Wednesday, June 30, 2004

El Pollo Loco

In case you are a racist, “el pollo loco” means “the crazy chicken”. El Pollo Loco is a restaurant in San Antonio, and I think that’s funny. According to Francine, “the prices at El Pollo Loco are loco”. She told me that if you buy eight hunks of chicken, they will give you a whole additional chicken at no additional cost! When it comes to chicken bargains I think you’d have a hard time beating that. So let me recommend El Pollo Loco if you’re in the mood for a free bonus chicken.

In Garland, there is a place called “Pollo’s Mexican Grill and Chicken For All”. That translates to “Chicken’s Mexican Grill and Chicken For All”. There is also a place called “Tattoos and Beanie Babies”. In Memphis there is a restaurant called “Breakfast, Lunch, and Hamburger” and it’s located next to a grocery store called “Cost Plus” (why would anyone want to pay the “plus”?).

In Indiana there is a Chinese carry-out place owned by some genuine Chinese people called – and I’m not making this up – “You-A-Carry-Out-A”. If you don’t get “You-A-Carry-Out-A” say it in the way that some people mimic Chinese voices.

I like things that look funny or that have funny names. When I was small, my friend David and I lived in a neighborhood full of ridiculous basketball goals. We’d spend our summers creeping around in alleys taking pictures of horrible baskets and running away. There was one that was nothing more than a rim on a pole (no backboard). Another had an eight inch two by four that served as the backboard. And at the Bisby Park were a couple of goals with aluminum backboards and double rims. Horrible!

Besides taking pictures of bad baskets, we would take pictures of poorly decorated houses at Christmas time. I wonder if any of you would be interested in buying a coffee table book that I have in mind. It would be called something like “Awful Christmas Decorations”. It would feature beautiful pictures of poorly decorated homes complete with captions describing where the families went wrong. As a sort of trial, perhaps next Christmas I’ll put some examples of what I’m talking about here at

In other merchandising news, I’m thinking of manufacturing some Larry Feathers t-shirts and pants for sale at reasonable prices to people who like reading about these adventures. If you’re interested, will you please let me know? Thanks.

Well, I’m done smoking. I think instead of smoking, my new vice is going to be chicken. In fact, consider this my pledge to replace beef and cigars with chicken and turkey, respectively. There are many obvious advantages to this plan, and I am asking for your support!

Now then, let me take this opportunity to congratulate some different people whose prospective marriages get my useless seal of approval. Congratulations to Stephanie and Ian who are going to get married together! These are two nice people who like taking me out for cheeseburgers when I’m in Houston. Also, congratulations to Nikki and Jeremy. Nikki is first rate, and, while I don’t know him, Jeremy must be pretty good too if Nikki agreed to become married to him. So come on and wish these people the best as they enter marriage! And, if I’m fortunate enough to be invited to your weddings, let me apologize in advance for not participating in the dancing. My legs hurt from injuries.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004


Let me begin by giving a shout out to Frannie for recommending the hotel in which I’m currently staying. It’s in San Antonio and it’s called the Menger Hotel. Opened in 1859 approximately a stone’s throw away from the Alamo (depending on arm strength and throwing mechanics), the Menger has served as host to the famous and infamous. Indeed, frequent guests here included Teddy Roosevelt (he stayed here when he was recruiting the famed Rough Riders of history!), Presidents Taft, McKinley, Grant, Harrison, Eisenhower, and Nixon, Maude Adams, Oscar Wilde, Gen. John Pershing, Buffalo Bill Cody, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and others. Most exciting, I think, is that Geronimo was once imprisoned in the basement of this place (but don’t bother asking to look at Geronimo’s cell – it’s off limits to the public). And today the Menger is most pleased to have as its most recent guest register signee a certain Mister Larry Feathers!

My favorite thing about this hotel is that it is purportedly haunted by the ghosts of Teddy Roosevelt (his apparition has been observed in the bar from where I’m writing this entry), a maid (who wears an apron and a bandana and works on the third floor), a woman (who wears a long blue dress and roams the second floor), and Captain Richard King (of the famous King Ranch – he haunts a third floor suite where he died called, not coincidentally, the King Suite). I’ve been trying with all my might to summon these ghosts to join me for some fun (partially because I like ghosts, partially because none of the San Antonio living will have anything to do with me). So far I’ve had two encounters and I’ll describe them now.

