Thursday, December 31, 2009

Stamina
Back when I first started this job, my boss told me it takes a while to build up stamina. And there was a time when I couldn't imagine being able to do this job for eight hours in a one day, but today I discovered that I can, in fact, pull that off now. Oh sure, my feet hurt, my left shoulder is sore and my left hand is, well, hurting every much as it was this morning, but that's from my arthritis - cold front came in tonight and I guess my hand was just letting me know this morning that one was on the way. Anyway, I have 90% of this week's tasks completed despite the equipment issues thanks to the eight hour day and that makes me very happy. I have a few things to wrap up tomorrow, but if this had been a normal week I would have been completely done today. It appears that my dreams of a three day work week have been realized. Now I just need those three days to generate enough income to pay all the bills. Heh, one thing at a time, I suppose.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A bad day at this job is better than a good day at the old one
Actually, lets make that a couple of days since the problems started yesterday. I had extra stores this week because one of my co-workers is on vacation. Yesterday, I had just started one of those extra stores when my scanner died. I called my boss around 3pm and let her know and she somehow managed to get me a new scanner via UPS at 10:30 am today. I was impressed. Now on a normal week, this would have been plenty of time to get everything done, but naturally my scanner had to die on on not-so-normal week. In addition to the extra stores, I have a special project due in my huge grocery store and even if I had started at 8 am this morning, I wouldn't have finished by 5pm. As it was, due to problems with the replacement equipment, I didn't get to my gigantic grocery store until 1pm. I did as much as I could and finally threw in the towel at 7pm. The interesting thing about this situation is that this is as bad as it gets with this job. And I am so totally cool with that.

Monday, December 28, 2009

COMPLETE SENTENCES

I have not spoken in them in months
Facey kind of dumbs you down
well that's not fair...but it accelerates thought and interaction.
maybe a better way to describe it is it numbs you down
But I have this health issue going on recently.
And I am very afraid.
That's not something I am used to . I have always been the strong one...you can't knock me down.
but I have been knocked the fuck down.
I have lost the feeling in my right leg and it just doesn't work right anymore
a very frightening experience.
it could be the result of injury , which I have had.or it could be the result of a stroke, or I could be developing MS.
these are all things to be sorted out but I have to tell you I am terrified.
I have labs tomorrow and an MRI on thursday.
and a giant hole in my heart.
New Year's Resolution

I am considering getting one of these for my 50th birthday in 2011 (there is more to idea than just the old joke about a red sports car.) Obtaining such a vehicle is going to be quite the challenge. I have no credit and even if I did have outstanding credit, I certainly don't have the income to support the car payment. But who knows what might happen over the next 21 months? I could win the lotto. I could win a contest giving away a red BMW. I could land a high-paying job. Some one might even just give me one. Come on now, it could happen. Odd as it sounds, there are true stories about people being handed the keys and title to a vehicle from complete strangers.

Truth is, I have absolutely no idea where I might be standing in September of 2011 and to look at something I want and say, "Oh, there's no way I could ever have that!" is stupid. Stupid, but it's something I do on a very regular basis, and not just about red BMWs. So my New Year's resolution for 2010 is to at least consider the possibility that I could have a red BMW for my 50th birthday and get comfortable enough with the idea that I get up the nerve to go to the dealer here in town and look at one, maybe even sit in it. And if I find that I really do like the car, work up the nerve to test drive one. Sounds simple enough, but when one's head is as screwed up as mine is right now, it's much harder than it looks. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Xmas in Texmas
Cold today on Christmas Eve with big gusty winds. You just never know around here what the weather is going to be like this time of year. There are pictures of me as a kid washing and waxing my father's car on Christmas Day (my Xmas present to him) in shorts and a t-shirt because sometimes it's quite warm. But we are just as likely to have cold and nasty weather. Sometimes sleet, but never snow - at least not in all the years I've lived here. It did snow on Thanksgiving weekend one year when I was in high school and we all had high hopes for a white Christmas that year, but it didn't happen.

This year we had the usual Christmas Eve get-together with my folks, brother and his kids. The traditional dinner has changed up a bit - used to be just ham, but now there's brisket as well. Come to think of it, there's been brisket at both Christmas and Thanksgiving for quite a few years now. It's a fitting addition, not just because we live in Texas, but there's a family tradition of brisket cooked up by my uncles for the big extended family get-togethers that we no longer do over the holidays.

Now that we are all so much older, I've become the aunt and my niece and nephews have become the new extended family. In fact, we have a hard time all fitting in my parent's living room for the present unwrapping. As always, it's just a few simple gifts for each person; never been nothing fancy and certainly has never been about spending a lot of money. Just a bit of fun. No drama, no fighting, just good food and good fellowship. How it should be, I think.

P.S. Every year my mom gives me the best Christmas present ever - a batch of my favorite cookies that only she can make. And I know eventually there is going to be a Christmas when I do not get those cookies which makes them all the more precious. Warren Zevon once said, "Enjoy every sandwich." I plan to enjoy every cookie.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Learning to knit
The other day my friend Suzanne asked me if I wanted to learn how to knit and I said, "Sure!" and I am now making one hell of an ugly scarf. But I figure it's a lot like learning handwriting and I'll be the first to admit that my handwriting was absolutely horrible when I was in first grade. In fact, I spent many an afternoon staying late after school while my first grade teacher made me work on improving it. I'm pretty sure that teacher is, in part, responsible for my perfectionist tendancies, but anyway, back to the knitting. I spent a couple hours last night and this morning knitting a few rows, then unraveling it all and starting over before I finally decided that I was just going to trudge onward with it, mistakes and all. There are stitches that are too tight and stitches that are too loose and dropped stitches and stitches that aren't a knit stitch at all, but some sort of stitch that I have no idea what it was and a few odd loops here and there, but what the hell. This is, after all, not about creating a masterpiece, but just a chance to learn something new and have a bit of fun while I'm doing it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Auto repairs
I had a headlight burn out on the Rodeo the other day so yesterday I stopped by AutoZone to pick up a new light and while I was there I had them do a check engine light test to see what was up with that. The check engine light being on is the biggest obstacle at the moment to getting the vehicle inspected and I may be in luck on this one because the error code indicates that the problem is restricted flow in the EGR system. I might be able to fix that by just cleaning the EGR valve and manifold passage so, weather permitting, that's what I'll be doing this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed because a new valve is about $150 and I'd much rather fix it for the cost of a can of O2 sensor safe carburetor cleaner, a skinned knuckle or two and some cussing. Because based on my experience of replacing something as simple as a headlight, I can guarantee there will be at least one skinned knuckle and a lot of cussing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

THE DILLO BULLET LIST

...fort hood enginners
...Bandidos
...Bambi
...Sally
...Officer malone
...The deaf school experience
...Commander Cody
...The Runaways
...AC/DC
...Thin Lizzy
...The Ramones
...The parking lot
more to come

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cardboard cuts (aka paper cuts) galore
My fingers these days remind me of me days working in Human Resources when filing, filing, filing was a major part of the daily routine. Not that I've been filing paper these days, but I have been picking up a lot of packages of gum out of their little cardboard boxes. You know, the cardboard boxes that hold the gum packets in place on the racks next to the checkout isle. And it's inevitable that I'm going to nick my fingers and cuticles on those cardboard edges from time to time. And if you multiply from time to time by the thousands of gum packets I've scanned this week then you end up with fingers ever bit as nicked as they were when I used to file reams of paper every week in 500 employee's file folders, also made of cardboard.

