Sunday, December 30, 2007


We just got a new scale. The old scale reads 5 pounds lighter on me, but only one pound lighter on Terri - though she bought the new one, so she also had a chance to fill her pants with helium before she brought it home.

Seems I haven't lost those 12 pounds. Or I put them back after temptations which would make the devil bulk up.

The thing is, when I weighed this much before, 38s were my pant size and I wore 35s all week.

In the words of Tony Soprano: "Whattayagonnado?"


I mention in my annual Christmas Letter (still being delivered) that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012. This brings up the question - did they know something about the end of days? Or was there a guy who said, "Hell, we'll all be gone way before then, let's have some beer." Or did some Mayan secretary lose a bunch of pages as they blew off one of those mountains? Or maybe a Mayan practical joker (long set up, no punch line - really good one!) Actually, I have been told that at about that time, the earth with reverse magnetic poles (The Schmenge Brothers) resulting in much confusion, toilets in Australia flushing the other way, and who knows what else? I'll post the letter once those to whom we've sent printed copies have had time to receive and enjoy.

Friday, December 28, 2007


The day I ordered a SONY RPTV (Rear screen SXRD projector HDTV) - the very DAY - they announce they are backing away from the format in favor of flatter profile sets. Funny, the guy at Best Buy didn't mention that. I actually do believe he didn't know. The news was late breaking.

I'm still gonna ride this donkey because of all the research I did on it.

Oh boy will there we stories of incompatibilities and problems as:
Time Warner has to switch us to digital and "install two cable cards" btw: install means stick in slot. $33 service call.

TiVo has to switch to digital feed on time.

The stand for the TV is backordered.

The BOYZ have to navigate a flight of stairs with a pretty big chunk of heavy gear (the old rptv) and again with a larger one - the new one.

This is all to happen a week from Saturday.
There will be pictures and buyers remorse for all to enjoy.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


This from an old associate in Montreal. He spotted the snowman and thought it captured the spirit of the city. I agree, though it's been almost 25 years since my last time there (a magical two years.)

Just in the time we worked together, Matthew Cope expertly interviewed a cavalcade of celebrities for a mandated talk show; often right through the glass between the talk studio and on air where I sat. He also adlibbed an amazingly one-take 15 minute funny farce with Rod Charlebois, our newsman, about the coming metrification of time... 10 day weeks, 10 month years, 100 minute hours, etc. So droll. So expert. So funny.

Matthew Cope, Bob Wood, Tony Spiro, musician Jean Michel Jarre

Marty Feldman, Mary Lou Bassaraba (co-host), Matthew Cope

Donald Sutherland is a tall cool dude who hung around post-interview and made us all feel special. Marty Feldman with the googly eyes was his own special kind.

Donald Sutherland, Matthew Cope

Montreal of the mid 70s was hip and the Olympics drew more to town. My music director bumped into Mick Jagger at the Olympic hot dog stand, just to drop one name.

I belive Matthew interviewed Bing Crosby by phone (even got him to sing), also Muhammad Ali. He did the Heart sisters, the Playboy playmate of the year, And rode with me on a VERY cold day in an open caliche (horse-drawn carriage) with several female impersonators on board who looked a lot like their doppelgangers. We took abuse from the macho crowd, drank from loaded flasks to keep warm, and I broadcast live when called from the studio to do so.

That was COLD.

Somewherer I have a collection of some pictures from then. I'll try to find one or two, scan and insert. Meanwhile, thanks to Matthew and best wishes and prayers for a full return to health following triple bypass.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Yes, I know I misspelled his name - it's a play on words. Wordplay. Not gunplay. But the first thing we did in Houston this past weekend was visit a great outdoor shooting range where I managed to walk into a low hanging roof while attempting to hang my target. I tried to be cool about it - my cap had blocked the view and I was looking at the ground, avoiding puddles as all good macho shooters do. (It was Dirty Harry, not wet-shoe Dirty Harry.) Got a nice chunk of bald whupped pretty good.


You know, there really should be some cartoon sound effects in life. If you want to play along, here's what to do: take a 12 inch wooden ruler and hang about 8 inches off a table; then, while holding down the end on the table, pull the free end down and let that go. Waaaaaaack-k-k-k-k-k-k.

Even with earplugs stuck so deep into my ear canals that I could hear 1963, there was no muting the monster weapons being fired beside us. 50 caliber must cost a buck a shot. (And the guy wasn't that good!)

Our shots were making nice groups, all things considered, but way off center. Screwdriver to the rescue! Sights adjusted, I could pretty much put em all into the center ring though I seem to have less than a steady hand. Luckily my brain knows when to squeeze them off despite the, uh, bobbing.

Here in Texas where they take guns with a healthy attitude, you can shoot someone breaking into your property. But when you can shoot so well, you think, "well, where would be the least bloody wall splatter? Kneecap or shoulder?" Or, "could the bastard sue?" This ain't close-yer-eyes-point-and-pull-the trigger... this is 'what body part?' thinking.

I pity the poor sucka who plans an assault. All I have to do is get into the cabinet with the gym bag tucked in the back and unzip it, get the gun out of the case, load it, then find the varmint (there should be breath mints called varmints in Texas. My idea. I want a cut if you get rich. But that might encourage robbers. Oh heck, I'll take the money. I can shoot.)

Monday, December 17, 2007


We moved into the Houston area in 1989. We were first into a new neighborhood which was eventually populated by an unusually great bunch of people who, despite many diverse backgrounds, partied together, often and well. Business took us away in 1991.

We stayed in touch with those who remained.

This past weekend we (re)joined the group - old and new members - for a party. It was as if 16 years hadn't passed. The new members/neighbors fit right in (as did we - the old ones) and a great time was had by all!

We stayed at the most recent home of our former next-door neighbors. (How many people can you ask: "Where'd you put the tribal spear?") Almost immediately their dog knocked me down on the floor and was kissing me with 80 pound puppy-love as I giggled like the kid I was when the neighbor's dog did the very same, decades ago.

The next morning we had breakfast with another set of friends from the area, and then toured his amazing new office suite which is of a stunning design. Now I know why it was so hard to describe, even looking at the plans, years ago. It's groundbreaking, high tech, paperless, his dream fully realized and we are so happy for him and his wife!

Why do people blog? I guess it's to feel less alone in some electro-way. Or to keep in touch. Feed the ego.

