Thursday, December 28, 2017

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Tempus Fugit

And then I'd probably throw the bottle into the sea.

Separated at Birth, or Before and After?



I think he looked better without the stubble...

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Don't get desperate

While looking for something else - as always - I came across this:

The guys J.D. credits with 'helping' him write that song are named Don, Glenn & Jackson - but you probably knew that already. On the record for which this song was the centerpiece, the Doolin-Dalton reprise segues into Don & Glenn's Desperado reprise.

As a kid, I had been to Coffeyville a few times with my grandparents, either shopping for fishing gear at Gibson's with my Granddad, to the Read's Department Store with my Grandmother, or hanging out with my uncle and digging CCR. On one trip with my Grandmother, we went to the Condon National Bank (one of the banks the D-D gang tried to heist) maybe around 1969-1971, but I don't know if it was still in the same location as the 1892 robbery.

About 20 years ago or so, we were in southeast Kansas for a cousin's wedding, just a few miles west of Coffeyville. Having a bit of spare time before the festivities, we took a side trip over to see the Dalton Defenders Museum. So apparently pop culture can spark an interest in historical research.

Monday, December 11, 2017

About 41 years ago...

Dang, that sounds like a long, long time.

Anyway, about this time in 1976, I had just gotten my driver's license (licence for MZ), and with my girlfriend (Oh, Sandy!) and another couple, we made our way east to the Dallas Convention Center to see Ms. Ronstadt.

Leo Sayer opened:

Before the plague known as disco hit the United States...

I think that after Sayer's set, Andrew Gold may have done a mini-warm up before Linda came on. I'm not totally sure - not because it was the '70s, but mainly because it was 41 years ago.

Love the Midnight Special neon signs...and Waddy Wachtel on guitar!

I believe Linda opened with this Karla Bonoff-penned song:

This one was actually written by Linda and was probably in that night's set:

And another, from her earlier Don't Cry Now album:

The Offenbach videos are probably pretty close to the show I saw, being likely from the same tour. I think it's interesting when I listen to young folks say they wish they'd been around to hear the music I grew up with.  Good times.

BTW, by the time we'd dropped off the other couple in North Arlington, it was about 1:00 a.m. when I got Sandy back to her parents' house on the shores of Lake Arlington. Suffice to say her dad was kinda miffed that we lingered in the car for several (15-20?) minutes before I walked her up to the door. He probably needn't have worried, as I didn't have much game at that age.  The more things change, the more they stay the same...[sigh].

Monday, December 4, 2017

And another y otro

It seems that more Hollywood icons have been fired by their studio for inappropriate behavior.

Warner Brothers/Merry Melodies/Loony Tunes has let go two of its biggest stars, after it has come to light that both had cavorted around on set pantsless.

Chauvinist pig?

Well, isn't that just ducky? 

Someone at work commented last week that with all the escapades and scandals, we could see half of the Congress driven out of office.  I replied that that was all well and such, but how the heck can we get rid of  the other half?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

I failed

  • Last evening's sermon - mostly from the Book of James - dealt with the manifestations of faith, i.e. works, through which we evidence that we are Christians. The associate pastor recounted stories from his college years of picking up hitch-hikers and such. Prior to the service, they ran a three or four minute video narrated by member and local sports guy Norm H., asking the congregation for gently used blankets, gloves, scarves and the like for the Austin Street Shelter. (BTW, if some weekend our pastor is out of town, I would be tickled to hear Mr. H. deliver the message.)
  • I stopped by the grocery on my way home. On the way in, there was a woman standing off to the side of the entry, with some children. She held a sign. I glanced briefly enough to see that the sign said something about "I have three children...", and nodded as I walked into the store. The family looked vaguely Middle-Eastern.
  • Once in the store, I set about quickly getting the items I needed, thinking that I would check my vehicle console to see if I had some folding money when I got done. After grabbing the first couple items, I reached in my pocket, and realized I had just enough money to make a small donation, and hurried to get the other three things I needed.
  • After clearing the self-check line, I looked toward the door, but didn't see the family. Carrying my bag out, I looked up and down the sidewalk, and across the parking lot, but didn't see any sign of them, even though it had been just a few minutes. I got in my car and scanned the parking lot...still nothing. I drove across the boulevard to the other supermarket - not there, nor at the fast food place out front, nor the coffee retailer in front of the first one.
  • My heart was heavy, as I had failed to act when I had the chance. Whether they left dejected, or were asked to leave by the store manager, I can't know.
  • While my intended donation might not have made much of a difference financially, I would have hoped that it could've sent the message that God cares about them. 
  • I pray I don't whiff the next opportunity.
Matthew 25:40

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Last Man Standing

So, what happens to the last dude left after all the others have been accused or proved to have behaved badly.

Just today, the guy from NBC - who I had generally regarded as a dullard - got canned, as well as the folksy Minnesota storyteller. WTH - did he expose himself to a moose?

Now I am to understand that there is an allegation that the creator of the Muppets reportedly groped Miss Piggy and Kermit Frog underneath their garments.

Where does it all end?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Ardere et Lucere

I think I have in the past posted excerpts of these lyrics, some of my favorites, and apropos to the season:

Now the trouble with you and me, my friend
Is the trouble with this nation
Too many blessings, too little appreciation
And I know that kind of notion—well, it just ain't cool
So send me back to Sunday school
Because I'm tired of waiting for reason to arrive
It's too long we've been living
These unexamined lives

I've got great expectations
I've got family and friends
I've got satisfying work
I've got a back that bends
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

And have you noticed that an angry man
Can only get so far
Until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be
With the way things are?

Here in this fragmented world, I still believe
In learning how to give love, and how to receive it
And I would not be among those who abuse this privilege
Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge¹

Know when to walk away, and know when to run.

OK, I maybe kinda included one of the composer's early benefactor's lines there...

This Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful for the blessings in my life, and enlightenment that comes from burning the right bridges.

¹ Henley/Winding/Lynch

Monday, November 20, 2017


  • It seems a Temple University professor is having a seminar at Dartmouth entitled: "What's Up With White People?"  From what I gather, the sociologist will explain the various groups and motivations of the Caucasians, and for those confused in their whiteness, help them understand into which modality they fit. I wonder if the circus blogger has bought his ticket.

