Thursday, July 26, 2012

Two lost shows found

Thanks to YouTube. I had previously mentioned that 6 episodes of Stressed Eric could be viewed for free at Hulu. I have since found that all 13 episodes can be viewed on YouTube at the channel of AlienShame.

Even better news: Anyone remember The Weird Al Show? It ran for only 13 episodes in the late 90s on Saturday mornings. By that time, I wasn't watching Saturday morning cartoons anymore (mostly because they really sucked), but I always watched this one. All 13 episodes can be viewed thanks to yoXmomXx. Here's the opening theme, and if you've never seen the show, I should point out that although the opening theme is animated, the show itself was live-action.

Take my word for it...

This is where vampires hide.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Worst scorpion sting ever

I've been stung by those little bastards several times, and never really thought much about it.  The worst I ever felt was a little nausea for a couple of hours.

But last night, actually about 1:00 this morning, while I was asleep, one of them crawled up into the bed and stung me.  It must have hit a vein or something.  After a few minutes, the sting itself had pretty much stopped hurting and I went back to sleep.  When I woke up this morning, my lips, tongue, toes, and the bottoms of my feet were all a little numb.

If you've ever donated plasma, you know that tingly feeling you get in your mouth and maybe fingers when the anti-coagulant hits you?  It felt like that, but not quite as strong.

It's now 17 hours after the sting, and I still feel a little nauseous.  The numbness in my feet went away pretty soon after I woke up, but the weird feeling in my mouth persisted almost all day.

What seems really weird to me about a scorpion sting is that it never leaves a mark on me.  If I get stung by a wasp or even a honey bee, there will be localized swelling and redness (and in the case of a red wasp, localized fever and general nausea).  I can still feel a little discomfort where this thing got me last night, but if you were to try and find it by looking for it, you would be out of luck.  There is just nothing there.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

19 years ago

A few weeks ago, I went searching for and found an old cassette mixtape I had created to be played in the minutes before my wedding.  Yes, today is our anniversary.  I thought I'd post the track list just for kicks.

1. Rod Stewart - Your Song
2. Toad the Wet Sprocket - Feel This Way
3. The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody
4. Joni Mitchell - Help Me
5. America - I Need You
6. Steve Forbert - Romeo's Tune
7. Bob Marley - Is This Love
8. John Lennon - Woman
9. Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes
10. Bob Marley - No Woman No Cry
11. Stryper - Together As One

I thought it was funny that I would be playing a Bob Marley song inside the church building where we got married, in fact, at the time I thought it was so funny that I made it two instead of one.

This filled up one side of a 90-minute cassette.  The other side had the wedding march and bridal chorus which I had "performed" myself by programming my old Korg Poly800II, which was still working back then.  I used a pipe organ patch that I roughened up a little by adding some extra digital delay and threw in a few altered chords just to give it a personal touch.  My brother-in-law manned the big jambox that played all the music, flipping the tape and hitting the stop and play buttons.

It was a very simple wedding.  The only expense was the wedding cake, which my father-in-law paid for.

I still count all of these songs among my favorites.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Marcelina Cemetery

We had a little outing today.  We went to Marcelina Baptist Church, a small place out in the country between Floresville and Stockdale, to celebrate my great-aunt's birthday.  She will turn 100 next Thursday.  There is a cemetery on the same grounds as the church building.  I've been there before, and it's a place I've always liked, but then I tend to like cemeteries anyway.  I have several relatives and ancestors buried here.  This is the place where my great-grandmother on my dad's side is buried, but the exact location has been lost.  Back in the olden days, they didn't keep exacting records of where all the burial sites were, and of course, back in those days a lot of people couldn't afford to put big, heavy marble markers on the sites.  Anyway, one day a tornado ripped through here and destroyed/displaced some of the less heavy markers, and that's why my great-grandmother's exact burial site is unknown.  My dad remembers the approximate area from when he was a kid, and showed me where it was as he remembered.  So I know that much, but that's all.  When I was a kid, 4 to 6 years old, my family lived in the Marcelina area not far from this place.  I'm going to be posting these to my Wordpress site in the coming days, one at a time, but without much comment.  I thought I'd post the whole set here because it's of personal interest to me.  You can click on these images to go to my flickr site where you can see larger versions.


This is just the front gate.  It's never locked.


This is one of the large live oak trees that grow in and around the cemetery.  I was trying to take a photo with the tree framing some of the markers, but I couldn't get it to come out the way I was imagining it.  Anyway, you can still get a good idea of the "rustic" nature of the place.


