Welcome to ToTG!

December 31, 2012

My Last Post

For this year, anyway.

Census Dotmap

From the site: Census Dotmap is a map of every person counted by the 2010 US Census. The map has 308,450,225 dots - one for each person. On the whole, Census Dotmap is an image of human settlement patterns unmediated by proxies like city boundaries, arterial roads, state lines, etc.

Be patient; depending upon your connection, it will take a little while to load over three million dots!  Use the map feature to zoom down to the area you wish to view in more detail.

As you can see, the Texas Panhandle is sparsely populated, especially compared to the Eastern Seaboard and Southern California.

I like it that way, even though this geographic area doesn't have much clout in Congress or the Texas Legislature.

Census Dotmap

December 30, 2012

Dallas Cowboy Season

One animation is worth a thousand words.

Fat Lady Singing

Countdown to 2013


From the Word of the Day:

fastigiate fas·tig·i·ate [fa-stij-ee-it, -eyt] adjective

1. rising to a pointed top.
2. Zoology . joined together in a tapering adhering group.
3. Botany
  a. erect and parallel, as branches.
  b. having such branches.

I can think of several comments about this word, but seeing as how it's a "G-rated" blog....

December 27, 2012

Where the Hell is Matt?

Cold is Cold

Did you know it's colder at the South Pole than it is at the North Pole?

The South Pole is surrounded by a large land mass covered by a thick ice sheet. The North Pole rests in the middle of the Arctic Ocean which acts as an effective heat reservoir, warming the cold atmosphere in the winter and drawing heat in the summer.

Even though it's warmer, I don't think I'm taking a vacation to the North Pole.

Nothing New For Old Year

You Had a Bad Year
Your year was horrible. There's no other way to say it.

A lot went wrong for you, and you're still recovering from it.

The good news is that things probably won't get worse for you.

So look forward to the new year, where things will hopeful be much better! 

On the bright side, there's still a few days left in which to turn it around!

Highway to Hell - AC/DC

This never was one of my favorite AC/DC tunes;  it's arguably one of the ones they're most famous for, but I much prefer others.  I can't hear it now without thinking of the following chilling story.

Back when I was roughnecking, I went to work for a younger guy named Ricky;  I had worked with him before, the son-in-law of the driller.  He was always sleepy and I resented him going to sleep out on the rig and subsequently forcing me to keep an eye on things.  I also was worried about driving home with him, afraid he would fall asleep at the wheel.

I had a horrible dream about being with him in a wreck and decided to quit that job.  At the time, it was easy to find another rig that needed an experienced hand, especially working morning tour (nights/graveyard) during the winter.  I told him that night that I was going to quit and brought all my clothes home with me that next morning.

Needless to say, he was upset;  I'm sure most of his anger was because he'd have to find someone to fill my spot and that his spoiled rotten wife would be P.O.'d that he'd have to spend most of the day looking for another hand instead of driving her around so she could foolishly spend his paycheck.

(I felt sorry for him;  she not only spent his money on stupid crap, but couldn't be bothered to pack him a decent lunch.  Many times I had seen him open up his lunch box to find a couple of bologna sandwiches...just meat and bread, no lettuce, tomato and not even any mayo.  If he was lucky, he'd have a bag of chips and a few candy bars - if she hadn't eaten them already)

We were sitting in front of his house where I had parked my pickup the night before;  he was trying his best to talk me out of quitting, but I wouldn't change my mind.  As I had mentioned, it was a cold winter morning and when I thought my idling truck had warmed up enough, I told him I'd best go on home.  He didn't answer;  he had fallen asleep.  I opened the door and got into my vehicle.  He didn't wake up.

I decided I would go eat breakfast at the local cafe and did so.  As I was driving out of town to go home, I passed by his house and saw him with his head on the steering wheel, still asleep.  It was a nearly new car and outside, so I didn't worry about him being gassed by the car fumes.  Like I said, he was a sleepy head.

It wasn't but a few weeks later he fell asleep on the way home, driving his brand new truck, and side-swiped a cattle truck.  The rest of the crew was asleep too and thankfully none of them were seriously injured.  I spoke to the county judge/coroner after that and he said there wasn't enough left of Ricky to pick up in a body bag.