  •  Here they are:

Martin know what up.

Yeah, don't forget Bobby.
  • When I was in college, Mr. Mull - or Doc Martin, as we called him - published a series of research papers entitled: The History of White People in America, and A Paler Shade of White. Both treatises were considered groundbreaking, inasmuch as prior to that time, we white folks had led pretty much humdrum existences, driving our Buicks, wearing Sans-a-Belt slacks, eating Wonder Bread sammiches with Miracle Whip (prepared by our wimmin, of course), and singing from the Presbyterian Hymnal.
 Martin Mull gave us cultural identity.
  • No longer did the melanin challenged among us have to mope and hang our heads in shame as new, exotic cultures were treated as cause célèbres simply because of the presumptive hegemony of the Caucasian race. Thanks to Martin, we once again had purpose - and history - filled lives.
  • Now that Charlie Manson has died, you know there's gotta be a ton of lawyers in Hades petitioning ol' Lucifer that the neighborhood is going down the drain. I'm guessing their briefs argue something along the lines of: "Yeah, we know it's supposed to be bad here, but having Manson for a neighbor is cruel and unusual." Heck, having Charlie as a house-guest, el Diablo himself might convert.
  • Of course, Hell's hoi polloi probably feel the same about all the lawyers down there. I think I read somewhere that the incidence of barristers in Beelzebub's domain was beyond insane. But I could be wrong.
  • Sometimes at work, the TV in the break room is airing The Rifleman, one of my all-time favorite shows. During the last week or so, I noticed a couple of episodes, featuring Sammy Davis Jr., and a very young Dennis Hopper.
 New Sheriff in town?

  •  Before he turns the lights out at night, Chuck Norris checks for Chuck Connors under the bed.
  • While I am generally pleased to see some introspection regarding our cultural mores, as manifested in the Weinstein case, et al, I can see some of this getting silly. The same entertainment outlets breathlessly reporting each new allegation against some Hollyweird pervert were just weeks ago celebrating the legacy of Hugh Hefner. Inconsistency much?
  • I thought the situation with the comedian Louis C.K. was a bit odd. I'm neither a fan nor detractor. I have seen some of his routines and found them amusing. I thought it refreshing that he didn't waste any time in owning up to his misbehavior/mzbehaviour. Alleged to have, uh, given private solo performances with as many as a half-dozen [individual] women, it did kinda make me wonder, how exactly would you make that segue? Say, did I ever show you my vacation slides, or my...? I know this might sound awkward, but would you like to see me...?  Weird.
  • Weird, as in Weird Al? Some, even in his own party, are demanding that Sen. Stuart Smalley Al Franken  resign, after evidence surfaced that he had groped a actress/model/Playboy chick while on a USO tour a few years prior to his election. I'm no fan of the senator - can't stand him. Every time I see him on the dais in a Senate hearing, I see Stuart Smalley. But, if that's who Minnesotans want representing them, well, whatever. Franken's boorish and highly inappropriate behavior occurred (as far as we know) before his Senate election. He is not accused of rape, just groping and unwanted French kissing. I subscribe to 'no means no', and I don't believe that the woman in question should've be subjected to his actions (even if she was willing to strip for the magazine) without her consent. She had/has every right to slap the snot out of him or kick him in the 'nads for his transgressions. But, I don't think it's something he is required to resign over (I would take glee in seeing him defeated in the polls, however).
  • This is way premature. I haven't even formed an exploratory committee, nor given thought to running for public office (I don't think the next dog catcher term expires for another three years).  Nonetheless, I want to fully disclose that, in 1977, with a home-recorded cassette of Hotel California playing on the stereo of my large American sedan, at the Century 4 Drive-In Theater, I accidentally-on-purpose elbow grazed the pink-sweatered bewb¹ of a young lady before the main feature. I fully realize that my actions were wrong, and submit for your consideration that I did not, in baseball terms, score so much as a base hit.
  • I feel so liberated now.
  • Saturday morning before leaving the house, I had a couple slices of toast. After downing the second, I realized a molar crown was missing, much to my dismay.  30 hours later, said porcelain enameled platinum crown was, alas, recovered.  #Worst. Scavenger Hunt. Ever.
 ¹ Term coined circa 11/16/17, courtesy of Combat Kevin

Sunday, November 19, 2017

But this is a pretty song

I just couldn't let Tommy post some WZ over on his blog without posting a Zevon song myself:

I'm aware of a couple of Warren's versions, one of which is pretty good - the other not so much, and then I came across this one by Mr. Browne. Still, with  respect to the late Mr. Zevon and to Jackson, the definitive version is, of course, Lovely Linda's with Henley singing harmony. Disclaimer: Linda's HDtW album has been a favorite of mine for 40 years.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Requiescat in Pace¹

Sometimes you figuratively have to bury things.

This is a very good recording, the band is excellent, and Reginald's voice is not too bad.  From the era of high-energy rock and roll, not the sappy Disney ballad crap that marked his later career.  I was fortunate to see EJ a couple of times at Reunion, and once at Texas Stadium.  As neither of those venues remains today, I'm starting to think I'm getting old...

¹ I think I've used that Latin previously - I guess I'm using it again.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

How about a Lil' Kim?

The warhead will splatter cheez-whiz everywhere!  It'll be epic!

Just something small, to keep my junk warm at night... 

So, you're saying it volumizes as it conditions? 

The Last in Love

A hauntingly beautiful Frey/Souther song performed by the lovely late Nicolette Larson:

Although the song is on J.D.'s You're Only Lonely, he inscribed the cover of this LP last Friday at the Kessler.

Souther, who was born in Detroit, but raised in Amarillo, formed a duo called Longbranch Pennywhistle in the late '60s/early '70s with fellow Detroit native Glenn Frey.  Although J.D. wasn't in the Eagles, he collaborated on many of the band's best known songs.

