Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Well, at least the smirk has been cured.

Too bad Bush can't deliver a good speech. He simply misses words to emphasize.

In the past few days they ran some clips of President Reagan back when the Challenger exploded - he was so good, I couldn't help but miss that sense of communication and reassurance.

The speech was, in my opinion, much better than the delivery, but so what?

Our problem is on display when the Democrats sit silent while the Republicans clap, or (on a few rare occasions, the opposite.)

We need those walls broken down - surely there are some good ideas which deserve support from both sides of the aisle and which right - thinking - leaders won't let be polluted by last minute riders slipped in to legislation, to pork barrel another pet project for somebody's special interests.


At Pandora.com.

You tell it what you like and then it plays music they figure is that kind... and for each song you can give it a MORE or LESS designation. I'm listening to a free version which is supposed to come with ads, but so far, none. Don't know if they are audio or on screen.

They've tried to create a Music Genome... so far I find I am getting Adult Contemporary meets Classic hits meets urban adult contemporary with only three unfamiliar tracks so far, which I liked. Apparently you can somehow divert to amazon.com to purchase what you like. Not me. I use www.yourmusic.com where the selection is somewhat limited though 5.99 a CD!

No announcers, no formats to infect my programmer's brain. No hype. No contests. But it won't be long before I start to try to decipher the code. It's what 30 years of doing something does.


I'm writing this hours later.

When you professionally program a radio station, you have to avoid (only) PLAYING YOUR FAVORITES !!! since you represent yourself, and that might not be at all representative of your audience. Believe me, after dozens and dozens and dozens of music tests for all types of audiences in many cities, I can tell you I represent an audience of one.

But now that I am choosing music for the station I have put together on Pandora.com, I can understand how seductive playing your favorite songs on the commercial radio would BE. I LIKE my station. A lot.

Understand that, having been overexposed to commercial radio music for 30+ years for a living, I have an eclectic mix going.

Pandora.com allows users to E mail stations to friends. I expect that simply means it generates a similar playlist to MY taste, for you.

Drop me a comment with your E mail address if you'd like to hear it. It's not an url. It costs nothing. You have to agree to their very benign service terms.

My most popular stations drew over a million people a week. Now... 1. Anybody want some?

Wouldn't it be funny if a groundswell would start and this new format would then be broadcast somewhere... and then eventually corporately ruined!?


Okay I'm a control freak. I want to balance the mix, tighten the song to song transitions, add some automatic gain control as some cuts are too low in volume. Let's not play two instrumentals back to back. And tempo control the mix better. Let's take the horn bands and mix them so they alternate with the guitar bands. And the thing is called Boz Scaggs radio - there was only ONE Boz cut - there are many more to play. Balance out male and female and group singers. Keep ballads restricted to slower rotations and... uh oh... here I go again.


This time it was the car registration sticker. Simple instructions. Not for me. And getting the old one off after baking in the hot Texas sun was a trick. WD40 and razors did it finally. No blood this time.

If you use your intuition and ignore the directions, you rip the darn 'sticker' but if you follow them you face an impossibility. I gave up. Scotch tape and scissors are probably illegal. I'll E from lockup.

Monday, January 30, 2006


The film was in theaters for ten minutes or so. Maybe more. Or less. I missed it -just knew it existed. Didn't see it, didn't know much about it. Didn't care. Wouldn't have even rented it.

But it just took Best Ensemble Cast from the Screen Actors Guild awards.

And as luck would have it, my Screen Actors Guild membership afforded me a free copy of the DVD - that free flick thing has happened maybe twice in my 32 year membership. I doubt it was related to the win since the DVD arrived late last week. Maybe it went out alphabetically. Maybe it broke Brokeback Mountain, a favorite-to-win. Who knows.

I did watch it, and although wouldn't normally entertain myself with a movie about racism, this is an excellent work. You don't know what's next. You squirm. And through it all you feel they are uncovering layer upon layer of truth. That's tough to do without stereotyping.

Great direction. Great acting all around (Pulp Fiction comes to mind). Brief nudity, profanity (F bombs), violence, truth.


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, on Monday reported a quarterly profit of $10.7 billion, capping a year of record earnings dominated by surging oil and gas prices.

