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30 April 2003

The Big Label Country Music Shite Factory At Work

I have defended Pat Green from a lot of (jealous) naysayers who claim he's just another sellout to a big label. And honestly, I don't think Three Days sounds like most of the shite produced at the Big Label Country Musical Music Shite Factory. Nor do I think any of it's gone to Pat Green's head (the same Pat Green who has worked his ass off playing music in every nook and cranny of this state).

But this news may give the Pat Green doubters some grist for their mills:

You think Pat Green's next album, "Wave On Wave," set to hit stores June 17, is going to get support from the Universal/Republic label? After hearing a rough version of the title track (and leadoff single), Universal Music Group president Doug Morris, perhaps the most powerful man in the music biz, insisted on co-producing the song with Universal South's Tony Brown. The two honchos then sent their mix back to the album's producer, Don (R.E.M.) Gehman, who added his touches.

The label's president co-producing the song? I mean, doesn't the jackass have anything more important to do with his time? And if not, shouldn't he?


On the other hand, I did dig up this interesting observation from the Patster:

When we met with Republic Records, it was a natural connection for me," GREEN says. "I didn't want people telling me what songs were going to be on my record and what musicians were going to play on them. I wanted it to be my band, my songs, my sound, and my comfort level. I'm not here to buck the system, either. I'm just a guy who likes my job and wants to continue doing it. Republic had complete faith in me, which blew my doors down."
Poor son of a bitch didn't expect the label's executives to be producing his second record, I'll wager.

(this entry reworked about half a dozen times because of the fun effects of cold medication and the general disbelief I had in a label exec reworking something, then his crony reworking it, and then the actual producer reworking it. and they wonder why so many Texas artists go the independent route!)

[Posted at 22:16 CST on 04/30/03] [Link]

Saint Germain

These would be the new-age kooks who technically have a branch of their "church" within 300 feet of where I would like to locate the music bar I've mentioned a few times here and elsewhere.

And that means no alcohol permit, thanks to a nice City of Houston ordinance (with enforcement no doubt intended to prop up certain donators and interests along the Richmond Strip and Downtown, who would just as soon not have the competition from the once-thriving Shepherd Plaza).

So much for not having zoning in Houston.

[Posted at 21:13 CST on 04/30/03] [Link]

Hell Freezing?

Here's another surprisingly frank assessment from a Comical columnist on the state of a local sports team.

I don't think the Astros are as awful as they've looked over the past couple of weeks, but I did think they were headed into this season destined for mediocrity. Yes, Jeff Kent was a nice pickup. But Craig Biggio is not the speedy centerfielder they needed to make up for the defensive liabilities of the lumbering herd known as Hidalgo and Berkman -- he's not a centerfielder at all. Shortstop and Third Base are manned by.... whom? And the pitching -- what good is having a great setup/closer tandem if you can't ever get the ball to them? Throw in an early season slump from the two pitchers Gerry Hunsicker thought he could count on, and things look bad.

The good news is, Miller and Oswalt ought to be better than this through the course of the season (unless the one pitcher Jimy overpitched last season -- Oswalt -- is showing signs of fatigue). And that ought to push the Astros close to .500 when it's all said and done.

Ah, the fun of living in a sad sports town.

(05-01-03 Update) We mentioned shortstop above. Don't let it be said the Astros shortstops can't hit! It's just not always a baseball....

[Posted at 20:49 CST on 04/30/03] [Link]


Organizing (evil word!) the bootleg collection is a pain in the ass (i.e. going back in and labeling all of the mp3s after processing).

But it does have its pluses. Such as realizing that I have a bootleg of the first show that Rick Poss played with the Dead End Angels. And realizing that I have a (bad) bootleg of The Groobees doing a folksy version of Red Letter Bible (much prefer the DEA rocking version).

Too cool.

[Posted at 17:30 CST on 04/30/03] [Link]

29 April 2003

Bonehead Houston Sports Teams

This is a rare day, kids, but I actually agree with something Comical columnist Dale Robertson has written:

The Henson flyer in the sixth round was an easily rationalized gambit. Guys taken that late are iffy at best, and he will maintain solid trade value as long as he keeps scuffling at the plate down on the Yankees' farm. There was a time, before Carr validated himself as a Fresno State senior and the multitalented Michigan Wolverine opted to give baseball a go, when Henson was the name being bandied about as Houston's most likely first-ever draftee.