He noted last Friday that he'd received a text from Don Henley earlier in the afternoon that it was cold and wet in Detroit (Eagles were playing there).  J.D. texted back that it was six degrees colder in Dallas.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Rost in transration

I'm certain this prognostication is genuine and meant specifically for me, but sometimes those Mandarin translators get confused, mangle punctuation, and add too many words or letters. As a renowned Anglo-Sino scholar, I Enigmatically deciphered the true and correct message:

He/she probably meant "cheerful outlook, your a$$".

Friday, September 1, 2017

Thank You Desert Pete

Today I hear people telling of t-shirts saying "I survived the gas crisis of Thursday".  Nonetheless, some stations are still devoid of the flammable liquid.  A guy told me his GF's car was on fumes and the nearby Exxon was dry - could he run Tru-Fuel 4-cycle to get to another station.  I advised him it was an expensive work around, but that yeah, they could do it.

On my way home, I saw another Exxon that had regular unleaded at $2.59.  With my needle just making it to 1/4 tank, but not much travel planned over the next few days, I stopped in and added 2-3 gallons, and thought of this song:

There's a better recording of this song, but I didn't locate it on the u-tubes.

If you're not familiar with old water pumps, the parable may not make much sense. In the olden days, the sucker rod of a pump used a leather washer to create suction to draw the water up from the ground.  After a period of dis-use, the washer would dry out and wouldn't create a seal - hence no water would flow.  In the parable, a parched traveler happens upon a pump in the desert.  An old timer - Desert Pete - has left a bitters jar (think vanilla extract or other flavoring bottle) of water with which to wet the leather, under a rock.  The traveler must decide whether to drink the water - taking the small, but immediate gratification - or have faith and use the tiny bit of liquid to 'prime the pump' and loose all the water he can use.  The lesson is two-fold, having faith, and paying it forward by leaving the bitters jar for the next traveler.

As I was readying for work this morning, a normally market-wise radio commentator was fielding calls about stations charging $4-5 per gallon for gas.  He was indignant about the "gouging".  Some caller said "I can understand 10-20¢ more during the shortage, but not those prices."  I really had thought the host had more market savvy than that.  (I also heard from one of the doctor assistants yesterday that a friend of hers reported a Boyd retailer charging $4/gallon.)

To be clear, I'm not condoning collusion by retailers to drive prices higher, which is anti-competitive.  But, if, in the face of a perceived outage of a commodity, a retailer over-reaches and sets prices 'too high', he/she may retard the depletion of the scarce goods, but risk alienation of buyers, and/or - in the case of a gas station/c-store, diminish sales of 'add-on' purchases (drinks/snacks/candy).  In my experience this afternoon, the station where I stopped ($2.59/gallon) had correctly judged the market, about 6 of its 8 pumps had customers, and presumably some of those customers went inside to buy other items. Down the road, I passed a QT that I have often frequented.  I don't know if they had or hadn't raised prices, only that there were no cars there, because they had no gas.  At the other end of the spectrum, I suspect that a retailer charging $5/gallon or so, in the age of social media, would immediately become a market pariah, selling only a minimal amount, and squandering future goodwill from customers.  The market works.

In the fractional reserve system of banking, there's a similar calculus at work.  The entire banking system is premised on the notion that everybody doesn't withdraw all funds at once.  If that were to occur, they system collapses, because the assets are illiquid, at least beyond the typical reserve requirements.  Nonetheless, within the envelope of prudent management, and intelligent customers, the system works.

Away from economics now, I caught part of Micki & Maude last night on the rerun channel.  The story, of course, is of Maude (Amy Irving) - a concert cellist - who gets caught up in a web of deceit with multiple baby-daddies.  No, wait, that's a different story.  Maude is impregnated by Rob (Dudley Moore) because his wife Micki (Ann Reinking) is reluctant to have children.  As fate has it, both become pregnant, and end up in the delivery ward at the same time, assuring that hilarity ensues.  I had forgotten that Wallace Shawn and André the Giant were in this movie (though not in the same scenes), which was filmed a couple of years before they appeared in The Princess Bride as Vizzini and Fezzik, respectively.

Who needs friends like this?

I have been enjoying articles about the Light Attack Experiment aircraft that are being developed or modified for a world in which F-22s or F-35s are just too much dog for the fight.  The F-16 was initially designed for this role, and still performs it well, but there are many countries and missions where even it is more aircraft than is needed.  I can see this airplane being useful on our southern, and even northern borders - in the event that Bob & Doug McKenzie try to sneak in without bringing the requisite complement of a few cases of Molson or Moosehead...

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Does Anybody Remember Kodak Moments?

Well, good for you!

A youngster at work is studying photography.  I was surprised to hear that he is planning to create a darkroom in his house.  Apparently film endures, at least a bit.  There is also chick at work who is studying design, and pretty much typifies the millennial fascination with selfies, some of which she ropes me into. 

When I was about 11-12 years old, I had a Vivitar or Beseler enlarger, and blacked out the bathroom that joined my room with the spare bedroom to create a darkroom.  Oh, those wondrous days of Pan-X and Tri-X film!

This song dates to pretty much that same period:

Crazy on Me

This morning I had routine blood work done.  The lady doctor said my A1C dropped 0.2, and my triglicerides were 86.  She told me to keep doing what I'm doing (few people tell me that...).  This was only my second or third visit to this doctor shop since my insurance changed - one funny [to me] difference between this and the prior doc store is that this one has a simple aluminium electric urn with hot water, plain white disposable cups, and jars of freeze-dried coffee (one Folgers, one Kroger store brand). Although I always enjoyed the fancy-schmantzy pouch type (not Keurig) coffee and pseudo SB cups at the other place, it warms my heart to see a frugal medicine practice.

They also ran some test on my sympathetic and para-sympathetic autonomies. I dunno what that means, but they let me go home on my own recognizance, so I guess my autonomy is OK.

Of course, having fasted since last night, and because of the good numbers, I figured I needed to raise my cholesterol and caloric intake (I'll probably have tilapia and green beans for dinner), so I went down the street to the golden arches for a burrito breakfast.  Fun fact: Even though my little town has grown explosively over the years, I knew people at about half the tables there.

When I was at the McD, I noted two or three patrons (who were not among the people I knew) wearing neckties, and waxed a bit nostalgic for the days when I did the same. Later, at the resale shop, I scored a new Arrow tie for 37.5¢ (Thursdays are 25% off), and a cool safari shirt with epaulet loops, for like when I have to command some anti antifa forces or whatever, for $3.00.

