The stars at night are big and bright...

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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rockin' Chair New Year's Eve

I've watched Dick Clark from Times Square for as long as I can remember. He is an American icon. But sadly, he's no longer the oldest teenager in America. Since his stroke 4 years ago he's continued to host (albeit in a reduced capacity) Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve. The first year it was a triumph of his spirit to survive hosting the show. Now, it's not.

I really hate to criticize his performance, but in the vernacular of broadasting he's not air quality anymore. It's kinda like Brett Farve. It's past time to hang up the cleats. The mind is eager and willing, but the body can no longer do the job.

Dick, be satisfied with putting the show together and getting it on the air. There's no need for you to be in front of the camera anymore. You've done a helluva job, but your time has past.
Clark... out. Get it?

Channel 8 put on another decent attempt at local programming with their BigD-NYE. Hard to miss the fact that Gordo Keith was relegated from host to 3rd banana behind Pete Delkis and Dale Hansen. Looks like Belo isn't as liberal with the airwaves as they were in years past.

Hey, at least it was local programming!

Footnote: Kellie Pickler, you look like a hoochie with that glitter makeup!


The world is not coming to an end! This is not Y2K! All IGA's will be open all day tomorrow!

You may think I'm being overly dramatic here. That is unless you went to IGA today. KOWABUNGA! The place was a madhouse!

I don't think I'm in danger of revealing any trade secrets here, but history shows New Year's Eve is not a big sales day for grocery stores and we scheduled accordingly. Boy, was that a mistake! We were swamped from the time we opened the doors to the time I made my tactical retreat. We had all the registers open (WalMart could take a lesson on that) and had anyone qualified to run a register working at one.

Today was also the day I make home deliveries so I wasn't able to help out as much as I could have. But trust me, I was multitasking my ass off. Take phone order, pull order, deliver order, RTB (return to base), work customer service window, pull 2 orders at once, pull 3rd order while they check out the other 2, stock shelves, deliver orders, RTB, make bank run, work express register, pull order, deliver, RTB ect,ect,ect.... lather, rinse, repeat.

The highlight of my day came an hour and a half after I should have ended my shift. I stayed around to help out and we ran out of bread. I went to the back brought out fresh bread and started filling the shelves. I had just finished filling the hamburger buns when a lady (and I use the term loosely) walked up and started digging thru the buns. She would pinch then discard a pack of buns and move on to the next. After the 7 or 8th pack, in a very polite tone I said "Ma'am, they're all the same date. I just put them out" in case she thought there were fresher buns on the shelf. She went from 0 to Bitch in .0002 milliseconds.


I just said "Yes, Ma'am you do." and she grabbed a pack of buns and walked off. The Butcher was standing next to me and was doing his best not to burst out in laughter. He knew what I wanted to say was "Yes Ma'am you do. But you don't have the right to make a total mess out of the shelf I just finished filling with the freshest bread possible in Wise County and ruin the ones you don't like for everyone else!" But, I didn't. I maintained an even strain and took a fish to the face for the team. Let me tell you, I'm am not paid enough to take the daily ration of abuse I get from some customers. Not nearly enough.

Bridgeport shoppers will be in for a cold dose of reality when Brookshire's opens (if it ever does). You think you hate WalMart? Brookshires is structured just like them. They are a corporate operation, not home owned. You won't be able to pick up the phone and talk to the owner anytime you want. As bad as you may think IGA is, you don't realise the level of personalized customer service we aim for. We really want to give you everything you desire and then some. But we are in Wise County, not the Metroplex. There are certain things we just can't do because of our floor space and location. But dang it, I'll bend over backwards to try and make it happen so my customer will be happy.

Once again, all our stores will be open regular hours New Years Day so no need to panic. There will still be food on the shelves.

So now if you will excuse me there is a big bottle of Maker's Mark bourbon that needs some "customer service".

Happy New Year, ya'll!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Movie of the Week: That Thing You Do!

