The stars at night are big and bright...

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I thought it gave you wings?

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. –  The countdown is on for skydiver Felix Baumgartner. In just two weeks, the Austrian parachutist will attempt to go supersonic when he jumps from a record altitude of 23 miles (37 kilometers) over the U.S.

Baumgartner expects to reach a top speed of 690 mph (1,110 kph) and break the sound barrier with only his body.

Project managers announced Tuesday the attempt will take place Oct. 8, a delay from August.

"I feel like a tiger in a cage waiting to get out," Baumgartner, 43, said in a statement.

He jumped from 18 miles (29 kilometers) in July. This time, he hopes to break the all-time record of 19.5 miles (31 kilometers) set in 1960.

The effort is privately funded by the energy drink maker Red Bull. One team leader is record-holder Joe Kittinger, who was a U.S. Air Force captain when he took part in the record-setting military high-jump project decades ago.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's Alive!

Sunday night my pc's cpu cooling fan quit. No fan, no computer. It's as simple as that. Monday I did some open heart surgery and removed the dead fan and heat sink, then set out on my quest. First stop was Radio Shack in Decatur.

Remember when Radio Shack had everything electronic imaginable? Well, they don't anymore. They had 3 different fans... 3. All of which were too big and wired wrong. The salesman suggested I try Bridgeport, but I knew if I backtracked to Bridgeport and they didn't have one it would just be a longer drive to Fry's in Arlington where I knew they had what I needed. So off to Arlington I went.

Sure enough they had a fan that would fit, but it was not variable speed. So I spent an extra $4 and bought a complete Cooler Master cpu fan/heat sink combo for $15. It said right on the box it would fit an AMD processor. What it didn't say was it would fit my motherboard because as I would soon find out... it wouldn't. But that's getting ahead of the story.

After I left Fry's I decided to forgo sitting in the afternoon traffic jam on I-35 and headed to China Dragon Super Buffet on 183 in Euless. Or is it Bedford? Hurst? You really have to want to eat there with all the construction going on. Miss the exit and it's about a 3 mile drive thru neighborhood streets to get back there. But it's worth it. Trust me.

I pigged out on crawdads, boiled shrimp, coconut shrimp, spicy shrimp

and I had a fudge brownie sundae for desert. Not bad for around $10.

With my tummy happy, I drove home with visions of slapping my new cooler in and being back in business. Too bad it didn't exactly work that way once I got home. The mounting bracket didn't fit my moboard. Not even close. I decided to try using the bracket off my old cooler and even though it didn't line up exactly like the old heat sink, it was close enough to work.

So now my computer's happy and I'm back on the interwebs for under $30, all you can eat shrimp dinner included. Beats the hell out of buying a new computer.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Darwin Award goes to...

A man jumped out of the Bronx Zoo's monorail into the tiger exhibit Friday afternoon, where he was mauled by a 400-pound Siberian tiger before zoo employees rescued him by using fire extinguishers to distract the big cat, zoo officials said.

The 400-pound Siberian tiger named Bachuta could have killed the intruder in an instant but  fast-acting zoo workers were able to rescue the jumper who had been in the enclosure for about 10 minutes, Bronx Zoo Director Jim Breheny said.

"Tigers are extremely capable predators: They typically grab a prey animal by the back of the neck and it's over very quickly," Breheny said. "This cat did not do this to the individual."

Authorities identified the jumper as David Villalobos. The 25-year-old from Mahopac suffered "various bites or puncture wounds on his arms and legs and also the top of his shoulder on his back,"  Breheny said. He also suffered a broken arm and ankle, perhaps from the 17-foot drop off the monorail.

Around 3:30 p.m., Villalobos took a flying leap off the last car of the zoo's Wild Asia Monorail, a slow-moving train with open sides that takes visitors along the zoo's tree tops to peer down on the wild creatures below.

He was able to clear a perimeter fence -- an athletic feat that was a first in the history of the monorail, authorities said -- and land in the tiger enclosure.  Bachuta, an 11-year-old Siberian tiger weighing more than 400 pounds then mauled Villalobos.

