## April 30, 2010

### This Blog is Regressing

Nearly a year ago I checked this blog's readability in this post and the other day found a different test. The first test said this blog had a reading level of a sophomore in h.s. ; now the new one says this:

It'd been less embarrassing if this blog had been "held back" a year, but to get kicked back six grades?

Oh well, must be the juvenile humor I publish.

At least I haven't put up any Hannah Montana vids.

Just checked again at the first site; now it says the grade level is 7.

Like I said, regressing. Maybe I'm starting to go into my second childhood.

(some call that "senility")

### Berry Good Quiz

 You Are a Strawberry On the one hand, you can be a bit vain and self centered. You're popular, and you let it get to your head.On the other hand, you can be quite considerate and compassionate. Deep down, you are a very sweet person.Yes, it's true that you are conceited at times, but you do your best to put that aside and be humble.You realize that while people may love you the best, the world doesn't revolve around you. And you wouldn't really want it to.

I love strawberries and eat them often, usually w/ my morning oatmeal. Surprisingly, they're fairly diabetic-friendly.

BTW, did you notice it said I was a "very sweet person"? Maybe that's why I have trouble w/ my blood sugar.

### The Wicked Water Wiggle

Did you ever have one of these "toys"? My sisters and I got one many summers ago, and it didn't take long for it to go unused. I don't recall exactly what happened to it, but maybe it got run over "accidentally" by the lawnmower. -ahem-

The thing was basically a water faucet with a cute little bell-shaped head around it, connected to a hose that was in turn connected to a water hose. The faucet part was so heavy it took quite a bit of pressure to get it going/airborne and there was absolutely no happy medium to it - it was all or nothing.

The object of the "toy" was to get close to it and then dodge its gyrations, getting wonderfully wet in the process. All too often, however, it seemed to go on a rampage and wiggle uncontrollably and usually whacking me in the head.

That probably explains what's wrong with me today.

It also says a great deal about the difference in today's litigious society and that of my childhood days. The toy, put on the market in '62, wasn't recalled until 1978.

Me, I think the damn thing was invented by a sadist.

### Hollyweird

"Hollywood is made of all the school kids who pointed to Greenland instead of China on the map. That's when the teacher pulled them aside and told them to forget med school and try out for a part in the school play."

From a post in Big Hollywood: Enviro-Elitist Harrison Ford Slams Critics Of His Enviro-Elitism

Another poster also added this truism: (referring to Harrison)

Guys with gray hair should lose the earrings, IMHO.

I've always liked Harrison Ford...as an actor, but here lately he's become infected with that peculiar Hollywood disease, namely that "do as I say, not as I do" attitude. I used to be able to separate an entertainer's politics from his work but it's becoming an obstacle for me to see them on TV or in a movie and not think of the things they say and do in "real life".

The list doesn't end with Harrison Ford, either. Sean Penn, Sheryl Crow, Matt Damon, etc. (that list is a LONG one, but I'll stop there) Even Elton John has put his foot in his mouth and made me think less of him. (and I'll not say anything else about anything else he puts in his mouth because that's his personal business)

I've been railing on for years about the built-in soapbox some stars gain with their celebrity status. Every time there's a similar article on Big Hollywood about some dimwit progressive celeb, people post that they're going to have to boycott that person now...well, I've been doing a minor boycott of Hollywood for years and haven't been to a movie since "Titanic" was in the theaters. Oh, I buy a DVD now 'n then, but I very seldom pay more than five bucks for one; at least I know they're not getting as much money as they would if I went to the movies.

I agree with Robert Duvall; they need to just "shut up and act." Sure, entertainers have a 1st Amendment right to voice their opinions, but they also need to understand just how stupid they are.

## April 28, 2010

Had this up with a CNN video the other day but thought it might be conflicting w/ the other vids. The problem wasn't that, but one of my own. My YT issues have been fixed.

(well, except for posting too many videos on "one page".)

I've got the posting column set at 500, think it is, and I use vids that are 480 wide w/ the YT code. These tornadovideos.net offerings are usually 560 wide and on up, so I altered this one, hope it renders OK to everyone.

BTW, this Goodnight is not the same as the city downstate; it's a ghost town and parts of the classic movie Hud were filmed there and is also not far from the Groom Cross.

### Cowboys Sign New Hampshire Sicko

It's true!

Cowboys convince undrafted TE Sicko to give NFL a try

Having an unusual last name myself, it's always funny to see someone with an even MORE unusual last name.

Besides, I couldn't pass on the headline for the post.

### pellucid

1. Transparent; clear; not opaque.
2. Easily understandable.

This certainly doesn't describe any recent legislation.

### Psychiatric Hotline Voice Mail

From the archives:

RING...RING...click

Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline.

