The stars at night are big and bright...

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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Are Friends For?

Car won't start
« on: Today at 01:20:43 PM »

It has been suddenly turning off, often only momentarily for several months.  
Sometimes difficult to start.  Now it won't start.  No fire, plenty of fuel.  
I am thinking coil.  Does that sound about right?

The replies...

Is there spark? (Remove a plug, ground it, turn starter over and see if you can see a spark?)

Did you check the transmission?

Yep, that's why I said 'no fire'

Its your sound card, you need to update the driver...

Thanks!  I was about to call tech support and see if it had a compatible video card!

They'll tell you it isn't their fault and the graphics are state of the art...

In their defense, as much as it pains me I have to confess, when I look through my windshield, the graphics are lifelike, I have all settings maxed and never a stutter.

Did you check the aire in the tyres?

I tried that at the suggestion of

turn signal fluid is probably low.  when was the last time you changed fluids....

More likely it's out of exhaust fluid. Diesels don't use the sparkplugs anyway.

Damn - you guys are smart.  I sure am grateful for this resource.  I might have gone with my own silly instincts, that may have been expensive and time-consuming.

On The Radar

FX's American Horror Story

I like the cast. I like the premise. Let's just hope I like the scripts.

More Commercial Greatness

New Era steps up to the plate to take a swing in our commercial greatness derby.

I'd never seen any of these before today... Brilliant!

(Edit: I went ahead and threw in the first one of the series to set the stage.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My New Favorite Commercial

Whoever is responsible for the new Snickers ad campaign is a genius. This one is greatness.

I'm Artwork Now!

A "friend" of mine did an artist's rendition of me from a picture taken at Texas Motor Speedway last year. Not too bad, but the jawline needs a little work.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Never Heard of Tajh Boyd

( and there's probably a good reason why)

New To Do List

It's official. I dropped off the keys today and only have one thing left on my list .
Life is good today.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Men's Health

Hope for prostate cancer patients as pioneering drug proves so successful they have already stopped the trials.

Medics at London's Royal Marsden Hospital were testing a powerful alpha radiation drug on 461 people while another group of the same number were being treated with a dummy drug.

Patients taking the new drug experienced less pain, side effects and lived longer.

Researchers were so astounded with the results they decided to stop the trial and started treating all 922 patients taking part in the study because they said it would be unethical not to.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When The Walls Come Tumbling Down

If you didn't see tonight's episode of Breaking Bad you missed out.





Walt's world has finally come crashing down around him. Gus wants him dead. His wife... dead. His son... dead. His infant daughter... dead. His DEA Brother-in-law... dead. Neidermeyer... dead. Only Jesse's mercy keeps it from already being a done deal and Walt screwed that up royally.

When the going gets tough, the tough get the hell outa Dodge. It's time to vanish permanently. Walt goes to his secret stash getaway fund only to discover his wife has given over a half million to her boyfriend. After spending a bundle on the new Car Wash cover story, paying for his own cancer treatments, his Brother-in-law's therapy, lawyer bills, etcetera... he doesn't have the cash to pay for it.


2 episodes left this season. The show has yet again taken a wicked plot twist and next season will be the series finale. I have no idea where this is heading but I predict greatness.

SNL 37th Season Premiere

Alec Baldwin Set a new record hosting the Season Premiere of  Saturday Night Live. He's now the hosting record holder (16) by 1 over Steve Martin who stopped by to make sure everything was on the up & up and no performance enhancing drugs were being used.

The cold open was a parody of the Republican Debates. They tore Rick Perry to shreds and painted John Huntsman as The Manchurian Candidate.

Baldwin did not take his duties lightly. Besides playing Perry, he was a riot in several skits showcasing his wit and impeccable timing. He stole the show with his Tony Bennett impersonation on Weekend Update.

All in all I don't think you could have asked for much more from a season opener from SNL. Let's hope the rest of the season holds up as well as the debut.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Need To Rebook My Flight...

I'm going to need an isle seat on an exit row and some singles, please.

Slicker version. (Like you're not going to watch it again.)

The Dakota Meyer Challenge To America

Medal of Honor recipient Marine Corps Sgt. Dakota Meyer was on David Letterman last night. If you didn't see it, you missed a great interview. The guy is as genuine as a mother's love as you will see in the first part of the interview.

The second half where he talks about the battle is only available on the full episode. I recommend watching.

One thing he took from his conversation over a beer with Obama was some advice about the importance of education. He has started The Dakota Meyer "Challenge to America". He hopes to raise $1 Million dollars (along with a matching $1M) for The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, the oldest and largest need-based scholarship organization supporting military families. Learn more about them  here.

Sgt. Meyer has challenged us to donate $1 Million dollars by the MCSF's 50th anniversary on May 28, 2010. During the Letterman interview he stated so far they had raised $31,000.


