Monday, August 29, 2005


I fear "granpaitis" has a grip on me already. This first one is a little odd...Sean has a wee bit of the old jaundice, and it seems that they wrap them in what the kids are calling a growlight. This led to calling Sean "gloworm" which will probably haunt him for rest of his days.
It's a fitting introduction with a bluish aura that should make his remote witchy godmother proud.
(click on the image for the biggy size)

Pretty The hospital is sending one home with them as well. It might be a tool for treating jaundice, but it looks like it has many funtime possibilties as well.
And here's the family...

And there you have it...:)

Sunday, August 28, 2005


That's what my son told his best friend on the phone this afternoon from the hospital. It was, as I recall, about 3:30p.
At 2:55 a , Sean Robert Walsh made his entrance into this world...all six pounds and so many ounces packed into 19 inches of beautiful grandson!
It's still amazes me that a bloated, pale and distressed woman can be magically transformed into the most beautiful radiant thing on the planet just by giving birth.
Good job Brandy and Kyle!
I'm gonna go try to sleep now.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Imminent delivery
The water's been broken, the labor's in progress. It appears that some time after midnight I will become a grandmother. It's an event that I know will be life-changing, probably in ways that I can't imagine. I'm not a complete stranger to babies even though I never birthed one myself. I spent plenty of time babysitting infants. I know how to avoid that stream of pee to the face when you change a diaper on a boy. I know how to use that suction thingie to get the snot out of their little noses. I know how to walk around doing that special bouncy thing while singing to get them to fall asleep after what seems like hours of screaming. I know that feeding a one year old is more art than science and I know how to manifest the patience of Job when needed. And while I know a lot of things about caring for small children, what I don't know is what it's like to intimately know a child from birth onward through the years of their life. I have nieces and nephews, but I was never much involved in their lives. I've watched them grow up from a distance, not really knowing who they are other than the occasional meeting at a family get-together. I think, and hope, that this will be different. I'm excited and quite frankly, a little scared.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Damn my conscience
I was at work today and then lunchtime came around so I left my workstation to go to lunch. When I came back, someone else was sitting there and there were no more open spots. I could have pitched a fit and then hung around and got paid for doing nothing, but I opted to go home instead. This is an attitude that puzzles my coworkers, but it's a huge waste of my time and the company's money for me to just sit around in the break room twiddling my thumbs. The thought causes me enough mental grief that I'd rather spend the afternoon taking the bus home. So that's what I did, missing the bus by just a few minutes so I had a 28 minute wait for the next one. Since I had just missed the bus, the bench was empty so I got to sit down for a change. I only had a few minutes of quiet before someone approached and wouldn't you know it was a chatty type. Ah well, I learned a few things about Costa Rica, but quite frankly the reasons this person moved back to the states seemed pretty lame. Apparently the electricity goes off once and a while, there are no Walmarts and you can't buy a good t-bone steak. I suppose if those are one's priorities, then the US is the better place to live. After a stop at the HEB grocery store (which reminded me why I hate to cart home groceries by bus) I eventually made it home three hours after I left work; hot, sweaty and wanting some cold air conditioning. Except our air conditioners suck. Oops, forgot about that part. As nice as it was to sit on my own couch and drink a cold beer during that last hour that I would have been at work, I should have just stayed put and taken the pay for doing nothing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


At Fullmetal Jackass...FYI

I'm a bit behind the flow on this one, but I needed a few days to digest it. Randy "Biscuit" Turner was found dead in his south Austin home shortly after making the cover of the Austin Chronicle. In fact, the guy who wrote the article and did the interview discovered him there after he'd been out of circulation for a few days. The paper reported that the preliminary autopsy results point to, well, forget the medical jargon...Biscuit blew out his liver from drinking. He was 56 years old.
I knew him back in the day when he was the front man for seminal Austin punk funk band The Big Boys. Back in the early 80's. I loved these guys and would go see them at Club foot every chance I got, which amounted to almost everytime they played there.
I'd make small talk with him and the bass player, Chris at the bar. They probably don't remember me, just one of 1000's that made small talk at the bar, but I remember those times like it was yesterday. It was because of them and countless other bands of the day that led me to Club Foot and led me to cut off my hair, and start getting tattoos, and immerse myself into the punk scene in Austin, and even pushed me more than any other reason to start a band. The Big Boys had a motto, I only remember the last half, on thier records and it said "now go start your own band"! It was D.I.Y mindset, and they got me.
Beyond that, he was an artist...a crazy ass artist ( go read the article at the chronicle...shit,just check out the cover photo) who lived by his own rules and actually had some measure of success by doing :), imagine that!
Anyway...Biscuit has left the building, and took a little bit of me with him. I bet he's up there in "heaven" playing "Let's play god" with the all stars...and even though god should be pissed, he's smiling at this gem of his...if you believe in that sorta crap, and in this case, I'd like to believe it.

