Archive for the ‘home’ Category

Return of my Possum Friend

Posted: August 17, 2010 in home
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I know it’s spelled “Opossum”. I just don’t like spelling that way because I don’t pronounce it that way. Tonight was the third visit from this dude. I really don’t know if it’s male or female. All I know is that it startles me every time it shows up. They are so stealthy. They don’t make a sound when they walk. They just appear.

That’s the neat thing about it. I’ll be sitting out on the front patio with my mind far, far off somewhere and it lumbers out from the hedges onto my patio and just keeps walking toward me. I think Possums are as blind as Armadillos. I say that because I’ve had many encounters with Armadillos.

Armadillos are as blind as bats. And they’re mainly nocturnal, just like possums. I’ve had them walk right up to my feet at night, never seeing me, then catch a whiff of my scent, jump about two feet off the ground and then run for their lives. I don’t think their sense of smell is very acute either. The same seems to be true with possums.

Every time it has walked up on me as I’m sitting on the patio, for some reason it always walks directly toward me. And keeps coming. It neither sees me nor smells me. I don’t want it to bump into me, get frightened and then bite me so I start saying “Hey . . . Hey . . . HEY!” It never hears me. Then I start stomping a foot and eventually he turns his head (usually in the wrong direction) and realizes that there just might be someone else here. He then takes flight by taking about 3 or 4 seconds to turn around and waddle off in the other direction.

I know possums are considered vermin. And they are. I just can’t help thinking that they are cute. I love their crossed eyes, and their ugly teeth that look just like those of Quark from Star Trek. To me they are the perfect example of something that is so ugly that it’s cute.

What do you do?

Posted: April 21, 2010 in home, miscellaneous
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I got home about the usual time this afternoon and stopped sideways next to my parking space like I always do. I do this to let the assholes behind me speed past. I do this because I always back my truck in. It’s the only way we can get in and out of the doors. I have a big truck and a very tight parking space.

It is only because of this routine that I managed to see these little guys right between the lines of my parking space.

Every spring I see baby birds on the ground. I never know whether they are tossed out by the mother, pushed out by other siblings or whether they fall out or just decide kamikaze out of the nest on their own. In this case these three took the equivalent of a 40 story fall right on to the concrete below. I know that baby birds are built for it, they’re sort of designed like a tennis ball, but it still amazes me that they survive this.

I normally don’t meddle with nature. I’ve always thought that it is usually best not to get involved and let it run it’s course. But when it’s blocking my $20 per month parking space, I have no choice.

Gabby was immediately out of the truck and on all fours saying “Ohhh . . . Awww . . . !” and “Can we keep ’em?” She already knew the answer but she tried. And tried. I scooped them up and took them to the patio where we looked them over. They started perking up. Once their little eyes finally focused on us they started toddling around then started squawking and gaping their beaks. They were perfectly fine but hungry. We watched them for a while and took a few pictures. Then I took them one by one back up to their nest. So far they are still there.

Memorable Ding-Outs

Posted: July 16, 2009 in family, friends, home, humor, Uncategorized

I’ve been listening all day to talk about the 40th anniversary of the 1969 moon mission. I heard everything from where you were when you saw it on TV or heard it on the radio to what it meant to you to how it made you feel. Of course, the topic of the space shuttles came up too.

This reminded me of the most unbelievably stupid comment by the stupidest person I’ve ever known. As he often did, he dropped by one day unannounced. I was watching coverage of the Columbia disaster. Believe it or not, he actually said something like this: “Well, you know when you’re going the speed-a-light it’s dangerous enterin’ the “world atmosphere.” As well as thinking anything else can travel at the speed of light he actually said “world atmosphere”.

What sounds did this guy hear in his head? It’s funny but then again it’s really not funny at all. There is a difference between being stupid and just being dingy. Occasional dinginess is even less of an issue. I was dingy in high school but no one thought I was stupid. I thought of some other people’s dingy moments that I thought were really funny. Here are just a few of them.

Jennifer- a waitress at a bar I worked at

She was just too young to be working as a waitress at a bar. The poor girl was so gullible. She asked a customer for directions. He told her how many “red lights” she had to pass before making a turn. Her response was “Well, what if all the lights are all green? I could just be driving and driving forever . . . ”

My sister

The biker bar marquis

My sister and her boyfriend were driving through a neighborhood which had many biker bars. She saw a little marquis outside of one of the bars that said ” No colors”. She immediately went berserk saying “I can’t believe what I’m seeing! What the fuck decade are we living in? That is just so wrong! How can they do that?” She calmed down after it was explained to her that “colors” meant biker jackets that show affiliation with a certain gang or “club” and not black people.

