Monday, July 26, 2010


I have retreated into my man cave and have lost touch with the news of the day. Therefore all my blog postings will be personal and contain no relevance whatsoever to current events.  Congratulations!

My soon to be ex-wife moved the rest of her furniture out of the house last weekend. I thought this would make me feel better because it would allow me to finally move things around and populate the now vacant areas with new furniture for my man cave. I was wrong. It depressed me.

I hung out by the pool with my brother all weekend. He's teaching me how to do wood working. I'm not sure I have the patience for it. I have learned you can do quite a lot of stuff with a circular saw and a router (not the kind that routes packets).  I've also learned that skin left white by too many hours in the man cave burns quickly and can be quite painful once properly cooked.

He's making an entertainment center for me. I may have blogged about this before, but I hate the fact that all homes in Texas must have fireplaces. Fireplaces are a waste of space in Dallas. It's almost never cold enough for long enough to justify the mess. Combine that with the amount of wall space they waste and it's just nutty.

So he has designed an entertainment center that rests on top of my hearth. It has space for my computer, my receiver, my center speaker, my Wii, my DVD player, my Blu-Ray player and my DVD's. I think it'll be way cool. Once it's completed, I'll post a new blog and if you are nice to me, I'll put up some pictures of it.

If I were really crazy and into self abuse, I'd post before and after pictures of my living room. It is currently furnished with bean bags, an old $100 sofa from Ikea and one of the black round chairs you buy from Wal-Mart for $10. Therefore, I think I'll avoid that shame.

Last night my Magic Jack on my Windows Home Server quit working. I'm not quite sure what's up with that.  And one of my Windows Home Server hard drives is supplying me errors on boot.  I'm not sure what's up with that either.  If you are really curious and ask nicely I'll post my solution when I have it.

Oh yeah, I should also mention that I'm going to sign up for acting classes.  I want to be in the movies!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Pair of Sites

I've never been a big fan of sushi. I don't know why. It's not that I dislike it. Every time that I've tried it, it was okay. It's just not something where I say, "Man, I'm dying for some sushi!"

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Chaucer's to have sushi so I went.

The next day I was feeling rather miserable although I don't know that it was sushi related.

My children came to see me and I was admonished by my teenage daughters when they saw my sickened state.  "Dad!" they cried, "Don't you know that raw fish has parasites?"

To which I replied, "It's a good thing there are only two of them or I'd be in the hospital."

Anyway, today I went to a Japanese restaurant and had the "special".  It came with sushi.  It's been an hour since lunch and I've decided, it's not the sushi.  It's the wasabi.  But, I love the wasabi.  I can't imagine sushi without wasabi.

I think once my digestive system gets accompanied to the site couple, I'll learn to look forward to my sushi and wasabi.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Russ Martin Show and Words of Wisdom

I like The Russ Martin Show.  He recently started working for 97.1 The Eagle in the mornings.  I believe his first date was just this past Monday.  He used to be on in the afternoons on a talk station that went all sports and now sucks rather valiantly.

Anyway, this morning whilst driving to work and listening to the show I started questioning why I find myself entertained by the show.  And it occurred to me in a flash of blinding insight that's probably better left unshared.

It's a direct result of the "Infinite Monkey Theorem".  The Infinite Monkey Theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

If you replace the words a bit... Infinite Monkey Theorem becomes "The Russ Martin Show".  I'll try.

If you put a bunch of morons together saying random stuff in front of a microphone for 4 hours every morning one of them will almost surely say something funny or even insightful.

Today, for example, they were stumbling about the topic of the Dallas City budget shortfall and how the city was cutting back on law enforcement which seems like one of the last areas where you'd want to cut back.  This, of course, lead to prostitution.  There is apparently a big operation by the Dallas police to cut down on prostitution.  Finally, Russ said, "If no one is getting hurt, no one should be getting arrested."

It was the gem amongst the drivel.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Random Thoughts -- Seriously

Yesterday I received Matrix on Blu-Ray from Netflix.  I had intended to do my 50 push ups, 100 sit ups, then sit down for a cozy evening in front of my fireplace, which has been converted into a 7.1 surround sound entertainment center, with a pint of ale.

That didn't happen.

Someone called me at 6:15 and said, "Hey, get your [explicative] over to the Ozona on Greenville."  Faced with such demands, I was, of course, pressured to acquiesce.

The Ozona Bar & Grill in Dallas is kind of a neat place.  It's full of lovely people to look at.and I spent a lot of time ogling the various eye candies.  Furthermore they have Franziskaner on tap which is one of my favorite brewskies.  And, if that weren't enough, the stuff is on sale for $2/glass.  It's almost cheaper than drinking at home!