That's Biscuit...second from the left.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Here's the latest on the baby thing...Gotta do a 24 hour fetal monitoring and urinalysis. If everything remains stable, labor will be induced at 1pm today. Well, the lab didn't pick up the urine as scheduled...BLAM! 3 to 4 hour delay. I talked to my son just before lunch and he said he would call me at 1pm. When I hadn't heard from him by 4, I called and talked to Brandy, who filled me in, sounding fatigued and worn out. They should know something around 5 or 6pm.
I finally called at 7:30pm...Talked to Brandy and learned that the OB had been called away to an emergency C section...she may stay another night, but no induced labor at this late hour...Keep me posted, I say.
A couple things about this come to mind...medical care in general has declined seriously in the last 20 years and I finally have a baseline, when Kyle was born in 85, I remember lots of attention and care and information. His mom and I went for the birthing center, and when that was no longer an option, the staff were great about explaining to us what was happening next and next and next.
They took our idealised vision of the birth of our son and managed to save it by taking the time to be professionals focused on patient care. But that was then and this is now...more patients, blah blah blah. But Kyle is not impressed with this new OB...they transferred from San Marcos to Austin, so this is no surprise to me, small city vs. big city...I guess Austin has grown beyond it's ability to offer truely individualized care.
Just talked to Kyle, and while it's too much to go into right now, I want this to be his gig, with Brandy. I let him know that whatever they needed...Even if it was just to hang out, let me know. He was talking about working tomorrow and I offered my 2 with Brandy, forget about work, forget about rent, his family would take care of him.
And I'm sure we will.
I'll keep you posted.

We paid our electric bill today, three days before we would get the green tag on the door telling us the power would be cut in 24 hours. No need to call and plead for another week or two to pay the bill like we have for the last six months or so. That may not sound like much, but to me it's progress.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Not jammin'
I broke out my bass today for the first time in a very long time. My rigs not here so I plugged into Rob's Laney amp. It was a very unsatisfactory experience. I'm not usually one for regrets, but sometimes I do regret that I didn't buy that Warwick bass I fell in love with down at Southpaws so many years ago back when I had the money to afford it. As such, I'm still playing my el-cheapo Ibanez with it's one dead pickup, crapped out pots and bad spot on the neck. The Laney can't make up for that fact that it's a cheap bass and the only thing that makes this guitar sound even remotely good is my regular rig. Still, I love this guitar for all it's flaws. It fits me like a glove, something the overpriced Warwick would not have done. In fact, I have an ancient Washburn bass which sounds much better, but I never play it because it sends me into instant carpal tunnel pain. But I can play the Ibanez for hours with just a few occasional grimaces. I suppose I should take it to the bass doctor here in town, but I feel silly bringing in such a piece of junk for improvements. Then again, there's got to be other guitar players out there that are attached to their cheap piece of junk and willing to invest more in repairs/upgrades than they paid for the instrument in the first place. And if I remember correctly, Rob's one of them :)

Friday, August 19, 2005


Stole this from suburban blight, who stole it from venemous kate....

I'm Joe Cabot!
You're Joe Cabot!

Which Reservoir Dog Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wow...and I figured I was Mr. Blonde for sure....
Email humor
I'm still on the job search lists I signed up for when I was unemployed. Every once and a while I get the urge to go click on some of the openings for more detail. The requirements are usually good for a laugh - here's a couple from today.

Office Clerk - $8/hour - duties are copying and filing. Requires a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. I guess high school education is so bad these days that people don't know how to file unless they go to college.

Loader - $7.50/hour - duties are loading stacks of newspapers on pallets. Requires passing a drug screen and a criminal background check. Is there a black market for newspapers that I don't know about?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

An interactive story, part one

Narina walked quickly down the street, shoulders hunched against the night's chill. The music ebbed and flowed around her as she passed the open doorways of the bars and clubs, each one beckoning her with the promise of warmth and laughter. She fought the temptation knowing she had a task to complete and there was no time to stop and while the night away in the forgetfulness of drink and drumbeats. The area of town she was headed towards was darker, almost sinister in it's lack of light and activity. It had a reputation that was purposely cultivated to keep strangers away, but the truth was that it was a perfectly safe place to tread if you were known by the residents who chose to live there. Still, it was a bit of a risk. She faltered briefly, unsure if her face would be recognized after all these years. She gritted her teeth and pushed onward, determined to do this even if it meant losing everything she had worked so hard for all these years.

As she detoured away from the nightlife district, she spotted a lone food stand. It was the sort of last chance stop for drunken revelers that was normally run by the residents of Fallwell, the section of town that was her destination. She hadn't expected it, not on this route. Apparently parking was such a problem now that people were willing to leave their cars in this bit of no-man's land, a long known high-crime rate for unattended vehicles. With luck, the attendant would be someone who remembered her. If not, she had best play the party-girl grabbing one last bite to eat before she realized she had parked in another area.

