Saturday, September 29, 2007

Academy vs. Salado

Found out about this match up this morning in Florence. Asked the kids who they were gonna play and who Academy was gonna play. The Florence kids were pretty confident that they'd beat Rosebud, and that Academy would get thoroughly stomped by Salado. The little twerps turned out to be pretty prescient.

Dad and I did our regular dinner thing at about 6pm. The food was a bit off today. Didn't enjoy it like I usually do. Seemed like the chicken had been sitting there for a while. It was good, but not as good as usual. Had a big bowl of mandarin oranges for dessert. Love them things.

After that, Dad and I headed to Academy, only to find out that the game was gonna be played at Salado. No problem. Just a short drive through the country to get there. Of course, by the time we got there the place was packed. There must have been a few thousand people at this one. I left dad off at the gate and then had to drive a half mile back towards town to park. Got up to the gate and realized I'd left the camera in the car. FUCK! So I got dad up into the stands and went back to the car, so I could document this drama for you guys. See what I go through? It's all about you. Feel the love.

Actually, I don't know why I bother. I took about fifty pictures of this friggin' game, and only about a half dozen came out clear. I even had a railing to steady the camera on. Makes me want to just toss it against a wall. Won't be defeated though. There's got to be a trick to it.

Tonight we were sitting on the visiting side of the field out at Salado, with the Eagles fans in red on the other side. The stands were just packed. I've never seen it so crowded. When we first moved down here in 1994, we used to regularly sit on the other side of the field, with my dad's older brother Sam and his family. My cousins son was in school at Salado and played on the team. I actually went to my first high school football game here. Never went when I was actually in high school. Learned to enjoy it. It's hilarious how much fun these games are. Now that I've gotten used to going to the games in Academy, I've gotten to where I recognize people and feel like it's home. It's like a small taste of a different, more familiar and stable life that I always used to long for, back when we were moving all over the place and I was always the new kid.

At half time the score was about 14 to zip, with Salado ruling the home roost. Academy's band came out and faced the home stands, and wowed them with some hot Latin numbers. Then the Salado cheerleaders went out and did an amazing little hoochie mama dance that made me wish I had a video camera in stead of this piece of crap. Me thinks the girls have been watchin' too much BET.

It was at this point that I tried for an artsy fartsy shot, noticing all the bugs flitting around the flood lights. Now, you tell me. This shot was taken with the camera on "Night Scenery" which means the flash was off. I had it propped up on a railing, steadied in my hand. To me, the fact that you get these funny streamer effects from the bugs means that the shutter speed is set too long, making it vary hard to take a shot that isn't blurred. But what the hell do I know? Looks like there was lateral movement too, but I had the friggin' thing steady. Frustrating!

I mean, it looks cool and all, but I get the same effect when I'm takin' pictures of people on the field. Look at that light pole. That's all me. Damn, I must have the shakiest hands in Christendom.

I took about a dozen shots of the snack bar at the other end of the field, which is the meet and greet spot for the whole community. This is the only shot that came out anywhere near good. Same railing, and same camera setting. Oh well, I'll figure it out.

In the end, the score was something like 49 to nothing. Academy kids got beat like red headed step children. Oh well, like me with this camera, there'll be another day.

I took Dad home and visited for a while with Mom, and then headed home to relax. I poured a few bottles of Amber Bock into a chilled glass, and sat down to read and answer emails and finally check out ol' Mushy's Friday music post. Y'all need to check it out, if you don't already. He's graduated from the Blues tutorials that we used to love to posting something very much like his personal party mix. If he continues, we're in for some good shit. I got to listen to some of that stuff on the porch, and it's all good.

Well, I'm gonna meet some friends at a gun show in Belton Saturday afternoon, and then I'm drivin' up to Dallas. I'll try to be there by about 6PM, so my buddy and I can eat something and see a movie. No clue what we'll eat or see. We'll decide off the cuff. I'll spend the night on his couch (huge comfy thing about the size of a twin sized bed), and then drive home some time Sunday afternoon. Need to be here so I can pick Denise up from the Killeen airport at about 9PM.

Well, that's it. You guys try to have a great weekend, and I'll see you here later. Cheers.

P.S. Remember a while back when I went to Dallas to the food show and saw that great Blues/Rock band on the roof at Gator's, in the West End? Well, here's the band that's playin' there Saturday night. looks promisin'. We'll see if my buddy is game for some tunes or not. See ya later.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mushy's Brother-in-law Ron sent us some great vidoes last night from YouTube, and they got my juices flowin'.

He's got me lookin' around now, and I can't resist the urge to post some cool shit I've found. Hope you like it.

The video on this first one isn't the best, but the audio is wonderful. This is a tour I wish I'd seen. I love the Black Crowes, and what more could be said about Jimmy Page and his music? Page and the guys in the Crowes did a bang up job here. This is one of my favorite Zeppelin tunes - "Ten Years Gone". Hope you like it.

Now, as if that wasn't enough bliss for ya, here's the man himself again, and one of the greatest rock voices of all time - Jimmy Page and Paul Rogers of The Firm, doing "Midnight", live in the early 1980s. Page even busts into some Zeppelin noodlin' there for a minute. Can you recognize the riff? Enjoy.

Ok, and just because I love the hell out of it, here's an old Black Crowes video for a tune they never do live on tour any more. Pisses me off, but what can you do? The song just kills me. It's called "Sometimes Salvation". The guitar bit in the end is wonderful. You'll wanna crank this puppy, I'm tellin' ya. Enjoy.

Pfew, that was a trip. Thanks go out to Ron for gettin' me worked up tonight.

Well, it's Friday, so you all know where I'm headed later today. Dad and I will hit our regular Chinese food place, and then maybe a football game at his old high school. There's a gun show in Belton this weekend. I'll be hittin' it Saturday mornin'. A few days ago, Mom floated the idea of us goin' down to Austin to eat at Pappasito's (they haven't been in a while), so maybe we'll try that. Thing is, she just had a root canal and a new crown put in, so maybe we'll put it off a bit. We'll see how she feels.

Saturday evening I'll head up to Dallas. A friend up there has been wanting me to come up and hang out, maybe see a movie and stuff. I'll spend the night and then come home Sunday in time to pick Denise up at the Kileen airport at 9PM. She's coming back from Kentucky, where she's been visiting her kids for a few days. Yep, another full weekend. No rest for the weary.

I gave a slew of final exams Thursday afternoon and night, and then went out to watch my buddies play pool and smoke another cigar. This time it was an Ashton. Short, fat, and mild. The guys played well, for the most part, and towards the end of the night my buddy Dave and I played a few games on the side. He won two and I took the last one. Another one of the guys was chatting up the waitress, and the girls on the team were drinking shots, taking the glasses with their mouths from the others cleavage after licking the salt from one another's breasts. I tell ya, it was hard to concentrate on the game.

Thing is, both of these girls are married or connected, and their men were there playin' pool and watchin', enjoyin' the whole thing. They love to play around, but it never goes anywhere. Well, some times, to celebrate a victory, they like to flash their boobs to the other guys in their team. Every once and a while, when they're not playin' well, they draw themselves up to one of their teammates and ask for an "adjustment". That calls for reaching gently into their blouse and cupping their breasts for a few minutes. Part of me wishes I was on their team, but the drama gets pretty thick over there, so maybe I'm better off where I am. One of those girls did time in prison for something or other, and the other one is a drunk. Fun to watch, but me no touchie.

