Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Night Videos

I'm kind of puzzled why Del Amitri never caught on more than they did. Their catchy, smart, guitar-driven sound struck me as perfect for success in the '90s music scene, and I absolutely love "The Last to Know." Unfortunately, I can't find any video of that one online beyond random live performances. So I'll go with the next best thing, their fun "Roll to Me" with some of the most surreal infants you'll ever see.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... R.E.M..

Now Playing: Greg Kihn Kihnsolidation

Nails in the coffin

Today I wake up to find a story on the front page of the San Antonio Express-News that embattled coach Dennis Franchione has stopped selling confidential player information in a secret $1,200 newsletter. Well. I feel so much better now. The information Fran peddled, apparently, was player assessments and detailed injury reports to deep-pocket boosters. Information Fran has told the media and public that it is "team policy" not to distribute.
"I knew it was probably going to be controversial," Franchione said. "I certainly didn't mean for it to be that. When I knew you guys were starting to ask around a bit, I thought, 'Maybe we shouldn't do this.'"

So, he knew it was wrong, but continued to do it until he realized he was about to get outed. Nice, stand-up kind of ethical example to set for your players, Fran. Now, while releasing injury reports and player assessments to the public isn't illegal (in fact for years paranoid Bill Snyder at Kansas State was notorious as one of the few coaches in the nation who wouldn't release this info), keeping it secret from all but a select few raises some troubling issues. Such as, um, couldn't this insider information be used for gambling?
"We asked them to sign something," Franchione said. "And for them not to do that."

Ah. Okay. That iron-clad explanation certainly lays those fears to rest.

The story was broke by Brent Zwerneman, a sports writer I've casually known for a number of years. He's vaguely aware of my existence, I believe. But he does a pretty good job for a Sam Houston graduate, despite the blistering criticism he sometimes weathers on His writing for the most part is even-handed, which guarantees he's regularly accused of being unprofessional by one side or the other. My one real criticism of his writing is that he has a habit of opening his columns with a bit of sleight-of-hand, writing about a past sporting scenario that parallels a current situation in such a way as to play "fooled you" with the reader. It's not a bad technique, as far as it goes, but he uses it far too much, so that it's almost become his default mode. My editorial advice to him would be to restrict its use to once a year, if that much, so as to not dilute its impact. But that's neither here nor there. The significance of the current article essentially throws kerosene on the fire raging under Franchione's seat, and also has the effect of embarrassing Athletic Director "Dollar" Bill Byrne, who was caught unawares by this "secret society" newsletter and most assuredly doesn't like being made to look like a fool by his coaching staff. It also explains why Zwerneman and Coach Fran's assistant, Mike McKenzie (who ghost writes the secret newsletter--very poorly I might add, judgine from the samples I've seen) got into a shouting match at a football press conference earlier this week. All in all, it appears to be a good bit of journalism on Zwerneman's part, and I can't help but offer up my meta interpretation of the situation via a different era and a different sport:
Franchione lands a decent left hook to start the fight. Zwerneman lands a little uppercut and they exchange jabs. Zwerneman catches Franchione with a stabbing right uppercut, FRANCHIONE GOES DOWN. Dennis Franchione is sent down to the canvas in the very first round. Franchione rises at the count of three. Zwerneman moves and lands three huge shots to Franchione's chin. He's bobbin right into the power punches of Zwerneman. Zwerneman lands another big right and Franchione is wobbling. Zwerneman lands a huge straight right and FRANCHIONE FALLS AGAIN!!! Dennis gets up again is trying to move away. Zwerneman pushes forward and looks for the kill, he lands another huge right uppercut, FRANCHIONE FALLS DOWN AGAIN!!! He rises at the count of 6 and goes wobbly back to his corner.

To be continued...?

Now Playing: The B-52s Time Capsule

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fair redux

Went to the Comal County Fair tonight. As I predicted, my jalapeño metheglin did not place. Most of the ribbons went to grape wines (mustang mostly) with a couple lesser ribbons given to agarita and dewberry wines. I found it interesting that there was much less variety among the wines this year than there was last year. Last year there were lots of agarita entries, along with pear and peach and other more exotic fare. Seems like there were fewer entries overall as well.