The people I was to meet there were already a bit tipsy by the time I arrived.  There is nothing quite as entertaining as intellectual drunk people trying to have stimulating conversation on a patio full of eye candy.  I listened and I watched.

Eventually, my instigating personality got the better of my good judgment and I decided to try and come up with a debate topic that was nearly completely illogical, but filled with enough angst for intellectual drunk people to argue about it.

It happened when someone asked if I'd be willing to kill someone for a billion dollars (strange but true).  This, of course, led to the topic of everyone's price.  In a chain reaction kind of way, this got me to thinking of my 6 months, or was it 3 months, of visiting a psychologist.  I remember my psychologist telling me that I need to do a better job of enforcing my boundaries.

If you are still with me, then I am impressed.  In the "everyone has their price" argument, someone brought up the idea of limits.  I think her limit was that she couldn't take the wings off a butterfly for a free trip to anywhere in the world (random, but true).  The belief that if you have limits then you don't have a price.

If you combine the two schools of thought, it struck me that my psychologist could have been telling me that I have no limits which sounds cool.  If you tell someone you have no boundaries, that sounds like a bad thing.  If you tell someone they have no limits, then it's a good thing.  But, isn't boundary just a limited synonym of limit?  Or should I say a synonym of limit with boundaries?

And, my debate topic was born: Are limits and boundaries the same thing?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

House of Blues and Cadillac Sky (The Experience)

image As some of you cleverly observant readers may know, I went to see Cadillac Sky last Thursday night.  Cadillac Sky is, by far, my favorite “Bluegrass” band.  I use the term Bluegrass lightly.  They claim to be bluegrass and they have a bluegrass sound, but they are so much more.  They have roots in Fort Worth.  If you get a chance, you should definitely go check them out.

When I go out to events such as these, it is my life’s mission to make a memorable experience.  Thursday night was no different.  I was in “rare” form.  I went with Sal and his wife and his wife’s mom.  It was one of those, “buy 2 get 2 free” deals.  I bought the tickets and they agreed to drive and buy dinner and the first round of drinks.

Sal, of course, parked illegally.  I got out and went up to a well dressed man standing outside the House of Blues.  He was standing in front of what I’ll call a “side entrance” (like a well-dressed guard).  I asked him where the best place to park was and then conveyed these instructions to Sal so he could fix his illegalities.

Then I went back to the doorman and asked him if he’d let me in the side door if I knew the secret handshake.  He said, “Yeah, but it’s a top secret handshake and I can’t let you in unless you get it right”.  I told him I had to wait on the rest of my group and then I’d produce the required handshake.

Whilst they were arriving I asked him if there was really a secret room in the House of Blues.  And there is!  It’s called the Foundation Room and only members are allowed in (thus the secret handshake).

Using a bit of my infinitely amazing charm, he agreed to give us the secret bracelets that allowed us into the Foundation Room.  It’s basically the third floor of the House of Blues and apparently every House of Blues at every location has one.

I don’t quite know how to describe it.  It’s like leaving the USA and entering an Indian Temple.  There are a few pictures at the link above.

I, of course, went immediately to the bar where the bartender was very good and very friendly.  He took our orders, made our drinks and was accepting of my witty banter.  Enough to where he agreed to give us the 30 minute tour of the area.  We got to see special prayer rooms, special backstage areas, special dining areas, etc.  It was an amazing place.

We hung out there so long that we missed the opening act.

They ushered us down to the (I believe it was called) Cambridge room for the actual concert.  There we witnessed Cadillac Sky.  At some point some crazy blonde woman started doing the grind on me from behind.  I didn’t get a good look at her before her boyfriend or husband or someone pulled her off me.  She was like a dog in heat.  It was scary.  I don’t think she was unattractive though.  Scary is not always bad.

Cadillac Sky has been invited to participate in the Sailing Southern Ground cruise leaving Tampa on September 2.  If I didn’t already have plans for Labor Day Weekend and if I hadn’t already spent all my fun money for the next 10 years I’d be there!  There’s going to be some good bands on that boat!

Here are some festive pictures for your viewing pleasure.  I am not pictured in any of them.  Sorry about the blur.  My hands shake.  Really.  The sweaty guys are from the band.



Friday, July 9, 2010

Eat The Octopus Already

In case you haven’t heard, Germany has an Octopus that is also an oracle and, in my opinion, should be fed “Spanish style” to the German soccer team.  I think his name Paul.  It’s probably secretly Pablo.

