Monday, May 31, 2004


Best wishes and thank you to all of you folks in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking life and limb.
May it pass quickly and see you home and safe.
Thanks to all the guys from WWII, mine and Ann's dad personally...Ann's dad got 2 ships sunk out from underneath him in battle and one badly damaged, I'm still not sure what exactly my dad did, but it was all secretive and shadowy.
Thanks to all you Korean war vets...and Viet Nam vets...
I have a friend who served in the Nam, and his honors (and everyone elses) were way past
due. He ditched his uniform at the airport because of the shit he was getting and when he got home and tried to talk about his experiences, he was shunned.When I lived in Colorado, he would never talk about Nam, and even told me once I could ask all I wanted about the army, but he wouldn't discuss the war. On subsequent visits many years later, he did, and I understood why he had been hesitant.For him and the others coming home from that terrible place was a prolonged homecoming, in addition to being traumatized by war, they were victimized here for participating in the first place...for them I hold a special place in my heart.
Memorial day...memories of heros...hold the memories close in honor of those who served.



Voodoo curses, explained
By Bill Sones and Rich Sones

February 2, 2000

Q. If somebody puts a voodoo curse on you, might it kill you?

A. If you think it might, it might.

In "Essentials of Psychology, Exploration and Application, 6th Ed.," Dennis Coon tells of a terrified young woman admitted to a hospital because she believed she was going to die. A midwife had predicted that the woman's two sisters would die on their 16th and 21st birthdays, and that the woman herself would die on her 23rd birthday.

Her sisters had died as predicted, and now it was three days before her 23rd birthday. Then the following day the woman was indeed found dead in her hospital bed, "an apparent victim of her own terror."

There are other cases of people dying of fright, such as soldiers in particularly savage battles, or of people being stricken at very emotional times, such as Louis Armstrong's widow suffering a heart attack during a memorial concert for her husband just as the final chord of "St. Louis Blues" was played.

Such victims may die in one of two ways, says Coon: Physiologically, the intense arousal causes a sharp rise in blood sugar, the heart beats faster, digestion slows or stops, blood flow to the skin is reduced. These "fight- or-flight" reactions generally increase the chances of survival in an emergency, but in an older person or someone in bad health, they can kill.

And if the initial emotion doesn't prove fatal, "parasympathetic rebound" might: Following heightened arousal, the body works to calm all the accelerated processes and, in doing so, may go too far: Even in a young, vigorous person, the counter-slowdown may actually stop the heart.

Thus voodoo, like all terrors, can get you coming or going.

With that in mind here goes...A voodoo algebra equation:

Serious, kick your ass voodoo curse + Hines pool and spa + Andy X fraud = untimely demise of business.

Yes...I'm still stewing.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

I never planned to have a house where strangers walked in the front door and the first thing out of their mouths was "Wow!" I expected it from people who knew what the house used to look like because it is a MAJOR tranformation, but I didn't expect it from strangers or friends who have never seen the place. The guy that delivered our stove today walked in the door and said, you guessed it, "Wow!" Then he asked who our designer was. When we told him we came up with this ourselves he said that we must have looked at a lot of other houses to come up with it. Well no, we didn't. If there's another house out there that looks like this, I'm not aware of it. We just thought about what we liked and what we wanted and changed a few things to fit in the budget. Although the budget didn't constrain us too much since the only thing I would have done differently if we had more money is the tile (I would have gone with slate on the floor and glass tile in the bathroom) and Rob probably would have gotten a more expensive stove. A frequent comment is that it looks like a nightclub and as I sit here tonight, marveling at the changes, I have to agree. It wasn't intentional, but the place definately has a club feel to it. In fact, we had named our house "Club Spit" about 10 years ago when we started throwing our monthly band jam parties and the name fits the place even better now.

It was frustrating sometimes...

It took longer than we thought...

But we had a vision...sort of :)

I think we pulled it off...

What ya think..?

Not the house it used to be...fer sure..:)

Nicked this from Special K, who nicked it from Mary Lou.


Name / Username:

Name Acronym Generator

There you have it.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Three cheers for the Saliva Ovulation Microscope
Yeah, funky title, but I didn't want to mess with any brand names and then have to look up the HTML code for that pesky trademark character. But what I really want to know is why the hell did I only find out about such a thing from some stupid infomercial on TV at a wee hour of the morning when I couldn't sleep that night? And the US FDA, being the stupid fucks that they are, only allow advertising for GETTING pregnant rather than contraception purposes. All the same, any woman with a clue that happened to be watching could put two and two together and figure out that this could work to prevent pregnancy as well as promote it.

Rob and I have successfully avoided pregnancy through a variety of convoluted methods which do not include birth control pills. No doctor will prescribe them to me since I have migraines (never mind the pill PREVENTS migraines in my case) and I'm over 35 with a history of heart disease in my family. So I've had to pay attention to the clues my body gives as to where I might be in my cycle these last 10 years. If I'm not on the pill, I don't have the luxury of a steady cycle. It might be 28 days or it might be 45, depends. Depends on what, I haven't quite figured out yet. And while the avoidance of pregnancy has lead to an interesting and varied sex life, it's still a hassle at times. So here's something that could tell me exactly WHEN we need to stick to oral sex for a few days and I'm finding out about it from a damn infomercial! There's something not right about that.
My inner muse has ADHD
I have started so many half-finished posts over these last two months. There's no point in revisiting any of the half-thoughts since I can't go back to where I was at the time I started them. I suppose I might as well just start posting on the fly; along the lines of the stream of consciousness type posting that Rob does. I've only done business writing where I had no editor and I've always had to self-edit, as I wrote, because the memo, policy or decree was usually due in the next 10 minutes. Self-editing is a good way to squash your creativity and it's this that's always prevented me from getting past chapter three in a novel. It also usually prevents me from completing a post these days when inner muse gets ADHD and thinks taking out the trash is something she needs to do now because there was no room for another beer bottle and then discovers a weed that needs to be pulled next to the trash can and well, on it goes until she discovers an unfinished post sitting on the computer screen as she shuts down to take the laptop to work the next day. And of course, the inner muse won't dare post an unfinished, unedited post because... well, she doesn't really have a good reason why other than it's not "finished." Rob, on the other hand, doesn't seem to care if he has spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, uncompleted thoughts and sentences or incorrect punctuation. He just posts, warts and all. And I admire that even though it makes me cringe sometimes. And now here goes my muse on an ADHD trip again as Rob asks for my advice on centering a mask on the dining room wall... fuck it, I'm going to publish and let the chips fall where they may....

Pushing little children
With their fully automatics
They like to push the weak around

Bunnypants dedicated the WWII memorial today. It got lot's of press. I haven't seen any of it beyond what was at CNN, but I was struck by the irony of it all. And what an insult it is for those WWII vets to have smoke blown up their asses by such a fraud.
This ag's me so much, I'm at a loss for words.

Show your people
Show your people how we died

*System of a Down

Friday, May 28, 2004


A walk on would be fine.

The Lemonheads,1992-93,heady times. They played the opera house here in '93. It was me and Ann's first official date, dinner and a concert. We have known each other since about 1983, when we worked at the same place but different departments. There was always a spark, but we were otherwise committed until the company christmas party of '93.We were both unencumbered. After, me and Ann and LT (only he wasn't LT, the other guitarist/songwriter in our band and good friend he was just Tracy, childhood friend of Anns and her escort to the party in lieu of her soon to be ex-husband)left the party and came to my house for a nightcap.
Ann is primarily a heavy metal type when it comes to music...preferring the dissonant crunch of Venom to the "we could be the serious Monkees" pop sensibility of the Lemonheads. I played it anyway, and focused on the lyrics as my lead up to asking Ann if she wanted to go see this band with me the next weekend, she said yes and I immediately added on dinner before the show...
So... We get to the restaurant and start that jittery first date chit - chat shit and Ann promptly dumps a giant tumbler of iced tea over in my direction. It misses me and we quickly recover, have dinner and go to the show. Halfway through it, we're making out like teenagers.There were many shows to follow and lots more making out, but that night sticks in my head...The lemonheads were featured at our wedding ("Into your arms" from the album "Come on feel"). I knew she was the one that night.And the rest is history.
Now, 10 years later next month, Ann is still the one. Through thick and thin.Always.