Anyway, it's late, and I need to get up early to head to school. The classes are mostly over on Ft. Hood, but I still have to get up at the butt crack of dawn and go to Florence. Well, maybe the little girls will be in their cheerleader outfits in the morning. Mmm, something to look forward to. Oh yea, it's payday tomorrow! Wweeeeallll, that perked me up. Have a great weekend folks. Cheers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Monkey's off my back, for now.

It was pool night tonight, down at the USA Club. Met the guys at 7:30 and hoped they'd play me late again, so I'd have a chance to get some practice in. But they decided to play me first. This time I went up against a dude who was about my speed, and I managed to pull it out. He won the first game and then scratched the second, sinking the 8 ball out of turn. I won the third by hitting a trick shot that one of the other guys showed me how to set up. I hit the 8 off the far side and angled it back into the corner pocket down where I was. I was like, "Are you sire this is gonna work?", and they were like "Just fuckin' shoot it!" It was purdy. Hey, a win is a win, by God. Lord knows when I'll get another.

After that I just sat back and watched the other guys and gals play. Tried to learn a thing or two.

Of course, the booze and cigars were on hand. I had my regular three mugs of Dark Lager, and smoked a Taino, and then a Mac. The Tainos are a bit stronger than the Macs, and take a while to finish. Long, fat bastards. Fittin' eh? Well, kinda.

To celebrate the monkey bein' off my back, here's a classic video from YouTube. Don't click on it if you're easily offended. Cheers.

Hump day again.

I'll give my first final exam of the semester today at 11:30. The rest will be Thursday and Monday. It's a busy time, with me having to grade all the papers and exams and get everything done so that the students can see their averages. I try to get it done pretty quick, so that I get it over with and post the grades on the computer. I've got an online class starting in late October, and I need to get the class web site updated by next week. Never much of a chore, but a tedious amount of time spent on the computer when I'd rather be reading blogs. Never seem to have the time to do that much these days. I've had to let a few of you slide, and I apologise for that. But hell, as soon as I get caught up, some of you have posted a dozen more things, and I'm back where I started.

Denise is flying to Kentucky to visit her kids and grand kids, and go to a friends graduation. I'll take her out to eat Chinese food at The Great Wall, and then I'll take her to the local airport so she can meet her flight. I'll be batchin' it then till she returns late Sunday night. Maybe I'll be able to get a few things done around the house. There'll be a gun show in Belton this weekend, and I'm thinkin' about a trip to Dallas on Saturday to visit a buddy and maybe see a movie. Damn, there went the idea of getting shit done. Never fails.

I'll play pool again tonight, and this time I'll see about getting a little practice in before my match. Need to end this loosing streak. My buddies tell me it's no big deal, and that they think as soon as I get used to playing again' the angles will come back to me. Need to practice, but when the hell do I have time for that? I'll have a two week break between this semester and the next, so I'll have to spend some time in a pool hall and sharpen my eye. Hell, everyone gets beat. I'm just out of practice. Makes me wish I had a pool table in the house, but every one of those I've ever seen was covered with crap, and not used for playin' pool. I've already got an expensive stair machine I never use. That's enough.

So, didn't we all love to hear ol' Amabigajackoff get his ass reamed at Columbia this week? What a silly tool! Question is, where's that sort of passion on the left when it comes to getting congress to back the fuck off and letting the soldiers do what they need to do to get the job done defeating just that same sort of asshole in Iraq?

Been surfin' the Sturmgewehr site this week between classes (and some times while I lecture - slows me down), and found an exciting little toy for sale.

That's a semi-auto Finnish Valmet assault rifle. These things were the ultimate version of the Kalashnikov, till the Israelis copied it and came out with the Galil in the late 1970s. This one shoots 7.62x39, but they also come in .223. He wants $2400 for it. Good luck dude. I'd love to have it, but not now. My M-1 Garand is on the way, and my gunsmith is putting the finishing touches on my AKS-74. And anyway, that's WAY to friggin' much money to spend on something that doesn't swallow.

If any of you are in the mood to get a really nice AK, this one is about the best one on the market today.

It's a Bulgarian SLR-106FR, which is a copy of the current Russian and Bulgarian service rifle (AK-74M), only it shoots .223. It has all the features of a current service rifle, like the current side folding stock, only it's semi-auto and shoots the NATO round. They usually want around $800 for it at gun shows. This one is up on the Sturmgewehr site for $850. Thing is, I had a dude build me one of these from parts a few years back, thinkin' that I'd never get to see a factory made model on the market. Cost me an arm and a leg, but it shoots nice. Has a heavier barrel than this one. Anyway, go for it if the mood hits ya. They're pretty cool to have. Shit, they'll probably be illegal some day, so get it while you can.

Well, I'm off. Cheers.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Busy weekend.

Laid around all day Saturday, till about 5pm! I know, sloth and indolence. Well hell, I guess we needed to recharge. We were supposed to go to a garage sale over at Holly's mom's place, but it just never materialized. Couldn't drag our lazy asses out of the sack in time. Sorry Holly.

Eventually got up and got ready to go to a party at a house out in Cove. This guy Fred runs the Planetarium out at school, and his wife (who works with Denise) just got her Masters Degree. They had a big shindig, with lots of booze and something called a "low country boil".

Yea, I know... Crappy phone picture. They boiled all this corn on the cob, taters, shrimp, and sausage in a big pot, and then poured it out on a table so we could pick through it. It was wonderful. The corn soaked up all the spices of the rest of the food, and the sausage was to die for.

Later I walked up to the upper deck of their back yard and smoked a Mac, and drank about four or five Coors Lites. Their choices of beer weren't up to what I've been taught to look for, but it passed the time. Denise had about six or eight glasses of wine, and was feeling very happy by the time we left. It was a good evening, and we'll go back again.

I got up early Sunday and drove up to Gatesville and picked up a buddy, and then drove on up to Dallas to walk through another gun show. We made a detour to Ft. Worth so I could hand off that GPS system to my another buddy, Jim, who loaned it to me for that road trip to Pennsylvania and Tennessee. He and his wife hatched a plan to go camping in a few weeks at Lost Maples state park. It should be fun. It's a pretty spot.

Then Dave and I drover over to Duncanville to have lunch with another buddy, another Jim, who's putting the finishing touches on a thick-assed book on Custer's Last Stand. You should see that stack of paper. He and Dave had spaghetti and a Stromboli, and I had a meatball sub. By the time Dave and I hit the gun show, the vender's were beginning to start to cover their tables and make their final deals of the weekend. I said hello to a few guys that I know, picked up a cool t-shirt, and walked around pretty quickly. T-shirt says "happiness is a belt fed weapon" on the front, and then has a yellow smiley face on the back, with all these machine gun profiles aiming at it in a big circle. Love it.

