Thursday, September 30, 2004


I will watch this pitiful,sanitized,piss poor excuse for a debate with a gleam in my eye and a drink in my hand (or is that the other way around?). The run up to this game show has made me sick. All the rules and stipulations leading up to it have effectively removed the balls from the process. The participants can't even ask a direct question of their opponent, they can, however, ask "rhetorical" questions.
This in and of itself removes any semblance to real debate. As far as I'm concerned, this debate has been reduced to a feel good therapy session where the therapist is easily manipulated and misled by the percieved dominant this case, sir bunnypants, our retard leader.
I sincerely hope that my cynical and pessimistic take on this self mastabatory fluff piece will be shattered by Kerry, who will suddenly find the constitution to directly challenge bunny on all the wrongs done during his watch.
Here's my short list:
The war is unwinnable
The economy sucks
The USofA has 2 (count 'em) 2 black eyes and a bloody lip; As far the rest of the world is concerned, we are an aimless bully wreaking havoc...and death...and dispair.
Be back after.....

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Something got me
Yesterday morning I reached over to hit the snooze bar on the alarm and felt a sharp, intense pain in my wrist. I immediately jumped out of bed and went in the bathroom to take a look. I thought I had impaled my wrist on something on the end table and was expecting to have to yank something out of it but no, there was only a small white wheal with an area of redness. It had to have been a sting or a bite. I went back in the bedroom to try and locate what got me. No sign of spider, wasp, centipede or scorpion to be found, but the most likely suspect was what we call a "yellow jacket". Around here, a "yellow jacket" is actually a paper wasp and the real yellow jackets are called "ground hornets". There's a big nest on the awning right outside our bedroom window and they occasionally venture inside through the opening that exists between the A/C unit and the side of the window. I've been known to stay up later than I wanted to because there was a yellow jacket in the bedroom when I wanted to go to bed and while our dog Theo does a good job of catching them, it can take him up to 30 minutes to eliminate the threat. If it was a yellow jacket sting then I knew what to expect A golf ball sized red lump would develop at the site of the sting and my hand would expand to the size of a latex glove blown up like a balloon. I would also feel like I had the flu and start puking in a couple of hours. Only it didn't happen. Instead, pain shot down to tips of my fingers and up to my elbow and I had an annoying headache all day. There was very little swelling or redness. Then last night I woke up with chills. Bone-shaking, teeth-rattling chills. I managed to go back to sleep only to wake up later with chest pains. It freaked me out a little and I had to think for a minute to be sure I wasn't having a heart attack, but it was only muscle cramps. Very strange. This morning my wrist looks the same as it did yesterday, but the headache is gone. The pain has subsided to a dull ache that runs from my fingers to my shoulder, but the itching is far worse than poison ivy and reminds me more of chicken pox. I'll probably never know what got me, but this ain't half bad. Beats the hell out of golf ball sized lumps and puking!

Monday, September 27, 2004


If you've not heard of Peter should check him out.
An amazing singer/songwriter.

This one's on the list Badger...:)
"Someone sees the dreams we hide"...

[Listening to: Hidden Love - Peter Case - The man with the Blue postmodern fragmented neo-traditionalist Guitar (3:06)]

Bold text signifies things I have done in my life...

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink ... everyone???!!!!
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain- Rio Grande Nat. Forest...Windy mtn., Sheep mtn.
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise-Speed is an ugly ugly thing.
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Touched an iceberg

20. Slept under the stars- many times.
21. Changed a baby's diaper
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne
25. Given more than you can afford to charity
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment- At a seminar on eviseration via swimming pool main drains.
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse (even if it was only £1)
30. Taken a sick day when you're not ill- We called them mental health days.
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip- Barton Springs, in high school, in january.
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse

41. Ridden a roller coaster
42. Hit a home run -Only if softball counts.
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day- very bad ingrish, if you know what I mean...:)
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment- more times than not.
48. Had two hard drives for your computer- Ann and I have had more computer shit than a human should be allowed.
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts- once, a long long time ago.
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced- more times than I care to remember.
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied- once, a long long time ago...then when it was gone, I realized that money isn't everything.
53. Had amazing friends- still do...
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign- Oh yeah...Ann and I had this courtship ritual.....
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip- Tons of 'em...mostly to Colorado.
59. Rock climbing
60. Lied to foreign government's official in that country to avoid notice

61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
66. Visited Japan
67. Benchpressed your own weight- about 75 lbs ago.
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetised your records- Like I said...speed is an ugly ugly thing.
70. Pretended to be a superhero
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day- It's been awhile.
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater
80. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it- Her name was Linda.

81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken- Goin' on eleven years:)
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class
88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight- Like I said...speed is an ugly ugly thing.
90. Gotten married- X 3
91. Been in a movie
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn't have- Denise and Debbie...
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy
95. Gotten divorced- X 2
96. Had sex at the office
97. Gone without food for 5 days
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice

101. Gotten a tattoo- Oh yeah...:)
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on-Flannel....
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
105. Got flowers for no reason
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don't remember anything- I didn't really say that did I??? fuck...
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug- Like I said...
109. Performed on stage- many times...Wolves@th'door baby!
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music- Cassettes and CD's...with wolves and solo.
112. Eaten shark
113. Had a one-night stand- It was a right of passage in those heady 70's armadillo, foosball, pussy...
114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Siouxsie live
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone- crisis intervention in a psych hospital counts dunnit? It should.
118. Buried one/both of your parents-Both...
119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
120. Been on a cruise ship

121. Spoken more than one language fluently
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone- 5th grade, got my ass kicked, by a black girl named "Pinky" on the bus....meh.
123. Bounced a cheque
124. Performed in Rocky Horror- If audience participation counts
125. Read - and understood - your credit report
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congress person Member of Parliament
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over to be with the one you love
134. ...more than once? - More than thrice?
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had an abortion or your female partner did-X 3
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived.
140. Wrote articles for a large publication

141. Lost over 100 pounds
142. Held someone while they were having a flashback- More times than I care to remember.
143. Piloted an airplane
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone's heart- Sorry Janet.
146. Helped an animal give birth- Dixie the fox terrier...8 pups, 6 survived.
147. Been fired or laid off from a job- FUCK YOU Andy Hines.
148. Won money on a T.V. game show
149. Broken a bone- Does the funny bone count?
150. Killed a human being- Came in on the tail end of a botched indirectly, yes.
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph- My Fiat...Fassssst car.
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol - Oh yeah...:)
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild- It was magic:)
157. Ridden a horse- It was not magic.
158. Had major surgery- See #'s 139 and 153.
159. Had sex on a moving train
160. Had a snake as a pet- Had 7 at one tailed boa, 5 Ball pythons and a texas rat snake.

161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
165. Visited all 7 continents
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
169. Been a sperm or egg donor
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
174. Gotten someone fired for their actions- I've fired a few people.
175. Gone back to school
176. Parasailed
177. Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad

181. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them- Shot glasses.
183. ...and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch- Guitar
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
186. Apologised to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions- Who cares about all that?
188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream- Everyday, only some days it's a nightmare.
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care- My of those nightmare days.
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
195. Had a booth at a street fair
196: Dyed your hair- Black was my favorite.
197: Been a DJ
198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
199: Written your own role playing game
200: Been arrested- PI, DUI...a long long time ago, oh yeah...possession of marijuana (high school)

Whew....long meme, but fun none the less.

