The stars at night are big and bright...

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

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hang on Baby Jesus!

I must be psychic.

The end of yesterday's Aaron's 499 at Talladega was straight out of the Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Identify The Following

1. Galaxy 500
2. Quisp
3. Tab
4. Sinclair
5. Braniff
6. Oxydol
7. Hamm's
8. Reddy Kilowatt
9. Caprice

1-2 correct = 2pts
3-4 correct = 5pts
5-7 correct = 10pts
8-9 correct = 15pts
10 correct = You need to take your Geritol.

Friday, April 24, 2009

There Is No Joy In Mudville

Mighty Casey has struck out.

I got a call today from Rep. Phil King's Chief of Staff, Mattie Parker. She had some very bad news. HB4495 will NOT be getting a hearing in the House Transportation Committee. For all the bluster Gov. Rick Perry has been touting for Texas' state's rights and secession from the Federal government, it seems TXDOT is not like minded. They are submissive to federal regulations.

TXDOT is vehemently opposed to allowing minitrucks on Texas roads. The reasons they gave me were the same ones I've heard over and over again. Pollution, crash safety and VIN number length. All of which make absolutely no sense and Mattie said so. Smartcars, Gators, Mules, Rhinos, golf carts, ect all are smaller and can be legally street driven in Texas and most are much less safer than minitrucks. Minitrucks are very environmentally friendly with tiny engines under 700cc and have catalytic converters, fuel injection, superchargers and many more enviromentally friendly, fuel efficient and safety features. Their emissions, fuel consumption and carbon footprint are a drop in the bucket compared to a 1/2 ton truck.

Do they belong on I-35? No. Are they safe to drive on rural Texas highways? Yes. But until TXDOT signs off on KEI class vehicles (and that ain't happening until the Feds do), Phil King won't be pursuing this any further. He can't be a martyr for a lost cause and I can't blame him. She suggested I contact US Rep. Kay Grainger and get it fixed at the Federal level.

Repeat after me... "a snowball's chance in hell!"

To say I'm disappointed is an understatement, but I understand. There's no money behind it. I'm just a lowly American consumer wanting to exercise my personal freedom. Not a dealer, wholesaler, importer or broker trying to make a buck. I'm not making a nickle off this and can't fund the nessesary paperwork or R&D out of my pocket to do so. I had a good year last year, but it wasn't THAT good. The manufacturers don't want to spend the money to get KEI class vehicles certified in the US. Why should they? They already have the market cornered here with larger, more expensive vehicles that they make a bigger profit margin from. They sell as many KEI class as they can make in Japan and have a built in market for more.

In Japan KEI class vehicles must meet rigid emission standards that make California's look like a pollution soup secret family recipe. Each year vehicles must be reinspected (just like our inspection stickers). But, the older the vehicle the more expensive the inspection. After 5 years or so, it is cheaper to buy a new vehicle than get them reinspected. Guess what they do with those 5 year old vehicles? Yup, they sell them overseas.

Which brings us to where we are today.

I do want to thank everyone that took the time to call Austin and make your voice heard. Your calls were not in vain. There was a flood of supporters in the last few days. We got enough people to respond that they pushed HB4495 as far as they could, but TXDOT refused to sign off on it. Without TXDOT, it was doomed. If gas was still $4.50 a gallon we might have had a chance. It's not over, but I feel like Kevin Spacey in "Recount" after the Supreme Court decision.

Once again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

If I had the time and money I would pursue this at the Federal level. But, there are much bigger fish to fry there. I'm afraid minitrucks isn't one of them, even in my own personal agenda. Let's get that spending and war thingy under control first.

The worst thing about this? Those freakin' Okies are one up on Texas!


Not Too Proud To Beg

I need your help. HB4495 is stuck in committee and time is running out. Please take a few minutes out of your busy day and make a couple phone calls. Let Austin know you support HB4495.

You scratch my back and I'll... uh... well, I'll be really grateful.

But, I digress. There is no sensible reason for for these vehicles not to be street legal when ATV's are. Visit our sister blog Texans For Minitrucks for more background on KEI class minitrucks and their street legal status in other states, including Oklahoma. OKLAHOMA!!!

You're not gonna let a bunch of Okies be one up on Texas are you???

Get a rope...

Better yet, make some calls!

Rep. Phil King- (512) 463-0738

House Transportation Committee- (512) 463-0818

Chairman Rep Joe Pickett- (512) 463-0596

Vice Chairman Rep. Larry Phillips- (512) 463-0297

Other Transportation Committee members.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Guilty As Charged

I loves me some enchiladas at Casillas' in Bridgeport.

That's good eatin'!

(WARNING: May be habit forming!)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Old Man and The Blog

Wow, I tell one sappy little vacation story and the joint starts jumpin'!

It's like my Daddy always said, "Even a blind sow finds an acorn now and then." I wonder why he was always saying that around me?

Big thanks to Barry for the shout out. I got the Liberally Lean version of "The Colbert Bump". The unofficial hit count was over 450 new readers.

Thanks for stopping by. Sit a spell, take your shoes off.

Ya'll come back now, ya hear?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Those Were The Days

Has it been 10 years?

It was a long flight. The jerk in front of me reclining in full didn't help. Neither did the fact our seats were split by the aisle. That's what you get when you book last minute. I'm still not sure if the Captain was joking when he said there was no radar at the airport, but I can appreciate his sense of humor. Everyone was looking out the window for other aircraft waiting to plow into us on approach.

But the second we stepped out of the plane the warm air hit me in the face and I heard the tropical music, I knew we were in paradise.

Jamaica is a tropical wonderland. Yeah, we were in full tourista mode. Packed into a minivan complete with the driver selling beer and shady locals with offers of ganja. And we haven't even left the airport!