I come back refreshed and renewed by the quality of the friends we share - these are people with whom it's a privilege to share time.

We will redouble our local efforts to find such a group in Austin.

How very cool.

Friday, December 14, 2007


I think I have Xmas-lag. Could be from our trip 2000 miles south of here last week... only to return to mostly rain (hey - it ain't snow so that works, thank you very much!)

We haven't mailed our cards yet. Although I did write the annual letter.

We decided not to put up the fake or real Charlie Brown tree. I was reminded in my reverie of 'Santa's' cursing annually on Christmas eve as his voice (remarkably like my dad's) would exclaim at least several good "God DAMN it"s while he attempted to put the tree in the holder or to give the gift of electricity to Lionel's Plasticville, and I attempted to sleep.

Malaise has set in. I think I need sun and I'll snap right out of it. I have over 350 pictures of our trip to load but haven't even been inspired to do that yet.

I prefer to avoid the trip-brag, but I can say honestly that after a lot of exercising, I was able this time to swim (under snorkel) for quite surprising distances with no tiredness. I think I am "in shape."

I did have the strongest drink of my lifetime - A Hurricane David in Mustique. I literally fell into the zodiac after just one. It wasn't a huge drink either. Wonder if I can google it somehow. Nope. Many mentions but no recipe (The Bar is called Basil's and you might run into Jagger, McCartney, Stewart or other hi-jinxers there but we never have. But then after a H David how would you know?)

More amazingly, no hangover.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Boy did I pull a boner.... uh, mistake. I had set up the computer to respond when we were away on vacation and apparently that validated many phishing schemes. I am deluged - swamped by hundreds of emails... each are there 3 times too. Of course some good stuff is mixed in or I'd commit email suicide.

Friday, November 30, 2007


There will be a brief hiatus while we investigate sealife somewhere far from here and celebrate Fesitvus. Happily, the house will be guarded by Uncle Billy, who is a crack shot despite his poor vision.

His hearing's still real good, so at least he'll know when he misses the toilet.

Meanwhile next door they started bulldozing the lot today. Billy loves to shoot at the 'dozer blades. After all, other than a richochet, what harm is there?

I wonder what excitement is just a few days away? Cameras loaded, we will document - sure would appreciate it if you suggest to searchers that there's evidence among our belongings.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I fear I see this coming. 1- Cheney steps down 'for health reasons.' 2- Bush appoints one of the front runners say, Gulianni, to be temporary VP. Meanwhile he, Rudy, gains more exposure, can posture behind the office, show the look of one who is in the center of the action and play the game more effectively... looking presidential, or almost. W does it for the party and for the kindness with which he'd be treated as he goes out.

It could work.

Oughta be a law.


Before George Michael's song, before Faith Hill, there were nuns who told impressionable little kids to accept things based completely on another kind of Faith. Religious things. Things beyond human kid comprehension. Skeptic kids were told to accept it all on faith. Losing your faith was whispered doom.

"But how can an all-loving, all merciful God sentence souls to burn in hell for eternity - which we can't even comprehend - for sin?" Have faith.

That never seemed all merciful to me. That seemed all vengeful.

So I find myself many years later having just FedExed a batch of expensive cables (and generic ones) to Phoenix, to be cryogenically treated. This is said to change the molecular alignment to a more electron-friendly flow. Cryogenics is used for ice skate blades, engine blocks, chisels, drills, golf clubs, seemen, and even audio equipment. It involves a computer controlled decent (and, later, ascent) via liquid nitrogen, to -320 degrees where it feels like Minnesota in February. And it's said that you can't get things just a little colder than in the 'frig to receive the benefits of darn near stopping the molecules and rearranging the crystal lattices of metals. MINUS 320 is cold. Colder than a loan shark's heart. You gotta send your stuff away for treatment. Like Walt Disney.

What other business involves sending something away which returns looking EXACTLY as it did, with zero trace of the process involved (except to maybe a handy electron microscope?) Enter faith.

Faith to me was a hopeful belief without hard evidence.

I will report back on the results - will I hear the placebo effect (and if so, is that bad?) or will the cables provide a smoother sound?

Some say power cables can't possibly change the sound of audio gear, but I know this is untrue... I've got some cables that just destroy beauty. Others that mute details.

Don't believe me - Take it on faith.

If ever there was an industry ready for The Scam, this is it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


The Barrack Obama rally was interesting on several fronts.

1- It wasn't a sellout. More people could have been there, but rain was threatening, and we did have light showers. If that venue holds 5000 standing, then I'd put the crowd at 3500 max.

2- It was, I felt, poorly orchestrated - watching a batch of supporters wave signs on stage for about half an hour just isn't very powerful. At least they played music through the PA. Apparently there was a band earlier. Doors open at 3, event at 4:30, it said online. Barrack spoke for about 30 minutes starting at 5. Was that to build anticipation? Didn't work. Did someone warm up the audience? Nope.

I thought there'd be self-serving babble/intros from cronies in the political ranks, but with a simple, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the next President of the United States, Barrack Obama," he came onstage, shaking hands with the peanut gallery which stood there behind him.

I remain undecided. But I know who I don't want and that narrows the field. I had hoped to find some charisma or bond. He's pro, and I guess he's said these same words 1000 time so far, but I wasn't inspired. I left undecided. Happily, there's more to the job of president than just speaking to crowds. I place him among the contenders for my vote.

His speech was about why he was running. It gave no specifics about HOW to accomplish the goals he named.

He did have a good line about his cousin Dick Cheney, "there's a black sheep in every family." I don't think the crowd got it.

3- The speech didn't bring us to a rousing crescendo. Wouldn't you think someone could have crafted that? It was also delivered in a high pitch - if he had dropped his voice and spoken rather than orated, it might have connected better.

4- Security was a surprise. As in surprisingly weak. You paid your fee online and printed a ticket voucher and were supposed to have photo id but they didn't seem to check either. Everybody got a light frisk but it could have been easy to bring in contraband.

5- Austin is polite. Even when they threw t-shirts to the crowd, I saw no grabbing away from one another. That was nice to see.

6- NO SIGNS was the rule. Then they handed out a number of official signs which also worked as rain hats.

7- I dashed away to get out before the traffic nightmare. I wasn't alone. I overheard no politics being discussed.

