Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Pugwash Checks In

Ah... nothing like getting an email from your newest musical idol out of the blue. I'd tried to hit Jason Falkner's site today, but apparently it's gone. So I went to a fansite, and among the folks bemoaning the loss was one named Thomas Walsh.

I posted a quick note asking if he was THE Thomas Walsh, the main man behind my current favorite album, Jollity by Pugwash (http://www.pugwashtheband.com/). I mentioned how much I'm enjoying it, then surfed elsewhere, thinking nothing more of it.

Tonight--boom! There was this message for me:

Hi Brian.....Hope you're well my friend? Yes, I am "THE"
Thomas Walsh.....!! I've never been called "THE" before
but I like it.

I'm very chuffed that "Jollity" is causing you to go "Mental".
That's a first too but thanks. I must admit that my American
fans are really kind and really into The Pugs.....! Thank you
for buying it Brian and parting with your hard earned cash.

How did you hear of my music? Did you know that Jason
Falkner played and sang on my second album "Almanac"?
Keep in touch Brian and keep loving what I do, it means
the world mate - Thank You.....!!



So there you go. It's a terrific album for any fan of smart pop. If you dig XTC, Jason Falkner, Jellyfish, Fab Four... Like Jason Falkner's Can You Still Feel?, it's an album that will maintain a spot among your favorites.

Availabe at NotLame (http://www.notlame.com) last time I checked.


Are you paying attention, Bruiser?

BOOM—flop flop flop flop

Current music: “Bridge of Sighs” by Robin Trower. You read right.


You ever feel like weird crap just happens when you’re around?

I strolled down Precinct Line Road last night to take a DVD back to Blockbuster. It’s not far from the house.

And as I returned, I heard a BOOM—flop flop flop flop.

A couple blocks in front of me, on the opposite side of the road, a car was driving ON the sidewalk. Not on the road at all.

Now, Precinct Line has always made me nervous. I keep a close eye on the cars whenever I’m over there. I’m always scared of some car zipping by at 40mph and jumping the curb, leaving me as a greasy stain on the sidewalk.

So this car went maybe 100 feet on the sidewalk, then plopped back onto the road. It ambled past me slowly, some sort of late model sedan. It had a flat tire, and was making some other screwy sounds. A Jeep followed as the car turned into the library parking lot. The Jeep hung back a bit, though, so I’d guess they weren’t together, per se, until the sidewalk incident.

A cop showed up almost immediately, and I headed home.


So, did the car jump the curb and get the flat? Or did it jump the curb because of the flat?


Computer issues. Gotta jet. Be good.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dad

We almost lost you in November.

You came home, though.

It didn’t stop us from worrying. It hasn’t yet.

But in those early days after you came home, I found myself saying, to myself and anyone who’d listen, that you had a birthday coming up, and that’d be a nice milestone. It’s here, and it means you’ve been with us a couple months beyond the point where we wondered if you’d be with us a couple more days.


I remember:

Being five years old and watching some cartoon special about… jeez, a journey into the human body or something. It ended long about the time you got home from work, and that broke my heart. I cried, and you patiently explained that TV shows come from someplace far away, and we can’t play them again. (Times have changed, eh?). What patience.

Sleeping on the cots in your apartments.

Trying to release the hammer on a shotgun I’d cocked but didn’t manage to use. I guess whatever critter I wanted to shoot zipped away. And I wasn’t strong enough to let the hammer down slowly, and the shotgun went off, straight into the air between our heads. You didn’t say a word.

Walking along the edge of some island out in the bays one dark night as we were floundering. You were explaining that somewhere close by was a sudden dropoff. At that moment you disappeared into the water, and nothing was left but your lantern, floating there. “Holy shit!” I said, as I plunged my arm into the water. I doubt you heard. Ah, so THERE’S the dropoff.

How you never begrudged me for being a typical teenager and spending what seemed like years locked in my bedroom.

How you got excited about the blues with me. I can still hear Stevie Ray Vaughan echoing off the hardwood floors in that house.

How you told me the world was bigger than Angleton, and that it was okay to explore it to find my place.

And how you explained that working where I grew up, in a chemical plant, could be a bad choice because it’s a job that’s too good to leave. (I think most of my career to this point has been a misstep, but I’m trying to correct that.)

I remember clubhouses and tire swings and bee stings and fishing poles and betamax movies and Rancho Deluxe Supreme and weekends at Charlene’s and Gold Rush and an unexpected belly dancer (I’m laughing now!) and a mashed potato fight.


I’m glad that there’s more to come. My kids need to know their Papa, still a kid himself at 58.

Almost Forgot...

Van Morrison is coming!

Local rags say he hasn't played here in 25 years.

Yes, we've bought our tickets (thanks Kelli).

My dreams are far more hardcore than I.

What I forgot to mention in the midst of all the marathon stuff is that I was actually babysat, back in the day, by the one and only Francie LaRue. She was an Olympic gold medalist rather late for a runner if I recall; that is, she was in her late 30s. Dad knows the specifics. If you look her up you’ll see that she’s still competing.


Had this crazy dream that I woke up in what I called a “flophouse.” It was in Austin, a building where $10 would get you a room for the night. Not a CLEAN room, but a room. I remember thinking it was as filthy and decrepit as something Charles Bukowski would have written about. Dirty, stains all over the bed…

It was snowing outside. I peered out the window, and several stories down in the alley I could see sleeping bags and little shanties full of homeless men. A garbage truck was trying to pull through the alley but couldn’t for all the bodies there. Bellowing angrily out the window of that truck was the one and only Lemmy Kilmister.

My dreams are far more hardcore than I.


Current music: “God Bless the Child” by Billie Holiday.


I still feel a bit like I’ve been hit by a garbage truck, in fact. But I’ll live.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

On Sunday

That was the name of this really good, overly dramatic song by an Austin band whose name I cannot recall at the moment. Toland?


Here I sit, having slept until 10:30 am (wow!) due to (A) Kelli's sweet generosity and (B) the cumulative effect of a few days' worth of cold medicine.

Now I'm having some Java Paradise coffee while THEBOY messes around with something online and THEGIRL watches Elmo DVDs.

When I was five years old, my father once brought me a HUGE sheet of paper for me to draw on as I wanted. Must've been two feet by three feet or bigger.

Now my kids are online, watching DVDs... their upbringing is a heck of a lot different from mine. I hope I'm doing this right.


I think I am though. THEBOY had some cash in his piggy bank, and Friday night, after days of hearing The Little Attorney plead his case, I took him to Toys R Us.

He picked a Spiderman plug 'n' play video game. It was misplaced, but I thought I found the price for it: $19.99.

We went to ring out, and it was actually $29.99, way out of our price range.

It was awkward. Two nice sales clerks immediately began conspiring to knock $10 off the price, what with the whole piggybank cash scenario in front of them.

And THEBOY said, "It's okay. I'd better go get something else."



We got a similar Fantastic Four video game and headed to the same checkout line. The checker said she'd never seen a child who would have taken that so well--and she raised five sons.


The things that linger #1: I'm having this fine cup of coffee in a mug with my evil ex-employer's name printed across the side. I must admit that I threw away the shirt with their logo on it immediately after I left.

But I like this mug. It's a good size, nice color. I'm not going to let the presence of their name keep me from enjoying this mug.

Sometimes, though, when I'm not paying attention, I catch myself spitting into it.


A question to anyone who may be interested: Have you ever heard the phrase "nightclub jitters"? If so, what does it mean to you? I'm mulling a project for one of my classes.


