Wednesday, February 29, 2012


That's German for Wednesday.
  • Literally, mid-week.  No, no umlauts required.
  • I'm drained today.
  • A work colleague retired today after 34 years.  Now we'll have six people doing the work that probably needed eight to do properly.
  • I'm third oldest now among the six remaining.   Aaargh!
  • Got a text today telling me that unauthorized change had been made to my cellphone account.  Around the same time I noticed a missed call from the cellphone company.
  • Returned the call, but no answer, so I dialed 611, where I could scarcely understand the guy who was either from India or the 'hood.  He couldn't give me information about what changes had been made because I didn't have a password. 
  • I told him I'd never needed a password to make my monthly online payments for the last 10 months.  He still would not give me any information.  Grrr.
  • "So, someone can make changes to my account that will result in a monthly increase, without a password - but I can't get information without it?"
  • That was the end of that conversation.  I called and got a different representative a few minutes later, who spoke normal English, and cancelled the changes.
  • For some reason, I had always thought the cathouse in Aurora/Boyd was east of Tater Junction.  Guess I've not been as observant as I thought.
  • Would you pay $800 for this?   It claims 5 patents, but is essentially a modern Derringer. I like the idea of two spares in the grip, but otherwise I'm unimpressed.
  • My new disposer shipped today.
  • A little less so today:
  •  I still haven't done my Academy Awards post.
  • First world problem.  With pictures.  Obviously, these women do have their priorities.
  • Since I was a kid, I've considered Jack in the Box to be an 'also-ran' in the fast food segment.
  • I think they may now be a solid player, 99¢ tacos notwithstanding.
  • I the past month, I've eaten at two of their restaurants, and both times was asked "How was your last visit?", seemingly in earnest, which is important.
  • If they've empowered the counter staff to do something useful in the event of a negative response, I'd say that's good marketing.
  • I revamped some of the CDs in the car changer, among them The Best of Neil Young.  After hearing Hey Hey, My My, Daughter said, "That was awesome!"
  • Artistry in metal and wood, also awesome:
Can I go back to the 19th century, please?
  •  The above is an Italian copy of a Remington Model 1858 percussion revolver.  Perhaps not as popular as the 1851 and 1860 Colts, but a much better gun, due to its fully enclosed cylinder (solid topstrap frame).
  • Colt came around, with the design of the 1873 Army centerfire cartridge revolver, widely known as the Peacemaker.  Remington updated the 1858 to fire cartridges in their 1875, and later, 1890, models.  The founders of both companies died about six months apart: Eliphalet Remington in August 1861, and Samuel Colt in January 1862.
  • The 1858 was also manufactured as a revolving carbine - I'll put up a pic in a future post.
  • Had to dodge truck tire casings on 287 between Rhome and Avondale-Haslet Road. I felt like a test driver.
  • Found out late this afternoon that the changes on my cell account were made by oldest son, who'd lost his phone (but hadn't mentioned it to me when he dropped by to borrow a welder last night).  Unfortunately, in the confusion, the carrier had cancelled his number.  Ugh!
  • We'll see how this works out.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Heart Bombs

Alternate titles: God Is Not Your Genie or No Perfect People.

OK, neither title is official, just some phrases I plucked from the sermon. When was the last time your pastor tossed exploding fun snaps onstage?  Yeah, I thought so.

I was taken aback a bit yesterday when I walked into Church, to find the Mad Men Swing Band playing in the lobby.  Standards like Fly Me to the Moon, and The Girl From Ipanema.  Kind of interesting that there wasn't any tie-in to the current sermon series.  Cool stuff.