But opting for Ragone in the third round with the 88th choice had every appearance of being a luxury the Texans could ill afford. While general manager Charley Casserly forcefully defended the decision by using the "best available athlete" argument, he didn't make a convincing case.

It's just bizarre. The Texans need to use every pick to try to plug holes, even if those late-round picks are bound to be reaches. And there's no good excuse for picking Ragone in the third round. Journeymen quarterbacks are a dime a dozen via free agency, and Ragone isn't going to get enough practice reps to develop into even a decent 3rd string QB (Carr is going to continue to get almost all of the snaps, so he can develop as the franchise QB).

Stupid, stupid moves.

Meanwhile, the Comets are adding Cynthia Cooper back to the stable. Err, roster. It may not be pretty to watch, but maybe they can add a comedy routine -- the WNBA's version of the Golden Girls, perhaps?

[Posted at 18:37 CST on 04/29/03] [Link]

Right On Schedule

I have my annual late spring cold bug thingie, right on schedule.

This is actually good. Recently, the timing has been closer to the float trip, which is annoying. The float trip is IMPORTANT, after all.

And I have several days to beat the bug, in order to catch RK and Steve Earle at the International Festival, and hang at the Icehouse this weekend. Vitamin C, boys and girls.

[Posted at 18:23 CST on 04/29/03] [Link]

28 April 2003

Remove Head From Ass

It's always good to follow the crap that is usually a Monday at work with a hard workout.

Unless, of course, one gets to the gym only to discover that half the needed items aren't in the gym bag.

And of course, in Lee Brown's destruction-wreaked America, there's no way in hell I'm tripping back to the gym now, nor is the gym generally usable after 5 pm anyway.

This, boys and girls, combined with beer at the icehouse and music venues, would be how Kev gets fat and out of shape for backpacking.


[Posted at 16:29 CST on 04/28/03] [Link]


The binder just called, and the bound dissertation copies are ready to go to UH....

One more trip to that place should just about finish off this exciting adventure (I think).


[Posted at 12:14 CST on 04/28/03] [Link]


It's taken a while, but the curse that seems to afflict all Houston sports teams (the addiction to mediocrity!) seems finally to have afflicted the Houston Texans, previously the city's best-run franchise.

Given the record last year as an NFL expansion team, it should have been pretty clear this team needed help. Pretty much everywhere except quarterback, where David Carr is the man.

So why did they draft TWO quarterbacks in the draft, one of whom is probably a wasted pick because he seems intent on sticking with his baseball career?

The move isn't intriguing, as the Comical puts it. It makes no sense at all.

[Posted at 06:53 CST on 04/28/03] [Link]

27 April 2003

What To Do?

Ever have one of those days where the number of errands and projects one needs to complete far outnumber what is possible to do?

I'm having one of those days today. To the point of sipping some coffee, completely immobilized by the prospects of sorting it out.

But the coffee is quite good, at least. Freshly grounded beans, very dark roast, from Diedrich's. Mmmmm....

[Posted at 11:59 CST on 04/27/03] [Link]

26 April 2003


I'm getting the itch to open a bar.

Crazy, huh?

[Posted at 22:46 CST on 04/26/03] [Link]

Downgrading Gadgets

So, tech boy just DOWNGRADED a device tonight.

For a while, I've been using Sprint PCS's high speed "vision" data network. I even upgraded my cell phone (with a generous credit for being a good customer, that more than paid for the phone) to take advantage. I could care less about surfing from my phone (a stupid experience, really), but the kicker was that I could cable the phone to my laptop and/or pda and get better speed than a typical modem, completely mobile.

Well, sometimes it worked, and sometimes there were even speeds of double a 56k modem. But most of the time, there was about 20% packet loss, or worse -- rendering the whole thing pretty useless.

And the bad thing is, the "newer" LG phone sucked for voice calls.

So tonight, PCS Vision got cancelled, and the old LG phone (which sounded better on voice, and was designed better ergonomically) got stuck back on the plan.

I can't think of the last time I actually "downgraded" an electronics item, but this was a good downgrade.

[Posted at 22:44 CST on 04/26/03] [Link]

Libbi Sez

Good to see that Libbi Bosworth's hissyfits are back online.

Gotta have my Libbi fix every once in a while!

[Posted at 21:21 CST on 04/26/03] [Link]


For years, football fans have had to put up with the Chris Simms hype.

High school this, high school that. Mack Brown telling us how great Simms is (so great, in fact, that a gritty, truly great college QB, Major Applewhite, had to be benched). Blah blah blah.