Picked up a new guard for my knife project, and a clip for an M-1 carbine (guess I'll have to buy one of those now), and the t-shirt, and that was it. Saw lots of cool stuff, including a whole wall of Kalashnikovs from one guys collection. I guess I could put up mine like that, but who needs the publicity? Spent lots of time looking for that perfect carry pistol, but it evades me. I'll find it. No hurry.

Got back to Denis' place in time to watch the new Ken Burns show on PBS about World War Two. I tell ya, that guy is an amazing artist. I was worried that there might be too much liberal hand wringing about a few things, but I think it covered the topics very evenhandedly. It was cool to see him touch on how screwed up the whole thing was at the beginning, and how the government lied to us and kept things secret to keep morale high, and to see the old guys talk about how they'd just stopped taking prisoners on Guadalcanal at one point, after seeing how the Japanese treated their wounded comrades. Folks now need to take note, and stop being so nit picking about the current conflict. Get the hell out of the way and let the boys win it.

We surfed back and forth between PBS and the Cowboy game. Loved watchin' them beat the Bears like step children. Maybe they'll do well this year. Love old Wade. By god, we've got a Texan coachin' the team again! Denise cooked some amazing food for us, and then we had strawberries and ice cream for desert.

Well, it's Monday, and the week is upon us. It's finals week on Ft Hood, and then I'll have two weeks off from there and only the early morning classes in Florence. Then the next semester will start on the 15th. Hope your weekend was fun, and the next week is good for you. Cheers.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sorry Bruno...

But I can't avoid the generals chicken. It's sooooo goooood!

Denise and I took dad to Dynasty Chinese Friday night, and the generals chicken and shrimp fried rice was wonderful, as usual. That egg roll ain't nothin' to sneeze at ether.

Mom had a tooth ache, so the girls night out between her and Denise had to be rescheduled. Until last year, mom was still goin' to Ft. Worth to visit her dentist every four months. He was the same guy we all saw regularly since the mid 1970s. She didn't want to stop goin', but my sister and I talked her into shifting to a guy down here. The Idea of my 79 year old mother driving up I-35 just to see a dentist, when we have perfectly good ones down here, drove my sis and I nuts.

When I could I'd usually try to fix it so I could drive them up (Dad would always go with her), but it became hard to arrange as my teaching schedule got full. So now she has a local guy, but he can't figure out why her tooth is giving her fits, so he's hooked her up with a specialist. I hope it all turns out to be something simple. I'd hate to see her suffer through a root canal, or some similar crap.

After dinner, we took my dad out to watch a high school football game. His old school at Academy wasn't playing Friday, so we went to the nearby town of Holland to watch the Bumble Bees play Texas Christian Academy. Holland is the town my Dads family lived in after he left to go to the Army in 1942. His parents and two of his brothers are buried there. He wanted to go by, so I took us out by the old cemetery.

It was about 7PM by the time we got there, and the sun was steadily going down over the hill to the west as we drove up. I know, from the memory of many thousands of visits, exactly where the family plot is. It's a nice place, and I like to go by and see the folks now and then.

I'll never forget the first time I saw my father cry. He'd been gone, half way across the world, when his father and mother had died. He went home for his fathers funeral in about 1964, but I can't remember if he'd been able to get to go home for his mothers burial or not. She lived long enough, her mind robbed by Alzheimer's, until I could get a chance to get old enough to remember her.

I have a vivid memory of standing in a circle around her, along with my father and his three brothers, with this tiny woman in the center of the group. She was not much taller than I was at the time, and looked up in wonder at all the guys towering over her. Dad said later that she didn't remember him, or any of his brothers, but that she always knew who her grandchildren were. She died in about 1968, while we were living in England.

So we stood there, much later, side by side, looking at the grave, as my father saw his mothers name on the headstone for the first time. I looked up at him and saw the emotion on his face. Men in those days didn't cry, so I hugged his waist and cried for him. We both cry much easier these days. I blubber like a fool at the drop of a hat.

The circle goes round and round, and now I'm about the age he was then, and I'm dealing with a few of the same issues he had to deal with. As we both get older, I see that his mind is steadily drifting into old fond memories. He's living in the shadow those memories more and more, but I won't have a son to remember him, and hug me when he goes.

I love to take him on these drives, to get to hear the same old stories again. I know that the day will soon come when he stands there with me in spirit only.

We went to the game, but dad wasn't really into it. Denise and I enjoyed the fun, watching TCA score lots of points on the Bees, but dad was drifting the whole time. He thinks about the days back when he played, and all the people who have passed on since then.

The football field was pretty nice, compared to the one he played in. The kids have much nicer gear, and the bands are much bigger. The Bees tried to hold it together, but TCA had a great little receiver who kept catching lots of good passes. By the time we left, at about half time, the score was pretty lop sided.

The sun went down, and the bugs came out. Dad told me he was ready to go any time I was, and so we hit the road. I took us over to Sam's to gas his car up, and then we headed back to Temple. We visited with mom for a while, and then Denise and I headed back to Killeen. We stopped at Blockbuster and rented a few flicks.

We watched "Perfume" Friday night. It's an interesting little period piece, about a guy born in pre-revolutionary France with a ridiculous sense of smell. You need to check it out, if you're into these gritty period things. I loved it, but the end it became a bit silly. Interesting concept, but silly in the end. We also rented "300", which we watched today. I'd seen it in the theater, but Denise hadn't. Love it, and I'll own it one day. I also rented "Pathfinder", which I've been dying to see since it came out. Rented the unrated version, so I should have some fun in store.

Well, we're going to a party tonight, and I need to get my ass off this thing and wash it. Gotta go powder my balls (inside joke), so I'm off. I hope all your Saturdays were as casual as mine has been so far. Cheers.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday feed is on.

Well, it's Friday, so you know what I'll be doin' pretty soon. Denise and I will go over and get dad and take him to eat, and then probably to another high school football game in Academy. I think I may have figured something out with the camera, so we'll see if I can get any decent shots.

I was just about to start class this afternoon when one student brought me a hand written note. This is not unusual. They sometimes want me to know why it is that they are having to get up and leave class early, or something. This student has epilepsy, and has occasional trouble, so I originally thought it might be something related to that.

She and her soldier husband are both in the class. He's about to be sent back to Iraq, and is always having to cut class due to some crud or other related to the preparations for the deployment. She sits in class tapping away on a lap top, typing her notes, usually taking notes for the both of them. They both get good grades, and give me no trouble, so I was puzzled when she handed me this note with a big smile on her face.

I opened it and this is what it said. It's a quote from Abraham Lincoln...

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale, and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hung."

I looked up at her and we both smiled a huge smile of recognition.

You see, we are in the middle of the Civil War in her class. This quote refers back to the time when Lincoln lashed out at Northern Democrats for being opposed to the continuation of the war and trying to organize draft resistance. They had been against fighting the Civil War from the beginning, and had taken to clipping the copper head of Liberty from a penny and clipping it to their lapels. They became known as "Copperheads", from doing that. Of course, that's also a nasty little snake.

