Monday, October 29, 2007

Vote on Rare

I am absolutely a big fan of Rare Magazine. If you read my previous post you know that I have been doing some writing for them. Love em, love em, love em. Very hip, eclectic and artistic. Very Austin. They are doing their Rarest of the All poll. Get involved. Take the time to fill this out.

2008. The Year of the Fatty

October is almost over. It's hard to believe. I thought I would share with you my article that ran in the Oct issue of Rare Magazine. Why aren't you subscribing? You will want this magazine sent to your home. I promise. You can also pick it up at some of your finer stores around town. Here's what I had to say about what a great year 2008 will be:

You are going to love 2008. I have hereby, by the power vested in me, declared 2008 the Year of the Fatty! Rejoice.

I just left Whole Foods with a cart full of $400 worth of vitamins and powders that are supposed to make me glow like Mathew McCaughnehey. I was bombarded with millions of suggestions for healthy living, row after row. What did I end up with, bananas that were green when I picked them up, yellow by the time I got to the breads and brown by the time I got home. This organic, healthy living is a bunch of crap. Have you ever gotten help in the vitamin section? The person working there is not exactly the picture of health, at least not what I’m hoping to get out of that bottle. I don’t care if your outfit is made of hemp, it looks like it was hand knitted in a dark closet by the spastic Idol winner, Taylor Hicks. Even as I try to leave the store, I’m bombarded by magazines telling me to look, feel and poop better. I bought into all of this for the last 5 years and here’s what it’s done for me. I’ve lost 50 lbs and you could argue that I look better, but certainly not much better. When I was a delicious fatty, I had more fun, had a ton more free time and got more nookie. What is the point of all this? I am encouraging all Americans from this point forward to embrace our chubbiness. It’s who we are and we should be proud of it. Americans are always going to be fat just as the French and always going to be rude and Thailand will be full of oddly sexy he/she’s.

Think about it. Why do we need to be healthier and fitter? So that we can feel better doing physical activity? … that doesn’t make much sense. Eliminate the physical activity and start feeling better immediately. Here’s a true story. About 9 years ago, I bought a bike and decided I was going to get into shape. I met a guy named John who was into bike racing and we became friends. Since then I have been striving to be the level of bike racer equivalent to John. It’s been absolute torture. Sure I’ve lost weight and could arguably say I’m doing better. But the amount of pain and suffering I feel training on the bike far outweighs the amount of pain and suffering I used to feel smoking cigars, drinking Crown and just hanging out, being obese. You decide. Which is worse, suffering during physical fitness or when inactive. I can assure you, that getting winded walking from the parking lot into Long John Silvers is far less excruciating than the daily training needed to be a mediocre bike racer that hasn’t won a race EVER. John and I have an ongoing joke that if I hadn’t chosen bike race and instead, would have chosen to learn to play bass guitar, by now I would have had 15 hours a week over 9 years of practice. I would undoubtedly be known around Austin as one of the best bass players in town. John wonders what the point would be in being a great bass player if you are 400 lbs. The point is, I would be in a kick ass band. Everyone knows that a musician gets more nookie than some asshat that came in 38th in a bike race. The whole point of getting in shape was really to get more nookie, and statistically, it didn’t add up. Bring back the luv handles. My wife claims to have never noticed my 50 lbs weight fluctuations. If love is blind, bring on the Blue Bell.

If you are not going to get more lovin’, there must be some advantage to being thin. I couldn’t think of one, except maybe to live longer. Think about it. Do you really want to live to be 110? My theory is that if you can’t accomplish anything significant in your life by the time you are 50, you are not very likely to knock it out given another 50 years.

I could only think of three different people who want us to live longer. These are people that prey on the elderly. The owners of Luby’s Cafeteria and the makers of Depends and Rascal Scooters. Staying healthy our whole lives is a bad idea. The only people I can think of that wanted to live forever were the entire cast of “Fame”. Sure, impromptu dancing on cars is fun, I don’t know if you have seen Irene Cara lately, but she looks more like Mr. Miyagi than someone capable of doing The Electric Slide on a Chrysler Sebring.

We say that we want to live longer for our children and grandchildren. Wrong. They can’t wait for us to kick the bucket and cash in. We’ll be bragging that we were capable of climbing Mt. Bonnell with them and they are secretly wishing we would fall off the edge so they can get some cash and move into our house. The days of inheriting money while you are still young are long gone. Statistically, by the time your healthy living parents live to be 100, you’ll be well into your 70’s when it’s time to cash in. Don’t do that to your kids. Do them a favor and kick it when your 60 while your shoveling down an Awesome Blossom at Chili’s.