I don't expect his spoiled wife was all that fussed about his death; she really was a dreadful person and was having affairs with several men in town.  I'm sure she was looking forward to the death insurance check.  The pickup sat in her front yard for months, towed there after the wreck.  Someone finally offered to buy it for scrap and she accepted the offer but first wanted to get a brand new stereo out of the vehicle.

A friend of mine was called and asked if he would pull the stereo unit out of the car.  He accepted (I think he was one of the men that was sleeping with her on the side)  the driver's side dashboard was caved in, so he was having to take it out from the front. As he was wiggling the unit out of the dash to better get to the wires to disconnect them, the stereo came on.

This was the song that was playing when Ricky died.

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

To all my friends, family and loyal readers, I hope you have a:

Christmas Card

Here's my Christmas card to everyone, e-style.

It's the best I could do.Photobucket

Christmas "Quotes"

"Do give books - religious or otherwise - for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal." - Lenore Hershey

"Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit." - Kin Hubbard

"A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together." - Garrison Keillor

"Christmas begins about the first of December with an office party and ends when you finally realize what you spent, around April fifteenth of the next year." - P. J. O'Rourke
Strange Quotes About Santa:Photobucket

Let me see if I've got this Santa business straight. You say he wears a beard, has no discernible source of income and flies to cities all over the world under cover of darkness? You sure this guy isn't laundering illegal drug money? - Tom Armstrong

I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph. - Shirley Temple Black

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year. - Victor Borge Photobucket

I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white man would be coming into my neighborhood after dark. - Dick Gregory

Santa Claus wears a Red Suit, He must be a communist. And a beard and long hair, Must be a pacifist. What's in that pipe that he's smoking?  - Arlo Guthrie
I played Santa Claus many times, and if you don't believe it, check out the divorce settlements awarded my wives. - Groucho Marx "The Groucho Phile"
Strange Christmas Facts  Photobucket

Saint Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus, was the patron saint of children, thieves and pawnbrokers.

Based on surveys, 17 percent of people will embarrass themselves in some way at the office Christmas party.

A Mongolian wild ass can run 8 mph faster than a reindeer.
Photobucket  It's Donder, not Donner.

Christmas pudding should be stirred from east to west.

56 percent of Americans sing holiday carols to their pets.

53 percent of Americans plan to "re-gift" this year.

1 in 3 men will wait until Christmas Eve to finish their shopping.

1 in 6 men would like to get rid of all the "gift-giving nonsense."Photobucket

A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

On Christmas Eve in 2001, the Bethlehem Hotel had 208 of its 210 rooms free.

It's "God rest ye merry, gentlemen," not "God rest ye, merry gentlemen."

There are 1.76 billion candy canes produced every year.

Kris Kringel, a man in his 40s, lives in North Pole, Alaska, and delivers pizzas for a living. He drives a 1984 Ford Tempo.

Based on a 1999 estimated population count of North America and Europe, on Christmas Eve of that year Santa Claus had to visit 42,466,666 homes in a 12-hour period -- that's 983 homes per second.

Merry Christmas & Love to All !

'n the BeejPhotobucket

December 23, 2012

YouTube Scam

I've been getting dozens of these messages in my email account over the last few days. They have obfuscated links that don't go to YouTube but to some .ru domain.

If the Russkies had put the same effort into Communism as they do into these scams, they wouldn't have lost the Cold War.

I should have saved all the email addresses of the scam mails, but I just deleted them from the junk mail folder.  Here's this one though, in hopes their fellow scammer/ spammer spiders pick it up and spam THEIR email address.



From Dictionary.com Word of the Day

douce  [doos] adjective, Scot. and North England
sedate; modest; quiet.

Oddly enough, someone who is brash, loud and a braggart is a douche.

December 22, 2012


decathect de·ca·thect [dee-kuh-thekt]
verb (used with object) to withdraw one's feelings of attachment from (a person, idea, or object), as in anticipation of a future loss: He decathected from her in order to cope with her impending death.

