Saturday, December 27, 2008

List Mania!


I saw this list on Mot’s blog and it got me thinking… so here goes:

8 TV Shows I Watch
Wow - this is a hard one, as I don’t follow any regular TV show. But here goes:
  • The Rockford Files (on DVD -- thanks, Dad and Mimi)
  • The News
  • America’s Funniest Home Videos (I can't help it, I love that Tom Bergeron!)
  • Boston Legal (only once this season, but it was the finale and Spader and Shatner were brilliant!)
  • The American Kennel Club Dog Show Best in Show show, or whatever it's called, starring J. Peterman, every year after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade (including this year, and we had to return to our hotel room at the Marquis in Times Square after attending the parade in person to see it, perhaps to the chagrin of my wife)
  • The occasional program I’ll stop at when clicking around (this could be anything, but usually it's something on History, Bio, or Discovery (William Shatner's Raw Nerve is a good one)
  • Movies on MGMHD, UniversalHD, et al.
  • The occasional 60’s or 70’s sitcom on TV Land when I find it (Andy Griffith a favorite)

I think that’s it for regular viewing - I‘ll add a new category:

More Shows I Wished I Watched

  • Pushing Daisies (saw it twice when it premiered, thought it clever… is it still on?)
  • 24 (saw it twice, both times at my sister’s house two or three years apart, including the two-hour TV movie last Thanksgiving week. And I loved it. What a great show -- tight writing, crisp direction…I could actually watch this if I want to give in to the TV demons)

8 Favorite Restaurants

  • El Gaucho (best room in Seattle)
  • Carmine’s (New York)
  • The Metropolitan Grill (oh my, is the porterhouse to die for)
  • Salty’s (named for a bald eagle that once nested outside the restaurant)
  • Lizard’s Thicket (when visiting South Carolina this is a MUST STOP, as there are no options for a “meat and three” in the Northwest)
  • Hyman’s (a regular stop when in Charleston, SC)
  • Duke’s (best chowder in town, though I have yet to run into Marty Crane)
  • Morton’s (Washington D.C., Chicago, Seattle: my first trip to Morton’s Seattle with my friend Ritter was last week, and we split a 24 oz. porter house, carved at our table -- the fillet side of the porterhouse was like cutting into a stick of butter. It was rich and succulent and spectacular!)

8 Things that Happened Today/Yesterday

  • Snow has turned to rain, and I am thankful
  • Christmas Day -- family, a great meal thanks to my wife, a happy child
  • NOTHING happened at work today, which is a happening unto itself
  • Saw some pictures of my new nephew, Boo
  • Received some love from my grandmother over the phone
  • My daughter hugged me and told me she loved me
  • Received Swedish meatballs (I could not find lunch as everything within a block of the office was closed except McDonald's and I passed on that, and I did not want to walk more than a block in the rain. When I returned to the office to report my failure, Cathy gave me a frozen Lean Cuisine, bless her!)
  • Received Christmas cards from Lori and Mike, Lorri and Dan, Uncle Ron and Aunt Cindy.

8 things I look forward to

  • The new year with great and exciting changes!
  • A flick with my friend Mike, who has been away for some weeks now caring for an ailing father
  • The Obama effect -- change for the better in unemployment, taxes, property values, Iraq, and a substantial rise in my positions in my brokerage account
  • A new bathroom upstairs
  • My daughter’s birthday
  • Snowmobiling next weekend -- Matt’s tuned up my sled and it’s time to break out the gear!
  • A family trip to British Columbia (my daughter now has her passport!)
  • Reading my wife’s novel

8 Things I Wish/Pray For

  • A full recovery for Mike’s dad
  • That my daughter is safe and happy
  • My grandmother, who has moved to a new assisted living home
  • The health and happiness of my new nephew, Boo
  • Comfort for the family of a coworker whose Dad passed away on Christmas Day
  • My families in South Carolina and Denver
  • Comfort for the poor and struggling
  • I hope my homeless friend, Pardion, is able to publish his book

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Sunday


Several times my friend Dan and I have attended the last regular season Seahawks home game together. Today's game is extra special, as it not only brings Favre and the Jets to town but it is coach Holmgren's final home game in Seattle.

But not this game. Not today. We'll let our seats catch snowflakes.

I'm not planning on spending too much time away from the house today.

Last night, during the storm, my daughter's Christmas yard swine blew over and was completely covered by new snowfall. The only indication that it is there is an eerie pink glow emanating from the blanket of white snow.
I only hope the Ritters made it back to Ritterhaus last night through the swirling snow and wind.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmastime


For the past several years my daughter has sought a yard display of some sort for the holidays. She had previously expressed interest in littering the lawn with tombstones for Halloween, an idea which I quickly vetoed. A Christmas display was more palatable, I told her, and she did not forget what she took from me back in October to be a promise.

Last weekend while we were shopping she took the liberty of creating an arrangement in the store aisle with the outdoor Christmas display items and announced that this would be our yard display. "I have cash, you have cash, together we'll get this stuff. I'll pay six dollars." She handed me two fives and asked for four ones back. "You pay the rest," she instructed.

When the goods were rung up at the register I had a Dave Ramsey moment but swallowed it for the sake of a child's Christmas.

My wife inquired as to what was in the boxes in the back of the rig.

"Yard displays."

I pointed out that our daughter did not elect for a traditional display, nor for a sacred one. "She wanted a pig," I said. "A Christmas pig."

Oink!

A Briefing about November



November was such a busy month that when I blinked it was gone.
Mike and I enjoyed our annual film festival, something I look forward to almost as much as Seattle's International Film Festival. (Though this year due to time constraints and my travel schedule the events were somewhat abbreviated.)

But it was a good month, filled with adventures and some
good times, and remains an appropriate introduction to this present holiday season.

A trip to New York for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was memorable for many reasons: the restaurants, shows, comfortable accommodations and the parade itself.

Our daughter stayed with family while we were away, and I am told that a highlight of her time with relatives was a sleepover at her cousin Lindsay's.

And speaking of our daughter: following an exchange of letters and photographs, she made a date with an old friend, Darian, and the two (chaperoned by the kids' dads) decided to meet at the Woodland Park Zoo. The kids had a ball, and the dads spent their time running after the two lunatics.

