Friday, October 31, 2008

I'll be back...

Updating soon...

Hang in there. Have a happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Santana speaks

"You don't have to believe in God. God believes in you. God could not care less if you call him Buddha, Allah, Jesus, or Krishna. The best part of you--that's what God is, and it is in all of us. It's called the spark of the divine." Carlos Santana, Guitar Player, December 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cruise Wrapup

It's a fine, cool Friday evening here at the Briscoe abode. MOBB is off in Dallas somewhere at some historical something or another. The kids and I have been to Cici's, where we all pigged out to the tune of about $11.

I got back from the cruise yesterday evening.





I could really see doing this as my vacation of choice in the future. It's like being in a nice hotel full of good stuff to do and restaurants, and it takes you to interesting places. No rental cars, no parking, no paying for food...

I'm not going to cover every detail here. Just some general impressions about it.


Boarding took a long time. I wasn't awfully impatient. I figured the snarl there at the port was due to the newness of it all since their usual port in Galveston was out of commission.


My room was R232 (remember that number), which was on the aft, starboard portion of the ship. The room was tiny for sure, but nicely set up. Only one electrical outlet though.

I had a window, which I appreciated. I spent a lot of time just staring out of it, watching the water.


Our group of 14, which included a couple of the employees' spouses, was quite fun. We found a nice balance. Several of us would get together for excursions or meals, or we'd break off and go solo. Our CEO and a VP were among the 14.


There were tons of things to do onboard. Each day we'd get this little newsletter/schedule listing activities. There was comedy, music, shopping, eating, and outdoor activities like swimming and mini-golf. I explored every nook and cranny of the ship. Oh, and there was a casino, where I spent more time and money than I meant to. I ended up down about $40, even after a little winning streak my final night there.


Thing is, puke-a-phobe that I am, I was using the anti-motion sickness patches, and they gave me a serious side effect: Blurred vision.

I mean it was BAD. Even with bifocals on I couldn't read the book I brought. Menus and the ship maps were extremely difficult.


Cozumel was a nice enough port, though very commercial. We hit Mr. Sancho's beach, where you had to buy two drinks just to sit on the chairs. I opted for my towel.

We did eventually move up to a table, where we ate a bit.


I spent a lot of time with my iPod on, just like I do at home. I had about 160 songs on there, and it never did cycle through them all.


The ship had a definite "international" flair, with employees from across the globe everywhere we turned.

For example, the entertainer in the piano bar, Bob, was from Germany.

Oh yeah, and that's me in an Elton John wig and feather boa. Seems I got signed up to sing "Rocket Man."


I actually preferred our stop in Progreso over Cozumel. It was a lot less slick, and the beach was nicer.

I shot some video of the local cops putting a beatdown on some guy, but my camera died after that, and I don't know if the video is salvageable.

On the beach and in the mercado, the sales folks were extremely aggressive. It was easy enough on the beach to politely say no.

In the mercado, though, it was a bit more difficult.

A hammock salesman got my attention. I looked at his wares with mild interest. He tried a new approach, telling me that his family was poor, and that since selling hammocks was their only income, I really should buy one.

I explained that I don't exactly make a ton of money myself.

Then he showed me his hand and said that because making hammocks had so painfully jacked up his thumb, I REALLY should buy a hammock.

I said I'd think about it, and I left.


I did buy the kids new Spider-man masks while there though.

THEGIRL warns evildoers to beware.


We had a lot of fun. Our particular group was just a hoot. We made a ruckus wherever we went, and ended up being the only real entertainment at a "game show" with a lame host one evening. We attended other shows where our reputation preceded us.

And we posed for some group shots that were just hysterical! As soon as I can get copies I will post them.


My vision returned to normal about 24 hours after I took off the patch.



One last thing...

As I returned to the ship from the Cozumel port, two older women approached me. Drunk and laughing, they asked me to block the wind as they lit cigarettes. I obliged, and the latched onto me, walking arm-in-arm with me up the pier as we made introductions.

They said they'd been eating and drinking a lot in Cozumel. They went on to say that they wanted to have "adventure like we've never had."

They then asked me for my room number.

I said, "R240," which...

...happened to be the room number of the VP in attendance.


Heh heh.

Happy travels. It's good to be back.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Welcome to KAKL Radio...

A little video featurette for you. I did some asking among my spouse and sister regarding what music of mine they dislike the most. Here's a brief rundown:

Smashing Pumpkins, "Drown"

Nothing clears the room like an extended feedback solo. I think it's gorgeous. The video's not much to speak of, but I put it here in order to include a version with the feedback.


Bad Brains, "Soulcraft"

I'm including it because it's the first time I heard or saw the Brains. I'd be quick argue that there are tons more songs that really capture what the band was about, but Quickness IS a very good album. This video, complete with dreadlocked brothers in flannel barking out some stuff that sounded nothing like the hair metal of the day (this was 1986, after all), blew my mind.


