Monday, May 30

Moyers declared "Texan of the Year 2005"*

There are a few Texans for whom I have a lot of respect. Bill Moyers is one of them; he shoots straighter than most anyone I've ever heard, and his May 2005 speech to the National Conference for Media Reform is an absolute must-read (if you didn't TiVo it, as I did). If you look carefully on the site, you'll find a link to the 45-minute downloadable video of the speech, which is better since Moyers' subtleties don't always come through in the printed transcript.

Bill Moyers

One of the nice things about TiVo is the ability to flag stuff for deletion "only when I'm good and ready" and this is indeed a keeper. The now-retired Moyers is not afraid to name names, and offers a refreshing confirmation of what I've grown to understand to be the CFRP's attack on our free press, not to mention their imminent takeover of the Public Broadcasting System.

On this Memorial Day 2005, I find it only fitting to suggest that every American read what Moyers had to say earlier this month. If what he says makes you uncomfortable in your steadfast belief that the CFRP's control of all branches of government (including the Justice branch) is a good thing, then maybe he's succeeded in getting his message across.

This country needs a lot more Bill Moyers. I only hope his message to the 2500 journalists assembled in St. Louis isn't quashed by the Bush Regime's spending cuts. With Karl Rove at the helm (Everybody Knows™ that President Quagmire is merely a puppet), we can only hope He doesn't lead us into further isolationism, the us-versus-them mantra.

* okay, okay .. so Moyers was born in Oklahoma. But he got to Texas as fast as he could.
Everybody Knows is a trademark of Fox "News"; Rush Limbaugh Productions; and the Christian Fascist Republican Party.

Sunday, May 29

back to the kitchen, woman!

Well, the world's a safer place after that upstart wummin (Danica Patrick) didn't win the Indy 500 today. Word is that, once she had the lead, she slowed down to touch up her makeup, which allowed a man to win the race, as Nature Intended.

Now she can go back home and clean the house, pig out on Cheese Whiz™, and get her husband a beer while he watches the World Wrasslin' Federation on the TV. This assumes that she ain't a flamin' lesbian, which is entirely possible, given that smirk on Ann Coulter's face.

Also worth a laugh: Scott Berkun's article "Why smart people defend bad ideas" (which still doesn't explain why a mental giant like President Quagmire got hisself reelectricated).

Saturday, May 28

What do you mean, "the war is over!" ??

It's only fitting that this story [Mountain men in Philippines likely World War II soldiers] appeared just before Memorial Day: 60 years after World War II ended, Japanese soldiers are still surfacing, ready for battle!

I'm expecting a light crowd on Monday night, as the Texas Filmmakers Series continues (last Monday night each month). I'm wondering what kind of organ the hot dog will taste like this month.

Speaking of dogs, I see that next weekend is the SPCA of Texas' PetFlix 2005 .. a $7 contribution is recommended.

Friday, May 27

Hard Of Spelling

Am I a grammar (and spelling) snob? I often judge people by how well they spell, and the quality of their grammar. A recent email (from a low-ranking city official) included these items:
"their will be a meeting ..."
"This is an importing meeting for you ..."
"get them of to a good start"
For those of you who are Hard Of Spelling it should've said:
"there will be a meeting ..."
"This is an important meeting for you ..."
"get them off to a good start"
Being the grammar snob that I am, I immediately discounted the importance of this meeting .. after all, if she couldn't grammar the sentences correctly, what possible good could be included in the meeting's content?

Thursday, May 26

get on your marks, get set, queue summer

Ah, what to do on this first official weekend of summer? I see that the Cavanaugh Flight Museum is holding their annual "Warbirds over Addison!" event, which means there will be lots of strange-sounding aircraft overhead through 5pm Monday. I could also mosey over to ARTFEST 2005 at Addison Circle park, but much depends on the weather, which may actually be nice (82ish highs, 68ish lows, with a 40% chance of rain each day to cool things off). Then again, I could crawl into the bagged ice freezer at Tom Thumb, until someone complains and I'm throwed out of the store.

Unrelated #0: I stumbled across a reference to "Hizb'Allah" (Party of God) and knew it sounded familiar. Turns out it's the same as Hezbollah (the Lebanese terrorist organization). I wonder whether the English spelling of the name was intended to omit the "Allah" part, or if it's an artifact of the way it was translated. Hmmm.