[Listening to: Ripple - Grateful Dead - American Beauty (4:09)]

Out with the old, in with the new
I just finished the last of the whiskey my ex-boss gave to me months ago. Seemed fitting since I was laid off on Monday to kiss the past goodbye on Sunday at midnight with a toast of the whiskey that he gave me. I start the new year (figuratively speaking) with my own supply of Crown Royal that I found whilst going through boxes of stuff that had been packed for the remodel. Amazing how the Universe provides. Not that I'll be drinking whiskey that much in the future since a bottle of Crown will last me 6 months or more if no one else gets into it, but to have it "magically" appear and be available for a symbolic switch to the future was pretty cool. Also, I have been in an inexplicably good mood today. I want to play music, I want to paint, I want to write a novel, I want to run around town taking pictures in black and white and publish a coffee table book about my take on Austin. Which happens to be how I feel every time that I find myself unemployed. The creative juices start flowing and try their best to keep me from getting another "office job" . But they also kick me in the ass for the things I declined to pursue further like the concert pianist thing and the photo lab gig. Hey there juices, I took the other fork in the path and there's no going back now so just shut the fuck up about that! If you want to help, give me some new ideas . What, you got nothing to say? Well then, I suppose I'm destined for another mundane office job to pay the bills provided I even can find one. The pickings look pretty slim in the want ads. Ah well, all things happen for a reason and maybe there's something unexpected lurking just around the corner. I think for now I will just follow the advice given in the following Clutch lyrics:

Drink to the dead all you still alive
We shall join them in good time
Should you go crossin' that silvery brook
It's best to leap before you look

[Listening to: Hollow Inside - Buzzcocks - A Different Kind of Tension/Parts 1, 2, 3]

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Our desktop Posted by Hello

1) Lady of Perpetual Help votive candle. This candle has the same picture as the one that hung in my childhood bathroom.

2) Basket o' mail and headphones.

3) Currently looking at billy's site.

4) Seeds for fall planting and some Ann papers that need to be filed.

5) Cheap inkjet printer.

6) Trackball to help with carpal tunnel/RSI.

7) Support for laptop to provide better typing angle and ventilation,.

8) Rob papers I don't know what to do with.

9) Colored pens (I had to use only black for 15 years when I worked in Human Resources.)

10) List of songs we think the band should cover.
Alive and kicking
I didn't give myself a heart attack yesterday, but I did end up too pooped to blog last night. I'm heading that way again today having tackled everything from yard work to house cleaning to going through boxes left unpacked from the remodel to rearranging furniture. There's a blank spot now on the "mask wall" that seems to be calling out for my 8 X 10 bass cabinet. I'll just have to convince Rob and Tracy to help me get it back here to the house next week. I do have my little practice amp here, but it needs repair. Hmm... the PA and speakers are still sitting in the middle of the living room after the "Thanks for letting us use your PA, but now you are laid off" weekend. Now I just need to find my Washburn bass that I haven't played in about five years due to what was/is either carpal tunnel or RSI. I'd like to see how my wrist does after a couple of years of lighter computer duty and I'm also curious to see how the finger that suffered the dog bite fares. I don't still have full motion or strength in that finger and bass playing just might be a good form of free physical therapy.

[Listening to: When You Don't See Me - The Sisters Of Mercy - Vision Thing]

P.S. This has become the song I associate with my recent "lay off" so I will probably drive Rob crazy by playing it over and over again for weeks. The lyrics fit perfectly in that weird sort of "have to be standing in my shoes" kind of way. Feel free to take a look and psychoanalyze...

I got buddy in colorado springs shortly after I seperated from my first wife. He went everywhere with me for almost 14 years. He was a great dane husky mix. He was my best friend. He was so much more than a dog...he was a 125 lbs. of soul, totally dedicated to me. We were connected. He rolled through all the bullshit and stayed loyal to me. I taught him the usual shit but he knew so much more...he had a conduit to my heart and reacted accordingly. He was the most awesome dog.
He was a constant source of amazement when it came to just knowing how to be, he could read people and other dogs and telegraph the situation to me in no uncertain terms. When it was ok it was, when it was time to move on, it was. When it was past the time to move on, he intervened...all tooth and claw.I never taught him any of these things, he was just that way. Loyal.
But otherwise, he was a gentle loving 125 lb. puppydog.
If my math is correct, this is the month he was born. And the Steve Earle song that was playing when I stated this post reminds me of when Buddy died.Way back in 1992...and you know what?
I am not over the loss. We never went to the carribean together, or mexico for that matter...but I can't remember if we said good bye.

[Listening to: Goodbye - Steve Earle - Train a Comin' (4:57)]

[Listening to: Napoleon Bona Part One And Two - Budgie - The Definitive Anthology (7:16)]

A rock and roll song about haven't lived until you've heard the guitar in this song.
And yes, I have been drinking.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


There's a demographic here that I think most folks are either missing or ignoring. When an american is abducted and put under the knife (so to speak) you hear about the abduction and then the beheading, broadcast on the internet (god bless the internet in all it's glory...not). There's nothing in between abduction and beheading as far as I can see. But when some other nationality is abducted, there is an outpouring of press featuring family,organizations and governments begging for mercy, pleading with the abductors to spare the lives, muslim organizations pleading for application of the true spirit of the faith.But more times than not, when american hostages are involved,we skip the histrionics and move straight to the choppy-chop-off with your head infidel finale followed by a post mortem outpouring of sympathy on all the major networks with interviews that amount to "he was more like my (insert relation here) before they sawed off his head with a knife...Bush will save us".But no public media sponsored family grovelling that has worked for other families connected to coalition connected abductees in some cases.
Is it simply the fact that we, the USofA are exempt from any shred of mercy? Do those heartless fucks see other nationalities in a different light, seperate from the perpetrators of this invasion?Are they willing to play the mindfuck game with Turkey? Jordan? The UK? Is it a "lets make you think were gonna do it, and then release 'em after you've grovelled publically" but if your american, kiss your head goodbye?
I think this is the case. Americans are abducted and beheaded, to make the point.Other members of the coalition are abducted and frequently released to ratchet up the dissention. Sometimes they are killed just to shake up the balance, to generate a sense of chaos.
The longer this war goes on the more I'm convinced that it's being orchestrated by the same kind of teams that develope commercials to sway you to buy this kind of toothpaste.
War as reality TV...the ultimate "Survivor" and it leaves me wondering about what happened to the concept of a fair fight?
We could have kicked their asses months ago, and yet we are avoiding areas of Iraq that are controlled by sunnis and shites...why are we doing this? This war on terror is making less and less sense as time passes(like it made any sense after the iraq invasion) and you really have to wonder what the fuck is going on. Just don't say it outloud. That would be unpatriotic.
That swelling in my chest is certainly not a swelling of pride.
My deepest sympathies to all who have lost a loved one, be it a result of combat, "non combat related accident" or propaganda driven beheading.