The results pushed up Exxon's profit for the year to a staggering $36.13 billion -- bigger than the economies of 125 of the 184 countries ranked by the World Bank. Profit rose 42 percent from 2004.

So somebody explain to me again why when Hurricane Katrina 'raised the prices of gas' or somebody sneezed at a refinery 'raising the price of gas' these guys can get away with such profiteering?

Oh - that's right - oilman Bush is running things. Or is it Big Dick Cheney?

A free market economy isn't quite free.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Our property is just a few feet along the road, then there's a gate into a more private community, then our property continues maybe another 125 feet. Barbed wire apparently surrounds that 150 acres or so.

While walking Jessie back to the house, the little dog and I noticed the gate to The Preserve was open, so we thought we'd check the erosion along our property line which we never see (since it rained hard today). We did see a couple deer antlers. The gate swung shut - it's on a delay.

But no motion sensor on the other side.

No way out!


All it takes is the weight of a car or a ton of metal over a hidden grid to escape!

We tried to be casual while making up a good excuse. 'You know that sign that says keep out? Well, we, uh, were, uh, looking at, the dirt and missed it, and, uh, ...'

Finally a neighbor we knew came along and busted us. We exchanged pleasantries then Jessie and I scurried away like rats in the New York Subway when the train is coming.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Astronomers say they’ve found what may be the smallest and most distant planet known to be orbiting a star outside our own solar system. It is to be named Federline.


The story is that Kenny took about 100 free private jet trips from, oh, interested parties and 'supporters' over a few years. Amazing that they managed to get that sleaze up off the tarmac once the plane departed.

You remember FREE RIDE by the EDGAR WINTER GROUP? Great classic rock track. I got to see them live - the Edgar Winter Group in the early 70s in Pittsburgh. They were on FIRE.

I am what you might call a disgruntled voter. I know it's wrong to go overboard but I'd like to throw the whole crew out and start over. I almost mean it - any incumbent gets thrown out. Except I expect (nice wording, eh?) that there are a few good men left in congress. And women. Not that I trust Hillary. I'm pretty sure I saw her caught by the Croc Hunter on one episode. How could she be serving New Yawk while she's out slithering in Australian mud?

One article said, "...with Hillary you get two," meaning Bill. Bill would clearly love the spotlight. He'd eclipse her. She'd send him to South Africa, or better, Antarctica on a 'fact find' where there won't be press.

I have heard back stage stories of Hillary. Can't vouch for them. They make her look very insincere. Put her and The Burger King on the same stage and you get the same dose of sincerity. And I am twice as creeped out.

Speaking of holding your breath, (huh?) I met a neighbor again the other day - Terri insists I did meet her before but I was enjoying grapes which had been smashed and put into barrels and bottles and I had way too many of them that evening and don't remember much beyond a certain point. This woman has the world freedive record. And can hold her breath for a long long time - Yeah, that's her. This woman gives hope to all the widdle kids who threaten to HOLD THEIR BREATH TILL THEY GET THAT TOY!

She and her husband are building their home three houses away. Tanya can probably hold her breath till it's finished.

Wow. Another celebrity. There are several nearby already.

And today I voice a commercial for an old folks community. Does that count?

Didn't think so.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Some people fear mimes. Others hate clowns.

Me, I am totally creeped out by the Burger King.

And now he's all over TV in those football commercials where they've inserted him into famous plays.

The sight of that chicken legged, leotard wearing, cape swirling, swollen headed, plastic faced, frozen grimaced THING just creeps me out. I read that they'll run more of them in the Super Bowl. I hope I'm in the bathroom.

It's bad enough that Ronald McDonald looks like something Steven King thought up. The King is just grotesque.

I can imagine the ad agency guys just in love with the computer graphic that puts the King into real action... as they miss the point that their client's mascot looks like a perv next to football players. Or a telephone pole.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Intel Corp. said on Wednesday it had made the world's first microchip using tiny new manufacturing methods that promise to let the world's top chipmaker make more powerful, efficient processors.

The fingernail-sized memory chip is etched with 1 billion transistors that are only 45 nanometers wide -- about 1,000 times smaller than a red blood cell, said Mark Bohr, a leading Intel engineer.

