Friday, August 31, 2007

Friiiiiiiiday Pusssssssie Blog

It's so nice to have friends like Rebecca who keep you in a steady supply of photos of the kids. They do come in handy when I'm just way too tired to get the camera out and deal with resizing, uploading, etc.

We have a canine this week. Gidget and Gabby:

Gidget and Gus:

Oh my, aren't they all soooooo sweet?

Thursday, August 30, 2007


i'm gettin' there.

it's a long slow slog.

Pull Up Your Pants Or Pay

Here we go again with more stupid and pointless laws. The Fashion Police now have their stingers out for saggers.

Starting in Louisiana, an intensifying push by lawmakers has determined pants worn low enough to expose underwear poses a threat to the public, and they have enacted indecency ordinances to stop it.

Since June 11, sagging pants have been against the law in Delcambre, La., a town of 2,231 that is 80 miles southwest of Baton Rouge. The style carries a fine of as much as $500 or up to a six-month sentence. “We used to wear long hair, but I don’t think our trends were ever as bad as sagging,” said Mayor Carol Broussard.

An ordinance in Mansfield, a town of 5,496 near Shreveport, subjects offenders to a fine (as much as $150 plus court costs) or jail time (up to 15 days). Police Chief Don English said the law, which takes effect Sept. 15, will set a good civic image.

Yeah, I'm sure these kids can part with that kind of money.

In the West Ward of Trenton, Councilwoman Annette Lartigue is drafting an ordinance to fine or enforce community service in response to what she sees as the problem of exposing private parts in public.

“It’s a fad like hot pants; however, I think it crosses the line when a person shows their backside,” Ms. Lartigue said. “You can’t legislate how people dress, but you can legislate when people begin to become indecent by exposing their body parts.”

What body parts? It's UNDERWEAR, and maybe you can detect an ass crack if the boxers are pulled up in there tight, but I gotta confess, I've seen more body parts and ass cracks from auto mechanics bending down to look under my car.

Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

Does it look stupid? I don't know. Yeah, maybe. But since when is looking stupid or dressing stupid a crime? And why is the above considered obscene while the image below is considered attractive and fashionable?

It beats the shit out of me. Unless it's more about skin color and gender.

Not since the zoot suit has a style been greeted with such strong disapproval. The exaggerated boxy long coat and tight-cuffed pants, started in the 1930s, was the emblematic style of a subculture of young urban minorities. It was viewed as unpatriotic and flouted a fabric conservation order during World War II. The clothing was at the center of what were called Zoot Suit Riots in Los Angeles, racially motivated beatings of Hispanic youths by sailors. The youths were stripped of their garments, which were burned in the street.

Following a pattern of past fashion bans, the sagging prohibitions are seen by some as racially motivated because the wearers are young, predominantly African-American men.

Never mind that the bulk of these laws are being pushed by black officials. Perhaps it makes them more appealing to white voters.

Sag on, brothers!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Reality Sinks In... Slowly

It's starting to finally hit me that during the course of 2007 I could possibly go from emotional rock-bottom with no income, to having a job I love with the best income I've ever had, back to being jobless again. Oh well.

Life is an adventure. And in the event that my agency does not get chosen by our client during this review process, I'm sure it would not be a problem getting hired by the chosen agency as they would obviously be in a hiring frenzy -- and what better catch than a media buyer who had worked on the very campaign they just snagged.

I hope it doesn't come to that. It might require a move to New York.


No offense to New Yorkers, you've got a lovely city, but I just don't want to live there. I need my space. And open space. And a quiet one-acre lot just 12 miles from where I work. That's for me.

On a note unrelated to this post, we were driving home today from work in the rain, and just about 2 miles before our house I saw a horrific accident on the highway involving a large van. I was so focused on driving in the rain that I didn't see for certain where the van came from. I just remember seeing it spinning out of control from the highway into the ditch against a rocky hillside. It hit the hillside so hard it seemed to bounce end over end before finally coming to rest upside down back on the highway, with the undercarriage steaming.

I slowed to stop as did several other vehicles, and was wondering what to do. Thankfully, there was a cop approaching from behind us. No need to call 911.

No doubt, there were going to be emergency vehicles coming to that grisly scene. At that point I stopped obsessing about my uncertain future for awhile at least.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Party's Over

Tuesday could not be in more stark contrast to Monday.

Those of you who are not in the advertising industry may not be familiar with what it means when your client puts your account "up for review."

Suffice it to say, it's not a pretty picture. Wish us luck. We'll have an answer in about 4 months. And I shall say no more on the matter for now.

Nicole summed it up nicely with this comment on Monday's post:

Aaaaah. Advertising.

Aaaaah, indeed. The epitome of anxiety.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Glorious Monday

Yes indeed, folks. All it takes for me to declare a glorious Monday is free booze at work.

I knew it was going to be a party for the bulk of the day. I had a 9:30 meeting, then a company-wide 10:30-12:00 meeting which included a congratulatory video sent in by none other than President Bill Clinton, and then a company-sponsored buffet lunch (with a separate buffet line for vegetarians -- no waiting!) from 12:00 to 2:00, and THEN a company-sponsored happy hour from 4:30-7:00.

