N'awlins at heart

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wednesday Morning. It's gonna be a beautiful day.

So I jump out of bed, bright and early. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping... Ok, groggy as Hell I reluctantly roll out of bed. But it was a gorgeous day. I took a shower, got ready for work, and jumped on the bike. About half way to work, I pass through a toll botth and immediately sense something is wrong. I've been in this situation before, and knew the feeling all too well. At first I thought it was super windy, then I realized, my back tire was flat. Luckily I was passing through the toll booth and only doing about 60 mph. I was in the far left lane, and had to shoot across about 9 lanes of traffic. I did that successfully, got to the side of the road and put my kick stand down to inspect the damage. That was when I discovered with a flat tire, the bike sits too low to use the kick stand. It tried to fall over the other direction. So, sitting on the side of the highway, on the bike, I call W1. She had to leave her job, drop off the car, pick up the truck, straps and ramp. And come half way to my work to meet me.

So there I was, 45 minutes to an hour, sitting on the bike, on the side of the road. The only thing I could think of, other than praying that i didn't get run over, was at least it didn't happen last week. It was in the 80's and last week the temperature was over 100 degrees most of the week. I took this spare time to call ChiaPop and let him know that his was not the only bike I had gotten a flat tire with. He then reminded me of the Honda Red Riders Club. $40 a year and if you break down, they will tow you to the nearest Honda Dealer for free. Which would have been great since the exit I was in front of was for Highway 290, and yes, about 2 miles up 290 is the west side Honda Dealership. They could have picked me up and took me there, replaced my tire and got me on my way in probably under an hour. Oh well, live and learn.

So after I finished loading the bike and strapping it down, I started to tie the ramp to the bed of the truck. Just so it wouldn't blow away. That's when the emergency rescue guy shows up to see if I needed any help. Nice job Chief. Where were you an hour ago? (Actually he said he would have been there sooner but an 18 wheeler collided with an SUV a mile or so up the road, so he had to clean that up first.

Once we were back on the road, W1 went back to work and I went to a bike shop. They didn't carry my size tires and I'm pretty picky as to what I want on the bike (I settled last time, never again). So he placed an order for the new tires I wanted. I decided to go ahead and replace both tires since the front one had about 17,000 miles on it, and was starting to dry rot in the treads. They should be here today or tomorrow so I'll be good to go. He went ahead and plugged the tire so I could just ride it to the shop when the new ones came in. I hung out for a while and watched a stunt video he had playing. Eventually I left, stopped on the way home and ate a Ragin Cajun's. Had a shrimp po boy. Wasn't bad, but the bread was not true French bread. After that I went home and unloaded the bike. By then it was 3:30 and I saw no point in going to work (although i should have after ordering $300 worth of tires). But it was nice to have a day off in the middle of the week.

All I wanted was a massage.

Last Sunday I woke up sore. You know how you sleep wrong, or too long, and your back just hurts? That's what it was. My lower back was killing me. So, after a short discussion, W1 and I decide we should go get massages. i have never had a massage, nor have I been to a massage parlor, so I didn't know what to expect. Which looking back was probably a good thing.

W1 got her hair done Saturday and said she saw a Massage Parlor in the same strip mall. I was a little reluctant, but figured, why not? So we both took showers before we headed out. (I would imagine they wouldn't be impressed rubbing all over me with oil and funk, still having sleep crust in my eyes, armpit stinking, you know the deal). So we go to this place, walk in the front door, and it looked like any other shop. There were bamboo figurines on the tables, stuff like that. W1 asks the lady who came out (dressed in an indescribable outfit. 1 word, hoochie!) if they do couples full body massages. She says yes and points us to our separate rooms. Confused I walk into my room. About 30 seconds later a young lady walks in wearing some kind of "teddy". I found this odd, since all the massages I've seen in movies the masseuse wears a white outfit. Before I even had time to think about it, the original lady walks in and says to give the "teddy" lady $30 cash afterwards. I inform them that I do not have any cash on me, and that I am here for a "REAL BODY MASSAGE". So the hoochie tells me to just charge a $30 tip on the credit card. And that she was going to inform W1. I started to wonder if W1 knew what this place was and just wanted to give me a "hook up". Was it my birthday or something?

