Friday, December 29, 2006


8MP. That's right - a new camera with more resolution than I really need. 8 mega-pixels. It's a D-SLR (Digital single lens reflex) which means you don't have to hold the camera and try to compose on a tiny screen, or look through a tiny window at a tiny tv screen like on our other two digital cameras.

I will never use film again.

I have packaged up my complete collection of NIKON film camera and accessories and will probably donate to Goodwill (if they even want it!) At the local big photography store they have dozens of film cameras dirt cheap - on consignment.

I like film, but the convenience factor of unlimited pictures for free can't be topped*. In the attic we have two large boxes crammed with film pictures. How much more useful would several DVDs of same be! That's the future. It's here now.

*In High School I was the yearbook candid photographer. In order to land the lucrative prom and grad picture biz, an enterprising photographer gave the yearbook staff a camera and as much film, as many flashbulbs and all the processing we could use. That was my gig. I'm almost full circle now.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


You know there's a problem when your dog pees, or tries to, 40 times in one day. We lost count - the actual number is probably higher! This all happened on one day - yesterday - which caused a big worry! Jessie is completely normal in every way except for this episode.

To the vet!

How do you get a urine sample from a dog? You follow it around with a ladle and use your imagination.

Prognosis is good - a urinary tract infection. We are greatly relived, fearing surgery.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Consumers gobbled up home electronics this holiday season, as quality is generally up and prices down. We keep waiting for our rear screen projector to die. The thing just keeps on going. As the World's Most Impatient Man (TM), I am extremely eager to jump to HDTV. However, there's at least one good reason to wait: technology keeps leaping ahead.

While I plan to get another rear screen projector, I have to admit the idea of a flat panel appeals to me, while the details of the current state of each display technology, don't. (If you want the lowdown check my website: Lo! On the horizon is another display type which they say bests plasma... it's called SED, and should be out in about a year. I won't go into technical explanations, but there are reasons why it should be superior to anything that exists yet. I don't think it's hype, either.

We did visit with some neighbors yesterday, and happened to watch the Eagles hand it to the Cowboys in HDTV on a great plasma screen. Wow. My friend puts it best: the picture is so good, it distracts you from what's going on. I say the picture is better than my vision.

Still, when you only get one of these beasts every 10 to 15 years, it makes sense to try to reach for the height of picture quality.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


If you happen to put your underpants on inside out, or backwards, don't use a public restroom, because while searching for the hole you will brand yourself as someone who is entertaining little Elvis.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Tomorrow I have a voiceover session for the above. When you do commercials, it's difficult to turn down business, because the agency or producer which does X might do Y, and if they like you in X, you might get a bonanza in Y. And biz is tough enough to get at all, so turning down spots would hurt your relationship with your agent (you don't want to be known as 'difficult.')

Looking at the copy for the commercials - one radio and one TV - I note there's a person describing his problem. Sure hope I am the announcer and not the guy. It'd just be embarassing to be recognized as the guy with a, um, limp. (You DO know that the sufferer in commercials is ACTING, right?)

... and just as I posted this the first time, I got a call from my agent to book me for another spot later tomorrow. The neat thing about this line of work is you never know who will hear your work and like it (and hire you for a BIG project which can pay VERY nicely.) When I lived in San Diego, voicework was my full-time job. I had three agents; in San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles, and could actually live nicely on my voicework income.

Getting established in a new market is hard. That's part of why the above is good.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


The other night we were invited to a Christmas praty - and it turned out to be a good one in a really neat home. I've never seen anything like this - they had maybe 50 bottles of wine out on a table for your choice. Open and enjoy! And it was GOOD stuff, too, with very few double bottles of the same. Unfortunately I finished off a bottle of the best FIRST and nothing came close.

While at the table, I couldn't figure out where the bagpipe music was coming from. Turned out the 'room' was a tent and the floor their deck. Outside, warming up (there's a misnomer), was the sound of a bagpipe... and then a whole squad of pipers marched into the 'room' bleating away madly. They passed right by. I held my ears. Then they formed a circle about ten feet from me and all 4 (plus drum) honked away. The party had stopped to watch. I could not escape the large crowd that hemmed me in.

Here's a do-it-yourself Bagpipe: get a jet engine and fire it up while you stand there.

These were the loudest, shriekiest things I've ever heard. Later (their second set), even rooms away, you could barely hear yourself talk.

