Thursday, April 30, 2009


I was trying to eat some of that chicken I made the other day and...BAM! Instant friends :) Theo has managed to rebound - again- he amazes us. Of course, he got the big piece of chicken...:P.

When I worked for the other pool company I had an Old timer Uncle Henry fixed blade with a floater handle...long gone and lost somewhere in this mess of a house. I could not find it. So I got this tonight , gotta have a knife after all.Right?

I released my reptilian friend on the Gus this afternoon...He will be much happier there and my bird friends will sleep easier at night. As has been the case lately the place was crawling with people with loose dogs , even though there's the leash law in effect for the entire area. Sheesh...they really piss me off and harsh my hiking buzz , but what are you gonna do about it?
The snake's out of the bag.
Heading for the woods...
A variety of wildflower called a Mexican hat.
Tomorrow will mark my first week at the pool company. We had our staff meeting this morning (breakfast tacos !) and I met the whole crew. It was cool. While I don't need any training per say , I am riding with another cleaner for another week and then it's out on my own.
The crew is a nice blend of younger folks and some my age and even older (I think).
All creeds , colors and gender represented.Everyone was very friendly. I think I'm going to like it here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The texas yellow phase Rat Snake...this one runs about 5 feet and was up my neighbors tree hunting baby birds and /or eggs. He bit the fuck out of me (see second picture).The last Rat Snake I caught was when I was working for hines as a pool nigga...seems apt somehow.
They are very nasty snakes...fearless.And that's why I like them so much...I could sell him to a pet store , but I will relocate him on the greenbelt by the house instead...gus fruh will be a much better home for him.


Oink - oink - Blarf!

Real threat ? Or just an orchestrated distraction employed by the Obama administration and the "liberal media" ? If you watch the major news (cable or otherwise) that's what they want you to believe . One way or the other...they report and you decide what line of horse shit you want to buy into.
Fuck them and fuck that...I heard a thing on the radio today talking about the why's and whereto fores of people in "foreign" countries dying from it while us 'mericuns are just having the flu...puking and shitting a lot but not dying. And then I see this headline about a kid who died in Texas ...turns out he was a Mexican national visiting fuck you again media.
The CDC and the WHO have been fairly straightforward in saying they don't really know what's going to happen as this thing runs it's course...and I appreciate that , because we don't know. But the media is busily trying to whip everyone up into a frenzy about it , and effectively distract us from the other more important things happening in the world , like that beauty queen from California that hates gay marriage...or the "tot mom" case...(Nancy Grace needs to be put out of our misery post haste).Or all of these people who are killing their families and themselves because the economy is so bad...or maybe the economy. Or the wars...yeah WARS that are raging.
But lately it's been all about that dumpy cat lady who can sing...and swine flu.
You have to laugh or lose your fucking mind.
Squash Planting
We seem to be past the heavy rains that we've had for several days so yesterday I plunked some squash seeds in the "garden mounds" that Rob made for me. The north mound got four patty-pan bush seeds. I don't really expect these to germinate since the seeds are from 2005 and have been stored in a coffee can in the pantry, not the 'fridge. Plus, none of the seeds that I planted in 2005 from this package sprouted which might explain why I couldn't find this particular variety in any store this year. I'll give it two weeks and if nothing pops up, I'll replant with the white patty-pan variety that I could find. The south mound got three seeds of your standard vine yellow straight neck squash. Last time I planted this I only got one squash before the squash borers killed off the vines.

I did a little searching on the internet for ways to save my squash this year and discovered that squash borers are a very common problem in Austin. I can improve my chances of actually getting some squash by spraying once a week with insecticidal soap or injecting BT into the stems, but based on other people's experiences that only helps a little bit. Another option is to use row covers and hand pollinate, but that is way too much work. An even more labor intensive option is to daily wipe down the leaves and vines and cut out any borers that have entered a vine. I can tell you right now that bending over the mound daily to inspect every leaf and vine just isn't going to happen.

From what I've read, what works best in this area is to plant new seeds every two to three weeks. You might get a few squash off a plant before it succumbs to the pest and then you just pull up it up and hope you'll get more squash off the remaining ones. I would need a pretty big garden space to pull that off unless... well, I suppose I could build a new "garden mound" every two weeks until my front yard looks like some sort of weird alien moonscape with no space left for a grassy lawn (and having no grassy lawn would please me greatly.)