The zoo's staff was able to chase Bachuta off by spraying the creature with a fire extinguisher. Once the tiger backed away, the zoo staff yelled at the man, instructing him to roll under a hot wire to safety, Breheny said.

The keepers then called the tiger into its holding area and secured him there, Breheny said.

Once the tiger was contained, EMTs rushed to the scene and treated the man, officials said. He was conscious and talking as he was taken to the hospital by ambulance, Breheny said.

"If the tiger really wanted to do harm to this individual he certainly would have had the time to do that," said Breheny.

Villalobos was taken to Jacobi Hospital in critical condition.  The tiger "did nothing wrong" Breheny said, and will not be put down.

Authorities offered no motivation as to why Villalobos took the leap into the tiger cage. His Facebook page lists "Mother Earth" as his religion and features many photos of lions, a jaguar and tigers.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Keep Manhattan, Just Give Me That Countryside

Got Dirt?

Been playing Green Acres around The South 40 this week. Brother In-law brought his big ass tractors over and it didn't take long to plow 40 acres. It was also pretty nice doing it in an air conditioned cab listening to the stereo. First time I've ever done that. I'm used to sitting in the open listening to the exhaust and choking on the dust. You know... farming.

It's the only way to fly!

Now I get to go remove the rocks that came up before we run the planter. It tends to not like large hard objects in it's path.

To quote a line by Karl Maldren from How The West Was Won "I have the finest crop of rocks in Stone County". I pulled several tons of rocks out of the field last fall. I'm not exaggerating either. I've got 4 huge piles and every rock in them was hand picked. Now it looks like I might have another ton or so in the field again. Hoo-ray!

What I need to do is figure out a way to pull a Tom Sawyer scam on some city folk and get them to pay me for doing it for me. The South 40 All Natural Full Body Workout! Only $20 for a limited time!! (The effectiveness of this hasn't been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and any claims of results or lack thererof may be in dispute)

That may sound ludicrous to you, but there is a guy baling Dove Weed and selling it for $10 a bale in the Metroplex as dove attractant. I kid you not. 

P.T. Barnum was right.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Seth MacFarlane Kills

The season premier of SNL lived up to, and possibly exceeded the hype with rookie host Seth MacFarlane. The opening skit was funny with Jay Pharoh taking over the role of Obama. He hasn't quite nailed it yet, but he has the mannerisms down. I look for much improvement from the talented impersonator.

MacFarlane nailed his monologue. He was born to do SNL:

He was also extremely funny as laid back Olympic Gold Medalist Ryan Lochte on Weekend Update:

And he was in a very funny skit about Korean pop star and internet meme Psy (who made a cameo). The bit also featured one of my favorite SNL players, Bobby Moynihan. He's got that Chris Farley/John Belushi vibe.

Credit for the episode's funniest skit goes to Bill Hader and his PTSD puppeteer.

Let's hope this is the first in a long string of hosting gigs for Seth MacFarlane on SNL. It wasn't all gold, but it was worth the 90 minutes.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

On The Radar: Seven Psychopaths

I like it... It's got layers.
Chock full o' cowbell!

How do you spell awesome? T-W-E-R-P!

My 50th Anniversary Icky Twerp shirt arrived in the mail today. 
You can get yours here.

It's a shame Bill Camfield doesn't get more credit for his work at KFJZ/KTVT. He was more popular, but much less politically correct than Jerry Haynes' Mr. Peppermint at WFAA. Camfield's comedy was more slapstick and aimed at a broader audience than you would expect from a local kid's show. 

Slam Bang Theater even featured a very contriversial  guest appearance by a famous Ft.Worth
stripper and got away with it on a "children's" program. The guy had balls. His comedy and fame crossed several boundaries without becoming offensive yet staying entertaining. 

It's too easy to try to compare Ickey Twerp with Krusty The Clown (the Simpson's version of Bozo). The big difference is Icky Twerp wasn't a franchised copy of a character. Icky Twerp/Bill Camfield was all original top to bottom.

He was a true pioneer of television.

