The stars at night are big and bright...

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

Friday, November 28, 2008

Man Vs Food

Just saw a new show being promo'd on the Travel Channel. Man vs Food. Yes, only one man can face all you can eat challenges from across the country! Tune in weekly to see if this lardass Adam Richman can choke down rediculous amounts of food within a specified time frame.

You know the bit. The obligitory trip to The Big Texan Steakhouse in Amarillo, The Big Foot Lodge in Memphis and other such places around the country where morons do their best to imitate Cool Hand Luke with the local cuisine. "No man can eat 50 eggs!"

This show jumped the shark before it even hit the airwaves.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What A Fun Week

I spent my 2 days off recovering from major oral surgery. Thanks go out to Little Sister who took the day off to chauffeur me around. I had to take Halcyon before the surgery and there was no way I could drive. I barely remember anything from the whole trip.

I woke up in the middle of the night monday and couldn't stop shivering. My was breathing hard and fast and I was pouring sweat. I finally forced myself to get out of bed and move around but it took a while to get to my feet. I was running a temp of 102 for a few hours before I got it back down. I still feel like I've been kicked in the head by a mule.

This is also our busiest week of the year at work so there's no calling in unless I'm dead. I made it thru my shift, but barely. Tomorrow should be interesting as well.

It doesn't look like I'll be eating any turkey either.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Must See TV: Dexter

Without a doubt Dexter is the best show on TV right now... and it only looks to get better. Michael C. Hall and Jimmy Smits should be looking at Emmy nominations for their performances and I wouldn't be shocked to see several more for this show. Great cast, great writing. You can't ask for more than that!

Get caught up with a 3 episode mini marathon of America's favorite serial killer this Saturday starting at 8:00pm on Showtime2.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Those Were The Days My Friend...

It sits there silently mocking me. Calling my name like some wicked temptress in the night. My secret addiction since I was a small boy. I could drink a gallon a day and still thirst for more.

Did I mention I love Egg Nog? I like it straight from the jug. I like it from a punchbowl. I like it from an old jelly jar. I like it from a crystal Bullwinkle holiday mug.

I know how a heroin or crack addict must feel when they're jonesing. There is sits, fresh and cold right in front of me... and I can't touch a drop of it. Because while it looks so innocent and wholesome it's actually the devil incarnate. Yes, Elsie's magical dairy product is in reality a do it yourself clogged artery kit.

After my angioplasty (that's where they run a wire from your groin up to your heart and do remote control repair work while you watch completely awake on 3 monitors) I was forced to switch to a healthy diet or die. It's a totally free choice. I mean I could continue to enjoy the finer things in life like butter, pizza, chicken fried steak and egg nog and die in a few months. Or I could wise up & cut fatty, cholesterol laden foods from my diet and live another 20 years.

I chose what was behind Door #2.

But DAMN, I miss me some egg nog.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Bucket List

Been there, done that. But, I digress...

  1. Go to Belize
  2. Fall in love again
  3. Leave a legacy in my Grandfather's name
  4. Cut one more radio commercial
  5. Drive a racecar
  6. Make a batch of shine
  7. Act in a film
  8. Pilot an aircraft
  9. Make a difference in a young kid's life
  10. Visit the Arizona Memorial

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hey, Torquemada. Whaddaya say?

I'm not looking forward to tomorrow morning. The last two dentists I went to were supposed to be great. They seriously failed to live up to their press.

I'm trying a new one in Denton that a couple people I trust swear by. Normally that's the kiss of death, but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Unless he's looking to attract the hot snaggletoothed babes.

Not exactly what I had in mind.

Heads Up!

Note the bag just out of reach in the top left of the photo.

From The AP:
A spacewalking astronaut accidentally let go of her tool bag Tuesday after a grease gun inside it exploded, and helplessly watched as the tote and everything inside floated away.

It was one of the largest items ever to be lost by a spacewalker, and occurred during an unprecedented attempt to clean and lube a gummed-up joint at the international space station. Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper was just starting to work on the joint when the mishap occurred.

She said her grease gun exploded, getting the dark gray stuff all over a camera and her gloves. While she was wiping everything off, the white, backpack-size bag slipped out of her grip, and she lost all her tools.

"Oh, great," she mumbled.

Earlier, the spacewalkers spotted a screw floating by, but were too far away to catch it. "I have no idea where it came from," Stefanyshyn-Piper told Mission Control.

NASA was not sure how the bag got loose; it should have been tethered to a larger equipment bag. Another unknown: why the grease gun discharged.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Extreme Makeover: The South 40 Edition

Finally getting some of the repairs made from the fire last January. I had a contractor lined up to do the job but he kept putting me off and finally he just bailed on me. The cold snap last week scared me enough to get the job done NOW. I'm still waiting on the money from the insurance company. They move at the speed of smell.