I realize these things go back ages, etc., have deep meaning for some. Sorry I can't go along for that ride.

The hosts also had a good acoustic alt-country type band. Much better.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Terri dropped the bomb – she thought the Christmas letter I wrote for this year is over the top, too sarcastic or whatever. Funny, but Not What She Wants To Send Out In Her Christmas Cards. But, as promised, here it is for those who need some bob-nog.

It’s very difficult to consider Christmas when it is 82 degrees. But such is life in Texas, where the local Lowes has moved out the pesticide, ‘coon killer and snake bait, so they could replace it all with Everything Christmas™. Judging from what is hanging from their ceiling, giant inflatables will be big this year. Jolly ol’ Saint Nick is so much more Jolly ™ when he’s 20 feet high, full of air. Speaking of full of air, how about that election? Here, we “Aquied,” judging from the signs. I don’t speak the language, but I can say (and probably not spell) “necessite el banyo.” Ya gotta be prepared!

It’s been an exciting year watching the Longhorns play football. Last year, Vince Young was god. This year we all thought nobody could fill his Adidas ™. But this FRESHMAN from a little town nobody ever heard of - his name is Colt McCoy (true), and he has wowed us all. He’s set records already! His dad was his high school coach. No wonder they drafted/scholarshipped this kid onto our team – they grow ‘em here. Apparently the town he grew up in was so small they only had one traffic light, and it just flashes. I know you think I’m making this up, and that’s the charm, it IS right out of a fantasy. They don’t even have a Dairy Queen. Part of that culture is portrayed nicely in a TV show that’s probably cancelled by the time you get this, called, appropriately, Friday Night Lights. It’s about small town Texas football and how it is THE focal point of the town. If I were running a network, I think I’d put Friday Night Lights on Fridays, not Tuesdays, but that’s me.

Let us bring you up to date on the kids. Jason is doing fine and I think his second visit to the parole board will be the magic one that works for him. We’ve explained that threats don’t work well, no matter how sincere the delivery. And besides, how many people actually ever get their hearts cut out? It’s never in the news, so they should have known it was just teen adrenaline doing the spit enhanced yelling. Don’t we all sometimes have anger issues? And the self-inflicted “revenge” tat, though pointing to an artistic future and employment possibilities, perhaps wasn’t seen in the right light, either. Note to Jason: long sleeves next time!

Kari has finally found herself in school. Not that she became aware where she was, but she, we think, is coming into her own, as she grows comfortable with the taunts. We tell her it’s just jealousy. And wouldn’t you know the assistant principal, instead of helping her fit in, and being supportive, goes and accuses her of being drunk. Well, let me assure you that the new teen fragrances are hard to tell from Wild Turkey! I’m serious! (Texan for “alcohol” is “ak-a-haul.”)

Kyle found work… he’s turned around! That taxidermy school could have led down the path to doing deer (hunting is big here) but in a twist of fate, he’s working in a funeral home. And we know he was joking about putting antlers on a guy in a closed casket – what would be the point?

Our community here, behind the gates, is pretty darn affluent. Like we fit in! There are telltale signs – they leave their flood lights on all night, drive around in luxury SUVs and big trucks (trucks are big here, and they are also BIG.) You wouldn’t believe what is in their trash, either! I mean, we got half a garage sale saved up already, just from stuff we’ve found. You know what they say – “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!”

It’s been very dry this past year – the big lake is down 24 feet. I am not making this up. They have walkways down to the docks on what look like big extension things that can roll out farther and farther as the water recedes. It’s dramatic. Could be biblical, in the right hands.

The house is coming along - we’re at the stage where you look forever for the ‘right piece’ of furniture. We’ve painted several rooms and the halls and that’s helped a lot. The names of the paint colors are an inspiration! Whoever does this has a vivid imagination. PeachFuzz in MorningLight was one we chose. Also Banana Three Days Before It Turns Black. We’re toying with painting the office CoffeeStain On White Linen Suit.

Allow me to turn serious for a moment. Terri and I are fine. We love this place. Bob’s middle age crisis is almost over – at least he didn’t buy a sports car or run off with some bimbo blonde short-skirted high heel wearing cheerleader who wants to escape her small town and appreciates more mature men with great hands.


Up to date Christmas carols:

* 1. Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?

* 2. Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are

* 3. Dementia --- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas

* 4. Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

* 5. Manic - Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....

* 6. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

* 7. Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

* 8. Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

* 9. Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy - can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?

