Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Balancing my Karma

Saw this sign while waiting THREE HOURS at the doctors office today WITH A TODDLER!  We'd been roaming the halls for ever.  Up and down the stairs.  Up and down the elevator....Berlin goes "whooooa" every time!  Stopping to talk to EVERYONE.  Running across mirrored objects like strike plates and being entertained by the baby in the reflection.
That'd be Braille printed out on raised bumps.  WTH?

This was last week at the doctors.  We only had to wait an hour and a half to get in then. This is OB/GYN I keep referring to by the way (The wife is 9 months prego after all).  So this couple was really stressing in the waiting room.  Before we were called back I saw them leave out the back exit.  I'VE NEVER LEFT OUT THE BACK EXIT.  I thought it was odd, but it passed just as quickly.  Then we get called back to our room.  There on the counter, like it's a friggin' Q-Tip or something.
Dude Jerked it in our room?!?  No words, no words!

This was there too.  How is it even slightly ethical to publish this ad?
The model IS NOT a product of the plastic surgeon.
Fat women everywhere are using this as their guide to success.

I went to a place called Twin Peaks to watch a UFC fight with some friends.  This is a place (like half a dozen other restaurant chains in Austin) with a similar premise as Hooters.  Trashy girls in tight tops serving beer and crappy food.  
Their Large Draft Beer is aptly called MAN (size). 
What do they call the small?  VAG?

This one just made me laugh.  It was Superman Painting.  Honestly, how could you possibly go wrong?  He's a friggin' alien with powers beyond mortal man?  (I wish the other one came out clearer.)  It said Paiter's of Mexico.  Kinda negates the prior.  Well, maybe it doesn't.  He is still a type of alien.
I can tell you this.  He sure knows how to cut a mo'fo off.
If that's any indicator of his abilities, hire his ass.
Under the table of course.

Ummm.  No Words
Oh, here's some.  YOU WILL NEVER GET LAID.

Hopefully some levity will bring the karma back to my blog.  The last post was very sad and cranky.  Definitely needed a nap...and possibly his Batman Underroos. 

A Whine & Cheese Post

It's been a rough week.  All of the area big wigs have been in town.  I've been taking them on tours of my stores sitting through meetings and profit & loss reviews for three days straight.  These aren't bankers hours either.  Start at seven in the morning and end around ten at night.  I'm friggin' tired and feel pretty abused. 

The group of folks that were with me are basically middle aged men who all make around a quarter million a year.  They all have important jobs within my company, but nothing that a someone else from outside of our industry couldn't do better.  Very old school mentality.  My boss was present, but he doesn't actually report to any of them.  There are "dotted lines" every where in this company.  i.e. I manage several different areas of the business that technically shouldn't have anything to do with one another except that my job links them.  The people in charge of the bigger aspects of each of those (ahem, money and assets) are who I had to deal with the distinct pleasure of spending this week with. 

Basically, they have to report directly to the VP of the company so, I'm sure they have a lot of stress and anxiety in their lives.  But instead of being power houses it was more like I was at a Pinochle game with a bunch of catty bitches.  The derogatory way they spoke about my coworkers, my staff and other people in the business was jarring. 

One in particular is my old boss's boss.  He hates (yes it's a strong word, but it is accurate) my partner in crime down here.  She and I cover the same territory but she is sales where I am operations. His beef with her stems from the first encounter the two ever shared about a year ago.  He was stressed out and she in his mind was being a retard so he yelled at her after which she deliberately disobeyed him.  In reality, he was being an ass and what he was demanding was so out of left field it's laughable.  He called her boss and her bosses boss lighting them up.  He loves to tell this story....a lot.  They had a second encounter last week.  She, having an incessant need to make everyone her friend, approaches him.  Presumably pleasant conversation ensued.  However as he tells this part of the story, he (in explicit language) calls her a dumb bitch who again was disobeying him but he'd not call her on it because then he'd just be picking on her.  I was floored, these are people who SHOULD never interact with one another because of job descriptions.  Yet he tells these two tales repeatedly as if it's the biggest battle story ever told. 

I'd like to say to him that Sales and Ops will never get along.  Ops is like a cook in a restaurant and sales is like the waiter.  Both sides need each other and don't appreciate what the other does in any way shape or form.  Cooks/Ops think Waiters/Sales are idiots who don't actually DO anything.  Sales/Waiters think Ops/Cooks only create problems and intentionally screw things up.  I of course would never tell him that because no person who makes a quarter mil wants to be compared to a fry cook. 

Speaking of Fry Cooks, I'm pretty sure they get paid better than me.  But some of my locations don't make much more money than I do (it's sick, I manage people who make A TON more than me).  These catty bitches started mocking one of my stores that is run by a husband wife combo.  They were saying the couple must be in "pharmaceuticals." Because there is no way that normal humans could live on such a small amount of money.  I'm the lowest paid jack ass in the room, so maybe that's why I took it to heart.  Granted my wife does bring in an income that puts us over the couples', but still.  What the hell ivory tower do they live in that they couldn't imagine people surviving on what their employees make?  Sadly, we have other positions in the company that make considerably less.  I'm picturing a cheesy 80's "I want to join the country club but we just don't fit in with all that puffery" moment but can't place the show. 

These and other similar immature tangents were thrown around this week that just really got OLD quickly.  What amazed me was how they kept saying "great review" yet every chance they could they'd backhandedly say that everything that's wrong with my territory is my fault.  I'd explain how decisions our company made sweepingly worked poorly in this area (and noticeably EVERYWHERE ELSE).  To which they'd reply I just didn't put the right people in charge to make it work.  You know, the whole turn shit into gold dilemma most middle managers find themselves in. 

Wow, I did not intend to turn this into a whine and cheese post, but look what just happened.  I think that I'll pull up some of the funny photos of the week to help balance this out.  Look for it later tonight. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Romantic Comedies

My wife chose Leap Year for us to watch tonight.  Admittedly, Amy Adams looks hot in a pair of heels.  It was also not unendurable.  But I want to know why EVERY romantic comedy forces the same story arc. 

- Start of Flick:

Female Character: Cute, Witty, Sometimes Helpless, Hates the primary male character. Typically she is involved with another male in the flick.  Drama begins with the other male with in 15 minutes of character development. 

Primary Male: General Rapscallion.  Highly irritated by the Female.  Devastatingly handsome and charming but with a bad boy air about him.  Secretly has something the female wants besides his throbbing member.

- About 20 minutes into the film we discover the plot twist that throws the Female Character and Primary Male into a desperate situation together.  This can be travel companion, coworker, or random stranger roped into a tall tale to exit a sticky situation.

Female Character: Begins to find the Primary Male attractive.  Reveals independent spirit and vulnerability.  Accidentally makes a pass at the Primary Male under duress.

Primary Male: After receiving a pass and later being dejected, creates drama between he and the Female.

- If the Female's best friends are integral characters, they step in for the rescue.  If the best friends are non existent, a hilarious situation will arise to reveal the stupidity the Female has represented. 

