Monday, January 28, 2008


Day three of breaks sick. I can sit upright and will try to
communicate with the outside world today.
I'll be fine tomorrow. I'm sure of it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sick as a dog

I haven't moved all weekend. The flu is kicking my ass. Looks like we
might take a sick day tomorrow. I think this will be my second or
third sick day in over 15 years.
I think I could limp through it, but don't want to pass it on. I'll
bounce back quickly.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Got me some new cowboy boots. I haven't owned a pair in years. Love
em. I love that they bump me up a couple inches taller and they to add
some swagger. I'm a boot guy again.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008


Eating out. God bless ichihan!

Copperas Cove Road Race

Not sure if this is of interest to you all, but I went up to Copperas Cove and got my teeth kicked in at a bike race. Cold ass weather and lack of proper fitness are a bad combination. I ended up finishing 20th and was able to help my teammate get 5th. This is an incredibly hilly and beautiful road course. Good times. I have two weeks to get ready for my next race.
I love my Garmin GPS. You can see the map of the course, the elevation and how crazy my heart was going during this race. Check it out. jb

New addition to our family

If you have been listening a long time you know that I love Airstreams. I have a '66 Airstream which I really love but I also love the newer CCD version. This is the Christopher Deam design that gives it a cool mid-century feel with the throw back fabrics and cushions and also has a nice metal finish out on the walls instead of the lined vinyl walls, simple shades instead of curtains and the cool desk in the back. Lookinig forward to taking some trips with some of the modern conveniences. I might be a bit more brave about pulling it farther than the Tx coast. I pick her up on Tuesday....
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Extreme Makeover wipeout

I love the tv show Extreme Home Makeover. Makes me cry every time. I never thought it would make me laugh too...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Winter article in Austin Monthly Home

Here is my article about throwing parties that was in the winter issue of Austin Monthly Home.

I am admittedly not the biggest socialite in the world. I tend to shy away from big parties and club events, but I do love to go into peoples homes. It’s brave of people to invite friends and acquaintances in their home. Secretly they are being judged on so many things; beauty, taste, art, interest, cleanliness. Why would you want to subject yourself to such scrutiny? If you’re starting to feel a little relaxed in your life, a little normal, I have just the recipe to shake all that up and send you into a tailspin. Throw a party at your home.

Like I said, I’m not much of a party person. My wife on the other hand, loves a party, but has an absolutely freak out anxiety attack leading up to one at our house. It’s a very legitimate reason to get nervous. We live by a pretty simple motto, “she’s freaking out, I’m freaking out. I’m freaking out, our daughter is freaking out, my daughter is freaking out, the dog starts spinning in circles and eating all the fur off her tail.” We have all this embroidered on a pillow somewhere.

Nothing makes a woman freak out like the pressures of hosting a party and letting all of her friends and peers see, sniff and feel her house. The pressures of acquaintances seeing where we eat, sleeps and bathe can be overwhelming. Guys on the other hand, we just figure “fire up the big screen, throw a cheese ball on the table and the rest will sort itself out.” Unfortunately, for adults, entertaining is not summed up with a plasma screen and wadded cheese. We have to rise to the occasion and host a party. That means that in the final days leading up to your party you will have to hunker down and finish about 3 years worth of projects in your spare time.

Here’s what to expect:

She is going to ask you to do every project outside the house that you never wanted to do. Clean the roof and gutters, trim the bushes, mow, edge and pressure wash everything you own. Be careful with the pressure washer. I busted ours out before our last party and took the paint of the front door and the hair off our dog. After you spend a backbreaking day or two bringing your lawn and trees up to par, expect to spend the day of the party strategically place citronella every two feet. You will spend your most recent paycheck in it’s entirety on tiki torches. Women love these, they think that it can make our raggedy back yard look like a Hawaiian retreat. Regardless of how much toxic citronella your guests breathe in, they are all still going to be swatting at mosquitoes all night and reaching for the bug spray. Have plenty on hand. Men, you should expect to have 4-6 major cuts and bruises, and handful of bee stings and you will most likely fall off the roof at least once in your party preparation. You’ll spend a fortune at Home Depot and make at least a dozen trips in the final 48 hours. The man’s job is also to do something with the pets. Heaven forbid, you are entertaining and people find out you have a pet. Most likely, you just don’t want your guests to see how unruly your pet is when human food is out on the table. The animals have to go somewhere, she doesn’t care where, just get them out of the house. Approximately 24 to 12 hours prior the party, you will make one of your trips to the Depot to buy about $500 worth of plants. Your job as the man is to get them into all the pots where the dead plants have been for the last three years.

