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.