Here’s another reason to balloon up. President Bush’s popularity is on the decline and he runs a 6:30 mile. Michael Moore’s popularity is on the rise, he’s on the Wall of Flame for eating 630 hot wings. What do you want to do, be the fast guy in Crawford, Tx or get the free T-shirt from Pluckers?

If I can be popular without being thin, I am a true champion. That’s more to be proud of than that stupid medal you got for paying to run a marathon. What did you really get out of that, some orange slices and bloody nipples? I hope some large people are reading this and laughing. Those healthy people that are constantly “down dogging” on their stinky yoga mats are the biggest bunch of complainers ever. My wife and I are surrounded by fit friends. They all wine like old people. They always have some sort of ailment or aching part of their body that was caused by the very activity that was supposed to make them feel better. I know this, because as we speak my foot is on ice with tendonitis….from running. In an effort to achieve maximum fitness, I have spent a fortune on personal training, gym memberships, vitamins, blood tests, allergy tests and workout gear. I honestly spend enough annually that I could afford a boat on Lake Austin that is going to bring be far more pleasure than visible ribs.

Trust me. In your quest for a fit life, you are going to end up in the doctors office with a litany of complaints. As soon as a handful of good doctors start poking and prodding you all you are going to get are a lot of bills and find out a dozen things that are wrong with you. Here I’ll save you the time. “Your _____ is not function as well as it should, looks like we will need more ______ testing and to possibly remove your ______.” There, I just saved you about $8,000, go buy yourself a hot tub.

Why live longer, I’ve already watched 23 seasons of The Real World, do I really need another 57? 2008 is the year we show the world what America is all about. Throw away your New Balance and meet me at Huts Hamburgers for a Shiner Bock Ice Cream Float. Behold! The Year of the Fatty!

In the spirit of Halloween

Here is an article I wrote about Halloween that is featured in the fall issue of Austin Monthly Home:

Anyone under the age of 18, stop reading this immediately. It will do nothing but upset you. I’m serious. I said stop. This is moms and dads magazine anyway, go play with your Gameboy because what I have to say is going to really upset you. Kids, why are you still here? Didn’t your folks spend $500 getting you an iphone? Go listen to some Arctic Monkeys or go watch your friends light each other on fire on You Tube or something.

Now, for those of you that are full fledged adults like me, I ask you this. Wasn’t Halloween sooooo much better when we were kids? Before I go further into this, I have to let you know that I’m not one of those crotchety old guys that goes on and on about “how things were better when I was a kid”. I honestly think kids today are smarter, dress better, listen to better music and have a far better outlook on life than we did as kids. We were clueless, dressed like Miami Vice Extras, listened to Wham and were satisfied to work out ways slowly up the corporate ladder. However, if we have ANYTHING over the kids today, it was Halloween.

Halloween was amazing when we were kids. It was far more special, politically incorrect, and completely reckless. It was probably the closest most of us have come to our death without knowing it.

The biggest comparison, right off the bat, when we were kids there was no going to Target or Wal-Mart picking out from hundreds of costumes. When we were kids, you thought about what you wanted to be and most of the time mom and dad left it up to you to put it all together. This really separated the ultra creative, industrious types from the downright lazy. Typically, we just dressed up as whatever sport we were participating in, Football player, ballet dancer, etc... There were other homemade choices. Mom would only hang on to her wedding dress so long before she would let daughters chop it up and become the bride of Frankenstein. A popular choice with the boys was Dracula. Hopefully, you were persuasive enough to have mom get you some novelty teeth. Throw a little Crisco in your hair and a black towel over your shoulders and bam, you were from Transylvania. Without the three dollar novelty teeth, you just looked like you worked the morning shift at Krispy Kreme. I distinctly remember the sure sign of pure laziness for Halloween was the Hobo. All you needed was one of dad’s old button downs a stick and a knapsack. For some reason we thought that all Hobos possessed a disproportionate amount of freckles. Today, we would call that homeless. 78759 might have a good laugh with your costume of choice, but a good 78704 would find it offensive. My absolute shining childhood moment that would be absolutely out of line today was the year my stepmother designed and made me and my three sisters into cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon. We were a door to door four pack.(see photo) In the late 70’s, this received quite a nod of approval, mostly from houses blaring Skynard, Molly Hatchet or The Doobie Brothers.

