My teams sink into the mud yet the World continues to turn

 A  fast-moving snow came through our normally snow-deprived area Friday and left about a 1/4 inch. Unfortunately, there was little left for a photograph as what was left on the ground was in the dark and by the time I got out of bed the next day the snow was long gone. Such are Gulf Coast snows. At least we got to share our snow with my friends up in the Northeast. My friend Sally, in Western Massachusetts told me she enjoyed the first snow of the year which was thanks to the same potent weather system.

 Otherwise the weekend was one of mostly watching all my football teams go down in flames save one. The Longhorns squeaked by Nebraska and thus will play in the National Championship against the Crimson Tide. I have to be almost apologetic in saying that I root for Texas because, as most of my friends are Republicans while I am a proud Democrat, most of my friends and relatives are also Aggies. Many are such Texas A & M fans that they will root for any team but “TU” or what they call The University of Texas (at Austin). That I don’t understand. It seems like we are all Texans and we would support a fellow Texas team fighting for the national title. But not so many Aggies.

 My high school fell in quarterfinals. I wasn’t surprised because Newton played No. 1 Daingerfield. My college alma mater, Stephen F. Austin was destroyed in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs — formerly NCAA Div. I-A — by No. 1 Montana. University of Houston was beaten by Eastern Carolina for the Conference USA championships. Last but certainly least in the NFL, my Texans got whipped by Jacksonville and slipped to 5-7.

 So yes that one-second nail-biter between the Cornhuskers and the Longhorns was my little bright light. Well, the Saints won in overtime but I didn’t get to see that because Fox cut completely the Saints’ exciting OT finish off for the Cowboys miserable loss to the Giants. I mean, I like Wade Phillips and all but give me a break.

 Needless to say it was a disappointing weekend. Not much snow. My favorite teams were mostly left trampled in the mud. My feet continue to hurt including my non-broken toe that feels now like a broken foot. Yet, the world continues to turn. One cannot watch cable TV news without everything being laid down in the context of politics. With every breath that Obama takes a new poll is released. Will his exhales excite the independent white Christian women or will his inhaling raise his numbers with the black male Muslim upper class cross dressers? Stay tuned. I’m sure we will find out eventually.

Afghanistan and the eye of the Tiger, oh my

 Today I have a few words — figuratively speaking — on subjects of which I could discuss with thousands of words. However, I don’t want that and if you read this blog, you surely don’t want that.

 First off, Afghanistan and the upshot of President Obama ordering 30,000 additional troops into whatever it is we are fighting over there.

 Flip a coin. Heads, you approve of the additional troops. Tails, you disapprove. That is how I look at the announcement of additional forces. I initially thought we should have gone into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. Today, I’m not so sure. The only thing I am sure of is that we shouldn’t have invaded Iraq. That war is what one might call unjust, not to mention illegal. I haven’t heard it called “Bush’s Folly” or “Shrub’s Folly,” but it should go down in history that way.

 If the search and destroy mission for Osama bin Laden and gang should  not have been a federal criminal investigation — with help from the military and CIA — many of the troops and material poured into Iraq (not to mention the billions of dollars) could have went to Afghanistan.

 I guess the American in me believes that we should find some kind of victory both in Iraq and Afghanistan and leave. We need to figure out what it is we are there to do because I am not sure what our goals are now in those countries.

 As for Obama sending more trooops to augment the more than 70,000 already there — and the allies sending 5,000 more to help the almost 40,000 NATO and other foreign forces in Afghanistan — I say: “Let’s see if it works out.” He has offered a timetable, albeit a seemingly short one.  So if the situation doesn’t improve by whenever it is Obama wants a withdrawal to begin, then we get mad and jump up and down and say: “Bad Obama. Bad, bad Obama.” This seems as good as anything else I can imagine.


 Next subject. Le Tigre. El Tigre.  Ang Tigre. The Tiger.

 Tiger, Tiger, Tiger.

 Why is the mainstream media doing stories on what was, initially, a rather odd car crash involving Tiger Woods?  Do viewers and readers of the media have such uninteresting lives that they MUST know the details of all the indiscretions of this sports (sports?) star? I have the most uninteresting life  imaginable, at least at the moment, and I don’t care about Tiger Woods” intimate moments. Let me be a bit more specific. I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S RECTUM ABOUT THE TIGER WOODS SCANDAL.

 Tiger Woods has not been elected to greatest golfer in the world or highest-paid sports star in the world. We do not own Tiger Woods. He has no obligation to tell the public zip. Sure, every star of every kind blames the media when things start to go South. But if anyone has a case against the media, this time it is Tiger Woods.