You have handled your outdoor duties well gentlemen. She will handle the indoor duties. I hate to stereotype, but this is what happens. She will appear very busy, but most of the heavy lifting was handled when she lined up a housekeeping service to come the morning of the party and all the food was catered. She will make a big production out of “having to pick up the food”. I’m not trying to discredit it, walking from a restaurant to the car and then from the car to the house is not easy. It takes patience and a large SUV.

Here are some other final details that will need to be taken care of in the Final Hour. Candles, candles, candles. We want our friends to think we have invested in Wicks & Sticks and that our house always smells like Enchanting Patchouli.

You will be expected to put out reading materials that make you look smarter and more interesting, Time, The New Yorker, The Economist… and you will remove what you really read, People, Cosmo, Guns and Ammo.

You are going to fire up the stove that you haven’t used years and it’s going to fill the house with smoke burning off the last thing you tried to cook during The Clinton Administration.

You’ll select music that you don’t really like, Jazz, Easy Listening or heaven forbid, the Atmosphere Station, so you look smart.

Take a picture of your kids room because it will never look that nice until the next party.

Fresh flowers will need to go out and we’ll play it off as if we ALWAYS have fresh flowers just lying around.

Your friends will call in the final hour asking if you need anything, but they really don’t expect you to say yes, although you will ask one of them to stop for ice.

She will be telling you to hurry up since it’s time for the guests to arrive. You’ll shower and shave in 5 minutes just to prove that you would be ready on time. Then you will promptly get chastised for getting water everywhere and messing up the “good” towels.

Expect your least favorite couple to show up on time and an hour and a half before everyone else.

As your guests start to arrive two things will be going on simultaneously. You and your spouse will be bickering and pursing your lips and saying things like “I knew this was a bad idea” or “This is the last time we are doing this”. The comforting thing is that a similar thing is going on outside your front door just before each couple arrives. I’ve always had the theory that all couples fight on the way to a party and have some last minute squabbling right up until they ring the doorbell. “I told you I didn’t want to come to this and what did you do, you went right ahead !@$# and then you #!** and (ding dong)… Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, so good to see you… and your house looks looooooooooooovely and it smells wooooooooonderful!”

December article in Rare Magazine

New episodes of Grey's Anatomy are back. I hope the writers strike ends soon. Here is my December article in Rare Magazine.

Now that we are well into the fourth season of Grey’s Anatomy, I’m sure of this; The journey of Meredith, Izzy, McDreamy and McSteamy has all of us acting McStupid.

This tv show is messing up America. We used to be strong, assertive and in control our feelings, especially in the workplace. The popularity of the medical drama has taken the one person we trusted, our doctor, and showed us that they are an emotional train wreck. That, in turn, has given us all the green light start whining, crying and spilling our guts whenever we feel fit, especially at work. This has left us unproductive, emotionally empty, and constantly searching for our own McDreamy, McSlut or McIntern hooching buddy or a shoulder to cry on.

I spent recent months watching seasons one through the current episode of season four just so I could catch up on the Grey’s phenomenon. I had to see what all they hype was about and find out why women where calling each other at 9:01pm Thursday nights crying. I have to admit, I felt empty at work on Friday mornings. There I was, happy as can be at work, but feeling out of place as all my co-workers where fighting back tears, recalling the young woman and man who showed up at Seattle Grace with the same pole jammed through their abdomens. I secretly wanted to be sad over the impaled pair, just as everyone else was. Twins needed to be separated last night and we don’t know if they survived? I wanted to feel the same anxiety until the next Thursday, just as everyone else.

