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 30, 2009

Breaking News: Mike Leach FIRED! (Updated)

Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach has been fired "with cause".

This is just insane. It looks like Craig James is now responsible for killing 2 college football programs. First SMU and now Texas Tech.

Reports out of Lubbock say tons of fans wearing pirate regalia showed up to the court hearing that would have sought an injunction to allow Leach to coach at the Alamo Bowl. I'll keep looking for some pics of that. But before the hearing could begin Coach Leach's attorney was handed a letter saying Leach was fired "with cause" effective immediately.

I got to listen to quite a bit of sports talk radio today. Normally, I hate sports talk. Today it was actually interesting and informative. I learned about the $880,000 bonus Texas Tech would have been forced to pay Leach if he worked 1 more day. I learned about the "horrendous" conditions wide receiver Adam James was forced to endure. Turns out "the shed" is the area where the offensive linemen hang out during practice and "the closet" is the room used for post game press conferences by visiting teams. I learned about the workout ethics of Adam James from current and former teammates.

There was call after call in support of Leach and his methods. There was also call after call denouncing James and his father, former SMU running back and current ESPN analyist Craig James. You remember Craig, he was 1/2 of The SMU Pony Express (along with Eric Dickerson) and a key player in the recruiting violations that were responsible for SMU suffering "The Death Penalty".

Why wasn't he concerned about rules and ethics back then?

It didn't take long to figure out Adam James was embellishing his story when he ran crying to Daddy. He left out parts like violating team rules by wearing sunglasses on the field, talking on his cell phone, singing and dancing during team meetings instead of paying attention and being repeatedly warned by coaches for disrupting team meetings. Daddy decided to flex his ESPN clout to get a story brewing. Athletic Director Gerald Myers saw a way to get a thorn out of his paw and save several million dollars in the process. Myers also saw he was going to lose the court of public opinion.

Football is not a candyass sport. Candyasses have no place on a football team. (Well, maybe placekicker...)

It was a good radio day.

Monday, December 28, 2009


If you've never seen this series on The History Channel, you've missed out on some of the greatest aerial battles in history.

Dogfights takes real air to air battles and recreates them with state of the art computer animation, expert analysis and commentary from some of the actual pilots. It puts you in the cockpit in the midst of the battle. Fortunately for the viewer what took seconds in real time is analyzed and diagrammed to help you understand what happened in the heat of battle.

The capabilities of the human mind is staggering. Calculating speed, distance, deflection, incoming, defense and exit all at the same time is beyond impressive. Miscalculating even one of those elements is instant death. Dogfights shows you what happened step by step with outstanding CGI.

Altho I've never flown an aircraft, I've always wanted to be a pilot since I was a little nipper. The closest I've come is being a virtual pilot in the WWII  combat sim Aces High. I started out playing Air Warrior, the Mother of all flight sims and after it died I switched to Aces High.

AH is locally based with the mothership located in Grapevine, but since it's on the internet you have people from all over the world online flying against you 24/7. It is not you against the computer. It is pilot vs pilot. AH is a massive multiplayer experience that is highly addictive. I log between 20 - 30 hours a week. It's as close as you can come to actually flying an aircraft in combat without actually dying when you screw up. I've had the adrenaline shakes more than once after surviving a furball.

AH is a free download with a 2 week trial period. Monthly subscriptions are 14.95. It's cheaper than crack, but just as addictive. The game plays best with a joystick, throttle and rudder pedals. Before you go away thinking this is just another kids arcade game, take note of this. Predator pilots use this game to stay sharp and show off their skills. I fly with one in my squadron.

If you find Dogfights interesting, you should check out Aces High. Are you up for the challenge?

If you do decide to test your skill, look for me in the air. My callsign is HotDogMan. It's an omage to Gordo Cooper and the film The Right Stuff.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rational Radio Loses The Stick

KMNY (the old KXOL) is in the news again. This time more than one host is leaving, they ALL are. According to Unfair Park, Rational Radio President Dave Clifton has lost his lease of the airwaves from Multicultural Broadcasting which owns KMNY.