 It makes me both angry and sad to see great newspaper and broadcasting outlets report the latest on this scandal. Why don’t they report something really earth-shaking, like this?

Being thankful for bad things

 It is the beginning of five days off. My Thanksgiving holiday if you will.

 In days past I would be thrilled to have five days off for Thanksgiving. These days I am not so thrilled. Happy? Yes. Thrilled? No. The reason is simple: Money. Or a lack thereof. Payday is sometime between Saturday and next Monday.  Payday actually is a week from Thursday but since I have direct deposit, my money usually shows up on the Saturday before. Or the Monday. It’s like magic. Bad magic.

 I don’t know if this is an item falling under the “something to be thankful for” list, but it is somewhat of a relief for those of us whose government work (part-time in my case) carries us into some sort of a regular setting outside of the office.

 Authorities in Kentucky have finally ruled the death of part-time Census worker  Bill Sparkman as a suicide. Sparkman, as you might remember, was found dead in the woods nude and with a rope around his neck. The words “Fed” had been written in pen on his chest and his government ID was taped to his neck. His hands had been bound with duct tape. Police have determined Sparkman staged his death to appear as a homicide in order that his family could collect his insurance policies.

 We will have to take the Kentucky authorities’ word for it that it was indeed a self-inflicted death. I guess if other government workers turn up with bizarre deaths then perhaps law enforcement folks will want to take yet another look at this death as well.

 Some of our prominent loud-mouth right-wing nuts got all bent out of shape when people started pointing fingers at them for Sparkman’s death. I can see that. But there are plenty of people with animosity toward the government out there. Hell, the government pisses me off sometimes. But not to the point that some folks are enraged. Remember, Tim McVeigh didn’t start anti-government domestic terrorism just as Osama bin Laden didn’t start jihadist terror.

 My advice to Census and other government field workers is the same advice I give myself. Be aware of your surroundings. Leave yourself an escape route. Trust your instincts. If a place and people make you uncomfortable for some reason, avoid that place. Go back and talk to a superior about it or a co-worker. And be as nice as you can be … to your web-footed friends because that duck might be somebody’s mother.

 Second in the “thankful for” category: The Texans-Titans game last night. Being a Texans fan, I’m glad as heck that game is over. Two games in a row almost Mr. Perfect kicker Kris Brown missed a field goal that could have put the Texans into overtime. The first time was with undefeated Indianapolis.

 But goat times two that Brown might be, he didn’t lose either game alone. Titans quarterback and former Texas QB sensation Vince Young did some fancy footwork that made the Texans defensive line look as if they had come only to watch the game. It’s good for the Titans they had Young  going for them because they didn’t have much else. Although, the Texans could have done much better. They could have been sitting in the playoff catbird seat, whatever that is. Oh well, 5-5 once again. That’s even-Steven. Be thankful for that at least.

Free meals for vets; Pick your fave Texans goat.

 Some national corporation are thanking veterans this year by putting their money where the veterans’ mouths are.

 But showing appreciation for those who are serving or who have served this year will not be limited to free dinners from Golden Corral on Monday,  November 16, and Applebee’s on Wednesday evening (Veterans Day).

 Lowe’s is offering a 10 percent discount on in-store merchandise up to purchases of $5,000 from Nov. 6 through Veterans Day. This is according to media reports I have seen. I saw nothing on their Web site about it. I would call first and ask if interested. Home Depot is likewise offering a 10 percent discount through Veterans Day. Check the Web site article for lists of limitations.

 I am unsure how long any of these corporations have shown their appreciation for veterans other than Golden Corral. The buffet and grill restaurant has held the Veterans feast for the past eight years. Their Web site notes they have served more than 2.1 million meals to active duty military and veterans during these occasions.

 Applebee’s requires some kind of proof of service such as a picture of the veteran in uniform, military or retired military ID card, DD-214 or veterans organization card. Their list doesn’t include a VA patient ID card, so I wouldn’t count on that getting you a free dinner. Applebee’s is also offering a limited number of items on their menu for the gratis meal — six to be exact — but they all look pretty good.

 Golden Corral does not require proof of ID. I still would take some though. You never know if your waiter understands the rules and having your papers in order might avoid having to get a manager and making a scene. I have been only once for Golden Corral’s meal, a couple of years ago, and I wasn’t asked for an ID.

 A number of other restaurants and businesses are giving free or discounted meals or merchandise across the country including, or did so over the weekend. Some of these also honor those uniformed folks serving in public safety such as police, fire and EMS. You just need to check around and see, I suppose, because I don’t have a full list. I wish I did.


