Monday, October 27, 2008


I have been maligned as being unpatriotic for mocking young "patriots" for crapping up the National Anthem (and thereby turning the singing of the Star Spangled Banner in a competition for who is the most mediocre). While I'm not conceding the point in any respect, I'll drop it. I'll drop it, and, for the sake of openness, will share the recent argument that arose between myself and EP about this matter. It is only at EPs request I share this, and I don't mind. I'm right and that's all that matters.

Names have been redacted, of course.

Eustice says: So I agree about your rant for the most part, but picking on the 10 year olds and six year olds...really?

Reason replies: I'll absolutely pick on the six and ten year olds. If they're going to massacre the piece of music with their youth it's no different than anyone else doing it. They can sing "my little buttercup" in their quavering voice at half-time for all I care. If they can sing the piece right and correct (it's really not that hard of a piece) then fine - let them sing/play it. But, if they're horrible they are horrible. I don't see any flags sewn by four years olds flying over the ballpark; because it would look like crap. The same applies for the national anthem. If we as a society have to respect the trappings of patriotism or risk being called unpatriotic then we might as well not have such a double standard.

Illogic says: So, just a sweet 6 year old trying in earnest to sing our national anthem should be criticized because its not done perfectly[?] I totally disagree. I don't think that patriotism should be so elitist.

Logic, reason and hope states: OK then, take away patriotism. I don't want to hear a crappy rendition of any song I actually like. It is, after all, all about me.

Faultyreasoning replies: Well see then your whole argument crumbles if its not about the patriotism. I mean, if your argument is that any song period shouldn't be reworked or performed badly, you are entirely contradicting your own, mr. all about you, you'll just have to suffer through the six year olds and stop bitching and admit that [for the first time] I am right and [somewhat smart].

Honesty says:if a person can bother to memorize the WORDS of a song, they can memorize the MUSIC of the song. Why should we expect one and not the other? there are plenty of 10 year olds that have the talent ot perform the song, it's just the ones that suck that bother me. It's almost the 10 year olds that suck that bother me more than the older ones. It's like we're saying "it's ok to be mediocre as long as you give it your best." It's not like there is a shortage of people that know how to play the national anthem, but should we let the ones that suck open an event with it just because they give it there all? I bet you're voting for Sarah Palin just on the principle that "she's jus like tha res' of us.

And, it's not about ANY song period. Clearly I believe some songs should be written and performed AS IS and others messed with. I don't give a rat's ass if All Along the Watchtower is made into a polka, but God Bless America shouldn't be performed on a turn table mixed with "My Humps". Why? Maybe it is patriotism, although I'm not about to back down from what I said. But, there are songs that make me happy to listen to them. Songs that give me a nerdy, warm fuzzy feeling. And when that feeling is destroyed by mediocrity or arrogance, I get angry.

GettingAngrier states: [S]arah [P]alin isn't "giving it her best." she is relying on her looks to get her through life[,] and by god it caught up with her. and she deserves to look stupid. if we have somebody sing the national anthem at an event just because they are "cute" then by all means, bitch to your heart's content. but if they are earnestly singing and showing their patriotism--- and maybe messing up a bit because they are fucking SIX or TEN and have never performed in front of such a large crowed, and maybe maybe just an eensy bit nervous, then by all means, shut the hell up and clap at their efforts.

and maybe god bless america should be mixed up with my humps. afterall (sic) isn't that what makes america great? our fantastic fucking humps and our ability to sing and rejoice about them? i think so. and i think you lose. and i think maybe if you felt joy at the effort[,] if it is in fact sincere[,] instead of holding it up to some random marker that only you know[,] you'd be alot (sic) happier and maybe would be inspired to in fact bless america and shake your humps a bit.

