Friday, July 31, 2009

July 2009

I feel ashamed that this is my worst month of posting this year.

I am mortified that this stupid post is only the 12th post of July. Granted, I was in Germany for 2 weeks so maybe 12 is not so bad.

All of my pictures from my German vacation are on my wife's laptop and she is keeping her laptop under lock and key. I have not been able to go through my 700+ photos since we've returned. Thus I am no closer to sharing with you my trip. I know it's sad and I am very guilt-ridden.

In making it up to you, I'll share with you my crazy music video for today. I hope you like bagpipes.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Naked Olympics

I was reading Ghost's blog today and he wrote about something that I had not heard of. Probably because I don't watch the news. I don't really know how I stay informed.

Anyway, it seems that science and technology have developed swimsuits that allow people to swim much faster. It's called "dope on a hanger" by some. I thought they'd been wearing the little rubber head gear, shaving their heads and putting on speedos for years, but I guess this is somehow much better.

Results seems to indicate it is. The use of the high tech swimwear will be banned in April or May of 2010, but only after several world records have been broken. So now what happens with all these records? Do they qualify them with an *with the help of technology?

Does that mean they have to go back to when people first started wearing swimsuits at all and qualify all records? Does each record have to be qualified with what the athlete was wearing?

How will they handle the track events? Qualify each record with a shoe type (make and model)? What about ice skating?

I think the only meaningful solution would be to go back to naked Olympics without the aid of surgical reductions. I know I'd watch. It would give the breast stroke a whole new titillating perkiness in the woman's 100 meter relay.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Home At Last

I need a vacation from that vacation.

I've got about 700 pictures to go through before I can post detailed stories of my "German Vacation". I'm hoping the pictures remind me of all the stories I wanted to tell. I'm not good at taking notes and the picture on the left is not one of the 700.

I may have to post some other random crap to fill in the gaps, but I shan't forget to share with you my German Vacation.

When I first started going to Germany back in 2002, everyone there would ask me if I hate George Bush as much as they did. I don't know what it was with Europe and George. He must have said something bad about the Euro or something. It made me uncomfortable most of the time. I could see them coming from across the bar with their Bush hating look in their eyes.

This was my first trip with Obama in office and it was much more pleasant. It's likely the first positive affect that the ObamaNation has had on my life. Everyone wanted to know if I liked Obama as much as they did.

I just told them that we seem to have a little less war and a lot less money, but it seems to even out. But I had trouble translating it to Deutsch most of the time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Eh No More Than a Week

I hate going more than a week between posts.

I learned some new things about Germany. Like, why it costs 50 cents to pee. Unless you can fit through the child gate.

I'll write more later. I've had 2 liters of beer and I've made promises about drinking and posting.

I spent 3 days in Ronneburg, 3 days in Falkenberg and now I am back in Fulda. I will return soon. I may have misspelled the cities to protect the innocent or out of sheer ignorance. Take your pick.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I've been in Hannover since Wednesday. Lots of people out walking around in Hannover. The streets are always crowded with people walking and riding. They have lots of bicycle lanes all over the place and people use them. It's highly unusual. Is it because the weather is fairly cool even in July? I mean I can wear shorts, but it's not unbearably hot. Perhaps people in Texas would like to get out and be social but it's better to sit undernearth their air conditioners...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I'm away from my computer. Posts will be light, but I am taking lots of pictures. Hopefully, I will be able to share some good travel stories when I get back.

Things should get back to some reasonable state of normalcy by the last week in July.

I've been watching the John Adams series from HBO on Netflix. It was during the viewing of this series that I realized John Quincy Adams was the son of John Adams. It made me feel sufficiently ignorant.

It's interesting that the blogspot domain changes it's behavior depending on your country of access. Since I am logging in via a hotel in Germany, all the spelling is done in German. I'm not real sure how to remedy it.

When I first connect, all the menus are in German as well. By actually logging in to my account, the menus change to English, but the spell checking remains in German. There may be some misspellings. I am using Firefox though and it has a built in spell checker that seems to stay in English. Perhaps it won't be too bad.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I've been watching the Heroes series on Netflix "Watch It Now".

If you haven't heard of it, it's the story of accelerated evolution creating humans with "special" powers.

The story takes place in cool places like Tokyo, New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Odessa, Midland and Kermit.

It's a good story. I'm almost done with the first season and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
Of course, I get the extra benefit of the comic relief when they are in the Odessa/Midland mode. Here is a picture of a park in Kermit (taken from the series). I wonder if the people making the series realize that Kermit is a desert and it's 10 miles from a town called Notrees because there are no trees. It cracks me up.