We got lots of unexpected news including a name change, a new sign on the front of the building, a new president, a new logo, new email address, free t-shirts, caps, and booze in the afternoon, with lots of loud music.

Two very strong margaritas and 1 1/2 beers later, I called it a day and came home, with an obligatory stop at the liquor store to keep the buzz alive.

Yes, I do love my job.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

One Key

I'm starting to feel like the James Spader character in sex, lies and videotape who is perfectly content with just having one key. It's a lot less hassle. Just like using ONE credit card is a lot less hassle.

I've spent the better part of this evening reconciling credit card statements and rearranging all the autopays that were dinged to the AMEX cards I just cancelled.

I swear, personal financial management might as well be a full-time job.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Gender Blender

I just had to make a liquor store run for tequila.

The last time I was in there my purveyor of fine tequila and exquisite wines was having an issue with the new lesbian employee. Something about the lesbian getting invited to a wine fest when my purveyor is far more experienced. It was pure jealousy.

I went in there tonight and I only saw the lesbian. I asked "where's Denise?" (Not her real name.)

The lesbian replied, "she's in the back. I'm new."

"I know," I thought.

But you sure are boyish, cute and young. Damn.

Nothing is finer than a hot lesbian working in a liquor store.

When I told this story to txrad, he said something about people not understanding about gender blending.

Hence, the title of this post.

Another Room Painted!

I spent the bulk of this day taking care of the guest bedroom (aka txrad's bedroom since he doesn't care for my Stearns & Foster mattress). He wanted something with some blue tones in it and the color, while not my favorite in the house (even though I picked it!), certainly blends well with the rest of our color scheme.

Here's two BEFORE shots:

In progress:

CONQUEST! Again, my flash tends to drown out some of the color we see which is a bit more blue than green, but it's nice.

I had a slight change of plans at Home Depot today. I went ahead and bought a gallon of the same trim color I'd been using but in a gloss finish. I like it much better and unfortunately this means I'll be going through all the rooms I've painted thus far and redoing the crown molding and baseboards. The good news is that it only needs one coat at this point. It just looks so much better and cleans up far easier! That's important. If I'm going to do a job, I want to do it right.

Does anybody want to come pick up that big ugly old TV? No, it's not high-def. It's barely low-def. I need to get it out of the house pronto.

Friday Pussy Blog (The Day Late Edition)

Tater Tot - the Blogger.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Priority Mail Arrived Today

Or maybe it was yesterday since we didn't collect the mail, but whatever.

From Advanta:

Your account is seriously delinquent. Since you have not returned our many calls (that's an understatement) or made sufficient payment arrangements, your account has been referred to our Litigation Department for immediate review and action.

Ohhhh, scary.

If we do not hear from you within 15 days, we will commence litigation against you personally and your business.

The bold is theirs. And go right ahead. If I could make sufficient payment arrangements, I gladly would do so.

If you want to pursue litigation against me PERSONALLY and my business, go right ahead. I'll stop paying Chase and Bank of America as well, on a personal level, and we'll all go down the shit tubes together.

Ready for a ride?

{fizzle} {sputter}

So much for the Texas Blowout.

txrad was supposed to have a meeting with his boss and her boss today to discuss his "workload." In other words, we were speculating that his boss hasn't been happy with his performance (i.e. he's not doing her work for her) and it was going to be a showdown, or smackdown.

The meeting never took place. The woman, who eagerly criticizes the performance of others, can't seem to keep to any kind of schedule or squeeze in 30 minutes for an important meeting.

Granted, it was a day from hell, unlike any I have experienced in my 7 months there.

I am, in fact, too damn tired to write about it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Full Blown Texas Blowout

is what's needed here.

I mean, come on.

Get with the program.

I can take on additional workloads. And txrad, well, he needs a break.

Thursday is going to be VERY interesting. I THINK I need to stay home and watch from the sidelines.

Watch this blog for future attractions of such magnitude.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Best Comedy Shit Evah

thanks to txrad for remembering the name of this fucking genius from the Dangerfield thingey we're watching:

Bob Nelson.

It takes a lot to make me laugh, but this came in fucking waves.

A Dispute at the Kona Ranch

Me: What did I go in there to blog about?

txrad: what?

Me: What DID i GO in there to blog about?

txrad: what? Can you speak English?

Me: WHAT DID I GO IN THERE TO BLOG ABOUT? I had something, but when I got there I forgot. Your job is supposed to be recording my thoughts.

txrad: you don't have to yell.

Well, I don't have to blog either, but I NEED TO. And I don't want to have to scrape the bottom-most recesses of my brain to remember what I had to say that was of such prime importance.

OH! I remember now. It was in the New York Times today. You guys read that shitrag, right?

All The News That's Good To Hide. I'm searching. They seem to have forgotten they published it in this morning's paper.

[one shot later]

Found it.

Telltale Isotopes in Marijuana Are Nature’s Tracking Devices

OK, tell me our federal government could not be spending its (our) money more wisely.

I mean, honestly, how many troubles do we have on the domestic front roaming untackled while we spend FUCKING BILLIONS in the Middle East.