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Kids On The Block

 Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson, and Cecily Strong

Meet the newest SNL cast members. They will be replacing Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, and Abby Elliott who all left at the end of last season.Those are some pretty big shoes to fill, but Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson, and Cecily Strong all have strong comedic pedigrees from Chicago's Second City Theater.

Learn more bout them here.

I Love a Parade Pt:2

I heard they had a great turnout for the WCSP Rodeo this weekend. Unfortunately, we've had no entries in the Parade Photo Contest, so I'm going to call that a bust. Shame on you guys, ya'll missed a good parade.

Things changed on the fly, as they usually do in these kind of events. The stage was not where it usually was and was facing the wrong way. I was asked to bring music and then they switched to live music which became unstable when I tried to announce the parade over the top of the singer facing the other direction. I had a good 12 minute mix of western swing instrumentals on my phone that would have been perfect.

There weren't any school bands participating (and I still don't understand why) but Primo's had their own band which was pretty cool. I heard they won an award for their performance. Too bad nobody took any pictures...

Don't worry I saw Joe Duty scurrying around doing his thing, so I'm sure there will be some in The Mess.

Even with the Chisholm Trail Days events going on, the turnout was pretty sparse compared to when I was a kid. What's happened? Bands don't participate, people don't show up, a chunk of our heritage fades away. I've seen crowds show up in Jackistan for their parades and they line the streets. Everybody shows up. Why are things so different here?

Is a parade too lame for us Wise County urbanites? I hope not.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I Love a Parade!

Looks like it's time to dust off the old microphone. For better or worse, I'll be the Master of Ceremonies once again for the 58th Annual Wise County Sheriff's Posse Rodeo Parade this Saturday in Decatur. I haven't seen the final line up yet, but I can guarantee you it will be fun for the whole family. I'm hoping to see some local High School bands involved. For some reason they haven't been participating in the parade for several years. As a proud former member of The World's Largest Non-Nuclear Coast Guard Marching Band, I question the absence of  local bands at a gig that just begs for a marching band. Consider it a warm-up for Homecoming, whatever... it's what marching bands do! The forecast is calling for a high in the mid-80's, so the weather will be perfect! There's no excuse for not participating.

This will be my 5th time emceeing the parade. That puts me in the exclusive Five-Timers Club with Candice Bergen and Bill Murray. OK, so they were hosting SNL, but this is also a live event and they didn't have to work with horses and fire trucks so I'm crashing their party. They're free to file a protest if they don't agree with my ruling.

Amazing how downtown Decatur resembles downtown Ft. Worth in those pictures, ain't it? Actually those are from the WCSP at the 2012 Stock Show Parade. I don't have time to play Joe Duty when I'm announcing so this is the best I could do. (Note: They had LOTS of marching bands there!) Better yet, come on down to The Square this Saturday and take your own! Maybe we could scrounge up a photo contest with some sort of prize. Who knows? Just ignore the fat man on the stage. He is not the droid you're looking for. You have your assignment. Good luck, Mr. Phelps.

Don't about forget the all Chisholm Trail Days Western Heritage Festival events that will be happening downtown on Saturday and the dance following the Rodeo on Friday night. It's a weekend full of good music and fun stuff to do. How often can you say that in Decatur?
Cowboy up.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

On The Radar: Silver Linings Playbook

This film has a lot going for it. And by a lot, I mean Jennifer Lawrence behaving inappropriately. Most of it is not on camera (damn it!) but recalled in conversation with Bradley Cooper. Oh yeah, he's in the film, too along with some De Niro guy...

Adapted from the novel by Matthew Quick this film is about a man recently released from a mental institution that moves back in with Mom & Dad then meets an equally unstable younger woman. Silver Linings Playbook looks quirky enough to be entertaining even if Jennifer wasn't in it.

It's also the first of two films starring Cooper and Lawrence. They team up again in Serena, due out next year.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

On The Radar: COPPER

This BBC America original series is good, very good. It will suck you in like a black hole with it's greatness. It rivals anything HBO has had to offer since Deadwood and AMC will have some serious competition come Emmy time.

Definitely DVR worthy.

16 Points in 38 seconds

The Vols went on to win 35 - 21 in the Georgia Dome.