The stars at night are big and bright...

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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lighten Up, Francis

My weekends are kinda FUBAR. I'm off Monday/Tuesday instead of Saturday/Sunday. I also work evenings so my day is skewed off by another 8 hours. Let's do the Time Warp again!  It will mess with your head sometimes, like yesterday.

Normally I'm up very late on Sunday night watching TV. Between HBO, Showtime, AMC, AdultSwim, ect  there's a lot of stuff to watch on Sunday nights. Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, The Walking Dead... it's a lot to keep up with so I can fail to report it to you on a timely basis. Keep those cards and letters rolling in for Blog of The Year. Can ya hear me Barry? I'll take you in a cage match LLDQ!  Well, maybe not with your Zombielandesque commitment to Rule #1. But, Fritz Von Erich taught me The Iron Claw!

Anyway, I usually sleep in on Monday which would be your Saturday. My Sunday night is your Friday night. My morning is your lunch. Who's on First? What? Third base. Getting confused yet? Trust me, you will eventually.

This morning I woke up sans alarm bright and early around the crack of Noonish, respectably early for me on a Monday. I retrieved a frosty cold DP from the fridge, grabbed a Little Debbie's chocolate covered honey bun, tuned in DP on The101 and busted out my new laptop to catch up on what's happenin' now on the intertubes while lounging on the king size pillowtop. After a bit of watching Dan and The Danettes, I stumbled across an old Chairman of the Board movie on TCM I've only seen 30 or 40 times, The Detective.

It's a great old film. Completely timestamped in both performances and storyline. It's a bad movie, but it's so bad it's entertaining. Classic trainwreck effect. Plus it's Francis Albert Sinatra. Can't pass that up. Those were the good ol' days.

So, I'm about halfway thru the movie and Ol' Blue Eyes is the tough as nails NYPD cop with a heart of gold who's woman has done him wrong and the plot is actually getting interesting when my cell phone rings. Caller ID says it's work. Great, what do they need?

Me: Hello?

Caller: Whatcha doin'?

Me: Not much.

Caller: Did I wake you up?

Me: No, sittin' here watchin' a Sinatra movie actually. What's up?

Caller: You coming to work?

Me: Huh?

Caller: Umm, it's 2:30.

Me: Uhhh, what? This is Monday, right?

Caller: Yep, and you work 2 - 10, Baby!

Me: %#@*&%#!!!  I'm on my way!

I completely forgot about the schedule change. My supervisor asked me about it 2 weeks ago and I said no problem. I mean, what else do I have to do except lay around and watch old movies, right? That was the last we talked about it and I didn't look at the new schedule when it was posted because my schedule never changes, right?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

(Hey, it's still Thanksgiving on the west coast so it counts!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Might Be Lazy, But I'm Not Dead

It's been a while since I've posted and still no Walking Dead review. Not exactly timely reporting. Well, you get what you pay for and that includes The Walking Dead.

In an incredibly short season there are only 2 original episodes left on AMC! If you haven't seen The Walking Dead, you are missing out on the greatest sci-fi since the original Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. Sorry BSG fans, but this kicks Adama and the Cylons ass.

Gritty, smart, scary, sexy. It's greatness on a Breaking Bad scale.

That's a formula for success.

A small group of survivors exist on a world filled with zombies. Personal differences must be set aside for survival. What's not to love?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


No, this isn't a review of AMC's new original program The Walking Dead, but it should be. Smart, funny, scary, edgy... It's greatness. Unfortunately, this is about the joys of laundry.

As usual, I put my load of work shirts in the washer last night so I would have a week's supply of clean clothes. When I took them out to put them in the dryer I found tiny bits of paper stuck to everything. Meh, I probably left a receipt in my pocket. Sure must have been a big receipt because there's a LOT of paper. Then  I discovered the horror. I found the leather cover to my pocket notebook I keep with all the codes, combinations and procedures I need at all the different stores... "My Brain"!

It was in about the same condition as the undead pictured above.

I keep everything on my PDA, but I also keep a paper back-up in case my phone ever dies. It has done that more than once and left me in a lurch. So I still have most of the info, but there were some procedures that were so long and complicated I only had them on paper. Ugh.

I had to re-wash the shirts 3 times to get all the brains paper off.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'd Make A Lousy Used Car Salesman

Battlestar Redneckia has been decommissioned from The South 40 Fleet and sold to the highest bidder.

It is indeed a sad day. I really liked that old Holiday Rambler Imperial. In it's day it was the pride of the fleet for it's class. But that day was 30 years ago. Fortunately, one of it's features was an all aluminum frame. Zero wood rot to worry about. Caveman technology.

After 30 years, the framework is just as sturdy today as the day it was built.

The young couple that bought it has plans of using it as a shuttle to California, a trip the RV has made numerous times. But I impressed upon them repeadly that their plan was not the best possible scenario for this RV.

Here to TMS, here to Turner Falls or maybe even Corpus, no problemo. But here to Cali? You might want to re-think that long and hard. But here lies the dilemma. Do I kill my sale in the interest of their future safety making a risky trip, or do I alert the buyer of any fatal flaws in their plans and let nature take it's course? If I do and they ignore me, am I still liable (ethically)?

The RV is amazingly sound for it's age and has a very tight 350 Chevy engine and Turbo 350 tranny. Mechanically it's a beast. I had complete maintaince records for the RV and tried to explain any quirks I knew it had. I gave them an honest deal and lost money on it.

Still, I can't help but think about these young kids that bought my old RV while stranded in the New Mexico desert surrounded by  zombies. (Stay tuned for an upcoming "The Walking Dead" review!)

But then, who am I to intrude on a roadtrip of passage? I once rode a Suzuki 750 from here to Seattle in February. You do what you gotta do, and I'd have really loved to have done it in a Holiday Rambler Imperial!

