Sunday, August 31, 2008

"There's A Steer Coming Down Highway 63"

Sal and I were coming home from Columbia yesterday and just rattling on about the Governor of Alaska and country music and the people you'll see in a WalMart... you know, important stuff. The topic rolled around somehow to my blog (I don't remember how) and I said "I ain't had a good bovine post in awhile".

Here tis.

This one goes back about 3 years ago and involves my buddy Gary (you remember Gary... hauling the outhouse on the tractor, the 10 mile tall tv tower, my co-partner in the junkyard millionaire business.. oh and the one with the flu and I took his picture just 'cause he looked so dang pathetic lol and laughable and he was too weak to hit me with a dirt clod.)

Yeah, THAT Gary. :-)

I'm a firm believer that every grown man needs a buddy that conspires and enables him to fall back to being 15-18 years old. Seriously. Gary and I have done some pretty stupid stuff, laughed until we couldn't breathe, and no one got killed to death.

Okay, back to the story.

Gary had a couple of fat steers that needed to go to the butcher and needed a little help. He'd just had surgery in his throat to get rid of his sleep apnea stuff and I guess they'd removed about 98 percent of his throat parts or something, anyway... he was pretty worthless. He hadn't eaten anything except Ensure for about a week and couldn't talk above a whisper. He calls me up...

G : Hey can you come help me get these 2 steers in the trailer and to the locker?

Me : Sure. I got a screwed up knee that I've got a brace on... but they're pretty calm and we shouldn't have any problems.

So I get over to his place, we hook up the trailer to his truck, load the 2 hunks of ambulatory meat, and off we go. No problemo.

Little did we know at the time, we had also picked up an unwelcome hitch hiker when we loaded the steers. "Fate" Fate was lurking back there in the trailer just waiting to spring himself on us when we least expected it.

And he did.

We get out on highway 63 just north of town at a big fenced in compound of offices and equipment and shops and stuff that MODOT has. We're tooling down the road and I'm in the passenger seat and I lean down just enough to look in the side rearview mirror.

The side door on the trailer has come open.

A steer is standing there at the edge of the doorway with his head sticking out, just watching the world go by like a big ol Basset hound hanging out the window of a Ford truck.

I pause. I look again to make sure I'm seeing what I'm seeing.

I am.

Me: Oh (*& %$^$%#&%!!!! ()*&*^$#@% and (*)%$#%#^ !!!! STOP THE TRUCK!!!!!

Gary: (leaning to see what I'm seeing in the mirror) )(*)#()#)( ^%#$%@$! (*^&^$#@!@# %$#$#!$#!!!!!!!

Now there's really no shoulder to pull off on. Like a little 3 foot wide thing of gravel along the edge of this 2 lane highway. So Gary's on the brakes and I've already got the door open waiting for the truck to slow down enough to bail out (remember the torn up knee lol) and he gets 'er down to about 5 mph and I step out... bad knee windmilling around like a cartoon and just as I did my ever so graceful exit... so did the steer.

He LEAPED out of the trailer door into the grader ditch and picked a direction and commenced to running. I glanced at Gary just waving frantically in the truck cab as I did my hop, swing, skip, hop, swing, skip, hop, swing, skip run after the steer.... directly down the centerline of 63, headed south... screaming bloody murder at the obviously deaf steer.

Now traffic had come to a stop. This is a very busy highway for a 2 lane. I'd guess maybe 40 or 50 cars and trucks were already backed up. The calf was a little confused with his plight and when we got close to an 18 wheeler, he laid on his air horns... I signaled to him that he was number 1 in my book and we switched directions in our pursuit.

Hop, swing, skip, hop, swing, skip... going North now... still down the centerline.

Gary is trying to get the truck and trailer turned around, backed up... anything with more traffic than you can shake a stick at, all of 'em just in a hurry to get where they're going and not much interested in a cripple and a mute chasing livestock down the road.

We get closer to the gateway to the MODOT compound and I yelled at Gary and some guy to head the steer in the gateway. This was a completely fenced place, probably 20 acres or so... but fenced in. We'd have him "trapped" to a degree when we got him in there.

And into the MODOT place he goes.

Meanwhile Gary has got the truck and trailer maneuvered out of the road and into the compound and me and the guy are hoofing thru this place chasing the steer to who the hell knows where. Office doors are swinging open and guys are walking out of garages... everyone has a camera phone it seems and is snapping pictures of us.

Gary has parked the truck and is trying to run along but in his weakened (lol) condition he can't even keep up with me and I'm like a poster child for Unfortunate Orthopedic Disasters. Hop, swing, skip...

We have no clue where we're taking the calf, kinda just hoping for a miracle. We see a huge salt storage building and decide that'd be a good place to try to get him cornered. I'm running. Gary's behind me. There's sand scattered all over the concrete roads in there, kinda like running on ice. Behind me I hear a sound that sounds like someone tossed a liver out of a 5th story window and it lands on the street... then "OOOOFFFFFFFFF".

I turn around and Gary is sprawled out, flat as a pancake. I hollar "You alright?" He gives me the finger... maybe 'cause I'm laughing... maybe 'cause he's rude. I dunno. :-)

He gets the truck and trailer, backs it up to a corner of the building. There's still the other steer in the trailer and that's working for us 'cause he misses his buddy and is mooing for him. I've picked up an 8 foot long 2x4 cause it was the only thing that resembled a cow stick in the whole place, I inch the steer closer and closer and closer to the open rear trailer door. He sticks his head in... I swing the 2x4 as hard as I can, smack him in the butt, it scares him, he jumps in the trailer, Gary slams the door shut.

Ta Da!

So now we just head back home. The steers are all excited and hot and it'll affect the meat, so they go back home until Gary can get 'em scheduled again at the butcher about 2 weeks later.

Eh well, huh?


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Don't Tread On Me ~aka~ I'll Shove This Shopping Cart Where The Sun Don't Shine!

Here's the winning Sawdust and Cowpies blog post from what MUST be my long lost sister... Judy T. I've never met the woman... but my God... do we live parallel lives! lol

So, it's my story now folks.... here's how it alllllll happened to me!

I had to modify it in a few spots to make it all mine. Other spots... heck I just left it cause it made me laugh.


