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August 31, 2008

You Rock, Kid!

Kid Rock staying silent over US election

Kid Rock has claimed that celebrities should keep quiet about their political beliefs.

The musician claimed that it would be "irresponsible" for him to publicly back either Barack Obama or John McCain as they fight to become the next US president.

Rock spoke out after stars like Scarlett Johansson and George Clooney voiced their support for Obama's campaign. Sheryl Crow, Christina Aguilera and Ben Affleck have also been vocal about their preferences.

"I think celebrity endorsements hurt politicians," Rock admitted. "As soon as somebody comes out for a politician, especially in Hollywood, when they all go, 'I'm voting for this guy!' - I go, 'That's not who I'm voting for!'

"I truly believe that people like myself, who are in a position of entertainers in the limelight, should keep their mouth shut on politics because at the end of the day, I'm good at writing songs and singing.

"What I'm not educated in is the field of political science. And so for me to be sharing my views and influencing people of who I think they should be voting for - I think would be very irresponsible on my part."

Rock has been a hit worldwide in recent weeks with his latest track 'All Summer Long'.




While I'm not a fan of Kid Rock's (although his duet with Bob Seger "Real Mean Bottle" is great), and while I might have to differ that he's "good at writing songs and singing", I'll have to say I admire him for his views on this subject.

I've railed for years about this very thing, namely that celebs have this built-in soapbox that allows them to influence their fans towards a particular candidate or issue. I'm a firm believer in free speech but I resent the bias they get to have along with their fame, and that it allows them to have an audience that us regular folks could never hope for.

(I can think of at least a hundred people I know, ordinary folks, conservatives and liberals, that have much more common sense than do these entertainers)

A few years ago when the Dixie Chicks said on a London concert stage that they were "ashamed Bush is from Texas" I didn't mind that they had an opinion, only that they chose that particular venue in which to state it. If they'd had the audacity to say the same thing in...oh, Lubbock...then THAT would truly be the "courage of one's convictions".

"Shut up and sing." has been the fan's mantra towards these entertainers lately, so I'm not the only one who feels that way; the fantastic actor Robert Duvall, when asked how he felt about a particular candidate, said actors should just shut up, period.

We don't need jet-setting celebs telling us how to save the world when they're the last ones to practice what they preach. Sheryl Crow made the asinine - no pun intended - statement that we could help stop global warming by using only one square of toilet paper.

We need at least TWO sheets, Ms. Crow: one to do the job, the other to cram in your mouth. Love your music, babe, but c'mon....

I can separate the entertainer from their politics, as long as they don't abuse their fame to tell me something they know very little about.

Anyway, here's Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow singing "Picture".

(the picture I get from people using only one square of TP...)

August 30, 2008

Bull Jumping

I've shot the bull, thrown a lot of it around, but never did anything like this!


http://view.break.com/559305 - Watch more free videos

August 28, 2008

Free Coffee Sample

While visiting my Start Sampling site, I discovered they were offering a free sample of Seattle's Best Coffee.

I love samples and love free stuff and love coffee...
Photobucket... especially free coffee.

August 27, 2008

Kuku Klock



My online pals know that I love alarm clocks. (Not the "real" kind, but the sort made with java or javascript.)

Don't trust your alarm clock? I set several to make sure I wake up on time. Now I can add another backup alarm with Kuku Klock, the online alarm clock.

Set the alarm and choose the sound you wish to use. The selections are a rooster, a classic clock sound, electronic buzz and "Slayer Guitar".

(if you can sleep through that last, you probably should go to bed earlier.)

Kuku Klock

"Designed to wake you up."

August 26, 2008

peregrination

From the Word of the Day feed in the right-hand column:

peregrination \pehr-uh-gruh-NAY-shun\, noun:
A traveling from place to place; a wandering.


I will admit I hadn't a clue as to what this word meant; I've never seen it in print until now.

I was close though...I thought it had something to do with falcons migrating.

Leader of the Band - Dan Fogelberg

Denver Civic Center LiveCam

Site of the ongoing DNC

(set button for preferred sound level)

August 25, 2008

Color Worm

Anyone notice it?

Vote for a Channel

From my Excite TV listings:



I'm checking "None of the Above".
(there's a football game on)

OTH, reckon Hillary and Barak will fistfight?

Paris Re-visited

More Paris Hilton as the subject in emails:





Don't Ask Me!



It was obvious this was spam because he doesn't know me.

August 24, 2008

Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin

The song the Olympic Committee deemed too racy in its original form brought to you uncensored and "live" here on ToTG!

Brainy Quote

Some great sticky content for websites or blogs from Brainy Quote. Use their supplied javascript code (and you can use SPAN or FONT tags to match your site) or RSS feeds.