No real point to this post other than I was reminded of something I hadn't thought about in about 15 years. If someone had asked me last week what I remembered about working Human Resources, well, nicked fingers and cuticles would not have been part of the answer.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

THE DILLO

Public radio (NPR / KUT) is doing a project...the oral history of the Armadillo world headquarters.
My best friend and drummer has already done his , and my dear friend Lauren has been riding me like a bicycle to do it.
It will end up in the library of congress...so it's kind of a big deal. Anyway , Lauren got this big idea that we should interview together...so we are.
I practically grew up there...first live show at 12 years old and the rest is history.
And as I anticipate this interview the memories are flooding in...there are so many.
onward to make a kind of history.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Things are still a bit topsy-turvey here at Depthmaker so I expect posting might continue to be infrequent for a while longer. Then again, I'm feeling a lot more chatty today than I have in a long time...

Had my first annoyance at this new job - I keep getting trained on Thursday to do things that are due on Friday which means I have to revisit all the stores I went to earlier in the week. It makes Fridays really suck. Temporary annoyance though since once I'm trained on how to do a certain project, the next time it comes up then I can start it on Monday like it should be done. And, now that I think about it, it's probably not a bad idea to have to repeat a task several times within 48 hours of training. I hate all the running around on Friday though; waste of gasoline.

Saw a bumper sticker today that I really liked:
"KEEP YOUR THEOCRACY OFF MY DEMOCRACY"

The Tempo died on Friday. Couldn't get it going and decided to throw money at the Rodeo instead of the Tempo since the Rodeo doesn't have a major radiator leak, has windows that roll down and doors that lock, a decent stereo AND air conditioning (not that I need that right now, but in a few months....) It does have a broken tail light, a broken driver's side mirror and who knows why the check engine light is on, but I figure it's the better investment at this time. That check engine light has me nervous though... let's hope it's something simple and cheap.

A couple of folks have asked me about the demise of the ClubSpit website. It had been hosted by Geocities for way over 10 years, but Geocities shut down this October. We no longer do the monthly parties or the quarterly parties and I had let the domain name go a while back so I saw no reason to move it elsewhere.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dust with Boots On

Yesterday was Rob's 50th birthday. We got together with some friends at La Feria for food, drinks and good companionship. A mariachi band showed up and played Happy Birthday and Debbie brought a cake that she baked. It was a good time and a nice way to start the next 50 years of life... yeah, that's right Rob, I expect you to live to be 100.




Saturday, November 28, 2009

Down to 175 pounds
I now fit into a pair of jeans that I last wore about 15 years ago. Unfortunately it's a pair of jeans that I hate which is the only reason they are still around and weren't worn until they fell apart. Gonna have to hit the thrift store on Monday to try and find some in-between jeans to wear until I hit my goal weight of 155. And wow! I just realized that is only 20 pounds away.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tamales for dinner
I didn't mean for a week to go by between posts, but a lot has happened in that week. Nothing I want to blog about here.

We are having Thanksgiving lunch at my parent's house tomorrow, but I also have a grocery store that needs to be scanned for work. Only problem is that store has reduced hours tomorrow so I haven't figured out how the heck I'm going to scan the store and still have lunch with my folks. But if it turns out I can't get it done in the early morning, then I'll be blowing off the work stuff and hope they cut me some slack and let me finish up on Friday. I'm not putting work before family.

Tamales for dinner tonight. If I ever move to a place where there are no tamales, please let me have friends still here that can send me the stuff to make them.

Monday, November 23, 2009

RACCOONS ON THE ROOF...DEMONS IN MY HEAD

Layla has been very focused on a particular section of the deck out back for at least a week now...sniffing and scratching in one spot and frequently just staring at the deck all at attention.big ol' bat ears at full extension.
She was particularly frantic about wanting to go out tonight...and on her third trip all hell broke loose.She came flying in the house all bristled up and I went out to investigate and discovered a group of raccoons milling around on the roof of our carport...at least 4 of them...maybe 5.It was dark and my flashlight was picking up pairs of glowing , moving eyes...kind of creepy.
As long as they continue living under the deck I'm cool with the coons sharing our yard.Layla , on the other hand is decidedly not.And she is not much bigger than the one I could clearly see.
And as far as those demons...Dec. 1 can't get here fast enough.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If I were a rich man...
We had our first chilly night of the season. I didn't go outside to check if we hit the 40 degrees Fahrenheit they predicted, but it certainly felt cold enough in the house to me. Which got me to thinking that if I was extremely wealthy then I would be packing up Rob and the dogs, boarding my private jet and flying off to live in another climate until March. But there was a glitch in my fantasy because I had no idea where I might go. Australia? Hawaii? Spain? I have no idea what the weather is like in Spain this time of year, but for some reason that country comes to mind. This is the problem with being broke and not daydreaming about what you would do if money were no object. Instead, I just think, "can't afford it" right away and don't even bother pursuing the fantasy. I not only cheat myself out of a nice daydream, but also stop myself from finding other ways to pull it off should I decide that I really want to do that.

Well, I have to run off to work now, where I'll be wondering, "Where are the best places in the world to live from November to March?" Maybe I'll do a little Internet research on it tonight :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

THE FINE ART OF RESURFACING

I too have been lulled into the virtual heroin that is facebook...several of our blogger friends have migrated there...so it is easy to get sucked into the immediacy of the thing...
since getting in on facebook I have:
been reunited with my cousins in England
been reunited with my cousins in Canada
been reunited with some very special people from high school
made peace with an ex and got reunited with a niece I have held in my heart for many many years because of that peace.
So many things have happened it's kind of overwhelming...
now if my sister would call me back...I guess she is mad...or busy...or ?
I'm a pretty good farmer too. Ha!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Poor abandoned blog
I keep promising that I'll get back to regular posting, but I just haven't made the time for it. You could look at my wall on Facebook and think that was where I was spending all my time, but truth is that I don't spend near as much time there as it looks from all my game postings. Unless I'm rearranging my farm in Farmville (which can burn up a couple of hours if you let it), most games take just a few minutes to use up all the energy, money or what-have you and there's nothing left to do until it recharges or the crops grow or the fish mature or the meals cook or whatever. Instead, I tend to spend a lot of time just resting. The physical demands of the job are getting easier, but I'm still exhausted at the end of the day. It's all good though and I expect there will come a time when I'm in enough shape that I will still have energy at end of the day and it won't take all weekend to recover from the week. Plus, it certainly beats the daily mental exhaustion I used to feel from working for the call center.

Let's see, what has happened since October? My best friend's mom died a few weeks ago which was very sad and unexpected. My own dad ended up in the hospital last week with pneumonia and he is now home recovering well, but it has delayed the emergency surgery that might save his eyesight. Not sure what is going to happen now, but the thought that my dad may go completely blind has been weighing heavily on my mind. And also, one of my favorite Aunts died last week. That's the third aunt to die in less than six months. I guess that's to be expected now that everyone is in their 80's.

