Thursday, July 31, 2008

One last word on the tubing trip.

For the most part, the trip was a huge blast. The water was cool but not too cold. The section of the river we ran is below the dam, so the water coming off the bottom through the spillway is always cool. The dam keeps the water at a decent level most of the time, with the chances of flooding minimized, so all sorts of rich folks build nice houses along the bank. Many of them are normal looking houses, maybe 1960s or '70s vintage, only they have beautiful big yards leading down to the water (like that ol' fat cat Mushy's house) and a nice dock. It's cool to look at all those and see how the other half lives, and maybe dream about some day. Maybe some day.

Most of the folks who are on the river in tubes have been doin' it for a long time, and some of them are set up like you wouldn't believe. There's always a few guys who have rigged coolers as boom boxes with waterproof speakers, so we get to listen to some nice tunes as we float along, sippin' adult beverages. One dude we hung next to for a while had a car stereo rigged up in a cooler with a battery and a six disc changer. He floated up to us playin' tunes from Bostons first album. He got about half way through the third or fourth cut when the tunes shut off as he started to change the CD. We all groaned our disapproval, but he just groaned back "This ain't a damn democracy", and cranked up a live CD by Jerry Jeff Walker. I was in bliss, and Denise was having a wonderful time too. You should'a seen her, sippin' her Seven & Seven (I set her up with a thermos of the stuff), pattin' her little feet in the water and gigglin' while I leaned back under the shade of that big hat and smoked a fine cigar.

The first rapid we went through was small and the water was low, but the second rapid we went through was really fun. It was big and fast but it wasn't dangerous at all. As I floated down behind Denise and the cooler tube another big guy floated down behind me. Both of us had our stogies up in the air, tryin' to keep them dry. I looked up at him and he smiled back down at me in mutual recognition. I said something like "So long as the cigar stays dry were good!", and he said something in agreement. Then we both reached out to high five one another with our cigars. That was one of the best moments on the river for me.

At one point though, the peace and serenity of the river was violated by one "family", that paddled through our group yelling obscenities at one another. We were enjoying the tunes, the drinks and the cool water when we started to notice the discordant tone working it's way in our direction. A man and woman were paddling an inflatable canoe with three little kids in life jackets riding in the front. The two adults were yelling at one another, accusing one another of various things, with the guy saying stuff like "I knew what you were when I met you!" The female would respond with "Fuck You!" and he'd reply in kind. All we could do is notice the sad, pitiful looks on the faces of all three kids.

The oldest little boy (I'm assuming), closest to the two "adults", was looking at the man with intense hatred. The other two were looking like they were about to burst into tears. We watched in shock as these two paddled by and listened as their obscenities slowly became less audible. As they went along in front of us we could see other tubers looking on with the same disgust that we felt.

After the fact I thought about what, if anything, I could've done. Sitting in a tube, floating down a river, you're really not in a position to intervene in a domestic situation. I tell ya though, if that guy had started hitting that woman there would'a been a bunch of us in the water, swimming in their direction. As it was, I really wanted to swoop in and take those kids away from both of them. What the hell can ya do? You can't save everyone. It was very, very sad.

It wasn't too long after that that we hit that big ugly rapid I told you about in the previous post. After making it through that we were increasingly ready to get off the river, but we were stuck. The thing is, we'd parked our cars at the tube livery and then they'd trucked us up stream a few miles where we got in the water, so we had to finish the trip to get back to our cars. By the time we made it back we were all tired and tellin' one another we'd gone on about two hours too long and that we'd never do that stretch of the river again.

Now, having spent the last few days thinkin' about it, aside from that one rapid, I think I'd do it again. Hell yea. It was a lot of fun. We'll look for another tube livery and try again in a month or so.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This is like one extreem and the other.



I'm not sure what that little thing is, but I KNOW I don't fit in it. I guess I'm in the middle somewhere there. Can't fit in the one and can't afford the gas for the other. But it's always fun to see what the folks on the base are drivin' these days.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The weekend, and some new gear.

Denise and I took Mom to Dynasty Friday night and we all had a great time.



The folks there still treat us well, remembering all the times I came with Dad. The waiters and waitresses are all just as sweet to Mom.



Denise isn't into Chinese food or seafood, but they have enough variety of good food there that everyone has a great time. That is, until I take this camera out. That's when the cussin' starts.

Saturday morning, 8AM, Denise and I met some friends over on the campus and then we all drove down to Gruene, near New Bruaunfels, and we went tubing on the Guadalupe river. I didn't have a dry box for the camera so I chose not to take it on the water.

Normally I rent a canoe on these occasions, but the place we normally rent them from went tits up last year because of all the rain. The high water closed the river down to tubing, and the loss of that years business ruined them. The place we went to this time only rented inflatable boats. Between that and the fact that Denise had never been tubing before made me decide to just rent a tube. I'd take the leisurely side of things this time, rather than hauling all the coolers and paddlin' all day.

I got two shots from the day.



This first one shows the group sitting around, waiting for the ride to the river. Left to right, that's Dave, Denise, Dave's son-in-law (drinking) and his daughter (with her back to you in the orange pants).



After everything was over I got the camera and took this shot of myself, five hours of tubing later. I was one hot, sore, pooped padna! That's right, five hours of tubing. It was a long day.

The water was cool and comfortable, and the people on the river were mostly fun and happy folks, but the water was low and one of the rapids we went over beat our asses. I'd never tubed this stretch of the river before and I had no idea it was up there. We wouldn't have gone down it if we had. I seriously wouldn't have let Denise go down it if I had. I wouldn't even have gone over it in a canoe.

The rocks were exposed by the low water level and they beat a lot of people up pretty bad. Lots of bruises and contusions. My buddy Dave was tumbled out of his tube and his cooler was dumped in the river. He lost most of his beer and water and his cigarettes and dinged up his legs. He looked like he was almost in shock when he came to a rest on a rock shelf where we were sitting after having gone through it ourselves.