The womenfolk made out like bandits, though. Monkey Do's aquatic photo earned a white third place ribbon, the Wife's portrait of Fairy Girl earned a blue ribbon, and a celestial-themed quilt sewn by my mother-in-law, aka Nama-With-The-Stairs, won a tri-colored best-of-show ribbon. Very cool indeed.

And after looking over the photos that won in the "Adult outdoors" category, my non-entered Lady Margaret photo would've won a red ribbon, at least. sigh

Now Playing: Greg Kihn Kihnsolidation

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Doin' the county fair thing

This morning I took a bit of a detour on the way to work, stopping by the Comal County Fairgrounds to drop off some entries for this year's fair. And by "dropping off" I mean "stand in line for two hours in almost, but not quite, scorching heat." Those of you who've been paying attention will recall that my holiday spiced metheglin took third place last year in the homemade wine competition. So naturally enough I felt compelled to enter again. This year I settled on entering a bottle of my jalapeño metheglin, since the prickly pear and mint meads will benefit more from aging. The jalapeño metheglin, on the other hand, is like a kick in the teeth and isn't going to benefit much from aging. As I've mentioned before, it starts off sweet on the tongue--deceptively so--before a severe case of afterburn sets in. I really, seriously and sincerely doubt that it will place, but I figure those wine judges are too complacent with all the mustang grape and agarita wines they normally see. This won't be one they're likely to forget any time soon.

Entering the mead took all of five minutes. The rest of the time was spent in line to register photos for the art displays. We had three all together--my photo of the wet Lady Margaret passion flower, one Monkey Do took of her friend underwater, and a portrait the Wife took of Fairy Girl over at Mission San Jose. Unfortunately, the hanger on my framed photo was defective, and came loose right as I finally got to the head of the line. Unable and unwilling to leave, fix it, and return to stand in line for another two hours, I entered the works of the womenfolk and left. Yes, I'm disappointed my shot didn't make it in, since I've been looking forward to entering it for months (I so rarely take a good photo that I don't think I can be blamed for this) but them's the breaks.

Judging in all the categories took place tonight. We're going to swing by the fair tomorrow evening and see if any of the Blaschke clan snagged any ribbons. Or if I've been banned from entering any more honey wine. Wish us luck.

Now Playing: Aerosmith Pandora's Box

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

HEROES: Four Months Later

HEROES is back! Yay! And it answered that burning question we all have: What happens to unemployed ALIAS actors not named Greg Grunberg? Well, if you're David Anders, you become the famed swordsman Takezo Kensei in 17th century Japan.

I've been hearing that these first few episodes of season two will serve as a jumping-on point for new viewers. Jumping onto what, I'd like to know. This episode was very, very continuity-heavy, and apart from Cheerleader Claire relocating to California, I couldn't see much in the way of coherent narrative for Heroes newcomers to grasp onto. Which is good, in that us faithful viewers aren't stuck treading water as the show repeats a bunch of "secret origins," but still.

Otherwise, I thought the episode did a good job of setting the balls rolling on quite a few interesting plot threads that may or may not converge by the end of the season. One thing I found annoying was the afore-mentioned character played by Grunberg having gone through a divorce in the preceding months. His tenuous marriage gave his character much-needed depth, and the move (while plausible) smacks of the showrunners getting tired of juggling his pregnant wife and simply writing her out of the script. On the plus side, the living metahuman radar system that's now living with him, Molly, is coming across more like a little kid as opposed to the badly-written dialog regurgitator she was last season. But does anyone else find it weird she's living with this guy who's not a relative, who was a police department washout not that long ago and presumably spent much of the previous four months in the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds?

Nathan Petrelli has the worst fake beard in the history of fake beards.

