Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Announcement

Due to issues with Google and it's new version of Blogger I may not be able to post here anymore. It's not letting me log in. If you don't hear from me in a reasonable amount of time it means that this blog has been abandoned. I'm not going away though. I have a new blog with the same name-
  • Dissonance

  • The URL is
  • http://dissonanced.wordpress.com/

  • Hope to see you there.

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    Not a Disney moment

    Background
    My parents used to live in the piney woods that surround lake Livingston. Although they have moved back to Houston, they still have the house up there which they intend to sell. It is in a tiny cluster of houses outside of the nearest town which is Coldpring, Texas, Population: The high four hundreds, I think. The way I understand it is that this little cluster of homes exist outside of city limits. The people there have power and water but that's it. All business, including trash disposal, is done in "town".

    Surrounding this little subdivision is nothing but the lake and forest. With that comes almost every imaginable form of wildlife native to Texas. Foxes, wolves, deer and cougars are as common as rabbits, squirrels, skunks and raccoons. My sister lived up there with them for awhile and often said that at any time you looked out the back of the house it was like seeing a real, live scene from an animated Disney movie. She is dead on right but I liked thinking of it as actually seeing what Creedence Clearwater Revival meant in their song Out My Back Door by "Look at all the happy creatures dancin' on the lawn". Both comparisons are equally accurate.

    Reality
    On Wednesday, my sister took her two daughters and my daughter up there for an overnight stay. The girls are on spring break and they wanted to get away for a little fun. It was a good time for all of them but my daughter told me about a particular unexpected incident: The raccoon incident. Before you read on, it was not of the CCR or Disney type.

    As they were walking from the lake back to the house Thursday afternoon, they noticed a raccoon behind them on the crudely paved road leading to all the houses. It was walking in their same direction on the road just as they were. They soon noticed that it seemed to be trying to catch up to them. When they picked up their pace, so did the raccoon. The faster they moved so did this raccoon. It stayed on the street right with them. As they got just to the house they decided to quickly dash inside because this stupid raccoon was right up on them. My sister had to slam the front door shut because the damned thing tried to run inside the house. They tell me that it didn't seem aggressive but that it sure the hell wanted to be wherever they were.

    My daughter and my nieces went upstairs and out to the balcony to look down at this loony raccoon. It saw them and started trying to climb up the wooden 4x4's of the lower front porch. On it's way up they said it seemed to change it's mind. It pushed off, landed on the ground and then started circling and sniffing around the perimeter of the house. After watching this from the windows for awhile, my sister decided to open the front door and take a look. It tried to dart inside again so she slammed the door shut. Again.

    The neighbor across the road is a game warden with two hunting dogs. One stays chained in the yard for his own good because he tends to wander and the other is loose because he stays in the area. The game warden neighbor was not at home at this time. His loose dog spotted the raccoon and went over to my parent's house to confront it (or whatever). This loony-assed raccoon chased the dog back into it's own yard and began fighting with it. Of course, the other dog got involved too. Now it was a fight between two hunting dogs and the loony-assed coon and the raccoon was winning.

    The neighbor next door to my parent's house saw this. He came out with a gun. My daughter said it was a long gun but couldn't tell me if it was a rifle or a shotgun. She wouldn't know. As this bizarre little drama was taking place, the neighbor was trying to get a shot at the raccoon but couldn't without hitting one of the dogs. What he did was fire into the ground hoping to scare the coon off. When he did that it was enough of a distraction for one of the dogs to grab the raccoon by the neck and shake the life out of it. Finally. So ended my daughter and nieces spring break.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Easy day

    I didn't have to see any customers today. All I had to do was drive. I didn't even shave. I didn't tuck my t-shirt in either. I had to drive down to Corpus Christi for a five minute task. That's three hours down and three hours up from here if your doing the speed limit. I'm a right-hand-laner on the highway. I can't afford to speed (too many troopers). Although I can spot them a mile away, they sometimes hide in very clever places.

    My route is highway 59 to highway 77. It is the second most boring drive I know of in Texas. There is very, very little to see so I look for roadkill and count State Troopers. The Troopers usually travel in pairs although separated by some distance just like scorpions do. However, I only saw one. The other must have been behind some brush. There was very little roadkill today. When I say I look for roadkill, all I'm interested in is what it is; I don't like seeing dead animals. I'm just curious to see if it's a deer, coyote, badger . . . Today I think I actually saw a beaver. No kidding. I saw a long, wide, flat tail and didn't look like a nutria. Anybody know if there are beavers here? We seem to have just about everything else. I did see a badger once. That was when I learned that we had badgers in Texas.

