Friday, February 26, 2010


I’ve decided that Yodeling is my new favorite thing.  I must start practicing.  My wife is from Germany.  I wonder if she can yodel.  I’ll try and remember to ask her.
Actually I suspect that even if she knows how she will deny it.  If you haven’t seen this video yet, spare 2 minutes of your day and watch this 11 year old yodeling on American Idol's Got Talent.  I've been advised by a reliable source that this is America's Got Talent regardless of what the people who made the Youtube video would lead you to believe. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Maps.Bing.Com vs Maps.Google.Com

I like maps.  I don’t know why, but I do.  Today I ordered my tickets to go see Cadillac Sky.  The tickets are sold through Bass Performance Hall, but the concert is actually at McDavid Studio.  The address says 301 East 5th Street.  Google Maps shows this as a parking lot.  Microsoft has their little mapping engine which, in the past, has sometimes been much better at giving me information.
For some reason today, it’s coming up in Spanish.  When I tell it I want English, it changes to a half English, half Spanish thing.
I am a big fan of consistency.  One thing I can say about Google.  There stuff has never been absolutely useless.  I failed Spanish in High School for a reason!
Anyway, I know where 5th Street is in Fort Worth.  I know the Flying Saucer is at image111 East 4th Street.  Concert starts at 7:30.  I plan to be at the Saucer between 5 & 6 having a pint or two of Franziskaner Heffe-Weisse Dunkel.  Feel free to join me.  Unless you are mad at me for calling your friend a Jack Ass.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The First Amendment

People proudly stand up and fight for their second amendment rights.  All the time you hear people blathering on about government’s gun regulations.  Sometimes I get so tired of hearing about it that I think maybe the government was right.  Then I realize what I’m thinking and that there are hundreds of armed people standing around me and I quietly sit down.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton said, “The pen is mightier than the sword”.  He didn’t say is was mightier than the gun, but I suspect it holds true.  Every time I use the word gun I think of Full Metal Jacket.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I am quite sure this amendment has been analyzed and re-analyzed a thousand times by people a thousand times smarter than me, but I’ve never analyzed it.  I’ve been told I’m ill informed on numerous occasions and I suspect that’s true.  Being ill informed does not, however, make me un-opinionated.  And sometimes, in order to make people believe my opinions are fact, I portray them with a sprinkling of accuracy to shelter my fragile ego.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

Ok, I can live with that.  I’m not fond of religion, but if it makes you happy.  Establish all you want.  We’ll make more.  But the next part:

or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

I’m thinking that the guys that wrote this didn’t count on bad people wildly skewing this one.  Didn’t someone back in 1791 say, “Yeah, but what happens when some bonehead out in West Texas decides to start impregnating 13 year old girls in the name of religion?”

In my infinite wisdom, I have slightly modified the wording.  I am recommending an amended amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof so long as the exercise of said religion doesn’t involve hurting people either financially, mentally or physically (especially children)

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I think my amendment to the amendment has just outlawed organized religion.  Sorry.

The next part is the freedom of speech part.

or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press

I had to look up abridging.  It says “to shorten or reduce in scope”.  That would seem to indicate that there already is a scope.  This is where the pen comes in.  I reckon the only thing that’s killed more people than the written word is religion.  And religion has its roots in the written word.  And we are allowing people to spew forth words freely?  Without regard to the damage they can cause?

Look how powerful the press has become.  Look how powerful the media has become.  I guarantee you we will never elect a leader in this country unless that leader is in the news.  He either has to be newsworthy or he has to be able to pay for ads on television.  The intelligent men that wrote this amendment couldn’t imagine the small little world we live in today.  They had newspapers that trickled out information.  Damage control was easy.

Let us amend this amendment as well.  We’ll say,

or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press so long as the information doesn’t glorify the bastards or make the criminals infamous

We already protect to some extent.  We have to say “alleged” until he’s been convicted.  But I say screw the criminals.  When Jack Asses want to run jets into the World Trade Center.  The media should not be able to give the Jack Asses names, nationalities, or religious points of view, and they certainly should not be able to name them terrorists.  They should be called Jack Asses.  That way their stupidity can not be glorified or justified by anyone else in the world.  I guess they could call them wannabe terrorists if you wanted to make a distinction between the Jack Asses that rob convenient stores.

The man that crashed his plane into the IRS building in Austin last week.  I don’t want to know his name.  I don’t want to know why he did it.  We don’t need to know these things.  These bits of information make other Jack Asses stand up and take note.  Now instead of being a Jack Ass, the media has turned this man into a martyr.  People are saying, “Well after dealing with the IRS I can see why someone would be driven to do such a thing.”  No you can’t. Don’t be a Jack Ass.  The only time violence is the answer is to protect yourself from violence.  Flying your stupid ass plane into an IRS building isn’t protecting anyone.  It’s being a Jack Ass.

If you are one of the people that know his name then ask yourself, “Who are the people who were injured or killed by this Jack Ass?  Who are the kids that are going to grow up without a mom or a dad because of this Jack Ass?  Who are the people that’ll feel fear every time a prop plane flies over head because of this Jack Ass?”