{kucinich for president in 2008}

Read this fucking shit, now.
The research, the Marijuana Signature Project, relies on stable isotopes, which are forms of an element like nitrogen or oxygen, that have distinct atomic masses. Long employed in ecological research, stable isotopes are increasingly used for forensic purposes, including investigations into blood doping, arson and trafficking in contraband like drugs and endangered species.

I'm so glad to see our ecological green movement has spawned such evil. Maybe we should keep our research more secret. Contraband.

I would laugh if my heart were not so heavy.
The drug control policy office is betting on stable isotopes to identify unique markers in marijuana, distinguishing it not just by geography but also by its cultivation method — for example, indoor versus outdoor.

“It’s an epidemiological and forensic public health investigation,” said David Murray, chief scientist at the agency and director of its Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center.

They're coming. And they're spending too much money which could be better spent elsewhere. And just let us get high if we want to.
In the marijuana project, Dr. West has found that cannabis plants grown in different regions of the country contain distinct signatures based on the isotopic composition of each region’s water.

If we want to.

Freedom of choice. And, I don't always want to. Again, my choice.

Sorta like VOTING.

BBQ Salsa

Wow, it's already Tuesday?? I didn't post at all on Monday even though I was home all day. I was SLAMMED with work and meant to get this post up but just never could get on it.

Over the weekend txrad decided to make BBQ sauce. It turned out to be quite wonderful. In fact, we had burgers & tots on Saturday AND Sunday night with his special sauce on the burgers. And I do believe we're having it tonight as well.

YUM! And it's SPIIIICY too. Get those chips out, ya'll!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Extreme Bedroom Makeover



Well, not quite, but a definite improvement.

Last week, I had goals set as follows:

Wed-Fri: paint trim in hallway and two bedrooms.

Sat: paint master bedroom.

Sun: paint guest bedroom.

I fell a tad behind because trim takes SOOOO friggin long to do. And because after working a 9 hour day, I just couldn't bring myself to come home and start painting for 45 minutes to an hour each night during the week.

So, Friday afternoon I left work at 3:00, came home and painted the foyer. This was not a priority because the floor is tiled and not being carpeted. But I was happy I got that done because visually it is an extension of the living room.

Saturday I got up and started on the trim in the hallway and the master bedroom. That seemingly minor project consumed the entire day.

Sunday, I finished painting the hallway by 10:00 and started on the master bedroom after my only meal out this weekend. I even managed to squeeze in a quick nap, and finished the bedroom by 6:30 tonight.

There's always touching up to do but the bulk of that project is done. I just have one much smaller bedroom to do (trim AND paint) before the carpet arrives.

The hallway is particularly nice and refreshing. Keep in mind this is the old shit-brown carpet that will soon be replaced. I used the same "dried palm" yellow-green which I used in the foyer since I had plenty leftover.

The bedroom was painted with the same sage green which was used in the living room because I had an unopened gallon leftover and needed just about every drop of it.

Right now, I'm feeling pretty damn good.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday Night Psychedelic Moth Invasion

I saw this on the side of the house while sitting on the patio this afternoon. Damn. I've never seen a moth that large.

I can't stop thinking about what might happen if I ate it. Would I hallucinate?

Would I start to see people like this coming over to my house?

Friday, August 17, 2007

And a Side of Onion Rings

Today, for the 2nd day in a row, I had visitors at work from Houston stations where I purchase a ton of time for commercials.

I'm sure they appreciate my hippie attitude and budget-consciousness.

One of the guys emailed me earlier this week and said "tell me where I need to make reservations for lunch."

I said "reservations? What's that?"

We went to Hut's Hamburgers today.... right across the street from our offices. He consumed his burger in record time, so I guess it was good.

txrad had already instructed me to bring him any leftover onion rings... and there are ALWAYS leftover fries and onion rings....

Check out this ring:

Shit.. with some ketchup, you have no idea how good this is.

Before and After

I have a subscription to Architectural Digest and they have an annual "Before and After" issue which always makes me laugh. The reason is because the "after" shot always looks like a totally new room in which you can hardly ever see any fragment of the former room because they usually gut the place and start over -- and they have the money to do it.

Here are some more realistic before and after shots of our foyer which I finally finished today (except for the inevitable minor touch ups which you won't notice in these shots).



A contrast shot from the living room looking towards the foyer:

My flash tends to drown out some of the green and make this appear more yellow than it really is. It's definitely a mix of green and yellow though and I'm quite happy with it. The foyer was dull and uninteresting before, and now it seems to be an extension of the living room. I was a bit concerned with how the paint would work with those tiles, but I think it's fine. I'm happy.

Tomorrow I move on down the hallway to the bedrooms. My goal by the end of the weekend is to be done with the hall and both bedrooms. We shall see.

Friday Pussy Blog

Happy Friday Everyone!

I left work today at 3:00 so I could get a head start on the weekend painting project. Tater Tot was busy offering opinions and generally trying to help out.

Because I got home about 2 hours earlier than usual he wasn't waiting at the door when I walked in, but there was only a 2-second delay while he came running to see his Daddy.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

This Is A Joke

I'm gettin' ready to give myself a resurrection.

I just went in the kitchen and turned the oven off. txrad immediately turned it on. I said, " the pizza is done, right?" He said "no. It had a ways to go."