I went back out to my high school, after receiving 2 calls from there. One was the records lady who told me I did indeed have to come to the school to get it, the other was from the superintendent who apologized for sending me on a wild goose chase.
There is major construction going on out there, so what was the front of the building 27 years ago is now nestled in between the fine arts center and some unidentifiable building in progress.
Once inside, I was flooded with memories. "There's my old social studies room - and the english classrooms - and the art room." Then I was out in the commons area, a huge open area lined with lockers with a stairwell to either side. As I climbed the stairs I remembered how the jocks and rednecks used to try to spit on us from above as we walked by.
Such fond memories!
Anyway, I was directed to the counseling office and got my transcript. They didn't charge me since I had to make 2 trips, which was a nice gesture. I half-heartedly asked where the shrine for Toody Byrd was (Her real name, I swear). Toody was the greatest school counselor ever.Period.If it wasn't for her a lot of us (myself near the top of the list) would have never made it this far.So, I wasn't being sarcastic about the shrine, in my mind she is St. Toody, saver of lost souls.
Imagine my delight when they pointed across the hall to the Toody Byrd Career Center! She no longer works for the school, but is very active with the center. I left a note with my phone #'s and email which they will pass on to her.
Two short stories about me and Toody...
I moved out of my parents house and in with my girlfriend with 12 weeks left before graduating. I was no longer in the district. Since I had wrecked my car, I had to hitchhike to school every day. With about 6 weeks to go, a counseling intern picked me up and wondered what I was doing so far south.Like a dumbass I told him. He told Toody, who tried to compel me to move back home. I wouldn't budge on the matter and finally it became our secret. She knew how important graduating was to me (and her apparently)so this little detail was swept under the rug. I graduated on schedule.
Flash forward 15 years.....
My mom had just died of cancer, my dad was stroked out in a nursing home and the onus fell on me to make all the arrangements for my moms memorial service. (it's a real mindfuck to have your mom handed to you in a brown cardboard box from the crematory)
Anyway- I was setting up the guest book and I heard THAT voice behind me. I turned around and there she was. It was like her radar had gone off and she knew I needed her. I was reduced from stoic son to blubbering idiot instantly. She gave me a big ol' hug, and I knew it was gonna be ok. She's magic like that.
I hope she calls...I would really love to see her, to catch up on the last 12 years.
If you'll excuse me, I have to go get a tissue......

Thursday, May 27, 2004


I went out to my high school to get my transcript today and I think... no, I know that I freaked them the fuck out.
Around 1975 the elite overran the hippies/river rats and my high school became the bastion of shameless excess that it remains today. The football stadium rivals most universities in scope and majesty (football is very important at texas high schools but- come on!)
Anyway, I walk into the administrative offices and up to the counter. The soccer mom working the counter was wrapping up a transaction with someone else and when she finished she turned to me with the same smile and perky demeanor she had with the other guy. As soon as she took me in, her face paled and fell into the look of someone who had happened upon the face of satan. I could see her physically pulling herself together as she said "do I have to help...I mean, can I help you"? It was entirely too amusing.
I requested my transcript.
She questioned my request with the kind of shock that cannot be described. ( I may as well have said "Hi there! I have just killed everyone on the second floor, please call 911 and then it's your turn").
I turned on the politeness/articulate part of my brain and won her over.
I was able to learn that the woman I had spoken to yesterday had gone home with a migraine
and none of the other 4 people working knew how to operate the micro-fisch machine, I would not be getting my transcript today.
They seemed amazed that I would want a 27 year old document in the first place.
Hell, they seemed amazed that the school was here 27 years ago.I assured them it was and that the "established 1970" emblazoned on the main building was accurate.
I'll get my stuff tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


I am about to join a union, if they'll have me. I went to their website and perused...sounds good to me, fair wages, good benefits, representation. They are also involved in the apprentice school, which I am also applying for.
It seems that an important criteria for acceptance is a full credit of algebra. I don't have a full credit of algebra on my high school transcript. While I'm on the subject, let me restate: high school transcript.
I graduated from high school 27 years ago. In 1977 algebra was optional, it was not a requirement to graduate. I took related and consumer math instead. For 2 reasons. 1. I believed at the time that related and consumer math would see me better in the future because it was so much more practical and real world oriented than that ae + 2 = aeae - zdx44+ae - 1 = migraine world of equations that meant nothing to me. 2. I hated math.
Actually, I hated coaches, and they taught math at my high school, hence: algebra + coach / contempt for authority X hatred of jocks = I hate math. Funny how the pot addled mind works, innit?
When I was in college, algebra was a requirement for my major ( which was commercial art at the time )and I was half way through the semester (and passing!) when I rolled over a fiat and almost killed myself and was forced to take an incomplete in algebra.
I learned 2 things from that experience. 1. Algebra's not so bad when there isn't a sweaty bigoted redneck teaching it, and 2. NEVER put a radial tire on your front left and a non-radial on your front right. I'm sure there is an equation out there somewhere that proves this theory, but I was so busy learning how to do the math to figure out insurance stuff and bank accounts I missed out on the opportunity to discover it.
But, the thing that amazes me the most is that I can still GET a copy of my high school transcript, 27 years after the entire staff of my alma-mater (cafe ladies included) burnt me and my friends in effigy in an effort to cleanse the hippy / river rat vibe from their hallowed halls. Interestingly enough, I have to go to the registrars and fork over $5.00 to get a hard copy of the shame that is my high school transcript. The apprentice school requires that it be faxed directly from my high school, I guess to prevent me from penciling in that credit, and gaining admission to the school under the false pretense of knowing basic algebra.
I can take a test to meet the requirement, and I will, unless being over 40 somehow waives it. We'll see.
This logo is cool though, innit?

Tuesday, May 25, 2004


I did not watch pResident whistledick's speech last night. If I wanted slapstick stupid I would watch old Benny Hill shows.
But I did hear a guy on the radio on the way home from work commenting on it. This guy works for a security firm here in Austin (Stratford I think it's called) and is a frequent guest on this show.
Anyway, it seems bunnypants said the word democracy a lot...a whole hell of a lot. But this guy focused on the 3 minutes the dickweed in chief spent talking about the "success" that was had in Fallujah. It seems that getting a shitload of us killed and then turning over the city to the "insurgents" under the command of a former Saddam the terrible's generals is a good thing. Apparently this is happening in other cities that have shown resistance comparable to that of Fallujah.
Dubya thinks this a good thing. The guy on the radio seemed to think it was related to meeting the deadline for turning over the country to it's citizens on June 30 and reducing coalition casualties to bring up his sagging ratings and overtake Kerry and win the election, because we did what we set out to do in Iraq.
If this is the case what we have done is:
Blow the shit out of Iraq to the point of it needing to be condemned.
Kill thousands.
Lose 800+ coalition forces.
Turn key cities over to the very fucking people we went in there after.I believe the popular term for this is "chump out".
And we will leave on June 30. And by "leave" he means all of us but 140,000 marked as cannon fodder- I mean peace keepers.
I'm reminded of the film Casualties of war when one soldier is explaining the nature of atrocity in wartime:
"If you burn down a hooch, just say 'sorry 'bout that'".
"If you kill some of their pigs, just say 'sorry 'bout that'".
And it goes on from there.
Choking on a pretzel and falling off his bike???They look like whiskey dents to me.

Monday, May 24, 2004


Ann pulls off another computer miracle!!!
Here's a cartoon I did awhile back on another website in a different time. But I think it still fits in with current events.


Since this apprentice thing is actually looking like it might lead somewhere, I decided I should update my tool selection from pool guy essentials to electrician essentials. Most tools are interchangeable in this case but I did need a new set of nut drivers and screwdrivers. Which I purchased tonight at the local home depot. I also treated myself to a new smaller toolbag since the one I had for my pool guy adventures is huge. No need for a big tool bag when your primary duties begin and end with "bring me...(insert drill, ladder, pipe bender, etc)...over here...thanks".
However...I have noticed that the journeymen I've been working with sometimes are missing a "wish I had one now" item essential to the forward motion of the job. I have mentally compiled a list of these items so far and added them to my new compact black canvas tool bag.
These items include a full set of drill bits (?), a full set of nut drivers (ok...this one is understandable, nut drivers, like screw drivers are the left socks of the tool world). Electrical tape...yes...ELECTRICAL tape (!?!).
I will be "johnny on the spot".
Anyway, it's the screwdrivers I bought tonight I want to talk about. Not the screwdrivers specifically (although they have comfort grips that are red and black...yes!:))but the packaging. It's one of those 20 piece "value" sets. I got it because it was the best value for quality and I could fill my tool bag and have plenty leftover for the tool drawer at home. That is if I could get them out of the FUCKING PACKAGE!!!!!!!!!AUUUGGGGHHHHHH! I hate this!
You know what I'm talking about...In the pool bidness it's called "clamshell" packaging. It's the jumbo version of the packaging batteries come in, edging out paper ever so slightly as the manmade material most likely to mutilate your fingertips. Who came up with this shit??? Is he/she still alive??? If so can I kill him with a knife fashioned from his/her satanically conceived packaging invention???
I belabor the point.
That I can't find our scissors to open said clamshell packaging only contributes to my irritation. Speaking of, here are some other things I can't find:
My meter...who knows?
My small red maglite flashlight...again, who knows?
My channel locks, "robo-grip" pliers, wire saw, wire strippers...the list goes on. I could not endure a tool easter egg hunt tonight. My tools are hopelessy comingled with the remodel folks tools, a sort of orgy of industry if you will.
I'll take what I have and be done with it until these items resurface or I replace them.
Fucking MEH.
Ann is still giving my computer the old electronic in-out in-out. It seems I have retained all my files, but have lost all my programs with which to manipulate them by. Programs.gone.must re-INSTALL.must not deviate from mission.
The long and short of it is this: I won't have my trusty 'puter back until at least tomorrow.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get my drill bits off the picnic table on the back deck (unless someone moved them today).