August 23, 2008

A Weekend in With Paris

I get loads of spam in my Gmail inbox; most of it is my own fault, for posting the addy as my public contact info.

Today, out of 67 spam articles (and I had emptied it only a few hours ago), I had three different mails with Paris Hilton in the subject line.

This one is sacrilegious. (but funny)



You'll probably have to click the following graphic to view clearly. I'll save you the trouble: "Paris Hilton Declared one of the Seven Most Unique Wonders of the World!"



Then there was this one:



I can think of several jokes combining the three subject lines, but they'd be as tasteless as were these mails.

YOU can have at it, though.

Dilbert Feed

Hobson's Choice

From the Word of the Day feed (in the right-hand column)

Hobson's choice \HOB-suhnz-CHOIS\, noun:A choice without an alternative; the thing offered or nothing.

The origin of the term Hobson's choice is said to be in the name of one Thomas Hobson (ca. 1544-1631), at Cambridge, England, who kept a livery stable and required every customer to take either the horse nearest the stable door or none at all.


Hobson's Choice: That describes the upcoming presidential election and our choice of candidates.

I'm writing in "a bucket of warm spit".

En Garde!



You Are Fencing





You're competitive but not brutally so. You compete to make yourself better.

You find having an opponent to be challenging and rewarding.

You are fierce when you're in a competition, but you don't wish your rivals any real harm.


Just in time for the end of the Olympics.

I got the gold in the Procrastination Decathalon.

Shaddup You Face - Joe Dolce



Can't remember where I saw the results, but this was voted one of the most annoying songs...ever.

August 22, 2008

The Best Kind of Spam

The kind I can't read.

Cheap Dates

I noticed a headlined article on my AT&T / Yahoo home page titled "Dating in the time of recession".

The author itemizes expenses of a regular "date night".

Dinner at a medium price restaurant - including meals, appetizer, no dessert, iced tea and tip - $56.29
Movie tickets - $18.00
Movie Snacks - $18.00
2 Coffee-Like Drinks and one big cookie - $12.00
Total - $104.29
For one date!


As a less-expensive alternative, he lists the costs of a "bookstore and coffee" date. Here's the cost breakdown:

Bookstore - cost of one book and one magazine - $17.00 plus tax - could have been no cost
Coffee shop - 2 coffees and a piece of lemon cake - $11.95
Total cost - $28.95 plus tax
And the added benefit of talking and getting to know each other.

I remember a few cheap dates where all I needed was the key to the service station restroom, a couple of quarters and the manual dexterity to turn the crank on the dispenser.

August 21, 2008

In the Interest of Fairness

Since I poked a little fun at Obama in the previous post (next post down), it's only fair that I include McCain.



That's not funny, though...it's just plain scary.

He looks like an old Popeye on steroids.

Obama Lama Ding Dong



This is the featured headline and photo on the current Drudge Report.

After clicking on the link, I found out the question was in response to a question about Obama's choice for VP.

Whew, with the "this much" gesture (looked like it to me) I at first thought he was talking about "something" else. It made me think that I might very well vote for him, being as we both have something in common. -ahem-

I didn't know he has already refused to answer the "Boxers or Briefs" question.

Yoda the Cat

With FOUR ears!



Mine has only two and I think even if he DID have four, he still wouldn't listen to me.

Election Polls Feed



Not for sure what's wrong with this thing; noticed a hit on this post and checked and saw there was nothing showing. I made a page with the script and it showed up just fine, only different than the original one. It used to be a nice feed, complete with quite a few different sources for the polls.

Sorry to have inconvenienced you.

August 20, 2008

Aestival Festival of Words

From the Word of the Day feed in the right-hand column:

aestival \ES-tuh-vuhl\, adjective:
Of or belonging to the summer; as, aestival diseases. [Spelled also estival.]


I can't recall ever seeing this word in print, but I had a suspicion as to what it meant.

Quite a few years ago, I was listening to the radio and a contest question was:

"What is the opposite of hibernation?"

For some reason, I knew the answer; it must have been one of those terms we had to memorize back in 9th grade general science, like "osmosis" or "mitosis", that have stuck in my head ever since.

I called the number, was the first one to get through and gave my answer:

"Estivation".

The host told me "Wow, you sure looked that one up in a hurry!" I tried to explain to him that I knew it, remembered it from h.s., but he didn't believe me.

He had the audacity to doubt my veracity, to insinuate that I prevaricate!

(For all my Texas readers: The sumbitch called me a liar!)




So funny, I finished up this post and then went to my Excite start page to view the TV listings and on the Word of the Day feed there (from a diff. website) it was:

PEDANT
Definition:
someone who shows off learning
Example:
The graduate instructor's tedious and excessive commentary on the subject soon gained her a reputation as a PEDANT

Pedantic, that's me all right. I have nothing else to show off....