I said, "how do you know? Because the timer is stuck on 18 minutes." And I turned off the oven. He turned it on and said it's paused for the cooking time.

At that point, or maybe a stupid comment or two later, I realized the pizza had not even be put in the oven. The timer was set for when it did. I glanced over and saw a raw pizza pie. Damn.

The end times are coming! The end times are coming!

You heard it hear first.

R.I.P. Max Roach

This seriously makes me sad. So long, Max Max. Until we come around again.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Drummer Max Roach, who helped revolutionize jazz by creating the fast-paced bebop style along with players like Charlie Parker,Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown, has died at age 83, Blue Note Records said on Thursday.

He knew how to touch a konagod nerve.

Enjoy a little Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln as we seque into a weekend...

Crossposted at B3

Warning: My Workplace May Be Bad For Your Health

Hey, who's complaining? A couple of guys from an NBC station swung by today to do a presentation which included free pizza and Cokes. Then they invited me out mid-afternoon for some drinks at a restaurant which was walking distance from the office. About 3:oo I headed out for a margarita and a beer and some fine chats and then went back to the office at 4:20 (heh.. 4:20!) to wrap up, come home and continue the drinking festivities.

Tomorrow, another rep from a CW affiliate is coming in for lunch and more drinks.

On Monday our agency is celebrating it's some-year anniversary which includes free food and an afternoon happy hour which will without a doubt involve a margarita machine I'm sure.

Between now and then is Friday night and the weekend which will involve more drinking. I can't blame that on the company, but then again, after the week I've had....maybe I can.

Yeee haaa. I love my "job."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Oh My God" Said the Lexus Soccer Mom

What will I buy my children for Christmas?

Fuck You, and the cart you rode in on.

Gosford Park

has Robert Altman Stanley Kubrick written all over it.

Tarantino is a Follower ....................... (?)

Or is he? txrad suggests that Quentin Tarantino has listened to Jack White. I countered that Jack White, rip off artiste that he is, has probably watched some Tarantino.

What do you think?

Coaxing Truth From a Negro

Get the level out.

Is Alton Brown a psychiatrist or a psychologist, or neither? I don't know the difference to this very day.

But any man who can manipulate a fried chicken expert to profess his talent is owed to the good God Almighty the way Alton does has got talent.

And taste.

Although I am a vegetarian, I still appreciate a fine fried chicken skin (albeit second-hand), and if I were eating meat, I would demand nothing less than food from a black cook's kitchen.

That's just the way it is.

When I was growing up my parents would take me to Greenville, Mississippi to eat at Doe’s Eat Place for steak, tamales, salad (I'd pick off the anchovy, place it on a cracker and eat all the way around it), and a lollypop for dessert, and I always swore, the food was only good because of the sweat of black folks in the kitchen.

The best part was when we got to eat at the "family table" in the kitchen when the white women had no problems with coming over to swat flies on your table prior to serving your meal. The black women would just flash bright white smiles while cooking up a feast.

What Was In That Wine Last Night?

This definitely qualifies as an anxiety dream which I was having shortly before I awoke this morning.

I came home expecting to start painting the remaining rooms and the carpet-laying team was already here and were nearly finished with the living room. What's odd is that it wasn't even my house, but all my cats were here, including Samantha.

The carpet wasn't particularly attractive, but the backside of the carpet was a beautiful native American pattern like so many of the wonderful handwoven rugs I've seen in Santa Fe. I kept wanting to instruct the guys to flip it over.

There seemed to be dozens of guys on the crew because the open floor plan of the house was enormous. One of the guys was working nude. Some of them were even doing some landscaping outside.

I just kept walking around the house in circles unsure of whether I should quickly paint the baseboards in the bedrooms at least or just blow it off.

Waking up never felt so good.

I just remembered another brief dream I had earlier in the night. In my dream I woke up and walked into the living room and there was a black guy standing there with a guitar. Apparently it was ours and he had repaired it and was returning it to us. I know it really wasn't ours because our only guitar was also in the room standing in a corner. While the guy was tuning the repaired guitar, I grabbed mine and was putting it in the case and as I touched the strings, beautiful jazzy ethereal music emerged which perfectly complemented what he was doing. Even as I closed the lid on the case, the guitar let out another hum which was beyond description in its beauty.

I looked at the guy and said, "it's odd how things like that sometimes happen. It was like it was meant to be."

And then he left.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wine and Work Don't Mix

I'm just sayin'.

Wine is for relaxin' and conversatin'

And relaxin'.

It tends to have to opposite effect when mixed with unpleasant chores.

Tequila is a better choice for such an occasion. Because after about 5 shots, you just laugh and say, "fuck this shit. I'm havin' another beer."

My day:

I needed to print a business check for a vendor. The printer has somehow gotten knocked off the network. So I had the bright idea this morning to disconnect it from the router and plug it directly into my PC. Only when I unscrewed the cable connection there was a little bolt from the router that was stuck on the screw. I had to go to the garage to get pliers to pry it off or else I could not have plugged it into my PC.

Then I needed to install the software again with the printer drivers. It still didn't work.