Mr. Sulu is dead. And he never even got his big sword fight. That sucks. The fact that his being thrown off a building to go splat on the sidewalk below is another nod to The Watchmen is cool. Except that we never saw his power, unless being a really good swordsman counts.

That Mr. Bennett and Mohinder are trying to play the players is pretty cool. It'll all end in tears, though. Mark my words.

Claire's new potential boyfriend-to-be, despite his goofy, aw shucks personality, is bad news I'll wager. His creepy flying voyeurism at the end of the show is deliberately evocative of a similar scene from last summer's Superman Returns, and I don't think they meant it to show that this guy is as noble as Clark Kent. The opposite is true for the new character of Maya (played by the same woman who was Calliso in the X-Men 3 movie). Her power is a nasty one--judging by the body count and blood on her victims, it's an uncontrollable area effect ability, perhaps sonic, perhaps vampiric. It's all vague right now, but unlike flyboy, who has a relatively benign power he'll likely use for bad, she's a person who hopes to purge herself of what she sees as a curse (and who can blame her?).

Finally, we see an amnesiatic Peter Petrelli chained up in a cargo container in Ireland, doing his best impression of Lightning Lad. Obviously, he survived going boom in the season finale, and in the interim has encountered at least one other metahuman from whom he absorbed these new abilities. I hope the amnesia bit isn't drawn out too long. I mean, really. That'd just be stretching credibility.

Now Playing: Jimmy Buffett Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads

Friday, September 21, 2007

Leave Coach Fran alone!

I'm not normally one to dogpile, but extraordinary times, etc.

Now Playing: Johann Sebastian Bach Romantic Moments vol 8: Bach

No bandwagoner I

Lest anyone think I am jumping on the "fire Franchione" bandwagon, I offer up this post I made back in 2005, wallowing in a post-Thanksgiving funk.
A loss is a loss, and I don't take heart in moral victories. Coach Fran was hired at $2 million a year to win national championships, not put together two losing seasons in a three year period.

I'm not one of the potbangers that thinks Fran's contract should be bought out now. I believe every new coach deserves five years to make his system work, with his players. But Fran's made some terrible, ill-advised decisions regarding this football team, and I'm not talking about failing to go for two when you're only up by one.

The 2005 version of me was pretty astute, I'd say. I'm kinda disappointed that I didn't claim Franchione to be A&M's version of John Mackovick, because I was making the comparison to every who'd listen back around that time. Oh well. Here in 2007, I agree with every single word written back then. See if you don't agree too.

Now Playing: Ravel The Best of Ravel

Friday Night Videos

This one goes out to Dennis Franchione and the Texas A&M football team. I think it's self-explanatory.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Johnny Cash.

Now Playing: Martin Hummel Baritone Eternal Love: 17th Century German Lute Songs

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Back when I worked for the Temple Daily Telegram, I got to cover Baylor football on occasion. Grant Teaff, the winningest coach in Baylor history, was head of the program then, and I got to interview him on more than one occasion. One of the classy things he did was, win or lose, after ever game he'd make the long climb up to the press box to talk with sports writers. This wasn't the formal post-game interview, mind you. That was handled down in the locker rooms. This was something extra, usually after most of the initial game stories had already been sent in. Teaff always had time for every reporter there, even a no-name like me.

When the Big 12 formed, Baylor ran him off in order to get "a real winner" who could take them "to the next level." Some Baylor die-hards will argue this point. They'll say it wasn't like that at all. They are wrong. I saw it first hand. Baylor did Teaff wrong. And since then, Baylor has wallowed in ineptitude to the point where mere mediocrity would be a welcome improvement.

Fast forward a decade. Texas A&M fired R.C. Slocum, the winningest coach in A&M history in order to get "a real winner" who could take them "to the next level." Slocum never suffered a losing season in his years at A&M. He had two 6-6 seasons, and followed up the one in 1996 with a Big 12 championship just two years later. At the time, I had grave misgivings about the move, but nobody listened to me because A&M had just hired the greatest coach in football history, Dennis Franchione, away from Alabama.

We reap what we sew sow, apparently.