I noticed on my sister's myspace site that she said she would read anything, even the back of cereal boxes. It reminded me of a time when I was in the 4th grade; I had just discovered Heinlein and sci-fi and was spending all my time reading. When I ran out of things to read, I would read the dictionary.

(and I read some fairly adult stuff when I was a kid, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, GWTW, even the Mandingo series, pretty racy)

My grades were really bad that year, something unusual and definitely unacceptable to my parents and my dad forbade me from reading anything that wasn't school-related until I got my scores back up. The morning after the edict was passed down, I was sitting at the breakfast table, all sullen ("swole up like a poisoned pup") and with tears in my eyes from the injustice, blurted out to my mom:

"I wonder if it's all right if I read the back of this cereal box!!!"

It wasn't long after that day that I was taken in for an eye exam where it was discovered...in the words of the dr. ... "My God, Nita (my mom), this boy's blind as a bat!"

After I got glasses, I took a little bit of initial teasing, then my grades zoomed back up. Seems that I was just like every other boy of that age, I wanted to sit at the back of the classroom with the rest of the guys and I couldn't even see the dad-gum blackboard! (I couldn't even see well enough to cheat off of someone else's paper!) I didn't even like recess because the dodge ball would suddenly appear in front of my face in the split second before it smashed into my face!

Reading was the only thing I could do. I didn't know any better because I thought everyone else saw as I did.

My mom always got a kick out of what I said to her after first trying on my new specs:

"Momma...you look....so OLD!"

Mom would giggle, saying that I was so nearsighted I couldn't even see the wrinkles in her face, bless her.

(out of the mouths of babes often comes some hurtful words, y'know?)

She also would laugh, recalling that I read every sign on the way home after getting my glasses. "Stop!" "Yield!" "Highway 70!!!!" "Miami: 20 miles!"

I have always credited my modicum of success on the h.s. football field to my being nearsighted. After the first year of ball and my dad having to repair my glasses for the umpteenth time, he stated "It's either glasses or football!"

(he also told me that about smoking & football, but I paid no attention to him on that one)

Being nearsighted had its advantage playing linebacker; I wasn't often fooled by fakes, instead having to follow the general flow of the play, the guards pulling, how the blockers went to one side or the other. All I did was follow the clump of different colored jerseys, simple as that.

Even so, after I got to the mass of players heading to whichever side, I'd have to tackle them all, pull away guys until I found the one with the ball.

-wink-

August 19, 2008

Look Out!

This blog has head lice!

(click the graphic for larger view)



I had visited my lovely niece's MySpace site (she's lovely...her site is OK, but not nearly as pretty as she is) and left her a message telling her to drop by this blog when she got a chance. At the time, I was wondering if the link would be deleted...and sure 'nuff, it was.

I don't mind that the link was deleted, not really, because I do realize that's how people are lured to sites w/ malware, etc. but I DO mind this blog, pathetic as it might be, being compared to head lice.

Oh well, better that than crabs, I suppose.

Does anyone have a link for the Blogger equivalent of Kwell?

Signed,

Itchy in Texas

A Cool Jukebox

Ever visited a MySpace site? Many are full of flashing, glittery "sticky content" that could be an epileptic's nightmare. (come to think about it, that could describe this blog)

I'll admit I have one, but never have done anything with it. Due to all the hosted content and huge backgrounds, they sometimes take forever to load, then all of a sudden you're blasted by music you weren't expecting.

Most of those "jukeboxes" come from MyPlaylist, a site that indexes and links to music files around the 'net. The site is two years old, and hasn't been shut down yet, so....

I signed up for an account and started a playlist with some of my favorite tunes. Some of the links I searched through are invalid (and I'm sure a lot of that's from the webmasters being annoyed that their files are being directly linked) but I managed to create a small playlist.

I'm not sure that "Du Hast" belongs right next to Enya's "Only Time" though. That's how my musical tastes are, all over the map. (I guess that would describe my political leanings, too)




August 18, 2008

Senior Dress Code

From the email archives:



Many of us 'Old Folks' (those over 50, WAY over 50, or hovering near 50) are quite confused about how we should present ourselves. We are unsure about the kind of image we are projecting and whether or not we are correct as we try to conform to current fashions. Despite what you may have seen on the streets, the following combinations DO NOT go together and should be avoided:

1. A nose ring and bifocals
2. Spiked hair and bald spots
3. A pierced tongue and dentures
4. Miniskirts and support hose
5. Ankle bracelets and corn pads
6. Speedo's and cellulite
7. A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar
8. Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor
9. Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge
10. Bikinis and liver spots
11. Short shorts and varicose veins
12. Inline skates and a walker

And last, but not least

13. Thongs and Depends

August 17, 2008

City Quiz



You Are Austin



A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.