We finished off November and the first day of December back in South Carolina for a few days with family before returning to the Pacific Northwest.

And now with December well under way, and the holidays upon us, we hope to create more memories.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


We took my daughter to her first symphonic concert on Friday night. She was resistant at first, recalling our disastrous outing to see the Transiberian Orchestra a few years back. But she said she was willing to try it. The evening also served as my first outing to the Seattle Pops as well, though I have seen performances at the hall.

Poor logistical planning on my part kept us from attending the Figgy Pudding Festival before the show, so we merely walked through it on the way to Beneroya Hall.

As it turned out the show was terrific and held enormous appeal for the kids. Conductor Marvin Hamlisch speaks to and interacts with his audience -- he is as much an entertainer as he is a conductor and great composer. Santa made an appearance and sang a couple of tunes (he's coming to town, you know!) And my daughter was partially won over.

Here is a review of the program, courtesy my seven-year-old:

The Seattle Pops: for a child it was pretty much okay, but it was long and we sat in the back row. And it did not snow in the back row, and I was disappointed. The best part was when Santa came, and Intermission, because I was hungry and I got to eat a chocolate mousse with a cookie on top. I liked Christmasy songs like “Winter Wonderland.” [The conductor] was famous and funny and I don’t think the Santa Claus was real. The conductor said he called him (Santa) but I don’t think anyone knows what Santa’s phone number is.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Forgetting One's Birthday

Something I have long feared about getting older: that birthdays will lose their magic.

I celebrated my birthday last week along with Ed Harris, Jon Stewart, Randy Newman and Judd Nelson. Anna Nichole Smith, I also learned, was born on the same year and day that I was.

We were in New York for the week while our daughter stayed with her grandparents. My wife wanted to go to Rockefeller Center to see Manilow (known in our home merely as 'Barry' or sometimes 'Barris') and just before he went on stage my daughter called me up on my cell phone and said, "Happy Birthday, Dad." And up to that moment the fact that it was my birthday had escaped both me and my wife.

Leave it to a seven-year-old to remember what's important. And leave it to a seven year old to bring a little excitement back into one's birthday by being the only one in the family to remember it.

(In their defense, pals Todd and Mike would chime in shortly thereafter with emailed birthday wishes of their own).

So here's a belated happy birthday wish to Dave's late-night buddy and bandleader Paul Shaffer!

Friday, November 21, 2008

More Selections from the Pacific Grits Diary

Once again I am delving into the old diary for some highlights from the past year.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I saw something about the Geico caveman TV show, wherein it was referred to as a “travesty of television.” Nothing could have pleased me more.


I watched a trailer for a new vampire movie, and was stuck how classless vampires have become in the past thirty or forty years. At one time, vampires took pride in their appearance: tuxedo, medal, silk-line cape. They were immaculately groomed and kept their fangs sharpened. Now, the vampires you see walking around look like street kids. Where do they keep their coffins?



Monday March 17, 2008 St. Patrick’s Day


Went to court to fight my ticket for running a red light near Sea-Tac airport on January 10. I was in Denver at the time of the infraction. These people are mad. The judge dismissed my case outright.



Sunday, April 20, 2008


My friend Mike, who lives a few miles away down in the valley, posted this: "I can't believe it's snowing again."10 AM Sunday: the thermometer on the back porch reads 50 degrees. The sun is out, yet snow and hail are raining down fairly hard this morning. It's either snow and hail, or the fallout.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Selections from the Pacific Grits Diary

Friday, September 29, 2006


Mom’s birthday – called her from Emerald Downs. I bet on a horse called Linda J in honor of mom’s birthday, long odds. But no dice, lost the $5 plus fifty more, then experienced a slight resurgence betting on some short odds ponies in the sixth and seventh races.



Friday, October 13, 2006


The Steve Johnson Fan Club 2006 Conference was under way today. The event was a smashing success, despite miserably low recruiting levels. I was presented with a nice pen for my service to the organization.



Friday, October 12, 2007

I assisted my sister, working with cosmetics professionals, in choosing her new scent. I steered her toward natural essences, and she seems pleased.



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Eduardo’s Pizza. Mmmmmm. Connie’s is good, Pizzeria Uno and Pizza Duo are very good: Eduardo’s is nearly as good as Gino’s East, the best deep dish I’ve found in Chicago. I relish every opportunity I have to partake of this monstrous delicacy they call Chicago Style pizza. And only in the Windy City, oh yeah!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Law of the Quantum of Solace

I was just reading a recent copy of the Gleaner. There is a farming slump on, and the potential for a downturn in the banana sector. I read the sports standings as well, as I follow the Western Basketball Division Frutra/Oasis Purified Water Development League.

The Gleaner, Jamaica's newspaper, is referenced in several of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. The Bond of the books spent much of his time in the Caribbean. Fleming's short story, "Quantum of Solace," is collected with short stories "From a View to a Kill," "For Your Eyes Only," "Risico" and "The Hildebrand Party" in For Your Eyes Only. The title "Quantum of Solace" comes from a line of dialogue in the story.

The story, less than 20 pages long, is set in Nassau, the Bahamas, and is a story within a story, told by Nassau's Governor to James Bond following a dinner party.

I actually find the back story to this short story rather fascinating, though it is not explored. Bond happens to be in the Bahamas because the US Coast Guard is onto arms smuggling out of Miami to Castro's rebels in Cuba, so bases have been set up in the Bahamas and Jamaica to facilitate the arming of the Cuban rebels. Bond is there to stop it, and while in Nassau its Governor entertains Bond with an odd tale about the fate of a marriage.

And in the telling of this sordid tale the Governor uses the phrase "The Law of the Quantum of Solace."

The Law of the Quantum of Solace states that relationships can withstand many things -- infidelity, crimes, disease. But there is a point wherein civility no longer exists, and one person in the relationship does not care if the other is alive or dead. It becomes a matter of self preservation at that point, for the other.

Whether or not the new new Marc Forster film has anything remotely to do with Fleming's short story remains to be seen. But perhaps the essence of Governor's Law will remain intact. We'll find out on November 14.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Calling the Election

The Pacific Grits blog is calling the 2008 presidential election for Barack "Barry" Obama at 12:30 PM Eastern Time, before any of the polls have closed.

