Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TV bites

No, I'm not talking about frozen dinners.  I mean television today really sucks.

First, though, I should confess that I don't have cable, Dish, or FIOS, so I just get what comes across the broadcast spectrum.

Searching for something to watch this evening, I saw all manner of  'reality' programming: Minute to Win It, with some bleached hair dude. Boring.  Another show where people try to navigate obstacles without getting knocked into a mud bath.  Yawn.

Scanning through the channels, I happened on some scripted fare on Fox, but the program identifier didn't show anything, so I had to google it.  Yeah, sure enough, Glee.  I knew enough from the opening of the Emmy's to recognize it, but after watching just a few minutes, felt like I needed a shower just to wash the gay off.

But not a four-headed shower.

Advertising from the days of yore

Just about the time I'm convinced everything's gone to heck in a handbasket, I get reminded that, in some positive ways, times have changed:

I'm sure that would work well today..."Hey, honey, look, I got you an electric skillet!"  "Thwack!"   For some reason, I'm reminded of the old story: Guy #1 one says "I got a new hunting rifle for my wife."  And Guy #2 responds "Nice trade."

Not ordinary tapeworms, they're sanitized.

Yeah, good luck with that!  (I thought about turning the tables and modifying the tag line...but thought better of it...)

But it still tastes like Schlitz...

He thinks he'll keep her...  (Yes, I know that jingle was actually for Geritol.)

Lysol?!  Um, this is not the sort of woman I'm looking to meet...

Whoa, Nellie!  Old-school coffee-kinky, I guess.

Back in the '40s lard came out of the bedroom and into the cupboard.  Of course, everyone knows that bacon lard is the best.  Mmm, bacon.

Danger, Will Robinson!  In case the Lysol doesn't do the trick?  (OK, this warning is still valid today.)

I'm frugal, but no amount of Lysol, lard (bacon or otherwise), coffee, or prophylaxis makes this an acceptable practice...

Photos courtesy of emailer MJM.

Gettin' old...

I am not quite this old:

And possibly not quite as valuable...

(Interesting footnote: This car is an ancestor to the car I was driving when I took the picture.)  Note to self: Maybe only interesting to self.

Teach your children

On this morning's drive to work, the classic rock jocks Bo & Jim were talking on the phone with a hapless young woman named Candy,  a 'dancer', who'd had the misfortune to awaken this morning at a 'client's' home, sans cellphone, after the homeowner had left for work.

As she told the story, she said had not engaged in any 'hanky-panky' with the customer from her establishment (which she declined to name, other than that it was on or near Northwest Highway), but had left the business with a group of people as the party moved to a residence, and had had a bit to drink.

At 7:45 this morning, she was still a bit inebriated, and had a few minutes earlier (sometime before I tuned in), called the radio DJs to request conveyance back to her apartment.  Unfortunately, she didn't know where she was.

The jocks had a great time with this, of course, telling her to go outside the home and find a street sign (she was on the residence's cordless phone).  She gave the house number, but was a bit meek about venturing farther afield, citing her, uh, wardrobe situation.  And she several times expressed chagrin that she'd left her cellphone at the club.

Yeah, I've heard of gals working their way through med or law school working as 'dancers', though I expect one would be hard pressed to really find a doctor or lawyer who did that. And I'm sure you can make up your own joke here that she's pursuing a graduate degree at SMU's business school.

It wasn't immediately clear why the woman called a radio station to find her way home, if she ever ascertained her location (I had to go into the office and couldn't continue listening), or even if the whole thing was a put on.  But as the story wore on, I did have the thought of  "this is someone's daughter/sister", and the disappointment they would feel if they were listening to the broadcast phone conversation.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

In a standard deck of playing cards, there are 52 cards.  There are also 52 weeks in a year. This week, my parents celebrate 52 years of marriage.

These days, I don't know if it's just the luck of the draw that allows two people to spend a lifetime together.  Actually, I'm pretty sure that while luck may play a small role, it has much more to do with the old-fashioned notion of commitment - the kind people used to take seriously when they said their marriage vows.