I'm not one to go off willy nilly donating to the "cause of the week". Hell, I've been freeloading off Channel 13 for over 40 years, but you had me at Medal of Honor... I kicked in a few shekels out of respect and I hope all the South40 faithful will do the same. If this is how he wishes for us to say "Thank You", then I'm  happy to do so and hope you will as well. Give what you can, if you can give. It's certainly a worthwhile charity and I'm pretty sure the spokesperson is beyond reproach.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nightshift of the Living Dead

While not an actual photo of me at work today, it is an accurate depiction of what I probably looked like. I haven't wanted to call in so badly in years. But since I just gave notice, it would have looked like I was just blowing off work. I really like my Supervisor and didn't want to disappoint him.

This one was for The Gipper.

Good news is with the help of Gatorade, water, Imodium AD and Pepto I managed to survive the shift. But in lieu of eating, I took a 30 minute nap for lunch. I think that did as much good as anything.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Dear 8 pounds 6 ounces... newborn infant Jesus, don't even know a word yet... Please make it stop!

I won't go into gory details, but I'm pretty sure it's safe to say I got food poisoning Sunday. I've spent the last 2 days doing the "I hope I make it" dance/prayer between the bedroom and bathroom. 

My gut feels like Charlie Sheen's liver stopped by to redecorate.

Speaking of the "Rockstar from Mars", if you didn't catch the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen last night, you missed some serious funny. One of my favorite lines was from William Shatner, "I'm 80, you're 46. Why do we look like we went to high school together?"

Don't worry, I'm sure you will be able to watch it when it's rerun a few hundred times later this month. 

Now, if you will pardon me I have some urgent business to attend to...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sgt. Dakota Meyer USMC and "that itty bitty ribbon"

WASHINGTON — President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor on Thursday to a young former Marine who ignored orders to stay put and fought his way five times into an ambush in an Afghan ravine, helping to rescue three dozen comrades and to recover the remains of four dead American servicemen.

In a ceremony at the White House, the president draped the medal over Dakota Meyer, describing him as a humble young man who repeatedly placed himself in extraordinary danger to save men he regarded as his brothers.
“Today we pay tribute to an American who placed himself in the thick of the fight — again and again and again,” the president said.
Mr. Meyer was the first living recipient from the Marine Corps to receive the award, the nation’s highest award for valor, for actions during the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Mr. Meyer, 23, now a sergeant in the inactive reserve, was an infantry corporal on Sept. 8, 2009, when an Afghan and American column headed before dawn toward the village of Ganjigal in Kunar Province.
The men in column — a mix of Afghan soldiers, border police officers and American trainers — were to meet with local elders. But they had been betrayed and walked into an ambush.
Corporal Meyer and another Marine had been assigned to secure a flank, and as Taliban gunfire began and the rest of his team was trapped, he was several hundred yards away.
Corporal Meyer listened on the radio as the rest of his Marine training team tried calling for help, and as Capt. Will Swenson of the Army, who worked with the border police and was also trapped, shouted into his radio for artillery support to suppress the Taliban fighters.
Officers at the nearby Army headquarters denied the request for artillery support, leaving the men, many of them wounded, to fight on their own until helicopter gunships arrived. (Investigations later suggested the Army officers decided that because the trapped troops were unaware of the precise locations of all of the other troops on the operation, artillery fire might have endangered them and was best withheld.)
Corporal Meyer asked permission several times to go into the ravine and to fight. He was told to remain in place, but decided to rush to the village nonetheless.
Meyer’s Medal of Honor citation details that day’s intense combat:

“When the forward element of his combat team began to be hit by intense fire from roughly 50 Taliban insurgents dug-in and concealed on the slopes above Ganjgal village, Corporal Meyer mounted a gun-truck, enlisted a fellow Marine to drive, and raced to attack the ambushers and aid the trapped Marines and Afghan soldiers. During a six hour fire fight, Corporal Meyer single-handedly turned the tide of the battle, saved 36 Marines and soldiers and recovered the bodies of his fallen brothers. Four separate times he fought the kilometer up into the heart of a deadly U-shaped ambush. During the fight he killed at least eight Taliban, personally evacuated 12 friendly wounded, and provided cover for another 24 Marines and soldiers to escape likely death at the hands of a numerically superior and determined foe.”

“On his first foray his lone vehicle drew machine gun, mortar, rocket grenade and small arms fire while he rescued five wounded soldiers. His second attack disrupted the enemy’s ambush and he evacuated four more wounded Marines. Switching to another gun-truck because his was too damaged they again sped in for a third time, and as turret gunner killed several Taliban attackers at point blank range and suppressed enemy fire so 24 Marines and soldiers could break-out. Despite being wounded, he made a fourth attack with three others to search for missing team members. Nearly surrounded and under heavy fire he dismounted the vehicle and searched house to house to recover the bodies of his fallen team members.”

