Monday, December 23, 2013


Winter in central Texas.  It’ll put a hoot in your boot.  Excited by the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar,  maybe I’ll buy a bolo tie.

Even though we are now officially divorced, I bought Terri a Taser for Christmas so she can fend off the fendables.  It will also put a nice crisp carmelized top on crème brule.

Chester and I do a pretty good loop in the morning.  Altogether , since we moved, we’ve walked about 500 miles.  We see deer, dogs,  joggers,  bikers, a lady on a Segway, cars, trucks, cats, squirrels, chickens, horses large and small.  And sometimes vultures.  Only two moving snakes.  And a few flat ones.

When the weather people go full hype in front of a polar cold front graphic, we can usually expect a few days of chill.  Snow fell maybe twice or three times over the past 8 years.  This is proof that my anti-snow ray works.  I am writing this part on Black Saturday and it's 61 degrees with overcast skies at 4:20PM.

I should mention the marvel that came with the house: a state-of-the-art septic system.  First of all, they placed it very close to the front door – I have no idea why.  It has 6 protruding manholes with handles on top (now covered with really big really Hollywood fake rocks).  There are four chambers and three sprayers.   Everything flushed or drained goes into chamber one, where the solids are treated somehow.  Then the broken-up material flows into chamber two where hungry crap-pihyranna bacteria pretend to be pac man.  Then chamber three where something else happens.  Then chamber four where air is pumped night and day and chlorine is added.  After that, when it gets dark, the sprayers come on at three places in the lawn and spray the treated remains on deer legs and whatever else is around.  You can tell it works by seeing the circles of oddly colored grass.  The grass lives in a near-death state.

I had a 20 x 25 foot deck put onto the back of the house.  Now when anyone says ‘I ain’t playing with a full deck,’ I can deny it.  I AM playing with a full deck, and I have the receipt to prove it.

Happy to report I have 100 consecutive wins against Chester at scrabble, though we do seem to be missing a bunch of tiles.
I saw Chester poop a word.  Mystery solved!

Time to catch you up on the kids and the rest of the extended family:  Sarah is a flight attendant on a small regional airline which apparently doesn't know where all the little bottles are really going.  She got into a little trouble by pulling a rubber snake out of a life vest.  She didn't think anyone watched the safety demonstration anyway.  Probably Snakes on A Plane hysteria.  She says you wouldn't believe what people leave behind, from food (which she says is sometimes really good!) to jewelry to intimate things.  (Which she says are sometimes really good!)  The pilot's union has had no comment on the lavatory episode.  I guess the airline either doesn't know or care about what the employees do: water balloons in the overhead racks; oxygen masks smeared with pepper, that kind of thing.

Uncle Earl was shopping for a special Christmas Card for Nora, because that's about all she was getting.  Well, he’s got to read ‘em all - you know Earl, Mister Inquisitive.  So he's got a soda in one hand and in the other he's reading card after card.  There sure are a lot of them!  Well, finally he hits on a laugh-out-loud funny one, and that causes him to nose spray Dr. Pepper all over the rack of cards.  In the excitement of laughing, spraying, snorting and all, he ran out of breath and collapsed, so they called the paramedics.  You know they wouldn't let him out of the store until he paid for all those cards?  So he got the ambulance ride to the ER and when he told his story there was quite a lot of laughter and they discharged him.  $800 for the Ambulance ride, though, thank you very much.  This infuriated Earl what with his hair trigger temper and all.  Earl mouthed off.  Then he shoved a cop.  Then the cop arrested Earl.  Then they put him into the squad car.  On the way to the lockup, there was a big accident right THERE and they had to help.  Well, before they get out of the car Earl is doing some powerful whining about taking a whiz, so they unlock one cuff link and let him go behind a big fat pine, which, as it turned out, hid from immediate view a pretty fast running deep creek.  When the cop remembered to look behind the tree, Earl was already long gone downstream at a pretty good clip.  Then his dangling handcuff caught on an underwater branch and Earl couldn’t get it off due to the water pressure and he drowned.

