Wednesday, March 31, 2004


I came across this box just chock full of history.

This one made me laugh:

This one made me cringe, and then I laughed:

And this one brought a tear to my eye:

Buddy was my constant companion for 14 years, you couldn't ask for a better dog-friend. I love my dogs, but he will go down as the great canine love of my life.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The things we say
I don't know about you, but I tend to pick up sayings that have meaning only within my group of friends. A version of inside jokes, except they aren't really jokes, but more like idioms. Me and my friend Tracy, whom I've known for over 30 years, frequently have conversations that must sound like code to the uninitiated. Rob and I have our own version of "code" that's been developed over the last ten years and I noticed the other day that it's recently expanded to include several choice words and phrases from Special K's blog. We've begun to say "Meh", "I've got beans", "I'm just saying", "I'm just asking" and the other night Rob told me he had Mr. Preiss feet and I knew exactly what he meant. Wow. Someone writes a blog, you read it and somehow over time it becomes a part of your life. It's weird and wonderful and cool. Maybe we as human beings aren't so fucked up after all and world peace and understanding isn't the pipe dream that it appears to be. True, we're not crossing huge cultural barriers here, though I'd argue that Canada and Texas are not exactly close kin. But all the same, think what could happen if everyone was a blogger, all over the world and we all had connections with people everywhere across the globe. Would anyone ever bother to start a war? Yeah, it's a just a fantasy, but...

From CNN:

EL CAJON, California (AP) -- An elderly man recently diagnosed with a brain tumor leaped to his death from a vintage airplane he rented to celebrate his 88th birthday, officials said Tuesday.

Joseph Harold Frost took off his safety belt at 300 to 400 feet, stood up in the open cockpit of the two-seat biplane and went over the side Monday.

The pilot tried but failed to wrestle him back into the plane and nose the aircraft upward to force Frost back into his seat.

"I think that was Dad's idea, to go out in a flash of glory," said Robert Frost, who had helped his father arrange the chartered flight on a biplane similar to the ones the elder Frost flew in World War II.

The man landed on an apartment patio, horrifying those who witnessed it.

"I saw him hit the power lines, heard trees breaking. I really thought it wasn't real," Cynthia Lankford said.

Lighten up Cynthia...He went out like he wanted...

You'd think I'd be completely focused on this here remodel we got going on and posting pictures a plenty of the gutting of our home. Well, you would be right, except for an email I got from my son today.
I posted a picture nicked from my yearbook here awhile back and my son reads this stuff.
Today I got this:

Between peels of laughter, all I could say was WOW...
Thanks made my fucking day.
Pushing the envelope of chaos
I really should be taking things off the kitchen shelves right now since the kitchen destruction crew is arriving at 9:00 am, but there's no readily available place to put it so I think I will have a cup of coffee instead and ponder the situation. As I've mentioned before, we have a small house and it's chock-full of "stuff". The next few weeks will be a weird version of musical chairs as we shuffle boxes and furniture from room to room. I managed to clean out the back bedroom this weekend so they can do painting and flooring in there which will get one room "finished" so we have a place to move "stuff" from the other rooms. I thought I had a workable plan, but I forgot about all the "stuff" on the kitchen shelves, the "stuff" in the dining room cabinet that's being torn out, the "stuff" in the bathroom cabinets and the "stuff" in the linen closet. Where am I going to put that? It seems that Rob and I both had this vague idea that it would all just go in the dumpster, but a perfectly good microwave? Hair dryer and clippers? There's bound to be one more corner I can stick that in, I just need to find it. One good thing, or bad thing depending on your perspective, is that the washing machine decided to die yesterday morning on the first good day for laundry that we've had in weeks. That pretty much solves the dilemma of where to put the washer during the remodel. Into the dumpster it goes and all the dirty laundry is now riding around in the trunk of my car waiting for me to find the time to get to a laundromat. I have no idea where I'll put the clean clothes once they are washed and dried, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. And then there's the issue of where to put the dogs during the day while the crew is smashing up our house. Current plan is for Irene to go to work with Rob, Sullivan will go to work with me and Theo will stay home in one of the rooms they are not working on that day where he will, no doubt, bark the entire time and drive them crazy. I tell ya, it's nothing but fun times ahead.

Monday, March 29, 2004

From a guy that worked for me at Travis Treatment Center so many years ago. We've managed to stay in touch all these years and he reads the drivel posted here.
His email was in response to my 3-24-04 post wondering how I went from uber-counselor to pool guy.
He said some nice things about how I was as a supervisor and a caregiver to our clients.
It's nice to get props, especially from someone you respect. Thank you, my friend.
Now...let me tell you a story about this guy.
We were having group therapy one day and one of the subjects was soothing things. As you can imagine, favorite pets and examples of the soothing effect were shared by almost everyone in the group. Since this was a transitional center back to the community, staff were allowed to participate on a more personal level.
I'm sitting across from him and watching him take it all in, looking very thoughtful and serious.
Then, with a completely straight face, he busts out with this:
" You know,at the end of a stressful day I like to go home and pick up my Mr. Potato Head and just gaze into his eyes, it's very soothing".
Everyone lost it! Even the lead therapist was laughing out loud. Needless to say, group was over. He was gently admonished by the lead therapist to redirect his sense of humor to someplace other than group.

Sunday, March 28, 2004


This is not the look of righteous indignation, nor is it the defiant look of the wrongfully accused.
This is the CLASSIC I'm pissed 'cause I'm caught in a giant fucking lie look.
We are so fucked if these assholes prevail in '04.......
Swiped from That Crazy Neighbor Lady:

Green Vibes
Your Energy is Green. You are easygoing, stable
and bring feelings of peace and natural harmony
to those in your presence. You have good
perception and awareness about most things, but
you don't appreciate sudden surprises.

You are a natural healer and would make an ideal
physician, office manager, herbologist,
anthropologist, or Accountant.

What color is your energy?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wow, for once I get "career advice" that actually matches my current job (Office Manager.)
What do I know?
Turns out we are not keeping the china. Rob has no emotional attachment to it so if his sister doesn't want it, we'll have to find someone else to take it. I have no idea who that might be, but I definitely have no intention of selling it on e-Bay. I imagine we can find a collector or dealer here in town. The only person I found on the web looking for this pattern is in Missouri and that means packing and shipping - ugh.
It has begun
The giant orange rolloff dumpster arrived yesterday morning. We had them place it in the yard right where the two dying trees used to be. I love to say that we had planning and foresight to purposely cut down those dangerous trees last week to make way for the dumpster, but the truth is that it just worked out that way. Maybe it was divine intervention that caused Rob to suddenly decide to call a tree guy last Monday because we couldn't have asked for a better place to set this monster.
Here's a few pictures to show how big this thing is:

I decided we needed to have a little ceremony to kick this off so Rob tore up part of the dining room bar and we walked out to the dumpster with our first offering of debris. I did a little drum roll at the opening of the dumpster with a piece of molding and then the processional music for the walk to the back of it was provided by a ring tone from Rob's cell phone. After a short prayer to the remodeling gods, we retired back to the house for post-ceremony drinks and dinner. Today we will attempt to clean off all the junk that's accumulated on the bar surface over the last few months (it's a catch-all place for stuff) and empty out the upper cabinet of china and other assorted things that haven't seen the light of day in ten years. I know we'll be keeping the china, but I hope the rest of it can go in the dumpster because I have no idea where we'd put any of it. Nothing in that cabinet has been used in years and years so it's certainly not anything we "need". "Want" may be a different story. That's going to be the hard part.

Saturday, March 27, 2004


Guess the year...go on, I dare ya...I double dog dare ya!

Here's a trickster....

Thanks for indulging me......


I have a friend whose been married for just under a year, and his wife has been putting off changing her last name. This is an issue for my friend, apparently, as it is the occasional subject of conversation. This week it came to a head. He booked tickets out of the country through a travel agent friend who assumed they shared the same last name, not the name on her passport...oops.
My friend seized on this mishap to force the issue of the name change... it was not received well and much marital tumult ensued.
The case for:
Social moors dictate the taking of the husbands name at marriage.
The case against:
What about HER name? You know, the one she's had ALL HER LIFE.
Her name, or knowledge of her name is important to her profession, which apparently is going quite well. What a hassle to let all your customers know you are now Smith and not Jones.
How about you taking her name?
If anyone tries to find you by Jones and not smith they got beans.
When you get married you are not automatically chattel or property (redundant I know, but I like the word "chattel") despite what the social moors have to say about it.
When you change names you have to get new identification... and we all know what a pain in the ass it is to deal with the government, local or otherwise. They have 40 hours in training required on how to fuck with your world, chinese water torture with forms.

So, what's the point ?

When Ann and I got married she chose to take my name. But not without condition. And the condition was that she could use her maiden name as her middle name. Had that not been the case, she would have kept her maiden name.
This condition was not discussed. Ann's name could be Schlomo or Enoch, I don't care.
She loved me enough to marry me and has continued to love me for almost ten years. And that's what matters in a relationship. Well, that and a lot of other things, but certainly not what you are called.
I'm just sayin'.....