After all that was over, the "teddy" lady instructs me to take off my clothes. I strip to my boxers (as W1 and I discussed what happens and she said they have you strip to your underwear). I am then informed I am supposed to be totally nude. Feeling a little uncomfortable being totally nude in front of some stranger I went ahead anyway. I laid on the table and started to get my massage. Soon, the "teddy" lady climbs on my back and puts all of her weight on her knees which are in the small of my back. After a few seconds she moves up a few inches, rinse, repeat... By the end she was on her knees with all of her weight between my shoulder blades. I could barely inhale.

After a while she instructs me to flip over and starts with my legs, etc. She got real close to the, um, equipment, and I got a little nervous. One of my biggest fears about getting a massage was that if would feel really good and well, things come up. I concentrated so hard to keep this issue from happening. After about an hour I hear the hoochie yell something in another language through the door. "Teddy" girl responds in the same language. About 2 minutes later she informs me that I should go shower. Sounded good to me, I had oil all over me anyway. When I got back she told me to get dressed, and that W1 has been waiting for me. She asked if I enjoyed my massage, and I responded "Yes, it was very relaxing. I would definitely come back again". To this she tells me "You no come back here, you too much work". I guess an hour of actual massage is more work than a 5 minute quickie. That's how I took it anyway. Who knew?

Short story long, I'm pretty sure I got a legitimate massage in a whore house. Interesting. Any doubts I had before hand were answered when she unlocked the door to let me out. Yes, the same door that was not locked when we came in. Apparently they didn't want to get raided by the cops while they were "working". All I can really say is W1 is the best wife ever! How many wives bring their husbands to whore houses?

Houston never ceases to amaze me.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What is that? I think I smell a memory...

It's funny how strange things pop in your head when you least expect them to. Like the evening of August 27, 2005. Just days before Hurricane Katrina, and we are Florida bound. Katrina was a lot of things, and memorable goes without saying.

So picture this. W1 and I are following H2 driving KenEllie's Explorer. Suddenly, we notice movement in the Explorer. It seems that K is now crawling around in the back, presumably acquiring a soda, or something of that sort. Or so we thought. After a few minutes, we notice he is not finding what he was looking for, so we give them a call to see what the problem is. Apparently there was an odor.

An odor strong enough, that it was rumored McGruff had possibly shit in the back of the Explorer. After a thorough inspection, it turns out that no, McGruff did not get too nervous and crap himself, turns out he was so relaxed he farted. And it was bad enough that K went into the back to search for... How do I say it? "Report".

To be a fly on the wall when they first caught wind of that one. Preferably a fly without the sense of smell. Ah, the good ol' days.

W1 and I were chatting about the humor in some of this tonight and I thought you all might get a chuckle too.

Props to the cops. And other stuff.

I take the highways to and from work daily. I've seen my share of cops for sure. Every now and then, they seem to be on motorcycles. One thing I have noticed is that when it starts to rain, the motorcycle cops come out of the wood work. I don't know if it's a challenge, or honing their skills, but they are everywhere. Now I've ridden in my share of rain storms, but never on purpose. It's like these guys live for it. All I can say is, "Mad Props"!!!!

In response to S1+o's blog post. We'll start with Katrina Evacuees. I was on the local newspapers site and read something that really bothered me. There was a shooting at 2:00 AM right by where I work. The person was shot 3 times and found in his car on the side of the road. Literally the article was 3 maybe 4 sentences. Definitely not enough information to draw any conclusions. But that did not stop the locals from screaming "Katrina Evacuees" calling us (among other things) "losers", and criminals in the reader response section of the article. I was so upset I had to register. Rather than retype I will just paste my response.

"With this little bit of info, does it automatically have to be Katrina Evacuees? Yes, there was a 70% raise in crime, but New Orleans Public Schools taught me 70% of 0 is still 0. However, we're not talking about 0. It seems that Houston had an issue with crime long before us "losers" got here. It's just easier to point the finger I guess.