Not only has this show opened up the emotional floodgates, it’s got us idolizing the main characters for so many of the wrong reasons. We used to idolize tv characters because they were strong, assertive, good looking and had it all together. Now we tend to think the following:

I wish I could blink involuntarily, sleep with two of my roommates, be completely indecisive and cut my own hair. Thank you George.

I wish I grew up in a trailer park, would rather bake muffins than go to the bank and cash an 8 million dollar check, have an inappropriate relationship with a client and then kill them. Thank you Izzie.

I wish I could sleep with an intern, whine about the my wife cheating even thought I ignored her for years, never properly shave, and have watery eyes every time a camera zooms in on me. Thank you McDreamy

I wish I had a mother that was disappointed in me, a father that abandoned me, sleep with my boss and wear size 0 jeans. Thank you Meredith.

These are the wrong people to find as role models and yet they are the one’s we have chosen. Long gone are the tv characters who always seemed to make the right choices, have the perfect careers and save the damsel in distress in the final five minutes.

This list goes on an on with these flawed characters. I’m not saying we are not flawed personally, I’m just saying we keep it personal, on some level, out of respect for those in the office cube next to us. Somehow when we watch Grey’s, we want to trade places with them, we want to be a part of this madness. This is what’s making us, the viewer, take our normally stable, on track lives and throw them into a tailspin. We aspire to lead a life that would be far more interesting on primetime than “I had a great day at work, went to my kids soccer game, cooked a nice casserole, read fifty pages of a Dean Koontz novel and went to bed.” That’s messed up. We should kill for the second option. When will we learn not to get McStuck on McStupid.

Here’s another strange thing about the Grey’s phenomenon. I would imagine that on average, we each spend at least an hour dissecting and analyzing the show. “Derrick should have said ______ to Meredith.” “George should have told the truth to Izzie.” “Meredith should get some freaking counseling!” Yet, do we spend on hour a week truthfully thinking about what we should do with our own lives. Hell no. We’re just bouncing through life trying to keep up with our email, our pets, kids and occassionaly we ask our spouse something other than “what were you thinking for dinner?” Could you imagine if we put the time and effort into our own relationships that we do into Christina and Burke or McSteamy and Addison? We’d be the masters of our own relationships and get two thumbs up from Dr. Phil. We’re being McLazy, McIdiots.

The other huge problem with the success of Grey’s is that I no longer trust my doctors. When I see them I can no longer see them with the trust and loyalty I used to. I can only think, “I bet he’s sleeping with that nurse right there in that broom closet right there.” Or, “I wonder if she had to repeat her internship and how many test she failed before she is able to do this surgery right here, right now.” Or the worst one of all, in the middle of my surgery, I don’t want him thinking “I wonder if I picked up an STD from little miss McWacky Scrubs last night after too many McShots in the McWarehouse district.

Let’s all make a deal. Doctors go back to acting like doctors, we’ll go back to acting like responsible citizens and keep our emotions on the inside, where they belong. We’ll all be able to move forward, be more productive with our workday, our lives and stop our McCryin. Until we figure out how to take back our lives and emotions, I’m right there with you, acting like a McIdiot. I’m completely and utterly “Stuck on McStupid”.

November article in Rare Magazine

In case you missed it, here was my November article in Rare Magazine.

We are a nation of piddlers. I know Americans claim to be this great force of technology and innovation, but when you get right down to it, we spend most of our days piddling around. The perception of Americans is that we are war mongers, workaholics and out of balance capitalists. There may be a few of those here, but for the most part we spend our days doing little to nothing. We’re a gadget, information orientated group of people, however no one is rolling up their sleeves around here, except maybe Mexican immigrants who really want to work hard.