[Listening to: Careful With That Mic - Clutch - Pure Rock Fury (3:27)]


I went shopping at the third world this evening after the shower that followed the sweat filled romp in the yard pulling weedy-trees and sorting through our bulky items (bulky item pick up begins on Oct.18th,this is when the city will pick up all the big junk they won't normally pick up for free...we are swimming in bulky items that need to go to that bulky item heaven landfill in another county). Anyways...I was at the third world, cruising through the produce/deli area when I realized that 1: I had left the list in the truck, and 2: the 40 something woman with enough cottage cheese on her child bearing hips (at least 5 or more ninos) was locked onto my forward radar and-she was wearing stretch pants...really thin stretch pants that revealed not only panty lines, but the label of said tent I mean panties, was visible.
She seemed to be on every aisle I turned down with her gigantic panty line accentuated pitted buttocks assaulting my every sense. I was determined to avoid her and began doing donuts with my cart at each assualt and headed the other way. Where I encountered in no particular order:
A family of 6, walking shoulder to shoulder plus cart making it impossible to pass.
Two older women who decided to park their carts side by side in a traffic area and catch up on everything that's happened since they last saw each other in 1985.
Running, screaming children.
The walking sack of curds and whey I was trying to avoid. Despite the trauma, I verified the contents of the list with a quick call to Ann and made it out of that godforsaken place in one piece.

[Listening to: Alchoholiday - Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque (5:26)]

Sweating like a racehorse
I'm working out in the front yard today pulling up all the mulberry weed trees that have invaded the north side of the front yard and the crepe myrtle that insists on rebirthing itself. The weather is not cooperating and it has been sprinkling off and on making the outdoors seem like a giant steam bath. The plan is to remove everything but the Heavenly Bamboo and cultivate this side of the yard for fall planting. It's a huge undertaking that I should have started sooner, but this has been one of the hottest Septembers I remember. It's still hot today, but I'm running out of time unless I want to do the yard in carrots and pansies. Well, I suppose I should get back to it. I'll blog some more after dark if I haven't given myself a heart attack by then.

[Listening to: Flowers by the Door - T.S.O.L. - Change Today? [Bonus Tracks]]

Three of four crews spent this week installing new exterior lighting in the vendor/parking area inside the north end of the stadium. It was hot, it reeked of bat shit. There were all kinds of twists and turns as far as running the conduit. For one section, the journeyman and I switched places, so, with tape measure in hand, I planned the run and installed it. Offsets,kicks,90's...a junction box here-an elbow there. It worked out quite well. I spent the rest of the time bending from his measurements and pulling wire, the usual grunt stuff. Only this time my brain didn't instantly lock up when I would be instructed: I need a 4 1/2 " off set, 56 1/4" long with a 9" 90. But transferring the numbers to an image in my head and translating it to 3/4" metal conduit made my brain hurt. I swear I smelt my synapses,wait...that's bat shit intermingled with the smell of popcorn.

[Listening to: Overt Enemy - Slayer - Diabolus in Musica (4:41)]
Childhood Influences
So here it is a Friday night and Rob's working late and not home. An unusual occurrence around here, but one that got me to thinking about all the other Friday nights I've spent at home, alone, whether single or married in the last 20-plus years. I inevitably choose to do the same thing. Drink beer, eat pizza, listen to music and surf the net. Okay, so the internet wasn't around that whole time, but before the interenet I spent time on BBS and if you go back years before BBS then I was listening to the ham radio (though probably drinking Dr. Pepper instead of beer.) In fact, I have spent most of the Friday nights of my entire life listening to or reading the words of people from all over the world because when I was a kid Friday night was ham radio night at my house. Actually, every night was ham radio night in my household, but Friday nights were special because that was the one night to stay up late. Ham radio was how I learned that the world was a really big place with lots of time zones and sometimes people were sleeping when we were awake and sometimes we had to stay up really late to catch them when THEY were awake. Ham radio is why I learned where some of the countries of the world are on a map and a bit of history about them. I never had world history in school and only minimal geography, but if dad would talk to someone in Jordan then I'd look it up in the big atlas that we had and learn a thing or two in the process. And it's one thing to read a paragraph or two about a country in a book, but a whole different experience to actually TALK to someone living there. Like most kids I didn't think my experience was unusual at the time though looking back I'm sure it wasn't the norm. Combine that starting to read at age two and my habit of reading every book I could get my hands on, I ended up the odd man out for years. A person who thought a lot differently than my peers. Trust me, reading Farhenheit 451 , The Illustrated Man and 1984 at age five is going to change how one looks at things even if you're a kid and don't understand some of the finer points. Kids understand a lot more than adults think they do. Which reminds me of a pornographic fiction book I once checked out of the public library at age ten. How it ever made it on the shelves at a public library I'll never know, but it was a fascinating read for a ten year old. Ah, I'm rambling on here, but the point I'm trying to make is that I was lucky because no one ever told me what I could and could not read, that I couldn't listen to voices from Iraq or China on the ham radio. No one ever said that I couldn't read that huge book on the races of man (the exact title and author escapes me) and decide it was complete bunk based on other stuff I had read. Sure, the internet is full of lies and falsehoods, but so were my childhood libraries. There's no real difference here. But are we teaching our youth to question, to always wonder, to seek out the facts for themselves or are we asking them to swallow the whole ball of newsreel and public education wax; line, hook and sinker? I fear it's the latter.

[Listening to: Bugle Call Rag - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra - More Fabulous Swing Collection]

Friday, September 24, 2004

Wasting Money
Not a good thing to be doing under the circumstances, but I just blew $10 on cab fare to the grocery store (round trip.) You see, Rob is working a double today and will not be home until after midnight. Now Rob would very much like to drink some beer when he gets home, but there's no beer in the house and by the time he gets off work it will be too late to buy any. I also needed some other things from the store before tomorrow and it's only 1.5 miles away so I figured cab fare would be pretty cheap. NOT. Seems that rates have gone up a bit since the last time I took a cab from Sixth Street for $7 one way. Either that or I'm a lot closer to Sixth Street than I thought. Anyway I discovered that in addition to the price, waiting for a cab is not much faster than waiting for a bus. I've always complained that the bus on my street only runs every 20 minutes, but I'd have never guessed that the wait for a cab was about the same length. Live and learn. I also blew 99 cents on a "Lady of Perpetual Help" votive candle in the hopes that she will provide me with one of those little portable folding grocery carts for the next time I go to the grocery store - by bus. That would be sweet.

[Listening to: La Serenissima - Loreena McKennitt - Book of Secrets]

PS: I am a lot closer to Sixth Street than I thought. It's only 3.67 miles from Emo's to my house.
The Experiment
There's a slight problem with my idea to bake bread today. I can't seem to remember any of my bread recipes which I never wrote down and even if I had written them down, I'd never find them. I do remember the basic ingredients for a variety of breads and when to use egg or milk depending on what kind of bread I want, just not sure about the amounts. I think I will just start with the old basic recipe of ones to three. That is, one cup water, one tbsp. yeast, one tbsp. honey, one pinch of salt, one tbsp. oil (if planning on keeping the bread around more than one day) and three cups of flour more or less. I don't have any bread flour so all purpose will have to do and if memory serves me right, that makes one loaf of bread. The raw dough should fit in the serving bowl I'm having to use as a mixing bowl (my giant mixing bowl is still packed away somewhere.) I can't find any measuring spoons, but I should be able to eyeball the tablespoon. I have no baking sheets or bread pans so I'm going to have to cook my loaf on the stove top griddle (which should provide a very nice bottom crust) and that means I'll be making either a french or italian loaf (depending on how much flour I decide to knead into the bread) though without bread flour the results might be disappointing. I have no clue what temperature to cook at so I'll try 375 degrees and cook until it smells right and a knife stuck in the bottom comes out clean. Now I suppose I could get on the internet and find a recipe, but I think that would take some of the fun out of it.

