Monday, December 31, 2007

YEAR IN REVIEW

Electric work...I learned a lot this year,and that's good.
Ann's shitty job...I would be impossible to live with if I had this job,testament to Ann's greatness as a human being.
The grandkids...They really are wonderful things...So cute and smart and,they aren't mine!HA!Seriously,I have much respect for my son and daughter in law and their excellent parenting skills.I'm impressed but not surprised.I'm also glad they aren't moving away.
Friends...the value of which continues to amaze me.
Music...lots of new music came into the house this year...good.
Health issues...some scary moments for me and Ann and some of our friends.But we all made it.
Movies...the DVD collection grows.
Dogs...In his twilight years,Theo and I have gotten closer,a true bond.And Irene...well,I'm just sayin'.:)
But mostly,we survived another year and are set to endure another.
Any resolutions?
I have one.I will write, produce and record a 4 song solo EP if it's the last thing I do.
Happy new year to you all.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

ROAD TRIP

I drove to Waco today to meet an old friend for lunch who was in Dallas visiting his family via Colorado,where he's lived for years now.We first met in 1983...or maybe 1982,when he was the unit manager at a treatment center here in Austin.One of his employees was my lab partner in nursing school and they were hiring.He hired me and we became fast friends,doing the punk rock thing in Austin and we have been in contact ever since,visiting each other whenever we can.
So here's the trajectory for today:
Dallas...95 miles south to>...Waco...<106 miles north from Austin.
So we each spent around 200 miles give or take,round trip,to have lunch together.
And it was worth every mile.I have a handful of friends I've known for this long and it was really good to see him,to catch up and to see the wrinkles of time in each other.When we met we were young and kinda crazy and now,almost 25 years down the line,one of us is still crazy,I'm just not saying who :)
I had a traveling companion with me today as well,Irene went on the ride of her life.While I wasn't really concerned about how she would handle such a long trip,I was concerned she would get bored and want out of the car,causing a ruckus.She was a peach.She let me know when she had to pee,which coincided with a rather anxiety inducing stretch of IH 35 where both shoulders were closed which means very narrow lanes with chest high concrete barriers on either side that I absolutely hate,and being that 35 is the main NAFTA corridor,there was lots of semi truck traffic as well as regular traffic.I was quite unnerved,and a rest area presented itself just in time for her to pee and poop and run around and for me to regain my road legs.
For the rest of the trip,to and from,she was her usual regal self,sniffing the new smells in the air,and sitting straight up in the seat gazing out the windshield taking in the sights between power naps.
We helped some women in the restaurant parking lot jump their battery as we were leaving,and Irene was a hit.As I was for -get this- locating the battery of the disabled car and hooking the cables up for them.
So,to sum up...Road trip with my best girl dog,lunch with a dear old friend,and a good samaritan act for the finish before a long ride home.
And I am glad to be home...I don't travel as easy as I used to.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007: My year of the computer game
I did quite a bit of computer gaming this year, much like the last twenty plus years. This year it was mostly World of Warcraft, Sims 2 and SimCity and the time spent probably didn't come close to the year in my twenties when I spent a ridiculous amount of time playing Hack. Or, going back even further to my late teens when I played Advent on UT's unix system (I still have the detailed map that my friends and I drew way back when.) This year gets the honors though because this was the year that games taught me something about myself. I came to realize that I am very goal oriented. I suppose every human is, but I'd never thought about myself that way. I'm also rather picky about my goals. If they are too easy to reach, I get bored. If they are extremely difficult, then I also get bored. However, I don't always blow off the extremely difficult goals if they have a really good payoff and I can get pretty creative in finding ways to reach them even if I'm told it can't be done. Some times I find a way, other times I have to let the payoff go and focus on some other challenge. I can look back and see this pattern over and over again in my life. I was a very talented pianist when I was a child. But it was too easy and I traded it in for a wrench and a race car when I was a teen. Now that was a challenge and I didn't care that girls just didn't do that sort of thing back in my day and age; I did it anyway. Not to prove anyone wrong about the girl thing, it was just something I wanted to do so I went out and did it. Much the same when we formed our band - I'd never heard of a bunch of thirty-something year olds forming a band, but we did it anyway. I had never played bass guitar. I'm not particularly good at it, but it's not impossible either which landed it squarely in the perfect challenge range and made it fun, which it continues to be today. And being in a band provides goals - write a song and work it out. Once that's done, write a new one. If it ever became really easy, I'd probably trade it in for.. oh, I don't know - a welding torch or something. But the band doesn't play so much anymore and I think the reason I've been so bored for the last several months is I need a new middle-of-the-road challenge. My current job is challenging in some ways, but not the right ways. And computer games are and never have been a substitute for the real life thing. So I guess the real question here is what next? I've had my eye on an art class the last few days. Drawing and painting are not something I do very well, but I don't think they would be impossible either. Just one possibility and I have a brand new year ahead to explore options now that I know I need to be looking for them. Here's hoping I can find something and close out the year 2008 as the "Year of the Paintbrush" or some sort of similar title.
RESURRECTION FERN

Here's a live version of this incredible song...



I've been playing it over and over...
..."Grandma's gun and the black bear claw that took her dog"...
Brilliant.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Ax May Fall...
Today for the first time in over three years of listening to customers scream at me I finally reached my breaking point and hung up on a customer. This would be bad enough if it was just a routine tech call, but it was a supervisor call. Management was pretty supportive, but the truth remains that I hung up on her and that's simply not allowed. I pulled the recording and listened to it when I got home. She wasn't even close to the worst person I've dealt with, but something snapped and I guess I just couldn't put up with the abuse this time. Unfortunately I deal with those kinds of customers multiple times a day and I suppose I just can't handle it anymore even though I did take several more awful supervisor calls after that and managed just fine. No matter; the hang-up incident has been escalated to the provider who will listen to the recording and either be sympathetic or call for my termination. If they don't call for my termination, I think I'm going to ask for a demotion to avoid having to take those kinds of calls in the future. It just isn't worth the extra $2/hour to have to deal up with that kind of crap day in and day out.
ENDLESS AND MIND NUMBING

I hate trimming out...one of the final stages of electric work.You install devices...plugs and switches.Over and over and over again...strip wire,bend curls,attach wires to device,apply tape,secure device to box...over and over again.It kills your fingers,the wire punches holes in your finger tips and at the end of the day you can't touch anything without wincing,blood spots your hands.mindless redundant activity that slowly kills your soul.
That's what I've been doing all week.
Today,on the way home KUT radio was playing the best of local music and they played this song by Iron and Wine called Resurrection Fern...I had read about this band in the chronicle a while back and was intrigued,but never heard any of their stuff.At about the 1 minute mark I was in rapture and shortly there after,in tears of the joyful kind.What a beautiful song.
And I was alright again.I went out and bought it this afternoon...
" like stubborn boys with big green eyes,we'll see everything".
Awesome...just simply awesome.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

DINNER
Because I love to cook...



