The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Must See TV

PBS serves up another masterpiece documentary series for sweeps. CARRIER documents life aboard USS Nimitz during a Gulf cruise. This is excellent television.

No narration, no slant, no glitz. Just an inside view of Navy life on a CV. Exotic ports of call, not so friendly ports of call, changes of destination midcruise. Good officers, bad officers. Happy enlisted, disgruntled enlisted. It's all there for you to see.

From my own experience, which was somewhat different from CV duty, it's a very realistic look at Navy life. Young kids, some with their head screwed on straight some not, experiencing life away from home with people they hardly know and dealing with all the hardships and challenges that entails.

I was surprised to see Mel Gibson as Executive Producer of this project. Acting and DWI arrest dashcam aside, he is right up there with Hanks, Speilberg, and Howard at the top of quality production people in Hollywood. It shows in CARRIER.

The ten part series runs thru saturday on PBS.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm Just Sayin'...

Sorry for the lapse in blogging. But, to be honest there really hasn't been much to write about. I could thrill you with my exploits of research on my Suzuki Carry (and it's smoking problems), but I'll spare you the geekdom of that for now.
Trust me, you'll get your fill of it soon enough...

I've watched a few interesting movies, including Box of Moonlight with John Tuturro, Sam Rockwell and Katherine Keener... but nothing really Movie Of The Week worthy. Stay tuned, sportsfans. I'll dig up something interesting for you soon.

John Adams wrapped up last week. As in real life, it kinda dragged out there at the end. Still, look for a buttload of Emmy nominations coming out of this for PlayTone and HBO. Excellent work that we need to see more of.

Kyle Bush won at Talladega. Shrub extended Jr's winless streak to 71. Two years since he has seen Victory Lane. It's coming and it's coming soon. Prima Donna that he his, Jr gutted out a beat up car to finish Top 10. I'm thinking the winning streak starts at Charlotte and he will be hard to keep up with from there. We'll see...

See what I mean? Boring.

I'm open to suggestions on poll questions. Send me your ideas and we'll submit them to the editorial staff for consideraton.

If anything blogworthy pops up I'll fill you in.
Remember, dear readers, you heard it here first,
off the record,
on the Q.T.
and very Hush-Hush.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

And We're Giving This Guy A Library at SMU?

The first of many assaults upon the Constitution has happened. The ultra-conservative membership of the United States Supreme Court has ruled that evidence found during an illegal search is admissible in open court.


We got the government taking children away from their parents with no signs of abuse (Yeah, I know it's complicated) and we now have police with the right to break the law and use anything they find (cough) as legal evidence.

Luckily, as Barry pointed out in his story, this ruling will not apply in Texas. Still, this is a serious blow to one of the basic foundations to our Constitution. Illegal search and seizure.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of the damage this SCOTUS will do to the Constitution before balance will be restored to it's membership.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's not the heat, it's the humidity

Man, have I become spoiled. It will be next week before I get my air conditioner that was damaged in the fire replaced and I have been sweating my butt off. It hasn't even hit 90 yet and I have been walking around resembling a wet sponge. Bottom line is, I did'nt react this way to the heat this way when I was younger.

As a kid I grew up in a houses that had little or no a/c. If we did have a/c it was a" swamp cooler". They keep you cool, but push so much humidity that everything is damp and covered in mildew. As I got older we got better a/c, refridgerated window units that kept a room or two cool. It's only in the last few years that I have lived with central HVAC and it has ruined my resistance to the heat.

This from a guy that wants to move to Central America. I'm sure Belize is abound with air conditioning.

Luckily, I live in the country. It's peaceful and quiet. I have plenty of shady trees. So for the meantime, it's old school... fans in the windows and a cold beer. You know, it could be a whole lot worse.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Still Got It!

It's been many a moon since I rolled up my sleeves and dove head first into a dashboard installing a car stereo. Tonight, I did just that outfitting Little Suzi with a new Jenson AM/FM/HD/CD/XM stereo. The factory Japan AM radio just was'nt cutting it.