Female Character: Now hates the male but cannot contain her inner feelings and will have sex with the Primary Male.

Primary Male: Reveals superiority over the situation presented and SCORES!

-  Time for a twist.  

The female character remembers the purpose of the quest that linked her and the Primary Male together to begin with.  New found determination is discovered.

Primary Male is now over the Female or now more determined than ever to show superiority over the "other male."

- Climax.

Now's the time when the sentimental moments of the film are displayed in grandiose fashion.

Female Character: Thanks the Primary Male for assistance or whatever to reconvene with "other male."

Primary Male: Reveals biggest twist that shows his sensitive side, thus winning over the Female just before her grand exit. Alas, he's too late because a preordained plot keeps them from re-fulfilling the bond earlier revealed.

- Down Slide

Female Character: Shows a tinge or regret after sending Primary Male on his way, "other male now present."

Primary Male: Snubbed by "Other Male" leaves to return to ordinary life with overwhelming regret that he let THE ONE slip away. 

- Ultimate Aw

Female Character: Entirely hung up on self and in the moment of the love from "other male."

Primary Male: Returns a scene later to steal the Female away from the "other male" in the clutch. 

-Tears abound from every female viewer.  Men across the world throw up a little in their mouths.  Pure Romantic Dialog Ensues.  Kisses and Happily Ever After Moments Abound. 

Remarkably every romantic comedy I can think of at this moment uses the reverse sexes from my scenario like My Best Friend's Wedding, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Forces of Nature.  All still barftastic, so I'm not worried that I came up short on this one.  (Sadly, that's what she said!) 

Cheers to love, really.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why I Quit Chili's

My Brother-in-Law joined the Army Reserves and has been in Officer Medic Training in San Antonio for the past few months.  Every other weekend, we've been able to pick him and a buddy up and hit the town.  You know, get them off base and just have fun with us lowly civilians.  They are the "Old Married Men" in their squadron.  So instead of going out with the rest of the 19-year-olds and getting drunk and trying to get laid, they hang out with my family.  Their wives should be proud...seriously.

So on the drive back to base, B-i-L (funny enough, as I was typing that acronym, I realized it is also his real name so it doesn't matter.) ... So Bill and I were swapping "Quittin' Crap Jobs" stories.  I decided one of mine was a great one to share with you wonderful people.

Before I proceed, I need to forewarn you that there are things below that would be interpreted (and probably rightfully so) as racist.  IT IS NOT THE POINT OF THE STORY, but it is integral. 

I worked at Chili's as a waiter for a few months.  This particular one was designed with the old look.  Meaning it had no tables, only booths.  This was great in theory, because 95% of people who walk up to the hostess stand request a booth, or if you try to sit them at a table table, they will point at the first available booth they see and say "can we have the booth?"  The catch? Fat people and large parties were a problem.  So fat people got special placement at a handful of half booth half table and chair set ups.  There's one problem down.  So parties of 6 or more were screwed.  They automatically got split up.  Yeah I know, way to plan ahead Chili's.

The story.  I was working the short shift.  Come in late and leave early.  This was ideal if you wanted to party later on and I did.  I typically closed (meaning stayed til after everyone was gone making sure the place is ready for the morning).  I was stoked at the idea of an actual night out with cash in pocket.  (Yes, I just used stoked as a real term, bite me, I grew up in the 90's)  I arrived and they told me I had the 6 booths along the back side of the bar.  They also told me I had a party of 30 coming in in 20 minutes.  OK, so 6 booths designed for 4 people are supposed to fit 30 how?  Oh great, I get to cap the end of each booth with a chair.  This left me with roughly 6 inches to work with once bodies were in chairs to go up and down the aisle.  I was thin back then, but still!  I can survive this I thought.  Hopefully they just put the skinny people on the outside.

Then the party arrived. 

Before I go any further (I know, two warnings in one post, you're really in for it...or maybe I am.  Oh whatever) let me let you in on some insider secrets. 

1.) When you arrive at a restaurant and you have a party of 2, the staff will refer to it as a two top.  Party of 4, a four top and so forth. 

2.) There are some guests you DO NOT want at your table. 
  a.) Children (anyone under 21) without adults present.  They simply do not tip and soda refills will run you ragged.  Oh and they never order a real meal, the girl always does the "I'm watching my figure, I just have a salad" thing and the guy is like "I can't afford a salad! that cow!, I'll just have the cheapest thing I can find."

*Please don't forget waiters are in it for the money, kinda like a Neiman Marcus sales/stalker lady. 

  b.) Europeans were AWFUL.  Their waiters are paid a wage and the tip is built in.  Hello, you're across the friggin' pond.  Add a tip!  We got paid $2.13/hour (and this is the 21st century I'm writing about).
  c.) Separate check business women at lunch SUCK too! They are ungrateful, ugly (personality, not necessarily looks) and will all try to top the last one ordering by choosing a lower calorie entree.  I always started with the fat chick of the group, she'd at least do a soda, diet of course, and a sandwich.  If you started with the "water with EXTRA LEMON and a side salad with dressing ON THE SIDE" chick, you were screwed.  Then they'll all pay in $20's so you piss your bartender off by needing 4 twenties broken down on the first round of guests.  It was at the point they break out the calculators to figure 15% of $5.45 that you'd wish they could see their own insanity!

Wow, I forgot how many people used to irritate me when I wore an apron for a living. 

  d.) One of the worst were Canadians.  I know, what the hell did the Kanuks ever do to you Dorn?  Nothing actually.  Canadians is the "secret" code for a table full of African Americans.  (Gasp, Shield your eyes, chastise me.  Go ahead do it, but I will not apologize for being apart of an entire subculture of America.  Waiters that is.  What they deal with is unbelievable when you really stop to think about it.) So back to the whole two top, four top comment above.  It would be WAY to obvious to just call it a black top, so some one decades ago dubbed them Canadians and it has been restaurant verbiage ever since.  (Oh and in case the thought crossed your good friends who were both waiters AND African Americans felt the same way I did.) I'll not go into the details of why they are singled out, but you'll probably pick up on the stereotypes as you/if you continue to read.
        *The exception to this rule was if they were all female and I let my {nonexistent} Southern Drawl come out and flirt more than a little bit.  Brown Sugars LOVES thems some red head!  I worked any angle I could!

Back to my party who has just arrived (yes there was a story amidst the derogatory comments above).  They were Canadians.  HOLY CRAP!  They lined my booths young and old skinny and large (the larger ones of course took the outside chairs because that's Karma for you....the above came thoughts came back around to bite me big time here and what unfolds as the evening ensues). 

Things start out great, bar drinks for the adults and soda, lemonade or tea for everyone else.  At least one appetizer hit every table, sometimes more.  Hennessey, Pina Coladas, Amaretto Sours, Beer, and everything in between.  I was in for a decent chunk of change and was more than happy about it.  I weaved in and out of the microscopic aisle and everyone was happy and everything was going as planned.  I brought out all the food with the help of 5 other waiters.  We dropped the whole party at the same time because Chili's is actually great at maintaining food quality and preparation time during any size rush. 