Pacific Grits gives Obama/Biden 336 electoral votes to the McCain/Palin campaign's 202. Our crack squad of pollsters surveyed three people and have projected that Obama will win both Ohio and Florida, two toss-up states that McCain must win in order to get the 272 electoral votes needed to take the election. The projected loss of both Ohio and Florida effectively eliminates McCain from the race (PacGrits Poll Margin of Error +/- 87%).

An exit-type poll of former Arizona residents indicates that his aunt is voting for Obama, but his mother and other aunt are voting for McCain, giving McCain the edge in his home state. But swing states Arizona, Montana and the Dakotas do not have enough electoral power to dig McCain out of the electoral morass.


The presence Alaska's Governor Palin on the GOP ticket virtually assures a win there, but Alaska's three electoral votes will not be enough to change the election's outcome. (Pictured at left: Palin at the North Pole.)

Pacific Grits anticipates the swearing in of Obama on January 20th, 2009, and the arrival of the much ballyhooed change and prosperity some time between 10:30 AM and noon on Wednesday, January 21st, 2009.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A Blast from the Past - 1992




Dateline Santa Monica, California. Chris always had a thing for horsies.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Slopping Up the Bathroom

My daughter described something to me she calls "slopping up the bathroom."

"You throw stuff on the floor, tissue all over the floor, and stuff in the toilets and put water everywhere so it slops up."

Apparently this friend of hers has slopped up the bathroom at school a few times this year and last.

"Have you ever slopped up the bathroom?" I asked.

"Once."

"Tell me about it."

She replied: "Those chapters in my memory seem to be missing."

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Blast from the Past - 1986


I found a photograph of these kids hanging around managing somehow to avoid trouble. I wonder who they all are?



Noticeably
absent are Todd and Chuck.


I will speculate as to their exact whereabouts at the time this photo was taken.
Todd, at the time this photo was taken, was busy watching TV and babysitting with a bus driver who will remain nameless.
Chuck, ironically, was with his father surreptitiously letting the air out of the bus belonging to this very same aforementioned bus driver. It is also interesting to speculate that Todd, Chuck and bus were all in the immediately proximity of less than one block from one another.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

An Election Year Past

Thanks to Chuck for his fact-checking. I have revised this post accordingly.

Twelve years ago I met a GOP presidential candidate, an older, Senate stalwart with an attractive wife and a strong record of military and political service, who ran against a young Democratic incumbent.

The elder statesman lost the election.


Pictured: my sister with the failed GOP candidate.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Road Trip to the North Cascades

Back in September I took the family and my parents for a drive (a rather lengthy one, as it turned out) through the North Cascade Mountains. The day was spectacular and we all had a great time. Highlights of the trip consisted of miniature golf and a stop in an orchard for some fresh-from-the-tree apples. The day took me back to my own childhood, where a drive into the mountains with my own grandparents was a not uncommon occurrence during the summer months.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Summation




  • I bought some soccer socks for my daughter while I was out the other day and left them in a bag on my desk. When I got home from work last night I found a note from my daughter advising me of my missteps in the procurement of new soccer socks.


  • I need to go down to the Sports Authority (motto: "Our service could not possibly be any worse!") and return some socks today.


  • Speaking of Sports Authority, when I was in there recently and asked this girl if they sold warm up suits in youth sizes she said, "Uh, um... well, I'm new here. We sell athletic attire, if that's what you mean." I bought the socks and left.


  • I encourage everyone to get your information on the present economic issues from a knowledgeable source, and not the local news. I am amazed how much inaccurate reporting there has been out there. And that's just on the easy stuff . One Seattle TV news anchor did not know what a recession was versus a depression.


  • It's a good time to pick up some bargains.


  • Even without new socks my daughter's soccer team won today (although they "win" every week, as no score is kept for the 5-7 year olds). Not only that, she scored her first goal ever.


  • Todd was lamenting that few of the old gang were blogging much these days and had little to say about important subjects, politics among them. I have one comment. No, two. One, I will be glad when this election is over. Two, I will be happy when Obama and Biden start running against McCain and Palin instead of George Bush. Although that strategy seems to be working, so I don't know why anything should change. But long before this election I had read much about McCain, his politics and history with Bush, and he is as much like Bush as Obama is to Osama. There. Off my chest.

  • One of the ESPN channels went to the Kentucky/South Carolina game today during the fourth quarter. The unexpected airing and the Gamecocks' victory made my afternoon.

  • Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Someone Once Told Me Daughters Were More Expensive


A bathrobe, two outfits and a leather jacket later, she asked for her supper. A ribeye. Medium Rare.
My daughter shops with Daddy and her grandparents.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Obama Slams Palin for Lacking in Foreign Policy Experience



On the heels of John McCain's appointment of Palin as the GOP Vice Presidential nominee, the Obama camp was quick to respond with the accusation that Palin was unfit for the office because he lacked foreign policy experience.

Palin was quoted as saying, "Look, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!"

Above: Michael Palin Friday on the campaign trail.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Picks Palin for Running Mate

McCain picks Palin for running mate


Python to be first comedic vice-presidential candidate for Republicans.

Odd that on the morning after Obama's historic speech in Denver that his opponent runs away with the headlines with a historic announcement of his own.

McCain's choice for a VP will doubtless be controversial, but the move on the part of the presumptive GOP nominee was without a doubt calculated to trump the Dems' post-convention press.

FULL STORY


Friday, August 15, 2008

Light Reading About Benefits

I actually sat down yesterday and read all 108 pages of my medical benefits guide. Every word. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. It makes for enlightening reading.

What I found most interesting was contained in the pages that addressed all of the things that are not covered by my medical plan. There were a few that made sense to me, including missed medical appointment charges, injuries sustained while in the military and housekeeping services. (Have you ever tried sending your housekeeper’s bill to your medical insurance company? If so, let me know how that went. I am looking for someone to underwrite maid service around here.)

Then there were a few things which are not covered under my plan which cause me great concern:

Morbid obesity. Perhaps I need to think twice about that late-night snack quart of ice cream.

Dyslexia. Are there medicatoins for tihs conditoin, or dotcors who treat ti?

