Sunday, July 31, 2005

$7... Yeah, As If!

Ah, Sunday night and the kids are in bed. House is clean, I’m clean, my beard is trimmed, Kelli and I have folded some clothes and she’s got fresh new red toenails. Seems like the cleanest and most organized we get is in preparation for an upcoming work week.


Not too much happened at the trade deadline of interest, though I found it odd to turn on the Orioles/White Sox game tonight and see Eric Byrnes suited up for Baltimore… uh… when did THAT happen? Wasn’t he a newly acquired member of the Rockies a few days ago?


By the way, Chan Ho Park is no longer a Ranger. Have I mentioned that? Excuse me while I cackle aloud.


We had a pretty good weekend all around. Yesterday Kelli and THEBOY went and saw that penguin movie, which they both enjoyed. THEGIRL'S got the sniffles and wakes up cranky, but both days this weekend she got more chipper as the day went on.

Today we had a 3pm showing on the house, so we scheduled our day around that. We got the house nice and clean, then headed up to the Gaylord Texan resort in Grapevine. Today was the last day of some sort of summer festival. That is, there was free stuff for kids to do in a 72 degree atrium.

So let’s see… we saw people dressed like cowboys, some snakes, a petting zoo, balloon artists, a psychic (who must have known Kelli was coming, because she closed up shop when Kelli was next in line…)


Just kidding babe.


Both kids also enjoyed the Texan’s built-in features, like the riverwalk, fountains, and Euro-trash tourists draped all over the lobby furniture.


No one was in the toll booth as we left the parking lot. The sign said to scan a credit card to pay the $7. Yeeeeah... um, well actually, no.


After that we had a solid dinner at Tia’s in Grapevine. Kelli had a gift certificate, so we pigged out for a total of about $14 with tip. Greatness!


Maybe I get my groceries at the same place too often, as today the checker told me to tell my kids hello.


I’ve got to bear down this week and make a good, solid push in my psych class. I’ve got a low A in there, which I’d like to keep. Of course, that means doing well on one more quiz, one more online discussion, and of course, the final this Thursday.


Ya’ll take care and have a great week yourselves.

Friday, July 29, 2005


Ladies and gentlemen, the Rangers have traded Chan Ho Park. Yes, there's a deal in place that would--pending league approval--send him to the Padres for Phil Nevin.

For some reason the Pads have agreed to take on what some consider to be the biggest contract bust in sports history. In return we get a guy who's having a bad season, but when healthy (okay, so it's not that often) he usually hits well.

I'll take THAT deal!


So presented for your viewing pleasure is a little sampler of images of NAHC OH KRAP. During his time here there was a recurring theme Park (nyuk nyuk) in his photos: wiping the brow. Week after week, loss after loss, there'd be an image of Park in some local rag, doing the wipe.


(OK, admittedly, the infamous "karate kick" photo dates from his Dodger days...)



Today has been bananas at work! Bananas I tell ya!


Had a good time seeing Angelica at lunch. She was a BACS peon from the infamous days of yesteryear like me. I was so glad to have her company that I think I talked about 500 mph.

Next time I’ll let you get a word in edgewise, dulcecita!


THEBOY seems to be getting back into the Who again, requesting to watch their great documentary The Kids Are Alright last night. And he knows the material so well! He’d tell me about upcoming gestures, little comic bits, things they were going to do in songs. Pretty interesting.

He asked if we could go see them. I said maybe someday, and reminded him that we saw them when his mother was pregnant. He said, “I know, but I only heard them a little bit.”


I had all this great stuff I was going to write about today, things that’d been on my mind, but man, I’m kinda fried at the moment. Friday in a traffic department…


The weekend looks pretty low-key at least. Hope we get some folks by to look at the house at least.


Ya’ll please do have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Fug de interview

(Scroll down)


Sure was great to see Mike at lunch today. It’s easy to spend time with that guy.

And you know, he could stand a break. I mean… interpret it however you want. Whit just caught a break, and Erik. Toland seems like he did too.

Llorca, I do believe your number is next.


Been thinking lately of doing something with Juke. I mean, just getting it out there somehow. I’ll have a break of a couple weeks between semesters coming up. Maybe I’ll set up a website/blog and post a chapter every other day. Or… maybe I should make the chapters available as PDF files or something. Anyone have any ideas?


Of course, posting chapters could be interrupted if we, you know, move into a new house or something.


BB out.

I Can Hear the Grass Grow

And you know, one of the greatest things about this paper business is that, for the first time in many days, I DON’T HAVE A THING TO DO TONIGHT. I believe I will watch baseball, flip channels, play with the kids, watch the grass grow…

(And suddenly "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" by the Move is going through my head...)


First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, on his 2004 trade from the Twins to the Red Sox. "I walked behind the laundry room, and there was Pedro [Martinez] standing butt naked on my chair saying, 'Welcome.'"


Now, I’m fairly happy working here, I really am. God knows it’s 180 degrees different from BACS. So I’m not bashing this station really… I just find this funny…

There was a huge fire this afternoon, visible from the feeder road in front of the station. Though it was miles away, it was making a remarkable plume of smoke, and I could see flames.

Turned on the TV and ours was the only local station not covering it (though we’re the closest to it). In fact, a coworker said she was downstairs, smoking with someone from the newsroom and asked him what all the smoke was. He looked up and said he hadn’t noticed it, that he had no idea…


That’s the second time that’s happened since I’ve been here. The first time was an apartment fire I could see from my cubicle.


Guess I’d better go over this report, do some work…

The Horn...

Long ago, when Clint Eastwood’s very good Charlie Parker bioflick Bird was still in theaters, a musician who had performed on the soundtrack wrote a letter to Rolling Stone magazine. I think he’d gone uncredited for his work somehow, and just wanted to point it out to the magazine, perhaps to a specific writer or reviewer.

And I swear, he wrapped up his letter with something like, “If one doesn’t blow one’s own horn, sometimes one’s horn doesn’t get blown.”


I liked the way it read, but every time it’s occurred to me since then to use it I couldn’t shake the notion that it’d sound like a bad masturbation joke.


Which is all a circuitous and fairly meaningless way to introduce my paper results: I scored 28 out of 30 points (that's about a 93 to you and me), being cited only for a handful of APA style transgressions.

Dr. Kerr’s comments included:

“Congrats. You earned the highest grade in the class on this assignment.”


“Brian, wow. You are a very strong writer. A joy to read. Thank you for such a thorough job.”


In my frequent moments of worry about this, I could almost hear the consolation from the wife, from anyone: “Hey, she’s a hardass, man. I guess it wasn’t meant for you to go to grad school…”

I worry too much.


And I am GLAD to have that bloody thing done and graded!


Meeting my boy Mike Llorca for lunch. Will be nice to catch up in person for a change. We usually just rely on 200 emails a day.


By the way, I'm kinda stunned to get the highest grade. There's a woman named Ruth in the class who is just a terrific writer. From reading her postings on the discussion boards I thought surely she'd be the ace in there.

Funny, in a post I praised her writing, thinking maybe I'd found a kindred spirit. She never replied.

Oh wait, that's not funny at all...

Waiting for Noon...

Current music: “Stay Clean” by Motorhead


That was a bush league play last night when Sammy Sosa spike Rod Barajas while sliding home (and being tagged out). No class.


Welcome back, Bruiser.


The grade on my paper is supposed to be available by noon. Gotta make a B or better in this class as part of my conditional acceptance to grad school. My grades so far are in the B range indeed (thanks to the bloody 40 I scored on the journal… cripes). I’m not awfully worried about not making a B, BUT… this prof is just snippy enough, and a paper’s merits are just subjective enough to make me worry. Hey, it’s what I do.

I’m hoping for 27 of 30 points (she’s got her own grading system… this is a 90). That would actually pull my high B to an 89.6 or so.


Current music: “Big Leg Woman Gets My Pay” by Blind Boy Fuller


Thursday… we’re getting there.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Passenger

Some interesting folks on this KISS tribute album, including Tommy Shaw, Doug Pinnick and Page Hamilton.

Not sure who the hell invited Kip Winger though. Me and some of my pals would still like to kick him in the balls for his cover of “Purple Haze.”


Spoke to CompUSA about my iBook last night, and about how three days after I purchased it an updated one with more RAM and a faster processor was released for the same price.

They’ve got a policy to accommodate that: I’ve got 21 days to swap mine. BUT, it has to be in the store first. Curious to see how this’ll play out. At his suggestion, if I get about halfway through that time and the new ones haven’t arrived I’ll talk to a manager.


