Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spreading the Christmas cheer

Jenny inspired me to do this…

If you find yourself in a position where you need some help to get your kids some presents this holiday season, shoot me an email. My email address is and make sure the subject line says “ChrAmazon” in it.

I’ll take emails until about 11:30 PM mountain time tonight (when I get off of work), at which time I’ll pick two of the emailers at random to receive $30 gift certificates.

Just MAKE SURE you put ChrAmazon in the subject line, or it won’t land in the right folder in my email box and could land in the spam.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

New year, new shift

Today, I got the results of the shift changes that they’re doing at SUPPORTCO, and I got my #2 pick… 7:30-4 Monday-Friday.

Yes, that’s right, I’m going to have normal hours, not this 3-11:30 PM business I’ve been pulling since I started in June. Which brings up one important battle…

I must become a morning person.

Thankfully, I’ll have a long weekend to sort of adjust my internal clock, since I’m taking both New Years Eve and New Years Day off.

This’ll be an adventure.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I was going through some pictures I took recently and had to share this one of Boo.


Friday, November 19, 2010

There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who thinks they’re doing something ‘in God’s name’

Westboro Baptist’s crazy train has soared to new levels:

A controversial Kansas church is changing its protest plan after an incident in Oklahoma last week.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church said they want revenge after someone slashed the tires on their van during visit to protest a military funeral in McAlester. The group said it plans to now target funerals for Oklahoma children.

Here’s a blog post on the tire-slashing.

Oh, and here’s a fun, related tidbit from the article:

The Westboro Baptist Church's website now reads "God Hates Oklahoma" and "The Lord curses them by killing Oklahoma's children and casting them into hell. Thank God for more dead children in Oklahoma."

Wow. Just wow.

These people just sicken me. What happened to that whole sanctity of a human life thing… or loving your neighbor… you know, all that stuff that these people seem to have skipped over in all their bible studies or whatever the heck it is that they do.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beaumont assistant city attorney goes streaking

Darrell Craig Vogel seems to be trying to become the Joe DiMaggio of DWI’s:

An assistant city attorney for the city of Beaumont was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated Saturday morning for the second time in two days, according to Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins

Darrell Craig Vogel, 50, was arrested about 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning after Lumberton police responded to a call of an intoxicated person driving away from a local drug store, Sullins said.

Vogel had been arrested early Friday for driving while intoxicated in Beaumont and left the Jefferson County jail on bond at 5 a.m. Friday.

Nothing exceeds like excess…

In all seriousness, though, I hope the state of Texas throws the book at him, pegging him squarely in the face and leaving him with a black eye. There’s just no excuse for this kinda stuff. None. At. All.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

No more wish list

I deleted the Amazon wish list…

If you haven’t heard, Amazon’s been selling a book for it’s popular Kindle that’s more or less a “how-to guide” for pedophiles, and is standing behind the sale of the book.

"Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable," the company said in a written statement. "Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."

So… I’m boycotting Amazon until the book is gone. Which means one thing…

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

There was one thing missing last night…

There was just one thing missing from the Giants’ celebration last night: the phone call from the President:

Giants players and personnel thought they'd hear from President Barack Obama by telephone after San Francisco beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 in Game 5 to capture its first World Series title since 1954.

But Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter tells KNTV they have yet to take that call.

Come on, dude… isn’t this the one easy part of your job?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


So, this Sunday Jennifer and I are taking a trip out to Cali. It’s just a brief trip to do the haunted houses at Knott’s Berry Farm, but it’s a trip nonetheless.

And I’ll bring my camera, which means there should be some pictures of the festivities.

But will Friday Photo return?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Get random thoughts delivered to your inbox!

After some nagging from @molliekatie, I set up a way to subscribe to my blog via email… it’s really easy and can be done with FeedBurner.

The steps I found to set it up are here. It was really easy!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

MLB playoff predictions

Here’s what I’ve got…

First round:

  • Yankees v. Twins: Yankees went 4-2 against the Twins this year… I’d expect nothing but the same from them. Yankees win.
  • Rangers v. Rays: Rays win… Again, the Rays went 4-2 against them in the regular season
  • Braves v. Giants: The Braves are shooting to give Bobby Cox one last run, and they played better in the regular season against ‘em too… Braves win.
  • Phillies v. Reds: As much as I want to say Reds because of Jay Bruce, I just can’t. Phillies are gonna mop the floor with them.

NLCS: Phillies v. Braves: This is a really tough one to call…. divisional teams that know each other all too well. But I think it’ll be the Phillies here. They had the stronger regular season in the matchup and the Phils will have home field, which doesn’t hurt either.

ALCS: Yankees v. Rays: Rays have home field and went 10-8 against the Yankees this year. I think they’ll win this one.

World Series: Rays v. Phillies: For the first time since Selig came up with that BS idea to make the All-Star game “mean something,” the NL will have home field for the series. They didn’t play each other, so there’s no way to compare them there, but I think the Rays are the stronger team, winning the toughest division in baseball and I think they’ll bring home the trophy.

Friday, October 01, 2010


CaptureThe team behind Windows Live Writer, my blogging software of choice, finally released the finished product for WLW 2011 yesterday. I’d been playing around with the beta versions of it, which I’ve liked for the most part, but now that the final is out, here are my thoughts.

  • The “ribbon” interface at the top takes some getting used to, but once you figure out where everything is, it really is more user-friendly than the old way. It’s just that whole learning curve thing.
  • For the most part, they took a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude with the software. Which is a good thing, since next to nothing was broken with it.
  • Overall, I think the experience with the software has been improved.

Oh, and there’s one more really, really big improvement…

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I should probably blog more…

…if for no other reason than that I’ve now got the domain name paid for through December 2014.

So I will…

Monday, September 13, 2010

I have a movie quote running through my mind here…

So, about that whole Ines Sainz being catcalled by Jets players thing…

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, addressing the alleged harassment of a female TV reporter Saturday at practice, told Monday that the team will begin interviewing players as part of its investigation with the league office.