Then comes the first crack in the dam.  One lady sent her ribs back because the mashed potatoes were cold (steam was still rising off them).  Then her friend across the table said her chicken strips were cold (Seriously? It's fried, those effers will scald you 20 minutes after you've had them!).  Then the table behind them sent back all of the kid's food because the fries were seasoned (Are you kidding me? No pun intended).  As the dam continued to crack over half of the party had sent back the food for inane reasons.  Great.  They of course wanted to see my manager.  The assistant manager and the general manager both came out to talk to the group.  They convinced my managers that the every person in the kitchen had screwed up in some way. 

The managers decided to take the meals off every single ticket.  This took my $400+ ticket down to a hundred some odd dollars.  We redelivered every single plate back to them with adjustments as "necessary."  Dessert was unwanted.  I split the orders into 10 or so bills.  As I delivered them, a 30 person murmur quickly grew into a couple of men yelling at me.  "Your manager said this was all going to be taken off the bill."  I replied that we took off every single meal.  But appetizers that were eaten and bar drinks still had to be paid for.  There was no complaint about any of it.  They had no leg to stand on, so they begrudgingly paid.  The kicker?  Chili's DOES NOT add gratuity like normal restaurants do for larger parties.  I literally got to keep the coin change from these tabs.

When it was all said and done I'd made roughly $11.  Well that sucked!  I go back to the manager to complain about the whole turn of events.  As an aside (like there haven't been half a million already) later in life as a manager of a much more prestigious restaurant, I  ran into a couple situations like this.  I comped off a few items after the fact so the waiter could leave with some money even though dignity had long left.  She informed me that it was the luck of the draw and I should be grateful they'd trust me with large parties to begin with.  (Chili's is a churn and burn business, large parties ALWAYS suck because they take up tables and don't eat and leave quickly like normal 2 and 4 tops!)  And then to ad insult to injury, she let me know I would still owe tip out on the total amount.  *Tip out is a percentage of sales a waiter owes back to the bus boys, food expediter (garnish plates and put on trays in order), and the bar. 

Tip out on $400 (because that's the ticket price regardless of additional discounts {remember that next time you dine with a coupon} is $12.  3%, one for each staff member who "assisted" you that evening.  I made $11 and I owe $12?  I don't think so.  I'm not going to PAY to work!  When I protested, the manager said, what's the big deal?  It's only a dollar?  To which I said the big deal is if I had called in to work tonight, I wouldn't owe any money and would be far happier and my soul wouldn't be annihilated!  She proceeded to tell me I would pay or they'd write me up for theft which would most likely result in my firing.  I laughed.  Handed her my apron and walked out the door. 

I certainly don't regret maintaining my dignity.  I just wish I'd left the restaurant industry altogether sooner than I did.  So for all of you out there who never paid their dues as a lowly service industry slave, know that these folks deserve a great deal of respect that they rarely receive.  Most importantly, ALWAYS TIP!  And never below 15% and never below one dollar!  If you can't afford the tip, go to a cheaper restaurant.  If you can't behave yourself, don't go out!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Redneck Creativity On Sale Now at a Store Near You

Ran across a couple random shopping oddities this week.  I say oddities, because the are really weird to me and they're displayed in the store like it's no big thing.  These are both redneck inspired fo sho! 

Fathers' Day Gifts.  OK, so Mother's get flowers and various other pretty items like jewelery, perfume, lobster dinners, etc.  Mother's Day cards are full of sacchariney mushy blah blah blah.  Father's Day cards thank Dad for not killing the kids accidentally on fishing trips or intentionally when they interrupt Monday Night Football.   We all know Dad doesn't give a shit, right?  So what's a Dad really want?  Beer and junk food.  While I'll admit, it is not that far fetched, I've not really seen it packaged and displayed and with it's own coupon!

These are wrapped up like wedding baskets that should include things like smoked salmon and champagne. Notice these are located in the floral department of our local H.E.B. Grocery store. 

First, loose the basket.  Grab me a cooler.
Better yet, grab me a sixer.
 Why not just tie a ribbon around the 7-11 bag?
Now this is from the Mom who's hoping
to get Dad hopped up on Red Bull,
Corn Nuts, wait, Store Brand Chips? WTH?
Dad's not even worth springing for the Doritos?

So you know the saying "if Duct Tape can't fix it, you haven't used enough?"  No? Well then you obviously grew up wealthier than I did.  We were picking up some stuff to hang frames at the local Michael's craft store.  I ran across this.  As an aside, I know Duck Tape is the brand name, so it isn't the promotion's stupidity stating Duck instead of Duct. Duck Tape brand Duct Tape, thank you for helping dumb down of the nation, one step at a time.

Yes folks, that would be fashion made from Duct Tape.
 Holy crap, this has been going on for 10 years?
The wallet was pretty cool.
Those are two belts they also used an expamles.
That'd be a fully functional purse.
I guess it's sorta like pleather.

Seriously, I had no idea this crap existed.  Well, Duct Tape, yes.  Duct Tape fashion, no.   Looking at the images on the posters though, people can do damn near anything really.  They look like Halloween costumes, but impressive detail nonetheless.  Oh and a $3000 scholarship, you bet my dorky ass would have participated.

Rock on Rednecks.  Keep the creativity flowing.  And I'll bet you thought you were going to see a bunch of images from There I Fixed It Dot Com.  Which by the way is just as funny as People Of Wal-Mart Dot Com.  You know, just in case you wanted to waste some more quality time with funny interwebs crap.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Guest Blogger - Mike Blas from Black Queen Speaks

A very good friend of mine is the lead singer in a band called Black Queen Speaks.  I've plugged them before and if you haven't had the distinct pleasure of seeing them live, I highly recommend you do.  I mean it, book the first available flight to Houston, TX and post up til their next show.  Your face will be rocked the eff off! And in case there is ANY confusion there, "Rocking Your Face Off" is a good thing.

Here is some more gratuitous plugging:

Website CLICK!
Twitter FOLLOW!
Facebook LIKE!
Myspace FRIEND! (does anyone still use this sad little engine that could do no wrong for soooo long?)

So Mike wants to start a blog.  He would like it to be linked to Black Queen Speaks but is having trouble reconciling the band agenda with the more free-form blogging world.  One fear is that blogging specifically about BQS, while it would be pertinent and interesting, would have a limited audience ultimately.  Another is that if they don't remain on point, it could muddy the waters of the brand they are steadily creating/promoting.  I recommended he do his own because the man seriously has great thoughts and ideas in that head of his and they are worth sharing. 

So I asked if I could post one of his recent writing sessions.  This particular one is the second he sent to me.  The story is sad and harrowing while infused with his quirky humor and charm.  I hope you enjoy his tale and be forewarned, Mike is much more a bleeding heart than myself. So his vibe should be entirely more endearing than some many of my posts.  Hope you enjoy and please give feed back and/or advice to Mike in the comments, I'll definitely pass them along to him.