The way I look at it I gave them the best possible information about the tools for the job they had in mind. If I understated any part, then it's my bad. I lost $500 on the deal, but figured I got that much wear and tear out of it at TMS.

Fair winds my young friends!.But don't say I didn't told ya so!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Was Promised All Copies Had Been Destroyed!!!

I have to give a shout out to my old friend Leon Moody. He came by today and presented me with a copy of the August 11, 1983 edition of The Chico Texan. That issue featured an article on the greatest DJ ever to come from The Limestone Capitol of Texas. Unfortunately, it had this photo as well.

Did I ever have that much hair?

Monday, November 8, 2010

It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times

Wow, what a weekend. Not everything went as planned, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. The obvious movie reference is a line by Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway in Heartbreak Ridge, "You improvise, adapt, overcome!"

That I did.

The first Cliff Lee slider was when I got an email from the producer of The Racing Chef wanting to shoot a segment with The Smoking Gun. Uh, we weren't taking it this time. There was a larger smoker planned for a company function with BIL's supplier. I call the owner and he's cool with us using it again. Problem solved.

I get down to TMS Thursday noon and park the RV and help the others get their campers set up, then catch a ride back to The South40 to bring my new and improved minitruck and BIL's golf cart with my truck. When I got back to TMS I was coughing, sneezing and drenched with sweat. I had a fever of 100.3. I did a few NyQuil shooters and went to bed.

When I woke up Friday the fever was gone and I felt relatively normal.

Next was when my new Phillips LCD died after an hour. I had to make a trip to Decatur Saturday morning anyway, so I threw it in the truck and made the dreaded side trip to Walmart. Surprisingly, it was one of the best experiences I've had there. The CSR I got was just as sweet as could be and did absolutely everything she could to get me in & out as fast as she could with as little hassle as possible.

I head back to TMS and get ready for people to arrive. I hook up the new Phillips LCD and put "How To Train Your Dragon" in the BluRay for my niece to watch. She comes to me in about an hour and says, "your TV turned off".


I wasn't making any more trips to Decatur until Monday, so I adapt to the natural scenery as entertainment. Not a bad decision even tho the crowd was down considerably from previous years.

Next hurdle is I can't find my phone charger and my phone is down to 1 bar so limited use and no camera. Sorry, no party pictures this trip. Trust me when I say there could have been some great ones. The new speakers, dance pole and strobe lights I installed were a huge hit.

This morning we broke camp and headed home. I did make another stop at Walmart and exchanged the Phillips LCD for a Vizio. It's been on for 3 hours and no problems so far.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

TMS Update

We had a genuine celebrity stop by camp. Chef Nicky Morse of SPEED-TV's "The Racing Chef" contacted me about the "Smoking Gun Smoker" we use. He filmed a segment with us yesterday at lunch. It will air next Saturday.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Material Condition Zebra Test

All systems are go for launch. Provisions, life support (beer), field supplies and telecommunications experiments (DirecTv dish) have been loaded aboard. Everything is A-OK!

I was really worried about the water test. The last thing I needed to find was a hidden leak prior to launch. But she's a good ship with a long life ahead of her and maintained an even strain. 

After finishing the drydock tests I gave her a hand wash with some Surf City Garage Wash-n-Wax and made all preparations to get underway. Quartermaster, set an open course for The Virgin Sea! (or Texas Motor Speedway in this case.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Never Thought I'd See The Day

You can buy liquor in Chico and I don't mean at the bootlegger! 

I might just have to open a liquor store. Problem is about 20 other people are thinking the very same thing and 19 of them have more money than I do. As many of you know I owned a liquor store in Azle for years, "DJ's". It wasn't a big place in a great location, just a nice neighborhood store. I also worked for the busiest stores in Texas at Centennial/Big Daddy's after I sold my place. So I've seen both ends of the scale, volume and product wise. I also know (or knew) my s**t when it comes to fine wine and spirits.

There's a 10 year or so gap I'd have to fill in on product knowledge, other than that I'm up to snuff. I studied to be a wine sommelier when I worked at Centennial/Big Daddy's. I did everything side by side with their Wine Consultants in training except take the sommelier test at "The Mansion" in Dallas. They wouldn't pay for me to take it because I was a Manager and not a Wine Consultant yet I had to do a Wine Consultant's job and was expected to know that info.

One of the perks of working for a mega-chain (besides selling wine to future high-tone bloggers) was the numerous weekly tutorial/tasting meetings with product reps. It's really a fascinating subject to learn and completely out of character for a redneck like me amongst all the wine snobs, and trust me there are smarmy wine snobs just like in the movies. (Bottle Shock really nails it!) But I think there will be a very low call for fine wine and a large call for cheap beer and whiskey in Chico, so all that studying and knowledge is really for naught.

Either way, I don't see the little Limestone Capitol of Texas generating enough business to support more than 2 liquor stores at the most and I already know who will opening the first one. Beer is another story, that will be available everywhere. There's going to be a bit of shock and controversy over a location that will be selling nobody THOUGHT would be able to. Note to The Chico Texan: You really need to know how TABC measures stuff before you print something.

I once told my BIL that I'd bet my bottom dollar Wise County would never go wet. Good thing he never took that bet! The times they are a-changin'.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

OK, Something Weird Is Going On

I previously mentioned meeting a long lost relative recently. In just the last week I've run into two more! Two aunts I really like but had simply lost touch with over the years. I moved, they moved, we lost contact.  Just want to clear that up real quick if they happen to read The South 40. Don't want them to get confused by my earlier post.

The timing is just really odd.

I can't help but wonder if this is happening for a reason (divine intervention for lack of a better description) or if it's just a very peculiar coincidence. It's really weighing on my mind.