"It will pack about two times as many transistors per unit area and use less power. It will help future products and platforms deliver improved performance," Bohr told Reuters in an interview.

"It was here a minute ago. Right, um, here. Or there. No, it was here. It's really really small. Maybe it blew off the microscope. Hey, check your soles, willya? Oh man, this is bad..."


Peanut butter girl scout cookies. Yum.

I must state that I have absolutely nothing against girl scouts. I hope they make a fortune, and all grow up to be happy healthy women. (Are there boys in the girl scouts now? I thought they forced girls into the membership of BOY scouts. Did it work out the other way around? Hmm.)

I also believe that the cookies come from different sources geographically... that all cookies are not alike across the country. Maybe that's changed too. I don't know.

I only know about ONE BOX of Peanut Girl Scout cookies. MINE!

And that story will continue... right after the trip to the dentist.

Okay - dentist done... got a pretty good complete checkup. Two fillings will need to be replaced but they are so old and have been savagely attacked by Peanut Brittle in the Great Willpower Wars of 2005.

Back to the cookies... these things come in a rather small box, but inside is a big surprise, boys and girls. Only 18 cookies. That's all. Each sits in a separate compartment in a plastic tray as if these things are delicate. Separated by air and plastic. You can eat them all at one sitting.

Maybe that's the evil plan to sell more boxes. But man, if everything came packed that way, there'd be no more space in the world for the weight you put on eating the darn things!


There are ONLY 15* cookies in the Caramel Whatevertheyarecalled box. GEEZ. That's NOTHING. (*or there were.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Struggling TV networks WB and UPN will merge into a single new youth-oriented broadcaster this fall in a surprise deal announced on Tuesday that reshapes the landscape of U.S. television.

The new CW network will debut in September 2006 as a 50-50 joint venture of UPN parent company CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc., which controls the WB, shrinking the field of major U.S. commercial TV networks from six to five. The WB frog is said to be inconsolable.

CW McCALL, who sang the song CONVOY a long time ago, is said to be beside himself. He is also said to be beside the person next to him.

UPN and the WB, both formed 11 years ago, have each struggled to build ratings with programming aimed at younger viewers than the 18-to-49-year-old audience regarded as the advertising sweet spot for the Big Four broadcasters -- ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

CW will essentially follow the strategy of its predecessors, targeting viewers aged 18 to 34, especially females.

New shows proposed are My First Thong, a light hearted romp through Victoria's Secret; You've Got a Zit!, a new reality show that awards disaster points to girls about to go out on 'important' dates; You're Not A Slut If You're In Love, in which girls explore sexual hijinx; and Why Doesn't He Call? - a psychologist eats ice cream with the girls at a weekly pajama party.


For over 20 years, I've been the voices of commercials, promos, training videos.

This has led to some mainstream and Way OUT business.

I did a training tape for US Lexus mechanics before Lexus came to America.
I did a Playboy Channel narration. No pictures. No girls. I saw Leonard Maltin coming into the studio (which wasn't at or associated with Playboy) as I was leaving.
I did a narration for a South African airport.
I got paid to count to 50. Good money. Hundreds of dollars! And they never used it.
I got paid to work with Chuck Yeager, pilot/hero. But he did his part the day before. DAMN!
I did countless banks. Friendly boy - that was me.

From car dealers to Ice cream. Retailers to 401k plans. I was the voice of TV stations - the FOX network for a brief time, and radio stations. (Irony: I was the voice of two radio stations in my home town of Philadelphia over different years and yet never heard the stations since I had moved away!) One summer night I was jogging, and heard my voice coming out of open windows. I've been to movies where I'd come on right before the main attraction. I've worked with soap opera actresses. TV actors. Future stars. Greats and not so greats.

But each time you move, or each time I move, I have to start over in a different market where I am unknown. And more and more, the business is global, as anyone can audition via internet and MP3s. My agent sends me copy, I record in my home studio, E mail to her, she bounces it up the ladder.

It's very subjective.

Yesterday I auditioned as the voice of a car race announcer doing a commercial (doubt I'd get that gig) and the voice OF A SWIMMING POOL (I think I NAILED that!)