You're totally weird and very proud of it.

Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.

Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick



Whew! I'm certainly glad it didn't classify me as "Philadelphia". That would've been horrible. Really. Truly horrible.

Although I'd rather have been "Amarillo" or even "Mobeetie" than "Austin".

"A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll"???

I guess that means I'm a little bit Donnie, a little bit Marie.

August 16, 2008

Knite the Destiny!

Skimming through my Gmail bulk folder, a mail caught my eye.

"Mikeintexas, I have a girl for you!"

It was from my old pal, Miguel Champagne, and he says this:

Hello my name is Nadezhda I very interesting and attractive decent girl I search for second half good kind I have seen you on dating site and have decided to write to you and lovely and gentle the man

I want with to knite the destiny with the good decent person my address: hopefullynadezhda@gmail.com

if I have interested I lonely and very beautiful girl Nadezhda you write to me shall answer all your questions wait with impatience from you the counter letter yours faithfully Nadezhda.

There was an attached photo:



She's really a little too skinny for my own personal taste, but hey, I'd be willing to "knite the destiny" with her...if that's what she really wants.

I AM pretty decent, if I do say so myself.

I'm game, just as long as she's not kin to Tatiana.

August 15, 2008

Goodbye, Corner Gas

But first (if you've never seen or heard of the show), say hello to Corner Gas, the intro to the very first episode.



I recently found this delightful Canadian series on the superstation, WGN. It comes on Mondays-Thursdays at 11:00PM (CST) and two additional episodes are shown on Wed. nights, starting at 7:00. It also airs on Friday and Sunday nights. (actually, it comes on in the early mornings: check your local listings)

It's a simple little show with subtle humor (that'd be "humour" I suppose, since it's filmed in Canada! -grin-) that could be, I suppose, described as something like "Seinfeld in Mayberry".

The show revolves around the owner of a small town gas station in Dog River, Saskatchewan. Brent Leroy (played by the show's creator, Brent Butt) is the comic reading laid-back businessman, who has some surreal interpersonal relationships with his parents, his best friend Hank, his sole employee Wanda (who is also his real-life wife), the town's two inept police officers, plus the owner of the next door cafe, the Ruby. (and that character is played by Gabrielle Miller who makes my heart go pitter-patt...she's absolutely drop-dead gorgeous)

Wiki entry on Corner Gas

I was saddened (yes, really made me sad) to find out the show is ending its six year run at the end of this next season. Why do all good things end far too early?

Official Corner Gas website

"Corner Gas: 40 miles from nowhere and way beyond normal !"

Caption this Creepy Contortionist Clipart!


August 13, 2008

World's Fastest/Longest Ziplines

I've GOT to do this before I die.

Fastest located at Sun City, South Africa.



Longest at Icy Strait Point, Alaska

Sad, Sad Numbers

NOTE: Was deleting a spam comment left on an old post and noticed this one and wondered what it was about. I remembered it after seeing it but sorry to say the widget no longer works.




I usually love widgets, but I don't "love" this one. I'm glad I have it on my own personalized "home page" as well as on my Google page, though, because it's a number most Americans have no clue of...and I wonder if some even care.

Not trying to make a political statement here, not really. All I know is that there are far more people affected than the "few" thousand killed and wounded; their families and friends need to be included in the casualties, I think.

I feel responsible for these figures, though...and I share that responsibility with every American of voting age, no matter how they voted or even if they did not vote.

August 12, 2008

Meet The Maltese


From left to right: Gary, Steve, Eddie, Jackie & Larry.

This was a band of local guys that played in our garage, before "garage bands" became famous , the back wall of said garage being the backdrop for this "publicity shot". I've cropped the photo, or it would show our house back door and the entire garage window. To the right was a gas scrubber that supplied the gas for our house, straight off the lease.

Looks like I should've mowed first.

I remember sitting there listening to them trying to decide on a name. I also distinctly recall a particularly vulgar one that was pretty funny. I won't mention it here, but you can email me. They thought "The Maltese", after the German cross, would be cool and it DID sound pretty cool. I had another photo of them, but was lost decades ago, sans Larry, in white turtlenecks with big ol' maltese cross necklaces.

The only trouble was, there was another band in Wheeler by the name of "Motese" (not sure on the spelling). They, according to what I remember, were a group of Hispanic guys, as was Steve, and pretty darn good, playing original tunes with something like a Santana sound, plus the usual covers of Top 40 Hits.

I'm not for sure exactly what year this was taken, but I'm thinkin' it was during the summer of '68 or maybe '69.

