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, February 27, 2015

How ever shall I spend my Snow Day?

How convenient that we get a legitimate blizzard the same day Season 3 drops? Apparently Mother Nature is a House of Cards fan, too!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The High Chaparral

This show struck a deep nerve with me. It was very progressive for a western, yet it really appealed to my anything but progressive Dad. The biggest red flag was a white man, Big John Cannon played by Leif Erickson, married to Victoria, a Mexican woman played by the smoking hot Linda Cristal.

That was pretty racy stuff in the late 60's early 70's. I'm sure Bag of Nothing can confirm the level of racism that existed then. I can only hope it's decreased, but from my POV, I honestly couldn't tell you.

But there were people back then that were determined to change the culture of America. They wanted to rid us of the hatred between the races. David Dortort was one of those men. He made his mark with Bonanza. He took that and used all the Hollywood cout he had banked with NBC and gave us The High Chaparral. A bold social experiment on our still mainly monochromatic screens.

This was one of the few shows my father made a concerted effort to watch. M*A*S*H was the other. That's pretty exclusive company. Buck Cannon (Cameron Mitchell) the rebellious younger brother of Big John was my Dad's favorite. Billy Blue Cannon (Mark Slade) the green but well intentioned son of Big John by previous marriage was mine. It was always a heated argument who would be the hero at the end of the episode. It was also the reason this series, shot in the Arizona desert outside Tucson, will always hold a special place in my heart. We always agreed on M*A*S*H, but The High Chaparral was a fun debate.

One of the few tourist traps he agreed to stop at when I rode with him as a kid was Old Tucson, the set for The High Chaparral. Another biggie for me was the Tucson Truck Terminal. It was frequently featured in Overdrive magazine and was my vision of a trucker's oasis. Time is a cruel mistress.

You can catch restored episodes of The High Chaparral on The Inspiration Network (DirecTV 364). Inspiration Network also runs Daniel Boone, JAG, The Big Valley, Matlock, The Waltons, Little House and much, much more in between evangelical services. A pretty good channel for the classic TV fan.

Charlo Greene gets the last laugh

Remember Charlo Greene? She was the Alaskan reporter who famously F-bombed her bridges behind her live on the air to campaign for legal marijuana. Come to find out she actually owned a dispensary and had a very legitimate dog in the fight.

Well unlike 10,000 unemployed comedians, in this case it looks like quitting her day job paid off.

More than one person is calling her the MVP of the legalization movement that narrowly passed with 53% of the vote last November. Maybe she will take a job down here now. Seriously, it's beyond time to end prohibition in Texas. But then again, there are still counties here where you can't legally buy a cold beer on a hot summer day. Yeah freedom?

One of the questions being asked is if Alaskans can import weed. As a former Coastie that served a few years up there when it was legal in the 70's and knew a couple of guys who grew up in the Matanuska Valley... they don't need to be worrying about importing a damn thing. Other than getting their hands on pure CDB strains to combat seizures, it would make about as much sense as people in South America importing cocaine (Archer Vice episodes excluded). They got some mighty famous stuff up there that will leave you Thunder... struck.

Speaking of AC/DC and Alaska in the 70's, I shall digress. That's where I first crossed paths with the boys from down under and my musical horizons were forever broadened. Bob Wills and ZZ Top were pretty badass, but they had nothing like this. This music grabbed you by your innards, shook you and didn't let go. And that singer! In my whole life I'd never heard anyone sing like Bon Scott. It was a true epiphany for me.

After my first exposure I immediately backtracked their entire catalogue and bought everything I could get my hands on.

Here's a few of the songs that hooked me before before he went to that big brothel in the sky. Hey, it's legal there and I'm pretty sure if you asked him that's his idea of heaven. If I'm wrong he's free to correct me.

RIP Bon.

In case nobody has mentioned this before, I was a woefully green kid before I joined the Coast Guard. My life was drastically changed by your talents.

Handy Dandy Pistol Target

This may be the coolest thing since sliced bread and pizza delivery in 30 minutes or less. Want to improve your pistol accuracy but just can't seem to figure out what the problem is? Well, that's a thing of the past with this little jewel.

Honestly, I wish I had one of these when I was learning to shoot.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Icemageddon 2015

I wish we had the little Ticket when I went to school. It would have been so cool to hear fake Walt Garrison or fake Don Meredith read the school closings list.

A few of the Oscars that we didn't see awarded last night

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tunes that get stuck in my head.

#7 The Theme from ALF: The Animated Series

It's disturbing how often this tune pops into my head, especially considering how long it's been since it was on the air and my age at the time. This was long before ComicCon was cool, although ALF did appear on Johnny Carson and tickled the snot out of him. That was pretty much a Golden Ticket back in the day. But that was live ALF, this song was from the animated prequel that came after. Err, you know what I mean.

You have to love prequels (Star Wars excluded). They take the bits that really worked in the original and flesh 'em out. Better Call Saul is our latest example.