Speculation is it will switch to a religious format, possibly foreign language, on January 1st.

You will still be able to listen to the Rational Radio lineup which includes Pugs & Kelly and The Richard Hunter Show online at .

Friday, December 25, 2009

Top Of My "Might Shell Out The Bucks To See It In A Theater" List

More Christmas Awkwardness

My first Christmas as a married man was, to say the least, interesting. It's always uncomfortable being the odd man out on traditional family celebrations you've never participated in. Such was the case when I had my first Christmas dinner with Ex-Uno's grandparents.

They were likeable enough, extending open arms to a new family member. Pleasantries were exchanged and I was on my best misbehavior in front of "Nanna" and "PawPaw". We menfolk watched football in the living room while the women scurried away in the kitchen preparing our meal. The dinner was absolutely fabulous. Ten out of ten! You just can't beat a Granny's feast.

It was in the middle of this outstanding dinner when, and Ticket fans will get this, the Emergency Brake was pulled.

PawPaw rang his glass with a knife to get everyone's attention. He wanted to let me know how much he approved of our wedlock and wanted to show it to one and all. As my Christmas present he gave me his champion fighting cock and would back me in the next fight.

(Insert extremely long and uncomfortable yank of the Emergency Brake here.)

I had 2 options. I could feign gratitude and look for a way out later or I could man up and nip it in the bud. Monty, I choose Door #2.

Thanks, but no thanks. You're extremely kind, but I can't accept your gift.

Using my best diplomatic skills, I tried to dance out of it by saying I couldn't raise a chicken (yeah, right). The offerings of assistance (and how dumb can you be not to raise a chicken) became so overwhelming I finally had to convey my true feelings of "no offense, but I don't believe in bloodsport".

(Insert second yank of the Emergency Brake here.)

I immediately went to the top of PawPaw and the entire clan's list.

Seriously, how else do you tell someone you think a deathsport animal is not an appropriate Christmas present? Gosh, I really wanted Giant Panda steaks instead?

Merry Christmas From The South 40

edit: OK, apparently I'm the 500th person to post this video. Trust me I didn't steal the idea from any of you. Great minds think alike and you have great taste in music!

Christmas Memories

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire was never, ever a part of any Christmas I experienced growing up. Dysfunctional doesn't begin to describe what I dare to call my childhood. But hey, it could have been worse.

Now this does not say I didn't have some colorful and memorable holiday experiences. There was this one time back in 1967 when I spent Christmas break riding on the truck with my Dad. We left Bridgeport headed west for California in a Freightliner. I was 5, but I was aware of the counterculture and the hippies. I wanted to see a real live hippie and this was my chance. I would be sooooo cool!

If you've ever watched King of the Hill you've seen my Dad. Cotton Hill is a dead ringer except for the fact Dad still had his shins.

We left Bridgeport and made it as far as a roadside park outside of Jacksboro where Dad pulled in. A car flashed it's lights and then a woman climbed in the cab. Dad told me to get out and wait in the car... It was freezing and she had the car keys.

A couple of hours later the woman came back to the car and told me to get in the truck. When I climbed in Dad told me to get in the bunk and go to bed.

Unfortunately, I mentioned this when we got back home 2 weeks later and got in big time trouble from Dad.

I never did get to see a hippie.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas The Night Before Christmas

And my damn pickup is stuck in the driveway!

I have a fairly steep incline as you leave the highway and venture onto The South 40,  but I've never had problems getting in or out. Naturally tonight it was no go. I was following a car going 15-20 in conditions that were safe for 30-35. I was going too slow when I turned and didn't make it.