The NFL is looking into a complaint made by the Association for Women in Sports Media against the Jets after Sainz [of Mexico's TV Azteca] reportedly was subjected to footballs being thrown in her direction at practice and, later, players' catcalls inside the locker room.

I’m not going to comment on this… instead, I’ll let Hyman Roth comment for me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Video of the day: Bruiser fights with the “cone of shame”

We had to get a cone of shame for Bruiser because he’d managed to mess up his feet somehow and he was licking the heck out of them and making them just that much worse.

While I was at work, my wonderful girlfriend shot this video of him trying to escape from it to no avail:

Bruiser trying to remove the cone of shame
The good news? Bruiser’s feet are already looking better than they were.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

It’s funny how things work sometimes

I’ve always heard that everything happens for a reason, but I wasn’t sure if I always believed it.

As most of y’all probably know, I up and moved to Phoenix about five months back.

Well, this story begins long before that.

If it wasn’t for a lightning strike that hit the pole outside our house in Beaumont and sent everything haywire.

It, of course, happened on a Friday so we were stuck with dealing with most everything being wonky all weekend. Which sucked, but Twitter’s @jpenaz sent me a direct message that said to text her if I got bored or miserable or whatever. So I did…

And, from that, a friendship grew and turned into a relationship that grew into me coming out just after Christmas. Which was a great trip that convinced me just how amazing a woman Jennifer is.

That led to my coming back in April, which led to my staying here and getting my job with SUPPORTCO, which I enjoy most of the time.

Last month I got myself back to Texas to get my stuff, and I went to see my eye doctor while I was there… finding out that I had a pretty big problem going on with them, so they referred me to a doctor in the Phoenix area to go to. I called and got an appointment scheduled with him the next week.

I met the new doctor the next week and I’m now convinced that I’m way better off going to see him than seeing the old doctor I was seeing in Houston. I’ve got nothing but confidence in Dr. Rabinowitz, who not only explained the situation to me in way more detail than my previous doctor, but made me feel pretty good about it. He simply told it to me like it is.

For now, medicine’s holding my condition in check, but I’ll almost surely need to have surgery done for it someday and I can honestly say that I’ve got nothing but a ton of faith in the doctors I’m seeing now… something I couldn’t say before.

Everything happens for a reason. I believe that now.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Yea, I know, I know…

It’s been forever since I’ve blogged anything.

Rest assured, though, that I’ve got a three-day weekend coming up and I’ve got a post or two in mind for that time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Just letting y’all know I’m alive…

…and well after the trip back to Texas.

I did learn a few things, though:

  • Like just how big Texas really is… We left Beaumont about 8:30 AM and made it to the New Mexico border about 11 PM… and that includes a time zone change. It also includes about an hour and a half diversion off the normal route to see my aunt, but she offered a free lunch, an offer I couldn’t refuse…
  • When the speed limit’s 80, it’s really easy to find yourself going 90.
  • There’s a whole lot of nothing between San Antonio and El Paso.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Dear Southwest Airlines…

Dear Southwest Airlines,

I’m flying with y’all this morning back to my home in Texas. Could y’all do me a big favor? Because I’d really appreciate it that if I get a singing flight attendant that they actually be good at singing. The guy I had singing on my flight out here was pretty awesome, so I’d take him again.


Dear thunderstorms in the area…

Dear thunderstorms in the area,

Look, guys, I know you have an important job in giving the Valley of the Sun some much-needed rain during the summer monsoon season, but could you please stay far enough away from the airport this morning that you won’t mess up my flight? Because that would be awesome.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I went outside last night (I have Sunday and Monday off) to mow the back yard.

Before the actual mowing, I went and got the pooper scooper to clean up…

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Updated: Counting down

I’ve had the date for my return to Texas planned for a while, but I’d been seeing it as something that’s “still a ways off.”

Until I realized something this week: that it’s really not all that far off anymore.

It’s less than two weeks.

In all fairness, I’m only spending a few days back at home and most of the time will involve me packing my car and taking care of things.

But it’s still a few days with family and friends that I really hadn’t said “bye” to… after all, it’s not like I’d planned on staying in Arizona.

UPDATE: And, yes, Bruiser is coming with me on the drive back to Arizona.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Now that’s what I call a Sunday night!

Last night just might have been the best night I’ve had since I moved out to Arizona in April.

Thursday or Friday I made reservations at Ruffino’s, a local Italian joint that one of my girlfriend’s friends had recommended we try.

So we went… and although the prices there were a little higher than my sensibilities would usually allow me to pay for food, it was an incredible meal. Quite possibly the best Italian I’ve ever had.

As we drove home from that, we could see lightning flashes in the distance. Looks like monsoon season is on the way…

We weren’t done, though. We headed to the local movie joint a little while later to go see Inception. In IMAX. Though it did have moments where it felt a lot like Shutter Island, the last film DiCaprio did, it was just an amazing flick. To me, it’s amazing that someone could just think up a story like the one that movie told, much less make it work so well.

If you go see any movie out there this summer, make it Inception. Just trust me on this one. It’s amazing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baggy is back! Just not at first base, which is OK.

Berry out, Bagwell in:

The Astros have relieved hitting coach Sean Berry of his duties, general manager Ed Wade announced today.

Berry will be replaced by former Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell, who has been serving as a Special Assistant to the General Manager since his retirement in 2006. Berry, who had been the Astros hitting coach for the past five seasons, has been offered an opportunity to remain in the Astros organization.

As a few of y’all might know, Bagwell was my favorite Astro growing up, so I welcome anything that’ll get him back in an Astros uniform.

Of course, this move won’t help them this year, but I do think it’ll be of benefit to the young kids coming up to the majors.