My paychecks from this new job are teeny-tiny and every time I open one, I try to think of it as getting paid to lose weight and get in shape rather than as a viable means of financial support. I have managed to slow the rapid weight loss by eating more sugar in one weekend than I usually do in three months. Yes, I ate an entire cake last weekend so I only dropped a couple of pounds this week. I did buy another cake for this weekend, but I've only had one piece with ice cream - it just doesn't appeal to me enough to eat an entire cake again. I think that Rob is going to end up eating most of the Hershey's kisses that I put in the freezer and apparently the dogs are going to eat the donuts I bought for weekend breakfast. Gonna have to come up with something that is high in calories, but isn't sweet and doesn't cost much. Cost has pretty much killed the beer drinking idea. Any suggestions?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One of these days I'll get another post up here, but for now I'm adjusting to the new job that is still kicking my ass. I am in much better shape now than I was two weeks ago, but it's still exhausting. And it's exhuasting enough to cause me to lose 10 pounds over the last two weeks. I'm glad for the weight loss, but that's taking it off a bit too fast for my liking. For one thing, my pants won't stay up and I can't afford to buy new pants every two weeks... maybe I'll increase the beer and pizza consumption to slow things down a bit.

Monday, October 19, 2009

IS THIS WHAT A MIDLIFE CRISIS IS?

It is then it sucks balls.yesterday was a whirlwind of activity...in real time and on the web.Had several chats with friends and newly discovered friends / relatives of varying degrees of intensity.Saw my kids and grandkids.
I was so drained today...to quote the dark crystal "My essence" was gone.
I will be 50 at the end of next month...and frankly I surprised I made it to this milestone...god knows I stared death in the face many times and prevailed. I have so much to be grateful for.
I don't want a shiny red corvette or a trophy wife /girlfriend...none of that thank you very much.I would be happy with settled.Restless gets old.
But 50...motherfucker.
how did that happen?
I remember thinking 50 was old...haha.
One more time to the well of deep thoughts courtesy of the Who...
"Schizophrenic?I'm fucking Quadrophenic"!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I can still walk...
Last week I was a bit concerned how I was going to do today at work. I was so sore at the end of the day last Wednesday that I couldn't imagine being able to scan a third store on Thursday this week. But my muscles have adjusted somewhat and while I'm still feeling pretty sore today at the end of the workday, it's not near as bad after scanning for three days this week as it was after just two days last week. And to top things off, I tripped over a dog and stubbed a toe on a chair this morning before I went to work. It hurt like hell, but stubbed toes first thing in the morning usually do. I went to work and stood/walked/squatted for 6 hours straight, not giving it too much thought, but when I got home from work and took my shoe off I discovered my toe is purple/black, twice the size it should be and a bit more crooked than usual. Looks broken. Of course, it doesn't really matter if it's broken or not since there's nothing you can really do for a broken toe except stick some ice on it. Maybe tape it to a neighboring toe if that makes walking on it easier.

Well, that's enough blogging for now - I should probably go prop my foot up and put some ice on this toe - but later I want to talk about how amazed I am at the variety of products in the stores. Yeah, I've been shopping at these same stores that I scan for years, but shopping is not something I like to do and I never really paid much attention to just how much different stuff there is out there on those shelves. I'm the kind of person that goes in to get just what I need, do a little price comparison while I'm at it and then get the hell out of there as fast as possible. Now that it's my job to notice all the different things... well, it's been a real eye opener.

Monday, October 12, 2009

HELPLESS




Neil has always been a very important influence on my music and really, my life.I heard my first NY album when I was 12...Harvest...that was 37 years ago and he has been a constant in my life ever since.I can say that if he goes before I do I will weep uncontrollably.
This song was on the CSNY record Deja Vu when I first heard it...also around 12 years old and it still has the same effect on me.Chills down my spine and a lump in my throat.
It takes me back in time...every time I hear it.
When Buddy and I trekked to Colorado in 81 I played Decade the whole way there...singing my heart out and not caring who saw me.
Neil really nails it here...enjoy. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Potato Soup Again
We are pretty low on cash these days so a few days ago I picked up a bag of potatoes, a large yellow onion, a can of beef broth and some milk to make potato soup. We already had garlic at the house and I think I also added a bit of Italian seasoning in addition to the salt and pepper, not sure, but either way, it was tasty, cheap and perfect for the cool, rainy weather we've been having.

It was rainy and cool again today and we were still broke. I still had potatoes, but I had to make the soup a little different this time since we had no broth or milk so I created "Creamy Bacon Potato Soup".

3 Yukon Gold Potatoes, diced into small pieces
1/2 large yellow onion
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
6 slices of uncooked bacon
2 tablespoons of Worchestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Roux to thicken

Cover potatoes with water and cook on a slow boil until soft. In a separate pan, melt some butter. Chop the onion, garlic and raw bacon into small pieces. Cook these in the butter over very low heat until the onions are translucent and the bacon is done (it will not be crispy.) Turn down the heat on the potatoes to a simmer, mash them up a bit with a fork (but not too much) and add the onion/garlic/bacon mixture. Add Worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer about 30 minutes while you make your roux. Add the roux and simmer another 15 or so before serving.

Nothing fancy, but cheap and tasty.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For
I've never really liked the saying, "Be careful what you wish for." It seems to put a negative spin on wishing and I've always felt that one should wish or dream for as many wonderful things as possible. Remember how crappy it felt when you were a kid dreaming up something like being a ballerina or kick-ass soldier and some adult came along and messed it up with their comments? Well, maybe it didn't happen to you, but it certainly happened to me. And it wasn't just in the area of "what do you want to be when you grow up," but also happened to all sorts of wishes and wants. I went back and forth quite a bit as a kid between listening to what people had to say or ignoring them and doing what I wanted to do anyway. Of course, the "doing what I wanted to do" usually got me in a fair amount of trouble, but it was almost always worth it.

I had a fairly good handle on doing what I wanted during my teenage years, but once I became an adult, I got sucked in a bit by that "responsible adult" concept. That kept me pretty stuck until I had a major breakthrough in my thirties which caused me to hook up with Rob and start having fun again. But these last several years... not so much fun, mostly due to a job that sucked the life right out of me. Sure, financial woes played their part too, but it doesn't cost much money to have fun if you can just get past fretting about things you can't change. Or, in the case of my crappy job, thinking you can't change it because of this, that or the other.

Anyway, back to that old saying... when I was sending out reams of resumes each week, I was thinking a lot about what I wanted in a new job and wishing for certain things. I wanted a job that was close to the house. I wanted something part-time. I wanted something that paid at least $10/hour. I wanted something that would involve some physical activity so I wasn't sitting at a desk all day. I wanted a job with no phone calls to answer. I wanted something that didn't require me to be somewhere at a specific time or I'd get in trouble for being "tardy". I wanted something that used technology/computers in some way. I wanted something that didn't involve multi-tasking. I wanted a job that had clear-cut tasks with reasonable deadlines. I wanted a job that didn't require me to work every weekend. Now that's not a short list so imagine my surprise when the only job offer I received matched each and every one of those things.