Friday, March 26, 2004


It doesn't happen very often, but when it does it's palpable.You can cut it with a knife,that is unless I cut you first.
I'm generally pretty well balanced, on the surface anyway. But once in a blue moon I turn into that guy that probably had something to do with the cats disappearing in the neighborhood but you can't prove it. A foul FOUL mood. And it's always connected to something, never random.
Tonight it was cartoons. My cartoons. Preserved in a binder in plastic sleeves. The originals. And I can't find them. I know they're here somewhere, but they elude me.
Initially I wanted them to scan and post here, but after a fruitless search it became an issue on the par of a search for the holy fucking grail. I drew these in the mid 80's during the hey-day of punk rock in Austin, to me they have value and I can't find them... and it pisses me off.

And then it occurred to me, the roll off dumpster is being delivered tomorrow morning for the demolition phase of our remodel. As we purge our house of the unbelievable mountains of clutter and useless shit the cartoons will show up.
And then,as quickly as it came upon me, it was gone...I was back to my old self.
I don't appreciate bad tempers, especially my own.

Thursday, March 25, 2004


Captain Quack Rubber Duck Quiz

Bath time indeed...nicked from special K.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

It's a question that I ask myself sometimes, when I look back at what I did for a living and the other choices I made during most of my adult life (for the record, I was involved in some sort of "helping field" from the age of 14 to 35), I sometimes look at the pile of purchase orders, invoices and job orders surrounding me and ask: how did I end up here?
I always said I would someday write a book about my experiences working in psych hospitals and treatment centers to chronicle my experiences and expose the kind of craziness reserved for mental health workers to the world at large.
I have attempted this several times, most recently with full metal jackass-my other blog, which is woefully deprived of my attention. I never finished a project on this matter.
Why? I have experienced some amazing things over the years. Equal parts joy, sadness,frustration and fear. I have touched the lives of countless people and they have had an impact on me in ways that are foreign to everyday life...I should have alot to say, but somehow,when I try to say it I am at a loss for words.
I have stories that would curl your hair,make you smile, cry, cringe and shake your head in disbelief. But they won't come out. I wish they would.
I guess they are lessons meant to stay inside, to give me perspective on life only.
Not to be shared with the rest of the world.
Or maybe I'm just full of shit.
So, how did I end up being the parts manager at a pool company?
The 21 year trajectory goes something like this:
Volunteer- Therapist technicianI,II and III- Mental health worker- Unit coordinator- Center supervisor/Crisis intervention team- milieu coordinator- Unit manager- retired- Juvenile corrections officer (this one was fun...not)-Emergency shelter house manager- retired- Pool cleaner/mechanic- Quality assurance manager- unemployed- House manager for community based home for multihandicapped persons (tards in wheelchairs wearing diapers)- Parts manager.
How did this happen? Don't misunderstand me...I like my job, alot, even though it drives me crazy sometimes.
I was gonna save the world, humanity at one point, and now I just help people figure out what size heater they need for their hot tub.
Putting it all in perspective, maybe that's enough to aspire to. Leave the windmill killing to the young.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

As posted before, I am the one with the most experience with our lackluster accounting software at work these days. But even the valiant fall. We have this annual thing called early buy. Simply put, we stock up on stuff at a discounted price and get hella-terms.
It's all on one purchase order, you can't pay on it till it's added to the system, you can't add it to the system until you receive everything on the PO... The first payment came due before 4 items were received.
Delete these four items and place them on a new purchase order, add the original PO to the system so the folks upstairs can cut a check.Save,print,close...cigarette break.
Simple enough right?
What did I do? I deleted the PO...POOF! Gone...never to return. 22 pages of product line items on the suppliers pick ticket, 8 pages of tiny font line items on our "system".
We're talking 35,000 dollars worth of merchandise that we have lost the ability to account for because I hit the wrong key...there is no prompt for delete in this software. The designer must have been suicidal and subliminated it through a lack of failsafe prompts like "are you sure you want to delete this record, or did you just fumble on the keyboard"?
The owner of the company was sitting 15 feet to my left when this happened...The owner,my boss,my friend, watched me flush a shitload of accounting info with the ease of a keystroke.
Time for a few words about my warehouse counterpart. He's that 55-60 demo. He's from Waco. He's a hippy. He is totally freaked by technology, push button phones throw him into a panic. That he can do what he does on the computer with the shit we have to work with is nothing short of a miracle.
But more than that, he is a kindred spirit, we have each others back.
He was standing next to me when I aborted the early buy records...he saw the window that said "deleting files". He said "what was that"? or "what happened"?
I said, "I just deleted the early buy PO".
He punched me in the arm several times, cackeling and said "you're as bad as me"!
15 feet away from our boss,watching us, no, me , intently, to see what I would do.
I prevailed in the end, I was saved by the fact that we had not done "system" maintenance yet. An angel named Karen walked me through the restorative process over the phone and, as if by magic I am king of the software again...
Service first indeed.
As some of you are aware, Special K has discovered paintbox and has been entertaining us with it for a while now. You may also know she has organized a gallery "showing" at her blog for all of us schmucks. Check it out for details.
I have been practicing. Here is my first attempt :

I call this "Hard on for war". I dedicate this piece to GW Bush, the obvious inspiration because he's into this whole "war president" thing and coincidentily, he's a giant prick.

You know, some days just happen to work out. Today was one of those days. I had "set some goals" yesterday, and I'm happy to report that I avoided getting caught up in the 24 hour spiral overload that is often my life. I'll admit that it's sometimes self induced, but all the same it's a pain in the ass.
Anyway, the bubble has been pierced on this remodel thing. We didn't follow my song list, but our front yard is now free of dead, space violating, hazardous to the house and anyone near it, Trees.
Four of them gone, and good riddance. A very large mulberry on the right street side corner of our lot, who lost its legs in the flood of '02 and was just waiting for a chevette to park underneath it on the street to let loose it's earthly bond and crush said chevette...gone. A crepe myrtle growing all wild and crazy, invading our front porch and harboring yellowjacket nests by the front door, gone (this tree tried to poke my eye out once during an off load after a gig...bastard). The myrtle was not cut down to the ground but rather dug up and transferred to the owner of the tree service companies property where it will be replanted (hopefully far from any eye poking opportunities it may still possess). Being a pool guy, I hate crepe myrtles. They are the landscaping engineers cruel joke to the pool guy. Every neighborhood pool in my town
is SURROUNDED by them, with their fragile petals of white, pink and red detaching from the branch at the slightest breeze... straight into the POOL by the millions. The pool you are cleaning. I hate them.I hate landscape engineers.
A mimosa that my son climbed and played on when he was little...I will miss the memories of this tree for that reason, but will not miss it's carpenter ant infested ass.
The effect is dramatic... my front yard has been given a high and tight. I like it... it's different.
The coolest thing about all of this is it only cost 600.00. This is amazing. Arborists are generally all high and mighty about the craft and you know this because they bend you over... big time generally. They've got you over a barrel really, are you gonna spend 400.00 to remove the tree against your house or shine it on till the living growing tree destroys your roof and foundation and costs you thousands? Right, I thought so. Too bad I'm afraid of heights and chainsaws (sopranos anyone?). I could bank in this town if I wasn't.
We figured 1200.00 at least, and were obviously pleasantly surprised.
I got the critically injured golem like fridge out of the house and emptied and it is now waiting for bulky item pick up in the front yard. It has been replaced by a perky little stainless number half the size. They had one in stock and the display when I called earlier today, by the time we got there, the display was left the one in stock being sold. We got the display one for 10% off, and ordered the stainless "dorm size" one to hold adult beverages, our version of the "keg-o-rater". Decreasing space and increasing space simultaneously, we are Einstein...or something.
And finally, I heard from my remodel guy today... I'll call him Romano. He's meeting us tomorrow at 6ish to show which walls we can knock down. To quote an unsung evangelist...Hammer time!
Damn it's late! G'night.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

A great Sunday
*Slept late.
*Drank coffee and read blogs.
*Brunch at Maudies.
*The sun came out and for once the air outside was dryer than the clothes I put on the clothesline.
*Drank beer and read more blogs.
*Earthshaking romantic interlude with Rob.
*Drank more beer and read more blogs.
*Had an excuse to build a fire (we are out of charcoal starter fluid.)
*Ate awesome burger and onion rings cooked by Rob.
*Hot bath created, courtesy of the coffee maker, by pouring uncounted batches of 12 six ounce cups of hot water into the bathtub over a period of two hours. It might only be three inches of water, but it's HOT WATER! Woo-hoo!

Life is good.
Only we have indoor plumbing. No hot water for a week has taken it's toll. No stove,no oven... thank god we have an industrial hot plate and a BBQ smoker. Oh, did I forget to mention our fridge took a dump?, thank god we have ice chests.
Primitive camping in a house, I'd like to see that on TLC.
Ann and I are no strangers to roughing it, but this situation is beginning to wear on me.
So, here's the plan:
Monday: Go get a fridge and maybe a stove, set up a plumber appt. to come find the gas leak (in the new meter no doubt).
Tuesday: Get an arborist or someone with a chainsaw to come remove the dead,dying hackberry and mimosa trees from our front yard (nothing to do with the current appliance situation, but part of the remodel plan in general).
Wednesday: Gut the kitchen... it's bulky item pick up week, time to do it.
Thursday: Who am I kidding? The above is enough already.
Yesterday I learned (or rather, confirmed) some things about Irene.
1. She doesn't like being snuck up on, a guy came up to the fence behind her and started talking in a loud voice and she went off, good thing the fence was there.
2. She's partial to male interaction, we did an exercise where the dog is sitting by your side and a stranger approaches,shakes your hand etc. and your dog is suppose to sit and behave. She did alright with this overall, but snapped at the female trainer on the initial pass.
3. She's very visually oriented, which apparently is not a trait common to terriers.
4. She has a good memory, when she saw the yellow lab from last week she was ready to fight.
5. I'm having more trouble with leash walking than she is. I need to loosen up.
All in all, it was a good day. She has the "sit" down, not mastered yet, but close.
She loves treats, but I forgot them, so most of her reinforcement today was pets and praise, she didn't seem to mind and did as well without treats as she did with them.

