Monday, March 30, 2009


As I listen to probably the best album ever to come out in the 70's...Who's Next by ...well you know by Who. What a fantastic record. Here are some pictures from the ongoing porch renovation...
South Austin and funky porches go hand in hand , and ours is shaping up I think.
Let's go overhead to begin...
This is the first sign Annabelle and I "stole" was abandoned on the side of 183 way out north where people sell Bonsai trees and puppies...this sign is at least 16 years old since we liberated it...
This is one of my turtle babies resurrected as a's an Ornata shell and I'm ashamed to admit so much time has passed that I can't remember who it belonged to. I want to say Big Al...the scutes are so familiar. But there have been hundreds of turtles here over the years...but I can't be sure. But what I do know is I honor the memory.
We got this one from billy boy's step son...he gave it to us because he knew we we're stealing signs...but it rules as far as signage goes...on the flip side is a crudely stenciled "road work"...very cool.

I put in a new mailbox and the initial sticker was a bit much...I love me some Coop stickers...I was drinking mas cervezas and the thought of a devil girl looking at you underneath her junk was way cool. But we opted for an equally offensive devil head instead...bloody zombie street letters courtesy of me.

Us on the porch with the Beenzer...and that ol' Debbil is up in the always :)
We spent the evening out on the porch again tonight...grill (country style ribs) and music going on...
We love spring.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Our front porch had fallen into disrepair over the winter , and now that I have some time on my hands , I decided to do something about it...With items laying around the house and some tinkering - I think the '09 front porch is the best one yet.

We had one of those typical 55 gallon drum grills on the porch , but the grilling surface was wasted...all rusty and full of holes. Shit , we bought it 10 or so years ago. I went to buy a replacement cooking surface for it and it ended up being cheaper to buy this Brinkman combo. I cured it and cooked on it tonight and it's wonderful . I love it. And I especially love the amount of space it opened up on the porch. Some may consider a new grill a luxury , but for me it was an essential cooking tool. And considering the original grill would have burned out it's bottom by the end of the season it made sense.These are open bottom cookers and require a pan underneath to catch embers and drippings. I just happened to have an extra trash can lid laying around that fit like a glove.
Annabelle and I got those canteens as wedding gifts 15 years ago , they are all oxidized on the inside and useless for camping / seemed fitting to hang them on the post with the fishing net and the other stuff that chronicles our time together.
I had fun doing this , and beyond the new grill , it cost me nothing but time. Time well spent I think...ya think?
I was eating lunch today at McDonald's when two people came in and walked by my table on the way to the counter to place their order. I was reading a book so I only barely saw their torsos go by, yet I immediately got the feeling that these two were trouble and that I should leave. I looked up, but they had already gone around the corner out of my sight. I thought it was odd to get that feeling since I hadn't really seen much of them and they hadn't said a word at all or done anything to generate such a strong reaction, yet the feeling was unmistakable. And sure enough, five minutes later, from around the corner I heard a foul-mouthed verbal altercation with the McDonald's staff. I suppose they got their order since they came back around the corner and sat down one table away from me and at this point I could have taken a look at them, but I didn't bother. I just packed up my burger and left. There was no way I was staying there with those kinds of strong vibes floating around even if they had looked "squeaky clean". Now it's not odd for me to pick up a "vibe" about someone, but it usually happens because of some mannerism or something they say or some sort of clue. But in this case, it came from nothing tangible. Strange.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Work and Gum
I haven't posted about my job in a while (ignore the fact that I haven't posted much of anything in a while) and that's in part because it hasn't been horrible. I asked for a change in job duties back when I was having all that trouble with memory and multi-tasking and while it hasn't been the ideal job, it's been tolerable. Oh, and I suppose I should mention that memory/multi-tasking issue turned out to apparently not be caused by hormones at all, but by chewing gum that contained Aspartame. I discovered it when I started getting migraines again all the time instead of just a couple of times a month and I decided I better examine the ingredients of everything I was eating. I switched to a gum that has "less than 2%" of Aspartame and both the migraines and the memory issues stopped. Not surprised on the migraines since I already knew Aspartame was a migraine trigger for me (I just hadn't noticed before that the gum had it as an ingredient) and while I can't say it was definitely the gum on the memory issues, I suspect it was more than just a coincidence.

