Made it to the Solstice 2021

The Netherlands at midnight on the Summer Solstice

Jennifer isn’t a fan of the Sun since she prefers to hit the sack around the same time old people prefer to. It’s mostly due to her job as a nurse; she wakes around 3:30 AM and shows up by 4:30 AM. This isn’t all bad. Jennifer gets to punch out by 1 PM followed by a nap. Her situation reminds me of how morning-show DJs live, especially when they have to make personal appearances in the evening.

I told her, today her national nightmare is over. After this evening, the sun will go back to setting sooner and sooner every day. With Austin, sunset on this day tends to be 8:35 PM, much too later for Jennifer! Good thing we don’t live  in Alaska or Europe. On the latter, it’s hard to believe that the major population centers where many American ancestors originated from lived with such extremes in “lighting.” It makes me grateful to living closer to the Equator. As much as I would enjoy the Sun being out late, it would get countered by longer, dreary, dark days. I can’t handle the latter very well.

On to the Fall Equinox!

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Happy Juneteenth Day

It’s nice to see what was often a Texas-based holiday finally become a National Holiday in the US. The more amazing thing was how many Republicans voted with the Democrats on this. Currently, they can’t even have a compromise on what to eat for lunch. The shitbags who voted against weren’t a shock.

Personally, I think the Republicans who did agree will use this as their ’22 smokescreen over how they’re making it nearly impossible for anyone who isn’t White, to vote.

Meanwhile, here’s a synopsis of the holiday…

On June 19, 1865; General Granger of the US Army with his forces landed in Galveston (the largest city in Texas until 1900, when a hurricane ended this designation). He then announced to all the people that the Civil War was over and how the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 was now the law; therefore all the slaves were free.

Being a Yankee from Central IL, I was often puzzled. The war ended on April 9, 1865 with Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox, didn’t Texas get the memo? Obviously not. I’m willing to give Texas the benefit of the doubt in being cut off by US forces being pretty successful at isolating the Lone Star State via the destruction of telegraph lines, train tracks and the Navy’s blockade after Farragut took New Orleans.

Today, Juneteenth is celebrated by all Texans. There are parades, barbecues, dancing, music and its special drink…strawberry soda. This probably came years later since carbonated beverages don’t start to appear until a generation later. Then again, one may never know because many great things aren’t always documented accurately for posterity.

My employer already decided to make it a work holiday this year regardless of the Federal Government. I’m just happy Congress got this done in time for POTUS to sign it into law for my friends who have Federal gigs to have a three-day weekend. I’m confident the rest of America will get on board next year. What’s not to like? It’s a step forward and any movement in this direction is good given how much farther we really need to be. To me, when we get to Star Trek, then we can take a deep breath and ponder how far we’ve come.


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Rest in Peace Scarface the Lion

This lion dying of old age (14) is a big deal because it’s a rare event. If you didn’t read the article, the short version is that most males are only in charge of a pride for several years before they’re killed or exiled by younger, stronger dude lion. If they survive, they either are too injured or weak to fend of hyenas. Let’s also face the other problem, humans, namely tiny-dick people who need to prove their hot shit by killing one of these majestic creatures.

What’s more amazing is how Scarface travelled all the way back to the area where he was born to die.

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A demonstration of Jennifer’s Texan-ess or -any?

This is a recent addition Jennifer picked up during her recent vacation to Padre but it’s a bummer she bought this in Mexico. You’d think a belt buckle as impressive as this could be found through Texas! Namely at the beloved Mega Truck/Gas Stop Bucee’s. It’s where I got my most recent, US-made belt for my jeans.

Jennifer hasn’t decided when or with what she’ll be wearing this accessory. My money is on our next trip to Coupland Dance Hall.

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Sneaky Mama Cat

If you don’t have the patience watch the entire five-to-six minutes of this, you can fast forward to the part when the mama has an “all clear” and a “run and hide” meow. This cat and her offspring were pretty clever. Personally, I can’t tell the difference in her voice but her kittens are very smart. They’re also very patient in being squeezed into one really tight hiding space.

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My weight is under 260 for the first time in over year!

