Friday, May 30, 2008

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back . . .

No, I'm not turning into a Paula Abdul fan.

I had one of those dreams last night. It was vivid and real. She showed up with a box of pictures from one of our trips, and it was so real to me I could feel the texture of the prints on my finger tips, I could smell the scent of her soap in my nostrils. It didn't have any of that surreal feeling that is so common in dreams, it was just the way it would happen in real life, it was awkward at first, then comfortable and yes, wonderful.

I rarely remember my dreams at all.

Very rarely.

Except for those.

I remember thinking (in the dream), I can't do this again, I can't do this again, even as I was clearly basking in the glow of her company.

I woke up and I swear I could smell her soap on the pillow next to me.

The good news is, that even a couple of months ago, that dream would have given me a miserable week.

Today, it gave me a miserable half a day.

I'll take progress however it comes.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rest In Peace Harvey Korman

Harvey Korman 2/15/27 - 5/29/08

Harvey Korman has passed away at the age of 81.

He was best known for his stint on the Carol Burnett show. As I've written before, I loved that show. To me, the absolute best part was seeing him fall apart laughing at Tim Conway's antics. Not only was Harvey a brilliant comedian, he obviously loved his work and loved life.

Of course he will always be remembered for that show, but don't forget Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles. Oh, and lest we forget, he was the voice of the Great Gazoo on the Flinstones.

We'll all miss you Harvey.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dangerous Knitting

How many of you ever click on someone else's blogroll? I do it often. Most of the sites I visit were originally discovered by clicking them in someone else's blogroll. If you like someone's site, chances are you'll like the sites they link to.

I want to draw your attention to a particular site on my blogroll:
In The Loop.
It is a knitting site.


Did he say knitting?

Yes, knitting.

No, I don't knit, but I'd love to learn, it just seems like it would be downright therapeutic.

So, what is Brave Sir Robin doing with a knitting link when he doesn't knit?

Well I'll tell you.

The proprietress of that site is a friend. I have known her and her family for the great majority of my life. When I discovered she was blogging I put up the link.

However, it isn't just a courtesy to link to her. Posts like this one are the reason that link is there.

Go read it, tell me what you think.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Houston Was Grand

The weather was spotty, but we managed.

(As always, pictures are clickable, so please, don't make the pictures sad, they long to be clicked, so click early, click often.)

Dylan and I took off Friday evening and we arrived at Fred and Christine's about 8:30. We had fruit, cheese, excellent salami and beverages.

Saturday morning after sleeping quite late, we went to have an early lunch/late breakfast at Le Madeleine. It was packed. Not feeling up to an hour wait, we opted for Cafe Express. Always a good choice. I had the Signature Triple Deli Salad. Delicious.

We then went to Barnes and Noble where I purchased (for me) Disgrace and Midnight's Children, (For the boys summer reading) A Tale Of Two Cities and A Separate Peace. I also bought Dylan a study guide to go with the Dickens. I then did a bit of shopping at World Market. I picked up some wine and a few items for the kitchen.

Saturday evening was windy, oppressively humid and quite warm stiflingly hot. We hoped to eat a little seafood outside on the water and listen to the band at this place.

The weather had other ideas, so it was seafood inside, sans band.

The Top Water Grill, right before the rain.

Great food, shoddy service.

Our table had fish tacos (perfect), fried shrimp and scallops (light, panko covered, and moist), ribeye steak (slightly over-cooked). Flat draft beer.

Sunday morning brought us a little sunshine, and much less humidity. We went downtown to have brunch at Farrago. There was about a 45 minute wait to be seated, but a place at the bar and bottomless Mimosa's made the wait almost pleasant.

The crowd was for the most part a little younger and hipper than we were, but we weren't there to be seen, we were there for the food!

The food delivered.

With the exception of the potato cakes, which were far too crisp, the food was divine. I started with the petite bowl of Pasole. OK - petite is a relative term. Petite compared to a washtub maybe. I was served a well-sized bowl of the most perfect pasole I have ever eaten. The pork was lean, tender, and juicy. When cooking pork this tender, it often becomes stringy and dry. Not here, the pork was tender enough to just about melt in your mouth, and moist all the way through. It was spicy, but not distractingly so, it tasted of roasted chile, pork, and hominy, with a clean taste of lime and cilantro cutting through ever so slightly. It was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that my otherwise exceptional huevos rancheros on tomato polenta and black beans with roasted corn salsa was a mere afterthought, although a delicious after thought to be sure.