Yet another word of which I wasn't familiar...but yet another definition I know all-too-well. It's what I've been doing over the last few years with most of my relationships.

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfly

R.I.P. Lee Dorman

December 21, 2012


I was getting the code for the R.E.M. video ( post below this one) at YouTube and started listening to a few more of their tunes that had been uploaded. I generally don't read the posts under the videos because outside of Facebook, they contain some of the most stupid comments I've ever read on the 'net. I did happen to catch a glimpse of this one, however, and it made me literally laugh out loud.

Now, I realize the poster isn't a native-born English speaker, but it's still funny.

I've heard them referred to as "goose bumps", "goose pimples" or even "goose flesh" but never "goosehumps".

I immediately thought of this.

It's The End Of The World - R.E.M.

(As We Know It)

December 20, 2012

Bah, Humbug!

Your Christmas Spirit Level: 10%
Your Christmas spirit is there, but it's very faint.

If you celebrate Christmas at all, it's only when you truly want to.

It's okay if you're not really into the whole Christmas thing. Don't worry about not having enough spirit.

Pushing yourself to do more will only turn you into a Grinch!

Not A High Score

How much do you know about marijuana?

From the site: In November 2012, Massachusetts became the 18th state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Voters in Washington and Colorado passed initiatives that would make their states the first in the country to allow recreational use of the drug. But under federal law, the sale of cannabis remains illegal. And the US Food and Drug Administration states that marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States." How much do you know about marijuana? Take our quiz and find out.

As you can see, I didn't score very well. Maybe if I'd been stoned....

How much do you know about marijuana?

Obama says going after marijuana 'not a top priority'

December 19, 2012

Scary Snowman

WARNING: A "few" curse words. Can't say as I blame 'em.

Cool Christmas Countdown


From the Dictionary.com Word of the Day

whinge [hwinj, winj] verb (used without object), whinged, whing·ing.
British and Australian Informal.
to complain; whine.

This is a word I picked up from my British friends in MSN Groups. I had never heard it until seeing them use it, but in the context, it was easy to understand the meaning.   It's a great word and I use it now instead of the ubiquitous "You want some cheese to go with that whine?"

The Brits have some great slang words;  oh, I doubt I'll ever start calling the trunk of a car "the boot" or refer to my galoshes as "rubbers" and I much prefer "ass" to "arse", but they do have some good insults - one of my favorites is "wanker". 

"Quit yer whinging, ya wanker."

World's Scariest Job

So says the video and you won't get an argument out of me.

December 17, 2012

Ten Things A Store Santa Doesn't Want To Hear

10. "Remember me? I'm the kid with the weak bladder"

9. "You smell like supermarket gin"

8. "The real miracle on 34th Street would be if they accepted my mom's MasterCard"

7. "I want a 2004 Pontiac Aztec"

6. "Oh, by the way, if I don't get an X-Box, I'm gonna hunt you down, old man"

5. "I'm Jewish"

4. "I love you Kenny Rogers"

3. "Frankly I'm just here to humor my parents"

2. "While I'm talking to you, my mom is shoplifting blouses"

1. "Mom says you're my real daddy"

December 16, 2012

Dirty Laundry - Don Henley

This song describes the media thirsting after the blood that was shed.

 "If it bleeds, it leads."

December 15, 2012

Catfish Grabs Pigeon

True or False? Quiz

From Merriam-Webster, take the True or False? quiz.

After getting your results, see how your score rates in your age group. Try as often as you'd like; there are many different versions.

Other tests on the site are Spell It, Vocabulary Quiz and Name That Thing.

True or False? quiz

Digit Analysis

You Are the Thumb
You're unique and flexible. And you defy any category.

Mentally strong and agile, you do things your own way. And you do them well.

You are a natural leader... but also truly a loner. You inspire many but connect with few.

You get along well with: The Middle Finger

Stay away from: The Pinky 

I get along well with The Middle Finger.

Why am I not surprised?