This is one of my personal Top 10 favorite films. Anytime it is on, it's my default choice. That Thing You Do is a fun, snappy, innocent little 60's romp written, produced and directed by Tom Hanks. It stars Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Johnathon Schaech, Steve Zahn, Ethan Embry and of course, Tom Hanks. TTYD also has a slew of suppporting characters and cameos played by Peter Scolari, Rita Wilson, Chris Isaak, Kevin Pollak, and many more. It was the birth of his production company PlayTone that is responsable for many quality productions including Band of Brothers and From The Earth To The Moon. I've seen this film a hundred times, but tonight on Encore Love I saw an alternate version I've never seen before.

It was very interesting. You would think that the original, being a pet project of Tom Hanks, would be exactly what Hanks hand in mind for the screen. This "Extended Edition" had greatly expanded characters, back story and music. The story was told in a deeper, more serious tone than the lighthearted "original". There were new camera angles, expanded dialogue, alternate scene takes and song versions. It was a completely different film.

It was very intriguing to see how this story would play out after seeing it countless times before and knowing it by heart. What it turned out to be was a treat. It was like opening your favorite Christmas present again for the first time and finding a brand new, more complex, full bodied and thought provoking version.

Mr. White... I had no idea!!!

I know there are miles of film on the cutting room floor, but I had no appreciation the difference in editing could make. It was an enlightening experience bordering upon an epiphany and I don't have one of those often.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Welcome To The Circus!

Ryan over at West of Nowhere mentioned it was crazy at IGA around 6 pm the other day.

Bubba, you have no idea...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Musical Interlude

I wish I had someone to sing this to this Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Loves Me Some Cabella's!

Went Christmas shopping today with my Brother in Law and we stopped by Cabella's. They had a great sale on Remington 700's with a Bushnell scope for $299. I decided I wanted a .300 Win Mag after seeing the one my nephew bought last week. The only one they had left had a really ugly stock.

They had several .270's but I like a larger round. Knockdown power is my friend! The salesman looked around and found a Model 710 in .300 Win Mag with a very good looking composite stock. I immediately fell in love with it but it was $369. The salesman then offered to sell it at the Model 700 sale price of $299.


When I went to check out I whipped out a "30% off any purchase" coupon I got in the mail. That knocked the price down to $209. I then used my Cabella's card and got and additional $100 off plus $15 in Cabella's points. There is also a mail-in rebate for $50.

Final price $44 !!!

This is the first brand new rifle I've ever owned and I can't be happier with the gun or the deal! A friend just told me " Carefull, you're gonna put an eye out, kid"!

I once shot both eyes out of a squirrel in a tree at 30 yards with a Marlin .30/30 saddle gun. Pan fried him with some okra, onions and potatoes.
I hope to get bigger game with this gun.

You're all invited to the first cook out!

Friday, December 19, 2008


The image does not do justice to these little bits of ambergris. One of my vendors cornered me a few months ago during a fundraiser for their kids. I signed up for a couple bags of cookies to be a nice guy.
O M F G !
These cookies are awesome!
Imagine little bite sized Oreo's dipped in white chocolate.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Attention Bloggers

I feel the need to point out a neat little feature for those of you using Blogger.

Go to Blogger Dashboard.
Click Settings.
Click Comments.
Scroll down to "Comment Form Placement".
Check "Pop-up window".

What this does is open the comments form in a pop-up window instead of navigating you to a new page. It REALLY speeds things up and allows you to quickly go back and forth to the original post without losing everything you've typed.

Try it, you'll like it.

We return you now to our regular programming.....

I Predict Greatness

Clint Eastwood goes out on a limb and casts his latest film with unknown untrained actors.

...and a Happy New Year

Chrysler will shut all 30 of its plants for at least a month starting Dec. 19, and Ford said it will idle 9 of 15 North American assembly plants in the first week of January.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cook Free or Die

I really like watching Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. I know I've posted about this before, but Tony takes you off the beaten Tourista Trap tour and shows you the real food and lives of the locals.

Take tonight's show for example.

I've been to Jamaica before and I thought I did a pretty good job of escaping the aforementioned Tourist Trap tour. Apparently, I have no clue. Tony really gets down on the local level when sampling eateries and people that run them. I learned more about life in Jamaica watching Tony for an hour than I did spending a week there myself.

