Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nerdy Christmas Re-Runs

I Thought That This Was Cool Last Year... here it is again for your enjoyment (crank up the volume):

(Somebody's out there's got Wayyyyyy too much time on their hands...)

Here's Your Obama Osama Christmas Greeting

Somebody Thank Reid And Pelosi For Me...


Our Turbo Pup Turns Three Years Old Today

"That's One Darn Fine Dog We Got There..."

It's our little Missy "The Turbo Pup's" Birthday today, and I thought I'd publish a photo montage of all the stuff she's done since she was born in coastal Mississippi back on December 19th, 2006.

Since being from the Gulf coast and having made a trip on Delta airlines to come to our house on our little island on the Georgia coast when she was two months old and weighed TWO POUNDS, she's become quite the experienced world traveler and professional beach/pool dog just like her Dad.

Here she is at about three months and three pounds...the nose and body gets longer as she matures...

A glamor photo in the yard of the condo about a month later...

Hanging out on the pool deck with her Cousin "Olive" down in Orlando that spring:

Impersonating Bugs Bunny...

You need to understand that our little miniature long haired Dachshund has her own luggage, and she knows when we're going out of town and she insists on supervising the preparations to make sure her Valet (that would be me) doesn't forget anything (including the puppy.) When we start packing and moving stuff around she can't sit still and will try to get into the car every time we open the doors to load something up. Here she is trying to hide and blend in the stuff as I load the trunk...

In addition to clothes and luggage, she also has her own furniture.

Here she is testing out her new beach chair on St. Simons when she was about 9 months old...(we had to get her that chair so we had a place to sit on the beach because she will take all of the towels and chairs if you don't make a dedicated place for her to sit.)

Swimming with a friend in Grandma's pool down in Alabama a few summers ago...

Wrestling with her dad sporting her Georgia Tech collar...

St. Simons this past spring without her chair (on my towel)

And earlier on that same trip hanging out on the beach and on a restaurant deck with her Dad on Cedar Key, Florida...

Last Christmas sitting under the Christmas Tree looking for more presents and puppy snacks in Kansas City

Hosting another friend and leading the inaugural ceremonies of the new and improved back yard Turbo Pup Pool and Recreational Complex (TPPRC for short) last summer here in Eastern Tennessee on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River...

As I've written several times before, I've spent most of my life living with cats beginning before the age 12 and ending with the passing of two wonderful fellows--Patches and Hoover back in the late 1990's.

With their loss due to old age I swore I would never have another pet, but today I can honestly tell you that I wouldn't know what to do without our little Missy 'The Turbo Pup" who never ceases to amaze me with her intelligence and her ability to use every ounce of her little 11 pound body and spirit to help keep me sane and grounded as I wrestle with life in my later middle age.

As my subtitle said..."that's one darn fine dog we got there..."

In closing, Missy would like to say thanks to everyone for taking the time to look at her pictures and for all your well wishes on this special day, and if you didn't like looking her photos, all she has to say is...

GO WRITE YOUR OWN BLOG and leave my Dad alone...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Cards

Expensive Social Frivolities...

There was a time, back a hundred years ago about the late 1980's when I was freshly married the first time and full of energy and each Holiday Season found me being responsible for putting out somewhere around 75 or 80 Christmas cards each year.

Then in the late 1990's and early 2000's time my life's circumstances got the best of me, and I became all pissed off and lost my mind and my ass financially and went out of business and for a few years I didn't even call anyone just to say hello let alone send them a Christmas card.

Being that way is harder than it looks, emotionally and spiritually, SO...

here I am today living in a foreign town in a foreign state... WaaAAAAAyyyyyYYYY north of where I really want to be living, licking envelopes and putting on self sticky stamps to the tune of $0.44 each and when the dust settled I realized we were back up to FORTY ONE CARDS THIS YEAR.

And that didn't include my cousins and Pat's extended family beyond grandchildren that had moved out of their parent's houses and didn't rate a card for various reasons including lethargy.

And I was too lazy to make my own custom cards this year.

I used to do stuff like this on a PDA sitting in the airport and then clean it up with Photoshop.

But this year, because I'd run out of art work that everyone hadn't already seen, instead $60 in postage and paper later I finally find my seasonal duties completed.

All the shopping.

All the wrapping.

All the shipments.

And now all of the cards.

You'll have to excuse me for saying that all I want for Christmas is for someone to spike me a giant glass of eggnog with 100 proof rum and let me just sit around and chant "Bah Humbug" from now until the 25th.

Is that an unreasonable request?

Holiday Lethargy

I'm Falling Behind By Getting Ahead...

It's really weird, but I have to admit that I'm having trouble getting motivated the last couple of days after starting the week off like a Jet fighter on full afterburner.

I guess you could say that for some reason I can't help staying out of "fire drill" mode due to some quirk in my DNA or something.

Accomplishment leads to Procrastination.

I got a ton of stuff done on Monday and Tuesday including finishing all of my Christmas shopping online (you got to love those "Free Freight Deals") and getting to the 75% point on my PLC project, then yesterday at mid-week I found myself just sort of sitting around spinning my wheels doing nothing.

