Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Who Loves You?

What a successful day! I did all my Christmas shopping today for the family and in under 90 minutes. Not only that, I spent half the money as last Christmas.

There will be a followup later on the outcome, but right now, I am feeling great and I only work one day this week: Christmas Eve, when those who make it into the office are usually drunk by 2:00 PM.

Sort this one out, if you can:

Captain Mulligan's Lament

I had another action weekend. The rugby match on Sunday was the highlight, though the Hunsmen lost the match and title to the hated Clover City Mongrels. The whole experience was electric, man.

Karolyn and I arrived late to the pre-game festivities as we ended up going down on Sunday instead of Saturday as we had planned. That's a bit of a shame because I was looking forward to our stay at the Hotel Ashmont.

The Lion and Rose was jam packed when we arrive around 1:30 with rugby brethren and crazy girls. We had some catching up to do on the drinking side.

We finally found Trevor and Sky and sat with them until game time. A bit of background, here: Trevor's brother plays for the Hunsmen and Sky is a close friend of Karolyn's.

The service at the Rose was very spotty due to the huge influx of punters milling about. Once we got service, we ordered 3 rounds immediately so we were never without a full glass.

The interior of The Lion and Rose one hour before the game:


Karolyn and Sky:

Karolyn, Sky and Trevor:

Trevor took this pic of the match itself emailed it to me. That's St. Olaf in the blue and that's Trevor's brother making the tackle.
They got unlucky with the weather. If they had played the game on Saturday, it would have been 35 degrees warmer.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Here Come the Hensmen!

I am scheduled drive to San Antonio to watch the CenTex Rugby finals this Sunday. However, it won't be the Austin Lads I will be watching, but thier old nemesis, The St. Olaf Hensmen. They made it to the final game to be played at 3:00 PM at Clark-Stone Field against Clover City.

We ended up hanging out with some the of Hensmen after the Lads game in October and hit it off. The Hensmen are a good lot, unlike the limp-wristed Sallys from Clover City.

We anticipate a heavy night of drinking (either in celebration or sorrow-drowning) so Karolyn and I booked a room at a motel near Clark-Stone Field (separate beds, however.)

Some of us are meeting up before the game at noon at The Lion and Rose (Alamo Heights location) to kick off the day with beer and chips.

------------------

I have reviewed roughly 25% of the pictures I bought at the estate sale. I have deemed roughly 1 in 75 postable. What is the criteria for posting? It has to interest me and make me wish I was there at the time the picture was taken.

This one amuses me.



I hope to have updates of this weekend posted here early next week.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Comedy Clip #6

Nice compilation. I've seen some of the individual clips before, but thought this was worthwhile.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Spirit - 2008 Style

At the risk of sounding like a Scrooge, I have to say I don't enjoy Christmas gift giving or gift receiving.  It feels like an obligation.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy giving gifts when it isn't expected.  

Until recently, I didn't enjoy receiving gifts as an adult from family members.  Their choices in clothing or books or whatever indicated that they really didn't know much about me.  About four years ago, they decided to give me gift cards so I could pick out my own gift from fine establishments like Eddie Bauer, Drucker & Sons or Best Buy.

I had begun that practice as well, so now, we are just shuffling money around in the form of merchant's cards.  This is no different than giving envelopes of cash to each other (Godfather wedding style).

I always come out on the short end.  My sisters have families, so each nephew and neice get a gift card, whereas I get one gift card from the whole lot.  

Last Christmas I did a tally.  I spent $475 on gift cards and recieved $190 worth of gift cards.  Was it worth it to see their faces light up when they opened their gift card?  In a word, NO.  They showed no emotion, though they did thank me.

This year will be different.  I am going to buy or create some thoughtful gifts and do so in frugal fashion.

First up, a gift from my Mom.

Robin and I stopped by Goodwill on our lunch hour yesterday.  I had some old clothing I wanted to donate and she wanted to poke around inside.  She's a compulsive shopper.

I tagged along as she was going through some of the women's clothing and saw some pants that I thought would be perfect for my Mom.  Robin is the same size as my Mom, so I had her try them on.  
PEFECT FIT.



And check out the savings.  That's $280 off retail!!





I am already feeling better about this Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Memory of Mike Y.

Time to play catch up on the blog thing. I will attempt a newsy, off the cuff entry (that means this will really suck.)

Chris took me to Chez Z tonight. That's one of her favorite places. Others I know, don't like it that much. The food is over priced, really. It's just OK.

I do like the ambience there, especially around the holidays. They have thousands of Christmas lights and a piano player. The piano player wasn't too loud and actually enjoyable. A nice fit for the mood the place conjures up in the winter. He was playing a Blue Oyster Cult cover when we were leaving.

At one point, the piano player took a break and the piped in music kicked in, ever so softly. I could hear Chuck Mangione's "Feel So Good" and it was a dead on moment for the scene in Fargo where Mike Yanagita professed his long time love for Marge Gunderson in the motel restaurant. The atmosphere was a positive match (DNA lingo.)

When I got home, I started cleaning up my bedroom. I picked up the shirt that I wore to the Christmas party on Saturday night and found a $100 bill in the breast pocket. What the ?!?!?! I guarantee you I didn't have that $100 bill when I left the house Saturday. Now I can afford gifts for the nieces and nephews.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

No tell...

Today is the one year anniversay of my first post on blogspot.  No party, though.  I spent the past 12 hours working (rare weekend occurence.)