I'm not sure where they all are these days, except for Jackie, the drummer, who died under some suspicious circumstances many years ago. Steve, vocals, shown with the tambourine, went on to join the Navy, getting out in time to go to college with me and some of my classmates. (I majored in Pot, minored in Pinball) Eddie and Gary were classmates of my oldest sister and in fact, my nephew, her first son, was named after Gary. Larry was a year younger than those two, I believe, and was the "Pete Best" of the group, not staying very long as I recall.

Jackie was not a bad drummer and had some good equipment until I destroyed his cymbals when he made the mistake of leaving his equipment out there for far too long. The other guys would get angry with Jackie for various and sundry reasons, and they wanted to fire him and let me drum.

I hadn't a clue what they thought I could drum on, but I betcha my pop coulda fabricated me up a drum set outta various sized bbls. and drums, dope buckets, pieces of casing, whatever. He probably could've electrified it somehow.

The fact that they wanted ME to drum for them shows how desperate they were. That's how I destroyed the cymbals, trying to develop some sort of rhythm. I never could do "Wipeout" for very long, but I got pretty good at the high hat and the bass drum, doing the stripper bump 'n grind. That was about it.

Jackie loved my second oldest sister and gave her several odd presents, one being a very nice punchbowl. I recall a time when he and I were out hunting, and he was being wild with his rifle, shooting the long .22 ammo (whereas my dad always made me use shorts, we DID have a few neighbors even though they were quite aways away) at rocks and field larks and clouds. We were flagged down by a Phillips pumper who was bleeding profusely from the upper lip. "I wuz jest standin' there by the side of my truck when 'ZING' sumpthin' bit me on the mouth!"

Gary and Eddie were pretty fair on their guitars, Eddie playing lead and he wasn't a bad picker. His tastes seemed to run more towards country music, though, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash. Gary was rhythm guitar, and was very patient with me, showing the chords for my favorite songs. He even loaned me a Beatles songbook that I never returned. I did pick up quite a few chords on the guitar and can still crank out "House of the Rising Sun" but it would probably make my fingertips bleed.

I remember them giving a dance/concert/cacophany in what is now a garage on Main Street in Miami. One of their best covers was "Gloria", but they could also do pretty good on "Paint it Black" and "Wild Thing".

I also remember sitting out there on those soft Panhandle nights listening to the guys jam. As I said, they weren't "too" bad and I enjoyed the entertainment, it being mighty scarce back then. I also was the one who heard my dad hollerin' from the back door, tellin' 'em to turn down the volume. Usually, it wasn't enough and after the second warning, the guys split.

Made of Japan



Tapping into 150 Japanese blogs per hour, this site is a kaleidoscope of collected images made into a shoe.

It's definitely a "shoe-in" for the best Japanese site I'VE ever seen. ;)

Made of Japan

Another Senseless Quiz




You are the Sense of Touch



You are a highly sensitive and easily moved person.

You love to get as close to other people as possible.

Human connection is very important to you.

You are also likely to be an animal lover who loves animals as much as humans.

In fact, you like almost anything soft!

You have expensive taste in clothes and furniture. It's all about the fabric.



This is no surprise; people have been telling me I'm touched for a long, long time.

No taste, either.

August 11, 2008

Going for the Gold

Keep up with Olympics medal counts by country at

Sports Illustrated's Medal Tracker.

"It's for your scrapbook."

KVII-TV online has posted a vid of Sneaky drug testing methods for parents to use on their kids whom they suspect of using drugs.

I can understand how getting a lock of hair to test might be sneaky, but what about a urine test?

Turn Out the Lights

No, the party's not over, but Xcel (is) Urging to Conserve or Black-outs are Likely

I've always tried to conserve on my utility bills, not because of any "green" concerns, but to try to save myself money.

I've noticed a couple of "flickers" on my TV screen during the latter part of the afternoons, and was wondering if the high electicity use at that time of day had anything to do with it.

Old Tree in Sepia



South of Miami, Texas.

Just The Way It Is - The Rembrandts

August 10, 2008

Cast Away Crossroads

Last Friday I took another trip to the Arrington Ranch House, the rural location featured at the first and last of the 2000 movie Cast Away. (blog post about my first visit) I hadn't visited the intersection and wanted to take photos of the roads described by Bettina Peterson (played by the lovely C&W performer, Lari White), the artist character who gives directions to the Tom Hanks character, Chuck Noland, at the ending of the flick.

A friend of mine went along for the ride; he works for the Texas Dept. of Transportation and, just before the scenes were filmed, was tasked with removing most of the easily visible highway signs around the intersection.

I asked him why he had to remove them and he said he was told it was to keep the location "secret". Since the roads were mentioned by number in the movie, that didn't make sense to me. Personally, I think they were removed for "artistic reasons", to make it look a bit more barren.

This is a new "goalpost-type" sign that replaced one of those that were taken down.

(click for larger view)

Cast Away crossroads intersection sign

This is the intersection, facing NE.