I could probably brag on my folks, they're pretty remarkable people, but at the same time, quite ordinary.  They're not perfect, they get on one another's nerves occasionally, but they do genuinely enjoy each other's company and work together, rather than against each other.

In all the time I've known them, which is to say my whole life, I've only rarely heard them argue, and although the arguments may have been spirited, they were not mean-spirited or destructive.  I think I've argued with each of them more than I've ever seen them argue with each other.  Never during my childhood did I ever wonder if my parents would follow the pattern of some of the other neighborhood families that divided into two households.

Sharing interests is probably a plus, and out of objectivity I'd have to admit here that the playing field has probably tilted in Dad's favor - he's had more interests, kind of a Renaissance man.  And Mom has always been very supportive and his biggest helper and fan.  Her interests have not been as wide ranging, and I think over time he's come to recognize his good fortune and takes an interest in hers.  Next month, they will be spending a few nights in a tipi and wearing 1840's clothing - because it's something they enjoy doing.  Over New Years, they'll likely go snowmobiling.

So, although I'll never be able to match the longevity of their marriage (unless I get hitched again right away, and live to be 101) - here's to their parade of roses, with love and admiration:  Contratulations, Mom & Dad!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Love the Chicago...

Not necessarily the classic Chicago sound, with Cetera and Kath, but still very good.   Not really digging the '80s wardrobes, though.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And another new addition

I recently had to delete one of the good bloggers who, unfortunately, hadn't posted in over half a year.

In his stead, I was pleased to present to you The South 40, or, as I've re-packaged his blog, Stay Thirsty.  Its author, RPM, posts about NASCAR, worklife, truck stuff, classic and current TV & movie entertainment, and life's lessons.  I had been reading him for about a year when the link I used to access his blog went down, so I made things simple and put the link on my own list. 

Recently, a newcomer has popped up, Around the Corner From Over There.  Though he's easy to find on other's blogs (two or three have already added his link), I've added the link on mine as well, not to be a "me too", but because I think you'll find him an enjoyable read.  And I also want to ask him if his wife has an available sister - she posts the nicest comments to him on his blog. The name was a bit long, so I shortened it to Around the Bend.

Hope you enjoy the new additions.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tatooine, revisited

I'm sure you're as excited as I am that there has been a ten second addition to one of the Star Wars movies, showing Luke the Skywalker of Tatooine assembling his own mail-order Heathkit lightsaber.  Apparently, according to one of the radio stations, the nerds went wild when the new footage was premiered at a recent screening.

Many people are easily amused.

Of course, then it occurred to me that you could refer to Luke Skywalker as a space cowboy.

If Steve Miller hadn't already claimed that title in the mid '70s:

Um, Mr. Miller, did that feather fall out of the Indian's headdress?

I got a text from my oldest son this morning - "I got a new tattoo last night".

Ruh-roh!  Having been able to resist the temptation to use my own skin as a canvas for nearly half a century, this was not good news.  I didn't text - I called him.

No answer.

About half a minute later, the chime of an incoming message on my phone, a picture message:

The Tattoo

R-e-l-i-e-f!  Yes, he had sandbagged me.  And of course I like the 'tattoo'.

I have a membership on one of the free dating services.  Every few days I get an email telling me they have new matches, women I'm sure to hit it off with.

Yeah, whatever.

So, of course, like an idiot I click to see what women match my interests.  After all, with all that money I'm going to be getting any day now from Nigeria, the ladies are going to find me irresistible. And, thanks to my bon vivant Renaissance man charm and wide range of interests, I may as well indulge myself by choosing a different woman for each day of the week.

Typically, about two dozen, more or less normal looking women within the age range I'd specified, which is to say within a few years of my own age, populate the potential match section.  I read their profiles.  A few even sound halfway interesting.  Then I glance over to the margin: "College Women Looking for 50 Year-Old Men With Children!". 