I give you rotini with chicken sausage with spinach and feta cheese,in garlic alfredo sauce with cresent rolls.Dusted with grated parmesan and ricotta cheese.Yum...which is white trash for Bon Appetite! I got tired of fish sticks and chili dogs:)
Cold... sort of
It's been chilly here in Austin and temps were in the mid-twenties this morning when I left for work. I wore a sweater and a jacket to work, but still had on sandals since it wasn't raining and I figured temps would be up in the 40s soon after the sun rose. My feet don't get cold much unless it's raining, though the rest of me does. I realize mid-twenties isn't that cold, but it sure feels cold when daytime temps were just in the 80s. We get those colder temps so seldom here that we didn't bother replacing our whole-house wall-heater when we remodeled. We use electric oil-filled heaters in strategic locations at night, but turn them off during the day when we are at work. We have one in the bedroom and if it's going to be down in the teens or twenties we just close the door to keep the room plenty warm for sleeping under a comforter. There's a small one in the bathroom that makes that room nice and warm for the morning - the rest of the house can be cold, but I've got to have a warm bathroom if there is a shower or bath involved! Then there's one by the computer desks that I turn on at night since I like to sit at the computer in the morning with my coffee and it keeps a bit of the evening chill off that area (though I still need my under-desk heater once I'm awake and sitting at my desk.) We have other heaters in other parts of the house, but we only use them on the rare occasions that daytime temps don't get much above freezing for a few days. When that happens the cold drafts from the other parts of the house overwhelm the heat in the spot areas so we always have to warm those other areas up a bit or we'd have to wear parkas. Fortunately those times are few and far between and the amount of money we spend on heat in the winter now is far less than we used to spend with that awful whole-house heater. I suppose if you like to have your *entire* house warm at one time this would never work for you, but I'm quite content with my spot heating. Warming up by my under-desk heater is a lot like warming up by a campfire. And a hot bath in a warm bathroom is so much more appreciated when the rest of the house is a bit on the chilly side. I often say that I hate the cold weather, but I guess I have to admit that it has some good points after all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I'M SERIOUS ABOUT THIS AT THE DRIVE IN THING

This is One Armed Scissor...



The energy is nothing short of amazing...enjoy.
And lo, I survived the day after...
Christmas with my family turned out quite nice even if it was on the eve of Christmas Day instead of the traditional Christmas Eve. We had to move the celebration so everyone could be there which is the whole point of Christmas to my family so no regrets. There was a downside though - all that family get-together-ing is rather exhausting and even though I got to bed at a fairly reasonable hour, I wasn't well enough rested for what is traditionally the worst day of the year at work. And today definitely lived up to it's reputation. My first task of the day was to call a customer back to follow up on a repair ticket. The customer answered the phone and I introduced myself and the reason for calling. The customer then screamed "Suck my dick!" and hung up the phone. Well, the rest of the day didn't get much better and at one point I came very close to walking out the door and never coming back. But then I remembered it was the day after Christmas which has been absolutely horrible every year that I've worked there so I gritted my teeth and made it to the end of my shift. This was followed by the joy of standing in line at the post office for ages to mail an important item priority mail so apparently the day after Christmas is not such a good day for postal workers either. When I finally got home I was very glad that Rob had the foresight to purchase beer which meant there was a cold one waiting for me in the 'fridge. A few beers later and I now think that I can face the next stretch of craziness at work... I just need to make it into the new year, ask for my week's worth of vacation time left to take in February so I don't lose it and then after that get busy finding another job. With luck I'll find something better in time to actually *enjoy* the holidays next year. I need to keep in mind not to apply for sort of retail, call center or postal service jobs. Hmm, I wonder if universities still hire file clerks?
CHRISTMAS 2007-NOT SO HORRIBLE AFTER ALL IT TURNS OUT

On christmas eve,Ann and I made breakfast tacos for her work mates...45 of them.Three dozen eggs,two pounds of bacon and a bag o' shredded cheese.I made it long enough to cook the bacon and the eggs but fell asleep and missed out on the rolling up of the tacos.(damn:)).Season of giving vibe,check.Giving Ann a sense of christmas cheer,check.


In progress...



Baaaaconnnn....


And before we knew it, it was time to go to Ann's folks house.The kids and the grand kids were there,as were Ann's brother and his kids,so the house was filled with four generations of our extended families.

I got some laying about clothes and a most bitching LED flashlight from Ann's brother,in fact,all the grown ups got one.But the best gift of all was this.Are they not the most beautiful kids you have ever seen?Well,we think they are!I think it's called grandparent-itis.


And this.I would call this absolute joy.So,to re cap,tacos,flashlights,family,smiles.Hope your christmas was a joyful as ours turned out to be.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The ever diminishing Christmas
The last four years I've worked on Christmas Day and each year it feels less and less like the Christmas I used to remember. The problem starts back at Thanksgiving which is another holiday that I have worked for four years now. Instead of Thanksgiving lunch at my mom's on Thanksgiving day, we go over there after I get off work for dinner. Dinner means I don't get to lounge around with the family in a post-feast haze because I have to get back home so I can go to bed and get to work the next day. Thanksgiving has shrunk from a two-day holiday to three hours spent at my parent's house. The food is still great, but I miss the afternoon time with my family and the get in gear for Christmas on the day after when I traditionally dig out the Christmas stuff and put up the outdoor lights. That hasn't happened for four long years and the holiday "season" has gradually faded. This year we put up some lights later in December but the wind blew down our wire tree and killed the string of lights that was on it. That was start of the death of Christmas this year. The unexpected doctor's bills killed off any chance of buying presents. My family will be receiving home-made Chex Mix this year. They say it's the thought that counts and I made two special low-fat, low-salt versions for my parents who are on restricted diets so there was some definite thought put into it. But it's not the gifts that make Christmas for me, it's the getting together on Christmas Eve. This year, for the first time in over 40 years we will not be doing the family Christmas on Christmas Eve. We WILL be having the family Christmas at my folks... just not until tomorrow evening after I get off work. And while that is a good thing, it's wasn't enough to keep me from shedding big fat tears tonight... on Christmas Eve... the first one I've ever spent without seeing my parents. I know I'm lucky to still have them here and I'm lucky to get to see them tomorrow. Some day that won't be an option and while I'll only have about 3-4 hours for Christmas visiting tomorrow (back to work the next day for me) I will make the most of it. But I'm still shedding tears over missing Christmas Eve, much to Rob's dismay. Sorry Rob, even though I know it's silly, I can't seem to turn them off.
AT THE DRIVE IN IS

A band from El Paso Texas that ended up becoming the Mars Volta...not so keen on them,but in the drive in days,I really liked them.And not just because they were from Texas.
This song is about the serial murders of women in Juarez in the 90's.




Dancin' on the corpses ashes...
HO HO - HUH?



Sunday, December 23, 2007

HAPPY HOLIDAYS?

What did you give as gifts this christmas?Spell check is telling me with that red underline that I didn't capitalize christmas. There it goes again. Like it hasn't been capitalized enough .
If I were to follow the adverts I've been subjected to on the TV for the last month or so I would have given several Lincoln Navigators, and a variety of diamonds as gifts,as well as some Target gift cards.Or maybe some BMW's.Yeah,that says merry christmas...A $40,000 automobile.I have that amount in my change pocket.
Please...
Nothing says I love you like a lincoln MKZ...And the family in the commercial that walks up on the lincolns...It's Jon Benet!!!She didn't die after all,she's trapped in a commercial for cars for christmas!
I went to jared...and killed everyone that was there.Materialistic assholes.
On the first day of christmas my true love gave to me...a lincoln M-K-Z...
On the second day of christmas my true love gave to me...one lincoln MKZ and some giant diamonds from Jared.
On the third day of christmas my true love gave to me...one lincoln cruising,giant diamonds shining and a sub prime catastrophe...
On the fourth day of christmas my true love gave to me...one lincoln running,diamonds a shining,mortgage a hemorrhaging ,and a cruise on the sandal wood line.
On the fifth day of christmas my lawyer gave to me...10 past due card bills,one defaulted mortgage,several taxes past due and a lincoln M-K-Z.
On the sixth day of christmas my true love said to me...it's time to leave the country.
Happy holidays!!!
Ha!

