Friday, February 29, 2008


The beard is what I mean...about 4 weeks I guess,and while the color bothers me a bit,the face lawn doesn't.But I could pass as Wolf,albeit without the pretension as assholiness of the wolfster.
I just got tired of the constant framing of the omnipresent goatee the I've had for a decade's a pain in the ass pretending to be a hip austin rocker type guy.Shaving-trimming-posturing.I've got too much upper lip for the cock smoker looking "soul patch" the goatee worked for me.
And then I got tired of the hype...or to be honest,I just got tired of shaving,so I let my face turn into a collagen based chia pet.
It makes me look old and grizzled...oh wait,I am old and grizzled...scratch that.It makes me look like an old hippy...I am an old hippy...scratch that.
It's like my buddy from the tower said-"hey Rev-what's up with the beard"?I hemmed and hawed and he said-"oh,I see-you just don't give a fuck anymore".
And I thought:"Yeah,but the beards got nothing to do with that".
He's a cabinet maker,he wouldn't understand...but maybe he does.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I was trying to take a short cut at work today,trying to bang a box into the wall with my kleins (pliers)with both hands.I was hitting it pretty hard and missed-hey,it happens-jamming the corner of the box bracket (read L-shaped razor blade) into my left thumb,just behind the knuckle.Hard enough that I had to pull it out.
And while there was not an immediate explosion of blood,I could tell by the way it felt that I had hit the bone.You could describe it as a puncture wound.Upward thrust,as hard as I could.
I even thought "self,you could hurt yourself here".Duh.
The smart thing would have been to enlarge the hole a bit to accommodate the box ,but no,I could "finesse" it in there.
By the time I got to the elevator to go down to the first aid kits on the first floor,my thumb looked like a plum.
Anyhoo,I cleaned it up and bandaged it and went back to the matter at hand (I trimmed out the hole like I should of done in the first place).Needless to say,when working with your hands, joints continue to flex and move,so it never really stopped bleeding.Yet I soldiered on,like a good electrician does :).


This is a work bandage...shitty bandage from shitty first aid kits augmented with electrical tape to keep it in place.Another alternative is bathroom paper towel and electrical tape.It stays put-trust me.

On a lighter note,we had a tube of ground turkey that needed to be cooked.Ann left it up to me to decide what it would be...
I layered the browned turkey with scalloped potatoes and cheddar cheese and topped it with french fried onions.
White trashy?Yes.
School cafe on a limited budget?Yes.
Tasty? Hell yeah.
The only thing missing was the white bread on the side and the pearl beer.
And,oh yeah,the hound dogs.And the banjos.HA!
I should open a cafe...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


More Tom Petty...

My favorite part of this is how the band and the crowd,and especially Stevie Nicks go bat shit crazy at the end.Benmont Tench is the greatest keyboard player...ever.

I've been behaving myself.And the usual things have been happening.The most significant thing is sleep disturbance-I have these vivid frightening dreams that wake me up every hour or so.One that I haven't had in years involves an intruder coming into our bedroom in the middle of the night,
And as soon as the intruder crosses the threshold I wake up in a start.
But this one freaked me the fuck out:A large group of people come into our house and sit around the living room,they are all wearing the same clothing,a blue shirt with white screen printing on it.At first it seems like a cleaning crew or something,maybe landscapers.But it soon turns into a pitch for some organization...they want money.The main speaker has the pasty visage and glasses of Steve Forbes,and a younger,angry looking guy keeps asking me if I want to "see what he did to me"?It quickly escalates with me demanding that they leave,they won't and one thing leads to another and I whip out a shotgun and rack it exclaiming "get the fuck out of my house-NOW"!
The younger guy gets really agitated and continues-yelling-about showing me something.He produces a pistol and points it at my face,a struggle ensues and I am wrestling with his pistol,trying to push it out of the way while at the same time trying to put the barrel of my shotgun under his chin.I finally push his gun arm out of my face and press my shotgun under his chin.I look at his gun arm,and it's pointed directly at Ann's head.Everybody else is just sitting there with these blank faces-then I wake up.
I shared this dream with a coworker at lunch today and he said he thought dreams sometimes were a representation of something going to happen or something that already had.Then he said,"Maybe you're watching too many movies".And smiled,knowing the kind of movies I like to watch.
About 5 minutes later a large group of nondescript people came in and sat behind blue shirts with white screen printing.Freaky!There was no gun play.
Despite the sleep disturbance,I was more refreshed this morning,clear headed and had more energy.Usually I move at about 75% in the morning hitting my usual stride after morning break.
So-crazy dreams at night,more productive days.This sleep stuff takes a month or so of behaving myself to work itself out,a fair trade off I think,for feeling better during the early part of the day.
As for the rest of it,my background gives me knowledge of "addiction" that is maddening.I know enough to effectively fool myself into some conclusions that perpetuate the problem.Head games,essentially,with myself.But even I can see plainly the behavioral changes that have been occurring ,inward and outward,that indicate a need to change.Plus,my buddy in Colorado has a bluntness about him that I have always found refreshing,plus we have the shared history (oftentimes together) of being snot slinging drunk.It's not like my close friends here haven't been showing concern,they just haven't been hitting me over the head with it.And that's not an invitation...merely an observation.
Anyway...blah-blah-blah (FDOTP!).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Unexpected excitement
I wasn't feeling my best this morning, but went to work anyway. My first call of the day was a supervisor call and I'm not sure if it went sour because I didn't feel good or if it was just a bad call that then made me feel worse. Either way, I knew something just wasn't right with me so as soon as I got off the call I left and went straight to the doctor's office. I knew I wasn't having a heart attack (otherwise I would have gone to the emergency room), but the doctor's office wasn't so sure after they discovered my blood pressure was dangerously high. I'm not sure how high the first reading was, but they immediately whisked me into a room and did an EKG right then and there. After that they took my blood pressure again (it had dropped to 160/120) and told me to wait for the doctor which I took as a good sign that I wasn't going to be sent to the emergency room, whew! Turned out my EKG was normal, but my blood pressure was still way above my normal reading of 110/70. I can thank my screwed up back for the fact that they had four months worth of blood pressure readings in my file so they knew what "normal" was for me. My doctor then sent me off for a chest x-ray. After more waiting and a couple of more blood pressure checks, she came back and said the chest x-ray looked fine, no cancer or tumors or anything to worry about except... well, there was one spot that they weren't sure if it was just a shadow or something else so they were going to send it off for an expert to take a look. More waiting and blood pressure checks until finally my blood pressure dropped down to 148/92 and they decided it was safe to send me home. I even have the okay to go back to work tomorrow. But I do have to check my blood pressure every day for the next week until I meet with my doctor on Tuesday to go over the data and discuss the issue. At this point I have no idea what's going on, but apparently it is possible to go from having normal blood pressure to Stage 2 Hypertension in just under a month's time. And it seems that my doctor isn't going to speculate on that or anything else until she sees the week's worth of blood pressure readings.