I spent the majority of my day on top of an 8 ft ladder muscling coduit and drilling into concrete with a hammer drill. We were putting in a trunk line that will branch of at 90 degrees into several different rooms terminating into new switch arrays.
I should reiterate here that the only thing that scares me more than climbing around on a ladder is the height of the ladder.BOXCARS!!!! I was a knee-shaking neophyte till lunch, and then suddenly I was tarzan of the ladder people.
I have conquered my fear of height! Check that, I have learned to deal with it, for today. I have searched for a support group (ladder pussies anonymous or LPA) with no I guess I have to go it on my own until other ladder pussies hear about me and join the ranks. In that regard I am alot like Bill W. only instead of being a pioneer in sobriety I am a pioneer in fearless ladder climbing.

Ann is in the process of trying to bring my computer back to life, with any luck I will post a cartoon later this evening.

Sunday, May 23, 2004


I just ran out of time today. Altogether too much shit to be done so no visual cartoon for sunday. Just so I don't let you down completely and sparing myself some guilt, try to visualize this:
Panel one--An american soldier stands in the foreground, in the background is a village in flames. There are bodies smouldering on the ground behind him. His weapon is slung over his shoulder, he holds a container in his hand that says "Bushco Brand Napalmolive". The soldier says: "Bushco Brand Napolmolive;It softens your hands while you burn villages".
Panel two--One of the smouldering bodies has crawled over and is pawing at the soldiers leg. He looks down and says:"why, abdhulla, you're soaking in it"!
Panel three-- Close up of soldier making a stern face. He says: "Buy Bushco Brand bullshit-or else".
'late ya'll :P

Yesterday we got our tile grouted, all 600 + sq. ft. of it. 125 lbs. of snow white grout and 6 1/2 hrs. later it was finished. Thanks to the kindness and skill of two friends I used to work with and my sub contractor and his son. These friends, incidentally do this shit for a living, why they would dedicate an entire day off to do it for food and beverage is testament to friendship that cannot be ignored. I grilled mass quantities of marinated chicken and garlic sausage links with potato salad (store bought,because I'm a lazy sod with no kitchen, unlike our industrious friend from the north Special K).
We did more bending over and spent more time on our knees than a house full of Indian eunuchs yesterday, and my back is killing me!
The remodel is essentially complete, just the fireplace and counters getting tiled and some small punch items remain. This signals the fun part of this deal : the buying and placing of furniture and a stove. Ah- to have a stove again.
We have been without a stove now for almost 2 years, remodel notwithstanding. The great rat war/occupation of 2002-03
killed our stove and I have been cooking on our grill and a two burner catering hot plate all this time. In addition to the usual meats, I have discovered that you can grill pizza,enchiladas and numerous other foodstuffs on a BBQ.Interesting discoveries, yes, but I will NOT miss it. I can't wait to get back to some serious cookage!
We're picking up Irene (AKA- beansie,beans,reenie,reenie-beanie...) at 2p today. I can't wait to see her. It seems that the dog whisperer included her in a class for placement and assessment of foster dogs. 50% of participants thought she would be a good candidate for a rescue dog placement, 50% did not. I was so excited! Irene could be a rescue dog! Visions of me and her on the discovery channel finding lost children in the forest danced in my head until I was told that exactly 0% of participants were willing to get her out of the crate for a closer inspection. Then Ann told me that the rescue part of rescue dog actually meant SHE was a good candidate to BE rescued. Meh...Chickens.
Ann is going to try to bring my computer back to life this after, which will make the sunday cartoon a much easier deal...either way, it'll be up later on today.
See Ya!

Saturday, May 22, 2004


As I pulled into the physical plant this morning I was twinging with that "will they like me"? Anxiety experienced when entering new territory. This was floating ominously behind the "can I hack it"? self doubt experienced when starting a new job. I know one thing for certain, no, make that two- 1.Electricity is my friend and 2.Electricity can kill you in a heartbeat. Looming somewhere in the background was "will anyone freak on my appearance"?
I was also wearing long pants, or, as we used to call them at my old job, big boy pants. I have been wearing shorts almost every day for the last six years and this was definitely an adjustment. A minor detail to be sure, but it was contributing to my general state of semi-freaked outness.
I met a lot of people today and they were all very nice and made me feel welcome. Probably the most noteworthy interaction occurred at the supply building.
Me and the other apprentice went to get conduit, fittings, hangers,and flex conduit for our job at the supply building. The staff there are, with one exception, all black men in their late 40's early 50's, with the one exception finishing his last day and moving on. It was like being on the set of barbershop, but instead of cutting fades, these guys were issuing material. Non stop banter and bullshit flying everywhere.
I received a hearty greeting. Then the supervisor asked me:
"Son, how long you been in Travis county"?
Me: "Since '67".
Super: "You from New York originally though, right"?
Me: " Yes, but my Dad was shipped overseas when I was"...
Super (cutting me off): "See?! I can tell man, I can TELL"(chuckles to self).
Now...How the fuck did this guy I have never laid eyes on in my life know where I was born???? Was it a good guess
or was he so attuned to dialect ( My Dad was from the east coast, my Mom from England) that he could pick up faint traces of new york tinged goo-goo's and gaa-gaa's in my voice? I was overseas before I really started talking and the first complete sentences I made were in french...go figure, must've been a good guess.
I haven't been called "son" in a long time either.
Anyway, The day raced by, and before I knew it it was time to go home. I learned about the operation some, and I got my first formal lesson in using a pipe bender and how to figure measurements for particular bends and kicks. It was cool.
I was encouraged to sign up for apprentice school and to join the union and offered help in doing so.
I thought about it and decided that I have an opportunity here to learn a trade and that I would be foolish to pass it up.
So I'm not going to.
Irene is spending the weekend with the "dog whisperer"...sure, Theo and Sullivan are here, but I will miss her snuggles. She is very much my dog. Sunday can't get here fast enough.
A buddy of mine (and his twin brother) turned 50 today. They had a party with amazing food and drink and good company. Ann and I went there with Joel and a good time was had by all. Seems like most of my old friends are 50 or fast approaching it...oh shit! I'm next! kept running through my head. I have known this friend for almost 22 years. Time flies man, I'm reminded of that alot lately and it's true. 50...DAMMIT! :)
Damn! It's late! Gotta go sleep now.
G'night Jon-Boy!

Thursday, May 20, 2004


I am a licensed apprentice electrician. I passed my pee test. I filled out the required forms at my new employer, was issued my shiny white hard hat and safety glasses and given a map to where I need to go tomorrow.
Getting my license took less time than the wait to get it, it seems that there is only one person to deal with all the people who come in between 11a and 1p. I don't know about you, but this seems to me to be the time when the most people come in for permits , licenses and what not(on the lunch break) and you'd be properly staffed to deal with it...oh, wait, it's the city of Austin. Now it makes perfect sense.
35 minutes wait and a short form and $11.00 later- pow!- I am licensed by the city as an electrician. Amazing...really though, apprentice is latin or something for gopher. So it's not some big hairy deal. Well,yes it is...I am embarking on a new career path. We'll see what happens.
The pee test was interesting simply because I was giving the sample instead of taking it from someone. The technician was a girl with lot's of tattoos and she was really cool.
What struck me the most about all of this was I have never had to get a license for any job I've ever had , nor have I had to submit to a pee test before. It was like some initiation into a club or something to me. I wondered when the robes and candles and big paddle were gonna appear. So much regulation that at the same time seemed more like just going through the motions.
Anyhow, here I am at the gate, hard hat in hand ready for the big day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I have been so out of touch...
My friends and family are starting to complain. No emails, no phones calls, no blog entries. What's up? Well, remodel hell for one thing. The remodel has resulted in the demise of our two desktop computers, leaving only the laptop to be shared between the two of us. The construction crew leaves around 6:30 or 7:00pm and at that time we are either out eating dinner somewhere or struggling to cook a dinner with no kitchen or pots/pans/silverware/plates/etc. After dinner it's time to find something to serve as a flat surface and hook up the laptop. This gives me a one to two hour window of time to get on the computer (time shared with Rob), but because we are back to dialup (we dropped the DSL for now because we have no internal jack, just the "test" jack on the outside of the house)it takes all of my computer time just to download the 600 pieces of daily spam email and/or do the "Windows Update" bullshit. And, quite frankly, any blogging I would have done would have been a bunch of whining either about the inconvenience of the remodel or maybe a rant or two about some key players at Hines Pool and Spa. So what's different about tonight? Well, it's been a long time since I've spewed out any words on the blog or email and I just couldn't take it anymore. My dinner's getting cold, but I don't care. I'm gonna post for a change, dammit! It's not that I have anything particularly noteworthy to say; Rob pretty much covers what's going on around here on a daily basis.