[Listening to: Basket of Eggs - Clutch - Jam Room]

Update: Three cups of flour is way too much, but two wouldn't be enough so maybe that's why I remembered three. Our stainless steel worktables are perfect for kneading bread, but I had a little too much fun and I think I kneaded the dough a bit longer than was required. Oh well, it's just an experiment. Now I need to find something else to do for the next hour or so during the first rise.

[Listening to: From Centre to Wave - Loop - A Gilded Eternity]

Update: Well, a couple of hours later I was pleasantly surprised and ate most of what was a pretty damned good loaf of french bread. The new oven is perfect for bread baking, but I think I'll save any future loaf baking for when I have acquired some bread flour. In the meantime, I think I will go take a nap and sleep off this massive amount of carbohydrates I just consumed.

[Listening to: Disney Girl - Thin White Rope - Exploring the Axis]

Distracting the Mind
I spent the evening of day two doing laundry at the third world laundromat next to the third world grocery store (HEB on Congress.) There I spent over an hour with Spanish music videos on the TV and not a single word of English spoken in the place. It didn't take much effort to pretend I was on vacation in Mexico and had gone into town to do some laundry because, of course, I was on an extended vacation and my quiet little beach bungalow didn't have a washer or dryer. I hadn't brought a book to read so the best activity I could come up with was to people-watch and make up stories about them set in the context of the laundromat in Mexico fantasy. Then I switched the location back to where I really was, a laundromat in South Austin, and noticed how the stories changed. It was an interesting exercise.

Yesterday, I spent the entire day playing The Sims. It's the perfect game to play when you're feeling a bit out of control in your real life, but by the end of the day I was quite bored with it all. I have no idea what I'm going to do today, my last official day of rest. Maybe I'll bake some bread.

[Listening to: Bloody Mary - The Jesus Lizard - Head / Pure]

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Day Two
Woke up at 5:00 AM again only this time I wasn't quite as refreshed. There were too many strange dreams that had my brain working overtime, but they ended on an interesting note. All the people I worked with at this last job were standing in a group apart from me and someone standing next to me asked me a question. I don't remember the exact question, but I think it had to do with moving on and I answered, "I need to remember that those people are just a pigment of my imagination." The play on words was deliberate and I woke up with that sentence running through my head. Hmmm, that gives me plenty to think about today.

Also, I should probably clarify my statement about the luxury of staying out of Rob's way in the morning lest anyone think he's some kind of monster when he wakes up. No, it's just that we have a house with one small bathroom, a small kitchen and a small bedroom. Two people getting ready for work at the same will invariably trip over each other multiple times in the course of the morning. This is a dance we've never quite been able to choreograph since neither of us possess strong organizational skills first thing in the morning.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A Day in the Life of the Suddenly Unemployed
9:00 AM Plans to sleep late were thwarted when I woke up at the usual 5:00 AM hour. I took a look at the clock and waited to drift back to sleep when I discovered that I was actually READY to get out of bed. It was an odd feeling, one I don't think I've had in years. I made some coffee and emailed a friend. I reveled in the luxury of staying out of Rob's way while he got ready for work and then spent some time worrying about what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I decided to fill up the outside trashcan before the trashmen arrived at seven, though as luck would have it, it's nine and they still haven't come by the house. Since then, I've mostly been puttering about and squashing worries that are doing their best to muck up what could be a peaceful day of relaxation if my brain would just SHUT UP.

[Listening to: Gettin' By - Jerry Jeff Walker - Viva Terlingua]

Check this column by Michael Ventura...

The real raw deal

If you are likeminded , you can agree with and cower to this gloom and doom forecast and gnash your teeth and wring your hands about the certain demise of the american dream. On the other hand, if you are a comrade commissar of the GOP, you can dig up a proportionate amount of propaganda that negates what Michael presents to us in his chilling commentary.Who in the hell is telling the truth here?Are we doomed to another depression, or are blue skies and golden dreams just around the corner?
If you are like me (god help you) you wantto buy into the Bush spin,but you cannot deny what you see unfolding around you domestically and globally. He's a puppet, a liar, a friend of the super rich. He's also a fucking dolt, a killer, and a drug addict/alcoholic who traded in his chemical vices to abuse the system and the working class much like regular working class addicts drink coffee and chain smoke.
And what of Kerry? OK, sure...he went to Viet Nam, he won earned some medals. This carries major credibility for me, especially when he came back home and denounced the war in such a public way. A picture of a working class hero. But he's not. He's as privileged as bunnypants,if not more, and his VP mate is just as bad on the "more money than people should have" economic scale.It reminds me of that scene in "Platoon", when Charlie Sheen is telling King he volunteered for the experience and King says "You gotta be rich to think like that".Plus, he's married to a monied woman who strikes me as a bitch, whose demands of him are answered in a "my mother makes the best brisket" kind of pussywhipped roll over and pee on yourself way.Plus she looks like an old barfly...ok, that was a cheap shot. But I swear I got a blo...nevermind about that Denny's parking lot in '80.There's something about him that just isn't right, but I'll take apprehension over fact, and the fact is Bunnypants is the human incarnation of the downfall of the USof A, as much as he would like for you to believe he has the answer, his answer is not the way.His answer is the way to the end. An ugly, ugly end. You might have a shitload of money when the end comes, but it's still the end, the end doesn't care about money, and it's still over for you rich guy...your'e still just as dead as me.
These are rich, privileged people pretending to know what's best for us and I'm here to tell you they don't have a fucking clue. Neither party can address the issues confronting this nation because neither party has been there in a long, long time.

[Listening to: The Wizard - Uriah Heep - Demons and Wizards (3:02)]

Monday, September 20, 2004


From other top stories at,Speaks volumes, doesn't it?


I tell ya, I can hardly stand this 'rebounding economy" of ours. Seems like Ann and I have been taking turns losing jobs for over 2 years now. Albeit, this time for Ann, it's been met with a sense of relief. We've done this before and as the economy continues to "recover", I imagine we'll do it again. There are so many people out there in similar,or worse circumstances that it's starting to feel less like a personal crisis and more like a national struggle with each round of our musical unemployment.
Toss in the emotional/spiritual/value rollercoaster I seem to have unlimited tickets for these days and you have personal crisis in the midst of a national struggle. I came to realize last night, that I still have friends.(I mean, I know I have friends, but I have been feeling friendless). I have to accept some responsibility for this, I haven't been actively in contact with the friends I left behind at hines and as a result, have become isolated.
Anyway, enough of that. I got a gentle, loving kick in the ass ( and hugs) from two people who mean a great deal to me and carry weight in my book. Thanks, you two.
Oh Yeah, the chicken was a hit.