Attempted Suicide. So should I fail to kill myself, then all the hospital bills come directly to me, further depressing me. Which could lead to another attempt.

Suicide. Aren’t we a little late for medical care at this point? I think funeral expenses become more likely than medical ones.

Injuries sustained during the commission of a felony. A reason to stay on the straight and narrow, I suppose. If I get shot by a cop while trying to rip off a 7-11 I suppose I deserve to pay for my own medical treatment.

Insanity. No kidding. It actually said, "insanity." Correct me if I am wrong, but are the insane that concerned with medical benefits anyway? I don’t think the Joker was too worried about who was going to be paying his doctor bills.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Warm, Soft Cash

Why is it that currency one receives in change from convenience stores is always so nasty? It's crinkly and soft and warm, sometimes sticky. Where do these bills come from? I don't get that kind of well-worn change at the supermarket, or in a restaurant. And at the bank the bills are nice and crisp. It's only at convenience stores that one finds the dregs of currency.


One of these days I may ship one of those nasty one dollar bills off to a lab and see what they can tell me.

In the mean time, I am telling my 7-11 clerks, "Coinage only, please!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Exit The Yard Boys, Enter Hector

Back in 2007 I picked up a couple of yard boys, Seamus and Dillon. They came weekly and did a decent job for me. I was impressed at how, lacking proper tooling, Dillon performed all of my edging on his hands and knees with pruning shears.

He earned his meager wage.

And then, around late August or early September of last year, they abruptly stopped showing up on weekends.

On Halloween of 2007, Seamus came trick-or-treating at my door. I recognized the little weasel right away, and asked him what happened.

"My partner moved away and took all the equipment with him."

Fair enough.

Fast forward to early April of this year, Spring Break. Seamus and Dillon appeared at my door looking for work. Surprise, surprise! It seems Dillon was up visiting from wherever he moved to, and the boys were looking for a little cash. We struck a deal before they told me I had to provide the equipment. No problem. I imagine their old mower is in Dillion's father's garage, somewhere far away. So they did their work, did a good job, and I paid them.

History repeats itself. I haven't heard from them since.

July arrived and I was weeks behind on trimming and mowing. My wife, weary of my constant griping about not having time to mow the lawn, arranged for a person called Hector to take care of the yard.

I left for work on Hector's first day. The grass was above my ankles. When I returned home I could not believe how good things looked. This Hector is obviously a professional, and his work is far superior to my own.

He comes and goes quite mysteriously. I don't even know what he looks like. I only know that I will be billed by mail.

As far as I am concerned, he's on the payroll. Downside is, I will miss lording over the yard boys with comments like, "Uh-oh, I see a weed over there, no cash until it's gone," or "I'd rather you edge the fence with pruning shears."

The other downside is this: we waited until July to retain Hector, which is the start of the dry season. During the dry season the grass browns a bit and will not grow unless it is sprinkled daily. I have a sprinkler system, and used it several years ago and kept a nice lawn during the arid season. But the $349.00 water bill put me off of green lawns during the dry season.

So we bring Hector on at a time when there is little to mow. Oh well. I'll be thankful for his work come March.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bathroom Remodel Update QUIZ




The bathroom remodel is complete, and we are pleased with the results.

It’s a very different bathroom. My wife was point on the project, and it looks really good. The décor in the photograph was coordinated by my wife, save the small hand towel which just appeared one day. My daughter took credit for that one. I am not sure where it came from, but I rather like the attitude its message suggests.

The previous décor was vastly different. On the same wall which now features the Michelangelo, there were four items framed in black, which sprung from my wife's sense of humor but which were all very much me.

The first was a photograph of Janet Leigh from the movie Psycho, screaming in the shower.

The other three were bathroom-related quotes, black text on white. I am reproducing the framed quotes below.

Can you identify the source of each of these exchanges?

A.

“Do you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to take a bath.”
“I’ll alert the media.”
“Do you want to run my bath for me?”
“It’s what I live for.”

B.

“No, I don’t have a square to spare. I can’t spare a square.”
“Oh, is it two-ply? Because if it’s two-ply I’ll take one ply. One ply! One puny little ply! I’ll take one measly ply!”
“Look, I don’t have a square and I don’t have a ply.”

C.

“All I want is a truce.”
“I have to go to the bathroom. Is that all right?”
“You gotta go, you gotta go.”
“I already frisked him. He’s clean.”

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Today's Bible Story

My daughter told me the following Bible story this morning:

“These people, the Israelites, were going to kill a bull, but instead they built an idol. It was a small idol, a small bull. They built it and had an idol party. Then, he shows up and says, ‘Hey, hold on, people, time out!’ They were all in big trouble.”

“Was that Moses who showed up?” I asked.

“No, Moses was too busy running around collecting gold for the idol. It was Moses’ brother. And it was his brother’s friend who was behind the whole thing. When Moses found out, he put his brother’s friend in a treasure chest and said, “Don’t ever, ever do that again!”

“There’s another story about two guys who take a sword up and go camping between two houses, and lose the sword. But I don’t remember if that one was in the Bible or not.”

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Few Words About Animals

It can be tough to lose a pet. When Tom, my secretary, discovered that his cat had died, he was a basket case for a week. "If you see me dash unexpectedly out of the office," he said, "I wanted you to know why."

I see fliers on telephone poles with photos of cute dogs and cats who have gone missing, and I know the people who belong to these missing pets must be worried sick.

In our neighborhood fliers went out this week about a missing turtle. No doubt a beloved turtle, as it had been photographed on the pillow of a human bed. The Turtle Lady, out canvassing this morning, knocked on our door and asked to search our yard.

I saw two fairly large raccoons in one of the cherry trees last night. I figure if the turtle was back there yesterday, the Turtle Lady might find his shell today.

Do raccoons eat turtles? I don't see why they wouldn't.

Our dog has not gone missing. In fact, she has increased her comings and goings since figuring out how to open the back door.

Now she won't stay outside. If she gets tired of being out there, she just comes right on in when she feels like it. But she has not learned to shut the door, however, and the problem this has created is that yesterday alone I chased down two crane flies and about half a dozen moths.

