Monday, June 30, 2008

In This Colony

I had a rather dull weekend, which is fine by me. The highlight was driving Sturge to the airport early Saturday morning.

Last night I began watching a movie after supper (yes, supper, not dinner.) One of the bad habits I have adopted is to watch the movie with my laptop computer so I can go to the IMDB site and reference every actor that captures my attention. I do believe this is a form of dementia. If I can't figure out where I have seen that actor before I must look him up in the database or I will not be able to concentrate on the movie. I'm daft, I know!!

So last night, I am watching Alfie (the original version) and spot Jane Asher. Where had I seen her? Oh right, she was Paul McCartney's fiance in 1967.

Anyway, while watching the movie, I get an IM from Dana, one of my ex-girfriend's little sisters. I've known Dana since she was 11. We've remained tight long after her sister and I split.

She's a good kid, but has made some rather unfortunate decisions in life. She's three times divorced and everyone of her husbands were socially challenged (I am being delicate here.)

So now she has a new boyfriend and a job promotion to title clerk at one of the Acura dealerships in Tulsa. Then I learn she and her boyfriend spend weekends at a "famed" nudist colony an hour outside of Tulsa. Not only that, last weekend, she took her 17 year old daughter and her daughter's boyfriend along.

I understand that nudist colony's are family oriented and hedonism is frowned upon, but I was slightly alarmed to find out about that setup. I can't imagine having done something like that with either my parents or my girlfriend's parents when I was a teenager.

Obviously, I am not "with it."

Dana also refused my request for a nude picture of her daughter.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Two For One

Does this look like Peter Griffith Griffin from Family Guy?

And now, the Monkey Whisperer...

The link to this story can be found here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

They Keep Calling Me

I was finally able to watch the Joy Division film by Grant Gee. I had a viewing party this evening at my place. What started out as a 3 person event turned into a 9 person event. I loved the fact that there are that many people to show up at my place at the last minute to watch a Joy Division documentary, but I didn't really know 1/3 of the people and this was a personal film for me.

The first part of the movie had me enraptured. I felt as if I was strapped in a speeding car drenched in sodium lights careening wildly over an empty freeway at night. Their music is timeless and brilliant, of course. I have listened to everyone of their songs over 50 times each and NEVER tire of them.

The last part of the film dealt with the end of the band and had quite a dour tone. What was most revealing to me was the fact that the band members, friends and producers of Joy Division admitted in the film that Ian Curtis' lyrics should have been paid more attention to as they certainly forecast his demise.

I know that in the 80's when such a statement was made, the people who purported to be in the know dismissed that argument as rubbish and maintained his lyrics were artistic hyperbole.

Well, we all know better.

To the centre of the city where all roads meet waiting for you
To the depths of the ocean where all hopes sank searching for you
I was moving through the silence without motion waiting for you
In a room with no window in the corner,
I found truth

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Another found image. I have been sitting on this one for a few days.

This is posted without comment.

Monday, June 23, 2008

By George!

About an hour ago, the office manager brought our newest hire, Barbara, by to meet Robin and myself. We are still small enough company so she can meet everyone in the Austin office. I overheard Laura, our office manager, tell Robin that Barbara was replacing the woman mentioned in last weeks post about office harrassment. Robin asked what happened to that woman and Laura simply said "It just didn't work out."

That's kind of weird, because it wasn't that long ago (3 days?) she was still working and now her replacement is in place? It usually takes much longer to for HR to get the ball rolling on something like this.

In other news, I've been reading a lot of online tributes for George Carlin, who passed away yesterday. They are all respectful and mention what a pioneer he was or how 'edgy' (hate that word and the people who think it describes themselves) his material was.

And its true he was a pioneer and his work in the 70's was indeed hip and ahead of its time. Somewhere around 1978 or so, the quality of his work began to suffer. He had worked out a deal with HBO and seemed like he was putting out a special every other year but I don't recall him touring.