I have to admit I was a little freaked out by the whole thing. I was certain I wasn't having a heart attack, but after the nurses' reactions I started to wonder if maybe I was wrong... after all, my father was about my age when he had his first heart attack. And it was a long time between the end of the EKG and when the doctor came in to tell me the readings were normal so I had plenty of time to play the "what if" game in my head. Damn it, they should have something to read in these exam rooms besides the "How to Manage your Horrible Disease" pamphlets! Then rinse and repeat the waiting game for the chest x-ray and while I was ecstatic in the end to learn that everything was hunky-dory, the process of getting to that point was not fun. Now I just have to make sure I don't spend a week playing another "what if" game with the Stage 2 Hypertension possibility and end up giving myself a real heart attack :)

Monday, February 25, 2008


The yankees call it dumb...


I've been talking to an old friend in Colorado for several weeks now about this problem I have.I started to write about this a while back,and then chickened out.I'm not sure why I did,because it's no secret that I'm a booze hound.Back in the day you could say I was a "party guy"who liked to "have a good time".But these days,not so much.I'm just a drunk.And for a long time I was what you would call a functional drinker.But there have been moments,fuck that-years,where the bottle got ahead of me.
I have never been a proponent of the 12 steps,and neither is my friend.Actually,it's kind of ridiculous to think that this guy is helping me,because we have done some pretty amazing drunky shit together over the years,making his wife really proud of us.Ha.Ha.Love ya Lisa!
But ,with his weekly phone calls and our conversations I have begun to get a handle on this thing-sort of.
It's kind of scary realizing what a spiral I've been in,and to really think about things...Like I said in a previous entry,I'm a pretty lucky guy all things considered.But I am unhappy,no,unsettled is a better way to describe the terrain I'm currently deployed on.
Which explains the weepy introspection and sad songs I'm surrounding myself with.
I think I need to go see my Mom and Dad this weekend,maybe that will help.
I don't know.

And I- just- wanna- be- home


I am prone to bouts of teary eyed feeling sorry for my self and my horrible station in life and blah blah blah.But,truth be told,I've had a charmed life on balance.I'm damaged,that's for sure.I carry a hurt around with me that no one can sooth or cure.It shows in my every movement but you have to look close to see's there,lurking.
But I have other things too.Mostly it's people who love me.And I can't tell you how important that have people that love you,no matter what.And on count,there's quite a few.People who have been in my life for 30 plus years,not constantly,but rolling around like satellites.We weave in and out of each others lives being there when it matters,and even when it doesn't.
We spent Sunday at an old friend of mines home,in her parents house where she grew up,and to quote:"I never left-my parents moved out".Ha!The last time we got together was here and the band was three or so years ago.In the ensuing years,life went on...we went on.
But in the last year or so,she lost her mom and most recently, her dad.
I know I'm rambling,but bear with me.I have a point.
And now she's an orphan,just like me,just like Bill.But we have each other.
You know you hug people all the time,people you love,people you feel obligated to hug on that social contract sort of thing,you have your family...and I've got mine,my kids,my grandkids and I love them very much.
But when I was in the embrace of my VW girl yesterday I was home,a connection that defies description.Love.A simple word but somehow complicated.
And I have a smile on my face and in my heart. quote my most ever favorite drummer on the planet...blah blah blah...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I could write a million words about this,but I think you know what I girl.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I remember telling my Mom jokes-frequently racy ones and she would laugh,a kind of odd giggle/ guffaw and admonish me with "oh Robbie-you're horrible"!Still giggling,but feigning that prim British upbringing that frowned on vulgarity of any sort,but,secretly found it enormously funny.It is important to note that there were 2 people who called me Robbie ever in my life,my Mom and my friend Lisa in one else does it.Period.There are some that insist on calling me Robert,and I can live with that...but Robbie?Reserved to my Mom and Lisa.
I heard that laugh yesterday,out of the blue.It just popped into my head for no reason.But there it was,as clear as day,as if she were in the room with me.My Mom died in 1992.
I remember the end clearly.I had driven her to a platelet transfusion in the morning,around lunch time the clinic called and summoned me,saying she had taken a turn for the worse and needed to be transported to hospital.Did I want to come and get her or have her transported by ambulance?
Duh...I came and got her.
They had given her some kind of pain med that completely fucked her up,and on the way to the hospital she told me a story about a time when she and a fellow nursing student got wasted on orange flavored gin,consumed in tea cups and how she hadn't felt like that since-until now.and she was laughing.A day and a half later she was gone.
And while I haven't heard that laugh in 16 years,I heard it yesterday.Loud and clear.And despite all the conflict and havoc in our family,there was always that laugh that reminded me that it was ok after all.
I tried to be a good son.I guess I was,after all.