Just a note for you drivers unaccustomed to winter driving. Going too slow is as bad as going too fast. Keep your momentum up on the highway and anticipate what's ahead of you. It's changes in momentum that will get you in trouble. Smoother is better. Think what's going to happen a 1/2 mile before it happens. It's weight + thrust ÷ traction.

You math wiz's can correct my formula. It's been a long time since Coach Turner's Algebra 101.

When I reached the driveway I was going slower than I needed because of the car in front of me. I turned off into my drive knowing I had a tough climb and I almost made it to the top before I lost traction. I had to back down to the road and take a second shot at it.

That second shot was my undoing. I couldn't get enough steam up, the truck slid off the side of the entrance and partially into the ditch before I could stop. Every attempt to move it just slid me farther down the incline. I finally decided to quit while I was ahead and hoofed the 1/2 mile thru the snowdrifts to the house. I was really glad I decided to wear my leather overcoat this morning.

Tomorrow if it thaws enough I'll take another shot at it, otherwise it's time to fire up the Massey Ferguson and drag it home. (Insert colorful language here)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah Vol. XVIII

  • I woke up this morning and swore someone had driven a 16penny nail into my lower back. Thank God I don't have to work today.
  • I don't think my sister is going to like her Christmas present. (It's a new radiator for my pickup.)
  • My pickup is starting to fall apart. 
  • I heard a guy complaining about the measly $200 he got as a Christmas bonus. Hey Pal, at least your boss gave you a bonus. We got nada, zip, zilch.
  • It looks like Pugs and Kelly have reconciled their differences. Stunt or "do you like this gig"?
  • Looks like Liberally Lean got burned with bad info on a breaking news story. I can sympathize. When I worked in radio I got a breaking news story from a reliable source that an oil well had blown out. I confirmed it with a local PD dispatcher before passing the story to a news service that I worked for as a stringer. They aired it statewide. It was wrong. No well blow out, just an open high pressure pipeline valve. I had to do a retraction / apology. Red Adair took me off his Christmas card list, too.
  • On the flip side, I did break a story that went national and was read by Peter Jennings on ABC's World News Tonight. It was about a flu epidemic.
  • Actress Brittany Murphy has died from natural causes. No autopsy report, but speculation is she suffered from an eating disorder. She was 32. Besides her numerous film roles, she was the voice of Luanne Platter on King of the Hill.
  • Hulu has yanked an SNL skit from their website that mocked Murphy's abrupt exit and subsequent firing from the film "The Caller". The skit was from an episode 2 weeks ago.

Jack Bauer Interrogates Santa

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sarah Palin Coverup Exposed

Sarah Warrior Princess cut her Hawaiian vacation short after photographers caught a picture of her wearing a McCain/Palin campaign visor with McCain's name blacked out in Marks-A-Lot.

Palin was going to blackout the entire visor, but she quit halfway. 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Perpetual Motion Energy?

T. Boone is gonna be pissed!

Orbo technology, which has been in development for six years, provides free, clean and constant energy at the point of use. It can be engineered to power anything from a phone to a fridge to a car. It is controversial because it is an "over-unity" technology, meaning that it produces more energy than it consumes without the degradation of its constituent parts. This is an apparent violation of the Law of Conservation of Energy, which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. The implications, not just for energy production but for society as a whole, are profound.

Orbo is based upon time variant magnetic interactions, i.e. magnetic interactions whose efficiency varies as a function of transaction timeframes.
It is this variation of energy exchanged as a function of transaction time frame that lies at the heart of Orbo technology, and its ability to contravene the principle of the conservation of energy. Why? Conservation of energy requires that the total energy exchanged using interactions are invariant in time. This principle of time invariance is enshrined in Noether’s Theorem.
The time variant nature of Orbo interactions can be engineered using two basic techniques. The first technique utilizes a method of controlling the response time of magnetic materials to make them time variant. This is achieved by controlling the MH position of materials during permanent magnetic interactions.
The second technique decouples the Counter Electromotive Force (CEMF) from torque for electromagnetic interactions. This decoupling of CEMF allows time variant magnetic interactions in electromagnetic systems.