Awesomeness writes back: I'm pretty confident I know the difference between what is making someone "nervous' and just over all mediocrity. like I said, plenty of people that age are fantastic at the song. Assuming you're right, I'm looking forward to the Ballet West Nutcracker where they let any kid just dance off across the stage just so long as they do it "eanestly" and show their "holiday spirit." But, alas, some kids just don't get to be part of the Nutcracker in this horrible, elitist world where talent, practice AND earnest spirit are encouraged.

and, why are you so focused on winning? I'm not out to win anything by ranting, I'm just out to rant. I know for the most part my rants will fall on deaf ears. Do you think I thought I was gaining friends by telling the world how much I hate their 'talented" little children? But, it's your own addiction to this feeling of, dare I say "superiority" that pretty much makes the rest of your argument about my own elitism pathetically moot. sing a different tune, EP (just practice it first).

Shortly after this, my argument companion cited "health reasons" as why she could not continue to argue this point any further. The only thing less surprising would have been her stopping her argument "because she needed to spend more time with her family." a/k/a The Mitt Romney Excuse. And, since it is my post I get the last word.

Having our "wittle angels" sing the National Anthem IS IDENTICAL to the Sarah Palin phenomenon. We are letting people who "look cute" set the benchmark for what is "talent" and for what is "right." Sadly, life is not all about looking good. Life is about practice, dedication and hard work. A perty mouth and a twinkle in your eye isn't always going to cut it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

taaaaaaaaeeeoooaaaake me ouuuuuueeeeuuueuuuuuute to the baaaaaallllllllgame.

For those that care, I love baseball. I love it in all it's forms. I'll even watch the little league World Series when ESPN plays it. Which is actually a real "World Series" as opposed to the World Series that is currently playing that involves a bunch of American teams and the Toronto Blue Jays. The last time the Blue Jays were in the World Series, some jingoistic American made the mistake of hanging the Canadian flag upside down. That was about the last time a non-USA team was anywhere near the series.

But this post isn't about baseball. This post is about singing. Well, this post is about singing AND baseball, but mainly about singing.

Get to the point, right?

The point of this post is "I don't want to hear your crappy rendition of the Star Spangled Banner."

I'm an odd patriot. I don't mind if you burn the flag in protest, but wearing the American flag on an Old Navy shirt is disgusting.

In the same vein, I don't mind the Jimmy Hendrix version of the Star Spangled Banner, but I absolutely detest the blasphemous mangling of the Star Spangled Banner that was done at tonight's Game Four of the World Series. It was disgusting. It was like someone took a prime-grade New York Strip and turned it into meatloaf all the while saying "but this is my own recipe." It was like someone took the Mona Lisa and sprayed graffiti all over it claiming "artistic license." It is like a pink New York Yankees hat. It is blasphemous and disgusting.

I've played the Star Spangled Banner probably over 200 times for various geeky band events. For the most part, I've played what is written on the page note by note. But, say I want to get creative, I'll play, well, just about anything else to be creative. The Star Spangled Banner just isn't something I feel the need to improvise on. Or even embellish.

But I'm apparently in the small minority on this one. Apparently if you're to sing or perform the national anthem at an event, it is your civic duty to rape a beautiful piece of music. Want to stick a modulation where there isn't one written? Go for it, baby! Want to sing every pitch on the keyboard for a single word? Sure, why not, you're a talented singer. Destroy that song to show how "talented" you are. Want to end the song on a high note? Sure - sing it darlin'! Who cares if that note is an octave outside your normal register, I'm sure in the heat of the moment nothing will go wrong and you'll hit the note, on pitch and in time.

It's a matter of honoring what a person wrote. We don't encourage people to change the WORDS of the national anthem, why do we encourage them to change the music? We don't allow any idiot to sew an American Flag and put it up just for shits and giggles. We don't encourage people to just reword the Pledge of Allegiance. We don't encourage an eight year old executive administration in re-writing the Bill of Rights (oh, wait...) Why do you feel the national anthem is there for your improvisation?

Maybe it's not a matter of patriotism. It's a matter of music. You sound HORRIBLE. The person who belted it out tonight sounded just as horrible as the 10 year old kid that craps it up at the Jazz games who sounds just as awful as the 6 year old violin player at the Salt Lake Bees game. If it don't sound good, don't play it. How hard is that to understand? If you want to show the world what a horrible singer you are - go on American Idol. If you want to show the country what a patriotic person you are, sing the song like it was written. My ears and sanity depend on it.