Once we had our costumes sorted out we needed something to collect and store our candy. Back in the day we didn’t use those silly little plastic pumpkins. There is no way an earth that those were going to be able to hold my planned haul of chocolate for the evening. I needed more volume. We would head to our rooms and grab our pillow cases, toss the pillow on the floor and head out with the full intention of filling that entire case. Sometimes we would have to come by the house to empty it for second trips. Things filled up a lot faster back then because there were no “bite size” candies. Everything was full sized indulgent, American style. It was more candy than any kids should eat in a lifetime, yet we still managed to polish it off before Thanksgiving.

Something that made it so much better than trick or treating is that we didn’t seem to worry, nor did our parents about the likelihood of our death on Halloween. Looking back, odds were not in our favor. We all would gather, ages ranging from 2 to the neighborhood teenager that just started driving. We would pile into the teens truck and head off to a higher class neighborhood with hopes of getting larger, fancier candy. Parents would stay home to pass out candy and see to it that all the adult beverages were consumed properly. Here we would have a pack of kids larger than the Jolie-Pitt clan, piled into the back of a reckless pickup in our extremely flammable, suffocating, non-reflective costumes. Flashlights, we didn’t need no stinkin flashlights. We were very stealth, could smell the risk and we loved it.

Back then, Trick or Treat really meant that. Some homes would pass out candy, others would offer up a trick, which meant scaring the Apple Dumpling Gang half to death. Strangers would invite us into their homes. Could you imagine that now? They would lure us into the darkest, deepest part of their homes and show us body parts, axes, chainsaws and blood. Today a stranger invites you into your home to show you a body part and somebody’s going to jail. It was probably a good thing that we traveled to better neighborhoods in search of gigantic candy bars. Our own neighborhood had its share of creepy people. Seems like every neighborhood in the 70’s had a guy that apparently had no job, used to hang around shirtless in a pair of Jack Tripper short shorts, sporting a porn stache and wanting to hang out with the kids way too much… again, blaring Skynard, Molly Hatchet or The Doobie Brothers. The rest looked like ax murderers. These guys were pretty harmless, but on today’s standards…

So have fun kids. Ah! I knew you would still be reading. Good luck having as much fun as we did. I don’t know how you can with your parents with you, reflective gear, flash lights, seat belts and costumes that WON’T catch on fire! Lame. You’re probably off to go trick or treating at your school or Ikea where they hand out lawn chairs instead of candy, far far away from criminals. Double lame.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Win my truck reminder

In case you forgot or haven't had a chance to purchase your tickets, here's a reminder for you. Buy your tickets to win my '63 Ford truck on Nov. 9th. You don't have to be present to win but I would love to hand the keys to the winner at Uncle Billy's Brew & Que. The giveaway will probably be around 8pm. Come early for dinner. I think Autumn is playing at 5pm.
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Nice surprise.

It's not everyday that a living legend like Darrell K. Royal. He's a pretty interesting guy. For ex: Did you know that his middle initial is just that "K". It's not a name beginning with K, just the letter K in honor of his mother that died from cancer.
Also, three National Championships. His overall coaching record was 184-60-5.

Read more about him here:
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What have I begun?

I got a little ambitious and started polishing my '66 Airstream. It took me about three hours to do this front quarter. It makes a huge difference and gives it a mirror finish. It took about 2 hours just to do the door. I may have bit off more than I can chew, but for some lame reason, I feel like I need to do this. The pro's charge WAY to much to do this.
There's something kind of relaxing about labor in standing there buffing this thing for hours... sort of takes your mind off things. I'll take some more pics when it's done. I think it's going to take about 50 hours to complete the buffing. It's a process with wool pads and three different kinds of metal polish, then later a wax sealant. I love how the vintage airstreams buff up to a mirror finish. They stopped doing this mirror finish on Airstreams, it's more of a dull silver finish now.
I don't know if you are even interested in my Airstream project, but I thought some of you might be. There are some plans to do some updates inside soon as well. I'll keep you posted.
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My adoring family

This made me laugh. Look at how much my family adores me. :)
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Monday, October 22, 2007

Just to get you in the mood for Halloween

Here are 15 pictures that had ghosts in them. No this is not one of those stare at the picture until something jumps out at you. These are real pictures and the stories that go with them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Autumn shopping at Walmart

Autumn didn't believe that we could find her a great outfit at Walmart for under $45. The top outfit is what Autumn picked out. The second photo is what I picked out.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Trip to Mexico