I think I'm trying to tell myself something
Last night I dreamed I wore wrinkled clothes, clothes that might have been sitting in the dryer or a laundry basket for a few days. And somehow those wrinkled clothes made me a child again. I think there is a message here, but it's time to go to work so I'll have to ponder it later...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


We are having an afternoon get together this Saturday with the kids and the new dog,Juaquin.And Sunday we are hanging out with my red beetle driving girlfriend from high much excitement.I'm so glad!

We cut out sections of sheet rock,following the wire.There are all manner of obstacles,you are cutting blind.

Here's the point where it goes up and across the ceiling,we couldn't follow that path and had to go across the doorway.

The door way that the HVAC guys had just installed that big ass duct,further complicating our task.4 #10 wires clad in metal is not very forgiving,and we had to go through three metal studs at each corner,sharp angles with uncooperative material.And you can't bully it through because the metal clad can separate and then you have to pull it out and start all over again.Fortunately this did not happen because Chuck and I are such bad ass electricians.

Finally...we made it to the panel.My camera phone sucks.But I think you get the picture.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I was doing some stat research on google involving the band and our websites and I found this picture of my turtle Frag:

This was from a photo of the month contest at Turtle Homes in 2000.I remember getting Frag in 1997.I still have him in fact,and he looks exactly the same,what a beautiful face.
The pens now are in ruins,rotted out from exposure and Frag and his brothers and sisters (I'm down to 9 versus about 100 a few years ago)Have been living in small pens in the green house in spring/summer/fall and in cardboard containers in the house over the winters.
I'm not involved in rescue anymore,because,like so many good ideas,they get politicized and fucked up.Plus,I can't afford it.
The remaining turtles I have,with the exception of one,are from the original group.All of them with me for at least a decade.
That kind of freaked me out.A decade...while that's not a long time in turtle years,it's a long time to have a pet.
I think I found my spring project.
In addition to resurrecting the pens,I have these stock tanks that I used for my aquatic turtles-long since released to the wild.
(not my stock tanks...but similar)
I have 2 4'x2' ovals,a six foot round and a 2'x10' oval sitting idle in the back yard that would look awesome in the front yard re -imagined as planters.Mostly cactus,but some flowers as well.
I'm actually excited about doing this and plan to start this weekend.We've got some awnings that need to go away as well.
Amazing what a picture of a turtle can trigger,eh?

We are back to installing plugs and switches and lights.It is redundant to the point of inducing at the very least,melancholy,and the very worst,psychosis.On a positive note,it's usually very easy.
But sometimes,in the midst of doing the same thing over and over,you can miss some things.
Today I did not.I was getting ready to install the plug for the dryer and something didn't seem right and then it hit me,the wire was the wrong size.It was too small.Most residential applications call for #12 (a reference to thickness) wire based on the amp draw.Lighting and small appliances generally don't have a large amp draw,but a dryer does.In this case,it is controlled by a 30 amp two pole breaker rather than a single pole 20 amp breaker used in lighting and small appliances (dishwasher,disposal,lighting).The dryer requires #10 wire,heavier and with increased ampacity.Confused yet?:)Simply put,the #12 wire would heat up excessively,cause the breaker to trip constantly and pose a significant fire hazard-Yay me! I saved the day!Except...the walls are finished,in order to change the #12 wire to #10 we have to perform surgery on 3 walls to expose our errant wire and replace it from the device box back to the panel.We have to cut out the sheetrock without damaging the other wire running through under it.Bored yet?Yeah,me too.
Moving on.
That tattoo pictureI posted last night...It's point of reference,or where did that image come from?Or,where did you get the idea for that? is from a scene from A Clockwork Orange,where Alex and his droogs are entering a tunnel and encounter an old drunk who they proceed to beat the piss out of.I watched that scene last night,and that tattoo captures it eerily.I was very impressed.And wished I'd of thought of it back when I had room for it-Ha!

Monday, February 18, 2008


But somehow,I'm not...


I found this tattoo during a google!I want it.But where to put it??Care to guess what it's reference point is?