By the way, while you're out looking for turtles, keep an eye out for my sister's turtle as well. He has three legs and does not respond to the name "Ahab."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friends in Advertising


I found this somewhat dated phone company brochure about cordless phone accessories which features my old friend Alan, obviously taken during his half-hearted attempt at fashioning a modeling career for himself.

I would be curious as to whether or not he appears in any other ads.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Too Many Cables

Why is it that my life is dominated by cables? I have so many that I took the label maker out and labeled them. The Nikon, a couple of video cameras, the cables for my Studio editing software, cell phones, Palm pilots, electric razors, the MPE player, handfuls of incompatible chargers -- it's insane. And don't get me started with the home media center stuff.

I had a number of maddening entertainment center components until last spring: DirecTV box, receiver, DVD, VHS, turntable, DVR, not to mention the TV. And all of it interconnected with cables.

So in April of 2007, after weeks of research, I chucked the whole thing and went with the Bose Lifestyle and a Sony Bravia TV. The entertainment center was sold on Craig's List and we bought a simple TV stand, underneath which is the sound system and the DirecTV box -- that's it. And with HDMI and optical audio, cabling has become simplified. And the whole living room became simple and clutter-free for the first time in our marriage.

Which brings me to a last month. My family was shopping at Target and my daughter and I stopped at the XBox demo. "Let's try out some games," I told her, and we ran through the demo. I hadn't played a video game console since 1995. We found a race car game we both liked, and I told my daughter I would buy it for her. My wife interjected: "We don't have an XBox."

But we did. It had been in the living room, unopened in its box, for months. "What did you think that thing was?" I asked.

"I don't know. Why haven't you hooked it up?"

"Where would we put it? Besides, I don't want all those cables everywhere."

So I have one XBox racing game, and a box that says XBox 360 Elite (which I procured at a charity auction by virtue of the fact it was the only thing on the list that I would be even remotely interested in) which have yet to be opened. I may not even know what happened to that game. But it's getting to the point where I may have to do something. It may mean a few more cables (my guess is three, four if I want to do the on-line thing).

But I am restless tonight so maybe I will change my mind. Anyone care to recommend any games?

Above: My video game console now languishes in the garage.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hot Enought for Me

I saw a list of cities on MSNBC which were rated as the sweatiest in the nation. At no. 1 Phoenix was the sweatiest, and San Francisco, ranked 100, was listed as the unsweatiest.

After two days of record temperatures in Seattle this weekend -- Saturday and Sunday we hit 91 degrees -- I have to confess that I did a rare thing yesterday evening and went to dinner in jeans and a tee shirt. Way too hot for a collar.

There was some sweating going on. It was probably 87 degrees in the house.

The list was based on meteorological data and not some cultural "Sweatin' to the Oldies" countdown, so took the information to be more-or-less accurate. And it does hold up to my personal experience, as well.

A few highlights:

2. Las Vegas
8. Tampa
13. Birmingham
24. Columbia, SC
33. Charleston, SC
43. Atlanta, GA
48. Washington, DC
61. Charleston, WV
67. Chicago
80. Boston
94. Green Bay
99. Seattle

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shower, Anyone?


This is the point in one's bathroom remodel that wisdom prevails and one calls in the contractor.
Actually, we're a little further along since this photo was taken.

I recall the painter, Eldin, from the TV series Murphy Brown. He was a great guy, but never seemed to actually finish painting Murphy's house.

Our painter, who is a first-rate commercial painter (he's done work for me commercially for 8 years), has been retained for the bathroom job, repairing drywall, fixing the ceiling and of course painting. It's a small bathroom, and I am amused that he's worked in fits and starts thus far. I would figure one could knock out this job in a day or two, but Eldin has been at this bathroom for weeks, popping in for 15 minutes here and there, patching a hole or sanding something and hanging out with the dog.

We hope to have the project complete before we sell the house.

In four of five years.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

An Update on the New Job

More than a month into my transition to a new career I find that things are progressing swimmingly.

I have been put in charge of the Penske file, and during the past month I have successfully transferred the contents of the Penske file into a fancy, accordion-style binder.

I truly believe I am Penske material. Penske nearly said so himself before rushing downstairs to the street where his car was being towed.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Losing Track of Days


It's week two into "one of those weeks."

Not that it's been bad or anything -- it hasn't, and I am actually having a good time. But with the Seattle Film Festival going on (I am attending quite a few screenings), coordinating a full office relocation over three full days, and a top to bottom bathroom remodel at home, I have to keep reminding myself what day it is. Quite frankly, I keep forgetting.

But it's all good. I am at least having fun. I have seen some great movies (and two stinkers), successfully moved our office to an adjoining building, and the bathroom remodel progresses Wednesday with the arrival of the tile guy.

Or is he coming Thursday? That might be today. What day is it again?


Above, standing outside of the Egyptian Theater in Seattle, between screenings.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What Month is it Again?


I have spent what I had believed to be Memorial Day weekend at the Seattle International Film Festival, and spotted this sign in a restaurant near one of the festival venues.


More on "Another Countdown"

Recently I blogged about how annoying I thought TV "countdown" shows have become.

With apologies to the Food Network (one of my favorite DirecTV destinations), my wife sent me the following email:

Next week, Bobby Flay is going to count down the top 35 most amazing grilling moments on the Food Network.

What IS an amazing grilling moment?

Why 35????

I'm sure you won't want to miss it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Jury Duty

Today things started out slowly (as they have every day this week), with no one from the pool called out for trial, so they turned on a television and everyone was allowed to watch Family Feud.

I must admit I miss the old Richard Dawson version of the popular game show. Did you know Dawson developed Family Feud as a spin-off of Match Game? Succeeding Dawson as host was the late Ray Combs, who was sufficient, and certainly better than those hosts who followed: comedian Louie Anderson, and Tim Allen's "Tool Time" buddy, what's-his-name.

The current host is mail-order mogul J. Peterman, who also, I understand, hosts a dog show broadcast and a celebrity dancing program.

Peterman closed his Seattle store a number of years ago, which was a shame, because it was absolutely my favorite place downtown to browse. The products were always interesting - the urban sombrero, and so on.

But enough about Peterman. My number just got called by the clerk. I am off to court.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Waiting on Jury Duty

It seems I am sitting on jury duty two or three times a year these days. Not an excuse, I am told, for getting out of the next one.