I spent the afternoon making copies of our live CD for some friends (poor bastards) and gave each one a unique label. We do this for our CD's, back in the stone age we did the same thing for cassettes, but they were hand drawn. gotta love technology. Here's a couple of examples:

Off to brunch to distribute the "gift" of "music" (poor bastards)

Friday, March 19, 2004

Simply stated and in the most general sense of the word, there are 2 distinct kinds of friends. The permutations are endless because we are such high level "complicated beings".
First and foremost are the old friends or longtime friends... People you have known for 20 plus years (remember this is written from a 44 year old point of view, calibrate for your age) that flow in and out of your life without missing a beat. It doesn't matter how much time passes (unless one of you dies or goes crazy and forgets you) you can pick up at any time, at any juncture with those warm feelings intact.
I am fortunate to have... oh, let me count... more than a few of this variety. I can conjure them in my head and smile. People that love me, warts and all, no matter what. And I too, love them, no matter what they do.
Then there are the fairweather friends...bear with me it gets complicated from here. These are friends that are opportunistic. You really like them,and in some cases have known them for a long time, but when you get together, you can't help but feeling there is a non friendship motive involved, connections, money, your current station in relation to what equates as cool to them.As Ann would say, "what's convenient for the friendship" at the time...Unfortunately, I know a lot of people like this.
Some of them I had originally classified as old friends, only to learn from experience that they were not up to snuff.
But you continue to associate with them, because you like them. You can't count on them like old friends but you want to. They shine you on to the point of "piss off", then they do something so friend like (usually when you're drunk) they draw you back in...maybe a better term is vampiric friends...users.
Let me say that if I decide that you are my friend, I have your back, no matter what.
This is not something ever expressed (unless we are doing shots of Jager) but if I consider you a friend...I got your back, all the time...I'm just like that, and you can count on it.
And at some point you have to make a I put up with this quasi-friend bullshit or call them on it, knowing full well that they are so inherently shallow in regards to what true friendship means that they will undoubtedly flee the realm of friendship and leave you hanging... and if they do, what have you really lost?
Do you spend what seems to be an eternity before you tell someone to piss off or do you endure a lackluster friendship for the sake of having a friend to begin with.
Just askin'.......
You're under arrest. For violating the noise ordinance.For performing without a permit.
Unloading your equipment in a no parking zone ( oh, wait, I forgot, they put in ONE loading zone a month or so ago...ONE ) or illegally parking in an alley behind the club you need to load out your equipment into.
The police patrolling 6th street have volunteered for this watch... why? Because they get free stick time. They stand around flexing their muscles and adjusting their cups just waiting for a chance to club or pepper spray a person into submission.
2AM-The witching hour...Pepper spray at the ready, austins finest encountered an aberration...The dreaded CONGA LINE.Some cops train all their lives and never see one,the stories of past conga lines echo through police break rooms whispered in secret...
In the end, in the wee hours of thursday morning, three members of Grammy winning band Ozomatley were in jail for leading a CONGA LINE out into the (blocked off to traffic) street in front of the club, as they looped around and headed back into the club, our crack riot squad nipped it in the bud Barney Fife style,only in riot gear and with pepper spray.
After the melee, the arrested subjects were marched single file (i.e;Conga line) to jail.
Live music capitol of the world indeed.
(gonz contributed to this entry)

Thursday, March 18, 2004

And so it begins, the city fills to the brim with "industry types" and "tourists" who clog our streets and hotels and restaurants with that sickening goo of pretention for a week.
Sure, the infusion of all that cash to our economy is nice, but is it worth it in the long run?
Back in the beginning of this thing called SXSW, it was designed to showcase local talent.
Now, it's populated by young up and comers like Joan Jett and Little Richard ( I don't know if you've heard of him yet...but you will ).
I heard a commercial on the radio the other day saying if you wanted to look your best for SXSW this year you should shop at the Texas Clothier, the top item they had to offer was a white.linen.suit. I pulled over and lost my lunch. The Texas Clothier, in San Gabriels Court...The narrative voice has that fake english accent that's like fingernails on a chalkboard, and I assure you, they do not sell the kind of denim and flannel that represents the spirit (long gone, I'm afraid) of this event.
We have gone from "the music capitol of the world" to "let's milk everyone on the idea that we are the musical capitol of the world... and high tech... oh, and what the hell, film". It's really kind of pathetic.
Don't misunderstand me, there's still plenty of good music here. Only most of the new acts are playing at "non SXSW venues" meaning these clubs aren't "sponsored" by the burgeoning machine that has become SXSW.
Once a year it comes, like a plague of locusts, and when it's over Austin feels a little less like it did since the last one.
I think that's sad.
I miss the "civilizing effects of hot water"
I don't remember the brand of on-demand hot water heater that was represented in this TV commercial, but I do remember that phrase. It probably stuck in my head because of all the camping I've done in my lifetime. Enduring a cold shower when camping is one thing, but enduring it at home in the morning definitely puts me in a mood that could easily be described as uncivilized. I was grumpy all day and my boss kept asking me if I was okay; that's not my usual nature. Unfortunately I think we are going to be stuck with this situation for a while. The gas man was out at our house yesterday to replace our ancient gas meter with a new one. In the process he did a pressure test and determined there was a leak on our side of things. They will not turn the gas back on until we fix it. To fix it, we need to pull a permit and/or call a plumber. We need do this anyway for our remodel so it makes sense to just fix the leak as part of the remodel except for the fact that our remodel guy isn't going to be back in town until Sunday and we have no idea when he'll be able to start on the project. At this rate we could be without hot water for a very long time. Rob can shower at work in the mornings, but I don't have that option. We don't have hot water where I work and even if we did, there's no shower or bathtub. I'm seriously considering putting one of our metal stock ponds up on cinderblocks so I can build a fire underneath it to have a hot bath, but the thought of cleaning it out well enough to eventually bathe in it seems rather daunting. Maybe I'll just rent a motel room twice a week.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Have you seen this jack ass? Have you seen the supremely funny Dave Chappell make fun of Lil' John?
Trust's hilarious either way.
We at work have taken to this Lil' John and the "WHA-TT"??? and the "OOOKAYYYYYY"! And the shop is full of Lil''s rib achingly funny... we don't know why.
Maybe it's the ambient chlorine gas.
I present to you Lil' John:

This nigga has the shiznet!
Until.... Lil' Rob crunks th' crib bee-otch!!!!!

YO-YO! I'm a Tommy Smothers-motherfucker! Yo! WHATTTTTT?!

Some of us are right down the middle. That would be me. I like a good lyric, a song has to say something to me for me to really appreciate it. Then there are the songs that are lyrically uh, uniquely personal and open to interpretation. Alternately called "That persons crazy shit".
My favorite, hands down (at this moment) is Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees":

Her green plastic watering can- for her fake chinese rubber plant- in the fake plastic earth- that she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plans to get rid of itself
It wears her out
She lives with a broken man- a cracked polystyrene man- who just crumbles and burns
He used to do surgery for girls in the eighties- But gravity always wins- and it wears him out
She looks like the real thing- She tastes like the real thing- my fake plastic love
But I can't help the feeling
I could blow through the ceiling
If I just turn and run- and it wears me out.
If I could be who you wanted all the time.

What? It's nonsense, but not really, the way it's delivered, the music and the melody turn this word salad into one of the most heartfelt moving songs I've ever heard.

What song moves you and why?
I'm just askin'.
ee cummings
You are ee cummings! An experimental grammatical
poet, ee cummings was surprisingly boring as an
actual person. He wrote on topics of sex and
war, and pioneered a new almost concretist
style of avant-garde poetry which makes very
little sense to the uninitiated.