If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.

If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5 and 6.

If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want. Just stay on the line so we can trace the call.

If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.

If you are manic-depressive, it doesn't matter which number you press. No one will answer.

If you are delusional and occasionally hallucinate, please be aware that the thing you are holding on the side of your head is alive and about to bite off your ear.

### Not the Bottom, the Top

 You Are Flares You are a true free spirit, and you enjoy playing with fashion. Your look tends to be eclectic.You tend to be a bit rebellious. You're more likely to dress for yourself than dress for the occasion.You are both peaceful and jovial. There is a happy calm that surrounds everything you do.You are broad minded, well read, and well traveled. You are open to anything that comes your way.

### Chuck Norris Jeans

I got this in my newsreader earlier from Oddee, one of my favorites and a very popular site - 12 Strangest Jeans; one of the entries was Chuck Norris jeans:

I bet that, when they're unzipped, a fist will come out and punch you in the face.

## April 27, 2010

### Back in the Saddle Again

Just a short snippet of the old cowboy tune by Gene Autry to celebrate being back online again.

Here's the tune by Aerosmith from my h.s. days.

Had to call tech support because the thing kept me in an endless loop on the install software page. I was lucky, I got a "furriner" that spoke better English than I do.

## April 22, 2010

### wastrel

wastrel \WAY-struhl\ , noun;
1.A person who wastes, especially one who squanders money; a spendthrift.
2.An idler; a loafer; a good-for-nothing.

Wow, another word that would describe most anyone in politics.

### Offline

Unplugged my computer last night during t-storm; 'puter booted up fine this a.m., but modem is kaput, so I will be offline until I get another modem. (and I've wiggled connections until I'm blue in the face)

Love to my friends who frequent this blog... and if any spammers hit this blog while I'm gone, I hope they die a slow, agonizing death. ;)

## April 21, 2010

### Smokin' - Boston

I know this song is about "something else", but it's also what my friend Barb's Sox have been doin' to my Rangers the last couple of days. Here's hopin' for a better outcome tomorrow.

### Instants!

WARNING: NSFW and *some* buttons are not G-rated.

Instants

## April 20, 2010

### The Many Faces of

From the website:

A Lesson on How to be a Villain

To be a great villain requires more than merely being rotten to the core. The best bad guys are multi-dimensional and unpredictable. With each patronizing grin, disdainful remark and narcissistic fit, Alan Rickman elevates the role of a villain from the plain ol’ bastard to a bastard coated bastard with bastard filling. Actors take note. We’ve picked our four favorite Rickman villains to illustrate the ultimate lessons in how to be a villain, the Alan Rickman way.

The Many Faces of Alan Rickman

## April 19, 2010

### Happy Birthday Tim Curry!

Tim Curry on Wiki

I've enjoyed him in many of his movie roles, but I'll always think of him as Dr. Frank-n-furter

I wonder if each year he awaits his birthday with antici....

PATION!

### Plugin Check

See your Firefox plugins and update them at this handy Mozilla site: Plugin Check

From the site:

What is a Plugin?

* Plugins power videos, animation and games.
* They're built outside of Firefox by companies like Adobe Systems and Apple.
* Plugins don't always update automatically.

Why should I update my Plugins?

* Old Plugins can interrupt browsing and waste your time.
* Old Plugins increase your risk for attack by malware, viruses, and other security threats.
* Updated Plugins have improvements that make the web better and safer for you.

Plugin Check

### scapegrace

scapegrace \SKAYP-grayss\ , noun;
1. A reckless, unprincipled person; one who is wild and reckless; a rascal; a scoundrel.

Or, as I like to say, a politician.

### One of Each Wasn't an Option

If you love cheesecake as much as I do, this will be a hard quiz!

 You Are a Lime Cheesecake You are unpredictable and zany. You definitely keep things flavorful.You have a bit of attitude to you - You've been known to be pretty snarky at times.You are fiery and wild. You can't help it... you love trouble.You are definitely one of a kind - no one ever forgets you!

## April 18, 2010

### National Debt Widget

A bump from nearly a year ago.

Scary, ain't it?

### The Genius Club

What if you had one night to prove God exists? What if you had one night to solve the world's problems?

First, a preface:

As I lay in bed last night, my sinuses aching from all the mold spores in the air due to the recent deluge, I flicked through the TV stations hoping to find something to bore me to sleep. There were plenty of options for me that normally would do the trick: a college baseball game, movies I'd seen before and didn't care for the first time I watched them and a multitude of so-called "news" stations pushing their left or right agendas, any of which would put me out in a few minutes of mind-numbing viewing.

