Friday, December 31, 2004


2004 has been a challenge on many levels. I could be a "Mr. Poopypants" and cry and moan about the injustices thrust upon us, but, that would be redundant and at this point, counterproductive. To be honest, most of 2004 from may on has not been a banner year. But, as my dear old mom used to say in various forms, difficult times are a character builder. And, if she was right, my character should occupy a fucking city block by now.
But we made it to the end of another year in one piece, still together and unwavering. And some good stuff happened along the way.
I got fired from a well paying job, but in the aftermath of that I found myself learning something new and challenging and discovered that I can still rise to a challenge. And I can thank a couple of my friends for making this happen, for giving me an opportunity.
I learned an important lesson about thinking you know someone and finding out you don't, a couple of times actually. I am rid of those people, and while I traded a measure of financial security as a result, I got an equal measure of peace of mind. I'm not dealing with a crazy person anymore, and that feels pretty good. No more manufactured drama.
I got some reminders about the importance of family, tangible and intangible.
I figured out that being humbled is not always fatal.
And there's more, but I'll spare you...I've got some blog comments to visit with new year wishes.
Happy new year everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2004


I got this letter today, I recognized the quasi-calligraphy. It was from my dear friend Dirk. It came a little later than the usual christmas photo card we have gotten for the last 10 years. There was no letter documenting the happenings of the hosie's over the past year. It was just a picture of a kilt (?) and no stupid letter. And no wife, and no step daughters in the picture...and it was from Washington state, Not from that small texas town they moved to (from Washington) after his wifes father died so the wife could be near the mother.
Dirk showed up at my door a year or so ago, when the dad passed, to let me know that he was back in Texas. Then here he is, posing in a kilt in front of a festive fireplace, by himself...back in Washington.
I am guessing he's single and back in washington...but I don't know for sure...well, I do know for sure, but some documentation confirming my gut would be nice. I tried to get current info online to no avail.
WTF Dirk? Suddenly I miss those annual letters.....

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


As 2005 looms around the corner, I am reflecting...well, not really because I am not a mirror or a shiny piece of's more of a figurative reflection...on my life and times.
Mostly, I have been saying to myself, "man that was a long time ago" and sighing.

My first ex...I got married for the first time in 1977, 21 days after my 18th birthday, if I had somehow managed to stay in that relationship, we would have celebrated 27 years of marriage on the 21st of december.

My second ex...I got married for the second time in 1983, If she had not lost her fucking mind after our son was born and drove a wedge into everything, we would be heading into our 23rd anniversary.
Out of fairness, I have to include my prediliction for substance abuse over intervention and my wandering eye to the dissolution of this union, but mostly she went crazy and refused to do anything about it.

Speaking of my wandering eye...I spent 8 years with a woman, who, had we gotten married, would be celebrating 16 years in a shallow grave and I would be on death row in huntsville. Thank god for small favors. She is still alive and driving someone else batshit crazy, and I found Ann, and a measure of maturity.

Speaking of Ann...We are in our 11th year,broke ass poor, but happy.

And happy is what really matters. There are more events that define my life, but the chain of relationships is the easiest to track (or the hardest...depending on how you look at it). But the point is...the point is...hell, there is no point really, beyond lots of shit happens in 27 years and when you look back at it your shoulders slump from the weight.
And they call it osteoporisis. :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Are there really people that buy into this bullshit?There must be, or these guys are the biggest retard asshats on the planet...oh wait, they are...regardless. I got this email today, my comments are in bold, I sent this "reply" back to "Frank".


I am Mr. Frank Botolo, an auditor of a reputable bank in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province in the Republic of South Africa. I have an urgent and very confidential business proposition for you.

Hey Frank! Are you any relation to Bamalamadingdong Botolo, of Lagos who emailed me a similar offer in the summer involving a foreign client named Mr. Shove it up your ass?

We had a foreign client named Mr. Wooin Shim, who deposited a huge sum of money (18.6 Million United States Dollars), with our bank. Eventually, this client died in a plane crash and since his death we have not had anybody come up for the claims as the next of kin.

With a name like that, I'm guessing he was an orphan...Wooin Shim!? Please.

You may want to take a look at other passengers, who were on the same plane; here is a site for your perusal.

Wow! This is a new twist...a real link to a list of casualties from flight 801 out of Korea that crashed in Guam back in '97...I suggest you recheck the list, just above Wooin's name is one Sangpyang Shim...probably his wife ( I retract my snarky comment about the name, but still...Shim? That's a door thing, right?

A situation I have monitored closely with my position in the bank. Now having monitored this deposit and managed it over the years before his death, and hence nobody has showed up as the next of kin for the past years. I now solicit for your assistance to present you as the next of kin as every other arrangement/ processes will be monitored by me and my partners involved. However I got your contact from a trade consultant here in South Africa, though I did not disclose the purpose of my seeking for a foreign business partner to him. Although we will still have to sign some agreement before the final transfer of the fund into any of your designated bank account.

Right-o Mr. Botolo!! here's my account number in super secret reverse alpha numeric code: FUCKYOUANDTHEFERALCAMELYOURODEINON.Here's my P.I.N code (similarly encoded): BITEMYHAIRYASS. I hope this speeds up the transaction

I have involved a very senior official in the operational department, and we have agreed that after the transfer of the money into your account, you shall be entitled to 30% of the total sum, my colleagues and I will have 65% while 5% will be used to reimburse any expenses incurred. All necessary precautions have been taken to ensure a risk free situation on the side of both parties. Please note that this deal can only take place on the following conditions;

1. Absolute confidentiality and sincerity will be required and guaranteed, considering our positions in the bank.

Translation: There is no bank, we are just thieves...retarded thieves.

2. Assurance that our own share will be released to us in good faith when this money finally gets into your account.

Translation: If you are stupid enough to fall for this, we will clean you out.

Please treat with utmost confidentiality. Contact me as quickly as possible through my e-mail.

Expecting your urgent response,

I bet you are "Frank Botolo"...Hey, did you play guitar in Mahogany Rush?

Best Regards,


Fuck you...If your IP and or addy were traceable I would find you and beat you within an inch of your miserable life and then I would take your imaginary 18.6 million dollars and shove it up your ass in the form of a very real 18.6 feet of barbed wire. Happy new year bitch.

I wonder if he'll reply? hahaha.

I am amazed and saddened by this tradgedy...30,000 dead and still counting. Mother nature can truly be a cruel mistress. And the timing, god damn. Then, I saw this little gem at RottendotCom:
Dec 28 1908:
An earthquake in Messina, Sicily kills 160,000. Nearly all of the city is destroyed. Countless art treasures are destroyed, as well as the Cathedral Annunziata dei Catalani.

My curiousity piqued, I did a googley and found this : List of earthquakes and this site has some good information regarding the wrath of mother nature.
And I'm sorry to say the nitpicking has already begun...The US has been accused of being stingy with relief money before the first confirmed case of cholera or exploding bloated corpse by the UN, who are probably using this catastrophy to spin off the focus of all the sex abuse allegedly perpetrated by them that's recently come to light. And, according to some internet sources the US knew it was coming and could've warned these countries, but did'nt...from Bartcop:

Subject: Further proof the US cares squat about the Darkies (WaHoPo)

Dear Bart,

Could this story be any more disgusting? My fave lines: "U.S. officials said that they wanted to warn
the countries but that there was no mechanism to do so." "If authorities had had the opportunity to move
people even a few hundred yards inland, many people would have been saved, Bernard said."

S o, at 8 PM Saturday night, the US knew that moving people a couple hundred yards inland would have
saved many lives, but had no way to tell anyone. Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, etc. all have ambassadors
in the US. What, they couldn't find the phone number? Was Google broken? *sigh* I hate this place.

Please keep swinging the hammer, Bart.

Tsunamis' Toll Might Have Been Lessened
Experts Cite Lack of Warning System

Source is the washington post, who require you to register before you can read...fuck that.

Undoubtedly, there will be more finger pointing and recriminations before this is all over, and it won't be over for a long time...earthquakes and tidal waves have a way of lingering. I just hope the relief efforts can manage to keep up with the bullshit and profiteering.

Monday, December 27, 2004


I posted a list of tasks a couple days ago that would be competeing with my penchant for the potato sour mash that makes your regular russian so attractive, and I'm happy to say that I am ahead of the game. I did the living room clean (sans moving amps and guitars...well, I moved them "around" but not out of the way) and the kitchen overhaul ( I even pulled the top off the range and vacuumed it!) and even did 1/3 of the back room, AKA the den, AKA the place where we dumped all of our shit when we remodeled.It's a fucking mess back there, a giant pile of recording equipment and cords and guitars and mic stands and dirty clothes and shit from the old bathroom and speakers and pictures and just about anything else you can pile up into a 20' x 14' space. In my efforts, I uncovered working flashlights that I had wondered about, tools that I had written off and a bunch of other shit that prompted mre to go "cool...I've been looking for that". We have still not unearthed Social Distortion's "In between heaven and hell'...I did find the case to Slayer's "seasons in the abyss"...Yeah me! And some 12 gauge slugs that I've been looking for, for, well never mind why. I found them and you know who you are.BOOM! Just like in training day, only bigger.I'm seriously kidding about this...going for the funny, if I was serious I would use those 12 gauge shells full of fish hooks...ouch. Back to the housekeeping.
Things are shaping up here, tomorrow I will attack the denuded mulberries in the backyard with my firestorm saw from black and decker...look out saplings, the end is near. I also found the charger for my cordless drill, which I will use to rearrange my turtle pens, my other drill is just too fucking hardcore for the gentle arrangement that is a turtle pen.
Here's hoping your christmas was good...mine was, beyond my wildest expectations...which were wildly downscaled by my belief that it was all bullshit. But that was just me feeling sorry for me.
New years resolution: stop being such a crybaby.
I think I can do this...
Merry merry and happy new year to you if you'll excuse me, there's a screwdriver with my name on it and it doesn't involve the loosening or tightening of anything beyond my mind and my liver.
Peace out...yoyoyo...boyieeeeeeeeeeeee!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

" I am pointing you out yellow dog journalist, but if you notice, I am also flipping the bird at you, indicating my willingness to "field" your question, but at the same time I'm telling you to fuck off. If that doesn't qualify me to be secretary of defense in this administration, I don't know what does".