Their major constituency were recent urban immigrant populations, like the Irish, in the slums of Northern cities. They told their constituents that if the slaves were freed, that southern Blacks would come north and take their jobs away from them. They helped instigate some of the worst riots in the nations history in 1863, when the first draft calls went out. Lincoln went as far as to deport one of their leaders to the South, saying "If he likes the Confederates so much, let him go live with them". Their platform in the 1864 presidential race said that if they won, they'd negotiate a settlement to the war. They didn't win though, and Lincoln's victory spelled the end for the Southern cause.

No thanks to those asshole congressmen.

I'll see about posting more pictures from the base over the weekend. Took some interesting ones today. Denise and I are going to a party Saturday night for some folks from school, and then I'm going up to Dallas Sunday to a big gun show with some of the guys. My gunsmith has emailed me to tell me that my AKS-74 is almost ready, and the CMP has emailed my buddy Dave to say that my Garand is almost ready to send. So, I'll be bustin' out with cool new toys in no time.

Well, you guys have fun this weekend too. Cheers.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Well, I sucked again.

Played pool again tonight and was skunked in three strait. The guys had me play last, at about 11:30 Wednesday night, against this pretty little girl who knew what she was doin'. I did pretty good at first, but got worse with each game. She kept leavin' me without any shots, and when I had things to hit, my aim was usually off. Hell, I never said I could play.

Well, it was a fun evening anyway. I smoke another one of those Taino's and an Ashton while I watched the other guys play, and drank three mugs of the Amber Bock. Denise was there for much of the evening, but then got pissed at me for concentrating too much on the game in stead of her, and looking at the pretty little waitress too many times, and got up and left. Hey, suit yourself. Lookin' is only lookin'. The other guys mostly won, and I got to see some good playin', till I stepped up. Anyway, she'll get over it, and there'll be another day.

The semester is windin' down. I've got one class up to the 1960s and a few others have just started the shootin' in the Civil War. The high school kids are in the last throws of the French and Indian War, about to hear about Wolfe at Quebec. They're about to get deep into the shit that leads up to the Revolution. Fun stuff. I love this job. Just wish I got paid a lot more, and didn't have to teach so friggin' many classes. I taught five today, and I'll do six tomorrow. But hey, the weekend is almost here.


When I was in Florence this mornin', surfin' Drudge on the computer before class, I saw this story and couldn't believe it. Apparently some little first grade kid was setting up an old fashioned game of "Show and Tell", and the grown-ups found out about it and went ballistic.

The Education Department has investigated claims a six-year-old student ran a "sex club" at an eastern suburban primary school, involving up to half a dozen grade 1 students.

That's right... FIRST GRADE. Six years old!

...One mother said her son, also six, was asked to perform a sex act, and that the alleged perpetrator also exposed his genitals to students.

Following an investigation, the department has admitted that the student exposed students to sexual conversations and proposed activities, but denied the existence of a "sex club". The alleged perpetrator received counseling.

The mother has been unable to make a police report because the law states sexual assault by a child under 10 cannot be prosecuted.

"Victims of a perpetrator who is under the age of 10 should still have the same rights as any other victim of a sexual crime," she said.

Can you be a sexual predator in the first grade? I mean, where the hell is this kid learning this stuff?

The case puts the Brumby Government under pressure to address the problem, barely two months after releasing new procedures guiding parents, teachers and schools on how to respond to allegations of student sexual assault.

The woman is critical of the department's investigation of sexual assault and bullying in schools and has united with parents from four other state schools to form SWAG, the Student Welfare Action Group.

The group will lobby to have the department's Student Critical Incident Advisory Unit removed from the department and established as an independent body, such as the ombudsman's office.

Parents Victoria executive officer Gail McHardy said the case raised concerns about the ability of the current legislation to protect young children. "There's a whole lot of questions around the children who are under 10. If the police can't take a statement, then how can they report their incident and then who takes carriage of it?"

Shadow education minister Martin Dixon, who will meet SWAG next month, said that, while he did not think the critical incident unit should be removed from the department, any investigation should be fair and open.

"The culture (in the department) seems to be one of hiding the problem instead of fixing the problem," he said. There was a "gaping hole" in the regulations, which needed to be re-written.

And for some common sense...

But consulting psychologist John Cheetham said six-year-olds did not have a developed sense of right and wrong. "They are too young to put themselves into someone else's shoes," he said. "We've got to be very careful about putting an adult take on it, it's all about context."

A department spokeswoman said the school acted appropriately, and "counseling had been offered to the students".

OK, first grade does seem a bit early, but doesn't it seem a bit over the top to be attaching the term "Sexual Assault" to the sort of stuff that little kids have been doing since the beginning of time, or to a kid who's probably too young to really know what sex is?

Hell, I can remember having little get togethers out at recess with the other kids, maybe third grade or so, and showing and telling. We'd whip that little thing out and show it off, and the girls lifted their shirts from time to time.

One girl even came to school without her panties on one day and turned around to us guys in class and flash her little hairless cooter. Thing is, we didn't even really know what the hell it was. We just looked at each other and thought she was pretty cool.

I think maybe if my family hadn't been pulled out of England when we were, I might have lost it in about the fourth or fifth grade.


Finally, for your mid-week amusement, a friend emailed me this joke today. I almost emailed it to my regulars, but then I figured it was time to be selfish and have a few laughs around here. Hope ya like it...

Hillary Clinton and her driver were cruising along a country road one evening when an ancient cow loomed in front of the car. The driver tried to avoid it but couldn't. The aged cow was struck and killed.

Hillary told her driver to go up to the farmhouse and explain to the owners what had happened. She stayed in the car making phone calls.

About an hour later the driver staggered back to the car with his clothes in disarray. He was holding a half-empty bottle of expensive wine in one hand, a rare, huge Cuban cigar in the other, and was smiling happily, smeared with lipstick.

"What happened to you," asked Hillary?

"Well," the driver replied, "The farmer gave me the cigar, his wife gave me the wine, and their beautiful twin daughters made passionate love to me."

"My God, what did you tell them?" asked Hillary.

The driver replied, "I just stepped inside the door and said, 'I'm Hillary Clinton's driver and I've just killed that old cow.

The rest happened so fast I couldn't stop it."

Now I don't care who you are, that's friggin' hilarious!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Some things never change.

"It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers. In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor/geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late. Accordingly, I am readily willing to yield my command to these obviously superior intellects, and I will, in turn, do my best for the Cause by writing editorials - after the fact." - Robert E. Lee, 1863

Of course, he lost the war, but that's nether here nore there. It wasn't because of his lack of skill as a general. The point is, the media lives by second guessing, and always has. General Patraeus should understand what ol' "Boobby Lee" was sayin'.

On another note, here's a funny and provocative look at Global Worming, and it's ultimate cause...

If you're wondering who's largely to blame for the alleged heating up of the climate you need look no further than Jane Fonda.

That's what "Freakanomics" columnists Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt suggest in Sunday's New York Times Magazine.

"If you were asked to name the biggest global warming villains of the past 30 years, here's one name that probably wouldn't spring to mind: Jane Fonda. But should it?" the authors ask.

According to Editor & Publisher, the two cite Fonda's anti-nuclear thriller "The China Syndrome," which opened just 12 days before the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, as helping stoke "a widespread panic."