But before I describe my brushes with the supernatural, let me say that the horrible country music blaring in this bar has annihilated the vibe I was shooting for.

Anyway, when I got to my room, the first thing I did was open the closet and bathroom doors ever so slightly so as not to trap any potential spirits within. Next I started taking it easy for a few minutes waiting for something ghastly to occur. As is common, I was soon distracted by an overwhelming desire for sausage. So I went to the County Line on the River Walk (a place I would like to recommend, if I may). When I got back to the hotel, I went up to the second floor to look for ghosts. I couldn’t find any. So I went back downstairs to ask the hotel people where I should go if I wanted to be around some ghosts. They told me that the lobby is a pretty good place. I tried the lobby, but nothing happened. According to documentation, a former maintenance man used to have run-ins with the ghost of Captain King. From the point he first saw King’s ghost, every time the maintenance man took the elevator it would stop on the third floor even if the maintenance man hadn’t pressed the “3” button selection press! Here’s where things get interesting! After my failure in the lobby, I had pretty much determined that this ghost thing was a hoax. So I got back on the elevator to head back to my fourth floor room. I pressed “4” and the elevator stopped at 3. I got off the elevator and started looking around. As I stood there I noticed that the old floor was creaking like crazy, but there was nobody around. I thought that was pretty good, but I didn’t see any ghouls and got back on the elevator. Upon entering my room I observed that the closet and bathroom doors were flung wide open and the windows (which aren’t supposed to open) were open. I think that’s great! Since it was a nice night out, I went to bed with the windows ajar. When I awoke the windows were shut. It just goes to show the power of thinking positively about ghosts.

So here I am in this bar where Teddy Roosevelt once drank trying to mentally drown out Shania Twain. This is a real drag, and I’m going to go out into the lobby to look for the lady in the blue dress.

Let me explain why it’s been a while since I last updated my adventures. I am in an emotional rut. All of this traveling combined with being in an auditing slump combined with other things that are none of your business has made me blue. I need to be at home for a week I think. This weekend will be good on account of it is a three-day weekend complete with one of my favorite holidays – the 4th of July. But then it’s back to the road (Austin). I am convinced about how blue I feel because I love Austin and all of the people I get to see in Austin, but right now I have no desire to be there at all. I feel like I’ve been neglecting Albert and my house is a wreck. You should see it. And while you see it, you should clean it! I have no idea what I’m supposed to do about pants next week. My pants collection is due for a dry cleaning, but there is no time. I’m sick of not eating at home, and I hate cooking. I’m tired of not sleeping on my bed, and it gives me sores. And what I really need is some good old-fashioned high quality water pressure! My scalp is telling me that I need not travel for a while. It’s just not possible to get a hotel shower with sufficient rinsing power. I work every day with half a helping of shampoo left in my head. My scalp is turning into a regular disaster area, and I’m starting to doubt my Biolage. There must be a shampoo out there for me somewhere. There must be!

Which reminds me…

Last week I was in Kentucky and Indiana. Since most of my extended family lives in southern Indiana, I decided to stick around Friday night and return to Garland on Saturday. Friday afternoon there wasn’t much to do between work and going out to eat with my grandma, second cousin, and aunt (together we were practically 300 years old) so I went over to K-Mart to see if the Suave my Aunt Kathy informed me about was really only 97 cents. Can you believe that a big container of Suave can actually be had for 85 cents? I didn’t think you’d believe it, so I decided to take a picture of it. As I got in picture taking position, a K-Mart employee came to the Suave aisle to do some stocking. For fear of being yelled out for taking shampoo pictures, I ran away to a different part of K-Mart where they sell CDs. I bought the new Beastie Boys CD, and it’s pretty good. After I got the CD I went back over to the shampoos. Once again, I poised myself for picture taking (in a second I’m going to describe the way my Mom takes pictures). As I got ready to photograph the Suave, I noticed a K-Mart surveillance monitor that showed me standing there getting ready to take the picture. Confused that they would be this concerned about Suave security, I ran away again, paid for my CD, and headed over to the Mark Elrod Tower (where my grandma lives with a lot of other old people) for fun.

