Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, August 31, 2012

The CDD List

Friday Afternoon Ranting Is Good For The Soul

With 25 years of commuting on the freeways, I've had ample time to study my fellow drivers and their behaviors. I've also been keeping an informal correlation between the worst of the driving, and the type of vehicle being driven.

It's not a scientific study, just an anecdotal observation of what I've seen, but I've come to the following conclusion.

Some cars are almost exclusively driven by DOUCHEBAGS!!!

What consists of vehicular douchebaggery? Oh, the possibilities are endless, but let's start with:

1) Failure to yield
2) Ignoring striped/solid passing lines
3) Zooming to the head of a queue, then cutting in
4) Tailgating
5) Driving 15-20 mph faster than surrounding traffic
6) Changing lanes for no apparent reason, forcing others to brake
7) Cell Phone Usage/Texting while driving
8) Refusal to let other drivers merge/enter traffic
and so on, ad nauseam.

Now, it's possible you may drive one of these car models, and you don't think of yourself as a douchebag. You may not be. But I wouldn't bet on it...

So, for the first time in print, The CDD List.


BMW: Any model and body style. Doesn't matter which one. If it sports the BMW logo, odds are you're a douchebag.

Mercedes SLC: Look, let's face it. You'd be better off in a C class, but you just have to convince the world you're a sporty kinda guy. Truth is, you can't handle an AMG, and you probably can't afford it either. Douchebag.

Chevy Tahoe: The wife wanted a minivan or crossover, but your ego wouldn't allow it. You drive this giant SUV like you're still in your Integra from college. The tinted windows help hide your popped collar, but you're 100% douchebag.

Toyota 4Runner: This one's kind of a mystery, but if there's one car I always see blazing up past the line of cars on the right shoulder, it's a 4Runner. Slow down, douchebag.

Mini Cooper: Quite a few of these are driven by young women who find them cute. I have no beef with them. Men who drive a Mini Cooper, however, are likely to be urban hipsters and therefore by definition a douchebag.

Please recommend other candidates for the CDD List in the comments below!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ruger Revolver P()rn

6 Rounds Of Hot-Loaded .45 Long Colt? Heh. Magnum, Shmagnum!!

Yeah, I might have run these pictures before...

Still, it's just so gosh-darned pretty! Grips by Hogue. Holster by Simply Rugged.

*Sigh*! I love my Redhawk!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Take *That*, You Awful Japanese People!!!

Oddities From Sweat City

Saw this billboard at I-10 & Shepherd Dr:

I'm assuming this refers to the Japanese government officially apologizing for the WWII practice of turning the entire Korean peninsula into their R&R fuckhouse.

Aside from the questionable grammar, the odd location and the cryptic message make me wonder if this was the best use of their marketing budget. You'd think they'd post it across from the Japanese Consulate.

You have to really squint to see it, but the billboard was paid for by the local Korean press association.

We've got a booming Korean community over here in Spring Branch area. On the plus side, there's an increase in available bulgogi and bibimbap eateries. However, there's a plethora of storefronts whose signage is only posted in Korean, which (to me, anyway) carries the implied message of "Fuck off, gringo!".

Hey, you don't want my dollars, don't tell me what's inside. Your loss...

Anyway, just thought I'd point out the sign.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Walrilla Update

Sad Tidings For Pinnipedian/Hominoidean Americans Everywhere!

For those of you Blown Star Blodgers and assorted Texas blogtypes who've met Donny aka Walrilla, here's some news via Facebook.

Walrilla's had a rough go in the last few years. Complications from diabetes have forced the removal of some flippers, and recently he was scheduled for a quad- or quintuple bypass surgery.

Apparently he came out of the heart surgery OK, but during the recovery suffered a stroke. News is scant, but he was showing signs of improvement. Time will tell in these matters.

So, best wishes to you, Donny! I look forward to seeing you for cigars and BBQ before too long!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Frightening Food Friday

You Just *Thought* You Wanted Lunch Today!!

OK, these are some serious culinary nightmares:

(Most pics should embiggenate upon mouse clickage, though you may not really want to do so!)