Name That "Will Tear Your Ass Up" Animal

Ain't he all cute and cuddly?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Speaking of Stealth UAV's

Just ran across this disturbing story in The Wall Street Journal.

Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations.
Senior defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted the video feeds by taking advantage of an unprotected communications link in some of the remotely flown planes' systems. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber -- available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet -- to regularly capture drone video feeds, according to a person familiar with reports on the matter.
U.S. military personnel in Iraq discovered the problem late last year when they apprehended a Shiite militant whose laptop contained files of intercepted drone video feeds. In July, the U.S. military found pirated drone video feeds on other militant laptops, leading some officials to conclude that militant groups trained and funded by Iran were regularly intercepting feeds.
Senior military and intelligence officials said the U.S. was working to encrypt all of its drone video feeds from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but said it wasn't yet clear if the problem had been completely resolved.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson's 1000th Episode

Whattado everybody!!!!

The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson was totally taken over by the puppets for it's 1000th episode, led by ragin' cajun Wavy Rancheros. This was the 1st time we learned Wavy's full name, btw.

The extravaganza opened with a smokin' hot dancer filled musical number to Honky Tonk Badonkadonk. It included a well choreographed bit with the shark, but that my friends was just the beginning.

Opening guest Jason Schwartzman played along with the bit and did well during the improved interview from a cajun allicrocadillygator forced to share a sewer system apartment with Val Kilmer.

During a Dear Aquaman segment we learned that Seahorses are the most p***ywhipped animals of the deep. I did not know that...

The following guest, the lovely Maria Bello, took the torch and ran with it. Her double entendre laced bit ended up with her making out with Wavy. (That gator's got moxy!)

Next up was a guest puppet appearance with the musical number "I Think Things Are Going To Get Better" by Dracula, featuring the original cast and puppeteers from the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I'm pretty sure this was the first guest puppet performance on TLLS. (The fact I know this is very depressing now that I think about it).

Puppet Sean Connery provided a few Jack Daniels fueled holiday memories between segments.

Sarah Marshall herself, the smokin' hot Kristen Bell, was the next guest. After telling Wavy she needed someone a bit bigger and more manly for an intimate companion he reminded her "Bitch, I will EAT you!"

The closing montage featured the full on-air cast including all the skit characters and puppets onstage together to James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend".

This was one of the most original and entertaining programs I've seen in a long time. With the puppets, Craig was able to ad-lib censored material without the constraints of the camera. A well placed bleep is worth 1000 pixilated videos. Taken out of context, it may have been awkward and confusing. But if you've followed the evolution of The Late, Late Show it was sheer genius and a gift to the fans. The only thing missing was a cheeky monkey.

Bravo, Craig!
If this doesn't get you an Emmy, you were robbed.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Full Blown Meltdown (Updated)

I have to admit at first I thought it was a stunt. Either they are milking it for all it's worth, or it is legit. I'm referring to the on-air hissyfit that has developed into a full blown meltdown between former Live 105.3, 93.3 The Bone and now AM1360 personalities Pugs and Kelly.

I missed the actual moment it happened during their talk show on Friday afternoon, but I was listening when they returned from break scrambling to get all the equipment up and going again. Pugs apparently lost his temper over something and called Kelly a bitch. That brought an immediate "asshole" reply from Kelly. Pugs then went into full pantie wad mode and stormed off the stage during the live broadcast from Rockfish in Dallas, tearing loose cables and toppling equipment during his exit. The event, which they heavily promoted, was to feature a live appearance from members of Broken Lizzard to promote their new movie Slammin Salmon.

The video is archived on ustream, but the tin can/kite string connection I have to the interwebs prevents me from watching. But I hear it kicks in at the 36 minute mark.