I had considered doing something similar a few years ago using raised beds, but didn't like the thought of a bunch of square or rectangular boxes in the yard - too linear. And one year, I had a bunch of big pots set out in various spots, but I didn't like the look of that either. The mound idea might be more appealing to me and it's something I can do a little bit at a time. I guess I'll see in two weeks if I'm motivated to make a few more mounds (or can convince Rob to) and go from there.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009



I made a stuffing of pork sirloin , peach salsa and cornbread stuffing and jammed it into a 5 pound chicken...I cooked it with ears of corn and the guts and the neck (separately) for the old man...he loved it...
My grrrls have the porch thing down and that was cool...A&E should contact me for a run on that cooking show...

sear the pork in canola oil.
add peach salsa...bring to a slow boil...
add cornbread stuffing...simmer.
stuff it...
Season it...
My assistants :)...the grrrls love the porch chairs...
slow roasted chicken with pork sirloin and cornbread stuffing with peach salsa...corn on the cob and baby carrots with french dressing , cinnamon , maple syrup and some spice.

Call me anything you want...just don't call me late to supper.

But first this brief depthmarker update...
I started working for the pool company's a very nice change of pace.I've been riding with the guy whose route I was suppose to take over , but it turns out he's not leaving after all. Which is cool with me , I like him. But they are still short one cleaner as another cleaner is being promoted to a tech position.
Everyone's happy and working.
First thing Monday morning I reached into a skimmer and a baby possum swam out of the front.I have never found a live possum in a pool before , and of course I rescued him and let him go outside the pool enclosure. Today I rescued a brown tarantula from another pool and set him free in the yard. I feel like I've fallen right back into the groove. It's like zen...
Now , on to tonight's post.
I had this old grill that had been put out on the curb for someone to takers after a week , so Sunday I was on the porch looking at it , and it hit me...

So that's what I did.
Stay tuned for part's about to go on the grill :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Say hello to Black Donald.
Relaxing after a bad ass hike in the hill country.
I made Ann a birds nest breakfast...
Garnished...or rather slathered in queso and flaked cheddar.
I made Ann 2 mound gardens for her to grow some squash...
I watched these 2 little birds making a nest in our fan , they ignored me-and the was fun watching them.
I wore the dogs out this morning...Irene declined the offer of a ride (she never does that) and Layla promptly fell asleep on the way to home depot and i had to wake her up when we got home.
It's only 6 and I'm ready for bed already, but I have laundry to do before the big day tomorrow.
I've enjoyed my time off and I'll miss all the free time , but it's been long enough.


Gonna take the girls for a sunrise run at Bull...that place is so awesome in the dawn. No one else is there. It's like the park is ours. A final freedom day before I go to work as a pool guy tomorrow.
But before I do that I have to separate and consolidate my tools. You acquire lots of tools in 5 years of electric work and I certainly don't need them all to do the pool thing...but I need to find the rest of my open / box end wrenches and put together a comprehensive set of sockets.
I hate getting up this early , but I was on the cot last night because of the Ann honking , If I could invent a guitar pedal that mimicked her cadence I would :)...and while it's kind of like camping , the most campingist part of it is it's fucking sleep well , just not so long.
So it's off to the shower and then off to the Bull and then down to the business of pool niggarin'. :0


We did have the place to can see the rest of the magic at Irene, Layla and to the right.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Jesus on the dashboard! :)

Chuck with honey spice and 2 Texas rubs , Ranch beans with chipolte sauce...yum.

She's really fast...but sometimes loses the ball...

We think she would be a good agility dog.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'll never be a shop-a-holic
Last night I bought myself a pair of Teva's. I've wanted another pair of those for a long time, but they are not cheap. Not necessarily expensive either, but I'm just not one to spend money on myself. Last night I decided that I was to the point where it was as much of a need as a desire since my latest pair of sandals was falling apart (literally) and instead of buying some more cheap ones, I'd go ahead and spend the money on the good stuff. And when I did finally pay for them, it hit me just how ridiculous I am about putting off the purchase of things I want. You see, the demise of the last Teva pair occurred when one sandal disappeared. I never could find it and I decided that the dog had buried it in the backyard somewhere (though I never found a burial spot either.) That dog was Skeeter who has been dead for at least 10 years now. OMG, I waited TEN YEARS to replace my favorite shoes! Now I'm all in support of delayed gratification, but that's just crazy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Last weekend I was helping a friend out with his swimming pool and as I netted out leaves I remembered how much I enjoyed being a pool guy. I liked it so much I got a tattoo...