8- Ron Paul supporters were across the street shouting their lines at the people as they filed in.

Overall, interesting - glad I saw the spectacle, such as it was. The speech text could be improved, I feel, by adding the YOU perspective much more often, i.e.: "You deserve..." But what the heck - I'm a voter, not a pol.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Obama is coming to a venue just about a mile up the street, so I can't resist the temptation to see what sort of spectacle his people generate and how he comes across 'in person' if there is such a thing. There could be 5000 butts if all the seats are filled.

They are pretty emphatic on the website - NO BAGS! I hope cameras are ok. I'll blog here about what we find.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


McDonalds is now selling what do they call it? Premium coffee? I guess someone saw what Starbucks charges. And now they CUSTOMIZE it - adding cream for you (saves about a bazillion creamer plastics, and must surely have something to do with portion control) - I am uncertain about sugar because I don't take it.

Maybe locally we have a different set of circumstacios, but when I pull up to the outdoor speaker, I get a walcomechumcdonalds in one not good enough to be recorded voice followed by another mayitakeyourorderplease shouted at me over the sounds of the exploding kitchen or the dishwasher blowing a valve. We then go back and forth. "One regular coffee, one large decaf." "Two coffees?" "Yes. One regular, small, and one decaf, large."

The screen by now says two decafs. And so it goes, back and forth. It could be a comedy routine but only to those uninvolved.

Sometimes I put on a fake Indian (the country) accent and run through the whole thing as my way of getting even. Terri hits me while I speak.

Then there seems to be a disconnect between window 1 and window 2, because window 2 workers seem highly confused about the final state of the order, as they hand me burgers. "No, coffee! This is supposed to be coffee - 2 coffees, one large decaf, one regular small." "Two regular coffees?...

Ah, what's the use?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

So here's the scene: Terri and I, when we go out, put the dog into the office. In case she's bad, it's somewhat confined. We hit the road this morning to go shopping. Upon return, I let the dog out - she then gives me the eye that she wants to go outside where she pees and dumps. Good dog! I retreat to the computer, my home inside home. Pretty soon I become aware of an... odor... smell... stink. Now Jessie has left my sight but I am starting to think she left something in the room... and I am inspecting. Nothing! I then start smelling myself, best I can - just changed into shorts - could it be the shorts - is it ME? What? I then go to ask Terri to help me find the source. She's in the kitchen, shucking shrimp.

Ah. Mystery solved.

On another subject, these horned creatures were on the loose today within our community, and snapped by a neighbor. Our development has a ranch in the middle. I sure would like to see how they round these bad boys up.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Blogger has a super system. Its spell checker is great. Best of all, and the WORD creators should take a clue... it discovers places where I run words together in my frenzy at the keyboard. Why can't WORD? Because it's stupid. Or I have a very old version which predates the need for speed. Blogger good. WORD not.

Now experts say being somewhat fat is good for you, but too much can kill you. Isn't that helpful? Wait a year and they'll reverse themselves anyway. EVERYTHING is bad for you.

I don't know about you, but one business that can freely raise its prices now appears to be the oil barrel business. Wait - you mean that's just a term? The tankers don't have... I knew that.

Somebody in the neighborhood has spotted a black deer. Surprisingly, Jessie Jackson was nowhere to be found. Apparently they are very rare, even more rare than albinos.

Make me nervous: put a squad of guys with chain saws on the lot next door, being cleared/denuded for building. I couldn't hear them not speak English over the noise, but wondered what to do if they wandered across the property line. One guy had a machete with which he whaled on low oak tree branches.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Not one with obsessive/compulsive disorder, I wonder why certain music sticks in a rotating loop in my head from time to time? Is it the onset of something?

It's analogous to cut and paste. Hi, Mister Roboto here.

Terrible movie, unless you have kids: The Last Mimsey. All I can say is, I sure hope so.

Now that we have a movie house just up the street with 14 theatres, we will see first runs much more often, replying less on NetFlix. Michael Clayton - now that was a REAL movie. A+.

The theatres (their spelling) are state of the art, with - and I can't quite believe this - non-deafening volume levels. So far. Obviously they are learning how to do it. Lights down, lights up, lights down, movie. Wrong lens, another wrong lens, picture too high, focus! 20 seconds later all is good. In one theater - so I have to assume all of them - they were playing music in some sort of pre-show 'show' and darn if it didn't actually sound very good! Nice!

Friday we were invited by neighbors to the REAL FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, i.e.: high school football in Texas! I took the opportunity to play photog..., I mean, learn more about my camera. I snuck onto the sideline and one play came my way - an incomplete pass tumbled to me. I picked it up and took a while to spot the ballboy, and then I snapped it to him and felt very male. It was good.

The game was fun and the quarterback of Lake Travis looks like one who will go on to some prominence. Two observations: the boys are bigger and the girls much better looking than when I was in high school. I don't think I am looking through the wrong end of the age-telescope, either!

It wasn't like the Friday Night Lights TV show, though (which is filmed here in Austin) - the team for which we rooted was somewhat local to us, and so the stands were full of parents from upscale neighborhoods.

I did notice more Texas twang in the some of the crowd, though. The game was played in a small town about 45 minutes from here, where they had 19 inches of rain in 6 hours a while back. And where there's a new housing development very close to where the signs up and down the highway warn of ACTIVE BLASTING AREA! Ummmmmm, no. Not a good place to settle.

We passed the diner which is supposed to be named the best diner in Texas by some prestigious restaurant-rater. (No, not Grub Monthly.) They advertise a PIE happy hour. All hail the Bluebonnet Cafe.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


I receive a weekly joke email from a guy I've known for - my god! 37 years. He rose to the top of a big broadcast chain and retired young... if 38 years of working qualifies you as young. Anyway, I realized that, like me, he misses the audience of his job, where people would listen and care what he said or wrote.

I, too, miss the venue of a radio station. Although only a few would pay attention to me - hopefully, some of my staff, and in the audience of the 100s of thousands of listeners would surely dwell some souls who DID 'get it' and by extension, me.

That would reduce this blog to an attempt to cling to ANY kind of 'casting. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity. Your person-per-view value is very, very high.


Once again I came upon the scent patty in its holster, pink and white, at the bottom of the urinal. I mentioned this before - it's got ADVERTISING on the holster. For a paper company. And it hit me - the thing is printed UPSIDE DOWN, the holster/holder contrary to the design of any urinal.