Friday, December 21, 2007

OF OLD DOGS AND OIL FILLED HEATERS



This is Theo's corner...right by the heater.I saw the pic of Henry at Texas Oasis and just had to share.
THE CASE OF THE $217.00 PIZZA DELIVERY

On 18 December 2007,Ann and th'Rev ordered a pizzone and a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut on line.Our first indication that things were not right was the delivery time,120 minutes.It was early,and a Tuesday.
40 minutes later our order arrived,$13.50 plus a $2.00 tip (for driving around with pizza,probably smoking a joint,and walking 30 feet to our door,then back in the car,finish the joint and jam out to the hives or something).
This morning,Ann reviewed the bank statement on line and discovered that we had been charged $217.00 for our pizza.
$217.00!!!
She immediately called the bank and reported the error.Then she called me to share the news.Then she went back to bed.I did not not have that option since I was at work,and being that shit like this drives me insane,I had no choice but to share it with everyone that came into my field of vision.I even told the story to wetbacks on the elevator that don't speakee the englaise.
I called pizza hut when I got home to rip them a new one,but the manager was so nice and so apologetic that try as I might,I could not muster the asshole inside.I just told him what happened and asked him to ask his people to not be so fat fingered with the keypad.
Our bank was able to resolve it today and at midnight the money will be credited back to our account.
A small example of dumbasses at work and quality customer service (gasp!) coming to the rescue.
And now we can say we ate $217.00 worth of pizza at one time!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

THE MYSTERY PACKAGE

Today in the mail we got a package from the hideout,a comedy improv place here in Austin.Inside there was no note,no card...just the fourth season of Trailer Park Boys on DVD.
This is a Canadian show about the shenanigans of some guys that live in a trailer park.It's directed by this guy Mike Clattenburg.Which just happens to be our last name,I have relatives in Canada and Nova Scotia,so we might be related.Considering the low brow humor,the trailers and the drugs I'd say we are.
The show is fucking hilarious!But...where did it come from?As in,who would send us such a thing?
We think we have an idea.
If it was you,we love ya sista!If it wasn't,we still love ya and are perplexed.

Tomorrow is the crews pot luck christmas lunch for which I have made a pan of super honey cornbread and a pan of super jalapeno cornbread.There will be smoked turkey and a number of sides prepared by the guys wives no doubt,except for the turkey,which is provided by our resident BBQ freak...the man can cook on a grill,except for that pork roast a few months back that oinked at you when you sliced it!But we forgive him,Jack Daniels and all you know:)
As the job winds down, the crew shrinks weekly...folks are moving on and we are reduced almost to the core crew,the guys that will bring the tower of evil home,the guys that have been around for awhile,and some new up and comers that pack the gear to hang around for the next project.If there is one.If not,we will see each other at the hall.
Missed my calling?
A customer I was talking to this morning remarked that I had a voice that should be on the radio. It's not the first time I've heard this and and it's usually from someone who works directly in the radio business. Too bad they always live way up north where I don't want to move or I might ask them for a job even though that would be a very inappropriate thing to do. I might be a stickler for policy, but even I have weak moments at times and the thought of new job... well, our regular readers know just how much I love my current job. In fact, I had a customer about six months ago that went to great lengths to explain why I should be on the radio after I professed my disbelief and did offer me a job, but I didn't pay too much attention as it was just the usual "banter" that goes on with a customer while we wait for their computer to reboot. But after today, a particularly bad day at work, I wish I had paid more attention. Not that I want to run off to be a radio announcer - that doesn't appeal to me at all. I got to thinking though that someone has to record all those annoying customer service messages we listen to every time we call a company. Such as, "A corded phone can be a lifesaver in an power outage, be sure to ask your customer service representative about purchasing a corded phone from Company X." Who does those? A voice actor? Is there such a job? Could I do it? Would I even want it? I don't know. But it's something to think about.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A LONG TIME AGO,IN A LAND FAR, FAR AWAY

There was this band called the Jesus Lizard,born out of the ashes of Scratch Acid,which was born of the 80's punk rock explosion in Austin Texas.Back when music capitol of the world meant something more than a hook for tourism and money hungry organizers .
While this film is from CBGB's,It captures the sound and the fury of a noise that was born here.
One of my favorite bands...enjoy.

GO FIGURE...



98%ALCOHOLIC
Looking for payday loan?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

FEAR THE "HUCKABOOM"


(click to enlarge)

Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee is experiencing what his staffers are calling a huckaboom.A surge in the polls in Iowa.This is the guy that says women should submit to their husbands in marriage.This is the guy who is an ordained southern baptist minister.
Reminds me of a joke:
Why don't southern baptists make love standing up?
Because they are afraid people will think they are dancing.
Seriously,this guy can say something like that and he surges in the polls?
The narrow minded intolerance of southern baptists should be enough to submarine this guy,but no,he's gaining ground instead.Why is that?Well,part of it is he has no problem lying,in fact,lying is a tenant of the church he belongs to I think.It sure seems that way to me,growing up around them and all,but what do I know?
I wonder if he's holding out on busting out the poisonous snakes until super tuesday?
"I can handle these snakes and they do not bite me!Vote Huckabee in '08 or burn forever in holy damnation"!
Could it be a yet unseen consequence of global warming?As the temps rise,the ability to think rationally diminishes?
Who knows?
We're on an express elevator to hell...

Friday, December 14, 2007

WELL CUT MY NUTS OFF AND START CALLIN' ME PEGGY

My phone rings around mid morning and I recognize the number as my docs office.Of course,I stop what I'm doing and answer.It's my docs nurse with the results of my blood work.I brace myself....
"Your fasting sample was normal,at the one hour mark it was slightly elevated,at the two hour mark it was normal.Your triglycerides are down from last time,and your (unintelligible) is also down from last time.You have (garbled) diabetes and doctor recommends exercise,weight loss and a low cholesterol diet".
I reply with:"But if I have diabetes shouldn't I come in for a med consultation and start taking meds"?
She responds:"you don't have diabetes, you are pre diabetes".
What...the...FUCK???
I ask about my recent symptoms and am informed that I have to see the doctor about that.
He can see me January 8th.Apparently,he's not that concerned.
And after that,I felt fine.No dizziness,no head rushes this afternoon,as has been the norm for about two weeks now.
While I should be jumping for joy at the news,I am not.Relieved to be sure...but just what in hell was going on with me?Was it a hard adjustment to my blood pressure meds?Do you have symptoms when you are pre diabetes and way over do it on the sugar and pork?Did I have a virus?Was I just stressing myself out and creating these symptoms with my mind?
I'm going to keep following the new path I'm on health wise as it seems to be the common sense, I want to continue living choice.
But,damn...just damn.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

THE FOUR (EH, EIGHT) STICK TEST

I went for my blood work this morning,right out of the bed practically.The sticking began at 7:30am,it was fasting blood work.I was doing pretty good until the nurse (no phlebotomist,he was suppose to be there)couldn't find the mark.
I fucking hate needles and blood work in general,it was hard enough to work myself up to four sticks,and I ended up enduring eight from two different nurses.For four tubes of blood.
Jeez.
I've begun the process of dismantling and reassembling my diet.I've drastically curtailed my drinking.I feel a bit better as a result,and this morning was the final hurdle.After the results come in it'll be another consultation and meds and then quarterly visits to evaluate my situation.
Ann's had some ear issues this week as well and went to the doc.So what ever FOTCR funds we had will go to bills and not that we give a fuck about christmas beyond getting together with family,the grandkids will get their christmas from us in february when I can draw on my vacation fund.
Ahhh...life in prosperous america,land of the sick and the poor.:P

Sunday, December 09, 2007

THIS IS MY REASON


JAM

Oh, yes it was,Annabelle has a hangover this morning,that's how much fun we had.You can see us here makin' la musica!



This here's the surviving members of our first band way back in 1984...Left for dead.we rocked.

Gimme that telecaster strum bitch...

Wolve's@th'Door:LT,Badger,Annabelle,And th'Rev...A band...god dammit...a family.
Last night fucking ruled,I can't explain to you how much it meant to me to have these people here...making music...taking time...
I'm smiling even now.