Love is a Battlefield - Part 3 from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

Col. 3:18-21

Another workweek

That is, if you have a job.
  • Disposer project on hold.  Went to HD, Lowes, Wal-Mart, Sears and Ace Hardware over the weekend, as well as a lot of online research.  Nobody carried retail stock of the Waste King brand, so I couldn't see one up close - was going to order from Sears or Wally World, but the former doesn't ship [that brand] to store, and the latter was even out of online stock.
  • Ordered elsewhere and saved $40 - also found out it's the same brand Mom & Dad replaced theirs with, and they've been happy with its performance.
  • I hate to see Sears going down the tubes, but man, they just don't seem to keep up.  Their stores are dowdy, and at the mall I went to, lack even automatic door openers. 
  • On the plus side - while I was there, I passed through the menswear department and found a shirt I liked on clearance, plus an additional 20% discount if I used my Sears card.  Searching my wallet, I found I hadn't transferred said card to 'new' wallet 3-4 years ago, but the checkout girl said she could look it up for me if I had ID.
  • It'd been so long since I'd charged anything at Sears, that the account had closed, so she opened me a new one.  With a new account comes a 'spiff' - so my new shirt ended up being free.
  • Weird.
  • Shoulda gotten two shirts.
  • Speaking of which, I was at GV Mills Mall a couple of weekends ago with Daughter.  We walked into a Van Heusen store that was having some serious discounts, and I looked at some dress shirts.
  • Friendly twit kid came over and helpfully offered that "That top number is the neck size, and the other one is the sleeve length.  I can measure you so you'll know your size." ¡Muchas gracias a Dios, Héctor! for that advice - I don't know how the heck I've managed to purchase clothing for myself for the last 30 plus years without that tidbit.
  • No, actually I was very gracious, quietly thanked him, and kept shopping.
  • 16-1/2 x 35, in case you wanted to know.
  • Also had to replace a smoke alarm over the weekend.
  • Whatever happened to SNL's Victoria Jackson?
  • I thought you'd never ask:

  • It's refreshing when an entertainment type is not a liberal weenie.
  • Daughter is fascinated by the quarter-pusher (ledges/wedges) game at one of the mall stores.  I explained to her that the house always wins in the long run.
  • Kids don't understand the term 'economic dislocation'.
  • I later researched the machine online - even found an operating manual .pdf.  The factory preset on the game is a 72% field payout, which can be adjusted by raising or lowering the height of the lip (ledge), and I think the width of the play field can be varied as well.
  • Nominally, one might expect a 1:1 ratio of coins played to coins paid once the playing surface area is full, but it appears to my unscientific, yet keen powers of observation, that the stacking of the coins (in addition to the elevation/width variables) is the main driver of the house advantage.  I didn't see anyone [myself included] walk off with as many quarters as they started with.
  • I'm not much the fan of gambling.
  • Received an email this afternoon from Harbor Freight: Giant Tool Sale!
  • They were normal size.
  • The Wyoming legislature has approved by voice vote the creation of a state continuity task force if the Federal government collapes (yeah, I know that once seemed far fetched).  I applaud their efforts, but don't quite follow the logic of WY commisioning an aircraft carrier
  • What would be its home port?
  • If there truly is a need for a water-based defense force, they could equip me with a Grumman canoe and a stainless Marlin Guide Carbine, and I'd be happy to practice manuevers on the North Platte between Riverside and Saratoga (OK, could even go all the way to Casper if they'll let me hunt pronghorns along the way) during the warm weather months.

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    When ignorance was bliss

    Some times we wish we knew more, earlier.  Other times, not so much.

    Tell it, brother TK!

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    The Week In Review

    For a short week, it lasted a long time.
    • On the radio today, an ad for a lake lot development in East Texas, trying to liquidate some repo lots - the announcer had the most awful New York (Bronx or Brooklyn, I'm not sure which) pronunciation.  Wonder how that works with the target audience.
    • Carpetbagger.
    • To me it was like fingernails on a blackboard.
    • Or listening to Dew karaoke.
    • I understand the Baker Hotel restoration is in 'off-again' phase.
    • First world problem - the 'horror' of getting a bad tip from a restaurant customer.  Sure, this may be boorish behavior, but 'gross' and 'appalling'?  Gimme a break.
    • The point of equilibrium between Dallas based KLUV-FM and Amarillo's Jack-FM signals is near Bellevue.
    • Anyone remember that there used to be a herd of camels somewhere along 287 in that area?  I saw a 'high fence' ranch west of Bellevue - though I can't imagine that the camels would be considered exotic game.  No one wants to display a camel head in their trophy room, but the feet are regularly exhibited, and sometimes suitable for mounting.
    • I had thought that since the ranch was near Vashti, Texas, that maybe they were some leftover Pakistani camels, until I learned the name was from an early postmaster in that area, and that historically, Vashti is the wife of King Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther.
    • Another one of my great theories down the drain.