Then I noticed a movie on the Christian station, TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network)- The Genius Club. Now, I normally steer clear of that station, mainly because of its multitude of evangelical programming (why is it they want you to give your soul to God, but make the check out to them?) and shyster faith healers (sure, punching someone in the forehead will cure their ills). The movie's premise looked good, however, and I thought I'd give it a chance. At worst I'd be semi-entertained, at best I'd be bored enough to fall asleep.

The plot summary from Wiki:

On Christmas Eve, Armand (Tom Sizemore), a terrorist who has a hidden nuclear device in Washington D.C., forces the president of the United States government (Jack Scalia) to round up seven geniuses with IQs over 200. The group consists of a casino owner (Carol Abney), a bio-chemist (Paula Jai Parker), a pro-baseball player (Matt Medrano), a seminary student, an Economics professor, a painter (Tricia Helfer), and a pizza delivery guy (Stephen Baldwin).

The government is to place them in a bomb shelter and explain to the group that they are to solve the world's problems in one night; if they fail, the terrorist will detonate the hidden nuclear device planted in the basement of the 'genius lair'.

To free themselves from their captivity, the group has to answer questions and are given points for their answers. The terrorist (played superbly by Sizemore) insists they must reach 1000 points before they "pass".

The questions are: (to the best of my recollection)

Why hasn't there been a cure found for cancer?
Why does toner ink cost so much?
Why are there starving people in the world?
If you were a dictator, what is the first thing you would do?
What is the meaning of life?
Does God exist?

To say it was the best movie I've ever seen would be a lie and if I denied that the premise was a bit weak and had no holes, I'd be a dishonest reviewer, but one of my own standards of a movie's greatness is "Did it make me think about it after it ended?" I stayed awake several hours after the movie was over and am still thinking about it today.

Here's the promotional trailer:

As I said, this movie affected me profoundly, much the same as did the lyrics of a Bob Seger song: "Are You?".

I think the song's message and that of the movie's are one and the same.

Most of what we want is just illusion
Most of what we buy won't change a thing
Most of what we're told is misdirection
Offered up to ease our suffering

If you get a chance, watch the movie. I plan on buying it for my library because I think it's one I could watch at least once a year and take something different from it each time, plus it would be one I'd love to show to someone for the first time and get their reaction. I wouldn't necessarily call it a "Christian movie" nor a political one, but it makes some important points about the relationship of both to humanity.

The Genius Club on IMDB
(beware of spoilers in the comments section!)

### disport

disport \dis-PORT\ , verb;
1. To amuse oneself in light or lively manner; to frolic.
transitive verb:
1. To divert or amuse.
2. To display.

This describes what I try to do with this blog, amuse myself.

I try to keep the frolicking to a minimum, though.

## April 16, 2010

### Waterlogged

It's been raining for two days:

And no let-up in sight:

Supposed to rain Sunday, too, then Monday has a chance of rain, then more storms are in the forecast.

The last time we got this much rain it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.

### Some Say a "Lame" One

 You Are a Brain It's not easy to stretch your brain, but who ever said that life was going to be easy?You work hard to learn more and challenge yourself. You find thinking hard to be fun!You enjoy long term projects and complicated problems. You are good at wrapping your mind around complex problems.People tend to be jealous of your big brain, but they don't see how much work you put into being smart.

## April 15, 2010

### pelf

pelf \PELF\ , noun;
1. Money; riches; gain; -- generally conveying the idea of something ill-gotten.

"Ill-gotten" That's the pelf the IRS takes from you.

### Happy Tax Day!

Well, as happy as it can be.

Taxman - The Beatles

## April 14, 2010

### Travelling Far and Fast

If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears.
- Glenn Clark

Take off your clothes, too, to REALLY travel fast.

### The Ultimate Death Quiz

From howstuffworks

Don't fear the reaper, says the iconic song by Blue Oyster Cult. But isn't it a little difficult not to fear a dark-cloaked man who roams around with a scythe and an hourglass? The Grim Reaper is a personification of death that has been invented and refined over the years to help humans make sense of their own mortality. How much do you know about your own mortality? You can't cheat death, and you can't cheat on this quiz about death, either. So sharpen your scythe and get started.

I passed, but barely.