Let me tell you about the way my Mom takes pictures. It would probably help if you stand up and imitate the steps I’m going to describe. First, with your right leg straight and stiff, stick your left leg out to the side as far as you can without losing your balance. Next, stick your right and left elbows out so that your forearms make a parallel line with the floor. Now, stick your neck out to the right as far as you can. If you aren’t feeling pain at this point, I can’t imagine that you’re in position to take a picture like my Mom. Now stand there for 45 seconds to one minute trying to figure out how to snap the picture while whoever you are taking a picture of gets really mad and loses the willingness to smile for the camera. If you have a Charlie horse in your left leg, your right knee locks, you get a crick in your neck, and your family is upset with you for taking forever then you have taken a picture like my Mom.

I have lots to tell you about Indiana and Kentucky, but I’m going to save most of it for another time. The main thing I learned in Indiana is that I really enjoy the way my Aunt Kathy and her two sons handle themselves. They are all really cool, and they all smoke. To try to get out of the rut I’m in, I decided about an hour ago that I’m going to start smoking. There is a cigar shop in the Menger. I went over there and explained to the proprietor that I am a new smokist and would be interested in his smoking recommendations. He sold me four high quality cigars (I think they are from Mexico), a box of matches, and a cigar cutter. So the decision is made! I will smoke! As I wrote in the Menger Bar, I smoked myself into oblivion, and I will continue to smoke until somebody asks me not to. In addition to a half of a cigar (I stopped because I thought my lungs were going to collapse), I drank a pina colada (virgin). Friends, I am officially out of control.

I really want to tell you about some more stuff, but I am exhausted and I really need to go wash the nicotine and tar off of my body. My aim is to write again tomorrow. Until then, let me highly recommend that you buy the new CD by The Cure. It is called The Cure, and so far I think it’s the best thing they put out since The Head on the Door. Good night.

Monday, June 21, 2004


In case I haven't mentioned it, I really like Benjamin Franklin. When he was a youth, he liked to swim and play with kites. So one day he got into the Boston Harbor and was propelled across by the wind and his kite. I think that sounds like fun except that I'm scared of water courtesy of Walt McElroy who tried to drown me in Shane Steinke's pool when I was in Cub Scouts.

Ben Franklin strove to do good. To this end he developed a personal code of virtues. B.F. would focus on one virtue for a week's time, then move on to the next until he came as close as he could to perfecting all of the virtues. I think B.F.'s virtues are pretty good, and I hope you do too. Here they are!

1. Temperence – Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. Silence – Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. Order – Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. Resolution – Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. Frugality – Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing.
6. Industry – Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. Sincerity – Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. Justice – Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. Moderation – Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries, so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness – Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
11. Tranquility – Be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. Chastity
13. Humility – Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

If you want to practice these virtues, I've prepared a spreadsheet where you can track your progress. It's fun. Let me know if you want me to e-mail it to you.

Friday, June 18, 2004

If you like beauty, then this picture is for you! I took it and it shows the American falls in the foreground and the Canadian horseshoe falls in the background. Just to think, I walked where Superman once flew or something. Posted by Hello

How about this for a restaurant? It's right in Niagara Falls. I have the sneaking suspicion that soon they'll put up a sign letting the masses know that they are willing to inject butter directly into your veins. Posted by Hello

Hey! The Niagara Falls and the Sun teamed up to cause this rainbow. I took a picture of it. Posted by Hello

Larry and Dennis Posted by Hello

Strawberry Shortcake Posted by Hello

Chicago to Dallas (you should probably read "Buffalo to Chicago" first)

Here’s the stuff I bought at the Prime Outlets:
(1)fishing vest
(1)book (Americana by Don Delillo)
Everything was on sale plus I got an additional 10% off for being a Prime VIP. I bought Americana at Books Etc from a man called Gargamel who was quite a character. He told me the following Greater Buffalo fun facts:

•The Niagara Falls area is controlled by the Italian Mafia.
•The average visitor to the U.S. side of the N.F. spends $20. That compared to $220 on the Canadian side.
•Prime Outlets is 90 days late paying its note and the bank is considering foreclosure.
•The lady who works in the Harley Davidson store next to Books Etc spends cash like it’s burning a hole in her pocket.
•The people in local government in and around Buffalo are getting their palms greased by somebody or other.
•A company agreed to build an underground aquarium in Niagara Falls, NY until something happened causing them to pull out leaving nothing but a 30 foot deep booby trap for somebody to fall into.
•N.F. is the former home of the Triscuit. According to Gargamel, the new home of the Triscuit is Erie, Pennsylvania.