Also at one of the resale shops, the guy [about my age] who checks electronics in was playing some heavy metal stuff that was wafting into the store. I thought it was kinda Black Sabbath-ish, and I heard him telling a young volunteer there, that "they included one song like this on each of their albums". Intrigued, I poked my head into the testing room to wait for the punch line - the song was by The Osmonds.  I had no idea.

It wasn't this one, but he also played this, after, from his playlist:

Are they using George Clinton's tailor?

Overheard a young man today telling someone his parents were divorced. The older one replied "I'm sorry to hear that." The younger one continued, "No, it's cool.  My dad remarried and my mom is bat-s*** crazy. When I was in the service in [country sort of between Iran and Pakistan], she opened credit cards in my name."

I used to enjoy John Stossel on ABC's 20/20. He has, of course, since left, and does other commentary. They replaced him with John Quiñones doing Candid Camera-type pieces to catch people being politically incorrect, insensitive, or somesuch (initially, some of the scenarios were OK, but the bits sort of  'jumped the shark' at some point). Anyway, now comes Stossel arguing against price controls during natural disasters - just letting the greedy capitalists and corporations stick it to the poor, tired, thirsty masses with $5 water bottles and other inflated commodities.

So now I am in the position of saying...I don't disagree with Stossel. His reasoning (NPI) is spot on. Prices are the information vehicle by which we allocate scarce resources, to try to allow/ensure a steady pipeline of such resources to reach the marketplace. In today's semi-socialist culture, it's heresy, but I'd like to think that a couple of generations ago, most Americans would have easily discerned that artificially manipulating the market is not a good thing. Before they ran out earlier today, stations in my town were at $2.49 for regular unleaded. Maybe higher prices would cause some motorists to ponder how much travel was necessary, and possibly hold off purchasing more than needed, while those who had pressing needs to travel would find the pumps stocked, albeit at a premium (again NPI) price. Retailers who raise prices are not punishing drivers, only seeking a price point that will ensure that there is some fuel available - motorists ultimately make the decision as to how much their travel is worth, and purchase accordingly.

Local news stations, eager to get the 'scoop' on one another, have likely exacerbated the gasoline situation by showing long lines at the pumps, resulting in a herd mentality that has caused many to shut down for lack of fuel. My tank is closer to E than F, but I'm not anticipating much driving in the next few days. If it comes down to it, I'll ride my bike instead of driving for light grocery shopping and such, and cancel any non-essential trips.

ComKev often notes that he weeps for the species. I get that. A woman bus driver in our nation's capital had a cup of urine thrown on her because she apparently wasn't Paul Harvey enough in telling a rider to 'have a nice day'. When I first read the article, I naturally wondered,  "Who the heck carries a cup of urine around with them?" The article explains that she had collected the, uh, specimen en route and apparently didn't want to let it go to waste. It's not just the politicians who are crazy in that town.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Gettin' Nekkid

Did I fail to hear the heart that was beating alone? On the naked ride home.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Absolutely West 4th Avenue

Sometimes I think about the small town where I was born.  If you drove the DeLorean to West Fourth Avenue in, say, 1959 (before I was born), with a current FWST or a tablet wtih Fox News or somesuch, they would not believe what has happened to the world.  Of course, the locals outside the pharmacy soda counter might try to arrange a clandestine contest between Patrol Officer Fife's cruiser and the DeLorean.

Fourth Avenue was the main business thoroughfare - angled parking on each side of the street, no center median - and all of the important community activities were based there: Banks, furniture store, grocery and drug stores, insurance agency, 5&10, hardware, Chevrolet dealer, movie theater, and filling stations.  And of course, the old High School and churches, including the one my parents got married in (a couple of years after they'd graduated from the HS).

I took a virtual tour of the street this morning on Google Maps.  Some of it looks outwardly the same, but most of the businesses are gone or changed.  A resale shop has retained the 5&10 sign of the store I frequented as a kid.  A couple of doors down was the insurance company where my grandmother worked part-time - I can't tell from the picture if there's a business operating there now. My grandparents weren't wealthy, but they were well-known and respected around town.  I can remember being amazed that my grandmother would send me to the grocery store to pick up some incidentals and I didn't have to pay any money (they put it on her monthly account) - it didn't work like that at the Kroger in Irving.

One thing that made me smile was that the old spiral slide in the city park seems to still be there.  As a kid I was endlessly entertained on that slide.

Shifting gears - a co-worker who's almost ten years older has shared with me that he's prepared a set for open mic night at a local nightspot.  I was quite impressed with his proposed setlist: Gentle on My Mind, Sloop John B, and Tomorrow is a Long Time.  He's even working on an acoustic Hotel California.

Speaking of Hotel California, I recently packed a sack lunch/dinner and traveled east of TX-360 to wish a Happy Birthday to one of its composers (and Dallas resident) at the AAC:

Seven Bridges Road (ft. Schmit & Walsh)
Dirty Laundry
Sunset Grill 
That Old Flame
Witchy Woman
When I Stop Dreaming
Talkin to the Moon
One of These Nights
I Can't Tell You Why (Schmit)
End of the Innocence
The Last Resort
- introductions- 
Just Ain't Enough (duet Patti Smyth)
Heart of the Matter
Everybody Wants to Rule the World (TfF song)
Leather & Lace (ft. Stevie Nicks)
Boys of Summer
Rocky Mountain Way (Walsh & Schmit)
Life in the Fast Lane (ft Walsh/Schmit)
Hotel California (ft Walsh/Schmit)
Wasted Time
All She Wants to Do Is Dance (Stevie on tambourine)
Birthday (Beatles song, ft. Nicks, Walsh, Schmit)

The show ran nearly three hours, with no intermission of encores.  Opportunities for Donald Hugh to rest his voice came in the form of Timothy B. doing I Can't Tell You Why, and Joe Walsh's Rocky Mountain Way (probably the best version I've ever heard), along with the Smyth and Nicks duets.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Rock Sunday

During church this morning I thought of the last week's sermon intro about all the strife going on in the world (Korea, Charlottesville), and this song, albeit by the Carpenters, flashed through my head.  While curating a copy for this post, I found this pre-Burton Cummings - but including Randy Bachman (later of BTO) - Guess Who version:

Not that I'm going all Rodney 'Can't We All Just Get Along' King or anything.