Drivin' 'n' Cryin', "Fly Me Courageous"

I guess technically speaking, Kevn Kinney can't sing a lick. Still, these guys forged their own brand of hillbilly rock that I used to really love.


Helmet, "Unsung"

No polish. Angular metal. I spent years loving these guys. I'm burnt out on them now. I'm fascinated by the fact that their singer (aka my man crush) Page Hamilton has a master's in jazz guitar. You read right, children.


The Firm, "Satisfaction Guaranteed"

I loved the Firm. Seriously. They were my first concert. Oh, "Radioactive" wasn't exactly "No Quarter," okay, but I thought they did a lot of good stuff. I include this video because, well, it's pretty dumb. But that's Les Paul tending bar, and that's kinda cool.


Howlin' Wolf, "Smokestack Lightnin'"

This old girlfriend of mine was angry at me once (please, try to contain your surprise). And in the middle of telling me everything she was angry about, she said, "And Howlin' Wolf SUCKS!" I laughed. No, Howlin' Wolf doesn't suck. I wasn't even hurt. She was just plain wrong; that's what I thought.


Rush, "Subdivisions"

Hey, I'm with y'all on this one. I had a little high school "band" that played this one about a trillion times, and I grew to hate it.


Eric Johnson, "Cliffs of Dover"

This was once a guitar tour de force. Honestly, though, it was just overplayed to the point that it's just another wheedily wheedily guitar song in my mind. I did at least include a clip from Austin City Limits that many people, including possibly Johnson himself, consider to be the definitive version.

[Ignore the source, Toland... I know it's your job to chase down unauthorized ACL clips on Youtube...]


That's all for now, folks. Thank you for stopping by to check out my worstest hits.


I will TRY to update again before I leave for Mexico on Saturday. If I don't get to, y'all have a great week and I'll be back soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Evening

Whit's father passed away yesterday, having lived 80 years and one day.

I could get into a whole big thing about that, but I'm trying not to. Whit was clear that even when something's expected like this, it can still be a shock.

I've got a million things going through my head, but ultimately, this is his father and his story. I heartily recommend that you go over to his blog and read about it yourself.


Today is MOBB's birthday. THEGIRL and I headed over to Mr. Ken's house this morning to make a cake for her. THEGIRL was a gamer, stirring and pouring whatever she could. I helped a little, even doing a couple things correctly.

It's a fine cake too!


MOBB spent a lot of time today watching her birthday DVDs: the complete first season of WKRP in Cincinnati, and a compilation of early REM videos.

Los Baums joined us tonight at Carino's for a fine dinner. The kids were being kids, and between them and the din in there it was a bit of an assault on the senses after a while, but the food and company were good.


Now I'm watching the Dodgers slip farther and farther behind the Phillies.

Okay, I do NOT want a Rays/Phillies World Series.


I've been working on my iPod tunes for the cruise. I leave Saturday on the Carnival Ecstasy for a five day cruise that will take us to the Mexican ports of Progreso and Cozumel.

I'm looking forward to it. Mostly I find myself thinking about the gentle motion of the gulf lulling me to sleep as I nap endlessly.

Here's what's going on my iPod. It's a long list. I'll go ahead and sign off now. I hope to update again before Saturday. Y'all have a great week.