Without further ado:
The Dog
So about 5 or 6 months ago a little tiny 25 lb girl pit bull came into my yard and just wanted to play with me.  I tried to find an owner but nobody on my block belonged to her.  I put her in the yard and closed the crapola-sorta gate...and went out.  When I got back she was gone.  "Ah," I thought, "she probably just went home."

Fast forward now, to a few days ago.

She shows up on my porch, broke into the cat food, and she's got company now. He was a super cool looking kind of big-brindled German Shepherd.  Skinny, real skinny, like crack skinny.  "Oh, why is he licking her..."

She was in heat.

I didn't yell at them.  They drank water out of the cat's bowl.  I didn't tell them to leave.  I just couldn't.  So I just go inside and assume they'll go away.  But they don't.  They totally bivouacked in my yard.  I get up and go to work and they're still there.  I feed the cats and fill the water dish outside.  I was {ahem}working from home, doing paperwork that didn't necessitate me...wearing pants.  I look outside, there's another one.  He's a pit bull.  A giant ripped,, he's not ripped.  He's just Skeletor emaciated thin and old.  Oh my God.

He was trying to hump everybody.

Lumbering dangerously, giving no thought at all to whoever could be in heat or was actually in heat, he tackled them both repeatedly.  They just weren't really trying to avoid him and he was almost collapsing his huge body against them.  It was gettin gdramatic and I could not let it go on.  I grabbed Little Miss Giant Vagina and put her inside.  I have tile and hardwood floors.  Who really cares at that point?

I go back outside.

Walking to the hose I turn it on.  German Shepherd has taken to sleeping under the porch.  It's hot as the hell of somebody nasty's balls down there.  Smirking to myself, the hose was positioned right over where he's sleeping.  He gets a little wet before he snake-crawls out again and takes off.  Grandfather of the first pit follows suit.

They came back 10 minutes later.

I'm feeling all freaking protective and I grab a broom.  Sheppy's gone in a flash.  A stiff word to him sends him running quick.  He's a good-looking dog.  Grandpa doesn't move.  He's got that big abused pit trait where he doesn't look at you like you're anything.  He's hard, hard as a fucking rock.  Aren't we supposed to own our property?  Should I let a dog actually stay in my yard when he's not *my* dog?

I took a broom and jabbed him with it.

It wasn't very hard.  I thought the dumb asshole would just make like Shep and split.  He didn't move.  He really couldn't.  He was on the porch and since his nails were like 3 inches long, thick and curling around, he couldn't walk much on the porch.  I poked him again. {grrrr}. I'm an asshole.  I poked him again.  .  This thing is older and more messed up than I'd ever seen any dog; mangy, ribs defining his torso, arthritic...

But he's big.

I was new to this guy and wasn't sure of his lunging capabilities.  He looked like he could bite.  BUT HE GROWLED AT ME IN MY OWN YARD.  Walking to the end of the porch I picked up a big, metal, heavy chair and hold it like a lion tamer.  I take that back.  It was like my Spartan shield.  I used the broom like a spear/half-of-an-American-Gladiator's-staff.  Backing out of the yard, he trundled away.

To clarify,

I didn't hit Grandpa Dog with a chair.  I kinda bulldozed him trying to not actually touch him for fear that he would kill me.  That's done.  I'm dressed by now and I got places to go.  I head out and come back around 5:30.  Nobody's there except Shep.  I calmly open the door and they have a reunion.

"Get out of here!"  I yelled.

They took off, playing with each other.  I closed the crap-gate again.  "Maybe they wouldn't come back?"  I settled into playing video games for hours until I hear a dog yelp in pain.  And then Paulie, my neighbor, was home and said,

"Damn, Mike, there's a pack of dogs outside."

I go outside and there is a freaking pack of dogs outside.  Some with collars, some without, but they are all doing some kind of pre-funk before the dog orgy.  There was a white one.  Think skinny wiry "The Shaggy Dog."  Hovering near and attacking anyone who came closed to the lady of the night was a stocky but quick Chow mix.  Shep was kinda just walking around everybody in a circle.  Gramps was trying to hump people but everyone was way to fast.

Most importantly, they were surrounding a young lady, human this time, by the name of Jenni.

She was on her cell phone talking to someone.  "What do you think I should do?" "Do you think I should bring it home?"  "Maybe I can get Dad to take her, just until I find a pit bull rescue."  "She's so sweet."  We introduced ourselves, told the above story .  She kept calling people.  Everybody told her, "Don't take it home." "Don't take it home."  She's got a dog, she tells us.  Her dog might freak with another dog, much less a pit bull.

"I have to do something." she said.

"I know there are pit bull rescues." "I can't take her to (undisclosed lost dog agency) because they kill pits no matter what." "She's so sweet."  The pit had those big doe-y eyes.  Like Bambi eyes.  She was tiny.  Surely she couldn't be a monster.  Chow-Chow started bumping Miss Humpstress afer he had asserted his dominance over the other dogs.  It was strangely like the guys in Night at the Roxbury.  She was looking tired.  Lying down on the long, unkempt grass on the corner she went completely submissive on her side.

"I'll watch her," I said.

"I'll watch her if you find her a place to live."  She agrees.  We exchange contact information and she left.  I take "Daisy," as I've just decided to call her, inside.  All's well, I set up a spot for her, close up the house and fall asleep.  I wake up sporadically during the night to hear dogs barking outside.  At one point I hear a dog screaming in pain for about 5 seconds.  I run outside but there aren't any dogs on the street.  I can still hear them barking from all directions.

Shep got mauled.

He was looking okay until I noticed dirt clumps on his neck.  I call him over, he trusts me just enough.  His neck and the other side of his face have patches of fur missing where his skin was torn.  I made him sit still while I put some Neosporin on it.  It came into my mind.  His name's Cooper.

Jenni threw down, on Facebook and the rescue research.

Before the end of the day she had contacted every shelter in Houston, sent a note to friends an I go to bed pretty confident.  The next day around 5 pm she posted that "Lady Raw Raw," horrible name, had been adopted.  Her name is Daisy.  LOL.  She calls me and lets me know that Daisy had a spay appointment the next morning and that she would take her tonight.  Tons of Jenni's friends committed to donating the money.


I drop off Daisy at Winter Street Studios where Jenni works.  I go home.  I had to sneak Daisy out when I took her.  Cooper, Grandpa and Shaggy will follow us if they see us go.  "Now that I'm back," I thought, "what am I going to do with this dog food?"  I took Daisy's chew-toy-bone out and give it to Cooper.  He takes it and comes back five minutes later.  I pet him.  Grandpa is laying in the dirt in the driveway.

Fuck it.

I grab the cats spare water dish, my old dog's old food bowl.  Filled to the brim I put it down in front of Cooper.  I place my hand on his head and he closes his eyes while I slowly scratch him.  These dogs have fleas, ticks, mange...I don't care.  HE soaked up that love like the Sahara.  I know that feeling the love is more than food and water.  I understand how hope and faith in love can be lost.  I can't save everything but I'm going to save this guy.

And then I look at Gramps.