On the baseball note, is anyone actually watching this crap? Did they forget how to field, bat and pitch the baseball in between the LCS race and the championship?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fun in Vegas, Chapter XII

I stayed at the Planet Hollywood Resort Hotel Casino and Pennyslot Palace for my recent Vegas stay. I love this hotel. Mainly because they love to tell you how many cool celebrities flock to their hotel. Pictures of every celebrity you want to see is there. I've missed Hillary Clinton by minutes in Spring, but this time, I apparently missed the arrival and departure of one David Hasslehoff by mere hours. Also, each room comes with its very own supply of People, US Weekly, some British tabloid called Hello!

The hotel is also very purple,: purple towels, purple bed spread, purple drapes, purple carpet, purple purple purple. I'm not a huge fan of purple.

But, I really do like this hotel. It's a Starwood property, so in my vain attempt at getting more Starwood points I always try to stay there. So far, with three Planet Hollywood stays and 4 nights at a Sheraton in Hawai'i I have about 34 points. Only 10866 to go before I get a free bottle of water with my stay.

I was told by Atty M that they have Hollywood themed rooms. Perhaps they saved those rooms for good attorneys because I hadn't stayed in one, but this time I have apparently arrived because I, Attorney B, a/k/a Tronner, Esq., stayed in the Dr. Zhivago room.

Yep - in my room, behind 7mm of glass was this dress.

This dress had a little plaque that stated it was worn in the movie by Charlie Chaplin's daughter. She apparently was very small with tiiiiiiny little boobs. I thought "oh, this is nice" and didn't really think about it anymore.

I didn't think about it, that is, until it was time to go to bed.

I dislike hotels because they never, ever have enough light. Oh, they'll have a ton of lights, but never enough illumination. Consequently, I turn on every light in the room just to be able to see. Maybe it's my very very very bad eye condition, who knows.

So, when it was time for bed I turned out every light. Every light but the light in the dress's case. I didn't turn this light off because I couldn't find the switch. I got on my hands and knees and stood on my tip toes to find the switch. I opened the closet door to see if it was hiding in there. I put in my contacts again to find the switch. I unplugged every light in the room just to make sure. No good. The light would not turn off. My dark dark room was now lit by a ghostly white dress floating about 4 feet off the ground. Wonderful.

I managed to get to sleep with a pillow over my face, but woke up about 3 am. Even though I knew where I was, looking at the dress still was rather creepy. So, I got up, hunt my suit coat over the cabinet and managed to go to sleep without the ghost of Tonya Gromeko haunting me.

The next morning the light was still on. So, I wrote on a sticky note "Please turn light off. This dress is creeeeeepy." and double underlined "creeeepy." When I returned, all was well; the light was off and I was able to sleep soundly.

Vegas fun, Chapter XI

I haven’t been to Vegas since July for the bar. Quite the trip, this one - I had seven hearings all in one day! Both Attorney H and Attorney D told me my manhood depended on this. Who knows what would have happened to me had I made it through four hearings and then collapsed in a quivering mass of jelly. Perhaps they would have just used the giant pair of rusty scissors that Attorney H keeps in her desk. Perhaps D would have offered to drive me to an emergency hearing in Monroe, Utah and left me on the side of the road. But, I made it through.

Seven hearings aside, Vegas never seems to disappoint. The airport itself is an adventure, running the gauntlet of departers who have that thousand yard stare (see Vegas Fun Chapter, VIII) and the throng of arrivals. One of the girls on my flight literally shed her clothing on the walk from the plane to baggage claim and was already looking like a skank ready for the clubs by the time she reached the cab line.

I managed to wait twenty minutes for a cab, which put me in a superfantastichappy mood. I wanted to sit in the bar and watch the beisbol before I had to organize my hearings for the next day and this was cutting into valuable Seven and Seven time. My mood immediately improved when my cab driver opened his mouth.