And Chris Simms never quite living up to the hype. Not being able to gun the ball through tight coverage despite everyone bragging about his arm strength (which I think is barely above average). Not being able to look off his primary receiver despite everyone bragging about what a student of the game is. Not being able to deliver in big games despite us hearing about his great bloodlines.

Interestingly enough, NFL scouts apparently weren't fooled by the hype. Simms was the last player chosen in the first day of the draft today, pick #97. Five QBs were chosen ahead of the golden boy, in a draft not thought to be particularly deep at QB.


[Posted at 20:52 CST on 04/26/03] [Link]

The PubliusTX Classifieds

My friends John and Cathy are renting the upstairs unit of their duplex.

It's a great, 1BR unit with amazing hardwoods and new HVAC system and kitchen appliances.

John's constructed a virtual tour of the place here. If any of you Houstonians know anyone in the market for this great situation, point 'em that way.

[Posted at 18:51 CST on 04/26/03] [Link]


Beautiful weekend. Really should have gone backpacking. Oh well.

[Posted at 10:59 CST on 04/26/03] [Link]

24 April 2003

Diet Coke

Things got a little busy tonight, but we did manage to catch part of Rodger Wilko at the Firehouse, and chat with Mr. Whitlock a bit on our way out of the place....

Is it the weekend yet? Too old for Thursday night shows. And I only had diet coke! Sad.

[Posted at 23:59 CST on 04/24/03] [Link]

23 April 2003

Where The Buffalo Roam

On the topic of connections, here's another one....

I recently picked up Jimmy Lafave's Buffalo Return to the Plains CD, which is just a fine piece of work....

What do I discover inside the disc case?

A small ad for the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

Located right outside the town where I grew up, good old Pawhuska, Oklahoma.


[Posted at 21:41 CST on 04/23/03] [Link]


I used to be a big fan of ICQ (and, to a lesser extent, the other IM services).

But at some point, I dropped all of them because most of the people I wanted to keep up with had stopped using 'em, and because I wasn't spending much time chatting on the net (better to do that at the pubs).

Lately, though, I've actually needed to contact some people via IM, so I fired up trillian tonight.

At which point, I figured out that several groups/people in various services have added me to their lists (including ObjectivistOutcasts -- I can feel the love!). Kinda weird to be popular without even knowing it. Woo hoo.

Oh, and I ran across Andrew on icq, who pointed me to Friendster, another social networking tool (like LJ without the bothersome blogging).

I feel so connected at the moment that I forgot what I was actually going to work on accomplishing tonight. :)

[Posted at 20:57 CST on 04/23/03] [Link]

22 April 2003

Houston's Fine News Men

Hi. I'm a dumbass. Like my hair?
KHOU Anchor Greg Hurst

I'm not sure what is worse -- Channel 11's Greg MyHairSureIsPretty Hurst sitting at the anchor desk, or filing reports like this from Iraq:

There is chaos on the streets of Baghdad where looting is an ongoing problem. In many regards Baghdad is like the wild west, except with deadlier weapons.

Local police held a man they thought was a bank robbery suspect. The man said he was just looking for a job. While the man pleads his case; the officers went back into the bank looking for more opportunistic suspects.

Not far away there was another disturbance in the streets. Soldiers from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division patrolling the streets run into looters at the Ministry of Planning.

"We caught them stealing," said Sgt. Michael Lucas. "They're local thieves, we call them Ali Babas. So, when we catch them in these buildings, looting in the neighborhood we stop it to try and help out the local authorities. And now we are making them put back all the stuff they stole back in this room."

It is swift justice, one piece at a time.

Actually, it is changes in verb tense and terrible grammar, one sentence fragment at a time.

Bad bad bad. So bad the guy probably couldn't get a job at the Comical. That's REALLY bad.

Greg Hurst would be the same guy who, when criticized for being a lightweight, promptly wrote a letter confirming his weight as somewhat less than suspected, as Rich Connelly notes:

Weightless Channel 11 anchorman Greg Hurst apparently is very eager to show that he's not a mannequin, dammit.

Inside Houston's Gary Michaels wrote a one-sentence review recently of Hurst: "The toughest thing about reading the news for a living is pretending you didn't get the job based on your looks."

Hurst responded with a bizarre two-page rant that showed that, while he may not have gotten his job because of good looks, he definitely didn't get it for his grammar. Or his modesty.

"You are stating that my position, and perhaps even my success over the past 20 years, is related to my appearance and not my hard work, experience; my intellect or my sagacity," he wrote. (Sagacity?)