The Ultimate Death Quiz

Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Öyster Cult

### I Do Now I Don't

Wondering what to do with that returned engagement ring? Left at the altar and now have no need for that wedding dress? Sell it at I Do Now I Don't

From the site:

People buy and sell diamond rings, jewelry, even wedding dresses and collectible watches on I Do Now I Don’t. Diamond rings worth as much as $75,000 have been sold successfully on I Do. You too can buy and sell on I Do Now I Don’t with complete and total confidence. Here’s why: Our highly and GIA-accredited gemologist verifies gemstones are exactly as described by the seller Buyers’ money is held in escrow and only released to the seller pending our expert’s verification Buyers of diamond rings receive an on-site buy-back guarantee. I Do Now I Don't ### Even Though I'm Never Bored I still enjoy help I'm bored Find your "problem" and click the link. I don't like the fact my hairline is receding faster than Congress's approval ratings, so I clicked "help I'm bald" and got this reassuring answer: help I'm bored ### bloviate bloviate \BLOH-vee-ayt\ , verb; 1. To speak or write at length in a pompous or boastful manner. Even though we might not have known of this word, Texans have been bloviatin' all of our lives. ## April 12, 2010 ### I Wanna Be a Cowboy  Your Cowboy Name is Augustus Emory Yee-Haw! I Wanna Be A Cowboy - Boys Don't Cry ### Truer Words Were never spoken. From our Quote of the Day feed: An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. - Winston Churchill Image courtesy of magixl.com ### Car Record Players From Yesteryear From: I have seen the whole of the internet Just a few weeks ago I was talking with a guy I had grown up with and we were remembering the old eight-track tape players we had in our vehicles; I told him about a guy who had a record player in his car and my friend said there had been no such thing. (I mentioned them in another post, but hadn't put in any photos.) I will need to print out these photos and show him! Surprisingly, the player worked fairly well, but sometimes did skip when driving over a bump or into a pothole. The guy also had a nice case for his records, so storage wasn't too much of a problem (except the case took up quite a bit of room). The only problem I saw with his system was that the recordings were almost all C&W and I was more of a rock music fan then. (and still am) See more of the record players at I have seen the whole of the internet. I'd also like to take this opportunity to promote the blog; it's one of my favorites and I have it as a subscription in my Google Reader and look forward to the posts. I've recently culled quite a few feeds, but could not bring myself to delete this one from the list. ## April 11, 2010 ### Texas Stadium Implosion Now, as long as the TEAM doesn't implode this year.... ## April 10, 2010 ### Pyrrhic victory Pyrrhic victory \PIR-ik\ , noun; 1. A victory achieved at great or excessive cost; a ruinous victory. This perfectly describes this Administration and Congress and all the "ruinous" legislation they've passed over the last several years. I predict there will be a huge turnover in both Houses in the next election, Dems and Repubs alike. (and they ARE alike for the most part) ### Farewell to Texas Stadium The end of a Texas icon will come Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. CST. View the webcam of the Texas Stadium Implosion. Read what former players and coaches have to say: Long Good-bye Here are some stadium facts I've been to two Cowboy games in the stadium, both in the late 70's and both games were with the (then) St. Louis Cardinals; I don't remember the scores or which year was which, but Dallas won one of the games. Listening to talk radio, I heard one talking head say there were no bad seats in the house, but I would have to disagree. I didn't care for where I was seated - about four/five rows above field level, but in the corner of the end zone. Each time the action made its way to me, the quarter ended and the teams changed ends of the field, putting them far away. I do remember my g/f (soon to be wife, now my ex-wife) asking me to drive home from the second game we attended. She had experience driving in the metroplex traffic while I was a small town hick driver, but I gamely got behind the wheel and started to fight the traffic back to Denton (n. of Dallas). It took about an hour to get out of the parking lot and on the freeway; I almost panicked as I was immediately surrounded by six lanes of traffic, all driving well above the speed limit. I kept my cool and thought that as long as I was heading north, I would wind up in the general vicinity of Denton...or even Oklahoma, but at least I would be on the right track. Somehow I managed to make it to DFW Airport, a shortcut from Denton we always used to go to the football and baseball games, as well as the times we went to Six Flags. I paid the toll at the entrance to the airport and kept driving. I drove for about 30 minutes, thinking that the route looked familar, but in an odd way. Long story short, it wasn't long until I glanced over from the freeway and saw Texas Stadium again! I had made a huge circle and come back through the airport, only from the wrong direction! Being a long-time Cowboy fan, I have many memories of games played at the stadium, some good, some bad, but this is one of my favorites. George Teague lights up T.O. for disrespecting the star ### I Disagree With These Results  You Are Agreeableness You are an unselfish and considerate person. You don't easily find fault with others.You are helpful and polite. You forgive and forget. You try your best not to start drama.You are warm and welcoming. You are truly happy to see people, and you're willing to give almost anyone a fresh start.You like to cooperate, even if it requires a little give and take. You have a low threshold for drama. ## April 9, 2010 ### Standing Cat ## April 8, 2010 ### The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test Are you a nerd, geek or dork? Find out with this quiz. For The Record: A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia. A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one. A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions. My results: Congratulations! 57 % Nerd, 22% Geek, 39% Dork You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd. The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendencies associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful. The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test ### Money Origami From the site: Defacing money is a federal crime, but folding money is a great time. Show off your bling with a classic dollar bill ring. A good way to launder a dollar is to fold it into a tiny shirt with a collar. So, grab a buck and test your luck, because you'll never regret that you tried all the awesome projects in this fun money origami guide! ### "All the Love I Crave"  You Find it Somewhat Easy to Love Love is never easy, and you while you try your best to let love into your life, it's a struggle.You find it a bit difficult to get close to and trust other people. You've been burned before!You keep your heart as open as possible. You would like to love more and be loved in return.Wanting love is half the battle, so keep up the hard work. Eventually you'll get all the love you crave. Somebody to Love - Jefferson Airplane ### interlard interlard \in-tuhr-LARD\ , verb; 1. To insert between; to mix or mingle; especially, to introduce something foreign or irrelevant into; as, "to interlard a conversation with oaths or allusions." Sounds like a layer of fat between my lard and my blubber. ## April 7, 2010 ### This is why... ...ol' Ben was never President Honesty is the best policy. - Benjamin Franklin From our Quote of the Day feed (in right-hand column) ### She's About A Mover - Sir Douglas Quintet ## April 6, 2010 ### Land of Nod Land of Nod \land-uhv-NOD\ , noun; 1. A mythical land of sleep. Origin: Land of Nod is a pun on the biblical place-name, the country to which Cain journeyed after slaying Abel. See Genesis, 4:16. I love the Land of Nod. I don't need a passport, or even bedtime, just a few too many carbs at any time of the day. ### Sistine Chapel Use the pan and zoom features to fully explore the beauty of the Sistine Chapel. Sistine Chapel ### Slashed Army T-Shirt From the site: Go for stylishly dishevelled (sic) cool in Balmain's olive green distressed detail cotton t-shirt. Work the runway look by teaming this statement staple with cargo pants and ankle boots for a luxe spin on utility chic.$1,625