But you never know. All you can do is hope and dream and give it your best shot. DOING the work is a lot easier than GETTING it. I can really identify with those 'overnight successes' that take 20 years.

One thing I know: when you give up, that's as far as you get.


Egad! (You never see Egad anymore. Let's bring it back, whatayada say? My god, spell check never heard of Egad.) Egad! My site suffered yesterday like those trapped in an elevator with a bean eatin' cretin.

Very little viewership yestiddy. And here I thought the story of our concert night out was at the very least, long.

Or maybe the metric software company had a holiday. Maybe a mouse gnawed through a wire.

At one radio station I worked at/managed, we had snakes in the transmitter building. Some nice guy put a Styrofoam cup full of baby snakes on my desk. And they say managers aren't loved!

Well, if no varmint did the chaw (VARMINT - now THAT'd be a Texas breath mint name, if ever there was one!), I'm going to have to get either more opinionated or more serious or funnier or use bigger or smaller words. That's for sure!

Saturday, January 21, 2006


In under an hour we will leave for world famous ANTONE'S in downtown Austin to see RAUL MALO, a favorite of Terri's. He's lead singer of the Mavericks, a country band, but is quite incredible himself. This is billed as HIS show so who knows who will be the musicians in this town full of them!?

The show is a sellout.

The only problem is we have to stand. And Terri is short (only in height.) I hope she can see some of the show. I can't put her on my shoulders.

They've outlawed smoking in such clubs, which is great for us.

I guess after several hundred shows, I am spoiled. Not keen on standing. But, Terri is a big fan and off we go. Tomorrow I'll post a mini-review.

Today was flat tire/defective tool strips lugnut/AAA guy can't help/tow to Sears for impact wrench... day. I hope tonight goes better!

And they say it'll rain tonight. Texas needs rain. Some of the local area is so dry... add your own punchline.

...so dry, they give kids Q-tips and tell them they're lollipops.
...so dry, Wet n' Dry towellettes are only available as Dry n' Dry.
...so dry, when you watch The Titanic DVD, it doesn't sink.
...so dry, trees are soliciting dogs.
...so dry, the cows give evaporated milk.

Back to the show, written Sunday.


Antone's has been famous for years. The stage was set against a long wall and was high enough all could see the act. They honor Steve Ray Vaughan.

My foot was rolled over by a guy in a motorized wheelchair. They are surprisingly heavy, but, come on, perspective!

We were 18 feet from the star of the evening so Terri could see, but they placed a music stand and stand-up bass right in her line of view. I tried to get her to stand on the lower step up onto the stage but she wouldn't. That close, and still not close enough. We were literally at stage side.

The opening act sang for way too long. She had a hooting voice. She must have done 13 or 14 songs. I don't remember her name and hope to avoid her in the future. The audience was more receptive than I or Terri. She sang from 9:15 till 10:30 or so. Then there was another half hour of nothing. Or was it 45 minutes? It seemed like forever.

The floor was sticky.

Sound was VERY good. We mostly heard the stage monitor mix from where we stood.

FINALLY Raul Malo came out with his band. GEEZ that was a long wait. But, first song, you knew you were in the presence of talent that simply isn't that accessible and IS that good. (I saw one review that said he has the best voice in the biz and it might not be far off the mark!) Wished for my camera. Because I am a foot higher than Terri I could clear the music stand obstruction and with a camera, I could have held it higher. I did experiment with my cell phone camera. Pitiful attempts I fear. If I can figure out how to get the pictures OUT of it, I'll show you.

Raul sang till about 1, with several encores. (he said they had done everything they knew, but then did a Born on the Bayou slow and chugging, with other song lyrics seemingly improvised and thrown in... I loved that. I love swamp! The show was mostly mellow, MAN he can sing. He can sing old standards - REALLY old standards and make them sound completely wonderful as he puts you in the moment (unlike, say, oh, Rod Stewart, despite his mega sales of same.)

At one point Pine Top Perkins, at 92 years old, ambled across the stage. Raul asked the sound guy, "What am I supposed to do?" which we could hear due to where we stood. He plugged the man and Pine Top went off to sell CDs in some corner.