Unrelated #1: So, the US Senate finally approved Justice Priscilla Owen, in a compromise by some "centrist Republicans and Democrats" (who have now been - probably - excommunicated from their respective parties for acquiescing ("givvin up", in TexasSpeak)). One web site describes her as "(a)n Extremist Jurist – Even by Texas Standards” which made me guffaw. Let's see how long before she finds a way to make decisions acceptable to her boss (Karl Rove).

Unrelated #3.14159: Calm down; the Sundry on Thursday blog is updated, for the 51st week in a row.

10:26pm update: I went to see Crash (2004) this afternoon, due to the wonders of the Bargain Matinee (or BarMat, as it says on the ticket stub). There were only 20 or so people in a theatre that holds 500, so good seats were still available. I give the movie an A, although you must be able to track about 7 story lines simultaneously. aside: I would've gone with Judy-Bob, but she's been told (in no uncertain terms) by Joe that she has to wait and see it with him. There's something to be said for longevity, so .. far be it for me to balk.

Wednesday, May 25

Life on the Edge of Texas Culture

It's only a few more days until the National Polka Festival kicks off in nearby Ennis, Texas. I went there with Jill-Bob one year (kicking and screaming, since it required leaving home by 8am or so, to see the 10am parade) but not sure if I can stand that much excitement twice in one lifetime. I haven't nosed around the usual culture websites yet, so may be open to suggestion for this coming 3-day weekend.
Deep Thought #68: When you're unemployed, every weekend is a 3-day weekend.
I didn't do much of anything last Saturday, except forget it was The Day Of Trish-Bob's Boil. Oddly enough, Jill-Bob was there this year (after missing the prior two), so naturally, I got called on the carpet. Oh well.

Feeling culturally bankrupt, the other JB (Judy Bob) and I moseyed over to Fort Worth on Sunday, to watch a documentary about Pablo Neruda ("the world's most translated poet" ?) at the Rose Marine Theatre (not far from the Stockyards, where tourists go to play). The theatre appeared to be preparing for a live play, so we were hustled off to the art gallery next door, where a makeshift screen had risen (think "family movies from the 1960s") and a very bad sound system. You know it's bad when you look forward to the parts of the film where the audio track has to be dubbed, and you get SUBTITLES (in English). There was no popcorn, no sodas, no hotdogs .. but a sliced lemon and a sliced onion (don't ask). Ah, Life on the Edge of Texas Culture.

Last December, I changed insurance (auto/home/umbrella) companies, and when the auto renewal arrived without a premium increase (a few days ago) I couldn't have been giddier. There's good advice for selecting a carrier on the GSA website: 12 Ways to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Costs. That site mentions the CLUE [Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange] report, which explains how companies knew (within seconds) the amount of my settlement for hail damage (along with 500,000 other Metroplexers) in April 2003.

Word is that more axes are gonna fall at my former employer, soon after their fiscal year ends, but I'm not sure whether this is being spread over days, weeks or months; as usual, there's been no public statement. The only site I know for former employees is but there must be others .. right?

Saturday, May 21

The Wrong Amendments

It won't be much longer until we find if the WeatherPeople were (w)right .. it's possible that we'll tie a heat record for This Date In History (96F).
7:30pm update: well, I think we officially tied for the hottest May 21st on record, but that's only because the official temperature is at DFW International Airport, which is odd because I don't know anyone who lives at the airport (queue cymbals). It was a few degrees cooler at DFW than the (much nearer) Addison Airport, which clocked in at 100F Friday.
Speaking of (w)right, I wandered across the websites competing for our Hearts And Minds regarding the Wright Amendment, which reigns in Southwest Airlines at Dallas Love Field. The competing sites are Keep DFW strong (pro) and Set Love Free (con).

Speaking of corrupt (?) I wandered across Clean Up Texas which is an exercise in futility. Cleaning up Texas Politics is neither possible nor feasible (how else do you explain Karl Rove, Governor PrettyHair, and President Quagmire?).

The Texas Legislature's winding down its session (end of May) and it'll be awhile before we know what damage these uneducated sociopaths have wreaked upon us. A common tactic is to take your special-interest bill and attach it to a piece of (ha!) related legislation. The fact that it adversely affects the other 99% of Texas doesn't mean an armadillo's eyebrow to these (un)professional lawmakers. The legislators are then forced to vote for the initial law, lest their rider be killed by association.

No surprise: it appears that the so-called "sunshine law" which would make their votes part of the Public Record, is likely to die in committee. And the cycle repeats.