Uh, I'll make you a t-shirt like this for ten bucks, five if you supply the shirt.

The (sic) was added because it's spelled "disheveled". You'd think that for \$1625 they could afford a proofreader.

## April 5, 2010

### 3-2-1 Lift Off

From the NASA Image of the Day Gallery

Space shuttle Discovery's engines ignited at 6:21 a.m. EDT Monday, April 5, for liftoff of the STS-131 mission from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The seven-member crew will deliver the multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo, filled with supplies, a new crew sleeping quarters and science racks that will be transferred to the International Space Station's laboratories. The crew also will switch out a gyroscope on the station’s truss, install a spare ammonia storage tank and retrieve a Japanese experiment from the station’s exterior. STS-131 is the 33rd shuttle mission to the station and the 131st shuttle mission.

Image Credit: NASA/Troy Cryder

### Beans for Breakfast

Fried breakfast is healthiest start to day, say scientists

From the UK Telegraph website:

Scientists believe that breakfast programmes the metabolism for the rest of the day, and a fatty meal will help the body break down fat later on.

Carbohydrate rich foods in contrast appear mainly to prepare the body to break down only carbohydrates, the International Journal of Obesity reports.

Read the rest of the story

The first time I ever knew of anyone eating beans for breakfast was in the movie Trainspotting; in one scene a family was sitting down for breakfast and had beans on their plates. Several years later I asked a British friend of mine if she ate beans for breakfast; she looked at me funny and told me "No." I didn't press the issue because of the way she eyed me after the question. I think she thought I was "taking the mick".

The breakfast pictured above and on the site sure looks great to me, though. Toast, tomatoes, sausage, eggs and ham, along with some fried mushrooms and potatoes...plus the beans.

Since that time, I've had beans for breakfast...right out of the can. Not nearly as good as I expect they would be with the rest of the breakfast in the photo.

### Eggciting Webcam!

From the UNL Extension in Lancaster County website:

These chicken eggs were set on March 17 and should hatch about April 6-9. The eggs are from buff orpington chickens.

This cam has been featured in ToTG a couple of times before.

Update: Hatchin' goin' on!

Update from site:

These buff orpington chicken hatched on April 6. Thanks to Clayton Hammond for donating the eggs! We are setting call duck eggs this afternoon - donated by Eric Stehlik.

From the site:

This form allows you to generate random passwords. The randomness comes from atmospheric noise, which for many purposes is better than the pseudo-random number algorithms typically used in computer programs.

The passwords generated by this form are transmitted to your browser securely (via SSL) and are not stored on the RANDOM.ORG server. Nevertheless, the best data security practice is not to let anyone but yourself generate your most important passwords. So, feel free to use these passwords for your wi-fi encryption or for that extra Gmail account, but you shouldn't use any online service to generate passwords for highly sensitive things, such as your online bank account.

