Monday, May 23, 2005

Sean's girlfriend

We heard from Sean this weekend. He's actually started checking his email a bit more "I Don't Have One."  Sean's girlfriend.regularly. He sent us a photo of his girlfriend, Erika. She's a cute looking gal, as you can see from the photo to the right. Dad said, "Hey, she's got dimples! And why is she named Felix?" Then he laughed. Old man humor, I guess. Mom is looking for a frame to put above his marine picture. Me? Military uniforms make everyone look mannish, so I can't tell how hot she is, but Sean has promised to send bikini pictures. She has a cute smile, though. While I'm not doubting her skills, she just doesn't have the look of a trained killer. You know. Like Sean does (see the photo on the left.)

Our army at war.  Sean's "War Face."I sent this picture to Sean, with the comment about him looking like a trained killer. He wrote back and said he didn't remember giving me that picture. I reminded him that I copied the pictue CD he brought home. I reminded him of one of life's major rules: Always destroy embarassing pictures. And never let yourself be photographed doing something potentially embarassing. Then I asked when the bikini photos would be coming. "I took a bunch of pics at the beach but it was with her camera so I have to get them from her," he wrote.

"How can you sneak pictures of her butt with her camera? She sees 'em, she'll delete them!" I said. I told about another of life's major rules: Always use your camera for booty shots. And turn off red eye reduction. It doesn't do any good to take a picture from your hip if the little light flashes.

Sean said he told her not to delete anything, but I'm betting she knows the second rule I taught him, and will be applying the first rule shortly.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Norman 2

Our neighbor has another little, cuddly animal in his back yard. I callNorman 2, the neighbor's bull. him Norman 2. Tonight, I snuck out into the back yard to see if I could spot him. He was standing in the shade looking at me. I snapped a couple of long distance shots before he decided to investigate.

He kept staring at me and licking his lips. Now, I'm no animal psychologist, but i suspect Norman wasn't just being friendly. I think he was hoping I had a bottle of milk. Either that, or he thought I might be a good meal.

I had told one of the gals at work that he wasn't as cute as Norman 1, mainly because he is almost black. But he comes darn close.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

(17) My uncle Donn has Parkinson's disease. My dad has a touch of it, too, but Donn's case is pretty acute.

A few weeks ago he underwent a new treatment. To make a complicated procedure overly simple: the doctor placed a wire on his brain that short circuits the tremors. Then they had him stop taking his medication. He did real well for awhile, then suddenly his tremors came back with a vengeance. So, I emailed Cousin Steve to see how he was doing. Here's his reply:

I checked in with Dad after his Dr.'s appointment on Wed. He was too tired to come to the phone. I completely understand.

As a result he and mom came by yesterday and he looked as good as he had been since the surgery, but they increased the dosage on the medication where before they decreased it, and he was having a real rough time controlling the other tremors in his body. Again this is a result from a withdraw sympton from the Parkinson medication.

For the first time my Dad put it in perspective yesterday and let us know the real deal in front of my mom who made the comment that Parkinson's isn't just shaking, dad said: "Yeah, it also makes you feel crappy...."

Dad had told me that Parkinson's not only affects tremors etc., it affects the way he thinks. He had a procedure to correct the tremors and was also taking the medication that controls this part of the disease. As with all medications you adapt and as a result have to increase the dosage which runs risks of addiction etc. (Now you know why they banned ephedra from the health/fitness market, it wasn't the ephedra it was the fact you had to keep taking it after adapting and run the risk of heart failure.)

Which brings me to the point of this email: My Father, You Uncle and friend and family member has Parkinson's disease. To this date there is not a cure, but with the help of Deep Scan Brain Stimulation, drugs, my mother and everyone in the family there is no reason why he can't enjoy his life. But Parkinson's will always be in the forefront that is something my mother reminded me this week that we all have to accept. All of us wanted him to be cured with the DBS procedure, all of us want something to make the pain go away and all of us also hope we don't get it.