The chimpanzee

When we were kids in the seventies watching a documentary with our parents about a chimpanzee that was being taught sign language, my sister asked this question: “Aww . . . is he deaf?”

I got home Friday afternoon after my usual monthly work related road trip. After I unloaded my bag and changed clothes, I shuffled out toward the kitchen to start dinner. Out of habit, I began the search for the remote control to the TV. Due to experience, I analyzed the drop pattern of the batteries and found it in the nearest couch cushion. After finding it and putting it all back together I pushed the power button. It was then that I remembered that this was the day that TV went digital.

All the channels were nothing but white noise and snow flurries. A swarm of flies. Fly races as we called it as kids. I knew this day was coming and I did absolutely nothing about it despite the one year warning. Why? Because a one year window to me means I don’t have to exactly get on it right away. I’ve got plenty of time, right?

Well, my time ran out and now we have no TV. Personally, I don’t really give a shit but the daughter is going to be a little pissed off. Where did the time go? I’m not a TV guy. I only look at it when I’m cooking and eating dinner. I could live without it.

I’m told to go buy a converter box. I hear that the instructions for hooking it up are vague at best. I also hear that these boxes rarely work right.

It is my understanding that a “rabbit ear” antenna is supposed to be plugged in to the device. My TV has never had any type of antenna at all. It always had a perfectly clear signal with the use of a pair of scissors and a butter knife.

We’re probably just totally screwed until I can come up with the money for a digital TV.

Edit to post 6-15-09: To give due credit, I received this from Laurie Kendrick. I’m not sure if she sent to me because of this post or if it was just a fortunate coincidence but I thought it should be added here. I’m not one to tell others how to raise their kids but I think it would be best if the kids were asked to leave the room for a few minutes if the link below is opened.

Sony releases new piece of shit.

It was a weeknight, of course

Posted: April 9, 2009 in home, Uncategorized
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I lost about two hours of sleep last night somewhere between 2:00 am and 4:00 am. Lack of sleep hardly affects me at all but the interruption of sleep does so in a big way. Especially during these hours.

I was awakened sometime after 2:00 am by the yapping of a little dog right outside of my bedroom window. I tried to ignore it. I tried to fall back asleep but after ten minutes of this it knew it wasn’t going to happen unless I chased the dog away. I got out of bed, put on some clothes, went outside and did just that. I came back inside, angrily took my clothes back off and got back into bed.

Just as soon as I got comfortable the dog came back and started yapping outside my window again. I gave it time but it never stopped. I got back out of bed and chased the little mutt off. I got back into bed and the yapping started back up again outside my window. I went back outside but this time I started throwing rocks at this little shit-head dog. Of course, it took off. I went back to bed. It started again.

At about 4:00 I was really, really pissed off. Before, I was just sort of lobbing the rocks at her to run her off but this point I was ready to really bean the shit out of this little Curr so I could salvage some sleep. But she ran off again.

I fell back into bed and it wasn’t 60 seconds before that shit started again. I was so pissed off this time that I’m not sure if I was fully dressed when I busted out of the door. This time the little dog didn’t run off like before even though she knew I was extremely pissed off. Instead, she kept yapping away under a car next to my truck.

Then I thought, “She’s cornered another cat.” I got on my hands and knees to shoo the cat away so this damned dog would shut up. Instead, I found myself nose to nose with the biggest damned possum I’ve ever seen. It was bigger than that little dog. It didn’t hiss at me though. It just looked at me with it’s crossed eyes.

I was so pissed off. Now I had to chase off a possum to get this dog to shut up. I shouted at it. Didn’t work. I waved my hands, shouted and even poked it a few times. Nope. I resorted to the rocks I had used on the dog earlier. I started flinging the rocks at it but it just didn’t care. The problem was that it was under a car. I couldn’t really do anything about this without reaching under there and dragging it out with my hand (which I wasn’t about to do). I decided that the only chance I had of getting this possum on it’s way was to start hitting it a little harder with the rocks. I did but as they were bouncing off it’s side, all it did was look at me. I didn’t want to hurt him but I really needed to salvage what sleep I could. I started putting some mustard on these rocks and I finally got it’s attention. He finally lumbered out from under the car and across the parking lot toward the street with that little shit-head dog yapping at him all the way. The racket slowly faded and I finally got back to sleep only to get up in two hours.