Cast Away crossroads intersection

The last dialogue in the film was between Hanks and White; he has just dropped off the pkg. to the woman's house and is now at the intersection, standing by his vehicle, puzzling over a map, wondering which way he should go. (and the obvious symbolism is that he is also puzzling over which direction he should take his life)

Cast Away movie screenshot

Bettina Peterson: You look lost.
Chuck Noland: I do?
Bettina Peterson: Where're you headed?
Chuck Noland: Well, I was just about to figure that out.

The woman then points to each direction, telling Noland where each will take him.

Bettina Peterson: Well, that's 83 South.

Texas highway 1268 Cast Away crossroads

(NOTE: That's not THAT hwy. number, it's 1268, but it connects with Hwy 83, which is one of the longest north/south highways in the U.S. It's also facing east in the above photo.)

And this road here will hook you up with I-40 East

Texas highway 48 Cast Away crossroads

(NOTE: That's facing south, but WILL connect you with I-40. I'll have to check my road map, but I believe one would reach the small town of Mobeetie first via Ranch Road 48 and then wind their way over to the interstate. Yep, you can "hook up" with I-40 that way, it's a twisty path though. Might as well just go ahead and get on 83 which will intersect I-40 at Shamrock, Texas.)

Google Earth screenshot Cast Away farm house and intersection

If you turn right, that'll take you to Amarillo, Flagstaff, California.

Texas highway 1268 looking west Cast Away crossroads

(That's Ranch Road 1268, facing west. It intersects with Ranch Road 748. Turn left/south to Laketon, then turn right/west on Hwy 152 which will then lead to Hwy 60, Pampa, White Deer, Panhandle then Amarillo and points west. One could also turn right, go to Miami and get on Hwy 60 there. Also, there are a multitude of small farm and ranch roads leading off of Hwy 60 between Laketon and Amarillo that would let a traveler go South and hook up with the interstate. )

And if you head back that direction, you'll find a whole lot of nothing all the way to Canada.

Cast Away movie intersection

Chuck Noland: I got it.
Bettina Peterson: All right, then. Good luck, cowboy.
Chuck Noland: Thank You.

I'm not so sure a "whole lot of nothing" would be a nice thing to say to folks in the top part of the Texas Panhandle, the Oklahoma Panhandle, Kansas, etc. It's a lovely drive between Canadian and Miami as well as on up to the state line.

Be that as it may: That is a caliche road, not in the best of shape with some blind corners and hills. If it is wet from a recent rain, it will be slicker than earthworms in a barrel of snot. (I wonder if the mud puddle the FedEx truck drives through at the first of the movie was real or manufactured, i.e., filled up by the film crew from a water truck? As you can see in the above photo, the low spot is still there)


As we made our way on down to the Arrington Ranch house, nice, smooth stretches lulled me into picking up too much speed, then suddenly hitting suspension rattling holes and ruts. "Spur 'im, Hogan! " my pal said after I steered right into a deep hole and nearly lost control. "Hell, I'm barefoot!".

We stopped to take a few pictures, but I had already taken quite a few the last time I was out there and other than a clearer sky, nothing had changed since my previous visit. As was the last time I took photos, there was no one there, and I wondered if they had ever had problems with "fans" prowling around the property.

Cast Away farmhouse

There's not much to photograph out there; besides the house, there's the sign over the gate. It was altered for the movie, but the angel wings were left when the sign was restored.

Arrington farm house angel wings gate

I had thought about taking a ladder, taking a shot similar to the tall perspective of the crossroads as was in the movie, then asking my friend to photograph me in the same spot as Tom Hanks had stood in the last scene, perhaps even make a mini-movie, add the soundtrack music.

It's already been done, though. (much better than I could've)



09/03/08

I added a bit more information about the various highways, put in some links, posted the Google Earth screenshot. Hope this helps anyone searching for this location.

In case the link was missed at the first of this post, there's another blog post about my visit to the ranch house.


9/19/08

Sheesh, noticed another hit, then figured out I had put the wrong directions in when I described how to go to Laketon. Mea Culpa, I'm an idiot, what can I say. It's correct now...I think.


9/23/08

Edit once again, probably for the sole sake of being anal retentive.

In case you didn't know, click any photo for larger view



1/12/09

Interesting article about the history of the house, plus some photos of it and the intersection

In PDF format


09/16/09

Added a new post about the locations

Cast Away Locations in Google Maps

August 9, 2008

Spicing up a Relationship

From the Photobucket archives:
(thanks, Annie!)

Three women: one engaged, one married and one a mistress, are chatting about their relationships and decided to amaze their men. That night all three will wear black leather bras, stiletto heels and a mask over their eyes. After a few days they meet up for lunch.