I was able to watch the SEC championship game while I worked. I also went through some more of the photos I purchased recently.

This one is one of my favorites. Says on the back: "Cheryl and Ed - Jan. '65". You can see Carson on the TV behind them.  I don't recognize any of the booze.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm just as God made me

RIP Paul Benedict, 1938 - 2008








Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ted N

Second entry in a row referencing older rock star.

I went home for lunch this afternoon.  I could have eaten at the office, but I required a 20 minute nap to bolster my reserves and my couch fits the bill.

Luke and Taz had remained in the house when I left for work earlier in the day, so I had to let them out to do their dogly business.  The second I opened the back door, Luke absquatulated like a rocket and I soon found out why:  he had seen  Morrissey lurking about and when Morrissey ran, Luke pinned him and  was slinging him around like a Japanese scarf.

I rushed over to free the poor kitty and he scratched my hand in the midst of the kerfuffel.  I am sure it was inadverdent.  

Nonetheless, I now have a case of cat scratch fever that would make Mr. Nugent proud.



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

David B

I used to be jealous of David Bowie. When I was 25, I fell for what would be the first of two girls in my life where the arcane term "in love" felt appopriate.

This first girl, Emily, was a huge David Bowie fan. She obsessed over him, as I suppose I did her.

[a bunch of stuff happened]

And finally, I could take in no longer and threw all the Bowie cassettes out the car window and watched them cascade over the bridge.

It was a good six years before I was able to listen to him again. He will be glad to know he is back in my good graces.

And the car we were in? Just like this one here (that isn't Emily):

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Camera phone at the Y

This is post worthy and not very long. Bluce Ree playing table tennis.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

8 Ball Cufflink

A Tennessee Laxative is no substitute for a stool seasoner.


--Commissioner Flintstone (as related to the arresting officer)



Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Troy's Three Day Weekend

I am not sure why this is, but I receive more reader email about my neighbor Troy, than all other topics combined. Here's another post.

About three hours ago, I was hanging out with Luke and Taz on the back patio eating almonds and blueberries while enjoying a beautiful afternoon. After a few minutes, Cory (one of Troy's housemates) drives by with Troy in the passenger seat. They get out of the car and I hear Troy telling Cory he had taken the trash can to the curb on Thursday. A minute or so later, Troy appears at my back gate to say hello. He says I might have noticed but he had not been around for a few days.

I told him I hadn't really noticed and he proceeds to tell me he just got out of jail. Georgetown police arrested him at his work (vacuum repair shop) on Thursday for not appearing to pay a $225 fine for marijuana possession. He says he completely forgot about it, plus he spent that money on his used HDTV.

The fine was increased to $350 or three days in jail. Since he wouldn't have been able to earn that amount of money working the vacuum repair shop, he opted to sit in the Georgetown jail since Thursday morning.

As he was walking away, he informed me he intended to party tonight! I cautioned him that it was a school night but I could tell he didn't care.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Daniel

This past Autumn, I have undergone a major decluttering phase. I have removed an enormous amount of possessions from my home that I will never ever use, but kept around just in case. Removing these useless items from the home is very liberating.

I have donated several computers, printers and numerous peripherals that I have accumulated over the years to Goodwill. I have also donated other items to the Austin Freecycle community. It feels good.

As I was going through a lot of my old keepsakes and deciding whether to trash them or not, I ran across an old photo of my cousin and myself taken 34 years ago. My cousin (Daniel) died in a car wreck in 1994, but I haven't seen this photo of him in a couple of decades.

He had been arrested several times for B&E, shoplifting and DWI. He was on his was to Huntsville. He checked out before he could get there, man.

RIP, Daniel.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dr. Price

I read Doyle Brunson's blog and like the guy quite a bit. He's getting older, of course, and over the past few months, it seems he can't post an entry without referencing how tired he is. It is a bit depressing.

He also began talking about politics this year. Fortunately, he isn't trying to tell his readers who to vote for. He is not a partisan political participant. He doesn't preach. Much.

He did make a statement in his blog this morning which is a myth that has been perpetuated as long as I can remember:
"If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain about the economy or anything else."

This is absolutely wrong. You have the right to complain, bitch, grouse, bemoan or grumble about whatever you want, even if you have never voted your entire life. You just don't have the right to be heard. That goes for people who vote, as well.

You don't have the right not to be offended, either.

----------------------------------

While watching the season 2 finale of Mad Men on AMC, I noticed an ad for another original series running on that station (as I am sure some of you have.) The premise seemed interesting to me, so I downloaded season 1 from a torrent site.

Breaking Bad is about a high school chemistry teacher who has to work two jobs to support his family. In the first episode of the series, he discovers he has lung cancer and doesn't have long to live. Through a series of turn-of-events, he goes into business with a former student creating and distributing meth.

Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston (Malcom in the Middle) and Anna Gunn (Deadwood) and is set in New Mexico. The show is quite original and though I have seen two episodes, I still haven't formed a solid opinion about the show. I am intrigued enough to continue watching. A full report is most certainly forthcoming.

----------------------------------

Here's a return to the pictures I purchased in the estate sale. The back of this photo merely says "Dr. Price". This would make a good caption contest subject.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Post 2008

I had planned on posting a small rant here about Halloween today, and then I noticed this post. Though they beat me to the punch, I must soldier on.