I’ll leave the rest of the amendment un-amended.

And tomorrow I’ll continue with my normal dose of mean spirited jovial blogging about random craziness.  Sometimes you just have to get this stuff out of your system.  Trust me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

More Ash Koley...And Phil

Way back on January 2nd, I posted a little post about happy music.  I said something about this being the year for happy feel good music and I posted a video by Ash Koley called "Don't Let Your Feet Touch Ground".

Ash Koley...And Phil forced me to do something I said I'd never do.  They forced me to download mp3's from Amazon.  I have close to 1000 CD's.  In fact I may have over 1000 CD's.  I like having the CD.  But, as far as I could tell, you can't buy Ash's CD's.  You can download the album in mp3 format, but I said I'd never do that.

Anyway, I broke down and downloaded some music the other day.  And to celebrate that strange and unforgiving hurdle, I am posting more feel good happy music from Ash Koley...And Phil... "Downtime Up".

Saturday, February 20, 2010

An American Tail and My Twisted Sense of Humor


My daughters and I watched this movie yesterday evening on Netflix “Watch It Now”.

If you are in the right frame of mind when you sit down to such cartoons it can be wicked fun.

If you haven’t watched it before I’ll give you a little background (hopefully without giving anything away because I know you all want to watch it).

It’s basically about a little mouse family escaping from Russia where the cats are evil to come to America where there are no cats. That’s already kind of funny.

Of course, on the way across the ocean Fievel Mousekewitz falls overboard trying to catch his little blue hat (yes, the one in the picture on his head). He manages to crawl inside a floating bottle and make it to Liberty Island where a French Pigeon is constructing the Statue of Liberty.

The bird names the little mouse, “My Little Immigrant” which just cracked me up. Don’t ask because I don’t know why. Maybe it was the French accent in America calling the little Russian mouse “My Little Immigrant”, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. When my wife got home I called her, “My Little Immigrant” and she hit me.

Fievel sets off in search of his family somewhere in New York City. His sister, Tanya Mousekewitz has a scene with Mama Mousekewitz where she is saying that she thinks her brother is still alive (remember he fell overboard). “Mama, I have a feeling that Fievel is still out there somewhere”. “It’ll go away,” Mama Mousekewitz consoles. It’ll go away? Who wrote this thing? Yet more tears of merriment.

Anyway, turns out the mice in America are trying to win their freedom from the cats in America. Yes, there are cats in America. There is this rich old mouse (Gussie Mouseheimer) who is trying to organize the revolution. At one point she is making a speech and she says in this strange voice with some kind of hoity English/German accent, but with an Elmer Fudd speech impediment, “I have dedicated my life to helping those less fortunate than myself (that’s everyone).” I suspect you may have had to see it to get the full unabated belly laugh, but it was great. We had to rewind a couple of times.

Oh wait. I found a clip. You have to get to about the 1:25 mark…

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Woods’ Apology

I really tried not to do this, but I couldn’t help it. After the fun I had making a play of my last Internet Blog Drama Storm, I had to try my hand at this. Plus a colleague at lunch put me up to it. It’s really all his fault.

This will be a short one. I’m not feeling all that creative. There will be 3 players: Tiger Woods who is addicted to sex (he’s finally admitted to being a male between 13 & 72). We’ll call him TW in the play.

Tiger Woods’ Mom who is proud of her addicted son. We’ll call her MW. Is it odd to claim to have a sexual problem and have a last name of Woods?

And finally, the Press or TP (like toilet paper). They just ask the questions and offer snide remarks.

As usual my thoughts and the setting will be in italics. Oh yeah and just so I don’t get in trouble for anything I’m about to say or have already said, I did not watch the apology. The only news I’ve heard I’ve heard sitting at the bar listening to old ladies heckle. So this has absolutely little basis in fact.

We start out in quiet press room with TW approaching the podium. Head bowed in obvious sadness.

TW: Ladies and gentlemen and the press. I’d like to offer my heart felt apology for having wild and crazy sex with all those women…and getting caught. I’m sorry.

He looks like he’s about to cry. The sadness over getting caught is traumatic.

TP: What? Is that all? We’re booked full of advertisers for the next 30 minutes. You must continue. What does your mom think about all this?

MW: Boy, I can’t believe you had sex with all those hot chicks. You are just like your father.

TW: Well then my father was a wise and lucky man. Like me. Except it probably wasn’t as easy for him because he wasn’t a golf star who had the money and notoriety to have thousands of women throwing themselves at him daily. That reminds me, when is the next tournament?

TP: Speaking of playing. When do you plan to get back on the course.

TW: Well, you know me, I can’t do anything without a wood in my hand. The lower I score, the more I score. It’s like magic. And I’m sorry.

TP: So that means we could see you back in business by the end of this year?

TW: Are you kidding? I don’t think I can wait that long. Did I not tell you I’m addicted. I could do 18 holes right now.

MW: Oh I love you son. When they knock you off your SUV with a golf club, you get right back in and drive it home.

And the scene closes with a teary hug between TW and MW as TW slyly winks at all the hot chicks in the audience standing behind his mom.