* 10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle,Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells , Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I know they are enormously popular, and are obviously enormous at the same time... Inflatables.

In my opinion - A blight on the landscape: the Hummer of decorations. Grossly unsubtle. The visual side of playing one Christmas song repeatedly over a PA system on your front lawn. Decoration flatulence. A Visual Boombox of grotesque proportions in a world of mp3 players.

I feel better now.

There IS a clever one out there - it's a inflatable snow globe with constant snow falling inside the globe. If there have tobe these behemoths of fa la la la laaaa, then at least that one has something going for it.

If I was a teenager with hostility issues, me'n'the boys would probably drive around with air rifles looking to get us some bloated critters. But, mature dude that I am, I will simply sit at the sniper's keyboard and bitch.

Friday, December 08, 2006


The Iraq study group released its recommendations. Now Bush the 43rd says he rejects two of their main ideas... nice. He doesn't want to have talks with Iran and Syria and doesn't want to talk about troop reductions.

What I wonder is... what is driving him? I assume it's firmly held convictions (costing us billions) - but - based on what? When these bi-partisan thinkers declare the situation dire, why does Bush insist he's still right?

Some things don't make sense. To me, Bush is one of them.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Today we set out to find a real Christmas tree. I almost wrote LIVE, but by definition, without dirt, they be dead. Our "forever tree with 1049 tips" will enjoy this year of forever in the attic, in its 3 pieces, each heavy enough to herniate the carrier - me - and with enough aluminum points to gouge the walls.

So we thought we'd get a real tree. And set out to Papa Noel's tent. Papa wasn't there, but his boyz were, and the trees were pretty good. Not White House good, but apparently they trim them into perfect shapes before they put the $149 and $179 price tags on. (!!!)

Naaaa. Don't think so. Would rather go cheaper and give the money to a seasonal charity.

So we headed to HEB. HEB is the local food, etc., supermarket. The B stands for Butts. It's the guy's name - Herbert E Butts. I am sure about the BUTTS but (ha) not the Herbert.

Herb's place had $49 trees, and we loaded one.

You don't get the red plastic wrapping, you don't get the end chopped off ("We had an accident last year so now we can't do it," said the girl-tree-spokesmodel who was freezing her shapley butt off (42 degrees) in her heels and mini.... what? Oh, no, I'm okay... just went away for a sec' ... the girl with the apron and store uniform...

I drove the tree home in the trunk - even left it open. There's no place to tie it anyway, in the age of all-molded-everything on a car.

Then fired up the chainsaw, lopped an inch or so off our tree, and delivered it to our new stand.

Northerners will expect this to be the part where the Brown Recluse spiders and scorpions run out. Sorry. The tree was butticized. It ain't like that in these here parts.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I had a stress test. (Marriage. Rim shot! Kidding) To get it, I had to fill out 5 pages of detail. Stuff that I've provided to my general Doc, insurance companies, etc., and which I'd rather not have in someone's physical files (ID theft worries - my SS# on every damn page!)

Why we can't just have a card or chip implant with all the data about your parents' medical history, yours, etc. on it is beyond me. The technology exists. As a chip, it could be read my those with authorized readers - paramedics, etc., when needed MOST, and I would think this coulkd be expanded to help hospitals dispense PROPER meds and not kill people with mistakes.

This will be the future, I am certain. It makes too much sense. The only question is when!


My review: a great BOND movie. Daniel Craig is perfect. Not as pretty as Brosnan, Craig's a man's man and a woman's man too! Although several elements of the plot were, I thought, a bit loose, no doubt they made cuts to trim the running time.

I didn't miss the effects at all when they showed BOND chasing a bad guy through a construction site. I think that may be the best action sequence I've seen. It's simple but fabulously exciting. No gimmick needed. Better than Indiana Jones, to my eye.
Maybe as good as the car pursuit in the French Connection. Seriously.

Irony: with such a stud lead actor, none of the women did it for me. I wish they had used Sienna Miller - Craig's ex-girlfriend... or anyone with more depth and beauty.

The title sequence looked cheap, too.

But I give it overall a 9.5 of 10.

I think Craig is more manly than any of the others after Connery and AS manly as Connery. That's saying something!

What's a bit of a head spinner is it's set int he present, but shows BOND in his early years. If you have seen the other films or read the books, you have to forget them to 'be' where the movie exists.

PS: Lake Como is beautiful in Casino Royale, as it is in real life.