Somewhere there's a GREAT salesperson or a stupid paper company. Or both.


At some point you surrender! I don't know why my computer gets slow and cranky from time to time, would expect 'memory leakage' whereby some programs leave bits of used memory even when the program is shut down.

I stuffed this PC with 4GB of memory, though, and that should be IT!

The cure is to reboot from time to time (and generally I leave it on until I have to reboot, so it can be days or weeks - usually days.)

Ah, but there's some process running in the background, you say. You nerd. I knew that. Some I even want to run. Others I don't know have come to live in the start tray. (Yes, I know how to disable that/them.)

Generally the computer works very well. Until it doesn't.

You've been there, right?

Sunday, October 28, 2007


The other day I managed to stab myself with a very sharp steak knife at the tip of my left index finger. It bled heavily. Then it formed a spot which I hit continually for the next 5 days. Lots of "OUCH!... F##K!"

I managed to spear it in the dishwasher. Nicely done, I thought. When I put the steak knife in, blade-up, I thought, "Wow, that would really get someone. Good thing I am careful."

Later the scab grabbed all fabric within arm's reach.

Put the finger tip on the areas for future protection! Where's Homeland Security when you need it?


Somebody stole my gas tank cap.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Gosh, I've been away but not even. Busy, yes. Absent, not.

Lots of good political rants sparking my brain, but I have yet to focus on how to say what I'd care to say. Basically, our freedoms as outlined in the constitution, have been trashed. You won't notice till it's too late. Meanwhile we fight for freedom elsewhere, in an undeclared war, where contractors appear immune to controls.

All the bad guys now sing the song of innocense. Implied is that they know what we don't. All of which remains hidden, if it exists, under the national security trashcan/vault.

Our 'war against terror' has generated more hate for the USA and more terrorists than it was supposed to stop.

Fraud over there is beyond all scale of comprehension.

The founding fathers of our country would NEVER have stood for what we've become. Now, to speak out is unpatriotic. Ironic, isn't it, that there was this REVOLUTIONARY WAR at the birthing of America!? Now, dissent is risky. The public, satieted by their Big Macs and cheeze whiz, have grown silent and complacent. The media has grown corporatized and what seems to be a lot less probing.

Exception: Keith Olbermann seems to speak his mind; I find I pretty much agree with him. (MSNBC 7-8PM Central.)

These are head-shaking days.

One thing I believe - it cannot stay this way - one way or another, change will come. I only hope we like what we get.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Shamelessly I will now reveal a secret of the men's room, 2007.

Today I had occasion to use a urinal in an office building. In the urinal was the semi-standard deodorant 'cake.' But it was in a plastic "cage" of white plastic WITH ADVERTISING ON IT!!! For a PAPER COMPANY.

What are they thinking? And what a great sales person is out there on the loose!!!

I could see the Obama campaign putting a picture of Hillary on there, or the other way around, but c'mon...

Friday, October 05, 2007


Do you believe in angels?

Who really knows? But I awoke this morning with an idea for this post, to tell the stories when something seemed to help me through a tight squeeze, possibly death.

I was a little kid. Don't remember exactly how old, but very young. My mother had gone into the local corner drug-and-everything store and I finessed my way out the door and ran across the street. Screeching tires. I had run directly in front of an oncoming car and thanks to the angellic? fast reflexes of the driver, whose child hit the dashboard hard enough to bleed, I was spared. Punished, oh yes, but spared.

When I plugged the tweezers into the ac outlet, Mrs. Graham, my babysitter darn near had a heart attack. The angel? fuse blew, maybe saving me.

My mother was driving back from her brother's house with my Dad sitting shotgun while I was in the back seat. I was little, but not too little to wake up and see that my mother was swerving and driving on the opposing lanes at the time. This was the 50s, late at night, and who knows what combo of pills and booze and angels? were responsible for a safe passage?

My father, who rarely did anything with me, was cajoled into taking me 'deep sea fishing' on a party boat off Ocean City, NJ. It was a foggy, rainy day offshore, matching his mood. We couldn't see but maybe 50 yards. We heard a fog horn grow closer. Finally, the captain of the fishing boat decided to move the boat in a 180 turn from where we had anchored. Then, through the thick fog, we could see the freighter which was travelling way too fast for conditions and would have sunk us if we hadn't moved. The fog horn would have once again been the sound of ghosts. Was an angel whispering into the cap'n's ear?

All good teens share a fascination with explosives. Back then, a simpler time, even the Gilbert Chemistry Set came complete with the ingredients for gunpowder, although not for MUCH gunpowder. But you could buy sulfur and powdered charcoal and potassium nitrate at the drug store (who knew WHY) and that led to many 'experiments.' In one surprise, I was standing no more than 8 feet from a 'flare' burning into a hole drilled into a 2x4 by my next door neighbor Pete, who put fast burning stuff under the slow burning stuff. When it blew up, it was the loudest thing I had been near up to that point in my life. And even though the 2x4 was GONE - just splintered, we were untouched (except by an angel's wing?)

My cousin dated a muscled lifeguard. Maybe as a way to get closer to her, he 'adopted' me as a mascot. I think I was 12. It was a far more innocent time than today. He took Barbara and me bowling. I bowled the best game of my life and beat him soundly, further cementing the relationship. For once I was a cool kid! On another trip to the lanes, without Barb, instead, his brother and I as passengers in the old '53? Merc (way cool), we ran through a deep puddle on the only road on the island where you could drive 50 (or...more.) At the first traffic light, the brakes were gone. Pedal pumping to the floorboard, honking continuously, we sailed through the intersection. There may have been an angel on the corner directing cross traffic.

On a rented Vespa 50cc, I was chased - tailgated, really, by a looming dump truck. The fields of Valley Forge shot by - I had it wide open downhill but the guy wouldn't back off, honking his airborne. The ghosts of revolutionary war soldiers might have called an angel to ride with me. Somehow I got away.

Snagging a ride home from school with a station wagon full of classmates - rich kids (not me) mostly, from the private prep school I attended, I had the rear seat facing backwards. They all would scream and then the car would do a 360 on the snowy road. Over and over. In the blur, when I was facing forward in the spin, I may have seen an angel. Really couldn't see much - probably my eyes were shut.