Pinetop Perkins is one of the last great Mississippi bluesmen still performing. He's made a living playing blues since 1926 and is widely regarded as one of the best blues pianists. (He didn't play, just ambled across the stage. At the top of the three steps he darn near fell - luckily the soundman caught him. Catching/helping a legend - that's pretty cool.)

And as we exited, it had begun to rain.

Friday, January 20, 2006


Let me set the scene: our house is on a hill overlooking a small 15 home 150 acre community called Barton Creek Preserve. Beyond that are about 1500 acres of other 'preserve' which is all dedicated wild... and the hillsides are all trees.

It's very natural with only a few incursions from man. We see a few towers in the distance, 3 streetlights on the crest of the next hill, miles away. A roof or two. that's it.

The area has deer (Terri reported about a dozen this morning, running across our driveway as she walked the dog.) Armadillos, raccoons, jackrabbits, mice, hawks, owls, buzzards, horned toads, and certain slithery things which put me into denial are our local creatures.

So night before last while I was grilling some buffalo burgers (!) outside, I heard several unmistakable LION ROARS.

Neighbors have asked, "Have you heard the lions?" And we hadn't, and always suspected they might be trying to put one off on the rubes from Minneapolis.


The Zoo is somewhere between here and that ridge.

It must have been feeding time. They're loud, and from that sound, not terribly far away. If those bad boys ever get loose, I sure hope they find the deer before they find our property!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


We just passed ONE YEAR in Austin.

Hard to believe!

We can drive down the few streets with any houses on them in this development and most have gone up since we arrived. I believe we were 14th in.

What a great choice! One important criterion was SUN and it's been abormally sunny. That's just fine, thank you very much! It's also been abnormally warm since October. That's just fine thank you very much again! The people are very friendly! The music scene is way cool.

I just looked at some pictures taken in the summer when the grass was green. Now it's tan but that's okay. After planting so many wildflowers, it'll be interesting to see what this spring will bring. (The problem is you can't tell which are weeds till too late.)

I saw our roadrunner the other day and... surprise... they can fly.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Argh! My dump luck! (Sorry.)

The car saga: my Audi hasn't had real service - other than oil changes - in quite a while. In fact, it enjoyed the 50,000 service at 40,000 miles as it was free and the time limit on free was expiring. And we moved... so the old dealer lost track of us... Till just recently when they sent a reminder that an 'interval' had passed. I'd say so - I'm at 72,000.

So I called the Texas/Austin/Local dealer and discovered they weren't really SURE when it was due. But I persisted and eventually did see the "book" outlining all procedures.

I opted for the BIGGIE - the 90,000 mile service. New water pump, timing belt, pulley, rollers, tuneup, filters, rags, bolt turning, nose picking, sponge bath... $1600+

I really like this car and plan to have it a LONG time. That's why!

I rented a car as the service would span a few days. "Want the $16 walk away insurance?" "Naaa." I know I'm covered by my insurance and I never have accidents.

Until today.

A HUGE dump truck - A 2005 Freightliner - changed lanes beside me. He chose the lane I was in. His tire probably caused about $2000 in damages. We pulled off the busy highway (actually into the middle emergency lane as cars and trucks rocketed by) and I called 911. We decided to "fill out the forms" instead of waiting there for a cop. "That's an option," sez 911.

Deductable misery!

Surprisingly calm, we exchanged info and luckily the rental drove okay. The Freightliner didn't even know anything had happened. I am lucky his giant John Wayne LUGNUTS didn't chop the side of my Audi to shreds!

Now the insurance tapdance begins. The trucking company owner has made some noises on voicemail that makes me suspicious as to his admission of their liability.

The truck driver said he didn't see me. Don't know what he told his boss.

I realize now - many hours later, that if I was out of position by only a few more feet, my car could have had a blowout, throwing me in front of the loaded truck. And he would have rolled right over me. Or he might have forced me into the other lane and another truck at 65 mph. It didn't seem scary at the time, but now, it's pretty sobering.

Addendum, a day later: Now the driver claims I ran into him. Like I'd miss the fact that there was a huge dumptruck right beside me in the next lane and pull into him!