My classes are great, just great. I've got the same prof for both of them, and he's one of the best I've ever had. The compliment I'd like to pay this man (but won't until I'm done with his classes), is that I'm WITH him, about 99% of the time. I mean, my mind almost never wanders during his marathon three-hour classes. I'd say in the stats course I took last spring my mind wandered about 60% of the time.


Speaking of marathons... and NOT the race for a change... we watched The Wedding Crashers last night. We enjoyed it for sure. It's no Schindler's List, of course, but it's good, light-hearted, raunchy entertainment.

But like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, it's also 20-30 minutes too long. Did this movie really need to be 128 minutes long? The material simply isn't deep enough for that. I found myself editing the movie as it played. The whole opening sequence, a montage during which it's established that these men crash weddings in order to woo/bed some of the guests, is about three times as long as it needs to be.

When you write a book, I'm told every scene needs to advance the plot, you know? In The 40-Year-Old Virgin, there's a whole scene in which the store manager solicits some marijuana from a pothead warehouse clerk. We already knew he had a little grass business on the side; this was completely unnecessary, you know? Granted, it was the unrated version, and from what I've read in Slate, unrated mostly just means LONGER.

The Wedding Crashers was not the unrated version though.


Man, I'm rambling today.


Looks to be a gorgeous day here. I'll take the kids to the park later. Ya'll have a good one.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

FanFest and More

A quick update here. It's been a pretty good day, my cold aside. And really, it's not that bad. I'll take this over a stomach bug ANY day.


The prof walked in this morning and said today would be our most boring class, and called it "stats on Saturday." But really, it wasn't that bad. We just looked at a whole bunch of studies and sort of dissected them. What was the hypothesis? Who did they study? Was this plausible? Who funded it? Okay, so it's not altogether thrilling either.


THEBOY and I headed to the Ballpark in Arlington this afternoon for FanFest. We were supposed to meet Hosch and Vicky, but I couldn't reach them. I'm afraid I've missed something or made some mistake. At least they have a full itinerary for the weekend, so their enjoyment doesn't depend on the presence of me anyway.

But THEBOY and I had fun. The Q&A and autograph sessions simply weren't ideal places to take THEBOY, so we didn't see many Rangers. We saw Pete O'Brien in a gift shop, and we bumped quite literally into Buck Showalter in the dressing room. Otherwise we stuck with kid activities, like bounce houses and batting games. And he showed me around the kids' activities in the museum, which he remembered from a school field trip quite a while back.

And you know, as we climbed some steps from field level up to the concourse, he counted the steps: 47. Smart kid.


So I'm looking forward to a farily mellow evening. Kelli got us a new printer, since I managed to kill the old one printing up so many copies of Juke. I'll clean up the study and hook that up, watch a little UFC action and basically take it easy.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, January 27, 2006

“Coffee tastes like birds to me.”

Ah, I have a pinched sciatic nerve in my lower back. That’s the cause of these shooting pains in my legs that keep waking me up overnight. At least I made it until 4:30 am before the pain woke me up today.

So I’m back to seeing the chiropractor three times a week for a stretch, until we get this squared away. Ugh.


And I’ve got a solid head cold.

But this is still better than the damn stomach bug I had.


I hauled THEBOY with me to Dr. Wonderlich’s office today. Afterwards we hit Starbucks for a sugary breakfast.

THEBOY: “Are you drinking coffee?”

ME: “Yes.”

THEBOY: “Coffee tastes like birds to me.”

ME: “Birds? What does a bird taste like?”

THEBOY: “Well, it tastes like bird poop.”

ME: “You know what bird poop tastes like?”

THEBOY: “It tastes like grass.”

ME: “Have you tasted grass?”

THEBOY: “It tastes like coffee.”


So there you go.


Happy Friday.


Go to Nadine's blog and you'll see that my nemesis manager from Belo is now doing the same crap to her that she once did to me. It wasn't my imagination.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Swing Away

Ah, now this is cool! Really appeals to the linguistic nerd in me.


There’s a new Alejandro Escovedo album coming out in May. Coooool.


Some scattered bits from last night:

Twig, talking about what a great game baseball is. He remarked that early in his career (late 40s/early 50s) he’d been hitting “.196 in Des Moines,” then was on the major league club the next season.

Lewin, referring to US Cellular Field (the White Sox park) as “that cinderblock piece of you-know-what.”

The Cats’ GM (forget the name—sorry) noting that they do have a player represented by Scott Boras, not that it matters. Independent league players get a fixed salary dependent on experience ($750-$2000 a month or so). There’s no negotiating.

Learning that one reason the Cats abdicated their former league is that one team had staged a promotion that went too far: They had fans play a video game to determine the score of the first inning. Then they played innings 2-9 (presumably) on the field. Some teams called “bullshit” and sought greener pastures. Can’t say I blame them.

Twig, recalling his major league debut, during which he swung at three pitches from Jack Antonelli (Braves if I recall..?), then had a seat.


I'm seeing the chiropractor in the morning. Hopefully he can help this new back problem.


Class tonight. I’m looking forward to it. I’m still a textbook short, which hacks me off.


What an evening!

Hood invited me to join him at a meeting of the local chapter of SABR (the Society for American Baseball Research). It was just as baseball-geeky as it sounds.

We met at the Legends of the Game Museum in the Ballpark in Arlington (other name? What other name?).

First up was speaker Josh Lewin, play-by-play man for the Rangers. Very approachable, very down-to-earth guy who was fun to listen to. He was also hawking his new book, You Never Forget Your First. It’s about major league players’ memories about their debuts. I picked up a copy and got him to sign it to Kelli and me… she enjoys Lewin’s work, but for some of the wrong reasons. Not sure what she sees in the guy THAT way, but he’s likable enough.

After a short break came the real treat. Wayne Terwilliger of the Ft. Worth Cats spoke. You may recall that he managed them last season, retired, UN-retired, and will now be their first base coach. This is a guy who has been in pro baseball about 60 years, and man did he have some stories to tell. Sharp as a whip at 80, “Twig” talked about his favorite guys (Jackie Robinson, Kirby Puckett, Ted Williams), and spoke rather bemusedly about how he’s forged a career in baseball.

When Q&A time came, it became clear that the room was full of old-school DFW baseball royalty. Guys with Rangers ties from way back (like former manager Frank Lucchese), Texas indie baseball roots, local statisticians (like our buddy Mike… see you again in Phoenix, amigo). Names, dates, anecdotes… every old-timer in that room has forgotten more about baseball than I’ll ever know.

I felt like I hit the baseball jackpot last night.


And in the ongoing saga of my time on the disabled list… yeah, all the time I spent in bed due to the stomach illness messed up my back. I think I’ve got a pinched nerve or something, as I’ve got shooting pain in both legs most of the time now. Hoo boy. I’ve heard about this. Gonna see the chiropractor just as soon as I can. It kept me up for about 90 minutes overnight. I hope this doesn’t become a genuine problem.


I’d better get to work. Happy Thursday, ya’ll.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Review of Contemporaneous Issues #2

This something I'm turning in for the discussion portion of my multi-cultural counseling class tomorrow.


Review of Contemporaneous Issues #2
COU 6304
January 26, 2006

I participated in a spirited discussion about prejudice last week. It occurred on the message board of an acquaintance’s website. I shared a story:

I am a white male, 37 years old. I have a BS, and am working on a master’s degree. I make middle-class money, am happily married and have two kids. I drive a minivan.

I live in a freakin’ ivory tower.

I also jog.