So folks, help me decide, does she meet an old friend or is it someone she's never seen before?
No, not the stoned kind of baked. This is the time of year when it's just too damn hot to do anything. Not that it's any hotter today than it was two weeks ago, it's just that after a couple of months of it, my brain and body decides that it's time to do as little as possible until the first hint of cooler weather moves in. Or maybe it's because this is the time that my family used to take it's traditional camping vacation to Lake Mathis during the last few weeks before school started (back in the old days, school started in September.) Yes, it was hot as hell back then too, but we spent the days lounging in or around the lake doing a whole lot of nothing except for the early morning hours and late evening when it was time for the men to go out on the boat and check the trotlines for catfish while the women cooked. Kids got to do what ever the hell they wanted. I know it sounds insane to go camping during the hottest part of the year, but there was a reason for this madness. We didn't have air-conditioning at home and it was lot cooler out at the lake. Blame it on early childhood conditioning, but I find it impossible to be anything but lazy during the last half of August.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


For those of you who don't know...this is a cable show about the "war" in Iraq. "Gritty" "Down to earth" and all that. I have been watching because I am a war movie buff. I love war movies and that unending stream of war history that spews forth from the history channel. But there's something different here.
Other than that john wayne B movie "The green Berets" there weren't any movies or shows about the war in Viet nam that I was aware of made until after it was over. The exception may be "Go Tell The Spartans" but I'm not sure about that...I love war movies, but I'm not a geeky purist about it.
To me, war is something that you form the initial thoughts and opinions about while it's happening, and sort out the details later...was it worth it? Was it a just cause?
With "Over There" we get to see a fictionalized account of this seasons war. So far we've had the checkpoint episode, the civilian looking guy who knows where the rockets are but won't tell until the US interrogator threatens his little sister with rape by pakistani allies episode and the father and son spotter for mortar attacks episode.
It makes me line up and say the war on terror makes me side up with soldiers facing impossible odds.
It makes me wonder why we can have a television show about a conflict that is far from being solved.
Has the news media grown so controlled about it's coverage of current events that we have to rely on a cable network to show what's really happening "Over There"?
It makes me sad and even more disillusioned.
Make believe war is war.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Still on call
It's defcon 5 at the household waiting for the imminent delivery of our new grandson. Might be tomorrow, might be a week from now, hell, it might be a month from now given the ways of babies plotting when they want to be born. I've given my supervisor at work a heads up since I might be called away with little notice. They have a really strict absentee policy at work, but we've come up with a plan. Provided the baby pays just a scant attention to my work schedule, it may be possible for me to attend the birth with no workplace consequences. But if the baby pays absolutely no attention to my work schedule, consequences by damned. It's not like I'm earning the big bucks. Still, I appreciate the workplace efforts to tweak the policy as best they can. I find myself at times longing for the "good old days" when I had a job that provided sick leave to cover such events until I remember that I never got to actually USE that sick leave. At those jobs, it didn't matter that my father was in the hospital for surgery that only carried at 20% survival rate or that I personally had a bleeding ulcer, I couldn't call in sick or take a vacation day because no one else knew how to do my job. At least with my current job, there's at least 100 other people that can do what I do. And provided I can give enough notice (as little as 24 hours in some cases), my schedule can be cleared and I'll be subject to no disciplinary action. That's much more valuable than some sick leave that I'm never allowed to actually USE.

