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, February 28, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Musical Interlude: God Bless America

Been listening to some songs I haven't heard in years at work on XM's "The Bridge". There was a tense moment when the District Supervisor was in the store and a Led Zeppelin song was playing. I don't remember which one it was but I can guarantee you it was the very first Zeppelin song they played as long as we had been listening.

Most of their programming was mellow rock like Beatles, CCR, Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, Nilssen, England Dan and John Ford Coley, ect. Real hard core stuff. Hardly a hippie employee rock and roll cultural rebellion. If I really wanted to rebel it would be about being forced to listen to the live broadcast of "The Grand Old Opry" twice a week.

Don't get me wrong, I like country music. Hell, I've shaken Willie Nelson and Toby Keith's hand. I just quit liking Little Jimmy Dickens somewhere around 1968 and his vocal skills haven't improved in the meantime. I don't believe just because we live in a small town we are stereotyped unto listening to old school country music just because we ain't big city folk..

Even tho it was one of their more mellow songs, (and I still can't tell you which one but I think it was off Houses of the Holy) it was still kind of hard to answer the question "When did we start playing Led Zeppelin?" from my District Supervisor.




Back to America... Not bad for a bunch of "Air Force Brats".

America may be the most underrated band in the history of ever. They weren't huge "rockstars" smashing guitars on stage and thrashing hotel rooms. America just made great music over and over again and stayed out of the headlines going about their daily lives.

As I said before, not bad for a bunch of Air Force Brats. But maybe that had a lot to do with their success and lack of scandal. Military life for dependents is, to say the least, hectic. But at the same time it's very structured. Gerry Beckley (born in Ft. Worth), Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek were all military brats with British mothers and American fathers that came together to form a legendary musical group. They were exposed to cultures most of us never see outside of  watching NatGeo or The Travel Channel.

It's a unique POV most will never experience, but those that have will be quick to point it out.

Ventura Highway, Sister Golden Hair and Horse With No Name are classics and can easily fit in anyone's Top 10.

We Now Return You To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Sorry about the gap in posts but I've been busy doing battle with a bunch of knuckleheads on a web forum I hang out at. It has a LOT in common with the comment section over at LLDQ. Trust me there are knuckleheads outside of Wise County... a bunch of them.

Well by now you know the name of Trevor Bayne, Daytona 500 Champion. That was a fairy tale that just couldn't have been scripted any better. I just hope he's not a 1 Hit Wonder like Derek Cope. He seems like a really good guy with a bright future.

Guess I can't call Jeff Gordon "Wonderboy" anymore...
Jeff Gordon and future Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne

The remodeling is almost complete on the store and we have a new name! We are no longer Chico Foods and Nocona Finer Foods, both stores are now under the MarketPlace banner. I've heard nothing but positive comments from customers.

Not counting chickens just yet, but I've been sketching designs for a new hen house. Early flowback results on the well look maaavelous.

Somebody said it rained the other day? I think it was just a rumor.

According to our poll, apparently Kid Rock IS the new Willie Nelson. Personally, I don't see it.

I put gas in The Goat tonight. The last gas I bought was $2.86. It was $3.25 tonight and I filled the tank. Might easily turn out to be the cheapest gas I'll buy in the next 6 months.

I've been really lax on TV and film reviews lately. Sorry about that, but I got the tiredhead. I'll try to pick up the slack and keep you up to date. Good news is the new season of Justified  has just started on FX. You can catch the exploits of U.S. Marshal Raylen "The Hillbilly Whisperer" Givens every Wednesday night and it hasn't missed a beat. If anything it's picking up steam. Hard to beat Elmore Leonard stuff and he is heavily involved with this series.

AMC is currently rerunning the full series of Breaking Bad (the best show on TV) with 2 episodes back to back late night every Thursday. They are up to "The Cousins" finding Walter. Greatness...

And to finish things up on a bright note, I have a nuclear stress test scheduled for early Tuesday morning at my Cardiologist. I've gained over 20lbs since my last one. I also have to fast the night before for a blood test.

I'm really looking forward to this lecture. Good times ahead...

