Sunday, January 29, 2006

Baseball just around the corner...

Yes, it seems a bit early but in a rebuilding year for Georgia Tech in basketball it is something to note.

The pre-season top 25 is out and both Georgia Tech and Nebraska look to be strong.

1. Texas 56-16
2. Florida 48-23
3. Tulane 56-12
4. Baylor 46-24
5. Nebraska 57-15
6. Arizona State 42-25
7. Oregon State 46-12
8. Tennessee 46-21
9. Cal State Fullerton 46-18
10. Mississippi 48-20
11. Georgia Tech 45-19

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Revolution Will Be Televised!!!

So will bad hoops. That's where I come in! I'm going to the Nebraska v. Missouri basketball game tomorrow. It's on ESPN U at 3:00PM. The Huskers are down and the Tigers are down, so the crowd won't be too crazy. I figure to make national TV as the goofy fan guy with the props. I'll have a tiger on a noose, a crazy corn head hat, and these two wacky props that I made tonight.

One prop I made is a "Hypnodisc" in Husker colors. The idea is to get in the field of vision of the opponent when he's shooting free throws and spin the disc mesmerizing him in to shooting a brick.

The other is a sign featuring the ESPN U logo so they'll aim their cameras at me.

You may not get ESPN U (I don't) but I've got a friend recording the game. If I'm on TV, I'll put the footage up on the web for all to view!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Don't Give Up

One of the more recent Improv event. Check it out...Quicktime Required.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Yuki likes Wendy's frosty

I let Yuki lick my frosty cup. He went crazy for bad softserve!!!!!!!

Seattle Trip

Seattle trip was fun! Highlights included Seahawks playoff game vs. Redskins and Space Needle!

Le Petit Corpse: The Final Episode

So there’s your background. Except for one thing. Jacques Rameau hated my guts with a passion. He believed I was responsible for his sister’s death. Here’s how that came down. Julianne Rameau was a beautiful brunette, five years her brother’s junior, and married to one Carlos Gossett, a trapper who had migrated in from Texas. Carlos was kind of a loser, and I became acquainted with Julianne when we were both working at the Times-Picayune. We did a few coffee breaks together, and, well, one thing led to another. After a few months, though, Julianne kind of went off the deep end. She ended up committing suicide. An ugly thing, with poison and notes and such. My name showed up in one of the notes. That was two years ago.

Carlos seemed to be little affected, and just kept on living his rowdy life. But last weekend he got at the wrong end of a thirty-eight, and today is his funeral. There is a lot of dying in this story, and I see no way to make it pretty.

Of course we are at Jacques’ place, with the full mini-casket treatment. Carlos has no money, but Jacques is picking up the tab for this one. Attendance is light. Jacques is there, along with the priest who is doing the service. Carlos’ brother is in the third row, drunk as usual. On the far right of the first row is a grizzled old man holding a houndstooth hat, like the one Bear Bryant used to wear. The guy looks familiar, but I can’t place him.

After the service, I walk up and take a look into the mini-casket. I get the surprise of my life. The doll is not Carlos. It is a perfect replica of me! Something tells me I should make a bid on this fine piece of art. I think I’ll start it off at fifty grand. I wouldn’t want to offend the artist, would I?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Le Petit Corpse: Part 3 of 4

But like many light-hearted tales of joy and success, this one has a dark side. The Rameau mini-corpses worked as voodoo dolls. Nobody quite knows why, and there is no hard science behind voodoo anyhow.

Ordinarily, this would not be a problem. The doll prototype is dead and cremated anyhow. But the case of the Fratinni twins was different, and you can guess why. The Fratinni boys were forty or so, identical twins, and were what you would call dandies. Pretty more than handsome. Isaac was single and openly gay, but his twin brother Olaf, even though he wore white shoes a lot, was married. When Isaac went down with AIDS, Olaf went to Rameau’s for the full treatment. The Isaac-doll was beautiful. Olaf bought it, casket and all, and took it home after the services.

But soon afterwards, Olaf’s health began to fail. One day he would have to leave work with shooting pains in his side, and the next he might show up with an ugly scratch on his neck. In a week, these things would clear up but he would be walking with a limp. He suspected what his wife was doing, but she denied everything and claimed the mini-Isaac had been stolen for the art market. Olaf went to the police, but they just laughed at his twisted tale. Within three months, it didn’t matter anyhow. Olaf was dead.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Le Petite Corpse: Part Deux

Jacques’ business operation, the Rameau Mortuary, is in the old French quarter, only three or four blocks from Bourbon Street. He sometimes walks down to the old Al Hirt place for an afternoon libation. I don’t think Al is around anymore.

Jacques had a weird idea several years ago, but by all accounts he has made a bundle from it. New Orleans is old, it is wet, and it is growth-constrained by lakes, rivers, swamps, levees, and such. Thus it is no surprise that cemetery plots are expensive. It is almost impossible to get buried underground in the New Orleans area now.

Cremation seems like a logical alternative, and a lot of it gets done. But cremation clashes with some aspects of the French-Catholic culture, and some folks still find comfort in our Elizabethan-based funeral traditions. Visitation, lying in state, and so on. Edgar Allen Poe with his tales of premature burial had a lot to do with all that.

Jacques’ idea was simple. For twelve grand or so, he can sell you a typical New Orleans funeral: casket, sealed vault, and above-ground burial in a low-rent cemetery north of town. This includes some flowers, as well as the usual hearse-rides between church, funeral home, and gravesite. But here’s the deal: for six grand, he can do almost the same thing with a fake body.