I have grown numb to the travails of jury service. At one time, sitting in a crowded jury room waiting endlessly for something to happen was nearly unbearable for me. Now I realize it's not much different from waiting for a delayed flight out of O'Hare - there are too many people crowded into the seating area, the room is too warm and stuffy, it's boring and there's nothing to do and nobody that works here can tell you anything.

At least at the King County Courthouse if the trial is cancelled I can just go home. Not so easy if my flight out of O'Hare gets nixed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Flying High with C-17 Daddy


I sometimes worry that my Tahoe is too big to maneuver and park, but after seeing a C-17 Globemaster III up close and personal I have found a new respect for the men and woman who sit behind the stick of those flying whales.

C-17 Daddy is one such man. He opened his Saturday to allow the family to come down to the base and look around, and I got a better idea as to what it is that he does. The C-17 does resemble a whale -- it's a large, fat, gray-skinned jet with a mammoth tail and enough room in its cavernous belly for hundreds of Pinocchios and Ghepettos. Plus any tanks or jeeps the marionette may have under his command.

We were given a brief tour highlighting the history of the air wing. The base is an impressive, and it was fascinating to be provided a window into C-17 Daddy's world.
Taking a look at the aircraft that have been flown out of the base over the years, we are given a close-up view of a C-124C (above); looking down the gun barrel of a C-10A Warthog (left).

Friday, May 09, 2008

Another Countdown

Anyone who has cable or satellite TV is inundated with countdowns. Have we, as a society, lost our patience and attention spans to such a degree that we need our television encapsulated into digestible, 40 second nuggets? Along with the success of "clip shows," countdowns have overtaken the American airwaves.

At one time, it was Casey Kasem who "counted them down," the Billboard magazine top ten or top 40 popular songs. That was okay. It was fun to know what the most popular songs were, and to hear them again on radio.


And if you did not want to hear them, then Casey was syndicated on only one channel in each market, and his countdown was easy to avoid.

But countdowns are everywhere now, and for the most part they have no meaning. Even Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" on MSNBC has lost some of its charm ("though not its wit," I was tempted to add, but his obsession with Bill O'Reilly has weakened his show). But at least Olbermann, like Casey Kasem, actually has something to count down. The top news stories of the day have relevance in the same way as the top-selling music singles do. (And if you are asking yourself, Is he suggesting that cable news reporting has stooped to the level of counting down pop hits? the answer is, um, yes, mostly.)

There's no relevance, rhyme or reason to counting down the "Top 10 Shark Attacks." How can that truly be measured? And who cares?

Television itself has jumped the shark.

I envision the pitch meeting at FOX: "We have a thousand hours of stock pelican attack footage in the vault. Why don't we bring in a kid to write a top ten pelican attacks show to air during prime time sweeps?"

"Brilliant! I'll alert our advertisers!"

So for the three people who regularly read my blog, here is the

Pacific Grits Top Ten Annoying Television Countdowns:

10. Disasters of any kind. It's a shame outlets such as the Weather and Discovery Channels have jumped on this bandwagon.

9. Celebrities being bad.
Please! Enough!

8. Best theme parks, roller coasters, hotels, restaurants or travel destinations.

7. Murders, murderers, or other gruesome crime-related countdowns.

6. Any countdown show that has the tag "Caught On Tape" in its title.

5. The AFI. Several years ago, the American Film Institute counted down the 100 most popular movies of all time. It was a nice idea and an entertaining hour or two of television. Now the AFI are counting down one hundred of anything and everything having do do with movies: The AFI 100 Heroes and Villains, The AFI 100 Best Movie Quotes, and the recent, ridiculous AFI 100 Years 100 Cheers. Come on! What's next? The AFI 100 Years of Foley?

4. Food- or cooking-related countdowns of any kind (Food Network excepted).

3. Celebrity countdowns of any kind - best dressed, worst dressed, weddings, shocking moments, and so on.


2. Any countdown featuring D-list comedians no one knows making unclever and unfunny comments about whatever is being counted down.

1. Television "moments" shows. These glorified clip shows require no ideas, no script or imagination. Do we need some D-list celeb counting down something nonsensical like "wackiest sit-com moments" or "most amusing game show responses?"

These countdown shows are reality television at its worst. And I do mean it when I think the entire industry has jumped the shark.

Oh, and yes, I do watch them. How can I look away from the train wreck television has become? I only wish they could get Casey Kasem for the Weather Channel's Ten Most Outrageous Tornadoes caught on tape.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

House in the House...Sort Of

I don't watch much dramatic television, and have not seen the program "House." I don't know if it is any good or not.

But I love the commercials for "House" that they air on FOX. I saw one tonight that left me breathless and anxious. House appears to be in some big trouble. I hope he gets out of it. I would hate to miss out on future promos for "House."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Back to the Grind

My break from the hustle and bustle ends on Thursday, and my brief foray into unemployment comes to and end when I dive into my first day at a new job.

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to get out of town during my hiatus from workaday drudgery, and visit Charleston, SC, a place I have long loved. My regret is not having a couple of weeks to linger there, stay at an inn and wander the cobblestone streets and sample the famous low country cuisine from many of Charleston's great restaurants. One of these days I'll have to do something like that.

This morning I slept in, rose late and didn't bother to shave. Tomorrow morning I am up early with razor in hand. It's time to get back to work.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Brief Trip Back East

My advice to anyone planning to travel 3,000 miles to visit one's family unannounced is this: call ahead.

I did just that this week, flew from Seattle to Columbia, SC, to see my family, and elected not to inform them of my intentions. I let a few pals know before I left and suggested lunch one day while I was home, but my family was not told of my impending arrival.

After landing and picking up my rental car I drove to my dad's office to discover my family was preparing to leave town for a few days. Had my flight arrived half an hour later my father and sister would have already left town.

The upside was that I got to spend a few days in Charleston, enjoying the company of my parents and sister, and her darling daughter who recently turned two. She loves her uncle, and her uncle loves her, and we had a nice time with the Play-dough, though I am having my doctor call the kid in a prescription for Lunesta.