I guess I'd been prepared for this sort of thing, having turned over in a lot of rapids on canoe trips. I'd had enough safety training to know to tell Denise to go feet first and not hang on to anything, but I'd forgotten enough to not realize I shouldn't have to tubes tied together.

I had our three tubes tied together in the flat water so that we'd stay together and have easy access to the cooler, the cigars and the sun tan lotion. It makes sense to do that in the slow water, when you're trying to stay together and relax on the river, but not in fast stuff.

About a third of the way through the rapid I found myself standing with both feet on a rock, my back to the fast, powerful current. Denise had gone down one side of that rock and our cooler tube had gone down the other. I stood there, tied to both, all three of us hung up, just long enough to tell myself "Man, this is wrong!", and "This ain't gonna end well!"

I tried to slide myself down the right side of the rock, pulling the rope over the rock to let Denise go. The result of that was that Denise went down the rapid feet first and upright, but I was tumbled out of my tube and ended up going down the rapid feet first, one arm over my tube and the other over the cooler tube. She actually got through it OK, suffering only a scare and a bruised ass. My ass was sore, but mostly I was pissed off that they hadn't warned us about that rapid when we rented the tubes. I jokingly told my buds later "Hey, that's why they make us sign a release!". Fuck them! We'll never do that stretch again.

After that we were ready to get out of the water, but we had at least two hours left on the trip. By the time it ended we were done, and that last rapid had convinced most of my buds to forgo the final rapid, just before the take-out and walk to the livery. I kinda wanted to run it, seeing that it looked ok, but I was done. Five hours was enough, so I helped folks carry their tubes and we headed back home. Denise and I stopped to shop a little in Austin and then ate at a BBQ place in Roundrock. It was 10:45 before we got home.

We lazed around most of Sunday morning and then went out to the lake to have dinner with those friends of Denise's. They were driven back up here in their RV by the hurricane and were camping for a few days out at BLORA, on Belton Lake. We had steak, corn, taters, and ice cream, and smoked cigars and had a great time.

Monday afternoon, after my lunch time classes, I went over to Temple to get my new glasses and see Mom. And yes, she fed me. What? How the hell do you think I got this big?



Anyway, how do they look? Those are Dads old Air Force glasses with new plastic prescription lenses in them. I got them from mom after he died and have been determined to get them fixed so I could wear them. They had heavy glass lenses in them when he had them. You could'a beat someone to death with those friggin' things, they were so heavy. Now they're lighter, and I must say I love the hell out of them!



When you combine the shades with my cool new hat, open the sun roof and light a fine ceeeeegar, you're livin' large. I do make this look good. Y'all take care and we'll talk. Cheers.

No doubt, the best ever.

Click on this to enlarge it. Enjoy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The look on this critters face tells the story.



Too damn many indignities in a long life behind bars, me thinks. That's the last look you see before you get eaten. It says "I'm not a pet, mother fucker!" I love it! You can see the anger in his face. "Point that thing somewhere else or I'm gonna rip your face off!"

You can feel the primal fear, mixed with excitement in the man's voice. Here's REAL danger dude. Primal, from the DNA. Critters like these used to eat our kind every friggin' day, till we figured out how to form groups and sharpen sticks. Now we put them behind glass and shake our fists at them, not realizing we're sending out the obvious signals that the critters can't miss! Here's another example.



That kid is just inches of glass from being a chew toy. Too funny. But then I'm just a big softy. I always root for these critters, unless I want to eat one myself. But that's a whole 'notha story.

Over the space of hundreds of millions of years nature sorted out things beautifully and simply, putting everything in balance. Some critters are here on the planet to eat stuff and others exist simply so that the first group will have something to eat. We've evolved from one of the lowest forms of lunch meat into the highest form of predator, just so long as we've got a gun and/or magnificent beasts like these are behind very thick glass. These folks are getting a reality check. Again, I love it!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

INTERESTING DATA ON TAXES

Proposed changes in taxes after the 2008 General election:

CAPITAL GAINS TAX:

MCCAIN > 0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples). McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.

OBAMA > 28% on profit from ALL home sales.

How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.

DIVIDEND TAX:

MCCAIN 15% (no change).

OBAMA 39.6%.

How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama becomes president. The experts predict that 'Higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market, yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.'

INCOME TAX:

MCCAIN (no changes).

Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

OBAMA (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts).

Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750

Under Obama, your taxes could almost double!

INHERITANCE TAX:

MCCAIN 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax).

OBAMA Restore the inheritance tax.

Many families have lost businesses, farms, ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will only lose them to these taxes.

NEW TAXES PROPOSED BY OBAMA:

New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet.

New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already).

New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity).

New taxes on RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS (screwing the elderly one more time)...

and last but not least....

New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

You can verify a lot of the above at the following web sites:

http://money.cnn.com/news/specials/election/2008/index.html http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/issues/issues.taxes.html http://elections.foxnews.com/?s=proposed+taxes http://bulletin.aarp.org/yourworld/politics/articles/mccain_obama_offer_different_visions_on_taxes.html
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/candidates/barack_obama/
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/candidates/john_mccain/

(and there are many more to choose from, just use your favorite search engine)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy friggin' Friday everyone!

First, this is funny as hell. Enjoy!



Gonna get some work done around the house here and then Denise and I are gonna go eat Chinese food with mom. The hospital called and told me that my new glasses are ready, so I'll be able to see things a bit better. Now, don't make any cracks about the food. I don't need to see the Generals chicken to enjoy it.

We're gonna go tubing Saturday down near New Braunfiels on the Guadalupe river. I'll rent a canoe while the others rent tubes and we'll carry the coolers. Bein' in a canoe will also give "D" and I a chance to fish. We're goin' down there with the same friends we do the chili cook-offs with. Great folks and a great time.

If we get back in time we've been invited to go over to some other friends house and watch "Blazing Saddles" on an outdoor movie screen. Those are some fun folks too, so I hope we manage to get there in time. We may just walk in stanky from the river and just continue drinkin'. Did I say that there would be adult beverages on the river? Oooooh, yes.