Okay, so ya know how sometimes one (meaning me) does things so routinely that it becomes nature? And when that routine thing just doesn’t routinely happen, you just stand there scratching your head wondering just how did that happen? No? Well, let me give you an example:

Act I, Scene I

So one dark and dreary night in late February I picked up my grandson from school so he can help me pack away my Dickens’ Christmas Village that has been out since Christmas, just because he loves it so much and every week so sweetly asks to please leave it up one more week. So I get most of that chore done before his Mom calls and says she’s home and it’s okay to bring him by. So the one night you’re in sweats, red socks, pink top, (I dress like this a lot actually) you think “what can happen between here and his home one mile away”, so you dare to walk out of the house in that attire.

Act I, Scene II

So I get to his parking lot and the security gate is locked and I call my daughter and tell her to come out to the gate and get him cuz there’s not an empty space in the “open” lot. I put the vehicle in park behind the last parked car to wait and then see in your mirror somebody two spots back is backing out of their space so I tell my grandson “Don’t open the door because cars are coming through, I’ll come over and let you out.” And I pull forward to give them more room, hop out, run behind the car, go to open his door and realize the car is slowly moving forward!

So I RUN to the front of the car, brace my legs, put my hands on the front of the car (did I mention this car is an Explorer??), and try to hold it back until somebody notices the mess you’re in and comes to help. Even though the car is just barely rolling, I realize it is reaching a downhill slope and I am just not strong enough to hold back this two-ton vehicle. So I run back around the car, open my car door, try to jump in only to realize I am not tall enough, nor athletic enough, to jump in and stop it -- just as I am landing back on my feet next to the vehicle.

Act I, Scene III

I'm coming out of a sleep with a huge weight rolling over your right ankle, continuing over my left knee, unsure of how or why you are where you are. Oh, oh, it’s coming back, quick, jump up before somebody sees where you are and what you’ve done. Somehow, I fall after your feet landed back on the pavement. Oh my God my Grandson is in that car that is slowing rolling down the driveway heading right toward a tree and an apartment building!!!

“Mom, Mom, Mom, what happened?” says my daughter coming from the passenger side of the car. By this time I'm feeling a little light headed and sit down on the curb.

“I don’t know but I think my leg is bleeding” as I pull up my pant leg to reveal a purple patch all up and down my leg from the ankle to as far up as you can see.”

“Oh, we need to get you to the hospital, let me get Bradley.”

Unbeknownst to me, she was coming out of the gate when she saw you run behind the moving car and realized what was happening and ran to the vehicle, jumped into the passenger door and was able to stop it right before it started it’s fully downward plunge into the tree/apartment. Meanwhile the car who was backing out of its space that I so cordially moved forward for, pulls up and starts yelling at me to get in her car so she can take me to the hospital or else she is going to call 911 to have an ambulance come, which, much to my dismay, alerts my daughter that I just got run over.

I thought I could pass it off as just a fall. Heroically, I insist I don’t need any medical care and finally have to scream at her to leave you alone.

At this point the daughter’s boyfriend asks if I want him to back my car out of there for me – he had just pulled in, didn’t see anything happen, just saw how my car was in a spot with less than 2 inches between it and a parked car. He’s seen me drive – he knew I couldn’t back it out of there for any amount of money, but he couldn’t figure out how I got it so close to the other one or how I got out.

Long story short, boyfriend takes me back to daughter’s apartment in his vehicle still unaware of what had happened, and is getting mighty pissy (to word it nicely!!) about why I couldn’t drive there myself. Meanwhile, daughter and grandson walk back to apartment, and it’s agreed I need to go to the emergency room and boyfriend, now understanding what happened, agrees to stay with grandson.

Act II, Scene I

Pull into the hospital’s emergency room parking lot – not an empty spot in sight. Daughter tells me to get out by the ER doors, she’ll park the car, and be right in. So I go in, get signed in, and stand against the wall as I look around, realizing it’s going to be a very long wait – not an empty chair in sight, and people standing around everywhere.

Suddenly a lady appears and asks me if I want a wheelchair to sit in. Me, in a wheelchair?? Not on your life, so I politely tell her I'm fine. “No,” she says, “I think you need to sit down before you fall down” and brings a chair for me to sit in. Daughter comes in, I sit and wait for a few minutes.

The nice lady from before comes over to see how I am doing and I mention that my leg feels like it is bleeding rather badly but there isn’t any blood. She responds that she’s not a nurse, just a comforter who makes sure everybody is doing alright while waiting their turn, but she will go in and tell them how I feel. Next thing you know, a guy is coming out to get me and I can feel daggers being thrown in my direction from everybody who has been waiting much longer. So he takes me into a little area and looks at my leg and says, “So, what happened.” I look at him, and burst into tears, (I'm an easy cryer lol) “I … I … I could have killed my grandson.”

Looks of astonishment from everybody around, until my daughter says, “He’s OK, he’s with Terry, and he’s OK, he didn’t get hurt, he’s OK.” So I calm down some and tell him a little bit about what happened; then the doctor comes in and says, “I know you just went through this with the PA, but can you tell me what happened, too?” So I go through it again. They look at the leg, ask if I have any other injuries, tell them "my ankle hurts", they pull back my sock, and say, “Oh, yea, you need some work there.” So they all go behind me, and I hear most, but not all, of the conversation,

“Should we rack him?”

I say to my daughter, “Oh, my God, I died; they’re taking me to the morgue.”

“I don’t think that’s what that means, Mom.”

“No, no, that’s what they say when you die and they take you to the morgue; I’ve already died.”

“Wait until they come back, we’ll find out what it means.”

Another voice from behind: “Maybe we should take her across the street.”

Across the street??? That’s the library .. and it’s closed!!! “Heidi, why do they want me to go the library? To get a book to read cuz it’s going to be a long wait?”

“I don’t know, Mom, they’ll be back soon and let us know what the plans are.”

So they come back, explain how busy they are, and that they’re going to take me to the urgent care center across the street because they’re not busy and can spend more time with me. So out I go, in my ever-trusty wheelchair, and on over to the urgent care.

Act II, Scene II

X-rays, clean-up, stitches, everything goes pretty smoothly. The doctors and nurses are astonished how well I'm doing and if I weren’t doing so good, we would take me back and admit you for observation, but "you’re doing so well even though you’re going to be one sore little puppy tomorrow, so here’s some prescriptions to get filled tonight, and be sure and take them, because tomorrow morning when you wake up, you’re really going to be hurting."