This afternoon I came home and the test pages had eventually printed out. So I printed a check to the vendor which should have gone out 3 weeks ago. Then I couldn't use the postage meter on the envelope because the rental on the meter is past due. So I had to use two 39-cent stamps.

Such is the life of a konagod.

Pretty soon when I need to make a phone call, it will be like a scene from Green Acres. I'll be climbing a telephone pole.

This madness will eventually end.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Foyer in Transition

I have just about finished up in the living room except for the seemingly never ending touch ups. I decided I needed to start on another room just to give myself a sense of hope, so the foyer it is. Here's a shot after I'd just started painting the trim a whiter shade -- the same "white jasmine" which is used in the living room. I think, since I still have a half-gallon of that stuff left, I'll just finish the rest of the house with it.

You can see the contrast now between the trim and that horrid "swiss coffee-esque" paint on the walls. Before, every thing in the house was that color -- walls and trim alike. I just can't take that any longer. Wait until you see what I have in store. The paint has been purchased.

Originally I wanted something in a terracotta to complement the tiles, but decided that might be too monotonous and clash with the sagey green paint in the living room to the left. The last thing I want in this house is any kind of red and green tones together.

Yet, at the same time I wanted the foyer which is fully visible from the living room to offer some degree of contrast in order to provide some depth to the space. We'll see. I'll post a picture from two angles when I'm done -- hopefully in a day or two.

Oh, that overhead light fixture? It has to go, and soon.

Tuesday's To Do List

1. Call Allstate and get them to fax a copy of our proof of insurance since the one in our cars indicates the insurance expired in March. Therefore I was not able to get one car's annual inspection done today because the card in the car indicated the insurance expired in March. Don't ask me why a driver's insurance status has fuck-all to do with whether a car is road-worthy or not. But I wasted 45 minutes of my precious time today, not to mention driving home in a swarm of cops and sheriff's vehicles and sweating like a dope dealer at City Hall. I don't need any more disruptions in my life right now.

2. Get car inspected.

3. Get life under control.

Number 1 must happen tomorrow. Number 2 doesn't necessariy have to happen until Friday. Number 3 apparently doesn't have to happen at all.

The Scorch is On


We've still had a relatively mild summer in Austin. It didn't really even get "hot" until August. Yesterday was our hottest day of the year thus far and we only reached 96 at our house.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Pussy Blog

Tater Tot is always so happy to see his Daddy come home from work.

And I'm always so happy to come home and see my Tater Tot.

We have a mutual thing goin' on here.

Intercom Page of the Week

Nothing sounds better after a week such as this than hearing this page:

"Attention please: there's free beer in the first floor rotunda. First-come first-served."

I don't think I've ever gone down two flights of stairs so fast.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Beat Me, Beat Me


Lately I feel like just living is a full-time job, and everything else is extra work.

I was notified my car was ready to be picked up today. I seriously thought about taking a bus to the body shop around 2:30 today, picking up the car and then driving home. txrad could come home when he was ready. The only thing that stopped me was uncertainty about how far the bus stop would be from the body shop. Since it's located on a freeway access road, those bus stops can be dicey and the last thing I wanted was a 3/4 mile hike in 90 degree heat while lugging a laptop.

I had the laptop because I was planning to work from home on Friday. I could also take the car we're currently driving to get the inspection done which I noticed yesterday morning is about 5 months past the expiration date. Those were my plans which have now been quickly dashed.

We did leave work at 4:00 to go pick up the car. As we pulled into the parking lot of the body shop I did notice there was a bus stop there. While I was inside getting the paperwork, txrad was outside inspecting the car. He found a problem. Although the car looked showroom new, even the tires were cleaned and polished, there was a very small but extremely obvious flaw on the trunk panel. So I decided to leave the car for them to fix the problem. After all, the car should look at least as good when we drive away as it did before we were rear-ended. However, that decision has now had a domino effect on my Friday plans. It makes no sense for me to work from home Friday morning if txrad has to take the car to work. I would not be able to go get the inspection done, nor would I be able to go get paint or supplies in the afternoon when I start working on the projects.

But how glad am I now that I did not take the bus to pick up the car?

We drove on to Home Depot to complete the carpet transaction now that they had adjusted the measurements to reflect only the living room portion of the project. While I was waiting on the sales person to become available, txrad called my attention to a poster advertising a 10% discount AND free premium padding upgrade on all special order carpets... effective TODAY.

Yes, that's correct. It was two days ago when I went to purchase the living room carpet and could not because they had included the den in the calculations which I had decided not to carpet just yet. So rather than feel like I'd wasted another trip to Home Depot, we did go ahead and place the order for the two bedrooms, six closets and hallway. It seems to me, given the fact that the sales clerk knew we were coming back in a day or two to complete the orders, she could have said, "why don't you wait and order it all at once on Thursday since we're going to be having a 10% off sale." That would have been the nice thing to do, and it would have saved us enough to perhaps cover the cost of paint I need for the rest of the house.


One bit of good news is that I did buy some knee pads at Home Depot for use during the remaining painting of the baseboards. Made in China of course.

I'm tired, and now I have to go in to work tomorrow, and go out at some point to get the inspection done. I guess I'll work from home on Monday instead. At this point, if I can just get to the office and then to a Quik Lube joint for the inspection before getting pulled over, I'll feel lucky for a change.