I was going to link to the photo gallery from Baggy’s retirement, but something seems to be wrong with the gallery. Not that I ever use the gallery anymore or anything. So I’ll link to a picture I did as a Friday Photo of Bagwell catching his daughters throwing the first pitch when his number was retired.

Monday, July 05, 2010

So am I “one of those people” now?

Today my lovely girlfriend and I joined a gym. Yes, that’s right, me… a member of a gym. I’m not making this up…

And, you know what? I’m kinda looking forward to getting started.

I’ve needed to get myself in better shape for years, after all…

So the adventure begins…

Friday, July 02, 2010

Friday Photo going into hibernation because of this oppressive desert heat. Or something.

OK, so it’s not really going into “hibernation” because of the oppressive desert heat… even if it is 1 AM when I’m writing this, and still 98 degrees outside.

Yes, that’s right, it’s 98 at 1 AM. It’s insane.

Anyway, the reason I’m really hibernating the feature is because my computer, and with it almost all of my photo collection, is still in Texas.

Anyway, I should be bringing it back sometime next month after I get my computer moved out to the desert with me.

Until then, I’ll try to blog a little more about other stuff… like my life in Arizona.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Supreme court to review the other Arizona immigration law

That’s right, I’m not talking about SB 1070. I’m talking about the law punishing employers for hiring illegals.

The Supreme Court is entering the nation's charged debate over immigration, agreeing to hear a challenge from business and civil liberties groups to an Arizona law that cracks down on employers who hire undocumented workers.

The justices on Monday accepted an appeal from the Chamber of Commerce, American Civil Liberties Union and others to a lower court ruling that upheld Arizona's law. The measure requires employers to verify the eligibility of prospective employees through a federal database called E-Verify and imposes sanctions on companies that knowingly hire undocumented workers.

Some of y’all might remember that I’ve blogged about this law before. I still don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that the law will be overturned, but who knows. After all, I didn’t think the SCOTUS would even take the case.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Diving into the trenches

Yesterday way my first day going solo on the phones at SUPPORTCO. It was… interesting.

First few calls were nerve-racking, but I got more comfortable as the night went on. I was actually feeling about as confident as a person doing their first day out there could be.

We were told to not take a call after 10:45 and go back to our classroom to take care of some stuff. At 10:44 I literally had my finger on the button that logs me out of the phone system when I got a beep that told me I had a call.

It’s a call that should have taken about 10 minutes, but out of my stupidity it took about half an hour. Thankfully, though, I did get the issue resolved.

So, I learned two really big lessons today:

  1. Always use the guides and cheat sheets we have… ESPECIALLY for Wi-Fi issues.
  2. Never keep your finger on the logout button in anticipation of the computer’s clock rolling over to your time off. You’re destined to get a call.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mama I’m coming home… for a few days

On Monday I put in for some time off in August to go home and get my stuff and drive it all back to Phoenix.

Yesterday they approved my time off and I booked my flight home.

I’ll be coming in on the 7th, start the drive out to Phoenix (with my brother) the next Wednesday, get to Phoenix probably on Thursday, and he’ll hang out with us until Tuesday when I drop him off at the airport.

It’s all coming together! Giggity!

Looking forward to getting a little time at home.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No, Drayton, we’re not still in it…

I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Crap on this one.

Any chance that Bob McNair wants to own a baseball team along with the Texans? Because I’d be OK with that.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dear the sport of golf…

Dear the sport of golf,

Please make the rules simple so the average Joe can understand them. If you did, I might like you a hell of a lot more.


Friday, June 18, 2010

So, Justin, how’s that whole job thing going?

I’m glad you asked, big orange text!

The first four days of training for SUPPORTCO (as I’m calling it) have been great. So far, I’ve aced all of the daily tests and tonight’s the final exam, that I get two chances to make a 90 on. I think I can manage.

Next week’s my last week of training and I’ll actually start taking calls towards the end of the week.

And then I’m released into the wild…

Friday Photo has gone to the birds!


Monday, June 14, 2010

You stay classy, left! Or: Why I moderate comments

So I woke up this morning to a pending comment (from someone named Anonymous) about that recent post about my trip to Pei-Wei.

Just one question, did you burn the cross before or after your meal ?

Wow, really, we’re jumping to not just the racism thing, but the KKK. Why am I not surprised?

Though I guess I should clarify the whole KKK thing. Yes, when I was five years old, I did go for Halloween as a ghost. I don’t remember what the costume looked like myself, but I am told that I did kind of look like a member of the KKK, without the swastikas and pointy hood. But it’s not like that counts, right?

Also, it’s true that some of the family on my mom’s side are members of the KKK and probably have burned crosses in the past. It should be noted, though, that I haven’t even been around any of them in close to ten years.

But the main reason I didn’t burn a cross was two-fold: First, at 107 degrees, I figured it was hot enough outside without something burning. Secondly, the Phoenix area had, at that point, gone a little over a month without any rain and I didn’t want to take any chances of burning anything else down, because that’s just irresponsible.

I should probably note that the last paragraph was laced with sarcasm, since people seem to never understand that sort of thing.

On a serious note, anybody who *really* knows me and didn’t just stumble across a blog post of mine while doing a Google search for “pei-wei manager fired” would know that I’m anything but a racist, cross-burning idiot.

And that’s where I’m leaving it.

Friday, June 11, 2010


These little guys live in a nest on the back porch. They were both gone just a couple days after I shot the pictures of them. I’m assuming their mommy taught them how to fly.


There’s another shot of these fellas coming next week.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Food made with injustice is so tasty!

