The stars at night are big and bright...

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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Annie Mae?

Even if cartoons were never your thing and you think Speed Racer is the pinnacle of  Japanese animation, you need to take a step back and check out Cowboy Bebop. It was the next evolution in Japanese animated cinema or Anime. The even tho it's long dead, the series was years ahead of it's time.

This isn't a kids cartoon. It was written for adults and features some great storylines and music. There is a full length movie that wraps up the series.

Heavens to Murgatroyd!

I'm a Michael Buble' fan!

I'm as stunned as you are. To be honest, I've never heard of Michael Buble' before last night's episode of SNL (which was epic, btw). Buble's sketch with host Jon Hamm was greatness.

The writing at SNL has really stepped up to the challenge since the loss of Tina Fey. Seth Meyers now rules the SNL roost as head writer and he has not disappointed. Weekend Update is as sharp edged as it ever was and maintains it's foothold as the highpoint of SNL. 

edit: Case in point. SNL is doing a lot of delayed reaction running gags that require quite a bit of setup. The "Greg is not an alien" bit was a great example. It started out as a marginal skit and has evolved into a legit running gag they can fit new characters into. The current set of recurring guests on Weekend Update like NY Gov. David Patterson, The Two Gay Jersey Guys and my personal favorite Jersey Shore's "Snooki" are pure gold. It's not SNL in it's heydey, but it's a far cry from the Joe Piscapo depths of dispair. I do have to say Bobby Moynihan may be the closest thing we've seen to John Belushi since Chris Farley. He's got it, whatever it is.

What really caught me by surprise was the fact Michael Buble' is the singer of several songs I like that are playing/forcefed on our Sirius/XM  music at work. I honestly thought they were new Harry Connick, Jr tunes.

Buble' shares Coninck's flair for old school cool. He can take a classic like "Save the Last Dance", combine it with a Rumba beat and make it an all new hit. He's got that "Rat Pack Kharma".

Friday, January 29, 2010

#1 on The South 40 Top 10

Potential Wise County Rock Hauler?

This video is chock full o' win.
First is the guy walking across the bridge that stops and says "OH SH.."
Second is the driver in the red car that ain't got time to mess with this.

"I ain't trusted a weatherman since Harold Taft died!"

The World's Greatest Weatherman

Frequent South 40 readers know I recently blew up my PDA with an operating system update. Lost along with all of my contacts and notes were my web bookmarks. One of those was the NEXRAD radar feed from KXAS I had zeroed in to my location. Since the update I can no longer find that link and KXAS has "upgraded" their radar to a link to The Weather Channel. That radar is terrible.

I'm a weather junkie and love realtime radar feeds. Give me the tools and let me figure out for myself whats going to happen. I want to know what my conditions are, not what it's like in Grapevine or Arlington. No offense to Grapevine or Arlington, it's just that us folks out here in the sticks pretty much get overlooked. Case in point, I saw the tornado that sent my wellhouse flying across the pasture and made my roof & walls shimmy like they were Jell-O on radar 5 minutes before it hit and there was never a tornado warning. Unfortunately, I wasn't smart enough to evac before it hit and got the free floor/wall/ceiling show. Let me tell you, that 30 seconds put a root cellar on my list of stuff to do.

But, I digress...

The problem is I no longer have a good PDA friendly link for radar and weather on the go, so I decided to put a call out to "The South 40 Nation". What are your favorite weather links for your PDA or iPhone? What do you use?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

As Usual, They Go After Truckers

It's always 3ViL trUCk3r$  that are causing the problem. Nevermind that they are by and large the better drivers on the highway.

When was the last time you heard of an accident caused by a trucker texting? When was the last time you heard of a fatal accident  by a car driver texting?

What is the root of this law? Truckers have more money and better insurance. Cha-ching!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Retro Vision

How long does it take for a pair of glasses to wear out? A lot longer than it did when I was a kid. About 15 years longer to be exact.

My old specs are finally fubar. I've had several pair since these, but I always reverted back to this old pair because I could see better out of them. With the newer pairs I had trouble seeing close up and reading, which I do a lot of at work. I know what the problem is, I need bifocals. But only old people wear bifocals and damnit I'm not old!

OK, I'm old... You happy now?

The other problem with bifocals is they are freaking ex-pen-sive! The last time I had my eyes examined they tried to talk me into a pair of lineless bifocals and the lenses alone were over $350. Uh, sorry. Give me the cheap bastard price set of single vision lenses and these frames from the markdown closeout bin. No special coating, no tinting and no underbody rustproofing. Did I mention I have a coupon?

The pair I'm wearing now is of the above mentioned quality and they are scratched allll to hell. It's like walking around with "I just woke up in a Vegas hotel room after a bachelor party" vision. I tried using some stuff I saw on an infomercial called Liquid Lense. It worked about as well as you would expect. It might be fine for fixing a scratched headlight or windshield, but it is an epic fail for eyewear.