People like that are why my brother got pulled over returning home from visiting me and got a ticket for doing 70 in a 65. (But a Houstonian would never do 5 over right? Come on, I take the belt to work every day.) And the first thing out of the cops mouth was "Oh, you're from New Orleans huh? Why ain't ya gone back yet?"

And as for the article (user name withheld) linked to, here's a quote "A newly formed gang-murder task force arrested seven suspects in connection with 10 murders who are members of a violent southwest Houston gang known as La Tercera Crypts." Definitely sounds like Katrina Evacuees to me. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding, I don't know how Gangs work. The Houston gangs that were already here most certainly welcomed the Gang Banging Evacuees with open arms right?

That's like saying "A man slapped a woman somewhere in the US. That man obviously must have been from Texas." Stereotyping helps nobody. It just amazes me how simple minded people can be. And for the record, I moved here after Katrina and immediately got a job, that I am still at today. FEMA has not paid any of my bills or housing."
---End of quote---

Now as far as the Mexicans go. I think Dan said it best. People are complaining about Mexicans taking jobs, but it's the jobs they refuse to do. Once again I have a scenario. I was pulling out of my apartment complex this morning and across the street were 2 Mexican men weed eating. It was POURING rain but they were still out there doing their jobs. I see them working in the heat, the cold, the rain, whatever the weather. The ones this morning were acting like it was a normal bright sunny day. Just out of curiosity, how many non Mexican people do you know who would continue to work like that in the pouring rain, on someone else's lawn. After High School before I left for the Navy I did landscaping. And I can damn well guarantee when it started raining we took shelter. Complaining about them taking these jobs is silly. That's be like me complaining that they bought all the tampons. So! I don't use them, why do I care? Just my 2 cents.

And that is all for now.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Warning: Technical (i.e boring to some people) info follows.

As W1 mentioned, we went riding this weekend. A LOT! It was a lot of fun. Saturday my friend came up on his bike to go to a shop people have been telling me about. His bike has been overheating and we realized the fan has quit coming on. It should come on when the temperature reaches 240 degrees I have been informed. Well, the only way I noticed is that even after he cuts the engine off his fan continues to run until it has cooled down. And it wasn't.

So we go to the shop and the guy looks at the issue. He was unable to fix it but said if we come back next Saturday, someone who is better with electrical issues will be there. But, luckily for me, when they were bringing my friend's bike out front he saw mine. He came back in and said if I like, he would clean and tighten my chain free of charge. I immediately threw him the key. So once he was finished I was all set.

On the ride back to the house my bike started to stall out. I was at about 95 miles on the tank (I'm usually around 130-140 before I have to hit the reserve) and assumed I had been giving it a little more gas than usual. Once I switched to the reserve it seemed to be better, but still stalled a few times. I immediately thought I really need to turn my idle up, since it only stalls when I came to a stop. After making it home, and putting the bike away, I noticed something didn't look right. And it all made sense to me. Being the genius that I am, I was riding with the choke on. Yep, that'll do it. Ha ha. I usually have to pull the choke when it is cold, and it immediately shoots to about 3500 RPM's. So I back it down to about 1500 RPM's. If I totally close the choke it still dies until the engine warms (about 2 minutes later). Looks like Saturday I forgot to close it. Ooops. LOL

Saturday night I was up until 2:30 in the morning beating F.E.A.R.. But for some strange reason I woke up at 9:30 Sunday morning and was wide awake. This is very unusual for me in case you don't know. I decided to take advantage of this strange occurrence and took the bike to wash it. It's been a while and I've been hit by a few rainstorms since the last washing so it was seriously due. When I got back I couldn't believe how nice it looked being clean and all. So, to take advantage W1 and I rode to lunch. We were craving seafood and there were a few New Orleans Style places in the area (although they don't have the heat like home). A couple were too close, and not worth the trouble of taking the bike, so I found one that was about 15 miles away. It made for a good ride and the food was really good too. The Gumbo was delicious, although I had to douse it with Tabasco to get that true NOLA flavor. Not perfect, but it was close. Then we both had fried catfish and I also had some shrimp. After that we headed home, and realized that I was pretty sun burnt.