The tenderloin migas was wonderful and well cooked, and the spinach and feta souffle with a rosemary beurre blanc was outstanding. Tender, smooth, and decadently rich. I wish I had taken more pictures, but by this time the bottomless mimosas were taking their toll.


Fred and Christine didn't mind the wait.

Dylan, not enjoying the wait as much as we were.

The bar was full of happy mimosa drinkers.

Perfect Pasole

There was a little sunshine downtown.

This little girl enjoyed the weather.

Can you name this (infamous) building?

This is from the downtown Aquarium. Too bad the food isn't as good as the view.

I love downtown.

We made our trip to Le Madeleine on Monday before hitting the Mall, where I did my part to boost the economy.

I bought some clothes, some photography lights, and a new lens. My next food pictures should be significantly better. We shall see.

Friday, May 23, 2008

That's why

Houston Bound . . . .

Wanna know why?

Now you know.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Exhaustingly busy today. I'm trying to get a little ahead so I can take off this weekend and enjoy the Holiday.

I will definitely have to work tomorrow, depending on where I am after tomorrow, Saturday remains in question.

Either way I expect to take Sunday and Monday off, which in and of itself is a holiday!

I expect we might hit the Bay House again, but I don't know for sure. Clinton is going to Garner State Park with his friends. He will love it! I'll keep you guys posted as to my plans, but what about yours?

Tell how you plan to spend the holiday.

Well? I'm waiting . . . . .

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Most of you know by now that I don't really believe in God. Certainly not as laid out in the Christian bible.

Ergo, I don't believe in Heaven or Hell.

But I really, really really hope I'm wrong about the Hell thing, because Michael Savage deserves to go there.


Total scum.

FLICKR and Yahoo Suck.

May I share a frustration with you?

For a little over a year now, I have been trying to upgrade my FLICKR account to a "pro" account. It is relatively inexpensive, and it allows the user unlimited photo uploads, and various other benefits that the free account doesn't offer.

For some reason, FLICKR doesn't seem to want me.

Let me preface this by saying I am not completely illiterate in computing, networking, and such. I work on a computer daily, I shop, bank, and pay bills online. I can set up a simple network, and I can do some simple programming. The bottom line; I am not an idiot.

OK, so every time I try to upgrade my FLICKR account, I get stuck in an endless loop of Yahoo log in screens asking for my password.

Over and over and over.

I can log into Yahoo just fine for other things.

I can log into my Flickr account just fine. I can up load photos just fine.

It is only when I try to upgrade the account that I get stuck in an endless loop of password hell.

I have changed usernames.

I have changed passwords.

I have cleared cookies.

I have cleared cache.

I have disabled firewalls.

I have sent dozens and dozens of emails.

I have received dozens and dozens of condescending replies assuring me that I need to set my computer to accept cookies and all problems will vanish.

I want to shove cookies up those emailer's asses is what I want to do.

I know how to accept cookies. I have tried this from 6 different computers from 4 different locations. I have tried it in Internet Explorer and in Firefox.

I shop online. I have purchased everything from books, movies, golf clubs computers, cameras, even furniture online. I have never had a problem. It is this one thing.

A Year.

A freaking year. You would think in all that time someone in the Yahoo organization would step up to the plate and resolve this issue.

For the last time morons - IT IS NOT MY COMPUTER!!!!!!!!! There must be a glitch in my account. Again 6 different computers from 4 different locations.

A freaking YEAR!!!!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Yes, I Did Relax!!

Thank You all for the well wishes on my birthday.

Here's the update on the weekend.

Friday, my actual birthday, we were supposed to go to the bay house and spend the weekend. Myself and the kids, David, Lisa, T, and T's daughter Nicole were going enjoy the weekend.

As you know, I worked until 7:00 Friday, so I just came home, took a brief walk and played a game with the boys.

Saturday, I went into the office at 6:00 AM. I worked until 2:00, then the boys and I went out to the bay house.