Down there in Crawford Texas, where Cindy Sheehan has created a groundswell of support of people who are beginning to wake up to the lie, a pro bush local drove his pick up truck with chains and a bar between them through roughly 500 of the white crosses designating our dead brothers and sisters from the "war" in Iraq. Many of these crosses had flags attached. This is the action of a bushco supporter, He runs over the display of crosses in the middle of the night to voice his support for hard on for war. He is arrested, he is a 59 year old man. He should be ashamed of himself.
Cindy is not rattled by this and maintains her calm. A calm that is unwavering after this and a neighbor of bushass shooting his shotgun...he is not arrested, what he did was perfectly legal in Texas, but the motivation is decidedly evil and obscene and well, typical of these neo con extremists.
A neighbor of Bunnypants has invited Camp Casey to move onto his property, out of the fireant infested ditch they have been relegated to. Joan Baez (!) is coming in this weekend to put on a concert.
And all of this is because of a simple question that Cindy wants to ask..." What is the noble cause in this war of lies"? (paraphrased). This question cannot be answered truthfully, because...simply put, there isn't one. And there is no lie that Bush or any of his minions could put out there to satisfy the asker of it.
There is no noble cause. And it is becoming more apparent everyday that he who has no name ignores the light that is Cindy Sheehan and her supporters.
Down there in Crawford, with those crosses on the side of the road.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The beer cure
Friday proved to be a day at work that raised the headache back up to the seventh level of hell, but on Saturday I managed to drink enough beer that I didn't feel it anymore. And unlike billy who forgot to eat and paid a dear price, I forgot to eat and woke up just fine on Sunday morning. But this is only because I sweated out the beer about as fast as I was consuming it during my marathon day of doing laundry from 8 AM to 8 PM while going through boxes from the back room. Boxes which provided the source for all that laundry because I came across three very large boxes of clothes and sheets and towels that we had packed up during the remodel. I was hoping for a bit of Christmas in August, but when all was said and done, there wasn't much that was usable at the moment. It was mostly winter clothes which won't come in handy for another four months, the sheets were all for the smaller bed that we once had and the towels were just those ratty ones we use on the dogs when it rains and/or they get a bath. Oh well, I cleaned out a sizable spot in the back room as well finishing a few other projects on Sunday (along with more beer consumption) so it was a very productive weekend. Except that I forgot to rest and relax which was my original plan, given the headache from hell and the sore neck. But lo and behold, mass consumption of beer and physical activity was apparently what I needed because I awoke pain free this morning. That is, until I had been a work a half of a day. Another busy day with far too much head tilting to hear callers who might as well as been on the planet Jupiter for how faint their voices were coming across the phone wires. So I'm ending the day with a bit more beer drinking than I usually do on a weeknight, but I'm skipping the physical activity part. I did enough heavy lifting over the weekend that I ended up with sore arm muscles which can't do much more than the 12 oz curls I'm doing right now.
GRANDPARENTS IN 10...9...8...7...

Anytime now according to the boy and the girl. The drop point is St. David's hospital, which is within a stones throw of where I work, and 15 minutes from our house. The clock is ticking people, and the ticking is hella loud! Come one, come all in celebration of the unvieling of Sean Robert Walsh...coming soon to a birthing center near me.
I haven't been freaked out in years...but shit man...come on!

Bushco's changing the dance card for Iraq...again. Here's a clip...
U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq
Administration Is Shedding 'Unreality' That Dominated Invasion, Official Says

By Robin Wright and Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, August 14, 2005; A01

The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad.

The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.

"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."

The "unreality that dominated in the beginning"...could that be, could it possibly be, a sideways GOP way of saying "ok dammit, we lied and now we are officially painted into a corner". ?
Please Bunnypants...say it isn't so! Woe is me Dubya...has this shit finally blown up in your face?
I think maybe it has.

That Garafaloe woman was on Air America tonight ( I only call her that because Janeen is hard to spell right...maybe I should enroll in the Derek Zoolander school for kids that want to read good or something ) I'm not even sure if I'm spelling her last name right either, but it sounds like a tasty hungarian dish with sauce and noodles.
Back to the point...she was commenting on how bunnypants is illegitamate for two terms now...installed the first time, swindled in the next. And wouldn't it be cool if information came to light to prove this beyond doubt and that would result in everything he's ever done as "president" would be reversed...null and void.
God damn! that would rock like Helmet.

How many innocents have we killed over there? Almost 2000 american lives sacrificed so the US of muthafuckin' A can lower the bar?
And probably the biggest insult to us all is that new show on FX..."Over There". We can't see the real thing, but we can watch a fictionalized drama on cable about the war that rages around us.

But the good news is the tables are starting to turn.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Bunnypants says all options are on the table in regard to Iran. Iran has the balls to generate nuclear power...right in our faces, the gall of those people! They say it's for the generation of electricity alone. They are not developing technology to make a bomb. Yeah, right. If I was any country with the grist to make an atom bomb, I would be working around the clock to have one at the ready to keep bushco at bay. And when I was done with that I'd raise the price of oil again just to put a twist on the dick in america's ass.
"All options are on the table"...
Everybody knows what that means.

Friday, August 12, 2005


I'm a second term president with a mandate and a cabinet full of criminals tellin' me all about that's hard work ignoring the 62% of the mericun public that knows I'm full of horse hockey. Thank god for my Rangers and pioneers.
Who are these rangers and pioneers? Rich fucked in the head neo cons supporting bunnypants in his war on the's an excerpt from a CNN article:

Some 230 people were attending the fund-raiser at Stan and Kathy Hickey's Broken Spoke Ranch, a 478-acre spread next to Bush's ranch. All have contributed at least $25,000 to

the RNC, and many are "rangers," an honorary campaign title bestowed on those who raised $200,000 or more for Bush, or "pioneers," those who have raised $100,000 or more.

Well..welley...well well as alex wonder. Do you think any of their kids are dodging bullets? Fuck no. If there were any they'd be trotted out like so much meat.
War on the poor man...just like the nam only with 50% more slime.

The next excerpt shows what matters to bunny...