Are you really going to sit there and tell me that most people in Ocho Rios don't eat at the Sandals Resort? Turns out a street vendor with a 55 gallon oil drum barbecue pit serves more customers on a daily basis. I'm pretty sure it's tastier, too.

I also love Tony's attitude. "Isn't there a bar near here?"

Usually, there is...

90 Per Hour?

I watched a show on HBO the other night where a woman claimed to have 90 orgasms per hour fantasising about Stephen Colbert.

Trust me, it wasn't a 2 way street...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bridgeport Christmas Parade

Forgive me for the poor picture quality. It's the best I could do with my phone. It's got a crappy camera with bad motion focus and all the closeups are too blurry to make out.

It's like looking at a Picasso.

But trust me the parade was bigger than what I have to show. There were several other floats, The Mighty Marching Maroon and riders on horseback. Plus, Santa was there riding high atop the firetruck and all the little children were scrambling for candy in the streets.

Ah, good times... small town style.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stronger, Faster, Better Than He Was Before

No, I'm not talking about Col. Steve Austin. I'm referring to my new computer! It's an iBUYPOWER Gamer loaded with goodies like an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ CPU, NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS video, 250 Gig harddrive and 2 Gigs of RAM. I also got it for $155 off at Greatness, eh?

Well, now for the bad news. It came with Windows Vista.

Jeesus H. Christ, how many computer platforms am I going to have to learn? I started with punchcards back in the 70's. Then there was Cobal, several versions of DOS, Windows 3.1, 95, 98, NT, ME, 2000, XP and now Vista. Each one a bigger powerdown to learn than the one before. Vista looks to be no different.

Plus, I have to reload all my programs and settings. I also lost a buttload of documents and forms I made for work on Excel (see aforementioned powerdown to learn). Hopefully I can get the old Dell to fire up one more time and stay running long enough for me to transfer the contents of my harddrive. But I'm going to have to buy a LAN cable before I can try that.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Definitely time to dig out the longjohns! Low tonight of 27 with sleet and snow possible.

Shiver me timbers!

Now watch UPS not deliver my new computer because of the weather....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Dead Jim!

Well my faithful old Dell is kaput. Luckily I was able to keep it alive long enough to order a new system from

So, the posts will be few until the new puter arrives. my main problem is I'm suddenly without Full Tilt Poker or Aces High.

Pardon me while I crawl to the corner and curl up in a fetal position...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Let's Rodeo!

It's National Finals Rodeo time in Las Vegas! Ya know, I still hate the NFR being in Las Vegas. The Thomas and Mack Arena is too small.
Did you know the NFR was originally in Dallas?

Anyway, here's how Round 1 went:

From The Associated Press

Luke Branquinho won the first round of steer wrestling on Thursday night in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to take the top spot in the world standings, while Billy Etbauer moved into the season lead in saddle bronc.

Branquinho, from Los Alamos, Calif., won with a time of 3.6 seconds to move up from second to first in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings with $147,547. Curtis Cassidy of Canada was second in 3.7.

Wade Sumpter of Fowler, Colo., entered the NFR as the leader with $133,685, but was unable to place among the top six finishers with a time of 4.4 and fell to second place in the standings.
"I just think of it as 10 one-headers. Go at 'em and try to win as much as I can because you can't worry about the average," Branquinho said. "If you go win five, six or seven rounds, that pretty much takes care of it."

In saddle bronc riding, Etbauer, from Edmond, Okla., moved into first place by finishing second in the opening round with an 85.5 on Aces Full. Etbauer moved up from second to first in the standings with $153,624, while previous leader Cody Wright of Milford, Utah, didn't cash a check as one of the top six and fell to second with $145,192. Bryce Miller of Buffalo, S.D., won with an 89 on Knife Money.

In bareback riding, world leader Steven Dent of Mullen, Neb., remained in first place by placing second in the opening round with a score of 86.5 on Lunitic Fringe. Chris Harris of Itasca, Texas, won with an 88.5 on Power Play.