While jogging through a wooded park, I noticed a woman jogging towards me from maybe a quarter mile away. At our respective paces, we were going to pass each other during the stretch where the jogging trail was obscured by dense tree cover.

I kept on, and I emerged from the trees to see that, instead of being alone with me in the woods, the woman had done a u-turn and jogged off the other way.

Prejudice comes in lots of forms. It’s slippery business sometimes.

The reply, from another participant:

What? That's prejudice based on the fact that she lives in a sexist society that disempowers her and does not protect her from things like rape. That's the difference. You don't blame her because you shouldn't blame her, sad as it may be. Her actions did not in any way oppress you.

And I’ve been mulling this over ever since. I get the feeling one of us missed the point. Prejudice doesn’t exist exclusive of oppression? I didn’t argue, as I simply didn’t feel like it. And a white, middle-class male arguing that he’s been a victim of prejudice isn’t likely to get much sympathy. I say that as a fact, and without bitterness. I’m looking forward to gaining some insight about this in class.

Captain Superfreak

Current music: �Hurt� by Johnny Cash




What I just saw is hard to put into words.


But that never stopped me.


Joie and I were driving to Subway to pick up lunch. It�s about two miles down the service road from here.


And� standing outside an apartment complex was a man who seemed to think he�s a superhero.


The description:


Black male, probably just shy of six feet tall.


Red, white and blue leggings. Might have even been scraps of flags for all I could tell.


Black belt with a big (eh, cowboy-size) belt buckle.


Red, white and blue long-sleeve shirt with eagles and such here and there.


Mask� it was so hard to get a good look at this guy�s mask. We couldn�t decide if it was greasepaint or really a mask, but I�ve about decided it wasn�t paint. Sort of� like a combination of the Lone Ranger�s mask with some multi-colored stuff below it. Maybe the lower part was greasepaint.


The top of his head sort of came to a point, and blue, mop-like strands stuck straight up, mostly. Looked like a sort of wig to me, but Joie thought that was real hair.


He was walking along the sidewalk, sort of slowly ambling along, watching the ground.




We proceeded to Subway, chattering about what we�d seen. We thought maybe he was a crackhead who decided he�d be a superhero. He kinda walked like he�d taken a jump off a second-story balcony.


But his costume was too tidy, too elaborate for some random crackhead stunt.




We saw him on the way back. He was standing by the road, and we slowed way down. I honked. He looked at the van, checked his (super secret decoder?) watch and took off running into the apartment complex. He seemed to be in good shape, running with a purpose. Maybe the commissioner just called him. Or we blew his cover.


Man I wish we'd had a camera.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Current music: “The KKK Took My Baby Away” by the Ramones.


Sad but true: While passing a magazine rack at the grocery store, I recognized a photo of Eric Johnson’s ’57 Strat on the cover of Guitar Player.


While in Angleton after the race, we passed a mechanic’s shop. Dad remarked that it was run by the “best one-armed mechanic” you’ll find. I asked about him, and Dad mentioned he’d lost his arm in a skiing accident many years ago.

This is the man I remember seeing wheeled into the ER in Angleton many years ago when I was there to get stitched up after some accident.


I’m feeling better. I’ve made it nearly half the day at work without much discomfort or gross hoo-ha.

Lunch is coming up. We’ll see how that goes.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Double Gurgle

I don’t know whether I’m better. I guess the nicest way to put it is that one big, gross symptom has steadily declined while another has taken its place.

Put another way: My life has been like an endless Imodium commercial since Thursday.

Put yet another way: I’m now gassier than a dirigible.


So before I spin entirely off into tacky humor…

Well, I’ve spent so much time in bed over the last few days that my backache is now almost as troublesome as the bug.


So I have no idea whether I’ll be at work tomorrow.


I did make use of my time today and watch Kinsey, starring Liam Neeson. It was quite a good flick, very enlightening. Not quite great, seeing as how the major plot points were predictable. But the subject matter was so doggone interesting, and Neeson was great.

Recommended for sure. But make sure the kids are in bed first.


A scene from THEBOY’S birthday party sometime back, as I dialed the pizza place:

Me: “Hi, I’d like to order your largest pepperoni pizza.”

Woman with thick NY accent: “Okay, you gonna pick it up?”

Me: “No, I’d like it delivered.”

Woman: “Hang on.” (Puts phone down) “Hey, you feel like delivering a pizza?”

(Voice mumbles a response)

Woman: “Where do you live?”

Me: “Uh, in the neighborhood right behind your shop. It’s about a half a mile I guess.”

Woman: (Puts phone down) “He SAYS it’s only a half a mile away.”

(Voice mumbles a response)

Woman: “Yeah, okay.”


Keep in mind that the sign out front saying that they deliver. I guess it depends upon the whim of the delivery guy.

He had a tattoo on his arm that read, “Queens.” I’ll bet Hurst feels like Mars to him sometimes.


The doc today was stunned at my weight loss. He actually gasped. He pointed out that I’d weighed in at 182 last July during a visit. I assured him it was intentional, and he said, “Okay… man, you scared me.”


Looks like the spring training trip is on again this year. Hood and BB, soaking in all the baseball we can over three days in Phoenix. We mean to start off in Tucson, actually, to see some Rangers/ChiSox action. I’ve gotta get busy trying to score those tickets.


Local media are reporting that Tom Hicks has sent a letter (a letter? Does anyone really send letters anymore?) to Roger Clemens' agent Alan Hendricks in order to make a case for the Rangers in case the mercurial Clemens decides to pitch again this season.

I’d certainly like a staff consisting of Clemens, Millwood, Padilla, Eaton and… Dominguez? Kam Loe?


Ya’ll have a good Tuesday. Heck, I hope I have one too.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Sunday Night Update

At 10pm on Sunday night, I feel the best I've felt in days. Not great, but better. There's still this dull pain down in my left side that worries me. If I don't wake up feeling miraculously better I'll see the doctor tomorrow. I'll almost certainly stay home from work regardless.

(Maybe the yogurt helped, Sis. Thanks for the tip).


I slept an awful lot today. THEBOY was gone until early afternoon, hanging out with a friend after a sleepover. Kelli woke up with her own nasty headache, but that passed late this morning, so she and THEGIRL took a long lunch together.


Went to the grocery store tonight. That was a feat of endurance, lemme tell ya. Bad stamina to start with, no food for hours... but I needed to get a few things. I thought I'd zip in and out, but ended up making a BIG trip.

And I got so cold. Man.


It rained here today for the first time in... months? I don't recall any rain since about November 30.


Sorry I don't have anything terrifically entertaining to share. Ya'll do have a great Monday. By my next entry perhaps I'll feel like myself again.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


My stomach is STILL not right. Ugh. All day it's been nothing but bubbling, gurgling and cramps.

Everything has stayed IN me for the first day in a while though. I guess that's progress. But really, every mouthful of bland food just becomes pain in five minutes.

This sucks.

Maybe tomorrow I'll emerge from this.

Ya'll have a good weekend.

Friday, January 20, 2006


Nicked this idea from Orangepaisley

Write your own captions for any of the race photos below. We'll call them #1 through #5, top to bottom.

Race Photos

Some notes:

As I've said, I walked up a hill for only about 1/8 of a mile somewhere around mile 11. Naturally, the best shot they got of me was when I WASN’T running.

I’m 5’11” and 158 pounds, and still I managed to wear something that made me look fat.

Whit, who is wearing the stocking cap in one shot, is my oldest friend. We ran this together (for 10 miles at least, until he pulled ahead). He owns a martial arts school in Katy, TX.

Thank you for putting up with me as I obsess/obsessed over this.