I headed out to Little Sister's this afternoon for a visit. From there I whipped out my old iPAQ and TomTom'ed my way to Sunset on the backroads then took 101 to the Bowie WalMart. I looked over their selection of car stereos and settled on a Jenson HD 5112 and a set of 4" Rockford speakers. Not a bad setup for what I need. They were out of the speakers, so I was forced to leave without them and return home. I swapped vehicles and drove to Decatur for the speakers.

By the time I finished all my running around it was already 9pm. Now I could have packed it all up and waited until morning when I could see what it was I was doing, but that would just be boring. I managed to remove the dash panel, remove the old radio, install and wire the speakers, install the new radio and have it all put back together and working by 11pm. 2 hours flat.

I was rather impressed.

Back in the day I was a car stereo guru, probably the reason for my hearing problems today. Anyway, I installed a hundred stereos and I did this one as fast as I ever have. To quote Toby Keith: "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Another Reason To Hate Phil King

Now he screwing with my cigarettes. From the Startlegram.
Careless smokers will have a new safeguard against accidentally starting a
house fire, thanks to new fire-safe cigarettes going on the Texas market in the
coming months.
The product of 2007 legislation, cigarettes sold in Texas
beginning on Jan. 1, 2009 will include bands of less porous paper that should
result in a slower-burning cigarette that goes out by itself if left

State Rep. Phil King, the Weatherford Republican who authored the
fire-safe cigarette bill, is hoping for fewer accidental house fires. He
believes the legislation will save lives.
"My local fire marshal contacted me
about the fire-safe cigarette idea before last session and told me about how
many lives it had saved in other states," King said in a prepared statement. "I
started doing a little research on it and quickly realized that there were no
added costs and it was easy to implement. I began wondering why we didn't
already have this law in place."

But Audrey Silk, a spokeswoman for a New York-based smokers' rights
group, said that when smokers cause accidental house fires, it often turns out
they're also drunk. And she said no amount of fire-safe cigarettes will prevent
people from doing dumb things when they've been drinking.
Give me a freaking break. This is a perfect example of why I can't stand most Republicans. Their mantra is smaller government, lower taxes. But put them in office and they pick your pocket clean and make more intrusive laws than you can shake a stick at.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Movie Of The Week: Some Like It Hot

Once again I bring you a Billy Wilder masterpiece for Movie Of The Week... ZOWIE!

This time it's MGM's 1959 hit "Some Like It Hot", starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and in argueably her best performance... Marilyn Monroe.

Take 2 broke musicians on the run from the mob during prohibition forced to disguise themselves as females in an all girl band, add 1 smoking hot female singer with a drinking problem and shake with Billy Wilder as writer/director and my friends you have a perfect comedy. Drag comedies were not exactly the top drawing films in the 1950's, but this one hit it out of the park.

Tony Curtis plays Joe, a smooth talking, sax playing ladies man that has rotten luck at the track. His best friend and partner Jerry, a weak spined bull fiddle player, is played by Jack Lemmon.
Thru a series of improbabilities they wind up witnessing a St. Valentines style massacre in a Chicago garage. Their only escape is to disguise themselves as women and join an all-girl band on their way to Miami.

Enter Josephine and Daphne.

Wearing their new disguises Josephine (Curtis) and Daphne (Lemmon) board the train to Florida with Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopators. In the process they meet Honey Kane (Monroe) and immediately fall in love. Competetion for her affection ensues. But how do you woo a woman disguised as one yourself? That my friends is where the Billy Wilder magic begins.

Also added to the madness is one horny, rich, dirty old man played to perfection by comedy legend Joe E. Brown as Osgood Fielding III. Friends, it just doesn't get any better than this.

Some Like It Hot is unquestionably one of the Top 10 Comedies of all time. Possibly Top 5 and argueably Top 3. There is such a flow between Marilyn's sexuality and the comedic talents of Curtis, Lemmon and Brown that homophobia never enters the mind... Even during this exchange:

Curtis: "You're not a girl! You're a guy! Why would a guy want to marry a guy?"