At one point she goes to visit her mom at a trailer park in Kermit. She's wearing a parka for Pete's sake. The trailer park looks like one of those wooded creepy places in the backwoods of Mississippi. I think they could try a little harder to be at least geologically/climatologically accurate. Of course, then it wouldn't be near as funny.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Texas Play and the USA

I know you are all reading with great anticipation this much awaited weekly update.

I promised earlier, pictures and tales of my trip to the Palo Duro Canyon for July 4th.

I drove for 6 hours with my two lovely children and their dog. I'm mostly allergic to animals, but I took my allergy medicine and I dealt with it. She actually traveled well. Her name is Jazzie and she's a Pomeranian. When we arrived in Canyon, we were greeted by Gracie. She's a Shih Tzu. She's a cool looking dog (Shih Tzu on the left, Pomeranian on the right). By the time I left Canyon, my eyes were starting to swell from the shock to my allergic system.

I am always amazed at how far you can see when I'm there. It's kind of nice to be able to see to the horizon. My dad is fond of telling the story about the people that moved to the Texas Panhandle from the big cities and had to go running back because of the agoraphobia.

I also mentioned before that we went and watched the Texas play at the Canyon. I think I've seen it for about 5 years running now. I'm not entirely sure you need to see it more than once, but it's worth a one time venture to be sure. The Palo Duro Canyon (where it is done) is the 2nd largest canyon in the USA.
The Texas musical is mostly a historical show about the Texas Panhandle. After watching it 5 years in a row, it's rather boring. This year they changed things up a bit and I liked the changes. I don't know if I liked them because it added something or because it was different. I do know that this is the first time I've ever gone that it was sold out. And we always go around the 4th of July so the date had nothing to do with it. I suspect by word mouth, lots of people had been notified of its improvement.

They have a contest every night giving a gift package to the person traveling the furthest to see the play. They said that in something like 44 years they have never had a winner from the USA. The winner this year was from Taiwan if I remember right. I wasn't paying real close attention because my 3 year old niece was sitting behind me giving some insightful and not to be missed entertaining commentary. She's an Aquarius.

One of the reasons we go see it around the 4th of July every year is because they do a tribute to America that is not to be missed. It normally brings a tear to my eye. And I write that in an uncharacteristically non-sarcastic manner.

The pictures are kind of blurry because we didn't have a tripod and it was dark, but my daughter did a pretty good job.

It starts out with a guy riding a horse through the canyon behind the stage carrying an American flag. It's all dark except for the spotlight on him. He brings it into center stage and all the performers come in behind him carrying the flags of all 50 states. Then everything quiets and the lights dim with a single spotlight on the horseback rider carrying the American flag. He sits in the middle still carrying the flag, takes off his hat, puts it over his heart and they sing America The Beautiful. Typically, the crowd stands and sings along. It's amazing.

No matter how much complaining people do about our government, this is still the greatest country in the world and as long as "we the people" continue to believe, it always will be.

But, then it gets you to thinking. If you travel, you know America is beautiful, but so is the rest of the world. Why can't the entire world be United just like the states of America? With today's technology the world has become smaller. I don't think it's too much to ask that we can become the United Countries of Planet Earth.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Six Flags Over Texas

Online comics have taken on an unforeseen entertainment value for me. Something Positive is one that I frequent. Back on June 23, Something Positive started a little mini-series concerning Speelunkers.

When I was a child growing up in the desert of West Texas we called home, we'd take an annual trip to Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. We all looked forward to it. I remember we'd have a garage sale where Mom would encourage us to get rid of all our old junk to make money for the trip.

What do I remember most about those trips to Six Flags? All the rides that aren't there any more.

Like the Speelunker Cave. It wasn't a scary ride. There were no twists or turns although there was one small water fall you have to float over in your plastic sounding creaky canoe. It was all about the mystery. When you entered the cave you were in the cave. The air conditioning was so cold, you'd forget it was 105 outside. And it was dark. They replaced the Speelunkers with Looney Tunes.

Then there was La Salle's River Adventure. You ride in a riverboat with other guests and the captain of the ship narrates the adventure. I remember getting in a firefight with Indians as we floated down the river. It was in the French district.

They used to have a skylift that took you from one side of the park to the other. They used to have a giant slide that came down from the red tower in the middle.

Back in the old days Six Flags Over Texas was themed towards the 6 flags. It was somewhat historically themed. Now it's themed towards Looney Tunes and the Super Friends. It's very irritating. It's no wonder they are having financial problems.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

When Two Gangs of Idiots Collide

Many years ago, the TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) decided that the only way to stop drunk driving was to arrest people before they drove. They started hanging out (under cover) in bars in the DFW area to arrest people for public intoxication (in the bar).