He's still scary with his vacant eyes.  I walk over to him with a handful of food.  I place it on the ground in front of him.  He sniffs.  He takes a bite.  he immediately stops eating and his eyes literally changed.  They went all doe-y, just like Daisy's.  He limps over to me and puts his face right up to mine and licks my ear.  I start petting him.  His skin is the worst.  I still haven't touched his butt, it's beyond mangy.  But I'll scratch the shit out of his head.  And his shoulders.  I'll rub his ribs.

It's been two days and one of my neighbors was starting to get annoyed.  I mowed his lawn for him today and somehow I think that'll buy me some more time with my refugees.  Shaggy is the biggest lover of all.  He's definitely the weirdest but I don't see why he can't be in a good home.  As soon as I touched him he wouldn't let me out of his sight.

I named Gramps, "Joe," but only Tim Cummings will think that is funny.

My name's Mike Blas and I am the vocalist in Black Queen Speaks.

Anybody need a dog?  I got three and I'll even neuter them for you.  I'll probably put Joe to sleep.  Anybody know how to get a giant pit-bull that will bite to the vet?

I can't call the doggy cops on him.  I don't want his last moment to be harsh.

Friend my band on Facebook and let me know.  I can do the dog stuff.  It's the bureaucracy that messes with me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Children's Book Review - A Beautiful Princess

So my extracurricular reading has been entirely reduced to internet news sites, blogs and children's books.  My 19-month-old daughter has a large bucket of books in the living room.  Mom and Dad have to read nearly all of them at least 10 times daily.  This is her favorite activity.  While it drives me nuts and on many occasions I try to distract her with ANY other activity, I have a hard time discouraging it.  Admittedly, I hide certain books because I'm tired of them and she also tends to tear specific books up with regularity.  (The Your Baby Can Read flip books have more scotch tape per book than 2 years worth of Christmas Presents)

I once thought it would be great to write books for children.  I mean, seriously, they are super simple.  And frankly my ability, er lack thereof, to flesh out a story into a full novel has proven to be ineffective.  But I'm realizing that unless you're already famous (i.e. Madonna) your chances of making it to publication is slim.  A few exceptions exist, but it seems most children's books are published and created greeting card style.  Yes there is an author, but they're not really the famous one.  The publisher or line of books is what you're purchasing.

So fine, very simplistic, appeal to children with color and texture, very little thought.  Every once and a while, I run across one that is just BAD!  I've already lowered my expectations, but sometimes the publisher's standards just take a nose dive.  Many books that are kiddified versions of normal stories are the worst.  (i.e. The Ugly Duckling, Noah's Ark, Goldilocks & the Three Bears)  They've stripped the story down to the basic essentials.  Some times to the point that it becomes a horrendous caricature of itself.  

My Mother gave us a TON of books and I'm so grateful for them.  Frankly, this crap gets expensive quickly.  Especially at the rate kids plow through toys and "reading material."  The book, A Beautiful Princess from the Princess Glitter line published by Paradise Press, is one Mom got from a thrift store or church garage sale or something similar.  Alright, obviously it's the glitter (as the back cover states) that is the main appeal, not the plot.  So I shouldn't really hold it against the classic works of children's literature from yesteryear.  Alas, what I'm reading is the plot.  It's hard to separate the two.  So my biggest critique on this book is the underlying message it is putting out to the world and more importantly, my daughter. 

Basic gist is that Princess Isabel is gorgeous and she and everyone knows it.  She goes to a ball.  Because everyone is intimidated by her extreme beauty, no one will ask her to dance.  A prince from a foreign land is the only one with the cojones to ask her.  She's of course taken by him and dances.  He tells her that because she is beautiful he can see that she's also a good person inside.  (yes you read that right)  They danced all night and hope to do it more in the future. (amazingly, happily ever after was even a stretch for this book)

So lemme get this straight, the premise of the story is pity the pretty princess for she carries a HUGE burden of beauty?  Cosmo or Matel at the very least has to have a hand in this. The only person at the ball who can see past the beauty and find SOMETHING appealing isn't even from the same country?  Isn't beauty between cultures typically skewed?  So should I read into this that men only seek ugly girls and the foreigner obviously thinks the princess is REALLY ugly, right?  And the moral of the story is that inner beauty only shines through if your external beauty is blinding?  Oh and commitment is only for many dances in the future, not marriage and children.  Well I guess that's a better approach in the long run.  Girls don't need to be deluded by love at first sight and happily ever after any way.  Shesh, the publishers were already so shallow, why not go in for the kill?

So why not do the logical thing and just get rid of the book?  Because she's too young to understand the concepts just yet.  Also it's one of her favorites cause it's pretty and she calls all the girls mommy and all the boys daddy.  Kinda cute, so it'll have a few more months of life.

Here's the book with my color commentary.  I apologize that my scanner left little lines on the pages, no joke that piece of equipment is 12 years old. You can click the images to enlarge them.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Anti-Rape Female Condom

Flipping through CNN stories today I ran across one that literally turned my stomach.  A woman has invented a female condom that contains rows of teeth-like-hooks that clamp down on a man's junk.  This is intended to be used as a deterrent for rape.

It's called Rape-aXe.

Apparently, in South Africa more than any other country rape is highly prevalent in society.  Women live in fear at all times.  She planned to have 30,000 devices distributed during the World Cup games. 

Basically a woman inserts it like a tampon.  Once up there if she is attacked, the thing will clamp down around a man.  It will debilitate him.  If he struggles to remove it, it will become tighter.  A doctor has to remove it, presumably with police on hand to arrest him afterward.

HOLY CRAP, THAT'S HORRIFYING TO IMAGINE. I am a man and therefore am of course referring to the penile mutilation.  The doctor says it doesn't break the skin, so there isn't a chance of bodily fluid exchange during this maneuver. Deserving or not, that's gut wrenching!

Rape is one of the most vile and horrific acts committed.  Do not misunderstand me here, a deterrent is justifiable.  Rapists should be punished well beyond what they are.  The psychological damage to the victim is irreparable. 

So why does it sound like I have a but?  Because I do.  The doctor plans to make them available for $2. 

If these things make it to the western world, ie the USA, this could have some very bad results.  I'm considering one particular instance that undermines the intention of this device.  A psycho girl who is really pissed off at her boyfriend putting one of those in and allowing him to have sex with her.  That would be an assault that would have the exact affects on the man as it would for a rape victim. 

My solution(s)?  Make Mace or Pepper Spray available and affordable for all women?  Teach women self defense in elementary and high school.  Educate boys on their responsibility as humans so they grow up better people.  Real conversations about sex with youths are nonexistent.  The false concepts men and women grow up with about sex are wildly off base.  I think open and honest discussions could go along way to deterring deviant behavior before it manifests itself. 

The biggest but is that with this device, WOMEN STILL GET RAPED.  They just get instant justice.  Arm women with confidence, education and training to fight back and help prevent the rape, not just set a trap once the act has taken place.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there!  I'm going to take a moment to show off my own family.  My wife and I have a beautiful 19-month-old Daughter and any day now we will have a son too.  Here are some photos from a recent photo session with our friend Kat from Mustard Seed Photography.  She did a great job and if you're in the San Antonio area, check her out!