In five years of Franball, A&M has lost to Baylor, lost to Oklahoma 77-0 (the worst loss in school history, mind you), lost to Cal 45-10 in the Holiday Bowl (the worst bowl loss in school history, mind you), lost to Tennessee 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl (second worst bowl loss in school history, mind you) and tonight went belly-up against a mediocre Miami team 34-17 in a game that was nowhere near as close as the final score might suggest. How bad was it? Here are some of the quotes from ESPN's game crew:
"The Miami fans were chanting 'OVERRATED' and the Aggies look overrated at no. 20. They're certainly not the 20th best team in the country."

"They burned a time out and came up with a quarterback sneak?"

"A&M is tring to run a zone defense, but no one runs it like this anymore. They are using a High School zone defense."

"The defensive line can get no penetration and the wide receivers are running free in the secondary. That's no way to coach defense."

"Wow! How good does Oklahoma look tonight after the statement that Miami has made?"

"This rout is a complete team effort by the Aggies."

For five years, the spectacularly aggressive mediocrity reined over by Coach Fran has been explained away by his supporters as R.C. Slocum's fault. "Slocum left the cupboard bare." "Slocum's players never embraced Fran's system." "Slocum let the air out of the team bus' tires." All summer I heard how great this time would be since all the players now had been recruited by Fran. All of the Slocum malcontents had left the building. Now we'd see some real team football.

Bullcrap, to coin a phrase.

Now the world knows why the option offense is an antiquated offense in 21st century college football, thanks to Miami. Of course, most observers of the game already knew this, but reenforcement never hurts. Conservative play calling when down by three touchdowns doesn't do much to rally the troops either. Nor does lecturing the fans and media how they really don't understand the complexities of football (which I haven't actually seen happen, but my gut tells me it fits the well-established pattern).

Fran has won everywhere he's coached, except for A&M. He's been given every advantage, and come up lacking. This is unacceptable. He must go. As a replacement... well, almost anyone would be an improvement, because it's damn hard to do worse than 77-0. But tapping into Slocum's legacy would be a good start, bringing in someone like Mike Sherman or Bob Davie. Or even Steve Kragthorpe or Tommy Tuberville. Just pull the trigger, the sooner the better, because this water torture has got to stop.

Now Playing: Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Into the storm

So the Aggies play the Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl tonight. I wish I could say I was pumped, but I'm not. Instead, I'm looking at this game with a faint spark of hope surrounded by a cloud of impending doom. Coach Fran said the other day that this game would either be great exposure or serve to expose them, and I fear these are the most insightful words he's said since arriving in College Station. I want the team to be successful, but five years into his tenure, all Franchione has to show is a hard-fought victory over t.u. in Austin last year. Oh, and the worst bowl loss in A&M history, plus three of the worst losses all-time. And a cumulative record hovering around .500. And an antiquated option offense that can't throw the ball. And a defense that can't stop anyone else from throwing the ball.

Sigh. Tell me again what a great thing is was for the school to fire R.C. Slocum?

Now Playing: Pink Floyd Staying Home to Watch the Rain

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Because there aren't enough networking sites in the world

There's a new networking site I've recently signed up for. It's called the Global Talent Database, and it's interesting in that it's not a social networking site in the mold of Facebook or MySpace. Instead, it's geared toward professional creative types--artists, models, photographers, filmmakers, writers, etc. It's heavily skewed toward the visual arts right now, but they've recently added features to make it more appealing to us writer types. There are still some technical limitations, but the guys running it are ambitious and seem intent on maintaining continual upgrades. Here's my page:

Currently I've got one story posted, "Coyote for President," along with a handful of photos (author portraits and other, more random things). What's most appealing is the cross-pollination aspect of the setup, with artists rubbing shoulders with scriptwriters rubbing shoulders with photographers...