    • On one of the interweb 'news' sites the other night I read of a young woman who was feeling glum because she was considered a sl*t for having slept with 75 men from the time she was 18 until she was 22. 
    • I suppose she could console herself by instead using the term 'extremely accessible'?
    • Looks like I get to replace my kitchen disposer this weekend - it's seemingly sprung a leak that occurs when the dishwasher drains into the appliance.  Luckily, I had a Rubbermaid plastic tote under the sink with cleaning supplies that caught the water.
    • Seen last weekend:
    • I'm down with that.
    • Daughter last weekend asked if she could get her ears pierced: "Mom says I have to get your permission before she'll let me get them pierced."
    • I used the phrase "as old as dirt" the other day - my colleague one-upped me with a term I'd not heard before "old enough to remember when the Dead Sea first got sick".
    • Not sure why Weatherford is building/has built a loop around the north side of town.  Not criticizing, just don't understand it.
    • Seen 'tween Vashti and Crafton:
    Heck, feels like I done died an' went to Kintucky...

      Monday, February 20, 2012

      ¡Feliz Dia de los Presidentes del Norte!

      May as well be an early adopter of the de facto language, huh?

      Excerpted from an article about Presidents and celebrities (italics mine):

      President Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter, and The King of Rock-n-Roll.
      Elvis died during the Carter presidency.

      President and Nancy Reagan look visibly uncomfortable in the
      presence of the Gloved Freak.  "Jacko" later died during the Obama presidency.

      President George H. W. Bush speaks with Brooke Shields, while looking into her eyes.
      British-born Bob Hope, who was never President because at that time the Presidency
      had a requirement to be American-born, folds a t-shirt in the background.

      Sarah Jessica Parker and President Bill Clinton.
      Note that he is not looking at her eyes, instead probably thinking
      "Look how far that slit goes! Wonder if she'd let me 'preside' over that red dress!"

      Elton John and President Bill Clinton.  Don't ask, don't tell!

      A dignified Laura & President Bush with Mandy Moore.
      This President doesn't try to sneak a peek.

      Sunday, February 19, 2012

      Can't get no R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

      The second installment of Love is a Battlefield:

      Love is a Battlefield - Part 2 from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

      Lots of good content in this week's message, as well as a couple of awkward moments...

      Saturday, February 18, 2012

      Customize that Jeep!

      In the Valentine's spirit, Mr. Corner has been generously customizing Mrs. W's Jeep, adding lots of really cool gear.

      However, I've noticed an accessory that he seems to have overlooked, that I believe would really make his and Mrs. W's Jeep stand out and stop traffic in its tracks:

      El Chupacabra could operate this.

      Here's a non-firing replica:

      Non-firing.  Sure, but what's the point?

      If that's a bit much, though, here's another thought, snapped as I drove home from work yesterday:

      That's right, a snorkel - accessory periscope sold separately.


      Thursday, February 16, 2012

      Almost the weekend...