Friday, December 07, 2007

TOGETHER AGAIN

Tomorrow the Wolves reunite at clubspit central for an evening of acoustic jamming under the carport/front porch.There will be BBQ and adult beverages and a lot of noodling around.I've got a new song I've been working on on my own called Mockingbird,it's about our dearly departed rock star,Mark.I've got the guitar part down,but the lyrics are still in progress.It's hard not to get teary eyed working on them,Mark called his daughter(?) mockin' bird.I'm interested to see the direction it takes as a band piece.
Mostly,I have a lot of work to do tomorrow...break out the house drum kit for Bill and clean it up,clean the car port out and off and some housework that mostly involves removing dog hair and junk off the floors in the living room, kitchen and bathroom.Gotta hook up the track lights under the car port,after I remove this summers wasp nests from them and dispose of/move out of the way a bunch of junk.
I've got 8 or so hours to pull this off...should be all good.
Not so freaked out about the diabetes thing any more.Just needed that brief window of self pity and to blurt out my worst fears to Ann.BW's comments were helpful as well.
And besides,I'm tough as fucking nails...I can dance under water and not get wet-HA!
We probably won't have audio of tomorrow,but definitely pictures.
Stay tuned.
YAWN
I've spent the last week rediscovering a feeling I first discovered in my teenage years. It's a general feeling of boredom that I experience even though I have plenty of stuff that could be done or needs to be done. Nothing sparks any sort of excitement. There's no passion, no drive and I know that sounds a bit like depression, but there is a distinct difference between the two. There's no sadness here and it's more of a feeling of being on hold or stuck in some sort of temporary stasis. This sort of thing used to drive me crazy, but I haven't had one of these spells in a very long time. And this time I'm not letting it get to me. I'm just going to sit back and endure it gracefully because in a few more days, weeks or months something is going to grab my attention and I'll be back to my usual obsessive self. Remember, I'm the person that spent my vacation burning 600+ CDs to the hard drives of our computers and enjoyed the project. I'm secretly hoping it will be housework this time because this house could definitely use attention. But hell will probably freeze over before that happens.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

AT LEAST I KNOW WHAT'S GONNA KILL ME

No...I'm not dealing with this well,but knowing somehow makes it just a teeny bit better.
I found this tonight at you tube...An amazing rendition in black and white to one of the best songs ever written.
I give you Gates of Eden...enjoy.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

HEY MISTER P'LICEMAN CAN'T YOU POINT THE WAY-WITH YOUR HANDGUN?



A classic...takes me back to much better days.
EVACUATION

Somebody busted a natural gas line this morning and they evacuated the entire building for 45 minutes.Then it turns out that George just farted...just kidding,this was for real,with haz mat trucks and fire trucks and the police redirecting traffic.All in all,an exciting morning.



Haven't posted in a couple days cause well,I've been flat on my back in the bed feeling miserable.I went to my doctor on Monday and when he looked at my injured foot with mystery toe bruising busted out my chart and showed me the upward progression of my glucose levels over the years and it appears that I have finally arrived in diabetes type 2 ville.
The symptoms are very disconcerting...especially the blood sugar head rushes and dizziness.
It was a struggle at work today to stay for the whole shift,but I did.
I've been doing research and had a very enlightening talk with one of my coworkers today about my other symptoms,which match his almost identically prior to his diagnosis.
It can be easily controlled,which is good,but it seems that my life is going to radically change (overdue change,to be sure) and soon.
Hell,it already has.
I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 03, 2007

DANCE THE GHOST WITH ME...

New Wolves viddy at you tube.I spent a lot of time this weekend napping as opposed to drinking.Don't get me wrong,there was some drinking involved,just not the usual amounts of the past,and the naps were so much more refreshing.And I had these dreams...bright and colorful and not at all scary.I'm glad I took four days off.
It's been cool...calls and emails from England and Canada,visits from local friends (one with cookies!).
My favorite part of this song is at the end when a friend brings his daughter up for some hearing loss and some up close and personal guitar magic.
I feel like a lucky man.
Here's Blackout...enjoy.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

MY BEST FRIEND...

I had hoped to post a wolves video here for your enjoyment tonight,but circumstances got in the way.So we'll do it tomorrow.But I was laying in bed with Irene and her head on my stomach,cradled against my body and I was lying there in the dark thinking this is my best friend ever as far as dogs go.
She understands complicated commands with ease.It's amazing.I've had many dogs and loved them all for a number of reasons,but I've never had a dog so human as my beenz.
She goes with me everywhere and we have conversations. beyond sit and stay.I know yer thinking I'm crazy,but it's true.
Irene is like that monkey that knew sign language.
I'm serious.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

One of many reasons why I've never moved away
It's December 1st and we are sitting on our front porch cooking burgers on the grill, both of us barefoot and Rob's in shorts. If it wasn't dark already you might think it was the perfect spring evening with temperatures in the low 70's and a bit of moisture in the air from the recent rain. Never mind that it was freezing at this time of night a few days ago and most likely will be again in a few days. For now, it's great and we are definitely enjoying the moment. Here's hoping your Saturday night was just as grand in what ever form or fashion that might take.
Oddballs of the neighborhood
Today was a half-day at work, only 4 hours. This meant I left work before I was super-stressed and, trust me, if I could afford to only work part-time then I would since it's a great way to survive this crazy job. Some jobs just shouldn't be done 40 hours a week (at least by me) and this is one of them. But enough about work. The original plans for this afternoon were to replace our outdoor lights which are technically "Christmas lights", but we keep them up and on year 'round. We've got one string with a short in it so they haven't been on at all for a few months while we waited for the stores to get their Christmas stocks out on the shelves and put them on sale. I swear they make these strings of lights crappier every year because they used to last two years or more and they don't even make a it whole year now. The swap was originally scheduled for the weekend after Thanksgiving, but it rained the whole time. We rescheduled for today and guess what? Yep, it's raining again. It's kind of funny since the rest of the neighborhood houses are festooned with lights and ours is dark. This is the complete opposite of how it is the rest of the year when our house is the only one with lights. If I didn't miss the lights so much, I'd leave them off until the rest of the folks took theirs down just to further cement our reputation for being unconventional. But I do miss them - having lights across the front porch and carport of our house is a tradition we started soon after as I moved in and living here is just not as fun without them. And I have come to believe that is it the little things that make you smile which add up to create overall happiness so I want to get this one back ASAP.

Friday, November 30, 2007

AWWW...HE WROTE A SONG ABOUT ME





Ha!
WELL...I MADE IT.

30 posts in 30 days...Nablopomo is over at midnight tonight.
Today was a good day for me,I got birthday greetings from friends far and wide and right here at home.Had an awesome breakfast with Ann and then hit 4 music stores looking for the black banjo head replacement I found on line the other night without success.But it was still fun to look at guitars and basses and amps with Ann,we haven't done that for a long time.Mostly because we have too many already and no money to spend on such expensive shit.
The Gibson SG I paid around 900 dollars for 10 years ago is now 1300 for a right hand model,I imagine a lefty is around 14 or 1500 these days.
I looked at some vintage banjos...one Gibson from 1937 that was in fair condition bordering on poor that had a 3800 dollar price tag!Damn!
I'll have to be content to play with my Johnson-no...the banjo you perverts!
So...heres to you folks and I think I'll take the weekend off,but probably not.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

1959...