I didn't take any photos of my own relatives' markers because they tend not to be very picturesque.  This is a marker for a child who died in 1918 with the same last name as the stone in the background.  Based on the dates, it would be safe to assume that one of the boy's parents was later buried next to him (not sure if Magness is a male or female name).  This is one of the family areas.  There are spots like this where members of the family were buried next to each other, but they aren't always clearly defined.


The shorter life spans of those who lived a century ago often sharply stand out when you begin reading the older markers.  This is one of the oldest, a marble marker for a woman who died in 1899 when she was 33 years old.  These old markers always make me ask the question:  Does she have any living relatives now who even know she is buried here?  There are no other markers nearby that might make one think she was buried in a family plot.


A line of old matching marble tombstones in one of the family areas, tilted this way and that.


The flag here is a puzzle to me.  These are plain concrete markers for two children.  The one in the foreground was an infant who lived for only 6 days in 1922.  It looks like these markers were made by simply pouring a small concrete slab and then inscribing them with an awl or metal punch or some such object before they were completely dry.  My guess is that the flag may be for one of those misplaced grave sites; someone remembers about where someone's grave was and marked it with the flag.  The flag looks relatively new and is in good condition, so I think it must have been placed there not too long ago.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Well how about that...

It seems that sometime during the past month, since the last time I did this route, Geronimo has become a prominent "civil rights" figure.  Okay then.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mystery die

My wife, who knows I "have a bunch of dice that look kinda like this" and who likes to frequent yard sales, brought a bunch of these things home one time.  I came across one recently and thought I'd throw it out there in case anyone can tell me what game it's for.  They are in various colors (it's hard to tell but this one is green--there are also blue and red and maybe something else, I haven't seen all of them in a long time so I don't remember).  They are all 12-sided.  The icons you can see in this photo I have interpreted as being a rising sun, a full moon and some guy flexing his right bicep.  Other symbols on each die are what look to me like a fully risen sun and a new moon maybe.  Each die also has two completely blank faces.

Does anyone know what game this is for?

By the way, my wife was going through some boxes from our move of several years ago and found the box with my missing polyhedron dice.  Also in the box were two of my missing knives and a missing sharpening tool.  So it was a good find.

Anyway, if anyone knows what this thing is for, please leave a comment.  It's not especially important to me, but I am curious.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What If?

They guy behind one of my favorite webcomics, xkcd, recently started a new blog called What If?, wherein he answers science-related questions that people ask him.  His latest entry is how much force power can Yoda output?  Great post.  There are only three posts so far, so you can catch up on it all pretty quick.  I recommend it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A thing I found

Today I found two of these things.  I had never seen them before, so naturally I wondered what in the heck they were.  I called the office and had to talk to three people before I got someone who could tell me that yes, they were property of your H2O company.  But it wasn't until I finished and got back to the office that I found a fourth person who could give me all the info on the things.

Since the Company doesn't have electronic meters that can give immediate, real-time usage information, these gadgets are the next best thing.

One thing that kind of aggravated me was when I was talking with this guy--the Boss--that is, my supervisor's manager, was that he said when he was in a meeting discussing these things with the higher-ups, they asked, "but how do we know the meter readers won't tamper with them?"  I indignantly exclaimed, "They could have told us about them so we'd know to keep our hands off them!!!"  I would have liked to have added, "the stupid s*** of b******" but I refrained since the guy I didn't want to p*ss off the guy I was talking to.  By the way, he couldn't fire me, since it takes his boss to do that (which is also stupid).

They decided that since they were going to by only 20 of these things, the odds that one of us would ever see one was so low that we shouldn't be told about them (because why? we would go out of our way to hunt them down and do stuff to them?).  That's exactly the kind of standard operating procedure that your H2O company uses as a matter of routine.  Morons.

Anyway, with only 20 of these units out of 300,000+ accounts, if you want to use one, there may be a little delay.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Another found knife

Here's another knife that I found just today, and it looks like it should be a decent knife once I get it cleaned up.

This is the Buck Juno, which lists for only $12 on their website, so it isn't one of their high-end knives.  However, it seems to be solidly put together and once that blade locks in place, there is absolutely no wobble.  It feels fixed, that's how solid the lock is.  Unfortunately it was left lying in the street for the last couple of days during all the rain, so it got some rust on it.  I was doing a driving route today (in our parlance, a "motor") so I had all my stuff with me in my truck.  The first thing I did was wipe it down with a heavy-duty paper towel, then I hosed it down thoroughly with WD-40, wiped it all off again, then gave it another good WD-40 dousing, then wrapped it up in the paper towel so I wouldn't get drippage all over the inside of my truck and brought it home.