I'm doing really well, keep it up.

So daughter leaves to go get the car to come back and pick me up. I decide I don’t want her walking by herself through the parking lot because when my brother was in the hospital in Florida one night a lady left after visiting with her husband, and got jumped in the parking lot, her purse stolen, etc., and that’s not going to happen to my daughter.

So I follow her out, even though I can barely walk and have to tippy-toe after her, and she’s far enough ahead that she can’t hear me call her name. So she gets to the car, starts down the hill, just as I come out from between two rows of cars – want to make sure she sees me so I get in the middle of the road, hold up your two hands, and yell, “Put it in park, you’re on an incline.”

Get in the car, daughter shaking her head, “I can’t believe you just did that.”

Act III, Scene I

Drive around looking for a 24-hour pharmacy. Find one that’s not in a real good area of town, not real bad, but not the best. Daughter says to wait while she goes in to fill the prescription. Can’t have her walking in there on her own, so I get out of the car and follow behind. She’s waiting at the pharmacy counter while some “cowboy” to say it nicely, can’t understand why he has to pay for a prescription when he insists he has insurance, but no job, and is new to “the area” (read: from south of the border), etc.

Daughter sees me coming and tells me to go around the corner and sit down and wait until she’s done. Like the dutiful mother (lol) that I am, I do so.

Oh, oh – room is spinning.

I know I'm going to pass out. Call daughter who can’t hear me. Don’t want to fall on my face, so I sliiiiiiiiiide to the floor, oh, yea, you’re going out.

Wake up, daughter and security guard looking down at me. Pretty embarrassed. Start to get up, woops, going out again.

Wake up to “He'd better get up or I’m calling the police.” Realize he thinks I've had a little too much to drink, try to tell him you’re not drunk but can’t get their attention or the words out.

Man, this floor is dirty.

Oh, oh, I'm going to get sick, now he’ll really think I've been drinking. Heidi, why aren’t you telling him I’m NOT drunk?

Finally get the words/motions out that I'm getting sick so the pharmacist gets a plastic bag for me, nausea passes, use bag as pillow, just want to sleep.


“Mom (lol again), please, can you just sit on the chair until I’m done?” Ok – think I can manage that now.

Oh, oh, she’s done with what she needed to get, now I have to get back to the front of the store and out the door. Too far, too weak. Finally lean over a shopping cart and sort of roll towards the front.

“You can’t take that shopping cart out of the store.”

“Can’t you see how bad she’s feeling?? I’ll bring it right back.”


“Just watch me – and you won’t have a job after tomorrow you callous *******.”

Security guard helps me into parking lot, into car, “You feel better real soon now, miss.”


About a year later, Grandson, who has since learned to read, is in a car with a good family friend. They drive past the local auto center and he sees a street sign: My Ford Road. “Jen, Jen, look at that sign, Mema should move on to that street, then she can say, “I live on My Ford Road and my Ford rode right over me.”


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We Have A Winner!!!

And boy is it a doozy! You're never gonna believe what has happened to "me" when you read it!

Judy T. (a hot little number out on the west coast) is the winner of "Write My Blog For Me"

This has been a blast and THANK YOU to everyone that sent me an entry. I think I'm gonna have to have a couple of honorable mentions.

Sally and I are taking off for the evening so you're gonna have to wait til tomorrow to hear what happened to "me" in the parking lot, the emergency room, and the drug store. It's ghastly!

Congratulations again Judy!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Competition Is Getting Fierce!

I gotta tell ya, there's more than a couple of entries into THE CONTEST that have caused me to stop reading long enough just so that I could see my puter screen. LOL

Y'all got til tonight to get your/my blog post to me.

I've got a wango tango full FULL week of all sorts of stuff going on. I'm gonna try to announce the winner probably on Thursday nights post.

Good luck and keep them coming!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Write My Blog For Me! Yes There Is A Prize!

Call it whatever you want... Lazy, Bloggers Slump, Dog Days Desperation. I'm gonna take the easy way out.

Here's the deal.

YOU write a blog post for me. Email it to me with the subject line "Cowguy, you lazy blogger you".

When I pick a winner, that person is gonna be the recipient of one swell prize. I'll stick it in the mail and in a few short days you'll have it in your hot little hands. And I'm known for great prizes... just ask Sal. At least once a week she looks at me and says "Boy, you're a real prize Weber."

I swell with pride.

Get your/my blogging post in the emails to me by Tuesday evening (08-26-08)to qualify for this extravaganza!

What? A catch?

You say "Okay, I've read your blog long enough to know that there's a catch to this seemingly simple contest, oh Jace The Magnificent." (lol I added in the magnificent part 'cause it sounded so freakin' awesome)

Yes cousin. There IS a catch.

I get to be you. You write that blog post just like it's your own life. If you went roller skating on ice, if you let monkeys hit you with sticks, if you met up with fame and fortune in a Roman bathhouse... whatever you had happen.... I get to insert myself into your post as you.

I'll do the dirty work (I'm not a complete bum)of changing you to me in your entry, so don't go to the effort of doing that. Write it just as it's yours, 'cause it is. Make it a factual event or day or activity in your life.

But it's gonna be mine.


I'll post the winning entry and when you get the prize in your mailbox, you gotta send me a delightful picture of yourself holding. (No naked pictures) (Ok, naked is fine too.) (Wait, use your own judgment on the naked thing... I've got a tender stomach).

It really is a nice prize too! I promise!



Friday, August 22, 2008

Glitz and Glamour

Real brief tonite. I've got a video to show you... and I KNOW there's a moral to it, I just can't quit laughing long enough to really put my mind to what exactly that moral might be.

Hoo boy... LOL

lol g'night sweet prince.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

This Is The Sawdust Part Today

Just a little test, checking the water a bit. I added a little Etsy shop for some frames and etc... just some stuff I put together when I've got some extra time.

It's over yonder --------> in the sidebar.

Cool eh?

I've been building frames for... a looong time. Get a little overwhelmed with it sometimes around Christmas, but folks still seem to want 'em.

