Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sounds A Little Hokie

Game day Pirate fans!
Today in Charlotte, NC it's
the East Carolina Pirates
Virginia Tech's Hokies
12pm eastern time
Where it will be a
First Down...
I got my game face on, baby!
I have to work, but
I'll be watching on ESPN360
They did.
Yay ESPN360!
I took the 9.5 points and I have a beer riding on this.
Good luck Steve! You're gonna need it!
14-7 Hokies at the half
I've been super busy at work,
So I haven't seen much of the game.
My internet conection seems to have the
Hicups too, so the feed is a little jumpy
Makes it hard to watch.
Paint this one PURPLE, boys and girls!
27-22 East Carolina
One hell of a game!
I've already gone back and watched
All the highlights I missed.
My next Guinness is on you Steve!
One Hell of a game.
It looks to be a good season.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Can't Win If You Don't Play

Actual winning Lotto numbers:
5 - 8 - 15 - 25 - 40 - 53


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

College Prep

Come Saturday it's the opening game of the Pirate season. The boys will be playing Va Tech in Charlotte at 12pm eastern (That's 11am my time). They handed us a 10 point loss last year, so let's see what we can do about that...
Hey, Steve T! Any bets?


Baggage Claim

Everybody has their own emotional baggage. You can't make it to my age without picking up at least a little.
I like to pretend that I have just a carry on... While I stand in front of a pile of steamer trunks.
Last night I set some of that baggage down. I let some things go. It was a very small step in the clearing process that I need to do, but it was hard as Hell none the less. It was a good night last night.

I didn't dream.

you're too sweet to let go of
but I don't need to fall in love
now I'm too tired to talk my way out of this one
it's a losing game I've had enough

it's too late to make things right
and there ain't no strength left in this heart of mine
now we make quite a pair
but we never got our share of good times
sure were fun to fight

little silver heart
that you once adored
and you don't wear my heart
around your neck no more

you're too good for this game of mine
and girl I know I never treat you right
just a little silver heart
send my lucky star
on a little silver chain

little silver heart
that you once adored
and you don't wear my heart
around your neck no more

all the tears I cried for you
they don't mean a thing
all the tears you cried for me
they won't change me

you're too sweet to let go of
but I don't need to fall in love
now I'm too tired to talk my way out of this one
it's a losing game I've had enough



Saturday, August 23, 2008

That Stinks

Last night, Jack and I were lounging on the back porch when his ears rotated front. He was off the porch like a shot. I figured one of the neighborhood cats was wandering around in the bamboo.
Next thing I heard was "chitter-chitter-chitter", and Jack came back into the light with a very comical surprised look on his face and he started pawing at his muzzle.
Well, I recognized that chitter and I thought "Oh, God, please no."
Then it hit me. That nasty rotten lime smell. Jack had rounded on a skunk in my back yard.
Lucky for all involved, save possibly the skunk, it was in the bamboo, so Jack only got a small hit on the side of his face and not a full spray.
As quickly as I could I got Jack in the tub and with a little irish spring and some Suave strawberry scented shampoo we managed to get the smell off of him.
Have you ever tried to wash a dog's face? Nobody in that bathroom was happy about that.
Jack may think twice about chasing black and white cats now.


Mama San

Happy birthday Ma! I love and miss you. I promise I'll try to make it home for a visit soon.
I've written a lot about my mom over the last few years. She's pretty damn special.
I really don't know what else to say.
So, I leave you with what I've said in the past, here and here and here.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Sun Day

I like my Sundays. I don't have to work... Usually. I do my walk early in the morning when the air is sweet with dew.
Jack is full of piss and vinegar, and my disposition is usually a little better too. Usually.
Seven and a half miles is no joke, but it seems to go quickly. It takes just under two hours including a stop at the dog park.
By the time I get home I usually have a text message waiting for me from my friend M. Brunch here or there. Sometimes just him and me, sometimes others.
My favorite is going to Opal Divine's so Jack can join us. Jack is especially well behaved after the long walk on Sunday.
I like to get there a little early so I can sip a glass of iced milk in the sunshine and solitude.
M is a good conversationalist, and we discuss everything from politics, history and law to the fact we have seen a lot of one particular type of car lately.
M is going out of town this week. I think I will still go to Opal's. I'll miss the conversation, but I enjoy my personal time too. I also enjoy the banana pancakes and Jack enjoys the attention from the waitresses (and the little pieces of pancake I slip to him).
If you happen to be near 6th and Rio Grand around 10:30-11 on Sunday, look for the guy with the tenuous hold on inner peace and a blue heeler that looks like he thinks he needs a bite of a banana pancake.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Call

