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, April 27, 2012

The Object Of My Affliction

'06 "Bulletproof" F-350
Well you heard the horror story already. Now, time for the silver lining. It wasn't as bad and considerably cheaper than it could have been. The 6.0 Powerstroke was already updated with better equipment and I only had to replace the oil cooler. The engine was already "chipped" so it has upgraded performance over a stock 6.0 Powerstroke. 

(UPDATED: Audio fixed) It's got some zip, too...

The interior looks incredible. I only hope I can keep it in as clean.

I hate to admit it after the rant I went on, but I still think this was a reasonably well maintained truck. That's the reason I bought it in the first place. It looks good overall, I just didn't see the "Slick Willie" they put on me with the oil cooler. Let's hope there isn't another one. But, according to my mechanic there isn't any and I trust him. I've known the guy for 30 over years, he's ASE certified and he's never lied to me. He checked it out head to toe and the only thing he found was a vacuum leak on the 4x4 switch but it is working in manual and not hard to repair. I'll get that fixed as soon as he can get to it.

I'm also a huge fan of the custom front bumper. Not only is it beefy, it's coated with bed liner. Not sure if I've ever seen one like that. I just happen to have a shiny new Ford "Blue Oval" emblem that will bolt right to it.

We'll find out if it's a "Deal or Dud" after a few hotshot runs. I've got a couple gooseneck trailers to look at, but I have to stay single tire and under 26,000 GVW to keep DOT legal. That kinda limits my options and time is a factor. After getting a good gooseneck, hopefully this rig will start paying for it's self pretty soon.

If any of you oilfield hands need a hotshot, give me a call!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No Matter How Bad I Screw Up

I can't out do Brian Dunkleman.

After hosting American Idol for 11 seasons, Ryan Seacrest could be forgiving for wanting to explore pastures new.

But the TV and radio presenter silenced speculation he is looking to move on after signing a reported $30million new deal to remain at Idol.

The 37-year-old confirmed he has signed a new contract for the upcoming 12th season and was looking forward to racking up his frequent flier miles as he travels around the U.S. for the auditions.

Industry sources have reported the host has signed a two year contract extension at $15million per year.
A Fox spokeswoman declined to comment on the financial aspects of his new deal...

Meanwhile, Brian Dunkleman was last heard of hosting "Sky Ball League" filmed last year in Austin. Yeah, I've never seen it either...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Scurvy Rocks!

These folks stayed at the same place I did, Barnacle Bills in Maya Beach, Belize. Not surprisingly, they loved it as much as I did and posted a YouTube slideshow.

If you are contemplating a vacation South of the border, why not consider one South of 2 borders? I'm telling you there's no place you would rather spend a week in Paradise than sitting on your own private stretch of Maya Beach at Barnacle Bill's.

Bill, Adriane & Scurvy are without a doubt the World's Greatest Hosts.

Oh, don't forget to visit Mango's! Tell 'em I sent ya! You can thank me later...

Reefer Madness

This just in... The "War on Drugs" is a failed concept. 

It's 4/20/2012 and high time to reform marijuana laws. We need to focus our efforts on actual dangerous drugs. Can you name me 1 person that has ever died from an overdose of marijuana? Most people don't realize that their opinion of marijuana was formed long before they were born by one man, Harry J. Anslinger, who lost his job when Prohibition ended and needed another Government paycheck. Holy Government mind control, Batman!

If you want an accurate and factual look at the history of marijuana in the United States you need to watch the movie "Grass". It documents the history of marijuana's vilification and subsequential prohibition in the US at the hand of one man. It's a truly great film and when viewed with an open mind it will really make you rethink our nation's (and society's) policy against wacky tabaccy. 

Personally? Treat it like alcohol, sell it in liquor stores and tax the $#!& out of it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A 12 Year Old Girl Kicked My Ass

First off in my defense, let me just say nobody has ever nor is going to mistake me for anything remotely resembling an athlete, unless 12oz Curls is a sport. We straight on that? Moving on...

I ate dinner at Sis & Bro-Inlaw's last night and it was awesome. The marinated boneless skinless chicken breasts from Mas Meats were fantabulous and they were HUGE to boot. I highly recommend!

After supper my niece reminded me I promised her a game of basketball "next time" the last time she asked me to play. No amount of doubletalk was going to get me out of this, she's a sharp cookie and I'm too soft a touch.

It's been a good 20 years since I've even touched a basketball. But I'm 6'2" and she's 4' nothing. When I tried to explain to her it would be like Spud Webb going against Lew Alcindor, all I got was a blank stare. We played a little half court before she finally understood what I was talking about even if she didn't know who I was talking about, so we switched to playing Horse.

I should have kept my mouth shut because she was deadly. To say I got smoked would be understating just how badly I got throttled. My only saving grace was she didn't try to hustle me out of any loose cash I might have had on me. If she had I'd be selling my hair to a wig shop.