I was on the gravy ailse at the local third world grocery tonight when this hispanic dude walked up to me and said "excuse me". He was your typical mid twenties hispanic dude, buzz haircut and dickies, there everywhere south of the river, but he looked familiar. Then he asked me if I had worked at Spectrum (one of many names for the youth shelter I managed 10 or 11 years ago) , I said yes and then he asked if I recognized him...I said he looked familiar to me and asked his name, he told me and then explained he was placed there by the texas youth commission (usually they were runaways or homeless youth) and then my synapse's fired and I got an image of this clowning gangsta vato. I did remember him, and he obviously remembered me. And he didn't want to kick my ass...his demeanor was warm, like when you see an old friend. I asked him how he was doing and what he was doing...doing well and working as a welder. I told him I was now an electrician and he said " I guess you finally got tired of it, huh"? he smiled and we said goodbye.
This happens every once in a great while, and it always stirs up that social worker in me, in a good way. I guess I made an impression on this kid...kid?shit,he's pushing 30. But that was always the point, wasn't it?


We wrapped up the day today and parted until jan. 3rd...that's right, I'm off until the 3rd. I'm going to try to be productive during this break, but the inclination to drink vodka and fuck off is strong. I have a list of things to do, and here it is:

1. Saw down the pox of winter denuded mulberry saplings that took over our back yard during the summer.

2. Consolidate three turtle pens into one three section pen.

3. Clear the carport and driveway.

4. Work on the den.

5. Put away the myriad guitars and amps in the livingroom so we can have a livingroom again.

6. Major clean on the kitchen.

Yeah...right. 1,2 and 4 involve power tools and demolition (!) so I put the smart money on those...I'll keep you posted.

Nicked from Funkalicious, who ripped it from Interrobang.

You Are a Self Help Book!

While your advice is not always welcome...
It's always right on target.

This is definitely funny-peculiar. :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


I don't pretend to be an authority on the politics of the war in Iraq, but the major players in it are easy enough to understand with crayon line drawings. Like a dysfunctional family tree, it plays out amazingly like alot of those other middle eastern countries that take turns blowing each other up over religion, or political beliefs, or sadly, a deadly combination of the two. And since were involved, the ghosts of the Viet Nam past haunt us. Appropriately so, I think, because once again we have stuck our noses into something beyond our reach, Viet Nam was an issue of nationalism (in my opinion, anyway) Iraq and everything that's been following it around is an issue of a gross intermingling of church and state, Islam style.
As much as the US tries to understand what's happening, they never will...these people don't want fucking democracy, they want things the way they have always been. The only use these people have our brand of democracy is that we buy the oil that supports the economy, and, maybe, in private, the Kill Bill DVD or some good old american porn. They fucking hate us and everything we stand for and covet our decadent lifestyle underneath, which only makes them hate us more.
When it comes to the flotsam and jetsum of western society, they can't wait to grab it up and rub one out as long as they don't get caught doing it. When it comes to the concept of democracy, they view it with derision and contempt. And I say they should, because if you look at the arc of democracy it looks all hump backed and crippled and generally full of shit, with the symptoms erupting right around the time of the gulf of tonkin and creeping steadily toward quasimodoville ever since.
Everyone of those fuckers in the middle east are crazy, just like they think we are all crazy. And if we were really smart we would leave them all to their own devices, and maybe they will destroy themselves faster with their suicide bombers and insurgents and whatever else allah compells them to do to each other, and when it's over we can just go in and mop up. Unless we undo each other with legislation and division and erosion's not as bloody as a backpack filled with C-4 and ballbearings going off at a bus stop, but it's just as deadly, just deadly quiet. Those people at the bus stop know they're dead but we won't figure it out till it's too late.
The middle east is a fine example of what happens when there is no division of church and state. As our current administration attempts to put our own division of church and state on the symbiosis fast track, you have to wonder what the fuck they are thinking. Especially now. It's an odd kind of political paradox if you think about it, we are forcing our ideals on a part of the world ruled by religion as we creep toward their model at the same time.

I was finally able to meet up with that friend of mine yesterday after work, and since Ann was off, I could meet him somewhere in between. He lives north, I live south. The sides of town are seperated by the mighty colorado river ( there's a reason for that, but another time, ok?). We opted to meet at the chili parlor. A midtown institution that me and my coworkers from the psychic wars used to close down regularly back in the 80's.
Now, this friend I met is the general manager at that festering den of dysfunction I used to work at. But I have known him since he was a hippy looking bartender at a mexican food place Ann and I used to frequent and we became friends there about 12 or 13 years ago because I was rambling on about the Ramones with Ann and he walked by our booth (#32 in case you were curious) and overheard, sat down and as a result I have known this guy all these years ( he also got me a job at the festering den of dysfunction after I had "recovered" from 20 years in the psychic wars game).
Anyhoo...over the course of our visit I realized that out waitress was the same waitress that I had the last time I was at the chili parlor. That time being ( I thought anyway) meeting my warehouse counterpart from the festering den of dysfunction about a week after I had been fired for beers and rumination.
Boy, was I wrong.
First, some background on my warehouse counterpart...he is old school Austin, late 50's and true to the old school ways. He still likes to party, in other words. He is also a veritable databank of music and old TV trivia, among other things. A really great guy in that old austin stoner tradition.
When he finally showed up, he had an entourage with him...his "girlfriend" ( I not sure how serious, if at all, but she's been around for awhile) who is my age and has that old school vibe, and this other couple...closer to the 50's range, and I'm sorry...white trashy as all get out.The guy looked vaugely like otis o'toole (the serial killer) and the woman looked like 80...fuck it...120 miles of bad road, seriously, she was rough,VERY rough. And they were all drunker than shit. The "girlfriend" was loquacious drunk and happy, my buddy was noddy drunk with a grin and a hand on the chin and the couple were hostile drunk and fighting in that not quite under the breath way that nasty white trash hostile drunk couples get (I guess, after all, I'm only 47% white trash).
Our waitress was surveying this diverse group warily...The "girlfriend" and I were talking about that show on HBO, Deadwood, I commented that they used the word cocksucker so much that the word should be listed in the credits as a character...suddenly 120 miles of bad road stops fighting (quietly) with her serial killer and blurts out for everyone in our section to hear, "COCKSUCKER"?!?!"I LIKE SUCKING COCK"!!! "That's right god dammit, I like sucking COCK"! This announcement was made just as our waitress was approaching with another, now clearly to her, unneeded round of drinks. The waitress and I made eye contact just as 120 miles of bad road was yelling her joy of blow jobbing, she almost dropped her tray and I wanted to crawl under the table. Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, 120 miles of bad road burst into tears and started rambling on about what a shitheel the serial killer is, apparently not worthy of a blowjob. At this point he went outside, and the "girlfriend" (who was the designated conscious of the group) summoned the tab. As we finished our drinks, the serial killer tapped on the window from outside and shot the finger at 120 miles of bad road, grinning at her like, well, like a serial killer. The tab was paid, and everyone left. But me. I stuck around for another round and apologised to the waitress, explaining that I had no idea this group was coming, that i was expecting just my friend. I left her a big tip.
That was almost 8 months ago, and yesterday, as I related the story to my friend and we were laughing about it, I wondered if our waitress remembered. If she did, she was was discreet...she didn't say "Hey ! I remember were in here with that scary looking old lady that likes to suck cock about 8 months ago". Either way, thank god.
It was nice to hang out with my friend and catch up, it cheered me up a bit.