Seventeen years ago today I was at work early in the morning, stocking shelves in the grocery store. It was maybe 6am. We were (as stockers do) talking shit and telling bad jokes.
The manager paged me that I had a phone call. I said, and I quote, "Who the fuck is calling me at work this time of the morning?" I'll never forget saying those words.
It was my oldest sister. I don't remember how she addressed me. She usually says "Hey, Hon" though. What I do remember was that she said "Daddy's gone." Just like that. Daddy's gone.
I don't know if I said it out loud, but I know I thought it... I thought "Gone where?"
You see, to me my father was immortal. In the back of my head I knew he was in his 70's, but he was bigger than I was. I was a bad ass in those days, but he was stronger than I was. I had no doubt he was tougher than I was. He shot better than I did. He drove better than I did. He told a better story than I did. Plus, my mother loved him.
I mumbled something about being home as soon as I could and hung up. I told my boss what had happened, walked to the end of the isle the guys were on and waved, then I drove to my apartment.
I packed as quickly as I could, called my friend Margi to feed my fish and hit the highway home.
Home was an hour away from where I lived. I remember turning off the radio... Something I never did. I live by my music. I didn't cry. Not then. Not that weekend. Maybe not that year. I cried later. Much later, when I realized he was gone and I'd never be as good as he was.
I vaguely remember talking to the funeral director, Mr. Garrett, with my siblings. Mr Garrett looked sort of like he had been around the dead so long some of it had rubbed off on him. He sat behind a huge mahogany desk wearing a light blue seersucker suit and gave us (the bereaved) some pricing. I remember almost none of that.
The only thing I remember insisting upon was that they bury him with shoes on. I felt and still feel very strongly about that. (When I die, I hope someone remembers that. I don't want to be stuck walking through eternity barefoot.) Ma picked the suit... I insisted on shoes.
We put my dad in the ground the next day. It was fast I know, but we had to. My mother's birthday is the 23rd. My grandmother died on August 21st in 1976. That funeral was on Ma's birthday. My brothers and sisters were determined not to do the same with her husband.
I refused to view the body. The man in the box wasn't my father. My father was somewhere carrying a hoe or a hammer or a shotgun. My father was somewhere in the sunshine doing something to raise a sweat. In my mind he still is.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Playing Catch Up

Rabbit came into town Saturday night so I skipped my walk. Sunday morning I walked early. I skipped the gym Monday and today, and although I probably walked a couple of miles and swam yesterday I didn't do my 4 miles either day.
Gotta get back on track. Tonight I'll do the 4 mile loop with Jack and we'll hit the dog park after... Rain or shine. Thursday we'll dog park it in the morning and I'll be back on my 4 mile program with dog park in the evening. Friday I'll make sure to do all my reps and some extra crunches at the gym.
I've been so bad this week. No exercise, too much food and too much alcohol. I think I'm going back on the wagon for a week or two after this ugly little binge.
I finally made it down to 175 and today I was up to 182. Sigh.



I was feeling pretty depressed on Monday. I worked a 12.5 hour shift at work. After I went home, I took my nephew and his wife to Eddie V's on 5th street. We had a great meal and some bourbon... Well, a lot of bourbon... A lot of bourbon. We stayed out until the last bar closed at 2.
At 7am yesterday I rolled out of bed, took an alkaseltzer, brushed my teeth and threw Jack in the jeep.
Before 8 we were at the place I wanted to spend my birthday morning. There is a pool of clear blue water and a little trickling waterfall. No people. I even beat the park rangers there.
I stripped down to my skivvies and dived in the pool. I would have skinny dipped, but it is public land and no one needs to be exposed to that.
Jack and I swam for almost an hour.
Just as I was getting out of the water, I heard a rumbling noise. Then the little trickle of a waterfall exploded into a gushing torrent. In 30 seconds the water went from my knees to my waist. Luckily we were on the same side of the stream as the Jeep because the path across disappeared.
I got out and dressed just as it started to sprinkle. We danced and played in the rain like the heathens we are. A ball washed up stream to us, so I threw it for Jack and he ran across the rocks at full tilt.
It was great. The cold water, the cold rain, the fresh air. It was as though it washed away my sins for a few hours.
After, I took my guests to the Texas Chili Parlor for lunch, we saw a movie, took Jack to the dog park, and on to BD Rileys. We shared pints with friends, Had a late dinner at Hut's Hamburgers (mine was buffalo meat), listened to some blues at Friends and back to the house and bed.
Rabbit an his wife are on their way back to NC and I'm back at work.
Thank you for all your well wishes and birthday greetings. It was a good day.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I've wasted my hands,
I wasted my heart,
and the night is so cold,