Friday, May 20

America's biggest disgrace*

I TiVo'd the mini-series "500 Nations" which is playing on the Discovery Times channel. Kevin Costner opens each episode, and said something about six episodes, but I've only seen four of them. The series is about the large number of Native American tribes, and their individual stories. Also, I stumbled across a website called 500 that provides background into how the series was filmed.

For many years, I've been fascinating by Native American culture. Even given a lifetime to study it, there's so much that it would be nearly impossible to understand it all. About 12 years ago, PJ and I spent two weeks in northern Arizona and southern Utah, now part of the Navaho Nation. The remarkably stunning landscapes are visible every time I fly from DFW to northern California.

The sad truth is that their way of life was systematically eradicated by our greedy, land-stealing ancestors. Now, the remaining tribes are "governed" by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. I'm draw huge parallels between what was done to these Natives, and what the Radical Right (the so-called Fristians .. disciples followers of Republican Tennessee Senator Bill Frist) are trying to ram down our collective throats today. The Natives naively negotiated treaty after treaty to give away their lands and culture; our white ancestors laughingly broke every treaty, every time.

We should remember that lesson, as the Radical Right continues their attempt to dismantle our country, and re-form it In Their Image. Give an inch, lose a foot.

* before George W. Bush

Thursday, May 19

the waiting game

People who've been around me for awhile know that, although I'm a hypochondriac, I seldom go to the doctor unless body parts start falling off. This tactic has positive and negative ramifications.

The good side is that most things tend to heal themselves. If I get a cold, it lasts 3 days if I see the vet [sic] or 3 days if I don't.

Toward the end of April, I got a stiff neck: small deal. A day or two later, and it was gone. Well, actually .. migrated. It became a sore shoulder. Now, it's 3 weeks later and the soreness is still there. Depending on how I sleep on it at night, it keeps me up, to the point that my insomnia (which has disappeared for several months) has returned. Last night, I stayed up until about 4:30am, then slept until 9am or so (which used to mark the "day is now half over").

Eventually, I'll either become accustomed to it, or it'll go away. Either way, I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, May 17

over the hump again

One week ago, I donated blood; I've gotten into the habit of stopping by to drop off a unit every 8 weeks. About 3 days later, you can call in (or check the Carter Bloodcare website) to find your latest cholesterol numbers.

Last time (March) my serum cholesterol was 197, which is good. Now, it's back up to 223 which is not-so-good. Guess it's time to ban red meat from my diet forever, huh? I'd assumed that an occasional straying wouldn't do any harm, but I've now found that's not the case.

Unrelated: my RSS Reader tells me that Jill-Bob has removed her blog. Not abandoned .. removed. As Vinny would've said: oh well!

Sunday, May 15

final performance

I went to Brookhaven College to see The Laramie Project this afternoon. The play is about the horrific events of October 1998 that held many of us (Rush Limbaugh and his ilk excluded) in shock. This was the last day of the play (school officially ended on Thursday) and the acting was refreshingly credible, moving some of the 60-or-so audience members to tears.

JB and I planned to go from there to a group picnic at White Rock Lake, but we missed The Window Of Opportunity (the play lasted 3 hours, including two intermissions) so instead we just went home and fed on salmon & white corn (yum) and watched The Family Guy (the finest cartoon on television).

The only bad part of the day was returning to my car (after salmon shopping) to find that a bird badly in need of an antidiarrheal had been in the tree above my car while we were shopping. At first, it appeared that Ann Coulter had camped out in the tree (yes, the splatter was that big and disgusting). Fortunately, there was a nearby garden hose ...

(slurp) - what was that?

I finished with the police about 1430 yesterday (then converted mentally to civilian time) and moseyed over to Judy-Bob's so we could return downtown for the 2005 State Farm Asian Festival (in the Arts District). We arrived around 1600 and the show was closing at 5pm (or was it 6? - the press release said one thing, while the website said another .. maybe it was Lost In Translation).

Most of the time, when I think "Asian" I'm thinking Chinese, Korean or Japanese, but there were people there from India, Thailand, Indonesia and elsewhere .. so I guess I need to broaden my scope. Last year, I think it was a 2-day event so things seemed busier this year, with not as much time to mosey.

I didn't see anyone walking their dog, but one of the attendees brought his pet iguana, Larry (okay, so I forgot the critter's real name).