He then reeled off an impressive array of comma splices: "But then people of true character, can see beyond their own short comings."

"Perhaps I had come to take journalistic acumen, and professional probity for granted." (Probity?)

"Furthermore, after reading James Fallow's [sic] book Breaking the News: Undermining Democracy in America. I can now clearly see, to whom he was referring." (Reading?)

"Where is it written that a journalist must have survived a flesh consuming chemical fire to be considered thoughtful and credible," he asked, or at least he would have if he had used a question mark.

Hurst thundered that he was chock-full of credentials: "I frequently speak to audiences about journalist responsibility; about principles grounded in not only objectivity, fairness, and accuracy, but also in perspective, analysis, and historical background," he wrote, again burning up the comma key.

Thinks about that, Mr. Smarty Pants, the next time you see a report on a kid not trapped for very long down a well. That report is backed with not only perspective and analysis, but historical background. Or, as Hurst might put it, with "historical, background."

Hurst says he sent the letter "just to set the record straight." He adds, "I knew no one else would hold [Michaels] accountable."

As for the rebellious, rule-breaking writing style, he says he didn't remember making any mistakes: "I'll stand up for any of the grammar," he says.

Greg's a stand up guy. And why not -- with that much polyurethane on the hair, it's not like the wind is going to mess it up.

[Posted at 22:55 CST on 04/22/03] [Link]

Killing The Bird

Ford is killing the Bird, one of the few things they've (almost) done right in a long time.

The Ford Motor Company under present management is simply inept.

At least they've stopped featuring that idiot William Clay Ford on commercials. Now if they could just run his ass out of the company and get a real car man on board.

[Posted at 22:34 CST on 04/22/03] [Link]

Fun Headlines

It's not every day you see headlines like this one....

[Posted at 12:02 CST on 04/22/03] [Link]

21 April 2003

Randy Interview

There's a fine interview with Randy Rogers over at Texas Troubadours.

It's good to see that people are starting to notice this guy. He's got a nice country sound that certainly isn't Nashville and isn't what most Texas musicians are doing either.

[Posted at 19:09 CST on 04/21/03] [Link]


Okay, everyone loses the occasional article... a sock here or there, or a pillowcase, or the like.

But somehow I've managed to lose a huge bath towel.

Black even.

How does that happen? I didn't even manage to lose items that big in my *ahem* less-than-tidy college days.


[Posted at 19:01 CST on 04/21/03] [Link]

20 April 2003

There They Go Again

Owen Courreges has dissected the latest cheerleading effort from the Comical for Houston rail expansion, but as usual the blogspot archives aren't working properly. So go to his main page and scroll down.

[Posted at 20:10 CST on 04/20/03] [Link]

Deep Ellum Wrap

Count the roadtrip to Dallas this weekend in the win column.

We managed to hit Deep Ellum in the middle of a street festival, which was kind of cool.

We spent a lot of time at a pretty cool bar, The Elbow Room, which concluded with an excellent Dead End Angels show and a lot of "chat time" with the band before, between, and after their sets.

And the Houston crew got to hang with Scott and Cindy, who are just plain cool. But for some reason, Scott remains much more attached to hockey than any Texan I have ever known (psst... Scott, I STILL think it's a yankee sport). Oh, and thanks to Cindy for sharing some promo CDs from the various bands she takes care of. Much appreciated!

[Posted at 19:02 CST on 04/20/03] [Link]

19 April 2003

Watch Out Deep Ellum

Okay, we're off for the musical weekend in Deep Ellum.

I'm thinking after their longest road swing yet, the Dead End Angels ought to be in fine form tonight.

[Posted at 11:57 CST on 04/19/03] [Link]

Joe And Tupelo

I have to say that for you music fans in Texas, the reissue of Uncle Tupelo's Anodyne is worth the (sale) price on the basis of their version of "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" alone.

Turns out that this version features the great Joe Ely on lead vocals backed by the UT boys.

And unlike most of the Shiner-Bock-Texas-Music Idiots* who feel the need to do this song (badly), Joe does a kick-butt job with it (as he does with every song he's ever deigned to cover in his life). For you Texas music fans who don't have the original Anodyne, there's also that fine Doug Sahm song "Give Back The Key To My Heart" in addition to all the other great Tupelo stuff. Much of the crowd that worships Tupelo may not appreciate it, but it's nice to see those guys pay a little homage to artists who were doing roots rock/country crossover when they were still in diapers. (We would also note that we're particularly fond of the Dead End Angels cover of that fine Sahm tune).