Also, at Marshall’s they display their brief underpants on hangers. I always get a kick out that when it happens.

At the end of shopping, I met Stacie, Rodney, and two other people called Melanie and Deanna at the Niagara Falls Prime Outlet Red Lobster for dinner! I had broiled flounder substitute fried for boiled and our server was Kimberley. She was excellent at her job and shook my hand when we were through eating. I thought that was nice.

Speaking of shaking hands, here is a lesson from Sister Mercedes Book of Courtesy: A man should never extend his hand to shake with a woman. It is the woman’s responsibility to extend her hand if she feels like it. Otherwise, I guess you’re supposed to just stand before each other doing nothing. It can be uncomfortable if the woman doesn’t extend her hand, but it’s all about courtesy and we should all try as best we can to use good manners at each other.

I was assigned the task of driving back to Buffalo from N.F., and I think people would tell you that I did a really excellent job of it. Melanie might have driven if not for the lofty number of Long Island Iced Teas she consumed combined with her propensity to get really sweaty whenever she drives across bridges (of which there were two). (I’m only telling you what she told me, and I’m sparing you many of the unfortunate details.)

I’d say it was a pretty fun trip over to Niagara Falls, and I’d like to recommend going over there with Stacie, Rodney, Melanie, and Deanna if you ever get a chance. They were nice to invite me.

I’m still working on the guide to becoming less bloated. It’s taking longer than expected because I decided to write it up as an auditor might write a risk assessment. I’ve had many visitors to this site who have encouraged me to tell about the tools of the auditor’s trade, and risk assessments are definitely a tool. So, in my constant effort to better serve the public, I’m going to combine risk assessment and fatness into one offering.

P.S. If you want as desperately as I to escape the omnipresence of Starbucks coffee, don’t think you can pull it off on a United flight at 35,000 feet. They serve that stuff up here too! Is Starbucks brand coffee really that far superior to less ballyhooed varieties? I think not, and I am at my wit’s end with its popularity, and, frankly, with the people who drink it. However, if you go over to the Starbucks this weekend, may I recommend the new Strawberry Crème Frappucino? It is fun to have!

Buffalo to Chicago

Good morning from an airplane intended for Chicago. Have you ever noticed that when it comes to numbering rows on an airplane that one or two numbers are skipped between first class and economy? Is this supposed to be a symbol indicating that the first class people are a superior breed of animal? People are mean.

The peasants had to wait in a never-ending queue to obtain our boarding passes this morning. Adjacent laid a usually empty line available only to first class passengers. Suddenly, some human turd who I will call Phil came whistling up and announced to the peons, “I declare! It’s the first class boarding pass line. Looks like I’ve found where I’m supposed to be.” At that point he advanced toward the next available attendant (the one who was supposed to be for me). I started staring meanly at him. He was wearing a bad golf shirt, dress pants, dress shoes, and tube socks. I told Phil that my suspicion is that he is the only person in America who would be wearing his tube socks and dress pants in first class today. He scowled at me, took his boarding pass, and went away. Later when I was looking for food, I saw him sitting down whistling as loud as he could. I hollered, “Hello there Tube Socks!” He gave me the middle finger and I ordered some sausage. It was good.

Speaking of socks, you should see the pair I got at Niagara Falls! They are white with “Niagara Falls” embroidered in black plus they have a bunch of squirrels on them. They are fine socks, but I don’t know what sort of pants look nice with them. Come on and tell me if you have any ideas!

Speaking of squirrels, Niagara Falls had black ones. Since Garland doesn’t have black squirrels, I’ve never seen one before. So I took a picture. If you’d like to see a black squirrel, tell me and I’ll show you what one looks like. Or you could just imagine a regular squirrel only black and then you won’t have to bother me about everything. It’s up to you. In Buffalo I met a man from Kansas City called Rodney. He said that Kansas City has white squirrels. Has anybody ever seen any of those? Talk to me!

Speaking of Rodney, here is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. He’s just a really swell guy who likes to act kind toward others. Rodney grows steers. He offered to make some steaks out of one of them for me if I’m ever in Kansas City. I guess that’s nice – for me, at least. Rodney has about 20 head of steer. I asked him if he is friends with most of them. He replied that he thinks they’re his friends, but that he’s only named one of them. Unfortunately I didn’t get the named steer’s name. For the sake of discussion, let’s call him Willis. I asked Rodney if it makes him cry when he has the steers butchered. He said “no” which is confusing given how nice of a man Rodney can be. I guess that’s just the way it is in the cow business.