Anyhow a little prose and poetry about the frames. :-)

I don't go much in the way of mass production with them, pretty much one at a time. I make up all my own frame stock... nothing is bought as a kit or whatever. I use native Missouri woods in the rough, mill it, glue, wrangle it, join it, finish it... and, well... that's 'bout it. Basically just take some lumber and throw away everything that ain't a frame. I don't drive nails in them, (shudder) and I don't drive those nasty corrugated corner fastener things in the back of the miters. (gag)

Just regular, old school craftsmanship... wood to wood joinery with a little glue and some etc. etc. as well. Depends on the frame. Some get more Etc. than others.

The name Craftsmanframes (the boneheads at Etsy wouldn't let me use a space or an underscore) aligns with the style of furniture and accessories that I've sorta specialized in. Craftsman, or Arts and Crafts, or Mission. Take your pick.

So there you go. Take a look. Warm up the plastic. Take a little piece of my heart baby.

New puppy at the Jace N Sal hacienda.


She's EXCELLENT at peeing and pooping.

Watch your step!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Well... today was my birthday. The 50th one. Nah... didn't bother me. Wanna know why?

'Course you do.

I've been havin' too much fun.

Sunday morning I was kidnapped. It started off with being blindfolded and driven to an unknown destination and loaded into a vintage RV.

And then, the fun started. Jeanne (our harp players wife) had this brainstorm for a great birthday party and bumped heads with Sally and the others in the band and it came to be. lol

We played some music whilst on the roadtrip to the unknown destination (unknown to me that is lol)

We traveled a ways, stopped and picked up the proper quantities of adult beverages and then it was on to PRESENTS! Sally had fixed up a big elefunky bag with 50, count 'em... 50 presents. Of course there were lots of "poignant" age related gifts.

Ahhhhhhhh Tucks.

Then we laughed some...

...and we got the unknown destination. Les Bourgeois winery down by Rocheport, MO . Absolutely beautiful. Set on a bluff above the Missouri river.

The guys had made reservations at the restaurant at the winery... we ate like pigs then had to walk up "Heart Attack Hill" to get back to the parking lot. This is me having my 7th heart attack of the walk.

Jeanne had the proper attire on...

The girls got to show off their Scooby Do bandaids. Everyone got one just because.

Then we unloaded and played a little music under the shade trees at the winery.

...played a little slide mandolin while I forget the words to my own song to everyones amusement. (it was the

And then loaded back up in the tour bus and played some more after a quick stop at Sam's Club.

The quantities of adult beverages was starting to show on my face and I'd also lost the ability to properly orient the front to back on my hat.

And then we were back, still laughing and posed in front of Ilene (it has a leftward list) the Keota tour bus.

We spotted another tour bus in the parking lot that a couple of the band members seemed to think we needed...

Nah... Ol' Ilene will do. 440 cubic inches of Detroit superpower AND shag carpeting!

Don't get no better than that folks.

One of the best times I've ever had... my face hurt at the end of the day from non-stop laughing. Thanks to my wife and my friends. Jeanne for being the wheel woman and Ronnie and Mary Beth for the use of Ilene all day.

LOL I wanna do it again next week!


Friday, August 15, 2008


Just so you know, bloggers love bacon. I love it. You love it. Aunt Alice loves it. Your dog loves it. Pretty much everyone loves bacon... 'cept pigs of course. They kinda get caught on the short end of the stick with the whole bacon thing seein' as how they're made of bacon.

One of the posts on my blog that consistently gets more hits than it deserves, through Google searches is about Peanut Butter and Bacon. And with the new Atkins diet thing going on here at our house... there'd be a whole boxcar load of pig being poked down our pie holes.

There's only so many kinds of bacon in the meat case at the store and we've tried 'bout all of 'em... and there ain't a hill of beans difference between any of 'em actually... until Sal brought home the cheapo store brand the other day. I opened up the package and just laughed.

Cousin, that right there is bacon that was hacked offa hog with a dull machete and packaged up by Helen Keller. These folks just don't have their heart in the bacon business as far as attractive meat presentations go. That's sad. All hacked up randomly, piled in the package. I dunno...

It fried up just dandy, was pretty tasty, a little thick in spots.. but "okay". I like my bacon on the crispy side, everyone around here want's me to be the chef when there's bacon on the menu, but with this stuff, you hit one of those thick chunks that I've fried crispy... and holy crap man, you can bust a tooth!

Tell me, when was the last time you looked at a blog and found pictures of bacon frying? It's a special place... lol

Oh OH... this morning I walked out to the truck and found this.

Now that'll make you say "fiddlesticks" (or something lol), but then I walked around to the other side of the truck.

Oh you know it's coming.

That front one probably still had 5 pounds of air in it, so it really doesn't qualify as "flat" technically.

Macon County has been spreading gravel on the roads up by the farm and musta got a pretty good deal on the rocks that no one else wanted. North Missouri Ninja Razor Rock. I took Sal's car to the farm. lol


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Goatee ........................................... Saver

I got this thing in my email a couple days ago and was immediately sent into hysterics. I laughed so hard I shot my spleen out of my esophagus, it bounced across the living room floor, the dog grabbed it, took it outside, dug a hole and buried it.

*snap!* Just like that!

Here go ahead and click and look around the GoateeSaver website.

I'm putting this one right up there with the ol' Flowbee and Ron Popiels head paint in terms of "Hair Hilarity". (looks like Ron mighta sold out his hair in a can business to some good ol' boys down in Collierville, TN. Can't wait to see "Teeth In A Can" comin' up next)

The first thing was this dude demonstrating in a video how it works. This thing looks to be either a Hannibal Lechter mask, left over from last Halloween or some "special" bondage session with Gretchen Garbonzo and her flaming whip. I just kinda stared at the video with little muffled, whimpering giggles.

Then I went to the FAQ section on the GoateeSaver website, 'cause I was sure that one of the frequently asked questions HAD to be "Is this for real?". Nope. It ain't there. I bet at least every 3rd email this guy gets reads something like....

"Dear Mr. GoateeSaver,

After perusing your wonderful and magical GoateeSaver website I have 2 questions.

1. Is this for real?

2. How does a man get so stymied about trimming his goatee that he has to have a template?

3. (I know I said only 2 questions but I need to know this) Do you live in your Grandma's basement and read a lot of comics?

4. (yeah I'm a rule breaker) Does wearing this enable the user to talk like Darth Vader? 'Cause if it does... "I" want one! If not, think about adding that feature, and while you're at it another model that makes you sound like Scooby Do! That'd be awesome.