I wasted my tears and
I wasted my words,
and I wish I could hold
you tonight
just tonight,
Hell it won't be tonight,
won't be tonight

I wasted my fists,
I wasted my arms,
and these tattoos will slowly fade,

I wasted my strength,
and I wasted my youth,
and I'd trade the rest of my days,
for you tonight,
just tonight,
well it won't be tonight,
it won't be tonight

and one day,
I'll stop wastin my,
life away,
Hell I'll come through for you
prove myself to you,
girl I'll show you what I can do

and one day,
I'll stop wastin my,
life away,
and I'll come through for you
prove myself to you,
girl I'll show you what I can do

well it won't be tonight

it won't be tonight



Monday, August 18, 2008

Once More

...Around the sun.

This has been a fucked up two years. I've tried to write this post three times today, and I'm in such a hurt and nasty mood I've deleted it all three times.

Every time I think I've let go of the pain and anger, I get hit right in the teeth with something. Sometimes it can be as simple as being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Tomorrow morning Jack and I will rise before the sun, and spend the morning in an undisclosed and (hopefully) unpopulated spot. I have given only one person a clue as to where I will be.

I will reflect on the last two years, and how much they have affected and changed my life. I will look to the future and weigh my options, such that they are.

Afterwards, I will come out of hiding and join friends and family. Around 5:30-6:00 I will go to BD Rileys and down a few pints of Guinness and a shot or two of Wild Turkey. Feel free to join me and feel free to buy me a pint. Even if I'm not in a better mood, I'll pretend to be. I've gotten pretty good at pretending to be.


Reel Lines (31) Birthday Redux

Vin: Yeah, sure. Everything. After awhile you can call bartenders and faro dealers by their first name - maybe two hundred of 'em! Rented rooms you live in - five hundred! Meals you eat in hash houses - a thousand! Home - none! Wife - none! Kids... none! Prospects - zero. Suppose I left anything out?


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Today's Shocking News Story

Click the pic


Reel Lines (30)

Frank McCloud: When your head says one thing and your whole life says another, your head always loses.


Rabbit Run

Three days till my birthday. Although my birthday curse is already in effect, I'm still cautious and jumpy. I just have a huge feeling of unease.
Earlier in the year I thought, "It's been a rough year anyway, maybe it'll skip this year."
No such luck. Now I'm afraid that maybe it'll hit even bigger this year. Maybe my being nervous and apprehensive is a big part of the curse itself. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get you.
Brighter note: My nephew Rabbit and his lovely bride are in San Antonio this morning and are going to make the drive up to ATX today sometime. I'll see them when I get home tonight, and they'll stay through Wednesday.
I'm looking forward to that. Rabbit and I get along famously, and there will be alcohol consumed, stories exagerated and laughs aplenty.
Tonight I'll take them and the uberhunde (Jack) to the park to see the Stevie Ray Vaughn memorial, we may try to see the Congress Ave bats too, then a meal and a few beers somewhere.
Tomorrow I'll make them a good Texas breakfast and we'll see what they want to do.
Monday it's back to the grind for me, and they'll be on their own for a day. I'm sure they can come up with something to do.
Tuesday is the day I turn 39. The plan is for me to go to an undisclosed location for a few hours in the morning and spend the afternoon and evening hours with friends and family (Probably at the pub)... But I'm terrified that I'm going to have to work. I'm going to fight that as much as I can, but my work ethic defeats me most of the time.
We'll see... We'll see.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Get Gone Again

I'm so sick of writing
Songs about screwing up
No matter how much I fall down,
It seems it's never enough
No matter how much good luck
Throws itself my way,
I find some way to ruin it;
Fall down again the next day

Road rashed, run down, wrinkled from the rain
The song in my heart makes just one sound,
But I sing along just the same
And I wonder how long I'll hang around
Before I go insane
Before I break down
And get gone again

Put myself on trial again
for crimes I couldn't see
My naked aggression was picked up
on a charge of indecency
And I remember how I felt when first
it exposed itself to me
And I pray for forgiveness,
and a sympathetic jury