On the upside, I did get to educate her on who Lew Alcindor was (she was really confused when I told her it was Kareem and then had to explain who Kareem was) and teach her how to shoot a Skyhook. She wasn't half bad at it either. Her first shot was a perfect arc, but just inches short of a swish and bounced off the rim. A little range adjustment and some coaching and she started to get it. I have a feeling she might unleash that weapon upon some unsuspecting opponent that's never heard of Lew Alcindor or Roger Murdoch. Oh, and it called "the top of the key", not "where the bird poop is"....

Old age and treachery... Next game, I'm going to educate her on Larry Bird unless she kills me before I can get around to it. The "Why is your face funny colors?" was a dead giveaway, no pun intended.

Things That Are Dead

I know most people remember the late great Dick Clark for American Bandstand and New Year's Rockin' Eve. But my personal favorite memory of him was hosting The $25,000 Pyramid. It was a great game show that would have you on the verge of stroking out from yelling clues at the old Radiation King.

The nightime version of the show eventually jacked the prize up to an unheard of $100,000 (if you qualified for and eventually won a tournament). You just knew if you ever made it on Pyramid as a contestant and got a halfway decent celebrity, that cool $100K was easy pickins.

But with my luck I'd get Dick Cavett or William Shatner. Credit to The Shat, he was honestly pissed when he blew it and he knows a nice imported Italian nylon shirt when he sees one...

Step Back In Time

USS Intrepid is in the news lately as it prepares to become the new home to the space shuttle Enterprise. One thing that puzzles me is they will erect a tent over Enterprise. This ship was designed to slip the surly bonds of Earth strapped to solid rocket boosters and return time and time again in a fiery Mach 25 re-entry. But they have to cover it sitting on the Intrepid flight deck? To be fair, Enterprise was a prototype and never actually reached orbit. But, I digress...

One lucky reporter from Business Insider got to visit some areas below deck and off the public tour that haven't been restored. The compartments are untouched and remain just as they were in 1974 when Intrepid was decommissioned. For an old Coastie seadog, it really brought back some memories of being underway.

Check out the pictures.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Well Bless Your Heart

This pretty much sums up how my day started and it went downhill from there...

I've been looking for a 1 Ton Dualy for quite some time to use for work. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find that slightly dinged up, low mileage, cherry on the inside truck with my name on it. So today after I sent a gi-freaking-normous check to the IRS, I had a little cash left and decided to settle for less truck than I wanted. For those keeping score, this is the point in the story where everything went horribly wrong.

I found a 2006 F350 on that was clean as a whistle inside and out, but it had more miles on it than I liked and it was a Ford when I really wanted a Dodge with a Cummins engine. But the price was exactly what I was willing to spend. I told myself, sometimes we can't get what we want, but we can get what we need. I cleaned out faithful old Cabrito, grabbed my title and headed off to Grande Prairie in search of my treasure found on the internet.

When I got there the truck was even cleaner than I expected. It needed tires, but otherwise there wasn't a scratch on it inside or out, the motor ran smooth, didn't smoke and was surprisingly zippy. The oil was fresh and coolant clean. But that 155,000 miles on the odometer kept staring me in the face. I kept telling myself "It's a diesel, they run to 300K". I test drove the fool out of it checking the 4 Wheel Drive, all the accessories and kept a close eye on the gauges. Everything was apparently up to snuff. I should have checked the fluids again after I drove it, but I didn't.

We haggled over the price a bit then haggled over the trade-in a bit and finally came to a deal. He started the paperwork and I started the Wire Transfer. Bless my heart... (You know what that translates to in Texan, right?) Money hit his account and the keys hit my hand. Done deal.

As I'm driving back planning just how I'm going to show off my new truck to Bro Inlaw (who hates Fords with a passion) I notice a funky little wrench lit up on the dash. I was only a couple miles outside Decatur and drove on and stopped at Allsups. I pulled out the owners manual and it said it was going into "Limp Mode". Not good. I hightail it to Karl Klement for a diagnostic. Mind you all the gauges are reading normal and the truck is running just fine, but I don't want to get hung in "Limp Mode".

I'm sitting in the waiting area and have pretty much convinced myself that it's something minor and probably electrical like a sensor. Couple hundred bucks tops. The Service Manager walks in and lays the bombshell on me... 

$5200 to replace the blown oil cooler, EGR cooler, head gaskets, flush and fill fluids. Until then, the truck is undrivable.

Of course I signed an "as is, no warranty" contract. I called the used car lot and got a lot of sympathy, but zero relief. They won't take the truck back and they won't pay for any repairs. I was always under the impression you had 72 hours to return a defective vehicle in Texas. I was wrong, very wrong according to the Attorney General's website (I checked). Cars are not included.

