Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fear Factor

Have you ever been afraid? Really afraid? I don't mean just startled or surprised. I don't mean apprehensive about something bad. I mean blood chilling, muscle freezing, mind numbingly afraid... Peeing your pants optional. I've been close. I've been close a couple of times. This isn't a typical Halloween story. In fact it doesn't have anything to do with Halloween other than the fear. No one dies. No blood or gore. No ghosts, but there is at least a monster.

At least once in my life I have been afraid... Truly afraid.

The year after I graduated high school I hung around my home town trying to find some direction in my life. (See how well that worked out) New Year's eve I was invited to a party by a couple of college girls.

I knew a handful of people at the party, but not many. One guy I definately did not know got high, beat up his girlfriend, grabbed a rifle and disappeared into the darkness of an open field. Minutes later I'm standing at the edge of said field with a few other guys scanning for this freak.

He lit a cigarette. We saw the lighter and watched the glowing cherry bob back and forth in the distance. I'm no hero, and neither were these other guys. We discussed what to do... At length... Because no one wanted to actually do it.

"We could rush him. He could probably only get off one shot."

"Do you wanna be in front of that one shot?"

We stood there, hands in our pockets against the chill watching that cigarette. Then, suddenly the cherry brightened, dropped to the ground and disappeared. Last drag.

It always amazes me how certain sounds carry in the darkness. The sound of the bolt of a .30-06 closing, slamming a round into the chamber is one of those sounds. Suddenly it wasn't as cold outside as it was in my chest. "Was that...?" I had started to ask. I never finished because I was alone. I quickly dove behind the nose of the nearest car to find most of the other guys already there or behind other cars.

A minute or two later... It seemed like a week, he wanders out of the darkness, and up to the car I'm behind. I'm alone again because every other guy was moving back through the maze of parked cars. I didn't stay because I was brave. I stayed because I couldn't move. Not one inch. My mouth tasted like it was full of pennies and my arms and legs were made of lead. Should I hide? Should I run? What does a .30-06 feel like when it hits you between your shoulder blades?

He leaned the rifle against the car to light a cigarette. Without thinking and without making a sound, I picked up that rifle and slipped away. He never even glanced in my direction. I watched every step I made to be as quiet as I could. Back at the house they almost had to pry my numb fingers off of it to hide it somewhere.

Later all the guys were pounding my back all the girls were fawning over me. It was all I could do not to shake like a old man. Midnight came and went with the new year. Around one in the morning I kissed both girls goodbye and drove home gripping the steering wheel like it would keep me from drowning.
One thing kept creeping back into my head. When I looked at the gun in the light, the bolt hadn't closed all the way. Misfeed. If it had, well...

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Birmingham Turnaround

Game Day, little ones.
Today in the Emerald City
The UAB Blazers
Go Up Against our own
East Carolina Pirates.

Game time is 3:30 eastern
After the beating we took last week
It damn well better be a...
First Down... PIRATES!
So far so good 10-3 ECU at the end of the 1st quarter.
20-6 at the half.
Looks like I'm not the only one upset about the State loss
41-6 going into the 4th.
and 41-6 final. Woo-Hoooo!
Paint this one purple!


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Backyard Brawl

Game Day, Bay-beee!

Today in Greenville, NC

At Dowdy-Ficklen Stadiun

4:30pm eastern

The East Carolina Pirates

Will Face off against

NC State's Wolfpack.

This is the one. THE Game.

The in-state rivalry.

I'm working, but I'll try to get CSTV on the computer

Because it's gonna be a...

First Down... PIRATES!
One bullshit call by the ACC refs, one great pass by state,
one bad turnover by ECU and we're down 14 to nothing
going into the 2nd quarter.
(Yes I paid for the game, yes I'm still pissed)
Blocked punt scooped up and into the end zone
17 minutes in and ECU is down 21 points. WTF?
ECU intercepts. 1st and goal.
2nd and goal.
3rd and goal.
4th and goal.
Touchdown Pirates!
21-7 State. 8 mins left in the 2nd q.
A great drive, a touchdown, a turnover and a Hell of a kick
21-17 State going into the half.
End of the 3rd, and not much to say.
One field goal, one late hit
21-20 State.
State's on fire again
31-20 middle of the 4th.
Typical. Offensive pass interference by State, no flag.
Flag on ECU for unsportsman like conduct for complaining.
FG. 34-20 two minutes left.
ECU cant get it done. State gets the ball 1 minute left.
State takes a knee, once, twice, thrice.
34-20 State final. It was a Hell of a ride.
You know what? Screw College Sports Television. No. FUCK them. When I signed up two years ago I paid around 5 bucks a month for ECU's whole season. Last year I paid 5 bucks per game, and they blacked out a couple of them. This year I didn't sign up... Of course the game I want to watch today is only available on CSTV. $14.95. That's right 15 dollars to watch one game on a computer screen at work, because I can't leave to get it anywhere else. Bastards... Fucking theiving bastards, the lot of them. ESPN shows their games on the computer for FREE on And the video is better... And you can watch several games at once. Yay ESPN. Fuck you CSTV... I hope you go bankrupt... And your CFO catches VD from a tranny and has to try to explain it to his vindictive wife who is prone to psychotic episodes and has a fondness for bladed objects and is a 3rd degree blackbelt. Fuckers.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Reel Lines (20)

Karen Holmes: If you're looking for the Captain... he ain't here.

Sergeant Milton Warden: And if I ain't lookin' for the Captain?

Karen Holmes: Then he still ain't here.

Deborah Kerr has passed away at the age of 86. Almost all the greats from the golden age of movies are gone. The golden age itself is long gone.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Touch, A 100 Word Story

Sorrow gripped him as he touched her cheek. It was over now, it was time to go and he knew it. In the darkness he pulled his cloak tighter around his boney shoulders before turning to walk away. "Such a waste," he thought to himself, "the life you could have had." It was tough always leaving them this way. One brief touch in such a short time, and then off to the next one. If only he could slow down, but there was always something driving him away... There was always somewhere to go. Sometimes it’s tough to be Death.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Out In The West Texas...

...Town of El Paso...
It's Game Day, Pardners!
The ECU Pirates are back in the Lone Star
To face, for the first time ever
the El Paso Miners of UTEP.
Game time is 9:05pm eastern
That's 8:05pm here and 7:05pm in El Paso
The game is on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
Where in the Hell am I gonna find MASN out here?
Sun shine, Sun Bowl, Son-of-a-bitch, it's a

First Down... PIRATES!
Could not find the game locally, but I heard it was a nail biter.
45-42 Pirates, in overtime.
Paint this one PURPLE!

On a side note... Congratulations to my nephew Rabbit and his lovely bride Phyllis... They're getting married today. Wooo-Hooo! I guess that means he's not gonna get to see the game.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Rabbit Stewed

My nephew Rabbit is getting married in Carolina this weekend. Try as I might, I can't get out of Texas long enough to attend the nuptuals. Nobody knows how bad that hurts me.

Rabbit is four years six months younger than I am. I was living in Greenville, NC being kind of an asshole, when he came to East Carolina University. When he was a kid... Well, a little kid, we didn't really get along. We had some very different world views. We were different types of kid. When he came off to college, I spent some time with him and his roommate, Pierre (Really).
We learned to see the world from a little closer angle. A lot of the trouble Rabbit got into, and most of the bad choices he made were blamed on my bad influence. While that argument doesn't lack merit, Rabbit is a man of his own mind.

When I did some stupid things and lost my license, Rabbit was my chauffer. Sometimes willingly, sometimes not so much. I was Rabbit's guide into the darkness. I got him into bars he shouldn't have been in... Taught him tricks he shouldn't know... We got away with things we shouldn't have ever done.

I'm proud of the man he's become. He's more succesful than I am in a lot of ways. He has a nice home, nice vehicles, a big boat, good friends and a lovely soon to be bride. I don't know her as well as I'd wish, but if Rabbit likes her, and she can stand him, that's good enough for me.

I threatened Rabbit with a story about him over a year ago. Well... The time has come.

What to tell, what to tell... Going to the beach in February? Too tame... No girl stories, his wife may read this... Ah... I know... Wrong Way Corrigan's.

Game day! The Pirates were playing at home. Rabbit and I got a keg of beer for the tailgate party. Let's see... There was me... And Rabbit and... Yeah, thats it. Me and Rabbit, and a keg of Budweiser. Never made it to kickoff. After the game (After we slept through the game) we went back to my apartment to get our minds right.

Sober enough now to go out we headed for Greenville's famous Fifth Street. I knew the girl working the door at Wrong Way Corrigan's so she let him in. I was almost 23 so Rabbit had to be 18, the drinking age was 21.

I got a bourbon and coke. Rabbit wanted something sweet. I am evil. I ordered him a "suicide". Invented by myself and another bartender it contains: Wild Turkey 101, Seagrams VO, Southern Comfort, Triple Sec and a whole lot of sour mix. Tastes like lemonade made with swamp water.

Moments later Rabbit wanted another one. "Slow down kid, that's a knock-down drink" He shook his head... "I want a real knock-down drink" okey-dokey. The Specialty drink at Corrigan's was the "Crash and Burn". I don't to this day know what was in it, but it was red and came in a bahama mama glass and we got him one. All I know is that an undetermined time later I was shooting pinball for $5 a game when a bouncer showed up holding Rabbit by the collar. "This belong to you?" I accepted the package, but begged off leaving until the pinball game was over.

I'm shooting... And winning, might I add, while Rabbit stands in the corner and watches the ball go round... And round... And round... And proceedes to empty his stomach of all the recently bought drinks all over the pinball machine. I gave my opponent his money and dragged Rabbit out of the bar, where he then passed out.

His dorm is only a few blocks away, but the problem is that I'm 5'11", Rabbit is 6'5". I threw him over my shoulder, and walked away... His feet bumping in front of me, and his hands dragging the ground behind me. All in all a good day. And remember Rabbit, it could be worse......I still have this picture... And I'm still evil.


Reel Lines (19)

Von Luger: Are all American officers so ill-mannered?
Hilts: Yeah, about 99 percent.
Von Luger: Then perhaps while you are with us you will have a chance to learn some. Ten days isolation, Hilts.
Hilts: CAPTAIN Hilts.
Von Luger: Twenty days.
Hilts: Right. Oh, uh, you'll still be here when I get out?
Von Luger: Cooler!

On a sad note, Bud Elkins, the stuntman who did the final motorcycle jump over the barbed wire in The Great Escape (Steve McQueen did most of his own riding in the movie) passed away Oct 10th at the age of 77. Elkins also did much of the driving in the chase scene in Bullitt. Those two scenes changed action movies forever. So long, Bud.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Naked Lunch Specials VI

The Landing Strip is located out on Hwy 183 east of downtown, all the way out by the airport... Thus with the double entandre it earns itself points for the wittiest named strip joint I can think of. The Landing Strip also just happens to be the one used in the film Varsity Blues with James VanDerBeek and Jon Voit. (The football scenes were filmed in Georgetown, Tx about 400 yards from where I'm sitting now) This was my first trip here so let's explore together, shall we?
The Landing Strip sits on the north side of 183 back off the highway all by it's lonesome. A little rustic setting and kind of off the beaten path it seemed to me at first, then I realized it's only a few minutes from my house so maybe not.
Not really anything outstanding about the outside, but they were working on the parking lot so they are on top of things.
A friend of mine (To remain nameless) met me outside and we went in together. There is a little entrance foyer with a cashier booth and the restroom entrances. We were both ID'd... I'm almost 40 and he's older than me so they definately are on top of things. We looked at the lunch special board and then down a short hall into the club. The club itself opens up to your left with first a raised (I assume VIP) area then the main floor. the bar is on the right hand wall the DJ booth on the back wasll and the main stage on the left wall in the center of the floor. There were a couple of smaller stages here and there, but not in use during the day. The decor is classic strip joint... Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. Nice place though, clean and nicely painted. A little dark at first, but I adjusted
After we sat a waitress was there fairly quickly, I ordered my normal Vitamin G and my compatriot got a Coke. I ordered the $5.99 NY Strip with the optional $1 extra for baked potato, He got the $6.99 grilled chicken. The Guinnesses were $4.50 each and the Coke was $3. The service was a little slow. Not anything to really complain about, just slow for the number of customers at that time of day. (And if you're curious the dancers weren't all that agressive either. We were never approached for a table dance, and they had songs in between the girls on stage.)
After the food got there I have to say it was pretty good. The steak tasted like a stake, and while the potato wasn't huge, it came with all the trimmings on the side (butter, sour cream, shredded cheese and real bacon bits). His meal came with the potato and even a little house salad. Not much to add. It was a decent lunch. The total after a second beer was $26 and change (for both of us) I paid and he picked up the tip. Not bad for two guys, a steak, a chicken and a couple of beers.
A fairly decent dining experience.
On to the sliding scale:
Service: 7 (Good, but not in a hurry at all)

Food: 6 (The steak was OK, and so was the Potato... But only OK)

Atmosphere: 7 (nice place, but no life, not at noon anyway)

Value: 9 (two beers, and I was satisfied when I walked out the door... Plus an entire second meal for $26)

Total: 7.25 (All in all an OK dining experience)

The next stop on the Naked Lunch Tour is undetermined at this point. Will let you know.

If you have a club in your area you would like to review (Food only please, my mother reads this) send a write up to and I may post it. Or if you are in the Austin area and have a club you would like me to visit and review, or would like to join me for lunch, just place in comments.


Monday, October 08, 2007

The Ocean Blue

Today is Columbus Day. I won't stand in the middle of the argument about discovering a place where people already lived, but he was most likely the first Eurotrash tourist in the caribean.
San Salvador makes the claim that they were the local of his landfall. Maybe, maybe not. When I lived in the Turks and Caicos they were making a hearty claim that Providenciales (the island on which I lived) was the point of landfall. There was a startling evidence to push the idea.

For one thing in the San Salvador theory you have to switch the leagues and miles in old Chris' logs. For the T&C islands you didn't. I really don't remember many of the arguments anymore, and I can't even seen to find anything on the internet to back it, so I guess the Turcasians have let it drop. Anyway I thought it was kind of cool that I may have trod the same stretch of sand and ironshore where Cristopher Columbus and his hearty band first stepped onto dry land... Just off the northwest point of Providenciales.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

This explains everything

...Or not. I took the preamble of the Constitution:
"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
I fed it into an english to spanish translator... Then I took the translation and fed it into the spanish to english translator and this is the result:
The people of the United States, to form one more a more perfect union, we establish justice, we assured domestic tranquillity, we anticipate the common defense, we promote the general well-being, and we assured the blessings the freedom to we ourself and our posterity, ordain and establishes this constitution for the United States of America.
Hell, if I were an illegal immigrant I wouln't pay attention to that crap either.



Game day!
UCF Golden Knights
are headed north from Orlando
To face the Pirates
In Greenville tonight
Game Time is 7:30 eastern
and it will be a...

First Down... PIRATES!
Last year we won 23-10
Let's see if we can do it again.
It's on CSTV I'll be watching this one at the pub.
52-38 ECU
Pirates win another one!
This was a great game...
And I only missed the first few minutes.
We're back at the .500 mark baby!


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Spaced Out

On this date in 1957 the Soviet Union scored the first big points in the space race by succesfully placing into orbit Sputnik, the first of several satellites to carry that name. The Russian name "Спутник" means literally "co-traveler","traveling companion" or "satellite", and its R-7 launch vehicle was designed initially to carry nuclear warheads.

The cold war was marching into it's second decade and this Soviet coup was a startling blow to the collective American ego. Nestled snuggly between the Korean conflict and the Cuban missle crisis, a succesfull satellite launch galvenized the United States and NASA into actions that eventually culminated in the 1969 moonlanding.