Ever been a passenger with someone who’s driving like an idiot? People around you are pissed off at some bonehead maneuver you can’t believe the driver pulled, and you just wish you could say sorry to them? You pull up at a light and the guy in the next lane is glaring over. You’re trying to find the AC vent so very interesting that you will not look away from it, and the driver continues to yammer, “So THAT’S when I broke up with my 11th girlfriend in 11 weeks…”


Got one of those high school prom songs going: “After the Love is Gone” by Earth, Wind and Fire. Man, we felt our emotions so intensely back then. Still, we were just practicing in a way I guess.


I remember being just WRECKED from a breakup with a girlfriend. Happened right as the school year ended. I poured my heart out to my friends while we drove around to kill time.

(Remember when gas was cheap enough that we could do that?)

And I said, “Just do me one favor guys. Don’t anybody go near her. Please don’t hit on her or anything.”

But one did anyway. And THAT, boys and girls, is how friendships end.

we’re fresh out of tiger forks

Rainy here, nice really. But the stairwell, elevator and break room are all strangely warm. Funny, I thought Belo was actually located in hell…


There's this elevator at Belo that's incredibly slow. Keep in mind that this is a three-story building. Still, lots of folks opt for the freight elevator or, even worse, the stairs.

Going down this elevator is so slow that I always said I expected that when the doors opened I’d see a red guy with horns and a pitchfork, saying, “Hey, you went too far… wait, not you, Brisc…”


This place is like Toys R Us to Whit. I could picture him walking down the aisles: “Ah, we’re fresh out of tiger forks and monk spades… better stock up…”


THEBOY likes to mimic the baby in the Quiznos commercials, and I’ve gotta say, it’s highly amusing. He says in a growling voice, “One of these days when the old man’s not looking—saranara.” Okay, so he can’t pronounce “sayonara” yet.

And his old man probably can’t spell it.



Tuesday, July 26, 2005

un-burn out

Eminem almost spells Mini Me backwards.

Notice how you never see them together anywhere??


I’m sick to death of the Foo Fighters, BUT… “Everlong” has some great drumming. I sit through it for that reason. Otherwise… Grohl et al ain’t doing it for me anymore.


Genuinely disturbing, though, is that I am completely burned out on Stevie Ray Vaughan. I hate to admit it, but I’m just not enjoying his stuff at the moment. Maybe he’ll be like Hendrix and I’ll re-discover his work with new passion in a few years.

It started with “Texas Flood.” I got to where I just didn’t want to sit through a long, slow blues workout, even by Stevie. But it’s progressed to the point where I just ain’t feelin’ his stuff at all now.

I’m not knocking SRV. Hey, I’ve got an autographed photo/ticket combo on my wall. This is just burnout.


Sometimes I don’t un-burn out though. Like with Steely Dan. I reached a point where I just wanted no more. Maybe it’s because “Reelin’ In the Years” is always playing somewhere.


We have confirmation on the lackey departure. That is, Erik Hood is leaving BACS to work for ABC radio. Bump up in pay, mgmt job, closer to home AND he can only give four days’ notice. Perfect!


53 minutes until quittin’ time…

Hey Man, is that Freedom Rock?

“I’m drinkin’ TNT, I’m smokin’ dynamite… I hope some schoolboy start a fight…”

Muddy Waters, “I’m Ready”


Heard Pat Travers’ “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)” this morning. Clever little song, fun and all, but how would you like to be saddled with one lowest-rung classic rock hit that you’ve gotta march out for at each gig the rest of your career (yes, he’s still out there touring)?

Some others:

Billy Thorpe – “Children of the Sun”
Rick Derringer – “Rock ‘n’ Roll Hoochie Koo” (Purely guessing on the spelling there)
Dave Mason – “We Just Disagree” Some of you have heard me talk about this guy before. Somehow this song keeps showing up in album rock playlists, and it’s pleasant enough and all, but do radio PMs REALLY think there’s any listener out there going, “All RIIIIIIIGHT! It’s that DAVE MASON song!!”
Steppenwolf – Okay, so they’ve got a handful of hits. 35+ years after their release, how would you like to still be doing “Born to be Wild” or “Magic Carpet Ride” at every gig?

How would you like to be in some resurrected version of, believe or not, the DOORS… oh wait, I guess Ian Astbury actually WOULD like that.

(Can that really be a bigger paycheck than the Cult? And by the way, why DOES every classic rock station play “Fire Woman” about once an hour anyway?)

Or hell, how would you like to have a kickass catalog anyway, but still have that one… song… that you’re sick to death of, but still have to play at every show, like Motorhead doing “Ace of Spades”…?

And I’m one of the brainless masses who still want to hear it.


I still enjoy Foghat’s cover of Muddy Waters’ “I Just Want to Make Love to You” though. Sounds like it was recorded in a closet. Those guys were a hoot.


And I think I’ve got an ex in common with, uh, the whole band. Don’t ask.


The Rangers won a game!

Now please, John Hart, will you TRADE ALFONSO SORIANO. I’m tired of his defensive lapses and his tendency to stand at the plate and admire balls that stay in the park. He hits well for Texas, yes. EVERYONE HITS WELL FOR TEXAS.

Send him to the Mets like everyone’s talking about. Sure, I’ll take Mike Cameron, a superb defensive outfielder, in return. And anyone from a peanut vendor on up whom the Mets want to include is fine with me.

Can I help pack Soriano’s bags?


The iBook I bought Saturday is already outdated.


“They call it ‘stormy Monday,’ and Tuesday’s just as bad…” T-Bone Walker

Monday, July 25, 2005

This Thing

It’s a damnable thing, that’s what it is, this compulsion that’s consumed my life in one way or another, consumed people I love.

I’ve lived it, watched it, studied it… I’m about to change my career in order to go toe-to-toe with it. I’m going to spend a few years putting my family through hardship so I can take possibly the hardest classes of my life so I can prepare myself for the fight.

I’ve watched it make perfectly good folks stumble, puke, slur, fight and act in innumerable ways that either prompted them to apologize the next day or just… keep going. Maybe the memory embarrassed them too much, or maybe they didn’t have the memory to trouble them.

And I walk past people having beers on the patio outside Double Dave’s and think, Man it’d be nice to have a couple cold beers right now.


I’ve got more questions than answers, and I have a lot more answers than I once did.


I do wish I could fight it, physically. Strangle it, slap it around. I’d curse and spit in its face. “I swear to GOD if you don’t leave us alone…”

It’s doing its best to leave me alone all right. It’s doing its best to take people away from me quite systematically. I guess it will leave me quite alone just as soon as it can.


I’m pissed off, tired of it. I’m just tired of it lurking out there all the time, still a factor in my own life almost 10 years after the last time we hooked up.


At lunch with a friend not long ago, our waiter reeked. Yeah, it was coming out of his pores. My friend didn't notice. It just about screamed at me.


Hit the gas station at 11:55 Sunday morning and see who's in line at the counter. Invariably there'll be an old-timer with a 12-pack, shaking, hoping the clerk's not gonna give him crap because he's trying to buy beer five minutes before the law allows...


There's so much I don't know, but I know one thing:





an evil cult figure with zero fashion sense

Kill me if you ever see me wearing something like this.

Because it surely means I’ve been brainwashed and fallen under the control of an evil cult figure with zero fashion sense.


So, anyone wanna read my paper? It’s called “Influences on Adolescent Cigarette, Drug, and Alcohol Initiation.”

(Crickets chirp)


“Bueller? Bueller…?”


THEBOY likes Helmet, heh heh. Should have seen us running errands yesterday while “Unsung” and “Pure” played. It was the rockingest minivan in Tarrant County.


Zero traffic over the weekend from house shoppers. Someone did come Friday though.

Oh, and yesterday when returning from Sam’s we saw someone out front scoping out the place, so we drove around a little bit to give them time.

We returned home to find out that indeed, they’d been scoping it out, and they stole all our furniture.

(Just joking)


Kelli would love the excuse to buy new furniture anyway.


Scored a can of French Market French Roast coffee for $2 at Albertson’s yesterday. I’ve had it before—it’s good stuff!

THEBOY rode in one of those carts with a fire truck section at the front. He was happy, steering, all that. We went to check out and the bloody thing’s too big to fit in the checkout lane. Had to do self checkout. Weird.


One weekend.

Zero naps.

One tired Daddy.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


That's a good word.