I've got one other pair that is actually high quality, but they really strain my eyes and I definitely can't read anything wearing them. Before you try suggesting contacts, been there done that and almost lost an eye trying. I developed an ulcer and got a severe infection on my left eye. The ophthalmologist that treated me told me never to try contacts again and for once I'm listening to what someone tells me to do.

I almost had laser surgery in 2001, but the $3500 pricetag and the thought of a laser beam frying my eyeballs made me chicken out. Now, I thinking that was one of my Top 10 bonehead moves.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

$10 Well Spent

A few months from now you probably couldn't give these away.
But I've got mine!
Seriously, the folks at Ink 'N' Stitch in Bridgeport are genius. Carpe diem my friends!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Keeping Up With The Joneses

All the other "high tone" blogs seem to be doing this, so what the hey?
(And I'll be damned if it ain't pretty doggone accurate!)

Your Favorite Color is Blue

You are a compassionate, empathetic, and sensitive person. You can truly put yourself in someone else's shoes.

You're known to be very soothing and understanding. Your friends can always turn to you in times of need.

You see the world realistically. You don't have any illusions about what is or isn't going on.

You are wise and thoughtful. You don't rush to judgement, and you think things through.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Hangover

I'd heard a lot of good things about The Hangover. It was high on my list, but I just never got around to watching it until today.

Man, what was I thinking?

This is quite possibly the funniest movie since Airplane! and I laughed until I had tears streaming down my face. As soon as I would recover, BAM!, they hit you with another knockout punch you didn't see coming. Literally.

I had a chance to buy the Special Collectors Edition DVD for $22 at Best Buy a few weeks ago. I thought "pay $22 for a DVD? No way!"

I should have snagged it when I had the chance.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Note To Self: Read The FAQ First

I got a bright idea last night and decided to update my phone's operating system from Windows Mobile 6 to WM 6.1 . More bells and whistles, smoother web surfing, ect, ect. One minor problem, it erased all my contacts and almost every program I had loaded on the phone.

Ugh... I feel about as smart as the guy that came up with "Let's move Leno to primetime!"

My Motorola Q 9h truly is my Personal Digital Assistant. I rely on it to remember appointments, passwords, combinations, birthdays, anniversaries, you name it. Now it's all gone... poof! Fortunately, I do have most of the info I need for work written down somewhere in a notebook that I haven't seen in a couple years. The rest isn't written down or saved anywhere.

I also lost the GPS programs, registry editor, maps, apps and bookmarks. I thought everything was backed up on my pc with Sync. I was wrong. I have it backed up on my old pc (the one with a fried hard drive). For the next few days I will be starting over from scratch entering all those names and numbers and reconfiguring my emails. So if you don't get a call from me, it's nothing personal. I lost your number. No, really!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'd like to introduce you to the hardest-workin' band in the world!

On bass, Derek "Meatman" Scully. On piano, Steven "Soul Surgeon" Clifford. Dean "Mr Nipple" Fay on sax. Joey "The Lips" Fagan on trumpet. Our gorgeous chanteuses are Bernie, Imelda, and Natalie. Deco "Deep Throat" Cuffe on vocals. On lead guitar, Outspan "Fender bender" Foster. Finally, on drums, Mickah "Don't Fuck With Me" Wallace. Ladies and gentlemen... 
The Commitments. 

Everyone say testicles!

This is one of my Top 5 favorite films. In 2005 it was voted Greatest Irish Film of All Time. Allen Parker's adaptation of Roddy Doyle's 165 page novel is a spellbinding story of hard working, underprivileged white kids in 1980's Dublin who struggle against the odds to become the "Saviors of Soul" only to see it all come crumbling down right before their very eyes. As great as the film is you really need to read the book. It adds tons of flavor to an already savory film.

Remember Kids, Heroine Kills!

This is one of those rare films, like The Blues Brothers, where they captured lightning in a bottle and the cast soundtrack is as good or better than the original artists. From James Brown, Martha and The Vandellas, Otis Redding and Al Green to Roy Head and Wilson Pickett they relentlessly belt out the hits and leave you begging for more.

Quite simply put, The Commitments is a must see.

So what was it like when you decided to start the blog?

Well that's a tricky question Terry, I remember thinking I had Liberally Lean to measure up to
 and that's a tremendous undertaking.

It's not the singing, it's the showmanship. That's what you've got to measure up to Lads.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Men of a Certain Age

I've never been a huge fan of Ray Romano. He's OK, just not my cup of tea. It was with this prejudice that I reluctantly tuned into his new TNT series, "Men of a Certain Age". It stars Romano along with Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher as 3 lifelong friends now in their 40's that sit around a table at their local diner swapping stories.

Sounds riveting, doesn't it?