I mean… BLECH and all

Friday Friday… aaaaah.

Okay, it ain’t all that great. My stomach’s been in knots off and on since Monday. Monday! Did I just shake everything up too much in the race? I’m tired of it. Today I’m just going to eat like normal. Babying my stomach does no good, so I might as well enjoy myself.

It ain’t that bad. Just annoying.


Heh heh… so Osama bin Laden has mentioned he’d be willing to discuss a truce with the U.S.

My dramatic interpretation of how that might play out:

Important U.S. Guy in Dark Sunglasses: “Suuuuure. We’re willing to talk. Just come a little closer, Osama. Yeah, that’s it. Right out here. Step away from under that awning, out here closer to the curb and we’ll do a whole bunch of negotiating.”


Important U.S. Guy in Dark Sunglasses (into radio): “Hey, we’re gonna need a mop and a bucket out here.”


Class was good last night, despite the fact that I kept thinking I might have to run from the room while clutching my guts.


In fact, I got to stare needlessly at the professor’s crotch for a while during the lecture.

“But BB… why?” you may ask.

See, we had our mid-class break. As I returned, one of the ladies in class took me aside. “Dr. C’s fly is undone, and we think a guy should be the one to tell him.”

Ah, fine. I figured I could do that.

So I walked in and had a look.

It looked fine to me. I mean… BLECH and all, but really, his fly appeared to be zipped.

I turned around, and the ladies were mouthing things to me. Now, I’m terrible at deciphering what people say when they mouth things to me. But they seemed to be saying something like, “Just go up there anyway—it’s really unzipped.”

And just like I had an entrance interview to get into this program, I could suddenly see myself in an exit interview, explaining for the umpteenth time just why I’d interrupted a lecture to talk to my professor about his nether regions.

I stared. And I stared some more. Then came the telling moment: He eased back and sat on a desk, propping a foot up on a chair. If he was having a wardrobe malfunction, well, this was the time during which it was mostly likely to be evident.

It wasn’t.

I was saved.


Later, as he futzed with a video, one of the ladies told me, “It WAS unzipped. He must’ve fixed it.”


You know, I was looking at my timing splits from the race last weekend. As late as nine miles in I was on a good pace, doing better than 10 minutes a mile. I was, in fact, on pace to finish at roughly 2:05:00, which would have been a really good time. But I faded quite badly at the end. I’ll chalk that up to having burned so much energy early on, as well as just being a little under-prepared due to my calf injury. I hadn’t run in two weeks when race day rolled around.


Got my eye on another race now…

Happy Friday, ya’ll.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Crossing the Line

From the “Well DUH” file…


If you’d like to see video of me crossing the finish line at the marathon, go to the Houston Marathon website and scroll down to “click to launch finish line video.”

Enter my name, or my bib number (27964). I’m in a mostly-black long-sleeve shirt. You’ll see white patches on my arms; one’s an iPod, one’s a sweat band. I raise my arms feebly as I cross the line, then pass pretty close to the camera. You’ll see my scowl, and what two hours of sweat and wind did to my hair.

Be sure to look for Whit McClendon too. He emerges on the right of the screen, in a stocking cap, sunglasses, and a white t-shirt with WHIT printed across the top.

(Edit: Whit's video requires a separate search since we finished several minutes apart)

Photos in a few days I believe.

Whit on the Race

He emailed this to students, family and such.


Hey, folks!

Sifu Whit from Jade Mountain Martial Arts, here. Just wanted to pass on a little story.

Sunday marked my second attempt at the Houston Half-Marathon, and I thought I'd share the experience. EEaarRRGHhhhHH!!!!!!!! I keep forgetting that 13.1 miles is exactly that...13.1 miles. I ordinarily don't drive that far in a day, much less run that far! Nevertheless, I was determined to run this race again.

As many of you may know, I ran this race for the first time a year ago. I have never been a long distance runner. I think the most I've ever run in training or for fun was less than five miles, and I usually do sprints, interval workouts, or shorter distance runs of around two miles, when the notion strikes me. I ran track back in High School, but I was generally in the back of the pack, and only ran the 800 meters, which is just two laps around. To be honest, I stunk. But I never let that stop me. ;-)

Sometime in 2004, I got the idea that running the 2005 Half-Marathon in January would be a good idea. My own Sifu had often run marathons and triathlons in the past in order to 'foster the mind-body connection.' I liked the sound of that, and decided to see for myself how that would feel. Many of you have heard, in great detail, how that first race went, and know that I was thrilled (and quite stunned) to put up a time of 2 hours 10 minutes, which is quite average for a decent runner. Since I'm not generally a decent runner, I was very happy with that. As the year went on, I looked forward to the next race, and hoped I could beat my time.

This year, the old specter of asthma showed up to haunt me. I haven't had asthma in over 20 years. But I'm 36 now, and the body is a bit different than it was in my younger days, and I started having trouble with my breathing way back in September. It took quite awhile for me to decide that something was actually wrong, and then more time to go see a doctor about it. During all of this hemming and hawing, my training suffered for lack of the ability to take a deep breath, and the race crept ever closer.

It came time for the race, and my breathing was somewhat improved, but was nowhere near what it had been the year before. Running two miles had recently proved a challenge for me, but I was not about to let the facts stand in my way of giving it a shot. A dear friend of mine, Brian, had come down to run with me, and there was no way I'd say, 'You go on ahead, and I'll stay here and wave at you when you cross the finish line!' I jokingly told him to just kick me to the side of the road if I passed out.

It was cold, around 50F, when the starting gun went off, but not as cold as last year. The sunrise was beautiful, and there were far more people on the sides of the road to cheer us on than last time, and their yells and applause kept us going. After the first few miles, it became apparent that this run would be struggle. Legs were fine, arms were fine, but the muscles that kept me breathing were actually getting fatigued from the workload. Nevertheless, I plodded onward. Brian was running a nice, easy pace, and seemed to be drifting effortlessly along. I focused my efforts on breathing in and out and on staying relaxed. Mostly, I just didn't quit. I just kept going.

I was relatively OK for the first 9 miles or so, slowing only to gulp water or Gatorade at the drink stations along the course. After that though, it really started to feel like my lungs had shrunk, and my pace slowed. I started taking short walking breaks along the course, running for awhile, and then walking for 30 seconds so I could catch my breath now and then. But I wasn't about to quit. I wanted to finish this race, 'Run, Walk, Stagger, or Crawl', so I kept going.

There was a point near the end when someone said, 'It's just around the corner! You can do it!!'. So I turned the corner and saw the finish line...and it looked like it was another 10 miles away. Argh. Even so, I kept going. Walking, running, walking again, but never stopping. Always going, always moving.

And after what seemed like 6 years of running, I crossed the finish line. I raised my arms in the air as though I had won an Olympic medal, thrilled to still be conscious and able to walk. Wow. 2 hours 24 minutes 11 seconds. Not nearly as good as last year, but not too bad. I staggered into the George R. Brown Convention Center to await Brian, who had dropped back late in the race, and thought to myself that this was a pretty good day. Honestly, I don't know if I'd have been able to do this well without Brian's support, and I'm glad he was there for me. Thanks, Brian!

So why am I writing this? The point I wanted to make is that we all have obstacles. Sometimes, things can be tough. Injuries and illness, work issues, family troubles, there are so many things that can stand in our way as we make our journey through life. But don't give up. Set a goal, make a plan, find some support, and then get moving.