Here, I mean to use it when referring to my research paper: "That mugfug is DONE."


I pretty much intend to limit my cursing on this site to TV sort of stuff. Yeah yeah yeah, you guys know me and know I let it fly sometimes, sure. But hey, I've got friends and family from all walks who could stop by, and I'm just not comfortable being downright offensive.

No, I'll just save that for emails to Mike Llorca.


So yeah, the paper is done. Ten pages of prattling on about peer pressure and studies and statistics (holy crap, that class WAS useful!) and all... I'm DONE.

And one of the biggest challenges was getting proper style together, as the American Psychological Association has their own bloody stylebook.


And they use serial commas... that's just wrong.


Anyway, there's nothing much more to report, as I've been holed up in this little room for much of the day, hammering out every 50-cent word I could think of (Perspicacious! Prestidigitator! Canoodling! I'm really not even sure if those are spelled correctly...).

I owe Kelli for shepherding the kids for long stretches over the weekend.


And tomorrow is Monday. I've gotta get my butt to work so I can take a break...

Stressing and Obsessing

A few years ago, when Japanese sensation Ichiro Suzuki first started to make his presence known with the Mariners, I found myself curious to see whether I might be able to buy a Japanese baseball jersey. They've got some crazy team names (Orix Blue Wave comes immediately to mind), so I thought I might find a conversation piece.

But as it turned out, finding any listings for Japanese baseball jerseys for sale was difficult. And when I found them, they tended to only be available in fairly small sizes.

Finally I found a site listing one in my size. I considered it for a moment, but then realized that, for reasons I'm not quite tacky enough to spell out here, I didn't want to appear anyplace in public wearing a jersey for the Yakult Swallows.


Speaking of which, I'm now using my new iBook G4. Kelli got a Powerbook as well, so you can imagine the sticker shock. I'm only moments into messing around with this. I will be glad to have the portability. I intend to take notes on this gizmo in classes.


THEBOY'S first sleepover went very well. He crashed at Sterling's place last night. They had snacks, watched movies, stayed up late, took a bath, etc. THEBOY spent the night in Sterling's bed when, in fact, Sterling bailed overnight to sleep with his mother.

When Sterling and Heather woke up this morning, THEBOY was sitting in the living room, having a conversation with their cat. I never got confirmation on whether the cat participated much.


It's been a pretty good weekend here I suppose. I mowed the grass this morning. 86 degrees with no wind and high humidity felt far worse than our usual 100 degree days. Sweat was getting in my eyes, dripping off my nose... ugh. But the yard looks good.


I've spent a lot of time busting my butt to get my psych research paper done by Monday. It's supposed to be 10 pages, and I've written seven. I feel pretty good about the length requirement, but after getting a bloody 40 on my journal I find myself stressing and obsessing over the details, wondering if I'm doing what she wants.

This type of paper is actually called a literature review, and it's made me realize that students who have undergrad degrees in psych probably have the advantage of being familiar with this type of paper. But I've got the APA stylebook, and I think I'm knocking out a reasonable facsimile.


Kelli had her first Arbonne party Thursday evening. She and Heather hosted one guest, our neighbor Bev. Bless Bev's heart, she's always been up for anything. And she borrowed some of the products, took them home and promptly did NOT announce that she wants to buy any.

No, she announced that she wants to sign on to sell the stuff herself, because she loves it.


Not at liberty to say much, but it's come to me through the grapevine that another Belo lackey is about to clean out the ol' desk...


Tomorrow I've got to finish the paper. Nothing else really planned. Ya'll have a good weekend.

Friday, July 22, 2005

For Sale

When listing one's doublewide on a realtor's website, it's probably not wise to feature a photo in which a tornado may actually be shown forming.

All right all right... I guess it's not a funnel cloud, but it doesn't exactly make the place look appealing, does it?

Mr. C

From D Magazine's August "Best of Big D" issue ...

Kristine Kahanek

Not only is she easy on the eyes, and not only does she steadfastly refuse to wear bow ties, but CBS Channel 11’s Kahanek actually has a degree in atmospheric science—unlike some other TV weather people in town. Plus, when 250 grade-schoolers at the Science Place recently did an experiment, they found Kahanek’s was the most accurate forecast in town. Our outlook calls for mostly brainy, with sporadic sexiness.


A startling realization from my trip to the dentist’s office today, watching a couple syndicated Happy Days episodes on the TV hanging over the chair:

The father on the show was named Mr. Cunningham, occasionally called “Mr. C” by the kids.

He owned a hardware store.

In my neighborhood is a hardware store called Mr. C’s.

No wonder I keep seeing Donnie Most and Anson Williams hanging out in the parking lot.


Okay, just joking. Actually, the last thing I saw in the parking lot there was a confrontation that just about turned into a brawl. That is, a teenager was standing in the open door of an SUV, squaring off to punch the driver, who was old enough to be his father. Maybe he was.

The SUV drove off, and the teenager stood there gesturing and shouting. I was driving by and didn’t hear what he said.


My cleaning took longer than I expected, so I skipped lunch. If you think you’re sensing panic, you’re right… eh, I’ve got change for the snack machine and some trail mix. I’ll make it.

And of course, I’ll be happy to make up the calories (and then some) tonight at Tex Mex.


And the clock ticks on…

Sanity Gauntlet

It’s Friday, boys and girls. I’ve had my scone, and I’m mostly through my venti iced coffee. I’ve got enough caffeine in me to fuel Oasis and their entire touring entourage on a four-day bender.

I’m not even sure what that means.


Scored a 96 on my social psych mid-term last night. Not everyone had taken the test when I last checked, but my grade was by far the highest. The average, in fact, was barely over a 70.

It was a hard test too, a thorough evaluation of how we’ve absorbed and grasped the material. I crammed seriously for a couple days. But again, something about this prof and I… I just have a good, intuitive grasp of the stuff she wants us to know. I’m not always so fortunate in a class, believe me.

(My regular reader will remember the stress stats class caused me...)


I was yelling at my radio again this morning. It went a little something like this:

“What the #$%^ is WRONG with you? I never, EVER want to hear Supertramp again IN MY LIFE, do you understand me?”

It didn’t seem to care.


I used to like them, but we parted ways after a “lost weekend” in Austin that I spent drinking screwdrivers from sunup ‘til, uh, nearly sunup again.

Supertramp now qualify as what ya might call a “trigger.” That is, they take me right back to that hazy time, and I don’t appreciate it.


THEBOY is supposed to have his first sleepover tonight. He’s been invited to crash at Sterling’s house. Curious to see how it goes. Everywhere else he’s gone he’s been a pretty game little sleeper. But then again, Mom and/or Dad were always a room away from him at most.


I actually saw my social psych prof at a restaurant in Ft. Worth yesterday. I’ve met her only once since it’s an online class. Mostly I know her face because of her photo on the website. So I opted not to suddenly approach her and say, basically, “You don’t recognize me, but I recognize YOU…”


Holy crap, Launch is playing “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by someone called.. Hampton the Hampster. This is a special brand of madness. I lasted 59 seconds through that sanity gauntlet.


Work work work… Friiiiiiday!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Rave On, Forklift Operator

The Jason Falkner-produced CD by Magnet is out. Someone on the Falk fan site provided this link so we could learn more, hear samples.

I don’t happen to speak or read whatever language THAT is.

But J-Falk played lots of instruments on the CD (guess that’s part/parcel of any project he’s got a hand in…). I mean to check out the samples at some point today.

Now excuse me, "Red Barchetta" is playing.


Whit’s last day as a drafter will be August 5. From there on out he will be a martial arts school owner/instructor exclusively. It’s the dream he’s had since we were kids. No one has stuck to a vision like that guy, and I’m proud of him and thrilled for him.


Ever feel like you’re just not the slightest bit like other people? Van Morrison’s “Rave On John Donne” is playing. While waiting for a report at the printer I told a coworker that we don’t read enough poetry, and that we should sit in the garden and do that sometimes (not together, of course). I said, “You ever feel like your life is just slipping by and you’re not doing the meaningful things?”

And she said, “Uh sure… hand me that report, will you?”


But another ducked into my cube a moment later and said, “I sat in the garden and read poetry not two weeks ago…”

Thank you!


THEBOY'S class had a field trip to the Ballpark in Arlington yesterday. What he told us about the trip:

They saw a cricket. He told the boy not to step on it, but the boy did anyway, so then they all did.

They rode in an elevator.

They saw a forklift.

The baseball lady threw away his cookies.