I can't help but wonder how long it's going to be before I feel like I can put some things behind me. Right now, I just feel like I'm suffocating. I have apologized to txrad for my wild mood-swings and being generally cranky lately, but shit, who wouldn't be?

Don't even get me started on my real work issues lately, and the things I am far behind in dealing with regarding my failed company and the relentless calls from creditors. I'm amazed I'm still sane. And that, my friends, is just my opinion.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Business Is Business; I Respect That

we had this department staff party today from 1:00 til whenever. For us it was like 6:30. But we got to bond with our work associates in a way that is impossible in the office. There's something about letting your legs dangle in a pool of water while drinking a beer that makes people open up. And when it's on the company dollar, alll the better.

And when someone brings out an ashtray so you can smoke while soaking, all the better.

I'm feeling pretty good about things again. I learned some things.

But honestly, I did not want to leave. I wanted to let my legs dangle for hours in the water.

I'm going to put on my time card that I disengaged at 5:00. And I still get an hour of overtime. The rest is my loss. Or my gain. Depending on your point of view.

But I ALWAYS put the toilet seat down when I was done.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Media Cum Fest

If you ever, EVER, had any doubt whatsoever about how the media tries to influence public opinion, then please be watching the news coverage (Chris Matthews comes to mind, and sadly KO is playing no small part) after the presidential debate, and the flies-on-shit mentality of the media being heaped on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Jesus H. Christ, you'd think we were all a bunch of morons in dire need of management.

{konagod clears his throat in anticipation of another rant}

I Live With Such A Queer

He wants to make a date, almond and walnut tart, and take it in to work and give it to people he DOESN'T know. What does that say about his worth ethic? What does that say about his devotion to his own department? What does that say about the Corporate Culture?

The 2008 Democratic Ticket


So says txrad.
konagod is making no predictions. And I don't exactly endorse this one. But anything, and I do mean almost anything is better than what we have.

Carpets Confirmed (Almost)

What an ordeal.

I told my boss about my situation today with cats and Berber loop carpeting and she said she had the same in her condo with two cats and never had a problem. So problem solved. Today during our staff meeting I mentioned my good news -- that I was going with the original carpet we'd selected -- and if the cats ripped it up it was going to be her (my boss) fault. She laughed.

So, off we went to Home Depot again after work today. I had already decided I was going to do the two bedrooms, hallway, and six closets. We had no idea we had six closets, but we do, some of them are small and escape notice except when you need something from them. We're doing that area of the house in the same carpet pattern but a lighter color because the rooms are smaller than the living room.

Now comes the almost part. Because the person who did the measuring submitted a total figure for square yards for both the living room and den combined, we could not order the carpeting tonight for the living room. I specifically told her I wanted her to measure the den but I hadn't really decided yet what floor covering I want for that space. So now Home Depot has to submit it back to the contractors and they have to resubmit the square yards needed for just the living room. This information probably won't be back at Home Depot until Thursday.

The (not so) funny thing is, it's the living room that I have almost completely painted and ready to go. But I'm sure with only a 2 day lapse between orders they will still wait and bring everything at once for the installation of all rooms. That would make sense.

Now here's the kicker. Originally the woman told us it would take 3 weeks to get the carpet from the mill. Apparently she was exaggerating somewhat and it could be delivered in as little as 5-10 business days and then she tacked on a extra week to allow the installers time to schedule. So this could realistically happen as early as two weeks from now.

That does not give me much time to get the hallway, two bedrooms, and six friggin' closets painted. What it does give me is PLENTY to blog about in the next few weeks. And for that, I guess I'm thankful.

This is kind of weird because I'm exposing this entire process on my blog, and therefore, exposing it to people I don't know on six continents. Whether or not they care is another matter. Nevertheless, I'm excited. It's like getting a new house.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Home Improvement Snafu

I'm a fucking wreck.

I stayed home from work today because the woman was coming to measure for the carpeting. Because one of our cars is still in the shop getting repaired, I had to wait on txrad to get home from work before we could go to Home Depot to order the carpeting.

While waiting on a sales person to appear I was browsing in a Q&A type manual at the consultation desk in carpeting. I stumbled upon a section about pets and it said you would not want to select a Berber loop if you have cats or dogs which might hook the loop with their claws.

Great. Loop was what stole my heart. Finally a sales person appeared and didn't seem overly eager to help. I asked her about this and she said if a cat hooks the loops they can start to unravel which apparently isn't very attractive. She suggested some alternatives.

While I was browsing the selections I was getting more and more agitated because I really loved the one we selected. In fact I had decided that was what I wanted in the rest of the house, but not in the same color.

The sales associate never reappeared so obviously weekday evenings are not a big time for carpet sales at Home Depot. I was in no mood to make a rush decision on something so I came home in a huff.

Question: Any of you readers have loop carpeting with cats? Tell me your stories now. Because the price of the carpet I wanted is at least $5.00 less per square yard than some of the cat friendlier alternatives, and I'm not nearly as enamored with the alternatives, I need advice.