Of course!  I had forgotten entirely that hot, twenty-something women, with nary a spare ounce of fat, and the best fun parts money can buy, are totally turned on by late forty-ish dudes with kiddos.

I click the link on the nubile chick's picture, and am immediately re-directed to some near pornographic, not free "dating" site.  Um, thanks, but, uh, no thanks. 

I think that dating site's run by Nigerians...

So, for now, only one claw foot bathtub overlooking the lake.  Room service can keep their little blue pills.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

I guess it was sort of a slow blog week.
  • On Tuesday, between Oklaunion and Vernon, got about 40 minutes of water, falling right out of the air.  I noticed that at one point, my car's outside air temp showed 79°, at 4:30 in the afternoon!  Time to get out the parka... 
  • Scanning for a radio station in the car, I found a classic rock outlet, 104.7 The Bear from Burkburnett-Wichita Falls.  Pretty good play list: Tull, Boston, Eagles (Seven Bridges Road), Rainbow, Wings, Foreigner (meh), Zeppelin, Genesis, Journey, E. Money, Top, Frampton, Queen (meh), Seger, and Bruce.  Now this radio station is one of those that punches up the low-frequency EQ for all their on-air jocks and jingles, trying to sound like the most bad-A bunch on the planet: "The Bear 104 - Outlaw Rock-n-Roll!".  OK, I don't care what pose you strike, as long as the music's good. 
  • What made me chuckle, though, was the station break teaser: "Coming up next, KISS - those are some rock-n-roll cowboys!"  KISS?  Cowboys?
  • These look like cowboys to you?
  • Now, of course I recognize a metaphor when I hear it.  I just thought it would be fun to imagine it literally. I figured any self-respecting AQHA equine would snigger like Mr. Ed if he saw Gene or Paul stride into the corral.  And would plumb fall over laughing if Ace or Peter tried to mount.
  • On the plus side, when the station did play the KISS song, it was Detroit Rock City, not the ubiquitous Rock and Roll All Nite
  • Detroit Rock City, I'm sure you remember, was the B-side to the Beth 45.  It's OK if you didn't remember, since I did.
  • But you DO remember 45s, don't you?
  • These are cowboys:
  • They can be seen on permanent display at The Amon Carter Museum.  Oh, and they also have .45s.   And .44-40s, and possibly, but not likely, some little sissy guns like .36s.
  • When viewing this painting, the [2nd from right] black horse's  eyes will follow you around the room.
  • This is a cowboy (possibly the one on the far left in the above painting):
  • In the old days, the cowboys lived in black-and-white. So, maybe there is a connection to KISS...
  • I am still skirmishing with the ants in my kitchen, going into the third week.  So far I've tried vinegar solution ("As seen on the Internet").  Nope.  Sage - recommended on AnObiter's blog as a remedy for flies.  Ants are not flies.  Boric Acid powder.  Boring.  Bay leaves bombed.  Louisiana Hot Sauce.  I don't think so, Boudreaux.  Isopropyl alcohol 91%.  Sorry, doc.
  • This man portrayed cowboys in film, and foreigners perceived him as a cowboy:
  • We could use a cowboy like him today.
  • I remembered that beer was supposed to repel ants.  So I poured some Warsteiner, (of course not the whole bottle - I'm not that stupid!) on some paper towel blots and strategically placed them around the countertop and sink.  I didn't use American beer - don't want to get in trouble with UCLA or PETA for cruel and unusual treatment of critters.
  • No emails please.  Yes, I'm a bit of a beer snob student of homebrewing (mainly Scotch/Brown Ales), but I actually do drink American brands.  The Warsteiner just happened to be in the fridge.
  • I have Papazian's book(s), but haven't brewed a batch in years.  These days I probably only drink 3-4 beers...a month.
  • Here are some outlaws:
  • OK, not real outlaws, but they did change the direction of country music about 35 years ago.
  • I put out some ground red pepper for the ants, in case they didn't get drunk. These ants are like NVA, fighting a guerilla war of attrition, against an enemy that they think will lose his will to fight.
  • They don't know me.
  • The. Greatest. Ever. Football Cowboy:
  • Bob Lilly, #74.
  • Anyone know who does the low range (kinda like the Oak Ridge Boys dude) harmony on Seven Bridges Road?  Definitely too low for Schmit, Frey, Walsh, and probably even Henley.  Felder, maybe?
  • A wanna-be cowboy:
  • Who says you have to grow up?
  • I must be doing something wrong when ordering Asian food. I wrote recently about some particularly spicy Kung Pao on Jacksboro Highway. Well, Tuesday evening I graced the Genghis Grill, went with the #11 surf-and-turf recipe card. Yeah, I went off-recipe here and there, but I didn't think a half-measure of curry powder would be that hot.
  • Wonder how ants like curry powder?
  • A fake, uh, cowboy:
  • He don't shoot straight.
  • Please welcome The South 40 to the recommended reading list, published from metropolitan Chico, Texas. I put the link up since the peripatetic Peter Pan Wise County attorney, who lives about five minutes from me, removed it from his "Inferior Blogs" section. Actually, I used RPM's blog to replace Blue Collar, a good blog, but one which hadn't posted since October 2009.
  • For my list, I renamed it Stay Thirsty.
  • A rock-n-roll plow-boy, not a cowboy:
  • It's a start...
  • Hollywood, which is really not that creative, and would rather milk a concept to death (hence all the sequels and remakes), is remaking the 1981 Dudley Moore comedy classic, Arthur.  Strangely, I think that with Russell Brand, it might just work.  That boy seems like a train wreck (I haven't seen his other film  Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but will probably go to see Get Him to the Greek, itself a derivative work; my knowledge of him comes from appearances on Leno's show), only less predictable. 
  • Lilliputians Liverpudlians, not cowboys:
  • Found that while searching for the other KISS images.
  • I really should change the oil on the sedan, and finally put the registration sticker on the windshield of the SUV (expired in June).
  • Closing today's post, here are some Desperados:
  • Rock-n-roll Desperados.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Get Your Tickets Now...