Jammin’ to “Jungle Boogie” by Kool & the Gang.


Got a social/psych mid-term tonight. On the one hand, the amount of material we’re responsible for knowing is staggering. On the other, I figured out in the last class that I just have a good knack for knowing what she wants us to know, somehow. And no, that doesn’t just mean knowing all the terms in bold from the text.

Then I’ve got a research paper due Monday, which I haven’t yet started. Man, these summer semesters go by at light speed.


The weekly haiku contest at Georgina’s blog was a hoot! Had several gut-busting laughs…


It’s Thursday, boys and girls.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Two Bits

From one of the studies I was poking through, doing some research for a paper:

"What's the best thing that ever happened to you in school?" I asked.

"I can't think of anything," Turner replied. He sat silently for a few minutes, pondering the question.

"Okay, uh, the coolest thing," he began again, "I was in third grade and we were sittin' in the lunch room, and I threw up on the table and everybody else down the table started throwin' up. [He laughs] It was cool."


From the mind of my wife… she has made up a word to describe our daughter:

Forticurious – adj. (combination of the Latin “fortis” and “curiosus”) Someone who is inquisitive and has no concern about the consequences. This word best describes my 17-month-old daughter. She is absolutely fearless and open to anyone who approaches her. She also is very nosy. She doesn’t like to be left out and will get upset if she can’t see what you’re doing. Borrowing from one of my father’s quotes about her, “She is so forticurious that if someone passes gas she has to be there to smell it.”

La Pistola y El Corazon

by Los Lobos

No sé como decirte
No sé como explicarte
Que aquí no hay remedio
De lo que siento yo
De lo que siento yo

I do not know how to tell you
I do not know how to explain to you
That there is no remedy here
Of which I feel
Of which I feel

La luna me dice una cosa
Las estrellas me dicen otra
Y la luz del día me canta
Esta triste canción
Esta triste canción

The moon says one thing to me
The stars say to me another
And the light of the day sings to me
This sad song
This sad song

Los besos que me diste mi amor
Son los que me están matando
Ya las lágrimas me están secando
Con mi pistola y mi corazón
Y aqui siempre paso la vida con
La pistola y el corazón

The kisses that you gave me, my love
Are those that are killing me
And I’m drying the tears
With my pistol and my heart
And here I spend life with
The pistol and the heart

No sé como amarte
No sé como abrasarte
Porque no se me deja
Dolor que tengo yo
El dolor que tengo yo

I do not know how to love you
I do not know how to hug you
Because pain is not left me
The pain that I have

Esta noche tan oscura con sus
Sombras tan tranquilos
Y el viento me sige cantando
Este humilde canción
Este humilde canción

Tonight so dark with its
Shadows quite calm
And the wind follows me singing
This humble song
This humble song

Los besos que me diste mi amor
Son los que me están matando
Ya las lagrimas me están secando
Con mi pistola y mi corazón
Y aqui siempre paso la vida con
La pistola y el corazón

The kisses that you gave me, my love
Are those that are killing me
And I’m drying the tears
With my pistol and my heart
And here I spend life
With the pistol and the heart


Gorgeous song. Forgive me if the translation is clunky here and there... I think I'm pretty close though.

Briscoe Sandwich

THEBOY'S got a field trip to the ballpark this morning, and he’s excited.

When getting dressed he wanted to start with purple socks. I tried to explain that his clothes should, you know, MATCH. He finally settled on blue socks, which worked okay.

I put him in tan shorts, a nice striped polo shirt and a ball cap. When he put on his backpack he looked just like one of those little kids in all the Japanese monster movies. For grins I had him point at the sky and say, “Look! It’s Gamera!”


The reunited Primus are going to record a new CD later this year.

I loved them back in the day, but they simply refused to grow, and in fact, took a step into juvenile nonsense towards the end. I hope they can cover some more artistic ground. There’s a ton of talent in that lineup.


An email from Hood’s wife, Kathy:

hi briscoe. erik didn't believe me when i told him that i would e-mail you and tell you what he did last night. so, make sure you call him and laugh at him for what he did.

last night we went to the frisco roughriders game. as you know, we have those tickets that you can redeem for either a hot dog, chicken sandwich, or a brisket sandwich. well, because brisket sounds a lot like briscoe, he's been using them interchangeably.

he asked me before we got to the game what i was going to eat. i told him that i wanted a brisket sandwich and he said that he wanted a "briscoe sandwich" too.

we get there, step up to order and he orders "two briscoe sandwiches." the girl looked at him confused and he was embarrassed because i couldn't stop laughing at him.

have a nice day and make sure you call him. he still didn't believe that i would e-mail you this morning when he reminded me about it all :)


The McClendons just got some terrific news… won’t spill it until it’s confirmed, but it looks like Whit’s transition from drafter to full-time school owner is about to become reality.


The Rangers looked pretty flippin’ good winning a 2-1 pitchers’ duel last night. Chan Ho Park went toe to toe with Mike Mussina for most of the game. Offhand I’m guessing neither starter got a decision, but they both pitched deep into the game and looked good. It was a nailbiter of a game on a night when I had to read a couple chapters and take a quiz (scored a 100… I’ll take everything I can to offset the damn 40 I scored on the journal…).


It’s Wednesday. I’m starting to feel the love.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


There's now a video for Helmet's "Smart."

I can't see it here at work, though, because I don't have Quicktime on this machine. Tried to download it, but I get an administrator flag--dang! Might try from home some night when tying up the phone line won't be a big deal.

If you watch the video, tell me how it is.

Flip Flop Flap

So where do you stand on this? Was it okay for them to wear flip flops to the white house because they're athletes?


I know boots are worn there occasionally. Our president happens to be a Texan and all...

But is this the same? Look at the photo. They give lip service to the fact that they're nicer flip flops, but I ain't convinced. Some of those look like your standard 99 cent Walgreens footwear. I think I'd be mortified too if my kid wore those.

And believe me, I like a woman who takes care of her feet, okay? That's no secret. But jeez... not at the White House.


When I met Dr. E for lunch last week, my cell phone battery was dead, so I borrowed Kelli’s phone.

I didn’t put it together until after lunch, luckily, but Kelli’s phone plays “Dancing Queen” by Abba when it rings.

I’m so glad it didn’t ring at lunch.


Not such a grand evening. I’m struggling with what to write my social psych paper about.

On top of that, the prof couldn’t read the assignment I turned in over the weekend. Formatting issues… the curse of the iMac strikes again.

So I hustled home over lunch to re-send it. Got home, and yeah, she got it all right. Got it and gave me a damn 40 on it. I’m guessing that’s because it was late. She’s quite clear about not giving a damn about technical issues. I’ve still got a B in there, but I was pretty pissed off and unhappy all evening.


Been jiggering with the site a bit. That is, I dialed up a new generic format. Got tired of the other one. This one ain’t exactly the bee’s knees, but it’s something different I guess. I tried to find a theme more indicative of my personality, like one patterned after ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres album gatefold photo. I’d provide a link but currently can’t find the shot online anywhere.


Tuesday. Forward, HARCH!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hello, Jaime...

You know you’ve been in this business in this area too long when you run into a guy you used to say hi to (and not much more) at your old job, yet you’re now passing in the halls at the NEW job and he doesn’t seem to notice that the setting has changed.

Ridin’ the Storm Out

Henley and I have been going back and forth about Kenny Rogers for a few days now. It’s nitpicking really… I’m just not quite as upset as everyone else. Yes, what he did was awful, and yes, he deserves everything he gets. I have spent a long time trying to believe in forgiveness, and oddly enough, I feel strangely capable of it where Rogers is concerned.

But when watching him pitch against Oakland over the weekend I realized that still, I’ll never look at him the same way again.


Emily is bearing down, headed towards the Texas/Mexico border. Man, I don’t miss sweating out hurricanes every season, let me tell you. My poor family is still down there by the coast, and hurricanes are just a fact of life for them.

We rode out hurricane Alicia when I was in the eighth grade. It wasn’t the worst hurricane, but it was no Sunday stroll either. I stayed up all night from nerves. We were worried that a tree over the den would be blown over. At about three am I heard a loud bang and put my face down on the kitchen table. When I looked up the lights were gone, but the den was intact.

I remember seeing green lightning during that storm.

And KLOL playing “Ridin’ the Storm Out” by REO Speedwagon.


Eric Rudolph… I hope somebody punches this guy’s ticket in prison. I don't think my forgiveness could ever extend that far.