Another thing that has started to pull me out of my hidey-hole is that the end is finally in sight on the remodel. I finally have a door on my bathroom and after tomorrow I might actually have a sink, some lighting and bathtub fixtures that are screwed to the wall instead of ones that fall off every morning when I try to take a shower. The kitchen sink might actually be connected after tomorrow which would mean that I don't have to use the bathtub to make coffee on Friday morning. I think I mentioned before that it's the little things that make me happy and not having a sink of any kind is one of those little things that has been making me miserable. Ah, but the kitchen sink. Now THIS is a kitchen sink. Here's a picture:

We have a VERY small kitchen so one might wonder why we elected to take up one entire wall with a gigantic 3 tub restaurant kitchen sink. Well, we could have put in a dishwaher, but dishwashers use a lot of electricity and don't do a very good job of washing stuff anyway plus our expensive pots and pans shouldn't go in the dishwasher at all. So it didn't make much sense to put in a dishwasher. It made a lot more sense to buy a good sink. This one has three basins which I figure I'll use one for soapy water, one for rinse water and one for soaking the nasty stuff overnight. Plus when we entertain we can use two basins as icechests if we want. Another odd thing about our kitchen is that there are no cabinets, something we had to explain to the city inspectors. We will have stainless steel worktables instead of counters and everything, including the sink, can be pulled out of the area for cleaning the floors... or the next time our house floods.

Yep, we've pretty much flood-proofed the house and even if the water gets above the six inches of tile that runs around the walls, it's greenboard, not sheetrock. We will be in much better shape the next time mother nature decides to send a wall of water our way. We don't live in a flood plain, not a 100 year, nor 200 year nor a 500 year flood plain and our house shouldn't have flooded in the first place, much less a second time. But Rob and I know it WILL happen again and we decided that we'd rather flood-proof the house than pay a small fortune in flood insurance over the years. We learned a lot from the first experience and if it happens again, when it happens again, the clean up will be a piece of cake compared to the first time. Our eclectic remodel isn't just some cool industrial style, it's practical. When all is done and we can find our deodorant on a regular basis, life will be much better.

In other news, Rob mentioned Sully's new toy. I have decided this is THE BEST DOG TOY EVER, provided you own a dog like Sullivan. I just need to remember to take it away from him before I go to bed so I'm not awakened periodically during the night by SQUEAKS! Only for a few minutes and then he'd conk back out, but still... it's like a bizarre version of a snooze alarm going off in he middle of the night. Not something I need when I have to be at work at seven in the morning. Speaking of which, it's waaaaay past my bedtime. Adios all...

We're down to trim work and final punch lists. We're having a grout party Saturday (sounds like fun huh?), the plumber and the electrician are coming tomorrow to finish up and then it's down to the buying of furniture and settling in.
We can hardly wait.
We will board the dogs out over the weekend so we don't have to contend with incessant barking during the grout party. The boys will go spend the weekend with Bruce our vet and Irene will spend the weekend with Ann's boss the dog trainer, and his dog, the dog training dog. Should be interesting, but I have to admit, I am a bit nervous about what Irene will experience this weekend and I hope she doesn't end up bearing a grudge that culminates in her ripping my throat out in my sleep sometime in the future.
Speaking of biting...The other night it rained and in the morning I found Sid ( the horribly ill tempered blue tongue skink ) balanced on his water dish that was floating in about 2" of rainwater. It occurred to me that I had at my disposal a perfectly good and vacant 4'x8' pen in the greenhouse. I moved Sid in. He now has more land than he's ever had, a water dish large and deep enough to qualify as a swimmng pool and 2 hidey holes. That's right: TWO hidey holes.
If there is such a thing as skink nirvana, Sid is there.
tomorrow I go to the city offices and take out an electricians apprentice license. Then I go for a pee test, passing that, I proceed to the company and fill out paperwork. If all goes well I will be on the job at 7:30 Friday morning.
Electricity has always freaked me out, there's a reason for this, and a story......
When I was a sophomore in high school, we were practicing a play in the hallway of the second floor by my english lit. class. There were no light switches in the hallways at my school. They were little key holes in place of switches to prevent the continual turning on and off by the student body. I was determined to douse the lights in the hall because I thought it would be "funny", I refer you to the yearbook picture I posted awhile back in case any of you are wondering why I thought turning out the lights in the hall would be funny.
Anyhow, every self respecting stoner had a roachclip, mine was tweezer like sterling silver with a ring to hold it closed and the roach in place. It had a really cool tooled leather fob with an armadillo and a pot leaf on it.
I removed the ring and spread the tweezer part out and ever so sneakily started sliding one side of my trusty roachclip into the keyhole, certain that hilarity and peer approval would be my reward, plus irritating Ms. Ware, my teacher, would be an added bonus.
Fame was not to be had however, I was so focused on not being seen that I didn't notice the other side of my trusty roachclip coming dangerously close to the switchplate. I grounded out on the switchplate and the resulting shock/explosion blew me across the hall into the opposite wall and onto my ass. My trusty roachclip was an amputee,the molten blackened end still gripped in my singed thumb and forefinger. I had blown all the fuses on the entire northeast wing of my highschool...both floors. When Ms. Ware realized I was still alive, she said simply, "You know where you need to go right"?
I marched myself down to the asst. principals office for my comeuppance, which turned out to be nothing since Mr. electricity had already spanked me enough.
And now, these many years later, I will possibly meet Mr. electricity again, only this time there is no roachclip in the mix.

He has to sleep on the right...really, the right.
We got Sully a squeaky toy... made out of the same hard red rubber they make Kongs out of. He loves it.
When it's on top of the TV, he stares lovingly at it. He makes it squeak rapid fire in his mouth between cradling it in his arms. It's a red ball with feet and devil horns that squeaks when you bite it.
Such simple joy that brings simple joy.
It makes me wonder why the world has to be so difficult for us humans when a molded piece of red squeaking rubber makes the day of a "lowly" animal.
Go figure.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


As we wind down on this remodel, the inconveniences are at their worst. Sure the tile is essentially done. But where is my deodorant? I left it right here on (pick area that has been cleared of objects, or insert your favorite "got knocked off of this spot" scenario ). It's enough to drive you insane.
It's like when you go camping, you set up your site and your tent in as organized a fashion as you can muster on Friday and by break camp on Sunday you can't find a fucking thing. But you don't care, because whatever it is your frantically looking for is somewhere in your stuff and you'll find it when you get home. And you stop worrying.
Unless you pack up and drive home to....Your CAMPSITE!!!! We're lucky to find our asses with both hands and a map these days.
On a high note, our magnet wall is up, and to christen it I went to the local head shop and got some new christening type magnets... My favorite is one that says "recovering catholic, Incense survivor". The hula girl is cool too.