I expected a friendly drubbing for bailing on the fishing trip this weekend,but what I got was a "you didn't miss anything" it was fucking cold,Luis didn't show up till 9-for the second shift and they caught exactly what they caught on the first shift.Not a god damned thing.No shoes,no tires,no toilet seats and most importantly,no fish.They were fishing with worms.
I have a theory about that.It might not hold water,but here goes.It was 45 degrees.Fish are cold blooded,appetite in cold blooded creatures depends on temperature,this I know from my turtle experience-a warm soak and a heat lamp and bam!turtles are hungry.
Works every time.
The good news is this is to be a Sunday tradition,and next Sunday looks to be better weather wise.
I have a place in mind,but it requires a canoe or the ability to mimic a mountain goat.Plus,there are snakes.They aren't an issue if you have a canoe.
Now,to track down a canoe.That's my mission.And I choose to accept it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Kyle and I used to go fishing when he was small.It was a fun activity to do with the kid,we had some good times doing it too.I haven't been fishing in fucking years.My work buddy Chuck likes to fish,and he's turned my other work buddy Luis onto fishing.I have been invited.
We were to meet at Red Bud Isle this morning at 6 am.
When I started this post last night,I had every intention of joining them,but when the alarm started going off at 4:30 and it was 45 degrees outside,I had better thoughts.
Those being "stay in the fucking bed Rev...fuck fishing".I did call Chuck to tell him I was pussing out and they had permission to make fun of me for it at work on Monday.
Plus my left eye was glued shut again,which has nothing to do with fishing,but everything to do with why I didn't go back to bed.Whatever's going on with my eye and the resulting gunk in it is like glass when it dries.Very annoying.I applied super hot water soaked towels to it and reduced it to a runny gruel...functional but still annoying.
And then I thought to myself,"self...have a cocktail".And I did,in the hopes of off setting the eye thing long enough to get back to sleep...didn't work out like I'd hoped.But I did manage a new episode of Clem and Jane.
I'm working myself up to making breakfast and getting the ground turkey chili going in the crock pot.
HOO-WHEE indeed.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


As has been the course lately,I woke up at 6:30,thinking I had to go to work.Somehow Friday has become Saturday and vice~versa.It's only a 5 to 10 second sense of confusion,but it's enough to get me up.I had some coffee and hung out with Ann before she went to work and then went back to bed.Where I stayed sleeping with the dogs and watching shitty television until somewhere around 4.It was cold and raining and dark outside,so staying under covers was the perfect choice.
I ventured out to the HEB for supplies (beer for Ann,juice for me)and I found an awesome pork roast for $3.05-great,theres tonights dinner.
I realized I needed a rack to cook it on and Ann needed a new and improved bread knife.So around 7 I went to target.No bread knives or racks.I figured it was Saturday night,the super Wal-Mart would'nt be crowded.I had Irene with me,and she would dig the extra ride time.So we were off.
I learned four things tonight.
1.It is crowded...there were mexican kids running around everywhere,between and around the carts that their parents were barely pushing (any slower and they would have been backing up)and blocking aisles with.Why do people do this shit?I have never understood it.
2.Wal-Mart cashiers call in sick enmasse on Saturday nights.
3.Wetbacks do not know how to use the self checkout lanes,and they assign the slowest,stupidest associates to monitor them.This goes for Home Depot as well.
4.Irene's farts really fucking stink...seriously.
I got Ann's knife,but no racks there either.I did get new ice trays.But stress wise,I should of just stayed home.
I'm cooking the roast in pyrex,the bottom will be a bit overdone as a result,but fuck it.
I'm home.

Pisser asked about Romney...Here he is...enjoy.

Chai bread?

The other day at the grocery store there was a sale on Chai seasoning which I've never seen or used before so I splurged and spent $2 to buy a bottle. It appears to be made up of ginger, cinnamon, sugar, clove, cardamom and pepper - not sure since the ingredients are not listed, but that's what I tasted. I decided I would bake some sweetish bread with it since bread is cheap and easy with the bread machine. I suppose I could have looked on the internet for a recipe, but I decided to just make one up and see what happened. I was planning on using whole wheat flour, but that had bugs in it - eeeww - so I made it with my bug-free unbleached white flour. The amount of water was an eyeball guess - I added the 3 Tablespoons after the dough seemed a bit stiff, however, it's pouring down rain here today which tends to throw bread dough off a bit. I invent bread recipes all the time and I never write them down which is a problem when something turns out really spectacular and I want to make it again. No idea how this will turn out, but here's what I used:

3/4 cup + 3 Tablespoons Water
2 Tablespoons Butter (unsalted), melted
3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
3 cups White flour
2 Tablespoons Milk Powder
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon Chai seasoning
1 packet dry yeast

I'll update later when it's done as to whether it was a success or not, but I've discovered it's pretty hard to screw up bread - even if the recipe is a bit off, the fact that it's fresh baked tends to make up for any mistakes. And there's few things I love more than fresh baked bread!
Update: It turned out pretty damn good. It's not the best bread recipe I ever came up with, but good enough that I'll be making this one again, maybe adding an egg next time.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Ann made parmesan breaded pork cutlets and baby red mashed potatoes,I made spinach cheese and onion casserole with a cream of celery base.Very tasty. Collaboration in the kitchen is fun.

Plagued by skin and food allergies for the last half of his life,the grumpy old man has suffered hair loss,goopy eyes and was constantly scratching or chewing on himself.We had tried a variety of foods,and settled on Beneful's healthy radiance because it at least kept it in check.
Three or four 20 pound bags ago the store was out of that particular brand and I stumbled upon Pedigree's chicken with rice and vegetables, boasting more protein than beneful.
Well,guess what?His eyes are clear,his hair is growing back,and his coat is shiny and healthy looking as opposed to dry and straw like,and he no longer chews/scratches like a maniac.
I am amazed at the difference in 3 weeks to a month!
He's still an old man,so as far as energy level goes,he's still on a sleep,eat,drink,poop,sleep,snuggle regimen,but his snuggling is a bit more enthusiastic.
Off the Hook
I finally stopped by the Super Wal-Mart that is right on my way home from work to check out the grocery prices. Folks have been telling me that I could save a bunch of money shopping there and with the current financial situation I decided I'd have to see for myself if the prices were indeed so great that I ought to abandon my policy of not giving them my money. I have to admit there is some gas savings to be had by shopping there since it's right on my way home, but grocery-wise we wouldn't come out ahead. That pretty much lets me off the hook of feeling like I need to shop there to save money. Maybe if you are the kind of person that only buys popular brand-name items then you could save a bundle, but we've found a lot off off-brands that we actually like better. HEB in particular has a lot of Hill Country brand items that we like better than the name brand equivalent. Even though I hate shopping at HEB because the atmosphere sucks, it's still the best bang for the buck.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