I don't hate Halloween per se, just the stupid parties. I don't hate costumes or disguises on their own, I just find it to be ridiculous when a large group of people congregate in said costumes at a designated time of year. While it isn't exactly a group-think contrivance, it is perilously close.

It is also dull and contrary to what those "clever" revelers think, unimaginative.

I find it much more interesting to dress up when people don't expect it like Phil Laak did in this year's WSOP.

What is worse are the costumes that are concept costumes, like this one posted on the White People site.



What a fucking tool.



You're dressed up like a clown
Putting on your act
It's the only time all year
You'll ever admit that

-Jello Biafra

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Addition

I had another action packed weekend. Saturday found me returning to Zilker Park to watch the Lads play again. This time their opponent was the St. Olaf Hensmen from San Antonio. The Hensmen turned out to be a much tougher opponent than the Mongrels and our heroes went down in defeat.

Some of us headed over to the Saxon Pub to watch the Texas/Oklahoma State game. We missed the first quarter but were able to get a table in front of one of their new HDTV's. Oddly, that was only my second time to ever set foot in the place.

One of the guys from the team (who was out of town when they played the Mongrels) was a guy from APD, named Sgt. Brill. I had never met him but recognized his name as he is the Ombudsman for the Allandale neighborhood. He and I have traded emails over the past 18 months regarding noise ordinances and other perceived nuisances. (He replaced Officer Crowder.)

He sat near me at the pub and after a few beers, I started talking to him about neighborhood issues that concerned me. He waved me off telling me he was off duty. I persisted (gently) and he ended up moving to an open seat further away from me. That was my signal to check myself. How embarrassing.

At least UT won.

-------------------------------

It looks like I have a new kitty. This was one of those situations where I was in the wrong place at the right time and ended up taking the homeless gato in. My decision was influenced by the 6 beers I had been drinking and a very cute girl pleading the case.

His name was Mr. Buttons. Ummm, no. He now goes by Morrissey. I just need to make sure Luke knows he is a family member.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Spy

In our lifetimes, most of us have felt the chill of the warden's stare, like the time in high school when my mom walked in on me bathing a mannequin.

Yesterday, I made a return visit to Houston's bar. I just wanted a belt of whiskey and a bowl of their delicious tortilla soup. I didn't want to cause a ruckus with my presence there. (Long time readers will recall that I was banned from that establishment.)

So I donned a straw cowboy hat and some over-sized glasses. I was instantly incognito.

I strolled into the bar before the after-work crowd could assemble and found a seat in the middle. In the past, I typically sat at the end next to the television if the bar was empty. I didn't want to repeat past trends with my behavior.

There was only one bartender when I arrived and I didn't recognize him, so I knew he was new. I decided to order my usual drink and relax before placing the soup order.

A short time later, two of the regulars that I was friendly with entered the bar. I was tempted to yell out their name, but caught myself in time. I had to stay nameless.

One drink led to three and I started to loosen up and get chatty with the bartender. I learned Greg was a grad student at one of the local universities and had a wife and baby girl. We both shared our distain for Jerry Jones and a certain type of urban music. The alcohol was lifting any inhibitions I had and I was about to tell him my little secret about being banned when the owner walked up to the bar with a plate of food from the kitchen and sat down across from me.

I clammed up and just stared at my drink. I allowed the nearby conversations of the patrons to fade in and out of my cognizance. It was a good 5 minutes before I looked up and sure enough, the owner was eye-balling me. I looked away casually, beads of sweat forming where the brim of the straw hat met my brow.

A few minutes later, he took his empty plate back to the kitchen and asked Greg to join him. Greg returned immediately and asked for my ID. I had already given a fake name and realized I was about to be busted. Thinking quickly, I told him I left it at home. I was then told he couldn't serve me anymore. What!?! We were just getting to be buddies and now this?

I got the check and fished around in my wallet. I didn't have enough cash and had to put it on my check card. My name is on the check card of course. I was about to confess when the owner walked up.

This dog-eyed gentleman possessed the gate of a wagon train cook and a police lieutenant's snarl. He imediately asked me to leave. Such astonishing effrontery surprised even me.

I paid the bill and left, all the while feeling the aforementioned chill of the warden's stare as I left the premises.

And yes, I am going to try this stunt again, but with a better disguise. Like maybe this one.


Now its war!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Two Scrimps

I was involved in a minor car accident 2 weeks ago. After some wrangling and paper shuffling, I finally took my car in to the body shop this past Monday for the repairs. The insurance company provided for a rental while my car was being worked on.

I received a phone call just after lunch yesterday informing me my car was ready to be picked up. But first, I had to take the rental back to the rental agency. The woman who checked me in at the rental agency was the same one who picked me up on Monday, so we had a history. It was a good history actually. She was very friendly and accommodating. She was professional too.

So, I signed all the papers and paid for the gas and taxes (my insurance company did not pay for that.) While we were in the office, she was very professional and engaging at the same time. When we got in the car to take me back to the body shop, she started hitting on me.

There is no question that was what she was doing. She immediately asked if I was married. Then she asked if I dated outside my race. (She is a fine black woman.) I had to inform her I don't even date within my race. We laughed and laughed. She told me about her being jilted at the alter. She got me to tell her about a rather regretful relationship in my past, as well. We bonded quite a bit. (She immediately pegged me as a non-commital type and told me that Oprah dedicated an entire show to people like me-never married males.)