There are 3 times I remember driving when I clearly shouldn't have done so - in my twenties. On one of these I followed the red tail lights ahead of me for 15 miles up the turnpike. I figured if I kept them centered I'd be on the road. I couldn't see the angel in the dark, but that was stupid and highly dangerous, and yet, here I am.

On a flight to a wedding, the airline diverted us to Pittsburgh, where the landing was so rough I actually thought 'this was the end.' The flight attendant began to cry. Maybe an angel was co-pilot.

I learned to fly, and as a pilot had several close calls. VERY l o n g landings. A bad 'landing'/bounce on the nosewheel; a close encounter or two with other planes. Angels in the clouds?

Flying a friend's Ultralight Jetwing (the name is a clue) I was out of control from the moment of takeoff. My mind went: "If you get scared, you'll die - figure out what to do." Down was to my right, and I wasn't that far up - or sideways down. Angel?

You never know about the unseen close calls - the "if he had left one second later"s of life; the almosts untold and unknown. We are spared. That's all we know until we don't, and then we find out if angels are real.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Yesterday I discovered a stain which seems to be related to the toilet in the powder room (a room in which there is no powder - go figure!) The stain is a darkened section of the wooden floor. It's not in a shape of anything supernatural, which is too bad or it could pay for itself in donations from the faithful.

I know you think it stinks. It doesn't.

By bedtime I was worked up into a lather, blaming the only outside agent, our new cleaning people for having dropped some atomic cleaner residue, but even with that suspicion, it seemed an odd place for a stain in that shape. I tried Murphy's Wood Soap (no relation), Pledge, lots of Elbow Grease, hot water, nothing worked. It's as if the wood is stained from the inside of its fibers (fibres in Canada.)

Well, as it happens, today a floor expert happened by to quote on a patio tiling we are contemplating. Terri showed him the stain.

The suspect is the wax seal (but I can't explain no smell in this theory.) The wax seal doesn't eat wax fish... it seals the toilet from the, uh, outside world.

We won't know what's up till a plumber removes the toilet and we can see where the stain is coming from... if we DO, we'll fix it, then call the floor guy to come replace the strips of wood (no relation) under the commode before we reassemble.

Even a new house has fun for the owners. Gosh this is fun.


1- Republican
2- Democrat

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I go to the mall. I stand in front of the directory. It says YOU ARE HERE. How does it know? Cameras? GPS? Spy Satellite? (wouldn't work indoors.) Geez, am I paranoid? I think I may be followed. All the signs... they know it's me. Even if I disguise myself... how is it possible?

Monday, October 01, 2007


One of my reviews is up at UltraAudio.
Click this to see it

Admittedly, it's for audiophiles, but hey, that's an innocent 'phile to be.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Trouble in River City - Measuring Trust
According to the latest American Pulse Survey by BIGresearch, only 2.6% of the 3,978 respondents say members of Congress are trustworthy and 2.2% say the same for the Senate.

Even though only 14.2% say the President was trustworthy, relative to the Lawmakers, the gap is huge. The distrust of elected members of Congress and Senate is consistent among both sexes and all age groups. 70.7% don't trust any of the choices. Surprisingly, more people say bloggers are more trustworthy than the media.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Rather than post them with the initial story below, where regular visitors might not dig deeper, here they are. I think they pretty much explain themselves. I was taking special notice of the many doors and windows, so you'll see some examples. And the vase/art thing lured us on the last day. Firmly hooked, we bought it.

On the way past Los Alamos to Bandiera Monument we saw an interesting sign. This monument takes you back to when indigenous people lived in the caves. The church is the oldest in North America, dating into the 1600s. They've had 235 collections since its building for a new roof.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I feel the weight of Sante Fe pictures to process to stick down below. Since then we went back to Gruene, Texas, where I got more good shots. Here's the problem... since you CAN adjust and crop, you do, then you resize the huge picture to fit the small size on the blog, and it eats time. I've been busy - with guests - and with business.

I have Blog-guilt: the pressure to post daily! Great. Another tic.

I am afraid to look at the visit counter - bet I am down to zero.

I have a review coming out in Ultra Audio on October 1st if you are an audiophile. Look for the AUDIENCE equipment review. (That's a brand.) At least you can see I am still writing.

By the way, politicos, I believe BUSH just snuck a free pardon for himself and admin officials post term just in case. It's deep within a bill. We are SO screwed. The Constitution is being shredded by this clown and his circus.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


We've become huge fans of UT Football! We prefer to TiVo the games to cut out the commercials, halftime 'sportsdesk' blather, etc. The only hard part is avoiding the score till we watch. You'd be suprised how hard it is. In the case of UT vs UCF, we succeeded, and watched a few hours later aka post-actual-game-time. Having been burned before, I know that games run long and so I tack an extra hour onto the scheduled stop time.

Yesterday's contest was close - too close for comfort! But fun to watch. Then they had a 15 minute lightning (in the area) delay. No problem! I've got a whole hour buffer.

I kept track of the game time vs. recording time. Almost a constant, I had 4 times the remaining game time recorded. That ratio held nicely... until...

Remember the clock stops on incomplete passes, etc.

UT went ahead, built up a cushion, and it seemed they had wrapped it up, but then UCF came back uncomfortably strong... and my recording ran out with 50 seconds (and I believe 2 UCF timeouts) remaining.

No orgasm of winning! All doubtful unknowing. Luckily we were two minutes away from live TV sports in local news... and UT held on for another win.

Our team must improve seriously or there are some big troubles coming our way.

If they could just keep the players from being arrested, that'd help!

Thanks to Ryan Morris for correcting me - initially I had the wrong competitors as you can read in his comment. Sorry, Ryan! The followup comment confuses me. Never could handle 3 initials anyway. Is Miami of Ohio MOO?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


The paintcheros did a great job. The only mishap was when a picture fell off the wall and into the nest of computer wires after they had gone. Chopsy! Luckily, even though the guillotine travelled 4 feet, it didn't scrape the wall. Culprit: failed nail. I rewired the broken connections and all appears fine.

They did it all in one long day, too, so my computer-withdrawal symptoms weren't as bad as I had thought. I spent the day listening to music in my music room. Very nice. A little jet-lag still has me.