There will always be obstacles. So find a way around them, over them, under them, or blow straight through them. We grow from challenge. Sometimes we challenge ourselves, and sometimes, the challenges aren't asked for, but either way, we grow from facing them. Don't ever give up. Believe in yourself, and you'll be surprised at what you can do.

Have a great day! Train hard, and live long.


Sifu Whit McClendon
Jade Mountain Martial Arts
22123 Katy Freeway
Katy, Texas 77450
281 395 5935

Monday, January 16, 2006

Up That Hill

I'm tired, but it's time to post race details.


4:30 am came way too early for me, let me tell you. I guess I hit the sheets at Whit's place around 10:30pm.

I was nervous, and woke up often.

I'd arranged and rearranged my clothes for the race four or five times. I'd dreamed about it, trained for it, and heck, even planned a song list for it for months.

It was becoming reality.


We zipped down the freeway, listening to Ray Charles and cutting up. You know, anxiety didn't overwhelm me at any point. We went into the George R. Brown Convention Center, went through a couple pre-race formalities, then headed outside.

We were in the "back corral," aka the "slow people's section."

I was shivering from the cold as I waited there. Whit disappeared for one last toilet run, and you know, I should have gone with him.


The starting gun was LOUD, and half the folks in the back corral looked around, asking whether that was IT. I was sure it was, and in a moment we were in motion. Probably took a couple minutes to actually reach the starting line.

I'd tried to find that "ready" feeling inside of me that morning, and it just hadn't happened. In the days before I'd had fleeting glimpses of it, moments when a voice inside of me seemed to be saying I was ready.

On that morning, though... nothing.

When taking that first step, I did at least manage to put out of my mind that I'd be in motion for over two hours.


The sight of the sun rising to our right was glorious.


I had never run more than eight miles, and Whit hadn't managed to go farther than, I believe, two or three in his training. My calf injury had kept me from stretching my distance farther, and his asthma had hampered him.

13.1 miles seemed reachable one moment, and a pipe dream the next.


Whit and I were shoulder-to-shoulder there in the crowd. He was in his t-shirt, hat and gloves, and I was in my great Easton compression shirt and some black shorts. Had the iPod at the ready.

Early on, Whit and I were cutting up, talking a bit. I knew that wouldn't last.

And the sonofagun kept SPEEDING UP. I mean, our pace was fine, but when there was an opening in the crowd he'd dart forward, and I'd have to turn on the jets to catch him. I knew I was wasting energy, and it would come back to haunt me later. I jokingly chastised him for it, but really, we largely stayed together for about 10 miles.


The turnout was great. The temperature at the start of the race was around 50 I guess, and folks were on the curbs in jackets and blankets, holding up signs, yelling and slapping our hands. It was awesome, and I don't mean to use that word lightly. 10 miles into the race the cheers were still giving me chill bumps.

I felt great for quite a while. At about the six mile marker I was thinking that I would CERTAINLY be doing this again someday.

There were bands here and there, runners in crazy getups, folks handing slices of orange to runners, and of course, blessed drink stations.

Henley has told me about the heightening of senses that occurs when running, and let me tell you, the Gatorade was as sweet as cane syrup. It was incredible. Overhwhelming even.


Someone who smelled like patchouli passed me.

It wasn't funny.

In fact, there were a lot of funky smells along the course. Lots of sewer odors here and there, and under one overpass was the biggest pile of manure I've ever seen. It could have concealed a minivan. Couldn't the landscaping project have waited until AFTER the race? I didn't appreciate smelling THAT.


Standing in the median at one point was a little old lady holding a sign that read, "Freaking Awesome!"

I had to laugh.

I was surprised at how many folks were having mixed drinks as they watched us go by that morning.


At 10 miles I was telling myself I'd NEVER do something like that again. My lower extremities were in a lot of pain. The calf was holding up, bothering me much less than I'd expected. But my feet hurt, my knees hurt, and I was getting tired.

I was slow, but I was passing walkers everywhere. I moved, I chugged, and with the help of the iPod, I managed to lose myself in the run here and there.

And then, just past mile 11 came an incline.

And I STOPPED. Crap.

I couldn't run up that incline. I started trying to fathom what was going on, whether I'd reached the end of my stamina. Runners passed me left and right, and I stumbled along, defeated by the incline.

I walked about 1/8 of a mile. Once it leveled out, I began running again. That last stretch was cruel, but I made it.


I finished at... 2:29:48 if I recall. I'd averaged nice 11-minute miles for a while, but at the end I was mostly quite slow.

Mostly. I went into a sprint somewhere during the last 100 yards. I put everything I had left out there, and I ran as fast as I could.

It wasn't very fast.

The gun time was about 2:31:00 when I crossed. Watching the video tape, one of the on-air folks describes, at that moment, a man in a grey shirt sprinting the final 100 yards (no shot though). I was in a grey and black shirt, and I wonder if he was talking about me.


Whit finished 6-7 minutes ahead of me. He had to battle the asthma, and despite having to stop to catch his breath several times, he simply ran faster.


Walking was immediately difficult. We must have looked like the president and vice president of the Fred Sanford fan club as we hobbled to the parking garage, cursing steps and curbs. We changed clothes in the van and headed out to get some noodles. You should have seen the staff at the restaurant laughing as we limped around, grunting and groaning. We must have been a sight.


I'm tired, and not doing justice to this experience. It was really one of the greatest of my life.

Yes, I think I'll do it again.

Next time I'll make it up that hill.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Race is Over

Short update. More later, of course.

The race is done.

It was one of the toughest things I've ever done. Wow.

But I made it.

The calf, while not perfect, did much better than I expected. Either that or I made everything else hurt so much that I don't really notice the calf.

Pain. Everything from the knees down hurts.

Ya'll have a great weekend.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Guess the Product

Current music: "Evans Shuffle" by Muddy Waters.


I hit the campus over lunch.

Like any set of errands one runs at school, the results were mixed, as indicated by the following quotes:

“No, your check isn’t here yet. I’m not sure why. Maybe next week.”

“You ordered it online? And it said we had a used copy? Well, we don’t, so we had to charge you $40 more for new. But we don’t have that either. Maybe next week.”


At least I discovered a better place to eat than the cafeteria.

It’s better because:

They didn’t think I was a professor

The sight of my debit card didn’t confuse them.

So to recap, I showed up, requested food, presented a debit card by way of payment, and after a smooth transaction was given a plate of food. It never was quite that easy in the cafeteria.


I’m really, really tired of rearranging commercials.

I’m tired of dealing with salespeople.

I’m tired of staring at a computer monitor all day long.

I’m tired of having a dollar sign attached to every move I make..

I’m tired of having an active hand in peddling crap to the public.

You know, I saw one of my spots today… part of the slogan was “Less ooze!” You get to be the first honorary Friend of BBamI if you can guess the product.

Vote for the Satanist Vampire!

(Thanks for the link, Toland)

The Babe Magnet

It’s casual Friday.

My shoes are off.

I’ve got a space heater blasting next to me.

I’ve got a comfortable chair, and my tiny TV is airing The Price is Right.

This ain’t work.


Wow. 80-year-old Jack (happy birthday, sir) is one of the final two contestants. And it looks like he’s up to win a HOVERCRAFT.


I’d love that, man.


Whoa. And he won. The whole kit and caboodle. Dude. Jack is going to be such a babe magnet on his hovercraft.


Yeah, so you know, twice this week some fancy schmancy coffee originally meant for MY cup has ended up needlessly going to waste (via the floor—thanks again, KEN—or a sink).

Strange bookends to the work week.