Sheehan -- whose son, Casey, was killed five days after he arrived in Iraq last year at age 24 -- held a sign that read: "Why do you make time for donors and not for me?"

It's unclear whether Bush, riding in a black Suburban with tinted windows, looked at the demonstrators as his caravan passed.

The motorcade did not stop.

On his way to those millions...what a fucking assfuck dickhead asshat suckweed faggotty buttsucking piece of presidential shit.
It's money (and power) that matters to him.

So here's the's not about Casey Sheehan, it's not about his mom. It's about WRONG, and everything about bunny and his minions is that...WRONG.
Cindy is our instrument...our Joan.
And god bless her for that.
Ranger? Pioneer?? Who are these fucking people?
Certainly not americans. I would suggest to you that they are the real terrorists... the real enemy combatants...poisoned by the wealth and the corruption that they have enjoyed...and are now enjoying on the backs of real americans dying in Iraq and afghanistan in the name of "freedom" which is GOP double speak for profits.

They found them in the side lot of the yellow store, the driver clinging to his lucky penny in a death wrestle of index finger and thumb. The passengers lucky dime was laying luckless on the strip of five 1 dollar scratch tickets that lay...luckless in his lap. They were covered with scratch ticket residue, on their laps, their shirts, the floorboard of the truck was ankle deep in the stuff. The dashboard was so fully littered with losing tickets it was a driving hazard.
They were scratchheads...and they paid the price of supporting education in Texas with their lives.
Poor bastards...they thought they were doing something good...and it killed them.

Poor bastards.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


I've been following this for days on air america radio, Cindy Sheehan lost her son in Iraq, and her initial meeting with bunnypants left a bitter taste that presented itself with her opining that W had "no conscience" , her comments were twisted and taken out of context by the press. And so this woman took her fight to Crawford, where the emperor in chief has a "ranch" to protest the war in Iraq and demand that the troops come home now and that hard on for war and oil explain to her what noble cause her son died for.
Since this started, every neo con media puppet has done thier best to discredit Ms. Sheehan...Bill O'Really especially...he called her a traitor and pretends to know her sons motivations better than her. It's shameful what these assholes are trying to do. If I could I would beat Bill within inches of his life with a pillowcase full of nails and wood screws for the kind of shit he spreads in general and specifically what he has done to slander Ms. Sheehan and belittle the loss of her son in the name of sucking bushco's collective dick.
But I ramble...
There are hundreds of people gathering in Crawford in support of Ms. Sheehan and her stand. The morning guy on air america says this is the biggest anti war movement in his memory ( he's 41...I guess he's too young to remember the Viet Nam protests but on some level he is right ) Ms. Sheehan has been called the 21st centuries first Rosa Parks ( this label is a mistake that could backfire in a big way if they aren't careful, they being the actual "liberal media" coming dangerously close to derailing what could be the undoing of Bushco...the straw if you will, because they are too busy foaming at the mouth to play this out correctly ).
Bunnypants had a press conference today where he mentioned Ms. Sheehan and said he understood her stand, he answered questions from the reporters that were there, but he didn't say if he would meet with her or not. Because the reporters didn't ask that question. Why not? Why didn't they ask him? Why has there not been ONE mention of this on CNNs opening page since it started...sure...the neo con death cult cronies in the media have been trying to discredit this woman from the get go, but any meaningful coverage is absent here in Austin's mainstream media. There was a picture of a woman throwing the peace sign at the helicopters circling Camp Casey (named after her son) and a caption in the UT paper...the daily texan, but I haven't seen anything meaningful about it anywhere else ( not to infer that a picture and a caption is meaningful).According to Ms. Sheehan, they are being regularly harrassed by local law enforcement...moved to increasingly smaller and more remote locations with ridiculous time constraints ending with the threat of arrest. Attacked from all sides, Ms. Sheehan is calm cool and articulate woman who speaks of her own loss that resonates with many people, not just people who have lost family members in this unjust joke of a money grabbing war.
This should be all over the headlines but it's not.
And there's a reason for that.
And not being newsworthy isn't one of them.
This is oppression...and repression...and the smell of corruption, and the collusion of a criminal administration propping up the puppet that is Bush.
At the very least, this has (hopefully) ruined bunnypants vacation, at the very most, it is the first domino falling that will end this fucking nightmare administration and put us back on the road of truth and know, the real kind, not that bullshit we've been choking on for years.

*** Do a google on Cindy Sheehan and see the press I've missed...especially her inter view at MSNBC with ken Olberman...thatnk you Ken for having some balls...***
Misc. Stuff
Work today was good example of how things are supposed to be. The number of calls sent my way was just about right and thanks to a fewer number of calls, I had fewer number of calls where I couldn't hear the customer so I didn't unconsciously put my neck in the position that causes my headache to emanate from the seventh level of hell. It's more like the fifth level of hell tonight, but hey, if I can continue to drop two levels each day then I'll be back to normal in no time.

