Friday, August 31, 2007

Creepy Crawly Spiders Eat Lots of Bugs

This has been the week of spiders. First, my buddy over at A Man Among Mommies posted a photo he took of an Orb Weaver spider outside his back door. Then a monster 200 yard spider web in Texas was in the news. So I decided to cap off this week of spiders with my own photos. I noticed some webs in the backyard one morning a few weeks ago and the sun was hitting them just right. I lightly sprayed one with water and it glistened in the sun. The spider came out blurry on the second one but the web came out nice.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A First Time For Everything

This summer has come and gone in a blink of an eye. Each one seems to go faster than the last and they all end with my birthday as a reminder that I am one more year closer to retirement or death, whichever comes first.

The last few months have been a big Summer of Firsts in this house. My son had his first jump into a pool from the side (with a life vest on), his first trip to Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, his first time bowling when we had to go two days in a row, his first strike at the bowling alley, his inaugural trip to Peter Pan Mini Golf on Barton Springs Road, his first movie in a theater when we saw Ratatouille,...

See more firsts by clicking -->

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stopping to Shoot The Flowers

The wildflowers in our front yard continue to bloom in the August heat and don't look like they are going to stop as long as I keep watering them. They were from a bag of mariposa y colibri seeds from Crawdaddy & Mitzi. The mariposa's sure have been around a lot but only one colibri has been spotted this year and he flew away too fast for me to get a picture!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Thoughts From My Desk

Today I got a chance to sit at my desk and work on a few things while my son was back in school and my daughter took one of her long morning naps. She only gets those long morning naps when her brother is not around for her to antagonize.

The house was quiet. I turned on the news to what was happening. It was a nice change from Sesame Street, Blues Clues, and SpongeBob SquarePants. What I didn't expect to see was Alberto Gonzales had resigned, Owen Wilson attempted suicide, and an apology from Michael Vick. Wow. What a news hour!


Yesterday at the neighborhood grocery store I noticed Peter Pan peanut butter had finally made it back to the shelves. I survived 30+ years on Peter Pan and we had to switch after the recall earlier this year. We actually had a giant 6lb. tub of it that was part of the recalled numbers, but it was almost gone and we were still alive so I finished it. I'm a daredevil. I was tempted to buy a jar with their "New Look and Taste" label on it. I decided it would be best to finish off the Jif we have as I contemplate my important peanut butter loyalties and where they now lie.


So the morning nap for my daughter was nice. What was bad about the nap is when we picked up my son from pre-k, she did not want to take an afternoon nap. She missed him, I guess. I think she really missed taking his toys away and hitting him with them while swiftly moving through the house dodging furniture like a running back dodging linebackers on Sundays. We went outside for a while in the sweltering Austin sun to throw a boomerang our neighbor let us borrow. My daughter watched in awe as I flew it around our cove. Then she chased her brother around while he threw it.

She's been after him all day and this will be a prime opportunity for an early bedtime. Early for all of us. Good night.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Here it is. The Awesome Dude Blogger Award. Drum roll please........ummm, I said DRUM ROLL PLEASE!

Did anybody bring drums to this party? No? Great. Another "big event" is going unnoticed because someone forgot to order the popcorn, some drums, and a dancing monkey. Oh well, I guess I'll just wing it.

So I had 8 entries for the weirdest word to receive the ADB Award and 7 of them were from a dudette. What is wrong with you guys? Really? Do I have to enter my own contests to make them interesting? Because I will! I'm not scared!

I would really love to give the ADB Award to Ba Doozie since she really is an awesome blogger and had great words, even if they were just crazy made up words like myfeetstinkrightnow, or wannahuckaloogie.

If I'm going to choose a made up word and a "dude blogger," I'm going to have to give the award to The Holmes for throwing out "Eurotrashification."

That's right. I said Eurotrashification. If you know the meaning of this word then you can skip this paragraph where I use it so poetically...

I was leaving this bar the other night when this really strange girl came up to me. As much as I wanted to flirt with her I couldn't. Something was pulling me away. It was a strong force and I was powerless against it's will. I twisted and I turned. I ran and I dove behind a dumpster to hide from the smell emitting from her pores. It was horrible! She finally caught up to me and I said, "Please! Tell me what that stench is! I can't take it anymore!"

She said, "Why, it's called Eurotrashification. It comes in a body spray, bath soaps, and this free perfume that I got with the gift set! So you like it?"

I ran away as fast as my legs could take me.