111391011 As I previously mentioned I would do, I went to Pei Wei during the protest. I’ll report on it in Random Thoughts style:

  • When we got there, just a little after 6, there was one person from the protest inside talking to the manager about it. He tried talking to people inside about the protest, but was quickly run off for loitering. Not that i blame the guy for wanting to stay inside, it was 106 out there.
  • Pei-Wei’s orange peel chicken is really, really good.
  • People eventually showed up with signs: one said something about not eating food “made with injustice.” Refer to this blog entry’s title for my thoughts on that…
  • When I walked outside to take the picture you see above, I pointed out that the fired employees didn’t call in to say they were missing work. One asked “So you want to join us?” I responded with something to the tune of “No, I think y’all are a bunch of idiots!” and walked back inside.
  • By the way, more people showed after I took that picture. There were probably 10-15 folks there total.
  • As we left, I talked a little with one of the protesters. Here are some highlights from that:
    • He asked me if I thought employees should be fired for missing work. I said “absolutely.”
    • He then asked me if I’d ever been fired (as if that was really relevant) and I said no. The guy went on to tell me that he has been four times. Which sounds crazy, he couldn’t have been much older than me and fired FOUR times, really? Wow.
    • He then brought up the economy and how hard it is to find a job, as if he thought that it should have some sway on the issue. I simply told him “Yea, I know, I just moved here and JUST got hired after looking for a job for two months.”
    • He then started talking about that “racist” SB 1070. I asked him “What part of illegal don’t you understand?”
    • It was then that I was convinced that the guy should be a talking head on the Sunday talk shows. He was a master at dodging the crux of questions.
  • It was then that I left, stuffed with food made from injustice.

So, what did I learn?

  • Protesters are stupid, and…
  • Pei-Wei’s got some awesome food.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about it. I’ll leave you with this picture of my meal:


Friday, June 04, 2010

Obama administration challenging another Arizona law while they’re at it

I guess the Obama administration doesn’t think that challenging SB 1070 is enough:

The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court decision that upheld Arizona's right to punish employers for hiring illegal immigrants.

The Arizona law gives the state the right to suspend or terminate business licenses.

"If you hire a person in this country illegally knowingly, you'll lose your license. First offense, 10 days. Second offense, revocation, never to do business in the state of Arizona again," said Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican who helped draft the new controversial Arizona law that cracks down on illegal immigrants.

The Obama administration apparently worries letting that law stand would leave in place a precedent that states have a legitimate role in enforcing immigration laws – a notion the administration fiercely opposes.

This law, which was signed by then-Governor and current Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, has withstood scrutiny in the courts before. And not just by anybody, but the insanely liberal 9th Circuit.

And why? The article explains:

The Arizona statue relies on a law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1986, which made clear federal law preempts the states on immigration – but left one exception: "The provisions of this section preempt any state or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ unauthorized aliens."

"Congress said very clearly that licensing and similar laws can be used to impose consequences on employers who hire unauthorized aliens at the state level," said Kris Kobach, a law professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. "And that's exactly what Arizona did."

I’d be surprised if the Supreme Court decides to even hear the case. Sounds pretty open-and-shut to me.

Friday Photo moves to Phoenix

Say hi to Cider!


She’s not a big fan of my camera.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Updated: Well what did they expect? A parade?

So at least a dozen workers at a Pei Wei in Chandler (A Phoenix suburb) skip work to go to a protest against SB 1070, the controversial Arizona immigration law.

Thirteen of them showed up the next day and were told they were fired:

"I can understand it because that’s their business and we were supposed to work, but come on, they have to understand us too," said former Pei Wei employee Elizabeth Serafin, who added the employees understood they were taking a risk.

The general manager of Pei Wei in Chandler confirmed Sunday it was simply a business decision, but for the 13 people who took the chance, securing their future was more important than another day of work.

"If we want something to happen, we have to do something," Serafin said.

They got what was coming. You miss work like that, you simply miss work. Heck, I was basically told that if I miss a day in my first month at the new job I’m gone. And I’m fine with that, considering the first month is pretty much all training.

I’m thinking I need to take a trip over to Chandler and spend some money at a Pei Wei…

UPDATE: A protest is being organized against the store that did the firings for this Saturday at 6 PM. Jennifer (my lovely girlfriend) and I plan on going up there about that time, but not to protest. We’re going to have dinner there. I’ll be sure to TwitPic while I’m there, so be sure to watch my Twitter feed on Saturday night. I’ll also post some pics on the blog afterwards.

This is going to be fun…

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Armando Galarraga got screwed!

And here’s the photo evidence:


Is anybody still not sold on expanding instant replay after this? I sure am!

It’s paid off

After planning to be here just for a couple of weeks, today marks two months since I came to Arizona.

It also marks two months of looking for a job and the frustrations that such a search can involve.

And it marks the day that search ended.

Yes, this morning I was offered a job and took it.

You have no idea how glad I am that that’s over.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

This, children, is why your mommy’s always told you to never play with explosives


A man whom the U.S. described as a key figure in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula accidentally blew himself up, U.S. military officials told Fox News.

The officials say Nayif Al-Qahtani was "messing with a bomb" when it went off. U.S. officials had been watching him, but Fox News' sources insist the U.S. had nothing to do with his death.

Wouldn’t it be nice if more terrorists would do this?

It’s getting hot out here, but please, I’m begging you, keep your clothes on.

hot Yesterday was Phoenix’s first 100-degree day of the year…

Friday, May 21, 2010

Roy Oswalt requests a trade. Can’t say I blame him.

Astros ace Roy Oswalt wants to play somewhere else:

Astros ace Roy Oswalt has asked to be traded, team general manager Ed Wade acknowledged today.

Oswalt’s agent, Bob Garber, contacted Astros owner Drayton McLane on Thursday and communicated the pitcher’s request, Wade said.

If I were him, I’d want to be traded too. Oswalt’s 2-6 on the season despite pitching nine quality starts (6+ IP, 3 or less runs) in a row. If you can manage a quality start, you should win most of the time. But the Astros’ bats suck so much that they can’t put three or four runs on the board to support him and get him a win.