This is not the case with life and we deal with it the best we can. Dad has been struggling but he looked great yesterday, I'll take him like that anyday. I will also take him when he is shaking and when things are bad (it truly does not bother me to see him that way except that I know for some reason he is embarrassed by it). I love to see him wearing his watch on his left hand, I love seeing him having a conversation, I love seeing him being able to play tennis or work on his computer, things he loves to do. Regardless of Parkinson's I love seeing him, if he is shaking or not. I don't mean to get too mushy but when he was at my house yesterday these were the feelings I had that I wanted to share with you. In my opinion, he has good and bad days, but he is doing just fine. I'll take him either way.

I light of all of this, I have added a link to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Please stop by and give them a ten spot.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Who Loves Ya, Baby-Back Ribs

I love to cook. Yesterday, I cooked Baby Back ribs.

First I made the rub. Instead of cayenne pepper, I used chipotle pepper. Instead of chili powder, I used DeCoty Chili Fix. It also includes Cumin, paprika, and oregano. I let the ribs sit in the fridge fr two hours in the fridge.

The rest of the recipe went pretty much as described.

How did they taste?


All you could hear around the table was me moaning in pleasure, "Mmmmmm!"

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Bye, Dabas!

Our neighbor found Dabas the Cowdog a home. She went to one of the feed stores in town and announced that she had a cowdog. One guy said he'd like to take him, but his wife would kill him. A customer said he had a ranch and two kids and wanted a cowdog. So last night he picked him up.

I'm glad that Dabas the Cowdog will have a lot of room to run, and some kids to play with!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Dabas the Cowdog

A few weeks ago, Grandmother got a puppy.

Mom took her to the Wal-Mart in Brownwood, and managed to drive past all the RVs taking advantage of Sam Walton's RV park, towads the front of the lot where folks were taking advantage of Sam Walton's Flea Market. If there were the same types of things in front of the Brownwood Super Wal-Mart that I've seen in front of the Kerrville Super Wal-Mart, then you could buy or get for free any type of animal.

As Mom drives past, she says Grandmother asked her to stop, "Please! Please! Please!" Mom said it was just like a kid. (I should mention that Grandmother has Alzheimer's disease.) Grandmother gets out of the car and returns a few minutes later with a puppy. Mom said she couldn't treat her like a child and say, "NO! Take that dog back!" The next day, Grandmother forgot she had the dog. Then she remembered. Then she forgot.

This weekend, Mom brought Grandmother down for a visit. And the dog. By the time Grandmother was ready to go home, she had forgotten the dog was hers. She thought it was ours. So when Grandmother decided she wanted to go home, Mom thought she'd leave the dog here. Grandmother didn't realy notice until she got about halfway home, when she started talking about our dog looking like hers, and that the person who stole her dog must have brought it down here.

Anyway, we can't keep him. So we're taking him to the SPCA. So here's a picture of our temporary dog. We call him Dabas. Dabas is a Texas-German term for idiot, klutz, moron or dope. I'm gonna miss him.

Dabas the Cowdog

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Beer and Barbecue

(3) Saturday morning, I woke with the desire to BBQ. So I went to HEB and bought a brisket. I brought it home, put the rub on it, and put it in the fridge.

Sunday morning, at 9 am, I lit a fire in my smoker. Then I spent the next twelve hours watching smoke waft across the backyard.

There is something primordial, and oddly Zen-like, about smoking food. I wanted to hop around like Tim Allen, grunting and scratching as the meat cooked. And then, as I watched the smoke curl around the carious items in the backyard, I lost myself in a trance-like meditation of cause and effect.

At 1 pm, I opened my first beer. Well, technically the second. I used one in the mop sauce. I spent the afternoon in a haze of smoke and beer.

Which explains Monday. I did absolutely nothing yesterday. Well, I read. But that's about it.

The brisket was good, though.