Let me back up by saying I love to mess with cab drivers - especially the ones in Vegas. As long as I don’t piss them off, I love to pick their heads and see what they have to say. I’ve had fat racist cabbies, skinny racist cabbies, smelly racist cabbies, smelly talkative cabbies, bitter smelly cabbies, arrogant cabbies, cabbies that want to rip you off, cabbies that want free legal advice, cabbies that don’t know where they’re going and nice, happy cabbies in clean cabs (once) etc.... As far as smelly cabs go, this one took the top five at least. It was one of those smells where you just sort of surreptitiously smell your own armpits to make sure it isn’t you. I did this at least twice before I just accepted that this cab was used to transport live sheep shortly before I entered.

This guy started to disappoint me. He wasn’t too talkative. Just asked me where I was going and where I was from. Then silence. No, “is it cold up there?” No, “are you Mormon?” Nothing.
Then, casually, almost furtively, he turned down the squawking radio and said:

“So, you, to gamble?” He clearly didn’t grow up speaking English, which only contributes to how completely awesome this encounter was.

“Yeah, I like it ok, I guess.”

“Do you like the clubs?”

“Well, not so much anymore. They’re ok. Sure.”

“What about the strip clubs.” He said this as if the lady from the Deer Hunter and The River Wild had a line of clubs named after her.

“Um. Sure, yeah - I’m not planning on going though.” I said. “too expensive.”

“What about massage parlor?”

“No.” No use really explaining any further why I didn’t want to go to a “massage parlor” chosen by this gentleman.

“You know, this girls...this girls can come to your”

“Yeah - yeah I know” He seemed to accept this for a second.

“You know I could have a vedy vedy beaudiful voman to your room tonight?” He half turned around in his seat while asking me. Prior to this I could just feel his eyes staring at me from the rear view mirror. He was still supposed to be driving at this point.

Sometimes I just say crap that gets me in trouble. This was close. “Yeah, you say that, but the last time my buddies and I tried to get a young blond chick from those free magazines to come to our room we got a forty year old brunette with jaundice and a smokers hack.”

“No no NO.” He was vehement about it. “If you want young girl, I get you young girl.” I wasn’t too sure about this, thinking maybe I’m on some version of “To Catch a Taxicab Predator” or something.

“No, I don’t want any girl.”

He wouldn’t really quit. “No, you just tell them what you want, you get beaudiful voman....any shape or size.” I sort of wondered what kind of harem he had, but quickly put that out of my head, considering I wasn’t about to find out.

We got to the hotel and he said “vat is your room number, I have girl there tonight, just for you.” I thought this was rather odd seeing as he picked me up from the airport and I’m pretty sure most people don’t know their room number before they arrive. I told him no thanks and asked for a cab receipt. He gave me one (I hate those little fucking things) and also a nice little pamphlet with his ladies’ numbers on it. Even in the internet age when you can have anything and everything at your fingertips, I still find it odd to be handed a glossy pamphlet with nekid wimin on it.

Thus ended my cab driving affair. This is already two pages so I’ll not bore you with the three other cab rides I had, just to say that the second one completely drove by the Federal Building despite my frantic “Stop STOP STOP” from the back seat and dropped me three blocks away, the third was the fourth or fifth sweaty racist cabbies that I spoke about above and the last was a nice guy that didn’t overcharge me or go the wrong way on purpose or anything.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What a man

It was the Most Important Day of the Year for a large group of Utahns on Friday. It was the start of the Rifle Deer hunt. Thousands of overweight people riding ATVs were crawling over the hills of Utah shooting copper-jacketed lead slugs into trees, bushes, hills, lakes, rivers, dirt, mud, each other, dogs, trucks and occasionally a male Mule Deer.

The LDS-Church owned news channel did a great story about all the hunters by focusing, in these trying financial times, about the need for hunting in Utah. Most people they interviewed weren't hunting for trophy (although there was plenty of people measuring antlers in the story) but adamantly stressed there were hunting for meat.