The highlight (?) of the culinary experience was a 238 mL (8.05 ounce) can of a Korean drink called Co co Palm from Haitai. It reminded me of a cross between Kern's Nectar (fruit drink) and boba (pearl tea) since it had some "surprises" in the can: miniature versions of those tapioca balls you find in the "fat straw drink" common to nouveau Asian restaurants. Oddly, I haven't seen this in the local Asian groceries, but maybe it's available at the Korean-only groceries. Hmmm.
Deep Thought #67: who thought a 238 milliliter size (equating to 8.05 ounces) of anything was standard? I can understand 225 mL or 250 mL, or even 8 ounces, but 238 mL - huh?
When we were done with the Asians, a quick stop by the Dallas Farmers Market netted some wonderfully fresh strawberries, cantaloupes, oranges and red pears. The farmers are smart, offering freshly-sliced samples of most everything they sell. Lip smackin', indeed.

Saturday, May 14

a visit to the nerve center

You'd think the police would be on time, given their military command structure. But nooo ..

The meeting's published start time was 0800, but they planned to offer muffins and orange juice to allow for a real start time of 0830. So I was a bit surprised that it didn't start until 0850. There were various excuses made, all of which were lame.

I was there to observe a 7-hour training for crimewatch volunteers, but it was really 4 hours (not including the time needed to drive from Far North Dallas to Dallas City Hall at midday Saturday). No, I'm not planning to drive the back alleys of my subdivision at 5 mph, but I did want to know how this stuff works, and a trip to the 911/311/police dispatch center was insightful.

Dallas 911 dispatch center

I was amazed that a city the size of Dallas operates with so few people on the phones; probably no more than 30 people were working this Saturday afternoon. All of them are cross-trained so they can handle 911 (emergency) calls, 311 (routine city service) calls, and .. water department calls. One of the guys said that only about 1% of the routine service calls arrive via the Internet, which really surprised me. I guess I'm in the minority of people who sift through the 311 website, looking at all those wonderful categories of stuff I can complain about!

Wednesday, May 11

another step toward a Police State

It's not surprising that the new National ID Card passed without a huge amount of notice. The so-called Real ID Card is unrelated to RealPlayer®. Technically, Real ID was an amendment to the $82 Billion dollar President Quagmire's Oil War Spending Bill - HR 1268. We can all thank Senator Johnny Isakson for this piece of (Georgia) ham-handed legislation, that'll make Identity Theft even easier than it is now. If you're interested, check out the Real ID FAQ.

This is not related to the new Texas law that'll require four forms of identification to get a driver's license. Everybody Knows™ that terrorists will Cower In Fear if they can't have a driver's license while they're in this country.

I'm guessing it was Too Little, Too Late but a website called came online to try and fight this.
Deep Thought #66: While President Quagmire was riding his Huffy in the Maryland woods (while Washington was being attacked by a student pilot in a Cessna, earlier this week) was Laura calculating Net Present Value equations with Jenna and NotJenna? And when He finished His bike ride, did President Quagmire sit down to read a passage from his favorite book "My Pet Goat"?

Everybody Knows is a trademark of Fox "News"; Rush Limbaugh Productions; and the Christian Fascist Republican Party.

Monday, May 9

does your Buddy have a Buzz on?

.. and here's yet another story about the great fun you can have while driving the freeways of the MetroPlex:
Text streaming service lets users read material as fast as they can (it's all about BuddyBuzz technology).
Eventually, vehicles will be automated to the point that trained drivers will no longer be needed, except as Backup Devices (presumably for off-road travel to such remote destinations as Plano, Texas). Until then, I'd prefer that the BuddyBuzz be able to detect if the user is driving a vehicle and, if so, cease operating immediately.

Saturday, May 7

artful Saturday

Saturday was a good day to take in Richardson's semi-annual Cottonwood Art Festival (due to showers, Sunday might not be as good). In addition to the art, I sampled a gyro from Mario’s Cuisine, as well as some Hillbilly KettleKorn.

The most unusual art was a sculpter who fashioned Humpty Dumpty into a variety of shapes and sizes.

The rest of the day wasn't a total wank, since the Mavericks won game 7 and advance; the Blackwood Charter Amendment went down in flames; and my city council candidate won.

I'm not sure what to make of Mamapalooza Dallas but I'm sure it has something to do with Mother's Day, right?