The ride around the island is an adventure all it's own. Unfamiliar surroundings, confusing signs, narrow roads and death wish drivers.

Hand me another beer, will ya?

Passengers disembark at resort after resort along the way, each looking shnazzier than the last before we finally reach ours... Sandals, Ocho Rios. We checked into our Penthouse and are greeted by our concierges, Carlos and Amanda. Our wish is their command and they do their job very well.

We met that couple from Pennsylvania on the floor below us after hanging off the balcony. They were a hoot. I wonder if anybody has ever been thrown out of that restaurant before we were that night? I really liked them.

Then there was the hidden pool you found at 2am. That's a night I will never forget.

I enjoyed the guided sightseeing and shopping trips. But the trip with the private driver was the best. I still wear the gold chain you bought me bought that day. I wish we had gone back to The Little Pub that night. I think it would have been a blast, but our driver strongly advised against it. I really liked the cuban cigars and local rum they served.

Days on the beach, nights on the dancefloor. Full spa service and swim-up bar in between.

It ended all too soon.

The ride back was even more death defying, but you slept thru every bit of it. The flight home was quiet. A complete 180 from the previous flight in more ways than one. Everyone was contemplating the reality that lie ahead and the paradise left behind in our jetwash.

It's too bad things didn't work out between us because that was the perfect week.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Oh the pain, the pain!

Sorry for the lapse in content. I've been thru a traumatic experience. I just sent in a very large check to the IRS to cover last years taxes.

2008 was a good year for The South 40 and I knew this was coming, but that didn't lessen the sting when it came time to sign the check. Things are starting to improve. I've managed to stop the random bouts of crying. I've quit waking up in the fetal position drenched in sweat and I only had 2 nightmares last night.

Unfortunately, I still have that nervous eye twitch...

Elizabeth Warren

I'm normally not much for posting video on here simply because I'm on dialup and I don't watch too many of them because of the time involved. But I'm going to make a big exception here.

For a self professed snake oil salesman, Jon Stewart does some really great interviews. He interviewed Elizabeth Warren the other night and it was no exception. She is the chairman of the TARP committee and you need to hear what she has to say. We need more people like her in Washington.

A lot more!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

PJTP Vol.3

I got some stuff comin'...

Just wanted you to know we're still alive.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Great Balls of Fire!

What the hell is going on? 3 times in the last 18 months The South 40 has been threatened or actually burned by a wildfire. January 30, 2008 I almost lost the place.

Thank God for the Chico VFD. My house was actually on fire last year when they arrived and they still managed to save it!

Now everytime I step outside when it's windy I'm always sniffing for smoke. I was outside Thursday morning when the wind was whipping and thought I smelled smoke. When I went to work I saw Chico VFD fighting a grassfire south of me, but it looked like they had it under control.

Later that day all hell broke loose and 100's of fires broke out across Texas and Oklahoma. Montague County, Texas (just north of The South 40) was hard hit. Over 38,000 acres were burned. The town of Stoneburg has been wiped off the map. 1/2 of Sunset has been burned and at least 3 people are dead in Montague County, including former WFAA & ABC reporter Matt Quinn and his wife Cathy.

And be warned. Don't piss off Paul Cunningham.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Child Porn?

OK, I just set off every government net scanner and am possibly on an FBI watchlist now because of the title. But stay with me, I've got a point and I'm not a perv.

18 year old Jimmy gets a text from his 17 year old girlfriend Jane. Jane sends Jimmy a "sext" with a few pics of her naughty bits.

Ah, hormones...

Flash forward. Jimmy's mom June is cleaning Jimmy's room and "accidentally" trips over his phone that pops open and she finds Jane's private messages to Jimmy. ALL of them. June recoils in horror and dials 911.

Her son is a child pornographer!

Jimmy and Jane are both cuffed and stuffed by 2 SWAT teams and are forever tagged as registered sex offenders.

What in the hell is wrong with this country?

How many of us can say we NEVER saw an underage member of the opposite sex? There are a few hot sweaty nights in a '68 Ford pickup I could tell you about, but I don't want to escalate my threat level.

Point being, technology has advanced past Poloroids (which under current law would also be illegal) and little notes passed in the hall on the way to class. But, is a consensual private message with sexual content between two young people really child pornography, regardless of the media used? Is anyone being exploited?

Had actual sexual contact occurred no law would have been broken. But a picture or message are completely different.

Are prosecution and lifelong tracking really appropriate?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You like me! You really, really like me!

Google Analytics

Comparing to: Apr 7, 2007 - Apr 6, 2008
The South 40
Visits % Change: +10,905.33%

I feel like Sally Field at the Oscars...

Thanks ya'll!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

TMS Roundup

I gave my Minitruck a workout last weekend!

I put nearly 50 miles on it cruising the campgrounds and making friends along the way. Many beads were given away on Friday and Saturday nights. Did you know a minitruck makes an excellent impromptu stage? I also got the message out about Texans For Minitrucks and HB4495.

I did have some competetion from the COT...

"The Cart Of Tomorrow"

Back to the Real World

OK, lots to blog about but I have a minor emergency on my hands. Seems my water heater decided to start leaking today.

Off to Lowes!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Live From TMS

Live via PDA. My Motorola Q is multitasking well. Phone, internet, and most importantly camera.

Friday night was quite an exerience. I've never been to Mardi Gras, but this had to come close. There were many free spirits.

Met some really nice people camping here.

The Nationwide race was one of the fastest ever run at TMS. Unfortunately it was another edition of The Kyle Busch Show.

There were 3 different bands playing in Finish Line Campgrounds tonight. 2 of them were very good and drew quite a crowd.