I did get to see two old pals, albeit briefly -- Mothy upon my arrival and Brother Todd before I flew out. My apologies to Rickwell, who apparently failed to retrieve an email letting him know of my diversion which I (think I) dashed off from the Treo before the battery died.

Being unemployed, I was for the first time in eight years ignoring my cell phone and not checking emails. It was a great trip.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Snow, Snow Go Away


My friend Mike, who lives a few miles away down in the valley, posted this:

"I can't believe it's snowing again."

10 AM Sunday: the thermometer on the back porch reads 50 degrees. The sun is out, yet snow and hail are raining down fairly hard this morning.

It's either snow and hail, or the fallout.

As we move toward May I am of a mind to seek out some Spring weather, even if I have to leave the Northwest for a while.

Brrr! I blame global warming. The people aren't paying their tolls!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fireballs Emerge Victorious


A late April day in Seattle brought fluffy snow, miserable rain, pounding hail and blue-sky sun breaks all within the span of one hour during this week's soccer game. But that's the Pacific Northwest for you.

The Fireballs (1-2) won their first game of the season, outscoring the Bulldogs 11-6. The kids, to their credit were unfazed by the rapid change in weather. They played on, the good sports they are.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Resignation


I have resigned my job.

I had initially planned to present my resignation orally, in person to my boss, with the following words:

"General, I gotta leave. There's a price on my head and if I don't pay off Jabba the Hutt I'm a dead man."

I thought that would be going out in style, with flair, needed and missed. My boss would tell me I was a good pilot and "I hate to lose you."

Needless to say, it did not quite go off that way. I ended up presenting my resignation in writing, using a template Chuck and I have used for more than 15 years, a template provided us by our old nemesis and neighbor, a law enforcement officer named Tony:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I hereby resign.

Signed,

It is the perfect template for quitting your job. It is concise, clear, and doesn't send a mixed message with the inclusion of unnecessarily sappy "thank you"s and "it has been a pleasure to serve"s.

Feel free to use the Tony Resignation Template at no charge.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Seattle Sonics Playing an End Game?


The Seattle Sonics have lost nearly sixty games this season, which may be their last in Seattle as the team's owner wants to move the team to Oklahoma City.

Tonight's loss to the Rockets, 79-66, may have marked my last Sonics game at Key Arena.

It has been a contentious battle here between the owner and the city, end result is that the team may go and the name and team colors will stay in Seattle for a future expansion team.

Regardless, I rather like the arena, and though not an NBA fan per se, I enjoy going to the games. There is an exhilaration to sitting court side at an NBA game that one does not find elsewhere, except perhaps hockey.

So if this was to be my last Sonics game, it was, despite the loss, a good time.

NOTE: When I mentioned to my daughter that I actually caught the basketball during the game, she asked, "Did you dribble it back in?" I replied, no, that I had to toss it back to the referee, and she seemed very disappointed in me for not jumping in there.
Above: Ronald Dupree goes in for a layup; Steve (C17-Daddy) poses for a photo after the game.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

It was 80 degrees in Dallas this week, and I enjoyed the weather there. When I stepped off the American Airlines flight Friday morning in Seattle it was snowing cats and dogs, and snowed all afternoon.

Today was my daughter's first soccer game of the season. It was cold and rained pretty vigorously through much of the game. And the Fireballs lost 7-2. We left the field sodden and muddied, and I had my tax return to finish while Harper went out for pizza.

Welcome Spring!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I watched a bit of The Ten Commandments Saturday night, the Cecil B. DeMille classic with Charlton Heston and Yul Brenner, and wondered how long it has been airing on television the night before Easter. As long as I can remember.

C-17 Daddy (Steve) joined us for church and an excellent Easter dinner prepared by my wife. The sweet potatoes were particularly tasty.

Due to the rain we dyed the eggs and hid them indoors. Afterward, Steve and Harper were locked in an epic struggle of Easter Hangman.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fighting Global Warming


The state of Washington has introduced a bill to combat global warming, and it is a relief to see that our state is taking a leadership position in addressing the perilous course we are on.

What are we doing?

In order to combat global warming, the legislature is moving to introduce tolls on the state's bridges and freeways. And the billions in revenue from the tolls will be used to build new bridges and roads.

With everyone paying their fair share of tolls (yes, even the hybrid owners!) we can save the polar bears from starving to death and keep the seas from consuming our great cities like New York and San Francisco.

With any luck the other states will follow our lead and save the world through the strategic placement of toll booths.

Gnome Stalking Streets


This is one of the spookiest stories I have ever seen:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article902014.ece


Saturday, March 08, 2008

My New Chinese Cleaners

Asians are nice people, but they burn a lot of shirts.

-Don Rickles, Esquire Magazine


I like my shirts crisp and pants pressed, and because my wife is not very handy with an iron, and because I find ironing tedious, I choose to have others take care of my shirts and pants for me.

Back in 2006 I posted a story about a pants issue with my old cleaners which caused me to change cleaners.

My new cleaning outfit was green, environmentally friendly, and the prices were great. Problem was, they did a lousy job with my collars -- they were frequently crumpled. When I finally complained, they replied, "It's the machines. That happens."

So I left them last month, having grown weary of having to re-press my collars.

I have since found a little slice of cleaning heaven not far from the old outfit, a place run by a Chinese lady who is not only friendly but can press a shirt like no other. They're expensive, but the crease in my sleeves is pristine.

And, as an added bonus, they have not once switched my pants or crumpled my collars.

Nor have they burned a shirt.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

James is...

A couple of my fellow bloggers performed Google searches on their names with the word "is" added to the search criteria, and posted the top ten results on their blogs.

Here's what I found out about myself when searching "James is."

  • James is still employed by the Red Sox

  • James is apparently fat, old and ugly

  • James is good

  • James is sympathetic both to the idea that the universe is something we can...

  • James is at pains to deny that

  • James is the Sidney Crosby of hockey blogging

  • James is publishing denegrating info about us on his website

  • James is currently working on a book

  • James is also an official curry monster

  • James, is adaptive and functional

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This Year's Oscar Picks

Chuck and I have posted our Oscar picks for this year.

You can see them, and the results,
here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Traveling with Style


I will confess that my daughter has more style than I do. She is always on the go, jetting across the country earning more air miles in a year than I accrued during the first 35 years of my life.