  Disappointing would be an appropriate word to describe yesterday’s Houston-Indianapolis game.

  The Texans came in with a respectable 5-3 record for the first time in their history against the undefeated Colts. Still, there was no way the Texans could beat Indianapolis, right? Well, even though they weren’t throwing hand grenades or playing horseshoes, they almost pulled off an upset. Even more, the Texans should have won this one.

  A big examination was taking place on Beaumont-Houston’s ESPN Radio, the Ticket, this afternoon, as to the blame for the Texans 20-17 loss to the Colts. It was a controversial fumble at the Colt’s one-yard line by Houston running back Ryan Moats, said some. It was flat out turnovers and stupid penalties, said others. It was kicker Kris Brown, still others said while you could almost see heads nodding through the many radio receivers throughout the Houston-Beaumont area.

 Brown could easily be seen as the goat that ate the chance to knock off the Big Dog Colts. The Colts saw their lead cut to a narrow margin at the end of the first half when the Texans’ kicker perfectly nailed a 56-yard field goal. Brown, coming into the game, had a perfect extra point record and he left with that intact at 25-for-25 upon leaving Indy. He wasn’t exactly Mr. Automatic with 9-for-13 coming into the game but neither was he Mr. Aromatic. That path to Mr. Smelly quickly changed in the estimation of some Texans fans when Brown had a chance to send the game into overtime. 

 But just as plane crashes hardly ever have one cause, neither do lost football games. Somehow the clock quickly ticked off until it was stopped at one second — amazing in itself that Houston didn’t lose because of poor time management. Brown seemed like a sure shot for a 42-yarder to tie after kicking one a very respectable 56 yards. However, the ball went up and up and just freaking missed the goal with a veer to the left.

  Well, Coach Dan Kubiak thought his team did okay considering they were playing Peyton Manning’s Colts. I have to say I feel the same way although, as I mentioned before, I am very disappointed.

 As for one goat. It wasn’t Kris Brown. It wasn’t one play. It wasn’t the refs. It wasn’t Moats’ fumble. It was all of those wrapped up with penalties that were just dumb, though as I have noted  here before I sure as hell couldn’t have done better.

 The Texans now are neither down nor are they out. They have to play the Colts again at the end of this month and beat them. They have to beat the Titans again the week after next week’s bye. That theoretically should be easy against a now 2-6 team that only picked up its second win just yesterday by beating the equally lackluster 49ers. But theories are like a**holes, everybody’s got one and every once in awhile something goes wrong with them. Then you got your Rams, Seahawks, Jaguars and Dolphins in no particular order followed at the end by the Patriots. The Patriots. Yes.  Uh-huh.

 So the Texans can still make the playoffs. Hell, they could go to the Super Bowl. I mean anything can happen and does happen in football, just look at Terrell Owens or John “Sandy Baby” Riggins — remember the latter’s drunken encounter with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor? Perhaps those aren’t the best examples.

It's like this, Catfish

 It feels like an odds and ends type of day. That means I write about odds and ends of life, liberty and the pursuit of dinner.

ohohohohohohohohohohohohoohohohohohohohohohohoh — The oho line. Figure it out and win a prize. Yeah, and if you believe that …

 It’s laundry and more specifically drying time. That was such a beautiful song. Wasn’t that Ray Charles? “Oh it’s drying time again, you’re going to leave me/I can see that faraway look in your eyes … ” Oh  yeah, it was crying, not drying. No s**t man, Ray sang that, faraway look and all.


 All the politicians and cable news pundits are talking about how a few elections such as a single congressional race in New York state and the contest for governor in New Jersey will be the big “report card” on the Obama administration. I thought they did that on the first 100 days. The truth is, it gives the talking heads something to talk about, as if they were totally without a subject of discussion. It just beats me to a smashed doodle bug.


 The Texans looked awesome yesterday. Buffalo, not so much.


 I just got back my EMG report from two weeks ago. It would be nice to have a neurologist to explain it to me since one did the test. But I suppose the Department of Veterans Affairs has a plan. Yeah, I bet. Especially since I don’t have a “personal” primary care physician or physicians assistant or nurse practitioner. You see, my clinic is short two primary care people right now, or they was last week. So who knows when I will get a doctor for my very own who can oversee the testing that Dr. G-V recommended in his report: “Screen for causes of peripheral neuropathy (metabolic, toxic, nutritional).” Yeah, and all that good doctor stuff


Whazzup? (Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2006)
Whazzup? (Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2006)

See you later, Catfish.

I just felt the need to call someone Catfish today.

Doesn’t the urge hit you every once in awhile to call someone

Catfish? No?