48 years ago tomorrow I was born,and the world has not been safe ever since.Seriously,I have lived and experienced things that most of my co workers don't even know about.It's a sad statement on the education system in this country,especially in regard to history.My parents always taught me that you had to understand where we've been to have a grasp on where we were going.
Seems like the passing on of information and history has become more selective and convenient in our society,ignoring certain important events over others and the end result seems to be a bunch of people who have no clue about events that helped form the countrie's conscience.
Case in point:At work this week we watched American Gangster during our lunch breaks over 3 days.This is a dramatized recounting of actual events that happened during the peak years of the war in Viet Nam.There are TV's going in scenes in this movie of live combat news reports from Viet Nam.After lunch today I commented to the guys I was working with that I remembered watching those reports on the news as a teenager.It was amazing to them that those reports were real,which led to a discussion of how sanitized the reporting of this current "war" is.It also afforded me a chance to share some of my own experiences at anti war demonstrations I attended at UT as a teenager with my Dad,who had 6 years in the navy and 27 in the air force.When he retired and attended UT on the GI bill he encountered men who had been in the Nam and it turned his head around,from super lifer to hippy at the age of...that's right,48.
My Dad and I made history,and today I was able to relive part of it to a couple of guys who had no clue what those days were like.
So tonight I celebrate by going to bed in the next hour and putting in a movie that I will most likely fall asleep 20 minutes into,but that's ok-I've seen it before,so I know how it comes out.And tomorrow morning I'll wake up in a bed surrounded by my wife and my dogs (who will be thrilled that I don't get up as I took the day off.Who should work on their birthday,right?) and begin another year.
I need to tell these guys more stories I think.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

IT'S LIKE A CLOWN CAR AT THE CIRCUS

And I'm talking about the latest GOP debate on CNN with questions from you tube people.It's like the car circled around a brightly colored array of traffic cones and then one of the old,white,male and sickly looking GOP candidates jumped out and said something stupid (what is that growth on McCain's right cheek anyway?Agent orange come to mind?).
This was less a debate than a shit slinging session between racist old white guys that hate each other...oh wait,that does define the GOP this time around doesn't it?The only one who rose above the fray and had anything to say that wasn't inflammatory toward another "candidate" was Ron Paul,and we know he doesn't have a rats chance because he tells the truth and supports the constitution.
And we can't have someone like that with his finger on the button can we?
Rudy?Fuck that lying self aggrandizing sack of mobbed up shit.It amazes me that he is polling so well,if there was ever strong evidence that polls are useless,this is it.
Mitt?What a fucking Ronnie Raygun wanna-be...his comments regarding illegals employed at his home were most telling of all,once again he gets the sock full of wood screws to the face.
McCain is just bat shit crazy.
And for the rest of them,they are forgettable,regrettable Willy Loman types.Even Ron,who has something of substance to say,unfortunately,the american people don't care about substance any more,unless you can smoke,snort,or rub it into your belly and delude yourself that the rest of these fuckheads are viable candidates.Please.Beam me up.
We are so fucked.
Stay tuned for my skewering of the next democratic debate,which is loaded with asshats as well.
Like I said...
I don't wanna
I need to go to the store, but I'm hoping I can talk Rob into it. I was at HEB just two nights ago in my house shoes, but also with a migraine and I really don't want to repeat the experience seeing as I still have the migraine (it's been 5 days now) and HEB is hellish enough without one. I suppose I could go to a different grocery store, but they each have their own individual version of hell and all of them have LIGHTS! Not just lights, but LIGHTS! Other migraine suffers will know of what I speak when I talk about LIGHTS! And then there are the headLIGHTS of the cars on the way to the store which is actually a bit worse than the LIGHTS in the store.

Ah, if I could go back in time then I would go back to when I worked at home and PeaPod would deliver my groceries. And then I would then transport the salary I made back then along with the groceries to the present day because I'm not really interested in reliving those times so much as I just want the conveniences.

Hooray! Rob just took pity on me and is making the store run. And he will return with fishsticks, mac and cheese and beer - none of which I should eat or drink with a migraine, but I really don't think it can get much worse at this point so I might as well consume some comfort food.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I THINK I'M IN TROUBLE AGAIN

Another Wolves video...enjoy.


THIS IS ME IN 25 YEARS

I discovered Roscoe Holcomb on the you tubes,which is part of the internet tubes as you well know.There's lot's more Roscoe there but this is my favorite...often covered,never topped.

FACE TO FACE





Me and Mac scopin' each other out.I think I really do like this grandpa thing after all.:)

I lost my helper today...the one who tried to drill a hole in his finger the other day.He pissed dirty (If you get hurt on the job you are drug tested before anything else happens) and was fired.I was on my way in and he was on his way out in the parking garage.I thought he was going to a doctor appt. or sick or something,until I saw the paycheck envelope in his hand and he told me they had let him go because he pissed dirty.Bummer.
Now, I have strict rules about this sort of thing.You should never,ever go to work under the influence of anything,not even a hangover.Electrical work is just too dangerous to throw chemically induced stupidity into the mix.He was never high on the job and only hung over once.
I bird dogged him more on that day,for my safety and his.
Beyond that,I feel whatever you do on your personal time is your personal time.Drug testing is vague and inconclusive in my opinion,unless you are mandating some sort of morality in the workplace,it's out of hand.
He was a good hand.Our company is impacted by his loss,I'm impacted by it,he's a good kid and I'll miss working with him.
Secret life of Walter Mitty aside,he was a competent apprentice.
A shame really,and a sign of the times I'm afraid.
One of these things is not like the others
It's a common story that has been told to me by many women. It's the classic "I ran to the grocery store..." followed by some variation of "without my makeup on", "in my pajamas", "without fixing my hair" or some such ... followed by them running into someone they didn't expect to see such as boyfriend, mother-in-law, boss, etc. Well, I got to experience my own version of that last night. Now it would not be unusual for someone at the grocery to see me without makeup or my hair thrown into a pony tail, but I can say that I have only worn house shoes to the grocery store once in my entire life and that was last night. I didn't expect to run into anyone that I knew since I never run into anyone that I know at the grocery store (unlike Rob who runs into folks on a regular basis.) But of course I would this one time. Yes, while I was shuffling down the aisles in my very warm, fuzzy blue house shoes, I ran into my boss whom I have never ever seen in that store before and will probably never ever see there again. So there I was caught at the grocery store, looking like some welfare mamma in her house shoes, but while the circumstances might have been the same as the stories I've heard, the experience was not. That's because I didn't give a damn that my boss saw me wearing house shoes at the grocery store and for that matter, my boss wouldn't have given a damn if he had even noticed (which he didn't - I asked him today.) That makes it a whole different sort of story and one reason why I have never quite fit in with the other women in any office setting that I've worked. I've never understood that feeling of "mortification" they seem to experience on a regular basis in regards to other people's opinions of their appearance. And apparently not even getting caught wearing house shoes to the grocery store is going to shed any light on it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

STONER FOOD TV...

Hey man,I'm your host,Shakey McBake-o, mixin' up another fun foray into the world of stoner food.What's stoner food you ask?Well...first you get baked and then anything goes.It could be a monster fuckin' pizza,or it could be flour tortillas jammed in a jar of miracle whip at 3 in the morning...at stoner food tv,you never know whats gonna happen.


Here's a timeless classic...chili dogs,all you have to remember is to not turn the burners up too high man,they really taste good if you don't burn them.And if you do,just add some ketchup.Which,incidentally,is really good on white bread with a bowl of rice krispies with a shitload of sugar on it.
After the chili dogs,you need something awesome to cleanse the palate,and pie always fits the bill.So tonight,we make a pie that rivals all pies...the whopper chocolate vanilla no bake pie.

Dude...get yourself a chocolate graham cracker pie crust and some malted milk balls,commonly called whoppers.I don't know why they call them whoppers but it cracks my shit up.Crush those whoppers and throw them into the crust.

Mix the pie filling (see above pic and play some zeppelin)with 3 cups of chocolate milk and pour it in,wait 5 minutes and then throw whoppers at the pie randomly,creating the above image.Stick it in the fridge and go burn one.
Then...oh my god!
Stoner food heaven!
Tune in next time when we do crunchy fish tenders and mac and cheese with dolly madison chocolate zingers with vanilla ice cream and sprinkles...ummmmmmmmmm.
OUT WITH THE OLD...IN WITH THE NEW...

This is the old APD badge:


It has a stoic dragnet kind of feel to it doesn't it?According to the article,colors are changed to delineate rank.


And here's the new badge...the eagle and the color changes replaced with a relief of the capitol and a lone star.
Here's the crazy part:it took a 21 member "equipment committee" THREE YEARS to come up with this...and we paid for it.
Disgusting.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

THANKSGIVING V.3

We had yet another thanksgiving meal with the kids this afternoon,turkey with all the trimmings and all that.It was a good time.

from left:Brandy,Mac,Kyle (with his new haircut) and Sean.Our hosts for the event.