Today required a double take with the scale but since I can’t get to the gym and scheduling bike time on a week day is a nuisance, I’ve had to cut back on eating; one of my favorite activities! Well, I’ve been doing it in small steps after I was 273 after New Year’s Day. I avoid seconds, I avoid having a large amount on my firsts and I have to resist finishing Jennifer’s meals. On the latter, she doesn’t eat much for reasons I will let her explain. How many of us envy her situation!

I fear that this progress will be short lived. The sudden “burst” to get into the upper 250s was caused more by the current stress in my life which I don’t feel like discussing beyond it’s disgusting.

I’ll keep plugging away. I want to be in the 250s at worst this year, 240s at best. Anything lower would be miraculous.

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A Goldbergian contraption making meh pizza

Well, it lays out the sauce and toppings as poorly as a machine since we’ve all had those frozen pizzas that are lopsided with the pepperoni or mushrooms. Human pizza makers will always remain the best.


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RIP: Clarence Williams III & Ned Beatty

These gentlemen were staples on both screens in the Seventies.

Clarence got his start in the Sixties with the groundbreaking cop show The Mod Squad on ABC. Three undercover officers who were young enough looking to infiltrate evil gangs of Hippies was my guess. I often saw in him bit parts. The two which come to mind are the undertaker in Tales from the Hood and the aging Black Panther who lost his followers in I’m Gonna’ Get You Sucka’.

Ned was a constant presence too. He did it all. Burt Reynolds flicks, sadly it was Deliverance most remember; the good news, they did the infamous scene in one take. The scary truth teller in Network, the easily cajoled Dean Martin in Back to School and his last big presence as the bitter teddy bear in Toy Story 3. My favorite part was his bumbling Otis, personal henchman to Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor in the only good Superman flicks by Richard Donner; I prefer Donner’s cut of Superman II. Ned’s defense of Otisburg is burned into my memory, better than any foreign language.

Thanks guys for everything! Your performances were fantastic and convincing. You made the stories you were in the best.

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The actual reality was a better show

As the legacy broadcast networks continue to sink into oblivion, they’ve all been pursuing cheap-ass programming to fill time. Fox’s favorite is moronic, celebrity game shows: the Masked Something with Bimbo Judges! NBC, not to be outdone by Murdoch’s vulgarity used some Japanese inventiveness to make something called Ultimate Slip n’ Slide. With just five days until the show wrapped up, there was an outbreak of giardia on the set and as the loop GIF illustrates, explosive diarrhea resulted.

Given how weak game shows often are, televising what happened on the set would be way more entertaining. With all the kids watching (practically voyeurism) through TikTok, I’d say this could be a hit through the new medium!

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Shooting on Sixth Street, obviously I’m OK

We found out this morning since it was all over the local news via our devices. Hell, it made the front page of The Guardian. Thankfully nobody of the 13 victims have died and the suspected shooter remains at large. Of course this is yet another incident in which there was no good guy with a gun to save the day. Then again, it’s Texas, it could’ve been a wannabe good guy who decided to shoot what he believed were 13 Antifa suspects celebrating their recent victory of helping the Democrats flee out of the Capital a couple weeks ago.

As a resident of 27 years, this wasn’t a huge surprise. You mix the state’s moronic gun policy of “more guns!” with a stretch of bars patronized by mostly drunk, sexually frustrated young men (many are frat boys or other types)…you get this.

The rather infamous drinking neighborhood has been on the decline for years anyway. If you ever come to visit me in Austin, I’ll take you to the classier, cleaner Rainey Street.

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Sadly, under 40% of Texas is vaccinated

This illustration works in a couple different ways. How stupid the “natural immunity” crowd is, proving that Dr. Toupée Paul went into politics in Kentucky because he is a shitty doctor. He makes Dr. Nicke Riviera a Nobel winner. The other…how the MAGAts excel at making their Bully Culture grievances seem real, as if they’re on par with those who fought for the Civil Rights Movement.

I’m really saddened by this number. I was hoping it would be higher, maybe closer to 60, 50 at worse. I should’ve remembered the old adage, never underestimate the power of stupid people in great numbers. With the addition of, spread out across the vast amount of real estate stoked by Republican assholes who’ve profited off of them for decades.

