Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A rock-n-roll gem

If you're of my generation, look me in the eyes and tell me that this song doesn't transport you back to the skating rink, sandwiched between GFR's Locomotion and [ugh!] the BCR's Saturday Night, sometime in the mid '70s.  This clip is from 2005, and it appears Eric and the guys can still bring it:

If you were fortunate enough to bring a date, or find one at the roller-arena, you maybe later slow-skated to Chicago's Colour My World.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

A musical interlude

Q: So what happens when the physical Christmas presents lose their luster?

A: They end up in the Second Hand Store:

Here's wishing you the permanent Christmas present (in addition to all the fun stuff you unwrapped).

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your loved ones all of the blessings of the Christmas season, and always.


  • Dinner and Christmas with the kids @ my parents' on Thursday was great.
  • Word has it there will be a special guest at Christmas Eve church services.
  • No, not Santa.
  • I have previously noted my disdain for the 'Occupy' movement - apparently a ragtag bunch of hippies and trust fund kids who have enough spare time to camp out in, and make a mess of, city parks across the country.
  • If you're gonna protest, put some coherent thought into it, and do it this way instead.
  • I can see, and, uh, understand their point[s].
  • One of the Kardashian brood is coming to north Texas.  No black man is safe.
  • Awhile back I was going to write a post about the 'Kardashianation of America - Whoring Goes Mainstream', but figured I might end up in a Dennis Milleresque rant.  Moi? 
  • Baba Wawa interviews them and calls them 'talentless' to their faces, with which I agree.  Nonetheless, is she not using them to drive ratings of her program?
  • And, in discussing the whole lot of them as part of the content of this post, I suppose I am complicit, as well.
  • Week before last, Daughter bought me a living Rosemary shrub trimmed like a miniature Christmas tree, since I told her I wasn't putting up a tree this year.  I've so far used some of the leaves (a tiny portion) in some beef stew, and some spaghetti sauce.
  • Yum!
  • A light drizzle/freezing rain is falling outside my window.
  • Last Saturday I stopped at GV Mills mall on the way to Dallas to some friends' party, looking for something specific for Daughter.  I loathe crowds.
  • I'm not tall - 6'1" - but with boots on am tall enough to be seen, and I was on a mission. With my reading glasses perched on my nose (giving a stern visage), I must've looked like Robert Hays/Ted Stryker from Airplane.
  • Too bad no hippies or Moonies approached me.
  • Yesterday, with more time, I went there again - actually managed to find some things on the gift list.
  • I'm what you call 'a value shopper' cheap.  Whenever I go to that mall, I cruise the food court because most of the places have someone out front handing out samples.  Probably about 6 or 7 opportunities.  If you snag something in both directions, you can skip a meal.
  • Yeah, I kinda do the same thing at Sam's Club.
  • Here is an odd story.  And who uses a 9mm to shoot mice anyway?
  • Recently I was driving past the UPS depot in Fort Worth, just as the trucks were being dispatched - looked like an ant trail.
  • I noticed a couple of the trucks had integrated aerodynamic headlights - bet that adds a couple MPG to their fleet stats.
  • Medieval Times has a new show.  Our family went there for my 40th birthday.  I would think they should have a rotation of shows so it's not just a special occasion place to go.
  • Was doing some work around the house, listening to a Christmas CD of glass harmonium music by Denton native Donal Hinely (yes, I know that sounds similar to Don Henley, but it's a different guy).  I first heard him play at the Scarborough Renfest several years ago.  Very talented singer/songwriter, a showcase performer at the 2006 SXSW - apparently now based in Tennessee.
  • Of late I've sort of returned to the mode of doing housework on Saturday mornings, as I'd envisioned it when I was in college.   Crank up the tunes, vacuum, dust, do laundry and dishes, put stuff away.  Back then the house I had in mind looked something like Cardinal Puff's - wood floors and staircases, balconies.  It was a SMU hangout/beer garden, off of Greenville Ave, back in my high school/college days.  I Googled/Bing.birdseye'd it - now Ozona Grill & Bar - looks nothing like what I remember from back in the day.
  • I'm gonna try to make that more of a habit this coming year.  And I still want that house.
  • Have a blessed, Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Il Manifestus Mio

