Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Marathon Girl Brings Home The Gold

Sylvia left me home alone all weekend to run in the Dallas Rock & Roll Marathon.
She did the half-marathon (13.1 miles) and scored her 5th medal.
That's all three R&Rs in SA and 2 in Dallas.

The headliner for the after-concert was Bret Michaels.
I'm proud as hell of Sylvia's accomplishments. No effing way I could run 10% of a marathon, but maintain that I could beat her in the 50 yard dash any day of the week.
Even at 9AM!

While she was gone I raked leaves and branches with a rake that I rescued from the middle of a street in Selma, fixed a leaking hose, and watched the Spurs lose twice.
Made some killer hashbrowns one night for the next day's breakfast tacos.
Washed her car.
Vacuumed my truck.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Spring is here, so it's time to watch your step.
The junebugs are all over, and for some reason they just can't deal with smooth concrete. Our porch and patio have dozens of them, all "turned turtle" (on their backs) waving their legs in the air.
Every night a 'possum comes around and eats the helpless idiots.
Screens are junebug-friendly.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Brush Pickup + Morons

Having a broken doorbell is a Godsend during the weeks leading up to free city brush pickup! I barely notice the treetrimmers hustling for work.

The notice for brush pickup came about 3 days before one from the automated trash truck driver complaining about my branches hanging over the street and getting in their way, so I got to work on the problem I didn't need to be told that we had.

A few months ago we got an extension ladder on deep discount, and that was pretty much the budget for new yard tools--I'm still using my Stanley carpenter's hand-saw to rip through big limbs. (Bow saws are great, but this sucker is still pretty quick and comfy). A small chainsaw is next.

After dropping a few big chunks of the other tree it was time to tackle the king-daddy one seen below. The trunk is rotten 3/4s of the way through, but waiting for it to fall on it's own wasn't an option because it extended more than halfway across our street.

I set the ladder, walked inside for a cool drink, and came outside to find that my neighbor's landscapers had parked their truck in exactly the wrong place:

Break Time!

I knew from experience (at 9am every-other Wednesday) that they are over-staffed and therefore quick, and I like this particular neighbor, so felt it was best to retreat for a siesta.

The sawing took about two minutes before the tell-tale creaking and cracking started so I put my ankles into it, and also got ready to jump in case there was going to be any kick-back action like the previous tree that almost knocked me off the ladder from fifteen feet up.

And that's when I heard The Moron.

Some dumbass in a small SUV came roaring up the street just as this HUGE section of tree started falling slowly down onto the road. They swerved and almost hit someone else's truck to keep from getting crushed when my rotten ash picked-up a lot of speed at the end.

What gets me is that the way our 'hood is designed the is zero reason to drive up our street if you don't live here or are visiting. This idiot didn't stop anywhere, from one end to the other.

Imagine their story: "I was just cutting through, and a falling tree almost killed my dumb ass!"

Yessir! Woulda messed-up that pretty new car something fierce, inside and out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Working Overtime?

No, not really.

On a recent weekend night off we went with some friends to the Overtime Theater in the Blue Star Arts complex.
I can't recall ever seeing live sketch comedy before--and I really enjoyed it.
Very funny and clever.

Could have helped them with some lighting and sound tips, but doubt their budget would take the strain since it's clear that they're doing this because they love it and not for the big bucks.

Anyway, the Overtime Theater has my recommendation and I hope we go see some of their future productions.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mission Espada

Sometimes we'll end up at one of the Missions on a whim, usually with a guest who's never seen them.
Since I almost always have one of my cameras with me, I'm semi-prepared for these spontaneous visits but miss having more of my kit.

This time, I wished that I had my flash gear.
Good high-iso performance got me this, but I had to pass-up the shot I wanted.

This is a new look at a subject that I'd entered in a contest years ago.
It lost, and also managed to generate some controversy--good times!

I would've liked to have had my infrared camera along, as the Missions are a great place to shoot in black and white.

Maybe next time.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gotta Love Springtime

The weather's getting warmer--daytime highs in the '80s!
Plenty of stuff to do outside:
Planted a nice crop of jalapenos to hopefully make up for last year's pepper disaster. (No more experimenting with the lesser breeds).
And plenty of petunias to make Sylvia smile.
Trimming the trees and killing the dandelions.

And catching critters who've awakened after a long winter nap:
This is a Checkered Garter snake, and it's pretty much the only subspecies of Garter in the southwest USA and northern Mexico.
The ones most people are familiar with from up north are good at hiding in foliage and around water, but ours have to disappear in the rocks and dirt so the checkered pattern is a nice adaptation that explains why most folks have never seen one.
Always wanted a checkered for a pet but this guy was too wild and besides that, Sylvia said no.
He's already been released and with any luck will be scaring the dopers across the alley right about now.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Another Good Dog

This is Copper:

He stayed with us for a few days, and we had a lot of fun.

Copper is well-behaved, quiet (indoors), and likes to wrestle.

I enjoy taking care of other people's dogs because I get to experience a wide variety of breeds and distinct personalities without worrying about Vet bills or the cost of food.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Screw Styx...Let's Eat!

I had more concert pics and stories, but enough is enough.
Who cares?

Something I learnt at the rodeo:
When I posted this photo of my bacon-wrapped hotdogs on FaceBook a friend came right back with "sausage wrapped with ham and then bacon", and called it the "whole-hog dog".
I'm going to keep taking baby steps on this stuff.

The main course was some seriously great burgers.
It was windy and they were smoking, and I doubt I'll ever take (or even see) a better photo of a grill.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


It's been two weeks since the rodeo and concert, and I'm still blogging about it?
Lots of other stuff has been happening, and I'm way behind.
Remind me of this when I'm complaining that I don't have any new pictures or stories.

Ricky has changed basses and Tommy's now playing a Les Paul, so you can tell that we've finally moved past the 1st song.
JY never changes guitars, and in fact has played this exact same Fender Stratocaster from the beginning.
A friend of his in college invented a distortion or booster circuit of some kind and installed it in the guitar. JY could never get the same sound out of any other gear, and got hooked on it. Forever friends, a boy and his Strat.

This guy sings almost exactly like Dennis DeYoung, the original keyboardist who sang some of the hits, but I think the new fella is less pretentious.
I explained to Sylvia that the other guys hated Mr. Roboto, Dennis's concept album that almost killed their career, and that they wouldn't play the title song. I was right.

Here Tommy is playing a 12 string electric that looks like someone took a saw to a Telecaster. Like me back in the day, he even played a solo on the 12 complete with bent notes. What a little stud.

I had just finished telling Syl about how the band was formed by the Panozza brothers, who played drums and bass, but who were now too old or too dead to tour.
Then who walks up onstage but Chuck Panozza! Ricky Phillips switched to a 6/12 doubleneck so Chuck could play some bass and feel like a star again.
After this song he sat behind the drummer and rested, then played the rest of the night. Two basses at once?
Very Spinal Tap at times, but they made it work.