Around the mid 80's, Sam Kinison and Bill Hicks began to rise from the comedy clubs to national fame. Their style of humor had a big effect on George, as he later admitted. He began to devote more of his material to 'socio-political' humor and less on the word play he made famous.

He was reasonably successful at first. His HBO show from 1992 is the best thing he did in the post-70's. However by the late 90's and through the rest of his career, he material became strident, bitter and worst of all didactic.

In the end, his shrill tone cast him in a light no better than Jimmy Swaggart or Jerry Falwell. Sadly, Bill Hicks suffered from the same curse and that's too bad for either of those immensily talented comedians.

Summer Is Here!

Whoa, what a weekend!!

I took it fairly easy on Saturday with some beer and whiskey and hit it hard on Sunday.

My favorite girl friend (two words) from the Dell Days called me up Saturday, though I didn't hear the call until Sunday due to me being "indisposed". I called Sharon Sunday morning and learned she has moved back to Austin after having moved to Dallas 6 years ago.

As I mentioned, Sharon was my absolute favorite. She was married, of course, and when she called me this weekend, I didn't know what to think. I haven't seen her in over 5 years. In those 5 years, I learned she has had two children and divorced from her husband (jerk!!.)

We spoke Sunday morning and she invited me out to Lake Travis to go out on her friend's boat. I readily agreed, as you might imagine, and was ready when Sharon stopped by at 1:30 to pick me up.

The boat party consisted of your humble writer, Sharon, three of her girlfriends and Blake, the fiance of one of the girlfriends (Emily.)

So we hit the lake and had plenty of beer, tequila, vodka and whiskey on board. We are all having a good time except for Blake. Blake and Emily fought most of the first hour or two we were out. He wanted to go wake boarding, but nobody (including me) wanted to drive him around. We just wanted to find a cove to lay anchor, drink and swim.

Blake was quite petulant and annoying. He seemed to be wearing 10 pound pampers. He was hectoring the rest of us into driving him around on his wake board. We were having none of that and ended up laughing at him.

Around 5:30, we head to Carlos and Charlie's for snacks. He and Emily get in an embarrassing argument at the seedy little restaurant and he storms off. Nobody could figure out where he went as we were there by boat and when we returned to that boat, Blake was nowhere to be found.

Sharon suggested we haul ass out of there. I have always considered myself a modern gentleman and argued against such an act, but was overruled. So we took off without him. One of the other girls decided they didn't want Blake calling Emily, so she threw Emily's cell phone in the lake. Everyone laughed and laughed about that one, including Emily. I wonder if she will be laughing about that in the morning?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Animal Humor

I don't know the origin of this, and it has been around for at least a couple of years, but it makes me laugh so I will post.

(Click image to enlarge.)

More Office News

The woman mentioned in my previous post no longer works for us, I learned this morning. I don't have any details, but she was "walked" yesterday afternoon not 3 hours after my post about her. I didn't mention her by name, so it was just a coincidence (like Cyd Charisse.) I wasn't here to witness the dismissal as I was at Bagpipes watching Germany beat Portugal. I am relieved, though, I wish her well in finding other work opportunities.

Also, yesterday at work, there was a big kerfuffle in the building with the police on the scene. Some office workers in the space next to us reported missing valuables from their office and reports of two suspicious males spotted in the area brought in the police sketch artists. They released the pictures today and I have posted them here as a public service. If you know either of these two, police contact the Austin Police department.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Harassment in the Workplace

A rather unfortunate situation has now materialized at my office. I am the recipient of several visits per day from a co-worker who drops by just to talk. This just started this week, but it really takes it out of me.

She mainly likes to talk about dogs, dog food or Sugar Gliders. She typically interrupts me when I am in my 'work zone' and being the efficient worker guy. While she's talking, all I can think about is my work and how I am not doing it.

I don't have the heart (or is it balls?) to shoo her away. The good news is that she's a temp and is going to fill in for another woman in the office who will be taking maternity leave soon.

She's been here for 5 weeks, I think, and the first month, she didn't say hi or look at me when we passed in the hall, but now she's a chatty Cathy. Well, she mumbles a lot (she has braces and a rubber band in her mouth) and is a low talker.

