Monday, January 28, 2008

I'm It

I've been tagged by IDV to take part in another I'm it. It's the weird list this time. Though, I don't have the gift of auto-telepathy or skills in gastropodicide, I do like the broccoli!
Here are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you
2) Post the rules
3) List six seemingly unimportant habits or quirks about yourself
4) Tag six other people and post the tag in the comments on their blogs

1. I sing in the car to the radio. I'd like to think that my sunglasses provide enough cover so the people next to me at the traffic stop can't possibly see me pretend to be Steven Tyler or Brian McKnight...and (if Midnight Train to Georgia is on) Gladys Knight--after all, I can't do Pips dance moves if I'm driving.

2. While on the road, I like spotting out of state and foreign license plates and make up stories about them. Such as, the Alaska plates belong to igloo building Inuits who've battled through polar bear and grizzly bear country, escaped the pot haze fog of British Columbia, survived burning deserts and climbed sky high mountains to reach Texas--so they could drink some tequila and tan on the beach...

3. I fall asleep faster and better on the sofa than the bed, with the t.v. on and the lights out...If I'm alone, the best way to fall asleep on the bed is to take a hot shower, make the room really cold, then get under the covers nekkid...or get plastered and pass out on the bed.

4. I like to eat my French fries--um, chips to the British--with a nice mixture of ketchup and mayo...Oddly enough, I knew them as chips first because growing up, my favorite fast food meal was fish and chips! I thought fries only came with burgers.

5. I'm a pack rat...of useless junk. I've ATM receipts from accounts all ready closed years ago and movie ticket stubs over a decade old, so faded I'm not even sure what movie it was...or why I'm still holding on to them. Every three months or so, I go through and purge the junk, but somehow, other junk takes it's place...i.e. grocery receipts from last year. I suppose I'm preparing in case of a gov't audit or something...

6. I luv going to birthday parties...I just loathe celebrating my own. Even as a child, I use to hide when it was my birthday. I luv presents. I luv celebrating other people's birthdays. But when it comes to my own, I hate the attention. When my birthday comes around, I go into seclusion and hiding, and I won't resurface til it's over...

Well, there you have it. The six weird things that I can think of right now. So, who am I going to tag? Well, as it is an election year, and in the spirit of democracy, I leave it up to you to take part in this little game if you so choose. I only ask that you let me know when you post this, so I can see what kind of weirdos have blogs ;) Weird can be fun.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

See You Later, Alligator!

Recently, I found out that one of my favorite people to visit on line has taken a break.

Over the past year, MJ has entertained and advised the masses who flocked to her for some laughter, some fun, and just a plain old good time. Don't be deceived by that bewitching, innocent smile and seemingly harmless pose. The woman is an apex predator in the wilds of the internet Serengeti. A crocodile, she has ambushed many a prey who've wandered into her territory with her razor sharp wit and unpredictable humor. No one is safe when she stalks stealthily on other people's posts; when you least expect it, she launches out and grips you with her outrageous comments and you cannot escape as you find yourself unable to resist her charm.

She's made quite an impact on those of us who've come across her...and like any fearsome predator, her remnants remain valuable. As fashion expert CyberPete would agree, from the remains of a crocodile come beautiful purses, lovely belts, and fierce, fabulous boots. So, we're left (for now) with the brilliant remains of a fearlessly wicked, creative, smart, and innovative mind, and a unique, independent spirit...

So to MJ, I say, thanks for the memories...wishing you the best, and After A While, Crocodile!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Island in the Sun

Been very busy with work the last more day, then I'm off for a three day weekend...Hopefully, the sun'll be it's been a while since I've seen it. I'm starting to look pale. Not that there's anything wrong with pale, except I don't want anyone to mis-stake me for a vampire...he.he.he. Nothing wrong with being a vampire either, except for that whole blood sucking thing--haven't these people heard of Hepatitis C?