You guys try to have fun this weekend and we'll see ya on the other side of this one.
Cheers!

OH, did I say that I just got two boxes of Macanudos in the mail? So there'll be good smokes on the river too. OK, You may worship me, but don't go nuts or anything. Cheers!

Ol' Ed.

A woman was very distraught at the fact that she had not had a date or any sex in quite some time. She was afraid she might have something wrong with her, so she decided to seek the medical expertise of a sex therapist. Her doctor recommended that she see the well known Chinese sex therapist Dr. Chang.

So she went to see him.

Upon entering the examination room Dr. Chang said, "OK take off all your crose." The woman did as she was told.

"Now get down and craw reery, reery fass to odderside of room." Again the woman did as she was instructed.

Dr. Chang then said, "OK, now craw reery, reery fass back to me." So she did.

Dr.Chang shook his head slowly and said, "Your probrem vewy bad. You haf Ed Zachary disease. Worse case I ever see. Dat why you not haf sex or dates."

Worried the woman asked anxiously, "Oh my God Dr.Chang, what is Ed Zachary Disease?'"

Dr. Chang sighed deeply and replied, "Ed Zachary Disease is when your face look Ed Zachary like your ass."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Have Your Yellowcake and Eat It Too"

Got this in an email last night. It's very interesting.

Original story by Christopher Merola
Friday, July 11, 2008

On July 5, 2008, the Associated Press (AP) released a story titled:
Secret U.S. mission hauls uranium from Iraq.

The opening paragraph is as follows:

The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program - a huge
stockpile of concentrated natural uranium - reached a Canadian port
Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two week
airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

See anything wrong with this picture? We have been hearing from the
far-left for more than five years how, "Bush lied." Somehow, that slogan
loses its credibility now that 550 metric tons of Saddam's yellowcake,
used for nuclear weapon enrichment, has been discovered and shipped to
Canada for its new use as nuclear energy.

It appears that American troops found the 550 metric tons of uranium in
2003 after invading Iraq. They had to sit on this information and the
uranium itself, for fear of terrorists attempting to steal it. It was
guarded and kept safe by our military in a 23,000-acre site with large
sand beams surrounding the site.

This is vindication for the Bush administration, having been attacked
mercilessly by the liberal media and the far-left pundits on the
blogosphere Now that it is proven that President Bush did not lie about
Saddam's nuclear ambitions, one would think the mainstream media would
report the story? Once the AP released the story, the mainstream media
should have picked it up and broadcast it worldwide.

This never happened, due in large part I believe, to the fact that the
mainstream media would have to admit they were wrong about Bush's war
motives all along. Thankfully, the AP got it right when it said,

The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" - the seed material for
higher-grade nuclear enrichment - was a significant step toward closing
the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy.

Closing the book on Saddam's nuclear legacy? Did Saddam have a nuclear
legacy after all? I thought Bush lied? As it turns out, the people who
lied were Joe Wilson and his wife.

Valerie Plame engaged in a clear case of nepotism and convinced the CIA
to send her husband on a fact finding mission in February 2002, seeking
to determine if Saddam Hussein attempted to buy yellowcake from Niger.
The CIA and British intelligence believed Saddam contacted Niger for
that purpose but needed proof.

During his trip to Niger, Wilson actually interviewed the former prime
minister of Niger, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki. Mayaki told Wilson that in
June of 1999, an Iraqi delegation expressed interest in "expanding
commercial relations" for the purposes of purchasing yellowcake.

Wilson chose to overlook Mayaki's remarks and reported to the CIA that
there was no evidence of Hussein wanting to purchase yellowcake from
Niger.

However, with British intelligence insisting the claim was true,
President Bush used that same claim in his State of the Union address in
January of 2003.

Outraged by Bush's insistence that the claim was true, Wilson wrote an
op-ed in the New York Times in the summer of 2003 slamming Bush.

Wilson did this in spite of the fact that Mayaki said Saddam did try to
buy the yellowcake from Niger. The Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence disagreed with Wilson and supported Mayaki's claim. This
meant nothing to Wilson who was opposed to the Iraq war and thus had
ulterior motives in covering up the prime minister's statements.

It was a simple tactic really. If the far-left and their friends in the
media could prove Bush lied about Hussein wanting to purchase yellowcake
from Niger, it would undermine President Bush's credibility and give
them more cause for asking what other "lies" he may have told.

Yet, the real lie came from Wilson, who interpreted his own meaning from
the prime minister's statements and concluded all by himself that the
claim of Saddam attempting to purchase yellowcake was "unequivocally
wrong." Curiously, the CIA sat on this information and did not inform
the CIA Director, who sided with Bush on the yellowcake claim. This was
made public in a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report in July
2004.

Valerie Plame also engaged in her own lie campaign by spreading the
notion that the Bush administration "outed" her as a CIA agent. Never
mind that it was Richard Armitage -- no friend of the Bush
administration -- who leaked Plame's identity to the press. Never mind
that Plame had not been in the field as a CIA agent in some six years.

The truth is, due to their opposition to the war, Joe Wilson, Valerie
Plame, the mainstream media and their left-wing friends on the
blogosphere engaged in a propaganda campaign to undermine the Bush
administration. Now that Saddam's uranium has been made public and is no
longer a threat to the world, do you think these aforementioned parties
will apologize and admit they were wrong? Don't count on it. The rest of
the American people should hear the truth about Saddam's uranium. It is
up to you and me to inform them every chance we get.

As far as the anti-war crowd is concerned, the next time they say that,
"Bush lied," we should tell them to, "Have the yellowcake and eat it
too."

Aussie cat picks up a hitchhiker.

A CAT has survived a brush with a copperhead snake, walking about for some time with the scaly creature wrapped around its neck.

Wendy Wallis of Sorrell Creek in Tasmania said nine-year-old Jelly wandered into the yard yesterday morning with the snake round her neck.