Which famous poet are you? (pictures and many outcomes)
brought to you by Quizilla

How can sex and war be boring????
Or the best laid plans...or... fucking shite.
Dogs had me up at 7 am. Waiting for the gas man to come round to turn on our gas that got turned off yesterday (long story). Gas man shows up and decides to replace the meter (the existing meter had been chugging along since 1970 ) after replacing it, we have a gas leak.... somewhere. So, I have to call a plumber in to pressure test and find the leak (how much do you want to bet it's at THE FUCKING NEW METER?).
So, no gas = no hot water = it's gonna get dusky around here and soon.
I didn't have to bother with the wimp out phone call to my buddy, he wimped on me.... seems he's stuck at the coast (poor guy) and won't be back until sunday night.
No matter, I have a gas leak to deal with before any of the PLANNED remodel takes place. Plus, I had to go see my doctor this morning, it seems that they have discovered a new way to soak you for money. I tried to refill/renew my scripts and was told I had to make an appointment to do this...what?
The good news: I am maintaining my weight despite my slacking on the exercise and my blood pressure is fine (a miracle considering the gas debacle this morning).
The bad news: it cost me 30.00 to get my scripts renewed...fuck you Humana insurance...really... hard... and no dinner first.
So, relieved of responsibility, I stopped cleaning the house (living room looks great) and went to lunch. At Maudies, I had to go there anyway, to drop off some eye ointment for one of my friends whose turtle has an eye infection. Mission accomplished.
Good lunch too.
Back to the house, a bit more cleaning and it's time for a cocktail. Maybe a nap :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I was searching my hard drive for images the other night and found something that made me smile. Hopefully, it will make you smile too. We were doing our version of the onion at the time... so enamoured by the real McCoy, we were compelled to copy it.
This column was called "Ask a stoned guy with a skink on his head"

Dear stoned guy with a skink on his head,
My wife and I have been married for less than a year, last week her brothers house burned down, leaving him and his family temporarily homeless. My wife has invited her brother and his family to stay with us. He has a wife and six children from 6 mo. to 8 years. I hate kids, I hate his wife, and he smells like bean lard. What should I do?
Sign me,
Doesn't like bean lard.

Dear Bone Yard,
Wow, dude, BUMMER, serious bummer. Wanna burn one? Hey dude! Check it out! Totally! Can you see this skink on my head? He totally ROCKS man! He's been up there for like an hour dude. They like being high........hey....WOWWWWWW, what a coincidence! Later!

And so it went....
Needless to say,the onion is still around :)

Monday, March 15, 2004

I called the dude that has done the previous remodeling here and set up a wed. evening meet to figure out what walls can be knocked and what walls are load bearing. So, without the lame ass excuse to cancel phone call I am somewhat committed to my impending day off to be productive in nature.
I did this on purpose and with a purpose.
Left to my own devices, wednesday would pan out something like this:
Sleep in (7:30am, if the dogs allow it).
Coffee,blog/websurf til 10 or 11am, shower, make rocks no salt.
Blog-surf some more, have 2 more RNS and maybe smoke a bit.
Somewhere around 1:30 go to the front of the house and watch The Thin Red line or maybe Natural Born Killers. 2 more RNS.
Realize I am sick of these movies and move on to the CD player, where I become the most morose DJ.EVER. Run through the gamut of songs that bum me out (in a good way) play some air guitar,sing along and have yet another RNS.
Somewhere around 4pm realize I am toast, but I am HUNGRY toast.
Pick out appropriate "travellin' CD" ( These days it would have to be the Cure, most likely) and go to maudies.
Hang out and eat, have a couple more, go home.
Visit with Ann and do the recall/sit thing with Irene.
Crashed by 9:30pm.
Hey, I did the dog stuff, OK?! No, not OK.
So, I set myself up.
I have to focus on this remodel, even in slo-mo.
There, I set myself up again.
See how it works?

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I made reference to the remodel earlier. Part of that is knocking out a wall. The wall separating this office from the newly vacated middle bedroom. The plan is to have a master bedroom/sitting room divided by french doors (above mentioned knocking).
I like the idea of a semi-demolition on a wednesday. However, to commit the act I have to move 2 bookcases full of books out of the way on the middle bedroom side and a half stack, a drum kit and a giant,currently dead in the water, printer in this here office. I'm not sure where the guitars went, but I'm fairly certain they will turn up at the most inopportune time. We have a major clutter problem when guitars are considered clutter.
Maybe I'll just clean the livingroom instead and watch movies.
Oh yeah, I could spend the time working with Irene.
Maudies... yeah...
Tear down the wall. That's it.
Care to wager on what actually happens?
I checked the extended forecast and lo and behold, mid 70's during the day, mid 50's at night! The turtles are back outside in their spacious pens...all 29 of them. We have our middle bedroom back, the sole occupant being Sid, a very nasty tempered blue tongue skink.
Let the remodel begin!

Saturday, March 13, 2004

I made it without self mutilating....Thank you Robert Smith, for codifying my grief.
You bastard, how did you know?
I'm halfway through disc 3 of 4...god help me, where's the mascara?
The guy teaching this class is a good friend of mine, from back in the psychic wars. In fact, I was involved in his training at the center we worked at. He's now a masters level psychologist... looking to train dogs for a living. I'm a parts manager... looking to train maintenance men.
That should tell you something about what we do/did... anyway....
Since we have the same background career wise, it's easy for us to separate our friendship from the matter at hand, in this case- Irene.
That still doesn't explain this exchange:
TRAINER: "Name some parasites common in dogs".
ME: "Fleas, ticks, and....roundworms".
TRAINER: " Can you name some more"? "Some more INTERNAL parasites" ?
ME: " Ring worms, hook worms, heart worms, Parvo-things...there's lot's...".
TRAINER: - Look of approval-
ME: - Look of "what the fu...."?-
Turns out my knowledge of parasites is relative to our final exam.
? Really... ?
I got the Cure's latest box set today "Join the dots", and, so far, there's only one song I haven't heard. Of course, I'm only 7 songs into 70. 70! God Damn...that's alot of angst.
Today my dog Irene and I went to our first good citizen class. As you already know, I'm not a morning person and though I get up early on the weekends I'm usually parked right here in my boxers til 10 or 11am.
Irene is most definitely my dog...there are no issues clouding that. And I am her human.
We are tight, and there in, I think is part of the problem.
So, here we are at 9am, we have to function, we have to
She is dog aggressive...meaning she would like to kick ass if given the opportunity. But what is the motivation? Is she merely protecting me,or am I giving her non-verbal cues to expect and therefore display aggression?
Ah, the mystery unfolds. My tension on the leash, apparently telegraphs impending hostility. Wow, who'd a thunk it? There were fleeting smoky references to other things I could do differently to be dealt with at another time.
Irene couldn't wait to get in the truck and bail. I, on the other hand wanted to work some more but I couldn't deny the relief of driving away... until next time.
This is a new and different challenge to learn for both of us.
I can dig that.
He said it for me
Billy writes:
each night I have returned home very tired, I've tried to blog, I've tried to catch up on your blogs but I've been exhausted...last night I was in bed at 7.45pm...each night I have slept but not mind has been full of ideas, worries, fears...

That accurately describes my own experience with the new job. It's not the physical job duties that wear me out, but I've found that the switch from a relatively solitary existence to days of non-stop social interaction is exhausting. I probably have more interaction with people in one day on the job than I had during the entire year I was unemployed. I'd like to say more, but I have to run off to work and there's the other problem - finding the time to blog in this new alien schedule of mine. Some days I go in early, some days I work late, some weekends I work, some weekends I don't. I like the flexible schedule, but it's a bit harder to figure out when I'm going to have time to do the laundry and pay the bills that it would be if I had a straight 8-5 gig.

Friday, March 12, 2004

O.K., Here goes,attempt # 3...hey Blogger- Blow me.
My Mom would of been 79 today.She was born and raised in Durham, England. A daughter in a family of miners. She is a decorated war hero for her service as a nurse in England during WWII. She was a 4 ft. 11 in. fireball. Opinionated, passionate, loyal..she instilled in me a moral compass that kept me from becoming a complete shit.
Cancer kicked her ass in '92... but it took a year and a half. My mom was a badass...I miss her more than I could ever type words about it.
Happy birthday mom...wish you were here.

I love it........

Thursday, March 11, 2004

From Burnt-fuse....

The churchsign generator! wow....

Thanks Jane:)

We're having a chlorine tablet sale where I work with ridiculous savings on 100, 200 or 400 pound purchases. The more you buy the better the savings. Or, to make it more personal, the more you buy the more 25lb buckets we get to slog around the warehouse and slog around your property. The warehouse manager is getting the brunt of this,but I have moved a fair amount of skids this week and I'm glad the sale is over tomorrow.
I just hope next months special isn't 100lb. barrels of granular, but knowing my luck.


The republicans are aghast that Kerry would dare speak the truth about what a bunch of assholes they are... truth does hurt, I guess. Not that the dems are much higher on the rectal evolutionary scale, but I seem to recall during the last election the republican candidates were caught calling a reporter an asshole after a televised press conference. This is a fine example of opinion vs. fact. Bunnypants and Golem had an opinion, Kerry stated a fact supported by hard evidence. God, I hate our political process.


The high court in Colorado ruled that Kobe Bryant's accuser has to testify about her sexual history. OK...but tell me, what exactly does that have to do with the charge? That he raped her? I know I made some comments here awhile back about penis size and her getting over it, but I was trying to be sarcastic/funny.
If the judicial system worked like it was suppose to this wouldn't be an issue. If americans weren't so victorian and judgmental about sexual issues / behavior this wouldn't be an issue. I don't care how many prosecution objections are sustained, once the jury ( a Colorado jury, home to that famous organization Poke us in the Fanny-I mean Focus on the Family) hears about what a slut she is it's a done deal.
It makes no difference really,in the case of rape, if you're chaste, loose, or wide open.
I feel sorry for her and hope that she isn't/wasn't that active and this shit backfires.
If he raped her- lock his ass up, if he didn't hopefully they learned a valuable life lesson.
For Kobe, don't stray on your incredibly hot wife (not that that's an issue anymore, once this circus leaves town it's on to divorce court).
For the girl, don't be fooled/wooed by "celebrities", they can be assholes just like anyone else.