Anyway, I've had a job that was tolerable, but that's changing in a few weeks. It turns out that I was the only one doing the job like it should be done and the folks on the other shifts were not doing what they were supposed to do. Then when I was out sick for a week with pneumonia it didn't get done right on my shift either and the company decided to just give the duties to a different group of people because the half-ass job that WAS being done could obviously be done cheaper by a much less skilled group of people. Ah well, I can't really fault them for that. Seriously, if they can get by with a half-ass job done cheaper, that seems like a good business decision to me. So I'm not sure exactly what duties I'll have in a couple of weeks, but it will most likely be that stuff I didn't like doing before. This would be a good time for the Universe to send another job my way - hint, hint to you, Universe.

In the meantime, I'm having a really hard time doing the current job the old way I used to do it seeing how my coworkers got to sit around and do 1/10th of the work for the same amount of pay... it's a bit of a conflict. But at least it's not a conflict that will be around for long.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I ran lots of errands the Rodeo - scraping brakes and all. I took Irene with me and she loved it. She was a hit with the folks I encountered , and to be honest , it was nice to have her company. She is such an amazing being.
I got some really cool solar walkway lights at Home depot for super cheap and they remind of the house Alex and his droogs ravaged in "A Clockwork Orange"...I told Annabelle that every time I look at them I want to go get a derby hat and a false eyelash :) .
I got a line on a floor jack (thanks bill!) so I will be a mechanic over the weekend. I got the brake pads today and they don't look that complicated. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I got my drug free work force card which you now have to have to work on any job site connected with my union.I don't use drugs anymore...I haven't in a long time unless they are prescribed to me or I am in a tight spot and get them from family or friends until I can get a script.
As much as the notion pisses me off , I felt an ironic sense of pride that my urine was A-OK without outside intervention.
I despise random drug's none of your fucking business what I do on my own time.But test away reactionist assholes and feel safe.

I got the Rodeo registered today...which it has not been since March of '07.It has not been inspected since June of '06 - that's next.
I got a line on a floor jack to do the brakes so I have that to look forward to over the next couple of days.
The dude at the DMV was looking me all up and down about the amount of time it's been unregistered wondering if I had been driving it. No , I said and fed him some half truth about it being down and the wife and I carpooling , but now I need a vehicle of my own...yada yada yada.He asked if I had gotten any tickets for expired registration. No sir I have not...which is true and some kind of miracle that I drove around in this vehicle and never got a ticket for something so fucking obvious.
I also was given new plates...great I think to myself , now I have to memorize a new plate. Why in the world that's important to me is anybody's guess but it is.
So I get home and I'm installing the plates and my neighbor comes over and I share with him my disdain for having to memorize new plates and he say's "What's the problem man...that's almost your name dude". Which is when the plate number actually registers...damn! He's right. Instant memory chip installed.

Brakes on the horizon and life drones on.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


That's what it's gonna cost to square away the brakes on the Rodeo if I do it myself.
I hate working on cars...I can do it , but I hate it.So I'll do and hate I guess.I got the current insurance card printed today (it was cheaper to buy a new printer than replace the cartridge in the old one but Annabelle informed me it was beyond the ink issue with the old all in one) so I can register the fucking thing tomorrow...fix the brakes and then get it inspected.
But I got to tell you , it's hard to get motivated. I am so bummed. All I want to do is lay on the bed with the dogs and watch TV.It's hard to get moving.
Gotta get my hands on a floor jack as well.
I got a call from the hall today for a short call(40 hours minimum , 80 max) in fucking San Marcos...45 minutes down the interstate.Which won't work with one car...I had to decline...but it upped the pressure to get the Rodeo squared away . There's some motivation I guess. win the lottery.:)