Marlin Perkins and Joan Embery would have felt right at home at my church this morning.  It's decorated like the Rainforest Café for a multi-week series called Wild Life featuring lessons from Romans 12, and today we had a joey and some lizards in the lobby.

I often confuse Jack Hanna for Jim Fowler, or vice-versa.

 I would have loved to watch them getting this CJ in the lobby...

 Because it was the kickoff of a new sermon series, there was a special musical piece opening the service.  Our staff likes to take popular culture themes or references, and place them in a spiritual context (in some cases, Pastor Brandon calls it 'redeeming' a song).  Today, our P&W band - replete with white-robed angelic choir - performed a knockout version of  I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, better than the U2 version.  (Sorry, Keith...)

At the end of the service, they played Steppenwolf's Born to Be Wild on the PA...              

I saw a guy with this image on a t-shirt today, and it made me chuckle:

 Although, I'd like to think of Fred R. as more of a Garand, M1 Carbine, or M-14 kinda guy. 

Beyond the jest, there's possibly a deeper message to be had here. When the OCT activists were carrying their ARs and AKs around Arlington and Fort Worth a couple of years ago, I thought they were idiots (even though I favor the open carry option), likely doing more damage to the cause they purported to support. Similarly, there are quite a few folks who feel compelled to protest and counter-protest (just pick any issue). Often, this results in a rumble tantamount to a Sharks vs. Jets meeting - or worse, maybe Crips and Bloods? - with no one ideology's adherents appearing in a positive light. Back to the point, I've no intention of parading around the public square with either one of my pea-shooters ;-)  trying to shout my opinion louder than the other guy. But, like the t-shirt, if the fight comes to my neighborhood, it may be met with steely, walnut - and maybe some polymer - resistance (sort of reminiscent of the Gerry Spence jackrabbit story).

Couple of weekends ago, I had an afternoon of open-sighted entertainment, featuring this gem:

Rolling Thunder - At home on the range...

The Six Flags Corporation has decided to wimp out remove all non USA flags from its theme parks, because some snowflakes might complain about the inclusion of the Confederacy's flag. While I recognize that they are a non-governmental entity, it's not a 1A issue, and it's certainly their prerogative to display whatever banner(s) they wish, it has the feel of a whitewashing effort. Perhaps no kid ever learned any history of Texas from visiting the six themed areas of the park, under the banners of old, but sure as hell none will now as it's become a paean to a host of - however lovable - cartoon characters. How long before they banish Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd under a zero firearms imagery policy?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Apocalyptic Friday

  • I'm waxing my longboard - I think the tide surge will be at Burleson by 4:00 p.m.
  • Right after lunch, I think I'll head to Cabela's or Bass Pro to get a pontoon houseboat.
  • Can you believe the left's nitwittery in the wake of the President's Paris pull-out?
  • California's Governor Moonbeam vows that his state will honor the Paris accord, and that he is planning a new beachfront Governor's Cabin on Mount Whitney.  On the plus side: Southern California's water woes will be gone.
  • Rather than just listening to idiot talking heads and celebrities' opinions, I decided to go to the source regarding the Paris accord:
The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. To reach these ambitious goals, appropriate financial flows, a new technology framework and an enhanced capacity building framework will be put in place, thus supporting action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries, in line with their own national objectives. The Agreement also provides for enhanced transparency of action and support through a more robust transparency framework. Further information on key aspects of the Agreement can be found here.
  • Highlights mine.  The paragraph is the second of Essential Elements of the U.N. document describing the FOCU. Note the sidebar entry on the left titled Climate Finance. It describes the mega-bureaucracy to be created to transfer wealth from - can you guess who? - to...well, based on the current U.N. model, we can pretty safely assume that little or none of it would ever be constructively employed in mitigating any climate issues, real or imagined.
  • The reason that world leaders are pissing and moaning about this action, is that the U.S. has, in one stroke, signaled that it will not strait-jacket its economy while simultaneously providing a huge piggy bank to tin-pot dictators and globalist bureaucrats.
  • Fun irony: The former POTUS criticizing the action.  If the former's action had been ratified by the Congress, instead of executive fiat, the current POTUS could not have singlehandedly withdrawn it.  (IMO, even though I hold Congress in low esteem, I still think they'd have had the sense to reject this albatross, which is why the arrogant former POTUS joined by EO.)
Absolutely true.     
  • And speaking of the Congress, the circus blogger suggests that Texas might be better served by a full-time legislature, apparently because that model seems to be working so well for the U.S.
  • Every time I mow, I murder more than a dozen fledgling oak trees, formed from my ADD [hey, look, a human!] squirrels forgetting where they left their nuts.
  • New Orleans recently removed several old statues because they were 'racist', honoring War-Between-the-States/Civil War figures. Now emboldened, the progenitors of such actions are now demanding that LSU remove the obviously racist tiger as its mascot.
  • And the brain-eating amoebas seem to be emigrating west to Texas. Houston activists - or community organizers or whatever - are demanding removal of a statue of Sam Houston in that city. Hoss, this *stuff* is about to get real. This is Texas - you don't spit into the wind, unmask Clayton Moore, or *mess* with Sam Houston. Editor's update: The supposed protest action may have been fake news.
  • Which President was governor of two different states? One of my favorite trivia questions.
  Embroidered back of a shirt I got recently for 25¢ - 'selfie-ing' over the shoulder is difficult.

  •  Don't forget to Keep Austin We...irr...[bubble]...rr...[bubble]...

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


I'd like to find a chick - OK, a woman - who would like to go to church with me, kayaking, ride bikes leisurely (not hard-core mountain or road riding), occasionally go camping/glamping; an art fest, museum, or antique store (or Canton) from time to time, target shooting a couple of times a year.  A weekend here or there in Galveston (fishing off the pier), Caddo Lake (staying in a swampside cabin), Robber's Cave State Park, or Turner Falls.  MWSP would even make the list.