As they break to commercial, TW’s new endorsement deal is the first advertisement. It’s a link. Not for the youngsters.


I hate updating these after I've posted them, but...

Do you know what the difference is between Tiger Woods and Cirque Du Soleil?

Do ya do ya?

Cirque Du Soleil has a cunning array of stunts!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cliff Notes of The Legendary Storm

image In the past few days I have made several references to a storm that was brewing on another site.  I think I even linked the site in one of them.  It’s here.

Anyway, I’ve been questioned about its contents by those unfortunate enough not to have the time or desire to read through the drivel.

In honor of these folks, I have decided that I will supply cliff notes to said event.

To prepare, you need to know the players:

We’ll start with J.  I’m not in the mood to do a lot of typing.  J was the chief voice of reason and was consistently looking from both points of view in a seemingly futile attempt to bring peace.  Jesus starts with J.  Easier to remember that way.

The next player was hmmm.  Let’s call him D.  D stands for diminutive as he has a knack for belittling.  You can think of him as the D-man, if it helps you remember.

The third players we’ll call Q.  Queen starts with Q and all who hear Q’s announcements must fall to the floor in supplication as her word is gospel.  Jesus doesn’t start with Q, but Q’s words are gospel never the less.  None shall say anything that could possibly be thought of as contrary to the gospel according to Q.

We also have a set of A’s (not from Oakland).  A stands for Anonymous, Asshole, Amateur, Adversary to the Queen, Adoration to the Queen and so on.  I’ll just call them A1 through Am.  I don’t know how many there are right now.

And saving the best for last there was the humble mumblings of a player we’ll call Gar.

Ok, I’ll post this as a play.  As a bonus, Gar’s thoughts will appear in italics when necessary or humorous.

The play starts over on a clean blog slate we’ll call D’Land.

D (posing thought provoking conundrums to his mass of readers and to Q in particular): Oh Q, could you please enlighten us and let us know where the pristine water comes from that occupies these holes you have decreed as Wink Sink 1 and Wink Sink 2?  The water looks so inviting but I thought Wink was in a parched area of the world we call West Texas.

Q (trying to be polite to D, but not too polite to hide their secret romance): Oh Darlin, that pretty stuff is produced by the drilling industry that has marched upon my sacred lands stabbed it with numerous injection wells and filled it with brine water.

D (trying not to offend Q and somehow managing): How the heck can the drilling industry produce that much water?  They must have had alien help or something!

Gar (making his first appearance and setting the seeds for a huge blood bath): Winkler County sits on top of the Cenozoic Pecos Alluvium Aquifer.

Q (riled now): Water doesn’t come from aquifers and we all know Wink sits on top of an underground river.  That water is too far below ground.  I’ve been assured by the people that make assurances.  Go back to your cave and sulk until you think of something that is correct.

don’t ask cuz I don’t know

D (seeing an opportunity to become one with the Queen): Is Gar one of those oil/gas industry shills spewing forth propaganda and water?

yes I know.  “How the heck can drilling produce that much water” seemed more like something said by the shills but I didn’t write this play, I just summarized

Q (I’m not sure): Oh D, don’t be too hard on Gar.  That’s my job.  He’s no shill.  He’s just ill informed.  He believes what he types.

thank god someone does!

A1: Blah blah blah.  Crap runs down hill.  The aquifers could be compromised.  I love you my Queen.  Please protect us from the evil empire.

Q: Fear not A1 for I am with you I will pick up my bottle of wits and protect you.  Gar doesn’t know what the heck he’s talking about.  He says the aquifer filled the holes with water which is a load of crap, but not the kind that runs down hills.

I’m not leaving too much out.  You are correct when you say, “Gar didn’t say that”

J (finally! and thank God! and you’ll have to teach me how not to invoke the Q’s ire): It could be that the water produced by the evil industry is good for you.  Have you ever tried any?  Ha.  Just kidding of course (maybe that’s the trick).  I must say that what you say Gar said, even though he didn’t, could be true.  The aquifer could be filling the sink holes with water (insert technical data to back up statement).  But, I’m not an oil/gas lover as you all know!  I don’t even own a car.  I still ride my donkey every where.

Gar (something clicked inside my head – I’m not entirely sure what it was, but it was fun):  Damn it people can you read?  All I said was that Wink sits on top of an aquifer.  It’s not difficult.  (then I went on to berate the queen and accuse her of trying to make me look stupid – I swear I could hear the headsman sharpening his axe.  I may have also mentioned something about rain and looking up aquifer). 

Q: Well I got my information from the Commish.  I have decreed that the county commish is all knowing and therefore his word expressed through my keyboard is also gospel.  The County Commish told me, through various book reports and tours that the oil industry has been in Winkler County since the beginning of time spewing forth water and propaganda at a saturating rate!

At this point I paused.  I was wondering if this all knowing wizard also knew that if it weren’t for the industry there would be no commish (I don’t really call it a commish, I’m just using the Q’s lingo to try and score points). I also wonder if he knew that for thousands, perhaps millions of years Wink was at the bottom of an ocean.  But, since it was difficult for people to comprehend “Winkler County sits on top of an aquifer”, I chose to keep my comments to myself.