Saturday, January 14, 2006


I just found the archives. Pictures of me - as a deejay as early as 1968. Whew!

Isn't it odd how you can see a picture THAT old and it triggers what was happening at that moment? Hey, I've never had a good memory, so this was a surprise.

Radio stations are rarely what you think they are. Generally the studios are messy. Back then the gear was really hodge-podge! My earliest stations were very small. But even in the big time (Top 10 market -- which Pittsburgh was back then) the gear was serviceable,yet not what you might think.

I had a friend who programmed a radio station in the early 80s which had bats in the control room - where the deejay sat. The cheap GM wouldn't let them hire an exterminator!

At my first job, the program director/deejay would go to his car for a cigarette while a long song was on (Hey Jude) (Susie Q). AND THE DIMBULB would lock himself OUT! I lived a couple hundred yards away - basically across the street. He'd run to a neighbor's house (no cell phones in 1968) and call me to come let him in. On the air: tch-tch tch-tch tch-tch tch-tch tch-tch tch-tch tch-tch tch-tch tch-tch tch-tch tch-tch tch-tch... the sound a record makes when it's over.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I admit it. I'm goo goo for Jessica Simpson. But holy Dukes of Hazzard, Batman, she sure dropped MANY notches on the sexy-scale with her opening dance? and sing? on the People's Choice Awards. Clearly, the Jessica Simpson Packaging Corporation (aka Dad Simpson) overreached. It was embarrassing.

"Jessica's true vocal talent, unlimited energy and undeniable charisma will truly be a great addition to this year's show," executive producer Carol Donovan said in a statement Thursday. That would be the Thursday PRIOR. Now, post show, she'd probably admit that Jessica, as most searched on the internet, might have pulled her own fans to the show. They would see she has really white teeth, a nice body, nice hair, and the dancing soul of a 55 year old white man.

And the poor host. I could look up his name but why? You probably don't know him either - he does the Late Late show. He's game, though, as he didn't even appear to flop-sweat as his jokes zinged off the walls in relative silence. Standing there are continuing is hard and feat to be admired. I think he's Somebody Ferguson.

We watch for various reasons - me, I like to analyze the spectacle and production and see who acquits themselves well. Some are naturally likeable or natural performers. Others are lost in space, inarticulate, or obvious child-ego-staters. Then some have to read really awkward lines. Fun to see who handles that and how.

Winners are no surprise. This is mass appeal stuff. Easy to predict for the most part. Plus, they have enough categories to cover many.

I couldn't believe it when they also had commercials/People's Choice Awards for BEST HAIR and BEST TEETH which were blatant sell-outs to advertisers. But why stop there? (Maybe they didn't, we switched over to the excellent THE SHIELD. Hoo boy - this will be a great season. Forrest Whittaker is a slimeball.)

Why not best boob job? Best ass? Best smell?

The sellout of everything in our culture is growing daily! (Please don't nail me for the Google ads to the right of this. Nobody sees them. I know. I read the income report. I actually find more money ($0.06 the other day) on the street that with this.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I'm the man.

This morn first thing I went to LOWES and bought their Big Honkin' Hex Driver set. I got yer metrics I got yer USAs. I swear I could hear the echoes of Tim Allen barking at me.

It was good. To celebrate my purchase I bought more things from the You Don't Really Need These Things department. It was good.

And a neighbor came over to help me carefully lift my 60 pound CD player from the throne to the floor where I skillfully located the hex things and took the lid off the box. We were good.

I located the player lenses and swabbed lifesavingly as instructed, then rebuilt the box, retracing my steps one by one.

Then plugged it in and watched it index then forget the CD immediately. No go. Failure. Shame.

Now I have to send it to California where a kind man will take it apart and bestow the magic I lack.

Nuts. Arf.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Tomorrow I will attempt to wrestle the Doesn't-Work-Well-With-Tools monkey off my back. The stakes are high.

My father was a bad role model. He'd hammer and curse and sweat and curse. That's about it. He cursed convincingly, I might add. A rolling, "god," A tympani hit on "DAMN!"