Let's see, what can I tell you about my job? I signed a long confidentiality agreement, but I can tell you that I have a small laptop computer that has a touch screen and a barcode scanner which I take to various stores where I scan the products that are on the shelves. I do not work for the stores or the product vendors; it's an independent company that has been in business for a very long time, in fact, long before there were such things as portable computers and barcode scanners to make this job easier. Basically, I gather data and send it off to be sorted and analyzed. It's not as simple as it sounds and I've been told it takes 42 weeks to be fully trained. From what I've had to learn over the last two weeks for this one specific type of data gathering (and I'm still not fully trained on it) then I think that 42 weeks is probably an accurate statement. I've also met several of my coworkers, some of whom have been with the company for 4 or more years and were still enjoying their job. Imagine that.

At first, I didn't understand why they limit new hires to just 10 hours a week of in-store training, but now I definately know the reasoning behind it and it's not the large amount of training material that I need to memorize. It's because of the physical requirements of the job. My thigh muscles were so sore after working Tuesday and Wednesday that I could barely walk. Why the thighs? Well, picture a shelf at your local grocery or drugstore. Now imagine scanning all the different products on that shelf, reaching up to get the ones above your head, then squatting down to get the lower shelves. The reaching up, that's not so bad. But the squatting down at shelf after shelf is like doing squats at the gym, except I'm doing it for six hours instead of just 30 minutes. Some people bend over at the waist to reach those products, but with my back I can't do that. Between the squats and all the walking that I now do, I suspect I'm going to get my legs in shape like they were during my teenage years, back in the day when I used to piss the guys off because I could leg press way more weight than they could. Also, I should be able to keep up with Rob on the greenbelt in another month or so which happens to be one of the other things I was wishing for.

So, instead of "Be careful what you wish for," let's change that to "Be specific as possible about what you wish for." Because in retrospect, I should have set my wage requirements a bit higher.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New job
I finally started that new job this morning. It was only a half-day of training, but it went very well. It was, by far, the best first day on the job that I've ever had and after spending over 30 years in the workforce, I've had quite a few first days on the job. There were a lot of things to like about this job that I found out in the interviews such as setting your own schedule, no desk work, no phone work and no boss standing there looking over your shoulder, but I wasn't sure how much I'd like the actual job duties. Now that I've gotten in there and done the work, I can say that I definitely like it. In fact, I might even love it. Seriously, I had a really good time today and I think I might have stumbled into my perfect job.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Update
Still haven't started the new job due to various delays. Maybe next Thursday. The delay is wearing on me as are Rob's ghosts in the house. They need to stay over by his desk and stop wandering into my space and keeping me awake at night.

We had two weeks of much needed rain and with it cooler weather which was weird after all the heat we had this summer. I actually felt "cold" the other night, though it wasn't really cold, just in the 50's. Still, that's a far cry from the 80's just two weeks ago.

The rain and dark days these last two weeks had me not doing much of anything. A bit of laundry, wasting time on Facebook and napping. Maybe if the sun comes out next week I can get some stuff done around the house before I (hopefully) go back to work.

Halloween stuff has been in the stores now for several weeks - seems they stock it earlier and earlier every year. Found some cool skull lights to stick in the yard for super cheap and we are resisting the urge to stick them out there RIGHT NOW. Trying to wait until at least October 1st...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

THE WAY BACK MACHINE



Rare is the opportunity to go back and revisit events and people in your life...I have been blessed with a shitload recently and it has exploded my heart and my head . Today I got to see an old friend...it was very nice...I don't know what else to say so I leave you with this

Saturday, September 19, 2009

GHOSTS IN THE HOUSE

Tomorrow I am meeting someone from a long time ago for coffee...someone who has been on my mind for years.
Facebook is a mixed blessing to be sure...but so far it has been mostly good for me.
To embrace the past is a wonderful thing...closure...smiles and warm memories.
But there are ghosts in the house now...bouncing around bringing up memories.
and currently LT's mom is in ICU...I am so worried about him...I have never met his mom in 15 years of knowing him...he pretends to be ok but I know from my own experience he is not...I hold him in my heart.
And his mom.
I used to think Billy boy was a sap...so sentimental he could almost make me cry...well guess what ? he is and it does.and I love him for that.
he might be on to something after all.

I am a very lucky man....ghosts or not

Friday, September 11, 2009

Soon to be Employed
I got a job offer. It's part-time and low pay but there are some really cool things about it provided the information I received during the interviews was accurate. Tentative start date is next Thursday for training.

I've had plenty of jobs where what I was told in the interview wasn't quite what I ended up actually doing so I'll save the job description for later after I've spent some time working. But I can tell you that it definitely does not involve spending any time on the phone or sitting behind a desk.

Monday, September 07, 2009

SPIRITS OF THE DEAD



Buddy,Diamond,Skeeter,Sully,Cypress,Shadow,Sunday,Murphy,Lancer,I could go on but I think I've made my point.
Love yer critters while you have them.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Shit Happens
It's amazing how my life can get so incredibly screwed up at times. If I had been aware of the things to come, I would never had quit my job, no matter how much I hated it. Ah well, I can't undo that now and I can only move on from here. Some possible good news is that I might have temporarily fixed my leaky car radiator with stop leak treatment. Not 100% positive since I was too low on gas to drive it long enough to find out, but I'll be borrowing some gas money from my folks tomorrow so we'll see if I can drive more than five miles away without having to add water. I know my folks will help me out, but I really have to find a job ASAP which is probably going to involve working at a call center again. If there is a hell and I get sent to it, then I can guarantee that it will involve a cubicle and a ringing phone with a headset.
I AM THAT MESS YOU'D WEAR WITH PRIDE

Saturday, August 29, 2009

SO...AS I WAS SAYIN'...

I'm excited about going back to the family , but terrified about how I have to get there.
Flying to Colorado was traumatic enough...but 16-18 hours in the air? There's not enough xanax and vodka for that shit ( I jest )...I'll just have to suck it up and pray.
I won't be bringing that fucking travel charm I bought years ago...it's cursed with the 90's.

Today was my grandson Sean's 4th birthday...we had the big partay at Chuck E Cheese's crib.That rat sure knows how to throw a party.
It was fun , but I kept flashing back to when my ex took me there for a surprise on my birthday many years ago and I was an asshole about it...well not exactly an asshole, but I missed the point altogether and I wondered if she remembered ( she was there today ).She tried to do something nice and I totally missed the point.I get it now.
Anyway , Sean had the time of his life and Kenzie was totally into Chucky...it was funny ... see for yourself...




Pretty cool...eh?
So I keep rolling these thoughts around in my head...I get on a plane and 20 some odd hours later I'm in another country greeted by strangers...family.But strangers none the less...someone I don't recognize (unless it's my cousin Shelley) with a sign with my name on it. I have never been greeted with a sign with my name on it.I have never been anticipated like this in my life , and while it's very cool - it's also intimidating.
It's just a ball of confusion.
But I can say this...I will get on that plane and go back to the family.
I have to.
To be continued...

Friday, August 28, 2009

AND AFTER A WHILE...