So now I'm beating the bushes for a good Ford diesel mechanic that works cheap, real cheap.

So let's review how many stupid moves I made in 1 Day:
  1. Went car shopping on the internet.
  2. Did not have an independent mechanic inspect the truck.
  3. Signed an "as is - no warranty" contract.
  4. Did not double check fluids after test drive.
  5. Sent a wire transfer instead of writing a check.
  6. Bought a truck from a guy with more vowels in his name than consonants.
  7. Settled for something that wasn't really what I wanted in the first place.
I'm sure there's at least 3 more bonehead moves that would round it out to 10, but right now I just don't care enough to figure them out.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Can We Throw In a Complimentary Sterilization While We're At It?

A young Bowie mother was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday for failing to call authorities or seek medical help for her young son who was beaten to death by her boyfriend in 2010 in Denton County.
Sharon Worthy, 22, must serve more than two years in prison before she is eligible for parole, Denton County Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck said in an email Monday.
Just hours before her trial was to start Monday in a Denton courtroom, Worthy pleaded guilty to a charge of injury to a child by omission, a second-degree felony, and she was sentenced to 10 years.
Had she faced a jury and been convicted, jurors could have sentenced her to a maximum of 20 years in prison. She also was eligible for probation, Beck said.
A Denton County jury convicted her boyfriend, Curtis Copeland, 28, of Sanger, in December of capital murder and sentenced him to life in prison without parole. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty so a conviction was an automatic life sentence.
Her 3-year-old son, Jesse Fleming Fisher Jr., died from injuries to the head and brain at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth in March 2010, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office. His death was ruled a homicide.
Jesse suffered a broken pelvis, a broken vertebra, a head injury and bruises all over his body, according to arrest warrant affidavits released in 2010.
Child Protective Services had received a report March 9, 2010, of someone abusing Jesse, and agency officials were investigating at the time of his death.
Worthy and her children were instructed not to have any contact with Copeland because he was a convicted felon, but her neighbors saw Copeland at her Bowie apartment several times, the affidavit says.
Worthy and her two sons moved in with Copeland on March 25, 2010, at a home in the 6500 block of Private Road 6601 north of Krum in unincorporated Denton County because she told him that she needed someone to watch her children while she had a baby. Copeland is not the father of any of the children, authorities said. Jesse's father was in prison, according to the affidavit.
Copeland later told authorities that he noticed bruises on the toddler when the family moved in March 25, and that Worthy had told him that Jesse had fallen down stairs.
Under questioning by a Texas Ranger and investigators with the Denton County Sheriff's Department, Worthy said she saw Copeland shove Jesse in the back so violently March 29, 2010, that the toddler fell face-first to the floor, causing bruising and swelling, according to the affidavit. But she never called authorities, the affidavit says.
Worthy left Jesse and a then-1-year-old son, Malachi Yeley, with Copeland on March 30, 2010, while she went to a Bridgeport hospital in nearby Wise County to have the baby, authorities said.
Copeland told Denton County authorities that Jesse fainted while he was babysitting him and that he ran to have a neighbor call 911. Copeland told authorities that he found Jesse unconscious on a floor in the Denton County residence, according to the affidavit.
Worthy showed no emotion or tears for her boy when he was hooked up to life support just hours before he died, the affidavit says.
Copeland was arrested a few days after Jesse died after he failed to arrive for a polygraph test, Denton County authorities said.
Worthy's two sons are in foster care, according to CPS officials.

Read more here:

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

  • Happy Emancipation Day! We get to file taxes on Tuesday instead of today! It's like a 24 hour stay of execution.
  • I hate Quicken or Quicken hates me. I haven't decided which.
  • I woke up with a tree limb in my eye. Well, it feels like a tree limb anyway. 1/2 a bottle of lubricating tears and it's still in there!
  • Ever since I had LASIK I can't see anything up close with out reading glasses. Ever try to look for something in your eye in the mirror while wearing glasses? It doesn't work.
  • We didn't go to Texas Motor Speedway this time (and from the look of the crowd, we weren't the only ones). First NASCAR race I've missed since the track opened, but they pissed me off last time and the only way to get their attention is with your checkbook (or lack thereof).
  • TMS, change that Golf Cart policy and we'll be back (with our checkbooks).
  • I'm pretty sure this is a Bois d'Arc tree growing under my eyelid. More eyedrops, STAT!
  • The final episode of Eastbound and Down had an unexpected ending. RIP Kenny Powers... or not?
  • Very funny column by P.J. O'Rourke in The Wall Street Journal.
  • The "new" season of Top Gear starts tonight on BBC America. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Layover

11 Felonies in a 9 Hour Bus Layover
When you stop watching DirecTv you start riding the bus...

Don't stop watching DirecTv..

This is definitely not what Anthony Bourdain had in mind. Well, maybe 20 years ago...