I'm thinking of taking a vacation in March...don't know if I'll be renewing my contract, even though I've been offered a raise and a bonus. Sometimes, I think I'm getting restless. I just need a change of scenery. Who knows...I've got a month and a half to think about it. A nice break from work would seem like a very good idea. I've earned it for sure. I've brought many repeat clients who are happy with my services, and I've become one of the most requested professionals by our clients at work. I just need to do something different, be somewhere else, hell, be someone else, even for just a little while...sweet escape...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Close Encounter of the 3rd Kind

Seems these days, those dang aliens are on the move again--the outer space kind, not the south of the border kind. The good people of Stephenville, Texas are the latest to report UFO activity. Are there outer space visitors among us? Recent events would lead me to think so.

For example, last night, we went to a potluck at a neighbor's home. About 20 or so people were there. Now, most people in such gatherings would try to put their best foot forward, but not the couple from 2303xxxx lane. A somewhat early middle age (late 40ish) couple, they came to the party snipping and criticizing each other out in the open and throughout the night. It makes me wonder, whatever happened to the good old days when couples kept their business private? Both of them always have a beer in hand, regularly insulting each other across the room. It was an uncomfortable scene, but what could I do but put some brisket on my plate, find a comfortable seat, and enjoy the show with such classic lines as, "All you ever do is bitch!" and "How hard is it to pick up the phone and call to say you're going to be late, again!"

I'm thinking, get a divorce all ready, for crying out loud. They have two daughters in grade school, who conned the neighbors into buying into that Girl Scout Cookies racket. I told them I was diabetic, so no cookies for me. I fear when these girls hit puberty, they'll either run away from home with the first guy who pays them any attention; or they'll go goth, or skanky, or become total psychopaths when the hormones take over.

Then this morning, while I was at the local grocery store, I hear someone calling my name in a loud, annoying, screeching voice. At first, I thought maybe it was someone else who shared my name, but the voice got louder and closer, and before I knew it, I was faced with one of our former clients. A total whiner, I remember this lady was so damned demanding and pathetic. She was with some other friends or family I suppose, but she greeted me, and introduced me to her friends in a loud voice, "Oh, this is that wonderful fella I was telling you about. He was the only one who wasn't a c*nt to me at the company!"

I'm thinking, Good Lord, lady, I buy groceries here! At this point, the cashier has this condescending look on her face. I always bypass the self checkout and find the cashier. Those cashiers are going to earn their minimum wage--just like I did when I was a cashier many years ago. Besides, she should be happy that I'm giving her something to do; otherwise, she wouldn't have a job, being replaced by the self checkout stations.

As the loud lady moved on, I let out a sigh of relief, and thought to myself, wow, whatever happened to decorum and manners? At what point did it become acceptable to be loud and obnoxious and swear in a public place with children present? Surely, these people can't be human? I mean, what sort of human being has no shame and total disregard for others? Okay, so maybe there are human beings like that, but I wonder, when did they become common?

As I left the store, I thought about what some friends and I discussed after leaving the potluck. We talked about how callous that couple was, demeaning each other in public, sad, but entertaining for us nonetheless. Such an inhumane thing to do, to treat another like crap. But perhaps they weren't human at all. We conjectured maybe they were not human beings, but pod people. Somehow, the conversation eventually led to that burning question about alien abductions: What's up with the anal probing? Are aliens gay? Are they checking for polyps? What's the fascination with the human colon? Seriously, if aliens wanted to know what I had for dinner the night before, all they have to do is ask.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ferries and Beaches

Another day off, and once again, I play tourist with my trusty camera today. It was pouring when I woke up, and usually, days like this, I'd much rather stay in bed and watch movies. But, I was feeling adventurous today, so I got in the car and drove out to see Port Bolivar, on the north side of Galveston Bay.

To get to Port Bolivar, I took Highway 87 to the north part of Galveston Island. At the end of the harbor, you'll find the ferries. When I started driving, it was raining, but as I got closer to the ferry, the rain stopped and the sun came out part of the time. I took it as a sign that mother nature approved of my plans today. The ferries is a free service run by the Texas Dept of Transportation to get to and from Port Bolivar. The free ride is approximately 20 minutes of enjoyment. A smooth operation, these ferries have taken on many in their long years of service.