[Listening to: Brimful Of Asha - Cornershop - When I Was Born For The 7th Time (5:17)]
Things are looking up
That might sound like a strange comment from someone who just got laid off, but what a relief. I had already put my coffee pot and other assorted personal items in the car and taken my keys off my key ring before they even got there. It would have been an extremely smooth exit if I hadn't forgotten about the damn wireless access point. Oh well, I suppose I was due the opportunity to watch them squirm a bit as they waited for me to disconnect it and leave. No tears since I shed all of those last night. Every once and a while it actually pays off to be psychic extremely observant. Now that I don't have to bust my ass any more for what was only an extra $100/week in my pocket after taxes and expenses, I plan to sleep late every morning, lounge around the house in my pajamas and sit on the couch eating bon-bons for the rest of the week. Except that we don't have a couch and I don't like bon-bons, but you get the idea.
Sometimes Life Sucks
There are times when my normal optimistic, go with the flow, roll with the punches, everything works out for the best attitude just crumbles like a pile of mud bricks exposed to the rain. The work situation continues to deteriorate and I did not get the weekend off from it since there was a work-related event yesterday and a going away party today that I had to attend. Logically I know the despair I'm feeling is silly in the grand scheme of things, but that logical part of me can't convince the emotional side that none of this is worth shedding all these tears I've been crying. I hope this is nothing more than the rare case of PMS and it will go away in a couple of days. In the meantime, I'm feeling like a heartbroken teenager with no friends again and I figure the only cure for this is to drag out the music. Some people have music in their bones, but I think with me it extends to the cellular level. The quickest way for me to achieve an attitude adjustment is to put on some appropriate music. I don't know if it was the early exposure to music as a child or because I started piano lesson at age five or if it's just in my genes, but music pervades my every moment, waking or dreaming. All my dreams have a soundtrack. All my days have a soundtrack. There is music playing in my head all the time and occasionally there's three or more songs at once on different "frequencies". Three or four tracks at once don't bother my brain because apparently the mind can handle what the ears can not, but unfortunately the daytime soundtrack appears to be a gigantic database of all the music I've ever heard over the last 43 years on shuffle mode with no attention paid to the current circumstances. Then again, maybe there's a reason that "Tell Laura I Love Her" is running through my head and I'm just too stupid to pick up on it (note: I was born after this song was popular, blame my older brothers for the reason it's in the brain database.) Anyway, I can stop the automatic in-my-head soundtrack by listening to music in the "real world" and temporarily occupy myself with songs that fit my emotional needs at the time. Tonight I need songs that say to me something along the lines of "life sucks at times, but hang in there and things will get better." but I'm missing some of my old standbys from earlier days that I don't have. Ah well, there's plenty of newer stuff that should suffice and hopefully I will wake up in the morning with a better outlook.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Is keeping it lit...hahahahahahahahaha.
I take my chicken smoking seriously, the right heat, soak the wood chips to prolong the smoke.The right marinade.I started with the stubbs BBQ chicken marinade,I added McCormicks southwest and then I added Sass ginger and garlic dressing. Then, just cause I'm crazy like that, I added 8 big fat cloves of raw garlic and rendered it into the marinade. I used pecan wood chips, it gives the chicken a warm brown color and a nutty taste.
I haven't smoked chicken in a long time...I have enjoyed myself today.

I had a dream last night about our recently departed friend, Mark Davis (rock star) . In this dream, we were driving with him at the wheel and I was asking him if he was happy now. He looked just like he always did,except he was grey and pallid. He wouldn't answer my question. I woke up with Theo at my head snuggling me and Irene curled up in the fork of my legs pressing in.
I am loved...and troubled, at the same time. A curious balancing act.
Got a light?

[Listening to: Mind Erase - Daddy Longhead - Classic (3:03)]

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Ann left early for a work related function, she had to be there by 7am. This is SATURDAY dammit! I opted out and slept in. So, when I got up at 7:45 (woo-hoo!),the plan was to drink some coffee and then get jammin' on a Special K style house cleaning. At 2:45pm when Ann called to let me know she was heading my way, I was still in my boxers, no housework done.

[Listening to: Shake Your Hips - The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main St. (2:57)]

This I-tunes dealio is pretty cool...we have 9.3 days of our CDs downloaded, and were not a third of the way...but I digress.
Tomorrow there is a goodbye party for one of Anns coworkers, we I am smoking chicken quarters as our contribution.And that's what I accomplished today...went to the grocery, bought a 10 lb bag of chicken quarters and marinades and wood chips and other shit, came home and started the chicken marinading.
I'm exhausted.
Where will I find the energy to cook dinner?

[Listening to: Lies, I Don't Know What They Say But... - Down - Down II (6:21)]

Thursday, September 16, 2004


Since I have been working at UT, I pass under an overpass on IH-35 on 26th street (I refuse to call it Dean's 26th street). theres this homeless guy that lives under the overpass and he has: a folding chair, a city trash container on wheels stuffed full of god-knows-what, a blue blanket and a 6ft. stick with a big gulp cup wrapped partially in foil perched on top.Usually on the way in to work, he is in his chair covered up by his blanket. During the day we drive by at various times on our way to and from the supply house, to break and lunch.
We always comment on his activity: "Look- homies on the move"! (usually only 10 or so feet away in either direction from his trash container) or, "He's resting his feet" (this guy has edema you can see from 50 feet away). Some days the only thing under the overpass is the cup laden stick (and the periodic foot tall piles of pigeon shit). On these days, he is usually rummaging around on the service road to the interstate around 32nd street.Apparently the bridge guy has a 6 block range.
I have developed a sort of attachment to the bridge guy, a curiosity about him. When he is not there, I am he alright? Where are you bridge guy? I am relieved when I see him picking up bits of ? on the service road. When he is under that blanket in the morning, leaning hard to the right, I wonder if he died during the night. I am relieved to see him uncovered and awake when we head out to the job site.
Today we saw him pantsless, in his baggy whiteys...I was amazed at the fact that they were clean.
I wonder about the bridge guy...what's his story? I'd like to stop some morning and talk to him...maybe I will.I could bring him breakfast. I could bring my camera...

[Listening to: Black Sky - All - Pummel (3:24)]

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Words of Wisdom
At some point today (I think it was around 6:00 AM) I turned 43 years old. This makes me ancient in the eyes of many of my friends and coworkers, though just a young one in the eyes of my parents (still alive and kicking in their 80s.) Looking back over the years, I'd have to say the most valuable bit of wisdom I ever received was from a wise man who once told me, after I complained about a particular situation, "You have a rock in your shoe. You can learn to adjust to the rock and limp through the rest of your life or you can take off your shoe and get rid of the fucking rock." Amen.

"Sin creates [an inclination] to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root."

Para. 1865, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994

Now that we have that out of the way, I've been thinking about the top 7 lately, and how they apply to me in my current incarnation. (Paragraph 1865???WTF catholics?!)

Envy: I envy people with wealth because of their ability to have stuff, unlimited stuff. Then I remember that almost all the wealthy people I have ever known were shallow and unhappy underneath all that stuff. I have occasionally been wealthy in my life, and when I was I accumulated a lot of stuff, with the exception of my musically related stuff, I look at this stuff and think " I should throw this stuff away".But I haven't yet, because I'm apparently still resolving the sin of envy.

Gluttony: This one is easy, I drink too much, I smoke too much...I used to do a lot of drugs.I'm a sucker for ol' gluttony, but I'm learning. Gluttony, for me, ties into pride. It's a lot easier to get fucked up and forget about it than deal with a problem. To admit you have a problem involves pride, usually a loss of can falsely preserve your pride by practicing gluttony. Gluttony, unless you're hooked on twinkies and weigh 350 lbs. can actually be fun, but then again...what do I know? I'm 185 lbs. and hooked on margaritas. Eating twinkies and slapping baby powder on your many rolls might be a veritable laugh riot.

