Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hey, where are my royalty checks?

Yo, Ralph, baby, where have you been sending my royalty checks for doing this video?

Music nerd trivia corner: The song is an American standard, composed by Richard Rodgers (later of Rodgers & Hammerstein) & Lorenz Hart, recorded by Ben Taylor for the ad campaign, and has been [separately] recorded by his parents James Taylor and Carly Simon in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Don't make Max mad...

Now here's something right off the pages of Popular Science or Popular Mechanics.  (I used to know a blonde who thought the popular mechanics were Manny, Moe & Jack.)   Muted rimshot.

Anyway, some pretty clever tinkerers have crossed a bomb-squad robot with an ATV for a vehicle that looks like it could be a really fun way to earn a trip to the ER.

Sure, Dewey, go ahead and hunt feral hogs from atop one of these babies.


Would love to sit down and write a well thought out post, but it'll have to wait.  Too many higher priorities at the moment.
  • Got an email last week from Harbor Freight Tools with a coupon for Mother's Day - yeah, I'd suggest trying that with your wife only if you want to end up single.
  • Today, another email from the same sender, announcing National Power Tool Week.  Seriously?  Now, I've got more tools than Tim Taylor, but I gotta tell you: That's just stupid.
  • I tried to take some pictures with my phone of bumper stickers yesterday on the commute to and from work.  The phone is less creepy to motorists than using my camera, but unfortunately, I was holding it in such a position that I got a lot of reflection of the windshield defroster grate, making the pictures sort of unusable (I have a polarizing filter on my camera lens).
  • One bumper sticker proclaimed: Homer, Alaska - A quaint little drinking town with a fishing problem.
  • Another vehicle could've been Jar-Jar's alter ego's - A horned frog emblem on the rear hatch window, a TCU license plate frame, and a TCU trailer hitch receiver cover.  I came to understand that the driver may have been a TCU fan.
  • I haven't tried Wendy's new sea salt fries yet, but they sound good.
  • Is it too late to drop off my dry cleaning before the Royal Wedding?
  • I regularly check out the magazine rack at the grocery, usually the gun magazines, especially the Old West guns.  They sort of tend to group men's magazines together, so the motorcycle, hot rod, D-I-Y, boating, and guitar titles are close to one another.  Among those, it seems that the hot rod and motorcycle mags always have bikini chicks on or next to the vehicles.  I'm not sure I get that - I don't need to see a half-naked gal to want to read about a Winchester High Wall rifle or a Remington 1875 revolver.   Maybe that's just what it takes to get some dudes to pick up something written.

  • Not that I have the luxury of being real choosy these days, but those gals don't look like the type I'd go for.  (They'd probably say the same of me.)
  • As I completed some business at a local establishment the other day, the forty-ish woman who'd been helping me, said "See you next time, my dear".
  • No, she was American.
  • OK, maybe I'm getting old and senile when a woman calling me "my dear" is the highlight of my day.
  • A work colleague and I have a running conversation about what it would be like to go off the grid and live unconventionally.  My version is selling my house, buying a 5th wheel RV and parking it inside an old, semi-rural, concrete floored barn or building, creating open living space inside the building with an open freestanding kitchen, an open seating area, and a workshop area.  The RV would be just a place to sleep and shower.  A 40' x 40' (or 50') building would probably work just fine.

  • The downside, of course, is that my odds of finding marital bliss in such an arrangement would be lower than they are now.
  • I need to have a garage sale (or three). Too much "stuff" is smothering me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

West Texas Serenade

OK, I know I bad-mouth Dewey as often as I can from time to time.  But, he's kinda redeemed himself by sending this email today.


Wyman Meinzer's West Texas from Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo.

Thanks, Dew!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I Don't Want to Know

Just call me Second Hand News.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Colder Weather

I've started listening to the country stations again.  Here's one of the reasons why:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I got so mulch honey, the bees envy me!

OK, the sound of my phone not ringing is Motown not calling...

I arrived home last Friday to find that a Bradford Pear tree in my front yard had been done in by the wind.

If it had happened years ago, I would have been really upset and probably cussed at the situation.  And it wouldn't have changed anything.

So, I got straight to work with my, uh, electric chainsaw, and started trimming away the part of the tree that was on the house.  Shortly, my next door neighbor came over, and volunteered to help, with his electric chainsaw.  I used to laugh at electric chainsaws, but say what you will, they start on the first trigger pull.  In a bit over a half-hour, we had the limbs off the house, and other than a few nicked shingles, no structural damage.

Unfortunately, I still had a front yard full of downed tree.

The next day, I pulled out the chipper/shredder and commenced to pulverize the little limbs, for about three hours, until a chunk wedged between the chipper plate and its housing, bringing the operation to a standstill.  Mid-afternoon, I was on the phone with my folks, and mentioned the tree situation.  About forty-five minutes later, they showed up, Dad with Stihl [gas-powered] chainsaw in hand.  He got all the larger diameter limbs cut down to size in no time.  So, now I'm going to try to chip/shred what's left every day after work - hopefully to completion before the weekend.

