Monday, April 27, 2009

Fishing Report

The following is post that I began while we were in Rockport with Tim and Janet back in January. I didn't finish because no matter how I tried, I couldn't quite find the right words to describe how stark it was that Tim was really, really not doing well. Almost immediately after our car trip to Port Aransas, Tim took a dramatic turn for the worse. Every time I wrote something after this, it sounded melodramatic, even though it was just reporting the facts. So I just kept deleting it. I finally just quit.

I was having a tough time coming to grips with the fact that Tim spent pretty much the entire weekend on the couch feeling like crap. It just felt empty somehow describing taking the kids fishing when Tim couldn't even get up the strength to take a ride in the car or to go with us and watch.

I feel like it's finally time to share it, though...


We got to Rockport on Thursday afternoon when it was a balmy 72 degrees and sunny. Tim and Don had gone out on the boat earlier in the morning, but the wind really picked up when they were about 12 miles out, so they had to come back in. To hear them tell it, it was a really, really rough ride - and I believe it, too. We went on a short boat ride yesterday when the wind was only blowing 10-15MPH, and as we got to the mouth of the canal that opened into the Gulf, water started crashing over the bow and there were whitecaps everywhere. We promptly turned around.

Kristi already blogged about the restaurant where we ate dinner on the first night. I've got nothing more to add other than it is the kind of place I'd love to hang out and become a regular. Although, I suspect that if I lived down here I'd probably just cook my own seafood because there's plenty around. But the atmosphere was cool.

In days of old, I would have been woken up at about 5:00am by Tim, already ready to get going to go fishing. I would have thrown some clothes on, grabbed some coffee and headed out the door. Tim would've already been waiting in the truck. He would have brought some honey buns or powdered doughnuts to eat for breakfast, which we wouldn't have eaten until well after we had gotten on the boat.

On Friday I woke up at 5:30, not really sure what to expect. I was encouraged when I walked into the living room of the house we're all staying in to find lights on, fishing shows blaring and coffee being consumed. But my hopes were quickly dashed when all the the grumpy old men were talking about was how the wind was blowing. It was blowing about 5-10 MPH.

There was a time when we would have gone out, no matter how bad the wind was. I have many, many memories of dreading the boat ride in Tim's aluminum Roughneck boat as we headed to the coast to go fishing (this was before he got his pontoon boat, which took rough water much better). We would put the boat in, no matter how strong the winds, and try to find a place to fish that was out of the wind. I can remember a couple of times going across the bay and being almost beaten to death by the waves. I was literally sore after some of those boat rides. But I always had a great time, so it was worth it.

But not this day. Tim was feeling okay, but not up to braving the weather, so we all went to a local restaurant for breakfast. After breakfast, the womenfolk went to the quilt shop and I drove Tim and Don down to Aransas Pass. They were looking for either a place to put their boat in down there so they wouldn't have to make the trip in the water or to see if anyone was catching fish. We drove all over, but didn't find anything going on.

My, how times have changed...


"the overwhelming majority of whom were black..."

A sentence that jumped out at me from an article on torture by Douglas Turner of the Buffalo News about methods used by the United States in the past.

If we look for race in everything, that's what makes us racists. This sentence has no place in this story. The fact that the tests that it refers to were done isn't good, but race has absolutely nothing to do with it. It's just race-baiting.

The sentence reads just as effectively when written "Keeney in 1962 covertly set up a CIA front called MK-ULTRA, which used the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies to conduct tests on unwitting federal inmates to chart the effect of hallucinogenic drugs."

Shameful in an otherwise decent story.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One of the best jokes ever

An Italian, a Scotsman and a Chinese man, are hired at a Construction site. The foreman points out a huge pile of sand.

He says to the Italian guy, "You're in charge of sweeping."

To the Scotsman he says, "You're in charge of shoveling."

And to the Chinese guy, "You're in charge of supplies."

He then says, "Now, I have to leave for a little while. I expect you men to make a dent in that pile of sand."

So when the foreman returns after being away for a couple of hours the pile of sand is untouched.

He asks the Italian, "Why didn't you sweep any of it?"