Well much to my surprise it's actually good! The first few episodes were slow and drawn out. I suppose it was necessary to establish the characters and their various back stories, but it didn't exactly grab your attention and earn a place in the DVR lineup. But last night's episode, "Go With the Flow", was pure gold and gave much hope for what lies ahead.

Here's a couple reviews from  TV Squad and  TVaholic.

Men of a Certain Age has rightfully earned a coveted spot on The South 40 DVR. Check it out Monday nights on TNT.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And I Thought I Had A Senior Moment

WASHINGTON – Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani set off a tempest about terrorism Friday with his claim that this nation "had no domestic attacks" under President George W. Bush.
Giuliani somehow neglected to mention the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as he was contrasting President Barack Obama's handling of terrorism with that of Bush in light of the failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound flight. The Sept. 11 attacks toppled New York's World Trade Center, killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania and earned Giuliani accolades as "America's mayor."
"We had no domestic attacks under Bush," Giuliani said. "We've had one under Obama."

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Answer Is

It was a trick question, sorta...

Main Entry: watch cap
Function: noun
Date: 1835
: a knitted close-fitting usually navy-blue cap worn especially by enlisted men in the United States Navy in cold or stormy weather
If you ever served in the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard or Merchant Marine it's a watch cap. You ask your Chief if you can wear your toboggan or beanie,  you may find yourself walking around with a chunk of wood or a can of beans on your head.
Civilians may use:

Main Entry: 1to·bog·gan 
Pronunciation: \tə-ˈbä-gən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Canadian French tobogan, of Algonquian origin; akin to Micmac tobâgun drag made of skin
Date: circa 1820
1 : a long flat-bottomed light sled made usually of thin boards curved up at one end with usually low handrails at the sides
2 : a downward course or a sharp decline
3 chiefly Southern & Midland : stocking cap

Main Entry: bean·ie 
Pronunciation: \ˈbē-nē\
Function: noun
Etymology: probably from 1bean (head) + -ie
Date: 1904
: a small round tight-fitting skullcap

If you're wearing a woolybooger, you should start taking off your mittens before you pick your nose.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Milestone or Just Stoned?

I know for a fact the last time I visited my cardiologist he told me everything looked good and to come back in a year and I didn't book an appointment when I left. That was November 2008. Being prone to procrastination, I waited until yesterday to finally book my follow up. But, when I spoke to the receptionist she told me I already had booked an appointment for March.


I looked at my Dr's business card that I carry in my wallet and double checked my PDA (which is my electronic notepad / backup brain where I keep all my important stuff), neither had anything for that date.

10 years ago I would have blamed it on bourbon and women of questionable virtue. But as of late, I'm not in the habit of drunk dialing anyone, especially my cardiologist. Now I'm worried I've had my 1st verifiable senior moment.

I blame Microsoft. Yeah, that's the ticket...

Pop Quiz

This headgear is called a:

  1. Sweater hat
  2. Toboggan
  3. Watch cap
  4. Ski hat
  5. Beanie
  6. Woolybooger
The correct answer will be revealed after all pencils are down and everyone's heads are on your desks.
No Googling your neighbor's answers!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Man, It's Cold Outside!

How cold is it?

  • I saw a dog stuck to a telephone pole.
  • Politicians have their hands in their own pockets.
  • A car driver was saying something to a rock hauler on 114 and his middle finger froze.
  • Flashers are only describing themselves.
  • Tiger Woods is texting women just to keep his fingers warm.
  • Chickens are mugging sheep just for their wool.
  • Starbucks is selling antifreeze macchiatos.
  • Apple introduced something called the iScarf.
  • I saw a robin put a worm in a crock pot.
  • Brittney Spears is wearing underwear.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Routine Policy of the Court

Since BG's on a beach somewhere, I thought I'd fill in and bring you a bit of Courthouse news.
 Surprisingly, it's not the Wise County Courthouse.

 NASHVILLE (CN) - A judge in Dickson County, Tenn., had officers pull a spectator out of his courtroom "on a hunch," held him in custody and made him submit to a urinalysis for drugs, the man claims in Federal Court. Benjamin Marchant claims that General Sessions Judge Durwood Moore admitted that he "routinely drug-screens 'spectators' in his courtroom if he 'thinks' they may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol." Moore allegedly called it the "routine policy of the court." 
     Marchant says he was in Moore's courtroom supporting a friend, when Moore ordered officers to take him into custody. They grabbed Marchant, allegedly without any evidence of illegal behavior, and took him to a different place in the courthouse where he was made to submit to a drug screen urinalysis. He was released from custody when the results came back negative. 
     In response to Marchant's judicial ethics complaint, Moore allegedly said that plucking suspicious spectators from his courtroom and screening them for drugs was "the routine policy of the court."
     Moore acknowledged he had violated Marchant's rights and was censured by the Tennessee Supreme Court's Judiciary Court on May 1, 2009, the highest form of punishment short of seeking a judge's removal from the bench, according to the complaint. 
     The court ordered Moore to "never violate a person's constitutional rights as he did to the Plaintiff," the complaint states. 
     Marchant also sued the officers who took him into custody, stating: "Only a plainly incompetent officer or a knowing participant would have taken place in such unlawful and unconstitutional procedures." 
     In Marchant's view, "the facts of the case are not subject to dispute or else the Defendant, Durwood Moore, would have disputed them when his career as a judge was in jeopardy."
     He wants punitive damages for denial of his due process rights, outrageous conduct, violation of the Tennessee Human Rights Act, assault and battery and false imprisonment. 
     The Dickson County seat is Charlotte, Tenn.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tales From The Darkside