December 14, 2012

Alert Button

If Your Life Were a Christmas Movie

From AMC, the If Your Life Were a Christmas Movie, It Would Be... quiz. From the site:

How many times have you heard someone say, "My life is just like a movie." Too often to count probably. Yet what if your life really was a movie? In particular, a holiday movie! What would it be like? You can find out with AMCtv.com's personality quiz If Your Life Were a Christmas Movie, It Would Be... Is your glass of eggnog half-full or half-empty? Your answers to seven questions will let you know whether your life looks more like Miracle on 34th Street or White Christmas

My results, not much of a surprise!

If Your Life Were a Christmas Movie, It Would Be...

Do Dolphins Dream?

Did you know dolphins sleep with one eye open?  Dolphins are always partly conscious when they sleep to keep from drowning.  They keep one eye open at all times to watch for predators. 

If they ever do fall sleep with both eyes shut, it's not on porpoise.

Clipart courtesy of Free-Clipart-Pictures.net

December 13, 2012

The Last 40 Miles

From the website: “The Last 40 Miles,” based on a true story, follows an inmate on his final journey from Texas’s death row in Livingston, to the execution chamber in Huntsville. During the ride, his memories, the scenery flashing by and the unexpected compassion of the guard escorting him keep him company.

Trailer; movie due to be released in 2013

The Last 40 Miles - trailer from Onalaska Films on Vimeo.

The Last 40 Miles on Facebook

The video in this post has some "real" (not animated) scenes of the drive from Livingston to Huntsville.

December 11, 2012

Mustang Sally - The Commitments

Original post: 9/6/07. I had noticed this video on YouTube and wondered when I had posted it in this blog. I did a search and found the original vid had been taken down. Here's a "bump" to celebrate finding another version!

December 10, 2012

Best Texas State Parks

And the winner is my favorite state park!

The House Oracle

You Are Both an Introvert and an Extrovert
You are a mysterious person. Even your closest friends may feel like they don't know you very well.

You like to weigh all of your options before making a decision. You are apt to look for a compromise.

You are easy going and low maintenance. You tend to let the small stuff slide.

You rely on yourself first and foremost. You know that you won't ever let yourself down.


From the Word of the Day:

mulligrubs mul·li·grubs [muhl-i-gruhbz] noun,
(used with a singular or plural verb )

Southern U.S. ill temper; colic; grumpiness.

I'm from the "Southern U.S." and have never heard of this word. I know it though, because I am it.

December 9, 2012

Great American Novels

How well do you know your "Great American Novels"?

Take the quiz at The Guardian website.

Here's my score:

I did well on the test, especially considering I had read only three of the books. Thank goodness for multiple choice!

(For the books I've read, highlight below the following link;  I don't want to give out spoilers)

Great American Novels – Quiz

-->The Great Gatsby, The Old Man and the Sea and The Grapes of Wrath.

December 8, 2012

Funniest TV Characters of All Time

I like Ranker and enjoy the lists and sometimes spend far too much time ranking, but it's easy to see the demographics of most of the people ranking, especially on this one.

The Funniest TV Characters of All Time

Frog Parking Only

All others will be toad.

December 7, 2012


From the Word of the Day:

howdah how·dah [hou-duh] noun

(in the East Indies) a seat or platform for one or more persons, commonly with a railing and a canopy, placed on the back of an elephant.

If a Texan greeted you while riding an elephant, it would be a howdy from the howdah.

Industrial Country Market

From Texas Country Reporter

Now THIS is how we need to promote alternative/renewable/green energy production, not giving massive subsidies to huge solar companies who take the money and run. (declare bankruptcy) I'm still not a fan of direct subsidies/payments for solar/wind generation, but don't strenuously object to tax credits. (I'd rather see it coming from a state than the federal govt. though.)

December 6, 2012

Reflection of a Fool

You Are a Mirror
You are a very private person. You need your alone time to introspect and recharge.

You don't mind being around others, but you prefer to spend the bulk of your time by yourself.

You are a slow and critical thinker. You need to mull things over for a long time.

You hold yourself accountable for your actions. You are constantly evaluating your life and trying to improve. 

Take Five - Dave Brubeck Quartet


R.I.P. Dave Brubeck

Edit to add: This one sure was taken down quickly; had to find another version - hope it stays up longer than a day.