Road rashed, run down, wrinkled from the rain
The song in my heart makes just one sound,
But I sing along just the same
And I wonder how long I'll hang around
Before I go insane
Before I break down
And get gone again

And it makes no difference
what you thought you came here for
Any plans that you might have had;
swept right out the door
And it makes no difference
how hard you think you've tried,
Cause what you'll find out in the end is that
its just a lie

There've been girls that loved me,
But I cheated on them,
With a woman named Whiskey,
And Gin, her best friend
Their affections flow like liquid
To a thousand other men,
Who'll trade loving for liquor;
Salvation for sin

Road rashed, run down, wrinkled from the rain
The song in my heart makes just one sound,
But I sing along just the same
And I wonder how long I'll hang around
Before I go insane
Before I break down
And get gone again



String Theory, A Very Old 100 Word Joke

A piece of string entered a bar and ordered a beer.
The bartender looked it up and down and said, “You’re a piece of string aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am” replied the string.
“I’m sorry but we don’t serve strings here” said the bartender.
The piece of string went outside, tied itself in the middle and pulled its top and bottom out all wild.
Back inside the bar it sat on a stool and ordered a beer.
The bartender said, “Aren’t you that piece of string that was in just a moment ago?”
“No,” it replied, “I’m a frayed knot.”
Karen told me this joke when she was 16 or 17. To this day it pops into my head every time I hear someone use that phrase. Every time.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fork Me

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost


A Matter Of Scale

Add stress to diet and exercise and you get results. That reads 175lbs as of this morning.
(take off almost a pound for the camera)


Monday, August 11, 2008

Go Phish

Does anybody fall for these phishing scams anymore? Really? Even my 80+ year old mother who isn't all that computer savy isn't going to give anybody her bank account number in an e-mail nor on the phone.
How can it be profitable enough to even bother anymore?
I even had someone phish me on my cellphone today. I got a text from "unknown" which read:
Eppicard##AUTOMATIC NOTIFICATION#Your EPPICard account is closed due to unusual activity,please call 1.7869752381 to restore your access.
Exactly like that with the odd caps, punctuation and bad spacing. I have no eppicard, but I was curious as to what I would find, so I called from my work phone. The automated system instantly asked for my 16 digit debitcard number. Now I may have been born at night, but it wasn't last night. So I punched in 16 random digits. Invalid. I punched in 16 more. Invalid. I did that a few more times until it kicked me out of the system. The original message was an American accent, the voice that read back the digits sounded south african or some british variant. I did a reverse directory search and it's a land line in Miami, but that's all I could find out.
I wanted more so I could screw with them for a little while, but no such luck. I wish I had an old closed bank account number or canceled credit card number to give them so they could waste some more time and get nothing for it. Bastards.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

What A Card

It's nice to recognized for what you are by your friends. We had an August birthday gathering at the pub last night. My lovely friend E could not make it, but she stopped by at an earlier time to drop off cards for each of us. This one is mine and I love it, love it.

Speaks volumes, don't it.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Oh Ate, Oh Ate, Oh Ate

So true.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

What The Hell

Happened to this kid?
Oh, Yeah... This did

Sorry Kid.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Too Down, A 100 Word Story

He sat at the bar with the newspaper folded in front of him. His brow was furrowed in concentration. He twirled the stub of a pencil between his fingers occasionally touching the side of his head with the tip.
“Damn!” He exclaimed. The pencil dipped to the paper and he scratched something down.
He tapped the pencil on the paper “Fuck!” and he scratched away again.
There was a long stretch where he barely moved, and then writing quickly he mumbled, “Shit.” The other patrons stared at each outburst.
It was kind of vulgar but he always loved “cross” words.


Two Week Notice

No, I'm not quitting. Ain't gonna get on that merry-go-round again.
Two weeks til my last birthday. I'll be 39 on Aug 19th, and in the grand tradition of Jack Benny, I'll be 39 from then on. (Probably not, but it seems like a good premise to me)
The plan was that I was going to have my friends roast me for my birthday... And I may still do that, but there seems to be a concerted lack of interest among my friends to get up and do it. Ah, well. Such is life.
My second oldest nephew, Rabbit, Is coming out to TX with his lovely bride. They're going to stay in San Antone for a day or so, and with me for a while too.
This Friday, the 8th, we're having the annual August Birthday Party at B D Rileys Pub. I actually started that several years ago when I asked the owner if I could have a party and a band there. His birthday is also August as is an inordinate number of pub regular's. It became a group thing that I'm proud to still be a part of even though my personal life dictates that I don't spend a lot of time there anymore. So if you're around 6th st. ATX Friday after 5, stop by and I'll let you buy me a pint of the best Guinness in Austin.
My actual birthday is a different story. I'll sneak out of the house around daybreak just as always and spend the morning hours in solitary reflection. Jack will come along this year just as my dogs before him have, but I'm sure he'll respect my boundries. I've already picked the spot.
After around noon, I'll emerge and eat, drink and be as merry as I can. I'll tell you more about it as the time grows nearer, but feel free to come by Friday.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Just A Couple