Also, it’d be a smart move for the Astros. They’re sitting at 14-27, the worst record in the NL and only ahead of the Orioles (at 13-29) in the race to the first draft pick next year. Yea, I know they started at 15-30 in 2005 and made the World Series, but this isn’t the 2005 team. We all knew that they were way better than that start. This team… sadly… isn’t. It’s time for the team to look towards the future and pick up some minor leaguers to make the team better in the long run.

If only Drayton would get his head out of his ass long enough to realize it. I know it’s unlikely but I can hope. right?

Ducky (though not of the rubber variety)

PHX Zoo 136

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is crazy in the air back in Texas?

JessieHaynesweb[Right: BISD Spokeswoman Jessie Haynes. Photo from BISD website]

Yes, that’s right, I’m blogging about news back in my hometown. Try not to be shocked.

Thursday night, a sign outside the Beaumont school district’s administration building that reads “Recognized” (In regards to the state’s rating for the district) was changed to say a six-letter racial slur that starts with the letter N. I’ll let you figure out what that slur is…

Anyway, they had a press conference about it yesterday afternoon, and these gems came out of it:

[District spokeswoman Jessie] Haynes placed much of the blame for the vandalism on the media for allowing readers to leave comments on websites and blogs, then encouraged media outlets to remove critical comments directed at BISD, [district superintendent] Dr. Thomas and herself in order to prevent further escalation. She went on to say, “Little seeds like this grow into the Oklahoma bombing.”

Really? You think the ability to leave comments is what caused some idiot to do this. Ever think about the precedent you may be setting by asking media outlets to censor comments that are critical of you? That might be pretty ugly too.

You’d think that would be the extent of the crazy from the press conference. You’d be wrong:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

The Astros have put Kaz Matsui on waivers:

The Houston Astros will ask waivers on infielder Kazuo Matsui for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release, General Manager Ed Wade announced after Wednesday night's game vs. the Colorado Rockies.

The transaction will officially go into effect on Thursday. By rule, if Matsui is not claimed by another club within two business days (by Monday, May 24), he will become an unrestricted free agent.


Matsui, who had been with the Astros since signing as a free agent on December 2, 2007, was hitting .141 (10x71) in 27 games (19 starts) entering tonight. In 630 Major League games, Matsui, 34, has hit .267 (615x2302) with 32 home runs, 211 RBI and 102 stolen bases in 120 attempts. In his first two seasons with the Astros, Matsui hit .293 with 20 steals in 96 games 2008 and .250 with 19 steals in 132 games in 2009.

Good riddance to dead weight!

Arizona threatening to cut off L.A.’s power? Not exactly, but maybe they should…

Yesterday Gary Pierce, a commissioner on the Arizona Corporation Commission, sent this letter to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In it, he said this:

If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation.

The city of Los Angeles gets about a quarter of it’s electricity from Arizona power plants.

Fox News is reporting on this today, saying that Arizona’s threatening to cut off their power.

If Los Angeles wants to boycott Arizona, it had better get used to reading by candlelight. 

That's the message from a member of Arizona's top government utilities agency, who threw down the gauntlet Tuesday in a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa by threatening to cut off the city's power supply as retribution.

That’s not how I read it. It sounds to me like Pierce is simply sending the letter to make his point about the ridiculousness of the boycott in a clever way. Which I think it did.

But Fox News, like all news outlets, needs readers, viewers, etc., to make money so I’m not surprised at all that they’re trying to sensationalize the issue a bit.

I really wish L.A. would stop half-assing this boycott thing and go all-out. They should refuse to take our power, ban Phoenix-based US Airways from flying into LAX, and take all their prisoners back. After all, is it really a boycott if you’re only doing it when it’s convenient to you?

Come on, Los Angeles, grow a pair and show us just how serious you are about this boycott thing!

And if you won’t, then I’d be willing to bet that most Arizonans would be willing to help you with it, me included.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I know we’re boycotting you. but PLEASE don’t boycott us!

[H/T @KamaainaInOC]

That’s basically what San Diego is saying:

San Diego tourism leaders and hoteliers fear they could lose a sizable chunk of business this summer from valued “Zonies” who are so angered by elected leaders’ recent censure of Arizona for its illegal-immigration law that they’re mounting an informal boycott of their own.

The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau and several hotels report receiving e-mails and letters from Arizona visitors saying they intend to change their plans to travel here in light of local outcry over their home state’s anti-illegal-immigration stance.

Tourism officials are striking back. In an open letter, they urge Arizona residents to overlook local politics and come to San Diego just as they always have for its mild climate, beaches and attractions. The visitors bureau, in conjunction with the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association, plans to circulate the letter to media outlets and in advertising this weekend in The Arizona Republic.

Really? Y’all didn’t expect this? Hello! This was gonna happen. And it’s probably going to hurt y’all a lot more since nobody in their right mind comes to Arizona in the summer anyway!

Also, I love how they’re spending money buying advertising in The Arizona Republic, which is in Arizona last time I checked, to say “Please ignore our boycott.” Um… no.

Count me in with the boycott-boycotters…

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A little light reading, anybody?

So it came out today that Eric Holder hasn’t actually read that little bill they passed in Arizona that he’s been so critical of:

Despite repeatedly voicing concerns about Arizona's new immigration enforcement law in recent weeks and threatening to challenge it, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday he has not yet read the law -- which is only 10 pages long.

"I have not had a chance to -- I've glanced at it," Holder said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing when asked had he read the state law cracking down on illegal immigrants.

Holder told reporters last month that he fears the new law is subject to abuse and that the Justice Department and the Homeland Security Department are in the midst of conducting a review.

Am I the only one that sees a problem here?

Now in all fairness, I haven’t read SB 1070 (PDF) either. But I’m thinking about doing it this weekend. Maybe Eric Holder can fly out to Phoenix and we can read it together?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Is it too early?

I don’t think so:


My Astros are sitting at 9-20 as I’m writing this, and that’s just depressing.

It figures that the one game of the series against the Diamondbacks that I didn’t watch was the one the Astros won. Ugh.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

“Don’t tase me, bro!” “Then don’t be a moron!”