We visited the visitor’s center at Niagara Falls, U.S. As we approached the visitor’s center we came upon a man who looked like a pirate and his parrot whose name is – you’re not going to believe me – Larry. I didn’t catch the pirate’s name so for fun let’s call him Dennis. I have a picture of Larry and the so-called Dennis that I’ll post with my picture of strawberry shortcake (the dessert not the girl) when I get back in Garland. I asked the pirate if I could take his and Larry’s picture and he agreed. The next thing I knew, Dennis took has parrot and plopped him right down on top of my stats mentor Stacie! I thought Stacie might get scared, but she didn’t for she cares about animals and likes Larry. I have a picture of that too, but I’m going to have to get her permission before I put it up on the Internet. I don’t want Stacie to stop teaching me all about statistics.

At the visitor’s center worked a lady from Japan called Bernadette. Sometimes I make up fake names for people, but not this time! However, I doubt that a Japanese person is really called Bernadette so I suspect that she made up the name for herself when she started working over at the visitor’s center. So what we have here is a new kind of person. That is, a person with a real fake name. Now I’ve seen everything!

Anyway, Bernadette is the one in charge of giving directions to people. Stacie (who really likes shopping) asked Bernadette for directions to some outlet stores that, as it turns out, are one exit north of the Niagara Falls exit on 190. I think Bernadette mistook one of us for Ferdinand Magellan because the route she gave us caused us to circumnavigate what seemed like the whole of New York State. In a rage that can only be explained by the delay in getting to the Prime outlets, one person in our group who I shan’t name threatened to return to the visitor’s center for the purpose of picking a fist fight with Bernadette! When we finally arrived at the outlet, people became less mad and we were set to get our shop on!

To be continued after I switch planes…

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Since the last episode, I’ve arrived in Buffalo, New York. Here are some things in no particular order:

·Hey Four Eyes, if you are taking the Super Shuttle (1-800-BLUE-VAN), it is not courteous to make all of the other people wait 25 minutes later than the time that YOU arranged to be picked up causing me to miss my flight to Chicago, get a new flight through Washington D.C., incur an additional twenty something dollars in travel agency fees, and force me to end up having to sit on the plane next to the monster described next…

·Say, you with the sores all over your feet, the only reason I know about the sores on your feet is because you took off your shoes and stuck your feet right up there on the seat IN FRONT OF ME! In and of themselves, I don’t have a problem with feet sores, but they need not be placed in my direct line of sight, nude, and on purpose. My feet were fine right in the floor where they belonged. Plus, what were all those noises you kept making? They seemed to be originating from all different parts of your self that are not your head. You should be quarantined.

·Why do lots of people scream when they sneeze? I’ve tried it (in private), and it does not contribute to a more productive sneeze. (Also, placing your horizontal index finger below your nose and above your upper lip to stifle a sneeze a la cartoons really works!)

·It’s a drag to be in a good new place like Washington D.C. when you are marooned in the airport on a layover. It’s like being tied up in a chair with a bag over your head surrounded by a lot of good-smelling meats or cheese.

·If you’re ever in Buffalo and need a taxi, may I recommend Jim Krzywicki? He is nice and big and old, and drives car #72. Once, when he was small (in the ‘50s), he was helping his dad in his TV repair business when, suddenly, he delivered a TV to the home of hall of fame pitcher Warren Spahn’s aunt! He got an autographed 8X10 of Warren Spahn out of the deal. But, later, his mom threw it in the waste paper basket. I told Jim that I’d like to become his pen pal, and he said yes! At the end of my ride, he got out of the car to shake my hand. I thought that was nice.

·If you like strawberry shortcake you should go over to the Century Grill on Pearl Street in downtown Buffalo. I declare: IT AND TWINKIES ARE TWO OF THE BEST DESSERTS OF ALL! When I get back I’ll post a picture of it for you to look at. Plus I ate some fish (I have a less impressive picture of the fish. Let me know if you’d like me to e-mail it to you).

·I like being in cities where Jeopardy comes on during prime time.