The good news is I will be full frontal assaulting China Dragon Super Buffet on Airport Freeway just as soon as I walk out of my Cardiologist's office.

Man can't live by Lipitor alone.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

NASCAR Is Fattening

Tomorrow's Daytona 500 Menu:
  • Cactus Creek "lightly seasoned" tortilla chips w/queso and guacamole
  • Bacon wrapped baked jalapenos stuffed with cheddar, queso blanco, monterrey jack and asadero cheese
  • Romaine salad w/bacon onion ranch or sun dried tomato vinagrette
  • Potatoes au gratin 
  • Baked sweet onion w/garlic butter
  • Dry rubbed 3/4" thick pork rib chops - grilled to taste
  • Iced Tea
  • Bud Light
  • Maker's Mark
I should probably mention it's BYOZ (Bring Your Own Zantac).

Monday, February 14, 2011


As the great Andre Agassi once said, "Image is everything!"

Check out the facelift we are getting! To be honest, I've been amazed at all the improvements we've had in the last few weeks. Expanded storage, repaved parking and now a new facade. The construction crew is doing a fantastic job. Check out how they integrated the existing drainage gutters into the design. Several people have asked who is doing the job and complimented their work. I honestly couldn't tell you the guy's name, but it's the same crew that did our other locations in Bridgeport and Decatur.

The store is going to be a proud fixture of The Limestone Capitol for years to come instead of looking like a 40 year old metal building that had seen it's better days.
 (Now if they would just expand my freezer space!)

You'd never guess it's the same old Johnson's Grocery from 1971.

One funny story... When one of the owners came over to approve the new design, they wanted to match the bank's architecture next door as close as possible so they walked over and started taking lots of measurements and pictures. Odd as it may seem, banks do not appreciate people randomly walking up to measure their building and take pictures.

Insert Craig Ferguson awkward pause... here.

Life's Not The Breath You Take

Wanted to share this touching childhood Father/Son story a friend posted elsewhere.
h/t Maverick

A brief moment to say The South 40, it's affiliates, franchisees or South Four-0, Inc. in no way publicly or legally endorses kids being kids and/or parents being parents. We are in no way responsible for any actions resulting from reading The South 40. Possible side effects may include hair loss, hearing damage and anal leakage.

            Around age 10 my Dad got me one of those little badass compound bow beginner kits.  Of course, the first month I went around our place sticking arrows in anything that could get stuck by an arrow.  Did you know that a 1955 40 horse Farmall tractor will take 6 rounds before it goes down?  Tough sumbich.

              That got boring, so being the 10 yr. old Dukes of Hazzard fan that I was, I quickly advanced to taking strips of cut up T-shirt doused in chainsaw gas tied around the end and was sending flaming arrows all over the place.  Keep in mind this was 99.999% humidity swampland so there really wasn't any fire danger.  I'll put it this way -  a set of post hole diggers and a 3ft. hole and you had yourself a well. 

              Anyway, one summer afternoon, I was shooting flaming arrows into a large rotten oak stump in our backyard.  I look over under the carport and see a shiny brand new can of starting fluid (ether).  The light bulb went off.  I grabbed the can and set it on the stump.  I thought it would probably just spray out in a disappointing manner... lets face it, to a 10 yr. old mouth-breather like myself ether really doesn't "sound" flammable.  So, I went back into the house and got a 1 pound can of pyrodex (black powder for muzzle loader rifles) to add to the excitement.

              At this point, I set the can of ether on the stump and opened up the can of black powder.  My intentions were to sprinkle a little bit around the ether can but it all sorta dumped out on me.  No biggie...1lb pyrodex and 16oz ether should make a loud pop, kinda like a firecracker you know?  You know what?  Screw that.  I'm going back in the house for the other can.  Yes, I got a second can of pyrodex and dumped it too.  Now we're cookin'.