Lemmon: "Security!"

You owe it to yourself to watch this masterpiece and see for yourself what real comedy is all about.

On a 1 to 10 scale, this film earns a solid 12.

"Nobody's perfect!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

There is no joy in Mudville

Well I struck out at Auto Registration. They are well aware of these kei trucks now and refused to issue me a title of any kind for Little Suzi.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Time Flies When You're Having Fun...

Yes, I'm a bad blogger. I have'nt made any entries the last several days, but I've got a really good excuse. I've been researching and playing with my new Suzuki Carry! The little dumpling is a beast off-road. I tried to get stuck a couple times just to see how bad it would be to get it out, but the danged thing refused to give up.

I tried to get an inspection sticker yesterday at Chico Auto Parts, but failed the inspection because the 12" stock tires were too slick and because the inspector was unsure if he could even give me a sticker. He said he had a call in to Austin and was waiting on a reply... See you guys later!!!

Right now I am running on the stock suspension, but I plan on adding a 2" liftkit for a bit more flexability on tires. Speaking of tires, I struck gold this morning...

I knew from my research that I could upgrade from 12" to 13" wheels without modifications. The bolt pattern is a standard 4 x 100mm and easy to find. Price, was the problem. I searched eBay, craigslist and the classifieds but nothing in my price range. The cheapest I found was $40 a tire and $45 a wheel. That's a total of $340 for a cheap set of 13" tires and wheels.

So I got up bright and early this morning and headed north to Sunset. I went to Phillips Salvage (one of the few junkyards left around here) and took a look at what they had to offer. It did'nt take long for me to find a set of 4 x 100mm steel wheels with (get this...) brand spanking new mud & snow tires mounted. They still had the teats on the tread so they could'nt have more than 20 miles on them! I went inside and asked how much for that set of rusty old 13" wheels & worn out tires.

$100.00 for the set.

Do you accept cash?

I loaded them up as fast as possible and got out of there before they had a change of heart. They bolted up perfectly on the Suzuki with the exception of a slight rub against the left fender every now and then in a sharp left turn. I can live with that.

So now armed with a fresh set of larger tires I set out to Decatur in search of an inspection sticker. My horsepower was noticeably weakened, but top speed noticeably increased as well. According to my GPS, I can hold a steady 55mph with no problems and have another 10-15mph in reserve. Definitely fast enough to safely drive around without blocking traffic.

I take 1810 to Decatur and decide to risk my life driving on 287 instead of trying to weave thru the backroads and cross 380. To my surprise Little Suzi cruised right up Decatur Hill and I actually passed a few people doing it!

I pull into the inspection station and all eyes were on yours truly. Nobody spoke a word to me while 2 cars ahead of mine were inspected, but everyone was checking out Little Suzi trying to figure out just what the fuck it was they were looking at. An old cowboy in his 70's walked around it 3 times stretching his neck in 6 directions to get a good look. He finally just turned to me and just smiled and shook his head.

"OK, pull it in."

I parked in front of the bay and grabbed all my paperwork. Insurance, export certificate, customs, bill of sale, ect. It went surprisingly well. The only snag was getting the system to accept my VIN number, but after a few tries it was accepted and the computer said "GIVE THAT MAN A STICKER!"

The next step in the paperwork parade is getting a Texas motor vehicle title. Once titled, I can get tags and be completely street legal. Then I will be able to drive whenever and wherever I want in Texas. That means no more daylight only or 25 mile restriction and I can drive it to and from work. Sweet!

Keep your fingers crossed for me, I'm off to Auto Registration in the morning!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Little Suzi

Ain't she a peach! My 1999 Suzuki Carry DB52T. It has a 3 cylinder 660cc engine. It will run 70mph and gets over 50mpg. It has all the goodies, too! Hi/Lo 4 wheel drive, radio, heat and air conditioning.