Elvis is our town mascot.  He’s an American bald eagle. And he’s tame in that he can be loose in the park and no problem, he’ll come back on command.  At Rodeos and Football games he’ll fly around the stadiums and like that – very patriotic.  He’s been taught to pull an American flag.  Elvis’s technical “owner” is Kevin Trousdale.  He’ll do baseball games and golf tournaments.  No tennis, though as Elvis tends to go after the balls.  Catches them too.  Well, Kevin was actually charging civic boosters per appearance and with the economy and all, Kevin started taking some less than grand choices, one of which was the opening of Fabric Town in the Fashion Mall.  Turns out one of the many patterned fabrics on display freaked the bird out, so he leaps into the air and tears around the room. Talons extended, eventually ripping a snuggiebear right out of a kid’s hands, then he flies into the mall corridor, which has a pretty high ceiling and skylights.  Ol Elvis, he went full speed into the skylight.  Bonked big.  Spun to the floor.  Mallgoers screamed.  Somebody pulled the fire alarm.   But after all, there are a lot of feathers for cushion, so Elvis was just dazed and likely confused by the indoor gig with the make-you-insane fabric.  You know how malls will do themes in their corridor?  Farm week.  Shoe days.  Whatever.  Well as Elvis came to, it was a big Thanksgiving display.  Elvis picked his spinning head off the floor and somehow thought something sexual about one of the turkeys on display… and went for it.

Now we had Elvis and a Turkey – might have been a Tom – going at it with flying feathers, with hissing and squawking from hell and here comes the fire department.  Now Norbert Hill, one of the volunteer firemen, is also a farmer.  He sees what the commotion is all about and he grabs a CO2 fire extinguisher and extinguishes Elvis’s ardor and Tom Turkey’s mania.  We all know from Mister Wizard that CO2 is carbon dioxide.  Norbert really blasted the birds, and birds do breathe in short rapid breaths, and the CO2 basically took out Elvis back into passout land.  A woman, seeing this all, and Elvis down for the second time, tries to give Elvis some kind of mouth-to-beak resuscitation – you had to see that!  Well, Elvis wakes up and almost takes the woman’s tongue off.  Got some of it.  Lotsa blood.  To make a longer story shorter, Elvis is OK, the woman talks funny, Tom died and was later eaten.

Marcy and Vito went out west by car.  They said there’s like a couple hundred miles of nothing on Highway 10, and you are so bored, it’s just scrub and the scene doesn’t change.  All of a sudden Vito lets out a whoop and grabs an exit to see the Reptile and Viper Zoo.  It’s full of big snakes and little ones too; lizards, you name it.  The scarier the better, because, it turns out that the owner of Sammy’s Snake, Reptile and Viper Zoo also owns another building you have to pass to get back onto the expressway: Sammy’s Shoot A Viper.  And what it is is he sells admission and ammo.  The guns are rigged to miss, the background is camo, the snakes are hard to see, and apparently some of them are actually rubber.

I call them HiJinx but the police call them felonies.  Jake, that knucklehead, pulled another of his brain-dead scams.  Pretending to be caught in an escalator at the mall, he actually became stuck somehow... with his mullet-hair in the moving handrail.  Well, it made all the local TV.  The scalp really bleeds like a special effect!  He needed a haircut anyway.  He looked like as escapee from the 80s!  The news is making Jake out to be a saint when he just screwed up scamming the place.

Aunt Mary was arrested.  You remember she had these warehouses she inherited when Bud died?  Well, she had turned them into a grow operation.  A pot grow.  They apparently caught her early on as her electric bill soared what with the stadium lighting they were using.  Actual stadium lighting they found at some old broken stadium; cleaned ‘em up with new bulbs and it was “Don't look if you don't want to be blinded!”  bright.

Now for some mush:  Merry Christmas.  May all your dreams come true.  Except the ones where you are naked at the front of the classroom, or on stage, or are being chased, or falling, or fired, or on the air with no music and you thrash around under the covers like a landed fish and shred the sheets with your overdue-to-be-cut toenails.

And, reminded as I am about the baby Jesus born under disco lighting and maybe a couple rooftop flasher racks from police cars as seen in the display across the street, let me wish you happiness for the birth of new opportunity on a horizon of possibility aka 2014.


Christmas 2013

And thank you all for the many birthday wishes I received today!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Sad but happy.  An end of a long run.  We remain friends, but are better apart.
We are going out to dinner to celebrate the good times. No, not at Luby's (cafeteria) but at a nice steak place.