Madrid...Damn. I saw a poll today at CNN asking if we were prepared to thwart an attack like this. Hands down, twice as many said no that said yes... I take this as a sign that Bunnypants is really in trouble...let me qualify: I pray this is a sign that Bunnypants is a one term loser.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Alarm goes off...Meep-Meep-Meep!- Ann moves in slow motion over two dogs and me to hit the snooze bar.It's a quarter to 5...A.M.! AAAAAAKKKK!
10 minutes later the alarm goes off again...braced by the annoyance crawl over #1 caused, I am poised to strike.Doe Ann crawl over us again?No.She elbows me and mutters "murph-smlurgggh-bishhhtoway-go-snooze-mursh-kawwwwwwww".I dutifully sit up and navigate Theo (who is in between me and the beloved snooze bar) who gives me a really disgusted look but doesn't move,to hit the zen like snooze bar. This is repeated every 10 minutes for almost an HOUR or whatever adds up to 6:15am, when I deliver the following ultimatum: "Hey! (shaking comatose Ann vigorously) It's 6:15! Are you gonna get up or should I get in the shower ahead of you? I have to leave here in like...30 fucking minutes (emphasis on fucking)". Ann says "go ahead". I ask Ann why the alarm was set for uber-early and she says "Hemmmpfff-scwalllll...It was already...shhnurrffff...setset...set....moorurfffffffffff".
Ann was dreaming she was already at work...
That's my girl.
Seriously,you could.
Hot Bath.
I have carpal BODY.

I have learned lots in my time in this world, and for some some reason feel the need to burden you with some of them. You may find them helpful, or annoying... the choice is yours.

1.Girls that twirl their hair are 98.9 % guaranteed to be crazy.
2.Women that twirl their hair are 110% guaranteed to be crazy.
3.Women who twirl their hair and chew on the ends of the hair they are twirling should be euthanized, or banished to sapphos island.
4.If a dog has it's head down, it's probably going to bite you.
5.If you're in a heated confrontation with someone, watch the HANDS. They telegraph motive better than looking someone in the eye.
6.Homeless people smell funny because they're homeless... they can't help it what with the plumbing shortfalls associated with being homeless.
7.If it's worthwhile it is either a pain in the ass or emotionally draining, depending on the situation.
8.If you drink alot and then smoke dope you will fall asleep at the corner of 6th and brazos while waiting for a cab while your friends wonder where you went.
9.Or throw up on your friends. (8 and 9 are third person accounts I have observed and not actually experienced).
10. The drunker you are, the better we sound. This goes for us as a band, and for shows I have been to...crowd wise, this appears to be the norm... so... go on LATE to make the best impression.

OK...that's enough...for now.
A bit o' blogging
I'm home at a decent hour tonight because they chased me out of the office today at 5:00 pm with a "It's not that we don't like you, but GO HOME; you've been here ten hours!" Rob and I met at Maudies after work for dinner and drinks. We ended up skipping the dinner part because we both had a late lunch and just couldn't work up an appetite, but we had a nice couple of hours of conversation. Rob pointed out that I'm doing with this job what I do with every job and that's to try and learn everything I can in the shortest amount of time while I try to do the best job I can possibly do and if it means going way above and beyond the "call of duty", then so be it. It's just the way I'm wired and I can't seem to work any other way. But I just realized tonight that everyone else that works with me is the same way. This is so cool. I think the square peg that I am might have finally found the square hole.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Hit the nail on the head

I don't want a toaster.
Furnulum pani nolo.
"I don't want a toaster."
Generally, things (like this quiz) tend to tick you
off. You have contemplated doing grievous
bodily harm to door-to-door salesmen.

Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I have, in fact, often contemplated doing grievous bodily harm to door-to-door salesmen. And telemarketers. And email spammers. And junk mail senders. Leave me alone, I don't want your widgets or business opportunities. And I don't want a toaster either.
Just checking in
Here's a quote from an email I just sent a friend who was wondering why they hadn't heard from me...

"As for my day, well let's just say that it's the first time that I can ever remember having a shot of whiskey first thing after walking in the door from work."

Don't take this wrong folks, I still love my job. It's just that there's so much to do and I have a really hard time walking away when things are still left undone. I worked four hours more than I should have today and still left feeling like I'd barely scratched the surface. The shot of whiskey was a vain attempt to stop my brain from thinking about all the things I didn't have time to do and jump-start me into a "relaxing night at home". Obviously, it didn't work since here I am blogging about work. Argh. Oh well, it did help my sore throat and cough. Now I'm off to venture out in the backyard and take the clothes off the line so I have something to wear to work tomorrow. Hmmm... doing this in the dark after a shot of whiskey and a few beers might not be such a good idea. Maybe I'll just borrow a pair of Rob's jeans instead.
Now that Ann is working again, our dogs spend more time alone than they have in a coupla years. Between Ann's lay off and mine our babies got really spoiled...there was always someone here.It's different now...they don't like it.
I pull into the driveway and get out of the car and set the alarm with a distinctive beep and the caterwauling commences...Barks and howls and whines and more barking. If I'm the first one home I have the luxury of letting them out of their rooms one at a order of course. Theo first...actually Irene first (as far as the male thing goes Theo is the alpha,but when you get down to it, Irene is the queen bee,she knows it and so do the boys) then Theo, then sullivan. Let the love fest begin! Hopping,barking, waggy tails, and the sniffing..."where have you been exactly, and what have you been up to"?. Like I've been up for 3 to 5 and just got released.I love our dogs, they are not dogs really, they are family. Ann has it worse, working at a dog place, coming home smelling like -gasp- OTHER dogs...she's straying!
Our dogs are a hoot and I love them.
Tres Negros Peros!!!aiyeeeeeee!

Monday, March 08, 2004

I finally took this thing...nicked it from Billy.

If you only knew the power of the dark side.
Postatem obscuri lateris nescitis.
"You do not know the power of the Dark
Side." There are two possibilities: you
are a Star Wars geek, or you are unreasoningly

Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Unreasoningly scary huh? I have been told off and on throughout my life that I am this.
Couched in the term "intimidating" as in looking. Back in the psychic wars, teams I worked with were afraid to confront me for this reason. When they would finally "gang up" on me for being "intimidating" (strength in numbers I guess), they would learn that affect does not always telegraph actions. Then there would be a period of testing those waters and then it was all good.
These supposed experts in the field were hung up on appearance. This was happening to me before I went all tattoo crazy...go figure.
Now I can throw a hard look when I need to, and that's mostly when I feel threatened.
I don't like to fight. I spent many years "fighting" in the hospitals I worked in, there's no attraction to violence like that for me, never has been. So if I can puff up like a horny toad and get out of a situation, fine. Just call me Sir Robin.
I know how to fight... I've had the best training the mental health field has to offer. If you pushed me into a corner that would be your mistake. You would find yourself folded up like a pretzel on the floor, and while I tried to "process" with you one of your friends would bust a bottle on my head. Which is why I prefer the horny toad approach.
But what I'm really trying to get at here is appearances. I know WHAT I look like to most people. I get 2 distinct reactions, that sneaky staring/whispering shit and up front curiosity questions. Of these, I like the latter. There are plenty of folks in Austin that look like I do, and when we cross paths there is this knowing nod and grin, subtle to be sure,but it's there.
I am fascinated by people of all kinds...people in disney clothes get the same look from me as I get from them. And that look for me means wondering why, what's the attraction to having a giant Tweety bird on your sweatshirt? No judgment,just wonder.
My favorite part about cleaning pools was getting to know the customers, and them getting to know me. A bridge of sorts, I learned they may be affluent but were just people after all, and they learned that I could speak in complete sentences and I wasn't there to rape and pillage. It was a fun social evolution for both sides.
I was the tattooed pool cleaning version of that book "Black like me" (ok the analogy is weak, but you get the point?).
Growing up in the south and specifically, Texas when I did made me different from the get go. Longhaired people in Texas in the seventies were frequently the victims of rednecks, cops,redneck cops and coming up like that gave me 2 things, a fuck you attitude toward intolerance, an increased tolerance/acceptance of others (even the rednecks) and the ability to clear 4 strand barbwire fences and disappear into the woods when a truckload of rednecks stopped to kick my ass while I was hitching home after school. (ok, 3 things).
It also pointed me in the direction of difference. I had a fierce desire to look however I wanted and be accepted for who I was. To a large degree, I have been successful at that endeavor. But I still scared my girlfriends parents :)
Somebody was wondering if they were the only one that left comments here, no you aren't the only one, but if there was a contest held tonight you would win... hands down.
I'm not sure why that is, but I have theories.
1. We suck as writers.
2. We don't write about comment worthy things that often in the general sense of the word.
3. Most people are like me, and while you might comment in your head a lot, you rarely take the time to actually post them unless you have a reciprocal commenting thing going on with another blog.
4. We haven't been around a year yet, and though we are linked to several blogs (thanks!) our presence is still small.
5. We aren't from Canada or England (just kidding! There are many days I wish we were someplace else:))
We have evolved over this almost year, and what started out to be a current events (sort of) themed deal has morphed into a glimpse into our lives together and individually. I don't know what motivates Ann these days, she's been so busy with her job she doesn't get a chance to post as often as she likes, what motivates me? I like it.
There's something vaguely therapeutic about it and spoken wordish to boot.
Things will pick up, or not comments-wise. We appreciate and invite comment and critique but we don't live or die by it. That's not to say we want anybody to stop!