She is pictured here at the Atlanta airport, having disembarked a commuter plane and on her way into the terminal for a connecting flight to Seattle.


Jumper and crew neck shirt by Gymboree. Luggage by Ruff Ruffman.

Images from the Past - Toonces


After a day of flea-marketing, Jolly picks up a kitten and names it "Toonces." The kitten lived with Jolly and Terry and me for a while. Then Toonces lived with me and moved to Seattle.

Once, Toonces became entrapped in the tuned port of one of Terry's giant custom-made stereo speakers.
Left to right: Toonces, Jolly, George and Alan.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Today's Kitchen Tip

My daughter reminds us all to make sure you label all your frozen foods.
Pictured: a frozen steak in a Ziploc freezer bag carefully labeled by a six-year-old.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Got a Book 123

Though not officially tagged by Rickwell, I picked up the top book on my table after reading these words from Rick's blog:
  • Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
  • Find Page 123.
  • Find the first 5 sentences.
  • Post the next 3 sentences.
  • Tag 5 people.

This is what I read on page 123 of Mere Anarchy, beginning with sentence six:

Touched by this request for some measure of genuine coin of the realm, Pepkin terminated his treatment, and on the advice of some shyster he plays eight ball with sued me for malpractice.

Unable to handle the sudden downsizing and the hardship that accured when Bergdorf's amputated her charge account, Foxy Brietbart exchanged me even up for an anorexic four-eyed pipsqueak whose computer-chip parent catapulted him, at twenty-five, seven notches above the Sultan of Brunei on a certain list in Forbes. Meanwhile, I was left with a trunkful of sheet music with titles like "The Earthworms of Tuscanny" and "At the Speleologists Ball."

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Zen and the Art of Not Caring About the Super Bowl

Huh. I should try not caring more often. Not investing myself emotionally in Sunday's Super Bowl led me to cheer for New York by default, and I ultimately enjoyed the upset. A great final quarter.

Oh - and despite my previous post, I did, as it turned out, have an interest in the coin toss. I had the Giants to win the coin toss, the Patriots to score first, that Brady would not throw and interception, that the Pats would give up the game's first turn-over, that the cameras would show Peyton Manning, I had the Giants making the most field goals, and New England up at the half.

All in all, a nice time was had by all.

And Mitsuru never came home.

Super Bowl Sunday Here Again

Super Bowl Sunday has come round again, and we return to the Mid-Yo's for our annual Super Bowl gathering. I whipped up a cauldron of creamy home-made clam chowder and some artichoke crab dip (my wife reminded me I forgot to add the garlic -- oh well) while listening to the foreboding score to There Will Be Blood (a fantastic movie, by the way) on XM.

My daughter asked me who we are rooting for in today's game. Seattle is out. The Packers, out. Any other team I have an inclination toward, out. Since I don't like the Pats I am pulling for the Giants by default, so I told my daughter, cheer for New York. They have the blue helmets with "ny" printed on them.

It's too bad I don't care about this year's game. The Seattle-Pittsburgh match-up of two years ago made for a good gathering, particularly in this town. And last year, having been in Chicago in the weeks (and week) leading up to Super Bowl XLI it was a no-brainer going for the bears. But seeing as I have a tendency to pull for the underdog (and eventual loser) I suppose that even by my reluctant support of the Giants they are doomed to failure.

I have no bets on the game, though these days you can place bets on the coin toss, on who scores first, and so on and so on. It's crazy. At least I have the commercials to look forward to.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

HELP ME

Each year I participate in the MS Walk, an important charitable function for me as my grandmother suffered from multiple sclerosis and two dear people who have been in my life are presently battling the disease.

My friend Jennie is doing a heroic job of fighting her condition, while at the same time raising a toddler and taking care of a husband who works many hours at a challenging job.

If you click on the link to the right, you will go to my MS page. At this writing I am 0% toward my goal of raising $250, and I would love to raise much more.

Help us out. Five dollars, ten dollars, whatever you can do. Every little bit helps.

You can donate on-line or email me and I can send you an address if you wish, to mail your support.

Thanks in advance to all who join me in seeking an end to multiple sclerosis.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

All Hat and No Cattle

My last night in Dallas I went to a rather well-respected local steakhouse (one with the word "cattle" in its name), and ordered a ribeye cooked medium rare.

When the steak was presented it immediately had the appearance of something well-done. But a little searing on the outside that belies a cool, red center is okay with me.

But it was not to be. The steak was not only well-done, but very well-done. It was awful, and I consumed but three or four small bites. When the waitress returned to the table, she could sense by displeasure and realized, by looking at the cut, that it had not been prepared to my specifications. When she asked me, "You don't like the steak?" I replied, "It's all hat and no cattle, friendo."

Images from the Past


Carowinds amusement park, 1986.


From left to right: me, George, Fred.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Call it, Friendo


Quoted from the Urban Dictionary (used without permission): Friendo - An intimidating word you use when you want to shake down or scare someone who actually isn't really a friend.



"Call it, friendo."

- Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men), to an old, simple convenience store proprietor after flipping a coin to determine whether the old man lives or dies. Bardem is the favorite to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as the cold, money-seeking hit man.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

From Dallas, Texas

Ah, the great state of Texas, where everything is big, including my dinner bill last night.

I received a challenge this week which I will attempt to meet with courage and honor: Mike challenged me to use the phrase “all hat and no cattle” at least once while I am in Dallas. And that I must call someone "Friendo."

I shall make every effort, and report back in this space on my success.

In the mean time, pardner, it's back to work with me.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Images from the Past


Jolly gets his American Express Card. The year was 1989, and I lived with Jolly and Terry in a little house on State Street in Cayce.
That's Randall pictured with Jolly and his AMEX card.
Shortly after this photo was taken, Jolly exclaimed, "Kick it!" and purchased a new set of drums, a Ford Mustang, and a selection of items from the 59/69/79 cents value menu at Taco Bell.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Stuck in the Snow


My friend Matt sent me a few pictures from our recent snowmobiling trip to Hyak, Washington, in the Cascade Mountains. That's Matt's sled sunk in six feet of fresh powder, and that's me trying to dig it out.