According to their Twitter feeds Pugs & Kelly will no longer be on the air as a team. They apparently have drawn a line down the middle of the studio, more or less, and will be alternating days as host until the end of the year. At that time Kelly will be hosting a new program solo.

No news on Pugs' future yet. But, I do have an opinion. He screwed the pooch.

What was the straw that broke the camel's back? Whether Tiger Woods looks more Black or Asian and the origin of MSNBC. More info at Richie Whitt's blog.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The End Of The Line

Sad news out of Cresson, Tx. The Pate Museum of Transportation is closing it's doors Christmas Eve. If you've never been there, you still have time to see what remains. It's still well worth the short drive.

 Built by late Ft Worth oilman "Aggie" Pate out of his own pocket, it is an eclectic collection of cars, boats, aircraft and space memorabilia. During it's heyday it featured several military planes, but most have been reclaimed by the USAF after their condition deteriorated.

The museum is open 10-5 Tuesday thru Saturday, 12 - 5 on Sunday.

And Another

No, not a hot teacher/student hookup. That's Barry's schtick. I'm talking about Trevor Brazile winning his record tying 7th All Around Cowboy title at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pizza Kat

During our investigative report we uncovered this disturbing photo...

The Paxil Pages

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Stealth UAV

Pilots are the limiting factor in fighter aircraft. The human body can only survive so many G's. It also requires life support. Remove the pilot and you can do some mind boggling stuff with an aircraft.

Meet the RQ-170 Sentinel. The Air Force has confirmed the existence of the "Beast of Kandahar". It has been seen flying in Afghanistan since 2007 and is a product of the infamous Lockheed Martin "Skunk Works".

More info at Aviation Week.

Remember, the Predator started out as an unmanned recon aircraft. It didn't take long to strap on weapons and take advantage of the platform's capabilities. Given the RQ-170's power, performance and stealth, is a fighter/attack version far away? Or is it already in the air?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Engineers Are Sadists

Ask anyone that has to work on cars and they will confirm my opinion of design engineers. What works good on paper does not always work well in the real world. I've heard horror stories about having to pull the engine just to replace a timing belt or water pump.

I know they are trying to build a cheaper, more reliable vehicle. But they should be required to work on that vehicle once the prototype is built. I don't mean in a fully equipped shop with all the proper tools. I'm talking in the driveway with a decent set of hand tools.

There would be changes made, trust me.

Case in point, my heater blower quit working. Something I deemed pretty doggone important driving home the other night. I diagnosed the problem was in the ignition switch because if I wiggled the key just right I could make the fan come on for just long enough to really piss me off when it quit again.

When I dug out my trusty Haynes manual I was in for a surprise. The last ignition switch I messed with was on a '68 F-100 and it definitely was a 1 piece monster with a gazillion wires. This 2002 edition was broken down into 2 parts. The key cylinder and the electronics module. Getting to it was another story. I had to disconnect the battery, disassemble the steering column covers and remove the tilt mechanism. Then I had access to the ignition switch, but I still had to remove the key cylinder and several screws to change the electronics module.

Without a Haynes manual I'd have never figured it out.

But here's where the sadist part comes in. As I'm feeling pretty good about myself and putting everything back together I crossthreaded one of the screws that holds the tilt mechanism. The steering column framework is made from machined aluminum and the screw from hardened steel. It doesn't take an expert to figure out what's wrong with this picture. A dab of Loctite and I managed to get the screw to stay in place. I don't look forward to removing it if I ever have to in the future.

Let's hope I get another 100,000 miles out of this switch before we have to cross that bridge.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Out-of-Sight, Out-of-Mind Bowl

2 points. That's all that separated TCU from a national championship game with Alabama. That was the injury.

The insult was added when the BCS announced the Bowl match ups. The Sporting News' Dave Curtis sums it up better than I ever could. While the meeting between 2 undefeated teams outside of the championship game is BCS history, but it's also a backhanded compliment to both TCU and Boise State.