D (attempting to be antagonist, loyalist and friendliest all at the same time and he almost pulled it off):  Oh Gar, I asked where the pretty water in the sink holes came from and you said Wink sits on an aquifer so of course we all assumed that you were answering the question that I asked Q.  I didn’t ask you, but since you answered.  Oh and Q is blameless in all this you cranky old man.  Her words are like staccatos of classical gravy to my love starved ears.  And Happy Birthday.

It was my birthday, but I was afraid to assume he was talking to me so I kind of ignored it.  It was 2 days after J’s birthday and all.

Gar: You said my hometown area of Winkler County was a parched desert so I simply stated that it sits on top of an aquifer.  The possibility could exist, according to J that this is the source of the water, but I don’t know.  It’s just a theory (I may have added something about deer piss – the exact verbiage escapes me at the moment).

Q: Oh puh-lease.  Winkler County sits on top of an aquifer is the most muddled response to any question I’ve ever seen in my life.  Quit being an ass.  The queen decrees it and J rides it.  Or off with your head!

D: Oh Q you are so charming and delicious.  I wish I could just eat you up and quit imagining the gravy in my ears.  Gar is a pissy little bitch and deserves everything he has coming.  I can’t believe he actually said that Winkler County sits on top of an aquifer.  He must be out to get you or something.  He’s an insane little insensitive pissy little bitch who wouldn’t know an engaging dialog if it slapped him in the face!

Gar: Q.  In an effort to further your education I am recommending a dictionary opened to the definition of muddled.  D, you’ll just have to do a search for “engaging dialog”.

D: I know you are, but what am I?  I mean, uh, look up pissy little bitch or just find a mirror eh.

J: Something about Wink having sinkholes.  Something about various players having hemorrhoids.  Something about sillyheads.  Something about MTV reality shows.

It wasn’t his best scripture.  It was amusing though.

D: Be careful J.  You must not say anything that could bring you closer to Q.  She is mine!  Be more juvenile or join Gar in his Pissy Little Bitch kingdom.

D & J have a private dialog about A3 (a yet unseen post – not the musical group) making Gar look like Susy Sunshine.  Being 35 or 70 or something (their age).  And the decency of D in deciding whether or not to censor A3 and sending A3’s comment to Q for perusal.

A3: Q, quit hiding your love for D like some silly schoolgirl.  Everyone can see that you agree with everything he says.  It’s time to step up to the plate and propose marriage so you can quit being bitchy.

I believe A3 was beheaded.

D: Oh Q, puh-lease be my bitch.

Am (let’s just call her Molly for readability’s sake but she was anonymous – thus the Am): I am either the Q in disguise or someone hired by D to join the fray.  Oh, did I say that out loud?  Gar’s a belligerent little puke.  I can’t believe he said Wink sits on top of an aquifer.  The nerve!  Oh, and J’s a cute little guy.  Oh yeah, and being anonymous is cowardly.  I looked it up in the mirror.

Gar: Ok.  I’m sorry.  Winkler County does not sit on top of an aquifer.  Can I keep my head?

J: A3 is a headless ass.  Perhaps you guys should quit talking about sink holes and start talking about gay rights or healthcare or something.

D: Oh Gar.  Perhaps you don’t understand what people think of you.  You say, “Wink sits on an aquifer” and everyone hears, “I am smarter than you are, I am smarter than you are, I am smarter than you are, nah nah nah nah nah” and no one likes to hear that.  You need to work on your communication skills.  Wink sits on top of an aquifer can be taken too many ways.

D: Oh I almost forgot! Molly, I love the way you chat.  You are almost as coherent as Q, but don’t tell her that.  No no.  I want to keep my head.

Gar: I already apologized once.  I’m sorry I misinformed your listening audience by saying Winker County sits on top of an aquifer.  That was entirely misleading.  I promise I’ll work on my communication skills before spewing forth any more horrible misinformation.  I promise, promise promise!  Really!

A4: Oprah Winfrey’s coming to town.  She says she wants to get to the bottom of this and make sure you two aren’t related.

I believe Oprah is codename for the executioner.  I’m skeered.

D: Gar, you need to go back to your psychiatrist.  You are so insensitive.  First you confuse everyone and then start calling everyone names while they are still befuddled.  It’s not nice at all.  Perhaps a psychiatrist could help you overcome your muddled way of derailing engaging dialogue.  God save the Q.

Ae: D is good, D is great, if I was cake D would be my plate.

Gar: Ok, you win. I am an insensitive, non dialoging, non communicating pissy little bitch.  Please please help me with my insecurities and insurmountable problems with charm and social skills.  Cuz you are great and the Q is too, but I don’t want to be anywhere near the plate.  And why is Molly calling A3 cowardly for being anonymous and calling people names?  Didn’t she just anonymously call me a puke?

J: Ok guys.  Wink sits on top of 3 aquifers.  You guys jumped way too far down Gar’s throat.  Gar way overreacted.  Don’t gang up on Gar.  He’s hypersensitive.  Gar, calm down.  All is right with the world. Party on Wayne.  Party on Garth.