The Italian replies, "I no hava no broom. You saida to the Chinesea fella that he a wasa ina charge of supplies, but he hasa disappeared and I no coulda finda him nowhere."

Then the foreman turns to the Scotsman and says "And you, I thought I told you to shovel this pile."

The Scotsman replies, "Aye, that ye did laddie, boot ah could nae get meself a shoovel. Ye left th' Chinese gadgie in chairge of supplies, boot ah couldna fin' him neither."

The foreman is really angry now. He storms off toward the pile of sand to look for the Chinese gent.

Just then, the Chinese man leaps out from behind the pile of sand and yells, "SUPPLIES!!!!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Beauty Queen vs. the Gossip Queen

Excellent article at The New American regarding the current flap over Miss California's answer to Perez Hilton's completely inappropriate question during the MIss USA Pageant.

A couple of pull quotes from the article:

"... despite the left’s preaching about “tolerance,” it is intolerably intolerant. And the only reason people don’t understand this is that the word’s true meaning is misunderstood. Tolerance implies the endurance of something considered a negative. For example, you would have to tolerate a cold or bad weather — but not a nice car or fine meal. You relish the last two things. Thus, tolerance isn’t measured by how many behaviors you “like” or are indifferent to; in point of fact, we all have our likes and dislikes. Rather, it is determined by how you respond to those dislikes. In other words, if you like homosexual behavior, you’re not tolerant of it.

You like it. "


"... tolerance ceases to be both understood and a virtue when it is fancied a synonym for “affinity” or “acceptance.” For we may have to sometimes tolerate evil, but we’re never to accept it. "

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy San Jacinto Day!

On this day 173 years ago in a field near Lynchburg, Sam Houston's Texan army whooped the living shit out of the Mexican army under Santa Anna and Texas was born.

It's a great day to be a Texan, folks.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My expanding vocabulary

I have a new favorite phrase. Kristi has gotten me watching Hell's Kitchen lately and I've discovered that I love Chef Gordon Ramsay's brashness and brutal honesty. Of course, sometimes he can be a real jerk, but he usually has a reason for it. He's just a creative guy who gets upset by incompetence around him and people who can't see his creative vision. I can really identify with that.

Now piss off.

An Open Letter to Miley Cyrus

Dear Miley Cyrus,

I have read lately that you want to move on from Hannah Montana. There have been reports that you want to focus on your acting career and your singing career. You've said you think you're ready for "more mature roles."

Miley, I don't know if it's because you're only 16 and don't know any better or if its because you're getting bad advice, but I have three words for you: don't be stupid.

You may be bored with Hannah Montana, but consider this: you will never, ever, ever be as popular as you are right at this moment. You're selling out arenas, selling millions of CDs - both as Hannah Montana and as yourself. You've had two hit movies, both as Hannah Montana. Please don't be deluded into thinking that your current success is because of your musical or acting talent. You're really not that good at either. If it weren't for the Disney promotional machine, you'd still be a novelty act as Billy Ray Cyrus's daughter. I don't think anyone would be paying you much attention just on your merits. I'm not saying that you're not talented. You are. And I'm sure that you'll continue to blossom into quite a performer. But without the Hannah Montana name attached to yours, I don't think your CDs would sell nearly as well. You were very wise to slowly slip your music in to the Hannah Montana CDs. But it's your Hannah Montana buzz that sold Breakout.

You might also want to think about other kid stars who wanted to grow up a little too fast, thinking that their fans would follow them blindly beyond their kids roles that made them famous. Ask Lindsey Lohan. Ask Melissa Joan Hart. Ask Elizabeth Berkely. Ask Hilary Duff. Ask the Olsen Twins. Let's see where Vanessa Hudgens is in five years. And Ashley Tisdale, too. Sure, they generate some buzz for a little while, but pretty soon people realize they don't really like the actor or singer. They really liked the character they played and pretty soon their career is in the toilet.

If you want to know how fleeting fame can be, look no further than your dad. Fifteen years ago, your dad was on top of the world. Then came the fall. No one wanted anything to do with Billy Ray Cyrus for years. People would admit that they had a venereal disease before they would admit that they owned a Billy Ray CD. Seriously. It says nothing of his merits and talent as a songwriter. I happen to like your dad's music. But like pearl snap shirts, you were a loser if you had one. Sure, things come back around (15 years later), but it took his daughter's success to do it.