Sean made a gingerbread house that was a sight to behold,an engineer he is most definitely not (yet,anyway)

Mac and I show off our crazy eyes...man!That's a giant forehead...I had no clue,add some ridges and I could be Worf :)

This was the kids first foray into a holiday meal,and they pulled it off well.
We have one more night of this welcome cold and then the temps are on the rise again...mid 70's by mid week,which I guess is better than 90's or above.
God...is this a cheesy grandpa post or what...?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

SPOILED DOGS AND STONER PIE




Theo likes a heating pad.It warms his old bones.And I,like a good human,move it around on him periodically to maximize his relief. He is my boy and its up to me to see that he's comfy,right?


This is stoner pie...and you too can have it.Here is the recipe:

1 premade graham cracker crust
1 package instant vanilla pie filling
7 reese's peanut butter cups,chopped

Prep:smoke a joint then chop up the cups man...wow.
Toss em' in the pie crust dude...wow.
mix up the pie filling...I chose the shake method cause it seemed cool man...wow.
Pour that shit in the crust.
Chill...you and the pie.
Smoke another joint and then chow dude!
(joints are optional...the pie still rocks).

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday, indeed!
Let there be no doubt that e-commerce is alive and well on the internet. Today I had to listen to people literally SCREAMING because their internet service was down and they couldn't do their online shopping. Hard to imagine that shopping has become so important to some people that they turn into complete assholes when denied the opportunity. I could understand the reaction if it was their one chance to buy food for their starving family, but to get that upset because you can't buy something on Black Friday? A part of me can't help but wish them a literal apoplexy from this sort of behavior. The end of the workday couldn't get here fast enough for me and I'm now happily at home (with shoes OFF) and a cold beer doing my best to shake off all the bad vibes that came my way today. I'm going to spend the next three days accumulating as much tranquility and bliss as possible to prepare for next week. If the past three years are any indication, this is going to go on for the next three months or so until people finally chill out towards the end of February. It's a shame that a holiday season that is supposed to be about "peace and goodwill" is anything but these days.
TORN




As I mentioned yesterday,my son and his family are moving to Colorado in January.It's an employment opportunity at the root for Brandy,and they would be foolish to pass on it.Kyle and I discussed it when we were visiting last week and,at that point they weren't going.Family and friends are all here etc etc...yada yada.I got a feeling then that more discussion would ensue between them and they would decide to go for it,so when Kyle called and told me the other day I was not surprised.
He lined it out for me and the bottom line is it's an opportunity to have a better life than they have now,for them and their children.I was impressed at the level of thought that went into the decision.
He also told me that he's been in love with Colorado since I took him there when he was 12*.This I can also understand...I moved there the first time in 1979,and again in 1982.It's an amazing place compared to here,the landscape,the seasons,the possibilities.I could of stayed there,but I ended up back here and my life has played out the way it has since.Had I not come back,there would be no Kyle,no Ann,and no extended family like the one I have now.I have no regrets about the choices I made,maybe a few lingering "what ifs" but the bottom line is I made some life long friends while I was there and I made my life here.
What got to me,and ultimately brought me back to Texas was home sickness.After my first wife and I split and I was truly on my own up there,I was lonely.I had my friends and all but something was missing,I missed my family.It was like a hole in me,always there no matter what other good things were happening.So I came home,and for awhile,it was all good.But being back in Texas wore on me,I missed the mountains and the cold and the snow and my friends.
I was torn.So I went back,but that didn't work out so well for me and here I am, all these years later...in Texas.
I hope Kyle considers the power of home sickness...it's powerful medicine.His circumstances are very different from mine, he has a family,they have an opportunity awaiting them.But the home sickness will be the same,the difference being they have each other.
So I say go for it,and the best of luck.It sounds like a great adventure is awaiting them.
I just can't shake the feeling that,no matter the outcome,to his mother it will somehow be my fault* that they left.
But that's another story...
I will miss them very much...I already do.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

WOO HOO!

4 and a half days off...and it's finally cold!I'm in heaven.We had t-day dinner at Ann's folks house tonight and it was awesome,I'm still full as a wood tick.
I found out yesterday that my son and his family are moving to Colorado in January.As much as I want to ramble on about it,I need to let it sink in some more.Maybe tomorrow.
Hope you had a good one,whatever you did.
Good night Irene :) (I've always wanted to use that).
Winter is here (though I'm sure it's only for a few days)
Temps were below 40 degrees this morning which I'm sure made Rob happy. Personally, I don't like it when temps drop below 50 degrees because then it's too cold to wear sandals. I hate wearing shoes, but sandals are as close enough to barefoot to be tolerable. Unfortunately I had to go to work this morning so I drug out my black pair of Fluevogs. I've had them for over a year, but they are still not "broken in" and pinch my feet since I've worn them so seldom (maybe five or six times in an entire year.) The first thing I did when I got home from work was take them off even though they have to go right back on in less than an hour when we head over to my folks for the Thanksgiving Feast. If would just wear these shoes often enough, they could eventually be as comfy as my old Docs that I wore out completely - too bad those can't be resoled or I'd still be wearing them. New Shoe Blues - now that's a song I could definitely write from experience.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A DEPTHMARKER EXCLUSIVE!

Wolves@th'Door cover Ida Cox!You won't see this at You tube because the file sizes and format are all fucked up because I'm an idiot apparently.I have never used movie maker before,and I did so intuitively (did not read directions) so it's a miracle it even got made.






There is no live video for this song,it was audio only so I made a slide show.LT did the mix.
We were just messing around at Club Spit East last summer and I suggested this cover after hearing it,uh...somewhere.It was recorded live to DAT and then LT messed with it some on his computer.
We hope you like it.
Turkey Day Tomorrow
The roads have been packed with travelers as people head out of town to spend the holiday with their family and friends. We are staying put since our family is nearby... for now... there's a possibility that the kids may be heading off to pursue new opportunities in Colorado come January. But for now they are nearby and we'll be doing Thanksgiving with them on Sunday. Tomorrow we will be having Thanksgiving *supper* at my folks house. I work tomorrow so we had to move the feast to the evening. The supervisor calls have increased this week and I suppose that's a sign of the additional stress that many people seem to feel during the holiday season. I usually get at least one "screamer" per day, but it was pretty much every other caller today. I was particularly annoyed at the folks who were transferred to me so they could complain about the delay the holiday was causing in getting their issues resolved since no DSL repair tickets will be worked tomorrow. One person even told me that it was "unacceptable that we were not running a full work force in all departments tomorrow." Let's hope things never come to that, but it wouldn't surprise me if it doesn't come to pass down the road as more and more employers give fewer and fewer holidays. If you have the day off tomorrow, give thanks that you have an employer who hasn't yet cut this holiday out in the name of being "competitive."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'M GOING ON A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY

These You tube postings seem to have triggered a watershed of good memories for band members and attendees as well.
For me,it shows a spirit of the collective (does that sound communist?) that was our circle at that space in time.
It's energizing.
And there's more to come.If you want a copy of this DVD give us a holla...we'll send you one.
ON THE JOB INJURIES...NEW SONG UP AT YOU TUBE

My helper out did me today in the category of hand injuries.His drill jumped the screw and he put the phillips tip through his index fingernail,fracturing the bone in the tip of his finger and almost exiting out the pad.Ewwww.
After I packed him off to the ER,I went back to work and picked up the drill,there were bits of flesh embedded in the tip.Double ewwww.

More Wolves for you listening enjoyment.This was a newer song for us when we did this gig,and as such,is a bit rough around the edges,but it became our first set closer over time,evolving into our favorite song to play.The lyrics were made up on the spot in a practice and never changed.
Reststop....uh,enjoy(?)