I'd sneak into the paint and tools and stuff we inherited from somewhere foreign to our household sensibilities, mix anything liquid and flammable with anything ELSE liquid and flammable and then go flambe' me some ants. I discovered Sherwin-Williams Napalm. I also poured acid on my hands instead of paint remover. Mistake!

That was as close as I normally got to the tools. Maybe I'd stir with a screwdriver.

So tomorrow I will - on the advice of the repair wizard in California, risk it all by taking apart my very expensive CD player to try to clean off 'the lens.' The darn thing is very balky when it plays at all. If this doesn't work or if I make a mess, the whole 60 pound CD player (right - SIXTY!) will go FedEx to California where it'll cost a ton (more.) I sure would rather not risk shipping it even though I pack it in a foam lined "HE PACKED IT IN FOAM SO LET'S DRIVE THE TRUCK OVER IT" box. And worry.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


SOUPY SALES is 80 today. That's another BIG pointer to the fact that anyone who knows him from his TV show is getting up there into AARP land themselves. My god. It doesn't seem possible. The guy was/is irrepressible young at heart and smart alek-y on that show. This means White Fang and Black Tooth are also 80 today.

I wish them all a very happy birthday!

Soup tried a stunt that got him into trouble... he told the kids whose parents were sleeping to go sneak some money and send it to him. Funny! Don't know if he received any, though. I think he also gave the finger to someone on camera. Kids wouldn't know what he was doing.

He later became a disc jockey in NYC.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Deep In The Heart of Texas, where God celebrates the UT Rosebowl win with a little burnt orange! Hook 'em!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Our "grinder pump" is down. Last night the alarm light accompanied the sound of gurgling, uh, stuff, leaking out from the receptacle just outside the bedroom. The grinder pump is required by the Lower Colorado River Authority as part of their ecology thing. It 'processes' our wastewater and what ever is in it. Eeeeuuuuww.

Our home builder had the foresight to get the LCRA to inspect it - twice, I believe, so it's fully warranted.

So as I write this there's some guy with a JOB I WOULDN'T WANT, dealing with the buried barrel of sludge. There was the possibility that if everything went wrong, the sludge could back up into the house from the lowest drain or pipe.

Stay close. More on this broken story as it happens.

One more time: EEEeeuuuuuuwwwww!

I will spare you the easy jokes. Let's just say the guy converted on turd down. Oh. No self control. The 3rd grade nun was psychic when she wrote that on my report card!

Well, all's well that ends well. This guy really knew his stuff as he rebuilt the electronics which had become corroded due to a blown valve.

Let the showers begin!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Rockin' Eve?

In case you haven't noticed, almost everything is now a commercial. A co-sponsorship. A logo placement. Product placement. Naming rights.

Last night, as is our custom, we stayed off the roads, instead opting for a movie and Champagne as we closed in on 2006. Curiosity lead me to New Year's Rockin' Eve with the much-ballyhooed return of Dick Clark and the official countdown (which would have been tape delayed since we are on Central time...)

I'll probably take a ton of heat for this but I don't think Dick should have gone on camera. Call him brave, a tradition, add whatever nice thing you wish... he shouldn't have gone on.

I have nothing against Dick Clark. I wish him nothing but good. I know a stroke can devastate. I applaud him for his effort to recover.

But look, Dick is above all else a SHOWMAN. I think he diminished the SHOW by co-hosting. Maybe his time in the spotlight is over and he won't let go? Maybe he envisions himself a role model. More likely, he owns the show and makes the decisions. This one was bad.

Look at it from the network competition point of view. People party or sit home alone with Champagne or The Devil Weed or whatever. The other networks are trying their hardest to 'throw the party.'

New Year's Rockin' Eve wasn't a party. Or if it was, it started and then stopped.

Mariah Carey is a good hire. She's popular. She'd pull an audience. But Dick pulled it down. I wonder how many gasped. How many laughed (not nice!) How many were inspired??? I was just flat out shocked.

Did you notice all the logos by Chevy on the hats down front? The Korbel balloons? They didn't just happen - it's part of the package they bought. Though there was a brief shot of a huge display screen that had the word PONTIAC on it. Ooops?

Across the dial, Regis was being Regis - he does it well.

Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly were America's new announcers (what Dick Clark used to be.)