Monday, March 23, 2009


It's time to blow the dust off the grill...and tonight I did just that and grilled burgers glazed with mustard and hamburger deluxe rub. We stayed out on the porch until the allergens flying around chased us indoors.Irene was in heaven...she loves her porch time. from this to this...on toasted ciabatta with american cheese...miracle wipe and catsup with ruffles...dig it.
I went to another unofficial SXSW function yesterday right down the road from my house.This has been a den of Austin music since I was a kid and the armadillo days and all that.It was like a time warp.I've seen the outside of this place for years...the giant red neon Wizard of Oz shoe on the side of the "barn" always intrigued me.It was Bluegrass and R&B and Blues and that kind of bluesy rock that is uniquely Austin.
I was invited so I went and brought a giant crock pot of Carne Guisada for the door discount and I saw my friends from back in the day who I knew were there and I saw many folks that looked vaguely familiar.I couldn't remember the names,but I remembered faces and that vibe...a warmth of people who have been together for a long time. What an amazing backyard!Just steps from my very own was like I was transported to the armadillo beer garden for a few hours.Only now we are old ,but somehow those same free spirits that coalesced at that wonderful place back in time. It was gratifying. And let it be said that 7 pounds of Carne was consumed in less than an hour ! Wow...I didn't get any of it save the juice on some rice so I made another small batch today.God damn that shit rules.
A back yard full of old hippies and their kids and grand kids locked in a time warp.
But what an awesomely sweet warp it was.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Irene likes the new chair.
"What are you lookin' at? Not that I can see you" grumpy old man.
They love me being around.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I went to a day party at the scoot inn with my on again off again friend and got to see Dixie Witch , Easy Action , ancestor and Zoroaster (who fucking ruled so much I bought their CD).Some crazy ass englishman gave me a free T shirt (see picture).It was awesome. I had such a good time and saw some old friends from back in the day.And a sea of the tattooed unwashed that is the heavy metal crowd working the road today.It was a reminder of why I love music in the first place.
I ended up at a bachelor party for a friend of mine's was a back yard BBQ...very laid back and no strippers ( :) ) or wax recreations of vulva ( :( ).But it was cool because I was with one of my best friends.
On the way home we saw this fucking chair that I had seen earlier in the day and I made him go back for a perfectly good stodgy old person rocking recliner. I love it .
I could complain about my life right now...but I have friends and a very jamming life.I have no complaints currently :P.
Ah, Spring
I can tell it's spring because I've got the urge to skip school with my boyfriend for some sex, drugs, rock-n-roll and a day trip out to the the countryside. Although these days it would be skipping work with my husband and the drugs would be beer instead of pot, but overall the desire is exactly the same. Unfortunately, it's a desire that will remain unfulfilled, at least for today - must go to work. Still, it was a nice thought to start the day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


The factory installed speakers in the Rodeo were 10 years old and completely blown out.As part of the resurrection of said Rodeo and my affinity for music and talk radio , new speakers were essential.Since I am so hard on speakers (read LOUD) I bought the most economical ones available. These are 6x9" 200 watt 3 - way speakers for the rear.There are 6.5" 100 watt ones in the front door panels. They passed the Ministry it's all good.
Got to do the brakes next and then it's registration and inspection and I'm on the road again.
We will be a 2 car family more fucking car pooling.
How cool is that?

Monday, March 16, 2009


There were 2 short calls (temporary)today for journeyman and 157 names on the books.I got my unemployment debit card in the mail today and filed for my second round of benefits.
There's just something demeaning about this situation. I know it's mostly out of my control and I just have to ride it out. Life is hard sometimes. But god damn...I'm not used to this.
I worry about stupid shit...losing our home is high on that list. That's not even a remote possibility right now , but I am quick to jump to the worst case scenario.
Waiting to hear from the hall is a grind. I check the job board every morning and go to the hall once a week to check in. Then I fill my days with dogs and shitty TV.
I'm going to get out early tomorrow morning and try to be productive...go to the hall , network with friends and work on the rodeo.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Warm is not always safe.

A friend of mines attic has been invaded by racoons...he trapped one and thinks the rest are gone...they have done some damage to his wiring and I'm going to check it out.
The thought of popping my head into an attic only to be leapt upon by an irate coon gnawing angrily at my ears is not appealing , so I will climb into his attic with this...and a bright beam flashlight...
a walther pellet pistol.Co2 powered 8 shot semi automatic pistol just in case.He trapped one and believes the others have left but will leave it to me to find out and correct the damage...thanks.
I love raccoons...they are my favorite animals after dogs but I will not be assaulted on a mission to help out a friend...and I'm sure you can't deter an angry coon with harsh language...hence the pistol.
This will all be stay could be interesting.