Catching up on stuff below: some grass grew.  I started a second patch.  It grew.  But now they forecast frost and I will stop as it should go dormant or die.  I figure at least ten patches to do, one at a time, for watering purposes.

I was having bad keyboard lag, where my typing gets ahead of the computer screen.  Replacing the keyboard seems to have solved that despite the other failed remedies I tried.

Bought a new smoke detector to replace the one which I feel was responsible for the falsing, perhaps due to dust. Now I have to go way up the ladder and try to make it fit... it's high on a high wall.

Received the Moose Antlers I bought to cut down for Chester.  The first cut was apparently too large for him, too wide.  I just cut him a smaller piece and he's liking that one.  For a dog that chews as much as he does (with such dedication) he has happily avoided the furniture or anything like carpet, etc.  Good dog!

Starting to plan a Christmas letter (posted here, not sent through the mail) - this might be the latest I have started to write.  Without Terri to please I can go a little farther into fantasyland.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 06, 2013


Well, we had a cool snap and that prompted me to plant the grass seed I'd been saving.  I had raked and put down new super soil.  Today I loosened the dirt, spread the seed, and turned on the sprinkler, which is like a golf course thing.  Fup Fup Fup Fup Fup  tsss tss tss tss tss tss.  I suspect it's defective but have messed with it quite a bit and it may do. 

I would make an adjustment while it was running.  This would allow it to spin and get me in the face.  Seemed no matter what setting, I got got.

This is the first of many patches I have to do.  Likely I'll run out of time before its too cold.  I will continue in the spring.

Thursday, October 03, 2013


Let me set the scene.  In setting up my stereo, the guy I hired to do it right (he's a local dealer) uncovered a problem.  He narrowed it down to the (Classe) amplifier which was still just barely under warranty* but had to be shipped back to its home in Montreal.  Via Buffalo.  The amp weighs 92 pounds nekkid.

Weeks fly by.  The clock behind the counter in c movie diners dances...

The AMP is back (*about $400 later.)  The local guy is here.  I have also invested in new wiring.  So we hook it up and it's right.  A Great Relief, because I tend to be not trusting in these things.  But Classe says they had 'er going for days and it passed every test. More'n once, said the fella I spoke to at Classe.  French accents are cool.

And then my local guy notices it's fading again on the left.  Measurements confirm.  The exact thing I sent it in for the first time.

Testing continues, all of a sudden there's a horrible otherworldly sound just shrieking like high James Brown, but electronic.  Really loud.  You can't shout over it loud.  We run around... no smoke... not in the attic, not outside or in any room.  Squealing reveals itself to be the sound of ten smoke detectors firing at once all over the house, and, right where we were.  At first we were pulling plugs and flipping switches, then realized it wasn't the stereo gone batshit crazy.

This house has several electric panels and I am pulling all switches.  The sound continues.  He's got his fingers in his ears.  When I checked the attic I swiped a pair of my cutting the grass muffler/headphone and threw them on.   Kinda a mild " You've got the suit on so you'll have to be the one to enter the reactor..." feeling.

Last night, before sleep, I noticed the smoke detector flashing red more often than I ever noticed.  On a whim and a ladder, I "demounted" the detector... and they all stopped.

So where were we?  My local guy knows somebody up there in the company that through its holdings owns my amp manufacturer. 

BTW there's no local service.  But I guess you know that from the story.

I gotta get ten new batteries for the smoke detectors.  Looks like they were about a year old.  Seems about right.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I blame FACEBOOK for why I don't feel the need to have a voice, even if only a handful of audience.  I have programmed radio for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of weekly listeners.  It's full circle. My inner artist must be creative.

My writing has had compliments for many years from many people.  So here I am.

I just found out I'm a sixteen-year old girl.  Here's how:  As part of an ITunes/IOS updates, I get iradio.  I can't listen to radio radio, because I end up judging it and then being upset since most stations are just horrible, and if they aren't, their commercials get me from a voicework perspective.  Anyway, here's a station called PURE POP and I LIKE IT.  Because I can't listen to radio, the artists are mostly unknown to me.  "Who's THAT?  I LIKE HIM.  Wonder if there's a CD?"