"Both the cat and the snake seemed quite happy," Ms Wallis said.

She called wildlife rescuers who removed the snake.

While Jelly showed no signs of being bitten last night, this morning she was almost paralyzed.

"She's at the Montrose vet at the moment being pumped full of anti-venom, but the vet says she'll recover fully," Ms Wallis said.

I tell ya, if one of my cats came home one night with a copperhead wrapped around it's collar...

Well, one of the neighbors would probably call 911 when they heard the gun shots.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Funny thing happened late the other night...

Or early the other morning, whichever.

First off, my bedroom is at the back of my house, away from the street. Nice and quiet. There are two gates going in and out of the back yard, and one of them is right next to the bedroom. There's a cat barrier up on the gate there that scrapes along the brick wall whenever someone opens the gate. It's there to keep my cats in the yard, but it mostly makes it hard for people to open that gate.

So, Denise is sleeping soundly and I'm rollin' around tryin' to get to sleep when I hear this noise. I think I recognise the sound of someone tryin' to get that gate open, and scrapin' that metal cat barrier along the brick wall. I get out of bed and look out the window, expecting to see some bastard walking through my back yard towards the back door, which opens into the bedroom.

It's dark, about 2AM. There's a pistol, loaded and ready to go, up in a shelf right next to me. I'm standing there in the dark, nekkid as a J-bird, sayin' to myself "Holy shit, I'm gonna have to shoot some mother fucker!"

Then I heard that noise again, and then again, and I started to realize that it was really Denise, quietly snoring, and not a perp bent on theft, destined to die in a blaze of glory. I was totally bummed out.

In a split second I went from thinking "Damn, I'm gonna have to shoot some bastard', to "Damn, I'm not gonna get to shoot anybody". It depressed the hell out of me for a while. I went back to bed and was laughin' to myself about the whole thing. Denise woke up at one point and I told her about it all and we both had a good laugh. I asked her "Baby, can I go out and shoot my gun? I NEEEDS to!", and she laughed and said "NO! You'll give the neighbors a heart attack and get arrested."

I reeeeeally wanted to shoot someone. Does that make me a bad person? Rhetorical question. I've been robbed before, so any mother fucker that comes in my yard in the middle of the night better be ready to fuckin' die. Maybe get scalped too. It'll be funny, tryin' to explain that to the cops.

Dig this. That's one big snake.



That's OK. Scared the piss out of me the first time too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Busy day.

Had to go over to Temple today to run a few errands... Get my laundry to the cleaners to be pressed and see if I could get in to see my eye doctor. It's been a few years since I had them checked (not good - type 2 diabetes) and I wanted to get dad's old Air Force sunglasses fixed with my prescription so I can wear them.

As I was driving over I called mom to see what she was up to and she reminded me that today was dad's birthday. I'd totally forgotten. He would'a been 86 years old. We made plans to eat after I got my stuff done. I floated an idea that we could go to Green's and have burgers, but then she said she had the fixin's to put together some chicken enchiladas, "if I had the time". Boy, did I! It was turnin' out to be my lucky day.

I walked into the hospital at about 2:45 and got an appointment for 3:30 with the eye doctor, just like that. How can ya beat it? They checked me out and there's not much of a change in my eyes, and no sign of cataracts or issues from the diabetes. All good news. The new lenses for the glasses and shades will take about a week, so I should have them in time for the road trip.

I headed over to mom's, eyes dilated, old shades offering some relief, and sat down to feast on the good vittles. She topped it off with some good Jell-o, with fruit mixed in. Great stuff. As we both cleaned up the kitchen, rinsing off the plates and putting the leftovers away, mom started to tell me about how, just about every day, she'll lean back from her chair to tell dad about something she's just seen on the TV, only to catch herself. Or she'll wake up from a nap and for a second she'll think that she needs to get up and get his dinner on, and then she'll remember. Hearing that breaks my heart, but there's nothing I can do about it. Some things in life you just can't do anything about.

So I drove back over here to Killeen, eyes still dilated and now ballin' on and off like a fool. It's a wonder I made it back over here alive. I met Denise over at the college athletic facility and we spent some time together swimming in the pool.

As soon as I jumped in the deep end and was workin' my way under that cool water my sorrows were washed away. I love swimming. Now that I sit here, typing this out, about to give a test, the feelings are coming back. But there's nothing I can do about anything. It's just life. Maybe in time it'll get easier? I'm told it will, but I doubt it.

Well, it's test time. I wonder if I'll feel any better if I take it out on these folks? Naaaaaaaa.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Makes perfect sense to me.



I get what they're sayin', but they're never gonna get me in one of those little things. It looks like it's already been squashed by a truck. The eco nazi folks can suck my balls. I want something like a red "58 Stingray. Yea, no back seats!

Just heard about a job opening.

Position: Surveyor.

Salary: $200 per hour (tax-free).

Qualification: Must be fast on your feet.



























It's cool to know your buddy, the guy with the camera, will be there to record it when you get eaten. After all, what are friends for?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Just got a few pictures from one of the shooters at the last gathering in Gatesville.

Kevin said he'd thought that he'd taken more pictures, but was havin' so much fun shooting he forgot to. Hilarious! It was a fun day.



Here's a shot of me, blasting away with the AKMS. When Joe brought out that M-16 "pistol" of his, I just folded the stock under and said something like "Oh yea, well I got yer pistol right here", and blasted away. Fun as hell.



And this is me shooting Kevin's 1911. I love this one.



I photoshopped it to straiten it out. You can see the spent shell casing above my head. Man, that was a fun day. Just wish I could hit somethin' with that friggin' thing. Oh, I'd scare the piss out of 'em if I had to. Practice, practice, practice. Guess I need to get myself one.

Finally, enjoy this musical interlude. Gov't Mule at Mountain Jam in NY last month.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

NAIR & the Veterinarian (this is hilarious).