It is the chemical symbol for chlorine and the Sanskrit below is the closet iteration of pool nigga I could find...Tera Lum did the tat...sambo face courtesy of Hez.
So I called my old boss at Hines pool and he did me a solid. I'll be going to work for Crystal Clear pools on Monday. I went by the Hines shop today and mended fences with Andy...long time readers will recall that we parted on less than positive terms and I had venom in my heart for him for years...but it was time to bury the hatchet.
I felt better letting that old grudge go and I think he was relieved as well.When I went into his office today he was immersed in something or other and wasn't aware that I was standing in front of his desk. So I finally said "Hey Bitch" and the look on his face was priceless...I'm certain he thought I was there to kill him at first.
But instead we had a nice mending and good conversation.I won't take back the things I said about him but what I neglected to say is that he is a genuinely nice man...but like all of us he has the potential for ugly...and I am no exception when it comes to ugly.:)
I got to see my old friends and catch up...but most especially I got to visit with Dee...the office manager.When I went for my interview way back in the day she was the first person I met. And I was tucking in my shirt with my back to her and she asked me if I was jacking off (!) . I knew right then she was a kindred, she likes Grand Funk Railroad.
Anyway , and more to the point I have been doing commercial/industrial electric work for 5 years this May and with 170 names on the books and no calls and running out of trails to take the grrrls to I was beginning to lose my mind.
As luck would have it , the hall called me this morning...after Jeb called to aim me at Crystal clear.
But it is time for a change , and while being a pool guy isn't new to me , I can fall right in. I plan on keeping my ticket active with the union , but I'll take my name off the books. And I still have to sit for my Journeyman's license exam , but I'm in no hurry.
Like I said , Jeb went out of his way to help me , but I would be remiss without saying that Joel played an important part as well...putting in a good word for me with the manager at Crystal Clear.
No more long pants and steel toed boots , hard hat and safety glasses in my near future...well , OK , I'll still wear the steel toes when I'm not cleaning never know when you'll have to put the boots to some asshole - right?:P
As Bob Seger (god I hate him , but this line is apt ) "Turn the page" (I just threw up in my mouth a little bit just saying that).
Good night Irene...

Can I cook or what?

seriously...go get yer hair did at Frenchy's...
My girl Ash will do you right.
Went to Stacy park this evening...more at the flikr site.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Go see...lot's of really cool pictures...I'll add the link later...but until then...
Irene Layla and the Rev
Now on Twitter
I had a nice three day weekend and in theory I should have awoke refreshed and renewed this morning before I headed off to the "new job duties" world of work. Except that I woke up at 4:30am to the sounds of Rob singing to Son Volt and couldn't go back to sleep. Instead of feeling refreshed, I was crabby and even snapped at Rob a bit, but fortunately that crabbiness wore off after two cups of coffee. I decided that since I had so much free time before leaving for work that I would finally sign up for Twitter. I had to come up with a user name and I couldn't come up with anything creative so I used the IM name I've had at work for the last 4-1/2 years. I figured that it might be retired there very soon, what, with all the changes going on and this would give it a way to live on somewhere. Back in the old days at work our user names were all 8 characters or less which worked fine while we were a small company. These days everyone gets a firstname.lastname user name except now we have so many employees with the exact same name that even that is getting to be a problem. After you get an rsmith, a smithr, a robert.smith and a smith.robert, you have to hope that next one has a middle name that you can throw in there. And given some of the user names I've seen lately, this might be something parents might want to consider when they pick that really weird middle name for their next child. I'm just saying...

P.S. If you want to find me on Twitter look for aclatten. And I really don't care anymore if people from work find this blog. Pppthpt.
I was in the area and figured "why not?". I'm glad I did. It was amazing.
Flowering cactus was everywhere.
Just below the upper falls.
The upper falls.

Finally got to see some turtles! They were everywhere.

just below the lower falls.
The lower falls.
And all done before noon.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Pork sirloin in tequila lime with wild rice...
Woodland tunes my guitar...
Neck scratch...the best thing ever.:)
Nice songs...
Can you deny...there's nothing greater...nothing more than the traveling hands of time. The saints don't bother with a tear stained eye.
The truth is a state of mind.
My Annabelle :)

Fountain with Buddha.