Thank you

Ben (with the screwed up goatee in Missouri)Dover"

Hey I'm on a diet too! Sal and I are doing the Atkins induction thing again... She's lost 4, I've lost 10. Worst part... no evening Yukon Jack and 7up. Best part... LOTS of steak and fish!

Okay my buddies Sandi and Jennifer over at "Minnesota vs. Texas - Bloggin' Through Life One Goat At A Time" sent me a blogging thingamig/challenge/quest/whickerbill/I don't know what... to post a joke and then get all of y'all to post a joke and pretty soon we're all gonna be laughing our spleens out from Minnesota to Brownsville Station. I can't imagine what that'd look like, but my dog sure is gonna be busy.

So here's my joke, I've worn it out. My family smiles pleasantly, as if on cue when they sense it's coming on.

2 Cannibals are sitting down eating a clown. One of 'em stops eating, looks up and says "This taste funny to you?"

Ba da bing.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Elefunks And Hornets

A town just North of us here just had some graffiti in the news. Now keep in mind, clean out here in the middle of Kornfield Kounty you just don't see a whole helluva lot of graffiti, so ANY graffiti is evidently newsworthy. Anyway someone spray painted, on an old unused and mostly abandoned (good Lord... took me 3 minutes to spell abandoned. Must be that lick I took on the head the other day getting in the car)an object de art that "I" thought was pretty funny.

Around the picture of the somewhat stylish pink Elephant they wrote "McPherson St. Elefunks". I think maybe it was the word "Elefunk" that actually set me off. Heck I even stole the image and made it my new MSN avatar I liked it so much. I guess folks are up in arms over this catastrophe enough that it actually made the evening news. LOL Seriously... here's the article from KTVO. I love the comment there at the bottom "I hope they all go to Elejail!" :-) Awesome.

Actually it beats the graffiti that we had through the neighborhood a couple months back. Some youngsters decided to spray paint 4 foot sized representations of male genitalia on the sides of some grain bins scattered around. I dunno what that means, but they were lousy artists... or deformed. I dunno which. Yes, I took pictures. No, you sicko's, I ain't posting 'em.

Okay, last item is some pretty awesome pictures. I looked out the window yesterday and watched "something" going up the side of the tree here in the yard. I grabbed the camera and what I saw was amazing. A hornet had popped himself a Cicada and was in the process of hustling that ol boy up the tree to his home for a Cicada snackin'! He the thing gripped with his legs and was still climbing with some of his legs, and was beating his wings like crazy getting this gigantic load up the tree.

I didn't reduce the pics any, so click 'em to make 'em big and personal.

Also, I'd rather you not snatch the pics... just link back to the blog if you wanna share anything here, that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when you do that.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About An American Idol Audition

I've got my bloggin' done easy this evening... Sal has done it for me. lol She's done an excellent job of writing about what happens behind the scenes at an American Idol audition.

A note of warning. This is probably gonna ruin watching the insipidness take place on TV if you happen to be a fan of the show.

Here goes..... A WHOLE LOTTA reading here tonite.


*Sally writing*

All I can say is WHATTA RIDE!

This was such an incredible experience with an absolutely incredible Lady! I see Nicky and Jace were posting and I'm so glad they did. It's so hard to describe this whole thing.

Let me start by telling you, everything, absolutely EVERYthing you see on American Idol is staged. It's all for the ratings and show. There is nothing authentic about the show. Not one thing. The thing that keeps it going is these young people who hang on to the opportunity to get before the cameras and the American people who lap it up.

But, with that being said, WE HAD A BLAST!! Quoting a friend here, "Here's where we remember that the 'journey' can be every bit as important as the destination. This will be a 'journey' that Martina and Sally will always remember!"

Thursday we wanted to do a little shopping and got to talking about how we found out about the parking lot opening at 2 by driving up there. We had a bunch of questions that weren't on the website so we decided to drive up and see if there were any new signs and someone to talk to. We actually got to talk to one of the producers. Sounds impressive but there are about 100 people walking around with headsets on and they refer to them all as producers lol. Anyway, this was Stan. Real nice guy with all the answers. Martina told him she couldn't care less about being on the cameras and just wanted to come in for the audition. He said, "AI is all about being in front of the cameras, it's how they make their show so since you're already here, you might as well get into it and have fun with it, if you're not going to participate there's no sense in coming back." We thot that was a little odd but figured it was a real good way to justify all they sleeping in parking lots, and what the heck - we were there. Went home, she went to dinner with a friend from college and I hung out with Donnie and Debbie and drank wine and sang old Dean Martin songs.

We got back to Kemper Arena at about 4:45, after about 2 hours sleep. (Neither one of us could sleep) They have all their rules on the website that you can't have food, water, instruments, weapons, video cameras (only digital cameras and 35mm) and only what you can carry with you in to audition. If you are caught with anything on their do-not-bring list the person auditioning is automatically disqualified. So we obeyed and brought food for breakfast and as much water as we could carry to last us for the 3 hour wait til the doors opened at 8. And here's where the *experience* begins....

Once the sun starts coming up, they bring the cameras out. One on a big boom that pans the people in the mile long line and others on like golf carts riding around. A bunch of "producers" telling people what they want them to do and running up and down the lines telling people when to yell. Most people were just sitting on their blankets thinking, "let'm yell, I'm not ruining my voice." After about a half hour of this a guy comes on the big speaker microphone and says, "If you are not going to participate, you need to leave right now." And starts getting pissed off and demanding. So everyone stands up and pays attention. They tell the crowd what they're going to yell in unison, count down and the camera starts panning. The lines were kinda stretched out from where people were sitting/laying so they stop the cameras and yell, "People, there are holes in the lines that look bad in the camera, close them up!" and we're just standing there going "huh?" They shut off the whole process, send "producers" out to the lines and they start yelling at people to close up the holes, stand up, move closer together, with the whole MOVE IT PEOPLE!! attitude. People squished up, cameras started rolling. They got pissed off again, stopped everything and told everyone to put their arms in the air, yell and participate, because there were alot of people who were just there to audition and didn't care about this part of it. The guy comes back on the speakers and says, "People, we can't hear you, you're not staying together, not everyone's arms are in the air! Let me tell you right now that the people you see walking around with headsets on (the "producers") are the judges you are auditioning in front of and they WILL remember you and you will not pass your audition if you refuse to participate!".... and they got that shot.