During the most recent wave of lean times at Casa de Depthmarker,we have been eating in.Truth is,we've been eating in for a while but not until recently has it taken such a menu based focus,with planned shopping trips for more than just tonights dinner.We've been budget minded and trying to plan ahead.
Something I haven't written about much (if at all),is that back in the headache days I was a certified food manager.Really,licensed by the city and everything.This allowed me to plan menus for our clients and re-fit the kitchens at two places I managed.
I haven't put these skills to use in a long time,beyond the weekend BBQ's the Wolves have had here at Club Spit Central.
I do almost all of the cooking here - not because Ann can't cook- it's because she's lazy!(just kidding).It's because I really like to cook.
So far we have had...
Breaded fried lemon pepper catfish filets with fried potatoes and green beans cooked with bacon and honey drenched cornbread.
Grilled beef ribs in a greek styled rub(no sauce) with succotash and Ann's home made cornmeal bread .
Cajun breaded pork cutlets with mashed potatoes and gravy with reheated succotash.
(Ann made)Chili cheese dogs with tater tots.
Crock pot cajun chicken stew with potatoes and carrots.
And tonight I made fried chicken with onion/garlic corn and crispy potato wedges.I can count the times I've made fried chicken on one hand and a thumb.For some reason,the simplicity of frying yardbird escapes me.But,with the exception of my coating not sticking very well,it was cooked through and tender and juicy.(This coming from Ann,who is not a fan of chicken).
It's been fun getting back in the kitchen with a plan.
And the dogs like it too :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Our foreman had a family emergency this morning,which I was unaware of until I called him at 7:45a.m. and woke him from his slumber in the waiting room of the ER where he'd been since,oh 5ish.At 5 after 7 I had already planned out the morning with my crew of 2 fellow I.J's and we were doing what we knew what to do already and I told him not to worry about us,worry about his family.
There were jokes about me being the *head intermediate journeyman in charge,based on my length of service,and truth be told it was purely symbolic,but today,I was the leader.Because my friends let me,and I fell easily back into my tried and true management style of "hey,this is what we have to do,lets just fucking do it".Really,it's how I operate every day,regardless of the circumstance.But today we were rudderless in other ways.Problems came up and we had to solve them without the benefit of more experienced people to fall back on.And we did.It's one thing to be a soldier,doing what you're told,and another to be in a position of solving a problem you would otherwise defer.And we did that,as a team.It was cool,and reminded me of all the things I loved about being a manager on a team of people who respect and like each other.
It was like a preview of things to come if and when I get my journeymans ticket.
I can still lead,and in a trade 180 degrees away from where I had done it before.
And that made me feel good.That,and my boss trusts me enough to burden me with the task.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Breaking 200
Twenty years or so ago, I would have been talking about my bowling score if I said I was "breaking 200". But today I'm talking about my weight, specifically that I've weighed right at 200 pounds now for a couple of weeks. It's taken me about three years to lose 35 pounds, but it hasn't been the sort of up and down thing that happens to so many other folks trying to lose weight. Just a steady 1 pound or so a month, so slow that weighing myself on a regular basis was pointless and in fact, our bathroom scale was in the back of Rob's car for at least a year (and I have no idea why it was there in the first place.) But now that I'm right at that 200 hundred mark, something I discovered via a doctor's visit, I brought the scale back into the house and I've started stepping on it every day because I'm very excited about getting below the big two-oh-oh mark. I hope this new obsession with my weight isn't going to have the opposite effect and I'll start gaining again, but I really want to know the day that I go below, even though I know I'm likely to vary a few pounds up and down afterwards, I still want to see that needle below 200 at the first opportunity. It's a goal that's taken me years and years to even get close to achieving and now that I'm almost there, I'm like a kid before Christmas, anxiously waiting for the big day. And I'm not gonna cheat by dieting or doing anything silly like drinking "weight loss tea" because then it wouldn't count.

Monday, February 11, 2008



I have tinnitus,or ringing in the ears.I know where it came from,years and years of listening to and playing music at obscene volumes,and the shooting of guns without the benefit of ear protection.Plus,now in my work I am surrounded by and frequently operate really loud power tools,it's been worse lately as a result.
But - For a mere 17 dollars I can cure my tinnitus!-With simple ingredients big pharma doesn't want me to know about.
You have to see this to believe it - it's like a porn site minus the skanky chicks.

Cure for tinnitus!