Ankle is holding up okay. Today it’s bugging me worse than yesterday. And it made me stumble a bit this morning, and THAT made me bloody my pinkie toe on the closet door. I guess I’m lucky they don’t shoot chubby, middle-aged white guys with limps.


THEBOY got a new Fantastic Four backpack, and he’s pleased as punch. God I’m a sucker for Marvel stuff, and he knows it. He lectured a total stranger at the store about who they are, emphasizing that Dr. Doom’s a bad guy. She thanked him for the warning and kept walking.


He tried to explain to me this morning that Roo (from the Winnie the Pooh cartoons) is the son of Tigger. Hmm…


Time killed. Lunch now.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Martian Radio Signals

It's been a good weekend here thus far, THEGIRL'S perpetually pissy mood aside. I remember that for the first 18 or so months of THEBOY'S life he could be pretty arbitrarily grumpy. We usually blamed it on teething (or sun spots or Martian radio signals or the designated hitter rule).

So, something's up with her that makes her really hardheaded and angry much of the time. Yes, she's becoming Lou Piniella (baseball joke).

Her eye is finally looking a bit like a genuine shiner, but it's not nearly as bad as I expected.


Broke down and limped into the doctor's office yesterday afternoon. The verdict: sprained ligaments. I get to wear a brace and take anti-inflammatory meds. The brace works quite well.


We had a showing on the house this morning. Not sure how it went, but I'm getting damn tired of returning home after a showing appointment and seeing no indications that anyone's been here. That is, industry protocol, I'm told, holds that the agent should leave a business card when showing the house.

We only know someone was here because of a few scattered changes, things moved. And I could smell different people. I know, I know... but it's true.


Saw the Fantastic Four tonight. Some scattered thoughts:

It's not as good as either Spiderman movie, but it's certainly enjoyable.

No opening credits save for the title. Wow.

Michael Chiklis out-acts everyone else by a mile, and he's covered in latex.

Jessica Alba... whoa. She's got SOME acting chops at least, but I can forgive an awful lot for a cutey like that.

Basically the primaries chew the scenery throughout the film and just have a grand time making a comic book movie with plot holes both big and small (sometimes the Thing is too heavy for the elevator and sometimes he ain't...?)

But Dr. Doom's voice is all wrong. Wrong! For a guy who looks like THAT, and has THOSE powers, the voice we hear shouldn't sound like he's a stats tutor at the junior college or something.

Friday, July 15, 2005

That's "Little People Porn" to You, Pal...

On Kenny

An edited version of an email I sent to Danny Henley, regarding Kenny Rogers:

I won’t be a Kenny Rogers apologist. I will say, though, that I think the media have been assholes to him all season. 24 or fewer hours before the incident, Randy Galloway was on the radio saying something in Rogers had “snapped.” He was saying this because he and the local media presumed the start he missed after he broke the bone in his hand was somehow a ploy to force the Rangers into talking about his contract. The logic there seems a bit iffy to me, but every radio program and newspaper ran with it.

If you keep poking that pit bull with a stick…

And really, the atmosphere down the right field line that night was one of forgiveness, like everyone knows he’s been poked and put under a magnifying glass all season. The media can squawk and publish/broadcast all the conjecture they want, but when push came to shove (GROAN!) Kenny Rogers was not speaking to them. He was neither substantiating nor refuting their claims that he was trying to gain the upper hand in contract (re)negotiations.

It’s an asshole thing to do, and I’m behind the punishment 100%, when/if it ever starts.

So since last September we’ve had:

Frankie Francisco throwing the chair
Barajas/Drese getting into a dugout scuffle
Rogers fighting a water cooler to an apparent draw (though I gather the water cooler didn’t miss any starts)
Rogers blindsiding a camera operator.

It does bring to mind the question of just wtf is going on. Internal causes, external causes? All four guys can’t have the same internal catalysts behind their violent behavior, can they?

So you may be right. Something external is possibly fueling these moments of violence. Is Buck just pissing everyone off that much? Has the dot race finally gotten to them?

I’m just not as upset about this as everyone continues to be. I don’t think the London bombings even got as much press as this locally. It’s a big deal, yes, but in the end he’s a spoiled, rich thug athlete who had a scuffle with the media. Athletes make a mistake when they claim they’re not models—study after study concludes otherwise. But these guys aren’t paid to think or act like monks. They’re paid to be fiery, competitive, self-sacrificing machines. Their judgment is more than a little lacking from the get-go.

Jose Mesa pisses me off more, because he’s a wife beater.

Gary Sheffield pisses me off more because he’s vicious, dumb and egotistical.

Jason Giambi and Bret Boone piss me off more for soiling our game, MY game, with needles. The game is finally returning to what it should be. More reasonable HR totals, good pitching numbers…

Canseco is an imbecile, but perhaps we owe him a hell of a lot.

Have you seen Pudge lately? Shee-IT is that guy small.

I don’t know that I have a clear point, except that I’m not done with Kenny Rogers. As long as he pays the price and gives us a chance to be in the game every fifth day, fine. Most anything an athlete does that’s not between the lines tends to disappoint me anyway.

Highly Amusing... Sort Of...

The Infirmary

THEGIRL fell last night. We’d been playing “night night,” and she tripped over a pillow in the floor and went face-first into the corner of the glider rocker. It was pretty bad. She hit it with her eye, which was scary. She actually cut her eyelid. We checked it out as well as we could. The eyeball itself didn’t get discolored or dilated or anything, didn’t appear to have sustained any trauma. We’d do things in her peripheral vision to see if she’d react, and she seemed to.

And this morning it didn’t look as bad as we expected, thank goodness.


Me, I twisted my ankle yesterday and tweaked an injury I believe I originally sustained while working at Larry’s Music. That’d be 1990, folks. Walking is okay, but stairs and changing directions suck. I finally broke down and made an appointment to see the doctor this afternoon. I don’t want pills, don’t want surgery. I just want to know if this thing needs to be immobilized.


It’s raining here. When I first saw THEBOY this morning—in his jammies in the bathroom—he had already fetched his umbrella.




Watched the return of Curt Schilling last night, coming out of the bullpen to serve as the closer for the BoSox while (A) he rebuilds stamina after being out most of the season with his own bum ankle and (B) Keith Foulke, their regular closer, is out with knee problems.

It was electric as the flashbulbs went off and Schilling took the mound.

He promptly gave up a double to Gary Sheffield and a home run to A-Rod. The “electric” part didn’t last long.

Schilling’s mobility has been limited, sure, but I was quite surprised to see how much weight he’s put on. The extra pounds on the bad ankle won’t help his recovery or his stamina.

But he’s still the man, even if he sucks from here on out.


Scored a 100 on my psych quiz last night. I’m bad, I’m nationwide.

Tick tick tick…

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Tribute revisited...

Someone on the Manning forum has posted their own version of their dream tribute to Jellyfish.

Pedazos de Nada

What a crazy-ass day.

For once, we’re probably not headed out of town this weekend. ¡Que milagro!


I don’t miss Kmart. I know they’re out there somewhere, but they’re not near Dallas anymore. For your toothless, shoeless, most disgusting shopping experience…

And the customers were pretty gross too.



Lyrics to Jellyfish’s great song about self-love, “He’s My Best Friend”

I've known him all my life
It seems so inconceivable
At thirteen we shook hands but we've
Been always inseparable
He's cinnamon on my toast we're so

That's not to say we haven't had our
Share of arguments
He's so unpredictable he winks
When I would rather he closed his eye
Than push me aside

My hand's a five leaf clover
It's Palm Sunday over and over
I never had the luck of swingers
Till I was wrapped around your finger

He's my best friend
He's my best friend
He's my best friendI'm his best friend
He's my best friend

You don't need a brain to have a
Stroke of genius
Or a beautiful girl to let downYour curls
Cause growing up is hard enough
When you’re a powderkeg forPowderpuffs

(Whether we're stayin' in or hanging out)
I'd never ask another on a date to the ball
He doesn't need a rubber sweater or alcohol
Cause he gets tipsy from exchanging looks
And a little misty reading sticky
Blue dirty books

But he's my best friend
He's my best friend
I'm his best friend
He's my best friend

My hand's a five leaf clover
It's Palm Sunday over and over
I never had the luck of swingers
Till I was wrapped around your finger

He's my best friend
(We could hold hands for hours)
He's my best friend
(In the bedroom or shower)
He's my best friend
(I pick him up when he's feelin down)
He's my best friend
(I guess he's always been hangin around)
He's my best friend
(He gets lonely now and then)
He's my best friend
(And he gets shy around other men)
I'm his best friend
(It seems I've reached the end of my best friend)


Friday looms... THANK GOD

Little Footsteps

Man, last night--no kidding--Kelli and I were in the living room. About 10:20 we hear the pitter patter of little feet in the hall. Maybe THEBOY was getting up to take a whiz.