The new traffic light at Oltorf and Wickersham is now in operation. This greatly improves the commute to and from work because there are far too many people in this town than can not properly negotiate a four way stop. I'm subject to enough mass confusion at work, the less I have to endure on the road to and from there, the better.

There's a disturbing trend at work which has me talking to several people a day who are dying of cancer. I get the feeling something is trying to remind me that life's too short to sweat the small stuff.

We've had several cooler than usual days here thanks to rain, but now the sun is shining and it's back to the typical August heat. Blue Witch mentioned that she's had a hint of autumn at her place and I can't help but feel a bit jealous. We don't usually get much fall weather and things tend to go from hot to cold and back to hot again. We did have a good bit of spring this year, but paid for it with record heat and no rain in June. Some folks blame global warming and I not disputing that it might play a role, but I've lived here all my life and there's been plenty of years where the weather was out of whack. The only thing you can count on is that at some point in the summer, it's going to be pretty damn hot and in the winter there will be at least one freeze. Everything else is a toss of the coin.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Still kicking, just at an odd angle
The headache from hell is still around, but instead of morphing between migraines and tension headaches, it's decided to develop it's own unique personality. And it's starting to change my personality in the process. I'm beginning to think I need to wear a warning label that says something along the lines of "This person has had a headache for over two weeks. Fuck with her at your own risk. You have been warned." Not that I've lashed out at anyone yet, but I see it coming down the road if this keeps up. As for blogging, well, it's a pretty extreme effort to type out a coherent sentence and that is something I have to do all day at work. We have more than our share of employees at work who can't type a coherent sentence in their call notes, but I'd prefer not to sink to that level so I do try to make my best effort there. Still, I find myself cringing from time to time when I come across some notes I previously made a day or two before. Apparently I'm not always as successful as I think I am. "Customer unable to router, all lights good on the modem" WTF? Unable to router? That should have been "Customer unable to route. Solid power, synch and LAN on the Visonnet 202ES modem." Ah well, it's not like I get paid the big bucks. And provided I haven't been mistreating customers over these last few weeks (I don't think so, but I don't trust myself anymore) then I should still have a job after the next round of QA assessments. Time will tell...

Here's an email I got today...

My name is Ali Waheed, A Bahrain national I have been diagnosed with
cancer .It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right now I
have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts.
I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for
anyone(not even myself)but my business. Though I am very rich, I was
never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on my
business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all
this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have
or make all the money in the world. I believe when God gives me a second
chance to come to this world I would live my life a different way from
how I have lived it. Now that God has called me, I have willed and
given most of my property and assets to my immediate and extended family
members as well as a few close friends .I want God to be merciful to me
and accept my soul so, I have decided to give alms to charity
organizations, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on
earth. So far, I have Distributed money to some charity organizations in
the U.A.E, Somalia and Malaysia. Now that my health has deteriorated so
badly, I cannot do this myself anymore. I once asked members of my
family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money which I have
there to charity organization in Bulgaria and Pakistan, they refused
and kept the money to themselves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore,
as they seem not to be contended with what I have leftfor them. The last
of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of Eighteen
Million dollars($18,000,000,00) that I have with a finance House abroad.
I will want you to help me collect this deposit and despatch it to
charity organizations.
N/B:KINDLY NOTE THAT 20% of this funds must go to the tsunami victims
and another 10% for your effort and time.

for your efforts.
Ali Waheed.

Here's my reply...

Rob & Ann
to aliwaheed3078

You sound like a pathetic fuck Ali...My mother died of esophogeal
cancer in 1992, she wasn't rich and she wasn't an asshat like you, you
predatory piece of shit. You should be ashamed of yourself and I hope
you develop the kind of cancer you describe and it eats a hole in your
fucking torso before it kills you...oh yeah, and bloat flies too, you
fucking cretin.
Fuck you a 1000 times in the ass with barbed wire...if I knew where
you where really I would kill you.

I really hate this kind of shit.

Yesterday at the third world grocery, Ann and I were headed for the check out when I saw a ghost in the express lane. This woman was a stone assed junky 9 years ago when I was doing street outreach down on the drag. She would stumble down the stairs on clinic day, reeking that heroin glaze and ask for a needle exchange, we were not allowed to do that (one of the restrictions of our funding) . The conversation went something like this every time:

Junky chick : I need the needle exchange....
Me: Sorry, we don't do that here, I can give you a bleach kit and instructions.
JC: Where is the needle exchange? I need the needle exchange.
Me: I can't tell you where the needle exchange van is inside this building.
JC: I don't want a bleach kit, where is the needle exchange at ?
Me: I'm sorry, I can't tell you IN HERE ( nodding head toward the exit)
JC: Mumbles and cusses under her breath, makes that pathetic junky face and ambles up the stairs out into the alley.
Me: Follows her out and discloses location of needle exchange van, or if I didn't know exactly, point her in the right direction.