Wow!!!Sign me up!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


That is to say,I got to split the scrap wire with a co worker that has accumulated since the last drawing.Only he didn't want his half-he didn't want to fuck with it-so I got it all.
It was a pretty penny...I was able to catch up my union dues and buy a movie (The Brave One) and a CD (Local guy Zookeeper) and some beer for Ann and some vodka for me.And I still have some left over.
Now,part of this rabbit thing is a running joke that they who win it should bring breakfast tacos for the rest of the crew.Few follow through with it,but I will.I initially thought I would score tacos on the way in tomorrow at this 24 hour place on south first-right on my way to the tower.But I thought better of that plan.I said to myself-self...who makes the most bad ass tacos?That 24 hour place or you?Well,of course,the answer was, why you self...more cheese,more bacon,more heart.
So tonight I made Rev's bad ass breakfast tacos for the crew-2 each,chock full of perfectly scrambled eggs,loads of cheese and bacon and I found a chipotle salsa at the store to fucking die for.
I also made a cajun chicken stew thing in the crock pot today,and I reclaimed our living room to boot.I should of taken a before picture,it was a mess of amps and guitar cases and shoes and empty boxes and trash and guns.

Now my grandson can come over and beat the piss out of those drums!I can hardly wait!
There's a new wolve's viddy up at you tube,it's called Gridlock...thanks to Ann for the edit/upload.

Other quirks
In addition to a fascination with quantum physics, I also like economics and history. Here's a great post by Sara at The Next Hurrah that I found via Angry Bear.

FDR, Some Cultural History, and the Sub-Prime Crisis

photo by Kyle
Six Quirks

1. I have weird hair. It's naturally curly, but that's not what makes it weird. It has a very odd texture according to every hair stylist that has ever tried to work with it. You can blow dry it, mousse it, gel it, hot iron it - try anything you want and two hours later it will look exactly like it did before you started. Chemical straighteners won't even do the trick. I also shed like a dog and could never pursue a life of crime unless I shaved my head because I leave strands of hair everywhere I go. I've even considered getting DNA testing to see if this hair is more common than hair stylists think or a just weird mutation that only I possess.

2. Shirts on hangers. Rob has his money quirk, I have a shirt quirk. All shirts in the closet must be hung on hangers with the fronts facing the same direction. It doesn't matter if it's left or right, but they all need to be the same and if there is one or five or ten out of sync then I will stop what I'm doing and change them to match the others, even if it means being late for work.

3. I hate shoes. I wear them only because I have to wear shoes to work and these days, you also have to wear them to get into any stores (which was not the case here in Austin until about the 1990's.) I wear sandals unless the temps are not going to get above 45 degrees that day and even then I will sometimes still wear sandals. I always take my shoes off the moment I get home and the trick to getting me to stay longer visiting at your place is to let me take my shoes off there as well.

4. Pop culture. I know very little about pop culture. I will not know which actor you are talking about, or what happened in that movie. I will probably not have heard of your favorite TV show, including the ones you watched as a kid. I have no idea who is the latest hot band that's storming the charts. I haven't read that bestselling book and know nothing of what's going on in the world of sports. I don't know who's hip or famous in this town even though I've lived here all my life. I will always lose at Trivial Pursuit.

5. I don't mind being alone, but it rarely happens for long. Unless I'm at home behind closed doors or in a very remote camping spot, it's inevitable that someone will come up and talk to me. I can't seem to go anywhere alone without a complete stranger engaging me in conversation. Grocery store, gas station, dining solo at a restaurant or getting takeout from McDonalds, even standing on the sidewalk waiting for a taxi... it's weird.

6. Drugs have odd effects. Speed makes me go to sleep, Valium makes me crabby and rather than passing out after drinking large quantities of beer I am up all night instead. I've never tried Ecstasy, but it would probably make me hate sex.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Special K did a post from a meme that Radmilla tagged her with.K didn't tag anyone else,but I thought it would be fun.

1.Things have to be in order,from my CD's and DVD's to my tool bag.My nut drivers are always lined up by size,small to large,my screw drivers are seperated by type and size,my DVD's are seperated by genre.This carries over to my pockets,keys-left pocket,money-the same.Phone and knife-right pocket.Always...otherwise I can't find it/them.

2.I don't like to be crowded.This is especially evident at the grocery,I place my cart between myself and the person behind me.People in general will violate your space at every opportunity and when it happens to me I have been known to get up in the offending persons space and call them out-loudly.

3.I sleep eat.I will get up in the middle of the night,dead asleep and eat weird shit out of the fridge.

4.Money must be folded by ascending value-1's-5's-10's etc,and they must all face the same way-no exceptions.

5.Movie quotes...I quote lines from movies constantly,applying them to the situation at hand,with mixed results,but I continue to do it regardless.I incorporate them into any and every conversation,usually with an introduction.

6.Foreplay...I have a specific set of A's B's and C's I follow regarding foreplay.It's the "5 F "model...Find 'em,French 'em,Fondle 'em,Fuck 'em,Forget 'em!Just kidding! I could only come up with 5 quirks and this old high school adage just popped into my head,besides,it was...Sassy!,when I fart-can only dogs hear it?

I saw this band during this tour at Big Mamou's,now called Trophy's where we played a couple of times as the opening band for a cover band called Last Tango.To be playing on the same stage that these guys played on (and the early,crazy,pre runaway train Soul Asylum as well) was a real treat for me.
I love this band.They were dirty,they were all crammed into one van,and they ruled.