The engaged woman:

"The other night when my boyfriend came over he found me with a black leather bodice, tall stilettos and a mask. He saw me and said, 'You are the woman of my life. I love you.' Then we made love all night long."

The mistress:

"Me too! The other night I met my lover at his office and I was wearing the leather bodice, heels, mask over my eyes and a raincoat. Then I opened the raincoat he didn't say a word, but we made wild love all night. "

The married woman:

"I sent the kids to stay at my mother's house for the night. When my husband came home I was wearing the leather bodice, black stockings, stilettos and a mask over my eyes. As soon as he came in the door and saw me he said:" 

"What's for dinner Batman?"

Spider

A cool Google gadget.

Well, "cool" is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.

(Sometimes it doesn't show up; you may have to do as I do, refresh the page)

Ol' Smokey



This is Smokey, a horse who belongs to a pal's dad. Both Smokey and his owner are retired, and ol' Smokey is allowed to run free on the half-section where my friend's father has a small cow-calf operation south of Miami, Texas.

My friend was off work yesterday and called me, wanting me to come down. After I rolled into town, I couldn't find my buddy at home, so I went to his folk's house. His mom was there and told me they were moving some cattle from one pasture to another. She wasn't for sure which place they'd be at (they lease another half-section a few miles away) but she said they'd wind up at the place they own before they went home and I couldn't miss 'em.

I told her I would just visit with Smokey until they got there and had brought some sugar cubes and an apple for him. I really like this horse; he's more personable than most horses I've been around, and enjoys the treats I bring him and likes me to rub his ol' gnarly head.

My friend's mom said they were bringing Smokey into town; they were going to have him shot! I was taken aback, and said "Have him shot???"

She laughed, and said "No, have him SHOD!"

I am such a doofus.

The gate to their place was locked, so I knew they were at the other pasture. I drove over there, but didn't see them, so decided I'd go back and wait at the other place. This time, the gate was open so I drove down to the pens. They weren't there, but I knew they'd be back soon because Smokey was tied up to the fence.



He was glad to see me, happy to get the treats, but I could tell he was a bit miffed at being tied up. He kept looking down the road; I expect he was looking for his owner and hoping he'd soon be let loose.



He kept stamping his feet; not merely to get the flies off, but to show his displeasure at being tied up so short!

I took several videos of him; this one is the "best".

August 8, 2008

Beatle on the Road

PhotobucketPaul McCartney on Route 66

Sir Paul and new girlfriend stop in Amarillo on his Route 66 tour.

Glad he found someone to cook him a vegetarian meal here in Beef Country.

I'm not so sure Ru Paul would've gone as relatively unnoticed.

I like McCartney, and loved the Beatles' music, but....

I'd rather have met Ron Paul, though.

What's in the Cards?




What Your Playing Cards Tell About Your Future



Right now you are focused on your internal emotions, including a bit of pain and suffering.

Your emotions are currently tied to a trusted woman in your life. She is just, and she has your best interests at heart.

A close friend who you've lost contact is ready to reconnect with you. And this new relationship is likely to be romantic in nature.

The near future will bring a shady, selfish person into your life. This person will bring a lot of bad news.

Beware of some very bad news. This may mean the loss of someone close - or the loss of a close relationship.



What a crock.

August 7, 2008

Viva La Vida - Coldplay

Hard Core

I took these photos a few months ago to post in a political forum I used to frequent; I wanted to (try to) prove to a guy that hydrocarbons were formed by deposits of organic material. He was arguing that, since some Georgia textbook had said "oil came from dinosaurs" that that was what was taught in our schools and it was wrong. (never mind that the textbook was printed in the 50's, and was a grade school primer. That was about his intellectual level, come to think of it)

He was insisting that oil is formed in the earth's core (abiogenic petroleum origin) and that we were nowhere nearly running out of it and that oil companies kept this "fact" a secret . (and this coming from a guy who said every Ron Paul supporter was a conspiracy nut)

This is a core sample from one of my dad's wells; it came from approx. 4800 feet and is from the Brown Dolomite formation.



The large white deposit in the above photo is chert (sometimes called "flint"); drilling through the dolomite formation is tricky enough*, but these hard layers of chert could tear up a drill bit if not careful.

*Dolomite is very porous, and that's why -- in that particular area -- it is the oil-bearing strata. In other places, where it was necessary to drill deeper to find oil or gas, drilling through this particular formation took special precautions; if the drilling fluid wasn't viscous (thick) enough, or didn't have enough "filler", the formation could swell from the fresh water and "stick your bit" and pipe. It is also a "lost circulation" zone, sometimes sucking in fluid faster than could be pumped down the hole.

This next photo shows just how porous the rock is.



It's so porous, I used to like to pour liquid incense onto the core; it would soak it up and slowly release the fragrance over several weeks time.

