Mock Opera

Here’s a musical version of what happened today. Set to the tune of Leon Russell’s most excellent Shootout on the Plantation.

The Cast
Punkin……Cassidy (her lifelong nickname)
Bub Head….Raina (also a nickname)
Dodo……..Me (this is what the kids call me)
The Bears…Cassidy, Delaney & Raina
Lucky Dog…Lucky Dog

Punkin and the Bub Head are fighting
About a day camp in the neighborhood
The Punkin never learned how to do what she’s told
And Bub Head wishes she would
Dodo said the Bears are for lovin’ not fighting
But that didn’t clear the air
‘Cause Punkin’s still acting
Like she lives in the jungle
While Bub pulls out her hair

The Punkin got the ‘tude
The Bub Head got the treats
Dodo’s an easy mark
So they both run to me
It’s a shootout on the plantation
It’s so hard to understand
Why are some people so hard headed
Neither one’s the villain
The last one to bed
Is the first to call
And using mean talk
Gets you nowhere at all
It’s a shootout on the plantation
Heaven help Lucky Dog

And the threat of no sleepovers
Enough to cause her blood to freeze
But the Punkin’s still growling
Like some feral beast
And doing just what she pleases
Bellaire’s lonesome daddies are tuned into
Their TV shows
Trying to find a safe place to hide
Before the volcano blows

12th Anniversary


12 years ago today, I married a sweet, beautiful, wonderful woman. She has done a great job of putting up with me.

I am lucky to have Raina, and though I don’t tell her that enough, I know it.

We got married in Fort Worth on June 26th, 1993. My old and dear friend Carter Via married us, with (mandated, by whom I’m still not sure) help from Barry Bailey, then the minister at the church where the wedding took place. Barry later ran into a bit of trouble.

The rehersal dinner was held the night before at Billy Bob’s.

Zip Drives Suck, Period

zip drive

I have owned a lot of computers. I have built a lot of computers. Several of them had iomega Zip Drives in them, including the one I am using now (which I built).

At least half of the Zip Drives I have had just stop working at some point, either via the infamous “click of death” or via some mysterious and irritating failure to read any of the disks. Given that the whole idea behind these devices is to back-up data, I’d say that’s a pretty unacceptable failure rate.

The Zip Drive in my current computer suddenly can’t read any disk. And once one of these drives dies, you can no longer eject the disk without using the paper clip trick. If they are going to keep selling these crappy drives to the unsuspecting public, they should at least put a paper clip in the box.

So here’s my computer tip for today: never, ever, no matter what put a Zip Drive (or any iomega product for that matter) in any computer you build or buy. CD and DVD recorders are cheaper and more reliable and flash cards are smaller.

These sorry devices should have been recalled and destroyed years ago.

Jukebox, Uncensored

You know the drill. Open up your jukebox of choice, point the shuffle feature to your entire library of songs and list, without exception, the first 10 or so songs that play.

Tyler – The Hollisters (The Land of Rhythm and Pleasure)
Country Melody – Robin and Linda Williams (Nine ’til Midnight)
Down in Her Arms – Robbie Fulks (Let’s Kill Saturday Night)
Sad Songs and Waltzes – Willie Nelson (Shotgun Willie)
Dancing Shoes – Dan Fogelberg (Nether Lands)
I Miss You – Harold Melvin (Collector’s Item)
So Long, Harry Truman – Chris Smither (It Ain’t Easy)
Chinatown Shuffle – Grateful Dead (Steppin’ Out)
Hilltop – Map of Wyoming (Trouble Is)
Gotta Have Tenderness – Glen Campbell (Galveston)

Cassidy is a Published Artist

Cassidy is now a published artist! One of her drawings appears in a new children’s book called Just Me. It is a really neat parenting book written from a child’s perspective. I have read almost all of it and it is both touching and informative. It’s not written by a child- it’s written by a wife and mom from Houston. It is very well written and highly recommended, for both the words and the art!

Here are pictures of the cover of the book and Cassidy’s drawing that appears on page 62.



Bye Bye House Next Door


We bought the house next door a month or so ago. After much unnecessary delay thanks to the City of Bellaire, it was demolished yesterday. That big ol’ Hyundai Excavator levelled the entire house in less than a half hour. Then it loaded the remains into big dumptrucks that hauled it away. It was really fun to watch.

After we move the fence and do a little landscaping, we’ll have a nice yard to run around in.

Rancho Radio – Major Improvements

Three reasons you should tune into Rancho Radio right now:

1) We have done a major upgrade to the web page and the server. We now have a real time “Last 10 Songs” playlist on the web page. We also have a current, active playlist of 275 of the best alt. country and Americana songs you’ve ever heard (that’s 18 hours worth) . We are now broadcasting in MP3 Pro format, which results in increased fidelity.

2) We have a new playlist each week, chosen from our library of over 26,000 songs. We’ve spent all of our spending cash on records since around 1969, and you can enjoy all of that music with us.

3) Rancho Radio is totally free.

Take a listen, and if you agree that Rancho Radio is the best alt. country station on the net, tell your friends about it.

Update:  Rancho Radio is now  Still awesome, still free.

Father’s Day


I can barely remember anything about my father. He died on November 14, 1968. I remember watching Combat with him in the very room we’re standing in above. I remember driving to Virginia with him once. That’s about it.

Most of what I know about him is second hand- things I’ve read or been told. He was a fighter pilot in World War II. Flew off of the Intrepid and received a DFC and 2 Air Medals. They are in a frame in our Media Room. I have a book on World War II with his picture in it. He was a pretty good golfer. He smoked too many cigarettes.

I don’t know if he had a good sense of humor, or what kind of music he liked. I don’t know if he liked to dance or what kind of beer he drank. My kids have some vague idea that I had a mother, who died shortly before the oldest was born. My dad is nothing more than a picture they’ve seen once or twice. I’d tell them more about him, if I knew more.

It’s not something I think about a lot. Maybe once or twice a year.