Now Playing: Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gloom and distraction

A project I'd really gotten worked up about just hit a brick wall. It's not wholly dead yet, but it's gasping and wheezing in a crumpled mess on the floor. I am, as always happens in these instances, in a deep gloomy funk. So instead of wallowing in my own misery here and inflicting it upon you, instead I'll point out another review of "The Final Voyage of La Riaza" I just stumbled across:
The fiction opens up with The Final Voyage of La Riaza by Jayme Lynn Blaschke. This is a completely other-worldly tale of sky-sailors and pirates. Blaschke skillfully develops the plot with characters that interact well, weaving well-written dialogue that really does let them breathe on the page. Descriptively, the piece is vivid and detailed, bringing the alien landscape to life. A real rollercoasting swashbuckler, the tale itself seemed to end a little abruptly, like a heavily applied brake. This was in keeping, though, with the style of the writing – blunt, pacey and unashamedly cold. I almost got the impression that a sequel could come after this; the characters were so strong. A great opener for the issue.

Would that all readers appreciate my innate genius thusly!

Now Playing: Billy Joel KOHUEPT

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Night Videos

Okay, there's no other way to wrap up my Carter/Cash family kick except by featuring the man himself. This was the lead single off the final album released while he was alive, "The Man Comes Around." While the album was uneven, it had some really powerful covers on it--none moreso than "Hurt." And the video is even more powerful. If you know anything about Johnny Cash's history and career, you'll understand.

But I can't leave things hanging with something so emotionally wrenching, no matter how good it may be. So here's a fun bit with a younger Cash doing a rare Orange Blossom Special/Jackson medly, presented simply because I love you all. It's a duet, but not with June Carter. Enjoy.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Roseanne Cash.
Now Playing: The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Thursday, September 13, 2007

20 years ago today

One of the quickest and most effective ways to feel old is to see significant events of which you were a part of hit temporal milestones. Such as 20th anniversaries. And so it goes that 20 years ago, on September 13, 1987, Pope John Paul II came to San Antonio and celebrated mass before 350,000 people on a site that is now occupied by a school and subdivisions.
When Pope John Paul II presided over a Mass here 20 years ago today, the two-hour liturgy was not only memorable for Catholics and historic for San Antonio, but the centerpiece event of his visit also illustrated the successful cooperation among several faiths.

The Mass — the only Sunday service on the pontiff's nine-city, 10-day U.S. itinerary — took place on land donated by a Jewish businessman, who worked closely with his Baptist partner and Catholics to secure the site, on which more than 350,000 people assembled Sept. 13, 1987.

I remember getting up early and driving with my brother John to El Campo, where we got on a bus chartered by the recently-created Diocese of Victoria. It was fairly full, but not packed, with a bunch of teens, a few pre-teens and a handful of adults. Our bus parked on an under-construction highway (what is now Stotzer Freeway, just about a mile away from Seaworld Texas) on bare gravel roadbed. I have never seen so many buses in my life, parked side-by-side in a line as far as the eye could see.

View Larger Map

It was hot, blistering hot, and we were sucking down water as fast as we could. The irony is that the night before, a huge line of thunderstorms blew through the state. It was pretty severe in Columbus, if I recall, and San Antonio had it even worse. They'd constructed a huge white ziggurat of a stage on the site, with what was supposedly a spectacular network of towers for the backdrop reaching almost 100 feet into the sky. Only the storms destroyed all of that. The towers, I mean. A lot of us wondered what they'd do, how they'd manage to rebuild anything in time, but the problem was solved by bringing in construction cranes and having them hold aloft shimmering cloth banners of white and green. The overall effect was nice and quite acceptable given the constraints the organizers were working under.