This afternoon after working for about 1-1/2 hours, I was covered in wood pulp and dust - looked like a stunt double from The Swamp Thing.

And, in case you wondered, here's what the business end of the machine looks like.  I had to take it apart Saturday night to clear the jam, and then decided to sharpen the knives and shredders while I was at it.

Thank goodness for Caterpillar assembly compound.

Now you see it...

I could swear I just saw an Isuzu Rodeo cross through the intersection...

Or maybe not.

OK, maybe there's hope

Just when you thought all Texas colleges were about football:

My best friend got his undergraduate at UD.  Despite my having been a National Merit Semi-Finalist, with a subsequent 1420 SAT, my, uh, study habits and actual grades sort of prevented my getting a Fulbright Scholarship.

Maybe I should have tried for a Nightlight Scholarship...

Thing, thing a thong

Either I'm getting old, or the world's getting weirder...

What the what?!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Not Chicago...

I like the sparse orchestration, but Cetera doesn't seem to have the vocal power from before, and his phrasings seem choppy:

After All, I'm just looking for One Good Woman.

Dang, I'm feelin' kinda awkward here, this post is so '80s.  I gotta charge the flux capacitor and nose the DeLorean back to the '70s!

Wait...that was an '80s reference, too. 


Possible, not necessarily easy

F-SERIES: Part 3 - Forgiving Others (Part 2) from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Why hurry?

A few posts back, I announced intentions to purchase a dee-luxe shiny gold engagement ring, just in case I meet "the one" and need to be prepared to close the deal quickly.

Well, I'm not sure now that that's really necessary.  Apparently a 97 year-old geezer in Taxachusetts has been married to the wife of his youth¹ for 65 years, and is just now getting around to giving her an engagement ring.

So, I guess no need to rush.

¹ Proverbs 5:18

More Chicago

More of a good thing...

Jason Scheff does a great job with the formerly Peter Cetera lead vocals.  Thankfully, Bill Champlin (at the organ) doesn't do vocals here (and is no longer with the group) - the clips I've seen of him on vocals on other songs, he seems like some kind of lounge singer.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Calling St. Peter

Now I know that it may not be scripturally accurate, but there's a widely held belief that, as the movie title suggests, All Dogs Go to Heaven.

So, with that premise, I'll hereby suggest that these may be the Pearly Gates:

On the other hand...

...I don't know if the paint job on this F-250 is forgiveable.


I've noticed a lot of churches lately are doing wordplay, using the letter "F".

Of, course, in church talk, it's about forgiveness.

Thankfully, my church has steered clear of the "f-you" double entendre, and has gone in a slightly different direction.

I'm comfortable with that.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


It wasn't particularly a planned visit to the library, more like one of opportunity, but once he pulled into the parking lot, he smiled when he saw her car parked a few spaces away.

Leisurely checking out the CDs and DVDs, he finally set about finding the reference materials he'd come for, stuff he couldn't find on Google, and for about twenty minutes he was engrossed in his task.

 And then he saw her.

She was more than forty feet away, utterly unaware of his presence.  Yet his pulse quickened as she walked in his direction.  She was smiling and chatting spontaneously - he'd always loved her smile - but because of a low dividing wall and some indoor plants, he couldn't see with whom.  Still, he couldn't take his eyes off of her.

At about fifteen feet, their eyes met.

He smiled at her, and she at him.  She crossed around the low wall, and they briefly made amiable conversation.  But in the moment that it ended, he was consumed as a great wave of sadness washed over him.

Her smile - the one she gave him - certainly was pretty enough, but it wasn't the same natural, carefree smile he'd seen just minutes earlier, to the unknown, unseen stranger.  No, it was more...cordial.  Perhaps even transactional, in the way a pretty college coed might smile at him at the shoe store, hoping to sell him some socks and polish to go along with his new wingtips.

And in a small way, he felt his heart harden, just enough to be perceptible.  Another pebble - or even a grain of sand - around the chamber walls, troweled into place, as in Poe's Cask of Amontillado.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Turning the tables

The prior post was prompted by a radio commercial for an upcoming appearance by Roseanne Cash at one of the Oklahoma casinos.  I was able to find the video, which for all the world looks like ACL, but found the sound quality lacking.

So, of course, I went to my vinyl archive, and found the 1981 album from which it came, Seven Year Ache, which is playing in the den as I write this.

I wish it were playing on this turntable:

(Tonearm, cartridge shell and cartridge sold separately - seriously.)

But at a price somewhere north of two 'Gs' - it ain't happenin' for me.

But I will likely use the Numark PT01-USB, a birthday present from friend Mark, to transcribe the vinyl to CD/MP3 so I can play it in the car...

Once in a blue moon...

Saturday, April 2, 2011


The awesomeness that is Chicago:

Love the brass.