Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

My Photo
Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Final Post for 2014

See!  That Wasn't Too Maudlin!

I'd like to say that 2014 has been a real kidneystone of a year, but truth be told, it's dealt out some good along with the bad.

Along with the minor health issues, car wreck, family squabbles and increasing withdrawal from any form of meatspace social life, I've had continued employment, better overall health than I probably deserve, a mostly-operating vehicle, and even a couple of salary bumps.

Life's not perfect by any means, but it can always suck just a little bit more than it does.

And despite how cliché it might sound, that's part of what keeps me going.

It's the easiest thing in the world to just say "Fuck it, the world/God/Life hates me, I quit", and just fade into a miserable pile of goo.

Somehow, you find the gumption to push the giant dungball up the hill just one more time, praying the Sysiphusian V8 powering the whole affair don't vapor-lock or throw a rod...

2015 will have some big changes.  Serious, life-altering, end-of-an-era changes.  I'm still not ready to talk about it, as I'm still processing and planning.

As such, I'm not even going to try and post as often as I feel obligated to.  The recent 2-3 posts a week will probably become the new normal around here.  Sorry for turning off the tap, but a brownout's better than pitch black!

Best of luck to you and yours in the New Year!

See y'all in 2015!


El Capitan

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Longest Day

Next Year, I Take All Of December Off!

There are certain benefits to having your office/cubicle tucked away in the very back of the rat's maze of The Man's cube farm.  Mainly, it's the furthest away from the door, so any incoming traffic will usually intersect a co-worker before they penetrate too deeply into the office and stumble on my lair.

This keeps my face-to-face interactions to a minimum, which is nice on a typical workday.

On the day after Xmas, though?  Today it's just me and another guy holding down the fort, and we've got to keep prairie-dogging up over the cube walls to see who's coming in, instead of spending the day in a semi-comatose trance, awaiting the 5 pm bell.

We really shouldn't even be open...  Last count, two walk-ins, one of which was supposed to be in here on Wednesday, and two phone calls. 

Still, you never know.  You sometimes see a bump in traffic over the holidays, when people chew the fat with their kinfolk, and someone decides that The Man has dealt out a rotten hand.  "Yew oughtta go complain about that!"  And then, suddenly there's walk-ins # 3, 4 & 5...

Sigh.  2 hours to go.  Y'all just let it go until Monday, y'hear??

Monday, December 22, 2014

Attack Of The Holstein Rat

Barbacoa For Buzzards?

Well, yesterday certainly gets an entry in the list of "Strangest Days Ever"...

First, both the Texans and the Cowboys won.  I couldn't give two craps about the Texans, but they are the local team, so I suppose I ought to feign enthusiasm.

The 'Pokes, on the other hand, may well go to the Superbowl.  So much for all that got-damned "Romo the Homo" talk...  The road to greatness is littered with the potholes of disappointment, but we will reach the Promised Land!!!

But now, for something really weird...

I'm heading into the drive-thru lane at the local Sonic for a diet cherry limeade, when I spot 4 really huge black birds squabbling in the grass.

There's a big grassy field between the Sonic and the Walmart parking lot, maybe half the width of a football field, and for some reason, there's 4 turkey buzzards doing some sort of vulture tango out there.

On closer inspection, they're fighting over some dead animal bits.  Specifically, 4 partially gnawed skulls of either sheep or goats, with plenty of meat still attached.

The eyes have been pecked clean, and the buzzards are mostly trying to pry the tongues loose, when they're not hopping over to another skull and trying to steal it from another bird.

This round-robin... er... round-vulture goes on until I get honked at by the car behind me.  They're obviously not as fascinated by the spectacle as I am.  So, I leave the birds to their carrion, and carry on my own scavenging project.

I'm still puzzling over it.  Who dumps sheep or goat skulls between a Walmart and a Sonic??

Later, at the cigar shop, I'm greeted by the sight of one of the regular smokers who has acquired a tiny black & white Chihuahua that looks almost exactly like a Holstein cow in terms of coloration & fur pattern.

He walks in with it, and the owner was quick with "Hey!  No rodents allowed!"  So, whatever else this dog might be named, it's now called the "Holstein Rat".

I know for a fact I've seen wharf rats bigger than this "dog".  Still, it's quiet, doesn't tremble uncontrollably, and spent most of the afternoon napping.

Who said rats don't make good pets?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cartoon Giggles

When A GoodBye Letter Just Ain't Enough.

This needs to have that Cee Lo song as a soundtrack...

(Click Pic To Embiggenate!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ahhh! The Pain! The PAAAIINN!!!

More Fun Than The Law Should Allow

No, that's not the leftover aches from my concrete faceplant of three weeks ago, though I am still a bit sore in a few out-of-the-way places.

Today was some mandatory training, courtesy of The Man.

See, the rules mandate that if you request certain documents from The Man, he has to give them up.  You in turn pay 10 cents per page, plus reasonable research time.

So, people will frequently walk in and exchange checks or wads of cash for a stack of paper.

No big deal, right?

Wrong.   Apparently, my department averaged over $500 per month for the last three months, thereby qualifying us as a Major Cash Collection Point.

So, off to training for The Man's Cash Handling Administrative Policy.

The PAINFUL hours can be whittled down to this:

1) Count Your Change.
2) Lock Your Desk
3) Give a Receipt.
4) Don't Fuck Up

Plus, you might get lucky and get audited by Finance, the Controller's Office, or a mix of the two.

Oh, joy...

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Incredible Disappearing Blog

Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends...

5 years ago I would have been catatonic with guilt over letting this much time pass between blog posts.

Word on the street, however, is that blogging is as dead as a bucket o' fried chicken.