D: I love Molly even though she is technically anonymous.  Let her bitch slap you if she wants to Gar.  I decree it and I’m 2 steps from being King.  Thanks for the aquifer info J.  Way to stay on neutral ground (I thought that was a way odd comment for obvious reasons). Gar and A3 are now allies cuz Gar said Winkler County sits on top of an aquifer and A3 called Q a bitch.  Damn allies.

J: I’m moving to Switzerland.  I hear they’ve agreed French is a prettier language than German.  They are quite neutral. Like me.

Lots of insanity from Molly and Gar and D which I don’t care to document.  It was inconsequential and in fact I was beginning to see the writing on the proverbial end of the tunnel.  Most of it was Molly calling Gar names and arguing that she/he/it was not anonymous because when they posted they typed in “Molly”.  I bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Q: Oh I am so lucky!  All my loyal anonymous allies and D are stepping up to the plate to defeat A3.  How quaint.  And D, will you marry me so I can quit being a bitch?

D: My my my, I step away for but a moment and Q is asking for my hand in marriage.  I’m all like blushing or something.  Or perhaps my blood is pumping from the exciting possibility of inheriting my kingdom!

D & Q then exchange a multitude of quaint love notes accusing Gar of being A3.

A5: You know I’ve lived in this parched desert for 30 years and my kids and I go out swimming in these sink holes.  The water is not bad.  I don’t know that you’d want to drink it though.  It’s not brine water.  Fish could live in it.

I could see why A5 posted that anonymously.  God forbid people use the evil drilling man’s water for recreation.  They could be shills spewing forth propaganda.  I am just thankful he didn’t say anything like, “Winkler County sits on top of an aquifer”.  I reckon molten lava would have erupted from the shit storm that would have caused!

The rest of it degenerated into D (the moderator) not being able to manage his blog. 

Enter the Haggis

Upon my merry Pandora player today occurred “Enter the Haggis” on my Funky Irish Jazz station.  You can see my hodgepodge of stations somewhere over to the right under Rambling Music.

Anyway, the song was good.  It seemed appropriate to the last few days of physically straining debate.

It’s called Gasoline on their album Casualties of Retail.  I love that title. 

back then the earth was green

dirt was black and the air was green

and then upon the scene

cars and trucks and gasoline

Watch below.  I’m a big fan of kilts.  They should definitely be more mainstream.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Nightmare is Over

For the last couple of days I have been raked across the coals, drug through the mud, hit below the belt, and verbally abused!

It was tons of fun and a bit stressful. I definitely shouldn't do that more than once or twice a week.

A public service announcement: If you are using Windows 7 Release Candidate, it will cease working properly on March 1st. Now, is the time to send Microsoft money or downgrade or upgrade to one of the many flavors of free Linux.

If you like 80's music (and I do), then you must watch this video. The first time I watched it, I laughed out loud when he kicked into Steve Perry mode. It was completely unexpected. Of course, technically the Metallica song they are using was released in the early 90's... That small nit pick aside, I still like videos that make me unintentionally laugh as this one did.

Winkler County Sits Atop a Cesspool of Oil and Gas Drilling Waste Water

image I don’t think that's really true of course. Unfortunately, my blog is not the most read blog in these here hills. A man by the pseudonym of Durango has posted an innocent spot about the loony lunar landscape of Wink.

I find it…ironic (is that the correct usage) that people are all about the evils of the oil industry in Winkler County where if it weren’t for said industry, there would be no such place. Now having said that, the oil industry needs to be held accountable for their cleanliness, but that has no pertinence to the post linked above that you should go read.

Don’t just read the post. Read the comments as well. Sometimes I feel that I am overreacting. Sometimes I don’t. I’d invite you all to add to the entertaining dialog and don’t worry about the belittling comments by the blog moderator and author (Durango). He only does that to me.

And yes, I know that it is supposed to be the Kermit Crater…Not the Wink Sink.

By the way, the picture above, I stole from Frogtown. I kid you not. “Living a Life of Self-Delusion in Kermit, Texas”.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Can Cook Too

image Or at least make pretty food.  Last Friday for dinner I made pork chops, gravy, mixed vegetables and coleslaw.  It was my first time making gravy.

It wasn’t difficult and I am by no means bragging about my cooking ability, but it was so pretty that I had to take a picture.

Today, I was getting the pictures off of my camera and it was so funny (to me) that I decided I had to post it on my blog.

My silliness knows no bounds.  It made me giggle anyway.  I’ll forgive you for rolling your eyes.

Dual Monitor Full Screen Mode

image At work I have two monitors.  I run remote desktop sessions in full screen on the secondary display.

If you’ve been following along, then you know that last Thursday and Friday I had to work form home because of weather that I simply refuse to drive in.  The butterflies were behaving.  I think.

When working from home I have to conform to corporate security protocol which doesn’t allow anything but XP on the corporate network.  I have Windows 7 at home so I run XP in a virtual machine that is in the corporate domain.  A computer has to be a member of  the domain to have remote access.  Only XP machines are given membership. 