### grok

grok \GRAWK\ , verb;
1. To understand, especially in a profound and intimate way. Slang.

Origin:
The slang word grok was coined by Robert A. Heinlein in the science fiction novel "Stranger in a Strange Land", where it is a Martian word meaning literally "to drink" and metaphorically "to be one with".

## April 4, 2010

### Fat Joe

A long time ago I worked for a local drilling contractor; it was a small company and at the time had only six rigs and I did stints on three of them. For a few weeks I worked on the smallest rig they had, a triple like the rest, but with the smallest sub-structure and in fact, it was the "junkiest" rig of the six.

At the urging of a guy I had worked with before, I went to work for his cousin, Joe. Now Joe was a big man...not a large man in size, but he was FAT. I've worked with guys who weren't in the best of shape, with guys who had beer bellies, but a truly fat guy is hard to find on drilling rigs due to the physical nature of the job.

Joe was the exception, both in size and "the physical nature". He never did much, instead preferring to point at what he wanted done. Sure, a driller is a step up from a floor or derrick hand, but they're still expected to get their hands dirty now 'n then. I think Joe had gloves that lasted years, never needing washing.

Joe was so fat, we called him "Joebba the Hutt"

To top all that off, Joe wasn't a fun guy like many fat guys are; basically, he was a despicable S.O.B. without much of a sense of humor, nor much good sense. For a work vehicle, he drove an old orange Dodge pickup with tires showing a dangerous amount of cord (and I've always said the drive killed more roughnecks than ever did the drillers) and that P.O.S. truck was lucky to hit on 6-7 of the 8 cylinders. I don't think the heater worked, but if it did, it wouldn't have mattered because there were holes in the floorboards big enough to throw a hardhat through.

(that's no exaggeration; I lost a good lunch box when it vibrated out the largest hole, the one on my side of the cab. Joe, being the despicable S.O.B. as I previously said, wouldn't even stop to go back and get it. I probably would've insisted, but I expect it didn't survive the fall and besides that, I was probably somewhat addled from the exhaust fumes coming up through the holes)

It was in the middle of the coldest winter in years when I worked for Fat Joe and normally, when there wasn't much to do, the hands would congregate in the top doghouse to get warm. Since Joe very seldom left it, we dressed as warmly as we could and stayed away...otherwise ol' Fat Joe would grunt and point to something he thought we should be doing that we really SHOULDN'T be doing during sub-zero weather, like painting or scrubbing the derrick.

I was down in the mud house, huddled around a propane torch with the rest of the hands when we heard a whistle; it was Joe at the top of the back steps, waving. His cousin started up the steps but Joe shook his head (and several rolls of neck fat shaking in tandem, his triple-chin wiggling like Jell-O) and pointed towards Yours Truly.

Oh crap, I thought, and headed up the stairs. As soon as I got to the top, Joe said "Get me a clean bucket." I figured I was going to be set to scrubbing something during that frigid night, just great.

I looked, but couldn't find a clean bucket, so I opened up a new bucket of pipe dope (a graphite-based lubricant for the drillstem) and scraped what was left of a nearly empty bucket into it. I then had to get some diesel and wash out the dregs, then used soapy water to finish cleaning it. I put some more soap in it, filled with water in anticipation of having to wash whatever it was Fat Joe wanted washing. I figured he might very well have me wash his truck, that's what kind of S.O.B. he was.

I lugged the bucket into the doghouse, set it down and backed up to the stove for a bit of warmth, hoping he was only going to have me clean up the floor or better yet, wipe down the doghouse. At least I'd be warm while I scrubbed.

I barely had time to get out of the way of the sudsy deluge as he kicked over the bucket in the general direction of the door. Astounded, I couldn't help but just look at him, wondering if he'd gone crazy.

"You gonna stay in here?" he asked. I shook my head, not understanding. "You gonna stay in here while I take a ****?" he elaborated.

Oh gag. I shook my head in disgust and left. I made my way back down to the mud house where I told the guys what had just taken place. They told me he did that to all the new hands and that I would be required to go dump it.

I stared at them in disbelief. "You're kiddin', right?" I asked. "The fat bas***d is too lazy to go out to the outhouse at the edge of the location....and he expects US to dump....???" I couldn't even finish, I was so flabbergasted. "Yep." said his cousin. "I'm glad yer here or else I'D have to keep doin' it." he said.

"Well, I ain't doin' it." I informed my smirking crewmates. "Oh, I bet you will if you wanna keep your job." the derrick hand told me.

"I wouldn't have a job where I had to do something like that." I maintained, looking in their faces for traces of "the big tease". "You're BS'in' me, aintchoo?" I went on.