Never a dull moment

Posted: January 24, 2009 in home, travel
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I got back into town yesterday after my monthly San Antonio/Wimberley run and my stay in a motel in San Marcos. I hate those places. I really do. The motel rooms that is. The only good thing about these trips is that I can eat an expensive dinner on the company and then go back to my room and watch some cable, which I don’t have at home.

When I got home it was time for my daughter to go to dinner with her friend’s family and then spend the night. I was so tired from the road that I fell asleep right after she left. About two hours later she called and said that the sky in our neighborhood was full of smoke. I walked outside to take a look and sure enough, it was.

The smoke was so thick and dark that it blocked out most of the sky. As I was standing there looking at this the entire block suddenly went black. The power went out. Just like that. I went back inside and sat in the dark just like I did when hurricane Ike hit us. This time I didn’t light my oil lamp. I just went back to sleep.

About two hours later I woke up to find the power back on and this computer telling me that it had been shut down improperly. Duh. I went outside again and saw that the air was choked with smoke. It looked like fog. When it was burning the smoke rose high and blew to the northeast but after it was extinguished the wind changed and sent the smoke from the smoldering remains right into this apartment complex. It smelled like being on the windward side of a campfire that had been dowsed with water.

My life in four paragraphs

Posted: November 15, 2008 in home, life, work
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This is a re-run of a June 2007 post. According to my stats this is the second most viewed post on this blog. I’m surprised by the number of views and how much they increase. When I first posted this I was most likely in “one of those” moods. I just started typing and then hit the publish button. After seeing it after all this time I decided to clean it up a bit and add a glossary at the end. Other than that, nothing has been changed.

I was born and raised in Suntan, Texas. My first two years of school were at a private school with a name so silly you might think I was making it up. I attended Pachuco Elementary in the second grade. That summer we moved to Frostbite, Wyoming. There, I attended third grade at Space Alien Elementary for the Foul-Mouthed. We managed to leave that state before we wrinkled up and aged beyond our years like the natives. We could have kissed the ground when we returned to Suntan, Texas. Instead, we peeled our clothes off and ran straight into the surf.

I then attended Karl Marx Elementary for half a year. Mid school year, we moved across the bay to the insignificant town of Paranoia, Texas. I finished the last half of that year as the new kid and continued through to the sixth grade at Nosebleed Elementary. I then went to Unmercifully Cruel Junior High and then graduated from Clique High.

After high school I half-assed attended classes at Equally Unmercifully Cruel Community College (EUCCC) while still living in Paranoia. After that, I managed to escape and return to Suntan to shack up with my girlfriend. After that didn’t work out I moved to Anarchy, Texas; The fourth largest city in America. Here, I worked as a bartender and musician at places called Human Trash Zoo, Tab Walkers, Inevitable 1:00 AM Brawl, etc.

When this healthy lifestyle ended I went to stay with my parents in Misery, Louisiana, in Boredom Parish. I was penniless and instrumentless. After about three months when I got my head screwed all the way back in and nourished back to health I hitched a ride back to Anarchy and met up with my former boss who put me to work in his brand new club called Must Wear Tux Shirt Behind Bar. During that time I married The Shrew and delighted in the birth of our daughter Wednesday. I ditched the bar business, cut my hair off and got a good paying job with regular hours with Beat Our Service Tech To Death Co., Inc. I divorced the Shrew and moved out of my beautiful house and into Zero Privacy Apartment Homes where now I live with my daughter.

Glossary
Suntan, Texas
: Corpus Christi, Texas
Pachuco Elementary: Kostoryz Elementary
Frostbite, Wyoming: Casper, Wyoming
Space Alien Elementary for the Foul-Mouthed: Fairdale Elementary
Karl Marx Elementary: Sanders Elementary
The bay: Corpus Christi Bay
Paranoia, Texas: Portland, Texas
Nosebleed Elementary: T.M. Clark Elementary
Unmercifully Cruel Junior High: Gregory-Portland Junior High
Clique High: Gregory-Portland High School
Equally Unmercifully Cruel Community College (EUCCC): Del Mar College
Anarchy, Texas: Houston, Texas
Misery, Louisiana: Lake Charles, Louisiana
Must wear tux shirt behind bar: Tic Toc
Shrew: Bernadette
Wednesday: Gabby

There’s no problem so awful that you can’t add some guilt to it and make it worse” (Calvin in Bill Waterson’s Calvin and Hobbes).