Teach the next Octopus to have a little respect for the home team.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cadillac Sky at House of Blues July 8th

image Sorry for the late notice.  I got an email a while back telling me that Cadillac Sky was going to be at the House of Blues in Dallas.  People should not send me emails more than 2 weeks in advance because I forget.

Today I was trying to think of something to do on Thursday and it occurred to me that I had received an email about something going on in the first week of July.  I went and did some research and discovered that they will be here this Thursday, July 8th.  Get your tickets here.  Apparently, you can get a 4-pack of tickets for $7.50 each.  Or, if you are going alone, like me, then each ticket is $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Google’s Promotion to Incompetence (a Rare Rambling Rant)

I remember back many years ago when I first heard of Google.  The new search engine that crawled the Web so you don’t have to.  I was using altavista to do my searches at the time, but, I was getting tired of spelling Altavista all the time, so I gave Google a try.

It was friendly, accurate, and intuitive.  Three of my favorite things.  These guys apparently knew how to write a database and knew how to search it in a speedy manner.  The results were displayed in an easy to read format and they didn’t allow “pop ups”.

Three or four years ago, I don’t remember exactly when, I decided to create a Google account where I could possibly make some extra money on my website using their advertisers.  This is called adsense.  It seemed like a nice idea.  I created my account using my digigar email address and all was right with the world.  I gave them my checking account information so they could directly deposit any funds I may or may not have coming my way and then I discovered I could also use Google for shopping.  Since they already had my banking information anyway, I just added a credit card and now when I see something online I want to buy, I can use my Google account for that too!  This Google account was becoming a wonderful commodity.

A little over two years ago, I decided to start a blog.  Can you believe it?  Google hosts blogs as well!  So, of course, I used Google for my blog hosting service.  It already had all my account information linked to it, so now my old digigar account has my bank accounts for adsense and my blog accounts.  It even linked the two together so my blog automatically links to my adsense!

My daughter was over at my house a while back and she said, “Do you think I could get a gmail account?”  I figured why not.  Google is easy to use and gmail is a Google product (thus the g before the mail).

Somehow they managed to let her associate her gmail account with my digigar account and now my digigar account is permanently associated with her gmail account even though I deleted her gmail account.  That was pretty darn irritating, but I figured I’d never want a gmail account anyway, so I’ll just live with it.

Then a few weeks ago, I got an Android based phone.  You’ll never believe who makes the Android operating system.  You guessed it!  Google!  And thus they have reached the pinnacle of incompetence.

You pay $100, $200, $500+ for a new phone because you can download thousands of free applications for it because of the Android OS.  But, in order to download any of these apps, you must have a Google Account.  But not just any Google account will do.  It must be associated with a gmail address.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll realize that this puts me in a rather special kind of bind.  All of Google’s intuitive, friendly, database savvy has apparently been thrown out the window.  There is no way they can remove my daughter’s gmail account information from my Google account (even though I disabled my daughter’s gmail account).  If I want to create an account for my phone, I must create a whole new account.

Well, I don’t want a whole new account.  My old account works fine and it’s associated with all my logins.  All of my bookmarks are associated with my digigar account.  Everything I do is associated with my digigar account.  I want my phone to be associated with that account as well.  The bastards at Google are such big database experts that they can’t make this happen.  I’m thinking I can no longer trust them to bring me accurate information on my web searches because they can’t even fix a simple data association with my account.

Furthermore, they’ve become so proud of themselves that they offer no way to contact their customer support.  Everything is automated.  You can spend 45 minutes filling out forms to be told, “Sorry, you can’t do that”.

Another funny tidbit.  I finally gave in and signed up with a new Google account with gmail so that I could use my new phone.  I discovered today that I could “permanently” delete my daughter’s gmail account, so I did.  Then, I figured, I’d be able to associate my new gmail account with my digigar account (thus fixing all problems).  Back to customer support.  Their self-help page says, you can only associate a “new” gmail account with your Google account.  That’s fine, I tell myself.  I’ll delete my gmail account associated with my phone since I never use it, then re-create it in my Google account.

In the re-creation process, my Google account tells me that my account is already linked to a gmail account and it can’t be linked to another one.  I just permanently deleted the gmail account it was linked to!  If you are going to give me automated help  at least don’t make it a complete moron.

Now, my phone quit working.  It’s always got a little exclamation mark in the top left corner because it can’t access my gmail account.  I figure I’ll re-create my gmail account that I deleted to start this experiment.  It won’t let me do that either.  It tells me the username is already taken.  It’s not already taken.  I just deleted it!

To add insult to injury, I can’t change the account on my phone without wiping the phone memory.  How stupid is that?  Thus, the title of my blog.  Google has promoted itself into complete incompetence.