Without further adieu, I FINALLY give the "Awesome Dude Blogger" Award to The Holmes. Do me proud, fellow Austinite. Make the next winner beat out Eurotrashification!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Awsome Dude Blogger Award....

...will be given to the next blogger who can send me the weirdest word. No dirty words allowed.

You have 72 hours. 3 days. Good friggin' luck.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nothing Like a Little Lead to Bring The Family Together

The latest round of recalls of almost 19 million toys by Mattel this last week adds to the ever growing number of lead tainted toys or parts that kids can choke on. Some expert advice from an article in the Austin American Statesman today suggested that this was a good opportunity to talk to our kids about these issues instead of just hiding their favorite toy and tossing it out with the trash when they are not looking (don't throw away the lead ones, though). If the kids are old enough you can explain to them that the toy company screwed up and the toys could make them sick, but a replacement will be sent soon and they will have their favorite toy again. With younger children you can bluntly say, "Sorry, kid. This toy will make you sick. It has to go. Say bye-bye!"

That's more like it for me. I looked all through our kid's stuff hoping I would find at least one toy that I could make an example of. No luck. I was really wanting to find one of these lead-base painted pieces of junk so I could have this conversation with my children:

"Hey buddy. You know this Sarge car we bought you? Well, the Chinese cut some costs on materials and painted the little toy car with poison. You didn't lick on this or anything when I wasn't looking, did you?"

"Umm, I don't think so, Daddy."

"What about your little sister?'

"Nope, not that I know of."

"Good, now follow me."

"Where are we going? Why do you have a bat, that aluminum foil, and duct tape?"

"Well, before I mail this car back to the toy company I'm going to wrap it in foil, tape it up, and smash it to pieces with this bat."

"Cool! Can I take a swing at it?"

"Sure you can, son (patting him on the head). You can have first crack at it."

The child psychologist in the article was right. This would have been a great opportunity for a learning experience. Since we don't have any of the recalled toys - yet - I'll have to wait for the next recall to maybe teach my kids how to deal with poisoned junk from China.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The 2007 Austin Enchilada Controversy

It seems as though the 2007 Austin Enchilada Controversy has come to an end. The Perez sisters who own Las Manitas on Congress Avenue have decided to turn down the mostly forgivable $750,000 loan from the City of Austin. In a statement released earlier today the sisters said,

"We concluded that trying to operate a small business under these circumstances is not practical or consistent with how we have successfully run our business for over two decades. We fell we would lose a lot of our independence. And that isn't an acceptable option. Twenty years from now, both of us will be in our 70's. For all of these reasons, it simply no longer makes business sense for Las Manitas to enter into this loan."

This is a good thing for the city, for Las Manitas, and the future of the loan program. As you can read from my previous posts on this matter here and here, like many other Austinites I was never in favor of this deal. I'm glad they made the right decision no matter what their reasons were.

I have very close friends who love Las Manitas and were behind this deal from the start. They may even be able to talk me into having lunch there again some day.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Legal Online Football Gambling

Last night at the dads forum poker table, my friend over at A Man Among Mommies and I made a bet on the upcoming Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears game on September 23rd. When da Bears lose to the Cowboys he will have to put America's Team star logo on his blog for 30 days. If for some strange reason (like the team all gets food poisoning and can't play) the Cowboys lose to da Bears, I will have to put da Bears logo on mine for 30 days. Since both of us already shave our heads almost bald, this was a good bet.

Go Cowboys!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Time to Share. Sharing is Caring

One of the fun things that gets passed around bloggers is the Blogger Interview. It is kind of like the meme's (still not sure what that means) but shorter and the questions are determined by the blogger who sends the interview to you. Mine was done by my cyber pal and also former bartender, Whit, over at The Honea Express.

The Rules of Engagement are posted at the end of this interview so if you want to particpate please leave a comment. Here is what Whit had for me:

Okay, you're on the hot seat!

1. Why would you root for the Dallas Cowboys when the Pittsburgh Steelers are obviously the better team? (come on, you knew this was coming)

Well, it all started one day in 1972 when I was born at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas. I went to a few games with my Dad as a kid and was a fan from the start. Now, had I been born in Pittsburgh I would probably root for the Steelers even though everybody knows the Cowboys are really the better team.

2. Your blog is featured as part of the Austin American-Statesman. How did you score that gig?

One day I received a phone call from the editor at the Statesman and he asked if I would please be a part of the Reader Blogs since they were really hurting for funny and original content.