I really don't mind being single. I never needed someone else to identify myself by. I could live without the heartbreak of becoming single, but in and of itself I don't mind. I do well by myself, but there are a few things I miss... Aside from the obvious.
I miss date night. Whether it was my ex-wife or my ex-girlfriend it was nice to go out to a new resturant and order different foods and try stuff off of each other's plates. Try to do that with one of your buddies and you're apt to lose a hand... And a buddy.
I miss holding hands at the movies. I know it's simple and silly and old fashioned, but I always enjoied the touch of another sentient being. I don't really like going to the movies alone, and try that with... Well, see above.
I miss hearing the door open, knowing that the one I care about is home, and has something to share. It may just be a stupid story about grocery shopping or something, but it doesn't matter because she's there. I hear my door open these days and I'm reaching for my sawed-off pool cue or a firearm, and Jack doesn't talk to me... He rarely even barks.
I miss cooking dinner for someone besides myself. Even if she put salt on everything before she tasted it, or only ate about half of what I made for her, it's nice to look across the table and see someone.
My house stays neat most of the time. There may be a few clothes on the floor next to the bed, mail on the table, and a dish or two in the sink but that's it. I don't seem to live there anymore. It's just where I sleep between work, the gym and the park. I went in my living room to get some CD's and there were cobwebs and a fine layer of dust on everything. I'm glad my nephew and his wife are coming for my birthday. It'll be nice to have some life in my living room.
I don't feel lonesome very often, especially not with Jack around... I just miss things somtimes.


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Winey Baby

In my quest to expand my horizons, last night I decided to hit a relatively new place here in Austin.
Everyone knows that I am a quality beer and bourbon drinker. What not many people know is that I like good wine also. I don't really know a damn thing about wine per se, but I know good wine when I try it.
So, after calling to make sure their deck was dog friendly, Jack and I stopped at Uncorked Tasting Room and Wine Bar.
With a long name like that I was expecting a pretentious place filled with urbanites of the type that make my skin crawl... And there was some of that, but I actually found myself liking the place anyway.
It's located on 7th St. east of I-35 and the back deck offers a cool view of downtown from the capitol dome to the frost bank tower.
While the clientele didn't have a lot of use for a blue heeler and his black t-shirted, blue jeaned owner, our waiter Andrew was very friendly and informative. I had no idea what to try, so I told him I like dark beer, bourbon rocks and red meat. He told me to try the Nappa Vally flight. 2oz each of a zinfandel, a syrah and a cabernet. Very tasty, especially the Educated Guess Cab.
They also have meat and cheese plates, salads and the such. Next time you're feeling urbane and pretentious, stop by and try it out. It's definitely worth the experience.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Damn It's Hot

I bet Charles Whitman thought so too.



When I awoke this morning I was looking directly into Jack's big brown eyes. He was propped up on the bed face to face with me. Too early. I put my hand over his face and shoved him down on the floor.
Now all I could see was the ass end of his body past the edge of the mattress... His little stub tail... Wag, wag, wag, stop... Wag, wag, stop. Damn, but he is too fucking cheerful and optimistic in the grey light of morning.
I, on the other hand, am not. I dragged myself out of bed and to the bathroom while Jack ran around in circles.
Today was supposed to be a gym day... Well, it won't kill me to miss one or two of those as long as I don't make it a habbit. So, I pulled on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and we went to the dog park.
It was pretty much deserted when we got there, so I grabbed a tennis ball out of the jeep while Jack peed on everything.
He has gotten a lot more focused about playing fetch over the last week or so. He also swims much better.
He really has to keep those back legs pumping to keep him up, but if there's one thing he has, it's excess energy. Two weeks ago I never would have thrown the ball in the water, because it would have stayed right there.
Now, however, he's a champ at this game. Look at my boy go.