Monday, November 19, 2007

It was one of those days...
You know, the kind where things go haywire and not all like you plan. It was a day off work for me, but turned out to be rather annoying rather than restful. In my fantasy world I could call into work and take another day off since this one sucked. Unfortunately this is real life so it's off to bed for me instead of a decent blog post. I suppose I should mention that we did get the property tax loan completed today and there was some bright news there. The loan terms were not quite as horrible as I expected due to some misleading wording in the preview documents we received by email. That's twice now that we've received a loan with terms better than I expected, but I don't think it's going to ease my suspicion of loan officers in general.
HERE WE ARE...ON FUCKING YOU TUBE!



Enjoy.

We opted for Bluesong for our first entry because,well,it just kills.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

WE ARE FAMILY...
This is our family...



From left:Sean,Mac,Kyle and Brandy...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

YA'LL WANT SOME GREEN BEANS????



Bwahahahahahahahahaha!I cooked them in bacon with some cajun spice and BAM!
G'wan...have some green beans...really.I don't want to hurt you.
WOLVES ON YOU TUBE

Tomorrow night,provided the upload process isn't too much for me :).
After trying to coordinate with my son,we finally could get together tomorrow to do this and to also spend some time with the grandkids and their mom.
If it all goes well,our classic love song "Rest Stop" will be gracing you tube before I go to bed on Sunday.Rock and roll history will be made and we will finally get the recognition and stardom we so richly deserve...or we'll get the shit flamed out of us and I'll disable embedding,and then comments,and then finally pull it down.Like that tranny who lip synced Dolly Partons "Dagger through the heart".Didn't see that one?Oh man,you missed a peach.
Check him,uh,her?out:

Dolly

It's a great song,and this video is fucking hilarious.

Friday, November 16, 2007

THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION 2-THE METAL YEARS

I watched it this evening,just finished it in fact.I'm renewed in my relief that I went from hippy to punk without the purgatory that was heavy metal in the 80's.
I listened to some of these bands but never embraced the style,and I use that term loosely.
Those guys looked fucking stupid,what with the big hair and the make up and the womens pants and the boots and the scarves.I think the only logical conclusion one can come to to explain the incredible amount of 'tang these guys got is that a comet passed through the atmosphere and left a particle belt that altered women's judgement and boosted their libidos to the point of fuck anything with an instrument for a decade.Or maybe it was drugs and booze.
Ozzy was(as always)affectionately amusing,you could understand his every word but even he was sporting a gay ass hair do.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are clearly latent homosexuals and had no business being in it.
I love Alice Cooper.
I love Lemmy even more.
Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were 11 months sober at the time,but still annoying to watch and listen to,but they were the shit in the 70's as far as I was concerned.
The local bands shown playing and interviewed were pale imitations of the bands that made it musically,but they all shared a determination (denial?) that was admirable (laughable?).
I bet that guy from WASP is dead.I like my vodka,but gawd damn!
And they saved the best for last.
The veil has been partially lifted

I'm often mystified by this younger generation I work with. This article sheds some light on it.

The "Millennials" are coming

Excuse me, I have to go throw up now.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I SAW THIS POLL AT A LOCAL NEWS CHANNELS WEBSITE

It was on race relations in the US and so far,these are the results:


How would you rate the state of race relations in the United States these days?



Excellent 11 (9%)


Good 27 (21%)


OK 45 (35%)


Poor 42 (33%)


Unsure 4(!) (3%)


Total Votes: 129

So the 9% that are either maxed out on xanax or involved in an inter racial relationship think they are excellent.And 3% are shut ins that haven't left their homes since the civil rights movement,who are unsure.As you can see,the middling ground is an almost even split between OK and poor.
You have to keep in mind that there are only 129 respondents and this is after all,Texas.
I am one of those 129,and I voted OK.I can't speak for anyone else,but in my corner of the world,right now,things are OK.The ethnic balance on the crew is fairly even.And,after months of working together,we are beginning to forge friendships with the guest workers who work for the general contractor.
There are these guys that core drill holes in the floors for plumbing pipes and their hard hats are emblazoned with the word "conejo",or, alternately "don conejo".
It's spanish for rabbit or mr.rabbit.It dawned on me the other day that they are rabbits because they tunnel.We have begun an exchange with these guys,trading a spanish word for the english translation and vice-versa daily.
It's really kind of cool when you think about it.Over time we have all learned that we are really not so different,proving the theory that racism is about ignorance.
That's not to say that there aren't people out there worthy of our derision.They are out there,and as Cris Rock so pointedly put it,there is a difference between black people and niggas.I would expand that to include all races,you don't have to be a certain color to be abhorrent.Assholes come in every color.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

IT'S NOT SO BAD REALLY,BUT IT COULD BE SO MUCH BETTER.

In spite of all our difficulties,life is still pretty good,if you compare us to living in say Bolivia or,god forbid,Iraq or Afghanistan.
As much as I piss and moan about our station in life,things could be worse.And by worse I mean catastrophic.
I went to a funeral this morning...my buddy XXX's mom died over the weekend at the age of 84,back in the day I thought that was fucking ancient,but as I get older I think...hey,wait a minute.
Embracing my mortality is more difficult than I imagined I guess.
Almost the whole crew is going,in solidarity with XXX.My mom died a long time ago,but the wound remains fresh after all these years...I don't think you ever recover fully from a loss like that,I haven't.XXX is much older than me,as was his mom older than mine when she died,but I recognized the expression on his face when he told us,and the tone of his voice,and the tears that welled up in his eyes that he (and I,in self defense) pretended were not there.His buddy on the crew brought a gay ass card for us to sign,one like your grandmother would buy,today.We all did.It was perfect.
He'll hold that card close to his heart forever,as well he should,because we all mean what we say,and what we say is...much love and support for you my friend.
And when it's over,we will come back to work,and life will resume,somewhat different than it was before.
Heard on the radio
I was on my way home from work tonight and there was a discussion on the radio about the effects of higher gasoline prices on the environmentalist movement. There were several comments about the higher prices causing people to buy more fuel efficient cars. That sort of response struck me as odd. After all, new cars aren't cheap. If I bought the cheapest thing out there and paid cash, I'd still be spending at least $10,000. That $10,000 would buy a heck of a lot of fuel even at $10/gallon. Then again, maybe they are referring to the wealthier folks in this country with their Expeditions and Hummers but I doubt those folks are going to be feeling that much of a pinch from higher fuel prices. It's the poorer folks that get hurt the most since fuel costs are a bigger percentage of income, but these are also the folks who can't afford to go out and buy a new "fuel-efficient" car. So that kind of reasoning just strikes me as way off base, but apparently the "experts" know better. I do know that I, for one, will certainly not be running out to buy a new car as the result of higher gas prices.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

FRONT PORCH CAMPSITE

Well,we didn't solve the problems of the world,but we had a hella meal on the grill and decided that our front porch was actually better than camping.Ann brought a chair and ottoman out from the living room...our own flush toilet,and our bed, mere yards away.
And music...and well,see for yourself...



The front porch national park.



I don't need no stinking stove!



Bacon on the fire...