Fonda, E&P notes became a high-profile anti-nuke activist in an already-strong movement that resulted in the nuclear industry halting plans for expansion. "And so," the authors continue, "instead of becoming a nation with clean and cheap nuclear energy, as once seemed inevitable, the United States kept building power plants that burned coal and other fossil fuels.

Today such plants account for 40 percent of the country's energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions.

Anyone hunting for a global-warming villain can't help blaming those power plants -- and can't help wondering too about the unintended consequences of Jane Fonda." Despite Fonda's anti-nuke campaign, the columnists say that the "big news" is that with global warming fears mounting, "nuclear power may be making a comeback in the United States," with plans for two dozen reactors on the drawing boards.

"Will they get built?" E&P asks, explaining that "It may all depend on what kind of thrillers Hollywood has in the pipeline." Neither E&P nor the Times columnists bothered to note that all those CO2 emissions contribute a barely measurable part of the greenhouse gasses present in the atmosphere.

According to Reid Bryson, founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Meteorology, called by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world: "There's been warming over the past 150 years, and even though it's less than one degree Celsius, something had to cause it. The usual suspect is the 'greenhouse effect,' various atmospheric gases trapping solar energy, preventing it being reflected back into space.

"Eighty percent of the heat radiated back from the surface is absorbed in the first 30 feet by water vapor ... "And how much is absorbed by carbon dioxide? Eight hundredths of one percent. One one-thousandth as important as water vapor. You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide."

Anyway, my head is spinning. I'm gonna go light one and crank up the AC. It's friggin hot in Texas.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Just by way of esplainin'...

Oosik. Petrified Walrus baculum, or penis bone. Above you have a 22 inch specimen. And no, it doesn't get harder or bigger when you rub it. Excellent knife handle material. Polishes up nice. I've never used it before, so it'll be an interesting experiment.

Still torn between the mountain goat antler and this, bit I think I'm leanin' more and more towards goin' for the bone. Don't take that the wrong way.

Sunday in Austin.

Took my "Wowman" to her first gun show Sunday. We rolled around till about 10, and then she cooked an amazing breakfast. Taters and an amazing ham and cheese omelet. We headed down to Austin at around noon. I took the Enfield, thinking I'd find a bayonet for it. I'd seen a few at the show in Ft. Worth last weekend, but wasn't sure which one went with my rifle. I found the right kind in Austin, but they weren't as nice as the ones I'd seen In Ft. Worth, so I didn't get one. I can wait till I see the right one. It's not a big deal.

I found my knife guy at the show, and finally got the parts to make another bowie. Picked up the Damascus blade (same as the last one I used), a few different handle options, and a brass guard. The handle piece on the right is mountain goat horn. Those always polish out nice. If I don't use them on this one, I will on something else one of these days. Lookin' at them here, I think it'd be REALLY cool to have these set up as grips for a 1911. Ooooh, there's an idea. The grip material on the left is a piece of 12,000 year old petrified walrus penis bone. Yep, that's what I said. How cool would it be to have a big mean bowie knife with petrified penis bone grips? Somehow, it feels really natural, gripping it tightly in my hand. I'm just sayin'...

Denise really enjoyed the show. She was amazed at the variety of people you see there, and all the stuff other than guns to be found. It's a real slice of life. She's not a gun person, but she was looking at all the cool toys for sale, and asking me all sorts of questions about getting a concealed handgun permit. She was particularly fascinated by this little tazer that one dude was demonstrating. I wouldn't want to get jabbed with that thing, fer sure.

Then it was off to Papsito's for an early dinner. This time she had the "Top Shelf" strawberry margarita. My pictures of this stuff didn't come out, so I'll show you a few old ones to make up the difference.

Our selections were the same as last time. She had the chicken enchiladas...

And I had the combination; one chicken and one beef enchilada.

We had the spicy ground beef queso dip again, and this time they gave us the three dip choices with our endless chips, just like they did when I took the guys to the place in Ft. Worth. The one with the lid and spoon was the hot stuff. I'd put some of that on a chip and then spoon on some cheese dip, and chase it with Shiner. Nice combo.

The big difference this time was that I remembered to order six brochette shrimp on the side. These are jumbo shrimp, split and stuffed with a slice of bell pepper and cheese, wrapped in bacon, slathered in butter sauce and grilled. Here they are, on a sizzling platter, with one that I've already dunked in the butter/garlic/white wine sauce, getting it ready to go.

Here's the procedure; take the shrimp by the tail, having covered it in the dip sauce...

Place it in your mouth, slowly, so that all the flavors combine to knock your friggin' socks off. Notice the eyes. They tell the tale. Note also the gun show stamp on my right hand. Damn, those shrimp are good. You hungry yet?

After dinner, we drove up to the west side and walked through the R.E.I. store. I fondled the canoe paddles, and the canoes, and the backpacking equipment, while Denise checked out the clothes and camping gear. She's going to Terlingua with us this year, and is sweating out her first camping experience. I told her I'd hook her up. It'll be plush.

Then we walked over to the marble slab ice cream place, down the way from the R.E.I. store. I had my usual; cheese cake ice cream with heath bar crunchies mixed in, in a heath bar cone. Mmmm, now I bet you're hungry.

After that, we drove down town and into west Austin, to look at the cool houses and scenery, and then south to Bee Caves, to get on 71 west. We drove west to 281, and then north, driving home by the scenic rout. This drive takes you out through the Hill Country, which is some of the prettiest country in the state. We went north on 281 through Marble Falls and Burnet, to Lampasas, and then East to Killeen. We found a radio station that was broadcasting the Cowboy game, so the win really put a sweet cap on everything.

Well, I'm exhausted just tellin' you about it all. It was a great time. I hope all your teams won, and that your weekend was as fun as ours. Cheers.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Every once and a while, I get a glimps of some of the gear and training the soldiers will take to Iraq, when they go back.

This is the parking lot in front of the college office on base. It's kind of a "Where's Waldo" thing. I'm not used to seeing vehicles in green cammo any more. Most of the vehicles on base now, sonce the early 90s in fact, have been painted in desert sand. So when I went to work last week and saw this Hummer parked over by the fast food places, where soldiers get lunch during the day, I had to look closer.

Turned out to be pretty cool. Check out the scope on that "Ma Deuce". I'm assuming the vehicle is in the midst of being modified to go to Iraq. They'll have steel plating around that gun by then. I see it all the time.

The lawn across the street from the college parking lot is often the site of small unit training. I see these guys practicing walking down a street...

Some times they have rifles and SAWs in hand, and some times they just have their hands out, pretending to be carrying their M-4. They spread out in the grass, moving forward slowly, head looking around for anything that might threaten them...

and then hit the dirt when something goes off...

It's a fascinating glimpse of the training these guys get, to try to make sure they make it back from this next tour of duty. For some of these soldiers and NCOs, it's their third trip.

These vehicles were a surprise last Friday. They all had big signs on their front bumpers, in Arabic. I'm assuming the sign read something like "Get the fuck out of our way or we'll kill you!" A few of them had the armored machine gun turrets on the roof of the cab, but this one doesn't. I'll see if I can find them next week and get a better shot.

I hope these guys and gals have a safe tour.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Some inspiration for your weekend.