Only the footsteps went up and down the hall, and we just looked at each other. Finally Kelli started calling him, asking him what he wanted. We could hear him go to the far end of the hall, then nothing.

We stared at each other for a sec. I went into THEBOY'S room, and the little bugger was sound asleep. We both heard footsteps in the hall, but it wasn't THEBOY. Not sure what the hell was going on there.

Oh, and the hall closet was filled knee-high with blood.

Zany, eh?

(Taken from an email exchange with Mike Llorca)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What's That Smell?

This parenting moment brought to you by Renuzit "Fresh Elements" air freshener.


Kelli was having dinner with a friend, leaving me in charge of the kids for a stretch this evening. THEBOY was off somewhere in the back of the house, doing his own thing.

THEGIRL and I played in the living room, tickling, wrestling, playing "night night." We were having fun.

I thought I'd put on a little music to see if I could get her to dance. I opened the entertainment center and turned on the stereo. No CDs were in the player, so I had to go with the radio. The first station was playing a commercial. The second was playing the Byrds' "Turn Turn Turn." I figured it'd do the trick.

As I went to close the entertainment center door, THEGIRL got in the way, thus giving her full access to the receiver. I really don't want her messing with the stereo, but I stayed right there.

I'm not familiar with the station, and the song sounded like it had a lot of white noise. Lousy reception, I figured, but it'd do.

THEGIRL started poking at lights, exploring the receiver. Then the inevitable happened: She discovered the volume knob, which has a cool red light on it.

Yep. She grabbed it and turned it almost all the way up.

In an instant she dropped to all fours and began crawling away at warp speed. I grabbed the knob and turned it down. She was really scared, screaming and crying.

I picked her up to comfort her and reassure her in the silence.

Except... the white noise continued...

Then it hit me:

Sniff sniff.

Oh man.

I hustled the baby into the bathroom, and sure enough, THEBOY had been spraying air freshener, which he's obsessed with, the whole time.

The stench was unearthly. The bathroom rug was somehow SOAKED with air freshener and wet to the touch.

And the more I asked him HOW? and WHY? and WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? the fewer answers I got.

I didn't boil over, but I griped at him a bit. Then I told him he's a good boy, and now that he knows that the air freshener isn't supposed to be used like that, he'll know to spray it just one SHORT time from now on.


Met the lawyer this morning to draw up a contract on that house. We still have to go over the contract ourselves and sign/fax it.


And I met Dr. Ellison for lunch at a great little barrio Mexican joint called Campesinos. He's easy to talk to and get along with, and I think he'll be a great guy to have as an advisor and potential mentor.

Had tacos Yucatecas, which were quite good.


Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Diggin’ the Archer Farms raisin nut trail mix. We get hungry mid-morning, right? I have a heck of a time finding something that satisfies my hunger without making me feel guilty.

Any food can make you fat. You ever see the gut on a gorilla? They just sit around and eat leaves; it’s basically a big salad they’re eating all day, and BOOM, big guts.


Heh heh… a glitch in our scoring system in the fantasy league has been discovered. The result, according to what I’ve heard thus far, is that our team is actually going to be 14-0 instead of 13-1… ouch.


If you go home for lunch

And make your PBJ sandwich on frozen bread

And put it in the oven on "warm" for a minute to thaw the bread

But put it on a styrofoam plate...


You end up with picture #1.

But as seen in picture #2, you end up with a fine solution to your chips/salsa dilemma.

*You don’t think I really meant to spell it “viola,” do you?

Monday, July 11, 2005


I sang this song to myself constantly for about the first month we were here.


(Jimmie Dale Gilmore)

Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night?
Well Dallas is a jewel, oh yeah, Dallas is a beautiful sight.
And Dallas is a jungle but Dallas gives a beautiful light.
Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night?

Well, Dallas is a woman who will walk on you when you're down.
But when you are up, she's the kind you want to take around.
But Dallas ain't a woman to help you get your feet on the ground.
Yes Dallas is a woman who will walk on you when you're down.

Well, I came into Dallas with the bright lights on my mind
But I came into Dallas with a dollar and a dime.

Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eye
A steel and concrete soul with a warm-hearted lover's disguise
A rich man who tends to believe in his own lies
Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes

Why Isn't BB Sleeping?

A. Because I just love to stand in the yard, scratch my butt and try to figure out what critters are making all those crazy sounds

B. Because the quest for world domination starts... now

C. Because I'm curious to witness this so-called "sunrise" I keep hearing so much about.

D. Because I forgot to water the damn grass last night, so I set the alarm for five a.m. today so I could turn on the sprinklers and jump back in bed, only to discover that I woke RIGHT up, couldn't get back to sleep, and the thought of that last cinnamon roll in there is killing me...

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Yeah... I mean NO, but yeah...

Big day big day.

We went to Corsicana this morning to make an offer on the Stanford Ct. house.

I stayed up too late, and this morning was worn out and suffering from the effects of an apparent skirmish between my guts and the chiles rellenos I had for supper last night. It's the closest I've come to feeling hung over in a long time.

We wanted to do some modest haggling over the price. We like the house a lot and were determined to be of one mind.

So we sat down at the table knowing that:

1. She's already had a cash offer on the house
2. She showed it to someone last night (and it's not even listed yet)
3. She was a real estate agent for 20 years
4. We really want the house, and the market in Corsicana is lousy. We've scoured it top to bottom, and in fact, there have been NO new listings in two weeks.

And THIS is when she comes out and tells us point blank she won't come down off the asking price.

So it was "take it or leave it." Zero leverage. Her asking price wasn't awful, at least, and it was certainly less than most of the other houses we looked at.

As Beth left the room I quizzed Kelli in Spanish, which she's been studying lately for a class: "Tu quieres pagar todo?" ("You want to pay it all?").

Yeah... I mean NO, but yeah, we didn't have much choice, and really, we didn't have much regret. To get that house in that location in THAT lousy market after shopping for a relatively short time... so be it.


Kelli let me take a nap after lunch, and man, she earned her wings. I woke up feeling human again.


We returned home and THEBOY and I went to see the Texas Rangers game. We had pretty good seats that were eight rows from the field, about halfway between first base and the right field fair pole.

He had this running commentary going through the whole game, and everyone around us was clearly paying attention and having the occasional laugh.

"Sorry--he doesn't have a volume knob" I told one, who didn't care.

He can ask pretty good questions about players. "Is this a big guy? Does he hit home runs? Where do they go? Is he out?"

Hank Blalock was batting, and he asked, "How many home runs does he hit?" I told him probably about 30 this year, and a middle-aged man turned around and said something about how it was great that he was into the game and wanted to know so much about it.


Flash forward an inning or so, and the man returned to his seat from somewhere. He turned around and handed THEBOY a ball covered with reproductions of Rangers autographs. We both thanked him enthusiastically, and I told him I know he spent some money on that. He tried to fib: "Aw no, it's a promotional thing, it's... I've got connections." No, I see those in the gift shop every time I go out there. The guy probably bought that for THEBOY. Very nice.

THEBOY and I got up to walk around and play some of the games in the park. I meant to buy the man a beer, but we were gone a long time and he was gone when we returned.


Now that would have been a sight: Me carrying a bottle of Budweiser. I didn't even like that swill when I DID drink.


Toland got a car--hoorah!

Friday, July 08, 2005


THEBOY'S class has gone on a pair of field trips to a place called the Wagon Wheel Ranch. There they get to see farm animals and visit with farmers and cowboys.

At breakfast yesterday, THEBOY was talking about the latest trip.

THEBOY: "Roosters can't peck."

Me: "What? Why not?"

THEBOY: "Because they have that thing on their beaks."

Me: "Oh, okay."

THEBOY: "I was trying to help farmer Brian [no relation--ha ha] catch that rooster but I couldn't because it didn't know me."

Me: "Uh..."

THEBOY (ominously): "But the chickens know me..."


Not exactly sure what that meant, but it sounded like those chickens better watch their fannies when THEBOY'S around.


Sometimes I have so many THEBOY stories that I think I should just rename this little blog after him.