* I have nothing against the Texas Music artists who feel the need to blare out songs about drinking and Texas roadhouses, and I like that stuff a lot when it's done well. But when you have artists imitating artists imitating artists imitating Pat Green, quality tends to decline just a bit. Even at our venerable Firehouse, I've heard some of these bands as openers, and wondered just what the hell they thought they were accomplishing.

[Posted at 11:26 CST on 04/19/03] [Link]

18 April 2003

Boy Blunder

Boy Blunder
Mayoral Candidate Michael "Boy Blunder" Berry

Boy Blunder has already broken out the race card in his quest to become mayor of Houston.

More proof that he has neither a chance nor a clue.

[Posted at 22:39 CST on 04/18/03] [Link]

Aaron Brown

Frownie Man

Why does CNN's Aaron Brown always look like he needs more fiber in his diet?!


[Posted at 22:02 CST on 04/18/03] [Link]


It's kind of cool to see former Houston Cougar All-American pitcher Shane Nance get a little work against the Astros tonight.

Blanked 'em for a little over an inning, even.

I think Rayner Noble could use his help in this below average season for the Coogs.

[Posted at 21:56 CST on 04/18/03] [Link]

17 April 2003

Music In The Metroplex

A bunch of the cool kids are gonna be at the Dead End Angels show in Dallas this weekend.

As Cindy says, better get yerselves out there....

[Posted at 21:36 CST on 04/17/03] [Link]

No Way

It's a shame when a military commander has to issue a warning to troops that they should watch themselves when in uniform off base stateside.

So is this taking place in Berzerkeley, CA? San Francisco? New York? Or even the People's Republic Of Austin?

Nope. Try our very own Alamo City.

I'm happy to say that when *I* was in the Alamo City last week and ran into a couple of uniformed folks in the hotel we stayed in, I made a point of chatting with them and letting them know I appreciate their service.

Because that's how good Texans should behave in one of the historical strongholds of Texas liberty.

[Posted at 21:31 CST on 04/17/03] [Link]

Expensive Trips To The Record Store

I read about the re-release of Uncle Tupelo's classic Anodyne a while back, and mentally filed away that I should get it.

Today, Jim Hart reminded me that the rest of Uncle Tupelo's collection has just gotten the same treatment.

And throw on top of that Scott Melott's insistence that I pick up the Jayhawks' Hollywood Town Hall.

Yep -- time for a trip to the record store. And now that Cactus has sucked a bunch of cash from my bank account, I'm a musically richer person. Or something.

Sad thing is, I'm much too busy right now working on a backlog of bootlegs to listen to any of the new stuff. But soon!

[Posted at 21:18 CST on 04/17/03] [Link]

16 April 2003


We've been blessed to have plenty of friends come visit and stay of late.

Tonight, we're lucky in that regard.

And the West Alabama Icehouse is the perfect place to take them in the springtime. Kid friendly, adult friendly.

Worn out. Must get some rest.

[Posted at 22:29 CST on 04/16/03] [Link]

15 April 2003


This is a really fine Merle Haggard collection.

Gonna have to bite the bullet and order it, as I find myself enjoying Merle more and more of late.

[Posted at 23:24 CST on 04/15/03] [Link]

Who Got Next?

Good news for basketball fans: the WNBA may soon cease to exist.


That wasn't very nice, was it?

But just to be an equal opportunity critic, I would say the Houston Rockets have ceased to exist based on their underperformance of the last four years.

[Posted at 22:43 CST on 04/15/03] [Link]

My Goodness

I surrender!

Come take me away already!

[Posted at 21:42 CST on 04/15/03] [Link]

14 April 2003

Tax Time

I have been putting off taxes this year until the very last minute, even though I anticipated a refund, because there's just been too much going on to fool with it (dissertation, guests, backpacking, roadtrips, etc).

But tonight, I actually e-filed using Tax Act, and it was painless. Thanks to Mr. George Bush along with the GOP Congress and a handful of Dems, I'm getting a slightly larger refund than I anticipated.

The SOBs still take too much money, mind you, and spend it on too many silly things. *sigh*

Ya know, that's about the best rant I can muster. I used to be much worse on Tax Day. As I said in a previous entry, I'm turning into an old fart.

[Posted at 19:55 CST on 04/14/03] [Link]

13 April 2003

Rummy's Tips

From Mr. Vaughn comes this great link to Sex Tips from Don Rumsfeld.