My neighbor discovered that her dog could barely hear so she took it to the veterinarian. He found that the problem was hair in its ears so he shaved both ears and the dog could hear fine

The vet then proceeded to tell the lady that if she wanted to keep this from recurring, she should go to the drugstore and buy "Nair Hair Remover" and rub it in the dog's ears once a month.

The lady goes to the store and gets the "Nair Hair Remover".

At the register the pharmacist tells her, "If you're going to use this under your arms, don't use deodorant for a few days.

The lady says, "I'm not using it under my arms."

The druggist says, "Well, if you're using it on your legs don't shave for a couple of days."

The lady says "Well, I'm not using it on my legs either. If you must know, I'm using it on my schnauzer."

The druggist said, "Stay off your bicycle".

Friday, July 18, 2008

Back, by popular demand....

When I went to that blogger meet a month or so ago, one of the things a bunch of the folks asked me was why I stopped doing "Fatty Friday"?

I told them that when I got into this medium I was influenced by some of the people I was reading, and back then, the guy that influenced me the most was Big Dick. He was a nut. he and I actually had a gross out contest there for a while. I really don't know what the hell I was thinking. He won that hands down. I still don't know where he was finding all those pictures of people fisting one another and crapping on one another, but there you go. That was Dick being Dick. I guess I moved on when I realized I couldn't out-Dick Big Dick. Nobody's a bigger dick than he is. I miss him. I wish he'd revive the blog and get back in the game. Maybe some day.

I was also influenced by folks like Phlemmy, who was one of the very first commenters on my blog, Chuck, who's humor and openness has always been refreshing (when he's actually posting), the Hammer, who I seem to always agree with and who always lays his honest feelings out for everyone to read, and Mushy, who at that time was just in the beginning of his long, sweet biographical mission to lay his life story out there for his grand kids to read. That was all some wonderful reading, and it encouraged me to think about my own feelings and my own life, and to lay some of my own stuff out there.

Since then the blog has mostly evolved into a weekly journal of the stuff that's going on in my life. I've tried to mix things up. I put out music videos from YouTube now and then, and comment on the news when it strikes me. Now and then I lay out my soul, telling you about stuff that's so personal I've never even shared it with my closest friends. I've found that sort of post to be a healing catharsis, although it can probably seem like a narcissistic venture to someone who is just passing through.

I guess, what I'm saying is that in reading through many of your blogs, stealing from one or another of you when I find something that resonates, I've come closer to finding myself. I can never repay that service that many of you performed, mostly without knowing it. You guys have become very important to me. I can't imagine what the hell I was doing with myself before I started this friggin' thing, 580ish posts ago. Cheapest and best therapy I ever had.

Anyway, in the spirit of fun, and hoping this doesn't offend too many of you who came along after my Big Dick phase, here's another Fatty Friday image. Remember DO NOT click on this link! Mmmm, 70 more of those in store for the next lucky suicide bomber. Tasty! There, you're been fairly warned. Now, slink away. Feel free to take a shower if you need to.

The upcoming weekend is gonna be pretty conventional. Dinner with mom. Avoid sister. Maybe try to get some yard work done. Maybe head over to Lampassas to go swimmin'. Who knows? One thing I do have to do is go down to Florence to get fingerprinted today, so I can work there this coming semester. I guess they've been readin' the blog.

Anyway, I'm supposed to go to get a haircut in Salado today too, so I'll be all neat and clean cut for whatever else happens. You guys try to stay cool and have a good one. Cheers.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another cool quiz.

I found this over at Phlemmy's place the other day. The first time I did this quiz it told me I was a Lee Marvin type. Now I just redid it and it's got me up there with Charles Bronson. Hell, I love both of these dudes, so it's cool. Too much complexity to be just a classic good guy or bad guy. I guess that's me. Check it out and see what it says about you.



What Kind of a Western Bad-Ass are You?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Charles Bronson

You're normally peaceful and friendly, but when trouble strikes you respond with brutal vengeance. And despite having a face like a bashed crab, your sensitive soul helps win over ladies way above you appearance wise.


Charles Bronson


100%

Clint Eastwood


100%

Lee Van Cleef


88%

John Wayne


88%

Lee Marvin


75%


How are you guys at dream interpretation?

Denise and I have been havin' some whoppers lately. Hers are pretty easy to figure out, if you ask me, but my latest one is just bizarre. She had this one about a week ago.

She and I are on a plane that is trying to take off. Thing is, our part of the plane has no cover, exposing us to the air. The plane takes off over and over again but can't make it over the buildings at the end of the runway and has to turn around and come back.

I'm thinkin' that's her concern about our relationship. Too exposed to the world, through this blog, and not goin' where she wants as fast as she wants it to get there. How am I goin'?

Her next one sounds to me like it's work related. She's walking at night and dodging spotlights. Every time the spotlight comes close she ducks away. When she doesn't she ends up captured by a German soldier with a gun over his shoulder and taken in for questioning. If you knew more about her work environment, her asshole boss and all the fires she's having to put out all the time, I think this one would be clear to ya. Just my interpretation. Hell, maybe I'm the guy with the gun? Who knows. Any ideas?

Now here's mine. This one's a doozie. First off, I don't remember my dreams that often. I'm told that I suffer from Sleep Apnea, so I may not get a chance to dream too often. Boy, did I this time! It was vivid as hell.

I was part of a huge, international contingent of guys who were all flooding into Israel to volunteer for the IDF. There were folks from all over. It was really cool. There was a sense of brotherhood in it, like we were all pitching in. We had all just got there and we were going through the process of being given uniforms and boots, and we were talking about what kind of guns they might give us. I told them that we might get old Kalashnikovs, but we'd probably end up with M-16s. One British or Irish dude said something like "What the hell does "Sholom" mean?", and I said "It's the same thing as saying Salam."

In the end we were sitting around and some Israeli dude was trying to give us some kind of patriotic speech about how the Jews have a right to the land. I told him something like "Dude, I'm here and I'm willing to fight for you, but don't try to hand me that crap. You guys are like the Indians in America. You owned the place a few thousand years ago but you lost it fair and square. These Arabs have been here for hundreds of years, which gives them about the same right to the land that my people have to Texas, so don't give me a bunch of shit!"