Pride: In layman's terms...big headed. That's not me, but I do buy into the notion (sometimes) that I am too proud to admit a weakness, like drinking or smoking.But I have always been up front about my limitations.

Lust:Fuck yeah! I generally focus a majority of this sin on my wife (:)), but my feeling is, if you ain't looking-you ain't living...there are so many beautiful people in the world worthy of your lust, and if you turn yourself off to this most natural impulse you'll end up like that guy from INXS-strapped by the neck to a doorknob with your dick in your hand...or worse. It's like a friend of mine once said " It doesn't matter whose menu you peruse, as long as you take your meals at home" .

Sloth: I am, to quote John Lydon, "a lazy sort"...I wish I wasn't, but I am. If this is a one way ticket to hell, so be it.

Wrath: I am so into wrath, but in a detached, indirect sort of way.My wrath is an ill focused remnant of my punk rock past. It doesn't feel good to be angry anymore, but the memory of that anger, of that passion, makes me smile every time. Wrath, in my opinion should not be a deadly sin, rather, it should be relegated to fond memory of youth.

Greed: I am not greedy, but I was in the deep dark past. Speed made me greedy, especially when the vial was getting empty. I wanted my bump, dammit. Greed is not an issue for me now, nor has it been for many years. In fact, I am quite the opposite...

How do you match up with the 7 deadly?

[Listening to: Dante's Prayer - Loreena McKennitt - Book of Secrets (7:11)]
Can I have a little cheese with my whine?
Sorry for the lack of posts from this half of depthmarker, but I've been mighty grumpy lately and I don't like to post when I'm grumpy. Aside from writing posts that might sound like a pity party, I'm likely to state exactly what's bugging me which, in this case, happens to be circumstances at my job. I wouldn't want my coworkers to read about my complaints on my blog when I haven't yet expressed them in person. That's just not cool. It can be a welcome relief to just bitch about things without the parties involved ever hearing any of it, but the blog doesn't meet those requirements. No, that's the primary use I made out of any therapist I ever saw over the years. I just wanted someone who could be a neutral party that I could use as a sounding board. The therapists I saw (rather, the ones I stuck with) were great for this because they rarely gave advice, but helped me to see possibilities beyond the few limited choices I thought I was facing. And I could use a few extra choices right now because all I can see to do is: 1) Smile, nod and pretend everything is hunky-dory, 2) Find another job or 3) Tell the bitch EXACTLY what I think the next time she pisses me off. If anyone is placing bets at this point, you should pick number three. Unfortunately, when it happens it's not going to be pretty and I'd really like to avoid the office drama that will undoubtedly ensue. Hopefully I can find a sounding board before that happens.

There's a reason I have a reputation for being brutally honest as opposed to just being honest. I can, up to a point, hedge and pussyfoot around an issue, dropping helpful hints along the way, but eventually the clueless are going to hear the raw and unvarnished version of what I really think. For example, I once had a friend who spent months asking me why his staff thought he was an asshole. Finally, I answered, "Because you ARE an asshole." That remark damaged our friendship, but it was the truth as I saw it and poke me enough times, that's what you're gonna get. The sad part was he didn't realize that I didn't like him any less because I thought he was an asshole towards his staff. Maybe he thought that a friend was someone who only saw him wonderful in all aspects and since I thought he was an asshole at times, then I must not be a friend. Who knows, but it reminds me of the time when I was sitting around in a group of friends and one of them asked me what I thought and the answer was "I think you're a lazy drunk." You could have head a pin drop in the silence that followed, but my friend just laughed and slapped me on the back. He got it, the fact that I could think he was a lazy drunk, but still love him and count him as my friend. After all, isn't that what a real friend is? Someone who loves you, warts and all?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Check this out:
lazy ass americans
I'd like to see the breakdown for someone in Dafur, I imagine it would go something like this:
Avoid machete weilding, guntoting maniacs: 12 hours.
Avoid gang raping machete weilding guntoting maniacs: 6 hours.
Trying to identify your severed limbs from the pile of severed limbs in the center of your village : 1 hour.
Eat cold ball of rice while trying to stave off blood loss from severed limb while crouching in jungle on outskirts of village trying to understand why your parents and/or children are dead: 1 hour, 45 minutes.
Bleed to death: 1 hour, 15 minutes .
become an incubator for indigenous insects after you die: 1 hour:55 minutes
Where's the american intervention?: 5 Minutes...
I'm just sayin'


I saw some phototoons over at BartCop today that would suggest assault weapons haven't been available
for the last 10 years, and, since it expired we can expect armegeddon in the form of waves of shootings and killings attributable to the availability of assault rifles.
This is simply not the case...They have been available all along. I was and am a Clinton supporter and a democrat...well, libertarian would be more apt, but whatever.But I have to agree that this particular
legislation had "feel good" written all over it. At it's core, it was meaningless. As I've pointed out, you could still buy them...they just had the regular stocks, smaller magazines and you could see the muzzle
flash. Obstacles easily overcome by walking to the next table.
I like the Brady bill, I think you should have to meet a basic set of criteria before you can buy any kind of firearm. I am a proponent of responsible gun ownership.
Did you know (in Texas, anyway) Individuals walk around gun shows with signs on their backs advertising guns for sale? You can buy these guns without filling out any paperwork. Hardcore proponents of the 2nd
amendment would call this an inalienable right, I would call it a loophole.
My Father was a weapons/ munitions guy in the military...I have been around guns all my life. I lived in a house that, at any given time, had 3 or more guns on the premises. I grew up handling and shooting
a variety of guns, hand and long. I believe in sensible gun control, not politicized lobbyist controlled bullshit.And certainly not politicized left wing bleeding heart horror story driven crybaby bullshit.
I am reminded of a Clash lyric: "When they kick down your front door, how you gonna come? With your hands on your head, or the trigger of your gun"?
The assault weapons ban was a mirage...get over it.Buy a's your right to defend yourself, and you should be able to, if you find yourself in that position.

[Listening to: Peaceful Death - Dead Horse - Peaceful Death And Pretty Flowers (4:55)]

Monday, September 13, 2004


Oh! The one that expires tonight? The one that had so many holes in it, it looked an awful lot like a beam scan of a longterm solvent huffers brain? Oh, OK...that one.
The one that banned high capacity magazines...unless they were pre-banhigh capacity magazines, which were present like tribbles at every gun show I've
ever been to in the last 10 years.
The one that banned weapons with folding stocks, muzzle suppressors, pistol grip stocks, etc.? Yeah, that one.
The one where you could go to a gun show and buy a no frills AK-47, SKS, FAL or similar rifle, walk to the next table and buy a folding stock...then to the next and the next
until you had all the ingredients to take home to your bunker and make your very own "banned" assault rifle, and unless you lost your mind and shot up the neighborhood, no one was the wiser?
Yeah, that one.
The one that took guns "strictly" designed for killing peopleout of the marketplace (right...).
Here's a news flash: anygun can kill anything, if the user is so inclined.
The one that congress didn't even bother to address beyond saying they weren't going to address it because they already knew they didn't have the votes to preserve it?
Yeah,that one.
There are so many weapons in this country, changing hands, being stolen, sold under the table and passed down, found and not turned in,it would be impossible to account for even half of them.
The only benefit I can see over the ten years the ban has been in effect is an increase in revenue for gun dealers selling "accessories".
How much you wanna bet the cost of a "fully equipped" AK-47 is gonna jump 15 to 25 % to offset the loss?

