Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Memoreeeees!

Hard "R" Rating On This Post!

OK, this post may be a bit of a "TMI" download.

Just a warning.

Cold wet morning.  Wednesday, Jan 30th, 2015.  Streets are quiet, most folks are taking the week off, and still inside snug in bed.

It's one of those rare, rare days when I can tell you EXACTLY where I was 30 years ago this week, this day, this minute.

See, school kids got this week off on vacation.

Parents, mostly they gotta work.

On December 30, 1985, I was a senior in high school.  Off on vacation.  Cold, frozen day.  Rare in Houston.

Dad had forbidden me to fire up the station wagon or the motor scooter due to the icy weather.  He didn't go so far as to seize the keys, but there were enough prying eyes on the cul de sac to make sneaking out a vehicle a losing proposition.

No prohibition on leg-powered transport, so I bundled up warm and trotted out the ol' 12 speed.  It was a vintage Motobecane loaned to me by the father of my girlfriend.  With high pressure silk tires, toe clips and handlebars that kept your head down and ass in the air, it was probably the least suitable bike for icy streets. 

Still, when ya gotta ride, ya gotta ride.  And ride I did.  Straight to my girlfriend's condo on the far side of the high school campus.

See, her Mom & Dad worked all the way across town, Mom in the Med Center, Dad in Montrose.  Once there, they were there all day, unlike my folks, who had a depressing habit of dropping in for lunch or "just to check on things".

And today, we just didn't want the interruption.  We were catching the express train to Shag City, and the round trip was scheduled from 9 AM until the first car bearing a parent nosed under the carport.

As days in your life are rated, that day was right up there on the "Best Of" list.  Not an inch of living room carpet went unplowed.  Each step going upstairs got a change in position.  Heck, if we'd have figured out how to tie a buffer pad to her ass, we would have polished the shit out of the kitchen floor.

Being 17 was a wonderful thing.   You haven't completely learned Quality, but as Uncle Joe supposedly said, "Quantity has a quality all of its own!"

Of course, there was a downside.  Proper use of birth control prevented the 9 Month Surprise, but proper use of some good lube (Der Vienerschlieder, in HochDeutsch) would have prevented the friction burns.  Ouch...

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Three Weeks??

Adventures Of The Accidental Blogger

Damn, almost three weeks without a post.  You might think I've given up on this little hole in the web...

Life continues at a breakneck pace.  It seems like I'm just getting home at night when it's time once again to fire up the truck and head back to work.

Again, sorry for the long delay.  Mom's been in & out of the hospital.  Nothing too serious, just a collection of minor old lady ailments that hit all at once.

Once she's back up to speed, it'll be easier to focus on my own meager existence.

Of course, by then, another catastrophe will crawl out of the woodwork...

Until then, kiddies, here's a Christmas giggle.  Or a groan.  Or both...

Thursday, December 03, 2015

News From The 'Hood

Fun & Games In Northwest Houston

Well, the mystery of the missing wildlife is getting clearer.  I'd wondered about the relative lack of wabbits and skwerlz on the huge open green space behind the house.  It seems that's one big buffet table for predators...

Twice this week I've seen a coyote early in the morning across the drainage canal.  I'm not surprised that they live this far in town, but I thought I'd hear more about missing poodles & cats on the local electronic grapevine.

Spotted a big fat redtailed hawk as I left for work on Tuesday.  That ought to account for at least a squirrel or two per week.

At night I've heard two big owls hooting back & forth.  At the old place, I got barn owls fairly frequently, and little bitty beer-can sized owls on a more infrequent basis.  These sound big enough to be barred owls or even great horned owls.

So, we got some animals around, just mostly the predator sort.

Speaking of predators, the Po-leece came by in force last night.  Had at least 8 of 'em in the front yard for an hour or so.

Dad had dropped by for a visit and to pick up a few odds & ends, and as he was leaving, a 4-door sedan whipped into my driveway, and they nearly mashed bumpers.  There was an HPD cruiser right on the sedan's ass, and it ground to a stop, popped the lights and siren, and in short order had the four young men out and braced on the hood.

They tried to say that they lived there, but with Dad standing there saying "Who are these guys?", that ploy wasn't going to fly.  The young men just needed a bolt-hole to try and escape the traffic stop.

So, the next hour was spent with them in handcuffs as the cops kept showing up in more and more patrol cars, lighting up the neighborhood.  They searched the car, but came up with nothing more sinister than 40 oz. malt liquor bottles.   Eventually they did a pat-down, found one guy with a crotch full of bagged weed, and took him off to the hoosegow.  The others they cut loose after dumping out all the beer.

In my yard, of course.  Thanks for the aroma, HPD...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cats, Boxes & Global Conglomerates

Oh, Mamma, I'z gots dem new home blooooz....