Green Beans Pizzarino, or What Proctologists Eat On A Dare.

It's either pulled pork in aspic, hemispherical scrapple, or what congeals in the lowest level of an elephant's appendix.

Remember: Use evaporated milk.

I *really* don't want any come on my meatloaf...

That's a #3 can. Either they're using tiny chickens, or that's a canned pigeon.

Planked Salmon? Trendy, but way too expensive!
Try this instead!!

It's either tomato aspic in a ring mold, or cancerous whale sphincter.
Either way, I ain't touching it...


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Here We Are Again...

My Alarm Clock Is Quite Useless

Another exciting day working for The Man leads to early evening nap-collapse and more late-night blogging! 4 AM, and I'm here pecking away on the blog.

I spent the day ingesting some knowledge imparted via one of The Man's pet legal beagles. It was made even more interesting by the large percentage of the audience that just couldn't quite grasp the concept of "Thou shalt not accept gifts of value from the general public".

Oh, they seemed to understand that envelopes full of cash were a no-no, but kept trying to justify free meals and suchlike. Hey, guys, no means no! A free box of donuts today leads to expectations of fudging a code inspection down the road.

As the rules stand, it could be 110 degrees outside, you could be wilting from dehydration while working on the street, and you'd have to refuse a drink of water from someone's garden hose. Decades of graft & corruption are what led to rules as draconian as that.

It finally took a picture of a former department director being carted off in prison duds and leg irons in a bribery case to make some see the light.

And, even then, greed is gonna rear its head. Just this week there's some rumblings of financial impropriety from the #2 elected official in The Man's organization. I suppose anytime there's wads of cash floating around, someone just can't resist scooping out a bucketful and hoping no one notices...

Monday, August 20, 2012

This Is Way Too Early To Be Awake

Late Night Meandering

5 AM, and I'm pecking away on the computer instead of sawing logs.

My own fault, I took a left instead of a right coming back from the bathroom, and ended up sitting down "just to check the news & weather". Should have gone back to bed.

Y'know, this is a problem that's easily remedied!

See y'all in a few hours!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

¡Ay Caramba!

Yo soy puerco tonto!

Ay Cheehuahua!!

Mi estomago es muy dolor!

Yo compran mas comida a Mercado El Tiempo por mi cena.

Copas mas grande con salsa verde, frijoles, arroz y carne guisada, y kilo media carne asada y masa harina tortillas.

Muy delicioso, pero yo quiero una siesta immediamente!

Adios, muchachos!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Poetic Justice

LOLA's Revenge?

"Are you sure you don't want a drink carrier? I can run in and get one!"

"No, I got this. I'm only going a few blocks."

Hot day. Too hot to eat. Maybe just a big 'ol Coke Zero and a milkshake for dinner.

Don't need the milkshake, but it's cool & creamy and chocolately!

I'm not even out of the Sonic parking lot when the milkshake cup slips, the lid pops off, and I get about 2 inches of frozen glop in my lap.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bits & Pieces

Random Slices Of Life

The dog days of summer are here. It's a struggle just to keep your haid from asploding whenever you go outside. You can always tell the tinfoil hat paranoiacs. They're the ones that look like a pan of Jiffy Pop by mid-afternoon...

Nothing major going on, just trying to stay cool and stay off the radar of the high muckity-muck at The Man's orifice, er... office.

OK, in no particular order:

1) To Mr. (NAME REDACTED) - I saw your friend request on Facebook. I will be ignoring it. We did indeed attend high school together, we both were in marching band for 4 years, and I think we had one other class together. Normally that would be enough for me to approve the friend request.

However... Even though YOU might have forgotten after almost 30 years, I most certainly did NOT forget that you banged my girlfriend while I was out of town in the summer of 1985. I can't blame you, she had a great rack and could suck-start a shovel-head Harley. Still, some things are just not done, old boy. Into the bit-bucket with you...

2) An addition to the sharp & pointy thing collection is arriving by mail any day now. Joining my Cold Steel Kukhri machete is the Cold Steel Gladius machete, based on the old Roman sword design. It's gonna be quite useless for chopping underbrush, but I'm betting that point will pierce that fat possum I keep seeing in the backyard...

