh pretty mad," Vandiver said of her reaction. "And so I said, ‘In the meantime, what am I supposed to do? Set it free!’"

The location of her choosing was City Hall.

...Meanwhile Vandiver said she will keep trapping possums as they arrive at her home. And she’s considering releasing them all at city hall.

"And if I get the mayor’s address I’ll send her one for Christmas."

Now, I'm gonna have to go buy a cage trap. I get possums in the back yard all the time!! I bet I can let 3 or 4 go at City Hall in a good month!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Three Day Weekend!

Posting Just To Be Posting...

It's kinda funny... Last Sunday afternoon I actually wanted to go back to work. The 4 day holiday weekend was putting me off my usual routine, and LOLA demands a pretty tight schedule, lest you get bored and start stuffing your face.

So, after a long 4 day weekend, I'm on a 3 day weekend. Go figure.

I was supposed to go in for a checkup today, but the Doc's office called and forced a reschedule. Doc's out of town. Probably an emergency requiring his attention on the 14th hole at Pebble Beach. Who knows??

I'd already put in for the day off. Doc visits don't require an entire day, but tonight is the big tree-lighting ceremony in front of City Hall, and for folks like me that work downtown, it's one of the biggest clusterfucks you can possibly imagine.

After three years of fighting hordes of holiday revelers, miles of backed-up traffic and PO'd po-po's, I swore I'd just avoid the whole thing altogether. Unless you live downtown and can walk to the event, I'd recommend you do the same!

So, I'm off to do some shopping, see a flick and generally enjoy myself. Plus, it's Poker Night tonight. Score!!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Coincidence? Perhaps Not!

There's Something Very Wrong With Me To Post This...

Cigars come in a variety of colors, depending on the type of leaf used in the wrapper.

Starting with a greenish Double Claro, or Candela wrapper, they progressively get darker, ending in the almost black Oscuro.

Here's an example:

It recently occurred to me that you could easily use the same grading scale to rate the hue of your turds.

"Well, Doc, I was feeling OK, and the deuces I was dropping were like a nice aged Dominican maduro. Then I had a bad plate of oysters, started puking up a storm, and damned if the grogans didn't start dropping out all candela-colored!!"