Sitting here listening to Pink Floyd Animals...After an evening across the street at my neighbors house.
There was a party going on at the rock-n-roll posers clubhouse across the Cul'at the same time and they draw a big crowd which means a bunch of cars crammed into an already dangerous stretch of road.
We took every opportunity to fuck with them...Made a guy move his truck from blocking my exit from the driveway ( in case of a pool emergency , of course ).
After that died down we began reminiscing about the history of our block and the changes that have occurred.
They're just kids to us...they have no clue about this neighborhood , but we do and we are (rightfully or not...highly offended).
At any rate this poser-fest gave us opportunity to remember what connects us and probably disconnects us from those clueless posers who just think we are old cranky bastards...I mean , we are that...but we are still cool once you get to know us (and/or don't block the driveway...importance is relative:P).
There is us here and our children , and our grandchildren, and our neighbors children and grandchildren...generations.
So I have this extended neighborhood family thing going on...buying into the concept that we are all connected somehow , all the while whoring around facebook , and low and behold I am suddenly reunited with my Mom's side of the family...you know...my mom the English woman war hero genius side of the family...she is lionized in my mind and inches from sainthood...she is Mom...
My cousin found me at the behest of our Aunty....how cool is that?
My Aunty Pat...soul survivor of all my Mom's brother's and Sister's...you know I have to see her...the sooner the better...not to mention the many other relatives ...some who remember me and some who just want to see a Texan (:)...sorry to disappoint...I am new Texan. I don't look like a redneck , but mess with me please ( enough posturing...).
So it looks like I'm going to England to be reunited with my family...I'm excited and terrified about the prospect.
To be continued...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baked Eggs with an easy potato nest

There are a thousand ways to make baked eggs and I've made at least a few hundred varieties over the years. Today's baked eggs used frozen potato puffs (aka Tator Tots) for the bottom nest. I used the microwave to defrost these just long enough to be able to smash them into a nest in the bottom of the greased ramekin (about 3 minutes on defrost setting.) I then baked the potato nests for 15 minutes at 425 in our roaster oven. I don't always do this as a separate step, but today I wanted a crispier nest than you get if you bake it all together at once. This is also why I used the roaster oven instead of the regular oven. I like to bake my eggs at around 350 degrees and I can get the roaster oven temp down much quicker than the regular gas oven. After 10 minutes I pulled the potato nests out and left to cool slightly while the roaster oven temperature dropped. I then topped the nests with left over chili-con-queso and, of course, an egg. No additional seasoning this time; the chili-con-queso provided all that I needed. I baked these at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

It's a low-cost, low-effort breakfast and while not entirely healthy due to the frozen potatoes, using those instead of fresh shredded potato or left-over mashed potatoes does save some prep and cooking time.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lunch!
I finally got the chance to have lunch with some friends from where I used to work.
One of them threw in the towel months before I did and truthfully had he still been working there, I probably wouldn't have quit when I did. The three of us had a great time catching up on things and bitching about the old workplace. And I was reminded that I could have a job at his new employer if I get desperate enough. The job itself is an awesome one that I would enjoy the heck out of, but the hours and commute are not so hot. I'd rarely see Rob since I'd be working nights and weekends and it's a long, long drive up north. There's also mandatory overtime and I'm not so sure about that although I've done plenty of 11 hour or longer workdays in the past. If nothing else comes my way in the next month, I'll have to consider that it might be a sign that I should take that job despite my misgivings. Time will tell...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ah, memories
I have many memories associated with the song "Waltz Across Texas" by Ernest Tubb, but my favorite is from when I was about 20 years old. I was at Chelsea Street Pup in Highland Mall with some friends of mine when an older gentleman graciously asked me to dance with him to this song. And waltz we did, up and down the aisles since there was no dance floor. I have no idea who he was and never saw him again, but it was truely a magical moment. I wonder if it was as memorable for him as it was for me.

Friday, August 21, 2009

THE WEEK(S) THAT WAS (WERE)

After almost 5 months in this new / old job I have developed relationships with most of my customers. Some have been contentious and revolving around problems with the pool.
Algae is a big issue since we have had this unrelenting heat and staying on top of it is a challenge.
But most have been amicable. I know what I'm doing and the pools look good , and the cool thing is , most of my customers say so.
And the dogs...I have dogs on my route that I don't wish to encounter , but mostly I have dogs that are happy to see me , and me them...they make me linger at stops loving on them , which makes for a longer day but hey...they are dog friends...I got to hang out.
it's image over substance too for me...I'm not ordinary. No one has asked where I did time or said anything about my appearance. I am always clean shaven and neatly dressed and I know how to be polite (thanks mom).Plus I'm older,and while that should have no bearing really...it's somewhat amazing that at 49 I can still do the job with the vim and vigor I did back in the day.
I consider myself very lucky to have fallen into this job what with the economy and all that...very lucky.
And to have the skill set that afforded me that luck.
On another level...I am in the pre pre pre planning stages of a trip to England to visit my long lost family. It's within reach providing they can give me a couch to sleep on :). Plus , I could maybe see my English internet friends while I'm over there...not sure about the geography but it's a bloody tiny island after all and how far could Gateshead be from Skegness ?
My son wants to go with me...I don't know how realistic that is but we'll see. Ann would have to stay behind cause of the pack :(
Speaking of the pack...Layla continues to come into her own and it's fun to be a part of it...her coming out so to speak...gaining trust and integrating her magic into our lives , she has been a welcome addition for all of us.
And finally , I have a ghost in my house...not a bad thing but a troubling thing that I have to sort out and find some balance...I know it'll work out to everyone's benefit , I'm just not quite sure how to get there.
Yet.
Yet is my word for now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baked Eggs

A few days ago we were at Randall's shopping for bratwurst and I wanted buns that were not regular old hot dog buns, but something a bit more substantial (and tastier.) They had a package of what appeared to be French baguettes cut into pieces so we bought those. This turned out not be an actual French bread and was more along the lines of commercial white bread, but it still beat the hell out of using regular hot dog buns.

This morning I decided to make some baked eggs with that bread and was disappointed to find the bread still very moist, another sign it was not a French bread recipe at all. Real French bread would have been stale by now (and for those of you wondering about my disappointment, I like to use stale bread in my various baked egg concoctions since it saves time toasting it in the oven before adding the egg.)

Anyway, today I had a craving for baked eggs with cream and nutmeg, but discovered I was out of both cream and nutmeg. Instead, I tried something new. This time I threw in some bacon pieces and topped my eggs with creamy Caesar salad dressing and coarse ground black pepper. I was a little doubtful that this would be a tasty combination, but it turned out great. Well technically, it was a bit too salty for my liking due to the salad dressing, but quite possibly not salty enough for Rob.


Here is one of the chopped up faux baguettes. I think I may use this idea to make my own sandwich rolls in the future.





Bread plus bacon bits




Here is the finished product out of the oven. Oh, and unless you love black pepper as much as I do, I'd recommend the medium grind instead of coarse.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Time flies when you're having fun
That adage has sure proved true and I can't believe a week has passed since my last post. I spent most of that time job hunting which is not exactly fun, but it sure beats doing my old job. What I find particularly amazing is how much happier I've been, even though I haven't found a new job yet and have no idea how I am going to pay the bills. And I still haven't figured out what it is I want to do next. I am not very focused on my job search which I've been told is a bad thing. Instead, I've pretty much applied for any job where I meet the qualifications provided it doesn't require working on weekends. I've even applied for a few jobs where I didn't meet all the qualifications but they had some particular appeal for me such as being located a block away from where I live. While I might not even have a ghost of a chance on those, my chances are exactly zero if I don't apply at all so what the hell.