It’s convoluted.  I created a virtual machine, copied the machine’s virtual hard disk to a thumb drive and took it to work.  I ran the virtual machine at work and made it part of the domain.  Then I took the virtual hard disk back home.  I could probably get in trouble for telling you that, but I don’t think anyone that reads this knows where I work :).

On Thursday, I setup my computer at home to use two monitors.  I wish I had taken a picture but I didn’t.  I have a 24” wide screen and a 21” square monitor.  1900x1200 and 1600x1200 respectively.  I added the smaller monitor to aid in my ailing productivity.

Anyway, much to my chagrin, the Virtual PC 2007 software from Microsoft doesn’t behave well in full screen mode with dual displays.  If you can imagine two monitors sitting next to each other.  On one monitor I have my virtual XP PC running.  On the other monitor I have my Win 7 desktop.  Every time I’d try to access a program on the Win 7 desktop, things would go nuts.  The virtual XP display would minimize, then resize, then flicker a bit then come back in some funky resolution with left and right margins.

Anyway, I probably spent too long trying to rectify the problem before discovering a hotfix form Microsoft.  In its list of improvements and issues, it didn’t explicitly mention my particular problem, but it did mention some stuff about video.  Anyway, it fixed my problems.  All of them.  So if you frequently run Virtual PC 2007 in full screen mode and you run with dual displays or you like to Right-Alt Enter out of it to run other applications, I would highly recommend this patch.  It’ll make your life easier.

Before all the technologically adept people chime in about using VMWare, I must say that I prefer VMWare, but the version I had quit working on Win 7 64Bit.  They said it was a known issue and I can’t remember the details, but at the time there was no fix for it.  Currently VMWare always gives me an error when it tries to launch the virtual machine.  At some point I’ll go back to it and see if they have an updated version and a way for me to convert my Virtual PC to VMWare although I suspect it’ll take some hackerrific manipulation of some disk images and restoration and I may not feel that it’s worth the pain.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

America Doesn't Trust Its Government

I haven't done this in a while. And now that everyone has seen my mushy gooey side I figure I should go ahead and throw this out there. It's all Mr. Sepulchre's fault. In fact, I blame all of my evil opinions on him.

It kind of gives me a twinge when I see bumper stickers that say stuff like, "Tired of Socialism? Vote Republican". Were Republicans really that much better? Were they any better?

But, the bigger question is: Is Socialism really that bad? If you had 100% faith and confidence in your government and that confidence was just and deserved, I'd argue that Socialism would be a pretty nice place to live as long as you didn't have any freeloaders.

Definition of socialism from
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
For the geeks out there, peer to peer file sharing could be argued as socialistic in nature. It allows you to share your stuff with the community. Of course, some people share more than others and some people don't share at all, but you can always not share with someone until they've shared with you. But the ownership of the distribution of the capital lies in the community. Much to RIAA's chagrin.

I think that calling what the government is doing now "socialism" is not being fair to socialism. It would be better to say, "My government can't do anything right and after years of being pooped on, I don't trust them anymore, so I certainly don't want them going down the road to socialism. It's better they just come into work and lay their head on the desk for 8 hours (or however long their 'work' day is)."

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snowy Change of Heart

image I worked at home yesterday.

One time, many moons ago, I was working in Fulda, Germany. I had a rental car and when I drove to work it was cold and overcast. A dreary day.

After I arrived and was parked comfortably in front of my laptop hashing out some code, it started to snow. It was unnatural. By 2 PM, I was convinced there was no way I was going to be able to drive back to my hotel. Cars were already starting to slide down hills as they attempted to navigate the roads and, for the most part, Germans know how to drive in snow. Or perhaps it’s just that their road crews know how to keep the roads clear. Now that I think on it, I really don’t know.

At 5 PM I was asking people I had met at 8 AM (I was at a customer site), if they could give me a lift back to the hotel. This was both difficult and embarrassing. I was in a small town in Germany and the English speaking folks were sometimes hard to find. I had to find someone that I had met, that could speak English and was either staying at the same hotel or lived nearby.

I finally found someone and we went down to his car and he backed out, but the first hill we came to all forward progress stopped. He started speaking in German and I felt completely out of place. He finally realized what he was doing and switched to English. It’s a rental car and for some reason he’s not getting any traction. I could offer to read the car manual, but it’ll be in German also.

Being the hacker that I am I started looking at buttons. I saw one that looked vaguely like the traction control buttons I had seen before. I mentioned to him that he should try pushing that one since it’s probably not a good idea to have an anti-skid mechanism engaged in the snow. He did and we went.

Wow! This post took a savage left turn. I had intended to write a simple little anecdote as to why I don’t go to work when it’s going to snow and it turned into a mini-epic biography. I profusely apologize.

After my episode in Germany, I, as a rule, don’t drive to work when it could turn nasty (like yesterday). Today I am working at home again simply because I don’t drive in the snow or on the ice or when it’s raining real hard or when the butterflies fly in a counterclockwise fashion.