We were in the car for less than six minutes and I learned a very personal saga from her life, she from mine and she practically asked me out.

All good things have to come to an end, and she let me out of the car at the body shop and we traded our plaintive goodbyes.

That was the highlight of my day (in addition to the arrival of the new sparkling blue recycle carts from the city.)

Today's found photo seems like it is from a NAMBLA brochure.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bar Report

Some of the drinkers in our company scheduled a happy hour yesterday right after work. The organizer of the event consulted me on where it should be held. People in my office defer to me in such matters, so it was with some surprise that she ignored my suggestions and decided to hold the informal event at Sam's Boat.

I haven't been to Sam's boat in well over six years. The place has changed somewhat, but I still don't like it much. It has too much of an "ice house" feel to it. Plus, the drinks are way too expensive. I ordered a double Makers and it came in a small plastic cup and it appeared to be a single pour. Our waitress assured me otherwise.

The woman who organized the outing couldn't have been more apologetic. I wasn't alone with my discontent so after an hour and a half at Sam's Boat, we all headed north to The Hideout.




This was my first time to The Hideout (inside, anyway). Much better. Much, much better. Shannon B.'s review of the place on Yelp sums it up for me:

Dark room, cold AC, clean place. CHEAP, *strong* cocktails. Great bartender (Andrew) who makes my signature drink as soon as I sit down. Excellent movie selections being shown behind the bar (a la Casino El Camino). Great old school video game selection (Galaga, Golden Tee, Silver Strike, etc.). Eclectic jukebox. Big patio. Average pub grub menu; nothing special in the food, but it's nice to have the option to eat after you realize you are tanked by the powerful highballs you've been downing. Did I mention the strong drinks?

So there you have it. The only drawback is the location. It is pretty far North, but that does work in its benefit in keeping the college crowd to a minimum.

I have no data for today's found photo post. I like it though.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pee Pants

This past weekend was outstanding! Somebody up there likes me. It was memorable in many ways. I attended a very, very fun party on Saturday in Tarrytown. The Texas-OU game was the basis for the get-together.

Our hosts had the grill fired up all day and an unlimited bar. Did I mention they had a pool? No? Well they did. It wasn't a big party (fewer than 20 guests), but it was a rollicking one. Of course the fact that UT beat OU in such a big, great game made it even better.

I arrived home from the party around 6:00-ish and decide to take Luke and Taz for a walk and go get some ice at a nearby convenience store. I don't go to Sun Liquor for ice as it is old and crushed. I like fresh, cubed ice that they sell at The Breadbasket.

Anyway, I have the leash on the two dogs and am walking out the back gate of the back yard when I see Troy (hobo neighbor) waving at me and yelling out for me to come over. I cross the street and catch him as he is zipping up his pants. He explained he had to pee outside since he has a lady friend over (my mind reels about that one.) He was 6 feet from the very busy street that bisects our houses. It was broad daylight and anyone could see what he was up to.

So, he want's me to help him fix his computer. He has such a short term memory. He still "owes" me two six packs and a gas cap (which he broke) for previous lawnmower usage.

I am going to help him because in some ways, it is the right thing to do, but I can't let him think he can take advantage of me. I am sure I will have further stories to relate regarding this latest interaction.

Today's old photo post has no date or locale, but it appears that the subjects were standing very near an outhouse when the photo was snapped.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cloak and Dagger

I picked Uffe up at the Airport last night on his return from New York on a business trip. We decided prior to his arrival that we would go out for cocktails before I would deposit him at his front door.

I decided we would drink at The Cloak Room. (To learn more, click here and here.) Even though I have lived in Austin for over 27 years, I had only recently (2 years ago) been introduced to the place by Bill Curra.

His flight was early, but I was following the status on line and arrived in time (10:40 PM). I even had a tallboy waiting for him in the car. (Tallboy is a beer, by the way.)

The flight was pleasant enough, even though he sat next to an extremely obese (and cranky) 22 year old girl. I did not press for details.

The evening air was perfect so we travelled to The Cloak Room with the windows down. We found a parking spot right by the front door. The pungent aroma of the Laurel Oak trees that dot the Capitol grounds permeated the air. It was a fine night and we had some whiskey drinking to do.

The Cloak Room is a pretty small bar, but is is perfectly dark and you access it by descending an exterior flight of steps. It is dark, as I mentioned and I tripped on the step that leads into the establishment. I was hoping that would not cause me to be cut off before I had my first drink.

I have been lucky in that every time I have been to The Cloak Room, it has not been crowded. I have always been able to acquire a nice table and this time was no exception. Its funny, but I never think to go to this place unless I am bringing friends home from the airport or I am looking for a nice place to go after a hearty meal at Austin Land and Cattle. Those are the only occassions that bring me there.

I do believe that The Cloak Room is my favorite bar in the state of Texas.

Here's another scanned pic. All it says on the back is "Anderson High prom." No date is given. I wonder if kids today perform the broom limbo?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Day That Was

Here's another found picture from the box I bought.  The back of the photo says "Kiper Room - Dallas Texas, March 5, 1968"  I googled "Kiper Room" and nothing came up.  I rather imagine if I had been born 40 years earlier, the Kiper Room would be a favorite haunt of mine.

Today, I had to go to the HEB in my neighborhood (the one at 2222 and Burnet Rd.)  Man, I hate going in there.  It's poorly managed (longer lines than elsewhere) and crowded most of the time.  I dropped in to pick up Luke's medicine, which is discounted from $95 to $5.  That discount is the only way to get me to go there anymore.  Otherwise, I shop at Randalls.