(See what I’m talking about)

If you run out on to the field at any sporting event, you deserve to get tased. If not worse. Like, uh, being tackled.

Also, if you don’t want to get tasered, then keep your butt in your seat.

Friday, April 30, 2010


PHX Zoo 061

This was a really tough shot to get thanks to a stupid sheet of plexiglass between me and the monkeys.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Catching a ballgame

0425001204Apologies for the image quality there, it’s a cell phone shot.

Anyway, yesterday I took my first journey to Chase Field to watch the Diamondbacks play the Phillies.

It was a good game, close all the way, with the D’Backs eventually winning 8-6 with the save by former Astro Chad Qualls. Why did we trade him again?

Oh, yea, back on topic. It’s a nice ballpark. Definitely big, maybe a little too big, but a 48k-seat stadium’s going to look huge and empty when there are just short of 30k there.

They’ve got good hot dogs, but all-in-all (at least where I was sitting) the food selection was lacking and a bit disappointing in my book. I won’t pass final judgment on it, though, until I’ve been to some more games and had more of a chance to wander around the park.

The weather yesterday was beautiful. Sunny with a high in the upper 80’s with a nice breeze. It’s kind of weird for me to call 90 degrees beautiful, but not having humidity really does make a huge difference. The only issue was the sun. I’ve tanned some since I came here, but my legs got their first real dose of it after buying a pair of shorts last week. They’re pretty roasted.

All in all, it’s a nice ballpark. I liked Minute Maid Park in Houston or Coors Field in Denver, but beats the pants off of the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Not sure at this point when I’ll be going back, but I can’t wait to really explore the place.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Well I guess I’d better start responding to text messages more…

Last night I got a phone call from my mom asking if I was ok.

My brother had called her freaking out because I’d not responded to a text from him in a few days. He was worried that something like this was going on:

The Silence of the Lambs

Moral of the story? Always answer text messages.

Friday, April 16, 2010


After a lot of thinking, I’ve made a decision. A big one.

I mentioned a while back that I was going back out to Phoenix for another visit.

Well, that visit has turned into a stay.

Yea, that’s right, I’m finally nowhere near hurricanes!


Bending down

PHX Zoo 048

Thursday, April 08, 2010

So I went bowling today…

…for the first time in at least a year. Bowled two games with Jennifer (my incredibly awesome in every girlfriend who can make some mean chocolate-chip pancakes) and didn’t do too peachy.

Then again, I was rusty so I didn't really think I would.

But at least the games were close. She beat me 80-79 in the first game and 97-90 in the second.

I can live with that.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

“Inside the Park: Voices of Baseball” covers all the bases in poetic beauty

Inside the Park Voices of Baseball A while back, J-Mag Guthrie approached me about doing a review of her new book Inside the Park: Voices of Baseball. How could I turn her down?

I’ve known “Annie” (She went by the name Astro Annie on the Astros web forums) for about 6 years. Even dated her daughter (but that’s a story for a different day). She’s written baseball poems and parody songs for as long as I’ve known her, so I wasn’t surprised when she told me about the book.

I finally got the chance to read it on Friday while I was waiting on my flight to Phoenix and found it to be a wonderfully-written collection of poems on a variety of topics. She has poems covering a wide variety of topics and perspectives, including bench players, veteran pitchers, fans, umpires, and even the broadcasters.

The poem that struck me the most was the one covering Shoeless Joe Jackson, who proclaimed his innocence in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal until the day he died. I loved it.

As someone that considers himself anything but a poetry junkie, I have to say that I was really impressed with it. Definitely a great read for any baseball fan, especially one that’s more into poetry than myself.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The death of Stupid Quiz Sunday

I’ve made the executive decision that last week’s Stupid Quiz Sunday will be the last as a weekly series, though the feature will likely make an occasional appearance as I come across interesting quizzes..

I’ve just lost interest in the feature, there’s nothing else to say, really…

Friday, April 02, 2010


Another one from the Phoenix Zoo

PHX Zoo 054

In semi-related news, this afternoon I’m jumping on a plane and heading out there again.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Video of the day: Rainbows and Unicorns

I lol’ed:

A new path

It is with a heavy heart that I am today announcing that I am leaving blogging.

It was a very tough decision to make, but I realized that I simply won't have the time for it with my new career in the nude skydiving business.

I’m sure y’all are wondering to yourselves “What’s the nude skydiving business?”

Well, we jump out of planes. Naked. Yes, that’s right, not even a parachute. Trust me, there’s no better feeling in the world and it’s nowhere near as dangerous as it sounds. You see, the trick is landing on a huge stack of mattresses that you put in the middle of a field. If you hit those, you’re fine. Just, uh, make sure to not miss the stack.

It's been a great ride, with a lot of great people I've met along the way.

I'm really going to miss y'all.

Oh, and…

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How unoriginal…

Welcome to Stupid Quiz Sunday, in which I'll take an online quiz that may or may not be stupid and post the results.

Your Prank Is: Setting off stink bombs
And that's how you should celebrate April Fool's Day

Yea, really, that’s the best they could come up with… so sad. :(

Have you taken this quiz? Have a quiz you want me to take? Leave a link in the comments.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bracket Update

030502-N-9214D-002So here’s how my bracket is shaping up:

Kansas (My national champion) is out, but Kentucky, Baylor, and Kansas St. are still alive.

Obama, whose bracket I declared a week ago that I would beat, has Kentucky and Kansas St. still alive in his Final Four, and we both have Kentucky making the championship game.

Obama has 590 points, I have 640.

But, since any points Obama scores from here on out would also score for me, it’s impossible for him to beat me.

Mission. Accomplished.

About the new look

Yesterday, I got an email from Blogger (who never, ever emails me about stuff) announcing their new Template Designer.

So I took a look at it and fell in love with the new, uber-customizable templates they offer.