In the never ending saga of the soap opera that is the loss of my job and the resulting drama, here's the latest update. With a cast of characters explanation so you can understand my non-homicidal reaction
Me- Parts guy, retail guy, 44 years old.
XXX- Warehouse guy, old hippy, 60 years old, probably in the last job he's ever gonna have.
YYY- Parts guy/warehouse guy with 20 plus years of experience brought in to "help".
ZZZ- Owner and (sawed off irish piece of lying conniving shit with a conscience) holder of the keys of life.
About a month ago ZZZ and me had a conversation regarding XXX and how ZZZ was looking to me to bring him around (like he needed it...please) or he was going to fire him. I came to XXX's rescue ( at the time I had no idea I would eat the frag on this little excursion into manipulation and bullshit ) and covered his back, assuring ZZZ I was up for the rescue.
So ZZZ brings in YYY to help us get ready for inventory, but there was a plan afoot.
The short version is this:
The original plan was to bring YYY to replace XXX and relegate ME to the warehouse. I would retain my job and XXX would be left hanging.
Somehow, the hands got switched and I was left hanging in the breeze.
I'm the younger man...more options open to me (right...44 is so young).
It's true that I am more marketable than an old hippy bartender, and if ZZZ actually took the time to ponder this and decide that dumping me was the more humane way to go rather than sentencing XXX to a retirement of alpo and night train, I'm glad.
I'll manage... I got some fightin' years left in me.
Everyone knows (or should) you don't fuck around old folks.
XXX- if you read this, 60 is not old to me... you and I have a shared history, but you know how the world is...
So it appears I may have fallen down for one of my own when it's all said and done...
That's ok ... better him than me in this case.

Job offers just keep coming... I have an opportunity to be an electricians apprentice...maybe. I'll get the details tomorrow.
Good night....:)

Monday, May 17, 2004


I was sent to Rob Roy (the hoity toity part of town where all the hippies used to live, in fact, I was one of those hippies, to say that I resent the presence of so much "look at how much money I have" architecture is a gross understatement) this morning with vague instructions regarding moving some doors.
Let's discuss the doors in question, heavy,double glass pre-hung doors, 3 of them.
Where are we moving them to? The upstairs deck.
How are we moving them? Up the stairs?No, no stairs. Through the house? No, we aren't allowed in the house without a clean suit or a pedigree.
Try up a pair of 20 ft. ladders, side by side. The doors are lashed with leads going up to the roof and over the rail with 2 guys pulling from the top and 2 guys pushing and climbing up from the bottom. I am a pusher/climber.
I am afraid of heights.
My pushing/climbing partner is taller and has a longer reach than me, which means that halfway up the freaking door was a good foot out of my reach. The ladders were rickety and shifty. I could only watch and pray, praying in this case would be saying "oh fuck" over and over again.
I said "oh fuck" more times than any guy in any porno I've ever seen.
To say I enjoyed this assignment would be a lie, terrified for an hour would be more like it.
I sure hope I can acclimate to the heady new dangers of being a construction grunt.
The day ended around 7p with lots of tiling between the door nightmare and the evening whistle. I am exhausted.

Sunday, May 16, 2004


From this day forward I will post a cartoon here on sunday for all to see...sometimes funny-often not. (like this one-for example).

Saturday, May 15, 2004


The northwest corner of our yard is now closed, blocked by a variety of large bulky objects... a cabinet, a large tank, some chicken wire...Whatever it takes to keep the dogs from getting into that corner. The adjacent yard is home to Oliver, some border collie mix who delights in inciting our posse into a frenzy of barking and leaping and other canine mayhem that sounds like they are killing something. Irene can get between the deck and the fence for some real up close and personal snarling and teeth gnashing. It's really fucking annoying.
Tonight I cut them off, cold turkey. To watch them marvel at my barrier making skills was joyful. "Whatcha gonna bark at now, Bizzel's?" I said in my best Cypress Hill/Dave Chappell black/white guy intonation. They could not penetrate the blockade... Success.
I was sick of screaming "HEY!!!" and "Get in here you fucking mother fucking fucks !!!!"Besides, making the fart sound loud enough for Theo to hear over the dogs of war soundtrack is tiring to the lips and wholly undignified.
They were bummed. So was Oliver.
But now that the corner is closed our back yard has been a much quieter place.
And everyone is happy about that.


6 or 7 years ago we had this tank with anoles in it that Kyle and I caught on our various adventures on the green belt. Anoles, commonly (and erroneously) called chameleons are these really cool green lizards common to the south.
Like chameleons they can change hues,beyond that the comparison ends.
Anyway, after a season or two,I released them into our backyard, and they stayed. And propagated.
So sitting out here on the deck I watch numbers of males running down the fenceline and across branches, pushing out their dewlaps in a display of bright red, hoping to win the favor of the females. It's a sight to see, and I'm pleased to know that they were once "mine" and liked the real estate enough to stick around.
A few words about this Nick Berg thing... They cut off his head. THEY.CUT.OFF.HIS.HEAD. Not in that one fell swoop sort of way, more like they hacked it off. And they videotaped it, and made it available to the public to view. This is not human. I don't care how many iraqis we sodomized. This is so very uncool. My heart goes out to his family. I can't imagine what they are going through.
That Al quiada fuckstick that did it needs to die a horrible unspeakable death... I'm available. Call me.
I turned over my shirts today, all nice and folded and packed into a plastic bag. The one with the dog shit on it is halfway down the pile.
I have been learning new things this week...Growth, I love it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


The one you make with your mouth... the raspberry if you will. Ann is delighting in his response to said sound...we are both cracking up at his reaction. He trots down the hall to bed..."fuck you guy's" is written all over his face. He will pay us back by licking my pillow, providing me with a slimy good night, then roll over on his back, stick his giant dick in my face, his giant claws into whatever is available and let out a giant sigh, just before he commences to snore. It's a loud snore, melodic, yes. But loud. And, he farts in his sleep. But he's our Theo and we love him. Tune in tomorrow for:




If one is to put any creedence into spam I have A: A small penis and B: An addiction to a variety of drugs to help me cope with the stark reality of not being able to "lay pipe" like a real man.
Reading the titles was like reading a giant haiku... it was hilarious. Try it. Post them here. An example:
Rob-small penis?
Ann- get what you need.
Rob- make her scream.
Ann-3 inches in THREE WEEKS!
Rob- Oxycodone? Toll free!

*warning* This is a tequila driven post with a tile saw running as background music.
I got a phone call today that went something like this:
Phone:Ring!-Ring! (well, it's really the midi of chinese waltz ).
Me: Hello?
Phone: Hey man, it's me XXX, I'm calling because the owner is bitching about your shirts.
( These are the generic brown workshirts with the patches on either side that ID where you work and what your name is)
Phone: He wants them back or else he's gonna deduct them from your final check.
Me: Let him know that I have every intention of returning his soon as I can find them. And also let him know that I would'nt be caught dead wearing anything with his name on it.
How many shirts?
Phone: Looks like your 9 short.
Me: OK...I'll look for them and call you back...late...
Phone: OK...Late....
I found 7... there may be 2 more floating around but who knows? Our house is upside down. 7 is a miracle. And you can be sure if I find the other 2 I will return them.
I guess breaking up is hard to do.
Suddenly, I am presented with an opportunity to go to central mexico to do work with sea turtle rescue. This guy can hook me up with accomodations and guides that are his friends...he is apparently connected to all things mexico.
As much as I'd love to "twist off for a month" and get in the sand with some sea turtles, I can't.
Maybe someday.
Well... This wasn't the drunken rant I expected it to deteriorate into.
Lucky you :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


I thought about some other stuff that happened today :

I have had Sid (viscous, the horribly tempered blue tongued skink) out on the back deck for the last couple of days. He loves it but he's still the purest distillation of pissed off I've ever seen. Since he's been outside, instead of the usual hissing he's been adding the tongue display. That amazing blue tongue that has been aptly described as an orchid petal.
I acquired Sid around 5 years ago from a local pet shop. He was in a 20 gallon aquarium on a lower shelf.Child level, in fact. I have seen these children before- banging away, banging on the glass in glee of the hissing and posturing, of the fear. I had to get him out of there. At first, I tried to tame him down, but it was no use. You had to wear long sleeves and gloves to handle him, push his head down and grasp him behind the head so he wouldn't bite you. When he bit it hurt, even through thick gloves, and he would do the death roll like a croc, just to drive the point home.
So now I just make sure he's fed and watered and speak softly to him. It's the least I can do. Maybe he'll come around some day.After all, who can blame him for being bitter?
One of my friends from the old job called me today with a lead on some work/business related stuff. It appears there is a rival pool company looking for a manager. I don't know what I did to deserve such good karma, but I'm not complaining.
Then the bad news.
Seems my friend was having breakfast with another of my old work mates and they were discussing recent events. One comment stood out. The other guy was wondering why, at inventory (when we stayed late to finish the count) "everyone" knew that my firing was imminent, yet I acted like I had no clue. My friend responded-he didn't know.
Admittedly "everyone" is a relative term. I understand rumors, I also understand that when things are fixing to go south for someone at my former workplace that, indeed, "everyone" hears about it except the future intended victim.
It's a kind of diarrhea of the mouth that everyone catches except said intended victim. A contagion of half truths and speculation that more often than not, comes true. I know this because I have been a part of the circle game more than once in the 6 years I was employed there.
There is really only one reason why this bothered me. If what my friend told me is true, there were key personal who knew of my fate (and by key I mean people I trusted and considered close friends). One has already come clean, one has assured me he didn't know until the night before, almost a week after the count.
The issue here is not about losing my job... sure that sucks, but I've seemed to land on my feet.Ann is thrilled that I'm not there anymore. Losing this job was ultimately a good thing all the way around.
The reason I'm so bothered by this is the value of friendship, and trust. And the serious doubts I have about my gut. I used to be able to read people all the time, I was rarely wrong. I understand that a psych hospital is a microcosm and the bullshit flies in a limited space, but come on...bullshit is just that, wherever it's flying.
I should be able to sort this out... all of these people are amateurs compared to me and my mindbending ability to smell bullshit. Or are they?
Well, it's starting to sprinkle again...we've had rain today. I already tried to kill this laptop once today, better not do it again :)
See Ya tomorrow.