I arrived around 10:15 and the place was littered with elderly folks (mid 70's and above.)  They were either shopping or just hanging around.  Some were inside at tables by the deli.  Others lounged about outside on the wooden picnic tables.  They were in no hurry to go anyplace.  It reminded me of a high school cafeteria at lunch time (except for less hotties.)

Yet you go in there during the late afternoon or evening and it looks like a barrio.  The place completely reinvents itself.

Either way, I strive to avoid the place.  

Monday, October 6, 2008

He's Got the Moves

In my last entry, I mentioned that I was about to watch The Visitor and indeed, I did. I also mentioned I was going to have a glass of red wine while watching. Well our protagonist in the film could be seen in every other scene drinking red wine. I bonded immediately.

It was actually a very good movie. It was obvious that it was a "message" movie, intent on changing the way certain people felt (bigots) about CERTAIN other people (Muslims}, but that didn't bother me in the least because it was such a well made film, it didn't feel like the film makers were at the pulpit barking their message.

On the other hand, I started to watch Wall-E this evening (thank you torrent.) I found myself looking at the clock several times to see how long I had been watching. It was typical Disney: horrid. It had a lot of style, just no substance. I assure you the screen writer would have thought otherwise. [REDACTED]

So I turned that movie off half way through and turned my attention to some old Saturday Night Live shows I snagged from the torrent site(s). The shows I grabbed were all from the 70's. I had watched everyone of them when they first aired, but the comedy doesn't stand the test of time. Bill Murray, might be the exception there.

However, the musical guests they had on the shows do stand the test of time. I skimmed through three shows and caught Loudain Wainwright, ABBA, Talking Heads, Brick (from Atlanta-Dazz Dazz, Disco Jazz) and Tom Waits. That was just fantastic.

There were fewer commercials in the 70's than there are today on that show. What do I care?

Here's another pic I scanned from the box of photos and such from the estate sale. That could have been me back in the day as I loved the older ladies. (Click image to enlarge.)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Purchase Pics and a Free Krups

I attended another estate sale this afternoon and bought a box of old photographs and Christmas cards. I am unsure what year this one was taken, but I don't think this was the famous Joe and Marilyn from the 50's. (Click image to enlarge.)



I joined Austin Freecyle a few months ago intent on giving away some things to help reduce clutter around the house. So today, I entered phase two of my big Fall cleaning and rounded up a bunch of clothes for Goodwill and tossing a bunch of junk I have accumulated due to nostalgic attachment.

Most of the stuff was junk, but there was also a Krups mini-cappaccino machine I didn't want so I posted it on Austin Freecycle and got 15 emails within an hour trying to claim it. I finally decided on one person and she is heading over right now to pick it up. Now I have to return 14 emails (PAIN) telling them they weren't selected to win the free prize.

I did post a second notice on the site stating that it was taken but that won't stop some of those lurkers from emailing me anyway. I have to say, this is a bit nerve racking because now I have to wait for this woman to make her way over and who knows what kind of a person she'll turn out to be.

I should be glad someone is getting a free coffee maker and not so down on humanity, huh?

5 minutes later...
As I was typing that last sentence, the woman (Cheryl) showed up to get her coffee maker. She did two strange things. She handed me some literature on her business selling air pollution devices you put on your home air conditioner. Then she told me about having to put her husband on a 2 year restraining order as they go through a divorce (he battered her.)

Kind of weird, but I guess I am glad I met her. I get another chance to do so as she has a booth at InnoTech Conference on October 16th. Maybe I will see you there.

Now I am going to pour myself a glass of wine (red, natch) and watch The Visitor
.

Friday, October 3, 2008

100 Skills

Popular Mechanics has published a list of 100 skills that every man should know. I did not fare well in comparison. I am dexterous in only 6 of the skills (#40, #76-80.)

How well did you compare?


Automotive
1. Handle a blowout
2. Drive in snow
3. Check trouble codes
4. Replace fan belt
5. Wax a car
6. Conquer an off-road obstacle
7. Use a stick welder
8. Hitch up a trailer
9. Jump start a car

Handling Emergencies
10. Perform the Heimlich
11. Reverse hypothermia
12. Perform hands-only CPR
13. Escape a sinking car

Home
14. Carve a turkey
15. Use a sewing machine
16. Put out a fire
17. Home brew beer
18. Remove bloodstains from fabric
19. Move heavy stuff
20. Grow food
21. Read an electric meter
22. Shovel the right way
23. Solder wire
24. Tape drywall
25. Split firewood
26. Replace a faucet washer
27. Mix concrete
28. Paint a straight line
29. Use a French knife
30. Prune bushes and small trees
31. Iron a shirt
32. Fix a toilet tank flapper
33. Change a single-pole switch
34. Fell a tree
35. Replace a broken windowpane
36. Set up a ladder, safely
37. Fix a faucet cartridge
38. Sweat copper tubing
39. Change a diaper
40. Grill with charcoal
41. Sew a button on a shirt
42. Fold a flag

Medical Myths
43. Treat frostbite
44. Treat a burn
45. Help a seizure victim
46. Treat a snakebite
47. Remove a tick

Military Know-How
48. Shine shoes
49. Make a drum-tight bed
50. Drop and give the perfect pushup