The change of heart? Yesterday, I was complaining about the snow. Yesterday when my wife got home from work… Okay, damn it, small right turn. I encouraged her not to drive in the crappy weather, but she doesn’t listen to me. Can’t you get that on your own simply by the definition of the word “wife”. Wives don’t listen to Gar.

Sorry. Yesterday, when my wife got home from work, she got stuck in the driveway. It’s a pretty steep uphill run. I had to put my Rasta hat and my boots back on to go outside and assist. I ended up fixing her problem with a shovel, a broom and carpet. That story may require a post all on its own.

After I got the car into the garage I started throwing snowballs. That’s right folks. Yesterday evening at approximately 7:30 PM, my wife and I had snowball fights in the front yard. It may not seem like much, but it brought a cheery glow to my demeanor and my heart grew two sizes. I also have a mild case of frostbite on two of my fingers on my right hand.

“Your right hand?” you ask knowing all too well that I am left handed. “Yes, my right hand.” I explain. I only write and eat with my left hand. Everything else I do with my right hand. I explain it like this: if it requires dexterity I use my left hand. I can play racquetball with either hand. Ball placement is better playing left handed, but I get much more zip with my right hand.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gathering the Trash

Seems like this entire year my trash day has been on the worst day of the week: Thursdays.

On this particular Thursday we are having an unseemly amount of big white wet flaky stuff pouring from the sky. It's like someone dripping melted vanilla ice cream on your head when you go outside. Only not as tasty.

And the kids don't seem to have any school. At least there are a bunch of teenagers at the house across the street.

They giggled at me as I made my way to the curb to bring in my recycling bin and trash bin and put my Californication DVD in the mailbox.

They could have been giggling because I had my pants tucked into my cowboy boots and was wearing my Rastafarian hat to protect my flowing flocks from the dripping snow. Maybe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Startled O's

[3JV-justin+013.jpg]Today, the world is a small place. I think it'll be my new goal to try and meet people from all over the world. If not in person then perhaps through this meager tablet of webbage I call my blog.

One of the first random blogs I started following is written by Ghost from Singapore. You'll see it over to the right under Random Blogs. It's called Musings From the Lion City. He always seems to blog about things just before I do. We have similar gaming interests and we read similar books. It's always interesting to read his opinion of things from the Singapore point of view.

Today, Jen commented on my Motörhead post. She said that the umlaut over the o made the o look startled. I thought that was a funny and random thing to say so I went to see what she writes about in her spare time. She's from South Korea and she just started a new blog. Her first post inspired me to go out and find some music to listen to. You'll see why. I'm adding her blog to my list. It's called Lyric Waltz. Her style of writing is better than mine and I think I've probably been at it longer. Sad but true. As long as she doesn't write as much as my inspirational nemesis Durango, we'll all be okay.

Anyway, here's the music I found. I don't own a lot of classical music, but Holst: The Planets was one of the first ones I bought...

As I branch out I may have to cut down on my domestic followage. I'll apologize ahead of time!

I tried to write this using Googles new editor. Man I messed things up. Had to edit it like 10 times. The preview looked okay, but you should have seen it after I hit the Publish button. This'll be fun!

More Californication

I just finished watching the first 6 episodes of season 2 of Californication.

I'm thinking I might start a blog over on Wordpress for adult material.

I don't know how I can voice my unadulterated opinion of this series on my G rated blog.

I've tried to come up with a way to do it.  And I've failed miserably.

The problem is that this blog is not very busy.  It's got a trickle of people.

If I tried to start an adult only blog at another location then I'd have two trickles.  One slightly smaller than the other.

And no one likes a small trickle.

Anyway, season 2 episode 1 of Californication found Hank getting a vasectomy.  Good times.

Don't watch the following video unless you are like 24 or something.


I debated on whether or not to post this, but it made me laugh. A song from Motörhead. It's on their Iron Fist album which was released 1982.
Lemmy's great. What a peaceful place the world would be today if everyone was crazy like Lemmy. Enjoy...

I had to edit this. I put the umlauts in the wrong place... Funny that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Alice in Wonderland


As you sit and contemplate the imminent release of Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland on March 5 featuring a star studded cast including: Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

I only ask that you do one thing.

Just one simple thing that I haven’t talked about in months now.

I mean I was quietly hushed through intimidation and peer pressure, but this must come out.

It really must be released for public consumption.

I’ve tried to hold back as long as possible, but the urging in the back of my weak mind finally became too strong and I was forced to unleash the beast.

Lewis Carroll, born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on January 27th, 1832 was a left handed Aquarius.

His writings are filled with wordplay and puzzles.  His pseudonym Lewis is an anglicized form of Ludovicus, which is Latin for Lutwidge.  Carroll is an anglicized version of Carolus, the Latin for Charles.

Enjoy the movie, brought to you, in no small part, by an eccentric left handed Aquarius.

Come Share Your Stories of Kermit (Now I Know Why)

Durango, the budding rock star living just down the road from me, has opened my eyes as to why I need psychiatric help.

After I turned 18 I moved around a lot. The longest I ever stayed in any one place was 7 years. Before I was 18? I lived in Wink for 3 years and Kermit for 15 years. I lived longer in Kermit than any other place in all my life.