After class last night, by the way, the prof seemed to be warning me about the Saturday class. I’ve got the same guy for both of them. He said it’s going to be “different,” and that, despite the text’s short length, it’s “dense and very detailed.” Aw crap. That's NOT what I wanted to hear about a stats-intensive course.

So it looks like I’ll have one good class and one lousy class.


I am OFF for four days beginning tomorrow. Hurrah!


I keep having all these crazy dreams that I’m escaping from prison or somesuch.

And in completely unrelated news, I’m still talking to folks at that other place of employment about possibly joining their team…


Come on LUNCH…

I've Got Them Komodo Dragon Blues

Happy Friday, ya’ll.


The guy who zipped in front of me to walk into Starbucks this morning took the last cinnamon scone.


That’s okay, I thought. They’re finally brewing some Komodo Dragon Blend, which I’ve been dying to try.

He bought the last of that too. In fact, it wasn’t quite enough to fill up his grande cup, so he just told them to pour it out and he’d get something different.

I didn't have the four minutes to spare while they brewed another pot, so I went with another coffee.


So that’s why I was running naked through the Sack ‘n’ Save, your honor.


Yeah yeah, I’ve used that joke before. It cracks me up!


Class was good last night. This one looks like it’s going to be really interesting. Great prof, interesting subject, cool projects. Yeah.

And being back among my classmates was good too.


Then I came home and FINALLY drew the “Iron Spidey” picture THEBOY’S been asking for. Apparently Iron Man is giving Spider-Man a new costume as part of some upcoming story line. I told THEBOY about it, and he’s thrilled. Hey, I just know because I’m on Marvel’s email list.

So I drew my best Spidey for him last night. He’s taking it to school for “showing tell” today.


And then BOOM, I hit the sheets at 9:30. Yeah. It was just one of those days where I got tired early, and for once I listened to my body.

I feel pretty good today, lack of Komodo Dragon and cinnamon scone aside.


THEGIRL has now made a smooth transition from crib to bed.

And she used the potty twice yesterday. Wow. She's not even two yet.


Be good. Mostly.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wuffa wuf moof mahf thung!

THEGIRL has left her crib and now has her own “big girl” bed. She slept well in there, I gather, and went to bed with no more fuss than usual. It’s a cute little toddler bed with side rails. It doesn’t hold as many “friends” (stuffed animals) as the crib did, but you know, she had too many in there anyway.


Ever feel like the odds are stacked against you? I’m undertrained for this race, and my calf is injured. And now at work a bad respiratory bug is going around. It’s progressed in a perfect line through five cubes and an office. If it actually made the loop and came back around to me I’d be last, but of course, I can’t count on this progression anomaly to continue.

I am trying to keep to myself though, not mingle more than necessary.


Current music: “I’m a Boy” by the Who


Man, a coworker’s dog is in poor health, and you know… the grief is palpable. I mean, I know she’s talking to her neighbor about it from their nonverbal communication (and the tissues). And this emotion still tugs at me. Weird.


Early man was hunted by birds? WOW.


One of the sick folks here ran through a course of erythromycin last week that didn't help. She had an allergic reaction, in fact. She looked up possible side effects of the drug, and one was "black hairy tongue."

Now, as a guy who participated in a number of medical studies back in the day, I'm trying to imagine the setting in which this symptom was discovered.

Some guy in his jammies, crawling out of his bunk after yet another nap, wondering if he can get some time on the pool table, or maybe find an issue of Time laying around with a date more recent than two years ago. But his post-nap mouth funk is worse than usual. He sticks out his tongue and says something like, "Hey! Whaff va mumph! Wuffa wuf moof mahf thung!"

And though he thought it was the end of the world, or at least a certain end to his popularity on the dating scene, his occurrence was compared to all the others, determined to be statistically insignificant, and didn't stop the manufacture of erythromycin.


Happy Thursday, ya'll.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Wednesday Nonsense

Lots of good stuff happening here.

School starts Thursday. That’ll be multi-cultural counseling, which sounds pretty cool. Saturday will be another research techniques class. Ugh.

After class Saturday I’ll leave for Houston (well, Katy). Sunday morning Whit and I will “run” the half-marathon.

This oughta be amusing.

Monday I’ll see my sister and father, which I’m looking forward to.


THEBOY has been playing with walkie talkies lately. I was reading the paper this morning while answering his queries from across the living room. I went to sign off, and he protested.

Me: “Do you think I should go to work in my jammies?”

THEBOY: “Nonsense!”


I dreamed I was working here (for these folks at least), but in a different office. It was in Austin maybe. We’d been getting some sort of promotional material for some sort of ambitious project headed by this guy I used to work with named Rick.

I think we got pamphlets or something.

So looking out the window at the freeway, we suddenly saw his project: a huge rocket.

Only it was coming DOWN, scooting around, going all sorts of crazy directions. We had a perfect view from 500 yards away as it finally headed towards the busy freeway. It was going to be a terrible catastrophe, and we had a perfect view.

From that distance, though, I decided not to take my chances with exploding rocket fuel. I made a beeline outta there. I made it quickly to the parking garage below, where I was safe.

End of dream.


Rick is actually no longer with us. I liked working with him. Not sure how/when he passed.


I’ve had good workouts lately at least. As I told someone, I tend to leave the gym feeling like I’m either a useless sack of shit, or the baddest mofo in the building. Two nights in a row it’s been the latter.


Been watching some Pride fights on DVD lately. It’s Japanese mixed martial arts bouts.

It’s… interesting. This DVD, Shockwave 2004, is a good three hours in length. I picked it up because it features a Gracie, and I’d heard good things about Fedor Emelianenko.

From what I gather, the Gracies are basically the be-all, end-all of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I’ve heard stories about early UFC fights featuring some of those guys, and how they changed the sport. You pretty much need some sort of ground game these days to have a good chance, and I gather it’s due to them.

This Gracie (the package says he’s Ryan, but the announcers kept saying “Hyan” or something) was a good fighter all right, but he apparently has a bit of a bad reputation. He pushed the ref at one point, and for a brief moment I feared for the ref’s method of ambulation (nice phrase, Whit).


Gracie was frustrated by the very thing that frustrates me about Pride: the ring. Unlike UFC, which takes place in an octagon-shaped cage, Pride matches are in what appears to be a standard boxing ring. I’ve heard people say that the octagon is “cheating” somehow, but you know, whenever Pride fighters spend too much time on or near the ropes, the ref STOPS the action and re-positions them in the middle of the ring. It’s a real momentum-killer.

Why have such a ring when so much of it is off-limits?

And if one guy is defending from his back while another is standing, the ref will stop the fight and stand them both up rather quickly. Why?

There are some serious size-mismatches too. At one point the difference between two heavyweights was over 100 pounds. That ain’t right.

Those extra pounds didn’t help the bigger man a bit though.


And that’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about Pride.


Happy Wednesday, ya’ll.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Mouse al Carbon

See, it’s always best to douse that mouse so he can’t torch your house.


Wow. Meebo really does rock. I've logged onto Yahoo Messenger for the first time in roughly five years. Seeing my old friends list is like some pre-layoff time capsule. I don't even remember who most of those folks were.

Apparently I used to message people with usernames like the_nacnud, strategosprime, and wicked_but_worth_it.

I did get to catch up with Rebecca though. Cool! Always good for an interesting chat.


This department is getting new chairs. I'm told the budget is good. They brought in the Chair Salesperson to talk to us today. Looking at the photos in the books she passed around did zero good. In fact, I worried briefly that we'd actually select one based on the "avacado green" fabric one in the book featured.