I have some friends and family members keeping an eye out for me as well and that's usually how one lands a job anyway. For now, I'm trying to make the best out of each day and enjoy this time off as much as possible. And we could always still win the lottery - provided I would just remember to buy a damn ticket!

Friday, August 14, 2009

OK...I FESS' UP

I haven't been posting here much because I've been hanging out over at Facebook. I joined to look at an old friends family pictures and discovered that a bunch of people I know are members there.
Current friends , old high school friends , my son and daughter in law. It's been fun.
But a curious thing has happened.
I was contacted by a relative on my Fathers side of the family. He lives here so I wasn't that surprised. Besides , I know there are lots of us here...it was just a matter of time.
But when my cousin from England sent me an email , I was dumbfounded.
My Aunty Pat has been trying to find me and enlisted her niece to search for me.
When my Mom died I kind of figured that was the end of it as far as my familial connections to England was concerned , apparently - and I know this is hard to believe:P - I was wrong.
Aunty Pat is writing me a letter...treasure in the mail !I haven't seen any of my cousins since I was a wee boy , barely 3 , and haven't seen Aunty Pat since her visit here when I was 19.
I've been invited to visit any time...
wonder if they would pay for the ticket? Just kidding , but it'll be a while before I can afford that trip.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Below 200
Back on 2/12/08, I did a post about how my weight was stuck at 200 pounds. It stayed stuck there for so long that I eventually stopped paying attention. Then the other week, I grabbed a pair of jeans and noticed that they didn't seem to fit quite like they usually did. It wasn't that they were too small, although they were snug like freshly washed jeans tend to be. No, something else wasn't quite right about them. I took a closer look and discovered I had put on a pair of Rob's old jeans by mistake. Jeans that are very similar to mine, but have a slightly different cut. They are also one size smaller that what I wear and that made me wonder if I had finally broke the 200 mark. And sure enough, the scale showed 195. That was pretty cool to see, but my weight does tend to fluctate and can easily vary 5 pounds from one day to the next. So I've been weighing myself every other day or so over these last few weeks and I'm varying between 192 and 196. Therefore, I declare the 200 pound barrier to finally have been broken. Woo-hoo! Next goal - 180.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

JUST FUCKING WOW



That 3 guys from Flint could make this much joyous sound is alright with me...a revelation...one of the reasons I took up the guitar...Jimi being the first of course , being a lefty and all...it was Voodoo child (slight return) that pegged it for me...and I leave you with that...enjoy.

I'm done here...goodnight Irene
ONE OF THOSE DAYS...

That started on Monday...but I want to focus on yesterday and today (no, not the band from the 70's but august7 and 8).
...plugs in Goatwhore to move things along...
So I was going to this start up Friday...a start up is a newly plastered pool...you have to balance the water chemistry just so while it cures otherwise you can end up with a big bowl of sandpaper full of water or worse.
It wasn't even half full...went back at 8 this morning and it wasn't full , they had one (ONE!?) hose filling it...I put in another hose and came back 2 more times...still not full.
Fuck.Me.
In between I met some old friends for lunch , and that was cool...but let me tell you , after 60 plus hours in this hell on earth summer and a murphy's law week from said hell , all I wanted to do today was chill in the bed with my family...not happening dude...suck it up.
Then...THEN...some asshole turned the hoses off that were filling the pool. I had left my number with some residents of the property to call me when it was full...while I was at the grocery getting dog food , one of them called and asked if I had turned the hoses off...AAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!
So...guess what I get to do tomorrow morning instead of walking the Grrrls with Annabelle ?
That's right.
I did make a pretty bad ass pork salad for sandwiches that you can see at my fucking facebook page.
I don't know what I did to piss off the karma gods ( actually I do , but that's a nunya and probably a product of my underlying paranoia about unexplained fuckings )
This Goatwhore is actually helping...now if you'll excuse me it's 420...like 4 fucking hours ago.
Still beats electric work...by a fucking mile.
And that Husker song really fucked with me...seriously , it did.
It made me cry.
Now I have to go out and kil.....CONNECTION TERMINATED....PLEASE STAND BY...
THIS ONE JUMPED OUT OF THE SHADOWS AND KICKED ME IN THE ASS


Sunday, August 02, 2009

AND THIS IS FOR LT


and I won't forget...
THIS ONE GOES OUT TO MY DAD



He loved this song and he would sing at the top of his lungs...
"got to scrape that shit right off your shoes"
I miss him.
OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN









Call me sentimental , but I fucking love Thin Lizzy.



And I'm kickin' up about the state I'm in...
THANK YOU JESUS


For the Stones...
YOU WEAR YOUR SKIN LIKE IRON





And your breath is hard as kerosene...
Me and the grrrls have been tending to a friend...it makes me weepy , like this song makes me weepy.
I have so much to say and I wonder if I have the time to say it...jerking that drunk motherfucker off the couch and dragging him into the woods was a good thing.
We all had a good time and it's times like that that remind me of the value of friendship...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

FAMILY...
NOTHING ELSE MATTERS...


The daughter I never had but really had right under my nose...I can't tell you how much I love her.

Family...All that ink is my fault by the way...:)
Father and son.
nap time...
As luck would have it I have a big family...I am blessed.
Maybe Sunburned and Definitely Unemployed
We went over to Albert, Carlos & Bill's place today to see Wendy who was in town planning her wedding. Wendy is Bill's daughter and Rob is similar to an uncle or godfather to her so this was a real treat that she was in town and we got to spend some time with her and her finance. I wore shorts even though I never wear shorts due to the sunburn factor, but damn it was hot and humid today so I did it anyway, knowing full well I might pay a painful price tomorrow. It's too soon to tell at this point - I was careful to stay in the shade and I appear to be sunburn free at the moment, but past experience tells me that I could wake up in the morning to a nasty sunburn that hasn't shown up yet tonight. I've never quite understood quite how that works, but it's happened to me time and time again - go to bed with white skin, but wake up in the morning with red. However, a good time was had by all and I even went swimming once the pool was in the shade. Everyone else was either napping or away doing other stuff so I had the pool to myself which made for a relaxing "float on my back all over the pool without worrying about running into anyone else" experience. I like company, but I also like solitude and I got the best of both worlds today.

In other news, I quit my job. I'm eligible for rehire so if I can't find anything else, I can always go back, but I really need a break from that sort of work. Five years is a very long time to work at a call center. I have no idea what I'm going to do next, but if the past is any indication, it will be something completely different from anything I have every done before. It's both exciting and scary at the same time. I took a week off and did pretty much nothing, but this coming Monday I will start the job search procedure - resume writing, job fairs and so forth. I'll just have to see what happens but I hope there is an awesome job out there where I can be happy. Hey, it never hurts to dream and if you are going to dream, might as well dream big.