They moved a whole line of people up to the front of the arena and said, "We're doing a shot in front of Kemper and we need bodies up here so even tho you're being moved up here, don't get comfortable, we only need your bodies, you're going back to the end of the line when we're done." They pulled people out of the crowd with signs and put them up there and did the whole deal telling them what they're going to yell together. They got that shot.

They started moving people into Kemper at 8:00. The guy on the speakers announced that inside the door was security officers with metal detectors and they would empty your bags. All food and unapproved items would be confiscated. We're about a half hour from getting in and the guy comes on the speakers and says, "the thing that's holding up the line is all the food they have to take away so please eat it or throw it away NOW." So everyone's dumpin their stuff deciding what they can eat and throw the rest away. When we got up to the door there was this humongous dumpster between the two entrance doors and people were filling it up with full water bottles all kinds of food, etc. Right inside the door is a guy. Just a plain ol' guy with what appears to be a hand held metal detector that he just kinda waved AT me, pulled my bag open and let me go. Didn't even look inside. I coulda been carrying a cannon! At this point people were getting disgusted with the whole thing. Attitudes were running high, which made for some REAL interesting people watching. We were just going with the flow and thrilled to be inside.

It was pretty cool inside the arena. Seeing all the people inside, hearing people warming up their voices, it was just a real neat thing to be in the middle of.

Then the head guy in dreds comes out and tells everyone to quit screwin around, and get in their seats. They have the cameras ready and they're ready to roll. Dreds was going to direct everyone in singing 2 songs in unison as a crowd. "Sign, Sealed, Delivered" and another one that has totally left my head right now. Once he got everyone in unison, it was a pretty amazing thing to hear. I called Nicky to let her hear it and it was just amazing. Then they had some really corny things they wanted everyone to yell in unison and lift their hands doing the "rock and roll sign." I personally didn't have a clue what he was talking about so i guess several thousand others didn't either. We got in trouble again. Dreds reprimanded and reminded that those people we saw on the floor watching us were the people they would be auditioning in front of and to start impressing them now or forget their chances. This whole time Martina was lip syncing to all this nonsense. And by this point she was pretty much disgusted with them - like totally. She kept saying "It's like we're in their little prison." They pulled a kid out of the stands that had a great "KC Rocks" sign staged him over on the other side of the arena in like 3 rows back. Moved one guy out of his seat, put two real good lookin babes on each side of him and had the whole section chanting stuff in unison. Only the whole arena had to do it because the sound was more powerful for the camera. They used that section to do the remaining shots. OH, back when they were filming the whole arena, there were some empty seats, holes that looked awful thru the camera. So they brought down section 239, the people who registered really late and got the worst seats in the arena, to fill all of the empty seats in the lower level (and there were alot). Told them not to get comfortable, they were going back up to the icky seats when they were done filming.

When all that filming is done he yells, 'BRING OUT THE TABLES' like this is the moment we were all waiting for. It was, but by this point nobody thot this guy or American Idol was as nearly as big a deal as he did. They set up 12 tables with 2 chairs for judges at each table, separated by these black drapery walls. Gave us instructions how it worked. If you get a no, you walk to the north get your wrist band cut off and meet the person with you out front. If you get a yellow piece of paper, they call it the golden ticket, you go to the other end where a "producer" was standing and go in the winners circle and do up to two more auditions in another room. They will come out and get the guest to join you. They said they'd start with the people who were seated on the floor because they were winners of affiliate programs and they got prime position because of bla bla bla bla bla. We were told to watch them go thru the process so we would know what to expect. They were going to start with section 111 (we were in 112) and move around the room. So no matter where you stood in line, they would go thru the sections in what ever order they chose to go. They got finished with the "affiliate" group, (guesstimating a couple of hundred people) I think there was about 8 people that made the audition and the rest went north.

The judges walk over to their tables, Dreds is a judge at the table in front of us and Martina goes, "Oh great, Dreds is a judge. I do NOT want him for a judge!" Then they walked over to section 112 and started with our section. I thot Martina was going to fall outa her chair. I called Nicky as soon as our row was walking down the stairs to start praying. They put her at the table RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! And yes... Dreds was her judge! I prayed and took a 30hundred pictures. And then I just couldn't help myself - I started video taping it with my camera! I even got the pathetic guy with the horrible voice that did the cartwheel, that they passed!!

I know everyone that hears Martina didn't make it feels really bad for her, but this was PERFECT!! Before this day we would believe that an answered prayer would be for her to pass this audition on to the next round. God knew better (thank God) and the answer to prayer was that she NOT go any further with this nonsense. If she'd have gone to the next round she'd have told them to shove it. When we met outside some woman and her daughter were having a very verbal tantrum at the "producers" at the door. Real bad deal, but it was over by the time I got to her and there was another lady standing outside by Martina who was saying the lady was really crazy and they were going to end up calling security and hauling her outa there. She walked over to Martina and said, "Oh, and if you're really serious about your music career, consider this a compliment." (Not making the audition.) And right then and there, it put the entire deal in perspective.

And to put it in perspective for you all reading this, Kemper Arena holds about 19,000 people. It wasn't even half full. And then half of those people were guests, the other half auditioning. When we went up to Kemper the day before I asked the AI guy how many they had registered to audition and he said about 4,000. You read in other places figures like 12,000, 14,000. Either people are getting fed up with the clown show or they're exaggerating the figures for the ratings.

There were literally thousands of "Martina's" turned down. When you're sitting in that arena you hear every single person auditioning, the talent that runs thru that arena is in astounding proportions. I heard some incredible voices and, like Martina's, flawless auditions. And they were passing people who can't carry a note doing cartwheels, women in clown suits, people who's idea of singing is screaming & wailing.... seriously, we saw these pass.

This was SO good for Martina to see this side of hollywood. And she knows we've had all of you praying for her and anxiously waiting to hear how she did. She did GREAT, her performance was truly flawless. I was so proud of her every step of the way.
And now you know how it's all done.
It's good to be home. I missed my little buddy today and I'm so grateful for the journey. And I'm so grateful that she has Keota to fall back on LOL.
Any questions ? lol

Then she adds this... :-)

Sally again.