Monday, December 20, 2004


I've never been much on sharing emotional issues here, unless they were angry, or sarcastic, or frequently both. In fact, that pretty much describes how I have operated for years. There was a small group of folks that I could reveal the complete spectrum to, but those people are gone and the people I work with now are transient at best what with the short calls and the age differences. Don't get me wrong, they're great folks, but it's all bidness and small talk. It's "safe".
I have, to some degree, isolated myself from my old circle. The one person I've been trying to connect with, it just hasn't happened...conflicting schedules and all. But what would I say if and when we finally hook up? That I just don't give a fuck anymore? That I am so completely overwhelmed with a bone crushing sense of dread that it is everything I can do to get out of bed in the morning? That I have become so angry at my circumstance that the anger has turned into depression (great...I can diagnose myself). That I sometimes feel that I am so close to the last exit on the highway and am tempted to take it? Who wants to hear that shit, really? I don't...but I do, it's in my head to quote a Black Flag song. And it rolls around banging up against that other train of thought that says it's gonna be alright and I gotta just hang in there. Another couple of months and we'll dig out of this mess...blah blah blah.
And the icing on the cake? It's fucking christmas. Oh, how I hate fucking christmas. Blue witch calls it the "festival of the cash register"(tm), and with that I totally agree. My clearest memory of christmas is my family staying at a summer lake house somewhere in mass. when I was about 8 years old, we were staying there for free because my dad was out of the service and out of a job. My parents tried to play it off as some big adventure, and some of the time it was. But mostly it was me and my mom having to break holes in the ice on the lake to get water to cook,bathe and use the bathroom. It was christmas. The desperation was palpable, even to an 8 year old.
So every year I put on a happy face and pretend it's all good...and sometimes it is. I actually get into the spirit, but mostly I just remember busting holes in the ice with my mom and wondering why she looks so sad with a smile on her face. It was confusing then, but I think I understand it now. People pretend its ok because they have to. They are compelled to pretend for the sake of friends, family and all those other people that cruise in and out life. Sometimes you just gotta suck it up, sorry folks...I can't do it anymore. I'm taking a break...unless something really amazing happens between now and then, I'll see you in 2005.

Friday, December 17, 2004


I am clearly aware that everything I've written here for the last month or so ( give or take ) has been negative in one way or the other...death, killings, more death, the insanity that is gradually engulfing this country what with the resurgance of "morality" applied to areas that least need it. The attack on civil liberty and free speech. The list goes on, and that's the problem.
I've tried to inject humor into some of this global misery, but, I have to admit it's hard to be funny when the world around you is caving in on itself personally and in general. I try to get excited about things without doing so, there is always some other bummer waiting around the corner dying to kick me in the nuts. It happened again today.
In an attempt to veer off this negative vector I will write about it as if it was the funniest, most lighthearted thing I have ever fucking seen in my life.
Here goes...
Today we went to the Taco Shack for break and there was this homeless drunky guy behind the place laying on his side eating what appeared to be a cup o' noodles...the parking lot is connected to the tetco we go to as well, so here was this derilect eating noodles in full view of all the gainfully employed folks getting gas and coffee and cigarettes. It was hilarious, I mean there he was, with his nasty ass hair full of leaves and shit from where he slept last night probably, slurpping noodles off his spittle encrusted beard, I thought I was gonna piss on myself laughing!
He accosted the order taker at taco shack, cutting in front of a soccer mom and her two niblets, crashing into the wall slurring "excuse me"...damn! he was "polite", that made me want to burst into laughter...then he asked for some salt in this drunken (yes! believe it or not, he was drunk at 9:30 in the morning) melange of english, spanish and wild irish rose, he smelled like shit...god damn that was funny!
Then he came into the dining patio and shook down the soccer mom for a quarter so he could" buy some salt", to watch her frantically dig through her purse and look to the other customers for back up practically made me fall out of my was a rich,rich moment. Some guy gave him a quarter in a lame ass attempt to take the focus off soccer mom and her 2 kids, but the homeless drunky took the quarter from the dude and still waited for soccer mom to cough up the! I was beside myself with amusement. He then accosted another, younger woman who promptly told him to piss off, which he did, but not before filling his pockets with salt packets and proclaiming he didn't give a "flying fuck" as he shambled out of the taco! Talk about your killer exit! It was fucking awesome!!
What made it funnier was he looked like Pat Morita from those karate kid movies, only taller, and with less teeth, and shit in his hair, and he was drunk and smelled like was a humor fucking trifecta!
But the real killer was when we left and saw the police cuffing his ass behind the taco shack, with his unfinished cup o' noodles between him and the police car...I wondered if the cops picked it up so he could finish eating before he got booked into central for the weekend, hummed the theme to the Benny Hill Show and laughed and laughed.
Because it was so funny that this guy would go to such extremes to get himself locked he wouldn't have to spend another night in the woods at 35 degrees, so he could get three hots and a cot for a couple of days and a hot shower...only to be released to do it all over again...god damn! That's some funny shit, innit?
No? I didn't think so.
Well, the part about the soccer mom, maybe.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


A retired austin police detective and his police commander wife were killed in a motorcycle wreck after participating in a "poker run" over the weekend. Turns out, he was 3 times over the limit and she was 4 times over the limit...i.e; they were shitface, snot slinging drunk. here's part of an article in this weeks chronicle about it:

On Saturday afternoon, Bobby Joe Bailey was working at his restaurant, Cedars Bar and Grill on Highway 71. Bailey's establishment was scheduled to be the last stop on a "poker run," a popular charity event during which motorcyclists make five sequential stops – typically at bars and/or restaurants – retrieving a playing card at each stop, in an attempt to build the best five-card poker hand. APD officers organized the Dec. 11 run through western Travis Co. as a fundraiser for a colleague suffering from multiple sclerosis. According to APD sources, Kurt Jacobson was happy to take part in the run – at least in part, they say, because 12 years ago he too had been diagnosed with MS, a degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system. By midafternoon, Bailey said, the bar and grill he opened nearly five years ago was filled with poker-run participants.

By poker run participants, he means austin cops, about 120 of them. Here's another blurb:

Some time around 5pm, the festivities took a wrong turn. According to Bailey, he was preparing to leave the restaurant when one of the poker riders, Kurt Jacobson, rode his motorcycle into the restaurant and did an extended burnout – engaging the bike's front brakes, popping the clutch and revving the engine in order to race the rear wheel – right in the middle of the dining room. "It was bad with the burning rubber," Bailey recalled Tuesday, so bad that many patrons fled for fresh air and the band "quit playing and wouldn't come back." Indeed, the rear-wheel burnout ate through the restaurant's floor, down to the concrete, and left a black slick of burnt rubber.

Bailey asked Kurt to "take it outside." Kurt took the bike back out to the parking lot, Bailey said, and that's the last he saw of him. He doesn't know whether Kurt returned to the restaurant; he says he didn't follow him outside and couldn't keep tabs on the 100-plus similarly dressed riders. Shortly thereafter, just after 5pm, Bailey left the restaurant, and the dining room of poker riders, in the hands of his employees – among them bartender Candi Summers. Two hours later, the Jacobsons died after Kurt's motorcycle slammed into a highway guardrail less than two miles from Bailey's restaurant. When police arrived at the scene, sources say, the motorcycle's smashed speedometer read 90 mph. Neither the driver, Kurt Jacobson, nor his passenger and wife, Shauna, had been wearing a helmet.

If you want the rest, go here: Austin Chronicle.

OK...having been in the "helping field" for about 20 years, I can tell you with some level of confidence and experience that the top 10 substance abusing professions start off like this:
#1 (tie) Cops, nurses and mental health workers.
Cops are different though, most of us have seen and heard on TV shows and news reports that cops are dangerously fraternal (thin blue line and all that shit) and insular when one of their own gets caught in the crossfire, but what's lesser known is how arrogant they are in a really perverted way in regard to what "they" can get away with in society vs. the people they regularly arrest (non-cops).
Before I go any further, let me cover my ass by giving the obligatory "not all cops are like that" statement. They might not all be flaming drunks, but they are all arrogant and above the law they swear to enforce to some degree or another. If your'e getting the impression I don't like them, as a rule, I don't. Generally I regard them as a necessary evil, kind of like deet mosquito repellant.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand.
There were about 120 other cops present, this cop ( cops are like marines, even though he was retired, he's still a cop to his brothers and sisters) rides his bike into a bar and burns a fucking hole through the floor down to the foundation and nobody bats an eye in regard to his sobriety? Please. And then the bartender gets arrested for being drunk on duty and over serving??? Several witnesses and the bar owner swear she wasn't drunk and the time the"victims"* spent at the bar was not long enough to get 3 and 4 times past the legal limit.
This incident is tragic on a number of levels. Two people died. Their brothers and sisters didn't intervene. The bar owner and bar tender are under the gun for over serving (this is texas law, if I get shitfaced at a bar and on the way home crash and burn and kill someone or myself, the establishment is liable...even if I drank a fifth of vodka at home,then went out to eat and had a rocks no salt or maybe 2...they get saddled with it ).
*To me, they are victims of their own folly, and those other 120 cops should of done something besides laugh, or clap, or whatever the fuck they did besides intervene.
This is not over...not by a long shot...the APD has shown their ass again, lets see if they can make this one go away.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


For electrician's apprentices anyway, and for me specifically. As an apprentice, you spend an inordinate amout of time handing your tools to your journeyman for a variety of marking,measuring,cutting,screwdriving, etc.
I guess the logic in this is that by the apprentice being able to provide the journeyman with the tool he needs, the apprentice learns. OK...I know that a pencil is important, but if I don't have a pocket to put it in, I'm fucked. Today, I had a shirt with 2 pockets, and don't you know I was johnny on the fucking spot...pencil,sharpie marker, voltage tester...I had it all.
When the journeyman says "you got a pencil"? if I am without shirt pocket I have to go rummage through my toolbag and get that "journeyman look". It is designed to be humiliating. If you follow the chain of apprenticeship back to the first journeyman/apprentice, you will find a trade brimming with people who have been abused, humiliated and fucked with and a ingrained belief that they are obligated to pass on the pain.
I am lucky in this respect...I am older than my journeyman, and he rarely fucks with me. When he does, it's mostly good natured ribbing and it happens more when we are working with other crews. The younger apprentices endure much harsher "humor" than I do...for example, nobody has ever covered my tool bag with duct tape and hung it from the ceiling, or screwed it to the floor with an easy anchor. And I've noticed the younger the apprentice, the more they get fucked with.
It's clear to me that there is a motivating factor at play here...the faster I get smarter, the less they will torment me, and I will become a competent electrician. But since I already know the game (albiet from another trade entirely) I have been spared the ritual abuse...or, they fear that I will kick their ass. Either way I'm cool with it.
But I still try to make sure I have pockets...and I have to admit, a tool bag dangling from the ceiling covered in duct tape is funny, as long as it's not mine...well even if it's funny.
Until you get cracked upside the head with a pair of pliers that is.
Awww...the fraternity of it all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Nicked from Billy

The white trash in my blood will not keep me from becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but it will keep me from a good haircut and any sort of fashion sense.