3) "B-b-b-but I DIDN'T steal any Pic-A-Nic baskets!!"

4) Even Elder Gods were teenagers at one time...

5) Be very careful if you're visiting the neighborhood. Some kinda gremlin is camped out looking for opportunities to raise havoc.

My next door neighbor just spent 2 weeks in the hospital for some kind of horrible infection. The neighbor directly across the street fell off his roof and broke his ankle. Old Briney across the cul-de-sac fell over and dinged himself up. I keep expecting to come home and find one of the houses has imploded!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Another Birthday Guitar

A Newfangled Electro-Mechanical Musical Contraption!

Well, if I make a habit of this, I'm gonna have a roomful of guitars by the time I'm ready to retire...

Last year I decided I'd been without a means of making music for too many years, and lacking the rest of a drum & bugle corps, I wasn't about to take up the sousaphone again. The old upright piano is a bit hard to schlep around, so a guitar it had to be.

My old guitar self-destructed. It was an old 60's vintage Silvertone archtop, but the neck came loose, and after de-stringing it to assess the damage, I managed to misplace the tailpiece screws somewhere.

So, for my birthday last summer I went pawn shop-hopping until I found a suitable re-starter guitar. Nothing fancy, just a basic Ibanez acoustic to try and build up what little skill I might have had 25 years ago.

My skill level is still mostly hypothetical, but that didn't stop me from buying myself another guitar as a birthday present! Hope springs eternal...

Saw a tasty axe on Craigslist, so I journeyed up to a pawn shop in Humble to check it out.

I've always admired the natural wood finish on the Peavey T series. I'd have preferred a T-60, but a T-30 showed up at a good price, and I talked them down 25% on the price, so I'm happy.

Next stop is to a local luthier for a full setup and cleaning, and I've got to pick up a small practice amplifier. I'll start off with a headphone rig first. The 8' Marshall stacks are a bit far in the future.

So, rock on, my chilluns. I'm gonna enjoy this one!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Alaskan Earworm

Damn You, Johnny Horton!!

It's stuck in my head! It's stuck in my head! It's stuck in my head!

Won't come out! Won't come out! Won't come out! Won't come out!

Damn earworms...

I'm checking out the latest offerings from Collector's Firearms, and one odd looking revolver caught my eye:

It's the Colt 1902, based on the old Colt 1878 Frontier Double Action. It's usually referred to as the Colt Alaskan, but also referred to as the Philippine Model, since that's where most of the production run ended up.

The usual story behind the revolver is that it was made for use by half-frozen Army grunts wearing big ol' gloves, but the large loop trigger guard and long trigger actually had another purpose.

The military .45 Long Colt ammo at that time apparently had extremely hard primers, and the standard hammer spring in the 1878 Frontier DA wouldn't reliably make 'em go bang. A heavier spring which would fire off the rounds made the trigger seriously hard to operate, though.

The solution? Longer trigger for more leverage. It's said that the typical Filipino constable used two fingers on the trigger to fire the gun.

OK, what does this have to do with earworms? Well, as soon as I read "Alaskan", that Johnny Horton song 'North To Alaska' started rolling in my brain, and won't go away!!

Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.

Big Sam left Seattle in the year of '92,
With George Pratt, his partner, and brother, Billy, too.
They crossed the Yukon River and found the bonanza gold.
Below that old white mountain just a little south-east of Nome.

Sam crossed the majestic mountains to the valleys far below. (MUSH!)
He talked to his team of huskies as he mushed on through the snow. (MUSH!)
With the northern lights a-running wild in the land of the midnight sun, (MUSH!)
Yes, Sam McCord was a mighty man in the year of nineteen-one. (MUSH!)

Where the river is winding,
Big nuggets they're finding.
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.

Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.

George turned to Sam with his gold in his hand,
Said: "Sam you're a-lookin'at a lonely, lonely man.
"I'd trade all the gold that's buried in this land,
"For one small band of gold to place on sweet little Ginnie's hand.