That's when I woke up. Cool eh.

So, where the hell did that come from. Extra spicy food?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pictures from that concert.

A while back, about a year ago, I picked up a new CD at Best Buy. It looked like it couldn't miss. Two of my favorite people were on the cover... Robert Plant and Alison Krouss. It turned out to be a great collection of music. Here's a little thing from YouTube on how this special collaboration got going.





Denise and I played hookie from school and drove up to Grand Prairie on a Monday night a week or so ago and saw Plant, Krouss, and T-Bone Burnette in concert.



It was a wonderful evening in a great venue. I'd never been inside that place before. Nice place called Nokia Live at Grand Prairie.



All the musicians were at their best. It was cool to see Plant up there, groovin' with all these Bluegrass folks. You could tell he was dyin' to bust into some rock star moves now and then.



I caught this one while I was snappin' away with the camera and didn't see it till I looked at the pictures later. Hilarious.



I guess it's hard, bein' the singer from the greatest Rock and Roll/Blues band in history, and havin' to tone it down while you play with these much more stayed country folks. I tell ya though, the mixture of talents here is dynamite. Wonderful stuff.



Everyone on stage was havin' a great time. And when Plant would belt out a lyric now and then at the top of his lungs, displayin' the old talent, untarnished by time, all the old Zep fans in the audience would squeal back in response.

Krouss was no slouch though herself. When I looked up at one point and saw three spot lights hitting her, and she began to sing a wonderful song, a prayer really, from the film "Oh Brother Where Art Thou", I almost burst into tears. I love that song, and I wasn't expecting her to sing it.



If these folks come by your way, I'd recommend you see the show. They're gonna be down here in Austin later in the year at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, along with many other great bands. I think we're gonna get passes. Check over at the FlickR site if you want to see a few more of these shots. Cheers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Someone sent me a little video, got me on a Joe Walsh kick today. Enjoy.

These three are all from the Eagles tour in 77. I didn't go. I was an idiot back then, but you know that already if you've been payin' attention around here.







And what the hell, here's that last one again. This time from some Dick Clark thing in 1972. Love this one. Dig those boots. Have a great day people.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The weekend was fun.

Mom decided on Friday that she didn't want to go out. I think she was resting up for the visit by our cousin Sue and having to lay out a big feed on Saturday. So Denise and I went to BJs without her. Once again it was excellent food. I had their New Orleans Jambalaya, which is so spicy it made my head sweat and cleared my sinuses. WONDERFUL! And, as usual, their home brewed Harvest Hefeweise was also wonderful, even if I have to ask for the orange slice. I'll get the waiters trained eventually.

After that we drove west to Lampasas to visit with our friends who were competing in a chili cook-off there this weekend. The town was packed with party goers and there was a live band playing on the town square. It was about 95 when we got there at 9 or 10 pm, so I was glad I wasn't stayin' there and sleepin' in a tent. We sat there with them and drank a few beers and then headed off to the house.

Saturday morning, or really afternoon, we met up with some old friends of Denise's, from her earlier life as an army wife, and we all headed back to Lampassas. These are some nice folks. Their son is in the Army and has just been stationed at Ft. Hood, so we'll be seeing more of them in the future. They came down in their RV and are staying at a park on Lake Belton called BLORA.

We spent the afternoon with them, wandering around the park there in Lampasas, checking out the spring and the river, eating BBQ ribs at the camp site and then having a great lunch at this nice German restaurant there on the town square. We tried our hand at fishing in the river there by the spring but didn't have any luck.

There's a pool there that the spring water flows into where the water comin' right out of the aquifer is at about 65 degrees. It's REALLY nice to jump in there when it's 100 degrees in the shade. We all made plans to drive back over there some weekend and take a dip.

My buddy Dave ended up takin' third place for his chicken wings! Congrats dude. We sampled his ribs Saturday afternoon and they were wonderful. He wasn't happy with them though. The meat wasn't really falling off the bone. Hell, I loved them anyway. Everyone else did too.

We left there in time to make it back to Temple to have dinner with my mom and cousin. Mom's Chicken Enchiladas were wonderful. They always are. Like Dave, she's never really satisfied with what she does. That's the sign of a good cook, I guess. Take it from me though, they were great.

After dinner we headed over to BLORA to have dessert with Denise's friends. We showed up with a gallon of Brahms homemade vanilla ice cream and they added the German liqueur as the topping. It was great.

It was all great! We had fabulous weekend. Now I'm back at work (muh!).

I just got an email from Mushy. It sounds like they're having a wonderful time in Alaska. One of these days...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A sweet story.

A couple had only been married for two weeks and the husband, although very much in love, couldn't wait to go out on the town and party with his old buddies. So he said to his new wife, "Honey, I'll be right back."

"Where are you going, Coochy Coo?" asked the wife.

"I'm going to the bar, Pretty Face," he answered. I'm going to have a beer."

The wife said, "You want a beer, my love?" She opened the door the refrigerator and showed him 25 different kinds of beer, brands from 12 different countries: Germany, Holland, Japan, India, etc.

The husband didn't know what to do, and the only thing that he could think of saying was, "Yes, Lollipop. But at the bar, you know, they have frozen glasses."

He didn't get to finish the sentence because the wife interrupted him by saying, "You want a frozen glass, Puppy Face?" She took a huge beer mug out of the freezer, so frozen that she was getting chills just holding it.

The husband, looking a bit pale, said, "Yes, Tootsie Roll, but at the bar they have those hors d'oeuvres that are really delicious. I won't be long. I'll be right back, I promise. OK?"

"You want hors d'oeuvres, Poochie Pooh?" She opened the oven and took out 5 dishes of different hors d'oeuvres: chicken wings, pigs in blankets, mushroom caps, and little quiches."

