Ocean View food truck invades Austin, again!

Tempting but lobster is a temperamental thing with my stomach. I can imagine that this truck serves the meat on bread and covered in butter. If I’m wrong, please let me know what a lobster roll really is.

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Van Halen-themed hotel

Spotted this off Rainey Street but remembered to take a picture. Not exactly sure what the builders were thinking unless they were huge Van Halen fans. I can only imagine the construction workers laying down giant rolls of tape on the white facade followed by another crew spray painting it red and then concluding with the tape removal. Meanwhile, the supervisor yelled “woo!” every few minutes to maintain the spirit of the thing.

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Anatomy book out of context!

The caption says, “Muscles make the body move,” if I’m being chased by some horror from an HP Lovecraft story, you can imagine how quickly I can run!


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Cat play dates

In preparation for what we hope is the future, I brought my more gregarious cat Agamemnon over to Jennifer’s place to meet the gang (Nubby, Vegas, Morpheus, Orion, Totoro and Roxy). It went pretty well given that in the past, I remember how Molly immediately began chasing Wicca around the apartment to beat her ass. The weekend hasn’t been 100-percent smooth. There’s been some hissing, growling and a few swipes taken by everyone, they wouldn’t be cats if they didn’t.

Within a day, Aggie was more relaxed and went to being his usual self…a lap cat demanding attention and butt scratches. He even slept on the bed while avoiding Vegas and Nubby. I think he also enjoyed the view from Jennifer’s windows because she lives on the second floor.

He’s coming home tomorrow to resume his duties of being my co-worker cat with Isis; for her, I think she enjoyed the solitude and not being obligated to wrestle several times per day with Aggie. I’m hoping he and the others will get more comfortable with each other’s presence. Next goal is them playing together. My young kitty wants to play and I think Roxy and Totoro are asking for the same.

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Tiresome meme turns 10

This proves a theory that I had but never bothered to share because I’m confident everybody thought it too. The people from the original photo were actors/actresses hired to do a series of shots for clip art. Ergo, it probably wasn’t very hard to find the trio and do a ten-years-later picture. When the meme first started, it was OK. Now it’s usage is meh and a sign of hacky attempts at humor. But Evil MoPac gets a pass.

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What I plan to watch this weekend on HBO Max…

But seriously, I’m not a fan of Zack Snyder’s superhero work or his lame-ass Dawn of the Dead remake. I did watch 300 in the last year or so, it held up. Falcon and the Winter Soldier and For All Mankind are bigger priorities this weekend. This Justice League appears to be a slog. Four hours is how long this edit is supposed to be. Even my attention span will be tried! I will have to save this for when Jennifer has her long weekend trip to Padre. Making her sit this could end our relationship.

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What all cats should be subjected to

How we love them but there are days when they really need a taste of their own medicine, especially on those mornings when we’re awakened by the Eye of Sauron!

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Virtual SXSW underway

Last year it was cancelled (hooray!). This year they found a way to rip people off by making them pay probably outrageous amounts to “attend” via streaming and/or disappointing Zoom conferences. There’s a sucker born every minute, especially into believing these are more egalitarian systems.

I for one approve of this since it prevents my adopted home from being despoiled by the annual invasion of assholes from “the Industry.” Evil MoPac said it best, “Airlines are reporting a 98.7% drop from 2019 in bearded people trying to stuff guitars into overhead bins on Austin flights.” The only downside, the Sparks documentary directed by Edgar Wright was being shown. Then again, I remember how SXSW isn’t for local taxpayers, only the visiting assholes so I wouldn’t get to see it anyway. I know this because they pulled the same crap when debuting Jordan Peele’s Us.

Honestly, if SXSW just rolled over and died, I wouldn’t be very sad. Much like San Diego Comic Con, Lolapalooza and other well-intended fan gatherings, Corporations took over, transformed this into a tradeshow for their caste to have vacations at. Yes, yes, there’s the argument about the Austin economy but 2020 showed the vulnerability of depending on tourism too much. Given how much the local and state government pissed away for Tesla to “create” shit jobs, whatever SXSW brought in doesn’t matter anymore. The long-term and wisest decision is to make the general population has consistent employment, not fickle, prone to disaster service work.

Next year, the annual asshole invasion will return. All I can hope for is Waterloo Records having some acts I want to see.

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RIP Yaphet Kotto

Another actor I thought was already passed away, whoops! Still, I’m saddened to see him depart because he was pretty cool. For me he was a great villain (Mr. Big) in Roger Moore’s debut as James Bond in Live and Let Die. Yaphet’s character had one of the more interesting deaths too. Then a few years later, he was Parker, the cynical but doomed engineer-hero in Alien who gave his life trying to rescue Ripley and Lambert. According to The AV Club, he turned down Lando Calrissian which went to Billy Dee Williams and Captain Picard. His reason? He didn’t want to be typecast as a “space guy.” It was probably the right choice for him since Yaphet was a dramatic heavyweight.