It all started this week when she walked by my desk and noticed a picture of a dog hanging up on one of my walls. It wasn't my dog, but its a nice shot and that was all the introduction needed to launch into multiple daily conversations.

So that is my dilemma for now.

Oh, the answers for Quiz #2 (not that any of you care):

1. 60 is the smallest number divisible by 1-6.

2. 62 is smallest number that can be written as the sum of three distinct squares in two ways.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

R.I.P. Cyd Charisse


I am pretty stunned by this news. First of all, I was just writing about her 2 1/2 hours before the wire services announced her death (see previous post), and second of all, she is my favorite movie star of all time. I didn't say actor, as she mainly danced, though she was fabulous in Tension. Her drop dead good looks have enraptured me since my youth.

She will be missed.

Miss Dixie

Wouldn't you just love to have been that dog, luxuriating at the feet of some of the hottest chicks of the day?

That piliferous mongrel was Elvis' dog and her name was Dixie. Elvis took her with him while on tour from 1961 - 1965. From 1966 until her death, she remained at Graceland.

This shot was taken in 1962 at the Tropicana in Vegas by one of Elvis' henchmen.

Incidentally, the woman in the lower left of the photo is Cyd Charisse. Cyd is from Texas.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mr Brooks!

FOSTER BROOKS on Dean Martin Roasts of Sammy Davis Jr.

From 1974!

Monday Update

I haven't mentioned this to anybody, except my friend Chris, but back in February, I was approached by a neighbor who wanted to breed Luke (my oldest) with one of her bitches. I was reluctant at first, but she offered me $400. So yeah, I said to go for it.

Well they were born 7 weeks ago and I am a proud papa (of sorts.) I was given an option to pick one for myself, but they are too young to hang with my boys, so I had to say no. I am sure I will regret it in a couple of years.

Other news. We have a winner to the Math Quiz: Tom S. of Austin Texas corectly guessed both answers, which will be posted on Wednesday. As a matter of fact, he is the only one to respond to this particular quiz, which surprises me. Congratulations! I am going to have to quit offering cash prizes. I didn't think my readership was capable of answering the questions posited.

Tom, Good Job!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Memory

My Dad cracks me up. He's been cracking jokes and pulling stunts my whole life. He is where I get my sense of "humor".

So I am in Houston today for Father's Day. This afternoon, he and I head out to the mom and pop grocery store by his house for some beer. In this case, its Schlitz, his favorite.

So to set the stage, he is 75 and had surgergy a couple of months ago on his nose to remove some cancer. It went well and the doctors had to take some skin from his forehead to patch up the work done. This left a red scar on his forehead from his scalp to his eye brows. It's still noticeable.

So back to this afternoon, we are in line and when it our turn to pay, we set the beer down and the cashier looks up and smiles as my dad. She's in her mid 50's and knows my dad as a regular at the store.

"Oh my, I haven't seen you in a long time. Where have you been?" she exclaims.

My dad pointed at his forehead.

"Oh my GOD!! What happened??"

"Sword fight" said my dad matter of factly.

Her eyes got big and she got pretty quiet. That is, until I started laughing.

She turned red and started smiling. "Oh man, I have a big G painted on my forehead"

"Big G?" asked my father.

"Yeah, for Gullible.

That made my weekend. We went home and drank after that.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Brush Fire in Time Lapse

Eli Jarra set up two digital SLR cameras and an HD video camera in his backyard and recorded for twenty-eight hours.

Firestorm from powrslave on Vimeo.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Quiz #2

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of emails I received guessing the celebrity who fit the profile. Of all the emails, however, only 4 answered correctly. The celebrity who fits this profile:

* Former father-in-law of George Clooney.
* Ex-uncle of Vincent Van Patten (World Poker Tour and Apple's Way fame as well as author of "The Picasso Flop", a poker murder mystery..)
* Studied Monkey Kung Fu as a hobby.

is Martin Balsam.