      Hey, Monday's a holiday!
      • Rain in the forecast, in time for the weekend.  Bummer.
      • Don't you love doing business with companies whose right hand knoweth not what its left hand doeth?
      • Example: Last night, I went online to pay my cell phone bill, which is due today.  A message popped up telling me the web payment system was down for maintenance, but I could call an 800# and a friendly associate would help me.  I started to do just that, but when I reached the standard robot customer service tree, decided to just try on line in the morning.
      • This morning, the system back up, I logged on and paid without any problems, received a confirmation at the end of the session, as well as a follow up confirmation email.
      • About 1-1/2 hours later, I got a SMS thanking me for my payment.  (It's nice to be appreciated.)
      • At lunch, another SMS, reminding me that I have a payment due today. (Hey, where's the love?)
      • Idiots.
      • And no, it wasn't a partial payment or in arrears in any way.   I'm no database architect, but it seems they should fix that. I'd seen that happen before, so I wasn't concerned, but I can imagine some customers would be pretty offended.
      • My co-worker today provided a concrete example of how a wife bolsters a husband through affirmation, as per the prior post video.
      • Just before lunch (a group lunch, not  just the two of us), she called him and was saying the sweetest things to him - genuinely, not manipulatively.  I've never met him, but have talked with him on the phone briefly (he's a 'shooty' guy) and he seems a good guy, in addition to the good things my co-worker says about him.
      • I bet he felt like Superman when he got off the phone with her.
      • One of the retailers I shop does a lot of its sales by internet.  Even though it has a modest network of retail stores, it does not offer a 'Ship-to-store' option, and the store selection is considerably more limited than their overall catalog.
      • Seems kinda dumb to me.  They send me two or three flyers a month to try to lure me to their stores.  They have trucks delivering to their stores once or twice a week. If I have to go to their store to pick up something ordered, I might just buy something else while I'm there.
      • Since I would've already paid online, there's no payment risk (any different from ordering for home delivery).  If I don't pick up what I've ordered and paid for, they can put it on the sales floor, or on a future truck back to the distribution center.
      • I should note that this merchandise is not customized, perishable, or easily damaged in transit.
      • Like I said, it seems like a marketing mis-step.
      • True love ways?  I bought a diamond...coated blade for the oscillating multi-tool, in preparation for some re-tiling projects on the showers.  I've picked up some cool bullnose travertine strips, as well as some florentine-relief border tiles.  Still trying to find some field tile [cheap] that I like.
      • Tuna casserole tonight - one of my best in a long time.  Not a recipe I make often, but this one was pretty good - tuna and salmon, macaroni and shells.
      • I don't have trouble falling asleep, but don't always feel rested in the morning.
      • Recently, I bought some herbals with Melatonin, Valerian root, and Chamomile.  If I take one of those at bedtime, I wake up the next morning and haven't moved a bit overnight.
      • I don't dare take two - might not wake up.
      • I've received a couple of ads for a nearby company called Wall Beds.  The things you and I know as Murphy beds.  I'd like to check those out.
      • But, I wonder if you can simply fold up an unmade bed? That'd be da bomb!
      • I'm not an overly enthusiastic bed-maker.
      • Co-worker today told me she'd had a significant life change after reading Charles Stanley's  Landmines in the Path of the Believer: Avoiding the Hidden Dangers ISBN 1-4002-0090-3.  May have to see if they have that at HPB.
      • 101 100 uses for a dead cat.
      • Hey, there may be hope for me yet!

        Tuesday, February 14, 2012

        Valentine's Day

        As I'm certainly not imbued with any sage advice regarding relationships, other than reposting Keystone's first installment of Love Is a Battlefield, I thought I'd direct the discerning reader to Mr. Corner's blog - He and Mrs. W seem to have a good grasp on creating a successful marriage.

        Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

        Sunday, February 12, 2012


        This kind of series ought to be mandatory for anyone considering committing matrimony.

        Love is a Battlefield - Part 1 from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

        No offense to CSN&Y, but Brandon's not talking about getting back to the Garden by playing your old 8-track of Déjà Vu.

        (Yeah, I still have a copy...)

        Cold Nights from Canada - Glühwein update

        As forecast, the freezing drizzle has begun - I heard it hitting the deck about a half hour ago.

        So, as I was preparing a feast of sloppy joe's - not just any sloppy joe, mind you, this was ground lamb, with a full-size portobello/cappellone cap (sauteéd in olive oil), and swiss cheese - I heated some of the mulled wine, adding just the tiniest grace of clove and cinnamon (since I can't resist tinkering).

        I can see why Clarence would've been fond of the stuff, it's really good - too bad there was only one bottle at the Kroger.  If I ever had that cozy little cabin at the edge of a meadow (backed up to the forest) in Montana, I can imagine heating up a speckled porcelain cup of Glühwein on the potbelly stove before bedtime. 

        Of course, moderation is key - too much at night and I'd get lazy, sleeping late instead of chopping wood, and they'd find my frozen body the next Spring...

        Here's another mountain selection, from a performer who's at the Grammy's tonight:

        The Beach Geezers did a pretty good job at the Grammy's - Brian seemed kinda coherent.  I was sort of hoping they'd invite Glen Campbell up on stage to perform with them, though.  It was cool to see him [Campbell] get the Lifetime Achievement award - and also to see Mr. & Mrs. Joe Walsh dancing in the front row during the performance of Rhinestone Cowboy.  Far out!