[Listening to: I Know Your Little Secret - The Afghan Whigs - Up In It (4:22)]

Sunday, September 12, 2004


I would have gouged my left eye out hours ago. I don't know what I got into out in the woods with Sully yesterday, but my eye has been beet red and burning all day, as well as having a good cry. This is not constant, but rather every 30 minutes or so (except for the red part).
I guess I'll be sporting the visage of popeye the sailor during tonights finale of Six Feet Under.Meh...
On a lighter note, Sully did well yesterday, we alternated walks with games of fetch on the agility course...I managed to get him over one of the obstacles, but our attempt of the A frame went like this:
Sully climbs about 5 feet up, falls off, lands on his side, rolls over on his back, wags his tail, gets up and proceeds to take the biggest poop I have ever seen in my life.
He's been a much calmer boy today...encouraging.

Friday, September 10, 2004


I finished running my conduit this morning, around 60 ft. with 6 J-boxes to seperate the 6 light zones in this conference room. I spent the morning and most of the afternoon on the tippy top of an 8 ft. ladder, I did pipe bending without consulting my journeyman, to navigate around the many obstacles...sprinkler system water pipes, joists and braces, other conduit,air conditioning ducts,and ceiling support wires.
It was a fitting challenge, and I'm happy to say it was a success, completed with very little consultation. I ran the wires and made up the joints in each junction box (begin with 1 each blue,green and white, add a black, then a red, then another blue, then another black and end up at the home run and connect them all together so each zone in the room works like it's suppose to). And they did.
I think I'm starting to get this shit.
A frequently overheard comment from journeymen: "Last week you couldn't spell electrician, and now you are one". Thanks...I think.

[Listening to: When We Two Parted - The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen (5:47)]



Tomorrow morning, Ann and I will take Sullivan to the center's location that has the agility course, out in the country. We will run his ass ragged for much of the day. The idea being that Sully needs lots of activity and stimulation because he is so fucking smart. We will run his ass ragged at least twice a week and see how it affects his behavior at home.I'm much as his attacking Theo pissed me off, I understand that his behavior (the attack) is normal dog behavior, and that by challenging his smartness and high energy level will make for a happier dog and a calmer home. We'll see.

[Listening to: What Jail Is Like - The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen (3:30)]

Thursday, September 09, 2004


The day before yesterday I was trying to enjoy my last 10 minutes between snooze alarm warnings, when Sullivans ear piercing like an ice pick in your head barking drove me from my bed in a rage.
A completely, absolutely balls to the wall psychotic break. I stormed into the livingroom...well, lumbered or stumbled might be a better descriptor, but the look on my face froze Sullivan in his tracks and silenced him.
Ann was trying to get him to go in his room, but he was unable to move under my murderous gaze. It was frightening. After I moved away and Sullivan was put up, I laced into Ann, demanding to know why she would allow him to bark unabated...I was goading her, trying to pick a fight. She didn't bite. I stormed off to the shower feeling like an ass.
We drove to work in silence, eyes locked firmly on the terrain ahead.There was a kiss goodbye and a mumbled "see ya later" from me.
What the fuck??? This is not me...this is not us. Sure, Sullivan's bark could have been used to great advantage at Abu Ghirab, but it's not so horrible to make me want to kill him, well...I won't go there.
I will embrace the truth.
I am mad at him for attacking Theo and fucking up Theo's face and ears.
I am overwhelmed by this seperation thing we got going on with the dogs and the hassle of rotating them so they can't interact.
Work has been an endless litany of the same old shit for over a week now and I'm sick of it...completely. I'm not learning anything beyond avoiding madly flying spring clips intent on bloodying my knuckles.
I am really and truly unhappy for the first time in a decade, lost with no direction, rudderless, angry.
So I spent the day reflecting...I thought alot about "bringing order out of chaos" and "crisis as opportunity", and a bunch of other cliche ridden feel good homilies from my days as a social worker ( I did manage to avoid the totally gay "what color is your parachute"? and equally goofy "who moved my cheese"?)
I settled on "you had a hang over, a result of your drinking to excess because your unhappy about your current station in life...get over it and ruck the fuck up buddy". And apologize to Ann as soon as you can.
I did...and you know what? Ann was cool with it, Sullivan was quieter this morning and I ran conduit and J-boxes on my own today...came up with a plan and ran with it, and it worked, better than I imagined.
It's looking alot better today, and I'm thinking about writing my own self help book called "Get over it and ruck the fuck up you pussy: how to deal when the deal is shitty".
It should be a hit, and about one page long.

[Listening to: Turquoise Days - Echo & the Bunnymen - Heaven Up Here (3:52)]

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Classes at UT started up last week, and during the opening days there were MANY religious groups with tables and fliers and posters, trying to snag incoming freshman and take advantage of their being freaked out about being in a new town,at a big university and away from home for probably the first time.
One afternoon, while driving back to the shop at the end of the day I saw these 2 forty something men walking down the drag, one was carrying pamphlets. The other was carrying a huge cross...with a WHEEL on the dragging end.
I stuck my head out the window and yelled "Hey fucktard! Did JESUS have a WHEEL on the end of HIS cross????!!!! I don't think so....
Not really, I was in a company truck...but I thought it, and had I been in my own ride...
I would have said it, and probably thrown a cup or something at the all terrain jesus for being such a manipulative asshat.
I really hate this kind of gets my goat.
[Listening to: Loose Nut - Black Flag - Who's Got the 10½? (4:06)]

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

FLUX (N) V.2

It's demolition time...wrecking out lights...recessed lighting that has been in place for probably 20 years. 56 lights. I wrecked out 35 today. Up and down the ladder at least 3 times per fixture, kliens in hand, cutting
spring wires, cutting conduit, pulling down fixtures trying to avoid the razor sharp cut ends of the aforementioned conduit. In a word, tedium. In another, paycheck.
The toll at the end of the day: nicks and cuts on thumb from high velocity spring wires: 3, First serious conversation with my journeyman about my reservations/apprehension about what I (we) are doing and the colossal waste of my many years and skills as a manager..."tell me about it" he says. He is used to managing 30 plus hands on big projects, he knows where I'm coming from.
In fact, we have, through our superficial banter over the month or so, composed a song that aptly describes our current plight.
I'm a maintenance man
A UT maintenance man
Savin' up my money
Gonna buy me a mini van
Gonna sign up for the new flex plan
I'm a maintenance man....
That's all we got so far...he thinks using Glen Campbell's "lineman from the county" is a good melody...I agree.
I have been reminding myself of King's line from Platoon:
"Keep your pecker hard and your powder dry, and the world will surely turn".
One can hope.

[Listening to: London Calling - The Clash - London Calling (3:23)]
The student drivers are back - eeeiiii!
Rob is currently working on a job at the University of Texas. We carpool these days and I pick him up at 4:00 pm. I usually get there a few minutes early and park by the back door. Today I must have accidentally driven through a wormhole because I somehow arrived 20 minutes early. The place that I usually park for the 5 minutes it takes him to get to the car is actually in a no-parking zone. It's also in full sun and there was no way I was going to sit there 20 minutes with the engine running just so I could have air conditioning. I decided to drive a few blocks over in the adjoining neighborhood and see if I could find a shady spot to park for the next 15 minutes. Well, in the course of driving a mere four square blocks, I managed to have four near-accidents. One kid turned left from a side street right in front of me, another completely ran a stop sign, the third veered over to my side of the road for no apparent reason. I started to wonder if my trip through the wormhole had also activated a cloaking device, but the last kid almost ran into the back of me when I stopped at a stop sign so apparently my vehicle was at least partially visible. I think next time I'll just stay in the no-parking zone and waste gasoline - it's bound to be cheaper in the long run!