Exactly how I wanted to spend a few days off, sick in bed. I've been battling the flu for several days but Saturday night it won the war. I managed to drive home from work and walk in the front door before all hell broke loose. I couldn't even keep a few sips of water down. It was not pretty. Finally late Sunday afternoon my fever broke and I started to feel better.

I'm still not 100% and feel like Mike Tyson used my midsection for a punching bag, but I am able to keep some chicken soup down.

So much for the chili cheese dip and seven layer nachos I was going to have during the Fiesta Bowl.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Wire Paladin San Francisco

Encore Westerns is running a classic westerns weekend featuring great old TV series like the original Gunsmoke and one of my personal favorites, Have Gun - Will Travel.

A dark and foreboding tone was set from the show's beginning. Each episode opened with the same dark and ominous music over a close up of Paladin's gun being drawn. This was followed with a stern line from him teasing the upcoming story.

Richard Boone played the hard as nails soldier of fortune, Paladin. A gun for hire with a heart of gold. Yet, he never looked weak while defending the underdog or those done wrong and he made a tidy profit in the process. A classic Paladin Knight.

A dandy living the highlife in San Francisco he had a dual personality that always scoured the newspapers gathered by his Chinese concierge "Hey Boy" looking for cases that might require his unique skills. He delivered his invitation for employment with an unmistakable calling card...

Have Gun, Will Travel
Wire Paladin, San Francisco

You didn't want to stand between Paladin and his money, particularly if you were holding a gun and on the wrong side of right. Altho a soldier of fortune, he still managed to earn his pay and provide justice for the downtrodden at the same time.

He was the classic anti-hero.

This series was a launching ground for many up and coming stars featured in a mix with well known actors. The cast included guests like Strother Martin, Mike Conners, George Kennedy, Ken Curtis, Charles Bronson, Robert Blake, James Best, Jack Albertson, Ben Johnson, June Lockhart, Lon Chaney, Jr, Charles Gray, Harry Dean Stanton, Dyan Cannon, Angie Dickenson, William Conrad and many more.

Later,  Encore Westerns will feature 24 hours of the original Gunsmoke.

Set your DVR to meltdown.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Dick Clark Needs To Give It Up

I hate to trash a stroke victim, but when you can't count backwards from 20, speak clearly and your ego is in control of your better sense, it's time to step away from the camera.

Dick, you're no longer America's oldest teenager. Your America's creepiest old man.

It also looks like you have lost the title of best New Years Eve show. ESPN took your spot away with Red Bull: New Year, No Limits. The show featured  Travis Pastrana's World Record rally car jump off the Pine Street Pier onto a barge anchored 269 feet away in the harbor. He made it look easy.

The crowd in Long Beach, California watched as he crawled out of the car and topped off his record shattering jump by doing a backflip off the barge into the water.

See the difference, Dick?

Channel 8 once again aired BigD NYE hosted by the beatdown twins, Pete Delkis and Dale Hansen. Luckily former Channel 8 alum Leeza Gibbons was there to throw a life preserver to the broadcast. Gordon Keith had a very scaled back role from previous years and it showed. It's great that we have local programming on New Year's Eve. It's too bad that they still haven't figured out how to pull it off without looking like a local broadcast. It had potential, but no spark.

It was also wrecked with technical difficulties.

I have two words to pass along to Belo. Sound check. There were horrible audio problems early on during the live music featuring Reckless Kelly and some cover bands I hever heard of, but weren't that bad. They also had an annoying habit of breaking in during the middle of songs to do their chat bits. They need to coordinate the live show with the segments better. That's one area where Dick still knows his stuff. Production values.

The DrPepper fireworks show looked great and I'm sure it was awesome in person. Everyone there on camera certainly looked like they enjoyed the live show. I heard rooms at The W started at $599. I'll stay home, drink a bottle of Ballatore and watch The Three Stooges marathon on AMC.

I just saved $595! Happy New Year!!!

Remember to eat your blackeyed peas and cabbage!