I am pooped.I was the material runner today, loading and unloading lots of heavy wood and glass blocks. There doesn't seem to be any plan to what we're doing, except in Randy's head, and it pops out of his mouth with an almost zen like timing. Me and the other guy built the glass block wall today, and except for the sealant it's done. It's an incredible difference. We love it.
I have continued to take pictures and will post them when we're finished.
The only other thing worth mentioning is this phone call I got from Ann while in the check out at Home Depot.
Me: Hello?
Ann: How long ago did you put the laptop away in it's case?
Me: (guessing) Maybe uh, 30 minutes...why?
Ann: Well...I went into the den and smelt something didn't turn it off.It was so hot I could hardly touch it.
Me: I thought I had turned it off...
I was at a loss for words after that and mumbled something about being glad we got extended protection and then wondered if it covered "dumb ass moves" like this one.
As you can see...luck was on my side and the laptop is fine. Whew!!!

Monday, May 10, 2004


I read Billy's post...damn. I have never been robbed, I have been "robbed" before, last saturday night as a most recent example, but that's another story and I accept full responsibility for those events :).
I am relieved that everyone is ok. My son was working graveyards at a quick stop for awhile and my fear was that some shit head with a gun would kill him for $100.00, I can relate to Billy's anger,shock, and everything else in between. After all, that's his child, and I can say that Kyle is the most important thing in my life. My most prized creation grown into his own and something to be proud of (and still worry about). If anything bad ever happened to him, I honestly don't know what I would do. Under Billy's circumstances I would want to hunt the motherfucker down and rip him limb from limb.

I spent my first full day putting "sweat equity" into our remodel. I am used to the periodic slogging of buckets of chemicals infused with sitting on my ass behind a phone and a computer, not steady hard physical work. We removed a double window from the side of our livingroom that faces the drive did not come willingly, it did not want to be replaced by 8"x8"x3" glass blocks. In the end, we prevailed...covered the giant hole in our house with plywood and will line out the blocks tomorrow.And build the new bottom header, and trim it out, and spray texture, and paint. This remodel is now officially a red ball express. I am tired...but I'm smiling...nobody made me feel like shit today.
My package has been in winnipeg since the 7th...there is saskatchewan between there and alberta...customs is the hold up, no doubt. I am still holding faith however. We'll see.
I busted out my dad's archaeology collection today...hundreds of points, arrowheads, scrapers and knives that we as a family dug from the ground in west texas when I was a boy. Some amazing stuff. There were also fossils and dinosaur teeth. Notes from 67 and 69 digs. Then the stereo played this Steve Earle song "Johnny come lately" which in the end is about coming home from war in Viet Nam, but references a soldier in WWII that met his wife in Ingerland (a north end girl, I guess this references London, but my mom was from the north)and "brought her back home", it has always reminded me of my mom and my dad. I had to go hide out front for a minute to collect myself
because I am a big ol' sentimental puss. I miss them both so much, but it takes shit like this to bring it to the surface for an occasional showing.
I bought Big Fish on DVD yesterday and will probably subject myself to more sentimental pussness after dinner tonight by watching it...It's a good thing I don't know where Forrest Gump is ! :)

Or, more to the point, no routine to speak of. When you (You, in this case being me) work somewhere for a long time,you are assimilated into the ebb and flow of the workplace.Now that I'm mostly over the shock and anger of what went down last thursday, having dulled it with drink and loud angry music, I can think about that routine in a like/dislike sort of mode.
First up... Likes:
Greeting my coworkers as they came in the shop,visiting a bit on the events of the previous night, whether it was the latest episode of the sopranos or killing a chicken with a blow gun dart coated with the poison from a dart frog ( happened).
Helping the customers figure out what they needed, in person, and on the phone.When I first started doing the job, I was a bit stiff with this aspect, but over time I like to think I garnered the trust and loyalty of more than a few of our customers.
Working with our distributors.
Tracking down parts for the techs.
And...and... well, that's it really. Kind of a short list, innit?
On to the dislikes :
The caste system there.
The murderous commute.
Rich assholes who believed that their pool/spa was the beginning and end of the universe as we know it and why can't we come today?This frequently occurred on a thursday afternoon with a party pending on a friday or saturday.
Never knowing how the owner was gonna be on any given day.Happy and pleasant?Angry looking and brooding?Up your ass about every little thing? Micro managing everything and everyone to the point of chaos, storming around like Elmer Fudd on a mission to kill the wabbit.Making promises(usually about money)that,after awhile, went in one ear and out the other, because in my case, he never followed through once.Or the continual "do as say-not as I do" standards.
I think I've just described an abusive relationship... meh, enough.
I learned again how NOT to treat people.
And with that,it's time to let it go and move on.
Have a groovy monday...I know I will!

Sunday, May 09, 2004


I've been saying that alot today. Why? Because I hurt myself last night, actually, I started hurting myself at around 3p yesterday and didn't stop until around 3a.
Here's the menu, several RNS at maudies, several beers and shots of jager at the house, cab it downtown to 710 for the show (Hognose, some band I did'nt get the name of, our beloved Honky and the absolute shit of stoner rock, Orange Goblin) and many beers and jagers. The cab ride home was a hoot, the guy hauled ass! I think he was afraid I was gonna A:pass out, B: toss beets, or both.
It was an awesome show. I am still paying for it.
Ohhhh Ghawd..............

Saturday, May 08, 2004


I met Joel and exchanged the prisoners. We had the hard conversation, I am happy to report that my friend is still my friend. I hadn't figured in the "I need to keep my job" integer into my equation of the firing of rob, which I will refer to as solution 3. He knew the night before, solution 3 kept him from calling me. I can understand this.
I also learned (again) that my gut, while a rockin' accurate gut, isn't 100%. Nothing is 100%. Except the return cashier at Home depot, who is "110% dedicated to customer service. My hats off to that mother-fucker (BTW - Ann is typing at this point because I'm too stoned.) Anybody who can be 110% my hat's off to them 'cause that's some mad fucking percentage. Hahahahaha. Ann's typing now ... oh you're there? yeah, Okay cool... on with the story.
Um, hahahaha, I posted a message at Special K's weblog last night that was marginally tasteful (pun intended) and I was amazed at the attention it attracted. I'm gonna paste the thread of these comments starting with my question to Special K.

She requested a question, any question... I obliged... here we go ( I got over my head rush BTW :) )

These are the comments my questions generated...I was heartened to realize I have friends online as well.
I have no complaints really...I am blessed.

Spit or swallow?
rob | Email | Homepage | 05.07.04 - 9:51 pm | #

Oh shit! I am so full of jagermiester and suddenly filled with embarrassment and remorse...but anyway... do you prefer dogs or cats was what I relly meant to ask....really.
rob | Email | Homepage | 05.07.04 - 9:57 pm | #


Ok, now that I'm done laughing at rob....

Do you own a pair of sexy drawers other than the second hand thongs your friend left in her jeans pocket?
Brenda | Email | Homepage | 05.07.04 - 10:49 pm | #

ROB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are people as old as your grandmother that read this blog!!!! Shame on you !!!!!! Now go wash your mouth out!