OK, not really. First, I registered online with the Statesman. Then I went to the "Start Your Own Blog" page, created my blogging name and title for my URL, uploaded a profile photo and information about myself, and started writing! They have posted my blog name in the newspaper with a little tidbit of info and the URL address. I haven't made it to the editorial page in the newspaper like another blogger there, but hope to one day write something they think is worth printing!

3. What is Quirkee Knowledge?

Quirkee Knowledge is a collection of funny or strange trivia and facts. It is part of the site and we are currently creating a series of books that will one day soon grace the shelves at a bookstore near you!

4. If you were able to make obscene amounts of money doing just one of these, would you rather be a golfer, a photographer or a writer?

That's a tough question. Right off the bat I can narrow it down to golf or photography. Both of those gigs would keep me outside and allow me to see many parts of the world. The amount of money is probably more obscene playing golf with all of the endorsements I would get and the 1st place winnings piling up in my bank account.

I think if I had to choose one I would choose photography as a job and play golf for fun. I love being able to create photos and capture moments in time that are otherwise gone forever. I also wouldn't turn down a gig to be a sports photographer for Golf Digest, the PGA, or the Associated Press, but those are seriously hard jobs to land.

5. Do you still have the Rocky tuxedo pants, or should I say, do you wear them often?

Unfortunately, I outgrew those pants about 12 years ago. And when I say "outgrew" I mean not only did I not fit in them anymore but I was too old to pull off wearing them in public ever again. I kept them to wear around the house in the winter but after several years of my then girlfriend (now wife) making fun of me I gave them to Goodwill. I'm sure there is some other fortunate man out there who still fits in them and wears them with pride.

According to the rules, which Whit is a stickler for, I am to post this information:

Interview rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

Thanks for the interview, Whit!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Woody, Boo, and the Tiger

Watching golf today was the best thing I could have done after a night of minimal sleep. Golf on TV doesn't require you to pay much attention and your brain can doze in and out of consciousness without you actually being aware of it. Rapid thoughts running through your head come to a dead stop while watching golf. I like that sometimes.

As you can probably guess by the title of this blog, I love golf. I love to read about golf, watch golf on TV, and play golf with my son, my Dad, my father-in-law, and my friends. I wish I could play more often. One day I will be retired and will play golf three times a week or more like my Grandpa did. Since I was a little kid, my Grandpa was retired and living on the 16th green of a country club. Every time we came to Austin to visit we always ended up on the course. When I was younger I rode in the cart and watched my Dad and him play. As I got older he let me drive the cart and play along. One of my fondest memories is running down from his backyard to putt on the 16th green before the next round of golfers came up.

Today at the PGA Championship, Tiger Woods again held the lead. Yesterday I talked to my sister in Tulsa, OK, and she said my brother-in-law and my nephew were out at Southern Hills Country Club for the second round following Tiger around. What a great day to watch him play, too. He shot a 63 and almost set another record with a 62, but his putt went in the hole and rolled out. The whole world with the exception of the players trying to catch him, all said, "Awwwww!"

After today's round I switched over to The Golf Channel to catch the interviews with the players. All of the reporters asked the players about Tiger and how they planned on playing their game tomorrow. They asked them what it is about Tiger that makes him so hard to beat. Woody Austin was one of those players and he basically said that Tiger's competitive drive is what makes him control the game. He doesn't like to lose. His concentration along with the skills he brings to the golf course propel him farther than most players can fathom.

One of my favorite interviews (and now one of my favorite golfers) was with Boo Weekley. He is a funny man with a respectful attitude about his job as a professional golfer. He wants to play for ten or twelve more years until he has enough money in the bank. Boo said he loves the game but would rather spend more time with his family and going fishing.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of Thomas Brent "Boo" Weekley and Woody Austin. Of course, it's always fun to watch Tiger Woods play. He makes me pump my fist every time he birdies, and that's a lot of fist pumping.

The FedEx Cup is on the horizon. I better get my fist ready.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


writing another blog post about my Dallas Cowboys...too late.

The first game of the year is on! No matter that it doesn't really count. I'm just happy to see my team back on the tube for the next six months. That's right, I said six months, which means only one other team will see that much action as they meet the Cowboys in the SUPER BOWL!

My Dad and I just made verbal plans (it's a contract!) to meet up for the Super Bowl in Arizona when the Dallas Cowboys go. Of course, the Little Mr. will be there, too!

Hey Whit! Why don't you meet us?