Very funny stuff.

[Posted at 23:09 CST on 04/13/03] [Link]

The Insomnia Series

Everyone be sure to check out Mr. Whitlock's Insomnia Series. It's some good stuff.

[Posted at 21:37 CST on 04/13/03] [Link]


Back from San Antonio!

What a fine weekend.

The Scenic Loop Cafe patio is a great place to listen to music under the stars. And San Antonio under the stars in the springtime is a fine place to be.

And my goodness -- for a brand new band, I have no idea how to explain how well-honed the Dead End Angels sound. You just gotta go see 'em. Or better yet, buy that CD that's gonna be released very very soon (they keep promising).

Even better, the place kind of cleared out after their second set, and we managed to monopolize the entire band's time and have a nice chat about all sorts of things. What a great bunch of guys.

Thinking about roadtripping to Dallas next weekend to catch these guys again before Rick heads off to Europe for a few weeks. But only if Cindy and Scott manage to make it to the show. What about it, guys?

(Update) Cathy has a nice photo of the show here.

[Posted at 19:36 CST on 04/13/03] [Link]

12 April 2003

High Speed Napping?

Too cool... the Drury Inn in San Antonio has high speed net access.

But instead of making good use of this blog power, instead I'm going to have a short nap before heading out to the Dead End Angels show at Scenic Loop Cafe.

I've turned into an old fart, I think.

[Posted at 16:57 CST on 04/12/03] [Link]

There's Not Much To Wharton

Wharton's InnKeeper is a cool bar. Hard to describe the place inside, really. A little avante-garde, with some funky artwork and furniture. Mixed with a kick-ass surround sound system, and huge dance floor. If you dropped it into Montrose and shrank the size a bit (it's a huge echo chamber, about the size of New Braunfels' Saengerhalle), it would be perfect. Not quite sure what it's doing in Wharton.

Unfortunately, the acoustics don't match Saengerhalle's. The place has an amazing sound system and a great light system, but it's wasted because the ceiling, floor, and walls don't absord any sound -- it just ricochets like crazy. It doesn't help that the stage faces the short side of the room, or that the surround sound system blasts at every possible angle in a room that reflects sound badly. And the guy at the sound board -- boy, does he like bass! But the room doesn't.

All that said, we enjoyed Randy Rogers, who played an abbreviated set since he was opening. We miss Eddie Foster on the pedal steel, of course, but Brady Black's fiddle is a fine addition to this band. And he REALLY shines on some of the songs. The band's gonna be fine in this new incarnation (no members from the original backing band now). Can't wait to catch the next Houston show -- we've missed the last two, including that bizarro David Allen Coe bill. Randy always plays Houston likes it's the last show he's ever gonna play on earth -- with reckless abandon.

And word reaches us that Cody Canada was bragging up Randy to Tulsa's KVOO on a show recently. Very cool. Randy ought to be more popular in Bob Wills's old homebase outside of Texas. Hope you Oklahomans call KVOO and tell 'em you want to hear more.

[Posted at 10:07 CST on 04/12/03] [Link]

11 April 2003


Randy Rogers has been bragging up a live music venue in Wharton, TX (?!) of all places, and he's the opening act down there tonight.

I think a roadtrip is in order.

It'll be a warmup for the bigger roadtrip to go see the Dead End Angels tomorrow in San Antonio, playing under the stars.

[Posted at 14:53 CST on 04/11/03] [Link]

Diets, Scientists, and Journalists

Love the headline on yahoo news: Low-carb diets no quick fix: study

Love the second paragraph also:

"While these diets are effective in the short term, weight loss results from reduced calories, not carbohydrate restriction," said Dena Bravata, a lead researcher on the paper which is published in this week's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (news - web sites).
No quick fix, but effective in the short term. That message is only slightly muddled.

I've never been a fan of the Atkins "diet" but it does strike me that a diet based on the glycemic index and blood-sugar management (say, Sugar Busters?) makes a great deal of sense for many reasons. It makes even more sense for obese people and borderline diabetics who are becoming insulin-resistant. It would be nice if dietary scientists would study those issues in depth. But they seem much more interested in disproving Atkins and reassuring themselves about the old claims of calorie counting. That's objective science at work.

[Posted at 07:35 CST on 04/11/03] [Link]

10 April 2003

Not Wendy

Hmmm... as I left the Stag's Head tonight, I noticed a cool Gray Mini Cooper S parked beside my wonderful Liberty.