We made groceries a little later and came back ready to BBQ. It was interesting to say the least. Since we have a gas grill now, I normally clean the grill portion, then start the fire. I run it on high for 3-5 minutes to burn off any leftover crap that may be on there. Well, this time when I walked back inside I got side tracked. I let it burn on high for about 10-15 minutes. When I walked back out it smelled of burnt plastic and flames were shooting out everywhere. I flipped out (understatement of the year). I cut the gas on the tank but it didn't seem to have any effect. After about 15 minutes with the grill open the fire finally went away. But even then there were still embers. I totally thought #1 The propane tank was going to explode, and / or #2 the flames were going to set our neighbors balcony on fire and in turn burn down our apartment building. Neither of these things happened of course, but I was ready to start grabbing Laptops, TV's, Monitors, and anything else I could get my hands on.

After about 20 minutes the grill was good enough to touch so I went ahead and cleaned all the left over debris from previous BBQ's so we didn't have a repeat. (See previous paragraph). Once all was clean and done, I cautiously (and nervously) relit the grill and tried for round 2. This time I turned it to low immediately. It turned out to be very successful. You live and learn I guess.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer!

So I'm getting ready for work this morning, and W1 is online reading news articles. She ends up giving me "highlights" of one of the articles she is reading. Basically, a man was arrested to molesting a 9 year old girl, doing some other stuff to her, then burying her alive. His defense is that he claims to be mentally handicapped. I personally think that is the way he was trying to get around the death penalty, which would also lead me to believe it happened somewhere other than Texas, as they seem to have no problem putting anyone to death here, no matter what the circumstance. So anyways, this genius takes an IQ test to prove that he is mentally handicapped. And they come to the conclusion that he is as smart as the average person.

Now, I personally think that proves that he is mentally handicapped. Not taking into account what he is charged with is terrible, put yourself in his shoes. Say you commit a crime, nothing like what he did, just a crime. Now say your defense is that you are mentally handicapped. If you were taking an IQ test to prove that you were mentally handicapped, wouldn't you purposely miss questions? Maybe the fact that he actually passed the test is proof that he isn't too bright. I'm just saying. If it was me personally, I would have missed a lot. They probably would have looked at the results and asked "How do you remember to breathe?"

On a lighter note. I did like this story. Although I am curious as to what "The Man with the Yellow Hat" is doing jumping from story books into real life.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

No photo's please...

Well I finally did it. I went to the DPS (Houston's DMV) Office yesterday to officially become a Texan. That's right, I finally changed my drivers license over. So imagine my surprise when the lady hands me a sheet of paper and asks me to sign it. Then says "That's yours, it's a temporary licence until the real one comes in the mail in 3-6 weeks". Yep, that's right, I have no official photo ID for the next 3-6 weeks. This may put a damper on our Vegas trip. I guess I'll call the airlines and see.

I just felt it was time, and the old one expired this December. Or so I thought. After about an hour in line I discovered I had 1 more year. Oh well, it happens.

Not a lot else going on. I'm in a new department again. It's pretty laid back though, the boss is not over your sholder all the time like the old boss was. It's definitely a more challenging job for sure. It took me an entire week just to get 2 of the 4 systems set up to start the testing. (2 still aren't working). But the day does fly by when you are busy.

The rain seems to have finally stopped. And as they say, "not a moment too soon". We washed the cars Sunday, pulled up and did "the whole 9 yards", vaccuum, windex the windows, air freshener... And as we were finishing up the windows it started pouring on us. How happy were we? But luckily W1 parks under a cover so afer a little while she re dried her car and we finished the windows. It looked great. Then, just to be safe, we took the truck on any other errands we had that day. It sits on the roof of a parking garage most of the time anyway, so it's not like it won't get rained on.

Ok, that's all ya get. Sorry...