If you can keep it together long enough, watch both of these. You'll like them.

I tell ya what, whatever problems I have, they're nothing compared to the shit that too many other folks have to deal with. What an amazing story.

Went out and played pool with Denise last night. We were supposed to watch other folks play, but the other team never showed up and forfeited a match. We got there and the place was almost empty. So I lit up an old Mac that I'd started a few weeks ago, the last time I watched them play. Excuse the crappy phone picture, but I wasn't in the mood to lug the camera.

Denise and I played a few games. She won three, and I won three, as I sipped a cold mug of Michelob Dark Lager and she her Seven & Seven. After the Mac was history I broke out a C.A.O. Churchill that I'd picked up last weekend in Salado. It turned out to be as smooth and mild as the Mac. I see why Mushy likes them.

We'll be headed to Temple to eat with dad tonight, as usual, and then Denise and I will take the old dude to another football game at his old high school. Denise wants to take my mom out for Mexican food while I take dad out for Chinese, but we haven't set it up yet. I'd love to get that sort of thing started on a regular basis, but mom loves her quiet time when I take dad out, so we may not be able to drag her out. Women of her generation feel like they have to get all dolled up when they go out, so she may not want to go to the trouble.

There's a birthday party this Saturday night at a local dive bar/pool hall we sometimes go to, for a friend of Denis' who works at the college and also runs the bar. It should be fun. They have Guinness on draft there, or I think they do, so I'll probably try it and see if it's better than the bottles. Maybe try a Black & Tan too. Hell, she can drive us home if I get to happy.

There's a Gun show in Austin this weekend, so I'll be taking Denise to her first one. It should be interesting to see how her British sensibilities hold up. She's pretty conservative politically, but being British, she's not too familiar with the gun culture. After that we'll head up to Papasito's for more of those bacon wrapped shrimp, slathered in pepper and butter/white wine sauce. I'll post pictures later, in case you're in the mood to ruin your keyboard, drivelling' all over it.

I hope your weekend is just as fun as this one looks like it's gonna be. Take care. Cheers.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ok, I already knew it, but I guess I needed it confirmed.

Yea, you knew it too. I know. Was it the Star Wars DVD sets and the collection of Daredevil and Spawn comics that gave me away? I swear to God, I DON'T have a light saber. Now if they were real, damn strait I'd have one. Hell, one in each color. Anyway, take the test and see how you do, Mr. or Mrs. smarty pants, and post the results for the world to see. I dare ya. I double dog dare ya. I TRIPLE DOG DARE YA!

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Damn, they must have looked at my school transcripts (he says, as he slinks off to watch TNG reruns and surf the web for more tank or gun pics, and/or porn). The only thing that surprised me was scoring higher on Sci Fi/Comic than History. I mean, damn. The first two were a given. the 200 I scored on the math part of the GRE told me that much. Aaaah, I don't let it worry me. When the hell do you need Algebra anyway?

On another note, I played pool on the team last night for the first time as an unrated player. In other words, they hadn't seen me play and didn't know how to rank me or who to put me up against, skill wise. Turns out they put me up against a guy who knew what the hell he was doin' and I went down in flames. Don't feel bad at all though. I lost to a much better player, but I gave him a run for it. I never left more than one or two balls on the table after a game (get yer mind out of the gutter). I'll do better next time... or not. Hell, with my class schedule I'll never get a chance to practice, so I may just continue to suck, with moments of brilliance just to keep them guessing.

While we played I drank a few (3) mugs of Michalob Dark Lager and smoked my first La Flur maduro chisel. I liked the stronger taste of it, along with the beer. Long and fat. A slow burner. Nice to chew on while I contemplated my next move on the table.

At one point as I was makin' shots, bearin' down and feelin' good, they had to tell me that I couldn't play with it hangin' out of my mouth. Somethin' about maybe gettin' ash on the table. I put it in the tray and barked back that there was already too many fuckin' rules to this game. I was in the zone, and they interrupted me. Lost my train of thought. Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

You guys enjoy your Thursday. It's almost payday, and the weekend is almost here again. Courage!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Potty mouths all over the place.

The girls in Florence were in rare form today. One blond belched loud enough for the class to hear it. Amidst the giggling, the next blond said "She's a man!" The first blond shot back with "Dyke!" The second replied with "I am not!"

The whole class erupted. I love it.

And apparently it's not just hot Texas high school girls ether...

Overheard by: Liz

Middle-school Latina to posse of Asian males: Asian girls aren't smaller -- they have six muscles in their vagina, and white girls have four, and black girls have two. That's because black guys have the biggest penises, so the women have fewer muscles. And Asian men have the smallest, so the women have six muscles so it feels tighter... It's true. I learned it in biology.

--Brooklyn-bound N train

These kids today.

Now, on a MUCH lighter note...

Ok, I don't care who you are, that's friggin' hilarious. Thanks to Dudley for posting this and letting me steal it.

And some tastefully dirty jokes, for your pleasure...

Several cowboys are out on the range talking about their favorite sex positions.

After listening to the pros and cons of the various ones brought up, one of the cowboys finally says, "I think I enjoy the rodeo position the best."

"I don't think I have ever heard of that one," says another.

"Neither have I," says a third.

"What is it?"

"Well, it's where you get your girlfriend down on all fours, and you mount her from behind. Then you reach around and cup each one of her breasts in your hands, and you whisper in her ear, 'Boy, these feel just like your sister's'.

Then you try to hold on for 8 seconds.


Joe was retiring after 45 years of delivering mail.

On his retirement day he goes to deliver mail as usual, but folks are giving him going away gifts.

At the first house he gets a fruit cake, a gift card to The Red Lobster, and a cellphone.

At the second house he gets the same.

At the third house he sees the newly married woman waiting for him in a silk robe. She takes him up into the bedroom and she screws him every which way until he says that they have to stop or he won't be able to walk. She goes downstairs and makes eggs and coffee. Under the coffee cup he finds a dollar.

When he's able to walk down, he eats the breakfast and drinks the coffee, noticing the dollar.

He asks her, "What's the dollar for?"

She replies, "Well, when I asked my husband what I should give you for your retirement, he said 'Screw him, give him a dollar!'"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm rememberin' the day...

is all I wanted to say. I'm off to class. There's a drive to get everyone to show their flags and their headlights today in remembrance. The least we can do. I will. Up to you. Remember the day in your own way, and stay safe. Cheers.

Oh, and I found this bumper sticker down at the high school in Florence a while back. Love the sentiment. Loved my time boating with the Navy in the early '90s. I'd do it again in a heart beat. One of the kids in the first senior class I taught down there just finished nuke school and has been assigned a sub. Name is Rosales. Great kid. Smart as hell. Could have gone anywhere, but he chose to enlist. His sister is now a senior on my class. Says he loves it. He'll go far. Proud of him, and all the others who serve. And to hell with all the assholes who think it's only the poor or stupid who serve. Fuck them up the ass! I see these kids every day on base. Proud as hell of all of them. Remember the day, and those who serve.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunday was a lot of fun. Hell, the weekend was a lot of fun.

But first, this is hilarious....