"Say THEBOY, there's a police officer here to see you, says he has to give you this piece of paper... why, it's a restraining order... you're no longer allowed to come within 100 yards of the chickens..."

This just in...

I have just encountered one of the most unfortunate names ever.

The first name is Paige.

The last name... (and I'm separating in case she's Googling herself--wait, THAT doesn't sound right--Googling her NAME. Perhaps this will keep her from finding my decrepit little strand of the web...) Pancake.

I'm not kidding.

I'd like to respond to her message and claim my last name is Wafflehaus or something. "Hey, don't laugh, it's German!"

I'm so bad.


Been very busy here. Hopefully the morning rush put me well over my daily “hustle” quota. It’d be nice to coast from here on out.


Last night THEBOY got out of the shower and broke wind.

“Do you need to go to the bathroom?” I asked him.











“Okay, tell Mama I did that!”


A new wrinkle this weekend: The van needs new brake shoes. That’s one of the few mechanical chores I can take care of myself, so I’ll be in the garage Sunday morning, cursing, scraping my knuckles and getting it squared away.


Tomorrow we’ll have a fairly quick trip to Corsicana. We intend to make an offer on that house in the morning, and tomorrow evening THEBOY and I are going to a baseball game. It’s Rangers/Blue Jays, with the mercurial Kenny Rogers facing off against Scott Downs, whom I’ve never heard of.


Social psychology looks interesting so far. It’s another online class, but it’s not based so much on quizzes and such; we have some actual writing to do, which I for one appreciate. We’re supposed to keep this ejournal all month, detailing pertinent thoughts and actions. If they want introspection, self-doubt and double-guessing, let me just say for the record that they have come to the right place. I should just turn in a link to this blog, sit back and wait for the A+ to roll in…


If you:

Hand THEGIRL a whistle, she will put it to her lips and won’t actually blow, but will emit her own squeal that sounds uncannily like the whistle.

Ask THEGIRL what a monkey sounds like, she will pivot left and right and say, “Ooo oo oo.”

Put on music, THEGIRL will dance.

Vacuum, THEGIRL will applaud when you’re done.

Want to wrestle, THEGIRL is willing, and she’s likely to kick your ass.


After going over the schedule in detail, it’s looking like I’ll try to take nine hours of school this fall instead of six. I’d rather bust my butt for a couple years instead of coasting through four or more.

I’ve lost my mind, right?



Thursday, July 07, 2005

Tan Fuerte!

You know, if I don’t like some blues guy it tends to be because they’re way too guitar-happy. God knows I love BB King and some Buddy Guy. And hell, it’s not like Muddy and those Chicago guys were afraid to stretch out a bit.

But lately I’ve run across something else I don’t care for, currently embodied (for me) by Sonny Terry and/or Brownie McGhee.

I know they were fine musicians, well-respected and all.

But way too much of their repertoire was that sort of… countrified dipshit “Shortnin’ Bread” stuff. Time after time when Launch plays something of theirs (like “Pick a Bale of Hay” from a few minutes ago) it just gets on my nerves.

I don’t really know what to call that. It’s just… novelty blues I guess. And not to say that it’s so far-removed from something like Robert Johnson’s “They’re Red Hot” or anything. It’s just not the kind of sound I think makes for an interesting or enjoyable repertoire.


You know, Jason Falkner’s Bedtime with the Beatles is really flippin’ good. It’s instrumental versions of Beatles songs, done as lullabies. And it’s just gorgeous stuff. It’s not like elevator music. It’s tender and lush, and clearly done with the utmost respect for the material. I really didn’t expect to like this stuff. Right now Launch is playing “Here There and Everywhere,” which was recognizable from the very first chord. Very cool.


I never get tired of Willie Nelson’s “Whiskey River.”


Why is the song called "Dueling Banjos" if it's actually a guitar and a banjo playing it?


I work the overnight broadcasts for our local UPN affiliate. That is, I rearrange the commercials.

At that time, as you can imagine, the commercials tend to be:

Lawyers—Have you been in an accident?

Injury clinics—Have you been in an accident?

Technical/truck driving schools—Do you wanna learn how to drive a big rig and hopefully not have an accident?

Phone chatlines--The internet isn't the only way to get porn!

Jim Adler does some of my favorite lawyer spots, as he SHOUTS everything: “Don’t get pushed around! Get the money you deserve! Get your compensation for medical bills and lost wages!”

He’s so effective I’m about convinced he can get me money from somewhere, and I haven’t even been in a wreck.


My favorite spots, though, are the Adler spots on the Spanish-language stations, where he’s shouting phonetically-assembled Spanish words at the camera: “YO SOY TU ABOGADO TAN FUERTE! LLAME AHORA MISMO!”

(“I am your lawyer quite strong! Call right now!”)

Trust me, it’s funny.


Half the day’s gone. We may be okay after all.

Hand me my space boxers, will you dear?

This thing is trippin’ me out.


You know… I need to go to the bathroom, but an incredible storm is raging outside, and I just know the power’s going to go out while I’m in there.


I need to see my advisor before registering for fall courses. I emailed him and suggested a couple times to swing by his office.

He then went with an altogether different date and asked if I like Mexican food. Hmm. So this has gone from “I need your signature” to “I need to schmooze over enchiladas.”


Every time I write about school I find myself putting “grad” in front of everything. It’s like those bad science fiction films where “space” is added to everything. “Hand me my space boxers, will you dear?”


It’s Thursday. Busy as I’ve been, this week is still moving by at a faster clip than last week. Being shorter helps I suppose.


Stay dry.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Angels at LaGrave Field...

It was a baseball-filled weekend here, that's for sure. THEBOY and I hit a "park" (aka a big field at the edge of our neighborhood) to fly his kite and hit a few balls around this morning. Before noon the temperature was below 80 and it was windy, so I thought we should take advantage of that.

Since we had room to spare I brought real balls and bats. He's got a promotional bat he got at a Rangers game. He struggled to swing it, but he did connect with a few pitches.

Trying to fly his kite was pretty fun too. You think you're in a huge, worry-free place until you launch the kite and see power lines and trees looming. We stayed away from those, somehow.

The first time the kite went up a hawk swooped down from the trees for a closer look. That was impressive.

As we left THEBOY fell in the grass and landed on something that left tiny stickers/splinters in his knee and hand. I felt bad for the guy. I did my best to pluck them out but only got so far before he decided he rather not have me messing with them.


After lunch I decided that boy needs to step up baseball-gear-wise. We hit a store and found a nice little aluminum t-ball bat for a good price, and a glove and batting gloves. We then went to a backstop at a local elementary school. A couple of older kids were hanging around and volunteered their services as catcher and outfielder.

On the second pitch THEBOY smacked a worm-burner just inside where the third baseline would have been. Dang that kid can hit.

Playing catch didn't work out as well, but his new glove is stiff. I'll work on it and see if I can make it flexible enough to be useful soon.


After we came home I had a moment of panic--my wedding ring was gone. I knew I'd been wearing it, and I realized that taking my own baseball glove off must have pulled it off my finger back at the school. Damn.

But after 10 anxious minutes of poking around in the dirt I found it.


The most amazing baseball event from the weekend, though, occurred Friday night. I took THEBOY and his friend Sterling to see the Ft. Worth cats. Sterling's mother, Heather, lost her father last week, and I was glad to pitch in and give her and Nick an evening sans kid. She's certainly been there for us on many occasions.

LaGrave Field isn't exactly a stunning architectural achievement, but the prices are good, the field is in good shape, and that's a pretty hot little team playing over there.

We sat directly behind the home dugout, which proved to the be a problem, as both the boys were too short to actually see OVER it.

Turns out we were seated near a rowdy group of regulars who handed out noisemakers and made friends of newcomers. They ushered us up a row and we could all see just fine. We were in primo foul ball territory, though, so I had to keep an eye on every pitch, which is tough to do with two four-year-olds in tow.

We had some ballpark food, walked around, found a bounce house for the boys to blow off some steam and generally had a fine, casual time. As is tradition at minor league games, fans pitch in a dollar for a player who hits a home run. I happened to have a lot of singles on me, and you know, the score was 15-2; the Cats just about dollared me out.


Heather text messaged me to ask how it was going, and I tried to zip through a quick response.

And that's when it happened.

I didn't hear the crack of the bat, but I heard everyone yelling, "Heads up!" I looked up and saw the ball coming down at tremendous speed. I was turned around the wrong way and twisted back to try and get an arm extended. No dice.