  • I've been making notes all week since I didn't have time to actually post - thankfully for you, I won't use them all at once.
  • Every time I saw a deer crossing sign this week, I had the urge to get some of those red LED bike flashers at the dollar store, drill a 1/4" hole through the sign with a cordless drill and mount the flasher behind the deer's nose.

  • Even though it's not specifically prohibited in the 10 commandments - I figured it was better to practice self discipline and go about my business. 
  • TxDoT likely would not have been amused.
  • Regarding the researchers looking for the Higgs bosun 'God particle' - I have an idea for a sit-com pilot about the wacky travails of some geeky quantum physics scientists: Bosun Buddies.
  • Probably would still be better than 75% of reality TV programming.
  • Meanwhile, Japanese scientists are tagging and releasing wild monkeys near the Fukushima (do not repeat 5 times fast) nuclear reactor, to determine the propagation patterns of radioactivity.
May or may not be actual Japanese test subjects...
  • Of course, we know how that will turn out.
  • Time magazine has named 'the protestor' as its person of the year.
  • What, exactly, has 'the protestor' accomplished?  He/she apparently doesn't do much work.
  • El Chupacabra wrote recently of an encounter with a woman whose husband didn't or wouldn't work.  I see a fair amount of that these days.
  • He noted that work is what men do - work at something we may not like until we can get to something we can tolerate or even enjoy - but work nonetheless to put food on the table, gas in the cars, etc.
  • Here's a guy who worked:

  • Another guy who works, from before sun-up, in hot and cold, dust and rain, is Around the Corner, whom I had the honor of meeting this afternoon by coincidence at the sporting goods store as I was running errands.
  • Of course I was dressed like a bum since I had just gone out to get oil/filter @ Wal-Mart for an upcoming oil change and ducked into the sporting goods store to get a quick Christmas present for one of the kids.
  • Nonetheless, it was a pleasant surprise to make W's acquaintance, though I regret that, in my haste to get to other stops, I missed meeting Mrs. W. 
  • Rats!
  • Well, it's getting late, I gotta make sure my sneakers are dry for going to the car wash tomorrow.
  • As in, I get to go to the car wash tomorrow.   ;-)

Put your hand in the hand

Brandon's father preached the message today:

Jesus Is ______ - Part 6 from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

I'm not clear about what he's referencing between Wm. T. Sherman and Robt. E. Lee - couldn't locate any corroboration for that.

Yep.  Dr. Thomas was right.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Randomosities, Part Deux

  • A news tidbit on my said Unsafe Sex More Likely After Drinking, Study Confirms.
  • Sheesh!  Ya suppose?  Wonder how much that study cost, and who paid.  Nah, I don't really want to know.
  • After yesterday's pizza-fest, I thought today I'd aim for a lunch in the sub-thousand calorie range, so I drove to the Kroger near my office for a can of hundred-some-odd calorie vegetable beef soup.
  • On the magazine aisle, the Cosmo cover shouted "50 Ways to Kinky Sex", or something like that.
  • Nice.  (Edit: Frequent/perceptive readers will note the sarcasm.)
  • In 1996, should've been Supreme Court jurist Robert Bork's book Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline was published.
  • Slouching towards Gomorrah?  Slouching? I don't believe it.
  • We're running headlong towards it.  Like that guy in the Impala with the jet engine.
  • The last Lockheed Martin F-22 rolled off the assembly line today.  From a once projected build out of 750 aircraft, iteratively reduced to 438, 339, then 277 - the final count was 187.  Wonder if they'll actually get used, or end up being too expensive to deploy, and, adding insult to injury, sent to Davis-Monthan to bake in the sun?