I saw this in the last frame of a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon in the the mid-eighties and for some reason it stuck with me in the back of my mind all these years. I had no idea that I would understand this completely twenty something years later.

I found out exactly what it feels like Monday night. While I was steaming some green beans on the stove, my daughter and I both dozed off. I woke up about an hour later to find that the water had boiled off and the Teflon coating of the pot had hazed up the apartment. Smoke from Teflon is highly toxic to birds. Actually, deadly.

As soon as I saw what had happened I shut the kitchen down and opened the door and some bedroom windows. I took Gabby’s little Parakeet outside but she was dead by the time I got her there. While I was in the middle of this little drama, Gabby came and said that Jaz, my beloved Congo African Grey parrot was also in distress. I found her trying to climb back up to her favorite spot but she was just to weak to get back up there. I knew what was happening. I wrapped her in a towel, took her outside and petted her head and stroked her beak and then she died right in my hands. She had another 60 years ahead of her.

I really hate myself right now.

It’s not often that I am able to use this lappy (as Romi calls hers). It’s my daughter’s and the school she goes to work the students like pack animals. Whenever I find her crashed out in the middle of her books, notes, spiral notebooks and this computer, I take it and get a little internet time in before she wakes up and gets back to her never ending rock pile of homework.

Some good news for me: It looks like I may finally be able to get a new computer. Maybe. I won’t know until November. Maybe even later. It all depends on how soon big brother sends me my “stimulus” check. Again. For months I wondered why I was the only one who wasn’t getting one of these checks. I found out why when I finally called the IRS last week. They said it was returned as undeliverable. Just my luck. Everything has been straightened out though and the surprisingly polite and helpful representative told me it will be re-sent and I should see it sometime around November of 3000.

I saw the most incredible thing the other day. While I was eating lunch and reading the paper in my truck I looked up just in time to see the biggest damned hawk I’ve ever seen swoop down and snatch one of the trillion pigeons we have here. In one fluid motion that big bird snatched that poor dumb pigeon and glided to the ground with it. Once there, the hawk just stood on it until the poor bird died. After that the hawk started eating it. This was only about 25 feet away. I keep saying hawk because I’m not quite sure what the hell it was. Most of the Hawks I see around here are small. This bird was nearly two feet tall. Was this an eagle?

My daughter’s big, dumb, adorable, solid-white cat is crashed out on my desk. He seems to be dreaming. His mouth is twitching and so is one of his legs. Do animals dream? I have always believed that at least domesticated animals like dogs and cats do. Why else would they be thrashing about like that when they’re sound asleep? If this is true, what goes through their little pea-brains when they wake up? Do they think they actually had that experience or do they just forget about it when they wake up?

Goodbye April

Posted: April 30, 2008 in home, office
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Earlier this evening I tore away the big April sheet from my desk calendar. I use those huge desk calendars from office supply stores. I like to to scribble notes instead of use a computer. All I have to do is reach over, grab a pen and make a note. After that, anything I need to be reminded of is right there in it’s square on my right without having to access anything on this computer.

I always make a note of future events by shuffling forward through the calendar and leaving a reminder for myself. Tonight when I looked at the events for May I was reminded of the Houston public library book sale. It doesn’t happen until the 16th though.

For those that don’t know what this is, this is when the Houston public library gets rid of all it’s unwanted books by selling them to the public at ridiculously low prices. It takes place at the convention center downtown. It lasts for three days. It always seems to start on Friday. That pisses me off because those of us who have to work during the week are not able to get first shot at some of the best books.

However, it’s not as crowded the next day. What I do is bring my travel bag. It’s huge and it has wheels. I just wander the aisles and toss books into it. I then take it to a girl who adds up the cost of all the books. After that I take it to the mean old woman collecting the money and pay the outrageous price of $40.00 for about 25 books. Then I wheel my books back to my truck, toss the whole bag of books in the bed of my truck, get out of dowtown and then stop for some appetizers and a few beers.

When I get home I go through all my loot.