The Family
The Wife
My Little Girl
My Son

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'm Proud to be American

We watched Invictus this weekend.  It got me thinking about a few things.  First, American Football is for pussies.  Rugby uses no pads and is practically an all out brawl versus the ballet that is Monday Night Football.  Second, I'm really glad I've been paying attention to the FIFA World Cup stadiums in South Africa.  It was actually really helpful in following the locations of this movie.  Third, and the point of my post today, was National Unity and Pride in Country Mandela created in South Africa.  

I get people who want to live and work in a foreign country.  I understand why people would want to come over here.  I can see why people would want to become citizens of our nation.  I've even considered living abroad on several occasions.  I met my wife right after she returned from living in Germany during her last two years of college.  So obviously she does too.  But as it stands, I'd never give up my citizenship.  I love being an American.

I am not about to discuss the Arizona laws of late.  I am not going to tell immigrants to go home.  I am not that kind of person.  America was built upon influxes of people from foreign countries.  America IS a melting pot.  We are a better nation for it too.  The influence of other cultures and ideas working together has created a nation that is diverse AND united.  I do want to talk about illegal immigration though. I might offend some people with the rest of this post.  If you're highly sensitive to the immigration topic, please read my final line before you go too much further.

I live in Texas.  Over half my friends and coworkers are of Hispanic decent.  The rest of us are a mixture of everything else.  That's the face of this state too.   And that's the way it should be too.  Texas is on the border of Mexico.  Immigrants have many points of entry in to the country.  International Airports and the two GIGANTIC borders to the North and South. 

People in the country illegally doesn't mean they shouldn't be here.  It means they aren't supposed to be here with out proper paperwork.  America welcomes people to immigrate into this country.  But just like my birth certificate, you need something that says you can be here.  You don't have to become a citizen.  Just have a work visa.  Just have a study visa.  Hell, just have a visitor's visa.  If I go anywhere else in the world, I have to get a visa to be there.  You know that little stamp you get in your passport when you go through customs?  That's a visa.  A visitors visa, but a visa none the less.

I could rant about how people just need to follow the rules, but that's obviously a moot point and one that holds no weight to folks who are already breaking them.  But I'd like to appeal to fellow Americans' pride in their nationality.

Like I said, I'm proud to be an American.  I assume you are too even if, like me, you don't have the American flag draped on your shoulders as you sing Star Spangled Banner whilst Bald Eagles circle the Statue of Liberty replica you've installed in your front lawn. 

So here's my problem.  If we just ignore the issue or if we make a sweeping decision to make all illegals currently in the country nationalized citizens, what are we really saying?  To me basically we're saying it means NOTHING to be American.  My birth certificate might as well be a receipt or bill from the hospital.  Those who have chosen to immigrate to this country and become naturalized citizens did it all for naught.

I was born in this great country.  My ancestors (some only two generations ago) proudly became Americans.  Millions of people might as well be nomads.  A few of my Hispanic friends have argued that I'll never know what it's like to have to prove your citizenship.  They are right.  I'm white and frankly the thought that I might be Canadian here illegally is less likely to be on an INS/DHS officers mind  than if my friends are Mexicans here illegally.  I think they should be more upset by the whole thing than anyone.  Especially those who have become citizens.  They've got something that they've worked for and appreciate.  Someone else is trying to mooch it for nothing.  

To my fellow Americans this is the time to be Patriotic.  Is being an American worth so little that we should LITERALLY just give it away for free?  

If I have offended you with this post, please take a moment to consider what I'm actually saying.  I don't think everyone should be kicked out.  I simply think people should appreciate what the USA has to offer and acknowledge that it is worth SOMETHING.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Billy Bush is now following you on Twitter!

I know I'm a tard for getting excited about this. 

But Billy Bush is following me on Twitter!
This is W's Brother!
I mean come on...that's a Power Family!

And I thought it was cool having Rachel de Azevedo Coleman (Signing Time Host) start following me! 

I'm not sure why he would though.  My tweets of late have been heavy on the World Cup.  I dissed Joy Behar today, maybe that sparked it.  Rivalry? 

And the US tied Slovenia today.  I'm enjoying this Friday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spin Is In

Yesterday I saw a news video air a few times where a cop is trying to arrest a woman and another woman starts attacking him.  He straight punches her in the face and starts trying to arrest her too.

Last night the local Fox station's Lorianna Hernandez plugs an upcoming story as "A police officer punches a woman in the face during a routine traffic stop."

Here's the deal, that's like saying "Tragically, over seven thousand people died yesterday!" 

Technically it's true.  The death rate in the United States is 8.38/1000.  Of our population over 7,000 people die on average each day (by natural and unnatural means).  If you care to fact check me, go for it, I promise I did my best to use my math skills for that analogy, but am not guaranteeing my accuracy. 

What they fail focus on is the fact that it is ILLEGAL to assault a police officer.  I'm not justifying the cop's actions as far as using a fist.  I do think this was an appropriate time to use a taser. 

Austin isn't alone in spinning this story as bad police work and hailing the innocence of a criminal.  I just get tired of hearing the police get bashed every chance the news gets.  Every time a taser is used it becomes a news story for the excessive force by police.  Hell, more than a dozen times since I've lived here a criminal has shot at police (WITH A GUN!) and the police shot back.  Each time the cops are the ones vilified on the news. 

Back to this though:

The whole time in the background
someone filming keeps repeating
"Are you serious?"

This chick was fighting with the cop to make him let her friend go.  Her crazy ass needed to be removed from this equation.  Would a punch have been my first choice,?  Probably.  Should it have been his? Probably not.  Would this have hit the news if he had pulled out his billy club?  Absolutely.  Would it have made the news had he used a taser? Definitely. 

So what should he have done?  According to Austin residents they should have let the jaywalking incident go.  It's such a minor crime, it shouldn't even be enforced.  Therefore the law is actually the problem, not the person who breaks it.  So basically anarchy is the only acceptable answer right? 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Annoying Sounds

CNN posted a list of the 10 most annoying sounds. This was sparked by the constant deafening buzz created by the South African vuvuzela.  This is a plastic horn the fans blow during soccer matches.  I remember hearing it when South Africa played in the last world cup.  I remember the announcers talking about how annoying they were as well as how it's the tradition form South Africa.

Lots of people on twitter have been commenting including Lance Armstrong who asked what the heck it was.  I one of the many who let him in on the secret.  (yes, I'm a dork, not for following him on twitter, but for actually responding to him like it mattered) To which he posted "No offense to the vuvuzela posse but, man, it's a bit much." Agreed!

So, in every sport there are annoying fans.  In soccer, there definitely are.  Does that mean they should have to stop?  Not in my humble opinion.  The freaking coasters the UK throws onto the field are equally annoying.  You're intentionally trying to make someone fall and littering at the same time.  Eat it!