You get a miniature corpse, crafted by Jacques himself but one-third size. A six-footer becomes two feet long and is an amazing replica of the larger original. He buys heads, suits, and so on from a ventriloquist supply house. He then applies his embalming skills to produce a lovely doll of your aunt Bertha, resting in peace in a beautiful three-foot casket. The original is cremated and sprinkled where you like. When it’s over, the parts get reused in the next funeral, or the bereaved can buy the doll, casket and all, for five hundred bucks or so. Some of these mini-corpses have even shown up for sale in the off-Bourbon souvenir stores. If the bereaved have no interest, sometimes Jacques actually takes bids from collectors, stores, or whoever.

Do You Like Apples?

Well I got a new shipment of fruit from Harry & David. How do you like THEM apples!?!?!?

I ate one of the incredibly crisp Jonagold apples and it ranks right up with the best apples I've ever eaten.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Fiction hits the blog.

New fiction, a short story, makes its debut now. This is by blogger R. Tangeman,
and will be posted in four installments starting here and now.

Le Petit Corpse

Usually, a story can be set most anywhere. They always put Dragnet in L.A., but it would have worked as well in Chicago or Miami. The same goes for most of Agatha Christie’s tales, and lots of others. But this story, even if it were not true, could not be reset, for three reasons: New Orleans is old. New Orleans is French. And New Orleans is wet.

Burial of human corpses is more complicated and more interesting in New Orleans than almost any other place. Since the town is so old, the ratio of dead people to living ones is very high. Thus graveyard space is at a premium. The specific gravity of a living human is a little less than one, which makes humans float in water. Because of the gases which form during decomposition, a dead human tends to float even better.

When you place a corpse into a sealed casket, the casket floats. You put the casket into a sealed metal vault, the whole thing floats. And vaults are always sealed. Sometimes the things are even sold with a hundred-year guarantee against leakage. Would you want anything less for your own dear mother?

Even as far north as Baton Rouge, above-ground burial is used to fight these problems. This becomes more common as you head south. Large portions of New Orleans are even below sea level, and there is a lot of rain.

Jacques Rameau owns and runs a mortuary in New Orleans, and some say he dabbles in voodoo. Most people associate voodoo with Haiti, and that was (or is) the center of it. But voodoo is strongly intertwined with old French Catholic culture, and New Orleans is about as old French Catholic as you can get. The voodoo capital of the U.S., if there is one.
.... to be continued soon .....

Monday, January 09, 2006

Coffee Pepsi

Robert sent me some wacky Pepsi from Malasia. Tonight I cracked open Pepsi Tarik, which is coffee flavored Pepsi. I immediatly took a sniff. It smelled like normal cola. I couldn't detect any coffee scent. After pouring into a fancy wine glass, I took a sip. The flavor is very smooth. The coffee flavor is VERY mild. It tastes almost like vanilla pepsi. On the whole, I nice tasting cola. I wish it had a stronger coffee flavor though.

Basketball is Upon Us

And what a way to start with Nebraska beating #12 Oklahoma, Georgia Tech beating #11 Boston College and Kansas smashing #19 Kentucky.

Fun week-end in CA with a trip to Sonoma/Napa on Saturday and then a little party on Sunday night. We visited 5 wineries total including 3 new ones in Napa. In Sonoma we visited Sebastiani, one of our favorites, and tried to pick up some wine we had ordered a few months back. Then it was on to Pine Ridge in Napa on the Silverado trail. Along the way we stopped at Trefethen, Darioush and Regusci. Of the three Darioush was our clear favorite. Their Merlot was our favorite but everything was good.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Helicopter Update

Despite mislabeled pieces, unfitting pieces, and an overly complex and outdated mini-chopper, Uncle Bob has made big progress in putting it together. It won't be long before this bird sees the air briefly before crashing into disrepair on the ground!!!!!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Yuki in deep woods

Over Xmas Dad, Yuki, and I took a hike through the woods near Dad's house. It was a happy adventure for the animal!

The Baby New Year

Happy New Year

We've had ~12" of rain in Sacramento so far this winter. Just below last year but well above normal. Its finally dried out over the past few days. It is nice to be settling back into our normal routines.

We recently had new valences installed in our house. Exciting stuff. Here's a snap:

Monday, January 02, 2006

Candy Review

Take Five Peanut Butter. The normal take five is covered with chocolate. This one is covered with peanut flavored "coating". Peanut covering peanut butter with pretzels and carmel. It works much better with the chocolate. The peanut coating just tastes like sweet covering more sweet and salty pretzel. Chocolate coating adds something. This peanut coating adds nothing but extra sweetness which isn't needed. Joe Bob says, "avoid this bar."

A Bar Review

This is the Hershey Extra Dark with Macadamia Nuts and Cranberries.
The chocolate flavor is very intense and pleasant. The cranberries add a slight
fruity tartness. The flavor of the nuts is pretty well covered up but they
do add a bit of a crunch. Overall this bar holds its own well with higher-end
imports. Joe-Bob says check it out!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Holiday Stew

Holiday Stew

Take two ivory-billed woodpeckers, about five pounds each. Cut
into pieces like chicken, and deep-fry in 3 pounds of lard for half an
hour or until tender. Drain off most of the grease, leaving two or three cups.

one quart of canned white gravy
one can of drained green beans
one can of red kidney beans
one cup iodized salt

Simmer all this for half an hour. Serve with Wal-Mart macaroni salad,
toaster waffles, and Falstaff beer. Enjoy!

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