Having lived in rural North Dakota, I had a front-row seat to this culture of willful ignorance during my last year of high school. All these peers who figured…after they graduated, they’ll be on easy street in which they can stay up, drink, get high and screw all they wanted without consequences. Until the money ran out and they had to get an actual 40-hour-a-week job or join the military. There was a minority who felt differently, and they were the invaders like me. They studied. They applied to universities. They moved the hell out of North Dakota. In time, the minority became the deflation of a balloon on the state’s overall population. The same is happening to the residents of rural Texas. They’re leaving the boonies for DFW, Houston, San Antonio and (sadly) Austin. I only hope I live long enough to see this place turn Blue enough to throw off the Republican, Dixiecrat and NeoConfederate intellectual shackles these older Texans willful permit.

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Well, it’s still better than the last two movie attempts

The best guess we could all make is that the baker/decorator designed this from memory since what it’s trying to resemble has been the most common cover for Fitzgerald’s novel (see below). Instead the cake resembles a relative of the last person born on Earth from the Doctor Who episode “The End of the World,” or maybe Jambi from Pee Wee’s Playhouse was crushed into a rectangle.

The cover since first edition by Francis Cugat

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Side effects include magnetic powers or a Cardassian forehead

Damn! I knew I got the wrong vaccine since I cannot do that! What I’d give to have magnetic powers like Magneto, Polaris or Dr. Polaris from the comic books! So far every live demonstration coming the Covidiots or Freedumb Fighters have met with utter failure, similar to any divine intervention being proven.

We truly, truly live in what the future (if there is one) will call the Stupid Ages.

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1966: NFL and AFL agree to merge by 1970

With the growing popularity of professional football thanks to TV, the upstart AFL and the older (started in the Twenties) NFL will come together into the newer, bigger NFL. I guess then the Super Bowl followed a year later. We also know all the AFL teams were re-labelled as the American Conference and the original NFL teams became the National Conference. Not exactly though. For balance purposes, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Colts were moved over to the AFC. This benefited the Steelers later on because they and the Colts got re-admitted as expansion teams, ergo, more draft picks to rebuild their teams. This would lead to the Steelers to become a dominant organization through the upcoming Seventies with Terry Bradshaw at the helm.

I was a big fan of theirs as a kid. Being a Yankee, cheering for the Cowboys was considered rude and Pittsburgh ran through the Rust Belt of the Midwest.

I also think the NFL is more careful on how much help they give new teams, same for the NHL’s upcoming expansion draft for Seattle’s Kraken.

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Yee Haw! (still not a good foreign policy)

I’m surprised the “rabbit” didn’t need an ambulance from my weight on its back. Obviously it’s fake but the jackalope is the main attraction at this bar named after the mythical creature. Given how crappy the service and dirty the tables were, I think the animal was all they have left post-CV-19. Jennifer says they have the best burgers on Sixth Street. I will give this to her. They’re pretty good and we can put them in the running for next year’s National Burger Day.

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Kitchen is now done, or at least “boy clean”

Operation: Manhattan continues to roll on! I finished the other half of my kitchen by cleaning the stovetop, the remaining cabinet, organized the coat closet, more dishes and then some. I will have to hire someone to do that deeper cleaning I probably mentioned in earlier posts because I can only “boy clean” as my friend Helen once said in college. Trust me, it’s not a superficial clean in which I just shoved into a closet as Bart Simpson does. I used those magic erasers, cleaning solutions, washed dishes, soap, etc. I ran out of time to do another mopping, I can swing that chore into next weekend.

The kitchen will look sweeter when all those drying dishes get put away. Then my sink will no longer be what I demanded it not be 20 years when the house was being built…a crap-gathering point (I need to submit the term to urban, a promise a certain ex-someone never held up.

Many people didn’t think I could pull this off. Sure it took three weekends yet I am a champion of the gradual approach…only with cleaning a house and exercising (not my politics, economics nor eco-systems). It doesn’t feel so overwhelming in time as you chip away at the problem bit by bit. Plus, keeping it all clean transforms into little, quick chores as I remembered way back in 2005 when I was living alone and the ex- was playing Alton Brown in Phoenix. I’m also trying to get as much done as I can on my own before Jennifer “volunteers” her expertise. She claims it will happen faster with her oversight. Yeah, it probably would. I still want to decide what stays and what goes in the dumpster.

Onward to the next metaphorical mountain shown to the public, the living room.

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