  • Are two UAV incidents in the past week coincidental to the end of the F-22, and threats to the JSF/F-35 program? Jet driver, author, patriot, blogger Thunder Tales is not so much the fan of UAVs replacing manned missions, but they are part of the arsenal, and will probably become more so.
  • In other aviation news, Southwest has ordered $19B worth of the latest, most fuel efficient B737s.  Not that I have occasion to fly them on my current job, but I'm a fan of the airline.
  • Having brushed up a couple of days ago on Braniff history, though, I hope that Southwest's finances will support those purchases. 
  • Scientists at CERN in Switzerland believe they are close to finding the Higgs bosun 'God particle', in the neighborhood of  114.4 and 131 gigaelectronvolts (GeV), using the 17 mile long Hadron supercollider.  They specifically think it might be hanging out at 126 GeV.
  • That's probably not where I would've looked - but, hey, I spent an hour and a half Sunday and Monday nights looking for my second pop rivet tool since the first one was missing the proper nosepiece I needed for the mandrels I was using - so, who am I to say?
  • I'd hate to have their Reliant Electric bill for that search.  And I found my riveter.
Bosun whistle
  • Couldn't they just whistle for it?
  • One more thing: I think they may have it backwards - God isn't the smallest thing in the Universe - He's the largest.
  • On History Detectives tonight, Wes Cowan and  Professor Tukufu Zuberi (née Antonio McDaniel) follow a story about .45 caliber slugs that were allegedly removed from the bodies of outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.  It turned out that they were not from the fusillade that ended the robbers' careers, but apparently had been used to exonerate Bonnie's sister of the murder of police officers near Grapevine, Texas.
  • I've been aware of the significance of that intersection, NE corner of Dove Road and TX-114 in current day Southlake, for about 25 years.  Also, Clyde's sister used to be a regular exhibitor at area gun shows, selling books or memorabilia.
  • While I was blogging last night, I heard dry leaves rustling (Rustling leaves?  Through the Vatican?  Kinky.) outside my window, so I went out to investigate.  I found a possum, probably about 6-8 lbs, wandering about.  He ambled off, in no great hurry, when I was shining a flashlight in his eyes from two feet away.
  • I wouldn't hear him tonight, as the leaves are wet.
  • To further atone for yesterdays pizzapalooza, I had a baked potato with just a bit of olive butter and some julienne ham strips for dinner.

    Monday, December 12, 2011


    • "For $500, Alex: What do you call 70% of The Donald's thoughts and 90% of his blogposts?"
    • Well played, would-be Ken Jennings!
    • In today's HuffPo, conservative radio dude Michael Savage offers Newt Gingrich $1MM to drop out of the race, saying he'll "look like nothing more than what he is: a fat, old, white man."
    • And the point is? I'm fed up with the notion that in the 21st century, it's somehow verboten to run for office without some sort of diversity label. We've had two women run as VP candidates, and elected a half-black president (with a half-wit VP). I've been supportive of black candidates, Alan Keyes and Herman Cain, but I think it's pretty darn stupid that at a time when we're $15 trillion in the hole, this yahoo thinks that filling out the race bingo card is more important than putting forward the most qualified candidate.
    • Gimme a break!
    • Readers will note the return of eminent blogger Anobiter "Obi One & Only" That's All She Wrote on the left-hand column.  Welcome back!
    • A guy recreates a Darwin Awards scenario with a 1967 Impala like my Grandmother had. I'm calling BS on the 750 mph bus story, though. In 1975 or 1976, my friend Larry and I and my cousins got in some trouble from my Grandfather for getting said Impala stuck in a muddy pasture after doing donuts and our best impressions of Baretta and Starsky & Hutch. 