Back to Santa Fe before I forget - it's supposed to be the number two tourist destination city behind San Francisco. Don't know if I believe that. It IS a town of art and artists, and the altitude gives off wonderful colors and shades. We hoofed it through almost every gallery. Many $19,000 to $40,000 pieces. Cough. But the winner and champion was a painting of a woman... sorry, don't know who she or the artist was - actually the picture looked almost unfinished... shows what I know: ready? SIX HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!! Take it home with you!

Seems the streets are loaded with motorcycles and the guys like to rev 'em. So it's noisy.

We took a trip which brought us very close to Los Alamos, and there was a sense of government all over the place... signs warning of explosions and fragments! And guard gate houses, barriers, etc. Apparently there's a place called the black hole where the labs throw out stuff they don't want anymore. I found this out in a shoe store which had some very odd looking super wire mesh hose in the corner - the salesgirl said they use it to show off shoes as they make little stands of it. Taxmoney at work!

I've got to download hundreds of pictures so if you have interest, come back after I've added a few of the best.

We went to Bandero National Monument where there are caves in the rocks once occupied by natives. There were ladders to climb up and in... very National Geographic! Supposedly there are petroglyphs (caveman art), but we missed them. I did see some recent stuff: "Joe and Donna '05" and the like carved into the historic caves' smoke scarred walls.

They warn you to stay on the trail and watch out for snakes and bears. If you come upon a bear, they say to scare it away by making loud noises. Happily we saw neither.

This is a land of pteroducktiles, large ancient billed flying beasties. We didn't see them either.

I believe my picture-taking ability has ramped way up with all the digital practise plus no waste... take several, erase the losers. Experiment.

We passed the oldest church in the US which was built pre-US, obviously. Over 400 years old. And the oldest house in the US. Two more mortgage payments to go!

I took many shots of windows and doors. Some are pretty funky. I thought I might make a collage or something. I am also trying to snap grizzled guys wearing cowboy hats, but that's not very easy as they look at Ralph Lauren T-Shirted guys with disdain. More grizzle seems to indicate more disdain.

Perfect weather - great food - Terri was super and her arrangements wonderful... we even lucked into the owners suite at the hotel.

We flew ExpressJet which left ON TIME and EVEN SERVED FOOD. Glory glory.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I want to tell you about our trip to Santa Fe. But the painters are about to arrive to give me computer withdrawal since they are painting this room - the office - and will have to remove the plugs to the world and cover everything in plastic, or worse, move it all out of here. If plastic, then this evening when they are gone, I might be able to sneak under it and have enough oxygen to log on if I can extend the cords.

Having strangers in the house makes me very nervous anyway, so add to that the stress of staying offline; it might just finish me as a non-drooling web citizen.

If I could simply find a use for drool.

Sad news: we looked everywhere but could not find Santa in Santa Fe. I had a list.

We almost escaped without buying art. The last store we visited... and we went to every gallery we could find... had bowls inlaid with turquoise. The one we wanted was marked down JUST FOR US ON THE SPOT to $6700! No! We didn't. But there WERE others, smaller, and now there's one missing.

Turquoise is ubiquitous in Santa Fe. They have signs "Help Us Conserve Water - This Is The High Desert - But Take All The Turquoise You Want, And Don't Forget The Neighbors!"

We were lucky to be in Santa Fe for Fiesta which goes back many years. In a town that dates over 400 years old, you'd think they have this celebration DOWN. Police were all over the place - even the SWAT team, a huge mobile command post, EMS guys on bikes... no incidents we could see, but I've never seen such a heavy police presence. No Turquoise on the cops though. They should change the license plates which are yellow to Turquoise and then change the slogan to NEW MEXICO - THE POLICE STATE.

I must now vacate the room. Soon it will be LOWE'S BRS7 "Buried Treasure" brushed suede. Wait - the painters just called - they'll be here at 10. That's Hispanic for 11.

Back to Santa Fe - if you buy a home with its own water well, you have to have radiological testing done on the water. Drink it without knowing and 1- you'll have the whitest smile in town and 2- people will be able to see your teeth even when your lips are closed.

Santa Fe is about 40 miles from Los Alamos, where they built the first atomic bomb. Did you know it was encased in turquoise?

I took hundreds of pictures. I'll post a few of the best when I get the room back.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Once again I am selling a piece of electronica over the internet. Naaa, not ebay. Audiogon. I have used it many times in the past and haven't been burned yet.

One time a pilot from Mexico flew his boss to Atlanta or somewhere close (nice private jet) then took a commercial flight, rented a car and came to see what he was buying from me. That's dedication. He is a super nice guy and I pimp him from time to time for a free jet ride... which hasn't happened and probably won't. It's not a toy.

Recently we had dinner with our mayor of this here community and her husband, a pilot for one of the airlines. It's a bit of a stretch but he's a John Wayne man. Squinting into the horizon. Strong handshake. A character.

Friday, August 31, 2007


BLOGGER has a wonderful spell checker. As one of the world's most impatient people, I tend to forget spaces between words and the Google program finds and suggests them split. Not so Outlook Express. In fact, Outlook Express doesn't know jackshit. I know all about jackshit since we have these very large long-eared jack rabbits dropping their pellets all over everything as they process my latest Lowes garden section purchases.

Speaking of gardening, I believe we have a tree that has died twice. Or as heard on Aunt Bertha's Bible Hour, which I used to run Sunday mornings in Charlottesville on WELK radio, "he didn't die twice, Johnny, he LIVED twice..." [organ swell here.] Victim, Johhny's ex-brother, disobeyed his parents and was hit by a car, but the hospital brought him back for an encore, then lost his little pulse. "THAT'LL teach you to disobey!" was the message. Aunt Bertha did these little 'plays' with lots of organ music. She was in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The stuff was so bad it was good.

Hey - you try to get from spell checker to the Lord's vengeance in two paragraphs.
Speaking of the Lord's vengeance, Ryan Seacrest is hosting the Emmy awards and has been quoted as saying he'll wing it. This will be a triumph or an atomic bomb!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Welcome to Flugtag. Another chance to enjoy the weirdness which is embraced in Austin!

This pilot was stoked!

This one commemorated the SUMMER OF LOVE 40 years ago, as they built a mock VW bus on wings and danced around with flower power moves. It flew like a real VW.

This was a bridge. I didn't get any sense of disrespect for what happened in Minneapolis, but this one barely made it off the ramp before it came apart.

Team uniforms ranged from ragged to detailed.