Some of the nuns traveling with us had brought along a big hanging flag-style banner announcing the Diocese of Victoria to hold aloft. Only they had to leave it behind because of security issues and the blockage of sight lines it would cause. There were loudspeakers on poles all over the place to carry the words and music from the stage area, but as with any outdoor venue, these were utterly unintelligible. When the pope arrived, he rode through the crowd in his famed Popemobile, as there were four or so large aisles kept clear which divided the crowd, along with several aisles that bisected them. Unfortunately, we were situated on one of the outer aisles, and the Popemobile didn't drive our direction. We did see the top of it over the heads of the crowd, however. Security was generally working hard to keep everyone in their assigned areas, so the two-hour mass wouldn't turn into a mosh pit or rugby scrum, but about halfway through, the guards started letting small groups of people from the back areas (like me) run up the aisles to a point maybe 50 yards away from the stage and altar to take photos. At least it seemed that close to me at the time. So there I was, with my parents' Canon 35mm camera, trying to manually focus a zoom lens and take pictures without any photographic understanding at all. Amazingly enough, a dozen or so shots from the day turned out. The thing that's striking is all the green on display. And although the face can't be made out with any detail, it's pretty obvious who the elderly man sitting in the center of all the hullaballoo is.

That's one of those experiences that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Although I strongly disagreed with some of his socially conservative beliefs and teachings, I don't know if there's another human being on Earth I'll ever respect as much as John Paul II. I'm very cynical about famous religious personalities in this age of feel-good mega churches, but John Paul II, that man was pious beyond all reason. He walked the walk. There will never be another like him.

While I didn't understand anything he said during the mass because of poor audio, it was a thrill nonetheless to hear his garbled voice whether speaking in Polish, Spanish or English (there was a delegation from Panna Maria, the oldest Polish settlement in the U.S.--a tiny town just east of San Antonio). But in surfing the web, I found one excerpt from his homily, and with all the environmental challenges facing us as global warming and climate change alter our planet, I think it an appropriate way to wrap things up.
Only the human person, created in the image and likeness of God, is capable of raising a hymn of praise and thanksgiving to the Creator. The earth, with all its creatures, and the entire universe call on man to be their voice.

-Pope John Paul II
San Antonio, Texas
September 13, 1987

Now Playing: Christopher Franke Babylon 5

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Late night ramblings

It's late, and everyone else is asleep. I'm up, all alone. Instead of doing any meaningful writing, I think I'll do some meaningless blogging instead.

A&M beat Fresno State in triple overtime today. After taking a 19-0 lead into halftime. Pathetic. The first half was impressive, I'll admit. The Aggies played tight defense and the offense, while not spectacular, mixed it up just enough to keep the Bulldogs off-balance. But the second half play calling was so conservative I wanted to throw up. Even the TV commentators picked up on how A&M was refusing to throw the ball downfield, even though Fresno State was all but daring them to. All the receivers were running short routes. This, after Coach Fran talked all week about how disappointed he was in A&M's throwing game last week, and was going to open it up and go deep more this week. Talking through his hat. It's like every complaint all the potbangers had about R.C. Slocum is magnified tenfold with Fran. I'm glad the good guys won, but if they play Miami next week this way, they'll get creamed (yes, I know the Sooners humiliated the Hurricanes today, and Fresno is a decent team. Still).

I learned today that a neighbor's child--a college student--committed suicide the night before. Very sad. I never really knew them, but I deal with kids that age all the time at work. I wish I could offer some meaningful sympathy, but I feel any gesture from me would be a hollow one. And in all honesty, these kinds of tragic events leave me feeling very vulnerable. I tend to respond by withdrawing into myself. Pretty much my defense for any unpleasantness.

I have an unpleasant headache, but I haven't taken anything for it. That would involve getting up and going across the house, which means effort. I'm too lazy to do so. How sad is that?

I thawed some ducks today--something like three teal and a pintail--small ones my brother had given me that've been in the deep freeze since early spring. I placed them in a gallon bag, and added two cups of the jalapeno mead. They're marinating in the refrigerator now, and I plan on cooking them up tomorrow sometime. My family watched me doing this with undisguised revulsion and fear.

I just took two aspirin. So apparently I am not as lazy as I initially thought.

I get unreasonably depressed when I try to "Friend" someone on MySpace and they ignore me. Another sad bit of my soul bared. I have no trouble rejecting random garage bands or spammers (and there are plenty of those out there) but I seek out new friend contacts none too often. So I take their indifference as a kind of personal rejection. Flashback to awkward high school days.