But she's going to bring some in, let us try them out for a week. That's more like it!


Awkward moment from the new chair meeting:

The Chair Salesperson (CP henceforth) looks at me and comments on the fact that I'm the only guy.

Me: "Yeah, poor me." (Gotta stick with the obvious jokes sometimes)

CP: "So do these women cook for you?"

Me (thinking she's making some sort of anachronistic, sexist joke): "Uh... uh..."

CP: "Because he looks like he doesn't eat!"

(Laughter all around)

CP: "Naw, he just burns it off chasing ya'll around."

Me: "Uh... uh..."


It felt like a scene from The Office.


And so I begin the final 10 minutes of the day. Man, this day was quite uninspired. Luckily the workload was light.

Bruce Carter Am I

I dreamed last night that I was escaping from prison. I don’t know why I was in there, or whether I was innocent or guilty.

But I shimmied up an air vent to get out of the building. I ended up on a train full of ex-prisoners who were being sent… somewhere. The train had prison guards, and I had to make like I belonged, yet not let them get too good a look at my face. My alias was “Bruce Carter.” At night it was dark in the car, and I was fine. By day I pretended to sleep with a paper over my face.

No exciting conclusion though. Cursed alarm clock.


I work five days, then have a four-day weekend. I can’t freakin’ WAIT.

At this point, Whit and I are both hindered for the race, yet in different ways. My endurance is good, breathing is fine. It’s this leg that’s the problem.

His body’s holding up, but respiratory issues have dogged him for a while. I believe we should take a wheelbarrow just in case. I don’t know who’ll push it if we both need it though.


Is it nap time?

Coffee Thief II

Someone stole our damn coffee this morning. Again.

Okay, more specifically, this unnamed person (whose first name starts with a K and rhymes with “hen”) came in, saw that coffee was brewing into this department’s carefully-placed pot, and put his own department’s pot in its place.

So this unnamed person (whose last name is the same as that thing that’s currently in your shoe with all the toes on it) did his swap, but his department’s pot was ALREADY FULL of coffee (old? New? Dunno). I know this because I moved his (which was NOT brewing, thank you) to get ours started.

Next thing you know, the last of my Starbucks Gold Coast is all over the floor.

I wept openly, then dropped to all fours to lick up what I could before the guy with the mop showed up.


That’s TWICE now that someone here has attempted to steal our coffee. Perhaps they know that we usually brew good stuff.

Or they just suck.


Good weekend. Seeing Elisa has been really nice. She’s an angel.


Took THEBOY to “miniature golf” yesterday. That is, I followed him around the video arcade at Putt Putt, bleeding money into token machines so he could play shoot-em-up games for an hour. I’m not even sure he knows they have a golf-related game outside. But he had a grand time. He scored a whoopee cushion and some other trinkets with his 200 or so tickets.

At the store I actually bought him some Count Chocula. So as far as he’s concerned, yesterday was like winning the five-year-old lottery.


Dang. I nicked that lottery bit from Nadine.


Monday. Extra suckitude already.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Spelling B

The cashier at Starbucks yesterday asked me how to spell "BB."


It's been a good weekend here so far. Elisa is in town, and it's been good to catch up with her. Lots of changes since I last saw her at her wedding in... '01 I think. And she doesn't seem to have aged a bit! I'm getting grey as a mule, and she still looks like she'd get carded in a bar.


THEBOY has a friend over, and they're having a grand time. His bedroom is the biggest mess I've ever seen. They swear they're going to clean it up this morning.

Our own bedroom is a disaster at the moment, thanks in no small part to the mysterious pile of my clothes by the bed. So naturally, that's the room the kids are all playing in right now.

You should have seen the boys walking down the hall this morning with blankets over their heads, saying they're ghosts.


I'm now going to show my computer ignorance here.

Something strange is happening, and if anyone has an answer I'm all ears. Basically, I accidentally turned on this thing called "Air Port" on my laptop a few days ago.

And now I can surf completely wireless. I mean, I gather that's how it's supposed to work and all, but... I don't have any sort of transmitter/receiver gizmo or whatever. I have pretty much no idea how/why this thing is getting data from the web. I can only guess that some neighbor has the necessary gizmo, and I'm piggybacking on a stray signal or something.


The race is a week from today. As of this moment, I feel like this is going to be a disaster.


"So that's spelled... 'B...i'?"...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Stuffed Minions of Satan

A new Motorhead DVD is coming out. HOW many days until next Christmas???


Hey, this is my 501st post to this little blog.


I think that some voodoo woman has put a curse on me. Specifically, this curse prevents me from having a good calendar.

In ’05, I somehow ended up with a teddy bear calendar in the study at home. Yes, 12 months of posed shots featuring all sorts of stuffed critters, staring into the camera with their dead plastic eyes. Honestly, long about summer I was convinced the bears were talking to me. At least, that’s what I told the cops when I started all those fires.

So Kelli went to Barnes and Noble last night, and she said she’d get me a calendar. Hoorah! I was hoping she’d find something cool. Salma Hayek Swimsuit calendar. American League ballparks. Richard Avedon photos. Something.

She walked in with a Fantastic Four calendar, which was fine. Good art, some stuff I dug as a kid… a big improvement over the Stuffed Minions of Satan images I’d stared at for a YEAR.

And THEBOY came up and said, “Hey cool, I got a new calendar” and walked off with it.

How could I tell him the comic book calendar wasn’t for him?

At least this meant I could snag his 16-month Texas Rangers calendar in return, which has four months left on it.


I know a lot of folks in broadcasting.

The inevitable finally happened.

A buddy of mine from another station was watching some softcore porn, and when the credits rolled he saw the name of one of the staff camera operators zipping boldly by.



What do you do about it? Mention it to him? Heck, the guy put his name in the credits. If he was fine with MAKING the video, I guess owning up to WATCHING the video isn’t a big deal, right?


Happy Friday, ya’ll.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Ganked from Ulitave...

Name 5 of life's simple pleasures that you like the most. Try to be creative and original and not to use things that someone else has already used. Tag 5 people on your list.

(Okay G-Par, Danny, Nadine, Bruiser and Orangepaisley...)

In no order:

Coffee (preferably iced) and a cinnamon scone on Friday mornings

Tex Mex on Friday nights (yes, Friday is the one day I eat whatever the hell I want)

Piano. IMHO, Heaven plays non-stop boogie piano. And Hell plays the Cure.

Beautiful women. And I don’t mean that to sound perverted; at 37, I’m one of the least-lecherous guys I know these days. But I am thankful for female beauty and all the subtleties therein: small of the back, a nice scent, pretty hair. I’m SO glad there’s another gender on this planet.

1am, when the wife and kids are asleep, and the only sound is the hum in my head as I’m lost in some project or book

Go Dave!

Watch David Letterman, of all people, debate with Bill O'Reilly about Iraq, and summarize by saying that "60% of what you say is crap."



Hook 'em!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fishing with Thibodeaux and Breaux

You should see THEBOY watching the fishing video his grandfather got him while we were visiting over the weekend. Admittedly, when he received the gift he was tired and cranky, and showed zero enthusiasm.

But I put the video on last night, and he watched it. Folks, this is an hour-long VHS tape full of fishing footage, interspersed with a few little human interest sorta vignettes.

We needed to run an errand, in fact, but he asked that I wait until he could see the whole video first. His favorite part was when some folks who were offshore fishing pulled a hammerhead into the boat.

He told his mother, “I LOVE this movie.”


It was shot up and down the coast, and featured some areas not far from where I grew up.