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Ozzfest winds it satanic way through these parts in august. It's at the Verizon center in San Antonio, about an hour down the road from here. The GM wants to go, he wants me to go with him. We should buy tickets now he says. It's March! Buy tickets now?
I want to go, but every fiber of my being says not to.
The last big outdoor festival I saw was a Smashing Pumpkins tour with Blind Melon and a bunch of other bands I don't remember. This is what I remember: By the time we got in the third band was playing, if you had to use the port-o-lets count on at least 45 minutes in line, Lots and lots of the thing I hate most in the world, teenagers. Someone managed to hit Billy Pumpkin with a shoe. Some guy asked me if I was in Viet Nam...(this happens a lot). It was less than memorable.
Ozzfest...2004. FOUR! Do I really need to see this? I've seen the principal bands many times, back when they were in their 20's and I was a teenager. I should leave the memories unmolested. But the possibility of seeing Ozzy come out in his traditional outfit driving a hospital walker with tennis balls on the front two legs is too much to resist.Watching the other 3 guys in Judas Priest pretend Rob Halford isn't gay or maybe Rob's between song banter about gay marriage... I can't pass that up. You wouldn't believe how that gay agenda hits it at a heavy metal event!
Wow...Superjoint Ritual's gonna be there! Who's Superjoint? Easy equation: Pantera = good band + singers heavy metal "super group" " Down " = mediocre band x massive substance abuse = overinflated ego - talent + alienating other band members = need a new band + people who buy into my shit = Superjoint ritual.
I could do without that.
Slipknot? I haven't seen slipknot since their spot in that halloween party episode of Scooby Doo.
Those masks are mighty scary!
The more I think about it, the better it sounds. Life becomes parody.

My trip down memory lane
Ah, the era of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. I smoked a lot of pot when I was in ninth grade. It was cheap, easy to get and a new experience. And fun for awhile, but I got tired of having my brain turn to mush and I could count on one hand the number of times that I've smoked pot since 1973. I never did acid because I saw too many people freak out on that stuff and knew a few people that ended up in the state hospital because they took STP that was sold as LSD. Not worth the risk. As for 'shrooms, I can't stand to puke and there's no high worth that side effect in my mind, so I never tried those either. I stuck to beer, tequila and whiskey. The tried and true. I've never been known as a risk-taker. Unconventional at times, yes. Daring, no. Sex wasn't daring in those times. HIV hadn't reared it's ugly head, I didn't have to worry about getting pregnant since I was on the pill and I was fairly picky about my partners so I never had to endure an embarrassing STD moment like Rob. And there's something special about those awkward fumbling moments of adolescent sex when you think you're in love (but it's really just hormones.) I don't regret any of them. I did have one bad experience when a guy tried to rape me, but I punched him in the face and kneed him in the nuts and was able to walk away while he lay screaming on the ground. I found out later that I broke his nose, hah! But for the most part, guys didn't push for sex and I never felt like I had to "put out" if someone took me to a concert. If the chemistry was right, I might go for a roll in the hay, but otherwise it was just a "see ya later" after the show. No big deal. In that decade, in my particular cultural setting, sex was just a natural thing that happened if it happened.

This decade started out with a failed attempt at college. I was living at home with parents who expected me home for dinner at 5:30 every night. These were the same people who gave me a "be home by dawn" curfew as a teenager, but apparently going to college turned me back into a first grader in their minds. It was too weird so I dropped out and went to trade school to get an Electronics Technician certificate. No problem with the curriculum since I'd been born into a family of ham radio operators and already knew half the stuff they were teaching. I got a job right out of trade school, but then the Austin bust of the early '80s hit and I got laid off with no electronics jobs in sight. I went back to office work and landed in Human Resources where I would remain for the next 15 years. I also got married, built a race car and settled into what I thought would be my life for the rest of time. Hah!

This decade started out pretty ugly. My husband at the time had landed a job at the same place I worked and decided to have an affair with the AP clerk there. I waited two years for him to straighten up his act (I'm a very patient person) and finally decided I'd had enough and kicked him out. Probably one of the funniest moments of my life was when he confronted me after I started hanging out with Rob and said to me, "How DARE you date someone that works at the same place we do." Now the AP clerk he'd been fucking for over two years was a woman that I had to work with on a DAILY basis. His only contact with Rob was the occasional passing on the sidewalk. What a clueless idiot! And then I realized I was still legally married to this man. Ack. I couldn't file the divorce papers fast enough after that. Which was just as well because as it turned out my divorce didn't get finalized until June and Rob and I married in July. Nothing like cutting things close, eh?

Neither Rob nor I were looking for serious relationship when we hooked up. I was still legally married at the time and the last thing I wanted was a boyfriend. He had been recently burned as well and neither one of us were feeling the "rebound urge" at the time. But sparks had flown in years before and when we reconnected it just felt right. Things fell into place and the best description I can come up with is that it was magical. Or mystical. Or spiritual. Or all three. It was like a romance novel come to life. I lack the words to adequately describe it. Things have not always been roses and champagne and caviar over the last ten years and we've been through some rough times between his son's teenage years, my dad's health problems, job lay-offs and just the normal wear and tear of modern life. We've weathered this well and it turns out that we are very good at the everyday stuff. Maybe that's what matters over the long run.
The late 80's- early 90's were filled with illness and death and a crazy bitch I lived with for 8 years, who had her fair share of illness and death in her family. Parents died, pets died. It was beginning to look like a dark decade. Fuck was dark.
Reality was the beast and we avoided the beast the only way we And party we did, until we hated each other. I think we probably hated each other all along, but the HTML was good, go figure.
A party can only absorb so much illness and death before it's over, and the party was over in Oct. '93.
One conversation stands out in my head. I had spent the day digging a grave for my dog Buddy, who was at my vets office suffering from hip dysplasia and arthritis and just old age... the halloween freeze that year got him. Buddy and I had been together for 12 years. My vet gave buddy the shot with his head in my lap, he died, I lost my shit.
I drove home with his head in my lap, crying like a baby. I carried him out back and buried him with his bowls and favorite toys. I went in the house and got a beer.
Me and the crazy bitch sat across from each other at the bar, it went like this:
Crazy Bitch: "Maybe I should stay". (we had broken up 3 weeks earlier, her brother was flying in the next day to help move her home).
Me: "No, That's the thing with us...we're good in a crisis but we suck at the everyday".
"You need to go home, I'll get through this buddy thing".
We stared at each other and knew the truth... The next day she was gone.
Good riddance.
I had known Ann for years, since the early 80's. There was always a spark, but we were otherwise comitted and couldn't act on any spark until the christmas party of '93.
Relieved of our burdens, we finally hooked up and almost 10 years later, here we are.
My girl.
So here I am... complete...?

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Printer crisis solved
We've had an on-going printer crisis around here which came to a head last weekend when Rob wanted to burn a CD for someone. Now you may ask, what in the hell does burning a CD have to do with printers, but you see, Rob must put a nice printed label on the CD and make a jacket for it and that requires a printer. We have a printer, a big expensive color laser printer that cost as much as a very nice used car. This printer never gives me any trouble, but always tortures Rob with paper jams and weird error messages. For some reason it hates Rob and the feeling is mutual. Rob's attempt to print a CD label last weekend caused the printer to run out of yellow toner. This toner cartridge costs 300 bucks a pop and while I had the money, it wasn't something I could run out and buy on a Saturday. I pulled out our old inkjet which hadn't been used in years and years, but the nozzles were hopelessly clogged after all that time so Rob had to wait while I ordered a new toner cartridge on Monday. I picked it up yesterday and installed it. Rob attempted to print the CD jacket last night and this caused such a major paper jam that the fuser unit now has to be replaced. It was due for replacement anyway, but the part is on backorder and won't ship until "date to be determined". This printer obviously has it out for Rob so I decided to solve this once and for all and picked him up a cheap inkjet with a built in flat-bed scanner today. I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone since our existing scanner also hates Rob, but I had no way of knowing for certain if this new piece of equipment would be capable of having a harmonious relationship with my husband. It appears to have worked out. Whew.
The 80's here were, for punk rock, the golden years. The Big Boys, The Dicks, Butthole Surfers, The Skunks, The list goes on. It was the warriors equivilent to the Dillo scene played out in my youth.
In the early 80's I looked like this(thats me on the left):

Punk rock, yet so very VERY fey looking (it must've been the Smiths and the Cure)

It was all punk, all the time. We were still smoking but weed, was now $25 to $45 a quarter ounce. It was during this period that speed became popular in our circles. Crank... of the snorting variety. There was a brief reprise of acid as well. Mushrooms were a constant. In fact, I remember a time when I had eaten too many shrooms and had to go to dinner at this crazy ladies house...she was batshit speed addled crazy, and there I was at the dinner table, listening to her hold her manic court. I finally had to excuse myself to the bathroom, where I discovered butterflies...pinned down in frames covering all available wall space. Beautiful specimens... which I stared at for god knows how long sweating the mushroom toxins out of my forehead.
I missed dinner, but I didn't miss the probably 5000 times crazy lady suggested I eat a banana after they coaxed me out of the bathroom. The potassium would, apparently help bring me down. I didn't want to come down, I wanted to go home.
And so it went...the girl I was going out with at the time became my wife and in short order we:
Moved in together, got married, and had a kid.
So, here I am, it's 1985, I'm in a band,I'm married and I have a kid.Things changed.
I embraced fatherhood, and through it I got back in touch with my roots.
There was more Neil Young, more blues, and I decided to not cut my hair or shave. I had decided it was '75 again.
For the rest of the 80's I looked like this:

There was a period of balance until complications of post partum and substance abuse threw it all in the air...
There was a seperation, a diversion, a divorce, chaos and the final curtain on my misspent youth.
But I was only in a coma.
It was J-Rod's one year anniversary at our company so it was on.After we worked out the scheduling it was set. Today... noon... BW3.
J-Rod, me, the GM, the owner, one of the techs and one of the salesmen hooked up at the wing joint to throw down.
112 wings, several beers and some mini corndogs later it was time for a nap.
Our owner caught the tab... he's cool like that.
On my way in,this homeless guy hit me up for spare change, he was still hanging out at the same place when I left with a dozen more or less left over wings in a to go bag. The group had decided I should give them to the homeless guy, so I did. Our exchange went like this:
Homeless guy: "hey man, spare change"?
Me: "No, you asked me that earlier, I've got some wings here, want 'em"?
HG: "Hell yeah".
Me: "knock yourself out".
I mosied on down the street towards my car and my phone rang... I figured it was Ann but it was the GM, still at BW3 saying "dude,that homeless guy is totally chowing on those wings"! "I guess we did a good thing".
Yes, we did.
Happy one year's to some more.

(Boring autobiographical rambling about me and weed resumes)

Friday, March 05, 2004

The end of the 70's for me in a nutshell, was, Get married at 18... support her through college at UT...move to Colorado with her... get dumped when no longer useful.
However, the move to Colorado was good. I met some dear friends that have endured the years and the miles and for that I am thankful.
When I left Austin for Colorado Springs, the only thing available was Hashish. I traded an impact wrench for 4 oz. of lebanese. Hey,this is late 70's Austin. I didn't know anybody in Colorado outside of my wifes family and they sure weren't a potential connection. I wanted some back up.
It didn't take me long to hook up, about 4 months I think it was.
This is me in the early 80's after my brush with urban cowboyism . If you want to see a cowboy, ask.

That's me on the right...we were groomsman at a friends wedding that took place in my backyard, hence the uniforms. Notice how the clogs I'm wearing offset the 45 I'm holding...
Anyway, things were different, instead of buying a bag of weed, you bought a bud folded in foil. A really big bud. We called it the "GOO" or more affectionately "TV weed".
I once watched an entire hockey game with these guys smoking the goo, when it was over no one could tell you who played who or who won, but, we enjoyed ourselves.
Ah,the Goo.
Finally, homesickness got the better of me and I came home to Austin. But not before I had the chance to live in a shotgun cabin in Manitou Springs for a few months, while it was '80-'81 in the springs, it was still '75 in Manitou. I loved it there, but the call of home eventually won out and I returned to Tex-Ass (as my Col. friends called it) and fell headfirst into the '80's that was Austin Texas.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I smoked my first joint behind the gym at my school during a night football game in 1971.
I was 12 years old, the guy who had the joint was probably 16 and a tried and true hair farmer. I had just transferred to this school from one that was decidedly more redneck, I mean they had a dress code. I had died and gone to heaven. This school had no dress code, and they smoked weed here too! Further proof that repression is not a good thing.
It was also around this time that my lifer dad retired and enrolled at UT on the GI bill. What with the marches at UT and the new school and just the tenor of the times, it's no wonder I became a pothead.
I smoked constantly until my junior year, when I decided to get serious about my education and smoked only on weekends.For the first month my teachers would regularly pull me out into the hall and ask what was wrong with me? Was I high? This still cracks me up.
Despite the bales of pot I've consumed in my life, I am cursed with a vivid, unrelenting memory.
Here is a recollection:
I was on the newspaper staff in my sophomore year and me and my friend Snowy got a pass to go to the gym to take pictures of girls volleyball practice...hell yeah!... The coaches hated us because we were filthy hippies, and as soon as they saw us in the sacred and hallowed gym they ran us off.Despite our signed pass.
With 45 minutes to kill and nothing to do, we decided to go to one of the spots in the creekbed behind the gym and get high. I had one of those waterproof match containers full of roach weed, and the spot we were going to had a gasmask pipe (a gasmask mouth piece,a length of garden hose and some brass plumbing fittings for the bowl stashed under a brush cedar.
This, by the way, is what I looked like back then:

The caption to this picture reads:
"Finding amusement in almost anything, Rob Clattenburg enjoys the outdoors".
Translation: "Rob is stoned out of his mind...the dirty hippy freak".
Anyway, back to the story...

The creekbed was narrow and deep, and our spot was in the middle of the creekbed on a corner,you had a steep 25ft. climb out.
So I'm hitting the pipe and all of a sudden I hear "Don't move!". I look to my left, it's Coach Stratton at the top of one escape route. I ditch the pipe and turn to my right and there's Mr. Grimes blocking my escape with a rather sympathetic face on. He was my history teacher (history of the minorities) who gave me a "B" on a paper I wrote about the hells angels after convincing him the angels, in a social sense at least, were indeed a minority.
What was this guy doing here? Mr.Grimes!? You're COOL, why are you tryin' to bust me? Politics,it turns out.
Anyway,were trapped, busted. They escort us to the coaches office and separate us.Snowy gets locked in the bathroom -"listen for a flush!" admonishes coach Wallace (he even looked like George Wallace...the racist governor).Keeping us separated so we couldn't "get our story straight".
Then, they called the sheriff. In the meantime, coach Stratton returned from his investigation of the "crime scene"... with a joint! Now, if you recall,I only had roachweed, and for the record,Snowy never had any pot...ever. Where did this joint come from? A plant? Another visitor to the spot dropped it? Who knows...
They let me call my dad and the conversation went something like this:
Me: Hi dad? Yeah...I got busted for pot at school today..."
Dad: HaHa-Very funny Rob... CLICK.
He hung up!!! They let me call him back after I explained the great tradition of practical jokes in our family.....
Me: Dad! I'm serious! There's a Travis County Sheriff here...They REALLY busted me.
Dad: Your'e lucky your mom's in england... I'm on my way.
And my dad bailed me out...again (did I mention I miss him?)
I took the rap for the pot, Snowy's parents would've killed him otherwise, and got 3 weeks....suspension but allowed to do my work at home.
Snowy got one week.
I graduated high school early, and then it was the eighties.....

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Let's see how long it takes to generate the 100 things I don't like list.
My computer says it's wait!:13
3.The rest of those asshats in the white house, may they burn in hell.
4.brussel sprouts.
7.Kids...especially the genus retaurantus buzzus killus
9.People who automatically think that someone who tells an etnic joke are racist.
10.Hannity and Colmes.
12.Martha Stewart... I don't think she's guilty of anything except being a pretentious vodka swilling bitch.
13.Fox News.
14. The French, because I'm supposed to, just kidding.
16.Rush Limbaugh and everything his sorry junky hypocrite ass stands for.
17. Polka music (unless I'm drunk)
18.Contemporary country music (especially when I'm drunk).
19.Organized religion (too political)
20.Organized politics (too religious)
21.Commercial radio
22.Sgt. Sam Cox (R.Nazi) talk host on the morning show I listen too...what a redneck.
23.Smarmy people.
24.Loud people.
25.Law enforcement by and large, I have met a few cool cops in my time.
26.The Bay City Rollers.
27.That male dancer/singer in that band that did "things that make you go hummmm"
28.Mario Peebles (see #27)
30.Morning traffic.
31.Morning female traffic.
32.Red lights.
33. People that Stare.
34.People that stare and whisper.
35.People that are so pathetic,what the fuck are they doing staring and whispering at/about me?.
36.Investing so much energy in #35.
37.Eightball and a hooker syndrome.
38.That I even know what #37 is.
39.Crowded restaurants.
40.Poor service.
42.Pit Bulls
43.Collections people...(they are fun to torment)
44.Malicious liars ( I can tolerate the bending of the truth as long as people don't get hurt) . Example: "Did you plug up the toilet"? "Nope,not me".
45.Prick teasers ( I haven't experienced this for years, but I remember)
46.City Mass Transit. Giant mobile speed bumps who can all piss off.
48.The edible Spam.
49.The edible Spam you get in your Email.
50.Good looking trannies...that's just wrong.
That's it...I can't be bothered to search for things anymore...I guess I'm not that negative after all.
We started seasonal hours this week, meaning were open til 5pm. I report to work at 7:30am and since I'm hourly this means overtime. Overtime where I work is ok when needed... but you don't sit around with your thumb up your butt til 5 monday > friday riding the clock and ending up with 10 or more hours of OT (as it should be).
So, I shave hours. Today was slow and I had the itch to cruise, so around 12:30 me and the GM had the following exchange:
Me: "You know, now that we're open til 5 I need to watch my overtime.I was adding up my time...."
GM (cutting me off) : "Bye"! "What time are you leaving"?
Me: " Around 1"
GM: "Cool, see ya... let me run upstairs and grab my shit".
I was so busted. But it was cool all the way around and I was outta there by 1:15. I dropped a brochure off at a condo place on my way to......
I like going there on early days like this one because it's not too busy there at 2 on a wed. and there's a chance to visit with the former waitstaff and barstaff and busstaff who are now friends.
Off to the feed store for dogfood , and then home.
After the greeting and pets for the pets, and treats for the pets,and opening the door so the pets can run in and out for 10 minutes, it's time to come here. Blogroam around some and come back here to do this.
Cracker's playing and Dave Lowry sings :
"Somewhere I lost you in a black cloud of crows and shiny things"
"I can't remember-this is the golden age"
I like early days.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Jump on the bandwagon
You are Marcie!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
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Yeah, that fits.
Lamar Blvd.
Rob posted the other day about the destruction, er construction, taking place on Lamar Blvd. here in Austin. If I had to pick any one street in this town to represent my lifetime here, it would be Lamar. I grew up on a street that runs off Lamar. My house wasn't even in the city limits when I was born and Lamar was a "highway", a road that took you out of town to places like Fredericksburg (where my family is from.) On our evening walks, my family would wander down Lamar and check out the offerings at the mobile home sales lots and the gas wars between the four gas stations at the corner of Lamar and Barton Skyway, the last place to get gas for miles. Look, they've dropped gas down to 18 cents a gallon! Yeah, it was a LONG time ago.