    • Well, that, and for having taken our .22 pistols with us after being told to leave them up at the farmhouse. Do I strike you as someone who'd do something like that?
    • My cousin Mike could've had a good career as a stunt-man, though.
    • After pulling the Impala out of the mud with his 4WD Dodge, and confiscating our sidearms, Grandpa, a few sheets to the wind, drove back toward the farmhouse. It was well after dark, and about halfway there, a few hundred yards from where we were, we saw his truck stop, and several shots were fired from our .22s.
    • Not knowing his intentions or direction of fire, we ducked behind the Impala until we saw the lights of the truck moving again.
    • A woman, again on HuffPo, of course, brags about how swell she and her husband are for not educating their four-year-old about God, stating "So, God, if you're out there, I hope you get where I'm coming from. I'm taking a pass for now."
    • Well, isn't that special? I know there was a big flap last Christmas about some local atheists' "Good Without God" marketing campaign. Know what? They're right. Folks can be perfectly good people, and do good stuff, with or without His help.
    • But those folks are missing the point. It's not about us. And while I can't say for certain, I don't think God is losing any sleep trying to get where [she's] coming from. I'm quite aware of Pascal's wager, but that's not why I believe. If she heard the same messages about God, and relationship with Him, as I do, she might feel differently.
    • What a gift that would be for her four-year-old.
    • I gotta stop reading Huffington Post articles.
    • Our office Christmas party was to have been Saturday night, but was cancelled due to the hostess having a family emergency. So, today we had a pizza luncheon in the office. With potato chips, cupcakes, cookies, crackers and cheez-whiz.
    • Cheez-whiz? I hadn't had that since college.
    • OK, I guess it was Easy Cheese - the dairy equivalent of Silly String.
    • So, considering the Lunch of Champions smorgasbord, I had chicken noodle soup for dinner and I'm drinking a cup of hot Yogi Detox tea as I write this post.  No, I'm not going all new age on you.
    • Last Friday I had dinner with Todd the Blogger, and Dew, at the former's house.  After, you guessed it, pizza, we watched Horrible Bosses.  I don't know if it was on the Dish or the Blu-Ray.
    • My pastor occasionally uses short movie clips at the beginning of sermons - I don't think there was a two minute segment of that movie that Pastor Todd could use in his.
    • Does anyone else feel their intelligence being insulted by the Reliant Energy commercials, with Troy Aikman, saying Reliant doesn't need celebrity endorsements?  As it happens, I was already a customer, but still feel it's a dumb premise.
    • Had been feeling a bit bummed about not having the kids this Christmas - break starts this Friday - until I got a text this afternoon from their mother offering them one evening next week so that we can do Christmas early.
    • Smile.

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Ask Me[n]

    This article comes from Ask Men via Fox News, posing the question: "Are we faced with too many choices in modern society?"

    I would venture to say that we are, at least speaking for myself.  I have also pondered similar questions regarding the over-saturation of the market share of the mind.

    Not suggesting here that people should have their choices limited, but acknowledging that for ADD folks like me, the best approach may be self-discipline to cut to the bare basics and try to live [deliberately] as simply as possible.  It also explains why I don't/shouldn't have cable/dish/FIOS - way too many things to watch - I'd go into meltdown.

    I'd be starry eyed from watching Mythbusters, Top Shot, How It's Made, Storage Wars, and Dirty Jobs (I do watch cable at the hotel, having nothing better to do, when I have to travel for work).

    The Living Vine

    Tarzan could not have found a better vine.

    Jesus Is ______ - Part 5 from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

    Can you QSL WB6ACU?

    I've recently wondered, if the economy/society craters locally/nationally/globally, then how will people communicate?  After all, cellphone networks, upon which we've all become reliant, would likely have their service interrupted.

    One answer might be amateur, 'ham' radio.  Shown here is radio operator WB6ACU:

    I understand he also plays the guitar...