        Oh wow - just looked out on the deck - solid white.  Maybe I'll get to go in to work late in the morning.

        Another cup of Glühwein, maybe?

        Saturday, February 11, 2012

        Open wheel snow driving

        I hope that's the one with the heated leather steering wheel and pedals.

        It's the weekend!

        It's cold out this morning - you'd think it was February or somethin'!
        • Spent a couple of days in Wichita Falls this week, glad to be home.  While I was there, I was listening to their version of Jack FM - something I rarely do at home - probably because it's the same frequency, Kenneth, as a DFW preset in my car.  Where else can you hear Neil Young - in both folk and grunge modes - mixed in with Danke Shön, Little Miss Can't Be Wrong, dance music, followed by George Strait's The Chair?
        • I don't know if all Jack stations play the same syndicated program - I suspect they do.
        • "And now for a bit of radio Spam..." was the introduction for Take it to the Limit.  Spam?!  Hey, Bucko, what in the memory of Randy Meisner are you suggesting?
        • Just kidding.  Randy Meisner's still alive as far as I know.
        • But speaking of the dead, there are sure a lot of such folks in Wichita Falls - I've never seen so many large cemeteries.  The Zombie Apocalypse could start there.
        • What if God Was One of Us?- another song from Jack's playlist.  Maybe Luke chapter 2 can help answer this.
        • I may needa get me a new ride:
        Rollin' wit da Donn Dogg 
        • Consumer Dining Tip #3: China Star Buffet - between Maurine and Old Iowa Park Highway on southbound US 287/I-44, Wichita Falls.
        • The following is for a district Judge race - not sure it that's positive or negative name recognition:
        • At the hotel, I switched between Rick's Restorations (History Channel), watching a segment where they refurbished a War Between the States cannon, and  Discovery's American Guns:

        Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens Women and guns - a few of my favorite things...
        • Good thing I don't have cable at home - I'd never cook or do laundry.
        • "...just a slob like one of us?" - Another line from Joan Osborne's song. 
        • Well, it might improve my chances to really be holier than thou.  And thou.  And thou.
        • I desperately need a housekeeper.
        • How about some Jimmy Fallon Maple Leaf Rock? 

        No, it's the genuine article
        • Don't worry whether we do or don't need him around, just enjoy.
        • Fade to black.

        Tuesday, February 7, 2012

        Halftime in America?

        OK, there's a fair amount of discussion about the Halftime in America spot that ran during the Super Bowl.  I like Eastwood, and the message was OK, if rather simplistic, as a 'rally the country' cheer - but we're in so doggone deep, that feel-good nostalgia, changing the quarterback (a must!), and even all the advice that this blog, Thunder Tales, and Todd the Pastor Blogger can give, don't much mitigate the fact that it's not really halftime - more like 4th quarter, 4th and 30, down by a TD, with five seconds on the clock.  Leon Lett has the ball...