"'Cos a man needs a woman to love him all the time.
"Remember, Sam, a true love is so hard to find.
"I'd build for my Ginnie, a honeymoon home.
"Below that old white mountain just a little south-east of Nome."

Where the river is winding,
Big nuggets they're finding.
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.

Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
Way up north, (North To Alaska.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Paperless Office?

To Dreeeeam The Impossible Dreeaaaammmm!!

Heh. Not in my lifetime...

There's something insidious about bureaucratic inertia that absolutely stifles any attempt at modernization. I'd love to see the tons & tons of paper reduced around the office, but even with relatively up-to-date electronic filing procedures and policies, the physical sheet of paper remains supreme.

What kills me is that in just about every case, that piece of paper is taken by some admin flunky in some department, and transcribed into a database or spreadsheet. So, a new employee, for example, fills out a huge wad of forms, turns them into the local admin, who spends hours entering the data AGAIN, then files the paperwork. This packet then remains, well, forever, as far as I can tell.

How hard would it be to just cut out the middleman and go from source to database, and bypass the paper altogether?

F'rinstance, here's the list of paper documents that you need before you start to work for The Man. Multiply this times 2000 new hires a year:

MAC form (Move, Add, Change - Nothing goes anywhere without one of these...)
Employment application
Personnel Request Form
Verifications Form
Drug Testing/Processing Log
Pre-Employment Medical Assessment (not for every position)
Drug Test & Consent Form
Fingerprint Form
E-Verify form
Copies of 2 forms of ID
I-9 form
W-4 form
Direct Deposit form
Disclosure form
Acknowledgement of Receipt form
Emergency Contact form
Texas New Hire Reporting form
Report To Work slip
Medical/Dental Election form
Voluntary Life Insurance form
Basic Life Insurance form
AFLAC election forms
Dependent Care Reimbursement form
Flex Spending Account form
ID Badge application
Parking Authorization form
METRO or Parking Access Card form
Signature Authorization form
Network Security Clearance Access Request form
Email Use Policy agreement
Objects On Loan form

And, I'm sure I missed a couple. Usually, it takes an 8 hour day to process through a new employee, assuming there's no hold-ups or glitches.

Sigh. Guess I ought to invest some money with Weyerhauser, Kimberly-Clark or Georgia Pacific. Looks like paper's here for the foreseeable future!

Monday, August 06, 2012

The End Of An Era

Monday Surprise!

Well, I'll be hornswoggled...

Working for The Man for the last 8 years has produced a minor collection of shoe pebbles and canker sores who periodically plague my workday. Nothing too serious, just co-workers with chronic, minor issues that leech out productivity and who absolutely relish in the opportunity to whinge in my ear for an hour or more.

They say that 20% of the people generate 80% of the work, and while this ratio is a bit elevated, this collection of petites bêtes noires has siphoned off a good bit of time over the years.

Well, one of the whingiest has gone away. Left the employ of The Man, never to return. He wasn't a bad sort, just someone who'd been dealt a crap hand of cards, and resentment and general pissiness had completely permeated his personality.

So, for all the gripes, whines and chronic carping, let me just say to you, departing warrior... Ave Atque Vale! Bonne Chance! Arrivederci! Adios, MoFo!!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

On The Road: Houston

Smile! You're On Capitan Camera!

Random pics from around town. Benefits of always having a camera in the truck!

Seen on a Mini Cooper:

Taking out the trash. Guess they're taking it to work.

Drilling for??? Saw these guys twice on Gessner. Can't imagine what they're drilling for. Usually that rig is for shallow water wells, but they've had it in the middle of the road.

That's about $400 in fines.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Logical Fallacy

See? I DID Learn Something In Philosophy 101!

The hawk squirts.

My hamster is missing.

Therefore, my hamster must be liquified hawk poo...

(As opposed to cum hawk ergo propter hawk, "The hawk sexually molested my hamster before eating it)

UPDATE: So I wake up at 3 AM, and realize "That hawk was sitting on a post. Post Hawk. You completely missed the point of the picture..." Oh, well. My dead hamster story better relates the fallacy, so there!