You two little teams run along and play nice while the big boys go to work. The kiddie table is over there.... Yeah you're undefeated, but who did you beat?

Who did you beat?  I won't bring up Baylor, UTEP, UCF or ULM that the Longhorns beat into submission. Neither will I mention North Texas, Chattanooga, Florida International, or Mississippi State that Alabama treated like their redheaded cousin with a skin condition at the family reunion. Out of politeness I'll also refrain from highlighting Rutgers, Southeast Missouri State, Fresno State, Syracuse and Connecticut that Cincinnati swept under the rug.

Strength of schedule my ass.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Let Me Tell You What Melba Toast Is Packin' Right Here...

One of the greatest movies in the history of ever. This movie is so good it somehow makes both Matthew McConaghey AND Ben Afflek look good. At the same time! It's a slice right out of my teenage years. All right, all right, all right...

Richard Linklater perfectly captures a snapshot of youth and it's rights of passage in 1975 Texas. He had an eye for talent. Along with McConaghey and Afflek the film is peppered with future stars including Joey Lauren Adams, Mila Jovovich, Adam Goldberg, Parker Posey, Christine Harnos and an uncredited Renee Zellweger.

This film has the greatest soundtrack in the history of ever and some classic one-liners:

Wooderson: Let me tell you what Melba Toast is packin' right here, all right. We got 4:11 Positrac outback, 750 double pumper, Edelbrock intake, bored over 30, 11 to 1 pop-up pistons, turbo-jet 390 horsepower. We're talkin' some fuckin' muscle!

Wooderson: That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.

Wooderson: Say, man, you got a joint?
Mitch: No, not on me, man.
Wooderson: It'd be a lot cooler if you diiid.

Pink: I may play ball next fall, but I will never sign that. Now me and my loser friends are gonna head out to buy Aerosmith tickets.Top priority of the summer.

Pink: All I'm saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life - remind me to kill myself.

Tony: So, you're not gonna go to law school? What do you wanna do then?
Mike: I wanna dance!

The Worldwide Leader in Cowboys!

The 2009 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is underway at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas. You can watch it nightly on ESPN Classic at 9pm with replays on ESPN2.

Our little slice of North Texas produces more than it's share of outstanding cowboys. Decatur's own Trevor Brazile is on his way to a 7th All Around Cowboy Championship. That would tie him with Hall of Fame member Ty Murray (you know that guy in Stephenville married to the hot singer babe). Trevor didn't help himself finishing 13th in tie-down roping with a time of 23.80 seconds. Meanwhile, Tuf Cooper of Decatur turned in an 8 & 3. That's 8.30 seconds for you non-rodeo linguists. Don't make me tell you what a hooey is...

Weatherford's Bradley Harter is competing for his first Saddle Broc title. Also from Weatherford, Todd Suhn is back for his 13th NFR in Bulldogging. He's currently in 13th (go figure) with a time of 9 & 5. Somebody call Tom Hanks.

Complete round by round results can be found at

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah Vol. XVII

  • We have a new follower. Welcome to Bat Country!
  • I just learned of a weekly poker tournament I knew nothing about. Watch out for the return of South 40 Slim!
  • The Washington State cop killer pardoned by Mike Huckabee is dead of death.
  • Looks like winter is upon us...
  • Just A Girl has disappeared from the Blogosphere. Hopefully all is well.
  • TCU is no longer in control of their BCS fate. Let's all root for Nebraska and Alabama! (I will absolve you of your sins for rooting against UT if necessary. I am an ordained minister in 2 religions.).
  • Speaking of college football, legendary head coach Bobby Bowden is out at Florida State.
  • A fake student massage therapist is going door to door offering free "practice" massages to females in North Texas. Who lets someone going door to door give them a free massage?
  • Leave your address if you answer yes to the above. We aim to please.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oh No He Did'nt...

Obama just played the 9/11 card in his speech at West Point calling for more troops in Afghanistan.