After playing around with it for a while, this is what I came up with. I really, really, like it.

I’m curious what my three readers think about it. Leave me a note in the comments…

Friday, March 26, 2010

Prairie dogs!

Welcome to Friday Photo, a feature where I share photos that I've taken with the world.

This will be the last Friday Photo I do with the tagline thingy up top… it’s time for it to go.

PHX Zoo 026

Aren’t they cute?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

You got this from 5’10”? Really?

Welcome to Stupid Quiz Sunday, in which I'll take an online quiz that may or may not be stupid and post the results.

Your Height Says You're Intuitive
You are a gifted communicator, and you understand other people well.
You are compassionate and empathetic. You feel other's pain a little too easily.

Because of your open heart and open mind, many people admire and adore you.
You are classy and well mannered. You have the art of charm mastered.

You are about as tall as the average Australian man.

Have you taken this quiz? Have a quiz you want me to take? Leave a link in the comments.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The first round is over and I’m beating Obama!

My bracket’s doing quite well. 26 of the 32 first-round games right and I’ve only lost two Sweet 16 teams, nobody I had going any deeper.

This year, I’ve only got one measuring stick. One goal with my bracket. To do better than Obama. And, so far, I’m succeeding. He got 25 of 32 and he’s lost an Elite 8 team…

Yay me!

And now for a much smaller bird

Welcome to Friday Photo, a feature where I share photos that I've taken with the world.

PHX Zoo 023

Monday, March 15, 2010

Continental drops free in-flight meals, makes Dwight Silverman sob.

It all started with @dsilverman posting a link to an article about Continental dropping free in-flight meals for coach passengers. Here’s his tweet:

RT @HoustonChron: Continental drops free lunches for passengers in coach | And I just may drop Continental.

I responded:

@dsilverman I won't fly anything but @SouthwestAir. Hobby's a hell of a lot easier to deal with and I don't really care about "perks"

And Dwight said:

@FatElvis04 i love the cheeseburgers on Continental. you even get a little salad. or used to. *sob*

And I fired back:

@dsilverman Dwight can haz cheezburger? Now you've given me a craving for one. I'm blaming you for any trips to Hamburger Depot today...

And then the idea for this came to me:

Dwight no haz cheezburger
Shot of the plane from mrkathika’s Flickr account.
Dwight’s picture from TechBlog.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Star Wars name

Welcome to Stupid Quiz Sunday, in which I'll take an online quiz that may or may not be stupid and post the results.

Quite possibly the most confusing one I’ve done yet.

Your Star Wars Name Is Jusya Adbea
Your Star Wars Title Is Hguswe of Refinnej

Have you taken this quiz? Have a quiz you want me to take? Leave a link in the comments.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Puma’s knee needs to be cleaned out, could miss Opening Day


Astros first baseman Lance Berkman will undergo surgery to remove loose particles from his left knee and will miss two to four weeks.


It's unknown whether Berkman will be ready for Opening Day.


"We're probably looking at two to four weeks," general manager Ed Wade said. "Whether or not he's going to be ready for Opening Day really just depends on the healing process. They haven't even gone in yet, so it's too early to tell, but the normal timeframe would be two to four weeks. We'll see where it flows from there."

Well, at least they’re dealing with this now instead of sometime in June or July. Get well soon, Big Puma!

Big bird

Welcome to Friday Photo, a feature where I share photos that I've taken with the world.

PHX Zoo 001

The condor’s getting his nom’s on…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New toilet design could help the environment. But will men like it?


As far as the environment is concerned, your #1 isn’t #1.

Thankfully, those crazy Europeans have found a solution for the problem. Read about it over at SciGuy.

Realistically, I could never see something like this being implemented on a wide scale. It would just cost way too much money to be worth it…

Well, that and I prefer to stand when I pee.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Reflections on Spring Training

As I’m sitting here reflecting on the tidbits I’ve heard so far from Kissimmee, the Astros are currently sitting at 3-3 through spring training. But what can I take from that?

Not much.

If they were 1-5 or 0-6 so far, then maybe I’d be concerned. I feel for the nine teams with just one win and the Nationals, who are sitting at 0-7 right now.

It’s still pretty early on in the game. Starters are throwing only two or three innings and surely don’t have their best stuff going yet. Everybody else is still shaking off some rust from the winter months. Nobody’s anywhere close to the top of their game, though I suppose hitters would have a little bit of an advantage as it shouldn’t take them nearly as long to find their groove.

There’s really not, in my mind, a huge window where you can look at teams during spring training and judge how good they’re really going to be. That window falls towards the beginning of the last week of spring training. I’d say the whole week, but the last two or three games there are players in the games that are fighting for that 25th roster spot.

So, realistically, you’re talking about a five-game window in my mind.

If they go 1-4 or 0-5 through that window, THEN I’ll be worried.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Please tell me I’m not an emo one, because that would just kill all the badassery of being a vampire.

Welcome to Stupid Quiz Sunday, in which I'll take an online quiz that may or may not be stupid and post the results.

You Are A Vampire
You have a real thirst for bliss, and you consider yourself a true hedonist.
And you're not afraid to walk alone in life, if it means getting what you truly crave.
You truly enjoy entrancing people. Not to mention the ensuing pleasures of the flesh.
Your tastes have been called decadent and bizarre. You usually give in to your temptations, no matter how primal

Your greatest power: Your flawless ability to seduce and charm

Your greatest weakness: Human flesh

You play well with: Werewolves

Have you taken this quiz? Have a quiz you want me to take? Leave a link in the comments.

Friday, March 05, 2010

(Wild) Dog Blogging

Welcome to Friday Photo, a feature where I share photos that I've taken with the world.

Well, ok, not really a dog. More like a Mexican Wolf:

PHX Zoo 009

Yes, I’m starting in on my photos from the Phoenix Zoo. I did eventually find the card. Two weeks later, after I’d ordered a replacement.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

It’s a good thing we’re here to help nature!