But I digress.

Just sit back, smile and enjoy the song. Think of me when you start humming the bass line some day in the not too distant future. 

It. Will. Happen.

Friday, February 20, 2015

An Order Of Rage For Lunch

I had to run a few errands this afternoon and stopped by Chico Mart on the way home to grab some fish (it's a Friday thing). I hadn't eaten anything all day and my tummy was rumbling something fierce.  I walk in and ask for an order of fish. I see fish in the display case, but he tells me they will have to cook some fresh. I assume those are display pieces I'm looking at and don't question why. I pay the kid then he walks off. No order number, ask my name, nothing. Well, it was a little after 4 and the place is empty, so I don't really worry about it and took a seat.

Then a few minutes later another customer comes in, walks up to the other end of the counter (it's a confusing layout) and asks "Is that fresh fish?" They tell him yes and he says "I'll take it." The lady walks out of the kitchen and hands him an order of fish. Hmm... A minute or so later another customer walks up and orders fish. She walks out and hands him an order of fish.

(Insert needle dragging across record here.)

OK, WTF is going on here? I get up and ask where my order is that I already paid for? The kid at the register that took my order says "It's not ready yet. You'll have to wait." I replied, "Yeah, it's not ready because you keep giving it away to walk up customers." I got so mad I just said "Forget it" walked out without getting my money back before I started saying what I really meant down deep.

I wish we had more dining choices than a Mexican Food joint, Subway and a gas station. Small town problems.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Battle of Grillysburg at Texas State

I like the cut of this young man's jib. 

Apartment management suddenly threatens to remove a Texas State University (that's UTSW San Marcos for you us old farts) student's grill. Oh those pesky insurance companies. 

Chains get cut, heads get butted, concrete comes into play. Oh, it's on, Bro. 

Read the entire saga of the Battle of Grillysburg, Grilloshima, Grillasaki, or whatever over at Total Frat Move.

When they pry it from my cold dead hand!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Canon 5DS and 5DS R

I remember thinking how badass my 12MP Canon was when I bought it in 2010. Now 50 megapixels. 50! Only James Bond and the CIA had access to stuff this good until now.

Pretty good detail, huh? Look closer my friends, MUCH closer!


The 5DS and 5DS R will be available starting in June 2015 with price tags of $3,699 and $3,899, respectively. Get the full story at Petapixel.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Everyone Called Saul!

Better Call Saul' scores highest debut ratings in cable history

Bet AMC is really glad they called Saul. Sunday night’s launch of Better Call Saul was the highest-rated series debut in cable history.  The highly anticipated Breaking Bad 6.9 million viewers and a record-setting 3.4 adults 18-49 rating.

Of course, a show debuting after a mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead is a bit like airing an episode after the Super Bowl. Ratings for tonight’s second episode should provide a stronger sense of the show’s true performance.

h/t Entertainment Weekly

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Nazi Shot in Jack County (according to a Rushin news report)

JACKISTAN-  (Cherry Rushin reporting) A beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon at the park turned tragic when a WWII reenactor was shot with live ammunition.

The first battle of the day was only just underway when at approximately 1:10 p.m., a cease fire was called. All reenactors were ordered to stop where they were and put their weapons on the ground with chambers open.

A Nazi reenactor received an injury to the stomach from a live round. He was transported by ambulance to Faith Community Hospital.

It was later reported that Scott Fullerton, a man in his forties from the Dallas area, suffered from a “deep graze.” He was to be transported to the hospital in Denton.

Fort Richardson State Park Superintendent Robert Frie said park services inspected all ammunition and weapons to be used in the reenactment that morning.

“Everything that was inspected at 9 a.m. was crimped, blank ammo,” Frie said.

Jacksboro Police Department, Jack County Sheriff’s Office and park officials were continuing their investigation as of this report.

h/t Jacksboro News

Unconfirmed reports one Doug Neidermeyer is a person of interest.

Also a more complete eyewitness report by Combat Kevin.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sign of the times

All this:
(with the exception of the subwoofer) was replaced by this:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


This is pretty damned cool right here. Give a cowboy a drone and his inner Warhol will be exposed.

h/t Bag of Nothing

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Caution: Man with Tools

Thought I'd show off a bit of handy work that I have been putting off for wayyyy too long. My towel bar in the guest bath had pulled out of the sheetrock and I lazily had been using the shower rod because, hey... it worked.

Today I finally got tired of looking at a busted bracket and no towel so I went foraging thru my storage room and found an old wine crate I've had since I worked at Centennial in Dallas 15 years ago. I pulled a bunch of those wooden crates out of the warehouse dumpster with the intention of making a wall mosaic out of them.  I'll get around to that some day. This one had some decent stenciling and a nice wood grain. It was also exactly the right length.

It was meant to be.

I carefully took the crate apart, rubbed the board down with some Scott's Liquid Gold... Et voila!