I went back to bed mid morning and didn't get up until 3 PM...getting some of the best sleep I've had in weeks while the thermometer hovered around 40 degrees.

Aahhhhhh...the luxury of being unemployed being self employed.

Then I got up and tossed the last couple of strings of Christmas lights on the railings and bushes out on the front lawn.

I also finally managed to finish slow cooking the pork and chicken and beef for my current Tamale efforts, but only tonight did I get the Manudo spice blend put together and the Tomatillo's roasted and run through the food processor for the Salsa Verde.

I've learned that the thing about Tamales is that if you're going to make four of them, you might as well make FOUR DOZEN because it's a huge effort getting everything together, and unless you're from Jaurez or Mexico City things don't come naturally, especially for people from Lower Alabama.

Don't get me wrong, it's not hard, it's just a different cooking process and order and the way I've figured out how to do things I have to do a little more thinking because I've only cooked them a couple of times and those events have been spread out over four or five years.

As usual, each time I make notes and try to improve on the process. Two of the three previous efforts have come out really nice, with the third being a little dry and under cooked for some reason.

The first time I cooked them--the second time ever--for public consumption I had over 40 people try my pork and beef recipe out and if I had been in the catering business I could have made a little money off the offers I received that day--but thus far I cook for pleasure, not profit.

The good news is that the balance of the week can be spent fine tuning the PLC software, completing the user's manual, and getting ready to travel to my Mother's home on the Family Farm in lower Alabama for four or five days extending over Christmas.

After standing on the roof cleaning gutters and and doing other maintenance chores, I hope to be able to spend some time wandering around the property visiting my Great Grandmother's house lost in the woods and built in the late 1800's, and possibly get out my guns and blast some tree limbs off the trees across the lake with 22 magnum and 30-06 rounds.

The older I grow, the closer I seem to become to my family's ancestrial lands--parts of which go back to somewhere around the 1830's--the only problem thus far being always living four to seven hours away since the late 1970's.

Aromas from the oven in the kitchen call me now, so if you will excuse me I'll go see what's going on and hopefully not need a fire extinguisher.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Want My YOUR Money Back

Since I Didn't Vote 'em In, Can I At Least Complain?

Check this ASSocaited Press story out and come back to me when your head stops spinning...

Unwitting tourists attend White House breakfast
By BEN EVANS (AP) – 7 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The White House is once again explaining how uninvited guests wound up shaking hands with President Barack Obama.

This time, a Georgia couple hoping to tour the White House ended up at an invitation-only Veterans Day breakfast.

White House officials say the couple mistakenly showed up a day early and were allowed into the breakfast because there were no public tours available. They say the couple, Harvey and Paula Darden of Hogansville, Ga., were properly screened for security.

Harvey Darden, however, said there appeared to be a mix-up. No one told them about the breakfast, he said, and the Dardens thought they were starting their tour until they were ushered into the East Room and offered a buffet.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

I couldn't really give a crap what goes on at the white house these days. I assume it looks pretty much like a third world country most of the time with the Obama's in charge.

What bothers me is all of the important stuff they're responsible for--things like national security and monetary policy and little details like keeping me from waking up with a boat load of Cubans or Koreans or Iranians or Russians standing on my front lawn waving machine guns.

People can sit around and laugh and high five each other every time the Obamamaniacs pass some new stupid liberal/progressive/socialistic policy, but when the feces finally ends up hitting the rotating impeller ("the shit hits the fan"... for those of you that went to the University of Georgia)I'm going to close my front door and save my ammunition to fend off the hoards coming through my moat and over the ramparts.

Just call me selfish I guess...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm In Training To Be A "Motivational Speaker"

I'm Moving To A Van Down By The River...

(I saw this live on Saturday Night Live back when I watched the show regularly as a younger man...don't make me come over to your house and deliver my own speech...)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Go Christmas Shopping At Big Lots...Or Just Commit Suicide?

Take My Guns and Steak Knives Away From Me...

I went to Big Lots today looking for some Christmas Cards.

I'm happy to report that I didn't have to kill anyone including myself, and I didn't have a heart attack although my blood pressure is a few points higher on both ends of the scale after returning home.

Who ARE these people, and why do they lose their minds just because the calendar says "December?"?

Is it just ME?

That will be all...for now...

Seven Simple Home Remedies For Men

My Own Version Of Reader's Digest Tips...

1. Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop.

2. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.

3. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

4. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

5. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives; then you'll be afraid to cough.

6. You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

7. If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.


Thanks for the ideas goes out to Rodger over at Curmudgeonly & Skeptical Blog

Basement Blogging

I'm The Emperor Of All I Survey....

I'm just finishing up a successful session of programming this evening...something that was mandatory if I'm going to get this contraption out the door and into my customer' hands this week.

In the past five hours I've managed to re-write a substantial portion of the front end of my PLC program and really cleaned things up--in the process jumping across a couple of logical hurdles I've been wrestling with for a few weeks now.

I've had to tear out a bunch of optional "gee whiz" stuff which wasn't in the original specifications or the purchase order and concentrate on the core program code and making the thing sing and dance in the manner it was sold.