Friday, July 31, 2009

EVERY TIME I LOOK TO MY LEFT FROM THIS CHAIR IS A PORTRAIT OF PHIL LYNOTT

I think he's trying to tell me something.
Not really . that would be crazy thinking...But in a looser sense , every time I look at him in all his black Irish - pirate - afro glory I remember how it was back then.
Today I was talking to a swim instructor who is about my son's age and she was amazed that I had graduated from Westlake ( it was a very different Westlake back in the 70's ) which led to her saying she loved 70's music , which led to her telling me about her Mom...and her Dad...I am older than her Dad !
I didn't comment on that.
She is a very sweet kid...her parents raised her right. I get the chance to watch her teaching these toddlers how to swim...she's very good. Makes me smile that there are still good hearted people in the world.
When I was cleaning the pool today , I was picking up bug heads...a bunch of them , all the same,all around the pool (100,000 plus gallon deal...big ) and that is odd.
Swim instructor thought maybe it was birds that don't like the heads...I opined that maybe it was a budding serial killer...
Her responese?
"There are a lot of demon children in this neighborhood...I live here so I know. "
Wow...Back in the day , we may have pulled the wings off of fly's , but it didn't define us.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

OUT OF KINDNESS I SUPPOSE...

Steve Earle's homage to Townes Van Zandt has been in heavy rotation here. A labor of love to be sure.
But also a reminder...Steve Earle has been a favorite of the Wolves from the very beginning. Curiously enough , his more country , blue-grassy stuff.
It only helps drive it home that he is a Texas boy and a survivor.
Seen him twice...hope to see him again.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

PEOPLE SAY I'M A GOOD MAN

I'm a bit uncomfortable with that term , I don't disagree with it because at my core I am one of those.I love animals and I would never hurt anyone or anything unless they are trying to hurt me or mine...then look out.
I know who I love and I keep them close to my heart...it's as simple as that.
But does that make me a "good man" ?
I will protect my loved ones at the expense of my own well being...doe's that make the cut?
I don't get this good man thing at all...
I'm just me

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WARM MEMORY CHIPS...

I saw a commercial for a blatant rip off of the movie ET this evening and I was instantly transported back to an evening I spent with my Mom shortly before she died watching ET.
She sat in her chair , and I sat on the floor beside her , holding hands.
Little did either of us know at the time that I would drive her to her final stop at the hospital in less than a month.
Some memories I wish I could blot out , this is not one of them...it's been lurking around in the back of my mind , waiting for a trigger ( or two ).
No matter what goes down , you will always love your Mom...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

SATURDAY

Woke up at the last crack o' dawn...that would be 7 am. That's called sleeping in these days I guess.
Went to my start up pool only to find a shitload of empty beer cans all around it and cigarettes put out on the newly installed deck tiles.
I guess I should explain that a start up is a new pool or a re - plastered pool and the accepted method is to balance chems and brush for 10 days.
I might add that people should not get in it for 10 days and especially dogs shouldn't - regardless of the status of the pool - dogs fuck up pools.
This start up has all that and more . Lucky me.
Met Joel for lunch at Opal's Penn Field , it's always good to see him and visit.He brought me a CD...Goatwhore. Ugly music...very nice.
Meanwhile , Annabelle is on the phones working...I have a choice on Saturdays.Stay at home and be really quiet (yeah...) or go somewhere . I go somewhere.
A friend of mine lost his Mom this week...he didn't really lose her , she died.
I missed the funeral , but went and saw him today with flowers and a card and a novena candle.He said it was a comfort to him (the candle). I've been in his shoes...I was in them today. I'm glad I could bring some comfort.
I forgot to mention that I lost my knife...so I went a got a new one. While I was at walmart I got a decent aquarium for our fighting fish...who I call Jefferson because he keeps movin' on up.
Then it was time to feed the dogs , and after the prerequesite wait time , they took me for a drag.
I made some magic sausage and beef ravioli for dinner , with garlic toast.

Life is not so bad these days...

Friday, July 17, 2009

SO THE POOL WAS FULL OF SANDBLASTING BEADS AND OTHER ADVENTURES

One of my customers has this incredible looking pool with lots of features , and one of those is the decorative tile . Lots of 1x1 " glass tiles. He had them sandblasted the other day and I got to vac out the beads . I pulled it off , but it was only with herculean effort.
He was home at the time and saw me do it , I won't bore you with the details but it was a challenge . He was impressed.
But the coolest thing was when I rolled up on his place there was an armadillo rooting around in the neighbors yard. I sat and watched him as he rooted his way to within 2 feet of my truck - armadillos rely mostly on scent as they have been short changed in the vision department. I revved my engine a bit when he started coming out into the street and he boogied off back into the yard.
I haven't seen a live one in years...just road kill.
Very cool.
I managed 11 stops today...only one was kind to me , the others were full on cleans. My shoulders hurt.
I thought I could get away with not letting the grrrls take me for a drag , but they prevailed.
Tomorrow I can sleep in ... I bet I wake up at the crack o' dawn.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

15 YEARS IS A LONG TIME

To be in the same band with the same 4 people. We don't get together much these days as the heat and divergent schedules tend to limit the time we can be at the practice space.
But Saturday we got together - late - and didn't get home til after 3 a.m.. Easy when your in your 20's & 30's...not so much these days as we cruise into middle age. ( One of us is already there ;) ).




I'm not sure what's going to happen to us Wolves in the future...as we splinter off into new projects and ( for me anyway ), more solo stuff.15 years is a long run for a local band ... something to be proud of I think , considering that while we have lots in common , we are very different personalities.
With a long ( most of it recorded ) history that is a document and a testament to friends with a common interest.
Long may we run.
...end edit...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I'VE NEVER SEEN DOGS SPOON BEFORE...



That's a true bond I think...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

THE ARCHITECTURE OF INSECTS

I see lots of insects on my daily travels...sadly , some of them are dead spinning around in skimmers , which is sad , but most are around pools or in them getting water or needing to be rescued . and rescue them I do. I don't discriminate ...if your a bug in distress I'll help you out of a jam.
In my travels I have observed a lot of insects and spiders and ( as D liked to call them "stingin' lizards" or scorpions ) . I have netted out scorpions from pools who were prone on the bottom for god knows how long (at most a week) and were still alive.
The variety of armor and specialized appendages and shells and wings are amazing to me.
At one of my regular stops there is a huge wolf spider that lives behind where I stack the chemicals in the equipment room.I look forward to seeing him (or her)on my twice weekly visits. Giant emerald green beetles and giant rhinoceros beetles are common as are those fucking stink bugs or assassin beetles I despise that can give you a nasty bite , but if they are in peril I rescue them.

It's like mini karma points...:)
UNTIL WERE ALL SHITTING RAINBOWS



HA!
PALIN'S "NO QUITTER"

Except she quit. Why has no one mentioned her and her moron of a husband's ties to the A.I.P ? That would be the Alaskan independence party...a terrorist organization ... I mean third party.
Please run in 2012...please.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

PUSHING MY FACE IN THE MEMORY OF YOU AGAIN


I'll never lose this pain....
A MONSTER IS BORN

A while back , me an LT traded guitars...he got my tobacco sunburst telecaster and I got his black Les Paul. Well , my tele had some electronic issues and LT took it upon himself to correct them , including a transplant of the bridge end pick up.
It now sports a mini double humbucker...killer sound.
I drove Annabelle out of the house (!) and caused Irene to howl (!!)...
AND NOW...HEADLINE NEWS

* 1.6 million seek 8,750 Jackson memorial tickets

That is a headline from CNN. It's like that movie Idiocracy come to life.
What's wrong with people ?
Nigga's dead...nuff said.
I guess it's easier to focus on the death of a junkie ex pop star alleged kid dick smoker than it is to focus on whats really happening in this country. Fucking sheep.
And the media is feeding it. Fucking media.
I wonder if those guys that got killed in Afghanistan the other day were in mourning for sir dance a lot and just got so wrapped up in the thrall that they didn't see it coming through their grief. Billy jean don't want my -BAM!-erk...something like that maybe.
It makes me sick.