A Babe with a gun on a mock warplane... very popular!

I haven't been away, but busy. Yesterday, we took a break and went to The Red Bull Flugtag, which, my German tells me is fly day, or day for flying. Red Bull puts these on all over the country - I believe there have been 35 so far. The event is one in which teams try to fly off a ramp with the river/lake below. They are judged on creativity, distance flown (most don't fly), and, I think, theme. Judges vote and the public can text message votes too.

We arrived early, brought a blanket - thank god we had read the online info as we were going to bring a hard sided cooler (prohibited) collapsing chairs (prohibited) and food (prohibited). Can't say how hot it was, but I can say I forgot my hat which was a BIG mistake. Noggin pinkin!

Naively we parked and were to shuttle in, though the bus lineup guy said - hey the shuttle is going to take you only 4 blocks. We hoofed it. That's Red Bull talk. I've never had Red Bull - isn't that 'make your heart go faster' stuff?

I brought my camera and long lens expecting to get close enough to... oh, but wait, we weren't alone. About 85,000 others had the same good idea (actual crowd estimate, which I believe.)

Red Bull must have spent a couple hundred thousand dollars on this event. Giant LCD TV screens, lighting (it would run till 9:15PM or so), Pro TV, hosts, monster sound system (which only seemed to play bass... LOUD BONE SHAKING BASS.

Here's everyone standing within each other's sweat zone and they are... watching the TV.

The teams would dance around, then push their flying machine over the edge where it would crash into the water. Goofy fun in the city that proclaims, "KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD!"

I got a few pictures when not blocked by tall dude, dude in hat, dude with sun umbrella. All in all they had about 28 teams... we left after the first 3 or 4 but it was a nice try.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Nicole Ritchie spent 82 minutes in jail?
All she did was DUI the wrong way on an expressway.

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said federal sentencing guidelines dealing with jail overcrowding allowed local officials to reduce the time for Richie and other inmates with similar charges.

Lindsay Lohan got one day in jail?
Drove erratically under the influence for miles. Ran red lights, speeding, possession of cocaine, etc.

Can you believe it?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I felt something on my neck and brushed it off. I was face down. The next thing I knew, something bit or stung my arm. I sat up and turned on a flashlight but could see nothing. It lasted about 10 minutes and felt like a bee sting. No real mark. I had brushed off the sheets right away and maybe that's why a flashlight inspection of the bed showed nothing except Terri wondering what I was doing. Glad I didn't freak her out.

Windows were closed. My guess: spider.

Tonight should be interesting!

I wonder what we'd see if we could know all the crawlies and varmints that come to visit in the dark.

To say nothing of the alience who come to steak our DNA.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


A neighbor told me that we are too far inland for hurricane worries except maybe for torrential rain and tornadoes. EXCUSE ME? I don't remember reading about that in the sales brochure!

Seriously, my business partner lives on a boat in Florida and two years ago had two hurricanes right overhead! He tried to outrun one but his plan was missing an essential bit of info - the bridge tenders go HOME and leave the bridges down. So he parked at/on someone's backyard dock and tied up with all his lines. "What was it like?" "Well, it howled and rocked and I figured if it was my time, it was my time. I went to bed."

I'll bet alcohol was involved.

My mother lived in Florida for - what? - 20 some years - and NEVER had ONE hurricane blow her lanai apart! That condo wouldn't have withstood much - the front door was very flimsy. A good seagull fart would blow it open. For those who don't know - a lanai is an 'outdoor' room of screen and plastic, often carpeted with miniature golf carpet. Geezers sit inside and drink highballs.

I understand the concept of the wind masses and fronts affecting hurricane direction, sucking or blowing it here or there, but the track has what I see as a wobble. The wobble worries me. Pretty low of me to wish it on someone else, don't you think?

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Terri's away so I've been entertained by Erin today. Erin is a tropical depression conspiring to scare the dog and keep me from playing with electrical things. We have had a lot of rain with more to come. Then this whole episode is sort of a reminder about what a REAL hurricane could do as Dean is headed this general way. I'm not sure what the effect would be this far inland, and I hope I never find out.

At the top of this entry - sunrise yesterday in mid-dog walk as taken by my phone.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I've been intrigued by UFO stories for many years. My mother claimed to have seen one from the rooftop restaurant in Naples. She called it to the attention of others.

In Minnesota we had neighbors who, when they lived in Nebraska, had a very close encounter with a vessel of some kind.

In Montreal we produced a special program called "We Are Not Alone" through which I interviewed some of the cult? heroes of sighting or abduction. Dr. Hynek co-hosted. Stanton Friedman was a guest on tape. I spoke with Betty Hill, Travis Walton, and others. We solicited and interviewed people who seemed quite convinced they had experienced something 'out of this world.'

One of the astronauts, before he was one, was with a film crew that 'caught' a UFO on the ground on film - clearly. The film was turned over to authorities who then classified it.

My interest remains high because if extra-terrestrial intelligent life is confirmed, it's the biggest story in history! I read reports and watch shows and there have been some very convincing pictures or movies, investigations, etc. But I fear that many people see camera distortions, lens flares, balloons, etc., and think, "OHMYGOSH A UFO."

At the top of the page is a picture I took. See the three triangles by the moon? Artifacts. Not UFOs. Sorry.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I found the world clock absolutely facinating. I hope you do too. If you switch to NOW you can start the count from, NOW, or more precisely, THEN.

Did you happen to catch the democrat candidate debate from Soldier Field? I saw some of the review BEFORE I saw the event - courtesy of TiVo. I must say, though I root for Obama, I thought he was eclipsed by Hillary. I cringed when he mentioned the President of Canada... it's Prime Minister. But even so, to answer those questions coherently takes a lot of prep and intelligence. They all seem bright. And I find Kucinich smart, forthright and fun, though he just goes too far to be taken 100% seriously, which is a shame. Edwards was well spoken.

Here's my handicap... Hillary, Obama, Edwards, game over. The others can't play.

Reading a book about elections, the most likeable candidate has won over and over again. This is interesting becuase I don't find Hillary likeable, and I know she's polarizing in that regard, yet ahead in the polls.. Smart, calculating, for sure, but the charm of a viper, as I see her. Obama stands for change and that's a big plus. Edwards, I fear, is an Obama spoiler.