Do you really know how very talented you are? and how come you hide it?
mary lou | Email | Homepage | 05.07.04 - 10:54 pm | #

My GOD! I just realized I could be your MOTHER! you are as old as my Youngest child!!! Now i really feel old!
mary lou | Email | Homepage | 05.07.04 - 10:55 pm | #

Just for the record, I am NOT old enough to be Rob's mom!
Brenda | Email | Homepage | 05.08.04 - 7:15 am | #

Rob did have a valid question there
Dick | Homepage | 05.08.04 - 8:15 am | #

I am also not old enough to be Rob's mom. Wait, I don't think I'm old enough to be anyone's mom.
Andie | Email | Homepage | 05.08.04 - 8:28 am | #


I busted out my acoustic guitar this after...the tuner I had wasn't cooperative, so I called in Ann's superior ear and did it the old fashioned way. I haven't played a guitar in almost a year ( I am so ashamed ) and it was cool...until my fretting fingers said enough!!!. I have soft fingers! OMG! I will play everyday. Must not have soft fingers.

Orange Goblin is playing at 710 tonight...They are the 21st century version of Sabbath circa 72-4... Simply everyone will be there...I'm off for a nap and a shower (we have one!!!) and a shave...
Bless you one and all...bless you
22-7 BITCH! :)...for Joel, my friend.

Friday, May 07, 2004


One of those asian frog statues that has a coin in it's mouth...for luck, for us to prosper. Monday morning I will go to the courthouse and file a DBA (doing business as) and register as a business. I don't know why I've never thought of this before. Oh yeah, I remember why...I was working at a locally owned company where I thought I would be until it was pasture time. Hines Pool and Spa takes the adage "keep austin weird" to a whole new level. Enough about that.
Some details from yesterday... When I got home, I put my bag of goodies from the cell phone store on the table... I had to get a new phone because the one I had was a "company phone" and I had to surrender it, along with my keys as I made my exit. Anyway...I turn to the right and there I am, looking at my guns. I looked at them for a long time and had some really ugly thoughts. Then, I loaded up a shitload of magazines, packed my guns and ammo and went to.............the gun range.
I dropped at least 140 rounds on the 100 meter range, my groupings were so tight I brought the targets home to show Ann.
Sweet release my friends....SWEET.
When I got home I commenced to drinking beers... lot's of them. Since we have our deck back, Ann and I sat outside and talked about my good fortune to be free of the yoke that was Hines Pool and Spa. We listened to music and the dogs cruised out on the deck with us...we love our dogs and they so love us.
There was Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Cracker, Buzzcocks, was fun. It was the Fuck Emos that drew our neighbor to the fenceline to admonish me to turn it down. This is a 20-something woman who looks like when she farts only dogs can hear it. I turned it down right away and was very apologetic while the Fuck Emos sang "80 sailors went out to sea, 40 couples came back" in the background. This was coming from a small boombox. Is she in for a surprise when the wolves unleash on the deck later on this summer.
Tomorrow, I am meeting the GM at Maudies to get some items I left behind at Hines Pool and Spa and have a RNS or 2. Or 6. I have known this guy for 11 years, he is my friend, I am convinced that he knew what was up at Hines Pool and Spa. He's the reason I ended up there in the first place (another story for another time).
I imagine he was told by Andy to keep mum...he said he "had no idea until wed. night when Andy called me and told me". Why didn't he call me? I would have called him.
He should have called me, I would have never ratted him out, but had he called I would of had time to prepare my rebuttal instead of my "what the fuck" improv I had to resort to. (it was adequate but not eloquent, and it should of been).
So the question is...should I let him slide or go with my gut and end a decade plus long friendship?
I am so on the fence about this one.
And the Fuck Emos sing "I had my hair spiked up really high-they say my haircut is a thing of the past-they say my erections never last.Cause I'm too punk-too punk too fuck". The GM turned me on to the Fuck Emos...what to do?
I guess I'll wing it...after all - I got my lucky frog, right?

I was fired yesterday... I clocked in at 7:35a and was on the road home by 7:50a. I was let go "for not doing my job". The specifics offered were pulled out of a hat, minor things that could've and should've been addressed in supervision sessions I've never had (unless you count beers after work and shop talk). I have not had an evaluation in 2 years. Andy, the owner, who is usually red faced, was white as a ghost and his hands were shaking like hepburn's head and neck when he dropped the bomb. He made a point to tell me who my replacement was...that's right, the guy who came in to help us get ready for inventory. He denied it was personal, when obviously it was. He tried to work some psycho-babble mojo on me that he must've learned from his therapeutic experience. The exchange went something like this:
Andy: You need to accept responsibility for your own behavior.
Me: Don't even try that shit with me.
Andy: What do you mean by that?
Me: You know exactly what the fuck I mean.
End of discussion.
It was everything I could do to not beat him to a pulp and throw him down the stairs. My better judgement prevailed and I left him with this advice: Watch out for karma.
I had already owned up to my part and had taken steps to correct my transgression. This was personal, there's no way around it. There's alot more to this than I should make you suffer through.
Let's just say I found myself suddenly in a pit of vipers, people I thought were my friends lied to me and I learned again,that I can trust my gut. I have to remember that in the future and not second guess myself.
I gave Hines Pool and Spa 6 years of my life and got repaid with a load of shit from a sick sick man.
I was unemployed for about 3 hours, the guy that's doing my remodel needed help and hired me right away. For now, I am a carpenter.We are formulating a plan to start a pool repair business. I know I won't fuck me like Andy did, and I trust my friend...who is, incidently, not crazy. I have entertained many ways to pay Andy back, most of them violent and ugly, but I have enough sense to know the best way to fuck back is to take his business. If there's any justice in the world, we will.
I will miss my coworkers very that daily sort of way. I will keep up with them.
I will not miss the commute!
And god help Andy if I ever run into him and he looks at me that- all he has to do is make eye contact and he's in trouble.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004


This maintenance man came into the shop this morning. He's been in many times before and I have memorized the complex where he works because I can't understand him when he says the "Elms", or very much else he says really. But he is a very polite and nice fella, and somehow, we are always able to fumble our way through his order...peppered with him apologizing for his poor english and me countering with my spanish is not so good either. Today I noticed something...his english was better. It wasn't so difficult deciphering what he needed. He's been working on it. I should work on his language too, just to keep it fair.
When you cut open as many boxes as I do in a day, you need a state of the art box cutter. I have found it! Husky tools has a folding, lock blade razor knife that absolutely rocks, not to mention looking like a weapon from T-3 or something. For some reason, knives and box cutters are status symbols where I work. Everyone has a bad ass knife, but for now I am the shizznet of cutting blades. I don't have a favorite sharpener though...a real man sharpens his own knives Mr. Priess. :)
I am concerned about how this (lets all laugh together) "administration" is falling all over itself condemning the "torture" of those Iraqi POW's. Are we really comparing the frathouse pranks of a handful of assholes to what our enemies have done to us and others (Jews...duh!) over the course of the wars we've been involved in?
The hazing at UT frats (and I dare to say sororities) is worse than anything I've read about regarding this latest media driven moment.
The real atrocities are apparently occurring in Afghanistan. Remember that war? Yep, it's still going on. And we apparently killed around 3000 taliban by A:Leaving them in sealed containers for a week plus in the heat of Afghani skies or B: a head shot to the ones that managed to survive A. And then we treated them top a mass grave. I understand there is a documentary of this "nazi style killing" available on the web. You can download it at It's 55 megs BTW.
That asshole Bush (the killingest gubner texas ever had) can condemn the foolishness in Iraq as "abhorrent" (I'm surprised he got this word out of his mouth without requiring CPR) but says nothing about this activity in Afghanistan amazes me.
I'm reminded of a segment of that awesome web cartoon "get your war on" that goes like this:
WOMAN: "Knock-knock"!
MAN: "Who's there"?
WOMAN: "Afghanistan"!
MAN: "WHO"???
We should all be ashamed of ourselves.


This just in...

New hook to snag fish, not turtles
Monday, May 3, 2004 Posted: 2:50 PM EDT (1850 GMT) on CNNNNNNNNN......

The few sea turtle hatchlings that reach maturity must also contend with hooks and nets.
Reproductive maturity for sea turtles = 30 years.

GENEVA, Switzerland (Reuters) -- A new "circular" fishing hook could save thousands of endangered marine turtles snagged accidentally each year by commercial fishermen, the environmental group World Wildlife Fund said on Monday.

The WWF said results of a new study conducted with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Atlantic Ocean showed that the new hook reduced by 90 percent the number of turtles accidentally snagged and killed by longline fisheries.


The new hooks, which are called "circular" but actually resemble the letter "G," do not snag inside turtles or can be more easily removed than the well-known "J"-shaped hook, the WWF said. They are still effective in snagging swordfish, however.

I'm sure the swordfish are pleased...

The J-hooks can lead to internal bleeding or suffocation of the turtles if swallowed. Accidental catches, called "bycatch," is the single greatest threat to marine turtles.