...before it's too late!

Day: Thu, Aug 19, 2010

Showtime: 8:00 PM

Days until show: 8

Ages: All Ages

On sale now

Ticket Prices*: $59.75-$69.75

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Betting the farm

I'm not a gambler.  But this November, we've gotta go for broke (we're there anyway, aren't we?) to regain control of our nation, before it's lost for good.

I agree with what he's saying, except that Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville wasn't saying anything in 1909, because by then he had been dead 50 years...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More miscellany

  • Have you heard the radio commercial for mattresses, telling people that if their mattress is over 8 years old, it has doubled in weight due to sweat, oils, skin cells, and dust mites?  In addition to being sort of disgusting, the claim is dubious at best.  Obviously, whether a mattress has gone bad would depend on its owners' hygiene, type of mattress pad used, whether it's a guest bed, and probably several other factors.  I hate it when marketers try to hornswoggle consumers. I wouldn't buy from that firm. 
  • Maybe Sleep Experts (Christine Cook is cute), or the Mattress Giant, if I didn't go to Sam's or Costco.
  • As I drive around the western Metromess, I notice that nearly every RV dealer seemingly has a few of the surplus FEMA/Katrina trailers auctioned last month, as reported by RPM.
  • Watering the plants on my deck this afternoon after work, I heard the ice cream truck in the neighborhood, playing We Wish You A Merry Christmas.  In August?  At least no one was dancing in front of the ice cream truck.  So far as I know...
  • I love the stockyards.
I'm not too proud to pee outside, if I have to...and just what are the Air Conditions?

Enlargenate to read window copy.

Is this Western World?  Is Yul Brynner gonna pop up somewhere?