The score is 3 and 3.  3 songs I thought were great and three I don't.  I'm a big fan of pop production too, so I don't mind hooks galore.  I hear the splices, the comps sometimes.  It sounds good on my studio monitors.

Well, I am fickle. I had even written down the name (DRAKE) of the singer I liked a lot.  Now I find a DRAKE station.  Or it's all Drake.  Radio people will enjoy the irony of Drake iradio.  Drake was an architect of the popular style of top 40 in the 60s.

Fickle again.  Too much rap on DRAKE.  I don't understand the words easily anyway.

I like Justin Timberlake. 

16 years old.  Girl.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


Here's the future of supermarketing.  I can see it.  Let me share my vision:  First of all, it's all computer driven.  This allows the consumer to always make the best choices.

There'll be an app for this, where you enter a store's site and then specify all the parameters, example:  choose bread loaf by brand, by size, by cost, by freshness?  Well, you load the answers under your account and it can have price limits set by you, a whole bunch of parameters more easily finished than this sounds.  You can change any of it but you can also suspend certain things already entered  (don't want bread this order).  Bread on  Bread off.  Computers are networked, and the master brain can follow profit second by second.  In a real life lab store (one where they experiment with placement, color, what have you) the computer could be instructed to pull prices down here or there to see what stimulates people, to look for how that can extrapolated.

It's the future.

Commodity trading could be instantly reflected.  I should mention that all pricing is on little readouts.

Carts ride the aisles and using a system of magnets, items chosen flip into the basket.  You just pick it up and pay.  Or they deliver but I don't see this in my vision. As you drive up, just use the app to trigger your cart.  So there's this lineup of filled carts - which one's yours?  (There's your name on a readout but you are too far to read it) well the app actually will beep as you approach your cart, more beeps when you get closer, steady tone when you're there.  I think it's an rfid deal.

This system gives the marketer many variables to work with, even in real time, chain-wide.
 "Show me sales ranked per aisle and by placement on that aisle"  Are there undiscovered hot spots?
"Now let's look at it by high dollar shoppers," and there you go into the rabbit hole, but there are profits in that hole. Which is why it could happen.


Monday, August 05, 2013


The final CT scan as interpreted by the Neurosurgeon is I am 100% self-cured.  Nature took its course.  No surgery.

As  for the house and the renovations, they continue but we are down to the fix the fixes stage.  Little niggling things, but right is right.  And Mister Stereo is due to set up the speakers.  Most people can't understand why I'd hire a guy to come position the speakers.  Well, they need to be uncrated (are HEAVY) and the crates need to go away into Garage-exile when empty.  These speakers cost a LOT.  If you can't see hiring someone to find the exact placement (he sells them) you'd never buy the cost originally.  I've been an audiophile for a long long time, so trust me, this is a necessary step.

Last night I did something I've never done.  Pay per View.  On this particular movie's website I saw that they released it into theaters and certain ppv websites on the same day.  I was about to go to a theater when I explored the capabilities of my new DVD player and sure enough, it accesses ppv sites and the one which carried the film.  I believe the NY Times critic gave it 4 of 4 stars.  I gave it 1/2 star.  Oh well, at least I saw it (Europa Report).  Blah.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I'm back, Jack

I see I am up to one follower so will use my adrenaline rush to resume blogging.  A lot has happened beyond getting my follower.

Terri left last November.  Wasn't happy.  Much to my surprise, I wasn't either.  Ok, not really a surprise.  Anyway we now live about 12 miles apart, not far from the old home which sold to a nice couple with cash.  We hammered out a win-win but didn't tell them about the ancient Indian sacrificial area of the lot.  Divorce is coming.  Too bad I'm not still in country radio!

I like this house better than the one we had built and I don't know why.  Maybe because there's usable land... Used for grass cutting, rock removal, deer grazing.  I think it may be the trees.  We had trees before, but I have 37 oak trees in the front yard alone.  Not alone.  And apparently up to 16 deer.  I have a burn pit for I guess whatever I want but I've only done leaves, sticks, car tires, and branches. It gives me an excuse to play with gasoline and fire.  I am careful, believe me.  The county is in a burn ban or I'd torch the four foot pile I have waiting for an opportune time.  This won't be subtle.  At the bottom I have a bunch of tree stumps.  Yeah, THAT big.  It'll burn for a week, the sweet smell of cedar (stumps) perfuming the deer.