I want to conduct another quiz and I am fairly sure that based on the demographic of readers to this blog, the number of responses will be significantly less than quiz #1. I am also not going to offer a cash reward.

And this quiz won't be on pop culture.

The topic of this quiz is Math and the questions are basically number theory questions. Number theory is my favorite math discipline, with probability being second favorite.

This is a two parter and the winner(s) are the first two who can answer each question. I changed my mind, if you can answer both questions correctly, I will give you $25 US and list your name here.

  1. What is the smallest number divisible by 1 through 6?
  2. What is the smallest number that can be written as the sum of of 3 distinct squares in 2 ways? (A square number is a figurate number of the form Sn=n^2, where n is an integer. )

Contest ends Wednesday, June 18th.

Favorite Song


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Winner Announced

We have a winner in the Pop Trivia contest. Please hold all emails.

Alan R. of Austin Texas correctly guessed the celebrity who fit the profile listed. Congratulations!!

The answer will be announced this weekend!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pop Culture Quiz #1

As much as I despise current pop culture, one should deduce that the answer to this quiz hearkens back to a better time for all things pop.

Name the celebrity!

  • Former father-in-law of George Clooney.
  • Ex-uncle of Vincent Van Patten (World Poker Tour and Apple's Way fame as well as author of "The Picasso Flop", a poker murder mystery..)
  • Studied Monkey Kung Fu as a hobby.

I am sending the first e-mailer to correctly guess the answer to this quiz $15 US.

If no correct answers have arrived in my email by the 15th of June, 12 noon Central, the contest is null and void.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Casino Justice

I have written in these pages recently about the rejection letters received from "Step Dad" magazine. I have decided to take the last article I wrote, "Casino Justice", and expand and tweak it for general use into a short story.

The thrust of the story deals with card cheats and the various methods the casinos use to enforce their own brand of justice. The story focuses on one particular player, an out of work Hollywood stunt man who resorts to cheating in Vegas to make ends meet. I have removed the step father component and added a sidekick named Burlap Joe for our protagonist.

There is also a surprise ending.

So far, no bites from any of the publishers I submitted this to.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Joy Divsion

I am eagerly awaiting the Joy Division movie by Grant Gee. It has still not been released here in the States, but I have a trailer to watch.

Other than the Beatles, Joy Division is my favourite band ever and you could make a case for them having more influence (positive) on music in the 20 years after Ian's death (1980-2000) than the Beatles did in the 20 years after their break up. The director of this new movie is the same one who made "Meeting People is Easy", the film on Radiohead's 1997-1998 tour to support their unbelievably brilliant "OK Computer".

I have, in fact, met all members of Joy Division, except for Ian. I have actually met Peter Hook (bassist) twice, one year apart. The second encounter with him also included Steven and Bernard. I saw them play the Austin City Coliseum in November of 1986.

I remember it was exactly a week before the Monday leading up to Thanksgiving. I attended the show with my girlfriend at the time and after the concert, we headed over to 7th and Red River to the club where Beerland now sits. It was a bittersweet night for me, actually. She ran into her old boyfriend that she was still in love with. I was acutely aware of their history. I remember they talked for at least half an hour and I also remember not really liking that.

However, as I left her on the porch outside the club, I entered the front door and there were the members of New Order hanging out, not talking to anyone. I introduced myself and began gushing about how marvelous I thought they were (as Joy Division, not their current incarnation.) I especially drove home the point with Steven Morris on his drumming on their "Closer" album listing specifics down to the song and refrain.

I would never do that now, and in some ways, wish I still had that youthful, wide-eyed enthusiasm. It was a great memory anyway.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Men's Grooming

It might be time to head over to Birds for a haircut.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Vegas Poem

My buddies rang me up this afternoon and invited me to go to Vegas with them on Monday.  I would love to, but still can't really afford it, even though airfare and hotel are free.  Trust me, I really can't afford it.  Its a coin flip for me pulling the trigger on this.

I wrote a poker poem while trying to decide.  This is the first time this poem has been published.

slip shod, pot odds

gambler in seat two

fist pump


drink another brew!