Here's an interesting sign telling people who want to ride the ferry what to do:So, I got into the line of those so eager to ride the ferry; but, seems as if I got there a little late, as I found myself on the end of a long train of riders ready to get on this particular ferry:
As we all loaded onto the ferry, we turned off our engines and listened to the captain announcing instructions on the rules of riding this ferry. No smoking; turn off engines; no pets unattended, etc. And with a toot of it's horn, we began our ride. As we pulled out of the harbor, I took a picture of this other ferry...who's name made me glad I was not riding it, for my health, I suppose:The ferry I was sitting on was named Dewitt C Greer. As we made our way out to Galveston Bay, I took a foto of another ship, a US Coast Guard ship, and I though of their motto: Always ready!I took pictures of the rear of the ferry, noting the long trail of white substance from it's backwash. Also those filthy seagulls...As the ferry kept tugging along further into the bay, I took pictures of other ships passing out to sea. It seemed haunting and mysterious, as I watched these large ships venture out closer to the mists and fog that seem to reach out and overtake these vessels, absconding them from view. I let my imagination run wild and wonder, is that the end of the world? or perhaps the veil to another world? One by one, the ships vanish in the gray shadows, to worlds beyond my sight.
And there it was, out of the mists of the ancient seas stood the lone lighthouse, the Port Bolivar lighthouse.Built and rebuilt since the time of the Civil War over a century ago, the lighthouse served to guide ships for over 60 years, and has saved many lives over the years since, having served as a hurricane shelter during the 1900 and 1915 hurricanes, two of the worst storms to ever hit the area--the first killing at least 8000 to 12000 people, nearly wiping Galveston off the map. Over 200 people were saved by seeking shelter in the lighthouse during the terrible storms.

Though it has been retired from service and is now privately owned, it still towers among the shores of this wild and beautiful land.After getting off on the ferry, I needed to stretch my legs, so took more fotos of the lighthouse and the adjacent Houston Audubon Society's Horseshoe Marsh Bird Sanctuary.Further exploration of the area led me to some heifers; I thought to myself, wow, don't they look delicious!Who doesn't enjoy eating out a tasty heifer?
I eventually found myself on the beaches of Port Bolivar and Crystal Beach. By then, mother nature had become quite upset, as evidenced by the storms that moved in from the seas. Moody isn't she? Not one to argue with a force of nature, I took some fotos of the beaches before things got too rough...What was strange was that when I looked at the both ends of the beach, I was surprised that the mists from the sea had suddenly appeared on the shores. More ominous than the crashing, violent waves, I thought it best to pack up my gear and return to parts more familiar...In the thunderstorms, I made my way back to the ferry, once again at the end of the long line of those waiting to load up. The sun that had partly lighted the beginning of my journey had disappeared, replaced by the cold, furious downpour and the violent flashes of light and echoes of warring thunder.I wasn't so sure at first if the ferry would be able to take the pounding, but this ferry has years of experience with the rough stuff. So, the ferry worked it's towards it's destination, a surprisingly smooth ride for all involved. By time I got off the ferry again, I was tired but hungry. So I phoned a friend, who thankfully, was in the mood for something good, and so ended my tour for the day, spending some time with a lovely lady, feasting on some tender, tasty treats.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Dikes and Erections and Seamen, Oh, my!

Yesterday, I was off from work, and usually, on my days off, I like to play tourist. So with my trusty camera in hand, I ventured off to see the local historical sites and other points of interest.

The first place I wanted to see was the Texas City Dike, the world's longest man made fishing pier. 5 miles long, it extends out into Galveston Bay, along busy Houston's shipping channels. I was excited for the chance to check out a famous dike up close and personal.
Along the way to see the dike, I took a foto of some interesting sculptures in the middle of some major highways. I'm not sure what the artist was trying to communicate: cowboy heritage? rural memories? ode to beef? Then it dawned on me, of course, these were heifers! The artist was trying to make a connection to dikes. Heifers symbolize fertility, while dikes control life giving water. Or maybe they were bulls instead, but I'm not sure...
At the entrance to the dike was a statue of a small boy...or girl...quite possibly a dwarf...
Perhaps the statue symbolizes how dikes can be nurturing and fun for children...and dwarves, maybe even gnomes.

Here, the dike welcomes visitors, with a few rules, of course, on the proper way to conduct oneself on a dike...

The first encounter on the dike involves Anita, who offers you her bait and tackle...

The good people in the government, being responsible, posted this notice for public safety:
A reminder to explore the dike at your own risk...take precautions for your health may be at risk.