Friday, May 6

5.5.5:5:55 remembered

Yesterday was different things to different people:
  1. Cinco de Mayo (a Mexican holiday, celebrating a battle victory over the French) -- it's a good thing the Mexicans won, since it would be Really Weird talking to my pool boy in French;
  2. Holocaust Remembrance Day (aka Yom Hashoah);
  3. 5/5/5 (even more special at 5:55am);
  4. the publication of another spell-binding edition of Sundry on Thursday
I heard that a group in Waco predicted the end of the world -- due to the date -- but I guess that didn't happen since I'm still blogging on 5.6.5 -- or is it 6.5.5? -- (today). Maybe that's because Pisces was in Scorpio and the Reign in Spain Fell Mainly On the Plane (don't ask).

In the "drivers need something else to take their mind off driving" column, there's the story about Californicans who are installing DVD players in the front seat. Read The new DUI: driving under influence of watching video to see why putting on makeup, talking on the cellphone, or shaving your dog's butt -- all while travelling the freeway at 82 milesanower is Sooo Last Century.

Wednesday, May 4

hysteria averted

It's easy to depend on Fry's or MicroCenter, but you can't always get what you want (apologies to the Rolling Stones). Hence, I found myself en route Altex Computers & Electronics for a 2-line DSL filter. The vast majority of DSL filters are single-line, which Baffles My Bananas; how much extra would it cost to connect those extra 2 wires - a nanopenny?

I thought I had enough of these, but then decided to equip one RJ11 jack with a CallerID box without an associated phone. Why? I work at that desk sometimes, and would like to know if I need to jump up and run (screaming?) for the nearest phone (whether it be cordless or corded) when Pavlov's Bell goes off.

Speaking of bells, I see that this Saturday is the first one in May, meaning that it's time for the Kentucky Derby. When I lived in Louisville, I never attended The Derby, but was always glued to the telly by post time, as was required by Kentucky State Law. This year, they appear to have a kennel-ful of horses, which means that one of them will probably end up tripping another, and there will be a disaster. When Gene Bob becomes King, the Derby field should be limited to 12 horses.

Now, it's time to get my white (post-Easter) shoes out of the closet, along with my best Sunday hat, and prepare for The Running Of The Roses. Yeee haaa!!

Tuesday, May 3

Road Rage

I wonder how long it would take one of Limbaugh's Mindless Goons to plug my car full of bulletholes, if I adorned it with this?

Monday, May 2

drama queens

Last night, Judy-Bob and I took in a play called "Babes in Outer Space," which was just a wee bit Off Broadway (assuming you consider the southeast corner of Mockingbird @ 75-Central to be Off Broadway). Babes is based on the 1958 movie, Queen of Outer Space. Babes' run ends on May 21st, so I'd suggest trying to score your tickets now. This is easily the finest thespian extravaganza since Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats.

That was the first time I've been to the Pocket Sandwich Theatre, which is within eyeshot of the Angelika. Being a small theatre, you're in close contact with the actors and tossing popcorn -- and advice (at appropriate times) -- is encouraged. Popcorn reloads are available for 50¢ each .. obviously a cash cow for the theatre.

We were there with a group of fellow KXEB listeners (the local Air America station at AM910), and most of them were not the 2-headed, baby-eating, free-spending freaks that Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter warned me about; I am so relieved. I wonder what other fables Rush (and his ilk) have been feeding me?

Sunday, May 1

of Closets, Postmen, Hispanics and Apple Pie

A few days ago, I began the once-a-decade chore of cleaning Fibber McGee's Closet. Well, that's what PJ called it. It's the closet where my electronic toys (circuit boards, cables, boxes) live after landing in Casa du Gene Bob. It was hence with Projectile Giddiness that I wandered across this article: Old Home PCs: Piling Up in the Closet.

Judy-Bob and I watched Il Postino (1994) ("The Postman") a couple nights ago. It's about the Bolivian Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda and the guy who delivered his mail while in Italy. It's not nearly as bad as that sounds. I'd give it an A, except that it's hard to dance to and didn't have a good beat (apologies to Dick Clark).

What does that have to do with the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce? Not a thing.

In theory, Whole Foods carries these: Lärabar Apple Pie Bar. Hmm .. gotta check it out. Whole Foods has the biggest selection of protein bars in the MetroPlex™ so odds are high that I won't be disappointed.

PJ's en route Phoenix tonight, after stopping by for a couple days after a family emergency in Houston. Miles got to visit with Beta the Wonder Dog, who is still sniffing the house for her missing friend.