So, not so much guilt as a sense of inevitability...

The latest symptom of the rotting corpse was the recent Sitemeter eff-up.  Apparently, Sitemeter is "under new management", and was using the embedded code meant to track visitors to instead insert some form of spammage in place of your regular page.

Not that anyone noticed around here...

Sitemeter code is being scalped from the few remaining active blogs as we speak.  I, for one, will get around to it eventually.

Should be a slow week here in downtown H-town.   One would hope that would translate into some more blog content.

We shall see...

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

How To Fix Things

Ah, To Be Squeaky Clean Once Again!

Step #1 - Invite Brother-In-Law over for a holiday visit.
Step #2 - Lay out hand tools
Step #3 - Stay out of his way.

That's pretty much it.

I don't even have to point things out. All those little nit-picky things that need doing will magically get done.

"Hey, Cap, did you notice the brace on the incoming electric main came loose from the soffit?"
"Um, where? What?"
"Oh, I fixed it."

"Hey, the gap around the door to the hall closet was uneven, so I pulled the door, reset the hinges and rehung it."
"Uh, what door??"

"Damn, Cap, the pressure in the shower sucks.  What's up with that?"
"50 year old steel pipes, a jacked up house filtration system, and 3 municipal water main projects that have dumped pounds of sediment into the pipes & manifolds..."
"Let me take a look..."

3 hours later, there's a hole chopped in the drywall in the office closet to get to the shower manifold, the filter housing has been dug up and replaced, and things are back to normal.

You know how you squeeze the handle at the coin-op carwash, and the blast of water comes out the nozzle?   That's the pressure I'm now getting at the showerhead.  It's f#*$&^ng GLORIOUS!!

I wish the guy drank something other than Lite beer.  He'd be getting a screamingly expensive bottle of Scotch for Xmas.

Good thing he's always in need of ammo.  A few boxes always stuff nicely in stockings.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Just Thankful It's Over...

Nutsack?  Meet Mr. Vice Grips!

I had *SUCH* a nice peaceful holiday planned...

It involved a leisurely 4 day holiday filled with fun & family.  Maybe some overingestion of dead turkey.  Definitely some pie.

It didn't end up that way.

Oh, God.  Where to begin?

Possibly last Monday.  Had a day off to go see the Doc & run a few errands.  Nice visit.  Doc didn't harangue me about my weight too much.  Test results were all pretty good, good enough to not need another visit for 6 months, anyway.

I did get a flu shot, which might have contributed to the coming storm of misery.  Most years I don't get any bad reaction from the shot.  Every so often, though...

So, the big kahuna:  Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving.    Come out of work to get on the shuttle to remote parking, and there's no shuttle there.  Shut down in preparation for the upcoming Turkey Day parade.

Were we told about this?  Ha!  Of course not.  We are peons for The Man, after all. Useful knowledge is for higher beings.

Traffic has been rerouted two blocks away, so I shlep my fat ass towards the nearest intersection in hopes of seeing the shuttle.  I never make it.

Stepping off an unseen curb, I faceplant onto the concrete sidewalk.  Remember being a kid and falling over?  You bounced back up like a Weeble.  Those days are LONG gone...

So, I'm laying there like an inverted turtle, trying to figure out why I'm suddenly in pain and kissing concrete.  One of the building maintenance guys saw me, and got me up and on my feet.  No crimson leakage or protruding bones, so I'm mostly OK.

Never did see a shuttle bus.  A passing co-worker saw me and gave me a lift out to the remote parking lot, or I'd still be sitting @ Rusk & Smith, hoping for a cab to pass by.   I call my boss to report the accident per regulations, and head home.

So, now I'm in pain.  And, it gets worse.

I blow off the post-work trip to the grocery store, so no cheesy sausage balls for anyone this year.  All I want is to crawl into bed and moan for a few hours.

I get home, undress and crawl in bed.  2 hours later, the phone rings.  It's my boss...

"So, El Cap, I've got some bad news."
"Oh, joy."
"According to the Accident Policy, I'm going to have to drive out there, pick you up, and escort you to the 24 hour drug testing facility down by Hobby Airport for a post-accident pee test."

It takes every bit of self-control I have not to immediately start spewing profanities.

"Um, I don't think that's really necessary, is it?"
"Well, the rules say BlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlah..."

We argue back & forth, punctuated by her call waiting as various other HR Poobahs chime in.

Eventually, an 11pm call (Keep in mind this is the night before Thanksgiving...) to the HR Director gets a ruling that this was a post-work injury that occurred outside the facility, so the Accident Policy doesn't apply.

Whew.  No late night piss test, but there might still be one after the holiday.

Things didn't really improve after that, but it didn't entirely suck.  Dinner was good.  Seeing family was good.  My sister's dog didn't eat my parent's poodle.  My cousin's druggie wife was safely locked in the County Jail, so she wouldn't need to be cavity-searched for jewelry & cash & prescriptions before she was allowed to leave the premises, so that was good.

The added suckage?

First Thanksgiving without Uncle Robert, Mom's brother.  Miss him terribly...

Mom insisted on family portraits in the local park.  Not too onerous, but very painful.  By now my hands, wrists and knees were blooming some beauteous bruises.

The Sugarland crew of 5 cousins blew us off at the last minute to go shopping instead of eating dinner.  We'd already bought the food and everything.  Set up extra furniture.  Feckin' ingrates.  I offered to cut them a check for whatever "savings" they might get if they'd just some join us, but the lure of the mall proved too great.

There was one more major hit that swopped me upside the head, metaphorically speaking, but I'll save that for another post.

Now, where's my damned bottle of Tylenol??