[Listening to: Tomorrow - Wall Of Voodoo - Call Of The West]
Test post using w.bloggar
Decided to try this out since Rob and I have both been pulling our hair out this last week as we've seen entry after entry go "poof" instead of getting posted. Sometimes it's Blogger, sometimes it's our internet connection and sometimes it from us hitting this damned extra button on the trackball which makes the browser go back one page.

[Listening to: Gates Of Eden - Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home]

Monday, September 06, 2004


.flux - a state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event) preceding the establishment of a new direction of action;

Yeah, that about sums it up. I have been in flux since may. Sure, I have a job, Ann has a job. The job is not it, that and in itself. I am incomplete...I have no direction.
Sure, I have a license from the city that says I'm an apprentice electrician, sure, I applied for the state license one day before the deadline...I'll have that one (hopefully) by wed.
I have been working steadily as an "electrician" since, but really, I'm a maintainence man. A union maintainence man.I'm not learning anything...I demo out old lights and install new ones, I add plugs and clocks and circuits in a myriad of buildings at be truthful, I have learned some things.
I have learned that I can function on a ladder and not be afraid...I have learned that I can conquer the satan that is electrical power as long as I am careful.
Flux...that's it.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

My week

Sunday - dog bite

Monday - go to regular doctor, get antibiotics, tenatus shot and pain pills. Take pain pills when I get home from work, TV becomes more interesting than usual, go to bed early.

Tuesday - sick from tetanus shot and antibiotics, but go to work anyway. Get home, take pain pills, go to Laundromat, discover that pain pills do not make Laundromat more interesting. Go to bed early.

Wednesday - full blown chaos day at work, survive this and go home, take pain pills and decide paperback is way more interesting than TV, pain pills or not. Go to bed early.

Thursday - rinse and repeat.

Friday - day off from work. Meet friend at Maudies mid-afternoon. Drink beer, converse, etc. until 9:00 pm. No pain pills when I get home due to beer. Regret drinking beer in lieu of pain pills. Go to bed late.

Friday, September 03, 2004


When we were stationed at lowrey AFB in Denver, I was in 2nd grade and during the summer break my parents took advantage of a summer camp program that loaded up several vans full of kids and took them on day long outings.
On one of these trips we went to a national park in the mountains, one of the activities was a golf ball hunt, the staff had hidden golf balls in and amongst the rocky outcroppings in the park and, depending on how many you found determined the coolness of the prize you got.
I was searching around on this ledge for balls, and at one point I stood up and there was this flying insect right in front of my face. ( I was terrified of flying insects because of a previous experience involving a hornet that chased me from the yard to my door and stung me before I could safely get inside).
I instinctively started backing up, the winged demon followed, and I backed up off the ledge falling about 10 feet and landing on a pile of boulders, I sprained my ankle and was relegated to the no activity area and my injured ankle was wrapped in a ace bandage.
There was another boy around my age there and we wandered over to this pond where we skipped stones happily until I noticed the sky was turning little brain had been conditioned to be home before dark, so we headed back to the picnic area to meet up with the other summer campers and go home.
When we got there all the vans were gone.
The area was deserted, and it was getting dark. We finally came across this family and they called the state troopers.
This trooper drove us all the way home and even stopped along the way and bought us candy canes.
Turns out when they loaded up to leave someone did notice I was not on the van, but my older sister told the staff I was on another they took the word of an 11 year old who was probably hoping I would be eaten by bears ( I still love you anyway sis:) ) and left the park.
My mom was completely freaked when the vans arrived and "Robbie" was unaccounted for.
Her relief when the troopers contacted her was dashed when I came limping up to the house and she learned of my header off the cliff.
That was the end of summer camp for me, I spent the rest of the summer at home with my mom.
And that was fine by me.
I also think this was the beginning of the end for my mom and sister, who seemed to be always in conflict afterward.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


On some shit I've been trying to deal with for awhile...not necessarily in any order of importance or anything,because it's all floating around in my head at the same time. Please put your safety bar in place, here we go...
The republican national convention...I absolutely can't believe that ANYBODY in their right mind could buy into this scripted , corrupt load of utter and complete BULLSHIT. Did I fall asleep and wake up as the only poor person in america? This party is a party of elitist , rich, manipulative and conniving assholes worthy of nothing less than banishment to the 7th level of hell. And to the people who support them I say: What is your fucking problem????Are you rich or retarded? This administration is such a blatant ass fuck without a reach around to most americans, and the fact that so many are blind to it makes me want to, oh, I don't know, get on a horse and ride around the country screaming "the borg are coming! the borg are coming!". Support them if you must, but in the end they will fuck you around too...I guarantee.
The democratic national convention...Read as above, but exchange "Are you rich or retarded"? with " Are you middle class and retarded"? and "The borg are coming" with "the teletubbies are coming!".
The only difference between the parties is who they blow and how long it takes them to cum, or in the republican parlance "finish".
I have strong opinions about american politics...mostly that it's all corrupt, regardless of party...republicans in my mind are insufferable assholes who should be gassed and dems are insufferable pussies who should be shot. But that's just me...I get too "emotional" about the "process" and my voice is lost in that wash of resignation and sheepish mentality that most of america calls "the party line" that should really be called "somethings wrong with this here democracy...someone needs to come along and fix it already".
I would step up to the plate, but I'm too busy drinking and looking at porn, trying to forget about the ass fucking the government is giving me, ready to pounce on my habits and expose me as a deviant if I dared step up and tried to do something about it. So I'll just sit here and keep my medals to myself.

Keep them separated for another 21(or is it 14) days?!?!...No interaction between them...rotate the sleeping place ( it's sully's turn to sleep with us tonight, theo is relegated to the office, I put him in the office 30 minutes ago and he has been barking and whining and scratching at the door). And who can blame him? He has been sleeping with us for 6 years. We have effectively abandoned him, cut him off. We are moving him down in the order to #3, sully becomes # 2, and irene finally gets to claim her crown as queen bee @ # 1 in the pack, all in the hopes that they will stop fighting.
That they will accept the new order in time. I am not so sure about this. Irene could be easily killed by either of the boys if they took a mind to...if the instinct led them...she is half the size of the boys.
On the other hand, my parents had a siamese cat that patrolled the perimeter of our yard preventing great danes from trespassing...I saw her do this on many occaisions.
Then we get back to the choice of who to get rid of. I cannot explore this...I love them both.
It's a "quality of life issue" I'm being you continue on because the dog is enjoying a good quality of life or...are you keeping them around for your own benefit? That's a good goddamn question. I'm still working the permutations...I'll have to get back to you on this one.
There's more...the job...the union...the shop I'm working out of....and where exactly should a 44 year old man be in this world, and when I say be, I mean "BE" in the most philosophical sense of the word...I don't care about money, or "station". I just care about balance, and I'm feeling very unbalanced these days.
Where is that confounded bridge?
I haven't figured out the answer to that one yet