It's Hitchcockian

Excellent episode of SNL tonight with Josh Brolin hosting. They even got Stephen Spielberg to direct the latest episode of Laser Cats, "Laser Cats 7". I missed the opening due to NASCAR (more on that later), but so far this one looks like a winner...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Let's Be Careful Out There

I know some of our seniors still wanna make the beast with two backs, but it's been 45 years since the Summer of Love. The rules have changed. Slap on a Jimmy hat.

No glove, no love!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How Did I NOT Know This?

"There is no way, no way, that you could come from my loins. 
Soon as I get home, the first thing I'm gonna do is punch your momma in the mouth."
Buford T. Justice was from Montague County! 
I suddenly wonder just what else has escaped me over the years?

How Hard Could It Possibly Be?

Blowing up a balloon and popping it was the specific task set out for entrants in this year's Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Purdue.

The Purdue Society of Professional Engineers team smashed its own world record for largest Rube Goldberg machine with a 300-step behemoth that flawlessly accomplished the simple task of blowing up and popping a balloon - setting the new world record for the Largest functional Rube Goldberg machine, according to World Records Academy.

The only thing missing was Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" playing in the background.

You may recognize that tune from...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Or as one of my favorite bloggers/resort owners would say "Happy Zombie Jesus Day"!

Altho I'm not what anyone would ever mistake for a religious person, even tho I am an ordained Minister in 2 religions, I've always felt a connection with Easter. It was one of the few times a year I would dare enter a "house of God" without fear or guilt. Those lighting bolts are freaky accurate and I don't see the point in narrowing the target area to start with.

My birthday has a habit of falling near Easter and on occasion it coincides exactly. Such was the case when I was 3 or 4, I really can't remember. What I do remember is that the first time it happened was at my Granny Annie's house in Jacksboro (that for some reason scared the crap out of me), I was surrounded by people I didn't know (Mom's side of the family and friends that I never saw) and I had had huge rabbit cake that said "Hoppy Birthday".

I think I had a good time, but all I can remember is the cake and being freaked out by not knowing anyone at my birthday party. I was kinda hyper as a kid anyway and this was long before ADD meds. Since then I really haven't give a crap about Birthdays.

The few times I've ever been to church were Christmas and Easter. To be completely honest, I couldn't tell you why. Peer pressure, maybe?  Who knows.

I do know I have a clearer conscience about Easter than anyone that works for Mars, Hershey or Nestle.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Over. The. Hill.

Hey, if you knew everything I went thru to wind up looking like this at my age, you would be impressed. In Las Vegas, casinos just lost a bundle on the Over/Under. Unfortunately, I had big money on the Under. Technically that's considered a push.

The miles I've traveled and the things I've seen/done over the years... Sitting in Granddad's lap driving the old Farmall tractor. Turning the TV antennae to watch a blacked out Cowboys game. The first color TV I ever saw. Listening to an AM DJ while driving thru the middle of Wyoming that had barricaded himself in the studio and was playing Pink Floyd followed by Bob Wills followed by Led Zepplin followed by Marty Robbins. Meeting Bob Wills. Riding on a Wein Air Alaska flight while the pilot played Peg O' My Heart on harmonica over the PA and rocked the wings in time. Chopping down an oak tree with a Shelby Charger. (I don't recommend that last one, btw.) Driving an overloaded 18wheeler down Wolf Creek Pass for the first time. Duck and cover. Apollo 11. Chicken Man (He's everywhere! He's everywhere!). Icky Twerp. Captain Kangaroo. Mr.Peppermint. Riding my Honda on "The Ponderosa" in Bridgeport. Pong. Ringside seats at The Sportatorium to see Fritz Von Erich vs Blackjack Mulligan. Hippies. David Clyde. Laugh In. LaBella & Rody...

What a long strange trip it's been. Trust me, I'm leaving out all the juicy stuff.

And to all you kids out there, screw you! I saw all the good bands live!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

South40Vision: Motorsports Edition

One of the forums I hang out on had a 0-60 video thread. I held out as long as I could, but seriously...
Not bad for a 6banger.

Pardon the crappy video, the sunglare was killer.

Missed It By THAT Much

There was a very good looking female customer I was attracted to where I used to work. We hit it off well, too. I was pretty sure the feeling was mutual but I didn't approach her because a) she was wearing a wedding ring and b) she was a customer.

Now, I no longer work there and have lost contact with her. Today while talking to a former co-worker I found out a)she's recently divorced, but b)has already hooked up with someone new. And yeah, c)the feeling WAS mutual.

Story of my life...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's "Take Your Wife To Work Day" at Daytona International

Hey Baby, let's do a couple hot laps. It'll be fun!
Unfortunately for Rolex Sports Car Series driver Joao Barbosa, he failed to get a pre-nup.