Outdoors
51. Run rapids in a canoe
52. Hang food in the wild
53. Skipper a boat
54. Shoot straight
55. Tackle steep drops on a mountain bike
56. Escape a rip current

Primitive Skills
57. Build a fire in the wilderness
58. Build a shelter
59. Find potable water

Surviving Extremes
60. Floods
61. Tornados
62. Cold
63. Heat
64. Lightning

Teach Your Kids
65. Cast a line
66. Lend a hand
67. Change a tire
68. Throw a spiral
69. Fly a stunt kite
70. Drive a stick shift
71. Parallel park
72. Tie a bowline
73. Tie a necktie
74. Whittle
75. Ride a bike

Technology
76. Install a graphics card
77. Take the perfect portrait
78. Calibrate HDTV settings
79. Shoot a home movie
80. Ditch your hard drive

Master Key Workshop Tools
81. Drill driver
82. Grease gun
83. Coolant hydrometer
84. Socket wrench
85. Test light
86. Brick trowel
87. Framing hammer
88. Wood chisel
89. Spade bit
90. Circular saw
91. Sledge hammer
92. Hacksaw
93. Torque wrench
94. Air wrench
95. Infrared thermometer
96. Sand blaster
97. Crosscut saw
98. Hand plane
99. Multimeter
100. Feeler gauges

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vet Visit


I went dark for 30 hours and am just now resurfacing. Details will follow in a future entry.

I took Luke to the vet this morning. The doc wanted to do some bloodwork to make sure his kidneys were functioning properly before she renewed his prescription for arthritis medicine. Cost me $50! They informed me this needs to be done every 6 months. That sounds like a scam to me.

Luke hates going to the vet. To make it worse they had asked me to remain in the waiting room while they dragged him back to stick a needle in his arm. He was clawing the floor trying to get back to me. Neither of us enjoyed that experience. Luckily it did not take very long at all. We had a nice long walk afterwards and I think he has shaken off the experience.

Friday, September 26, 2008

In the Throes...


I'm on vacation until Wednesday and really enjoying myself. I've been hanging out with Uffe quite a bit and that guy likes to drink. A lot! He just recently moved back to Austin after a 19 year absence and we seemed to have picked up right where we left off. I am going to have to take some training classes to keep up with him.

I met Lisa D. (the girl who found Luke for me) this morning for breakfast tacos and coffee at the deli in the Crestview shopping center. Afterwards, I passed an 80's style barbershop (with a 70's style sign) and ventured in. I normally go to Birds for all my coiffure pursuits, but I had a run-in with one of their employees so until she is fired or quits, I have to look elsewhere.

The shop was empty but an old woman emerged from the back after she heard the bell ring as I shut the door. She was easily in her 70's and wore very thick glasses. No way was I going to let her cut my hair. I pretended to be lost and asked her where the nearest HEB was. That was pretty lame on my part, easily the worst moment of this vacation.

I am now taking suggestions for new haircuts establishments, so if you live in Austin and have a legitimate suggestion, go ahead and send me a Twitter.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Man of Leisure


Had a stellar weekend. I kicked it off Friday afternoon with some co-workers (and a couple of knucklehead friends) at The Flying Saucer. We hung out there for 6 hours and then some of us headed back to my house for pizza and wine. Somewhere around 3:00 AM, I remembered I had a board meeting in a few hours in Johnson City so I layed down on the couch. When I awoke, everyone was gone, but I made it to the meeting in time.

My friend Andy was hosting a cookout at his lakehouse, so I stopped by on my way home from the meeting. Andy has a beautiful home on the lake and he had tons of food and an open bar. He even hired a bartender to pour drinks.

He prepared the food himself. He served the standard cookout fare: burgers, hot dogs and barbecue. He also served up a rather weird offering: Lake Travis sushi. Andy's lake house is 5 minutes from Hudson on the Bend and he loves that place. Hudson's serves unorthodox food, like rattlesnake nachos. I am certain that is what inspired this unappealing choice. I had a burger instead.

I hit the Draught House Sunday afternoon with Buck and Loren. It was free beer Sunday (for me, anyway.) I actually only stayed for 2 hours as I had to head home to meet Uffe for a cookout and watch the mighty Dallas Cowboys play Green Bay. We had the best steaks that I have ever cooked and washed it down with several bottles of vino.

After the game, we wandered over to Lala's. Oops, they are closed on Sundays so we went to Blue Bar for several whiskey drinks. I love that place, especially after the sun goes down. All sorts of weirdos congregate there. They also have the best drink prices in North Austin.

We hung out there until Uffe's wife called and insisted that he come home (right in the middle of my Ms. Pacman game.) I now have the 3rd highest score on that machine.

So here I am at work, snapped back to reality. I do begin a vacation on Wednesday and will be staying in town, so if any of you daytime Austin barflies get bored, call me up.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pirate Speak

I have never observed "Talk Like a Pirate" day in the past, but I intend to festoon my desk at work with baubles and parrot offal. I have some midi files that will loop through jaunty sea chanties throughout the day. Of course I will shout out pirate specific patois as coworker saunter by. "Arrrrrrrrrr" will be used as you might expect. "Shiver me tenders" is also on my slate. I will make bold references to ale and cider and the need for a strong willed lass.

This is my new Halloween, which hasn't been the same since '89.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Flawless

I realize I am on a bit of a video posting kick, but this is pure gold. Bookmark this entry. Refer to it often.