Now, about that pot pie. Ann and I did laundry at the wetback depot I mean "Spin Cycle" laundromat this evening, which is conviently located right behind the 3rd world grocery I mean HEB, so after we loaded the washers, we walked to the store to get some dinner and other essential items. The cedar count is very high, and it is kicking Ann's ass allergy wise and she is feeling quite sicky, so it's double noodle soup and crackers for her. Oddly enough, I am not in a soup mood...I'm not sure what I want, but it needs to be easy, just not soup easy. I peruse the frozen shit ailse and nothing catches my eye. And then it hits me...Piccadillo! Yes! HEB's very own microwaveable Piccadillo. We cruise over to that section and they have everything but Piccadillo. Moving on to the tubs o' salady stuff, I spy the rotissere chicken rocks! But not at 6.00 a fucking pound. At this point I am getting annoyed, I mutter about how 6.00 a pound for fucking chicken salad is a crime and we move on. At this point Ann is just following me from section to section in a tavist induced haze. We end up back on the frozen ailse, where I see generic...excuse me..."Hill Country Fare" pot pies for 40 cents. I bought 2, just in case. And on the way to check out I remembered a package of pioneer brown gravy left over from thanksgiving.
And really, what could be more WT than that...generic pot pie with instant gravy?

Monday, December 13, 2004


I saw one the other day about a burger joint employee arrested for "assault" for throwing a burger at a customer (or maybe it was the other way around), and today I read about some dude in Houston who was arrested for threatening to kill a waitperson for serving him a cold cheesesteak sandwich. Not to mention the guy at that basketball game who has been charged with assault for throwing a cup at the player,who in response,kicked some other fans ass. He was charged as well. Then theres the group that's suing WalMart for selling an evanescence CD sans warning sticker that has - gasp - the word fuck in one of it's songs...oh my god! She said "fuck"!!! smite her! and sue walmart while yer at it. The attorney promises to take it to the highest court in the land (or something like that) if need be to make walmart,the band, and the record label pay mightily for saying the word "fuck" and not warning us ahead of time. This kind of shit is piling up faster than you can say Jerry Falwell these days. I mean there was always the occasional offensive Tshirt wearing middle school student in the news, but I'm afraid things are getting out of hand.
I also read last week that something like 98% of the complaints received by the FCC in 2003 came from the same fringe "family organization" which is modeled after Colorado's poke us in the fanny I mean...focus on the family. Are social trends in this country really being steered by these fringe groups? It would scarily, appear to be the case (with the FCC anyway).
People are being arrested and charged for making threats? I mean, come on, there is a big difference between my waving a cold philly cheesesteak and saying I'm going to kill you as opposed to my waving a vial of smallpox around and saying I'm going to kill you. I could hit someone with a cold philly all day and the worse that would happen is I would get tired, you would get cheesesteak spooge on you and get might even hit me with a bag of chips, or even worse...throw a cup at me.
I, however, could kill the fuck out of you,myself, and a shitload of other people with a vial of smallpox, if I had one. Which,by the way, I don't. But, if you give me a few minutes, I can whip up a burger or a cheesesteak to flog you with.
Meanwhile, television stations continue to broadcast sex,violence and intolerance shrouded in the guise of entertainment, basically giving that guy in houston tacit permission to threaten to kill someone with a sandwich because he saw Cartman do it on some episode of Southpark...or maybe it was Survivor...The real Gilligan's Island? No! Wait! It was that episode of Six Feet Under! Or maybe it was the latest Tool CD that gave him subliminal messages about cheesesteak violence, Yes! That's it! Or maybe it was that website featuring cheesesteak insertions that pushed him over the edge! Let's get them all sweet jesus!
Or, maybe, he was just an asshole who couldn't control his temper and said what millions of us have said when we have had a momentary distortion of "appropriate anger display" - I'm gonna fucking kill you....with this cheesesteak...this cold cheesesteak. And he was arrested for that. Please. Come. On.
Is puritan/victorian ideology making a comeback? Or are we barrelling toward thoughtcrime, with a brief stop over in speakcrime?
Do you hear that swirling sound? I do.

Sunday, December 12, 2004


Back when I was working in CSO at the treatment center I worked the sunday day shift, alternating 7-3 and 9-3. One of the "percs" was brunch. So, we'd mosey on over to the cafe and partake of a breakfast buffet passed out by the loveable cafe(pronounced "caff") ladies. Curiously, there was always "hotdish" available. It consisted of noodles, a usually unidentifiable "sauce" some veggies left over from saturday and chicken chunks or ground beef. Sometimes, though rarely, there was tuna. Imagine tuna cassarole with your pancakes...yum!
The cafe lady apparently in charge of pushing the hotdish was Clarice...if you looked up Clarice in the dictionary or did a google image search, you would find her picture. She was impossibly skinny, with bad teeth , funky glasses and sported the beehive she probably had when she was in high school. It was impossible to acurately pin an age on Clarice, she was probably in her late 40's, early 50's...I couldn't say for sure, but it's a safe bet she spent alot of time in the honky tonks of east Texas, or where ever she hailed from. There was something endearing about old Clarice though, she was a likable soul. And she was consistant. Every sunday,without fail, she would ask the same question over and over in that bad tooth east texas (?) twang..."Ya wan sum HOTDEESH?
And if you said yes, she would cheerfully plop some in a bowl and hand it over with a smile.
Hotdish...damn...the memories.
Have a good sunday.

Saturday, December 11, 2004


Come on sweet child, yeah you. I want you to come on sweet virginia, I know you got it in to scrape that shit right off your shoes. Ahh, saturdays these days. At the end of another work week I look forward to saturday. I can sleep late if I want to, Ann's at work so I got the house to myself if you don't count the doggies. I got the half gallon of vodka I bought the night before for entertainment and a CD player that's at my mercy. Heaven in my estimation.
Currently Exile on main street is playing...loudly playing the trio of songs I love to hear...sweet virginia, loving cup and sweet black angel...but now happy is annoying me...time for that Therapy CD. Hey satan, you rock. We saw these guys at Liberty Lunch and they were amazing...the CD is called High Anxiety and I would say buy rocks.

Right around this time, say 1:45...El Robbo took a nap. He shut this w.blogger down and went and laid down with the dogs. Why? Well it all started when Ann came and told me she took the cash out of my pocket for lunch...after she said bye for the day. This was at 6:15am- ish, now, good-bye I can understand, but I took the cash out of your pocket for lunch? We have one vehicle currently, I had enough cigarettes and, if I wanted...booze to last the day. There was food here...what the fuck did I need money for? And why did Ann feel the need to tell me she had taken it? Rolling this information around in my head was enough to drive me out of was 6:35am-ish, I was up and annoyed.
I went into the kitchen and got a cup of coffee, it was then I noticed the bottle of vodka had cheese in it, let me say that again...the bottle of vodka had cheese in it. Shredded monterey jack cheese to be specific. Now...did this cheese just decide to take a swim in my vodka, jump out of the bag and into the bottle? No...someone had to put it there. Who did this???
When I am stressed (and drinking vodka) I tend to wander at night, usually 2 or 3 hours after going to bed I wake up ( read:sleep walk) and end up in the kitchen, where I eat weird combinations of things or make spoon sculptures on the counter...and apparently, now spice my vodka with shredded monterey jack cheese.
I was up before 7am on my day off...I was annoyed and I had a challenge laughing at me from the counter...cheese in the vodka. I got online, drank my coffee and smoked cigs for about an hour.And then I tackled the cheese/vodka dilemma. I had an empty, smaller bottle, some coffee filters and a pitcher. When it was over with, I had several shots of vodka left in the pitcher with nowhere to put it, except in a glass with ice and orange juice. It was a logical choice, and needless to say, by the time I started playing CD's (see above) I was half tanked.
Ann was due home in a couple of hours and I had to make a decision...continue drinking or go to cuddletown. I opted for cuddletown.
It was the right choice.I woke up at 3:45pm-ish renewed...
I went to the grocery after Ann got home and neither of us could decide on dinner, so I punted. I made an experimental dinner involving an onion,rigatoni, some small cubed beef, a can of cream of celery soup, a can of beef stock, salt pepper and carribean jerk seasoning.
Before I knew it I had made a "hotdish".
But that's a story for a sunday post.
"Hotdish"...god damn.:)
I would still recommend the therapy CD, cheese enhanced vodka notwithstanding.