Will you be honest with me for a minute about how you really spend your day? There is a misconception that if we are in front of a computer we are working. That may have been true back in the 80’s, when you only owned a computer if you were a programmer, but nowadays, it’s a mechanism for killing time. Sure, we look like were working but if you were a fly on the wall watching the average American “working” on their computer, you will most likely find that they are:

  • Checking their email every five minutes and sending out productive messages like “Did you notice Bob’s fly was open during his presentation this morning” or “guess I had one too many mojito’s last night, btw, did you ever find your car last night”.

  • Checking Myspace, trying out different layouts for awhile… deciding that “retro” makes you look too old, the Goth layout will make you stand offish, deciding instead to go with the Abercrombie layout.

  • Checking Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail mail because you can’t remember who you gave what address. 99% of this is junkmail, except the one’s from your friend who is seeking boyfriend advice every hour on the hour, asking what you are going to wear tonight or sending you bad jokes or inspirational stories.

  • Checking CNN online if you drive a Volkswagen or a Volvo, Fox News online if you drive a BMW or a Lexus.

  • Filling out Linkedin or Plaxo updates for people you can’t quite recall.

  • Reading blogs from people that have an over inflated sense of self worth and are convinced that we are interested in reading about their emergency animal hospital visit with Mr. Fluffins the cat last night or what they had a Jason’s Deli this afternoon. The problem is, we ARE interested in Mr. Fluffins emergency visit and what they had a Jason’s Deli this afternoon.

  • Checking other time wasters like Google Earth, “I see my house” or YouTube. How many times can we watch skaters face plant? Do we really need to watch 1,000 Indonesian prisoners perform Thriller again?

  • Attempting to make a new playlist for your ipod because the last time you drove your friends for the evening they ragged your “Party 2k7 Mix”.

  • Updating Itunes software because it demands it an average of 8 times a day.

  • Checking or to find out if Brittney really left both Sean Preston and Jayden James on the roof of her car from Santa Monica to Malibu.

  • Looking at photo galleries on Snapfish, Yahoo photo’s or Picasa because we just can’t get enough pictures of newborn babies, drunk girls kissing or drunk guys dangling their junk over their passed out friend.

Now let’s talk about your phone for a minute. How many times do you check your phone in a day? Not so much opening it to dial a client or business associate. Don’t you find yourself just staring at it throughout the day as if a genie is going to jump out at any moment and grant you wishes. I’m talking about the time we spend:

  • Sending back and forth text messages like “Where are you”, “I’m here, you”, “almost there”, “I’m the only one here”, “hurry up”, “almost there, who’s coming”, “dunno”, “parking”, “at the bar”.

  • Trying to web browse only to see the letters “GO…” from google because that’s all that will fit…and it took about 5 minutes to load. You turn to your friend and say “hey, I’m on the internet… on my phone. How cool is that?”

  • Trying to take pictures of friends which all turn out to look like Bigfoot.

  • Or, just switching between vibrate and ring to act like you have manners.

Look how much time we have already filled today and we haven’t even talked about:

Watching Television, reading the newspaper, flipping through your pile of People Magazines, reading your horoscope, checking the fridge, actually eating, showering/grooming, going to the bathroom, hanging out at Starbucks stuck behind the guy ordering the “grande doubleshot non-fat latte with a shot of sugar free hazzlenut with room extra hot”, and heaven forbid we would want to workout or actually talk to our families during the course of the day. My point is, NO ONE is WORKING. We’re all just co-existing on the internet and on our phones…and piddling around.

This, my friend is the beauty of America. We goof like this all day, sometimes half a day because there’s an “offsite” team building at the Alamo Draft House… but in that final hour, in the final minute, we spit out something brilliant that makes everyone applaud and say “Ah hah, that’s it. Let’s get the overseas team on this immediately. Excellent…. Great. Nice job. Mojito’s anyone?”

Monday, January 7, 2008

American Gladiators is back!

So excited that American Gladiators is back. This is going to be huge! This is a blast from the past. Do you remember Malibu from the old cast?