Miley, as the father of a five-year-old daughter, I want you to know that I mean it when I say that I wish you only success. But please don't be a moron. Millions of little girls idolize you - er, Hannah. On behalf of millions of parents, please, please, please don't become the next Britney Spears or the Next Christina Aguilera. We're waiting on pins and needles, formulating the speech in our heads about how we're going to explain how Hannah Montana could be having a child out of wedlock or has a giant scorpion tattoo across the chest or why she was arrested for heroin addiction or why she's naked in a magazine or ... insert a scenario here. We don't want to have to have that talk. And quit taking pictures in your bra, for God's sake.

You've only been Hannah Montana for three years. Let that sink in. Three years. What I'm trying to say is to enjoy it while it lasts. Sure, all good things must come to an end. But it's not that time yet. You get your little arse back out there, put on that wig and you sing your heart out. Don't act like a spoiled brat and don't act like you're entitled to anything. And don't be surprised when your fans turn on you when you act stupid. That's not only show business - that's business. Please grow into a talented performer, nay, country singer. They seem to have it more together than pop stars.

And while I'm at it, thank you for making my daughter and millions of others like her so happy. They do truly look up to you and enjoy everything you do. It's a huge burden - one which I wouldn't want. But the burden is yours. Enjoy it and relish it. You've got a climb in front of you, but it will be a climb down from the top. See you on a reality show in ten years or so.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Americans are pigs

A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in
the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed
One young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and
stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told
him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting
communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his
country's government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange
question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The
young man said this was no joke. 'You catch wild pigs by finding a
suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs
find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are
used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place
where they are used to coming.

When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and
you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to
eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up
with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn,
to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the
whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and
around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to
eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten
how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees
happening to America . The government keeps pushing us toward socialism
and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as
supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies,
dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine,
drugs, etc..

While we continually lose our freedoms -- just a little at a time.

One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch!
Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you
can do it yourself.

Keep your eyes on the newly elected politicians who are about to slam
the gate on America .

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough
to take away everything you have."

Thomas Jefferson

Thanks to Melisa E. for sending this.

The spelling of smoked meat

There's something that's bugged me for a long time, and that's how people choose to spell "barbecue." I have no idea why it bothers me so much, but it does.

First and foremost, it is NOT spelled BBQ or (God forbid) B-B-Q. That's pronounced "beebeecue." I shudder just thinking about the backwoodedness of this spelling. "But it's an acronym," you say. Actually, by definition an acronym is a series of letters made up by taking the first letter of a string of words. If it's supposed to be an abbreviation, it should at least be BarBQ.

Next is a somewhat more acceptable spelling, which is "barbeque." This is also incorrect because it would be pronounced "bar-be-quey." To make it sound out correctly, it should be spelled "barbequeue," and that just looks wrong.

No - I maintain that the one true and correct spelling is "barbecue." It reads and sounds exactly the way it should. It's concise and doesn't use the letter "q," which is a weird letter anyway and has no place in the way a man cooks meat.

There. I'm glad I've gotten that off my chest.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Teabag the Congress Redux

Definitely worth a repost:

20 Great Rules for Riding the MS150

I'm not riding in the MS150 this year, but I still get cycling e-mails from my cycling friends. This one came this morning from Richard Chesney of the Woodland Cycling Club with 20 great rules to follow when riding in the MS150. For the most part, they're also a great primer on rules to follow when cycling in general.

1> Bring a little cash, if you had your bike inspected prior to this ride and you need mechanical assistance along the ride, you will not be charged labor if your bike has the official inspection sticker attached. Tips are always welcomed.

2> Be prepared to change your own flat and carry at least two tubes and a supply of CO2 inflator and cartridges (Wal-Mart 50cents each), I like to carry a small hand pump for backup.

3> Move your hands on your handle bars OFTEN, I know a few individuals who have long-term problems with their hands because they failed to change their hand position often during this ride.