These unique buildings caught my eye as I was surveying the dike. What could they be? Clearly, the holes in the walls are too big for these places to restrooms. After all, those mall restroom wall holes are usually only big enough so the person in the next stall can pass you some toilet paper when you don't have any...right?

Upon closer inspection, I discovered that these were beach picnic huts.

Here, you can take your time, resting, perhaps feasting on the dike and enjoy it's views and the feel of it's soft, tender, warm and wet surface...

Imagine my surprise upon going down further on the dike, I saw this sign. No diving on the dike? Well, that certainly limits the number of fun things to do on a dike.

As I turned around and finished my exploration of the dike, I thought these last two fotos seem fitting for the dike.

Though, the dike's road may be hard and rough,

her grass is well groomed and her beauty is worthy of song and poems!

Soon after drinking some water to quench my thirst after going down on the dike, I ventured on to the next stop: The San Jacinto Monument, the biggest rock hard erection in the world!

At 570ft (173.7m), it is 15ft taller than the Washington Monument. It commemorates the many who gave their lives for Texas independence, won on 21 Apr, 1836. Notice that I first stopped at the first blocked off entrance, because I was struck by how prominent the erection was from miles around!
Amidst all the industrial maze that has sprung up around the monument, it still, nonetheless, towers majestically among the haze and filth of present time.

But nature still manages to rise against the machinery onslaught. This tree, weathered and bent, and though it may be old, it still rises to the occasion!

These two pillars mark the opening, the way to the gigantic erection!

A side view shows how the enormous erection juts out proudly from the bushes. Notice how the tip is adorned with a fascinating accessory.

I'm a fan of Art Deco architecture. I was stunned at how the beautiful, bare base managed to hold such a heavy load!

I was speechless when I saw the incredible shaft! Even it's girth was titanic!

Some fotos of exhibits in the museum. I took only a few that picked my interest. I luv the Spanish swords and the rifles. The models, however, had one display that threw me off guard.

Notice the gay couple--the man in the top hat with the fellow in the leather jacket? And check out those two dudes next to them, sitting down, and how they seem to point and laugh at the squad. That squad appears to be preparing for a parade, but some of the privates can't stop giggling or keep their wrists straight when holding their weapons!

I thought, wow, a gay pride display in the tallest erection in the world; is anyone surprised?

As I left the monument, I thought one more foto from another angle would be awesome. Still, it only barely manages to capture the glory of one of man's greatest achievement. What a stunning view, to see such a powerful pillar thrust itself against the heavens, luring us with it's size and daring us to touch it's hardness and strength!

My last stop on my sightseeing adventure was to visit a place that had seen a lot of seamen over the years: The USS Texas (BB-35), anchored in Buffalo Bayou near the San Jacinto Monument, by the Houston Shipping Channel.

The USS Texas is the only surviving dreadnought class battle ship. She participated honorably in both World War I and the Second World War and is still considered one of the most powerful warship still afloat because of her ten 14"/45 guns in five twin turrets.

It was the first US battleship to have anti-aircraft guns; to launch aircraft; to use tech to control gunfire; to receive a radar; and to become a museum ship.

In WWI, the USS Texas escorted Allied vessels amid the perilous Atlantic. In WWII, it shot loads upon the Axis held Northern Africa and Normandy, making way for the Allies to penetrate deeply into Axis territory. Later, it was sent to the Pacific, where it's hard shelling and pounding led the Allies to thrust itself heavily into the exhausted Japanese strongholds of Iwo Jima and later, Okinawa.
After WWII, the USS Texas made several trips, transporting troops back to the US. Efforts made by concerned Texans led to the ship being moved to it's current location, saving it from being scrapped after decommissioning. Able to hold a complement of 954, the USS Texas has held a large number of seamen over the years, delivering load after load of them over vast distances and in service to the United States of America. Truly, a great and powerful ship worthy or preservation and honor.

And so ends my day of exploration. I'll be off again in a few days, and there are other places of interest I intend to visit. Though I had planned on doing more, I had a dinner date; and I was looking forward to spending some time with someone who might enjoy diving, climbing erections, and perhaps interested in forging alliances and merging forces.