Now, when I voice my psychiatric concerns, Durango springs this on me. And I'm thinking. This isn't unusual. Stuff like this happened every day.

Perhaps it was something in the water? Come share your fond memories of Kermit. I know you are out there. You can forgo mentioning names to protect the unindicted.

Like the guy who built the pipe bomb in his garage. And help me remember this one. Didn't someone in the upper echelon go down for selling drugs? Fond memories.

I remember my father drove a car without tags from Chicago to Wink. To get to Wink, he came in through the top of the Texas Panhandle (Amarillo). Basically a 7+ hour drive through countless Texas cities. He got pulled over twice in Kermit for no tags (you have to go through Kermit to get to Wink). Kermit ain't that big.

Kermit is the only place I've ever been pulled over for "looking suspicious". I've heard that back in the late 70's or early 80's the Kermit police department started selling drugs so they could make all the profits. Incarcerating drug traffickers makes the local law enforcement look good and cuts down on the competition.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I Need Psychiatric Help

I am having my monthly episode of the Bad JooJoo.

I seriously don’t know what causes it.

I make excuses for people.  I still make excuses for my ex-wife.

I’ve been to a couple of relationship counselors.  I’ve probably had a total of 3 months of professional counseling.  Sometimes when I get into strange social situations something one of them said will jump into my head uninvited.

Boundaries was the word for this weekend.  My first counselor had a couple of sessions with me about setting my boundaries.  She said my boundaries were not solid.  That I tend to move them to fit the situation.  This is both good and bad.  It causes me to make excuses for people and it causes me to blame myself for everything that happens.

My 2nd counselor told me that I’ll be a lot happier once I realize that it’s not always my fault.  That’s not the way she phrased it.  She said something along the lines of: “People that cheat are going to cheat and there’s not really anything you can do about it.  You just need to focus on things that make you happy.”

I have a boundary now.  It’s called the “don’t mess with my kids” boundary.  I adopted it when my ex-wife got remarried.  And I carved it in stone. 

On Friday I went out with a friend of mine and his girlfriend.  It had been a long time since we’d been out together.  I met him at 5 for happy hour and we were supposed to meet her at an eatery down the street at 6.

My daughter called (shortly after my friend called) and asked when I was coming over to pick them up.  I told her about my dinner plans and said it would have to be afterwards so maybe 8 or so.  She said okay and that was that.  The conversation becomes important later so bear with me if you can.

The happy hour at 5 was cool.  My waitress there was very entertaining.  She was quite intelligent and had an uncanny ability for entertaining dialog.  I don’t dialog well, but she had me comfortably dialoging.  It was refreshing.  It reminded me of Ed.  She opened up by describing the daily beer special as, “a melee of fantastic flavors” to which I replied, “I can honestly say I’ve never heard anyone use the word melee to casually describe a beer or, in fact, a beverage of any kind”.  It went on from there.  We talked about vampires, the show Castle, which lead to the show Firefly and on and on.  This is a place called Tilted Kilt.  I’d tell you my waitresses name, but I’m not sure I’m allowed.  You could request the intelligent one.  I wonder how that would go over.

At 6 we went down the street to meet the girlfriend.  That was cool too.  This restaurant we go to maybe once every 6 months or so.  It is Fireside Pies.  And I think 3 out of 4 times we go we have this same waitress.  This time we sat down and here she came.  “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” she asked.  I fell into my experimentation mode and started naming off adult entertainment facilities in the area.  Fun was had by all.  I didn’t really do that.

At 7 my friend started telling me that it had been too long since we all went out for karaoke so I should call my daughter and tell her I’d pick her up Saturday morning.  I really don’t like putting my kids off, but it had been a long time since we had all been out together so I fought it a bit, but after some pleading I gave in.

He went to the restroom and his girlfriend had this brilliant idea that she was going to tell him that she was tired and just wanted to go home.  I thought it would be funny so I said I’d go along with it the best I could.

Well, for some reason, this little prank turned my friend into a rotten tomato.  If I stretch the logic and put on my “pissy little bitch” hat, I can sort of see why he was irritated.  Sort of.

Anyway, we all left to go do the karaoke evening.  On my way to do karaoke I get two messages.  One from the girlfriend.  Followed quickly by his message.  They have cancelled.  I’ve already cancelled my plans with my kids and possibly disappointed them because perhaps they had plans and now he’s blowing off his plans with me.

Ballistic would be a mild explanation of my feelings.  You can mess up my plans all you want.  I don’t care (too much).  But you don’t talk me into messing with my kid’s plans and then back out.  I already felt guilty about changing my kid’s plans.  I did it because a friend asked me to go out and spend some time with him and his girlfriend.

But, now I am back to making excuses.  I know I should have been stronger and not backed out on my kids to begin with.  Is it my fault?  Am I overreacting?

I miss Ed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Opening Act

I don't blog much.

I just found out today that the band opening for Cadillac Sky on March 3 has played at the White House. No joke.

I might have to buy my tickets sooner than expected. They'll sell out soon!