4> Use Body Glide or Chamois Butt'r or another cream or lotion wherever you expect fabric and skin to rub. Do not wear underwear underneath your shorts.

5> Use sunscreen, a few years ago I was using sunscreen liberally all weekend, after arriving in Austin and showering I forgot to apply a new batch of sunscreen and gor REAL burnt in those few hours of sun in Austin.

6> Be prepared for whatever the weather may throw upon us. In prior years when the weather was cool in the morning but warmed up fast, I have witnessed many cyclist still wearing these multiple layers of clothing in the afternoon because they had no place to put these extra layers of clothing. I told them just make a donation at the next rest area.

7> Leave the headphones at home!!!!

8> Obey all traffic signs and signals.

9> Thank the volunteers and officers along the route for doing what they do.

10> Enjoy Fayetteville, TX and its citizens

11> Be careful thru Industry, TX

12> DO NOT CROSS THE SOLID YELLOW STRIPE IN THE CENTER OF THE LANE. We do not need any head-on collisions this weekend.

13> Pass on the LEFT only!!!!

14> Ride no more than two abreast

15> Allow riders to pass you on the left and stay in communication with those in front and beside you as to your moves.

16> Call out BOTTLES / HOLES / GRAVEL etc..........

17> Ride friendly, some of the small towns welcome us, while others do not want us there.

18> Most important - you most likely will not be the first to arrive in LaGrange or Austin or even the last, enjoy the ride and be careful

19> If you come up behind someone who's shorts might be "a little thin" - I will quickly pass the rider but let him know that he/she is showing a little too much crack (it will happen) if you know what I mean.

20> Along the route individuals with MS will be on the side of the road thanking you for riding - remember though, "Two days of pain - we are the lucky ones"

Best of luck to the riders this weekend. I wish I was with you. Next year...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WTF, TV Land? Is nothing sacred?

Check out this ad for a new original show that will soon begin airing on TV Land:

The series is about a group of younger guys who are vying for the hand of an older woman, Bachelorette-style. There are TONS of shows like this on TV, and I have very little problem with that. Well, I have a problem with that, but that's for another time... My problem with this show is that it's on FREAKING TV LAND!!!!

Isn't this the channel that began as being about good, wholesome entertainment by showing nothing but the good old favorites from yesteryear??? Who the hell thought putting this on TV Land was a good idea? Now if this show were a reality show about trying to live Survivor-style on Gilligan's Island, I could accept it being on TV Land. But what does a show like this have to do with classic TV? Or even current TV with good taste? Again - nothing. Why would TV Land even feel the need to have original programming?

Message to TV executives: if your channel has a format, stick with it. You're confusing (and ticking off) your audience. You don't see the Food channel running weather or wrestling (although pudding wrestling might work within the format - but I digress....).

My fellow extremists...

From a Reuters story:
MIAMI (Reuters) - Right-wing extremists in the United States are gaining new recruits by exploiting fears about the economy and the election of the first black U.S. president, the Department of Homeland Security warned in a report to law enforcement officials.

If by "extremist" they mean "someone who actually gives a damn about the direction of their country and its future and who don't want to live in a socialist nation," then, yeah, we're gaining new people on our side every day.

And let me make this plain and simple: Obama's race has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the fact that I don't like him, his ideas, his policies, his politics or his world view. And NO ONE on the right is saying anything about the guy's race in an exploitative way. It's all coming from the left.

Damn it, people...

Friday, April 3, 2009

The best painting of Barack Obama EVER.

This was lifted from the craptastic site This, by far, was my favorite.

The unicorn says it all, folks.

I don't recall seeing so many pictures and paintings of either Bush or Clinton only two and a half months in. People think this guy is friggin' Jesus.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The fast track

From CNN: "Dems could use controversial 'fast track' for Obama legislation"

What the hell were the stimulus bills that was passed so quickly that Congress didn't even have a chance to read it? The slow track??? God help us if they do the same thing with Socialized Health Care and punitive and knee-jerk Global Warming initiatives.

Is it just me or do the Democrats and the Obama administration seem like a bunch of frat boys in a room full of drunk sorority girls? (We, the American citizen are the sorority girls in this analogy).