Wednesday, September 30, 2009


If a midget fortune teller escapes from prison would he not be a small medium at large?


Friday, September 11, 2009

A Message From The Phantom...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Beast...

Many have asked where I came up with a handle like 'Beast'. Well, mainly three things over the years came together and it just kind of evolved.

First, I'm partial to the fairy tale. The basic Beauty & the Beast tale is at the core of many of the most powerful love stories, like Phantom Of The Opera. There's even some elements in stories like Star Wars. I'm still waiting for someone to do a serious big screen adaptation aimed at adults. The TV show from 1987 set new standards in my opinion for excellence in writing, acting (Ron Perlman was fantastic and Linda Hamilton? Mmmmm), and especially music.

Second, Psalm 73 is very close to my heart. Many a time I've had to apologize to God and say "Sorry for being such a 'Brute Beast' before you (in other words I made an ass out of myself)".

Third, I've always loved Mongo from blazing saddles. He strikes me as the quintessential Beast.

Mainly it all started in November of 1989 when my old P.O.C. Chevy half ton pickup spilled it's guts on I-35 40 miles from home and left me stranded at the end of a very hectic day. That thing was junk almost from day 1 in 1979. After 10 years, 115,000 miles, 3 engines (yes, 3 in 10 years and only 115k miles) and several cracks in the frame we came to the conclusion that it just wasn't up to the task.

Enter the Beast:

Purchased new the day after Thanks Giving 1989. It was a Ford F-250 HD (now called Super Duty) 4x4 extended cab with a 7.4 liter gas engine. It would pull half the world and could climb a snotty glass wall. On the down side it only got 9 mpg but on the upside it didn't mater if it was empty or pulling my wife's 30 ft goose neck with 5 horses or hauling 100 bales of hay it got 9 mpg. In 11 years & 190,000+ miles, other than normal maintenance and wear & tear, we had just 1 clogged catalytic converter before son (note I called him 'Son'!) drove it 10 miles one night with a burst hose and no water in the radiator and cracked the head on the engine. These days you can't find anyone who will open a block with over 100,000 miles and a new engine was just too expensive, plus in our current house I just didn't have a place nor did I have the time to do the work myself like I did on the old Chevy at the old house. The Beast was a faithful helper & a true blessing and never let us down. Even at the end it made it home and died in the driveway.

We sold it and were down to 1 vehicle for the last 8 years. Not really a problem since I rode my bike everywhere. In '05 I bought the Motorcycle and that filled in nicely for getting around. Still, it's tough to haul stuff home from the Depot on a motorcycle.

For about the last year my wife has cajoled, persuaded, pleaded and twisted my arm until July 23rd I finally got...

...the new Beast. A little more civilized, to be sure, but much more spartan. The original had every option conceivable, this one just AC and AM-FM-CD. No power or remote control nothing. This will be a new experience for me. Every vehicle I've ever had was Black and had everything on it. So far we're getting @ 19 in town and 22 on the highway, right where the sticker says it should be. I must admit it's been nice to be able to haul my stuff myself when needed and not have to borrow someone else' s truck. I never dreamed I would buy a new vehicle ever again. I found a 2 year old one with 12,000 mile on it online. By chance I looked at the new section of the dealer's website just to compare prices to new and low & behold but the new one was just $200 more than the used one for the exact same model. I'm not that stupid so I opted for the new one. If this one lasts like the last one (and judging from the way Nissan builds their stuff I'm guessing it will) and considering that I don't put near the beating on a vehicle that I used to have to, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


On my mind...

I know there's not much up there but I did manage to come up with some answers to Laura's questions

Itching to work with… I know I sound like Hank Hill but I dearly love mowing with my Snapper Commercial mower with a Honda engine. Makes the yard look like a carpet and it starts EVERY time you pull the rope.

Listening to… white noise. Can’t really get into anything here at work. Never know when we will get flooded with calls.

Driving… the motorcycle. It was too nice this morning not to.

Shopping fix… plop me down in the middle of Cabela’s/Bass Pro, Home Depot/Lowes, Best Buy/Fry’s. I don’t want to buy anything, just want to wander around for a while.

Signature scent… Since after the first few minutes I can’t smell it anyway I defer to what my Beautiful Wife and Daughters like best (they will smell it a lot more than I will)-Aramis. Same theory applies to my hair. Since she will have to look at it more than me I have it cut the way she likes it.

Necessary extravagance… Weatherby Euromark in 257 Wby Mag with Leupold Vx-3 4.5-14x50mm scope. Either that or Cheesecake.

Maintenance must-haves… Casio Solar Powered G-Shock with Atomic Timing. I’ve had mine for about 4 years. It syncs with the Atomic Clock in Bolder CO. each night. I gave my son and SIL each one just like it. When we are all together we love to compare and see all 3 synced up to the second. Plus this thing can take everything I’ve thrown at it from construction to ditch digging to jack hammers to bike wrecks.

Fear factor… rats. OK? Let’s just leave it at rats.

Currently craving… What-A-Burger triple meat with cheese…but since that’s not good for me I’ll probably wind up with leaves.

Speed dialing… Just my wife and kids. I seldom get any calls from anyone else.

Latest splurge… toys for the Cave.

If I weren’t a… Beast I’d be the Timpanist for the NY Philharmonic.

Dreaming of… Montana.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

16 and-a-half weeks...

The Beautiful Wife and I went to J.C. Penny's last night up at Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville (last day of August, mind you) and you would have thought it was Christmas Eve. Decorations everywhere, pushing for buying that 'perfect gift', Peanuts Christmas shirts, the only thing missing was Santa himself. Nary a trace of Halloween or Thanks Giving, they were going for the Christmas jugular. We had just come from Michal's (had to get some stuff for my special project...more on that later) and even they didn't have the halls decked like Penny's, just a couple of rows of fall/Halloween stuff.

I'm the worlds biggest fan of the Holiday Season, well-maybe second to Laura, but even I think 8-31 is a bit early for the full Christmas Kit.

I remember when I was just a little Beasty, about the middle of August everything in the stores was 'Back to School' (yuck). Then, come September 1 it was falling leaves, red-yellow-brown, sweaters & jackets. Middle of October you'd see some Halloween stuff then Nov. 1 it was Thanksgiving. And that Friday after Thanks Giving it was jingle all the way. Seemed everything had it's season. But when I was 5 I remember going into the old Woolworth's store the day after Halloween (a week before my birthday). They were taking down the Halloween stuff and putting up some of those aluminum Christmas trees. I thought it was neat to have Christmas stuff up around my birthday but all I remember mom saying was how ridiculous it was that they put Christmas decorations out so early. spite of what we may think it hasn't been a recent thing for stores to decorate early. But now there are more economic pressures than ever for retailers to perform they have blended the fall together and start the "Merry Thanks-Giv-O-Ween" season as early as possible. Heck, one of the biggest parts of my company's business is selling Giant Christmas Stockings...and Easter and Valentines and Patriotic and Halloween stockings, among others.

But who am I to criticize. I'm just a Beast who would be happy to spend his days playing with Toy Trains and Slot Cars.