I picked up some steel wool at H.E.B. on the way home and once I get it cleaned up good I'll post some new pix.

One thing that I immediately noticed about this knife, as you can see, is that it looks exactly the same on both sides.  This is a truly ambidextrous pocket knife, which gives it several bonus points on my own personal scale of knife grading.

Monday, July 09, 2012

No he wasn't/yes he was

More on that "z*mbie" guy.


Saturday, July 07, 2012

Rhonda Vincent album covers

Some time ago I had posted about buying Rhonda Vincent's newest (at the time) album Taken.  I got an email from Amazon a few days ago notifying me that she's releasing a new album later this month--which I intend to buy also, and I got curious about her back catalog.  I really wouldn't mind getting all these albums because I like her music so much, but that isn't the point of this post.  I don't know what the point is, really, except to point out that there has been a definite evolution in her appearance through the years.

She started out as a member of her family's band, called The Sally Mountain Show.  They're still around, although they perform without her now most of the time since she's gone solo.  Here's an album of theirs from 1986 with her pictured in the center holding the fiddle.  She's a multi-instrumentalist, so she isn't always pictured with the same instrument.

The next one is from 1990. She looks the same; even looks like an identical hairstyle.  I'd say both of these photos make her look something like a pretty deacon's wife dressed up for Sunday morning church.

One year later, same look. This album was released with her family band although she had just begun to go solo.

This was released the same year, 1991, so understandably she still looks pretty much the same.

The next was also released in 1991--three in the same year. Okay, so something has changed a little. The denim clothing and a not-so-carefully-coifed hairstyle has her looking much more relaxed, although still quite, how shall I say, wholesome.

1993, and something has certainly changed. Her hair color has gone from brunette to auburn, and there is a noticeable addition of vividly-colored lipstick. I'm not saying she wasn't wearing it in the previous photos, it's just very prominent here. And the style of photography has changed her appearance from pretty to sexy.

Then from 1996. Gone forever is that tightly-managed 80s hair, although it's hard to tell if it's still auburn or if she went back to brunette. I notice that the photographer used a shallow depth of field to throw pretty much everything but her face out of focus. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Four years later, 2000. Hair color seems to be almost black and a kind of challenging expression has replaced the stock smile.

Now in 2001, her hair has gone auburn again. The lighting and the depth of field places all emphasis tightly on her face. A slight over-exposure washes out most of her face but makes her clear blue eyes really stand out.

2003. Boom. Noticeable change with this one. Under her jacket is a tight top that emphasizes her bust and shows a streak of tummy.

Boom boom. The sweet deacon's wife is nowhere to be found in this one from 2005.  Her hair appears almost tousled, not coifed at all, and although her arm is blocking the view, her plunging neckline leaves much to the imagination.

Holy...! From 2006.  An almost wild rock-star mane and a dress that leaves nothing--or everything--to be desired.  She looks like she just put her mandolin down because she's about to ravish you.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.   Bluegrass has come a long way since Flatt & Scruggs.

A somewhat more demure appearance on this one from 2008.  And by "somewhat more demure" I mean a "your friend's totally hot mom" look.

In 2009, we get a tight close-up of her face and bare shoulders. Bare shoulders.

And then...uh...yeah. Okay, from 2010. For some reason this album cover always distracts me.

So finally we get to her upcoming album, Sunday Mornin' Singin'.  This is an album of "gospel," or at least gospel-related songs, so I think she has chosen wisely to go back to the pretty deacon's wife look.  A quite demure white dress that almost looks like a very conservative wedding dress.

What will the future hold?  I only hope her next album is titled Saturday Night Hoedown.

I guess that's one way to get your business noticed

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

So there I was...

Doing my job, minding my own business on a quiet day in a quiet neighborhood with no packs of vicious dogs roaming the streets, no panhandlers, no reverse vampires that can come out in the daytime, not much traffic to speak of, no pink cars....YAAAUUUGGGHHH!!!

I promise I don't go out looking for these things. They're everywhere.

"Resurrect Dead" documentary


I had come across what's called "the Toynbee tiles phenomenon" some time ago, reading various weird stuff on the internet.  I watched this documentary this morning on Netflix.  Good show.  They pretty much solve the who and even the how, although not the why.  I suspect the why is because the guy is nuts.  But he's harmless, so more power to him.