Oh, we had a blast!! We met some truly wonderful people, laffed our guts out, and really had fun. Most of the people around us were in really good moods and clean. If you've ever been in a huge crowd you'd know how important being clean is - cuz there was plenty of skank goin on!

One thing I forgot to mention (i'm sure there's a bunch that'll hit my memory at various times), when they sign the release papers, they also sign a paper saying that they give AI the right and permission to embarrass you, degrade you, talk down to you and make you look like a fool.
I am SO not kidding!! Someone mentioned that and I said, "NO! Martina, you didn't have to sign anything like that did you??" and she said yes!
Here's the actual wording out of the release form:

I understand that I may reveal, and other parties may reveal, information about me that is of a personal, private,embarrassing or unfavorable nature, which information may be factual and/or fictional. I further understand that my appearance, depiction and/or portrayal in the Program may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature which may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation or condemnation. I acknowledge and agree that Producer shall have the right to (a) include any or all such information and appearances, depictions or portrayals in the
Program as edited by Producer in its sole discretion, and (b) broadcast and otherwise exploit the Program containing any or all such information and appearances, depictions or portrayals in any manner whatsoever in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, or for any other purpose, throughout the universe in perpetuity.

Is that unreal or whUT? It's all about the ratings and the American public who lives for this kinda stuff. Like Jace described it, it's the WWF of the entertainment world. *shakes her head*

Thanks Sal!


Friday, August 8, 2008

American Idol News

So here you go folks, all of you that have sent me something wondering how it went for Martina... she was rejected at the first table.

BUT, as it turns out, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I just picked Sally up in town talked with Martina and her mom and then Sally telling me stuff on the way home and I got it analogized...

American Idol is the World Wrestling Federation of the music industry. All show and blow and fake body slams.

Yes, it's true. It has nothing, nada, zero, zilch to do with talent. It is television ratings. 100 percent through and through. The girls saw so much wonderful talent rejected in 30 seconds of singing it was unbelievable.

Martina's audition went flawless. Keep in mind there is no music accompaniment, just singing your heart out. She started perfectly on key, kept perfect pitch and perfect time.. not a single bit of voice crackle. Like I'm used to hearing that girl belt 'em out. Perfect. And she was rejected. However the guy in line behind or in front of her, sang horribly off key, Martina was embarrassed for him, he screached loudly, and then.... he did a cartwheel when he was done.

Seriously. He actually did a cartwheel to crown his horrible performance. He got a Golden Ticket to move up.


The American Idol people treated the contestants very disrespectfully to the point of degrading them to get "good camera shots" for the show, or to get them to perform in a certain way for the cameras.

Pretty sad stuff.

Martina seriously is glad she's not a part of it, she's just not that way... and this heads her onward to her demo cd for nashville. Her and Sally had a blast, and will always remember these past few days and probably wouldn't trade them for anything, so that's a positive thing.

Sal's got some more when she gets rest and gets the pictures off her camera... gobs of pictures. Even a little video of Martina doing her audition. Shhhhhh that's such a no no. LOL

I'll try to get some pics up on my next post... but, that's 'bout the size of American Idol. What a joke...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Exciting News And Other Cool Stuff

Well, I hinted at something in yesterday evenings post that was pretty dang nifty... so here it be.

Martina, the singer in our band Keota is down in Kansas City right now with Sally waiting to audition on Friday for American Idol! So far the 2 girls are having a total knockdown, falldown blast o rama.

They left Tuesday (yesterday) evening and got to where they're staying about 7 or 8 pm then made a dry run to where the parking lot is and where "the line" was gonna be starting. They got about an hours worth of sleep and got back to the parking lot as it opened at 2 am and got in line. You would think that getting in line at 2 am for an 8 am registration would put you pretty close to the front of the line, wouldn't you?

Uh... 800 souls ahead of them in line. Yes, you read that correct... 800. Behind them... thousands. THOUSANDS! Sal called me at 6 am and it sounded like the biggest party ever in the background. The television camera crews had just shown up, helicopters overhead and the yelling and screaming of thousands of happy folks.

It's a pretty secretive and involving process. They went into Kemper Arena at 8, got registered, got their wristbands and that was that. The audition will be sometime Friday morning and can be as brief as 30 seconds... so they need to whoop out their very best to impress the judges. They also need "a few" songs ready to go if the judges want to hear more than just one well rehearsed song. There are no recordings. No music. A cappella... This weeds out most of the karaoke singers, and also takes care of most casual singers. Actually almost 99% are eliminated right there and then.

I just got off the phone with Sally and Martina is all pumped up and ready to roll, and they're off too a nice italian dinner.

Martina's voice in person is absolutely incredible, you feel it drive thru you like no other. Playing in the band with her is a joy and pleasure... the girl has a gift with her voice.

What's she gonna do for her first one? The song that never ceases to bring goosebumps to the audience and more than once... a standing ovation. Broken Wing.

We've got a couple youtubes up of this song, but this is one that we did a couple weekends ago. Louie on the harmonica, yours truly on the mandolin, Mary Beth on the bass and harmony, Ronnie on the guitar and of course Martina. Forgive the quality of the recording.

My daughter Nicky (she's got a new puppy lol) sent me a little gift the other day. Made me laugh big time...

Is that cool or what? LOL I've already got change rattling around in the bottom of it.

AND... Remingtyn talked today. Not just a little... she just started up like nothing had ever happened. Perfect. Normal. Like God intended.

You prayed didn't you?


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Karma... It Just Keeps Things On A Level Field.

Karma, it's a funny thing. I had to make a run to town this morning and when I got back I had to move the car from one driveway to the other here at our house and when I got in the second time... I banged my punkin on the top of the roof as I went in. I'm talking "the car shuddered" type of head banging. I kinda melted over the console onto the passenger seat and spun for a couple minutes. I swear I heard my brain gravy slop to the far side of my headbone when it happened. It still hurts.

So anyways, I went to the house and had high hopes of getting a teensy bit of sympathy from my better half. What I got...

Sally: *smirking*

Me: It really hurt honey... I'm serious.

Sally: Awwww. Did you see birdies flying around your head like Yosemite Sam always does when he hits his head?

Me: No no... it was much worse. I almost blacked out.

Sally: You remember that time we were checking the cows and I jumped in the truck and hit my head so hard on the roof it almost spun the truck around? And you remember you and Jake going into hysterics over that?