    Dating Doldrums with Dr. Donald

    Occasionally I'll click on an online article about 'relationships', just to see if the other side is totally nuts, or, possibly if I am.  Today's article, by a gal named Jill Di Donato, has lists of qualities chicks look for in guys, and also, what she thinks guys look for in women.  Here's an excerpt, from the latter list:
    1. Is she promiscuous?
    2. Does she give another guy more attention than she gives me?
    3. Does she have a good relationship with her family? 
    4. Does she have her own sense of happiness?
    5. Is she intelligent?
    6. Is she overly jealous for no reason?
    7. Does she display good manners?
    8. Does she not answer my calls, especially at night?
    9. Does she put effort into taking care of herself?
    10. Is she an ethical person?
    I guess that's a start - some are deal killers (promiscuity), others might not be so much on my list.

    I'd also include "Does she text/call every five minutes?" When I was married, my wife would occasionally call me at the office with a question, but would always start with "Oh hey, I hate to bother you at work, but..."  The truth was that, in fact, it was never a bother, and I enjoyed hearing her voice.  I've known other guys whose wives call(ed) them incessantly and my brief post-divorce dating experience suggested to me that there weren't enough hours in the day to both work and respond to texts.

    The online dating sites seem to be chock full of gals with all their girlfriends at every bar in town, usually displaying [I assume] fake gang signs and such.  Pass.
    Another observation is that it's not so much women not taking care of themselves, but those whose wardrobes and cosmetic procedures would pay for a nice 4WD or a modest lake cabin, that would be a beat-down.  But women in frayed jeans and Metallica or Kenny Chesney concert t-shirts would also get a thumbs-down from me.

    Some common interests would be be a plus: Antique refinishing, home DIY, boating, hiking/camping, travel, concerts, museums, shooting sports.  I don't really consider the ubiquitous "fine wine, dining, cuddling, movie watching" to be really interests - those are things to do after doing something else.  Don't know if I speak for all guys here, but would really like to find that biblical 'helpmate' who'll stand by my side and help as partner - and, yeah, I have learned in recent years and fully acknowledge that I would be  obliged to reciprocate (I, uh, may have lacked this latter insight several years ago).

    Spontaneity - my ideal mate probably should have less of it than me, someone who'll reign in my crazier impulses.  But not a total stick-in-the-mud, either.

    Well, there you have it.  Looks like no wedding bells in my near future.  Guess I can save some money by not having to buy a second clawfoot bathtub overlooking the lake sunset.

    Oh, and on Cialis/Levitra/Viagra, too.

    RIP Harry Potter

    OK, that's Harry Morgan, aka Officer Bill Gannon/Col. Sherman Potter.

    (I took that picture about six months ago, figuring to use it in some sort of M.A.S.H. context - didn't know this would be it.)

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Return to Resurrection

    Another awesome installment. 

    Jesus Is ______ - Part 4 from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

    I like the observation about the instant replay/reverse angle review - I often find in my life that things are not as they initially appear.

    Sunday, December 4, 2011

    Carl Sagan coulda told you

    OK, it's not the Eagles, but the guy does a reasonable interpretation of Don Henry.

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Back Home Again - Life's Wonders

    After the better part of the week in our nation's republic's state's capital, it's good to be back home. Being away from the blogosphere for a while gives some time for reflection.

    A few weeks ago I had dinner with my daughter on a Thursday night. She'd brought along her homework and, after eating, we worked on her lessons there in the BBQ restaurant. Following some math exercises, she moved on to another subject, which asked her to list things of wonder.

    She, in turn, asked me about things of wonder in my life.

    My list included:
    • Witnessing my children being born. (Actually, I was not in the delivery room for one, but was able to see him shortly after delivery.)
    • Enjoying the beauty of my wife as she carried said children. (I always believed she was beautiful, just more so at those times.)
    • Having parents who are still alive, and married.
    • Living half a century in good health - I know, it doesn't seem a big thing, but not everyone does.
    I guess a lot of times I'm possibly more inclined, or at least as much as, to carry a mental list of the hurts or disappointments - to what purpose?  So, I appreciated the opportunity, in this season, to reflect and give thanks for the many blessings in my life.