It makes a John Deer Gator look like a wheel barrow.

Right now I am driving it under farm exclusion rules which means daylight only with headlights on and an orange flag on a pole, no further than 25 miles from home. There are a few other KEI class trucks in the area that have tags. There are a few hoops you have to jump thru to get it done, but I plan on getting them as soon as possible.

There are several things I plan on doing like installing a liftkit, putting on larger tires and wheels and a paint job. It will be a huge blast at the next TMS race!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A quick hit from work

I realise I havn't posted much lately, but I will try to make up for that in the coming days. I'll also post pics from TMS soon as I have them downloaded.

Tonight it's taxes. Ugh.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Greatest Invention In The History Of Ever

Golf carts! After 10 years of walking in and out of TMS this year we rode in style thanks to B I L and his friends.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

There is a vicious rumor going around the camp that says I snore loudly.

Don't believe a word of it. I did'nt hear a thing.

I will admit to being very hungover this morning. I haven't been that bad off in a long, long time. But, no animals were harmed in the making of this episode so all is well.

Coming up... The Samsung 500!

New Campground Concert

Don't know who the band is, but we are getting our money's worth at a free concert.

I think the chilly night is effecting the flash factor.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Gather 'Round The Fire

Well let's just say that "ti**y row" was more like "cop row". I'm not sayin' it was false advertising, but it was definitly over hyped.

Maybe things will pick up later, #but I'm outie.

I'm having more fun than Michael Jackson at a Daycare center!

Well Kyle Bush won the Nationwide race. He was none too happy with Tony Stewart. He blamed him causing the last caution.

Right now we are hanging out at the campsite, but thanks to the World's Greatest Sister I have something to bring to "Titty Row" later on. Thanks for the bead supply Sis!

Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends!

Houston we have liftoff!

Live from Texas Motor Speedway! Almost everyone in our camp is either passed out or asleep from exhaustion, but I promised you nonstop coverage and so it begins.

If I can figure out how to post pics from my pda I'll update as soon as I have something blogworthy.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Baton Down The Hatches!

Massive thunderstorm approaching The South 40 according to Larry Mowry (who can't pronounce Olney correctly). Golfball sized hail reported in Jacksboro. I can hear the thunder now and it doesn't sound good.

Save me 6lb baby Jesus!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I See You Shiver In Antici...

Less than 24 hours to NASCAR Weekend at TMS!! I'm scurrying around getting things together for the extravaganza. Let's see...

  • Margarita machine... check
  • Margarita fixin' s... check
  • Prime ribeyes... check
  • Beer... check
  • 16 year old scotch... check
  • Video camera... check
  • Spare batteries for camera... triple check (I'm not missing the wandering naked women this time!)
  • Beer... check
  • Scanners... double check (I got Brother in-law his own so he can listen to who he wants)
  • Binoculars... check (Bi-l is on his own there)
  • Beer... check
  • Sleeping bag... check
  • Ice chests... check
  • Beer... check

Looks like everything is in order!

I'll give it an honest effort to post the festivities as they happen, but if you get some incoherent frontier gibberish in the process please understand I may be under some degree of duress compliments of Anheuser-Busch, and the Glenlivit and Patron distilleries.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's So Ugly, It's Cute

I first saw one of these at a Veteran's Hospital in Temple in 1989. Now, they are starting to pop up for sale to the public. This one is a '99 Suzuki Carry. Can you believe these things are fuel injected and have a top speed of 70mph and get 50mpg?!?!

Now, I'm not sure I'm ready to drop $7K on one just yet. But if gas keeps going up the way it is, it might not be as crazy as it sounds. I wonder if I can get The Chrome Shop Mafia to trick one out?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Tire Time

Getting some new Kelly's put on the Goat.
I did manage to save a bit thanks to my Moto Q. After picking the tires I wanted, I did a quick internet search and found the same tires at a nearby chain store for a lower price. I showed the ad to the salesman and after a quick bit of haggling I saved $120. Cha-ching!