A joke from the video:

Breaux: “Hey Thibodeaux, I like your horse. Will you sell him to me?”

Thibodeaux: “Naw, he don’t look so good.”

Breaux: “I give you $100 for him.”

Thibodeaux: “Naw, I ain’t a-gonna sell him to you cuz he don’t look so good.”

Breaux: “I give you $200 for him. He look good to me.”

Thibodeaux: “Okay, deal.”

Couple days later Breaux comes back around. “Thibodeaux I’m so mad at you—you sold me a blind horse!”

Thibodeaux: “I tol’ you he don’t look so good.”


It was told in the video in Cajun French, by the way.


An hour to go. Tick tick tick.

Monkey Boy

Ah crap. I read online that the Rangers are one of the teams sniffing around Bret “Monkey Boy” Boone at the moment.

I hate that guy.

“But BB… why?” you may ask.

The guy was a slick-fielding, light-hitting 2B several years ago. Then one year in spring training he showed up buff. REALLY buff. Mariners officials said they “didn’t know” what he’d done, but that he looked like “Tarzan” all of a sudden.

Then came the numbers… suddenly he had pop. SERIOUS pop.

His numbers have plummeted the last two seasons, which coincides quite clearly with the advent of steroids testing in MLB.

And I hate the way he flips a bat after a homer, not that he hits many of THOSE anymore…

(Update: I’ve just read that the Mets signed him. Excellent.)


Current music: “Hymns to the Silence” by Van Morrison.

If that guy ever plays within 300 miles of me, I’m there.


Yes, I’m going to watch the UT/USC game tonight. The buzz got me. Hey, I’m an alum, and my school’s football team is in what most folks in the know would consider a legitimate college football championship game.

And it’s an excuse to have Velveeta for supper.


Two hours to kill, more or less. I may kill time, time may kill me.

Paging Mr. Parlett...

Paging G-Par… paging G-Par… Geoff, I can’t recall your email address. Can you email me at briankelli@yahoo.com? I’ve got something to forward to you.

(And any other fan of MMA/UFC/NHB/Pride/Whatever fighting.)

Worstest Album Covers Ever III

Thanks to Toland for the tip.

Here is the original "worst" site.

And here is the "worster" site.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


That's what I worked off tonight at the gym.

Hoo boy. Boy oh boy oh boy. You should hear Henley chuckle when I describe my calf's condition, and remind him of the date of the race (January 15).

Yeeeah. I tell him I've run eight miles all of once, and he chuckles. Says I'm "undertrained," tells me not to judge my potential in future races by how much this one is going to suck.


That's where the pain was tonight when I tried to register our domain name for Juke. Grumble grumble. I think it's a Mac thing. I'll try to get it straightened out tomorrow at work.


Jeez, I just THOUGHT that business about the coffee pooped out by some Indonesian critter sounded un-appetizing. Yeeeah. Then Nadine left a comment referring to it as "ass coffee."

I stand corrected.

(Thanks for stopping by though, NF!)


And you know, I like Kevin Smith, the writer/director. I do. I usually enjoy his movies (though I admit I didn't bother with Jersey Girl). He's honest, puts together a good story, makes me laugh, makes me blush. Yeah.

But he's got this blog... I think it's silentbobspeaks.com or something (I've got it bookmarked at work). This is a guy who takes his honesty WAY too seriously.

He talks about bowel movements, masturbation, the specifics of his weight problem, the details of his romps with the wife... and really, he's hit a new low the last couple of days with entries featuring the phrase "anal fissure." Dude... you saw a PROCTOLOGIST for a PAINFUL PROBLEM. You should KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

And still I keep reading his stuff.

Clearly, I'm out of my mind.


And you know... who wears a thong to the gym anyway?

(Hint: It wasn't me)


And now that my own backside is tingling from sitting on the floor too long, I say, "So long, farewell, happy trails," and all of htat.


Been listening to Our New Orleans 2005. It's very good.


Jeez, the day is nearly over.

I’m thankful.

Have a good evening.


Anything suck quite the way returning to work after a holiday does?

The fact that I don’t care a bit about this business affect the quality of my work? I hope not.

Anyone else notice our coworker’s black eye?

Anyone else, if so, believe her story? Me neither.

Everyone have kids as great as mine?

Every other parent feel as bad as I do when I don’t handle a parenting scenario well? (Turns out my personal guilt comes with instant replay)


I dreamed about school.

It’s been a good break. I’m almost ready to resume, yeah.


Some toddler with a mohawk (you read right) tried to take THEBOY’S toy car from him at the park yesterday. Kid could barely speak in intelligible sentences, and he was telling THEBOY to give him the car.

THEBOY is easily two years older and a full head taller. He started muttering something about how someone had just given him the car.

I stepped in, told Juanito Rotten that no, THEBOY didn’t want to share.

I hope my son will have the confidence at some point to tell intrusive kids that, simply, the answer is NO.


So I’m trying to find the number of the closest Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga or super-secret-ninja school around.

Okay, just joking. Mostly.

Monday, January 02, 2006

BB Am Home

Hey, word has it Starbucks is about to start carrying Kopi Luwak (http://www.sallys-place.com/beverages/coffee/kopi_luwak.htm), the Indonesian coffee that, as part of its processing, is eaten and then excreted by some local critter.

I don't foresee trying any, though that's mostly because it's about $75 per quarter pound. No, Gold Coast will do me just fine.


We are home. The drive is fairly grueling no matter how you approach it. The kids did quite well during the drive and the weekend visit in general. Kelli was sick much of Saturday though, knocked back by a bad headache she attributes to the drive and fast food we ate en route. A huge dose of ibuprofen and a power nap got her back on her feet, but she's resolved to fly to Houston on future trips. Fine.


We did indeed end up staying with Dad and Charlene last night. Saved us a cool $100 on a hotel, and the accommodations were much better. We all got a better night's sleep.


Forgot to mention what happened to Kelli on the drive down: She was in the front passenger seat, reclining with her feet up on the dashboard. Some guy in an 18-wheeler drove past and lowered his sunglasses to give her "the eyebrows" with a smile. Guess he liked what he saw.

Kelli got the eyebrows!


Those kids really were quite good all weekend. Not too much toddler insanity from THEGIRL. THEBOY was grouchy enough at 8pm last night that we had a quick "come to Jesus" meeting there in Dad's kitchen. I'm told that he was asleep about 30 seconds after he hit the sheets.

But THEGIRL was sweet, making herself right at home. THEBOY was polite and quick to start a conversation or say/do some cool five-year-old thing.


I did get to run five miles yesterday. Stamina was decent, not great. I feel a bit beat up, and that's about as much as I'm going to say about that.


For some reason Kelli's got it in her head that for the race, I might finish it by walking. I won't.

I've been told that if I hit a drink station, it IS best to walk the few steps it takes to gulp something down (just in the interest of not drowning myself). But no, I won't be doing this so I can stop 5-8 miles in and decide the rest of the half-marathon would be better as a casual stroll. This is a measure of who I am and what I'm capable of. Like I told Whit, I want us each to finish and look at the other guy and think, That's one tough sumbitch over there.

Fair enough?


The kids played very well with their cousins, let me tell you. Watching THEBOY and Aaron zipping around the yard in the electric Jeep gizmo was a hoot. THEGIRL and Maddie didn't interact much from what I could tell, but they're a bit young for that anyway.

So, to summarize:

Seeing Dad, who looked good, was... good!

The kids were... good!

Seeing the Haishes was... good! (Thanks again for breakfast)

I do believe that all adds up to a good trip!


Ya'll be... uh... good.