The guys I hired did a good job on the repairs under the house and are doing good work on the skirting. I decided to go back with 20 year metal siding instead of vinyl skirting. Stronger, more rodent proof and if it melts I don't have to worry about the house. It will be in ashes.

Yeah, I know the colors don't match. Now I have to repaint the house, but I've been wanting to do that for quite a while.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One of These Things Is Not Like The Other...

What will they think of next? This is a disposable lighter / LED flashlight. It's incredibly handy. Who sits around and thinks of these things? Probably the same guy that thought of combining the cell phone with a digital camera.

Two totally unrelated items that wind up becoming a sensation.

Reminds me of a Family Guy bit...

How Reese's was created

Friday, November 14, 2008

God Help Me I Do Love It So...

I can't help it. I LOVE HEE HAW!

Please don't judge me harshly. I was born a poor white child. I am pure-d trailer trash. Hell, I'm worse than trailer trash, we couldn't afford to live in a trailer park like rich folk did. We lived on the parking lot of a rock trucking company. Hales Transportation.

Dad worked for Walter Hales starting 1965 and they held each other in high regard. Walter and Troyce are the finest people I've ever had the honor of knowing. They were the epitome of class and high society when I was growing up. I often visited their home with Dad. They had a pair of Poodles that used to scare the fool out of me when I was a kid! Walter became Mayor of Bridgeport after he sold his trucking company. He made a great contribution to the growth of Bridgeport and it's future as mayor.

I spoke with Troyce a few days ago while I was delivering groceries to one of my customers and she reminded me she could tell a few stories on me. She's only known me since I was 3 years old. She told me about a time she came to visit and I was about 3 sitting on my Graddad's lap eating a stalk of celery. Every time I took a bite I made my Granddad take one too. Troyce Hales is still a southern belle and the class of Bridgeport, Tx. I am a better man for knowing her.

I can't tell you how fortunate I am she only knows the good and cute stories about me.

There are a few I'd rather she not hear about, ever. But I seriously digress...

Back on topic... RFD-TV is one of my secret addictions. They have become a great purveyor of old country music programs like The Wilburn Brothers, POP! Goes The Country, Porter Waggoner and my personal favorite Hee Haw! Marty Stewart also has an excellent show on RFD.
I grew up watching Hee Haw every week when I was a kid. We were an old school country family. Well, maybe not family, we were dysfunctional at best but never family. Dad was a Bob Wills addict so any music on the TV or radio HAD to be country so HeeHaw was always safe to watch. Looking back at those old shows on RFD-TV really brings back some memories.

Where, oh where are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over and thought I found true love,
You met another and PFFFFFFFFTTTT, you were gone!

Hello, my name is Mike and I'm a redneck.

"A profound and overwhelming experience"

From The BBC:
The first pictures of planets outside our solar system have been taken, two groups report in the journal Science.

Visible and infrared images have been snapped of a planet orbiting a star 25 light-years away. The planet is believed to be the coolest, lowest-mass object ever seen outside our own solar neighborhood.

Paul Kalas of the University of California led an international group that used the Hubble Space Telescope to image the region around a star called Fomalhaut.

The star has a massive ring of dust surrounding it that appears to have a cleanly groomed inner edge.

The team estimates that the planet, dubbed Fomalhaut b, is 11bn miles away from its star, about as massive as Jupiter and completes an orbit in about 870 years. It may also have a ring around it.

"I nearly had a heart attack at the end of May when I confirmed that Fomalhaut b orbits its parent star," Dr Kalas said. "It's a profound and overwhelming experience to lay eyes on a planet never before seen."

25 lightyears away? That's just around the corner, universe speaking. It makes you wonder about those UFO sightings now, don't it? Think about it, if they have the technology to travel a minimum of 25 lightyears you better freakin' hope they are Vulcan and not Romulan or Klingon!

If we ever do detect life on these planets that would throw a huge monkey wrench into the Judeo/Christian religious theology. Probably would screw with the Muslim's head pretty badly, too. I'm not too sure about all the other religions. I'm admittedly uneducated about them. Bottom line is it would derail most religions.

What does this mean? How will billions of faithful react to having the rug yanked out from under them? A newer testament? New prophets? New God(s)?

Brothers and sisters this could get real ugly real fast.

Just food for thought...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Dale Is Rolling In His Grave

SPEED-TV is reporting that Dale Earnhardt, Inc has merged with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sebates. Earnhardt/Ganassi will field a 4 car team featuring Aric Almarola, Juan Pablo Montoya, Martin Truex, Jr and a driver to be named later (#41).

Way to go Teresa...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

I've seen some remarks like "Why is the holiday on Tuesday?" around the net. There is a good reason why you didn't get a 3 day weekend. Veteran's Day was originally Armistice Day. The anniversary of the end of World War 1.