Friday, March 13, 2009


157 names on the books at the hall and no calls for Monday.My unemployment account has been straightened out and my account credited , but I have yet to get my debit card...the website says I should receive it by the 17th. On a related note , I read an article about unemployment in Penn. , there you have the option of waiting 10 days for a check or getting a debit card right away. What they don't tell you about are the fees attached to that card until you get it.
My understanding is that the card is the only option here in Texas and it makes me wonder if the workforce commission is in cahoots with Chase bank regarding the fees.
It's still shitty outside , but on a high note , I got to have lunch with Carolyn who was in from out of state today. You may recall that she is my first wife from when I was a wee lad and now a dear friend. It was a short visit , but it was nice to see her and visit. I really value having that connection.
I'm looking at a very busy weekend...I hope I can fit it all in.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


It's early and it's my Mother used to say "it's pissing doom".But I have plans today...and try as they might I have resisted the doggies heroin like call to remain warm and snug in the bed watching shitty daytime TV.
Steeled by coffee , I'm off to the shower and into the bad old rainy day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


We talked about doing an intervention for our buddy Mark - god rest his soul- and since then several of us have been in need of an intervention , but it would have ended up something like this...cinematic brilliance and while we aren't killer mafioso types , we are equally ill equipped.Some of us more than others...
This is 8 minutes of pure genius in my opinion of dysfunctional shit.
Enjoy...then cry.

I'd be thrilled except it's raining as well :(.At least I get to wear my beanie I bought awhile back. On the unemployment front , I answered a question "no" when it should of been "yes" and that sent the wheels of the work force commission to a grinding halt and has delayed my benefits by a week...I'll get them all , just later than I had hoped.But I'm approved for 52 weeks. Knowing my luck I will get a call from the hall before I can really take advantage of the benefit. But truth be told , I'd rather be out on a job...I love hanging out with my doggies , but working is much better for me.
On the food front I made some awesome turkey salad last night and created a new treat that I haven't come up with a name for yet , but according to Ann they are awesome. You take a slice of honey wheat bread and cut of the crust , spread a thin layer of jelly and top that with a slice of cheese , fold in half , pinch edges together , dip in an egg wash and fry like you would french toast.Sprinkle with powdered sugar and there you have it.I may call it a rob-yay.Ha :)

Monday, March 09, 2009


I re imagined the frank monte cristo and did them with apple jelly and american cheese. Pretty tasty.
I went to the hall this morning and signed the books and went and did my drug screen (mandatory when you change contractors).Man!Those lab people are pee nazi's ! "fill the container above this black line-place the container on the sink-DO NOT flush the toilet OR wash your hands". YES SIR!
After I filled the container I went dutifully back into the hallway and the pee nazi examined the container and the toilet , flushed the toilet and gave me the go ahead to wash my hands.
I haven't had a drug screen since I got hired almost 5 years ago and it was more relaxed then , I guess all the tampering and sneaky shit has gotten out of hand.
hopefully I'll get a call soon.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