As many as 200,000 endangered loggerhead turtles and 50,000 of the critically endangered leatherback turtles are caught annually by commercial fisheries, the WWF said.

So...if the WWF is correct, that's only 25,000 endangered and critically endangered species of sea turtles that take 30 years before they can reproduce and have a high mortality rate thanks to poachers and bad mr. sea gull and the fact that, because they are turtles they have a poor record on the whole of bringing future generations into the world alive in the first the math. 250,000 a year, minus the under 30 crowd + the over 30's / by the sea gull buffet + the poachers = no more sea turtles, soon.

The WWF will test the new gear in the Pacific by introducing the hook in Ecuador, which has the largest longline fleet in the eastern Pacific region with around 15,000 vessels and which operates where endangered turtles are known to migrate.

15,000? Multiply that shit by 15,000.And that's just Equador. It makes me sad...and angry.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004


Things were always full tilt at any hospital or center I worked at during a fuller. They have always had an effect on me too. Back in the day, a full moon gave me the energy to keep up with the chaos at wherever I was working.
These days it just keeps me up at night with random thoughts racing through my head and an increased tolerance for mind altering substances. This is a bad combination.
I used to love a full moon. They meant full moon parties at the lake, a fellowship with the other members of my tribe, a time to party and rehash exceptional moments for our tack and trade. The rest of the cycle was filled with the making of those exceptional moments. I remember observing an 11 year old boy locked in a security room trying to give him his "conditions for release", but he was more invested in scratching his gums until they bled and spitting it on the observation window calling us every name in the book. How did this child, this baby, come to be so full of hate? It wasn't the moon...but it was a trigger, of that I am certain. A celestial reminder of every ugly thing that had happened to him in his short life. Full moon fever indeed. But I don't do that anymore, and the few people I keep up with from those days don't do it either...not exactly anyway.
These days I just sit, wired and anxious, trying to rid myself of these memories by rehashing them, over and try to make some sense.
Then the moon phase repeats itself and I'm ok again.
Wow...that sounds really fucking crazy, huh?
I wonder how many of my old soldiers feel the same way?
It's never come up in conversation. Go figure...


Inventory, I mean. I was convinced this count was gonna suck giant road apples. Much to my surprise, it didn't. If there was any road apple sucking going on, they were teeny tiny ones.
My efforts at reversing the fast and loose approach to the inventory by almost all of the employees are paying off. We are 66% improved over last count, and what's missing (should) be easy to account for.
I'm stoked...the owner was even talking about playing golf tomorrow afternoon...this is a good sign.
And no, I'm not golfing. I golf like a one eyed chronic epileptic with DT's...If there were such a thing as the slice girls I'd be permanent slice, the clumsy one.
Disc golf is more my cup of's frisbee on the move with beer. There are some nice courses in austin to boot.
Things are starting to take shape with the remodel. We passed the sheetrock inspection so we are free to race to the finish, with only the final inspection to go.
Our tub/shower enclosure is tiled and almost all of the sheetrock has been taped and floated. The most amazing thing is the deck on the side of our house is all cleared of the shit that has been accumulating for a couple of years (we are such horrible pack rats that the useless junk had expanded and taken over this deck to the point of Fred Sanford's yard). We might even be able to take showers tomorrow evening! Woo!
If the US postal service is any indication of the overall level of organization and efficiency in the rest of the gubbmint, we are in serious trouble. But we already know that don't we?
I shipped UPS instead, crossed my fingers and said a prayer to the customs god.
Gotta go cook and get ready for the shield...great season so far!

Monday, May 03, 2004

DAMN...I'M 2 FOR 2.

We have around 800 CD's, and they are everywhere, In the cars, in the racks, in those zippered carrying cases of 20- 30- 40- or more. Stacked caseless 20 at a time on the computer desk, getting gradually scratched beyond playability.
Thin Lizzy-Therapy?-Black Sabbath-Johnny Winter (get any on ya?)- spread out everywhere.
Tonight I hit 2 in a the rack and in the case, ready to play.
First up: Black Sabbath: Sabotage.
This is , in my opinion, Ozzy at his poetic best, at least for the disaffected 15 year old's like I was. You know he has to listen to this old stuff and revel in the fact that he fucking rocked once and then jump straight to "what the fuck happened"? Fair question Oz, DRUGS and ALCOHOL happened. And they happened to you in a big way. But, still, Thank you for being a guiding light through my adolescent years and a source of much happy nostalgia these so many years later...30 to years to be exact.
30...30 years ago I first heard "War Pigs" think about that for a minute...30 years and War pigs in the same sentence. Amazing.(Saw them open for Mountain at the Palmer in '71 and it was cool...The '77 tour with Van Halen sucked. Van Halen kicked Sabbath's ass.
Next up: The Afghan Whigs: Gentlemen.
Ouch....Take gut wrenching dispair, add an ice pick in the ear and the most dismal, heartbreaking lyrics set to perverted R&B and you have the 'Whigs. This guy likes drop tuning and the singer is a fucking nut....saw them at Liberty Lunch in 2000...I think.
I probably shouldn't listen to music that disturbs me..but I love the history that unfolds in my head. And you thought it was just music...HA.

Sunday, May 02, 2004


I picked up "Bullhead" today and it that Melvins way.
Ugly ugly music. I love them.
If you've never heard them, "Houdini" is as good a place as any to start.
Ugly, but in a good way.

I'm sure you've seen the pictures of our soldiers torturing and humiliating the POW's.
Shocking? Absolutely. I can't believe they were so fucking stupid that they took pictures.
And there was some guy on NPR saying this had never happened before. What never happened before? Americans torturing people? Or being stupid enough to take pictures of said torturing?
Everyone's pissing and moaning about how horrible it is. I say get over it, this is fucking WAR and undermining the morale of the enemy is part of WAR. If all an enemy combatant has to fear is the POW camp has no evian, what kind of deterrent is that?
The "sexual" nature of the torture couldn't be more on target in terms of effect. And by "sexual" I mean naked. You didn't see any images of buggery, just american's laughing and pointing at diminutive arab peni. Oh, I guess the golden shower action could qualify as "sexual" but after all, you're talking about a culture that, in my opinion, abuses women on a number of levels but doesn't think twice about fucking each other in the ass, they just don't talk about it. What's the slowest game in the world? Iraqi leap frog...hahahahahahaha!
Seriously, if you think they hated us before, they REALLY fucking hate us now and we better brace for some payback.
Bush says he's "disgusted", and this from the killingest gubner Texas ever had. Fuck him.
I'm glad this happened and I hope it doesn't end with the court martial of a few scapegoats and a bunch of ass kissing by bush and his minions.
This could be the decisive moment that seals bush's fate and prevents him from another term in office.
I am, quite frankly, amazed that this idiot has the support he has. I have a hard time believing the american people can be so blind to what is obviously a corrupt administration, but, apparently they are.
America: Land of the "free", home of the deluded, self-centered, right wing asshat.
Go to for a very pointed piece on this subject (the torture thing).
I'm going to vomit now.

Saturday, May 01, 2004


I have 00 gauge piercings in my ears. A while back I quit wearing them, because, after all I am a 44 year old man. I thought they would close up after a few months, I was wrong. Apparently after you pass a certain gauge, you are committed to jewelry or walking around with what pretty much looks like an anus on your ear lobe. I guess that's why you have to remove the jewelry every other day and wash the ass smell off your ears. I went back to wearing stainless steel rivets needless to say.
We had inventory at work today, and thanks to our efforts last saturday, counting the retail area was a much faster exercise in frustration. The owner announced at a staff meeting earlier this week that there would be no beer until the count was done. The next day he told me I was in charge of the count...over a dozen vehicles, the warehouse and my area. Today, marveling at how far along we were at 4:45pm, he lifted the beer moratorium, and by 6:30pm I was contending with several piss drunk pool guys. You do the math.
We stopped at 9:15 pm. Tomorrow I will count tile and white goods on my own.14 hours of that shit is enough.
I did not drink any beer and discovered again that when sober I have a very low tolerance for drunk rednecks, even though I am frequently one myself.
I'll be getting the stomach tattoo shaded soon. When I look at it I smile at the awesomeness and then notice what it's tattooed ON. A giant white fish belly.
I have been eating so much tex-mex and drinking more RNS's during this pogrom that I have gained some weight. I'm not up to my pre-diet state of inflation, but still. When you show off a stomach tattoo in public, people should go:"Wow, check out that stomach tat!And look at those ab's"! Not "wow, check out that fat guy with the stomach tat! What does it say"? And then they say "m i s e r y" real slow like and laugh.
I've got to start walking again soon.
Happy birthday Jane!