This next shot shows some tiny fossils embedded into it. (Some might argue that they're rock, but I took this to my college geology professor and he verified it. He wanted me to give it to him, but he had already stolen a meteorite from me...long story)



No, it wasn't "just" dinosaurs that made oil; my dad used to say it was dinosaur "poop" more than the prehistoric animal remains, but that was...just like that Georgia textbook...a simplification. The organic material that later became oil came from seas that used to cover this area millions of years ago. It wasn't just one time, but several, over millions of years and millions of tons of organics. The tremendous amount of organic material, under tremendous heat and pressure, formed the hydrocarbons.



That's not as nice an example as is this core sample from Norway, but I think it's still interesting.

My dad and I used to polish rocks, and he made an ashtray out of a slab of core sample. I don't know what happened to it, but it had a beautiful shell in it.

That particular field is nearly played out, but the last time I was out there, they were drilling some injection wells and seemed to be having some success with that method. (tertiary recovery)

August 6, 2008

Hot practices, Bucks and fawns

Great article on h.s. football on Amarillo.com today.

It mentions my alma mater and speaks highly of the football field. I tried to leave a comment, but it's either been rejected (the story of my online life) or hasn't been approved yet.

I believe I've mentioned it before (and I did in my comment at the website), but the field wasn't nearly as nice when I was playing as it is today. There were so many sticker patches, we named it "Goathead Bowl". Back then, coaches thought going without water would make us stronger (duh, we weren't camels, fer cryin' out loud) and would give us only one water break for a three/four hour practice.

"Drink water, you'll just have to stop and pee it out!" they'd bellow at us.

So many times, when a water break was called, we would all rush over to the irrigation pipe, turn it on and start gulping down water only to have a salamander (or two or three) crawl out (of the hose, not our mouths) after slaking our thirst.

We finally learned to let it run for a while and shake the hose to rid it of any amphibians. I don't remember any "Ewwww"s being said, as most of us boys had quenched our thirst several times in horse troughs/cattle tanks...just pushed away the scum on top and drank our fill.

August 5, 2008

Fade to Black

No, not about movies, nor am I talking about the end scene of the last episode of The Sopranos.

I leave my computer on most of the time (not too green here, sorry) but I do set my monitor to go off after fifteen minutes of inactivity. I really like the LCD monitor that came with this computer; it's flat and doesn't take up nearly the room as did my other computer monitors, and the picture is... well, was... nearly TV quality.

The other night I got up and lay down in my recliner to watch TV. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a "flash" and decided it was just my monitor going off.

Well, it went off all right. It bit the dust. The power light wouldn't come on, even with me trying another socket for the plug.

I thought to myself "Well, this might be a good thing; I can get some stuff accomplished, read a book, get out more, do a lot of things."

I did go get a couple of books but I didn't get too much accomplished. I DID get out; went to Wal-Mart to price monitors.

I knew I had the PC Jones when I kept going back to the computer, wiggling the plugs and wondering if I could use one of the monitors off one of the other computers I have. I went up to the library today to check Amazon or Wal-Mart for a replacement monitor, but all I could find online were used models of this type.

Went and talked to a computer guy; he said it would probably cost nearly as much to fix it as it would be to buy a new one.

So, earlier today I went back to WM and bought a new monitor. I bought a 19 in. model one (saving 40 bucks over the 20 inch model). It was fairly expensive, and I noticed that I could've bought a new computer, even a laptop, for a few hundred dollars more.

That's all I need, another computer. (and it did cross my mind, 'cept I'd have to go with Vista)

The recommended resolution is 1440x800, and it's driving me nuts. I know I'll get used to it, and I've tried other resolutions, but I can't get the font size to my satisfaction except with the recommended.

Like I said, I'll get used to it...about the time this monitor and/or computer bites the dust. Hope that's a few years down the road.

Maybe I can finish my books by then.

When the wife doesn't listen...

Runnin' Down a Dream - Tom Petty

Noticed the original had been taken down, so I found this one.

August 4, 2008

Alliterative Insults

A few days ago, the Word of the Day (the sticky feed in the right-hand column) was "pussillanimous".

From Dictionary.com:

pusillanimous \pyoo-suh-LAN-uh-muhs\, adjective:Lacking in courage and resolution; contemptibly fearful; cowardly.

It's one of my favorite words and is really good to throw back at those who like to call me retarded.

I don't stop there, though. With my fondness for alliteration, I like to team it up with a couple other insulting pejoratives.

"I might be retarded, but you're a pussillanimous, puerile pissant."

It works better than "Yo momma!"

August 3, 2008

Kick Them All Out


From The "Kick Them All Out" Project website.

While I don't agree with everything on the site, I do agree with the "throwing the bastards out" premise.

"Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the exact same reasons."

- Tom Dodd (from the movie Man of the Year)