Monday, March 15, 2010

Coughing up a lung, and rambling about nothing in particular.

It's that time of year, kids. It's almost spring, that time of year when whatever it is that blooms in north-central Texas sends pollen cascading up here on the southwest wind. It's got me by the nads - no, actually it's got me by the lungs. I can't think of anyone ever trying to cough up a nad, but the lungs sure have taken a beating. My chest feels like it's being stomped on, and not by some dainty little Oriental massage girl. It feels like one or more of the Valkyries has been stomping on me, dressed in her steel corset and wearing the big pointy iron hat with the horns.

Its been bad enough and loud enough that the woman who works across the hall from me closed her door. She's not a weakling either.

Enough of my pathetic whining.

At least the snow is gone around here. I keep hoping it will dry out enough to seed and fertilizer the lawn. As a native Iowan, I was used to seeing grass come up almost instantly every spring. It was like magic. When my parents built a new house, my dad threw some seed out on the ground and they had a lawn in a couple weeks. I tried that when I first moved here - I leveled out the clay and rocks that surrounded my new house and threw out some grass seed, fertilizer, and straw. Then I did it again. I think the second time around I got a dozen little leaves of grass and some chickweed. Grass really does not like to grow on rocks and clay, but that is what we have. We are living in our third house here and after thirteen years (Good Lord!) I have decent grass. Keeping decent grass here takes a year-long battle. Overseed and fertilize in the fall. Mulch leaves, spread lime, and fertilize again in the early spring. Fertilize and kill weeds in the early summer. Fertilize and kill crabgrass in the late summer.

Yeah, I'm whining again. Sorry.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It finally happened. I'm in the Onion.

One of today's Onion headlines could have been about me.

"Increasingly Horrified Man Listens To Self Explain What He Does For A Living"

Then it went on to describe a claims adjuster explaining his life and his job to a group of friends at lunch, and how the other members admitted that it took anywhere from three weeks to twenty-seven years to admit to themselves that their lives were just as desolate and barren. Sounds a little bit like AA for all of the disillusioned people in the world, doesn't it?

Ok, so actually my job isn't really that bad. It's just that I can't truthfully make it sound fun and exciting. I really do create written explanations of complicated situations and big numbers at a tenth-grade reading level. This comes after I sort the truth out of what people tell me about programs and laws and that sort of thing. On a good day, I get to stick the sword in the dragon. On a bad day, the truth gets buried in a mound of someone else's trash.

Holy Helicopters, Batman! Hostages at gunpoint!

Right here in good old Jefferson City, MO, we have a live hostage situation. The hostage taker must have known that he was within walking distance of half the police officers in the world, but I guess that fact wasn't on his mind at the time. Anyhow, there is a circling helicopter, black-and-white cars (city), white-with-gold-stripe cars (county sheriff), metallic pastel cars (highway patrol) and unmarked Chevy Suburbans (FBI) all over the place. The confrontation is taking place in a parking garage about two blocks from where I work. A parking garage has lots of concrete, making it a bad place to be shooting.

It turns out I know about half the Highway Patrol Swat Team members so I have friends at risk as well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's time.

For those who put the "ooo" in "stooopid and the "um" in "dumbass" - your time has come. Face the spotlight. It's time for this scribe to abandon his slothful ways and rejoin that battle. Time to do my part to banish the evils of stupidity from the dug-in positions they hold in nearly every part of our world. I will start with the slow-witted and dull writers of real, and fake letters to advice colulmnists but I won't stop there. I will gouge the higly-placed simpletons who make life more complicated that it needs to be. I will joust with the very real Vogons in uniform. I will mock those like myself who become too impressed with themselves, and jolt them back to reality.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


My phone service has apparently been sold to a company called Century-something which is located somewhere in Texas. It was once provided by United, which was bought by Sprint, and then Sprint changed their name to Embarq right before they sold my part of the country to Century-something.

Five weeks ago, my phone and my internet service went out. It was a Saturday evening and we had an electrical storm. I called Century-something and they set up a repair ticket and told me they can have my phones up by Monday at 7 p.m. Monday at seven p.m. I still had no service. I called them up on my cell phone and they had closed my repair ticket as completed. I called back, worked my way through their system and got a live humanoid - not a native English speaker though. She told me that "unfortunately, there are no technicians available until tomorrow..."

There's the kiss of death in any relationship with a corporation. Any sentence that starts with "unfortunately" is both a lie and a dismissal. There are technicians available; there are always technicians available. They pay them overtime when then have to call one out after hours and they don't like that.


Monday, October 19, 2009

About "The Warpath"

This blog will likely only see activity when I am sufficiently aggravated to either excoriate some celebrity or political idiot that richly deserves it or talk about a divisive issue in a non-diplomatic way.