The weather was perfect!! For this late into the year, it was divine!! Very little wind, (relatively) low humidity, and the bay was as smooth as glass. We spent the night out there and the boys and I got up very early to come home. I fed the boys breakfast and made it into the office early. I have many, many errands to run later this evening, so I will probably leave work about 4:00 or so.

Even though the party was cut short, it was amazingly relaxing. I'm sorry to report I don't have photos of the most amazing part of the evening. Fairly late in the day, I took T out on the boat one more time before sunset. We were joined by three pair of porpoises, and they played with us and swam along side the boat for about an hour. It was so incredibly cool! They would swim along side, then duck under the boat and pop up either behind us or on the other side. If I couldn't find them, one would come back and get us while the others waited. We played this out all the way up and down the bay for about an hour. I know my words are completely inadequate to relate this to you. They were having as much fun with us, as we were with them, I'm sure of it. The weather was perfect, the water was as clear and calm as it will ever get around here, and we had 6 porpoises playing tag with us! I highly recommend that for stress and anxiety relief. Really, you should try it. I'm am scared to bring my camera out in the boat, so sorry, no pictures of that, but I do have a few photos to share.

A note about my pictures, I am still learning how to use my camera. Almost all of the photos I post here are untouched because I don't have time to sit down and work on them. Most of them would be greatly improved by being cropped and tweaked. I hope to start doing more of that this summer. Work will eventually slow down, and summer brings a rest from a lot of the school functions that keep me so busy. I like to look at great pictures taken by bloggers, and this site has been giving me some inspiration. So, with that in mind, here are the pictures:

With college classes out for the summer, I got to see a few people I don't see much of during the school year, and yes, that's Marv in the middle.

Dave and I pretty much ruled at the domino table. There is no truth to the rumor that they let me win because it was my birthday. Don't believe a word of it.

There were Mothers and daughters.

There was kayaking on the still bay waters.

Here I am, explaining the proper technique for staying on the tube at high speeds.

T enjoyed the Porpoises immensely.

As I said, the day was fairly short, but there was a lot of fun, love, and relaxation crammed into a few hours. I was surrounded by people who love me, the weather was perfect, and we got to baby-sit the sweetest baby in the world!! He deserves his own post, so I'll tease you with only one picture. It was a fabulous way to spend my birthday, and even though I'm at work today and have a crazy busy evening ahead of me, I am rested, relaxed and content. I wish all of you could have been there with me. Oh, and the sunset was spectacular!!

Going . . .

Going . . .


Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Redneck Calamari

Good Morning all!

It's Saturday morning and my birthday party has been in full swing since yesterday evening. Unfortunately, I wasn't there. I was at work, where I am again this morning. I hope to make it out there this evening. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I'll share this funny little photo from fellow foodie Bee. She sent me this with permission to share, so I am glad to do so.

I present:

Redneck Calamari

Friday, May 16, 2008

Because I Can Do Anything I Want Today

I'm going to say this is officially the best cover ever.

I will brook no argument.

Put on the headphones and spend the next seven minutes with me and Diana.

If this doesn’t give you chills, well . . . you probably don’t read this blog.

Have a beautiful day.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

This Is So Cool!!

One of my photos is being used by a website dedicated to diving.

The site Divehea

This Is So Cool!!

One of my photos is being used by a website dedicated to diving.

The site Diveheads is using a picture I took in Cozumel.

How cool is that?

This Man is My Hero

Is there any journalist in America who is more honest and brave than Keith Olbermann? Last night's special commentary is an absolute beauty. You'll want to watch it two or three times, I promise.

Like I said, this man is my Hero. Where are all of the other journalist? Why does this man have to speak alone? Every single thing he says is the truth. Wake up America.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Had a Nice Weekend . . .

And since it looks like I may not get another one anytime soon. . . .

Here are some photos, and as always, they may be clicked to embiggen . . . . . . .

My friends Fred and Christine came to visit. I go see them quite a bit. Whenever I say I spent the weekend in Houston, I was most likely at their house. They don't often come down here. They have quite a few relatives in the area. It's difficult for them to come down here and spend time at my house without upsetting a relative or two. Those of you who are married can probably appreciate what I'm talking about. So, we slipped away to D&L's Bay House, AKA Rancho Gordo. It's only about 20 minutes away, but it feels like it's hours away. . . . . . .