·The idea of Texas being the “Friendship” state is a hoax. On average, the people in New York are much nicer.

·If you want to get a really good idea of how wrong slavery was and how powerful the human spirit can be, read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass is a hero to all, and his book is only about 100 pages (no pictures).

·Learning about statistics is really fun if you give it a chance. Have you ever considered computing confidence intervals using the median of a sample instead of the mean? It can be done and I intend to learn how!

·Senator John Edwards was in the same hotel as me today (Hyatt Regency Buffalo) campaigning to be Frankenstein’s VP. I didn’t see him, but, if I had, I would’ve inquired as to his hair stylist. I think Senator John Edwards has fancy hair. Is it queer to campaign to be the vice president?

·I like people who are PhDs, and who would rather you call them “Janet” than Doctor. I think that shows a sense of humility that isn’t often found in PhDs, Cynthia.

·Buffalo seems pretty good. I can see Lake Erie out the window and there are lots of trees and different birds than the ones we have in Garland.

Until next time, when I write about a strategy for becoming less fat, so long everybody!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Some Stuff my Dad's Done That I Think is Kind of Funny

1. Once he said that if he was a hot dog vendor, he would carry around his hot dog basket mumbling, "Nobody wants any of these hot dogs, do they?"

2. Once he was in the bathroom even longer than usual, only to emerge after a few hours with a pencil drawing of former Channel 5 meteorologist Scott Chesner. It looked just like him (Did you know that Scott Chesner is only about 5 feet tall in real life?)!

3. Once he feel asleep on the treadmill and he got sent flying into the plastic wood panelling we used to have for walls on Esquire.

Right now my Dad's fishing in Canada. Maybe he's having fun. I think there's a dog over there that he likes talking to.

Going Around in Garland with my Mom

Let me say right up front that I had a really fun time with my Mom today. So, if you're reading this Mom, don't think I'm making too much fun of you. It's just that you did a number of things that I think are funny so I'm going to put them on the Internet. In a world where some people don't have a Mom, maybe those some people would like to get to want to need to have to read about our day of fun.

1. On our way to lunch, my Mom drove. I think it's the first time I've been in a car that she's driving since I was a teen (now I'm 31 and don't trust teens). Here's the thing - my Mom feels some sort of an obligation to steer just because there's a steering wheel in the car. We can be heading down a straightaway, yet she continues to steer just a little bit. Now pretend that you are going around a bit of a curve in the road. Instead of smoothly turning through the curve, my Mom makes a series of abrupt angular steers. Where it would take me one gentle turn of the wheel to negotiate the curve, my Mom makes 15 or 20 small turns of the wheel. The incessant steering made me nervous and tired, but it was fun to keep moving uselessly all around the road like that! Weeeee! P.S. The over-steering gets even worse when she's gabbing on her cell phone.

2. When we finally got to the restaurant, here's my Mom's account of how the meal went:
A. The rolls weren't fresh.
B. The back of the booth angled slightly inward.
C. The service was bad.
D. The music was worse.
E. It wasn't the best lasagna she's ever had.
F. She could have used another diet coke (they were $1.75 each).
We decided that the problem is that she's getting pretty old and old people like to not like things. But I'm not complaining on account of I had fun!

3. When we got back, I learned that:
A. I need to pick some weeds.
B. I should sweep off my porch at least once a week.
C. my Mom was looking for the therMOMeter to take my temperature on account of my bathroom was clean (she announced that she was trying to find the thermometer at least three times!).
D. I need to squirt the hose at my garage door.
E. I need to hose off my house.
F. the oscillating fan on my porch is going to get stolen.

But, seriously, I had fun with my Mom. She's pretty good most of the time. I spent over $50 on her at Mother's Day!

I took this picture at the Fort Worth Cats game last Saturday. These two bulbous adults had a couple of "whoopie" cushions that they would toot at the players from the other team. Somehow I think they wouldn't have much trouble manufacturing homemade whoopie cushion noises if anything ever happened to their real whoopie cushions.  Posted by Hello

Hi! This is Erik and Emily's dog. He's called Charlie and I like him.  Posted by Hello


Last night I went to see Prince at the American Airlines Center. In many ways, it was one of the best things I've ever seen. Prince is spectacular. His band was fantastic. Plus, Prince gave out free copies of his new CD "Musicology" to all of the different people who came.