The war officially ended 90 years ago at 11am, November 11th, 1918, the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month". It is celebrated all around the world. After WW2 the name was changed to Veteran's Day in the US and Rememberance Day in the UK.

A big salute to my fellow Vets.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Wise County Decatur Messenger

Did you happen to notice the picture The Mess decided to use for the Bridgeport / Decatur game? I'd repost it here but there's probably some copywrite issue I'd rather not get into. Bridgeport hammered Decatur 56 - 7 and they show a picture of a Decatur receiver catching a pass. I guess since Decatur's "Air Attack" only managed to complete 2 passes all night long they thought The Eagles earned it over The Bulls.

Hey, at least The Index claims to be where it is from Bridgeport, not Wise County.

I Freakin' Won!

I am nothing if not a creature of habit. Last night on the ride home from work I was listening to the nationally syndicated show Speed Freaks on 105.3 FM. I love Freaks because it is not another "let's kiss NASCAR's ass" program. They are true racing fans and it shows. IRL, motocross, F1, NHRA, SCCA, and other types of racing get the same respect as NASCAR and they have no problem getting drivers on the show. It's very entertaining talk radio.

As they go to commercial there's a prize giveaway of car care products from Surf City Garage. I've never tried their stuff but it sounds like primo polish. They wanted caller #6 and gave out the number 86 - 69 - FREAKS (866- 937 - 3257). I decided to give it a shot, but my phone is a Moto Q. The numbers are on a QWERTY keyboard so the traditional numbers to letters conversion doesn't work. Luckily, I correctly dialed the number and it rang. I was sure caller #6 had long been picked since it was a national show, but I was happy that I managed to get the number right.

Well what do you know? Like my Daddy always said, "even a blind sow finds an acorn now and then". I won an assortment of Surf City products worth over $100! I plan to put them to good use on my new truck.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thrill A Minute

You know it's sad when I can go 3 days without having anything worth posting about. But, such is my mundane existence.
I did pass a milestone. 2 years ago this week I had my heart surgery. I think I'm supposed to have my oil changed and tires rotated to keep up the warranty.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Back To Work

I don't care how long your vacation is... it's never long enough. The first day back is always a bitch, too. Today was no exception.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't dig ditches or unclog sewer lines for a living, but I'm still worn out by the end of the day. The sheer amount of political BS I have to maneuver between my employees is mind boggling. Somebody is always pissed off at somebodyelse about something. It's like they saved up a week's worth of it for me today. The funny thing is I am almost powerless to do anything about most of it. My main function is to stand there and let them vent toward me, nod my head compassionately, tell them I'll see what I can do and walk away.

It's the placebo effect.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Vacation Recap

Somebody for got to charge their PDA before they went to Texas Motor Speedway. I'm not mentioning any names or pointing any fingers, but you would have thought that person would have at least packed a charger for said PDA. Again, not pinning the blame on any one person...

So, the pictures and live blogging I promised you were not to be. That's probably a good thing now that it's all said and done because all you would have seen was a lot of dust. I mean a LOT of dust. The campground we were in seriously needs to do something about that.

The luxurious living quarters Brother In Law and I were told we'd stay in were not to be. We lost our freebie camper to paying customer that needed it on a jobsite. Fortunately the weather was perfect and we had a very nice tent to stay in. It would have been even nicer if someone had remembered to take their queen sized air mattress. But it was sitting beside the phone charger.

OK, enough bitching. This was a vacation and I did have a great time.

The truck race on Friday night was excellent. Those guys always put on an exciting show. After the race we headed back to camp and put on our costumes for Trick or Treating over at "Ti**y Row". Now that was the biggest letdown of the weekend. The police decided this party was not happening. They basicly flooded the street with cop cars and stopped anything that resembled adult entertainment from breaking out. I'm all for public safety, but c'mon guys... this is our Mardi Gras! So after a couple hours of everyone standing around looking at each other waiting for the cops to clear out we gave up and returned to our campground on the other side of the track. Things were a bit livelier over there but everyone agreed this year was not the party it had been previously. There was a much bigger crowd at the April race. I did hear Rachel Ray talking about getting loaded on moonshine jello shots at a campground party listening to 105.3FM. I looked around but never found her. Now THAT would have been a party. I had some special beads just for her.