Fred and Christine are like most of us, they work, work, work and often spend the weekend catching up on housework. They enjoyed the opportunity to relax.

Mostly we sat on the porch and listened to music. This is the view from the porch.

We grilled some chicken and veggies, but since it was a bit of a vacation, there's always a little room on the grill for some pork sausages, right?

I didn't take all of the pictures, Dylan took this one. You can see me there in the Shiner shirt, showing my best side.

It was a little cloudy for the most part, but it cleared up just in time for sunset.

We picked dewberries. Dewberries are tasty, but you must be careful and patient to pick them, they are always deep in the thicket.

Of course, this is what your hands will look like when you're done.

Like I said, it was a nice weekend.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Do You Need A Smile Today?

I do.

As today is Sir Arthur Sullivan's birthday, what better way to add a little cheer than to hum this little ditty all day.

btw - If you've never seen this 1983 version of The Pirates of Penzance you don't know what you're missing. Alas, it has not, apparently ever been released on DVD.

That's a shame.

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's Carnival Time!!

Welcome to the 64th, Carnival Of The Liberals!!!

First let me apologize for the delay in posting. I didn't get many submissions. I've decided to abandon a "theme" and just post the submissions with a few comments of my own. Thanks to all who participated and a huge thank you to Blue Gal for helping to spread the word that I needed submissions.

Why are you a liberal? What does it mean to be a liberal? As for me, I believe that all people no matter the circumstances of their birth should have the same access to the necessities of life; food, clean water, quality education, and yes, health care. I think it is the job of the Government to protect the small and the weak from the excesses of the rich and the powerful. I also think it is the job of the Government to act for the good of the nation to protect a minority from the tyranny of the majority.

So, off my soapbox and on to the submissions.

Times are tough right now. Unless you're one of the richest of the rich, the combination of rising food and fuel prices are taking a serious bite out of family finances. In her usual cut to the chase manner, Melissa over at Shakesville recounts families selling their possessions just to stay afloat, I think you'll love her conclusion.

On a somewhat happier note, Thinkbridge lays out some of the troubles facing the GOP this November, and why they are a Party in turmoil.

Speaking of happy, Causality lays out why conservatives are happier than liberals.

Do you have about 20 minutes to spare? It may take longer, if you follow all the links, but it will be time well, well spent. My good friend Batocchio, at Vagabond Scholar shows why he remains one of my favorite Bloggers. He lays out an impassioned primer on what it means to be a liberal. In his usual fashion it is long, detailed, full of out links, and just damned brilliant. Check out one of the juicy quotes. (Bonus if you know the source):

Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act.

What did conservatives do? They opposed every single one of those things. Every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet – "liberal" – as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won't work Senator. Because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.
Yeah, good stuff there. Go read it.

Dennis at the Cock and Bull points out the idiocy of bringing America to Baghdad.

Doctor Biobrain discovers that Condi has a Hunch.

A note about this next one. A vowed I wouldn't post anything about the primary, but the point of this post really is more about elections and American attitudes about them in general. Warning, there is a potentially offensive graphic on the sidebar of this site. In any event, the post raises a very valid question, so here is Mississippi Atheists: The Politics Of Elitism.

Mad Kane offers us An Ode To Pious McCain.

Globally Rational lays out why immigration is the key to economic success.

And finally Five Cent Nickel has an interesting way of looking at the Energy usage problem we are all facing. Have you ever heard of a CMO? Neither had I, but it is pretty interesting. Check it out.

Happy reading guys!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

C. O.T.L. Update


Tonight is supposed to be the deadline for submitting posts for the Carnival Of The Liberals #64.

I may have to extend it.

I have received a few submissions. Let me be polite and say They Suck They are lacking in the proper clarity and message I feel is needed to convey the desired effect.

Submissions may be made here.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Yet Another Meme

OK, Linda tagged me with this one.

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

I've done it before, but that's OK because I like this one.