Born Under A Bad Sign Albert King
I'll Play The Blues For You (Parts 1 & 2) Albert King
Breaking Up Somebody's Home Albert King
Grind Alice In Chains
Sludge Factory Alice In Chains
Heaven Beside You Alice In Chains
Again Alice In Chains
Rotten Apple Alice In Chains
Nutshell Alice In Chains
I Stay Away Alice In Chains
No Excuses Alice In Chains
Whale & Wasp Alice In Chains
Don't Follow Alice In Chains
Swing On This Alice In Chains
Would? Alice In Chains
Wolf's Reply - All That All That
Rehab Amy Winehouse
Tell It To The Dust Anders Parker
Goodbye Friend Anders Parker
Don't Worry Honey, Everything's Gonna Be Alright Anders Parker
Into The Sun Anders Parker
Doornail (Hat's Off To Buster Keaton) Anders Parker
The Destroyer The Atomic Bitchwax
Son Of Shaft The Bar-Kays
Because (A Cappella Mix) Beatles
Strawberry Fields Forever The Beatles
A Day In The Life The Beatles
Revolution The Beatles
Julia The Beatles
Don't Tell Your Mama, Don't Tell Your Papa Beau Jocque
Stain On The Sun The Bevis Frond
God Speed You To Earth The Bevis Frond
Georgia On A Fast Train Billy Joe Shaver
Turn On Your Love Light Bobby "Blue" Bland
Green Onions Booker T. & The MG's
Sugar Bee Boozoo Chavis
'Tite Fille Boozoo Chavis
Johnnie Billy Goat Boozoo Chavis
Sorry Buckcherry
Let Me Love You Baby Buddy Guy
One Room Country Shack Buddy Guy
I Smell A Rat Buddy Guy
Done Got Old Buddy Guy
Shake 'Em On Down Bukka White
When Can I Change My Clothes? Bukka White
District Attorney Blues Bukka White
Do You Want Me? (LP Version) Charles Brown
Fool That I Am (LP Version) Charles Brown
Who's Beating My Time? (LP Version) Charles Brown
I Put Myself Together (LP Version) Charles Brown
What A Life (LP Version) Charles Brown
Mint Julep (LP Version) Charles Brown
You Are My First Love (LP Version) Charles Brown
'Round Midnight (LP Version) Charles Brown
Before The Evening Sun Sets (LP Version) Charles Brown
I've Got a Right To Cry (LP Version) Charles Brown
Seasons Chris Cornell
Lágrimas Negras Conjunto Céspedes
To Lay Me Down Cowboy Junkies
Freddie's Dead Curtis Mayfield
Superfly Curtis Mayfield
The Back Door D.L. Menard
Hello Mary David Baerwald
Walk Through Fire David Baerwald
You Love Me DeVotchKa
How It Ends DeVotchKa
We're Leaving DeVotchKa
In The Garden Double Trouble
Baby, There's No One Like You Double Trouble
From Mars Dozer
Supersoul Dozer
Deal Dr. John
Breakfast In Bed Dusty Springfield
Knock On Wood Eddie Floyd
Baker Street Foo Fighters
Caleb Meyer Gillian Welch
One Morning Gillian Welch
Black Cloud Hookah Brown
Three Hundred Pounds Of Joy (Single Version) Howlin' Wolf
Killing Floor (1964 Single Version) Howlin' Wolf
Uncle John's Band Indigo Girls
Walk On By Isaac Hayes
Never Can Say Goodbye Isaac Hayes
Theme From Shaft Isaac Hayes
Summertime Jacintha
The Shadow Of Your Smile Jacintha
Smile Jacintha
Eloquence Jason Falkner
Where Were You Jeff Beck
Somewhere Over The Rainbow Jerry Lee Lewis
May This Be Love Jimi Hendrix
10 Years Gone Jimmy Page & Black Crowes
Joe Ely, Live on Austin City Limits 1979 Joe Ely
Imagine John Lennon
Who's Making Love Johnnie Taylor
Feelin' That Way Journey
Anytime Journey
Chris Whitley Living With The Law (Live)
Be Still Los Lobos
Friend Of The Devil Lyle Lovett
Sexual Healing Marvin Gaye
Kick Out The Jams [Uncensored Version] [Live] MC5
Today I Started Loving You Again Merle Haggard
Mama Tried Merle Haggard
California Blues (Blue Yodel # 4) Merle Haggard
Silver Wings Merle Haggard
Workin' Man Blues Merle Haggard
Misery And Gin Merle Haggard
Rainbow Stew [Live] Merle Haggard
Big City Merle Haggard
That's The Way Love Goes Merle Haggard
What Am I Gonna Do (With The Rest Of My Life) Merle Haggard
Misery and Gin Merle Haggard
Place To Fall Apart Merle Haggard
I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink Merle Haggard
Breadfan Metallica
Stone Cold Crazy Metallica
Damage Case Metallica
Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns Mother Love Bone
I Can Hear the Grass Grow The Move
Chris Whitley Narcotic Prayer (Live)
Sugar Mountain Neil Young
Cinnamon Girl Neil Young
Down By The River Neil Young
After The Gold Rush Neil Young
Southern Man Neil Young
The Needle And The Damage Done Neil Young
Hot in Herre Nelly
Pink Moon Nick Drake
The Long Road Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Eddie Vedder
The Face Of Love Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan With Eddie Vedder
I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) Otis Redding
Respect Otis Redding
(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay Otis Redding
Maybe I'm Amazed Paul McCartney
Breath Pearl Jam
Rough Boys Pete Townshend
Let My Love Open The Door Pete Townshend
Slit Skirts Pete Townshend
Chris Whitley Poison Girl (Live)
The Sky Moves Sideways Porcupine Tree
Even Less Porcupine Tree
Stars Die Porcupine Tree
Waiting Porcupine Tree
Normal Porcupine Tree
Drown With Me Porcupine Tree
Lazarus Porcupine Tree
Trains Porcupine Tree
Take Me Away (Bunker Mix) Pugwash
Here Pugwash
The Cannon and the Bell Pugwash
Somebody To Love Queen
Fat Bottomed Girls Queen
You're My Best Friend Queen
Now I'm Here Queen
Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
Shake 'Em On Down R.L. Burnside
Snake Drive R.L. Burnside
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker The Ramones
Blitzkrieg Bop The Ramones
Rock 'n' Roll High School The Ramones
The Last The Replacements
Nightclub Jitters The Replacements
The Ledge The Replacements
Skyway The Replacements
Can't Hardly Wait The Replacements
Gringo Honeymoon Robert Earl Keen
Merry Christmas From The Family Robert Earl Keen
The Road Intro Robert Earl Keen
The Road Goes On Forever Robert Earl Keen
Undone Robert Earl Keen
Roll It Over Rosie Ledet
My Joy Box Rosie Ledet
Walking The Dog Rufus Thomas
You Don't Know Like I Know Sam & Dave
Hold On I'm Comin' Sam & Dave
Soul Man Sam & Dave
Nearly Lost You Screaming Trees
Chris Whitley Serve You (Live)
Drown Smashing Pumpkins
Death Letter Blues Son House
John The Revelator Son House
Rusty Cage Soundgarden
Outshined Soundgarden
Jesus Christ Pose Soundgarden
Birth Ritual Soundgarden
Respect Yourself The Staple Singers
I'll Take You There The Staple Singers
Little Wing Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Life By The Drop Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Good Morning The Streetwalkin' Cheetas
If I Can't Change Your Mind (Solo Mix) Sugar
Believe What You're Saying (Campfire Mix) Sugar
Explode And Make Up [Live] Sugar
China Doll Suzanne Vega
Cassidy Suzanne Vega
Ain't Leavin' Your Love Townes Van Zandt
Waiting Around To Die Townes Van Zandt
Lungs Townes Van Zandt
Wet Pussycat Unida
Delta Alba Plex Unida
Gulf Of Mexico Varnaline
Northern Lights Varnaline
Sweet Life Varnaline
Lights Varnaline
Meet Me On The Ledge Varnaline
Understanding H. Varnaline
I Am The Walrus XTC
Life Begins At The Hop XTC
Making Plans For Nigel XTC
Senses Working Overtime XTC