You know,lunch.And I had one today with an old friend and co worker from the headache days that I hadn't seen in a couple of years.We riffed on old gags (see title) from back in the day and basically caught each other up on family,work and just things in general.This is the guy that did the Mr.Potatohead bit in group therapy.*<Now...let me tell you a story about this guy.
We were having group therapy one day and one of the subjects was soothing things. As you can imagine, favorite pets and examples of the soothing effect were shared by almost everyone in the group. Since this was a transitional center back to the community, staff were allowed to participate on a more personal level.
I'm sitting across from him and watching him take it all in, looking very thoughtful and serious.
Then, with a completely straight face, he busts out with this:
" You know,at the end of a stressful day I like to go home and pick up my Mr. Potato Head and just gaze into his eyes, it's very soothing".
Everyone lost it! Even the lead therapist was laughing out loud. Needless to say, group was over. He was gently admonished by the lead therapist to redirect his sense of humor to someplace other than group.(from a 2005 post)*>
It was good to see him and to remember funny stuff,he's still "crackin' nuts" and I say more power to him.
Even though you won't get it,I'll leave you with this famous riff that got us rolling every time:
(to the tune of the theme song from bonanza)
bum dada bum dada bum dada bum-Myk SIMPSON!!!!!
Last night we spent some time at a friends birthday get together at this place down town called Molotovs,where drink flowed and the company was good.I could get used to this socializing thing.
Molotovs is a cool place,like our brthday girl said,it's what you'd envision a lounge to be.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Mitt (what kind of fucking name is that?) is out of the running.Thank god for that.What a steaming pile of jet molded plastic,not to mention his dog murdering camp counselor son.
That leaves us with St. McCain to carry the water of the rotting corpse of Reagan.And that religio-fanatic Huckabee,lets hope that he's the next casualty.And if there's any justice in the world,he will be.
McCain is so hated by the base that the democrats are almost a leadpipe cinch next year.One can hope,anyway.So,from my perspective anyway,it comes down to Clinton or Obama.
That's a tough call,endorsed by half the Kennedy's,Obama seems destined for a bullet.There are some nuts somewhere who are aghast at the thought of a nigger president and are planning his demise like two rats fucking in a wool sock.Which is too bad,if they could just get past the fact that they are miscreant retard relics who could benefit from electroshock therapy,they would see that what he says makes sense.If you're a dreamer.
I like Obama,I would smoke a joint with him.And there in lies the problem.And that black thing.While technically he's a mulatto,too many of american voters think mulatto is a reference to the insane clown posse,and that's not a plus.
Then you have Hillary,I saw her on Letterman the other night,and god damn is her ass BIG.Which leads me to believe she's sat on it for a long time...that secretary spread.No wonder Bill likes face-OOOHHH!
All kidding aside,I'm not sure the reputation of this country can be saved by any of the front runners,or anyone else for that matter.Bush has dug us so far down the future looks bleak.
Unless Will Smith gets into the race,and then - maybe.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


We are not allowed radios at the tower,so there is singing.Traditional and or popular mexican songs.Complete with whistling in that sing-songy sort of way rivaled only by the chinese in sing-song-i-ness.It's fucking irritating,especially considering most of these guys can't carry a tune in their mud buckets.
So,this morning Chuck and I are standing in the condo of which we are currently deployed and this sheetrocker starts singing.Not only is he less than 10 feet away from us,it's 7:15 in the morning.
I start shaking my head no and say very sarcastically "Oh-no no no no NO" to which he responds "Fuck you,Puto" and we both crack up laughing.It was an awesome moment of diplomacy and friendship.Plus,he stopped.
I used to sing over them,generally singing the nastier tunes of Frank Zappa...there I was on the ladder singing "I want a horny little jewish princess,a grinder a bumper,with a pre-moistened dumper"complete with whistling the kazoo part of the song.That didn't work,but it was fun,especially when I would sing"Hey! Im only fourteen Sickly n thin ,Tried all of my life ,Just to grow me a chin.It popped out once But my dad pushed it in.Why did he hurt me? Hes my next of kin...Hes a mex-i-kin".
That one turned some heads.
But we're all friends now...really.

Health vs. Wealth
In an effort to stop my roller coaster ride of back pain, I decided to try the four hour work days suggested by my doctor. I had previously dropped down to six hours a day hoping that the 10 hours less per week wouldn't devastate our budget. I was still in a lot of pain and ended up with another flare up that made me miss a day of work which hurt the budget even more. My boss agreed to let me try the 8:00 AM to noon shift on Monday through Saturday and I've done it for a week now. It has made a huge difference and while I don't like to admit that the doctors were right, well... they were. And now that the back pain is at a tolerable level, I have discovered that I don't hate my job, though I still strongly dislike certain aspects of it. This back issue has given me a whole new perspective on the impact that chronic pain has on a person's life. I don't know that I could ever find the words to adequately describe it, but it's not something I want to return to experiencing any time soon. But the memory of that impact of pain is something I need to keep in mind as the bills pile up because I've already been sorely tempted to go back to working longer shifts. Not because I want more "stuff" - I've never been a big fan of "stuff", but because we need to keep this roof over our head and the utilities paid. It was tough before and I don't know how we are going to do it with me earning half my usual income, but I guess we'll find a way. Plus, now that I'm not in constant pain every waking (and sleeping) moment of the day, I have little bit more mental capacity to figure out a workable budget. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Yes folks,it's the big day when people in 20 plus states shamble drooling into their respective caucuses and or primaries and vote on what they've seen on TV,heard on the radio,or received in the mail.
Hours upon hours of media blitz,endless debates,shucking and jiving (Obama did not,despite reports to the contrary,engage in any shucking and jiving in my estimation).
To give you a clearer picture of what's going on this election cycle,Diane Holloway,of the famously biased and retarded daily paper here in Austin had an extensive article in the life section today comparing this race to such citizen staples as 24, american idol and the amazing race.Please.enough already.
The future of our country reduced to comparisons to shitty (yet wildly popular) television shows.
Romney started the sniping off early(sore loser parent of a dog murdering boy-why has the media let this one go?Hmmmm) by likening Huckabee's win in West Virginny to some "back room deal" McCain played in Washington...please and fuck you Mittens.
Candidates refer to their "base" supporters,I have a new,yet familiar definition to this so called "base".Have you ever heard the phrase "They were the "basest" elements of society"...
It's pathetic really,candidates going on Letterman and demeaning themselves with (albeit funny)top 10 lists...attack ads, and distortions of the truth.It reminds me of the recurring theme in the first Robo-cop movie:"I'd buy that for a dollar"!
Shallow and meaningless at a time when it needs to be the polar opposite.
I continue to be ashamed to be an american.
May the most crooked,manipulative man/woman win.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Sean...two and terrible-but in a good way,seriously,even at his worst(and we may have not seen his worst)he's not so bad.Almost comical,in a way.