Although I am currently just starting Blind Assassin by Margret Atwood, the book that is sitting beside my computer here at home is The Poet's Handbook by Judson Jerome. If you don't own this book, you really, really should. Anyone who wants to write, or just enjoy reading poetry should always have this book within reach of your fingertips.

Then, with that poem or another, count the total number of lines and find by what factors they are divisible. For instance, a thirty-six line poem might have six units of six lines, three units of twelve lines, twelve units of three lines, eighteen units of two lines, two units of 18 lines. Try each.

As always those who wish to may play along.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I'm Catching Back Up. . . .

OK, I'm at least two or three meme's behind, so here is Christina's. She tagged me at least a week or so ago.

The meme:

Link to the person who tagged you
Post the rules on your blog
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six random people by linking to their blogs.
Let each of the six know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment (on their blogs).
Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Hell, are there any random things you don't know about me after all this time?

1. I have allergies. In the fall, I am miserable for about 6 weeks. Throughout the rest of the year, if I spend the weekend gardening or otherwise frolicking with grasses and vegetation I will pay for it with itching and swelling and miserableness.

2. I like scotch. My go-to, everyday scotch is Pinch, (throughout the rest of the world it's known as Dimple). If I go to a bar that has a long list of single malts, I'm like a kid in a candy store. That being said, I don't drink it all that often, a bottle lasts me a long time.

3. My mother was not a great cook. She wasn't horrible, but she wasn't very imaginative. One of the things she did do very well was biscuits. I have her recipe, but mine never come out like hers. Not even close. Which makes me wonder if I really have the recipe.

4. I am the black sheep of my family. In fact, I grew up feeling like I was raised by wolves. I have an older sister and a younger brother. I love them, they love me, but we don't see each other or even speak very often. My sister and her husband, who live about 6 hours away, were in town about three weeks ago, but they didn't come by to see me. I don't know which is worse, the fact that she was staying literally down the street for 3 days and didn't come see me, or the fact that it didn't bother me.

5. My cooktop is a 5 burner gas range. When the kids grow up and move on, I plan on moving back to the city, (ANY city), but I never, ever, ever want to go back to an electric cooktop. This worries me, because I'd really like to live in a loft, but I don't think you can have gas in those places. Yes, I really do worry about shit like that.

6. When I was a child, I was scared of dogs. Even though we had them, and I was OK with ours, I was afraid of other people's dogs and I didn't really get over it until I was out of high school.

If you read this and haven't done this one you are tagged!! let me know in comments so I can go read it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

So It's Been a while . . . .

I know, I know . . . . .

If I'm not mistaken, this is the longest I've gone without a post all year. The weather's been fantastic, the kids are great, work's OK, and I'm going to be fine.

No, I haven't gone back to you know who. I'm just feeling very, very ordinary, and not like I have anything to say you'd be interested in.

So - to remedy that, I'm going to take the advice of a wise blogger and just sit down and write. When I first started this blog, I was worried that I wouldn't have anything to say that anyone would care about. Whether or not that's true, I haven't seemed to have much trouble filling these pages.

I thought maybe a few photos might be in order. (As always, you may click to enlarge)

This evening, after work, I harvested the first two tomatoes out of my garden. Two tiny little yellow pear tomatoes. By the time you read this, they will have been eaten.

This past weekend, I worked late Friday, and I worked until 5:00 Saturday, then, I picked up the kiddos, and we went to the bay house. We took the boys tubing, we ate fresh dewberries, and played 42. We didn't come home until Sunday evening. Here is a shot of the dewberries.

Dylan had a good time tubing, you can see he got some sun.

This one of me was taken on Flo's last night in town, we had a little going away dinner. This was April 4th, and yes I look OLD!!!

Speaking of Flo, remember when I went to Austin a few weeks ago? (All of the rest of these were taken March 29th. ) Here are some shots of Flo on 6th street.

Flo meets Leslie, an Austin tradition, Lisa looks on.

Flo loves the ladies, and the ladies love Flo, I think it's the accent.

Dylan enjoyed the actress at Esther's Follies.

The gang, stopped in Luling for a bathroom break.

Before we left I took this shot in David and Lisa's backyard. This is called an Orchid tree.

A close up. (Yes, this was a month ago, these blooms are all gone)