Oh, and like my day hasn't sucked enough, that photo at the top was something I had to deal with this afternoon. How can the draw strings on 3 window shades become tangled in so many knots by simply being on the floor for a week. Do those things wiggle around and knot up at night while I'm sleeping? I just don't get it. But it took me at least 30 minutes to untangle the mess.

Now I need to be untangled as well.

One Nation Under Madness

I'm not sure what happened on 9/11/01 but it was far more than an attack from terrorists. As we approach the 6th anniversary of this horrific nightmare, I've watched America further deteriorate into something I barely recognize.

We seem to have lost any ability to get along with others, celebrate diversity, or even to tolerate diversity. We seem to crave an enemy, a threat, in order to preserve our perception of the American way of life.

There is a evil undercurrent fast at work driving wedges between groups and pitting neighbor against neighbor, and it's ugly. This vile force has large numbers of Americans wrongly believing that our culture faces extinction, that God has somehow been expelled from our nation by liberals (oh, if only we had that kind of power), that the English language is in danger, and of course, that gays, lesbians, and especially the transgendered threaten the very foundation of our society.

What the fuck is wrong with us?

The Republicans debated in Des Moines this weekend. You know something good is coming out of that.

Say It, Even If It Ain't So
Because we're so dumb we'll probably believe it if we hear it repeated enough.

As in past encounters, the Republicans largely agreed on the need to continue the Iraq war, saying that leaving the country too quickly would disrupt the fight against terrorism.

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), whose front-runner status has slipped away in a wave of fundraising and staff woes, stuck to his guns on the war, saying there will be catastrophic consequences if America abandons Iraq.

"We are winning. We must win. And we will not set a date for surrender, as the Democrats want us to do," McCain said.

Define "winning."

And while we're on this road, define incompetence.
How the hell can we win a war if we can't even keep track of our own weapons?

"They really have no idea where they are," said Rachel Stohl, a senior analyst at the Center for Defense Information who has studied small-arms trade and received Pentagon briefings on the issue. "It likely means that the United States is unintentionally providing weapons to bad actors."

Meanwhile, have a look at success:

AP Photo

Jihad Wali, 35, victim of a roadside bomb that killed nine civilians and wounded eight.

REUTERS/Kareem Raheem

How many hundreds of thousands of times has this scene played out in Iraq?

Bush is a great multitasker. While wreaking havoc overseas, he can simultaneously do it at home.

"We must remember that our work is not done," Bush said upon signing the [eavesdropping] bill...

Most Americans will pay little or no attention to this because we're all a little too concerned about another dangerous threat: illegal immigrants seeking hard work and a better life for them and their families. God knows, I sure can't sleep at night with so many brown-skinned people coming here to work, sleep, pay rent, eat strange food and speak some inferior language which I can't understand.

Spurred by rising resentment in the country over illegal immigration and by the collapse of a broad immigration bill in the Senate in June, state legislators nationwide adopted measures to curb employment of unauthorized immigrants and to make it more difficult for them to obtain state identification documents like driver’s licenses.


State lawmakers have introduced about two and half times more immigration bills this year than in 2006, and the number that have become law is more than double the 84 bills enacted last year, according to the conference, a nonpartisan organization that includes all the state legislatures.

Big Brother is on the march in Louisiana:

The toughest law was adopted in Louisiana, which now requires applicants’ names to be checked against a federal immigration database as well as the Department of Homeland Security’s terrorism watch list.

And it's not just the dirty Mexicans getting our white wrath.
Indian immigrants are getting the cracking whip.

ISELIN, N.J., Aug. 3 — With the workweek behind him, Deepu Dass focused on a pesky bald spot in his front lawn here. As he sprayed the patch with water, urging the grass toward the perfection achieved by several neighbors, he said confidently: “I planted seeds.”

I'm happy I don't live in a neighborhood where the neighbors complain about something like a patch of imperfect grass.

There have been up to six men sharing the house, whose owners include Suresh Kumar, president of NexAge Technologies USA, a nearby software company where the tenants work. But the unusual arrangement — and the unsightly lawn — caught the attention of local housing inspectors, and in May Woodbridge Township cited Mr. Kumar for several violations, including an unauthorized boarding house and an illegal multifamily dwelling. He has until Aug. 16 to resolve the situation, which may mean kicking his workers out.

Hey, I'm all for cleaning up hazardous living conditions such as the 10 people living in a basement, and the unlicensed day care center which was set up in another house, but to clamp down on otherwise hard-working middle-class people because their culture encourages extended families living together, or because someone wants to help out co-workers by allowing five others to live with him in his home, is unnecessarily aggressive.

Sharmila Rudrappa, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of “Ethnic Routes to Becoming American: Indian Immigrants and the Cultures of Citizenship,” said it was common for Indian families to live in joint households both in their homeland and in the United States.

“My father’s brother is married to my mother’s sister,” she said. “The two families had five kids between them. We lived together for a few years, and it was kind of a wonderful way to grow up.”

The joint family arrangements have become harder to maintain in crowded Indian cities, but in American homes the practice is alive and well.

“It’s a way to ease immigration,” Professor Rudrappa said. “You help family out. Family members coming from India might not know how to drive, and grocery stores can be unnerving.”