Uncle Muscles with Case Tatum.




How Cartoons Are Made

This is an excellent 10 minute documentary on how Walter Lantz cartoons were made.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Baby Mac

This caught my eye. It is a picture of Ronald McDonald as a baby. This is an ad for Zune's mp3 player.

Some people might use this image for uses not intended by the creator of the ad campaign. This is just creepy.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Janitors and such...

[REDACTED]

[REDACTED]

[REDACTED]

It's just that I can't understand why they can't contract the janitors to work after 5:30 as they are constantly closing down much needed restrooms on our wing at the most inopportune moments.

[REDACTED]

Monday, September 8, 2008

Another Fabulous Weekend

I had a really good weekend and none of it was scripted, save the house cleaning that I performed (more on that later.)

The weekend started Friday around 3:00 as Loren and I convened at our sacred watering hole, Pluckers (where I am a member in good standing), on 183 & Burnet Road. Loren left after 2 hours and was replaced by Sturge, and a little later, Steve (Chapapotomus) joined the fray.

We then strolled over to Bagpipes (after I suffered a near concussion running into Plucker's front doors) for some beer, whiskey and sliders.

Finally, we ended up at The Veranda and were soon engaging in one bar bet after another over the music piped in through the bar's sound system. I headed home after that and watched Prison Break.

On Saturday, I drove over to Zilker Park to watch my neighbor's boyfriend (Nigel) play in a rugby match (Austin Lads vs. Clover City Mongrels.) The Lads (local heroes) had a keg hidden behind a tree and we drank in the park all afternoon. We stumbled over to Chuy's for dinner after that and I headed home to watch the Longhorns play.

I spent Sunday morning cleaning the kitchen (literally). I encountered a jar I had hidden in the pantry that had been sitting there for six weeks. The contents were an orange liquid with a cheesy, viscous substance floating on top. I was about to chunk the jar, but remembered that this was a project I started so I could produce some homemade bacon vodka.

I put the jar in the freezer and when I get home tonight, I intend to scrape of the fat. If all goes well, I intend to sell this at the Montopolis flea market next weekend.

And finally, I met Christopher and 3 other friends out last night at Flemings where I was treated to a delicious steak dinner, wine and whiskey. I must say, I was in rare form last night. I work-shopped a few gags and told some jokes. Judging by Christopher's reactions, most of my material is ready for the public.

Friday, September 5, 2008

It Doesn’t Have to be This Way

I am constantly amazed by the technology I encounter online. Mozilla labs has introduced a concept program, Ubiquity, that I am just now mucking with. This is fairly new and the potential is mind blowing, (sorry for the hippie slang.)




Click here for more info

John Cougar Mellencamp

Monday, September 1, 2008

Teabag the D-bag

Every year Lake Superior State University comes out with a list of words to banish (due to overuse or misuse.)

This year, I wish to nominate 'hater'. Etymology of this word can be wrangled from slang dictionaries found online. I refuse to mention any one of them by name.

The demographics of the people who use this word (in earnest or ironically) tend to skew towards the young, the urban, the stupid. So it was with great alarm that I encountered its use in Daniel Negreanu's Poker blog (a blog about Poker, ostensibly).

His blog isn't all that good. For one, his writing skills are 'challenged'. However, I read his blog because he is a good poker player and I like to see how he approaches the game, not because he can write like Nabokov (or even Rincon Phillips).

When he strays from Poker, I tend to not bother reading that entry. This is especially true when he writes about golf.

So a recent entry found him talking about politics. American politics. He is Canadian! Of course he has every right to write about American politics, but its relevance can be compared to the importance of Paris Hilton's opinion on, well anything.

He began this particular blog thusly: "****Ok, before I get into my opinions, et al, I'm going to address the haters right off the bat. If you don't want to read my political opinions then find another blog to read. I have every right to share my views just like anyone else.***"

Haters indeed. Douche-bag.

Paul Lynde (remembered fondly)


Paul Lynde was a childhood favorite of mine. I particularly liked him in Under the Yum Yum Tree which, to my dismay, has yet to come out on DVD.

In my AHDD mindset, I began reading about him online this evening due to some references from Robert Osborne of TCM after watching the retroactively overhyped film, Touch of Evil. He was notorious for his intolerance of children. Donnie and Marie chronicled his reluctance to be around kids while he worked on their show in the late 70's.

Paul was many things: alcoholic, racists (allegedly) and gay (most certainly), and I loved him.

The best story comes from Salon in an interview with Joe Florinski (and Steve Wilson):

Another notorious Paul story that turned out to be true was the time he was on an airplane and a little girl was running up and down the aisle, making a lot of noise. He grabbed her and then shouted at her mother: “You keep this little girl quiet or I’m gonna fuck her!”

A voice of reason.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Turn Off Your Mind Relax and...

Man, I am tapped out. I got nothing. So, here's a picture of Sara Tomassi. I found it on a poker blog about Hoyt Corkins getting robbed.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Disaster in a Medium Sized City

News of this derailment has spread quickly through our community. Lyle Lovett and Willie Nelson have already pledged to organize a benefit concert next month for the victims of this tragedy.

My Reunion

Last night was a blur and I want it to remain that way. I had my first big blow out in several weeks and woke up on the patio this morning. I suspect it was induced by the ennui I have been subjected to at work.