The other night there were three bucks remaining after the others left... With impressive antlers. I thought they'd look good smoking cigars.

One other deer was mad I think as it stood stomping, but not very close, so Chester and I just watched it stomp and fingerpop.

So I bought this house and in the gap between leaving the old place and finding my new place and then in closing process, I had time in Terri's rental while she was away (We remain friends.)  then a two story condo at a golf resort.  I don't golf but it was nice to see Chester find so many balls, which I placed through the community, in places you wouldn't quite expect to find them.  I'm easily amused.

The rental bedroom was very dark, and when I got up to go to the bathroom, I went through the wrong door (not wearing glasses). Whoops, head first down the stairs.

and then weeks later I had three spells of not being able to say the words I wanted to... And six times my right arm went numb.  I think it went this way.  Doctor.  Specialist, Hospital 1, Ambulance, Hospital 2, Tests.  Neurosurgeon, neurology, medical staff.  And they have to agree before you get discharged or you leave without medical say-so, and insurance won't cover you and in my case, wouldn't be able to drive for a year. Subdural Hematoma, apparently from my stair flight, though weeks later. CT scan.  Surgeon is pleased.  Get another.  As  I write this, it's now.  But then isn't it always? I've been absolutely fine since about May.  It was only for a week.

Next time I'll have more pictures.  I had a lot of work done here at Rancho del Woodo and its all just about done.  Two more weeks I'd guess.  It's really a big deal to move your life.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


I have dry skin.  When the humidity drops to a certain point, the dry skin starts to itch. I know not to scratch it.  When I scratch it, it only itches more.  So I hold off.  Until I slip.  Fall off the wagon.  Scratchhhhhhhh!  It feels so good. Then it itches more, then I scratch more.  And more and more.

I call it ITCHGASM.  Sometimes, almost as good as the other gasm.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I was reminded it's been a while since I have blogged.  True.  So here goes.  I am going to tell the story of a miracle.

At first I thought maybe I had a cataract, or a stroke, but darn if the big 60 inch Hi Def TV was actually dimming from time to time.  It'd drop down a noticeable notch and was still viewable, but something clearly was happening. Quality suffered.  I blamed the local cable provider, because they suck so badly.  Or maybe the actual TV station because they suck technically so badly.  Example: cloudiness or blur to pictures.  Bad audio.  Gee, even the Grammys were pretty screechy.  Of course I could blame my beloved TiVo too, as everything routes through it.  Or the Denon receiver, a major, MAJOR hassle and most user unfriendly device made to date.

I investigated.  Turns out nobody I could find online complained about this brightness issue.

Our set is a fairly thin rear screen projector.  At the time, maybe 5 years ago, it was state of the art, almost.  Now they are thin, THIN, but when it works the picture is pretty good.  I had it professionally calibrated too.

Last night I turned all on with my iPhone app, yet the screen didn't come on.  Usually there's a little delay.  No, this is no little delay.  Then, a red light I've never seen before flashed on the bezel: under it in tiny letters it said "Change bulb."

Happily I had ordered one a few weeks back.  Superbowl lighting wasn't only dim in NOLA.

Here's the deal: I, Bob Wood, unhandy with some things, would take apart the TV and change the bulb: sitcom and fireworks fodder.  The bulb came with zero instructions.  Bravely, I soldiered on.  I put on cotton gloves, lest some finger oil get onto the bulb, which will blow it up.  I could tell where the bulb went because that's the side of the set where it looks like that scene in ET where the light is shining around the door edges.  Panel, off.  And ooooh, another hidden panel under the first one.  Off with it.

Now, how to remove the old dead bulb assembly?  Yes, as I found when I opened the box,  the light is within an assembly.  I pulled, then wiggled and wobbled it... all the while believing that alignment must be perfect or you don't get a good picture.  Boldly, I yanked with more pressure.  And out it came like an abscessed tooth!  Here it is.

12 billion candlepower  (I imagine.)

And just for fun, it sits at an angle.

But here's the miracle:  I got the new unit installed, forgot then remembered the inner (secret) panel, fired it up... and...

Old guy on the news.