Me: It was mostly Jake.

Sally: No, no, it was both of you. I remember.

Me: I'm sorry.

Sally: *poking the side of my head* Is that where it hurts?

Me: GAHHH!!!

So, you see, Karma was traded off. I got a punkin' thrashing for laughing at Sally all those years ago for roughly the same type of accident. And, such that the animal Karma is, it came around again. :-)


I came in about noon and I'd had Van Morrison's old tune "Domino" rolling around in my music section of my head for a couple of days. (You know the song "I said oh oh Domino. Roll me over Romeo, there you go. I said oh oh Domino") and I picked up my guitar and was standing in the dining room playing it... and Sally came walking in.

Sally: Oh, hang on! Let me get my guitar! I wanna play!

Me: *not stopping, of course* lol

Sally: Hang on!

She then grabs up her Taylor flat top and starts to sling the strap over her head when she crashed it right square in the side of her head.

K A R M A !!!

And do you remember the old Hanna Barbera cartoon "El Kabong"? The one where El Kabong attacked his enemies by whacking 'em over the head with his guitar? LOL yeah that one! It made this sound effect.

(click on it, it's all safe. Make sure your sound is on!)

I swear that was THE sound!

I tried real hard (sorta) to pretend that it didn't happen and kept playing for a minute while she staggered backwards into the kitchen holding her head and wearing a guitar necklace.

Sally: I think I'm bleeding

Me: Oh oh Domino... roll me over *sniff* Romeo.

Sally: You think this is pretty funny huh?

Me: Onnn onnn the radio, onnn onnn the radio, oh Domino.

Sally: *staggering into the dining room* What key are you playing it in?

Me: Q

Sally: Funny guy. *mangling her fingers around on the strings*

Sally: I can't make an A chord anymore.

Me: Karma

Sally: You're enjoying this aren't you?

Me: Uh huh.

I'm alone for a few days, Sal is off on an adventure with our singer, Martina. More on that tomorrow. Pretty exciting stuff! Stay tuned.


Your Prayers

Your prayers are kicking things in gear for little Remingtyn... above and beyond everyone's hopes and expectations at this point. She sat up in bed, swung her legs over the side of the bed, pointed to the clock on the wall when asked to show it to them and..... stood up. Absolutely amazing! This little girl WILL be back at 100 percent, I know it in my heart.

Thanks for your prayers folks!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

So? I Gotta Toad In My Basement For A Pet. Doesn't Everyone?

I have a toad in my basement. I'm using the word "I" because it's definitely not Sally's toad, it's all mine. Also I'm using the word "my" when describing the basement here 'cause Sal don't like it much down there. It's mostly mine.

We live in a 1920's farmhouse with a basement that is the same age. It's just not the kind of basement that you'd want a pool table and lounge chairs and a big glamorous entertainment center in. Nope. This is the kind of basement that you'd wanna keep a toad in... and other things that you don't wanna look at much.

Oh it's clean and usually doesn't smell too funny down there, but still.

So anyhow, my toad. I've kinda lost track of just how long I've had a toad in my basement, I think about 3 years. He does real good. He eats bugs and just sits and stares at you when you go down there. Actually he's doing me a service with the bug eating business. The downside of that is he poops wherever he feels like it, not being litter box trained and stuff, you know. So when you traipse down there, shoes are a real good idea. It's all concrete, heaven forbid if we tried to put some sort of floor covering down there. Gah!

I've never named the little feller, even after all these years of him being somewhat of a companion, or at least all of a companion that a toad can be. He likes to be petted. Sits real still while I rub his toady lil' punkin, and usually gives a *chirp* and then hops of to his toady business.

He's real photogenic too. Seems to love having his picture took. I got you a nice closeup of him. Click the pic if you want the full creep out size (as Sal would call it). :-)


The second part of my blog this evening is to ask a favor.

Some very dear and close friends of Sally and I had a very tragic accident happen to their oldest daughter, Remingtyn. Remingtyn is starting the 4th grade this year and is the sweetest kid you'll ever meet. She's very special to us all here in this community.

Remingtyn and her cousin and Daddy were grooming one of their horses and for whatever reason the horse kicked and got Remingtyn in her head. She was life flighted to the big hospital south of us and is still in ICU. The injury is pretty bad, a piece of her skull had to be removed and she currently is in a drug induced sleep (not a coma). She's responsive to people and voices and frowns when the doctors and nurses mess with her... so the prognosis is very good. Infection is a huge concern right now.

My favor is for you to put Remingtyn in your prayers. I've got a pretty good load of readers here on Sawdust and Cowpies according to my stat counter, and I can only imagine the difference that y'all would make as a group with prayers for our little friend and her family right now.

Thanks folks.



Friday, August 1, 2008

Dave's Not Here.

So Sal and I were driving home this evening, we'd went to the local theater groups performance of High School Musical and had a real nice evening and somehow our conversation turned to Cheech and Chong. We are both children of the 60's-70's (pssst Sal's got a couple years on me, meaning she experienced more of those years but remembers less)(it's okay, I can say that... she's in love with me 'n stuff) and being from that time period a source of high (pun intended) humor was listening to Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong albums/tapes.

Of course then we started going through what bits and pieces of their routines that we could actually remember.

"Hey man... it's raining cats and dogs out here man."

"Parlez vous hummaa hummaa?"

"Good thing we didn't step in it man!"

And then Sal said "Dave's not here man". I had forgotten all about that one. She said the bunch she hung out with, anytime someone came to the door, everyone in the room would say in unison... DAVE'S NOT HOME MAN!

Then I got tickled and as soon as we walked in the door I had to find a youtube of that routine. I know, I know... I'm supposed to be a grown up human bean that shouldn't be laughing at such sophomoric drug humor... but I lived it. Probably a lot of you did too. So.. here LOL.

BTW how many of you thought of this when you read my post title? :-)

I had all their albums on 8 track.


I just remembered how this whole conversation started with Sal and I. (man lol) I had just read a news article that the boys are going on tour and it's called "What's That Smell?" Even THAT makes me laugh. Tommy is 70 I think, and obviously is outta jail currently. There's a video that's worth a watch if there's nothing else pressing in your life at the moment.

Okay, that's my thoroughly intelligent post for this evening.

"That's the biggest joint I ever saw man!"