So here's the CNN list broken down:

10.) Jim Carrey doing the "most annoying sound in the world" from Dumb and Dumber.  - shocking this made the list right?  The comedy writer for CNN only had to Google the phrase "Most annoying sound" for that to pop up.  Good to know research pays off.

9.) Cicadas.  OMFG yes!  These things are creepy as hell too, living below the ground for 17 years before crawling up a tree to scream the rest of their life. The Latin translation for cicada is buzzer.  Nuff Said.

8.) Snoring.  I'm surprised this made it's entry so far down on the list.  I'm a really loud snorer normally, but when I've been drinking, god help you.  After a huge party a few of us passed out on the couch and the next morning they had piles of firewood at our feet. Literally sawing logs. 

7.) The Hum.  I'll be honest, until that video I'd never heard of this.  Apparently it's a low, loud vibration that Taos, NM; Bristol, England; and Australia have to deal with.  It would probably drive a person nuts to be around it all the time. 

6.) Dial Up Modems.  While I agree that is astoundingly annoying, they're nearly extinct, so maybe they don't deserve to be here.

5.) Car Alarms. Hmm, I guess when they aren't shut off, I can see it.  When my daughter finds the pretty red button on my keys it can be quite jarring. I think maybe I'm just used to them. 

4.) Nails on the Chalkboard.  Gotta say, I know I'm really weird here but this sound doesn't irritate me as much as others seem to be affected.  I remember girls in class practically doubling over in pain at the sound.  To quote Lance, "It's a bit much."

3.) Gilbert Gottfried.  Could have thrown Fran Drescher in here too!  I grew up with him on USA Up All Night.  I buzzed through his filmography and was floored.  All the annoying voices in cartoons throughout the years plus the Aflac duck were actually him.  I always assumed it was just some actor playing with their voice.  Incredible...also super sad just how much of his career I've followed/seen.

2.) Emergency Broadcast System.  Yep.

1.) Vuvuzela.  Really, this made it in at number 1?  Fine Mr. Joseph Lin, make your point relevant.  Still not the worst. 

Ones that I would have no particular order:

a.) Cellphone/Police Siren noises in Pop Music.  Seriously, my heart skips a beat each time.  I grab my phone or search frantically in rear view mirror. Ought to throw J-Lo's song with the Trumpet (Get Right) in with this.

b.) Transition from TV or Movie to Commercial.  Commercials are allowed to air anywhere within the range of volume the TV show or Movie they are during runs.  The problem here is that the explosion or gun shot lasting one second during the show might be at 100 decibels but your effing commercial is 30 seconds long at the same volume!  I hated it before I had a sleeping toddler in the house.  Now it's pure strategy to make sure the volume is controlled.  Didn't they use to have smart sound technology in TVs?

c.) Toddler shriek.  This my friends curdles EVERYONEs blood.  My daughter can manage to have her shriek carry across a crowded restaurant and silence the room in under 2 seconds.  They have octaves the best Aria singers couldn't dream of hitting.  Screw our natural defense mechanisms.  I want to die every time she pitches a fit in the living room.  But sadly, like car alarms and nails on the chalk board, I'm growing used to the shrill noise being produced by mini me. 

d.) Alarm Clock.  I HATE THIS SOUND.  I'm not a morning person.  I do not enjoy waking up.  You might as well throw water on my face.  And for the record, it doesn't matter if it's music, a buzzer or a knocker flying between two bells, they all suck.

e.) Yappy Dogs.  If you dog is smaller than a cat and insists on barking at EVERYTHING.  You need to reevaluate your pet ownership choices.  Not saying these things don't need love and affection like the rest of the rodents in the world.  Just saying that they and the noises they emit are really annoying!

Any you would add?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Married Life

Scene: I'm sitting on the couch in my PJs catching up on some blogs.  The wife is cross stitching a beach scene.  We just finished the first episode of Dead Like Me Season 2 on Netflix.  I clicked off the TV and was about to shut off the computer.  She stands up and takes a final swig of water from her purple container.  She extends her arm and gives it a shake as if holding a carrot in front of a rabbit on a race track.

She: Go fill it up.
Me: No.
She: You drank half of it.
Me: So. It's in your hand and you're standing up!
She: Yeah, well I'm lazy.
Me: Your honesty does not inspire me to go above and beyond here.
She: At least I was honest.
Me: So you thought about lying to get me to stop everything I was or wasn't doing to do your bidding?
She: Oh did I just reveal a trade secret?
Me: No but you did just lift the veil of my eyes.
She: I knew you wanted to be the bride.
Me: What twist did I miss in this conversation?
She: Surprised you've paid attention this long.

{Went Back to Reading a Blog}

She: Ass.
Me: Love you too.

So of course I had to restart the computer.  So now, G'nite all.

By the Way, the "went back to reading blog" part suddenly disappeared  when I originally posted this.  Apparently the little arrow symbols above the comma and period are HTML code and don't translate into real script.  Who knew?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup

Friends would never describe me as a sports fanatic.  I'll go out with the guys and watch a game.  I'll look over the scores of a couple teams my wife and my friends talk about constantly so I'm not entirely lost in a conversation. 

So this is my 3rd World Cup to watch.  I'm enjoying it more an more each time.  We've even taught our 19-month-old daughter to shout GOAL and run with her arms up. 

Like the Olympics, this is a world event.  The festivities surrounding it are huge!  The host country is glorified.  The commercials are funny and inspirational.  A far cry from the incessant beer and go daddy commercials during American Football.  Don't get me wrong, I like to watch football with the guys and love me a Superbowl.  This is just something much bigger.  The ENTIRE world gets behind this sport!

My friends like to knock it for being boring.  They say things like "Soccer will never be big in America unless they only play on half the field."  "What kind of a game has TIES?"  "It's so boring, no body ever scores."  "You can't see what's going on, just a little white ball on a giant field." One friend even said he'd only watch if he had money on the game.  When he realized there were draws after South Africa v Mexico, he freaked!

I think the same things about football, baseball and basketball, but I still watch and enjoy them! 
  • Baseball has to be the MOST boring sport to watch on TV.  In the stadium is a different story, there is a visceral experience that outweighs 9 friggin' innings of set up and waiting. 
  • Basketball, while I even played when I was younger, has to be the worst.  It's like the exact opposite of soccer.  Nothing but hands.  The playing "field" is WAY to small for the players.  They score every other second.  And if both teams are decent nothing matters until the last 5 minutes when the 100+ scores will stop with a winner.  
  • Now, football...there's an interesting one.  This is a game of pomp and circumstance the likes of which a beauty pageant can't touch.  They play for 30 seconds at a time and completely restart after each play.   I swear to god I don't know how it's possible to stretch a ONE HOUR PLAY TIME out for 3 or more hours!  What are they doing cupping each other between plays?  Soccer, you don't challenge a play like you do in football either.  Your ref is the final say and I like that a whole lot!
 So the first match America played in the World Cup was against England.  What a terrifying thought.  That could have ended very badly.  Instead the USA tied!  1-1 GO USA!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Signs from the Road

Our son is due anytime now during the next four weeks.  I don't want to be caught on the dark side of the moon for work when she goes into labor.  So in preparation for his arrival, I've been doing a TON of traveling.  Typically, I visit my distant locations very seldom.  We are "required" to visit every store at least 4 times a year.  That's the minimum expectation, but there are always exceptions.  Like the larger volume ones who get to see me upward of four times a month!  And then there are those far away places in the dark recesses of Texas that I only visit one or two times a year. 