Although, I would not want her to be Liza Minnelli.

When I was thinking about this post, the voices in my head were debating between Christopher Cross and Stephen Bishop (although I never watched the movie that featured this song):

I was kind of a Bish fan back in the day, though.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Semper Iuvenis

My wish for my family:

I've long said that - with some notable exceptions - other artists coaxed the best from Dylan's compositions.  The definitive version of this song, IMNSHO, is from Baez' outstanding 1975 tour double album From Every Stage (following the release of Diamonds & Rust).  But the Youtube of it (that's on my bike riding playlist) just features some hippy-dippy still images and sub-titling.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Panem et Circenses: Die Kulturindustrie

  •  Now, New and Improved, with Seven Whole Grains and the World's Smartest Trained Fleas!
  • While I have the best hopes for MAGA, there's part of me wondering if we're not already to the bread and circuses phase of our nation's existence. Neither political party seems to have the citizens' interests at heart, and governance has become a farce.  Popular culture is little more than an open cess-pit.
No shame, no solution
No remorse, no retribution
Just people selling T-shirts
Just opportunity to participate in the pathetic little circus
And winning, winning, winning.¹ 
Ah, it's open season here my friend
It always is; it always has been
Welcome, welcome to the U.S.A.
We're partying fools in the autumn of our heyday
And though we're running out of everything
We can't afford to quit
Before this binge is over
We've got to squeeze off one more hit
We're workin' it
But, the barons in the balcony are laughing
And pointing to the pit
They say, "Aw look, they've grown accustomed to the smell
Now, people love that sh*t
And we're workin' it".²

  • I may not be virtuous, but I try to avoid those things which I believe lack merit, and to live - as Socrates taught - an examined life.
  • In other news, I am pleased that Justice Gorsuch has been confirmed, made all the more sweet by the protestations of the likes of Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein.  As many more intelligent than I have said, the SCOTUS picks are where the game's at for this administration. Sure, there are other important matters, but absent a Constitution-respecting Court, the Republic is as good as lost.
  • John O'Hurley has a one-man ode to a time when society had standards.  I respect that.
  • Flautist James Galway was on Carson show the other night with harp accompanist.  He is very talented, even if he didn't play Can't You See/Thick as a Brick/Sing Child, or even, I suppose, Stairway.
  • Comes now news that Nivea, makers of skin care lotions and potions, is under fire from the snowflakes for alleged racism.
 Humbly recommended by introspective, cultured bloggers.
  •  Although I carry the Nivea to work nearly every day, the Gold Bond Ultimate with Aloe, B, C, E and CoQ10 is probably a better restorative for my hands.
  • Journey is being inducted into the Rock and Roll HOF.  According to my demographic, I should be a fan, but for some reason, other than owning a copy of Infinity (I think), and liking two or three of their songs, they never really turned my crank.  Chacun à son goût, n'est-ce pas?
  • How 'bout dat?  I've now managed to use four languages in the creation of  this post.  And I've not even gotten to the Spanish yet.
  • As a kid, I was probably in a Sears store 2-3 times a month, usually with Dad to get tools.  And, I think we always had a catalog in the house.  It's painful watching the once great company die a slow death.  I would love to have a reason to shop with that firm, but in the present tense, there is no compelling value proposition to do so, whether at their retail locations or online.
  • I don't know if this is just Fox News whipping up stupid stories, or if the Left is really into this sort of mental onanism, but what possible talent does Chelsea Clinton bring to politics?
  • Just last blog-post I mentioned Trading Places, then the next night on Carson, Eddie Murphy was a guest, with - wait for it - a clip from Trading Places.
  • On the radio the other morning, Jody Dean said that his colleagues in the studio begged him to play Xanadu in connection with mentioning her appearance at Verizon that evening.  Xanadu, seriously?  His co-workers must be twits - Please Mister Please, or Have You Never Been Mellow, or even one of the Grease numbers would've better captured the essential ON-J.
  • It would be the same as characterizing Neil Diamond by playing Forever In Blue Jeans, or maybe that stupid duet with Barbra Streisand.
  • Wouldn't this sort of devalue the merits of a Stanford education?
  • I've pretty much confirmed that the curators for MeTV choose Carson re-run episodes to coincide with current events.  For the past few days, they've run shows featuring Don Rickles. 
  • I've mentioned before that as an adolescent, I was a fan of the likes of Redd Foxx, George Carlin, and Richard Pryor.  These days, I find I don't care to watch the old clips of Carlin (except in Bill & Ted) or Pryor (excepting the Wilder collaborations).  But Rickles' work seems to hold up well.
  • Mystery woman absent from recent dreams, but a few nights back there was a very odd sequence in which I was attempting to secure the rights to publicly perform Words, an old Bee Gees song.  No earthly idea where that came from.  I don't think I've even heard that song in decades.
  • Sometimes the juxtaposition of disparate art forms is pretty funny:
Starry, Starry Wars... 
¹/² The Garden of Allah, Workin' It - Henley et al

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday Miscellany

  • When the time changed last month, it was probably the first time ever that I had actually changed all of the clocks beforehand.  A couple of them updated automatically by satellite signal, and of course my phone didn't need any intervention.
  • The folks in Britain have it considerably more difficult¹:
Do you know how long it takes to reset each henge?
  •  Que Sera: Supposedly new information reveals that singer/actress Doris Day is 95 years old - two years older than previous radiocarbon dating had indicated.
  • Until a couple of weeks ago, I didn't know, or had forgotten, that her late son, record producer Terry Melcher was connected to the Sharon Tate murders.  Melcher and his girlfriend Candice Bergen had rented the house from Rudy Altobelli before Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski.  Melcher had severed ties with Manson and declined to back his imagined musical career.  Even though Manson knew Melcher had moved out, he instructed his lackeys to kill the subsequent residents as a signal to the record producer.
  •  Can the poor little snowflakes please get a life?
  • A rather unfortunate photo²:
  • Back in the good old days, I enjoyed coming home from work in time to watch the evening network news - I think then the anchors were Jennings, Rather, and Brokaw.  I happened to be able to catch this evening's news, and most of it was bad: North Korea misbehaving, St. Petersburg bombing, looming nuclear option to confirm Judge Gorsuch.  On that last one, if that's what has to be done to confirm him, so be it, but it's a damn shame that first-class a-holes like Schumer & Feinstein are trying to 'Bork' this nominee.  I watched a clip of Al Franken sounding like a blithering idiot, which, considering, is probably unremarkable.  Would that Al Franken were in that gorilla suit at the end of Trading Places instead of the U.S. Senate.
  • An American classic:
Imagine the compliments: "That's a mighty fine Woodie you got there, Mister!