We had this exact conversation every Thursday for over a year. I knew it was her because of her tattoo's.
And there she was, in the express lane at the third world, with 2 toddlers no less.
I guess she cleaned up. Good for her. And our efforts at least prevented an HIV or Hep C infection, as evidenced by healthy young ones.
We didn't speak, we didn't make eye contact. But I saw a ghost from the past that reminded me what we did was worthwhile.
And that felt good.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Everybody does it, all the time. You kill it on your breaks and at lunch, just waiting to get back to whatever it is that you do. And even when you are doing whatever it is that you do, a fair amount of that time is spent killing it. That's the way it is for me anyway.
I used to be a productive type, for example, if there was a show on at 9 I wanted to watch I would engage in productive activities like cleaning the house, or restringing guitars or sorting CD's until that show came on at 9. These days I watch reruns of Law and order or law and order SUV I mean SVU until my target show comes on. Now I just kill time to the point of interest and then I'm present. For that hour or whatever, and in between I'm just killing time.
Structure...I miss it.
I need to start killing time with a purpose again.
I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


For that Marquee Moon. If you listen to Air America Radio, you know that morning sedition with mark and Mark was live at GBGB's club.Part of the deal was a benefit for the club, who have lost the lease...they gotta move after 30 years of alternative music and culture. Unless a miracle happens. As a guest they had richard hell ( Voidoids, Television ) reminising about his days at the club. And quite frankly not having much good to say...David Byrne of the Talking heads apparently was a douchebag in those days according to Hell,
Who also related to the reporter about a feature he recently did where they wanted to take pictures of the hot spots in and around CBGB's...guess what? With the exception of CBGB'S they are all gone.
In an odd convergence of karma...the same thing is happening here. The Pier is closing down...the actual number of years they were open escapes me, but they were a mile and a half from where I grew up and I spent a lot of time there and at the knock off place just down the dock...Sunshine's Party...but that's for another time.
Memory flash...since 1928...that's a long time...I did a search.
Here it is:

Some of final acts scheduled for August and September are Leon Russel, Big Brother and the Holding Company and Cross Canadian Ragweed.

The Pier opened as a hard-to-find fishing lodge in 1928. It was later a speakeasy during Prohibition, and bartenders would toss the liquor into the lake if any authorities happened to stop by.

In 1958, the business was given the name The Pier on Lake Austin. It was then purchased in 1981 and turned into a restaurant and outdoor music venue.

I did the fucked up walk a mile and a half...actually three miles if I couldn't catch a ride...down River Hills Road many times.

Sometimes that's a good thing.
I went to my grocery today in the work truck I've been driving. Lately, the radio station has been the local hip hop / rap one, so i was bumpin' it to some rap about indo weed and splitting a bag of it. As I passed through the crosswalk there was this young brother attempting to cross, he heard the jam emanating from my truck and saw me...I'm not exactly the image of a homeboy, obviously.
I stopped to let him pass, and as he did he gave me a big grin and a fist up.
It was a rockin' moment.
I've listened to my share of snoop and public enemy, mostly on a lark or by accident. Listening to this station has exposed me to really funny shit lyrically. The music...well most of it you could reproduce with a drum machine and a casio you can program. But the lyrics...they fucking crack me up and at the same time paint a vivid picture of the culture.
I paraphrase...."Before I got the ice on my grill and my ditties" " Before they don't know that I'm hot they all on me" , "My pockets stick out further than my bidness", and my favorite..." My grill be lookin' like a disco ball". The funniest thing is I understand this shit. Diamonds on my teeth and lyrics, a bank roll bigger than my penis, sparkley fucking teeth...these guys and gals rock.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go floss my platinum grill...for reals.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A vicious cycle
I think in my last post a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I'd been promoted at work and that it happened at the same time the call volumes apparently doubled. Well, thanks to the increase in the number of calls I take where I simply cannot hear the customer unless I cram the earpiece of my headset into my ear and simultaneously lean over into the most quiet spot at my desk, I managed to develop a big knot in my right shoulder which left me, at the end of the work day with a low grade tension headache. After a few days that knot in my shoulder then turned into a sore neck and a major "the right side of my head is going to explode" tension headache. That headache triggered a migraine which triggered another tension headache which triggered another migraine and round and round I've gone for the last couple of weeks. I hate when this happens because it's like having the flu. There's nothing that fixes it other than time. Yeah, there's medication out there, but so far I haven't found any thing that works for me. And quite frankly, with some of them, I'd rather spend a week or two or three with the headache from hell than die of a heart attack. Now I'm sure I'd change my tune if this happened all the time, but it's not even an annual occurrence. So I'd rather put up with it than opt for a "who knows what that pill is going to do to me" solution. I'm on the tail end of it now so another few days, maybe a week and it will be another distant memory. Unless it costs me my job. Because while I've continued to go to work each day, I haven't exactly been following the Quality Assurance template. I've been nice to the customers and I've fixed their problems, but I couldn't manage to pull off those pesky details like thanking them for information, calling them by their last name or branding the call. After all, when your head hurts like hell, something's gotta give.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