        Pale Rider, we've been throgh a lot of good and bad, but things are sure looking ugly.
        • OK, I'll try to rest the analogies and metaphors for a moment.
        • I gotta get over to Carter Bloodcare this weekend - they called me this week, asked if I could drop by.  I'm already due my gallon pin from last time (but they were out) - will never catch up to Todd the Pastor, who I believe has drained 9 more gallons than me.
        • When I picked up daughter and middle son last weekend, their mom sent a [home-made] sweet potato (I almost included an 'e', Dan Quayle style) pie.  It was delicious.
        • Daughter and I watched a cute movie the other night: Gunless, about an old west gunslinger dude who survives a lynching attempt and ends up in Canada, eh.  He is affronted by a local blacksmith, whom he subsequently calls to a duel, but the man has no sidearm.  So, for a good part of the movie, our gunslinger sets about acquiring a sidearm (a Colt Paterson cartridge conversion - which BTW would not be my choice for a cartridge conversion as the frame design is inherently weak), in need of repairs. The blacksmith forges a hammer repair, but in the end the planned shootout goes awry, and both men survive.
        • The movie featured nary a curse word, substituted instead with 'minced oaths' or the like, earning points by me since I was watching with Daughter.
        • But the bloopers, which ran alongside credits, automatically, let fly several s-words and a couple of f-bombs.  I found that odd.
        • Newsflash: Authorities now calling Susan Powell case murder.  Awesome police work, guys!
        • Even though it is February, I was hoping for slightly warmer weather - if it gets really cold this weekend, I'll open a bottle of Glühwein, bought from the Kroger clearance rack ($1.79!) last week, and channel my inner Clarence: "...heavy on the cinnamon and light on the cloves. Off with you, me lad, and be lively!".
        • I'm flummoxed by all the emails wanting me to learn a new language - if I wanted to do that, I'd have a garage sale and speak Spanish by lunchtime.
        • For the first time in ages, I made perfect al dente spaghetti tonight.
        • A 46 year old woman is suing New York for $900 trillion.  Yes, $900 trillion.  I say give her an empty Coke bottle and a couple of dollars worth of subway tokens and send her on her way.
        • And from the other side of the carbonated drink aisle - this may just be my inner grumpy old man, but did I perceive in Dame Elton's Pepsi commercial an implicit endorsement of the OWS egalitarian ethos "Pepsi for everyone"?  Hey, how about y'all brainless masses actually working for the rewards instead of just demanding them?
        • OK, maybe I was reading too much into it.
        • Now,how about a sunset beach walk on the beverage third coast?  I didn't get too wrapped up in the Dublin Dr Pepper saga, in which the corporate giant snuffs out the small town independent bottler.  David and Goliath was the general story, was it not?
        • As I noted, I didn't read all the articles, but - and please correct me if I get it wrong - I thought I read, more than once, that the Dublin group was in violation of selling its niche product beyond the geographical boundaries in its licensing contract.  Also, that, despite the marketing cachet of being bottled in nostalgic little Dublin, most of the production was outsourced to a Belton bottling plant.
        • My sense is that the Dublin group overestimated the David v. Goliath spin. 
        • I don't fault them trying to cast themselves as folksy small town producers - it's classic marketing - every mega beer company (AB, Miller-Coors, etc) has several supposedly 'craft brews' in its stable.
        • I took Daughter to my parents' house for dinner Sunday afternoon.  Before the football game,  Mom & Dad, Daughter, Sienna and I went for a nice walk, about a mile.  Doesn't seem like much, but it was pretty cool.
        • License seen on a car on the drive home yesterday: CZ2DAY.  Carpe Diem wouldn't have fit. 
        • As for me, I didn't eat all of the al dente spaghetti - I left room to sieze some of the leftover sweet potato pie. 

        Sunday, February 5, 2012

        Have a needle that needs to be removed?

        Another blockbuster sermon.

        There's No App For Self-Control from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

        Texas Rangers fans, hear what Brandon has to say about Josh Hamilton, at about the 33:48 mark.

        Saturday, February 4, 2012

        In case of Zombie[s]

        Zombies are all the rage these days.  I am not the SME (subject matter expert) that El Chalupa Cabrito is, but I do know they can be downright pesky and difficult to dispatch.

        So, to help matters, the good folks at Guns & Ammo magazine bring you a fine article about Mossberg's latest incarnation of its slide action shotguns, and a lever gun, specifically adapted to help you re-dead the undead.  There's also a top 10 list of the greatest movie shootouts, if you're so inclined.  Since it's shootouts, and not shooting, it doesn't have Tom Selleck's Quigley long-range Sharps shooting (pity!).  And Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid missed the list, too. Although theirs was not quite so much the shootout as ambush. Same can be said for Bonnie & Clyde, I suppose.

        Other than a campy movie [Undead or Alive: A Zombedy]  I watched a couple of years ago starring Chris Kattan and James Denton, I don't know much of the history of zombies in the old west.

        But, if I'd been in the 1880s, and had trouble with their kind, this is what I'd want:

        This could be mine for just $39,500 (wholesale)!

        Edit: As per the originals, this one is .45-70 Gov't.  But I'm sure they could knock off a few Gs for a scaled down version in .380 ACP, in case of micro-zombies,  bed-bugs or dust mites, huh?

        Friday, February 3, 2012

        I'll melt the butter

        Scientists have found 'terrifying' giant crustaceans while exploring a deep sea trench.