There are some really amazing photographers with dazzling galleries online. I'm just saying.

That's enough for now. Goodnight folks.

Now Playing: The Bangles Greatest Hits

Friday, September 07, 2007

Things happen quickly

NOTE: Today is July 16, 2013. I've just discovered this post, apparently unfinished and unpublished from Sept. 2007. It appears that I broach the subject of enrolling at Texas State to take some photography courses. I can only assume this remained unpublished because my efforts were rebuffed by highers-up. It would be another year before I actually started learning photography for true. I publish it now simply as a historical curiosity.

Back in those ancient days when Texas A&M still offered a journalism degree, an array of photography courses were a normal part of the curricula. Most of the students who earned a journalism degree there had at least one photo class under their belt when they walked across the stage to receive the ol' diploma.

I wasn't one of them.

Oh, I'd signed up for introductory photojournalism one semester, but as soon as my dad found out about it, he threw a fit and made me drop it. This pattern repeated itself with study abroad, fencing and half a dozen classes I've long since forgotten about. He was a controlling sonofabitch, and I was still too much of an obedient son (read: wuss) to stand up for myself. This, I'm not proud of.

So a couple of weeks ago, I kinda sorta start thinking I ought to do something about this sad lack of photographic knowledge on my part. Sure, I've managed to take a few decent shots in my time, such as this Lady Margaret passion flower:


and Peter S. Beagle:


But for every Peter Beagle, in which half a dozen different poses come out publishable-quality, I've got dozens of others where my lack of photographic acumen resulted in a whole lot of unusable drek.
Now Playing: Billy Joel Glass Houses

Friday Night Videos

Last week we got a kick out of Carlene Carter, so this week it seems apropos to feature another of the extended Cash/Carter clan with Roseanne Cash. I initially thought to show the tragically 80s I Don't Know Why You Don't Love Me, since that was the last song of hers I remember hearing on the radio. Most of her older, better-known stuff don't have videos (although there's a good Austin City Limits performance of Seven Year Ache online), but once I stumbled across her performance of "I Still Miss Someone" I knew I had a winner, even if the random interview clips afterward detract from the power of the video. It is, in a word, poignant.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Carlene Carter.

Now Playing: The Gourds Blood of the Ram

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The story so far

Ever have one of those not so pleasant stretches? The minivan threw a belt in Bastrop, disconnecting the alternator from the rest of the vehicle and leaving it without power. This has happened before, and a new tensioner is the fix. So we left it with the in-laws and borrowed one of their vehicles to return home. This morning my PT Cruiser wouldn't start. It appears that the headlights were left on all weekend, but... that doesn't seem possible for several reasons I won't go into here. So we get the battery charged back up and... nothing. The odometer starts blinking "No fuse" or somesuch, which my brother informs me is a Chrysler euphemism for "Your on-board computer is fried." So we are without a working vehicle, with a significant outlay of cash necessary to get my Cruiser up and running again, and an inconvenient trip to Bastrop to retrieve the balky minivan.

Today at work was no great shakes, either. Nothing huge, but a lot of little things that amounted to "nibbled to death by ducks." Not thrilled by any of them. The kicker, though, comes from the Wife. Last week she started watching two new children in her home daycare. The mother begged us to take them, being unable to find anyone else. She paid us in advance so the Wife would cancel several other interviews already scheduled. She's divorced, but the father seemed involved and they were civil during the interview, so... Today we discover that the divorce is only in the early stages, and apparently is going to be nasty. The father came by at lunch and abruptly picked the children up (Lisa had a dental appointment, and I watched them for about an hour, since I wasn't going anywhere without a car). The father was told this last week and had no objections... then. He's served notice that he intends to be the biggest ass possible from now on until the end of creation, simply because it gives him the power to screw with other people's lives. To say I'm spectacularly pissed at the moment is something of an understatement, and that doesn't even scratch the surface of the Wife's fury.

This week cannot end quickly enough.

Now Playing: Aerosmith Pandora's Box