I met Sean after work last night at the Veranda for a beer or two, but it wasn't very long until Mr. Whiskey visited our table. We were about to head home when we met some "ladies" and kept drinking with them. They were older ladies, but seemed like fun.

The next thing you know, they talked Sean and myself into going to Houston's for a drink or two. We ended up eating there and drinking until closing. I haven't mentioned this in this forum before, but I was banned from Houston's in February due to dishonest bartender and my friend Loren's drunkenness.

Danielle was our bartender last night and she was very happy to see me and filled me in on the details of what transpired after the ban. It seems that the dishonest bartender was despised as a result by the other bar tenders (or so I was told.) My memory of the Houston's experience fades after that conversation, no doubt reinforcing the owners decision to ban me.

We headed back to the Veranda for one more drink and I headed home to some hungry dogs.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Old Austin

I ran across a very cool site the other night that has historical pictures of Austin's roads from the 50's up through the present. Click Here.

This is 290 & 81 (now IH 35) sometime in the 50's. I am marveling at how much space there is on the roadways. Oh for a simpler time. Well maybe not. I do enjoy the tech boon we are in which nurtures my ADHD. Click photo to enlarge.



Here's a pic of 6th & 7th Streets at IH 35 looking south taken when I was 6 weeks old.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ernie, We Hardly Knew Ye...

Space Shuttle Takeoff

Very cool view of the space shuttle takeoff taken from an Air Canada jet.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Cho Show


Margaret Cho has a new show coming out on the 21st of this month, The Cho Show. Margaret was a stand-up comedian in the 90's with a left wing bent. Shrill doesn't begin to describe most political comedians. Their acts are marked by tedious moralization and oftentimes intellectually lazy observations.

I don't recall Margaret being too didactic, but I know her stand up act wasn't funny. She comes across like an Asian Rosie O'Donnell, which is kind of funny since Rosie landed in hot water for her racist comments towards Asians on "The View" (and no, I don't watch that show.)

Not to say her new show won't be funny, but who knows? That screen capture from her new show sure cracks me up. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this show becomes a hit as she has legions of fan-girls devoted to her .

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ruby



RIP August 11, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Alter Ego




Warning: Video below isn't funny. It is creepy.



Click Here for more info.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Health

It is better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick.
- Dave Barry

Whoa! I am feeling much better today. I didn't even get out of bed yesterday. It was touch an go and I could almost see the white light on the other side.

Lesson learned: no more powdered milk from a street vendor (or even from Carnation.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Powdered Milk Salesman

I just returned from an interesting lunch. Our technology group has completed version 6.0 of our product and everyone is in celebratory mood. As such, some of us went to the newly opened M.T. Tettleman's restaurant in The Domain (north Austin.)

The restaurant was decent but the menu ran a little pricey and the concrete floors impeded the ambiance echoing the shouts and laughter of the patrons into a cacophony that was barely tolerable. My turkey club sandwich was delicious, but really not worth $15.

After lunch, Mike, Richard and I wandered over to the Mac store to see the latest and greatest gizmos and gewgaws. In front of the store, an old man had set up a hand cart and was in business to sell his wares. In this case, he was selling powdered milk and organic radishes.

He was trying to push free samples of the powdered milk to the shoppers as they walked by. None of us were willing to try the samples which he has scooped out of a homemade fettle dripping the mixture through a sluice that emptied all over the cement in front of the Mac store. He would then ladle the mixture into Styrofoam cups.

Finally some hipster doofus coming out of the mac store tried some and exclaimed to all within earshot is was DELICIOUS! Mike then wandered over and grabbed a cup but didn't drink any. He brought the cup over to Rick and me and I decided to try it.

It tasted like the tepid clown sauce that your mother would make for lunch (when you were a kid) while listening to Paul Harvey on the radio. I drank it but wished I hadn't as I have had to make 2 visits to the men's room already since returning to the office.

As we were leaving the Mac store, security was hustling him away. I really regret drinking that "milk".

Monday, August 4, 2008

Film News

I noticed in the news this morning that Morgan Freeman was involved in a car accident last night.

"They had to use the jaws of life to extract him from the vehicle," Clay McFerrin, editor of Sun Sentinel in Charleston, Mississippi, said. "He was lucid, conscious. He was talking, joking with some of the rescue workers at one point."

Lucid, huh? No doubt he is currently addlepated with sedation, if I know him like I think I do...

That brings me to a a fun little project. Morgan's onscreen ubiquity is disconcerting. I like him very much, but he seems to be everywhere. I have spent this summer watching a lot of movies (more than I usually do.) He has appeared in roughly 25% of the movies I watch. (Warning, poker analogy to follow...) I do believe he has overplayed his hand in the film arena. He isn't alone which brings me to my list.

Top 3 actors I like (reasonably so, anyway) that are featured in far too many movies.
  1. Will Ferell
  2. Morgan Freeman
  3. Jack Black
Not to rest on my laurels, I have a second list.

Top 3 actors I wish to never see or here about ever, ever again.
  1. Tom Cruise
  2. Angela Jolie
  3. Todd Bridges
Make your own lists and share with friends and family.

Monday, July 28, 2008

More Hobo Camp

The Donnington group, in association with the Sandal Brothers brings you Hobo Camp 3...

I just can't help myself. I have the day off and have some time on my hands. I have posted a pic taken moments ago of the neighbor hobo camp. Not sure if further commentary required.