Edit, hope for the last time. That last vid was taken down, too. Good grief.

December 5, 2012

Stately Sandwiches


From the website: Kelly Pratt - I’ve set out to make the sandwich for each of the 50 states as a fun way to work on my photography, design, and writing skills. It will be quite a delicious journey across the US. Before I make each sandwich I do research on the Internet, call local sandwich shops, and check out a few books to be sure I do my best to properly represent a state.

The choice for the Texas sandwich is brisket, and I wouldn't argue against that. Their reasoning?

When a sandwich starts with bloody marys and ends with tequila, it’s pretty impossible not to love.

Couldn't argue against that, either.

Stately Sandwiches

Chick Bank Robber

There's stupid and there's STUPID.

Robbery suspect brags on YouTube

And this was posted under the vid:

I just stole a car and robbed a bank. Now I'm rich, I can pay off my college financial aid and tomorrow i'm going for a shopping spree. Bite me. I love GREENDAY!

I hope she gets a light sentence for stealing a car and robbing the bank, but I'd give her life for adding the Green Day tune to her video.

December 4, 2012

Don't Gross Out the World

Think you know your world dining etiquette? See how you fare with foreign fare eating customs.

Don't Gross Out the World

I did ok, I guess:

December 3, 2012

Hold On Tight - ELO

Top 100 Classic Rock Songs

Top 100 Classic Rock Songs of All Time

Other than the order, it would be hard for me to argue against the songs on this list; they're all in my mp3 jukebox.  Oh, I suppose if I wanted to nitpick, I wouldn't have included Hotel California or Imagine, but I don't object enough to their being on the list to fuss about it.  It's a little too heavy on Led Zepplin for my taste, but I understand why the songs are included.

What do you think? Did they miss any? Are there any songs on the list you wouldn't have included?

If I Can't Hold

A good lookin' woman, then this is my next choice.

"I'd like to hold YOU, dear."

You Hold Peace Dear
You let your imagination be your guide. You believe that almost all your dreams are possible.

When things get tough, you can get philosophical. You find an inner calm in your heart.

You are a very balanced creature. You avoid too much of a good thing.

You are good at expressing universal truths. You are both wise and philosophical. 

Cast Away Quiz

IMdB has a Cast Away Quiz with various levels of difficulty.

You don't even have to scratch your answers on a rock.

Fragile Childhood - Monsters

I don't have objections to people using alcohol in a responsible manner, but it's always sad to see people drink too much on the holidays.

December 2, 2012

Marx Man Missed Mark

Did you know the FBI once listed Groucho Marx as a potential threat to the life of Richard Nixon?

Marx was listed as a threat when he joked in 1971 "I think the only hope for this country is Nixon's assassination."
Not many found it funny, least of all Nixon and the FBI.

Images courtesy of


empurple em·pur·ple [em-pur-puh l] verb (used with object), verb (used without object), em·pur·pled, em·pur·pling.
1. to color or become purple or purplish.
2. to darken or redden; flush.

This is a strange word. I wonder why there's no "emred", "emblue" or "emgreen"?(not pertaining to color, but there IS an "emred" type of hunting dog)

December 1, 2012

Dreams - The Cranberries

Figure Five Freudian Factors

You are Neurotic and Open


You have low extroversion. 

You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.

A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.

You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.


You have low conscientiousness.

Impulsive and off the wall, you don't take life too seriously.

Unfortunately, you sometimes end up regretting your snap decisions.

Overall, you tend to lack focus, and it's difficult for you to get important things done.


You have low agreeableness.

Your self interest comes first, and others come later, if at all.

In general, you feel that people are not to be trusted.

And you're skeptical that anyone else really feels differently.


You have medium neuroticism.

You're generally cool and collected, but sometimes you do panic.

Little worries or problems can consume you, draining your energy.

Your life is pretty smooth, but there's a few emotional bumps you'd like to get rid of.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.

In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.

You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.

A great admirer of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

December Trivia Tournament

New monthly trivia tournament begins!

The previous monthly tournament for ToTG Trivia Tournament has ended and a new one starts today!

Play now!