Thanks for everything Mr. Kotto. I know you weren’t big on my favorite genres yet you didn’t phone it in, you brought your A game which led to memorable performances!

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Et tu crouton?

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Another little nod to immortality

Last night I stumbled upon this on the way to our seats. How cool to be listed as someone who has stood by my Stars for a decade without interrupting the streak. Even better, my whole name is listed on the same line unlike a few others. No luck for Jeremy but he reminded me that he dropped out after the eighth or ninth to move to the Netherlands.

Let’s see if I make it to a 15 or 20-year wall!

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As promised per poll n’ vaccine, beard trimming. Hair later.

This was about a year’s worth of growth

Doesn’t look like much, maybe enough to make a kitten.

Great! I found the chin I misplaced last Spring.

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Some progress, I fit in a my “new” jeans

The new year started off with one ugly realization…the weight I’ve put on during the Pandemic and probably going too far during the Holiday Stretch. Talk about a stretch too, I couldn’t fit into my standard jeans easily so I had to make an emergency trip to Old Navy. There I bought my temporary fat pants with an extra four inches on the waistline until some interim jeans arrived from All American, my preferred brand, still made in the States and cost just as much as overpriced Levi’s from Pakistan, Levi hasn’t made shit in America for 20 years thanks to Sprawl-Mart.

I’ve managed to bring my average down by 10 pounds! Yes, I was well over 270 on New Year’s Day. The objective is to be at least a pound lower every week and/or one lower than I was a week ago via the app Lose It! I gambled on the interim jeans (two pairs) and they were fine. No struggle. No need for help. Most importantly, no pliers required if you recall a certain scene from Dazed n’ Confused.

Now if I can get back to the gym at my job! I really miss my morning routine with the stationary bike and stair master. There’s only so much I can do by eating less and filling up on water.

On to the 250s.

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One year of officially being in a Pandemic

Hmm. I must be too self-involved. I was rejoicing my refinancing finally going through on this date last year. The UN-led body made it official on this day while Orange Foolius and other GOP morons kept trying to downplay its severity. The only thing positive factor I also recalled was the cancelling of SXSW, the annual asshole invasion of industry people (mostly Californicators) telling us what we should be liking for the remainder of the year. Long ago, it was supposed to be a showcase of Austin’s music scene. Thanks Kapitalism.

Speaking of Kapitalism and failure, someone posted a very true fact on Twitter:

Socialism gave us the vaccine
Capitalism fumbled the distribution

Given that a hospital in Florida was ordered by the state government to redirect doses to a wealthy neighborhood is all the proof we need.

Meanwhile, I need to see what Colbert’s sources were when he claimed that over 75 million doses have been given and/or if it was people.

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RIP: Lou Ottens

Music fans throughout the decades have this man to thank for developing two major formats.

His first was the cassette. Before them, tape was a reel-to-reel setup. Great quality for production and editing. Crappy for the average user: the machine was about the size of a portable TV, heavy and took a some effort to set up. Lou pushed to make tape recordings small enough to fit in your pocket. His prototype arrived in 1962 but had to endure a standards war between his employer Phillips and the Japanese giant Sony. However, by the Eighties, cassettes outpaced LP sales. OK, they did anecdotally in my world. When I was a teenager and college student, friends who were not diehard music collectors bought their tunes that way. Fidelity nerds like me clung to vinyl until we could afford CDs. Cassettes were my preferred format for other means: mixtapes, saving my WMUR shows with Sheila and José (all lost sadly) and portability (my several Walkmans, cars).

Lou didn’t stop there. He was later involved in the development of the CD which debuted in 1979. As expected, another standards war followed until everybody agreed on 12 cm in diameter with about a maximum of 80 minutes of material; earlier ones capped out at an hour. The CD became a format which unified the casual fan and the obsessed (my camp). It had both portability and fidelity. I bet many of us remember those people with binders filled with CDs of their music in their cars. The music industry loved it too since it locked customers into buying the whole record after vinyl 45s went away and CD singles were just plain stupid.

Despite the rising dominance of streaming, my crowd is returning to vinyl with a subset trying to bring back the cassette. I don’t buy the “warmth” argument regarding vinyl. I think it’s just young hipsters trying to rationalize why they’re paying too much. Besides, if you read the obit, Lou said the CD is superior. He should know and he settled the fake debate for me.

Thanks for everything Lou. Your inventions helped me on long, long, boring solo drives, especially when I was working for DG (Bloomington to Peoria and back, five days a week); my favorite long treks to move to Austin and lastly, it was vital to the first draft of KMAG.

Singer/Songwriter Jason Isbell joked that if he invented the tape, he would have it in his will ordering the pallbearers to flip him over at the halfway point of the funeral. Knowing my luck, my corpse would get jammed and an altar boy would use a pen or pencil to rewind what escaped from the coffin.

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