The weekend started on Friday night, when Denise and I took my dad to eat Chinese food, and then to a high school football game. The Academy Bumble Bees, my dads old team, won a lop sided victory over little Leon, something like 35 to 10. The game was a lot of fun to watch, and always makes me wish that I'd grown up and spent my life in a little town with this sort of spirit and community. But then, I wouldn't be the man I am. So it goes.

After the game (we left a little after half time), Denise and I drove back to Ft. Hood with mom's drivers license and paperwork so that I could get her a new base sticker for her new Buick. It was quick and easy. The best time to do this sort of thing is ether right before they close at 10:30PM, or just after they open in the morning. Mom needed me to get it done so she could go to the commissary over the weekend, so we got it done. After, it was back to my place for a relaxing evening.

We slept in Saturday morning, into the afternoon, and then we went to a wedding in Cove. A friend and coworker of Denise was getting married to a guy she'd met at church. He's a golf pro somewhere in Indiana, so they'll be moving there. This lady is a great friend to Denise, and she'll be missed. We hope they have a great life together.

Make note of the healthy young lass in the red dress on the left. The brides daughter-in-law. Woof, is all I'm sayin'. That puddly lookin' dude on the right is her hubby. Must have to tuck it in his sock.

After the wedding, there was the reception. Lots of food, beer and wine on the house. Denise had about 4 or 5 glasses of White Zinfandel, and I had 3 Coors lights (the beer choices were not up to it). We ate lots of little finger foods, and later ate chicken and baked potatoes and salad, and we laughed at the conversation around the table, having a great time with the office folks. Then, as the geezers hit the trail, it being past their bed time, we hit the dance floor and slow danced to the oldies. From time to time, all the ladies in the place pulled Denise over and asked her how the hell she'd landed that big guy. It was a huge ego boost for me, I'll tell ya. Makes me wonder where all these heifers were back when I was such a looser. And I do mean heifers. Lots of big plow horse, Percheron women workin' on the main campus. If the lightning goes off just right they could stampede and you wouldn't be able to turn 'em till they hit Ft. Worth. Scary.

We eventually made our exit, and ended up at my place again. The alarm went off at 7:30AM Sunday morning, so that I could shower and get up to Gatesville by 9:00. A few friends and I were planning to go up to Ft. Worth to walk through a gun show at the Will Rogers coliseum. I was a little late getting out of the house (what can I say - she can't keep her hand off me), but the roads were empty, and I broke a few laws, and managed to make it by about 9:20. My buddy Dave and I, and another friend of his, all piled into Dave's Ford 500 and headed out. It's about a two-and-a-half hour drive, but the gun show is well worth it.

I was packin' an AK that I'd decided to try to unload. It's an old pre-ban Chinese Type 56 that I'd picked up at a show in Austin back in the mid '90s. It was the least favorite of the bunch (I have about 12 or 15 of these things, in various versions), and I needed the money. I figured if I didn't sell it, there'd be no bug deal. I'd just stick it back in the closet and wait till the demand went up again.

We walked through the show in a few hours, and I saw lots of cool stuff, pistols and rifles, that I'd love to have, but nothing that really grabbed my attention. I'm lookin' really close at a smallish .45 pistol, like the Kimber shortie that has no sight posts and a smooth black finish. They kill me, those things. Perfect for my future carry gun. Lots of people looked at the AK, and several asked what it was and how much I wanted, but nobody bit. I was just about to walk out and take it back to the closet when this little Latino dude got my attention. He was obviously smitten.

First of all, let me tell you what happened outside the hall. We were walkin' down the corridor to the entrance to the show, to pay our $7 and get my gun zip tied, when these two young Black dudes slide up behind me. They are obviously in love with the AK and want to know what it is. I tell them about it, and how much, and they want to know if I can get any more. I was like, "Huh?" Yea, can I get any more. They need a LOT of them, apparently. If I could get a lot more, we could have done a deal. I told them it was just the one, and that I didn't have a regular suppler. Jeeeze! "Like dude, our gang needs a crate of those. Could you hook a brutha up?" Damn! We laughed our asses off, and went inside.

Anyway, this little Latino dude in the cowboy hat and big belt buckle was cradlin' my gun like he wanted it, but balkin' at the price. I paid $750 for it in about "95, but I'd only really bought it for the cool and rare magazine bag that came with it, loaded with Chinese mags. I'd left the bag of mags at home, not wanting to part with them, so I figured I could make him a deal. Hell, the bag and mags are probably worth a hundred by themselves. We agreed on $700, and moments later, with seven crisp Benjamin's in my wallet, I walked over to where Dave was looking at a bayonet for his Japanese Arisaka, and told them that I guessed lunch was on me. There were grins and congrats all around, and then we jetted out of there. And yes, he got the bayonet, and it fits his rifle nicely.

Thing is, I'd bought that rifle on an impulse, having fallen in love with the bag that came with it. When I got it home and looked closely at it, I realized that it was really a piece of crap. Someone had drilled a hole in the receiver to simulate a full auto notch, and there was a spring missing from the action. I had to replicate one from my own gear to put it back in working order, and then I'd thrown the thing in the closet and never shot it. It was the step child of my collection, and now it's someone else's step child. Glad to be rid of it. Hope he loves it, and enjoys it for a long time.

Then it was time to eat. These guys don't make a lot of money and are not what you'd call big spenders. That is, unless we're talkin' a Civil War era musket, or a piece of original Civil War era clothing. They have their priorities (both are HUGE C.W. buffs and reenactors). They were lookin' for some place cheap and quick, but I had other things on my mind, and a wallet full of cash and plastic. And hell, I was in the mood to be generous. Payin' it forward, you know what I mean?

So I took the wheel. I used to live there, for like 18 years, and know where a few nice eating places are. We slid up into the parking lot and strolled into the lobby of the Papasito's there off I-30. I sat them down, and you should have heard the howling when they got a look at the menu. "$24 dollars for fajitas?" I said "Just shit the fuck up and listen. This shit is GOOD. It's worth it. How the fuck often do we come up here,... and it's on me!" They balked at first, but I took charge, and the next thing you know the drinks are arriving. They both ordered unsweetened tea (free refills - Jesus!), but I had three Shiner Bocks off the tap. The unending chips and dip there are to die for, and they had some special new stuff that they were tryin' out on us this time. One was a green tomatillo sauce, and the other was a strong, hot Indian chili sauce. I tried it all, and loved the hot stuff.

I ordered the Queso with the ground beef, like I did last time (check out this earlier post for pictures), and the guys loved it. The real fun came thought when the dinner arrived, and these guys got their first taste of the Brochette shrimp. These shrimp are huge, split down the middle, filled with cheese and a slice of bell pepper, and then wrapped in bacon and grilled. They cover them in butter, garlic and white wine sauce, and then give you more of the same stuff, whipped in a dish, to dip them in before you eat them. I always order four on the side, and got Dave to order the Del Mar fajita plate that comes with them. You should have seen the smile on Dave's face when he bit into that fucker for the first time, and the flavors took him to another place. I was a proud daddy there for a while. Dammit, ya gotta live when you can, even if it breaks the bank! You only live once, right?