¹  h/t: Paul
²  h/t: #1 son

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Asunder Sunday

  • The world has gone to the, you know, the plural of what DJT allegedly like to grab, to wit: A four year old was suspended from pre-school for bringing a spent .22 rimfire casing to class.  I probably noted this in a prior post, but I once carried a .22 auto-loading pistol to class in my bookbag, where it stayed during the school day in my open faced locker at the back of the classroom.  No malicious intent, didn't brandish or show it to anyone.  Different times.
  • BoN guy recently had a post about punctuation, positing that the period ending a sentence should be followed by one - not two - spaces before beginning the next sentence.  The article he referenced was well written and documented, and made a compelling case for why this should be so.  Nonetheless, I prefer, and shall continue, to use two spaces following the period.  Period.
  • Speaking of BoNer: I thought his Chuck Berry tribute post - a nearly half-hour clip from the musician's appearance on the Tonight Show - was one of the most enjoyable I have seen, as it combined Chuck Berry with the great Johnny Carson.
  • Another odd dream a few days back.  I was riding shotgun in a large delivery van that had been semi-converted to a motorhome, but still retained sliding front driver and passenger doors, and an opening door at the rear.  My oldest son was seated at the dinette at the rear of the coach/van, with the back door open behind him.  A vaguely familiar woman was driving, and, as the wind was blowing past my open door, I was fiddling with the radio, which looked a lot like the radio in my college-era Datsun.  On two of the preset buttons, set for what would have been 92.5 and 98.7, they were playing Henley's Waiting Tables, from Cass County.  I'm not sure if that song has had radio airplay or not.
  • The next morning, my old buddy from high school called to invite me to join him and his wife to attend Henley's 70th birthday tour stop this summer at the AAC.
  • Leaving the grocery store a few evenings ago, the stunning new black Civic in front of me bore decals of Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper at the lower left and right corners of the rear window.  Its license plate frame read "My other ride destroyed Alderaan".   Mmmkay.  Alderaan, schmalderaan, I'm thinking the dude needs to take his Adderal.
  • A couple of days later, walking across a retail parking lot, a car with a license frame reading: "My other vehicle is a TARDIS".  I had to ask someone what a TARDIS is, although I was able to deduce from the other festoonery on the car that it was a Dr. Who reference.
  • The roads are getting infested with nerds.  If they're not texting, they're probably playing 7 Mages while driving.  Weep for the species.
  • For the record, I am pretty sure there are some games pre-loaded on my Android phone.  I have never played one.  Ever.
  • A few weeks ago, I purchased a Classical Forest CD featuring nature sounds superimposed over classical music standards.  Very nice for bedtime.
  • Picked up laundered shirts the other day - 5 shirts were about $7.00.  Ironically, two of those had been purchased in a group of six (actually, one was a goose down jacket) that I bought for $6.
  • This looks like an awesome fun combination:

  •  If you've read my scribblings here much at all, you know I wasn't much the fan of the prior administration at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  But at a recent speech, the former VP opined that he "could've won the [2016] election", and I have to agree.  Certainly, parsing the statement, one notes that he hedged by saying "could've" instead of "would've", but in this case I think the case can be ably made that his chances would've been better than 50/50.  Not that I would've voted for him, mind you - just that his would've been a stronger candidacy than HRC's, a point that I made long before the election.
  • I'm in most aspects supportive of the current POTUS, mainly in the sense of restoring the U.S.'s competitiveness, and reversing some of the nitwittery that's plagued us, in some cases, over the past two decades.  Not a fan of his support for civil forfeiture (may have been more ad hoc than policy-driven).  I think it may be expected that he will operate to a degree like a bull in a china shop, which hopefully will break up some of the sclerosis plaguing our governance.
  • A young co-worker has loaned another co-worker his copy of Dead Pool, so that she can see the unicorn scene.  I've been told what it's about, but have no desire to see for myself.  
  • A few Saturdays ago, I woke up, let the dog out as per usual, then addressed my own morning constitutional, when I tactile-ly noticed a crusty deposit about my left nostril.  Upon checking into the looking-glass, I found that side of my face smeared with dried blood.  So, I returned to my bed-chamber, where I saw my pillow had about a 5"x7" glistening sanguine patch.  Apparently, I'd developed a spontaneous nosebleed maybe an hour or so before awakening.  It looked as tho' someone had been murd'red, but a cursory examination showed that I had not shot myself.  The next morning, I awakened cautiously.  The [new] pillow was clean, but I experience a brief drip on the way to the throne room, which quickly subsided.  Thankfully, no recurrences since.
  • I had placed the gimme t-shirt I was wearing in a bucket of cold water to try to rinse it out.  A few days later, doing laundry, I was amused by the irony that the shirt was from Carter Blood Care.
  • My current two-wheeled adventures:
  •  Mystery woman graced my dream again last night.  We were visiting a resort center near Bartlesville, Oklahoma.  I think I know why she was in my dream, but I have no idea why it was at that venue.
  • For those who do analogies, or might be preparing for the SAT/GRE, here ya go -  Don Henley : MWB :: U2 : BoN

Well, which is it?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The [Satur-] Day the Music Died

  •  The Grandfather of Rock-n-Roll has died, but what a legacy he left.
  • As an avid, devoted reader of liner notes, I had apparently long since forgotten that (You Never Can Tell) C'est la Vie from Emmylou Harris' Luxury Liner LP was a Chuck Berry tune.