Hashbrowns in the bacon grease (reduced sodium)



Scramble up some cheesy eggs and break-er...dinner is served.
It was so nice to spend the evening outside,Irene and Theo joined us (Theo just long enough to pee on the lily,sniff around for a minute,then retire back to his grumpy old man spot on the bed).
A very enjoyable evening.
Thoughts from the front porch
Rob and I are sitting out on the porch tonight. It's much cooler out here than in the house because it has been rather warm the last few days with highs in the upper 80's. There's a cold front coming in tomorrow night that is supposed to cool things off a bit. I've been avoiding the porch since my back "injury" because the lawn chairs we have out here are agony to sit in, but I realized tonight that I could drag out the living room chairs which are quite comfy especially if I put my feet up on the ottoman. The chair and ottoman are extremely lightweight and weigh less than a load of laundry so I figured it would be no problem to move them out. I forgot they are a little bulky and I felt a twinge when I wrangled the chair out the door so I may ask Rob to move them back in for me. I do think that I may make this a part of the porch sitting routine. We already move the laptop out here for tunes (and I'm using that to post as well) so why not add a few chairs and ottomans. Well, Rob is back from the store with refreshments so I'll end the post here for now. If we manage to come up with ways to solve the world's problems in our conversation tonight, I'll be sure to post our solutions before I go to bed. Don't hold your breath though :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

THIS SINGER/SONGWRITER THING KINDA SUCKS

I've been in bands since I was 13...truth be told,the first serious endeavor was and is the current band formed in 1994.That's 13 going on 14 years in the same band with the same people,and while we have not been very active these last few years,we have not,despite the rumors,broken up.
In addition to the band stuff,I am kind of a folkie,I love strumming on the acoustic and a lot of the wolves songs were born on my acoustic.
I've come up with this killer riff that does not lend itself to the sound and the fury that is our band,but the words escape me.I came up with this thing on Saturday and i have yet to come up with some lyrics that I'm happy with.
Back in the day they just flowed off my tongue and i didn't even really think about them,but most of those songs were angry and heart broken,so it was easy.I'm not those things anymore (not so much,anyway) and it seems I've spent the bank.
Playing by myself is a very different experience than playing with the band.
It's more intimate and exposed.And it's harder to get it the way I want it,I can't rely on my band mates to flesh it out or allow me to wank off into one of those crazy ass solos.
So...I've got this killer riff I'm wrestling with...
Oops
I missed posting yesterday for NaBloPoMo even after Rob reminded me. Ah well, ten days in a row is still a pretty good posting run for me. I've never been particularly good about doing things on a timetable when it comes to my personal life. Work is a different matter, but when I'm at home, I'd rather not be bothered with a set schedule. I've never successfully watched a TV show every week for it's entire season no matter how much I liked it. If there is a movie I want to watch that comes on at a certain time, you can bet I'll be doing something else at that moment and decide to miss it. I have plans to clean the filters on the A/C units on the 1st of each month, but truth is they get cleaned only when I happen to think about it, never on the 1st. We don't eat dinner at a certain time every night - dinner happens when it happens. In a perfect world I'd get up when I woke up, eat when I was hungry and sleep when I was tired instead of all this alarm clocks and scheduled lunches and what have you.
DEN OF THIEVES

Last week at the tower of evil,someone made off with my tape measure.It wasn't a cheap one either.Numbers on both sides and with a magnetic tip.But what happened next defies logic.
Last Friday at morning break,I hit the soda machine as usual,but instead of going down stairs I went straight out into the alley to smoke.I left my hard hat on the top of the soda machine thinking surely it would be alright for five or ten minutes.Wrong.
When I returned to retrieve it,it was gone.This is not one of the uncomfortable hard hats issued by the contractor,I bought it.And it was personalized with a variety of stickers and had "REV" drawn on the back in sharpie.
The #two safety guy informed me that the building security guard had taken it.I called securities number and inquired,yes,he had taken it and told me it was a "big no-no" (security talk I guess)to leave a hard hat unattended on the second floor,the he muttered something I couldn't really understand and told me to wait by the soda machine and he would return my hard hat presently.With work to be done,I got a spare from downstairs and headed up the T.O.E to my floor.He called me and I met him on two.He abruptly gave me my HH back and scuttled off.All of my stickers had been removed and someone had attempted to remove the "Rev" from the back.
I was furious,and told everyone I encountered on my way back up the tower.
It went something like this:
"Rev...what's wrong"?
"Some mother fucker tried to steal my god damn hard hat...first they steal my tape measure and now this"?!"They pulled off my stickers and tried to get my name off the back"."If I catch a motherfucker stealing my shit,motherfuckers gonna get hurt"!
Now,I don't usually go all feral like that,especially on the job.People knew I was upset.
I had a chat with safety guy # one later in the day about it,and related my dismay that someone would stoop so low as to try to steal a fucking hard hat.He returned moments later with safety # two,who basically said there was no way that any of their guys would have tried something like that if the security guard had indeed put it in the contractors office.He implied that the security guard was the culprit,and further implied that he is an asshole.He is an asshole by the way,one of those angry 50 something vets working in a go nowhere job for 10 dollars an hour and one of the benefits is to fuck with people...you know the type.And so do I.Based on my subsequent interactions with "Benson",I think # two is correct.
Ann suggested this might be payback from XXX...but he wouldn't do that to my hard hat,this I know in my heart.
He would shit in my lunch box!
HA~!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

THE MOON AND ST. CHRISTOPHER

I met Mary Black on you tube yesterday while I was surfing around the Iris Dement stuff.
I like her...hope you do too.


THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT...PART THREE

"Our society,what a drag,our society,what a fucking drag"-Subhumans,early 80's.

It seems to me that intolerance and hypocrisy rule the day in our society.This theory is brilliantly illustrated by the recent arrests of several conservative republican/gay bashers for...engaging in or attempting to engage in homosexual activities.The floodgates were opened by ol' Ted Haggard back in 2006 and it's been a steady stream of conservative/religious two faced dick smokers ever since.
Bald faced lying is also high on the list.Look at any bushco speech,press conference,appearance on fox news and you'll see what I mean.They are lying and know it.The "journalists" know it and enable and foster it.We know it,yet for reasons that remain shrouded in mystery,there hasn't been an outcry.Shit,theres barely been a peep.Those that do speak up are marginalized,pigeon holed and sometimes arrested.And the citizens allow it to continue.But thats denial...another in the top 10.
But the thing that concerns me the most,and number one on my list is the ever increasing violence.
I was at the court tv news site today,as I am most days,and here's a sampling of what's occurred in just the last week:
4 murders,3 murder/suicides,a couple of school shootings,a handful of sexual assaults,a pregnant woman run over by a rival after a street fight involving at least 30 people,3 disappearances with shifty circumstances and finally,a dead little mystery girl washes up on a small island in a box.
And thats just at court tv's website.CNN regularly has posts of murders and assaults daily,and curiously,most of them happen in Florida.
I don't know why this is happening,I'm a news hound and have been reading about shit like this for years and trust me,it is getting worse with each passing day.
Mental illness?sure.People just not giving a fuck anymore?OK.Crazy ass war veterans?Not yet,but that's coming.Substance abuse?yes.Gangs?right again.Violence on tv and in the movies?Lots of people point to that and video games,but I think this one tracks back to mental illness.I love violent movies,I watch them all the time.But I know it's only a movie,that guy or gal with an underlying mental illness might not.Some like to blame music...all kinds of music,metal,rap,punk*...I think this tracks back to mental illness as well.Music stimulates emotion,but for it to trigger an act points to two rats fucking in a wool sock in July nutty.The music of the past was triggered by acts.If music is responsible for violence today,I opine that it's because,by and large,most of it sucks.
*A post script about punk music...There are a lot of "punks" in Austin,but the vast majority of them weren't even born yet when the first wave of punk music hit.They buy "punk" clothing at hot topic and fucking target.Punk was as much about fashion as it was about the music and ideals.Trends repeat,we've seen it over and over.But there was an attitude back in the day,an undeniable dissatisfaction with all things establishment...twisted hippies really.I was fortunate enough to grow up in a time where I could be involved in the hippy thing and the punk thing,the transition wasn't smooth but it happened.Us old school punks have fallen victim to a parody of our former selves.At once,you see these "punks" and smile at the memories they evoke and then are revulsed by the fact that they bought that shit they're wearing at a mall or chain store and think that Blink 182 is the shit.It's kind of sad,really.They have no clue.
Above all,I think we are so desensitized by all the chaos unfolding around us that any act,no matter how abhorrent,can be justified.
Oh yeah,there are lots of selfish,entitled assholes in the world too.