Both of them took about half their dinners home with them, but I was somehow able to consume all of mine. I think the place in Austin is a little better than this one in Ft. Worth. When I ordered the Fajita Enchiladas, the waitress just looked at me and said something about how they could maybe make some but it would cost extra. Hell, they're on the menu in Austin! Just one of many reasons why I love that town. We headed over to the house of another friend of mine, and while we were there it started to rain. A nice fat drizzle, comin' strait down in big dollops. After a short visit, we headed home. I drove us out of town, but then I started to get tired, so Dave took over.

We got to his place, northwest of Gatesville, by about 6PM. I drove home after a bit, and got to Denis' place just in time to watch most of the Cowboy game with her.

I took this picture on the drive down from Gatesville. Had left the camera in my car, which is why this post isn't even longer. Anyway, I got to Denis' place, and we watched the game. Would you believe, she was rooting for the Giants? I was like, "What was your name again?" Not a deal breaker, but very fuckin' close. We ordered pizza and had a few drinks, and surfed over to PBS to watch a bit of Mystery during the commercials. We're both big fans of those English detective shows they love to put on. They were showing some great old Sherlock Homes shows, between pledge breaks. Damn, why don't they just put friggin' commercials on there and stop beggin' for money all the time. It's gross. Anyway, it's not like PBS has anything like a hard indie edge, what with all the geezer programming they put on to get that fat geezer money during their ever present cash drives.

After the game we watched the highlights of some of the other games, and then we parted company. And so, here I sit, trying to get caught up with this blogging thing, having let it slide for almost 48 hours. I know, shocking. It's late, and I've got to get up early and go back to work. You guys take care. I hope all your teams won (well, most of them), and that your weekend was as fun as mine. Cheers.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Have a whole new reason to look forward to Fridays now.

Because I have more time than I need allotted to me down in Florence, teaching a 16 week class in about 18 weeks, I usually give the kids Fridays off. I show up and take roll, and then while I get caught up on other things, they ether study other things (remember, these kids are supposedly the smart ones), or they just shoot the shit. This morning was just as hilarious as last Friday.

Along with the normal banter about which one of the guys likes it up the ass, and who'd supposedly done what to whom, the cheerleaders (in uniform, of course) all somehow got into a discussion of which one of them had supposedly kissed another girl, and would they do one of those Girls Gone Wild videos. The boys were all sitting at attention, and then one of the boys, hearing them talk about kissing other girls, spoke up and said "Would you... please?" I was rollin', but mostly inside. I was busy grading exams from one of my Ft. Hood classes, and needing to get it done. These kids today! Love it.

After that was over I headed up to the office on base and found my buddy Dave looking at the web sites for Terlingua. We're all goin' to the next chili cook-off the first weekend of November, and he was scoping out the agenda for that weekend. They have live acts there each night, mostly country bands, but the live shows cam be quite fun.

We found out today that the Derailers are gonna be playing there one of the nights. They have a great sound, sort of a combination of Buck Owens, Bob Wills, and the early Beatles, if you can believe it. They're a regular in Austin, and will be playing the ACL (Austin City Limits) festival there later this month. I looked at their web site and according to their tour schedule, Terlingua is no where to be seen. Oh well, we'll see.

The trip this year should be fun. There's a rival cook-off down the road that has a much wilder reputation. I went over there briefly last year, but we got there just after the wet t-shirt and chili wrestling contests had ended. our timing will have to be better this year.

Anyway, I taught my lunch time classes, taking one bunch through the beginning of World War 2, from about 1933 to 40, and the others from about 1817 to 1828. Andy Jackson and the beginnings of the cotton economy/Industrial Revolution. Fun stuff.

Then it was home to do laundry and try to pull something out of my ass to post here. How does it smell so far?

I'll be heading over to Temple to eat with dad, and then he wants to go to a football game in Academy, his old school. I'll take Denise with me. We had plans to do stuff till the old geezer came up with this, and I have a hard time saying "no" to the man. I also need to come back by the base later and try to get mom a new sticker for her new Buick. She needs it so she can shop at the commissary on base.

Saturday evening, Denise and I will be doing to a wedding. A friend of hers from work is getting hitched, and then we'll all be getting sloshed at the big reception down the road. Sunday morning, I have to be up in Gatesville at 9AM. A few buddies and I are going to Ft. Worth to a gun show. I'll probably get a chance to give that GPS system back to Jim, if all goes well. It sure was fun to play with on that road trip to Tennessee.

So, I hope you all have a good weekend. Rest up. The pro football begins in earnest, which means cold weather will be blowing down from the north in no time. I can't wait. Take care. Cheers.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Well, my ears are still ringing.

That's what I get for standing in front of that big speaker for about 3 1/2 hours. The lead up band was amazing. Four Black guys from south Florida named The Lee Boys. After they blew the lid off the place with several funky, bluesy instrumental tunes, I went over and got their CD and t-shirt. Turns out they're a Gospel/Blues band. So far the CD doesn't do justice to what I heard tonight, but I haven't listened to it all yet.

I once fell for a band at Terlingua that played a killer live show there. I went ahead and got there CD, and then found out to my displeasure that their music wasn't as good in the can as it was live. Then again, the last time I saw the Crowes in Austin in '95, their lead up band was Government Mule. I'd never heard of them before, but I got their CD, and I've loved it and them ever since. Guess it's a crap shoot.

I snuck my camera into The Back Yard successfully, but every one of the shots I took came out blurred. It really pisses me off. I used to be able to take damned good shots free hand with my old Olympus Stylus, conventional camera. I'd slap 800 speed film, in that thing, turn the flash off, and I'd come home with great off-the-cuff shots from places like Hong Kong, showing the lights of the city from the water at night. But this piece of Panasonic digital crap is drivin' me nits. It's not like I've developed some sort of palsy! It's even got a motion dampener. Here are the closest things approaching decent shots.

I was standing in the crowd about ten to twenty feet in front of the stage, and had nothing to lean up against or prop the thing up on. I guess I should have moved back to the wall and tried back there, but I was enjoying the close up view, and the feel of the vibrations from the speakers. This kid standing next to me had some sort of little camera that he'd snuck in, and was taking amazing shots. He'd just point and shoot, and as soon as he hit the button it would capture a great shot, some even in black and white. Mine seems to take forever to take the shot after I press the button. Anyway, it's very frustrating, and makes me want to toss this thing against a wall and go on the web and get another old fashioned Stylus. Don't even ask me about the phone pictures. Useless!

Anyway, the concert was great. They played long blistering renditions of my favorites like Wiser Time and Thorn In My Pride, as well as lots of other stuff from their excellent recent CD, The Lost Crowes. Thing is, they had the speakers cranked up way too loud, and should have allowed for a more subtle, if still satisfyingly loud performance. But then again, I don't think I've ever been to a rock concert that didn't leave my ears ringing. I don't know why they feel they have to do it that way, but it doesn't make the music sound better. I mean, there's loud... like when you're getting a ticket because it's so friggin' loud (the way I like it in the car), and then there's WAY too friggin' loud, where you can't really hear the different instruments and the singer clearly. I still loved it though, and would go back again any time.

Well, It's waaaaayyyy past my bed time. Maybe my ears will stop ringing by the time I have to go to school in the morning. Cheers.