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I'm not even sure that's spelled correctly.

I hope so. I like the way the word is constructed. And it should be a noun as well, like "associate." Maybe it is for all I know.


5pm on a Saturday, and I've done not much of anything.

Oh, I loaded up hours' worth of songs on iTunes in anticipation of my upcoming cruise.

And I just cleaned the kitchen.

But everything's been at a languid pace.


What a week.


UT beat OU at the Cotton Bowl. This is as close as I come to caring about any football. Hey, that's still my alma mater, and they played an exciting game to beat the #1 ranked team.


I'd just like to be alone for a little while. I have my earphones on, and the music allows me to dissociate to a certain extent. Children and spouse come to me, and I see their lips moving. I have to pause the tunes. "What?"

They must think me rude, distracted. I would.

I just want to step outside of my life a little bit.


This thing that whispers to me never goes away.

It's always right there.

Lots of stuff drowns it out.

But sometimes it sings to me.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sparkle and Shine

A song I need to learn.

Catholic Charities in the News

It's a long article, but it features our very own Xergio "X-Man" Chacin.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


On Saturday nights we go out.

On Sunday mornings, we ask forgiveness for the things we did when we went out.

With these hands we give punishment and comfort, pain and pleasure.

With our minds we scheme to hurt those who anger us, and we make plans to lend aid to those in need.

We close our hearts to those who cross boundaries, and open our hearts to some of the very same.

Our voices curse and praise.

We destroy, and we build.

We are bowed by our animal tendencies, and we bow to our maker to help us control them.

We are pain. We are stoicism.

We are profane and profound.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sometime in the mid-90s, I took a nap.

Our Austin apartment was kind of unusual. It was built upon this wooded hillside, and though we were technically on the first floor, our elevation was such that when we walked out onto the patio, we looked into the tree tops.

It also faced west, which wasn't usually a problem, as the foliage blocked the sunlight.

Still, sometimes as dusk approached, at certain times of the year, the sunlight would fill our apartment.


So I took one of those deep naps, the kind where you wake up and your sense of time is skewed, and you're more than a little disoriented.

I walked out of the bedroom, and the apartment was orange from the light of the setting sun. It was uncomfortably warm too. My head hurt, I was sweating, and I felt like I was in an alternate reality.

And I had this song, which I'd never given much thought to before, going through my head.

It's "Ten Years Gone." This is a version done by Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes back in 1999.

I had the main riff going through my head, and I didn't even know what the song was. I started diggging through the Zeppelin CDs, trying to find it.

And there it was.

I'd stumbled out of bed with, on top of all that, this overwhelming sense of longing. I don't know where it came from. It was a mood more than anything. And the song captured it perfectly.

Good song.

Scattered Video Clips

from my phone...


Wednesday, October 01, 2008


That she needs to WATCH the cat.


You need to be certain that she doesn't think

you said

to WASH the cat.