Here's a pic of Autumn on her Greyhound trip to Matamoros, Mexico for a shopping excursion.
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I wrote a huge blog about a ton of things that got lost when I tried to post it. It's late. I'm tired. I'm frustrated. The folks at Google and Blogger can't do this to us. I revealed so many personal things, I don't know if I have the energy to repeat it. I also revealed the winners of the next 4 seasons of Survivor including "Survivor Waxahachie".
Oh well, you'll just have to wait.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The ride we did on Saturday with Lance and the big fundraisers was at Mandola Winery in Driftwood. I can't wait to go back to this place for a dinner, tour or a bottle of wine on the deck. This place is so beautiful it's hard to believe you are just outside of Austin. I want to retire in the Dripping Springs or somewhere between there and Johnson City. Abosultely gorgeous.
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Forgot to mention that on Friday night we hit the Block 21 party downtown. I'm not much of a "party guy" but this was a pretty impressive setup for an empty block that is yet to be developed. Huge tents, cool outdoor seating, great food and music from Robert Randolph who puts on a kick ass show. I'm pretty pro-downtown living and development, so I'm excited about the project and about getting a W Hotel in Austin. We had a great time up until I lost our group and wandered around like a lost puppy for about an hour.
In the pics are my wifes friend Wende and mimicing the "pary chicks" are me and Peter. Very cool party.
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Livestrong weekend

This was a big weekend as the Livestrong challenge took place in Austin over the weekend. I did my very first real bike ride just over 10 years ago. I remember not being sure if I could complete the 25 miler. The following year I did the 100 mile and a couple years after that progressed to bike racing. On Saturday, my cycling team got to take part in an annual tradition of doing support for the Peloton members who raise the most money. This was an incredibly impressive group of people who all raised over 30,000 dollars for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. These people are all incredible fundraisers, but not all neccesarily avid cyclists. My team does support and helps those who struggle with the ride and makes sure they all get their opportunity to ride up next to Lance and get their picture taken. I had an incredible time hanging out with these inspiring people. I recall talking to Tony who was here from Ireland and raised over $200,000. Amazing. Congratulations to everyone who took part of the Livestrong Weekend, including over 4,000 of you who did the 5k run on Saturday.
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Win my truck!!!!!!!!!!

It's official. You can now buy tickets to win my 1963 Ford F100. Tickets are only $15 or 5/$50.
Take a look at some of these pics and get more information at

Friday, October 12, 2007

My truck I'm giving away

Here is just a little tease for you on my truck that I am going to raffle off for Leukemia/Lymphoma. I stopped by yesterday to check on the progress. Your chance to win my truck will only cost you $15 per ticket. Details coming soon. check back to
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Monday, October 1, 2007

My dad and his classmates

I never could get these guys together for a good pic. Here is a snapshot of my dad with his classmates going all the way back to kindergarten. These guys were hysterical the way they talk to each other. They spent most of the afternoon calling each other things like peckerheads and assholes.
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my aunts and uncles

Just so you can see who else I was talking about. Here are some of the most amazing people I've ever know. Top pic, my uncle Ronnie. He just retired. He's the new pooba of the family. He's incredibly funny in between coughs.
In the bottom pic are my dad and his siblings. These are some incredible people that helped in so many ways to to shape my life and so many others in a positive way. front to back
my aunt Geri
Uncle Ronnie
Aunt Imo
My dad
My uncle Mark
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Golf tourney in Kansas

Spent the weekend up in Atchison, Ks, my hometown. Went up there to meet my dad (red shirt) for a gold tournament for his high school, Maur Hill. Had a great time with family and I absolutely love going up there. I'm not the greatest golfer, but it's o.k. to be mediocre at it around these guys, besides, my uncle Phil (white hat) carried us the whole way around the course. I'm in the picture with my uncle Mark, one of the funniest human beings on earth, along with my dad. We had a lot of laughs that afternoon.
This was my first trip up there since my grandmother passed away. It was odd in a lot of ways, but very special in a lot of other ways. I don't think my dad and I could bring ourselves to drive by her old house. It sold not long ago and it's hard to imagine someone else living there. She lived there for at least 50 years. My aunts and uncles are torn on going by the house. My uncles Ronnie and Mark said they passed each other early one morning driving by the house at the same time, just to check on it, like they used to check on Grandma. My aunts on the other hand, don't like to drive by there. I think I'm with them on that. I'm sure at some point I'll be ready for that, just not yet.
It was wonderful how conversation of grandma and her house would weave in and out of the conversation, sometimes as if she was gone, sometimes as if she was right there with us. It was fun to see pieces of my grandmother in all my relatives. My uncles definetely pick up the slack with her sense of humor and my aunts and cousins seem to have picked up her habits of catering to everyone.
more pics coming....
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