Friday, December 10, 2004


I've been thinking about death alot lately, what with the war and the unending litany of people killing each other and themselves available as wordbites from any number of almost fringe and fringe websites that feature this kind of "news" for us to peruse...the deaths of people, who knew people, who had family. Who should be remembered for who they were before they were snuffed out.
I'm reminded of a scene from Hamburger Hill, when a GI named Linguilli gets killed and the last thing he says is "remember me".
As what Linguilli? A guy who got killed on some desolate hill in the Nam? A guy who got drafted into some insanity and got killed as a result? Or maybe volunteered for the duty, and was unlucky enough to catch a bullet, missing that big bird home. Or maybe...snippits of life that most would miss. He was an artist...that dude could draw some shit. He was a wanna be musician, what he lacked in talent, he made up for in heart...or maybe he loved sports, or maybe he loved his family, or maybe he was a no good pile of shit that joined the army to avoid a prison sentence and in the middle of a fire fight he caught that changed his life, or maybe in the heat of the battle he had a change of heart and his luck just ran out...just like that. Last words.
If I found myself in a field of fire laying in a pool of my own shit and blood, surrounded by my friends holding me and watching me die, I would ask them to remember me. So many years down the line, when they all get together to remember that time, they would remember me...and a time that was. That was...and their I am, frozen in a time that was, a memory, exempt from the future, but carried through, all because I said "remember me". Last words indeed. Last words resonate, make no mistake. Remember me...

Apparently, the guy that shot Dimebag in the head 4 times was once a big fan of Pantera, then he was going to sue them for "stealing his identity" and had hand copied lyrics of Pantera songs he claimed to be his own offered as" proof". The rest of this can be read at this CNN blurb.
So, let's all act surprised, he was a nut job. There will be no trial, because a policeman "shotgunned" him at the scene of the crime. He apparently had a "hostage " in a headlock who was able to "duck" out of the way so the cop could shotgun him (must've been a slug) and there you have it...gun instrumental in violent crime, shotgun instrumental in ending violent crime. Bartcop wonders if everyone in the club was armed what would have happened...and that to me, is a silly notion. Even if I had been there and armed, I would have done nothing unless I had a clean shot or that crazy fuck turned his gun on me. I give that cop a high high five for taking this nut job out, and with a shotgun...way to go! That's marksmanship buddy.
The notion that armed people will bust out the guns and start firing willy-nilly is stupid on the face of it, guns are not cans of bug spray, and the overwhelming majority of people know that. For the anti gun lobby in this country to have any meaningful impact (no pun intended) they need a level headed spokesman, not some victim of a gun related violent crime who has found a "calling" based on their misfortune.
But that's enough about that for now...except, I have a question: Where's Vang in the news?

Thursday, December 09, 2004


I got bit today...120 volts through a neutral wire (wires, actually) that was pretty loaded up. Translation...ouch motherfucker! To my credit, I did not fall off the ladder, to my karma, I was able to let go. But not before I yelped like a dog and had the undivided attention of 15 or so college kids. One even said "Dude...are you alright"? I thought the circuit was off, but it turns out the lights (10 total) are on a common neutral for 10 lights.Damn.
I guess I'm lucky that this is the first time in 7 months, I hope it's the last.
Life as a maintainence man I guess, and my journeyman said it was good for my ticker...thanks Lee.:)


Dimebag Darrell was shot to death yesterday in a Columbus Ohio ( ground water, people...really, I mean it, as in, something in the... ) club while playing with his new band Damageplan. Somehow, I don't think this kind of damage ever occurred to him or he would have planned for it. Reports vary, but he was shot 5 or 6 times. I saw him in Vegas while he was still part of Pantera a few years ago...awesome guitar player from Texas. This kind of shit just bums me out. Either this guy was just plain crazy, or hated dime for some reason (along with 3 other victims shot dead), but we'll probably never know because a cop capped his ass(good for him). All of this took less than 5 minutes.
In 5 minutes, 4 people are dead, and hundreds are freaked out like a motherfucker. Why?
I'm sure guns will be an issue. But I will stand by my belief that guns are a secondary issue. I want to know about this shooter first before railing away on one side of the gun fence or the other.
R.I.P fucking rocked.



Dear Stoned Guy with a Skink on his head,
Do you believe in Santa Claus?
Signed...Just wondering

Dude! Santa rules!!! A big fat old hippy dressed in red with some kick ass wellingtons clanging on a kettle in front of your local walmart while simultaneously delivering toys all over the world in a flying sleigh drivien by some magical fucking reindeer, the leader being a coke whore named Rudolph. This Santa dude has obviously read ALL of the Carlos Castenada books.Dude, Santa rocks, no doubt, but not as much as this skink on my head, but I still wish for Santa time gifts since this skink has no cash flow and can't give me anything but the satisfaction of communing with a giant reptile and the occaisional turd on my neck, or if I'm lucky, my T- shirt. I want Santa to bring me a peace bomb that I can drop on the world that will make all those crazy motherfuckers waging war out there realize that they need to chill man, I mean really chill.'ll never happen...pass that bong yo. One can dream...right Sol?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


You can be sure of variety in my job, one day subjected to all manner of creepy crawlies, the next dodging the lead paint and asbestos, having to call the abatement people to drill a hole so you can run pipe. The difference between us and abatement? A mini-vac. But today I was introduced to the wilderness world of decor by that maven of plastic injection molded antler chandeliers...Dick Idol...I mean, just look at the KNOW that if you want 6 plastic injection molded antler chandeliers, this is the guy you want to buy them from. At 1600.00 a pop. Here's a thumbnail of said chandelier...unfortunately, they have been, uh, discontinued I guess, so a larger version of this grocery store plastic sword toy for 1.99 excuse for a hunters lodge light, complete with power gems so you can see how incredibly cheesy they are is not available...poor you...but I think you get the point.
If I was gonna have an antler chandelier, it would be made of real antlers. I mean, if your gonna advertise what a killing machine you are to have one (much less 6), they had better be real, just to rub it in that you spent years hunting down deer with matching antlers and then killing them all for the benefit of your trophy room.
So...the guy in charge of this project has been marching various and sundry "important" people through the project, approving chain link length with his tape measure that he obviously got at the sharper image ( I think it has a digital camera built in, or maybe a CD player) "94 inches, yes...I think that will work", but with the feedback from one of the big wigs, we move the fixture up in link increments 3 times before they are satisfied. Fine, we got it. Now leave. But he kept coming back with various and different in that same sort of way big wigs. He was showing off. He was showing off these unbelievably cheesy lights, and they were all patting themselves on the back about how much more subtle they were as opposed to the original lighting, how the color matched the walls...please, fecal brown is fecal brown. One big wig even opined that they would have to tell visitors to the room that they were FAKE antlers. I almost fell off the ladder and suppressed the desire to opine "No you won't, because these are the cheesiest plastic injection molded antler chandeliers I have ever seen, and any self respecting killer of deer will spot the ruse in an instant...kinda like a fake rolex. I want my deer antler chandelier to still be sporting the fatty tissue left from cutting them off of the head of the living thing you shot to make a fucking lamp". But I didn't.
I finished hooking it up and moved on to the next one...because that's my job.
Plastic deer antlers...jeez.
Better than anthrax I guess.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Saturday before last , we got a certified letter from the plumbing company that we owe money to, not a large sum, mind you, but it is delinquent. We have not paid this balance because of ongoing issues of being unemployed and broke ass poor and our kitchen sink, in all of it's 8 foot stainless steel glory "motorboats" like a mutha. I could correct this annoying problem, but it's a matter of principle...squared. We want our sink right, they want the money.
Additionally, we had planned to renegotiate our loan with the bank to get the funds to pay the plumbers and some other monkies on our back. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Certified mail requires a signature, which requires the postman to knock on the door. So he knocks...the dogs explode in unison warning me that that guy we bark at everyday is knocking on the door!
So, I round the dogs up and secure them lest they kill the postman, or get maced, and answer the door. It is my day off, I'm not expecting anyone so I am surfing the net in my jammy bottoms, hair akimbo, shirtless and working on my 4th screwdriver (without benefit of brushing my teeth, because after all, it's my day off) .
So I greet the postman, shirtless, with 8 ball jammy bottoms and a combination morning/coffee/vodka/orange juice/camel wides breath with railing dogs from hell pledging their intent and desire to kill the postman, whose lucky the doors to the bedrooms are shut, or look the fuck out favorite scapegoat of dogs world wide.
Throw in the 45 year old whiskey tits and grey chest hair and I think the postman would rather fight my dogs.
Anyhoo...I sign for the letter and, seeing the return address (plumbers), I don't even open it. I make another screwdriver and click on another depraved link of internet nastiness ( I recall portal of evil).
Flash forward to this past saturday, same scenario only this time I'm sporting the flaming dragon jammy bottoms and had eaten alot of garlic the night before. I spared the postman the whiskey tits, but he got everything else in spades. I left Irene and Theo out, so this deja vu was altered...the threat was right behind me, frothing at the chance for tender postman meat. I also farted at the beginning of the transaction ( just kidding, but I should of ).
I had noticed on the previous visit that our postman has a lisp...have you ever heard a stuttering lisp? Trust me, it rocks. When you factor in the dog/postman/mutilation factor.
This certified letter was from the plumbers attorney, which I opened. They are threatening to put a lien on the house, and in an attempt (I guess) to illustrate their seriousness in regard to this matter, included a copy of the form used to place a lein on one's property. I guess the intent was to intimidate us and finally force me to harvest the 100 dollar bills off that money tree I've got in the greenhouse.
Let's just say the threat was diminished greatly when the form they included was for a commercial account in arrears that owes them something in the neighborhood of $12,650.00.
That's roughly 15 times what we owe. Additionally, the lawyer says the plumbers paid $500.00 in attorney's fees in an attempt to collect the debt. They paid this asshat five large to staple the wrong document to our certified letter. Hilarious. I guess you get what you pay for.
We have every intention of paying what we owe, probably in January, when we re-fi our home loan. This commercial account probably went belly up and they won't get a cent from them. When they fix our sink, we'll settle up.
Had we called them and explained the situation, this all could have probably been avoided, and the only thing I can say to that is...I got the certified blues.
Just like millions of other people, we are in the hole. Once we were cash flush,no worries and in the next moment we were in the hole. Thanks to a certain asshole piece of shit, the president and the economy. And I can't speak for Ann, but I was like that guy in the TV commercial about debt who says " I was afraid, I was ashamed and intimidated, so I did nothing".
Things are beginning to look up, but I just have to thank that asshole piece of shit for fucking christmas up for me and mine twice in a row...may you rot in hell you coked out, selfish bastard.
It's almost like he plans it. And in doing so...I hope...seals his fate.
The "Christmas" schedule is posted
I'm scheduled to work on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but thanks to the mysterious workings of life, I'm actually off for the Winter Solstice. That happens to be holiday I prefer to celebrate and Rob is off work too so we'll have a nice little Solstice celebration a few days before most everyone else is celebrating what BW so appropriately calls "The Feast of the Cash Register". So, not being Wiccan or any other pagan religion, is there something we should do besides our traditional bonfire, booze drinking and roll in the hay?
Hitting the eggnog a bit early, are we?
I've had not one, not two, but three calls this morning from obviously inebriated customers. This was all between the hours of 7:00 and 8:00 AM central standard time (the time zone where these customers were located.) Perhaps this is the start of some sort of "Twelve Days of Drinking" celebration of the holidays or maybe the colder weather has folks putting bourbon in their morning coffee. Whatever the reason, it's mildly amusing though it's hard enough to help people when they are stone cold sober so it's almost impossible when they are three sheets to the wind. Maybe we should start up a new position at work, a designated drunk employee who would be able to communicate on the same level. I'm sure we'd have no problem getting folks to sign up for those shifts ;->