I don't know when exactly they started the fiasco, but it was suspended (supposedly) in 2006 when they arrested an individual for public intoxication at a hotel bar where the individual was a guest. Obviously, the person wasn't going to drive anyway. It was just an idiotic team of law enforcement officials with absolutely no common sense and an overwhelming desire to tout their power and their boundless stupidity.

On Sunday, June 28th, (probably started Saturday night) the idiots at the Fort Worth Police Department decided to gang up with the idiots from the TABC and go around arresting "publicly intoxicated" people at bars. I've heard rumor that the "official" policy is to let the people go if they can prove they have sober means of transportation.

But, you put two power hungry groups of idiots in the same place at the same time and a carnage of stupidity is sure to be released. The public's version of what happened differs greatly from the idiot's version of what happened. Here is the idiot's version.

In the carnage, one man was sent to the hospital. Rumor has it he wasn't even tested for alcohol. Can you imagine going to a bar and being conked over the head and thrown out the door in handcuffs for ordering a beer? In my 40 years of existence I've only encountered 2 bad cops and they were both in small cities. Then there were the 8 Italian cops who, I thought, might be up to something like their Forth Worth counterparts.

Here's a public account. You can do a search for yourself and make a decision. I'm just looking at historical evidence of previous TABC fiascoes. Texas has too many commisions.

6 Days

It's been 6 days since my last blogging. I have felt the urge to blog on several occasions, but have somehow resisted the urge.

Sometimes I think things through before I write. Other times, I just start spewing forth whatever comes to mind. Today, I am doing the latter.

I think it would be cool if Michael Jackson arose from his casket and did "Thriller" for all the contest winners. It would be cool simply because people could finally see main stream media for the shock jocks they are.

Today I heard about some poor woman that is getting sued for 1.92 million dollars. She is a Minnesota mom by the name of Jammie Thomas-Rasset. She is being sued by the RIAA for downloading songs "illegally". I am mortified. How are we to know something is "illegal"? Do we just assume that "nothing is free"? I can't tell you the number of applications that I've downloaded and used for free simply because the download site told me they were free. There is sometimes a little agreement you have to OK before installation, but not always. How do I know that these are free? Will some SIAA (Software Industry Association of America) come and sue me?

I went to see the Texas play in the Palo Duro Canyon on the 4th. They had a USA birthday special after it was over and did some cool fireworks. I have a bunch of pictures. I'll dedicate a separate posting to it. It got me to thinking about the USA and what it stands for and why the entire planet can't be something similar. The UCE or UCW. I'm quite confident that we can all get along.

I like the fact that Obama seems to listen to his critics. He doesn't necessarily agree with them and his arguments against their arguments aren't always very good, but at least he listens. He was talking about the possibility of a second stimulus package when he said, "There are a whole bunch of critics out there who said we shouldn't have any stimulus at all. And in fact, some of the same folks who are now saying, 'Where are the jobs?' don't really have a recipe other than doing nothing for the economic circumstances that we're in." I really like that he listens.

My oldest daughter asked for a camera for her birthday. She takes some really cool pictures. She took pictures at the Texas play that I'll post later. My favorite one that she has taken so far was taken at a restaurant in Germany...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blogs and Religion

If you look to the column on the right, you'll see a list of Random Blogs. These are random blogs that I try to keep up with. They are all interesting in random ways.

Today's reading of The Whited Sepulchre's blog was especially heart warming. I haven't felt such pent-up emotions in 20+ years. There is apparently a splintering in the Baptist community over the rights of gays to attend church. My irritation (20 years ago) stemmed from listening to the "wrong" kind of music and the firing of a youth minister who was promoting too much enjoyment at church. Anyway, you can read The Whited Sepulchre's account if you desire. It hit a personal note with me. It's why to this day I believe organized religion is the root of all evil. Damn Kentucky Southern Baptists.

My friend Ed and his wife write the Pause, Rewind blog. It seems to be a part time venture. In fact I haven't heard from Ed in a couple of weeks. Perhaps I should investigate his continued good health.

The latest blog I started reading is written by a friend of mine from high school. We were the two smartest kids in a class of 20 or so. I can't remember the exact number. In fact I may have blocked a lot of memories. I just tell people I barely graduated in the top 10%. It's the one I call J'Girls blog (also on the right). That's not what she calls it. She's on a diet and has promised cool pictures. She has been keeping us all updated as to her progress. This week she has incoming toxicity which I've been trying to tell her to avoid. I think it's complicated. Stress kills.

I think the rest of them I've talked about before. And I grow blog tired.