Wow - my hat is off to you mountain men and women. Truly a noble thing, hunting for your own food. Very thrifty. Way to save money in these trying, trying times.

The only problem is that if you want me to believe you're "doing your part" by hunting your own meat, you've got a long way to go.

Let's do a quick price check, shall we?

To be a big time Utah deer hunter you need yerself a gun. So, let's go to Cabelas, shall we? Now, I dunno anything about huntin' deers, but I know enough about guns to know that the thirty-ought six is a perty good gun. You kin buy a Remington Model 770 .30-06 for $432, and that comes with its very own 3-9x40mm scope! Wow - truly a thrifty rifle there. But, hell - you're in Utah - you don't buy the minimum in Utah - so let's see what Cabelas has that would make your neighbor envious. How about this and, you'll need a decent scope, so let's buy a 3.5-10 x 30mm Leupold scope to go with it ($469.00).

We've got our gun and scope. We'll need ammunition! $43.99 for 20 rounds of the .30-06 VitalShok ammunition. Good stuff, lead free, etc.. (avg rating 4.8/5 by those Cabelas shoppers!) or, if you want to poison yourself and the environment with lead, choose the Remington Express for $21.99.

So, if we're cheap bastards we're already at $453.99. That's just for the rifle, scope and ammunition! If we're not cheap bastards, we could be up around $4100.

Now we need our license. $26.00 for Utah Big Game license, plus $35.00 for the deer tag.
Hunting in October is COLD. So, we need to buy insulated pants, parka, gloves, etc... I'm getting sick of hyperlinking, so let's figure about $250 for clothing.

50 gallons of gas at $3.50/gallon to get to and from the hunting site by truck and gas for the ATV. $175.00

1 case beer plus food for the weekend. $75.00

We'll also need our ATV for $3,849

I don't have a calculator right now, but I think we're at $A,lot.00

But, hey - you're doing your part, right? After all, you are hunting for your FAMILY To put FOOD ON YOUR TABLE. How much food will there be, actually?

A study found here states that the average weight of a field dressed male mule deer was 113.7 pounds. Field dressing means you take all the guts out and cut off the legs at the knees and hocks. From there one gets only about 54.6 pounds of actual meat. 55 pounds of meat per deer. That's it, folks. That giant, beautiful animal gets you 55 pounds of meat. The rest, the bones, the head, the hide, the fur, the gristle - you're going to put that down the drain, in the garbage - you're not going to use it.

This study also found that, to avoid spoiling the meat, to avoid the "strong" flavor that venison has and to basically make sure that your hunt does what it is supposed to do, you need to get your deer to a butcher within 4 hours of execution. It's a wee ways away from the middle of the Henry mountains to the nearest fridge. And, be careful of the metatarsal glands and all other taste spoiling stuff that Bambi has in him.

(you apparently get about 48% of the field dressed poundage in usable meat - so if you're carcass is bigger, you'll get more meat.....duh).

I dislike hunting for trophies, but I can understand it. Ultimately we need thinning of the herds and blah blah blah. But don't make yourself out to be a hero when you're going to eat about half of a roast and throw the rest away.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Own up

Well, your CD collection looks shiny and costly.
How much did you pay for your bad Moto Guzi?
And how much did you spend on your black leather jacket?
Is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?

Now tickets to concerts and drinking at clubs,
Sometimes for music that you haven't even heard of.
And how much did you pay for your rock'n'roll t-shirt
That proves you were there,
That you heard of them first?

Thanks a lot, asshole - this mess is all YOUR fault.

Well, it's also my fault.

This whole fucking mess is the fault of EVERYONE.

This is OUR fault. It is our fault because of YouTube.

I loved the Muppet Show growing up. Back when they didn't have three seperate Muppet Channels on Dish Network, they used to play reruns of the Muppet show on Channel 13. (this was before it was called "FAUX") I saw this skit when I was about fourteen years old and it made me laugh. It made me laugh because I had just learned what "modulate" meant and when the sock shouts that and the key changed, for some reason I thought this was the funniest thing in the world. But that was the last time I saw it.