There is a subculture in NASCAR campers that involves not walking from point A to point B. Golf carts, scooters, 4-wheelers, motorized toilets (I saw one) and anything else you can think of are all the rage. If you've been to a few races you know why. The place is huge. Lugging loaded icechests and gear around is for the birds. After the last race South40 readers will remember I bought a Suzuki Carry minitruck. That was a great purchase. We were able to cover a lot more ground and have a ton of fun meeting other people. It's 660cc gas engine allowed us to roam as long as we wanted without worrying about a battery running down and walking back. It's 4x4 ability also allowed us to bypass traffic and go cross country thru the dirt parking lots and over the high dirt berms while loaded down with passengers and icechests. The righthand drive also made it a great conversation piece. The steering wheel isn't on the wrong side, it's on the RIGHT side.

Saturday the Nationwide Series drivers took the track and had a great race. It was an exciting finish as Carl Edwards came thru the pack like rocket to finish 2nd. Kyle Busch managed to unite the crowd for the loudest "BOO!" I can remember hearing when he took a bow with the Checkered Flag after winning. Kind of appropriate with Halloween and all. Man, people hate them some Kyle Busch in Texas.

That night the real party got started. Bands were playing all over the place. The best of the bunch was just down the row from us in our campground. One of the area oilfield companies hired a band called Armadillo Express that put on a heck of a show. They were definitely the best I have ever seen out there and drew a huge crowd. I'd estimate 500 or so people were there. I took my Suzuki, put a few chairs in the back and parked near the edge of the stage. This worked out great. We were able to use it as a rally point for our group and it made for nice seating to enjoy the show. I was also able to use my laser projector to help add to the party.

While sitting back enjoying the band from my perch singing along to a great version of Shooter Jennings 4th of July, I noticed a Cute Little Racegirl standing all alone in the crowd. Nobody was asking her to dance. Clearly, something had to be done about this.

I hopped down and made my way thru the crowd just as the band started playing "Sweet Emotion". It took a bit of coaxing but I convinced her anyone can dance to Aerosmith. We would up dancing together for the rest of the night. Turns out she's single and lives near The South40! I now have an official CLR's phone number! I just have to force myself to adhere to the 3 day rule so I don't look like a desperate lonely internet blogger.

Sunday was the big day with the Sprint Cup race. The crowd had easily tripled from the day before and the campgrounds were much fuller, but none of them were full. We heard there were 75,000 unsold seats for the race. My niece and her friend came but they needed tickets. We decided to take my Suzuki and cruise the parking lots looking for tickets. We found several scalpers and the girls would up buying a pair of very good front stretch tickets for $40 each. To make sure the tickets were valid we drove to the gate and had them scanned. They were good!

We drove back to camp and ate lunch before the race. Those $5 hotdogs at the track are for the birds! Just as we were finishing lunch our host came by with 6 extra tickets. The girls quickly took 2 and headed back to the parking lot to sell the ones they bought. Not only did they sell them, they sold them for $75 each! After the race the made another $40 hauling people out of the racetrack on one of our golfcarts when 2 guys offered them $20 a piece for a ride.

Speaking of the race (that was the whole point of the weekend, right?) it was a humdinger! There was plenty of side by side racing, exciting pit strategy and wrecks for those looking for that. One of the highlights of the day was the wreck between Juan Pablo Montoya and David Gilliland. I had Dale,Jr on my scanner at the time and he was right behind them when it happened. He said they had been running into each other for 3 laps. Finally coming out of Turn 2 on lap 263 Gilliland decided to take Montoya out. He came from near the wall across 2 lanes and slammed into JPM's right rear sending them both into a spin right in front of Junior.

Jr remarked that driving like that would get you banned from the DMP (Dale's virtual racing team) and there was going to be a fight in the pits. Looks like NASCAR was thinking the same thing because they gave Gilliland a 5 lap penalty. He wound up taking it to the garage where the predicted fight almost broke out. JPM's crew chief managed to keep his driver out of the scuffle but the Jumbotrons showed the whole thing to the fans in the stands. I'm not a JPM fan, but there's no place for that kind of driving at TMS. Save it for Bristol.

Conspiracy theories were abound as Jamie McMurray was in the lead with 12 laps to go ahead of his Rousch/Fenway teammate and championship contender Carl Edwards. They called for McMurray to pit for fuel and Edwards stayed on the track and won the race. Edwards even remarked about "Ford fuel milage" on the scanner. Hmm, McMurray had the same amount of fuel as Edwards. But, Jamie's not fighting for a championship either.

After the race we made our way back to camp and decided not to spend the night. We ate dinner while the crowd thined out before breaking camp and heading for home. I finally made it home about midnight and immediately took a long hot shower to wash of the several layers of TMS dust off my tired sunburned body. Fortunately I had planned in a couple extra vacation days to recover because I sure needed it today.

BIL and I plan to get our own camp next race. It's fun to hang out with the group we do, but we tend to run out of energy before they do and it's tough to get some sleep with people constantly trying to wake you up and party with them.

All said and done with, everyone had fun and nobody got hurt. I also met a cute little racegirl.

Good times.