Friday, July 03, 2009

SAMARITAN ?

I was pulling a pool cleaner out of one of my pools the other day , and about a third of the way out , on a part of the hose that floats on the surface was a clutch of little black eggs encased in an adhesive gelatinous blob. Probably frog eggs , maybe toad , or...could it be something else?
I think a lot of people would have just wiped them off and discarded them as so much flotsam and jetsam ... I transferred them as gently as I could into a container , brought them home and put them in my former Beta bowl.



Hopefully the will hatch out into tadpoles and I can release them in the creek behind our house. Then in a year or so , when I see a toad hopping across our porch I can wonder..."Hey...is that one of mine"?
:)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

THE WEATHER CAN CLOSE THE WORLD WITHIN IT'S HAND

Clouds followed me this morning...I raced to get pools done before the sky opened up on me...I got 3 out of the way and the sky opened up on me at #4 , and it rained and rained...with thunder and lightning.
You don't want to be pushing a metal pole around in water in an electrical storm.
I had some important stops ahead of me , so I went home and dried my clothes and ate lunch and then headed back out.
I haven't been out in the rain cleaning pools since I was at Hines...You know , it's kind of cool being out in it , an adventure of sorts...until you are soaking wet.
Then it sucks.
I got to my important stops and only rolled over one stop that I'll hit on Friday...I may hit it tomorrow , we'll see. This particular stop has a very mean dog that needs to be contained. I don't get these mean dogs...I'm a dog person - dogs love me.
The dogs I should be afraid of on my route love me. I have one customer with 2 pit bulls. Pit Bulls mind you , and they love me.
I have another with a pit mix and we are the best of friends.
Go figure that one...or two.
Lot's of dead and bloated toads this week...in skimmers and auto fills...Gotta be the rain...Bums me out . How do you make the route and give a decent burial?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

NEWS ON THE LAW ENFORCEMENT FRONT IN AUSTIN

Item 1...
It's called TACT , for targeting aggressive cars and trucks , and it works like this :
2 cops are driving around the city in a city bus ( an empty city bus ) looking for asshole drivers. They spot one and radio to a nearby patrol car who gives the asshole a ticket.Apparently , each bus operation has 10 officers involved , 2 buses , 20 cops , one day nets 24 tickets.
A huge waste of money and resources in my opinion.

Item 2...
The "No Refusal" weekend. during 4th of July weekend , if you get pulled over and are suspected of driving under the influence and refuse a breathalyzer test , a warrant is immediately issued and you are taken to a mobile lab where a contract phlebotomist draws your blood...and you have no say in the matter.
Driving under the influence is not good , but this is fucking police state shit.
Someone needs to challenge this new thing the APD is doing , surely , there's some rights violation(s) that could be argued here.

Our nanny state status continues to grow unchecked.
4 REASONS WHY I GET UP EVERY MORNING

Sunday, June 28, 2009

THEY SAY TIME MAY GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOUR POOR BONES COULD EVER TAKE

I wish I could claim that title as my own , but I can't. It's a line from an Iron and Wine song . But it sums this life thing up nicely.
It occurred to me on my way home from seeing Wen how special we all are and I had this idea about why these re connects keep happening.
They are reminders of ties . Ties carry weight - but it's worth it , that weight amounts to your character.
This weekend I :
Hung out with Annabelle ( 25 years...15 of those married )
Hung out with Bill and Al and Carlos ( known them for 30 + years )
Saw Wendy ( 36 !! years )
Talked to Carolyn on the phone (ditto...and my first wife , which is to say the first woman I loved enough to marry...and while we failed at it miserably , she is a great friend now )
Talked to Mark on the phone ( 27 years )
Hung out with dogs..Theo ( 14 years ) , Irene ( 9 years ) and Layla ( 3 months...but the clock is ticking )
And while not technically the weekend ... dropped in on Billy boy at his job on Thursday. ( 35 + years )
Talked to Jon on skype with our new headset ( 30 + years )
Left an absolutely hilarious message on Joel's phone ( 16 years )
I need to call Special K ( 6 virtual years :) ).
Had new friends over for dinner ( 8 weeks )...the clock is ticking.
everyone compliments me on my physical appearance ... and that's cool , but what they're really seeing is inside.
I will never be complete , but this is damned close.
I usually leave the sentimentality shit to Billy boy , but I just had to say...
ONCE UPON A TIME

In a land far away (but still here in Austin) this was the hospital at Bergstrom AFB , now the base is an airport , and the hospital is now the Hilton. When I was a boy , this was where I would be taken when I was sick.
Back around that time , this was my girlfriend . Who is staying at the airport Hilton with her family.
It's funny how these kinds of re connections keep happening to me . Wendy and I have a unique history , BF & GF off and on , but always friends. And more alike than we would ever admit. The image that's burned into my brain of her is an old yearbook photo and no matter how old we get to be we will always look like this to my memory... nice kids huh?
Her mom was there too , she had no clue who I was , but after introductions , remembered my name . After about an hour or so , she remembered who I was and it was a very funny moment.
I had forgotten that Wendy's mom was english...and it was nice to hear the accent again.
And it was nice to see Wendy and meet her family (part of it anyway).
Time marches on but we still look pretty damn good I think.
Another want I can check off my list.
Too old for 20 hour days
Yesterday I was up at 5 am, worked 7 to 3 and then stayed up past 1 am this morning. It was fun, at least the part of the day after I got off work, but I sure am tired today. I had trouble doing this sort of thing when I was a teenager and could sleep until noon the next day. It's even harder 30 years later when no matter how hard I try, I can't stay in bed past 8 am. So I won't be rigging up the shade cloth experiment for the squash plants and I'm probably not going out to buy that hard drive I need for my computer nor will I use my 30% off coupon at Borders that expires today and forget doing any laundry. Instead, I think I will be sitting back with a cold glass of sparkling water and doing a whole lot of nothing since it's back to work again tomorrow. This only one day off routine is getting old, but this time it will be worth it since I will have both Saturday and Sunday off this upcoming weekend. Woot!
I WAS GOIN' HOME

I haven't bought any new music in a long time , so yesterday I got the new Iron and Wine CD - Around the well.
Here is a great cover of New Order's Love Vigilantes...



...with our rifles and grenades and some help from god.
I think of our brave men and women overseas and in conflict and wish them god speed.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

Sweet italian sausage and three cheese tortellini.

On skewers with pineapple and sweet onion...brushed with vodka sauce.

Grill till done...

Fucking awesome...h/t to Annabelle for finding the inspiration for this recipe.

The grrrls enjoyed the porch time and our guests , as did we. It was a very nice evening.