This just cracks me up...hood pins on a Isuzu Rodeo.It took me about 30 minutes and cost under 10 bucks.As opposed to replacing the assembly - which would only break again - which cost 22 bucks w/o the cable (19 bucks).
I also cleaned the thing out. Man did I find some cool shit. A national electric code book...and several text books about blue prints , transformers and motor controls and other stuff, a Bukowski collection of short stories and a shitload of dog harnesses and leashes. And one of Sully's tennis balls.And about 20 pounds of scrap copper (hiding under the tent).
Not to mention a ton of trash.
I also managed to get the humongo-tent back in its storage bag.
Then I did some routine service on Ann's car.All in all a very productive day.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Ann went to the doctor this morning and it turns out she has moderate to severe bronchitis.Bummer.
I went to the grocery today and shopped like I was in college again (read poor).I managed to get a full weeks worth of nutritious meals plus extra fluids for Annabelle and food for the dogs for under 100 bucks...yay me. that I have a weeks worth of meals to prepare it became necessary to do a full clean on the kitchen. Get everything ready for my cooking needs and let me tell is a task and a half. Our kitchen can best be described in 2 words...shit hole. I have been a triage style cook for almost a year now...just washing and using what I needed to prepare the meal of the moment.
I threw away lots of stuff today...most of it inconsequential , and emptied the giant restaurant style sink we bought when we remodeled a few years ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time and it looked really cool , but it was a set up for people as lazy about housekeeping as we are. Three deep basins for stuff to wallow in. What killed me was I was unable to save some of my calphalon cookware.It was just too damaged from sitting unattended for so long.
And there was always something better to do than clean the kitchen. It's funny too , that someone who loves the art of cooking as much as I do to let his kitchen go to hell. But I'm correcting that , and while it kicks my ass to throw so much high end shit away , the process is cleansing and it feels good.
You will never see my or Annabelle's name in the same sentence as good housekeeping but I have all this time on my hands and there's just so much electrical shit I can do here.
I had to remove the hood latch mechanism on the rodeo to get the hood open...what a GIANT pain in the ass...but I did it. I'm not gonna bother with repairing / replacing it. Instead I'm going with hot rod hood pins. Ironic really...putting hot rod performance parts on a soccer mom vehicle. I think it will look cool.
My camping plans have been thwarted again...this time by the weather. Rain in the forecast through at least Tuesday. I may just set the motherfucker up in the yard at this point (just kidding).
So here we are...slowly sinking with the rest of the country. Trying to figure out how to rise above (again).
The news annoys the shit out of me. The republicunts just won't give it up. Someone needs to put Limbaugh out of his fucking pill head dominican boy fucking syphilitic misery that he's making us endure. I think it's awesome he's being touted as the de facto leader of the republicunt party...they deserve the "honor".
I am so sick of Nancy Grace and her obsession with the "tot mom"...please bitch , her name is Casey Anthony and she may have killed her child and tried to cover it up. Sad and horrible to be sure , but it's not like she's the only one whose done something like this. The latest being that asshole in Ohio that killed his entire family and then killed himself ( thanks by the way dude , for saving us the money and the drama of a trial and all the speculation about your motives ). You were a piece of shit that killed your family and now your dead...good enough , let's move on.
Crime is up , hand gun sales are up .
You do the math.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Bang...high off Florida hessian types...I fucking loved them!

It makes me want to smoke weed again.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Blackberry glazed pork roast with lyonnaised potato and roasted carrots.
I think the potato recipe is cajun in breed , but the rest is just me going crazy in the kitchen...

You steam the gold pots until tender while caramelizing onions in butter and then fry them on a griddle....

You roast the pork and carrots together at 250 for an ungodly amount of time and then arrange it just so.
Very fucking tasty.

A few things have come up...first it was the battery in the rodeo being dead.Then the hood release cable broke and I couldn't get the hood open. Well I finally did only to discover the remaining gas in the tank had evaporated while attempting to jump it.
But probably the biggest thing is Ann is sick again , and I am not leaving for several days while she is ill.
So , between fighting with the rodeo and trying to take care of Ann I have been amusing myself in the kitchen...
I saw this on some food channel on one of those nights when Ann was guiding ships in through the fog and with one variation (blackberry instead of strawberry jam) I present the grilled frank monte christo with swiss. Not very appealing to look at but damn tasty.
I have also been digging around in the back of the house and found these...
I killed the pits that killed Cypress and almost killed Diamond...such a long time ago , but it's like yesterday in my heart.
Our wedding day...pretty cool.

Monday, March 02, 2009


The rodeo has been sitting in the driveway for so long the battery has died.Plus I realized I need to file for my unemployment benefits tomorrow and that's kind of hard to do in the woods.
So the revised plan is to get up early tomorrow,file for benefits,get a jump for the rodeo and pack up my stuff.
This is a budget trip mind you , but I got some cool stuff last night for cheap. A 5 dollar led lantern, a 4 dollar hobo utensil kit , a waterproof match container for .86 cents.My tent was 20 bucks and my bag was under 10.My biggest expense was batteries...for the lantern , the camera and the MP3