Lamar was the road we took to get everywhere in this town, if not by bus, then by car. IH-35 was something you took if you were going to Waco or San Antonio. If we just wanted to go to "North Austin", then Lamar was our route. I have so many memories of what the buildings used to be on this road. The vet clinic will always be the Radio Shack to me. The antique shop was the Minimax grocery store. The now currently vacant building was the U-Tote-Um. Schlotzky's was the Kash and Carry grocery store. And to this day, Lamar is still my primary route north. Sure, I could take IH-35 or Mopac, but I always end up putting down Lamar instead. It's like a favorite pair of jeans to me, comfortable and familiar. I might get stuck in traffic, but at least I can watch the disc golf players at Pease Park while I wait. The bumper to bumper view on IH-35 or Mopac is not nearly as interesting.

Even so, the construction is going to be a nightmare and I really ought to rethink my route to work in the mornings over the next six months or so. Then again, maybe I will just sit in traffic and catch a little bit more of NPR on the radio because for me Lamar has a "good vibe" and that's a nice thing to have on the way to and from work each day.

The peanuts character quiz...I didn't find it on my own. You see, I stole it from burntfuse.
There I said it... I've already been chastising myself and applying the cath-guilt for not crediting someone who stole it from someone else. Could you imagine the chain that could develop from the associated guilt?
I stole this from Jane,who stole it from ramilda,who found it at kari's ,who stole it from....
I just feel funny about this kinda stuff. It's hard to explain,but I do.
What I don't feel funny about however, is this idea I stole from special K.
I have never tried to think of 100 things I like in one sitting, but it feels like a challenge so here goes:
1. War movies, any war, any period... but especially the one's about Viet Nam.
2. Sappy movies like Forrest Gump, I have seen that movie 100 times and I cry every's a good cry too.
3. The blues... johnny winter and robert johnson in particular, but any blues really
4.Foosball with my son.
6.camping out,which brings me to:
7. The Rio Grande National Forest in southern Colorado... I camped there in the same angelic spot every spring from 1984 to 1994,Ann and I honeymooned there, in the same spot... it's a magical place.
9.Sleeping with dogs on the bed in winter... snuggle city.
10. Being part of a pack...did I mention dogs?
11.When I get that distortion sound just right on my guitar.
14.Green bean cassarole.
15.Turtles... especially when they recognize YOU as happens, I'm not crazy and the feeling is awesome.
16.The smell of skunk weed.
17.Getting tattooed.
19.Storms and the way they roll in from a distance.
20.Fast cars.
21.Old trucks.
22.The looks on people's faces in reaction to me.
23. My return look to those people.
24.Maudie's patio and all the people that work there.
25.Good conversation.
26.Good drunken conversation.
27.Drunken conversation.
28.Drunken, drug addled conversation.
30.Playing to a live audience that gets it.
31.Playing to one that doesn't.
32.Guitars... they are beautiful things.
33.Egg salad (done right)
34.Rocks no salt - Wait! can I switch order?!
35.The way Jager makes you gag but you love it just the same.
36.The colors black and red together.
37.The color green.
38.Catholic iconography
40.New Orleans
41.Voodoo-ie stuff.
42.Knives...I used to collect bone handled folding knives from back in the day.
44.The way Theo looks at me when he wants a pet.
45.The way any of my dogs look at me when they want a pet.... I melt.
46.Waking up every morning knowing Ann's got my back (can I shift order again?). I can't tell you what this woman means to me.
47.My uncanny memory, it's like I have TIVO in my head.
48.My friends, I'm lucky to have a very diverse circle of friends, in my business many generations and groups are's a rich environment.
49.Beef...high end beef.
51.Blogging and the consequences.
52.The internet.
53.People watching.
54.The diversity in the world.
55.Knick-knacks...especially bhudda statues.
56.The spirit of punk rock.
57.Neil Young's "harvest" - takes me back, everytime.
58.That I have stories about the Armadillo that are really true.
59.I think about the people I went to high school with, and with a VERY few exceptions I smile at the memories.
60.Birds in my front yard.
61.Husker Du...nuff said.
62.7-11's regular grind...every morning 16 oz., like church only tastier.
63. 4:00pm in the winter....we close early,less traffic.
64.Jam sessions...fuck practice! We know those songs already. (rare)
65.That I've made it this far.....
66.microwave ovens...I once feared them, but now they are my friend.
67.The mach 3 razor by gillette.
68. Aveeno stress relief body wash...believe me I need it.
69.Cajun spices.
67.My G&L ASAT a telecaster only more so.
68.Sovtek...the poor man's Marshall amp.
69.Chicken wings.
71.Corn on the cob.
72.Garlic mashed potato's.
73.Black-eyed peas.
75.Shooting targets... I don't hunt except for:
76.I love to shoot rats
77.Pork chops.
78.The sound of a VOX wah-wah pedal...there's nothing like it.
79.The smell of good Hash.
80.Tit's...all kinds of tit's.
81.lo-rider jeans on the girls that can pull it off... ouch!
82.A smooth running fine point pen.
83.Colored pencils.
85. Drawing tattoo flash.
86.Looking at Tattoo flash.
88.The goth thing done has to be done right.
89.Black dogs.
90.A good argument.
91.Sleeping in ( this could be on the list of things I miss)
92.leaving for work early - no traffic (rare)
93.Reeses peanutbutter cups out of the freezer.
94.Rolling around
95.Club cigarette papers
96.Ice cold beer.
97.Garlic bologna.
99.Chex mix.
100.Me.Yeah, I like took 44 years for me to be reasonably satisfied with me, but I am. I like where I'm at.
Whew! I could've poked out the 100 things I don't like in half the time.
Thanks Kat for making me think a bit...time for a rocks no salt :)
I learn something new every day and it's usually something completely useless
Last week I was standing in a parking lot when I observed one person handing another person a bowl of what they called "pot butter". Since I didn't have a computer handy to look it up on the internet, I filed it away under the "What the fuck is that?" category and forgot about it until it bobbed back up to conscious thought this evening while I was drinking beer and having a conversation with Rob. Rob is considerably more worldly and informed than I am so I asked him what it was. Now I not only know what it is, but I also know how to make it. This information is about as useful as someone explaining what sugar cookies are when you don't like sweets and have no sugar, butter and flour in the house. Yet, there it is, occupying valuable space on my mind's hard drive which could be better used for things like remembering when the electric bill is due. Ah well, I suppose if my electricity got cut off, how to make pot butter could be handy thing to know.

Monday, March 01, 2004


I haven't seen any of the principals in the carpetbagger slugfest I witnessed last monday.
I guess they all got fired and are awaiting the casting call for the remake of everywhich way but loose. Or they're installing carpet for someone else.


If you don't count the interstate and the other major north/south route called Mopac or loop 1(and I don't), there are precious few ways to get from my house to the shop. The main 2 I rely on are lamar and guadalupe streets. The city has been doing repairs to guadalupe for weeks, and today was the kick off of possibly 16 months of repair to lamar, through some of the most already congested, retard driver filled sections of said road.
Austin is a city divided physically and culturally by the colorado river, north to one side, south to the other. There was a time in my life where you didn't cross the river regardless of which side you were on. For me and my south austin brethren the DMZ was 6th st.. Over the years that line has been moved to where you can't even see it anymore today ( I thought I saw it in Belton once, but it turned out to be a rainbow).
The reason I bring this up is because I'm circuitou...uh... There are multiple projects going on on all north/south routes. I live south, I work north. It's a driving DP.
I (and countless others) Can't get anywhere!
I thought I would beat the snarl by taking old dope smoking routes through neighborhoods, winding my way through town...wrong. Apparently everyone smoked dope in the 70's and they cruised my neighborhood. It's practically bumper to bumper on my street from 3:30 to 6ish most days...@ 30 mph.
And what is my rambling point?
When I think about the people that plan the street repair I am taken back to that scene in midnight express when the guards are going through the "psych-ward" passing out pills to the feeble...emphasis on feeble.
A pack of raccoons could of mapped out a better schedule.
Austin, the town that eats itself.

You are Schroeder!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
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Yeah...sure I am.