About that time we heard another whistle and there was Fat Joe again, waving for me to come back up to the rig floor. With growing trepidation , I started up the steps, following Joe as he waddled back into the warmth of the doghouse. "Dump this out." he informed me, pushing the bucket towards me with his foot.

"You're kiddin', right?" I had to ask. New guys get pranks pulled on them all the time. "Nope." said Joe, sucking in his huge gut, puffing out his chest, trying to intimidate me. "Thass yer job."

"You can stick that bucket and what's in it back up where it came from." I told him with a cold rage I'd never felt before. "You lazy fat ****, you can dump your own ****."

"I'll run yer ass off." he told me. "Fine." I retorted. "I've been fired by better men than you, that's for sure."

"You'll have to walk home." he told me. "Nope," I replied, taking a step towards him. "You brought me out here, you're gonna take me home." and advanced towards him with clenched fists.

I guess Fat Joe had never had the threat of violence directed to him before. "I can fire you if I want." he said with much less assurance in his voice than he did when he directed me to dispose of his bodily waste.

"Yep, you can." I told him, taking off my glasses so they wouldn't get broken in the fight. "I can also get rid of THAT" kicking the bucket with my foot "by making you eat it. "

Fat Joe frantically glanced around, looking for something to put between him and me for protection. The only thing that would have saved him was that bucket.

"You can fire me." I said through my clenched jaw, looking at Fat Joe through a haze of red. "But I'm ridin' home with you and as soon as you let me off I'm jerkin' yer fat ass outta that truck, THEN I'm going to go see ******* (the owner of the drilling company). Handlin' yer crap ain't part of the job description."

I said more, but nothing that's fit to repeat in this blog. I did absolutely nothing the rest of the night and dressed into my street clothes an hour before relief got there, packing my stuff then sitting in the truck until time to go home. I was going to make sure that fat S.O.B was going to give me a ride back to town. He couldn't throw me out, but he COULD file charges against me for kickin' his fat butt.

To make this long, distasteful story short, his cousin had to go dump the bucket. I wasn't fired, because I was quitting. Fat Joe probably lost some sleep that day, rustling up another hand, or I expect, being the lazy puke that he was, he had his cousin find him someone.

His cousin was killed a few years later; he fell asleep while driving home from the rig. The derrick hand was knifed to death when he made a drunken pass at a lesbian's girlfriend. I don't know what happened to Fat Joe but the next time I worked for the company he was no longer employed there.

I expect he asked someone else to dump the bucket, someone who hadn't the kind and gentle nature I possess.

## April 3, 2010

### Carbon Black Worker

Sunray 1942

Click for larger view

From Library of Congress

Not the original; I cropped a bit out. Shorpy has a clearer, altered version.

I remember a joke about two Yankees who came to Texas to find work at one of the many carbon black plants that used to surround Pampa. A few days later they were back home up north and their friends asked them why they had not stayed to work.

"No need." they replied. "The plant had burned up".

A joke isn't funny if you have to explain it, but the gist of the joke was the men had thought the coating of carbon black on the plant meant it had caught on fire.

One of my first jobs was at the Cabot Machine shop just outside of town; the lady personnel mgr. told me the carbon black plant paid nearly a dollar an hour more and that's the job I wanted, but she told me I probably wouldn't like it. I probably wouldn't have because I didn't like the machine shop, either.

### malversation

malversation \mal-vur-SAY-shun\ , noun;
1. Misconduct, corruption, or extortion in public office.

This describes this administration and probably close to 95% of Congress.

### Who Made Who - AC/DC

From the movie Maximum Overdrive

### Can't Get Married, Can't Get Divorced

Not if you're gay and live in Texas.

A state lawmaker and a former legislator are joining in the challenge to a Dallas judge's recent decision that a gay couple can get divorced in Texas.

After the October decision by Judge Tena Callahan, the state attorney general filed an appeal. On Friday, a brief was filed in the Dallas Court of Appeals by the Liberty Institute, on behalf of Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, and former state senator Todd Staples, R-Palestine.

Chisum and Staples co-sponsored the Marriage Amendment, which limited marriage to a man and woman and was passed by voters in 2005.

At issue in the case is a couple who married in Massachusetts in 2006.

Chisum also doesn't like straight people divorcing; in 2008, Chisum announced that he will introduce a bill to prolong the waiting time in Texas to finalize a divorce.

Chisum served the first eight years of his House tenure as a Democrat, but he switched to GOP allegiance in 1996, when his district became measurably more Republican in orientation after redistricting.

He also helped pass a law -- later struck down by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- limiting the number of "sex toys" that could be in one's possession.