L to R : maglite , the "gypsy" ( in lieu of uncle henry who is currently MIA ), hobo utensil kit ,MP3 loaded to the hilt with tunes , LED lantern , waterproof match box , pocket size high capacity 9mm semi auto pistol with extra clip , grenade bag (sans grenades ).
To save money I got a table top hibachi grill rather than a stove.
You know , for all my "manliness" (for lack of a better term ) I'm really kind of nervous about be alone in the woods for several days while on the one hand is exciting and adventurous it's also kind of scary.
While I can say unequivocally I'm not afraid of the dark I am afraid of what lurks in it...real and imagined. I've always prided myself on being a fully realized person.Confident and sure of myself , but I am haunted by something my mom once said to me long ago "you know just enough to make you dangerous".
Is this some sort of mid life crisis?
Maybe it is , but at least I didn't buy a gay ass red sporty car and run away with the secretary. I'm going camping instead.
So...again...I'll see you in a week.
Starting tomorrow.
I'll have my girl with me
Hair coloring cures the blues
Not really, but I did color my hair last night (I'm back to being a redhead) and I did wake up this morning feeling well for the first time in at least three weeks. I also got a partial day off work today since we were overstaffed - probably the first time that's ever happened on a Monday - so I thought I'd come home and spend a little time with Rob before he heads out on his camping trip. Except he's still sleeping so right now I'm trying to be quiet and let him snooze a while longer.

These last couple of months have been pretty rough and while some of it was the flu, some of it was also a general dissatisfaction with life in general. My job is a real drag and I haven't had the energy left over after work to do anything interesting on my off hours. Well, I suppose watching all five seasons of the TV show House was somewhat interesting, but I'm not much of a TV show or movie watcher and that was more of a way to rest and gather up enough energy to drag myself to work the next day than it was interesting. I'm not the sort to be happy just dragging myself through life in survival mode each day and Saturday I realized that I had developed a serious case of the blues. So yesterday I dyed my hair and today I'm going to plant some flower seeds I found the other day. They may not sprout since they are several years old and I don't even know what they are, but if nothing else, it will be interesting to see what happens.

Update: Turns out I have fire ants living where I want to plant my flowers. Tilling up the soil would be a little dangerous right now so I'm going to try pouring boiling water over the area which is rumored to be a way of getting them to move elsewhere.

Update: First pot of water has been poured on the ground and it was cool to watch the ground steam for several minutes - kind of like a miniature version of something you'd see in Yosemite park.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


My dear blog friend Blue witch (she laughed at me once...ONCE) posts a question every Friday and the subjects vary far and wide and they are almost always interesting but sometimes are eurocentric.That is to say they do not apply to life here in Texas.
The latest question is regarding people that show up on your door step selling something , whether it be insurance or cable TV or religion.
Those uninvited miscreants selling magazine subscriptions so they may travel to Spain or the south of France or go to medical school and become a doctor based on you buying subscriptions to magazines or agreeing to the application of siding to your home that will give you pancreatic cancer in 15 years.
I like BW's Friday questions but this one got my ire up.
Back in the day , when I was young my mum and me would hide away from the windows when the local jomocha...I mean jojoba...I mean jehova witnesses would show up at our home to expound the joys of a religion that would let a child die before they would allow a transfusion . They would knock and knock and then leave watchtower pamphlets on the porch before leaving. Mom and I would laugh and laugh about this. This is one of the things I miss most about my mom...she was a no bullshit person.A hard scrabble miners daughter from the north of England.Sensible and hard as nails - not someone to be fucked with.You did not fuck with Maureen.
And she passed that on to me...I have resisted the nature of who I am for years.Giving people the benefit of the doubt , much like my mom her peril sometimes.She was a hellion to be dealt with but if she sensed a need in you she was there. And I am my Mothers son.
With all of that said...
I have found the best way to deter a nuisance at your door is to rack a 12 gauge shotgun from the other side of that every time.
Trust me.
On an unrelated note...I've been gathering up my shit to go on my trip and plan to leave tomorrow evening...I still have to find uncle henry , but I think I know where he is...originally Ann was gonna drop me off but I'm taking the rodeo so i can take my guitar and have a place where I can lock up the valuable stuff while Beenz and I are discovering ourselves...OK...while Beenz and I are discovering me.Shes's a fucking dog for christs sake...she knows what she is.
Me on the other hand...well , we'll see how that turns out.
See you in a week.

winter in my soul...