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?