Monday, December 06, 2004


Our dogs are a constant source of amazement to me, intuitive, intelligent and so very into bed time. Or as I called it tonight, cuddletown. I took off my shoes a few minutes ago and Irene was all over me, wagging the tail ever so gently and giving me those curl up in the comforter eyes. Theo will stand in the hall by the bedroom door after 10pm, facing us and give a plaintive bark, as if reminding us it's past "our" bedtime. Sullivan is like minded, when it's his turn these days, but back when we could have all three of them together without fear of a fight erupting, Sully would rally us with Theos admonitions that it was time to NOW, ok?
This is especially true in winter.
I remember always having an affinity to dogs...the one's my family had as well as any stray I encountered and the dogs that hung out at my high school. There were 2 in particular...this basset hound looking mutt dressed in black and white named Bootlegger and a mid sized mutt with one eye named Jocker aka cyclops, Jocker would greet me in the morning in the smoking area to feast on the lunch my mom packed for me that I never ate, because it was tater tot's with mustard and chocolate milk that I wanted after driving around and smoking ungodly amounts of weed...hey, it was the 70's, we could get away with it back then. Jocker was hit by a car and killed right by the school in my junior year, and it was only then that we learned he was owned by a teacher at the middle school, Mrs. Heard, who allowed us to bury him in the field that was the "extended" smoking area. And bury him we did, complete with a grave marker. It was photographed and featured in the yearbook that year...1976. I remember Jocker greeting me on the patio by the library every morning like it was yesterday, he loved my mom's lunches, especially the meatloaf sandwiches. And he would always hang around after breakfast, for pets. He was an awesome dog.
I brought home strays all the time, my mom was as big a softy as me when it came to strays, so it was never a problem. So I would have these dogs for a period of time and then we would find the owner or they would leave and go home, or wander off into the next (hopefully) kind human host. The neighborhood dogs hung out at our house all the time, I guess either sensing the affinity or smelling the food my mom would cook for them. Either way it was cool with me, they were dogs gracing us with canine company.
But I started out rambling about cuddletown, which is really about the pack, and the pack beds down together. You hear all the time about people thinking of thier dogs as "human", maybe it's the other way around. And I'm cool with that.
Wow...look at the time...:)

I called the speaker repair people today, and the speakers can't be repaired. As a matter of fact, the reconing kits cost more than the speakers, which, I was told, are now made in China. Imagine that,vintage british speakers manufactured in China, wow, it's everywhere. However, some american company bought a shitload of components from the brits and now manufacture an american version of the classic british speaker de rock and roll. I wasn't impressed, nor was I impressed when told I could get them for 75.00 each, saving me a whopping 100.00 on the four. It's just not the same, ya know?
It's all a moot point really, this is a luxury for way down the line. I'm just glad I have back up equipment.


We're almost finished with the job in the biohazard lab, initially, we had 80 hours to do it, but the day we started the heat was on to be done by this wed. at the latest. We have about 2 hours of connections to make tomorrow and we will be out of there. An 80 hour job completed in 40. Wow...I'm gaining speed. It's all exposed and therefore needed to be neat, it is neat. Wow...I'm gaining skill.


That's it....see ya...

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Turnover - not the apple kind
There's a lot of turnover where I work. Turnover as in employees leaving and new ones being hired. Some of these employees leave because phone tech support isn't their cup of tea, some leave because they are college students (change of school schedule, a job opportunity in their chosen field, etc.) and quite of few of them get fired. It's very easy to get fired where I work. Some people can't meet the attendance requirements. Hell, most people couldn't meet the attendance requirements. Some people can't meet the performance requirements and the jury's still out on whether I can meet those. I apparently have a "good phone presence", but I don't always hit all of the QA points and I suck at tracking my calls. I've worked really hard this last week to remember to say "Thank you for calling company X" at the end of my calls even though it doesn't usually fit the conversation flow. It's awkward to throw it in there, but damned if I'm gonna lose 3 points on my next evaluation because I didn't say it. In fact, I get a headache when I look at the QA call template. You could follow that letter perfect and really piss off a customer in the process. Which is part of my problem with call tracking. We track by user name and while it's always nice to get this right away, I think it's better to listen to the customer talk and not interrupt them asking for their user name. As a result, I'm usually several minutes into a call before I get their user name and start "tracking". Call me inefficient, but at least I'm not rude Or snotty. I get call after call from customers who tell me the previous tech they spoke with was "snotty". Interesting adjective to be used so often and by so many different people. I'm tempted to ask them what they mean by "snotty", but this would take up precious minutes of call time and there's not a damn thing I can do about it other than make sure I'm not "snotty" as well, whatever it is that "snotty" means. I had a really angry customer yesterday who was upset because the previous "snotty" tech kept telling her that her problem was just "user error". Well yes, it was "user error", but just telling her that didn't solve the problem. After a little investigation, it turns out she was automatically capitalizing her password when it needed to be all lower case. She didn't even realize she was doing that. She was a touch typist, with a proper noun for password and it was an unconscious capitalization on the first letter. I decided it was probably a common mistake and so I told her that. It's amazing, the effect of telling someone they've made a "common mistake". They immediately feel better, you can hear it in their voice. We had a good laugh about it, she got connected to the internet and all was good. I wish all my calls had a successful ending, but they don't. Customers with dial-up access can't usually talk to me and test their connection at the same time. A few have two phone lines and some call on cell phones, but even that is a double edged sword because while it means you can find out the end results of your suggested fix, it also means your call time is that much longer. And call times are one of those all important tracking points. From a job performance standpoint it's better to have customer close out the call to test. From a problem resolution standpoint, it's better to keep the customer on the phone so that if the fix you suggested doesn't solve the problem you can immediately move to the next thing to try without them having to call back and get a different tech who may or may not understand what you've already troubleshot. I blame this dilemma not on my employer or even company X that dictates the standards, but the whole concept that jobs can be somehow distilled down to nothing more than performance statistics and metrics. Honestly, does "average length of call" really mean anything other than "average length of call"? While it might indicate someone with really poor troubleshooting skills, it's just as likely to indicate someone with really good skills. Ah well, I suppose in the subjective realm of measuring "customer service", one metric is as good as any other. As long as employers are intent on trying to measure, quantify and analyze operations in order to translate their employees into some kind of numbers they can manipulate on paper then we'll all be stuck with this sort of thing. It's a false reality, these numbers on paper, but false reality seems to be where half the world is operating these days.

I went shopping at the local third world grocery...just got back in fact. There was this obviously pentecost like woman with her son (about 11 or 12) in line next to me, looking all disapprovingly at me while her son was staring at my tats in that under the brow way, like he was committing a sin. It was hilarious, especially considering that i am not the exception in this particular grocery. Lot's of people wandering the isles with as many or more tats than mine, crazy dread hair flowing and reeking of patchouli. The last fucking place a stand up no make up wearing god fearing , better not wear pants or you will be cursed to hell evangelical woman would want to shop, much less with her son to witness all that is unholy.
Turns out they were parked right next to me...and I had the Nailbomb CD in the player...being that I am the instigater I am, I treated them to "world of shit". The lyrics go something like this: "Hate is reality (repeat several times) Don't you know god hates"? She was slinging grocery bags into the back seat as fast as she could! It was a choice moment.
So I pull out of my spot and start to leave, and who appears in front of me but the Hez...the guy that tatooed my legs! I jump out of the truck, Nailbomb still railing away about how god hates and a world of shit, and Hez and I embrace and do the usual "god damn! how the hell are you"!? Small talk ensues as the world of shit soundtrack entertains the parking lot...pentecost woman finally goes around me and gives us that know the look.
I fucking love it.
I was glad to see Hez...I had been told he moved to Florida, never to much shit from his former employers it turns out. I got his card and we made plans to catch up...his shop is just down the street from our sunday surprise, for sure.