Needless to say, the last six weeks I'm beyond exhausted.  I have traveled 8,000 miles in 6 weeks folks.  I have only stayed overnight a handful of times.  It's like I have a bungee cord attached to the center of Austin and I drive as far away as I can in a day and then let go just to be snapped right back.  All of this to and from has made me loathe the windshield.  I'm tired of buying a soda or candy bar so I don't feel like a jerk just stopping in to use the bathroom at a gas station in a one horse town.  I do not purchase anything if I leave that bathroom feeling utterly violated by filth!  Because I'm sitting behind the wheel 75% of my day, usually with a fast food/convenience store something-or-other crammed in my mouth, I've packed on nearly 10 pounds!  And I think that about wraps up today's whine!

I'm glad it's done though.  Now I'll get to spend some time with my stores who have been MEGA SLACKERS since I've been preoccupied. 

I try to snap off a photo with my iPhone when I see something just odd, and let's face it folks, I'm in Texas so that's a full time job in of itself.  Sadly it's typically gone before I can do anything.  That said, here are a few signs I've come across lately that gave me pause.

Truth in advertising from a diner in Austin
Why didn't I think of this marketing campaign?
Bake Brownies in clay pots and label them 

This is in a little parking lot in downtown Austin.
I want to know the back story.
Probably a pretty profitable con for awhile!

Nothing like a crispy fried storybook friend.

I'm sad that my border patrol sign didn't come out.  There was a please restrain your pets sign before you reached the guards and drug dog.  There was a stray dog taking piss on it as I approached.  I snapped the photo right as the dog took off!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bring a Grown Man to His Knees

What's one way to bring a grown man to his knees?  Mix up a wicked cocktail of one part Business Trip and three parts Nature.  Shake and serve hot and muggy!

I drove out to Del Rio, TX today.  It's on the Texas/Mexico border about 3 hours due west of San Antonio.  This was my first trip out there since they expanded my territory last year.  It's a prettier part of the state than some, but in all, I would have been bored out of my mind had I not conned a coworker buddy from another territory to tag along.

While he worked with the new manager on some much needed training, I ventured down the road to inspect the equipment on their overflow lot.  I had some serious issues traipsing around this field. 

First problem were these insanely vicious grass seeds.  I know, how is a plant vicious?  They are much more violent than you might initially think.  And no, before it crosses your mind, I'm not going to start a rant about why we should burn nature down for our own protection.  Cactus = Evil.  Ever had a sticker burr (for give the country speak there, but I don't know what else to call them.) get stuck to your sock?  Enjoy the glory that is calamine lotion coated poison ivy rash?  Pretty sure Socrates would back me up about the vile effer Hemlock.  Sadly I discovered a new attack plant today and have no name for it.  These vicious grass seeds were felt like shards of glass coating my feet.  They were super thin so they could slip into minute crevices in my tennis shoes.  At the end of the seed were what appeared to be dozens of micro burrs at the end.  Pure hell.  But I'm not really that big of a wimp, so I'd just whine to myself as I removed them every 20 minutes or so. 

Second was the snake.  I haven't seen a rattle snake since I was a kid.  I don't have Indiana  Jones' issues, but they aren't exactly something I flock toward either.  This thing was HUGE.  This thing was 20 feet in in front of me.  I screamed more than a little as I approached a buried piece of towing he was chillin' by.  He look me dead in the eyes but I didn't hear a rattle.  I don't know how fast these things can move, but sure as hell wasn't going to test any funny moves.  I sure shit wasn't going to verify if I was in fact staring at a rattler or not.  I took off backward toward the other side of the field where the rest of the crap was parked.  I stepped into the back of one truck and tucked my jeans into my burr covered shoes as I tried to pull it together. I'm not letting a damn reptile blow a 4 hour drive out here by being a weeny. 

So I approached the remaining trucks with extreme trepidation.  Seriously, if there was grass above my shoe on the driver's side, I entered in on the passenger side.  This is when number three hit me.  Now I've made some disparaging comments about rodents before.  So maybe I brought the karma down on myself.  And just this weekend my Brother-in-law was showing my daughter this lovely book of common things.  You know, CAR, HOUSE, PUPPY, BOTTLE, BUNNY, BABY, HOLY HELL THAT'S A SCARY BUNNY!
 Really? This is the image they chose for bunny?  That's a friggin' vampire rabbit!

As I approached the passenger side of the truck because I was too chicken to open the driver side for fear of another encounter with a hidden rattle snake, a giant Jack Rabbit leaped out from under the front bumper and bounded across the field.  I tumbled backward, hit the step rail for the truck, twisted around and landed on my hands and knees in the gravel.  Have you ever seen a Jack Rabbit? 
These things are hip high from foot to ear.  Honestly, I cannot believe I didn't keel over there with a heart attack.  I packed up my stuff, jumped in the Explorer and high tailed it back to civilization.  Or at least what a border town next to an Air Force Base calls civilization. 

While there are a couple other great stories from this trip that I might share, this experience has ensured my store in Del Rio that I will not be back to bother them in at least another year.  EFF this crap!

Monday, June 7, 2010

This'll Drive You Nuts

Looking to occupy yourself for 10 minutes or so with something pointless and infuriating? 

Here's how far I got before I had to walk away.
Have Fun!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Stacy's Mom Has Got It Going On

I am not a fan of yard work.  I love how the lawn looks after I mow and weed-eat.  I just hate the aftermath.  You know, being  hot and sweaty, covered with mosquito bites and suicide inciting allergies.  So before I truly vag out here, lemme get to the point.

I now have another reason to hate mowing the lawn.
Not sure what you're seeing?  Don't worry, I didn't either at first.

I put the mower back in the shed (The mechanical one, not the neighbor boy who catches me when I'm feeling super lazy.  Go a head.  Even I'm shaking my head at that pathetic joke.).  As I crossed the back yard I caught a glimpse of Edward Cullen.  (GAWD, I'm reaching tonight.)  As I approached, I heard this wild crackling sound.  My door was shattered.  And it sounded like Rice Krispies! (That was not a joke.)

My wife was bathing our daughter at the time.  I immediately bellowed across the house.  I assumed my daughter had thrown something at the window and shattered it.  I barged into the bathroom like a maniac with a "WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?!?"  Both just stared, shocked at the lunatic.  The "didn't you see the French Door was broken?" was rhetorical at that point.

Apparently I threw a rock with the mower.  I found the impact point on the outside.  It is double paned glass, so at least it isn't going to fall into the house.  A friend of mine told me that these things have a gas between them to keep them from collecting moisture between the panes.  This should be fun to replace.  And no I will not be attempting to tap my inner handy man and make a trip to Home Depot.  Friggin A!