American attitudes can be unnerving as well. I like this man's rationale:

Rakesh Patel, 34, a technology worker at a New York investment bank, said he had his three-bedroom, two-story house built here seven years ago “for family and friends.” He and his wife, two children and his parents moved from a cramped apartment in Edison. Mr. Patel’s cousin’s sister has joined the household, and Mr. Patel’s sister and three family members may soon come to stay for a while. Other relatives often visit for months at a time.

“Why not?” asked Mr. Patel, noting that he also stayed with his uncle when he first came to the United States from India in 1996. “I pay $9,000 a year in taxes.”

It's Monday. Welcome to another day in the "greatest nation on earth."

Crossposted at B3

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Gift for kona & txrad

Regular konagod commenter and long-time friend Rebecca was in Austin for the weekend and wanted to survey the damage here in person. She stopped by the kona ranch around noon today and brought us this:

The gift is the antique art deco vase which is quite cute. I'm loving the flowers too, droopy as they are now. It's a very rustic, country look. Once our abundant sunflower crop starts producing in the fall, I'm going to keep it filled with yellow flowers.

Thanks, Rebecca!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

What's On Your Fridge?

A good one from Toast.

The panorama photo at the top is from Rebecca. It's a shot of New Mexico. Anchoring it are various magnets including one from the dynamite realtor who sold us our house almost ten years ago.

At the bottom is a photo of a wolf I "adopted" for a year at a wolf rescue mission in New Mexico. And yes, the calendar on the far right is still displaying December 2006. Do I really care what month it is? No. Do I need a calendar to tell me? No. But I do love free magnets.

More Painting

I was looking forward to the weekend so I could resume painting in the living room. I am so tired I can't even put up a picture right now. I'll get one up on Sunday.

I'm starting to think I should have painted the trim first, and then the walls. Trim is tricky business although I did manage to get the crown molding done without the use of any tape and very few mishaps. Touching up here and there is not a problem. I think the baseboards are going to be more difficult than the crown molding though and I'm not looking forward to that chore. Nevertheless, I'm hoping to finish those tomorrow and perhaps do my touching up after I'm done with those.

This is certainly a learning experience and I think when I start painting the remaining rooms in the house it'll go more efficiently after having done the living room.

After waiting all week for the carpet folks to call me to schedule an appointment, they finally called today and said it'll be on Monday, and someone will call me Sunday between 4p and 7p to set a definite time. I'm really eager to get that phase of the project done because we can't even order carpet until the measurements are taken. I'm going to have them measure all the remaining rooms which have carpeting and when I decide what I want, there will be no need to reschedule another measuring session.

I also guess that means I'll be spending some (or all) of the day on Monday working from home!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday Pussy Blog

Sissy is spending WAY too much time in my nice leather recliner. I need to get her chair back in the living room so she'll get out of mine.

She seems to be asking me just that: "When the hell are you gonna get this room put back together?"

Tater Tot, on the other hand, is just happy to see daddy come home from work. He has an infatuation with my shoes and feet, always rubbing against them.

I still haven't gotten used to the fact that there are only two cats in the house now.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I Don't Like My Eggs Served Over Easy

And I don't want to Know why.

My Pulse

Sometimes life's metronome just isn't matching your own personal tempo.

I haven't exactly figured out why that is, but I'm working on it.

A Giant Brain Fritter

Feasting on Asphalt returns on Saturday with a new series at 9 eastern, 8 central. Watch it once and you'll be hooked. Watch it twice and you'll be hooked on endless replays.

You are probably wondering why there is a picture of a motor home, or land yacht, at the top of this post.

There is an episode of Feasting on Asphalt where Alton Brown goes into a motor home of a couple who live on wheels and fixes a dinner, and some potent coffee.

It brought back painful memories for me as a teen. Every summer I would hop into a pickup truck with my mother and dad, and usually a fru-fru pooch of some sort, and we'd travel our great nation. I loved it. I will never forget the memories of pulling into a KOA Campground (or did they spell it "Kampground"?) in some obscure place like the Nebraska panhandle after a long trek across barren moonscape.

My mother would immediately prepare dinner. We might have to unhook the trailer and drive the truck to a grocery store for some steak and potatoes, but we eventually got dinner. It was such fun.

Only once did we have a self-contained real land yacht -- unless my memory fades -- most of the time we were pulling a trailer behind a pickup. But we had a LONG trailer at one point.

It was cool because it was all so self-contained. Kitchen, bathroom, shower, and sleeping quarters all in one compact compartment.

The only thing that was awkward was sleeping just a few feet from my parents for 2 or 3 weeks at a time. Have you ever tried to quietly masturbate in bed in a travel trailer without arousing suspicion from your parents who are sleeping just 3 or 4 feet away? It's not easy.

But a teen has gotta do what a teen's gotta do.

Anyway, I digress.

Feasting on Asphalt returns on Saturday with a new series at 9 eastern, 8 central. You must see this if you haven't already.

Oh, the giant brain fritter reference? That was a sandwich Alton Brown ate along one of the stops in the last series. A huge fried brain sandwich.

Gross. It wasn't even dressed for distraction.

PS: Don't forget to pack some hard tack.

Crossposted at B3