On October 12, GANG OF FOUR are playing at a medium sized venue here in town! I saw them at the Austin Opera House way back when in 1982...I think anyway, it could have been 83, but I'm reasonably sure ( after weighing other markers of my life around the same time ) it was 82...Living with my future ex wife and her room mate, who, by the way, turned me on to the band and a whole slew of others...thanks Cathy, by the way.
I can't wait for this...and just for your amusement, here's a picture of me before the Clash show that came through town the same year. Click to enlarge to full hilarity.

I should be embarrassed by this, but curiously, I find myself laughing harder than you. Oh...the good old (skinny) days.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I talked to my other buddy tonight, and he wants the gram of Mark. We talked about how wanting to have the cremains might be kind of have them on display with a picture or something. In our conversation he told me a story. Fu Manchu played at Emo's on the night of the anniversary of his death, his best girl was there as well as my friend and I'm guessing other friends of Mark. Fu Manchu was one of his favorite bands, so it made sense that they would gravitate there.
His best girl didn't give me the last of the ashes after all...she'd saved a bit ( why she did'nt tell me, I don't know ) and they did the coolest thing ever, they scattered his ashes on the floor of Emo's right by the stage.
I have seen many shows there with him and he loved the place. He got booted at a Jesus Lizard show and sweet talked the door girl into letting him poke his head in the door for the encore.
He was a rock and roll animal. And all those other rock and roll animals moshing on his ashes during a Fu show was the absolute shit in my mind, he would have loved it! It's just a shame it wasn't Clutch playing...that would have been way better.I remember him singing Clutch songs, amazed that they could write such catchy lyrics about food...and dragonflys.
My mom was cremated, and she sat in a closet until my dad died 5 years later. I had her ashes buried with my dad, because we were in Texas, not England. If I had been able to take my mom home I would have scattered her at some point on Hadrians wall.
It's all sentimental shit, I think, that makes us do the things we do with the remains of loved ones, and maybe sometimes guilt. And while I wasn't involved in Marks final resting places until the end, I know that he was scattered at places that he loved by people who loved him.
And I get the last say...the final spot.
And I'm honored by that, intentional or not.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Like I said , I am the caretaker of the ashes of my dear friend. What's left over anyway after his best girl scattered them all around. My plan is to make a medicine bag, all ornate with the shit he liked, put his ashes in it and hang it on our stage deck...where he liked to play.
But, as an added responsibility, I have to offer these ashes to the friends that the original caretaker didn't get to. The first one I talked to had no interest, he was "past it". OK...I thought, you'd consider getting the alamo tattooed across your back in tribute but you don't want any of his be fair that alamo thing was right around the time of his death, and he might not be as sentimental as I am about dead friends...or maybe he has another place to put lost friends. I don't know, but I respect his stand and his feelings and let it go.
But he was the one that I asked first, because I thought he would be the one to have that kind of reverence. Don't get me wrong...he's reverent enough and he loved Mark. He's just over it.
It was awkward...for me anyway.
I left a voice mail for one of the others I don't know about him yet.
But sunday night I got into my old stash of druggy day shit and filled a glass gram vial with the ashes of Mark and took it to work with me, sure that his friend would want it. And he didn't. So I walked around all day with a gram of Mark in my pocket. It was kind of like "take your dead friend to work today"...very strange.
I got some of him on my fingers while I was filling the vial, and that was even stranger.
I tried to shake him off, but just like when he was still with us, that was impossible.
And what initially seemed like a really sweet gesture from a girl that I love with all my heart suddenly carries the weight of the world.

Jeez-e-peetz...I can be such a dumbass sometimes:)

But I killed that fucking rat, and that's what really matters.
I'm lucky Ann loves me too.

Monday, August 01, 2005


I just didn't think the pellet would pass through the rat and shatter the glass sliding door. I was stunned, the rat fell to the ground with a .77 hole in his head, and then I heard this crinkling sound. This crinkling sound that went on and on as the cracks spread like a spider web. I stood and stared while watching the cracks travel out across the glass, long enogh for me to go get Ann out of bed and share it. It was like being on the set of aliens...crackling glass that eventually fell out of it's frame allowing all hell to break loose.
But it stopped and thank god didn't fall out of it's frame.
And we have a glass sliding door to replace it...not that I'm so keen on doing this , but it will allow us to put into action a plan we've talked about for over a year.
My blood lust for rats has furthered the renovation of our beloved clubspit.
It's gonna be a hot sweaty weekend people.