              I stepped back about 15 ft and lit the 2 stroke arrow.  I drew the nock to my cheek and took aim.  As I released I heard a clunk as the arrow launched from my bow.  In a slow motion time frame, I turned to see my dad getting out of the truck... OH SHIT!  He just got home from work.  So help me God it took 10 minutes for that arrow to go from my bow to the can. My dad was walking towards me in slow motion with a WTF look in his eyes.  I turned back towards my target just in time to see the arrow pierce the starting fluid can right at the bottom.  Right through the main pile of pyrodex and into the can.  Oh.  Shit.

              When the shock wave hit it knocked me off my feet.  I don't know if it was the actual compression wave that threw me back or just reflex jerk back from 235 decibels of sound.  I caught a half a millisecond glimpse of the violence during the initial explosion and I will tell you there was dust, grass, and bugs all hovering 1 ft above the ground as far as I could see.  It was like a little low to the ground layer of dust fog full of grasshoppers, spiders, and a crawfish or two.  The daylight turned purple.  Let me repeat this...THE  DAYLIGHT TURNED PURPLE!  There was a big sweetgum tree out by the gate going into the pasture.  Notice I said "was". That mother got up and ran off.

              So here I am, on the ground blown completely out of my shoes with my Thundercats T-shirt shredded, my Dad is on the other side of the carport having what I can only assume is a Vietnam flashback “ ECHO BRAVO CHARLIE YOUR BRINGIN' EM IN TOO CLOSE!!  CEASE FIRE  DAMIT CEASE FIRE!!!!!  His hat has blown off and is 30 ft. behind him in the driveway.  All windows on the north side of the house are blown out and there is a slow rolling mushroom cloud about 2000ft over our backyard.  There is a Honda 185s 3 wheeler parked on the other side of the yard and the fenders are drooped down and are now touching the tires. 

              I wish I knew what I said to my Dad at this moment.  I don't know- I know I said something.  I couldn't hear.  I couldn't hear inside my own head.  I don't think he heard me either... not that it would really matter.  I don't remember much from this point on.  I said something, felt a sharp pain, and then woke up later.  I felt a sharp pain, blacked out, woke later.... repeat this process for an hour or so and you get the idea.  I remember at one point my Mom had to give me CPR so Dad could beat me some more.  Bring him back to life so Dad can kill him again. Thanks Mom.

              One thing is for sure... I never had to mow around that stump again.  Mom had been bitching about that thing for years and Dad never did anything about it.  I stepped up to the plate and handled business.

              Dad sold his muzzleloaders a week or so later.  And I still have some sort of bone growth abnormality either from the blast or the beating.  Or both.

              I guess what I'm trying to say is, get your kids into archery...  Its good discipline and will teach them skills they can use later on in life.  Something they won't learn in school.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Poll: Kid Rock

I was working this afternoon and suddenly I noticed Kid Rock's new song Born Free was playing on our XM radio. We change channels from time to time but lately it's been on country, either The Highway (new country) or The Roadhouse (classic country). For a second I thought someone had changed channels but when I checked it was on The Highway.

I like Kid Rock. I think he's as genuine as you are going to find. Born Free is questionably the best song he's ever released and it's definitely crossover friendly (i.e. get ready to be beatdown with it in commercials in the not too distant future). I love this song and it's really raised Kid Rock up my personal charts.

But is Kid Rock new country?

I leave it to The South 40 Nation to decide.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A New Law I Can Agree With

I made a comment a couple days ago over at LLDQ about the difference between sexting and child porn. At the time I had no idea this bill was making it's way thru Austin.

It would downgrade 1st time offenders from felony child pornagraphers subject to lifetime reporting rules and ridicule as sex offenders to misdemeanor offenders.

Good Lord, a new law that makes sense. What is this world coming to?

Monday, February 7, 2011

An Idiot Abroad

Has anyone seen this program on Discovery Science? (It's their #1 Show in the history of ever.)

I am so confused. First of all, it's a travel show on a science channel. But hey, we are in the era of Ax Men on the History Channel, Storage Wars on A&E and American Chopper (formerly) on The Learning Channel. Don't judge a network by it's name.

Next, it's a Ricky Gervais bit and I can't stand Ricky Gervais. And finally to top it all off, it's a Ricky Gervais bit and I can't stand Ricky Gervais.