But now if I want to watch it, I can just find it on YouTube. Or Google. Or anywhere, really.

And this is why we're in The Great Depression version 2.0.

Because we can get what we want whenever we want it.

If we want a funny skit from the 1970s we just Google it.

If we want a Grateful Dead song from the June 10, 1973 concert at RFK Stadium? Go here.

Your desire to see Estelle Getty naked? Go to

Want a brand new Glock 22? Give the clerk your credit card with the $22K limit.

Want a boat, a jet ski, a snowmobile, and an ATV? Sure - for a 29.95% interest rate.

Want a Mercedes? Why not! It'll be basically an overpriced Ford with a fancier paint job, but hey, it's yours.

Want a house despite your shitty credit and shitty job? You Betcha!

Oh, a brand new house? Well.....ok.

Or, better yet, want to buy a POS house then spend the next forty months fixing it up and annoying the hell out of your friends with your stories about mahagony and annoying the hell out of your neighbors with your giant trash bin out front? Sure - why not. Now, you're not only a HOMEOWNER but a GENERAL CONTRACTOR and ARCHITECT as well! (I could do an entire PSA about how much I detest you people that buy a perfectly good house in a perfectly good neighborhood just to gut the shit out of it or tear it down just to build your "dream home" thereby eclipsing the view and peace of those around. I hope it collapses on top of you, you arrogant brat)

It's the same entitlement that we fell in getting whatver we want off the internet that led this generation in thinking they were entitled to a house and the accompanying toys. In fact we have a sense of entitlement in just about EVERYTHING. This includes jobs Don't like your job? Quit! Don't get paid enough? Quit? No experience? Hell - you OWE me a job!

So we do it. And, we get in over our heads because we think we are owed a job, a house a car and toys. We think that since we live in an age where even the most trivial things are at our fingertips that the big things, the things that mean the most to us should be there too.

We compound this problem with the fact that we don't have ANY compassion for those that do fail. It's their fault they couldn't keep up. Or, better yet, we blame the big business, or the government. ANYONE really. Anyone that gave us enough rope for us to loop it over that oak branch. We blame them for allowing us to climb up the ladder. WE blame anyone but ourselves for allowing us to step off that ladder and slowly choke. It's not our fault. It's THEM.

And, now we're screwed.

It's your fault.

It's my fault.

Maybe we're not entitled to it all.

Just don't take away my Muppets.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Border Patrol

I went to El Paso for a hearing last week. It turned out to be the forty-eight hours from hell, including mistaking the "arrival" and "departure" time from El Paso to Phoenix and wandering from one end of Sky Harbor Airport to the other wondering why: a.) it smelled like urine and b.) everything was closed at 8:45 at night.

I tend to travel a lot for work. I travel far more now than I did a year ago which is fine Either way - I had time to play before I headed back. Normally I'd just sit in the airport - or in Vegas at a Roulette table, but Att'y H made me an itinerary of things to do in El Paso.

1.) Visit a giant Christian store. Apparently, this store was in an old Walmart. That's a lot of judgment, bigotry, sanctimony and "love" in one place.
2.) Visit the greyhound race track -unique but boring unless I could bet.
3.) Visit the Unites States Border Patrol Museum (and Gift Shop).
4.) Visit a Wild West Shootout and Wedding Reception Hall

I chose option 3.


I didn't know what to expect. Actually, I knew exactly what to expect, but the fact that my imagination of this place was identical to WHAT this place was like was priceless. It was like getting an X-Wing Fighter AND the Millennium Falcon PLUS a Nintendo on Christmas Day. It was like peeing-in-your-wetsuit good. Truly beautiful.

There are signs directing you to the museum EVERYWHERE in El Paso. It's about 15 miles north of downtown and you actually travel through a QueenCreek-esque (Draper-esque) suburb just to get there. You get off the freeway and go up a little hill and THERE IT IS. Sitting gloriously in the El Paso hills in the middle of an Army Gunnery Range (signs say everywhere NOT to go off a path due to unexploded ordinance). The parking lot is laid out to accompany tour buses and vans and RVs. Entire football teams could each park an individual car there and there would be space. I parked my rented Subaru Impreza about halfway back in the deserted parking lot and entered the building.