Let's hope our next President is many notches above the one we have now.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I've actually lost weight. This was my first 'diet', though informal, i.e.: no plan. When I was younger I could just think I should lose a little and I would. Don't ask how. I never knew. Ah, but now it apparently involves exercise and restraint. Plus a big assist form Terri who has mastered low calorie wonders.

I feel sorry for what I've done to the ice cream industry. Bakeries too. "Where did that spike in profits go?" they ask.

Can't say how much I've lost, since it could be demoralizing and I don't want to know (That's ALL?) and I prefer to keep going - I figure 10 more pounds will do it. When we lived in San Diego, I exercised for about an hour a day - hard. Never did lose that last roll.

A little late for vanity, but as long as I don't play in the near vicinity of temptation, I think I might make my goal.

They say that most dieters lose, then gain. THAT'S the hard part. I may be reformed - no - controlled now, but I could eat a half gallon of ice cream and a whole cake easily. Well, maybe not a half gallon - but the cake I could do. I believe there's a physiological regulator called the appestat.

ap·pe·stat (ăp'ĭ-stăt')
The area in the brain that is believed to regulate appetite and food intake.

Clearly, mine was blown out some years back. It might have happened with Easter candy, or Halloween (To this day, I can consume gluttonous quantities of candy corn.)

Fudge. Is there a delight in the world more sweet? I actually made some from scratch (I don't cook.) Way beyond edible, it was wonderful. I never went there again, knowing if I did, my explosion would startle the dog.

I'm not too much of a drinker, so it's not what they call "ak-a-haul" here that puts pounds on me. Bet I don't have a whole sixpack in a year. It puts me to sleep. The taste doesn't excite me either.

My folks consumed more than their fair share of 'the hard stuff' so I guess my duty is to even things out. I could chain-drink Mojitos because they are sweet and refreshing.

About once every 5 years I get completely hammered and the pain which follows for a day or two keeps me away from 'steam-blowing' for another 5 years. I also know that I don't always make friends in that state either, as my more 'adventurous' rascallian side is exposed. No, I don't drive drunk. The last trip was two blocks from a neighbor's house to ours (about 17 years ago - god - could it be that long?) VERY late at night/early in the morning with no one on the road. I know I wasn't on much of it either. Our hosts' daughter the next day, "Dad, how many people were here last night?" (beer bottles apparently all over the bottom of the pool and who knows what else?) "Just the Woods."

I can get into some of my 36 inch-waist pants now... not all of them, but I can breathe and even sit down.

Whoops - about time for dinner... gotta go!

Friday, August 03, 2007


Knock off Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yum! Looks like KLG; and the Colonel has morphed into a chicken himself.

KLG: what could it mean? Roadkill? Squirrel? Carp? Catfish? I'll have a big bucket of LING please. Kind of begs the question if the Burger King is the Burger Emperor? Does the Colonel-san do sushi?

Oh wait, I'll have the rodent tenders, instead, please. And crow slaw. With Yang-Tea.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


As I wrote somewhere below, the whole FedEx experience is frustrating, though I return again and again for two reasons: our local delivery person is nice... I know, I know... but she's the face of the company for me. Oh - and we have an account.

Their phone automation will make you nuts.

And now, again I am reminded that the FedEx tracking system is a joke. It's usually WAY BEHIND the timeline. Like 19 hours now. On an air shipment. It left LA yesterday afternoon... and....????? Nothing. I get nervous when the piece contains multi-thousand dollar electronics which aren't exactly off the shelf items!

Not to mention when the oblong box becomes a delivered trapezoid.

Addendum: the package made it safely but the tracking info was updated more than 24 hours late for all but the last entry - "on truck for delivery." I am so relieved that my 'spensive rebuilt amplifiers made their way home that I'll stop stewing about FedEx till next time.


The bridge collapse over the Mississippi between Minneapolis and St. Paul is one of those incredible sights you stare at with almost disbelief! We drove that road many times. It isn't so much "that could have been us" as it is how awful it was for those who experienced it.

I've often driven under bridges or overpasses and looked up at the massive girders and thought how overbuilt they must be. No doubt today brings some serious soul-searching on the part of those who designed, approved, inspected and built it.

There was reasonable coverage here on MSNBC. Someone did wonder out loud if the reason it fell was traffic was bumper-to-bumper at the time. No. That ignores the fact that 2 of the 4 lanes were shut down. I have to believe when you design a bridge you design it for 4 lane bumper-to-bumper traffic (weight) AND snow (up north) then multiply the capacity substantially beyond that.

In an earthquake area you'd at least have a reason. In the case of a barge hitting a support you'd have a reason. I wonder how much forensic analysis can be done under all that debris!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Ultra Audio is a website which concerns itself with what it says... it's for those who are looking for the best way to get the most realistic sound out of their music collection. As you will learn, I've been neck-deep in these waters for years. Given my obsession to this hobby, and that I like to write, I applied and they accepted me - my first piece is an introdcution and the link is below.

Already I have received a shipment of things to review. And without going into the whys and detail, just for fun I put a device on the power line that feeds all our TV equipment. I didn't expect anything since it already goes into another box which is supposed to help clean up the nasties.

Son of a gun, the sound improved markedly. Not the picture - in fact it might be a little darker - I'm not positive. But where the sound used to be scratchy in the Ssss it's now clear. This is out of the old - 16+ year old TV speakers, as we're not at Hi-Def yet - very soon, when a connection scheme called HDMI 1.3 becomes standard (I expect that this fall.)

What fun.

Click here to read my first column.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


It's all a matter of perspective, isn't it?

This beats the wadded tissue by a long shot. Besides, when you whomp on them they don't die - these scorpions are resilient little buggers. So when JAWS goes to work there's no squirming, no presidential commutation. It's game over.


Everything's bigger in Texas. So we haven't simply had a rainy summer - it's the rainiest summer since God invented rain. For some reason, lows have stalled over Texas repeatedly and we get days of storms, some pretty intense - like the 18 inches of rain a while from here - flooding, of course.

The clouds are truly spectacular. I tried but can't really show the scale of these things.

In a few minutes we will be in the blackness of a gully washer. We were planning to go to a (now cancelled) BBQ which would have been under a tent. There's some question about the tent successfully facing what's coming... let alone lightning ka-bobs.

THIS JUST IN... we've had 34 of 37 days of rain, and tomorrow NWS predicts 6 to 8 inches more.