Mac has her binky,and that's all she needs to quell her crankiness.Such a beautiful child.

We went to visit the kids/grandkids yesterday and it was cool.Sean is in the throws of the terrible twos and he was tired after hanging out with his buddies all day,and what would of normally driven me up the wall didn't bother me at all.I guess when they're yours the threshold expands.:)-We had linner at this really good mexican restaurant,Mac was a peach, but Sean woke up after the ride and freaked the fuck out-"how'd i get here???Waaaaa!".Mom and Dad handled it like pros,I was rightly impressed.Anybody who has an issue with how these two parent these kids needs to step off over to the mirror and think for a minute.

I got to give Kyle his b-day was a-ahem- family heirloom that's a couple years older than he is,but it was way past time to pass it on and he got the significance - I'm pretty sure he did anyway.My only regret is I didn't take a picture of it for my records.
Then back to the house to our own four legged children who sniffed us up and down.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


I pierced my first ear when I was 14,I did the other one when I was 29.I got my first tattoo at 22,I got my most recent ones at 47.I started stretching my ears at 36,stopped for a while,and when they didn't close-shock!Opted for a 4 gauge (I think) pair of midnight chrome eyelets which have adorned my ears ever since.Unless they are pulled out by the tossing and turning in my tortured sleep (no doubt in response to nightmares involving my misspent-and grossly extended-youth)ending up on the floor.Where I find them a day or so after replacing them.And let me tell you,looking "cool" isn't cheap and the purveyors of such jewelery know it.
When I was a manager in the headache business,I had clearly defined rules about this stuff.They were as follows:
Get as many tats as you want as long as they can be concealed by short sleeves.
Wear a small hoop or stud tastefully in your left ear.(when the gay faction infiltrated the social work field when I was about 27 and those guys had both ears pierced that rule changed).
When I left the headache business I had money and aspirations of making a living in the music business where you can do whatever the fuck you want,and I did.
I don't have to tell you that that plan didn't pan out-we were always 25 years behind popular trends or 10 years ahead(see stoner rock).
So,here I sit at 48...tattooed and pierced ears,frustrated musician,struggling electrician,and to quote Petty-One foot in the grave,the other one on the pedal,I was born a rebel.
I've been lucky in life all things considered,always-but sometimes barely-landing on my feet.And I'll do ok with this electrician thing.
But I watch my kids(all of them,not just my own) getting tattoos,cruising into my territory.And I wonder if they think about the potential consequences?I didn't,yet somehow it's worked out for me.I was/am very lucky in that regard...hell,most of the people who know me well don't even see my ink-in that way.I'm just Rob or Dad,it's just a part of me.
Would I change it if I could?Hell no.
Would I have held off until I knew I could make a good living going against the grain?Probably not,but I should have.Like I said,I've been lucky...and we all know what a bitch luck can be.

The fabulous furry freak brothers!!!!!In a fucking movie!!!!!

I spoke with our buddy up north in Canada,Special K tonight and we covered a lot of ground.But it was mostly politics-American politics and all the ensuing shenanigans that have been thrust upon us,what with a kajillion debates and the media horse shit.Let me just say that I wish some of our own fucking citizens were as animated and informed as she.
Part of that conversation dipped briefly into the Carter years and Spec telling me she got a lot of her info from MAD magazine back then,as did I,but she didn't have the underground comics that I had access to here and rattled them off.My favorite was The fabulous furry freak brothers by Gilbert Shelton.
After I got off the phone and ate dinner I did a search for the brothers...they are making a movie!I was in subversive drug culture hippy shit crazy heaven!
I can't tell you how much these comics meant to me as a fellow freak in the 70's...and that cat!
Dammit!Gotta call Badger...see ya!

Friday, February 01, 2008


Imagine for a moment you are in hell,tasked with doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over again,day in and day out in the exact same place.Only,everyday it's on a different level,same place-different level.
The only change between levels is in the individual make up of the tasks,the outcome is always the same,but figuring out how to get there changes at each and every task.
You are in trim out hell,and the reason for these subtle nuances is the souls that came before you were in rough in hell and they all chose a different path depending on which level you are on.
The colors are the same,but the paths and configurations are wildly different.
Your hell is to figure it out and make it work like it suppose to,the same way on every level and until you do,you can't progress to the next level.Did I forget to mention the deadline?There are six levels and six different places and six in your group.(Spooky,huh?)Three teams of two(not so spooky,unless your into numerology)doing the exact same thing on six different levels in six different places for about six hours a day(figuring in elevator time and breaks)(ok,that's not so spooky either.)
And when it's finally over,you are either bat shit crazy or a more competent electrician.
But more than likely, a bit of both.