Have you ever done something that could come back to haunt you, but it was so long ago and you hadn't got that proverbial bite on the ass that you forgot about it? Well, today I was searching a cold case file website, when this story popped up about a homeless guy who was killed with a sock full of wood screws...just kidding.
I was searching google images for the artists that had tattooed me over the years and typed in Andreas Merrill, and lo and behold, there was my back piece, in all it's you're gonna burn in hell for that one glory...twice no less. I had submitted the picture to BMEZINE 3 or so years ago, to the religious section, and never went back to check if it had been accepted. I see now that it was and here it is:

That CRASS logo in the middle was excruciating...Andreas used a 12 round...thats 12 needles in a bundle to put the black and red in...several times during this process, his mentor at the time, Chris Trevino (who did my arms) wondered why he was'nt using an 18 mag...that's three rows of 6 needles instead. Andreas said he wanted to really get it in there. Well, needless to say we did it all over again a couple of months later...with an 18 mag...ouch.
Old script "ANOK" (anarchy) was frequently misinterpreted as "AROK"...which really pissed me off when people would ask "dude, what does arok mean"? Back then I used to be obliged to explain, but finally stopped bothering. It was a time and a place I figured, and if you were'nt there, you probably wouldn't get it anyway...kind of like how Gang of Four conjures pornography for the uniniated.
And now I'm dating myself.
"Love will get you like a case of anthrax...and that's one thing I don't want to catch".

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Yesterday I posted about the 10 year anniversary of our band, and with that on my mind, I thought it would be cool to break out some of the old equipment for use in said "reunion" show. I have this bad ass vintage vox speaker cabinet with 4 12 inch celestion greenbacks in it, it has been in storage for many years as I have been playing through a marshall cabinet almost exclusively and playing through a Laney combo for the club gigs.
So I bust out the vox cabinet and she doesn't work...why? because rats have eaten the wires that go from the connection at the speaker to the cone of the speaker...they didn't eat anything else. It took a little while to figure out what was going on, because YOU CAN'T IMAGINE ANYTHING HAPPENING TO THOSE TWO WIRES...EVER. Am I yelling? Yes god dammit, I am fucking yelling. Fucking rats. God damn mindless wire eating rodentia pieces of complete shit...I will kill them all,except, I have killed all of them already...this is old damage that I missed.
So I get online and price celestion 25 watt greenback speakers...$100.00 US, each.This is a 4x12 cabinet...$400.00 plus shipping to make it right again...AAAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHHHH!
I hate fucking rats.
Looks like it's Marshall for the reunion...meh.

Different Strokes
I woke up Tuesday wishing I was independently wealthy and didn't have to go to work. There was nothing in particular about the job bothering me, it was just the whole "going to work" thing in general. I've always either WANTED to go to work for a variety of reasons involving the job or I flat out DIDN'T WANT to go to work for a variety of reasons involving the job. I honestly cannot ever remember not wanting to go to work for absolutely no reason what so ever. Okay, so maybe wanting to sit around in my underwear and drink beer and play computer games all day is a reason, but the preference for doing that instead of going to work has always been because there was something specific that I didn't like about my job. It's an odd feeling, this neither loving nor hating my job. The job is just sort of "there", a task on the same level as brushing my teeth, neither liked or disliked. I spent a good part of the week thinking there was something seriously wrong with me. Was I depressed? Was this some sort of mid-life crisis? This lack of passion, one way or the other, was completely out of character. It occurred to me yesterday that instead of something being wrong, maybe something was right. After all, I've spent the last 20 years putting my heart and soul into various jobs only to be rewarded with a pink slip down the road. And although it feels somewhat like being asleep for an extra 9 hours a day, perhaps it's time to just kick back and float along for a while.

Friday, December 03, 2004


In april our band will celebrate 10 years together...10 years! Damn...not one record contract, but in the process we have:
Done some serious BBQ-ing everytime we practiced
Took lot's of cool pictures
Drank lots of "adult beverages"
Some of us smoked alot of weed (one guess:) )
Blew the roof off of a couple of clubs
At one point we had 25 plus original songs that we could subject the unsuspecting listner to, but when we started playing clubs we had to distill it down to a short set and ended up playing the same 6 or so songs over and over...which is a real buzz kill as far as the creative process is concerned. We were playing to the moment instead of letting our freak flag fly. And I regret that...songs that i loved became so much grist for the mill.
But this landmark allows for some's time to reach back into the bag of throw off that yoke and write some new shit. We have always been topical, and there is alot to be topical about these days.
It should be fun,it could be fun, I hope it's fun.
One two three four.

We started a new project at work on tuesday in the microbiology the biohazard lab. We have been assured that the lab has been cleaned out and is safe for us to work in,uh, OK, I guess.
There are three seperate labs and an ante-chamber that has a shower area not unlike one you would encounter at a gym, but this shower is not for washing away the sweat of a killer work's there in case you get any of the: HIV-1,cholera, diptheria, ricin (!), 2 kinds of staphylococcal infection and shigella on your ass, plus some unspecified radioactive material thrown into the mix for good measure. I'm sure it's all well and good, but when you're drilling holes in walls and creating alot of dust, if, just by chance, some of these creepy crawlies have taken up residence in the walls, I don't think these will help me:

I love my safety glasses...really, but they won't stop cholera in it's tracks. Cholera would laugh at these safety glasses just like my co-workers do...that's why I love them. The white tape is a nice touch don't you think?
I also find it curious, that, beyond the HIV and ricin, these are all water bourne diseases, shigella being a food bourne illness primarily, until someone whose eaten bad shell fish blows some stool in the pool as you're swimming uncouth!
Is that a goofy picture or what?
Yeah...thought so.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Well, the obvious answer to that question is : sittin' in the jailhouse dressed up like a carrot. But seriously, I saw a short article in time rehashing what we already know with the addition of his daughter's shock and awe that he was capable of such carnage. Other than that and the usual blathering about funerals and vigils and ribbons ( in this case orange...because they are hunters after all) there has been little compared to the outright media storm of the peterson trial.
I saw a posting over at BartCop about the jury finally being seated in the Robert Blake case ( he is accused of murdering his girlfriend, but you already knew that) but that white hair???Damn! Anyway, BC wondered if the jury selection in the Blake trial was postponed as to not take any steam away from the Peterson trial. Well, maybe that's right, but if it is, why hasn't the Vang deal blown the Blake deal out of the water? I mean, the killing of one woman (alledgedly) by Blake as opposed to this zipperhead wasting 6 hunters in Wisconsin on the opening day of the deer hunting season? I don't know about you, but I'd rather hear about this "Hmong gone wrong" than any "Baretta vendetta", unless Fred the cockatoo was a surprise witness and Andy Griffith was the lead defense counsel. That would be some entertainment, now would'nt it?
Imagine Griffith, in his best "matlock" persona, cross examining blake's fine feathered friend.
MATLOCK: Now...Fred, to the best of your knowledge....did baretta shoot the bitch?
Fred: RAWKKKK!Which way did he go-which way did he go-bitch-RAWKKKK!!!
Matlock: No further questions your honor, and I would ask for an immediate dismissal on the grounds that asking a fucking cockatoo to testify is tantamount to the 2004 election.
Judge : Motion granted Andy, case dismissed, now...can we move on to that case involving the massacre in wisconsin? I understand chuck is in the building.
Matlock: It's "Matlock" your honor.
Judge: Whatever...give Aunt Bea my best, by the way...Now where is that Wang fella? Bailiff! Tell that Peterson asshole to stop crying! he's interrupting the proceedings...murderin' bastard...Bailiff!!Where is that cavity search video of Martha Stewart I requested? I really need to see that.

If you've made it this far into this post you're probably wondering "what the fuck"?...well I'll tell you what.
You can go to Court TV and read about things as "important" as Micheal Jackson's(alledged) predaliction to sucking little kid dick to Courtney Love's swim down the tubes to some asshole in weedpatch usa blowing a gas station robbery and running away from the scene only to hit a cow in the road and end up pinned between two lesbian truck drivers rigs... only to be revealed as the super toe sucking panty bandit that John Walsh has been searching for for years in between looking for his kids severed head (at this point, unidentifiable skull of a kid full of gator tooth marks). God bless him, but give it a fucking rest.
Back in the day, when you were accused of a serious crime, it was a serious crime. Not an opportunity to win a million on fear factor, or sell the movie rights to (pick a cable channel).
These days, criminals are celebrity, and you can trace the explosion into celebrity back to the OJ trial in my opinion...that was when the final barrier was knocked down and criminal acts made their way into the public's need for entertainment...suddenly, Baywatch wasn't enough to get off to, you had to see Marcia Clark and Johnny Cochran spar to get the wood.
It's pathetic.
So, back to my original question...Where's Vang dammit? And while I'm at it...where are "we" with the pro basketball criminal indictments?Will the prosecution seek re-indictment (again) in the Binion case now that the people who were accused of killing him have been aquitted? What fucking channel is that new reality gilligans island show on?Court TV's a repeat tonight. Have you got the first season of "Dog:Bounty Hunter" on DVD yet? I really need the pathos.
Something is seriously wrong here.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Canada for showing up and telling he who has no name what's up. We are still allowed to express our displeasure, except it's in "free speech zones" far from the nations idiot and his disciples.