And when I say different people, I mean different people. We had black people, Mexican people, other types of Hispanic people, white people, I bet there were people called "Doug" or "Carmine", old people, young people, I suspect Asian people, and me. Prince and I bring all of the different kinds of people together as one! That's one of the things that makes us special.

The unfortunate parts are these:
1. There was a lady in front of me who chose to stand up and dance to and fro throughout the whole second half of the concert. She was the only one standing in our entire section! Furthermore, either she had an inflatable pants seat or was wearing pampers. Had I kicked her off the balcony down to the floor (and I should have!) she would've bounced right back up to her chair thanks to her butt.

2. Cameras were not allowed in the arena. That's too bad because I wore a purple suit which Prince liked and so he called me up on to the stage for some dancing during his last few numbers before the encore. You should've seen me going this way and that! I was mesmerizing.

So if you ever get a chance you really should try to see Prince live. It's fun.

Friday, June 11, 2004


Whatever you may think of him ideologically, Ronald Reagan had an unparalleled sense of duty. In years most people reserve for doing nothing, squandering their life's savings, and/or dying, Reagan was called to public service and performed it with humility, dignity, and respect.

I'm glad for the national day of mourning. It reminded me about the proper way for us to conduct our business. We should lose our sense of entitlement and replace it with a sense of responsibility and accountability. Our duty is to give - the consequence of which is receiving. Let's keep this relationship in order.

Thanks Ronald Reagan for being a good man who liked jelly beans.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Getting my hair fixed

Hi everybody!

Thanks, well-wishers, for your concerns about my health. I'm feeling much better now than I did last night!

Those of you who viewed me last week might notice by looking at the picture of me starting to feel sick that I had my hair styled over the weekend. Looks pretty good if I do say so myself! Let me take this opportunity to recommend Theresa Nguyen of Style America - Garland.

In other hair-related news, in my constant search for the ultimate hairdo, I've once again changed shampoos. Currently I'm testing the way my (sensitive) scalp reacts to Biolage shampoo (it revitalizes) and conditioner (it reconstructs). So far the Biolage / scalp reaction has been positive (i.e., no major episodes of flaking or infection).

Keep coming back for updates about my head. And, if you aren't aware of my hair history, you can read a summary in the post called "Atlanta". You'll find that in the April 2004 archive.

Tomorrow I'm going to eat some cupcakes courtesy of Gaye's daughter. Thanks Kathy! When it comes to being nice, you really take the (cup)cake!

Keep in mind that this website is for you, Americans! If there is anything you'd like to know about stuff, just post a comment and I'll tell you.

Well it's time for me to go pick up some pants at the dry cleaners. Don't let me forget to tell you about the time when they sent me home with a female dress. Regardless, let me take a second to put in a good word for the Dry Clean Super Center at the corner of Buckingham and Shiloh. If clean pants is what you must have, then try out the Dry Clean Super Center.

Today I was too sick to go to work. Last night I started feeling poorly. Look at me... Posted by Hello

Friday, June 04, 2004


First off, thanks Austin Field Office for making an interloper feel so welcome the past couple of weeks. You are my friends, and I can't wait to come back.

Now here are some things in no particular order...

1. I went back down to the Embassy Suites front desk to tell the workers that in a world where people like to take advantage of each other, that I really appreciated getting the free tube of Colgate instead of having to pay $1.50 for a same-sized tube of Crest. They said that I was welcome and proceeded to give me these additional complementary items: comb, facial soap, deodorant, razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, pickled loaf, and another tube of Colgate! Can you believe it?

2. If you decide to go to the Kerby Lane Cafe because you're hungry for some pancakes, don't switch to basil pecan chicken fettucini pesto pasta at the last second. They make really excellent pancakes, but the basil pecan chicken fettucini pesto pasta is mediocre. If you don't like pancakes but you do like looking at some (or a lot of)hippies, you should still go to the Kerby Lane Cafe.

3. If your audit manager tells you that she never bowls and that she is not a good bowler and you believe her then you are a sucker! Sylvie is the Earl Anthony of the OIG.

4. Mercy is a marvelous baby with fantastic parents who I admire very much.

5. Annie is a singular imaginary wife.

6a. Priority one next time I'm in the Greater Austin area is playing baseball with Dillon and Hunter.

6b. I declare this to be the year of the Mudcat.