  • On my day off this week, I went to Cabela's.  On leaving, I was about to open my vehicle door when I noticed a hornet under the door handle.  Being a stud macho kinda dude, I was unfazed and simply took my key and brushed it away from the door handle.  It flew away from me, and I got in the SUV without incident.
  • I think even before the Presidential inauguration I wrote that we were in for a bumpy ride, and that has sort of been the case, although some of the crazy has subsided.  Still, there's the ongoing saga of the travel hiatus.  What's curious and puzzling to me is that we've seemingly arrived at the point where a relatively obscure appointed Federal district judge wields equal power to the elected Chief Executive.
  • If nothing else, this administration's term should be a bonanza for political science departments and political junkies, as it explores the disruption of the status quo and possibly long-observed conventions that may or may not have been Constitutionally based.
  • My personal view is that the judge's order will fail.  Having listened to some qualified legal minds, it appears that the jurist is extrapolating far beyond the scope of the EO to find a basis for stopping it.
  • What's wrong with this picture?  Call me jaded, but I'm presuming an idiot millennial sourced that photo.
Yeah, my inner 12 year old chuckled...           
  • There was a documentary on PBS last night about the composing duo of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  Of course, their careers were intertwined with Dionne Warwick's, who came to their attention as a backup singer when the Drifter's recorded the duo's Mexican Divorce.  Having owned Nicolette Larson's eponymous debut album with that song on it (also featuring her Neil Young penned hit single Lotta Love) since it was released, I had no idea - or had once again long forgotton - that the song was Bacharach & David's.

  • From the bullet points on #2 & #7, one might think I was getting old.  Nah...
  • For a brief time in the mid '80s, I was a fan of   (not-quite-yet Mrs. Bacharach) Carole Bayer Sager's Sometimes Late at Night, mostly penned with her future (and now ex-) husband.  The album was kind of interesting as every song segued into the next, without a pause between songs.
  • Note to self: Referencing the '80s probably not helping with the aging thing, yo.
Choking me stop you.
  •   Coming home from Cabela's, I saw that one of my favorite resale shops had "All clothing $1".  I figured it'd be pretty well picked-over, but stopped in anyway.  A half hour later I left with a Tactical 5.11 heavyweight canvas shirt, a desert camo BDU shirt, an Orvis fishing shirt, Austin (Academy) short sleeve outdoorsman shirt, black mock turtleneck, and a goose down jacket - all for $6.  All the items were virtually indistinguishable from brand new.
  • Even though as conservatives, we may think we're in the process of righting the ship, there's still plenty of mush-headed thinking going on out there.  Just waiting for them to subpoena Dr. Zaius.
  • This past week I received perhaps the most surprising text ever, for me at least.
  •  My dream woman did not favor me last night, but I had an interesting dream sequence in which I was riding in a pack of mountain bikes.  While riding is one of my regular activities, I can't recall having ridden in a group of bikers.
 Good use of old street least temporarily.
  •  I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one now. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thinking Man's Thursday

  • Despite the melatonin tablet, the woman who has been appearing in my dreams recently had only a cameo appearance last night.  Sigh.
  • I was at two dollar stores today, and in both cases forgot to buy a flyswatter.
  • Driving past an EECU branch tonight, I noticed that they still (Thursday), had not changed their time and temperature sign to reflect DST.  That would not have happened on my watch.
  • An independent filmmaker has debuted his supposed documentary at SXSW, positing that the guy whose death in Ferguson, MO, precipitated the BLM movement, did not actually rob the convenience store, but was/had just engaged in some friendly weed bargaining.  This would be considerably less idiotic if: 1) It were true; 2) The full convenience store surveillance sequence - about four minutes, not just thirty seconds - was used for the premise; 3) One ignores that the store did report a robbery.  In any event, the proximate cause - OK, the only cause - of the miscreant's demise, was that he reached into the police cruiser's window to try to snatch the officer's weapon.  That sort of thing is generally considered a poor choice.
  • Of course, there is a not inconsiderable portion of the population that will embrace the fiction, as well as many who will use it to try to foment racial unrest.
  • A TV commercial offers NightView glasses for night driving.  Best I can tell, it's the same concept that 20 years ago was marketed as BluBlocker.
  •   I got up early today to go to traffic court, making a mental checklist of nearly a half-dozen school zones on the way.  About a half mile from my house, I realized it was Spring Break.  I got to court with a half hour to spare.  I also had made arrangements to come into work late, but ended up arriving a few minutes earlier than I normally do, even after grabbing a McD breakfast burrito.
  • Speaking of McDs, my very first experience at the arches was at an old style location on the west side of Tulsa in the late '60s or very early '70s.  I can remember when they built one on Story Road in Irving in the early '70s.  When I was in college, McD was in my after-class rotation, along with BK, Taco Bell and Bueno, and Whataburger, resulting in my peak avoirdupois of about 215 imperial pounds.
  • Somewhat like Wal-Mart, I think McDonald's to a degree fell victim to its own success.  Although some of the criticism leveled at the fast food chain is arguably deserved, my impression is that they have made strides in adapting their menu to changing nutritional sensitivities, as well as upgrading their image beyond the clown theme to the point where you could almost feel comfortable having a casual business meeting there.  Well, sort of.
  • About 7 years ago, I got serious about shedding some excess poundage, and went from about a 208 average, to the lower-mid 190s.  For the past three or so years, I've been in a fairly consistent 175-177 range, which is commensurate with my height and bone structure. I'm no Jack LaLane, but I don't have any regular aches and pains.
  • One of the lines from last weekend's sermon that's been marinating in my mind this week is: "Comfort, pleasure, power, control, and respect are not inherently evil, unless employed or enjoyed with the wrong motive."
  • On a street in Colleyville, I passed many new McMansions scattered among older ranch-style homes.  Almost all of the new builds had small ponds or water features, averaging about 20'x40' in the front yard.  I guess if they have fish in the ponds, they won't become mosquito incubators, right?
  • The latest Russian relationship seeker to troll my email inbox bills herself as "Irina Honest", 29 years old.  Honey, to quote Donald Hugh, "You're looking for a younger man - not me."
  • The ladies at work seemed to think my dream quote to the mystery woman about never stopping having conversation was sort of romantical.  Maybe she'll grace my dreams again tonight.
  • The Donald's words of wisdom for today: "At the end of the's midnight."