But my sweet honey at the bar you know there's swearing, dirty words and all that."

"You want dirty words, Cutie Pie? LISTEN, CHICKEN SHIT, SIT YOUR ASS DOWN, SHUT THE HELL UP, DRINK YOUR FRICKIN BEER IN YOUR FROZEN MUG, AND EAT YOUR DAMNED HORS D'OEUVRES, BECAUSE YOUR MARRIED ASS ISN'T GOING TO A BAR.... THAT SHIT'S OVER, GOT IT, JACKASS?"

And they lived happily ever after.

Now, Isn't that a "Sweet Story"?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday.

This'll be brief.

Goin' over to Temple to take Mom and Denise to dinner tonight. Probably eat at Greens in Zabcikville. there's new drama between me and sis, and between sis and Denise, so sis probably won't be there.

Saturday, my cousin Sue is comin' up from Houston and mom is gonna cook her famous Chicken Enchiladas. Sis will be there, so Denise won't go.

Earlier that day Denise and I plan to go fishing on Lake Belton with some friends of Denise's who drove down from Dallas this week. Their son just got stationed on Ft. Hood and they drove their RV down and are stayin' out at the lake. Lookin' forward to that.

Our chili cook-out buddies are in a cook-out in Lampassas Saturday, but I don't think we'll have time too make it. Too bad. They do good work, and we haven't had much time to spend with them lately.

Anyway, I've worked on the Alison Krouss/Robert Plant pictures, but I haven't had time to post anything. Too many irons in too many fires these days. Maybe some time this weekend I'll post them to FlickR and you can go check them out.

Anyway, have fun this weekend and thank God you're not in my family and dealing with my deadbeat sister.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

One of my best friends suffered a horrible loss yesterday.

Her husband passed away. She'll probably be out of commission for a while, understandably, but her friends out here in the bloggosphere will try to provide some comfort if they can.

I was thinkin' about a song I heard just the other day at that concert Denise and I attended. When I heard Alison Krouss start to sing this I almost wept openly. It's one of my very favorites, and I wasn't expecting her to sing it. The surprise just about knocked me out. So this is for Lin, and for Mark. We all love you baby.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Well, here's some more inspirational stuff.



Well, I feel better. You?

I don't usually pass this sort of inspirational stuff on.

Collections of sunset pictures, all sappy and sentimental, but I thought this one was actually pretty uplifting.









Yea, see I knew you'd agree. Inspirational as hell!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Shooting on Saturday.

Saturday was a bright, sunny day here in central Texas. A perfect day for blasting away with new toys and old.



I took a new guy with me this time. Joe Reeves (in the shorts on the right) had never been up to Dave's place in Gatesville before. He'd overheard us talkin' about shooting at work, and he's seen the shooting pictures on this blog, so he was ready to join us. When I picked him up in Cove I was surprised to see he'd packed a cooler/drink dispenser full of ice water. That was a brilliant idea that none of us had thought of before.

When we got up there we found that Dave and his buddy Kevin Dally there waiting for us. They'd been in a parade on the 4th, dressed as Union soldiers. When I started pullin' my gear out of the car Kevin shit a brick. He went nuts over my old Tokarev SVT-40, and was even more excited to see my new AKS-74. He reminded me of the old Soldier Of Fortune article about 30 years ago when they broke the news on this rifle. They picked one up in Afghanistan and were the first people to test one.



I took the '74 out of the bag and loaded a clip, handing it to Kevin. There was a problem now and then with the rounds not fully loading in the chamber. I may have a head spacing issue. I'll have to talk to my gunsmith. Most of the time I could just ram the round in and it would shoot fine. We didn't take time to try to sight it in though. We were havin' too much fun blastin' away from the hip.



Kevin also loved shootin' my Tokarev. It sure is a sweet rifle. One of my favorites in my collection.



Next, Kevin cut loose with my Polish AKMS. He was quick to note the big difference between the kick of the 7.62x39 round vs. the 5.45x39 in the '74.



You can see from the smile on his face that he's hatin' it. I put the bayonet on there just for giggles.



Joe brought up two new toys for all of us to play with. One was this interesting new "pistol", called a PLR-16, made by Kel-Tec. It was an interesting little toy, fer sure.



Joe talks about using it for home defense, but after hearin' the noise the thing made I wondered about shooting it indoors. After I shot it I told him that if I was robbin' a house and someone cut loose with one of those a few blocks away I'd shit myself.



Here's a merge of three shots of me shooting this "pistol". The middle one shows me goin' "Holy Shit!" at the impact of the blast. It's like the baffles on the muzzle break are channeling the blast back at you. Loud as hell, even with ear protection.



After me, Dave took a turn. I shot a little video (no sound) of him shootin'.

video

Look at the smile on his face at the very end. Hilarious.



Next he brought out his new revolver, a Taurus .45/410 called The Judge. Now this was some cool stuff. It shoots .45 ACP and .410 shotgun shells from the same cylinder with no modifications.



We started at 50 yards and a few of the guys were pingin' the metal targets with ACP. The we moved closer and started shootin' shotgun shells.



The impact of the shotgun shell was impressive.



Then Kevin took out his Civil War replica musket and we all took turns with it. I love shootin' black powder guns. It's a direction my gun collection's gonna have to go in before long.



I think Joe had a great time. We all enjoyed corruptin' the boy. Last Thursday, as I was leaving the building out on Base that I teach in, that he works in, he told me he'd gone out to a local gun store and picked up the PLR-16. I laughed and told him "Oh, the hand of Satan is on your shoulder my son." We both laughed.

We'll all enjoy watchin' as his collection gets a little bigger. We all enjoyed havin him up there with us, and the jug of water he brought with him. It was good to have cold water to sip as we blasted away, shooting up one another's ammo. What are friends for anyway.

Monday, July 07, 2008

We had a great time over the 4th.