So today Obama lays out plans to restore the Gulf Coast from:

…the catastrophic dangers of rising sea levels, hurricanes and erosion on the Gulf Coast, and backed efforts to invest in restoring barriers islands and wetlands in Mississippi and Louisiana.

A thought on the barrier islands and wetlands that I’ve always wondered…

Hurricanes have “always” happened, right? And they’d do damage to the wetlands and barrier islands in the past, right?

Logic would say so.

And didn’t those same barrier islands and wetlands eventually restore themselves without our help?

I’d think so…

So why are we doing anything?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I’m also the guy gunning it hoping the lightdoesn’t turn red…

Welcome to Stupid Quiz Sunday, in which I'll take an online quiz that may or may not be stupid and post the results.

You Are a Yellow Light
You take life at a sustainable past. Fast enough to do a lot, but not fast enough to leave everyone behind.
You are open to whatever may come your way in life. You're very receptive.

You are quite thoughtful and knowledgeable. You have the perfect mix of reflection and experience.
You think before you act. You like to know some of the facts before you make a decision.

Have you taken this quiz? Have a quiz you want me to take? Leave a link in the comments.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

But… but… SCOTT BROWN’S A TRAITOR! Or not…

I’ve always thought the fuss about Scott Brown voting for the jobs bill was way too much.

Dean over at Beers With Demo agrees.

My take: The man voted his conscience instead of the party line. Who can’t admire that in a politician?

Friday, February 26, 2010

The lone prairie dog

Welcome to Friday Photo, a feature where I share photos that I've taken with the world.

This is a cleaned-up version of a cell phone pic I shot at the Phoenix Zoo.


Of course, since it’s a cell shot, it still looks kinda lousy. But I still thought it was kinda cool.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wicked WIN of the day…

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

I post this because they’re talking about us getting snow tonight AND I’ve got to drive to Houston in the morning. But I’m cancelling if it’s bad, so don’t worry.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I didn’t go cheat and look up any answers, so…

Welcome to Stupid Quiz Sunday, in which I'll take an online quiz that may or may not be stupid and post the results.

You Passed High School with an B
You have the brains of a high school graduate... at least!

Have you taken this quiz? Have a quiz you want me to take? Leave a link in the comments.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I thought I would have scored higher…

Welcome to Stupid Quiz Sunday, in which I'll take an online quiz that may or may not be stupid and post the results.

You Are 48% Brutally Honest
Honesty is important to you, but generally, you try not to be brutal about it.
You'll sugar coat the truth when you need to... and tell a white lie when necessary.

Have you taken this quiz? Have a quiz you want me to take? Leave a link in the comments.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

More reptiles

Welcome to Friday Photo, a feature where I share photos that I've taken with the world.

Houston Zoo 091

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Because “Justin” just ain’t 80’s enough

Welcome to Stupid Quiz Sunday, in which I'll take an online quiz that may or may not be stupid and post the results.

Your 80s Name Is Joshua Stephen
Totally radical, dude!

They know I was born in the 80’s, right?

Have you taken this quiz? Have a quiz you want me to take? Leave a link in the comments.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Super Bowl Bingo!






A live shot of Bourbon Street First-year head coach… A shot of Eli and/or Archie Manning Any bailed-out company having a commercial Pierre Garçon's ties to Haiti
Last week’s
Pro Bowl
Commercial involving a man taking a shot to the crotch. Katrina Roger
Peyton Manning possibly being the best QB ever
“Uncapped year” Any reality
TV show


Brett Favre Who Dat
Concussion(s) The rain earlier in the week The Colts’ last Super Bowl appearance also being in Miami “Bringing the wood”
Going for it on 4th down Dwight Freeney’s ankle The Wildcat Peyton Manning’s ties to New Orleans Mardi Gras

I’m sure y’all will be sad to hear that I’m no longer going to do predictions for the game. Why? Because I suck, that’s why!

Look at the birdie!

Welcome to Friday Photo, a feature where I share photos that I've taken with the world.

Houston Zoo 026

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I’m a bad, bad man… with a bad, bad name!

Welcome to Stupid Quiz Sunday, in which I'll take an online quiz that may or may not be stupid and post the results.

Your Supervillain Name is Brain Supernova

Have you taken this quiz? Have a quiz you want me to take? Leave a link in the comments.

Friday, January 29, 2010

It’s a bird! No, really, it’s a bird!

Welcome to Friday Photo, a feature where I share photos that I've taken with the world.

Houston Zoo 174

Thursday, January 28, 2010

FAIL of the day: The iPad

Possibly the worst name ever?

see more Epic Fails

Nah, the “exotic petting zoo” around here has to be worse.

Way worse.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union BINGO!

Sadly, I can't play myself. I’ve got choir tonight. But y’all have fun with this: 






Change “I”
(Must be said three times in one sentence)
Any sort of
Let me be clear Wall Street
Green jobs Banks Blaming Bush/Cheney (covertly or overtly) I propose… Acted stupidly
Bipartisan Haiti Free Space Main Street In conclusion…
Created or saved Hope National Debt Stimulus Any sports analogy
Climate change Any “shout-out” Bailout God Bless America Understand this…

Of course, i might catch it on repeat and fill out the board just to see what happens.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Something about having a weird name…

Welcome to Stupid Quiz Sunday, in which I'll take an online quiz that may or may not be stupid and post the results.

Your Uncommon Name Is: Tobias Quintin Arrey
Weird, but it works.

Have you taken this quiz? Have a quiz you want me to take? Leave a link in the comments.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Something a little different

Welcome to Friday Photo, a feature where I share photos that I've taken with the world.

This is from my trip to Phoenix… sort of. I shot this with my cell phone in the terminal at Hobby Airport in Houston.


No, that’s not what I went to Phoenix in, though it would have been much faster.

I’m afraid I was relegated to one of these: