Monday, March 31, 2008

Oh Danny Boy

In Amboy, Washington a contractor and his kids found a parachute buried in the ground. An old parachute. The FBI is checking to see if it matches the type of chute used by a hijacker... Or should I say THE hijacker.
On Nov. 24th 1971 a man in a suit and tie, black raincoat and loafers paid $18.52 for a plane ticket from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. He boarded the Boeing 727 with a bomb and a plan.
After handing the stewardess a hijack note, he exchanged the other passengers for four parachutes and $200,000 in cash.
While his ransom was being collected he sat on the tarmac drinking bourbon and soda. A man after my own heart.
Back in the air he instructed the pilot to fly low and slow. Not long after that he walked down the rear steps of the plane and into history.
He was never seen again. The FBI decided he was dead. (They said the same about Eric Robert Rudolph after they couldn't find him, how did that work out for them?)
In 1978 the placard was found from the rear stairway of the plane.
In 1980 $5880 in $20 bills was found on the banks of the Columbia River.
Now the parachute.
The first name on the passenger list was Dan, but you may know him as D.B. Cooper.
Experts say the parachute can't be Cooper's. It's not the right age nor material (it's silk not nylon ca.1945).


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hold Your Water

I rent a dog from time to time. Not really, but I have a friend who is a student and a bartender, and rather than have the poor mutt locked in an apartment all the time, he stays with me a few days a week.
Why not? I don't have time for a dog of my own, I have a decent sized yard and he's pretty good for a Heeler mix puppy.
Sometimes he plays over at my neighbor's house with a Pitt Bull mix the same age as him. Sometimes I take him to the park at Auditorium Shores and let him run with the dogs there. He always barks at the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue.
Sometimes we just hit the east end of Town Lake at the Colarado River Park near my house and hang out there. It's mostly hispanic families and not many dogs, but if I'm in one of my moods, no one tries to talk to me... Not in english anyway.
The east end of the lake (The lakes are not lakes, they are just dammed up portions of the Colorado River... Not THE Colorado River just the Colorado River...) is the ass end of the park. Past the dam there the river bed is almost devoid of water.


Oh, Yeah! Water... This post is about water. Not river water... Drinking water. When taking the dog down to the park at the east end of the lake I started to notice the trash.
Austin is a very liberal city. Lots of hippies, vegetarians and vegans, greenpeacers, save the planeteers and global warming nutjobs.

Because this park is the end of the line, so to speak, this is where the trash ends up. Now, I'm used to seeing beer and soda bottles and cans carelessly disposed of... Smashed up coolers, candy wrappers and the occasional shoe.
What shocked me was the plastic bottles. In particular plastic water bottles. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.
Evian. Deer Spring Park. Aquafina. Desani. Ozarka. HEB brand. Fiji.
Liter bottles. 20 oz bottles. 16 oz bottles.
It's disgusting. Small coves entirely harbored by little plastic water bottle ships. Oh, the irony of polluting the water because you want to carry a bottle of unpolluted water around in your fist.

It's not like I live out in the middle of the west Texas desert. Austin is a city with over half a million people in it. In most of the park you're rarely more than a short walk from a food retailer. In some places there are even water fountains... Even dog water fountains if yours is too prissy to drink directly from the lake. Nobody is going to dehydrate and die in the middle of the park in the middle of Austin in the middle of the hill country in the middle of Texas. The idea that someone needs to haul around a bottle of water is ludicrous.
These are the people who have a "fun run" or bicycle race or charity event for every little minor ill the world encounters. Save the Barton Spings Salamander!
All that is aside from the fact that every third Prius here in Austin has a "No Blood For Oil" bumper sticker on it. How about a "No Blood For Water Bottles" sticker. Plastic is a petroleum based product.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mostly Cloudy

I've been in a little bit of a funk lately. Things just don't seem to want to go the way I would like them to right now.
Work is kinda blah. The things that are claiming my attention right now are niggling little annoyances.
I have tried to crawl out from under my little gloomy cloud. I bought a new lawnmower, mowed my grass, carved out a couple of new flower beds in my yard and planted some Texas wildflowers.
I suppose I made a mistake by planting seeds instead of actual plants, because all I have to show for my work are bare patches of earth with just a few little green sprouts poping up. I'm trying to look at the bright side by telling myself that as they burst forth and grow I can watch the whole fascinating process. I planted a large mix, most of which were selected to attract butterflies and humming birds.
Speaking of humming birds I bought a nice little copper trimmed feeder to put on my back porch where I sit to smoke cigars, drink whiskey and listen to music. Havn't seen a single little bird. Most of the sugar water is gone, but since I'm rarely home durring the day it seems like an exercise in futility...
I also put out a goldfinch feeder (same porch) and I have seen a little activity there. Mostly brown sparrows and a few titmouses... Titmice? But since I live next to a little farm I assume my feeder is a bit superflous.
The weather here hasn't helped much the last few days either. Kinda gray and windy with no rain.
I tried to rearrange the furniture in the breakfast nook I use as a home office, but it will only fit one way, so I spent a couple of hours shredding old bills instead. If that doesn't depress you, I don't know what will.
So... Until the sun comes out, posting will be light.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Embattled, A 100 Word Recollection

Behind the wall at Fredericksburg, this seemed familiar. He knelt and looked at his rifle, déjà vu, but not quite. The actions were the same, but this was a different gun. Last time was older… Flint instead of percussion, musket instead of rifle, still... Looking across the field, the scene wavered. In his mind the men in blue forming up in front of them reminded him of other men in red doing the same.
He never saw the Minnie-ball that caught him in the temple, slinging his dead body to the ground.
In the trench at Messines, this seemed familiar.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Beannachtaí Na Féile Pádraig Oraibh

Happy St. Pat's to one and all on this fine March 17th. Today I will work like the Irish slave that I am, but tonight... Ah, tonight, I will walk down to BD Riley's Pub. (It's a two plus mile hike, but we're not going through that whole cab fiasco again.) I will raise a Pint or two of Guinness, speak to friends I havn't seen lately, listen to some Irish tunage and take a shot of Jameson's to steel myself for the walk home in the storms they're predicting for central Texas. After the homeward trek I see a hot shower and a soft bed, and perhaps another shot of whiskey.
The blessings of St. Patrick upon you.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Reel Lines (26) Remake Mania

Ben Wade: What are you squeezin' that watch for? Squeezin' that watch ain't gonna stop time.

Ben Wade: Ya know, squeezin' that watch ain't gonna stop time.

I'm so glad they are making westerns that are actually westerns again.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Figures, A 100 Word Story

Karla mopped her brow and entered another column of numbers. Her adding machine smoked lightly as her nimble fingers flew over the buttons. She turned to the desktop and entered a damnable series of debits and preciously few credits.
“Figures are off again,” she mumbled, “this is going to take an eternity.”
Her outbox was piled with signed contracts that had been processed, but it seemed that every time her inbox got any lower than overflowing, a grinning demon would wheel in another stack.
It was no picnic being Satan’s chief accountant. It seems there is always Hell to pay.


Grand Times Twenty

While I've been MIA with computer problems, my little project here passed the 20,000 mark. The 20k visitor was out of Topeka, Kansas, and is a regular visitor. I'm pretty sure I know who it is, but won't say for privacy reasons. Thanks for visiting. Y'all come back now, y' hear?


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Propaganda, A 100 Word Story

Wilbur grunted in pain. The operation had left him alive, but weak and very much lighter.
Once he had been so afraid of dying. He and his friends had put in motion the campaign to save his life. Now he was sure that death would have been easier, and much less painful.
He pushed himself up on his remaining three legs, mindful of the missing ribs and the bandage covering the latest “bacon removal”.
Charlotte had done her job well, maybe just a little too well. A pig as special as he is, you don’t eat all at one time.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Stand Up

And put your hand over your heart. If you don't, and you are an American, there is something really wrong with you.

Labels: ,

Attempt At Culture

I was feeling a little buggy a week ago Saturday, so I texted over to my lovely friend at the Austin Museum of Art to suggest someone for me to look up. (The Munch painting I put up recently sparked something)
Sunday the answer came: Olafur Eliasson

Never heard of him. So try this on for size:

The Weather Project


One of the things that fascinated me most was the white lego project wher he donated 3 tons of legos and allowed random people to build their own cityscape.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Reel Lines (25) Remake Mania

It's not often that I like both an original film and the remake... This one I did. Usually I like the original. I am a Steve McQueen fan. Hell I still want to grow up to be Steve McQueen... But, I think the remake was better. Steve needs to be the tough, and that's that. Pierce was a better Thomas Crown... and Faye was bad ass in her day, but Rene in that dress... Oh, baby!

Thomas Crown: Who's head are you after?

Vicki Anderson: Yours.

Thomas Crown: Mine? (laughs)

Thomas Crown: You look wonderful!

Catherine Banning: Thank you! How are you?

Thomas Crown: Popular.