7. Gretchen is right. A drive down I-35 is incomplete without jerky, corn nuts, and a diversion to the Dairy Queen in Italy. I took a picture of the Italy Dairy Queen and ate a medium dipped cone in honor of knowing you again.

8. John R is most capable of making me laugh. I think he's underrated (at least in Austin. In Dallas, he's a legend.) Thanks for the root beer.

9. Lynda, I hope you can eat your pie sooner than later. Thanks for talking to me about leather pants all the time.

10. Sonia, you are good at picking birthday lunch restaurants. As soon as I can find it I'll post the picture of Lisa sleeping at training.

11. Amy, thanks of thinking of me when there are breakfast tacos at stake. Ken's Tacos is the best and everybody who cares about tacos and more should eat there!

12. Vickie is getting worse at being mean.

13. Claire is horrible at being mean.

14. New John is horrible at being noisy.

15. Mike is good at liking sausage.

16. Lacey knows all about different types of hash browns, and is funny when it comes to insults. Next time we're both in Austin, you should stop by the office. We'll have a Candyland tournament, take a walk, nap, eat some pudding, work on scrapbooks, nap, do some needlepoint, get paid, and then it should be just about time to call it a day.

Thanks again for a fun time.

(Sorry that so much of this stuff was inside. Next time the blog will have more universal appeal.)

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Shopping In And Around The Gateway Shopping Center

I'll tell you what, when it comes to shopping, the Gateway Shopping Center is the place to be! Located at the intersection of 183 and 360 in Austin, the Gateway Shopping Center specializes in high quality products and honest salespeople. Let me tell you about a few examples!

1. Ryan in Cameras - Hey, if you like cameras and you want to be needing to take some pictures today, you can't go wrong with Ryan in Cameras at the Gateway Shopping Center Best Buy. This guy really knows what time it is when it comes to cameras! Not only did he answer all of my camera questions in a way that made sense to me (a camera novice), but he recommended that another customer not opt for a pricier camera "because it sucks" and instead should consider a lower priced higher quality camera! Honesty like that doesn't grow on trees - or whatever. Plus, when I picked a camera that I liked, he gave me a free 10% off and let me take his picture! Get ready for more pictures on this website. And buy some cameras from Ryan for he's a nice man who knows about pictures!

2. Joshua at Marie Callender's - Do you like pie? What about cornbread? How about miscellaneous? Marie Callendar's has it all, and Joshua of the Gateway Shopping Center store is the one to serve it all up - nice and fresh! Not only did he discount my cheeseburger, but he warned another party that the soup they ordered was prepared a really long time ago, and that perhaps they should order something more recent. To top all of that off, he proceeded to sell me a pair of $6 pies! I don't know about you, but I've never heard of pies for that cheap. Marie Callender's offers 43 varieties of pie - each available for the low price of 6 dollars! One of the pies I ordered is called the Mile High Boston Cream Pie. Sadly, Marie Callender's ran out of whipped topping and only 2/3 of the pie was covered a "mile high". Joshua came along and offered me a couple of dollars off if I'd take the incomplete pie. I told him to keep the two dollars and spread the whipped topping evenly over the course of the pie. Who's going to object to a 2/3 mile high Boston cream pie. Not me!

3. I ran out of toothpaste this morning. When I returned to the Embassy Suites (practically right in the parking lot of the Gateway Shopping Center), I went in the small hotel pantry store to buy a tube. I took the $1.50 worth of Crest to the sales lady, and she said, "Are you sure you want to buy that? I can give you a complementary tube of Colgate." I said, "Is it the same size tube?" She said yes, and I cried, "WELL I PREFER COLGATE, AND I'LL TAKE THE COMPLEMENTARY TUBE!" We both started laughing and I skipped off to the elevator area. So the Embassy Suites forwent $1.50 and gave me some free Colgate. You can't beat that!

Things are really starting to go my way! You should try to come over to the Gateway Shopping Center.

Quotation Marks

If it's okay with everybody, I'd like to stop putting quotation marks around people's pseudo-names (i.e., "Lisa"). It is burdensome and detracts a little bit from the quality of the postings. So, henceforth, imagine the quotation marks to yourself if you want. But remember that any resemblance to an actual person's name or persona is purely coincidental.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


Hi! If you want to read about some things that happened before, check out the June 2003 archives. They describe a good trip to Clearwater.