All's quiet on the home front.   So far...

At this point in the moving process, I've occupied the foreign territory, and am working to pacify the region.  Otherwise known as settling in and unpacking, and getting used to the new surroundings.

For such a large back yard and adjoining green space, I'm a bit surprised at the lack of wildlife.
I figured on more critters running about, but aside from the usual crop of birds and a squirrel or two, there hasn't been much.   The last time I lived on the edge of a large grassy plain, there were lots of rabbits to be seen in the evening, and the occasional skunk or possum.

Could be that the local cats have been keeping busy. There's a Holstein-looking tomcat with half a tail I've dubbed "Stumpy" that I see almost every day.  I also spotted a mackerel tabby this morning in the wee hours.  Neither one looks to be a pet, but they seem in good health, and a regular diet of bunny will keep a cat fat & happy.

I'm still ass-deep in boxes, and will be for some time.  I'm unable to unpack the books and DVDs until suitable shelf space is acquired or constructed.  This could take a while...

AT&T is due to come out on Friday and unfuck their Uverse service.  They sent me the self-install kit, which was supposed to be quick, easy and save me $100 on the install.

What they neglected to tell me was that they've selected one particular phone jack that is the only one that will connect, but they can't tell me which one it is.

The previous owner was a bit of a phone freak, and installed a jack in damn near every room, including both bathrooms and the garage.  I refuse to lug modem, power supply, cables, laptop, etc. from room to room until I find the right one, so I browbeat AT&T to come out and wire it up like I'd prefer.

We'll see how that works out.  They say they won't charge me, but those greedy bastards get their pound of flesh one way or another...

More later, kiddies...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Those Dirty Birdies

First World Problems

Every day in the new house is an opportunity to discover something new.

Some things are good.  Others?  Not so much...

There's a nice porch out back.  Not huge, maybe 12x14, just big enough for a few chairs and a BBQ pit.

It seems fairly sturdy in spite of the thin roof, which is constructed of that corrugated fiberglass greenhouse paneling.  Still, it lets in some light, and appears to be watertight.

The downside?  With the tight construction and wooden framework underneath, it's remarkably similar to a banjo resonator or a snare drum head in terms of transmitting sound.

I discovered this last Sunday morning, when a flock of birds decided that my back porch was an ideal spot for their minyan.

The sport of the day was to race back and forth on the roof, every little claw echoing on the paneling and getting amplified.  Somehow this got channeled directly to the master bedroom, and hence on to the unwilling ears of your intrepid homeowner.

Next item on the shopping list?  One of those plastic owls, or perhaps a hungry feral cat...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

One Step Forward...

Two Steps Back, And You Also Trip And Fall On Your Ass

Home ownership truly is the neverending "Honey Do" list.  Even if you're you're a drone on your own...

Once you get that big ol' mortgage check written, there's just as much cash needed for upkeep & repair, it seems.  It's like your Home Sweet Home has an eternal hand out saying "Fuck You!  Pay Me!!"

I got to futzing around with the gas range the other night, and managed to get all four burners to not only light, but ignite off the internal sparker and not a match.  It takes a second or so longer than perhaps it should, and makes a nice *WHOOSH* that you'd be advised to keep your eyebrows clear of, but it works!

OTOH, the kitchen sink has sprung a leak, dumping any water poured down the drain underneath into the cabinet below.  One of the connectors off the disposal unit seems to have torn itself loose, mostly 'cause the sink itself has a wobble to it due to an uneven countertop.

"Fuck You!  Pay Me!!"

So, you can still use the right side of the sink, just not the left side.

The shitter in the hall bathroom has got a wonky flapper valve.  That's an easy enough fix, but I'm just going to replace the entire unit with a larger toilet.

"Fuck You!  Pay Me!!"

See, for the last 10 years, I've been using an ADA compliant can.  17" high, deep bowl, built for folks transferring off of wheel chairs, or for plus-size mofos like me.

That's been one of the serious issues with this new house, having to drop a deuce into the old-style mini-toilets.   They're the old short round bowl, and for me, it's like trying to squat and crap into a gallon paint can.

Damn, this is a lot of work.  I shoulda just gotten that van down by the river...

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Only 357 More To Go...

I Owe, I Owe, So Off To Work I Go...

Y'know, when I wrote that first mortgage check, it was kind of exciting.   First foray into home ownership, new experience, added responsibility, and all that.

Check #2 was kinda similar.

Check #3?   I feel compelled to tell you that the shine's worn off that new toy.  I'm ready to have this thing paid off.

Well, nose to the grindstone.  Time to start chopping principle off the back of the note.  I'll inquire into biweekly payments instead of monthly, and see if there's enough left over that I can pay an extra Benjamin every month or so.