Oh yea, Steelers fan, huh? Sorry.

I promise I won't blog the play by play of every game this season, but do expect more football posts from me. Game is back on, gotta go!

The Future of The Dallas Cowboys

It was a warm and muggy Sunday afternoon. Not even a cold chocolate milkshake could quench the thirst of a four-year old boy on the way to his first Dallas Cowboys Training Camp.

"Are we at the game, yet?" he would ask more than a dozen times in less than an hour.

"Pretty soon," was my repeated response. "And it's not really a game, it's practice."

The anticipation was killing me, too. It had been five years since I had been to a Dallas Cowboys Training Camp. In 2003 my son was only a month old and I wasn't able to make the trip to San Antonio from Austin to see them again. Then they pulled out of Texas in 2004 to hold training camp in California. One of the worst things you can do to a Cowboys fan is take the team to California for practice. This year they made it back to San Antonio to the delight of over 135,000 fans.

Find out if my son made the team this year by clicking...

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Contest Sucks So Don't Enter

Due to lack of interest in my contest to come up with a paragraph of words from A-Z, I am canceling the Awesome Dude Blogger Award Contest.

I know, all of you are devastated and were really looking forward to seeing how I would pull off this contest with some many entries to choose from. Well, I guess you will never know. It's OK, my feelings are not hurt, and I don't feel any less awesome because the only awesome dude that entered the contest was actually an awesome dude-ette.

So, in the spirit of keeping the Awesome Dude Blogger Award ongoing to its next victim, I give the award to...

On a similar note, I have also been NAB'd for no good reason. I'm not sure what I will do with this award but it will probably suck, too.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Quirkee Blogs Update

Hello readers and bloggers, has updated its blog feature. Before you had to be registered user to read the blog pages. Not anymore! Quirkee Blogs are now open for everybody to read! We are talking 10's of 1,000's of readers each month and growing by the second. Kind of like my St. Augustine grass in the months of June and July this summer when we had 30 inches of rain.

You must still be a registered user with Quirkee to publish a blog post, but that only takes a few seconds to do.

Each week we will feature the funniest blog post from the Quirkee community in our new "Featured Blog" section on the Home page along with the staff articles, interviews, and comic strips. You can't get that kind of promotion from any of the major blog publishing sites!

So quit dilly dallying and start blogging!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Business Lessons You Don't Learn In College

I'm so lucky to have read the Statesman today. I'm sure many of you are, too. I would like to thank our City Council and Las Manitas for teaching all of us a valuable lesson in how to successfully run a profitable small business in Austin, TX.

  1. Open a small business in a desirable location but not in a building that you own. Lease the space from another business owner.
  2. Sell halfway decent products but sell them to politicians, musicians, and actors so people will think your products are actually better than they really are. This will make you an "icon" and apparently that is a difficult label to achieve.
  3. When your landlord decides to not renew your lease so he can sell the building to a large company that will bring in more jobs and tax money to the city - pitch a walleyed fit and call up your politician friends and ask for help.
  4. Pass around a petition to your customers and get their friends to sign it even if they have never been to your establishment. People like to bet on the underdog and stick it to big business. You can use this emotion to your advantage.
  5. Turn down an offer to help you relocate to a building you own a block away from the big business that is moving into your current location.
  6. Find something to use as leverage. Something like a right-of-way access at the building you own that the before mention big business wants to use. Hold out as long as you can until the City Council steps in to negotiate on your behalf.
  7. When negotiations fail, don't give up. Apply for a gift from a city fund set up to help small businesses like yours relocate. Even though you would qualify for a loan with your assets and real estate holdings, don't bother going to your bank. They will just make you pay the loan back. Wipe out the city's fund instead. You deserve it since you are an "icon."
  8. Laugh all the way to the bank after the City Council cuts you a big fat check to get you to back off from the right-of-way dispute with the big business. They will realize that's the only way you will go quietly to your new location in the building that you own.
Think of all the money you could save on college tuition to go to business school if you just followed these eight simple steps. Maybe someday you can laugh all the way to the bank, too.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Liar, Liar, Your Pants Just Burst Into Flames!

We have all told a fib or two, or twenty. Don't lie. You know you have. Lying is a way for the human race to stay out of trouble, land a great job, call in "sick" at said job, maybe get a date, and many other things. Lying is bad and we know it because that is what we tell our children.

"If there is one thing we will not tolerate in this house, it is lying."

Find out what happens when you lie by clicking the logo...

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