        I'll be ready for them:

        Think things are bad now?

        Just wait 20 years - here's our future:

        Like, um, you know, what do they do for six hours a day, five days a week, nine months a year?

        I hope the Finns are friendly, because academically they kick our butt.

        Bad news on the doorstep

        3 February 1959

        Thursday, February 2, 2012

        ...and kibbles

        • Sienna and I opted to sleep indoors last night when I found that the movers' blanket that I use to drape over my outdoor recliner (and under my sleeping bag and comforter) was drenched with condensation.
        • We went for a walk before bedtime.  For once she didn't try to do anything rude in someone else's yard.  I think we both need more frequent exercise.
        • Oldest son texted me this morning: 100 on his electrical schematic/symbols test last night.  This was especially encouraging to me, since it has so far not been his favorite class.
        • It appears a concrete mixer truck may have overturned on 287 south of Bowie near the motocross track today, although it was upright when I drove by it.
        • The storm before the calm - me racing up on the roof to see why there was leakage around a PVC vent pipe.  A small gap between shingles above the plastic/rubber flashing/boot.
        • Cut some fresh shingles and patched them in.  In the dark.  Before it rained.  No broken bones.
        • Even cleaned up the shingle knife with mineral spirits, gathered and threw out the scraps, and put away the ladder.  First time for everything, I suppose.
        • They stocked the pond with Rainbow Trout for a Kid Fish event two weeks ago.  Two days later the rains probably washed every last one downstream.

        • Oldest son called as I was writing: 100 on shop practices test also. 
        • He wants to buy a scooter (Ruckus or Zuma) to commute to school - thinks it'll save gas over his F-150.
        • Well, yeah.  But I'm not exactly enthralled by the idea.  Too many crazy drivers out there.
        • Sure, when I was a kid, I had a Suzuki Trail 80, a Yamaha 100 Enduro, a Honda CB 350 (in college, when I weighed about 165), and about 15 years ago, a Yama Virago 750 that sat in the garage for about five years - Why do you ask?  But there weren't any texting drivers back then.
        • Renewed my Shooting Times subscription recently - received an issue yesterday, and one today.  It's like Christmas!
        • The shooting press runs in cycles - they seem to be gaga about .380s again.
        • Seriously?  I have one that I bought new in 1983 at the Grapevine Wal-Mart (before it moved to Southlake and back to Grapevine).   No desire to buy another, and wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.  I do kinda like the Ruger LC9 (with LaserLyte), as well as the new Beretta Nano, if I were to buy a 9mm. 
        Nano, not Nanu!

        That's better.
        • The Nano would be über cool if it were .357 Sig, but I don't know if that platform can handle the pressure, and recoil profile. 
        • The same ST issue features an article on .300 H&H in a Ruger #1.  Very elegant cartridge, albeit way more than any of my present or anticipated near-term hunting requires.  And am a huge fan of the #1 as well as its Dakota Arms cousin.
        .300 H&H Magnum and .30-'06 Springfield

        Kids [and Yankees], I said "Get off my lawn!"


        Alright, you Yankees can stay.
        • My walking partner from last night apparently now thinks this is something we should do every night.
        • After listening to WBAP this morning, I'm cutting back on the sugar in my tea and coffee, and going to try to exercise more.
        • OK, Sienna, I guess it's the leash we can do...

        Quick bytes

        The news makes my head hurt:
        • Government considering new regulations on sugar, possibly by taxation or by treating it like tobacco or alcohol.
        • Good grief!  Hasn't government screwed up enough stuff already?
        • Last night, news outlets were 'leaking' that the other Donald was planning to endorse Newt today.
        • Today, he endorsed Mitt.
        • MSM credibility is about the same as government's.
        • Big brouhaha today about Susan G. Komen Foundation cutting off grants to Planned Parenthood.  Liberals threatening to tear up and send in their pink ribbons.
        • My question: Why the heck were they giving money to PP to begin with?  I thought their mission was to find a cure for breast cancer? 
        • Fear Factor: reality TV is off the rails.