But was it as cool as Wendy?

Nope. Not even close. No UK flag, no US flag, no Bush Cheney sticker.

This Saturday, though, Wendy will be parked beside the Liberty at the Dead End Angels show in San Antonio. And THAT, my friends, will be cool.

[Posted at 00:24 CST on 04/10/03] [Link]

08 April 2003


Randy Rogers comes back to Houston for an odd Wednesday night show, opening for David Allen Coe.

I've long wanted to see David Allen Coe, just because.

But how's this for strange... they're playing at Numbers.

For those not familiar with Numbers, let me post a description from their website:

NUMBERS has been located at 300 Westheimer Houston, TX. USA for 24 years and we're damn proud to be Houston's oldest and most infamous venue for live local, international and breaking alternative acts ranging from The Cure to Snoop.

When not showcasing live music, NUMBERS remains open 5 nights a week as the largest progressive video dance bar in the US with music and videos from Houston's top progressive D.J.'s. Wes Wallace, Shawn Morado, Hideous Jeff Fath, Vampire James and occasionally the one and only Robot.

Featured in national publications such as Rolling Stone, Billboard, CMJ, Spin and Details, among others, you won't find a venue of this size providing progressive dance music and live international acts anywhere else in the country... period .

If you like bands such as , Lords of Acid, Sasha, Moby, Cystal Method, Delerium, Daft Punk, Marilyn Manson, Underworld, Xymox, Beastie Boys, Bjork, Nine Inch Nails, Chemical Brothers, Filter & KMFDM, and new bands such as BRMC, Miss Kitten,The Hives, FischerSpooner, Basement Jax, and DJs like Digweed, Tiesto, and Oakenfold (see Concert History) then you're here.

I have a feeling that the normal crowd expecting Goth/Industrial night or Lords of Acid are going to have quite a shock when Randy trots out on stage and starts covering Merle Haggard. And David Allen Coe... one can only imagine.

What a weird playbill. Can't imagine why this show isn't at the Firehouse.

[Posted at 23:06 CST on 04/08/03] [Link]

07 April 2003

Tokin' Rocket

From KHOU comes news that Houston Rocket Eddie Griffin joins teammate Mo Taylor on the Toking-Up squad.

Very impressive.

So not only is this team circling the drain and about to miss the playoffs AGAIN, but two players that Rudy T and Carroll Dawson moved heaven and earth to acquire have turned out to be potheads in addition to being underachievers (and costing owner Les Alexander a lot of dough).

Throw in the fact that Rudy T and Carroll D traded a fairly productive player (Kenny Thomas) for a less productive one (James Posey) to get Pothead Taylor and Pothead Griffin more playing time, and you have to wonder how much longer Les Alexander can afford to employ these guys?

Yeah, I know Rudy T's sick and you shouldn't kick a sick man. And I know there's a chance they may still make the playoffs. But at what point do you hold Rudy T and Carroll D accountable for this underachieving team that they have put together?

(Update) Leave it to the Comical to publish a bunch of sympathetic quotes about the situation. The ones from Pothead Taylor are priceless.

[Posted at 23:08 CST on 04/07/03] [Link]

That's Our Comical

Good to see that while I was out hiking in the backcountry, Owen was keeping up with Houston's Misleading Information Source, our dreadful Comical. I'm gonna reproduce his post here because retarded blogspot isn't working at the moment:

Houston Chronicle loses in every category at state newspaper awards

How utterly well-deserved

Despite being the sole major newspaper of the largest city in the state, the Houston Chronicle won no awards at the annual meeting of the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, the Houston Chronicle reports. The other two largest papers in the state, the Dallas Morning News and the San Antonio Express-News, both won awards.

This doesn't surpise me. The Houston Post was a quality paper -- the Chronicle never has been, and probably never will be. It's also becoming increasingly left-wing, although for the life of me I can't find a liberal who will deign to refer to the Chronicle as a quality publication. It's just plain bad.


Owen, if you're reading this -- can I offer you free server space capable of running MT or Nucleus or whatever, to entice you to move off of gawdawful blogspot? Email me. :)

[Posted at 22:52 CST on 04/07/03] [Link]

Basketball Hall Of Shame

Another year, another inexplicable snub of Guy V. Lewis.

I ranted at some length about this a year ago, so I'm not going to do it again. At least the Comical picked up on it this time.