Ukraine for calling bullshit when you see it. The ruling party we have now apparently believes they can change the rules ( that they set, mind you ) to accomodate that weasel Delay and thumb their noses at us while they do it.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day :
We're making enemies faster than we can kill them

It's sad what's happened to us... Let's hope we can avoid critical mass for 4 years.

Monday, November 29, 2004


Or something like that...The whiskey being vodka and the 45 being me, in about 2 hours anyway. When I was 25, I couldn't even see that far down this road. Now before you click away thinking this is going to turn into some sort of drunken train wreck rant/whine about how it sucks to be me, it won't. I'm not drunk, and while some people might think it sucks to be me, I don't think that way...or, it might be better to say I don't operate that way. I have pity parties just like everyone else does, I just generally keep them to myself. Except for that one meltdown a couple of months back that I'm still beating myself up for.
I've been thinking alot about this whole turning 45 business alot lately...30 didn't bother me, 40 didn't bother me, but Initially it was reflection on a shoulda done/coulda done level, and let me tell you, I shoulda/coulda done alot of shit in the last 20 years. The single thing that I regret, I mean truely regret, is that I didn't finish school. That regret is easily corrected however, I can go back to school. And, in a sense, I am in school right now, learning to be an electrician. I'm still not 100% on this gig, but I'm learning valuable skills and staying afloat, albeit with the assistance of Ann's job and her parents helping us out. That parents helping us out thing bugged me for a while, until I got over myself and realized how lucky we are to have them willing to help, and...well, god bless them.
On to the point...I started thinking about the things I did do over the last 20 years, and you know what? It's not such a shabby list, and when you get right down to it, it beats making a shitload of money and driving a Hummer 2 just like lil' bow wow's. Although the shitload of money is appealing. I have, in the last 20 years:
Managed to help raise a son who is destined to shine.
Found and married the love of my life 10 years ago, even though she was under my nose 20 years ago.
Helped alot of people.
Helped alot of animals.
Wrote some decent songs, with a decent band, that made people very uncomfortable (sometimes) when we played them.
Met lots of different people, from all walks of life and been enriched by the experience.And still have alot of them around after all this time.
Managed to keep a roof over my head and food in my pantry, so, "what have you got to complain about"? (thanks, mom, for the unending pounding of what really matters into my head).
There's more, but it's in the morning, you know. Suffice to say, that, upon reflection, 45 isn't so bad after all.

Sunday, November 28, 2004


I've had this thing on my mind all day...discrimination, and in particular, discrimination in the US of A. I can only speak from my experiences, and so I will. Growing up in texas in the late 60's and nearly 70's gave me a pallette of discrimination beyond imagination as I was awash in a sea of rednecks. they hated blacks,mexicans, asians...anyone who wasn't white, except for hippies, or freaks, or whatever you want to call them. And from 7th grade, I was one of those hippies. To run away from a group of rednecks intent on kicking your ass and removing your hair with goat shears gave me a unique connection with my ethnic brethren, which I carry with me to this day. But I had a choice, had I cut my hair and changed my dress, I would've obstensively been alright, but a haircut and fashion adjustment was easy...not like changing the color of your skin. I finally did cut my hair off in 1977, and it won me a job washing dishes at a the back, with the blacks and the mexicans, so go figure.
People of color have persevered in this country for many generations at great expense, and through that perseverence have gained significant footholds in society. Even in government...high ranking government even, but I'm sure there's some hardcore racist somewhere decrying the niggers in the woodpile (whitehouse). The difference is they don't have permission to be vocal like they used to, because Colin Powell is a great man, and nobody has the balls to spout that kind of undistilled hatred these days. I realize there are many prominent black leaders in the us today, but Colin is the obvious choice, because he is a great man, and an example of aforementioned perseverence. I don't like Condoleeza Rice, but she is a another example of that don't have to like her politics, but god damn! She's black and female and has a high ranking position in the government, if you look at the history of this country that's nothing short of fucking amazing, and more power to her for that.
I still don't like her, or republicans for that matter, and struggle to dispel the thought that she is just an "Aunt Jemima" of the republican party, put in a place of power for appearance sake to fool the other black people in this country into believing the republican party welcomes diversity. And don't be fooled for one second, Rastus, it's a me. They welcome diversity like you welcome a case of the crabs or scabies, but they know what works...and this diversity shit works, like a charm.
Discrimination in this country has gone further underground as ethnic groups have integrated themselves into the main workings of america...they still get fucked over, to be sure, but it's done on a level more subtle and sinister than back in the day when people could just be blatently racist. It's harder to prove, and "affirmative action" in all it's wide eyed earnestness has in a way made it easier to "stealth discriminate" and made things harder for everyone, whites included.
But these days, your ethnicity is secondary to what I call your "approval rating"...what do you represent by your appearance? And peoples perception of said appearance. I no longer fly the flag of the hairline won't allow it :), I haven't worn an earring for almost a year.I was never much into beads or fringe. But I have these tattoos...lot's of them, they are not a remnant of my hippy past. I'm colored by choice, part of it has to do with my dad and his friends, part of it has to do with punk rock, part of it has to do with wanting to be different, but mostly it has to do with distance I think. Distance from a society that I'm ashamed of. Because of discrimination.
People make broadstroke generalizations about me because of the way I look.
I am an ex convict...No, I paid good money for these tats and I have never been in prison
I am a biker...No...I like motorcycles and all, but please, give it a rest.
I am a will find no swastikas on my mom taught me well, and I love you all, regardless of creed or color.
I am a rock star...I wish I was, I tried to be one, but when your pushing 45 and the phones not ringing, you have to reinvent yourself.
But how do you do that when people can't see past the ink on your body? I might as well be black.
Get my point?
More to come.

Instead of me just throwing it around here all about that?
Anyway, BW and Mr.BW were discussing discrimination in the good old US, and wondered what thoughts, if any, I might have on the subject. They were particularly curious about the whole gay discrimination thing. goes,uh...something.
I live in Austin, Texas, which has a large gay community that has been here for years. There are also lots of baptists here, and if they weren't so busy trying to ban breast feeding in public places (seriously) I'm sure they would be after the gay folks like a duck on a junebug. It's hard for me to opine on the plight of gay folks in america, because of the gay community here. In some respects, they are a vital source...on many levels, but especially in support and activism for the gay population in and around Austin. And that activism is steady and quiet, not militant and loud, which might explain the harmony we experience here.
Moving on to the bigger picture...gays are discriminated against on a national level, big time. Denied rights and priviledges not because of the religiously guided members of our society (loons for short), but because the white house is occupied by a loon who has energised all the other loons with his anti gay agenda, and they have been mobilized and legitimized and, by god, their time is NOW!
If you think about it, prior to Bushes first term, there were positive steps being taken in regard to gay was still a fight, but the loons didn't have quite the "advantage" they have now.
So,yes, in the case of gay discrimination, you are correct...GOD is on their side, and his biggest fan in the white house. All I can say is, if there IS a real god it's time for him/her/it to make an appearance and straighten these idiots out before it's too late.
I mean, what's next? Black republicans holding cabinet positions? Oh...wait...
Talk about your oxymoron.

"When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am
not a gypsy. When they came for the Jews, I did not speak,
because I wasn't a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I
did not speak, for I am not a Catholic. And when they came
for me, there was no one left to speak."

-On the Wall at the Holocaust Museum in Washington

To me, that quote speaks volumes about discrimination in this country.

Friday, November 26, 2004


apparently, this, is more newsworthy. Drunk cops stealing fajitas. Cool. Anyway, it's time for a stoned guy with a skink on his
...Dude...can I have one of those fajitas?
...come on man...I got the munchies skink's hungry too...dude, come some love...
...yeah? Well fuck you too...bastard.
...damn it...excuse me miss...are you into skinks?I have this giant one on my head...interested?
IT'S POTATO SOUP FOR CRYING OUT LOUD was your thanksgiving? Ours was just fine...had a big meal at the in laws with Ann's big brother and mom and dad. Mom made green bean cassarole (apparently) just for me, and it rocked, very tasty stuff.
Of course, we came home with a shitload of leftovers, and, the ham bone. So I made soup today, but before that could happen I had to go to the store. Since Ann was at work with the car, I walked to the store. About 3 or 4 miles round trip. I could of waited for Ann to get home with the car, but hey, I wasn't doing anything else and I said I was going to make soup. And making soup takes time, plus,this being the "holiday" season and all, I wanted Ann to come home to the smell of good things cooking. The smell of good things cooking is one thing that redeems the "holiday" season for me.
A stove warm house full of good cooking smells is just the shit...anyway...
Thanksgiving continues for us as my son and his fiance are coming for lunch tomorrow...I haven't done this for years, but I'm doing cornish hens and all the fixin's including my moms sausage dressing.
And all this from a guy who says fuck's not about the holidays for me, it's about love, and you feed the ones you love.