Hope everyone else did too. Denise and I went to a pool party put on by a few friends of ours, Jack and Kay. Jack is a semi-retired pharmacist, probably in his early 60s. Big burly guy. Ex-scuba diver. He and Kay are regulars with the party folks I've hooked up with since I started dating Denise. The party was fun as hell, until I realized I'd taken my cell phone swimming. SHEEEEIIIIIIITTTTTTT!!!!!!!!

Oh well, it's insured, so it'll only cost me $50. The sim card should be OK, please God.

We swam in one of those new salt water pools. Cool as hell. No sore eyes from swimming under water (what I always spend most of my time doing). At one point the family dog, a huge Rottweiler named Tazz, jumped into the pool and we started doin' laps together. I tell ya, that was fun as hell! That dog and I wore each other out.

The food there was great, and the adult beverages were flowin'. In the end, as the sun went down, Denise and I were the only couple left. The four of us spent the evening watching fireworks from their back yard. Lots of people out there in the country were breakin' the law, shootin' off all sorts of stuff during a burn ban. It's fun when some other bastard has spent hundreds of dollars on fireworks and you get to watch it all without the risk of actually getting busted yourself. We could even see the display on the base from there. It's always a good one.

Saturday was another fun day. I went to Gatesville early in the morning with a few friends and blasted away into the early afternoon. I even got to shoot a few new things I'd never seen before. I took lots of good pictures, but that will have to wait. Haven't had time to process them yet.

Sunday, Denise and I slept in, and then in the evening we went over to the spillway behind a local lake and went fishing. It was mostly a bust, but we had a good time anyway. It's hard to get any serious fishin' done around here without a boat. We'll do out homework and find out where the fish are and then we'll have a better time. There's bound to be a tank (pond, for you foreigners out there) around here with some good stuff floatin' around in it.

Anyway, we're headed up to Grand Prairie tonight to see Alison Krouss and Robert Plant. I'll see about getting some pictures.

You guys take care. We'll talk later. Cheers.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth Folks!

First off, go to this site and check out this outrageous video. Makes you wonder what sort of country we have now. That blog, Gottagetdrunkfirst, is a new one set up by some of the guys I met last weekend in Kerville. They're great folks. Check 'em out.

Now, one of the fondest memories I have of being in Missouri in the early 1970s is of joining with my friend Mike Hinkley's family and celebrating the Fourth of July. His dad was a big guy, a former paratrooper in WW2, who knew how to have a good time. He would go out and get several grocery sacks full of bottle rockets, sparklers, black cats and lots of other stuff and we'd spend the summer evening of the Fourth firing it all off while the adults supervised, usually with a drink in their hand.

Neighborhood kids like me, Mikes' friends, would show up to join in the fun, and they never said anything about how we hadn't contributed to the cause. His dad built him a wooden ramp to launch the bottle rockets. We'd take turns lighting them with our punks, watching in wonder as they'd shoot up and explode in the night sky. We also used old coke bottles. We'd aim them out into the dirt lot at the end of the street so there was never much of a danger from fires. It was a wonderful time. It was at least a decade or so later that I found out that you could light and then toss bottle rockets at other people! That's a whole different kind of fun.

My own family was never into this sort of thing. I'd try to float the idea of going out and getting fireworks to the folks, but mom and dad would always prefer to be home, watching other people shoot fireworks on TV. Dad didn't want to spend the money and mom was always worried I'd get hurt. So I sought the more personal enjoyment of doing it myself with a different family down the road. Even at the risk of stepping on a hot sparkler in my bare feet, it was more fun than I could imagine at that time.

I was looking for something to post on this great day, and I found this fun little clip from "The Sand Lot". I think it captures something of the feelings we kids felt back then. Just replace the night baseball with bows and arrows, and that's me and my buddies, staring up in wonder as the night air filled with the bright colors and the magical smell of gunpowder.



I hope you guys have a wonderful Fourth, and a fun weekend. We're going to the parade in Belton early this morning. It'll be the first time I get to go when I'm not having to take care of dad, seeing to it that he has a chair to sit in and a drink. He always loved the parade there, and used to tell me about riding horses in it when he was a kid. One of my earliest memories is of watching the parade there from the side of the main street while sitting up on his shoulders. It's gonna be an emotional morning.

Later on we'll be going to a party at the home of some friends. We'll be eating hot dogs and fajitas, swimming in the pool and enjoying a few adult beverages. After that we may go up to the base and watch the annual fireworks display from the hospital parking lot near the campus.

It's always a great, beautiful display, but there's something wrong with having to sit by and watch someone else shoot off the rockets. Reminds me of those days when I was a kid. The safety nazis have just about taken all the fun out of this holiday, as they have everything else in our lives. I may have to risk arrest by firing a celebratory volley into the air, or firing off a few rockets. Call it non-violent civil disobedience. Well, not really NON-violent, but you get what I mean.

I'll be getting up early Saturday morning and heading up to Gatesville to do some legal celebratory shooting. I'll take that new toy of mine, and maybe my Garand, and blast away until the early afternoon. The heat will drive us from the field and back to town by about 2PM, where we'll find some good food to eat and drinks to slake our thirst.

Sunday may well be a good day to go check out one of the local rivers. Fishing and floating. We'll see. There's yard work that needs to be done, but it's a friggin' holiday dammit! Anyway, Monday, it's back to work, but only briefly. I gave my folks the night off so that Denise and I could zip up to Dallas, really Plano, and see Robert Plant and Alison Krauss in concert. It should be really cool. I've been lookin' forward to this ever since I saw them on CMT a while back. Of course, I'll take pictures and tell ya all about it.

You guys have a great time on this great day. Our founders would want us too, but they'd also want us to remember where our freedom comes from. Try to remember the folks who suffered so we can enjoy this freedom, and remember that the freedom we all inherited is a fragile thing. It needs to be nurtured. Think about that when you see the rockets go off tonight, even if it's only on TV.

Remember what they symbolize. "The rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air...".



Now, go have a wonderful time, and try not to end up on "COPS" with yer shirt off. Me too. Cheers.