I started to write a lengthy essay on gays and on Chisum, but decided against it. (I blather on too much as it is, and I really don't want to get TOO serious in this blog) I have no use for Chisum (or any other flip-floppers who do it for solely political purposes) and I don't care if gays get married and think the ban on gays in the military is not only a bad idea, but unconstitutional. I also think the govt. has absolutely no right meddling in people's private lives and in particular their bedrooms.

### I May Be Odd, But I Have a Ball

 Your Late Bedtime Says You're an Oddball You like to do your own thing, even if you have to make sacrifices for your lifestyle.You are extremely creative and inspired. It's easy for you to lose time in your projects.You tend to live hard and not take as good of care of yourself as you should.Sleep often comes last for you, if it comes at all... and you're always hurting in the morning.

## April 2, 2010

### Major Kong Rides the Bomb

IMO, the best scene of all-time.

From one of my favorite movies: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

### Instant CSI

Click the glasses...then click the glasses.

Apologies to all who came and found an invalid link. Of course, you won't come back since the link was dead, so you won't read this apology....

Anyway, here's another site I found w/ the same thing.

### slake

slake \SLAYK\ , verb;
1. To satisfy; to quench; to extinguish; as, to slake thirst.
2. To cause to lessen; to make less active or intense; to moderate; as, slaking his anger.
3. To cause (as lime) to heat and crumble by treatment with water.
intransitive verb:
1. To become slaked; to crumble or disintegrate, as lime.

This word, believe it or not, is one I "use" quite often...but usually only to myself. When my sugar is too high, I get an extreme thirst and when I get through gulping down a copious amount of water, I think to myself "I slaked that thirst."

Really, I do. (although I don't think to myself "That's a copious amount of water I just drank." It does lead to a copious amount of peeing, though)

The third verb definition reminded me of all the lime I have mixed into drilling mud back when I worked on the rigs; lime was used for many reasons, but for the most part was used to control the ph of the fluid.

We used it for other purposes also, the main one being to "deodorize" our "outhouse". A few cupfuls dropped down the hole kept the flies away and the smell to a minimum. Quite by accident, I also found that it could warm up my hands during the coldest winter night. Donning a pair of rubber gloves, I would run some water over them then stick my hands into the sack of lime. The chemical process would create heat and would ease the pain in my aching hands.

Never thought of it that way, but I suppose that "slaked" the pain of the cold, too.

## April 1, 2010

### ToTG Sets Record!

No, not a late April Fool's joke, but this blog actually set a record for visits today. (well, a record for this blog) The increased traffic resulted from the post Google Changes Name and came from the hoax post at the official Google blog.

Here are screenshots from our Flag Counter widget:

Weekly visitors

The dark blue denotes new visitors (1,303) and the light blue is the total counter views. (1,687). I'm sure most of the total above and beyond the first-time views is from me popping back in here so many times watching the numbers climb on the Feedjit widget. I couldn't keep up with the count, but at one time I estimate there were over a hundred hits in less than a minute.

Here is the graph for monthly visitors:

The previous record for visitors was something on the order of 200+ when a post about the marquee tag was linked to from a Mozilla forum with another post about the Cast Away crossroads following close behind. (and that one wasn't about the movie, but was from an alternative energy thread in a forum and meant to illustrate how flat and suitable this area is for wind generators)

What did I learn from this? Well, if I want to increase hits, all I have to do is link to the Google blog. First, though, I'll need to load this blog up with ads.

Nah, THAT would be a joke, thinking I could make money off of this blog.

UPDATE: As I predicted, yesterday had our second largest number of visitors, with 399 first-time visitors and 515 total.

There also was an increase in hits on the "Cast Away" posts; it must have been showing on TV.

### What a Fool Believes - The Doobie Brothers

For April Fools Day

### hugger-mugger

hugger-mugger \HUH-guhr-muh-guhr\ , noun;
1. A disorderly jumble; muddle; confusion.
2. Secrecy; concealment.
1. Confused; muddled; disorderly.
2. Secret.
1. In a muddle or confusion.
2. Secretly.
transitive verb:
1. To keep secret.
intransitive verb:
1. To act in a secretive manner.

### New ToTG Trivia Tournament Begins!

To:

Read more: A different kind of company name

Y'know, if they're going to pull an April Fool's joke, they should use a little more creativity like they have in the past. YouTube's offering is also pretty lame.

Here's some not-so-lame pranks: 10 Greatest April Fools Hoaxes

Plus these: Caricature of the Day or Sunken Yacht Prank and this one: How to Make April Fool's Food

UPDATE:

Now the GMail blog chimes in: Today’s vowel outage

And this one from Big Journalism, totally unbelievable:

Sarah Palin Switches Parties, Becomes Democrat; Media Rejoices