In team roping, Garrett Tonozzi of Fruita, Colo., and Kinney Harrell of San Angelo, Texas, won in 4.6 seconds. Tonozzi and Harrell entered the NFR as the 15th and final qualifiers. Former world champions Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, and Patrick Smith of Midland, Texas, placed second in 4.8.

In tie-down roping, Hunter Herrin of Apache, Okla., won in 7.5 and remained second in the world with $134,390. Josh Peek of Pueblo, Colo., held the standings lead with $132,539, but didn't place with a time of 9.10 in the opening round.

"When you get out of the barrier and get your calf roped, you just have to get a time," Herrin said. "It's kind of been a problem out here in the past, but maybe I've matured a little bit to where I can just get it around their necks and tie them down."

Tyson Durfey of Colbert, Wash., was second in 7.7.

In barrel racing, Jill Moody of Letcher, S.D., who remained third in the world standings, won in 14.02, while standings leader Lindsay Sears of Canada was unable to place among the top six with a time of 14.24. Cassie Moseley of Farwell, Texas, was second in 14.06.

In bull riding, Bobby Welsh of Gillette, Wyo., took the round with a score of 89.5 on Reeces Pieces. Standings leader Chance Smart of Philadelphia, Miss., was fifth with an 85.5 on Night Moves and remained first with $164,908.

I need to meet a cute little Barrel Racer Girl.

Cowboy up ya'll!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Book 'em Danno!

If you are a frequent reader then you know I hate thieves with a passion. I'll do whatever it takes to bring them to justice. If you're going to steal from me, you had better be damn good at it because I won't quit digging around until I catch you.

Such was "The Case Of The Reddy Whip Huffer". Ever since Diamond closed we inherited their customers. Unfortunately, we also inherited their thieves as well. Luckily, they are dumb thieves. I have been finding used Reddy Whip cans scattered around the store. Someone has been sucking the gas out of them for a cheap high.

Ya know, if you want to risk death sucking on a can of whip cream then by all means, go for it. Darwin wins. But pay for the stuff before you huff!

We have been watching closely for empty cans hidden on the isles and yesterday we knew within an hour of when it happened. It was just a matter of watching the surveillance video and finding out who it was. I had a couple of suspects, but it turns out they were completely innocent. It was a guy in his 30's doing it. Not some high school kid looking for a rebellious buzz. This guy was a grown man with a job and responsabilities and here he is sucking whip cream cans at the grocery store. God knows what else this guy has going on in his life.

Ted Danson says: You're a LOSER!

I took some snapshots of the video with my phone and showed them around to the employees with instructions not to approach him, but to notify the manager on duty and let us handle it.
I made sure the manager that relieved me got a good look as well.

I hadn't even made it home when my phone rang. It was the manager that relieved me letting me know they had just busted "The Huffer". He walked in right after I walked out. The cops were called and he was caught red(dy) handed.

I wonder if they serve Reddy Whip in jail? And that's got to be a beat down to explain to the other guys...
Hardened tattoo covered inmate #1: So, what are you in for Fish?
Fish: Sucking Reddy Whip at the IGA.
Hardened tattoo covered inmate #1: Oh really?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Survey Says...

When I started these ramblings from the middle of a Texas hayfield, never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to have over 5,000 hits in less than a year. As of today according to Google Analytics the count is 5,195!

I feel like I should do something special like book the World's Largest Non-Nuclear Coast Guard Marching Band for a parade. Unfortunately, this is a non-profit gig and that's not in my budget so y'all will have to settle for my humble thanks. Hopefully my downhome wit and wisdom will keep you coming back for more. If that doesn't work then I'll have to break out the scantily clad... wait, I think somebody already has that idea covered...

Anyway, a big tip of the hat and my sincere thanks for stopping by!

Ya'll come back now, ya hear?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Breakfast Of Champions

OK, so maybe it's not your traditional country breakfast. You know orange juice, biscuits, gravy, eggs over easy, sausage, ham, bacon, pancakes with syrup and butter and a big glass of milk. But if you eat THAT for breakfast trust me you will soon be eating THIS.

Altho it is low cal (OK, the Dr.Pepper kinda screws that part up), it isn't very filling.