The first thing you notice is that every sign is both in English and in Spanish. This is rather odd considering I don't foresee a lot of Mexican nationals going to the border patrol museum. I could very well be wrong.

I then met "Louisiana", my tour guide for the afternoon. I can't remember her name, but she told me that she's from northern Louisiana. She's a "web foot"; not to be confused apparently with someone who isn't.

She was bored. She followed me around. This is where I got in trouble.

I was very enthusiastic about the museum. Too enthusiastic. In fact, I'm pretty sure she's never seen someone so enthusiastic about the border patrol museum. So, she asked why.

And I told her.

T'was a harmless little lie.

But it grew. And grew. And grew and grew and grew.

I told her my grandpa wanted me to go to the border patrol museum. I told her he was very excited that I was going to El Paso because "that's where the border patrol museum is."

That satisfied her for a bit.

Then she said something else. I can't remember what, I just know that the next thing out of my mouth was. "Oh, well, my grandpa's brother was in the Border Patrol in the '30s."

Bigger oops.


"Oh, near Niagara, New York." (thinking, hell...we're in Texas, New York is far from Texas).

"Well then - what was his name? We have rosters from the field offices and that field office was a big one!"

So, we went over to a large, locked cabinet and she pulled out a bunch of books. Names, pictures, years in service. "What was your uncle's name?" she asked as she was flipping back to the appropriate time period.

"Uh, well...he's not really my uncle, he's my grandpa's half-brother, because my great grandmother was married to a guy that died before she met my great grandfather and I can't remember his last name." (bigger and bigger and bigger).

"Any idea?"

"Pandano, Pandanowski...something like that." Again, no idea where any of this shit is coming from.

She looked through the P section. Nothing. "Are you sure?"

"Well, no, but I think that's his name. I never actually met him, he died in Mexico in 1955." Yeah - now I'm bringing nearly ALL of North America in to this. "But, I'm pretty sure that's his name, maybe he just worked for the police or something?" I said. At this point I'm wondering if I've broken any sort of federal statute by claiming relationship to a member of a federal agency.

"Oh, that's ok, this happens all the time. These records are woefully inadequate." The lady said "woefully" which, up until now, was something I'd never heard said with a northern-Louisiana accent. If she only knew how adequate they were.

She put the books away and walked with me around the exhibits. For the most part they looked like something that a bunch of Eagle Scouts or High School students had put together over a weekend. The posterboard still had stains of the Little Ceaser's pizza and Kiwi-Strawberry Shasta.

Then we got to the mannequins. Two mannequins. One dressed in the uniform of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent and one in the uniform of a RCMP. That's Royal Canadian Mounted Police for those of you who didn't have a snowback roommate.

"Oh, here, take a look at this. I bet your grandpa would be interested in this because his brother probably dealt with the mounties a lot being near Niagara."

I dutifully snapped pictures. A lot of pictures. But, none of Louisiana. She didn't want her pic taken. Too bad.

Then came the shopping. Att'y H, you see, had demanded proof I went to the BPM. So, I bought Att'y H the following.

An Official U.S. Border Patrol Museum and Gift Shop COLORING BOOK (sans coloring utensils)
Two (2) official calendars of the U.S. Border Patrol Museum and Gift Shop years 1994 and 2005. (the years 2001-04 and 2006-07 "went like hotcakes, especially 2001, you know, because of Osama")
An Official U.S. Border Patrol Museum and Gift Shop BOOKMARK

I bought me an Official U.S. Border Patrol Museum and Gift Shop SHOT GLASS.

Pics will follow shortly. ENJOY!

New Spot

I have had a falling out (as lovers often do) with the Myspace. Thus, I'm moving my blog - basically the only thing keeping me tied to Myspace - here to blogspot. Hopefully I can recreate the awesomeness that is my constant bitching.