It's not really Rocket Science, but realize that it's been nearly thirty years since I last worked with PLC's and it's been nearly 20 years since I spent time writing software on any substantial basis.

Today finds me back on a ladder cleaning gutters and hanging Christmas lights and doing other home owner stuff...then there's still three or four pounds of Boston Butt that needs pulling and further processed into ...get ready...

T A M A L E S.

With real Masa dough wrapped in corn husks and steamed to perfection.

My stomach is growling just writing about them (the Tamales.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Butt's Been Brined & Seared

And Now It (A Boston Butt) Is Sitting In The Oven...

I love writing about cooking a Boston Butt almost as much as I love slow cooking a Boston Butt, because I get to write the word "Butt" and nobody can take offence to my content.

See, I just wrote the word "Butt" three times in one sentence.

Now I've written "Butt" five times in three sentences, but (but not "Butt") it doesn't stop there.

Even though it's a Sunday, I'll probably end up SAYING the word "Butt" several dozen times and not once be making reference to any politician or ex-wife or former business partner.

How can one person be allowed to have so much simple fun?

I say that you need to get off your Butt, get yourself a Butt, start by Brining it, and find out...

Stuff That Blows My Mind

Positive Thinking & Blogging...

I've found myself sitting here this morning wide awake, when I should probably be asleep, checking the FedEX website following the "tracking numbers" on a couple of boxes worth a couple of thousand dollars to me in the next month if they get to their destination safely and perform as intended/specified.

Being somewhat of a hopeless romantic, I can't help but think about how far the business world has come since my first days in my first job--as an idiot intern after high school graduation at the United States Army Aeromedical Research Lab (USAARL) at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.

Back then these guys, being on the forefront of technology...while still using carbon paper in some of the typewriters...had these fancy clunky dedicated IBM "word processors."

I thought that it was pretty cool and couldn't keep my hands of them when the Secretaries were at lunch. (the Word Processors...not the Secretaries...OK maybe one of them...)

In 1978 a "word processor" was basically a typewriter with memory...a machine with something the size of a bar/dorm room refrigerator attached to it that could spit out letters and forms while you filled in the blanks with the answers to "Dear..." and "Sincerely..." being the only variables in the equation.

Fast forward to yesterday morning and I wrote three purchase orders, one invoice, and a couple of packing slips and printed them out in color, in triplicate, without a shred of carbon paper in sight.

Then as to communicating with my customer and keeping them up to date?

In 1983, in my first real Engineering job, with a company located off Peachtree Street, we still had the carbon paper in Miss Eller's Typewriter and we were just converting from rotary to touch tone telephones in Atlanta, but only Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers on the TV show "Hart to Hart had cell phones--and those were the size of a cinder block and were mounted in the trunk of their Mercedes Benz 450 SL Convertibles.

At that time people still used telex and telegraph machines in their offices, and we would have two or three weeks to do a proposal because you had to allow for the US Post office or UPS to deliver the package across the country.

Today everybody wants to ask for a proposal in the morning and expects to have a price by 5 PM regardless of the circumstances or quality of the efforts involved.

I think we all end up paying more for the speed of the answer rather than the end result of the overall efforts involved in producing the product...better to err high than low on the price and lose money.

The first time I used a FAX machine was sometime about 1986 and it was a borrowed transmission at my old GT roommates' company to get a proposal out the door before the deadline.

Today almost everyone has fax machines or fax capability on their computers but let's face it...

other than the idiots in GOVERNMENT OFFICES, fax transmissions have pretty much been rendered obsolete by E-mail attachments of MS Word documents or PDF copies of same.

And that brings me back to my current freight shipments this past week, and the technology that allows me to follow my packages across the country from Knoxville to Kansas City.

I know my stuff was in Nashville yesterday, and I know it continues westward this morning.

And I know all of that by simply pecking on a computer keyboard and entering a few numbers.

I can do the same thing from my Web enabled Verizon LG Dare Touch Screen Cell Phone.

Sometimes I guess it makes sense to stop complaining, especially during the holiday season, and acknowledge how good things have been in 2009.

Not perfect, but it could have been a lot worse...

Anybody But Me Want To Slap That Moustache Off Geraldo Rivera's Face???

I'm Just Wondering...

Anybody else feel that way...because I personally can't STAND that SOB (Geraldo).

I've never have liked him.


I guess my dislike actually goes way back in history, back to a time even before his stupid
Al Capone'sVault BS Special aired back in the mid 1980's.

Many of you are too young to remember that sad saga in his limited broadcast career, and many of us are old enough to wish that we could forget.

But we can't, and then again you know what?

At least the idiot's presence on the Fox News channel gives them further credibility to being "Fair and Balanced' because the guy is pro illegal immigrant and "anti" about everything else I stand for in my own life.

Sorry if I appear cranky...I've been up since 1 AM writing Ladder Logic program code while watching the cold rain fall here in Eastern Tennessee.

I guess that it's time now for a nap before resuming my programming duties (and there's a Boston Butt to Brine and cook between now and dinner.)