Wait, did I say that twice? It should have been 4 times. That's how bad I dislike Ricky Gervais. Like his writing, but Gervais on camera disturbs me. He can actually make my skin crawl.

But, I am mezmorized by this show.

I Officially Hate Chris Berman

I didn't watch the Super Bowl, had to work. Quite honestly, I wasn't interested. I can't stand either team. But for morbid curiosity's sake I flipped over to ESPN to watch Sportscenter and see the recap. What I got was the last 90 seconds of the live edition and Chris Berman's wrap-up of the evening.

Loosely paraphrasing, he said Arlington, Texas was the epicenter of the sports world. The Giants came to Rangers Ballpark and won the World Series and now Green Bay has won the Lombardi Trophy across the street at Cowboys Stadium.

Thanks, Chris. Why don't you point out to the world that visitors come into our house and take the gold?

(Granted the Cowboys had a snowball's chance in Hell of making SBXLV, but you get my point.)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blame Maker's Mark

I was really pissed off by something. But after editing all the typos in the link, I forgot what it was. But trust me, I'm really upset!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside!


Mmmmmm, Beadle

My favorite sports show is in town this week for the Super Bowl Big Game. You can't help but love SportsNation. Unlike the other TV & radio shows that are huddled behind plastic wind breaks surrounded by heaters, Michelle Beadle and Colin Cowherd are doing SportsNation on a wide open stage in Sundance Square.

I really wanted to go down there and properly introduce myself to my next exwife, Michelle. But Mother Nature has c-blocked me.

Unfortunately, I have to work the rest of the week and the window to stalk meet Michelle has closed. But you can still watch Colin and Michelle brave the conditions live in Sundance Square every afternoon and on ESPN2 thru Friday. You can also take part in their online polls everyday at .

Poor Michelle, you must be freezing. Come to The Limestone Capitol and I'll be happy to warm your toes.

A Dad Tale

I Killed Fitty Men!

A post over at Around The Corner reminded me of one of my favorite stories about Dad...

When I was a kid in the 60's we lived in an old trailer on the parking lot of Hales Transportation where Dad worked. There were 3 other trailers there and they all had underpinning and insulated water pipes. Ours was the northernmost and sat completely unprotected with everything exposed to the elements.

Once a big winter storm blew in and the temperature dropped to something like we have now. Everyone's water froze... except ours. So all the neighbors had to come to our house to get water. There was Dad sitting shirtless at the kitchen table getting drunk listening to Bob Wills and anytime someone wondered why ours was the only water that wasn't frozen he would proudly boast "I owe it all to good, clean, Christian living."

Rolling Blackouts?

Woke up this morning to a dark, quiet house. No biggie, probably a broken tree limb on a line somewhere. After a few minutes it will be back on... and it was. Then the power went out again a few hours later. This time I called Wise Electric to report it. I was told we are having rolling blackouts.

Not sure but this may be the first time I've experienced a rolling blackout. I thought Texas had it's own power grid so this wouldn't happen?

UPDATE: After watching a news report and a discussion with Brother Inlaw, we were wondering why the windmills didn't pick up the slack with the high winds when the other plants went down? Are they working? Do we need more?

I wonder if there is a way to monitor their output to the grid?

Groundhog Day

I have to go in today (which was supposed to be a day off) because of the weather. It's a double edged sword being the closest to the store. Let's just hope this doesn't turn into a Bill Murray flick...

I have no fear of making it there and back in these arctic conditions because I own the mighty Suzuki Carry 4x4. True I don't have mega off road tires, but I do have an ultra-light weight 4 wheel drive vehicle with mud and snow tires. This thing is almost impossible to get stuck. I've tried just to see what it's limitations are. True I wouldn't want to take on a rock truck (or anything else for that matter) in a collision, but it is still much safer and infinitely more comfortable (heater, defroster, HDstereo, wipers, ect) than a Gator or Mule.

Plus, I might just be able to cut a few donuts in the square on the way home. Haven't done that since the late 70's. may have to see if I can get some video with my Camelio.

UPDATE: Got another call this morning waving off the earlier call telling me to work today. Yay!