Combined reports from The Washington Post and The New York Times .

One small step for man...

One giant "WTF am I doing?" for The South 40

As of the end of this month I will officially be self-employed/retired. I submitted my resignation yesterday.

I've got some surprises up my sleeve that I'll be sharing with you in the months to come. But it's safe to say some travel is on the horizon and maybe we'll finally have something worth reading around here.

Who knows, I might just go all Anthony Bourdain on you. I've got a sweet digital HD camcorder, a laptop, I love to eat and I love to travel. Don't forget I've already been featured on a national cooking show!

(OK, the segment was about the smoker and not me, but in the media world it still counts on your resume!)

I do have several Bucket List items that need checked off. Daytona 500, Talladega, Bristol, Hawaii, wait... what? 

I'll finally have the time and (if all goes as planned) money to pull this off. But I'm tellin' ya, that first step is a doozy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If a tree falls in the woods, does it smash a minitruck?


I'm telling you that was one of the strangest things I've ever had happen to me. There I was typing away at a quick blog entry before getting ready for work when I heard a strange snapping/crackling/popping noise for a few seconds. It stopped then a louder crash/scrape/general mayhem noise.

My first thought was the cows had wandered thru the fence somewhere and were on the patio. Boy, was I wrong. 

As you can see in the pictures there are leaves on the tree branch that broke, so it wasn't dead. There was no sign of insect damage or disease. It was damaged in the fire that swept thru my place a few years ago and I'm sure that weakened the tree considerably. But there wasn't much wind, either. It just broke.

Luckily, Lil' Suzi is "Tokyo Tough" and the RV is in the shop getting wiring repaired or it would have been sitting right there. It also missed my covered patio/carport by a few feet. That's a hefty tree limb, about 8 inches diameter, and it fell 12-15 feet. Had it taken a different angle, I'm sure it would have done quite a bit of damage.

Littlesister has already staked a firewood claim on it.

Burn, baby, burn...

How quickly things can change

Haven't posted anything in a few days. It's been slow around here and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

We did manage to break 100 days of 100 degrees. (That's Wichita Falls' count) Yay?

Do have one bit of good news, DirecTv is finally broadcasting AMC-HD. Now you can watch Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Walking Dead and everything else AMC has to offer in HD without waiting on the BluRay. Now if they would only get TCM in HD.

There is some sort of mutant strain of upper respritory bug that has been floating around. I know several people that have been sick with it, but luckily I've dodged it so far. Howie Mandel would be proud of the germaphobe precautions I've been taking.

The NASCAR regular season is over and The Chase has begun. I have a feeling Kyle Bush will win.

HOLY CRAP! A tree just fell over and missed the house by a few feet, but landed on my minitruck! Gotta check this out...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Is it just me?

Or is this picture disturbing?

I'm a gun owner and I fully believe girls should know how to hunt and defend themselves with firearms just like boys... BUT this is irresponsible parenting and gun ownership in my book. A single shot .22 is one thing, but there is no practical reason for a child that age knowing how to fire (much less actually firing) an AR-15.

I can't help but think of the child soldiers in Africa when I look at that.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Great 2011 Dove Hunt

See any dove?

Neither did I.

I was out at dawn, Remington in hand, waiting for the feast. And I waited and waited and waited...

Finally around 10am a lone dove made it's way past me on the way to the stock tank but just at the far range of my gun. I took the shot and caught a few feathers, but no kill.. An hour or so more and I called it quits. But to add insult to injury, while rolling up my driveway not 1, but 2 of the fattest dove you've ever seen flew right across the hood of my truck.

Just a second I thought, "my windshield's already busted and my gun's in the backseat, I can do this..." then common sense took over and I decided it wasn't worth it.

There is still hope, a "cold front" is predicted and maybe it will be enough to get the dove migrating.

I've got bacon, onion, garlic and jalapeno on ready alert.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


  • It's the 900th post on The South 40!  Who knew I was this full of authentic frontier gibberish? 
  • Don't answer that...
  • Eyeball update: It could be better. I didn't realise I would lose what close vision I had and now have to carry a pair of reading glasses everywhere. I can't complain about vision beyond arm's length. It's like going from an old 1960's TV with a rabbit ears to a 1080p HDTV. I just can't see the clicker.
  • I've finally switched to mp3's. To be honest I never had that many CD's, but it's much easier to carry everything in my Droid and there are some pretty cool apps out there like the DJ mixer I loaded to use this weekend when I take the PortaPole out to a party. Things should go much smoother this time. 
  • Put the Space Shuttle in the shop. A big fat rat decided to attack it and chew thru the main coach wiring harness pretty much disabling the whole thing. That really ticked me off because the interior was in perfect condition when I bought it. Fortunately, the engine wiring wasn't touched and I was able to drive it there no problem.
  • Tractor Supply sells great rat poison.
  • Looking forward to dove for lunch!