Sitting next to me was Sterling, and THEBOY was one seat over. The ball missed Sterling by about two feet, and missed THEBOY'S head by about 10 inches.

It landed in his drink holder.

That is, it went straight into it, busted out the bottom and stopped harmlessly on the ground, where THEBOY'S neighbor, one of the rowdies, picked it up and handed it to Sterling.


It scared me to death, let me tell ya.


The rest of the game I watched every pitch like a man with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Couple other foul balls brought me out of my seat, but none landed very close to us after that.


It still rattles me to think about it.


THEBOY borrowed Caleb's light saber. He was showing us his fighting moves this morning, and each time he swung it he'd bark, "HOO YA!"

It was really cracking us up.

THEBOY asked me, "Do you think it's funny when I say 'hoo ya,' Dad?"

I told him I did, and he said, very seriously, "Well the bad guys don't."



Well, back to work tomorrow. Ya'll have a good week.


Tired, very tired. I'd hit the sheets, but just going to the grocery store at 9:30pm in this heat made me sweaty enough that I've been gulping down water. Not wise to go to bed so soon after drinking so much, right?

Today went well enough. Rented a pressure washer to clean up from last week's painting debacle, and it worked well and got most of the paint up. That was fun.

We have wasp problems in the summer around here, and I've been going through can after can of wasp spray. I guess the pressure washer pissed one off, and he was hovering in my face for a minute. I stepped back, and once he floated back and gave me enough room to aim the spray gun--BOOM! 2400 psi, bug man. Say hi to your 4,322 dead bug buddies I've laid to waste this summer.


Kelli and I took this camping trip many years ago. Can't recall where... Lost Maples maybe? Nice enough place. We set up a tent and went out for an "easy day hike," according to our trail guidebook.

It was NOT easy, let me tell you. At one point we were on our hands and knees climbing up the side of this big hill, scraping ourselves on rocks and getting filthy, wearing ourselves out. If I saw the author of that book tomorrow I'd kick him in the jibblies.

So we returned to our campsite and discovered that the little shelter, under which was a picnic bench, was just crawling with wasps. Not sure if they'd been there before and we missed them or if this was something sudden. But there were way too many for our comfort. What to do, what to do?

Kelli zipped herself into the tent, and I put on my hooded sweatshirt. I rolled up a newspaper and decided I'd eliminate the wasps one by one.

I've since seen some nature show that explained that when a wasp or bee is killed, it gives off a pheromone that gives an "attack" signal to the others.

So the scene played out like this:

I'd creep up to the wasps looking like Kenny from South Park and smack at a wasp, maybe hitting him, maybe not.

The wasps would start buzzing around like mad, and I'd run laps across the campground until they calmed down.

I did this over and over, and all Kelli could see through the narrow tent opening was me hauling ass after every WHAP. Once I was running backwards and tripped over the campfire, which luckily wasn't burning at the time.

Finally one of the little bastards got into the back of my sweatshirt, right on my neck. In one motion I grabbed him through the cloth, pulled off the sweatshirt and threw it to the ground. I dove into the tent with Kelli and we decided to formulate plan B.


Plan B, as it turned out, was to leave for lunch and stop at the park office to ask that they send someone out with a can of bug spray while we were gone. So we had lunch in scenic Bandera, Texas at a Dairy Queen if I recall. When we returned the wasps were gone and the rest of the trip went just fine.


Amazingly I have never been stung by a wasp. Couple bees here and there, lots of ants, and maybe some spider bites. I was hauling junk out of the back yard a couple weeks ago and something bit me on the shoulder. It only recently stopped itching.


I've been bitten by just about every breed of dog out there though. I do believe I'm about done with dogs.


Tomorrow is July 4, and I hope we have a good day. Got some odds and ends to do around the house, and tomorrow night the boy will get to see fireworks.


Take care, and boogie on with your bad selves.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Hey Baby, It's the 4th of July...

Okay, so it's not quite. But we headed to Corsicana (surprise!) to celebrate a bit early today. We did a little house hunting, watched some Rangers baseball on TV, and had a grand time at cousin Tonja's.


We started out visiting a house that's not listed yet, one Kelli's mother found out about. One of her church friends is selling it this summer, so we were allowed a sneak peek.

It's nice, and fits the bill better than any thus far.

It's a pinch bigger than what we currently have. It's been updated nicely, the layout is good, it's on a quiet cul de sac and it backs up to a park. The view out the back patio is like looking out over a golf course. The back yard is a good size as well.

Inside the bedrooms are big, the windows have been updated, built-ins are here and there... oh, and the roof is fairly new. Heck, I didn't even see any indicators of the foundation problems that are all over Corsicana. It's got a mud room with a sink, which I'd certainly like to have.

Price isn't bad either. This could be it, folks. More as we put our heads together.


And someone we know through Tonja is looking to fill a job down there and asked me to send a resume. Mostly she just wanted to know if I have a bachelor's degree. It's out of broadcasting, which I'm ABSOLUTELY READY FOR. It's a window and door manufacturing company, and basically they need an office manager. Maybe I fit the bill, maybe I don't. But Jann certainly wants to talk more about it. I'm game.


Tonja's holiday party was a fine time, with several of the regulars hanging out in/around the pool. THEGIRL had a ball playing in the water with her mother. THEBOY fell down a few times, and that upset and frustrated him, but really he was well-behaved and had fun.

He disappeared inside at some point. I went to look for him, and he was sitting on the pot with the door open. I said hi to him, and he said, "I just been sitting here thinking about robots."


The digital thermometer on the back patio at Tonja's read 106 for a while. Once it got below 100 I was fairly comfortable. By the time we left Corsicana we were actually in the middle of a little squall, with cool lightning all around us.


Ya'll have a good weekend.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Hakuna Matata, Bird!

THEBOY was outside playing with Caleb, the neighbor boy, yesterday evening. They were playing with their Super Soakers. It was about 8pm and I went to fetch THEBOY to come in for a shower.

As we returned to the house he spied something in the grass. We stopped for a better look, and it turned out to be a dead bird. It had ants on it, flies, and looked pretty bad in general.

I prepared myself to be the father, to give one of those “ashes to ashes” speeches.

Me: “You see, THEBOY, the ants and bugs will eat it, and it will decompose—“

THEBOY: “Can I squirt it with the squirt gun?!?”

Me: “Uh—yeah, I guess”

THEBOY: “Cool!”


And he was satisfied. Turns out I didn’t have to go all “circle of life” on him after all.

Cranium Nerves and Exploding Brains

Scored a 92 on my psych final. Glad to have that over with! For 85 questions I was breezing along, kicking ass. Last couple weeks I’ve felt like I really understood what the prof wanted us to absorb, and I made this killer study packet (25 pages!) for the final.

But the last 15 questions required us to think instead of just spitting out rote facts. I did okay.

Wish I could forget about school for the weekend, but classes for summer II start Tuesday, and if my textbook comes in the mail today or tomorrow I’d certainly benefit from getting a jump on the reading.


Well, the sign is in our yard now, and our house is officially for sale. It’s kinda sad really.

I just hope we can move the place… seems like there are a ton of houses for sale in our area. Most are priced above ours, so hopefully we’ll appeal to people who want to be in that neighborhood but can’t swing some of those prices.


Tonight is the Cats baseball game, of course. And now it’s looking like THEBOY and Sterling will spend part of the afternoon at the dreaded CHUCK E. CHEESE today. I hope we’re not setting ourselves up for some serious overstimulation problems.


Opened the garage door last night to find Oreo chasing one of those noisy-ass cicadas. I hate those things because of the fearsome noise they make. It’s like it hits a nerve in my cranium or something.

He caught the buzzing/shrieking thing in his mouth and meowed weakly at me as if to say, “What’d I do?”


Nice work from Bruiser on the tribute album bit.


Jason Falkner’s been doing a handful of shows in the LA area. Hope these are warm-ups for a genuine tour.


Just found out that a director I used to work with in Austin is here. For six months I was one of his production assistants at KTBC, back when they were a CBS affiliate. For some reason he liked my work. He had a famous line: Whenever he was impatient for a camera op to get a shot, he’d say, “Hurry before my BRAIN EXPLODES!”

We laughed, but he didn’t.

Anyway, I’ve gotta say hi to the guy first chance I get.


Funny, I left that job to take my first traffic job, at KLRU. Now we’ve sort of come full-circle, as I’m in (hopefully) my last traffic job.


It’s Friday Friday Friday. Happy happy happy.