  • Lunch today at RiceExpress on Jacksboro Highway.  Hispanic workers making Chinese food.  I kept thinking about Cheech & Chong.  The Kung Pao Chicken special for $2.99, and a couple of egg rolls for another 99¢.  And when I say Kung Pao, it was Kung POW!  Don't know what kind of peppers were in there, but I had beads of sweat on my forehead when I finished.  Good deal on good food, but hopefully the next time I stop in there the special won't be quite so spicy.
  • One of the employees at the QT today looked like Linda Ronstadt, circa 1975.   Grrr!  Now, if she had looked like Linda, circa 2010, well, I'm sure she'd, uh, probably have a good voice...
  • Saw a King Ranch F-250 on TX-199 pulling a '70s era fiberglass outboard runabout with a big Johnson.  (OK, it could have been an Evinrude or a Merc for all I know, but, indulging my inner 14 year-old, I wanted to write it that way, alright?)  Seemed sort of a mismatch.  Every time there was an undulation in the road, I expected the transom on that boat to just break off from the weight of that motor.
  • The ants continue their march on my kitchen, mostly unabated.  I used up the last of my vinegar mix (as suggested by the internet as a 'green' solution) to little effect.   Apparently, I have to replace these ants with some that read the internet.  I wish Chupacabra would hurry with the C-4...

Pound Cakes

Thanks, Tom!

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

From the email bag.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Various and sundry

I don't remember the Scripture where Jesus ducks into a phone booth...

In Fort Worth, we don't need no stinkin' 9th Circuit Court...

Art is in the eye of the beholder, I guess...

This is not an abandoned truck - it is actually a display outside the Art building at NTSU, er, UNT.

  • Over the weekend, heard the one-hit wonder Beach Baby from 1974.  Awesome.  British dudes succeed in out Brian Wilson-ing the Beach Boys.  And even though I was listening on a decent car audio system, I'll always remember it best when it was played at near-clipping levels through horn-type loudspeakers at the Prater amusement park in Vienna, Austria (where I was living during all of 1974).  Good times.
  • Also heard Al Stewart's Year of the Cat.  Sure, it's gay sounding, but very mesmerizing.  And so captures that period in time.
  • I was pretty much kidding when I posted the Gordon Lightfoot info a few days ago.  Still, I watched about the last four songs of the KERA/13 special.  And, hey, he'll be at Verizon later this month!
  • What's with all the junk mail?  A few weeks ago, the FWST had an article about an old lady whose life was ruined (supposedly) by all the junk mail she received.  While I wouldn't go quite so far, I can relate.  Today alone I got six glossy postcard ads: Two dentists, a church, Bed Bath & Beyond, a car dealer I bought a car from ELEVEN YEARS AGO, and a radiant barrier company.  There's a special place in Hell for folks who send out this crap, and I think maybe they could use some of that radiant barrier stuff.
  • Got two phone calls last night from a number I didn't recognize.  Today, I called the number, but not from my cellphone.  "Bueno!...Bueno!"   Oh, great, in addition to junk mail, I get wrong number calls from illegal aliens.
  • Took my daughter to see Robin Hood 2010, starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett.   As in the remake released this year, not a modern-day Robin Hood.  I sort of enjoyed it, but she found it hard to follow.
  • Anyone been to see a concert at WinStar Casino?  Seems they get some decent acts, but my mental image is that I'd come home smelling like an ashtray.  Fair or no?
  • Ants invaded my kitchen on Friday.  I read on the interwebs that "ants despise vinegar", and that a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle would send them packing.  Didn't faze them.  Also tried the boric acid.  Yawn.  Then some Raid.  Not much better.  By the end of the weekend, I was like Bill Murray in Caddyshack.  Maybe Chupacabra can tell me where to get some C-4...
  • Saw this evening that Heart is coming to House of Blues.  Love the Heart, saw them with middle son in '06 or '07 at [then] Nokia.  And, although I don't play guitar, I can never pick one up without doing the riff from Crazy on You.  Ask my kids...I just can't.
  • Bought a cantaloupe for 79¢ at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Grocery nearby.  Not. Really. Ripe.

Playing hide and seek.