    I missed out on both the storms here and Corpus Christi. For those not from either place, Corpus had some extreme wind and rain as well as tornadoes and Houston had the same but with hail instead of tornadoes. I had left Houston before it hit here and arrived in Corpus after it had left there. It was basically the same storm (I think). I didn't plan it that way but how's that for timing? It obviously rained like hell south of here because almost everything was under water. I saw ranch and lease gates that were two-thirds underwater. Every field looked like a lake and the rivers, creeks and man made ponds had spilled out almost to the highway in some places. They say the sun will be out tomorrow so that means it will be hot and humid.

    While I was down there I decided to drive around town and see what has changed and what has not. I stopped in front of three of the houses I had lived in. I've actually lived in 11 houses with my parents. We moved around quite a bit. I think it's so cool to look at them after all these years. Most look almost the same but the one I probably liked the most (it was on the bay) is being completely remodeled. That kind of hurts. How can they do that?

    Sunday, March 04, 2007

    Kansas City

    "Goin' to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come
    Goin' to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come
    They got some crazy lil' women there
    and I'm gonna get me one"

    I'm flying off to Kansas City in the morning. I won't be "gettin' me any crazy lil' women" though. I'm going up there to install a water treatment system on a hotel. I'll be living in this place for four days. Joy. I hate hotels. Fortunately, it's a very nice one again so I'll be able to stomach it.

    I'm flying out of Houston Hobby. I'm so used to flying out of Intercontinental (I have a park and ride account there) that I think I've forgotten how to park at Hobby. I guess I'll just drive in and hope to find a space in the general parking. The last time I was there I saw a fight break out over a parking space. That is one reason I always take the park and ride shuttles. See you at the end of the week.

    Friday, February 23, 2007

    Thanks Dick

    Three weeks ago I emailed the office of Texas Governor Rick Perry and flamed him over his Executive Order RP65 - February 2, 2007, "Relating to the immunization of young women from the cancer-causing Human Papillomavirus."

    My message was far from polite. In fact, it bordered on ugly. I used some very strong language and actually dared them to try and get their filthy hands on my daughter. I actually told the Governor's office that the only way they would get to my thirteen year old daughter and inject her with a government mandated vaccine would be by stepping over my bullet-ridden dead body.

    The email I sent was so strongly worded that the following Monday, after I had somewhat cooled down, I was a little nervous and wondering if I was going to be visited by some state government goons. Fortunately, that never happened. Instead, I got a form letter from Perry's office goons today, exactly three weeks later, to the day. They thanked me for contacting the Office of the Governor and expressing my concerns regarding the HPV vaccine. You're welcome you robot assholes and thank you Governor Perry for insulting me and my daughter.

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Balance, cont.

    In the work I do, when I'm not installing a new system, I return to the ones I have previously installed to service them once a month. That's how long it takes to get to them all. There are more than eighty of them scattered throughout the entire city of Houston and as far north as Dallas, as far south as Harlingen, as far west/northwest as San Antonio/Austin, as east as Baytown and everywhere else in between. Half of it is just driving. The other half is even less stimulating.

    What offsets this monotony is when I fly out of state for an installation. I love to see the U.S. and I love to install. This was happening years ago but for some reason the out of state prospects either dried up or were not being pursued. Now, about eight years later, I am suddenly being zipped all over the place again. In December I was in New Jersey. My next destinations are Kansas City, Los Angeles, St. Louis, back to LA and I hear there is another account pending in somewhere in New Jersey again. This is what keeps me interested and feeling good about what I do.

    Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    Balance

    My personal life is mostly quiet, predictable and uneventful; boring even. It was never my intention for it to become this but the more it does the more I like it. It's a peaceful refuge from my work life which is becoming more and more unpredictable, exciting and demanding. I try to leave the work related stress in the truck when I get home and try to keep my mind off of personal issues while at work. Home keeps my mind off of work and work keeps my mind off of home.

    With my Dad in the hospital (we work for the same branch office) work has become more demanding as I mentioned above because I am taking over many of his duties. I am not complaining. I'm glad to do it. That's just an example of the unpredictabitly I also mentioned. He's counting on me to keep things running just as if he were here. I've been doing my best.

    This Friday and the following Wednesday I have to meet with board members of two separate condominium associations to explain what our company proposes to do about their problems and how we do it. I'd much rather take a beating.