[Posted at 22:33 CST on 04/07/03] [Link]


Hard to say which is worse -- the plagiarism, or plagiarizing from the Stratfor folks.

Yeah yeah, the Stratfor PR machine is excellent. And occasionally they do some good analysis. But their hit-miss ratio isn't nearly as good as their PR would suggest.

Oh well. The Agonist isn't the biggest site to "borrow" from other sources with no attribution, but it seems to be the biggest one to be slapped down so far.

[Posted at 21:55 CST on 04/07/03] [Link]


Oh yeah, I'm back.

The trip to the Ouachitas was good, although cut short a day because of inclement weather. What else is new?

More on the backpacking soon.

[Posted at 17:21 CST on 04/07/03] [Link]

Noxious Bell

This would be how "moderate" Democrats think about American foreign policy at the moment.

Or at least that's what Chris Bell was thinking yesterday.

But given his switcheroo in the last mayoral campaign, when he spent months blasting Mayor Pothole, failed to make the runoff, and then endorsed Mayor Pothole in the runoff in exchange for support for his (unfortunately successful) run for Congress, it's really hard to know WHAT Chris Bell might think tomorrow about American foreign policy or any other issue.

I'm not proud to call the man my Congressman. But I guess it could be worse. My boss is represented by Sheila Jackson Lee.

[Posted at 17:18 CST on 04/07/03] [Link]

03 April 2003


Backpack is loaded, and unless the weather forecast changes drastically in the next 24 hours (it happens), I'm off to Oklahoma after work Friday for 3 days of backpacking in the Ouachitas.

I realized just how far I've fallen out of shape during the last couple of years of dissertation work (and virtually zero backpacking) as I was loading stuff up earlier, not to mention the extra 15 pounds I've gained since I stopped backpacking much. *sigh* The good thing is, the dissertation bastard is done (that's Doctor Backpacker now, damnit!), the mountains are still there, and a few good trips will remove those extra pounds.

If the first trip in a while doesn't kill me. :)

See ya'll on the other side.

[Posted at 23:43 CST on 04/03/03] [Link]


I've been watching the weather forecasts to decide on a weekend backpacking trip, and it looks like either of my two choices is a go in terms of weather.

Now I just have to decide whether I should head up to the rugged Ouachitas for a 3-day pack (which I REALLY am not in shape for, and could stand some more gym work -- and which poses more logistical challenges in the form of a longer drive, more gear, must use a vacation day to make it worthwhile, etc).


An overnight pack at 4-Cs trail a couple of hours north and east of Houston. It's flat, not very challenging, and not really "backcountry" as I think of the term, but it is much closer, it's still the outdoors, and it would be a snap even though I'm not in as good a shape as I would like.

Everything logical points towards the 4-Cs trip. But of course, there is nothing logical about putting on a fifty-pound pack and making one's self sore carrying food and gear out to the middle of nowhere for several days at a time. It's a spiritual thing. And the Ouachitas offer more spiritual value -- much more beautiful, much more isolated, much more of a challenge. Which may well take me to Oklahoma this weekend.

Decisions decisions....

[Posted at 10:34 CST on 04/03/03] [Link]

02 April 2003


Nothing is quite so cool as a nice new handheld mapping GPS (the most accurate consumer GPS available, I might add!) and a downloadable topo CD-ROM.

Or it might be cool.

If I hadn't left the damn CD-ROM at work today.

I have the jewel case and manual. How exciting.

[Posted at 19:44 CST on 04/02/03] [Link]

01 April 2003

Nice Doggie

Nice Doggie

This is a great story from Sky News.

I love the fact that the dog has its own chemical/bio protective gear.

We treat our animals better than Saddam treats his people.

But that will be changing soon.

[Posted at 22:48 CST on 04/01/03] [Link]


Great, heartening news today that American forces rescued Jessica Lynch from the barbarians.

And as a complete aside -- what a cutie. I'm glad we got her back from those bastards.

[Posted at 22:45 CST on 04/01/03] [Link]

Agreed To Move?

Sometimes, you just gotta love the Comical. Take this characterization:

Biggio, an All-Star and Gold Glove winner at second base, played his first game of the season in center field. He agreed to move to make room for Kent.
Now, the more accurate story would be, the Astros signed Kent and didn't really give Biggio any say in the matter.

But since the Comical is the unofficial Whiny B's Fan Club, every opportunity is taken to portray Mssrs. Bagwell and Biggio in the best possible light.

Never mind the facts.

[Posted at 22:44 CST on 04/01/03] [Link]

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