        Wednesday, February 1, 2012

        Hits and misses

        In no particular order, just as you'd expect:
        • Middle son got his College Station acceptance letter over the weekend.  His dad is proud.
        • Great weather the past two nights - slept on the deck watching the clouds roll overhead.
        • Super Bowl this weekend.  Meh.
        • Romney wins Florida, then places foot in mouth.  I thought he was more disciplined than that.
        • If a woman offered to meet me at a bar (as if!), I would politely say 'no thanks'.  Not. Into. Bars.
        • Another oddball profile on "Lots-o-Tramps"  -  woman advises prospective suitors that it woudn't be an exclusive arrangement, which is fine I suppose, as well as that she is not particular regarding gender, either.
        • I'll die single.
        • Watched Murphy's Romance, from 1984 or 1985, starring James Garner and Sally Field, with daughter a few weekends ago.  In one scene, Garner's character asks divorceé Field about her love life - she mentions, twice, in her response, that she lives like a nun.  1985 audiences would've understood, but I doubt that today's would.
        • The way Hollyweird recycles movie concepts, am surprised they haven't remade/updated that movie, though today it would probably be Murphy's Bromance, combining the original with Brokeback Mountain.
        • A couple of weekends ago, we rented The Last Brickmaker in America, a  [Hallmark?] made-for-TV movie starring Sidney Poitier and Piper Laurie. 
        • This may have been the next-to-last brickmaker in America:

        • I'd like to check out the museum there sometime. At its peak, the town was the biggest, or one of the biggest, coal operations in the state.  Now home to 25 souls.
        • Would also like to see what this is, across the Interstate.  I think it's either a hunting lodge or a B&B (or Medieval Times - Thurber?):

        • Consumer Dining Tip: Mushroom & Swiss 1/2 Pound burger at the Shell station at I-20 and 281.  You could put it up against any of the trendy DFW burger joints.  Only $4.59, including chips.
        • You're welcome.
        • BTW, not opposed to alcohol (regarding the bars) - just bought a bottle of Jim Beam, and some vodka last week.  They'll probably last through next year, or at least this one.
        • 60 Minutes ran a segment last week about pending [Federal] legislation that would limit or eliminate exotic game ranch operations in the U.S., showing some exotic ranches near Johnson City that have, almost singlehandedly, restored the Senegalese Scimitar Oryx from the brink of extinction.  PETA-types don't like it that the animals are hunted, for tens of thousand of dollars, in Texas, and would prefer they go extinct than to let hunting revenues and incentives provide for their restoration.
        • Twits.
        • While I prefer the fair-chase mode of hunting, I have no condemnation for the hunters or the operators of the high fence ranches - they are preserving and increasing numbers of species that, as the Oryx, are threatened elsewhere in the world. 
        • And if the feeble-minded want to discuss the issue of fairness - I believe an Oryx, Kudo, Ibex, Aoudad, Sika, or Fallow Deer (there's one on my den wall) has a better quality of life on a 50,000 acre hunting ranch, living as a sovereign by its wits, than a beef steer that's penned, inoculated, fattened, and, ultimately, sent to the abattoir.
        • Not that I oppose that - see Consumer Dining Tip, above.  Just that I think the exotic game animal has the higher quality of life.  At least until he meets Mr. Nosler 140 grain boattail ballistic tip.
        The one on the left and those in front of and behind the cedar, have horns.
        • The above are from a game ranch near Gordon.
        • Don't have any desire to hunt lions, tigers, giraffes, zebras or elephant, but I have always been intrigued by mbogo, the Cape Buffalo.  Jumping off a mountain with a flying squirrel suit doesn't rev my engine, but I think that hunting mbogo, with a muzzle-loader, a Farquharson (Ruger #1), or a double rifle, could be a cool adrenaline fix.
        • A nice bespoke .375 Holland & Holland would work well, too, no?
        • Bwana Donald - The modern Frederick Courteney Selous!
        • OK, not quite.
        • Also on a recent 60 Minutes show: Qatar.
        • A mere generation ago, that country's people lived in tents and traveled by camel.  With unbridled oil wealth, they now live in mansions and travel in jet airplanes - all menial labor is hired out to foreigners.
        • They're doomed.
        • Civilizations that hollow themselves out by losing touch with reality, including ours, put themselves at risk, and at the mercy of those that remain grounded.
        • An object lesson for our culture.