Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ooookay. Hump Day. Things continue to be kind of crazy. The parents are threatening to stay at my house this weekend, and my cleaning lady, Maria, is missing in action after heading to Mexico to visit her ailing mother. The Mono E is supposed to play a First Thursday gig at the Ben White Florist on Thursday at 5:00, but we're still waiting to see how the weather holds up (if it's above 50 degrees and it's not raining, we're going to rock).
Last night was pretty uneventful. Reed came by after work to load up his drums for the Thursday gig, and we hung out a bit and listened to music. I watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica, and another episode of The Wire.
Bush went to Wall Street today to tout the health of the U.S. economy and (supposedly) to stress the need for a greater correlation between corporate performance and CEO salaries. The Democrats argue that poverty is sitll on the increase and that household incomes have been stagnating for over a decade. Personally, I also think that the Republicans are practicing some slight of hand- that they are trying to keep unemployment numbers low, while simultaneously keeping salaries low (e.g., the fight against any increases in the minimum wage) and allowing U.S. manufacturing and technical jobs to be outsourced to foreign countries and replaced with lower paying service jobs. As always happens with the Republicans, the squeeze is being put on the poor and the middle class while the wealthy post record profits.
Also, does anyone remember when I blogged about my concerns regarding U.S. rendition programs (i.e., programs involving the kidnapping of foreign nationals and then transferring them to other countries where they can be imprisoned, interrogated, and tortured without judicial oversight)? Well, the German government is now issuing arrest warrants for 13 U.S. CIA operatives who participated in the rendition of a man who was taken from Germany and held in a secret prison in Afghanistan for several months before they realized that they had the wrong person. Great. I'm sure that this will go a long way towards inproving the public image of the U.S. and our military in the international community. The really bad thing about this case is not only the fact that we were engaged in already questionable renition practices to begin with, but that in this case apparently they got the wrong guy. It's pretty much the worst nightmare of every civil libertarian. I gotta admit that there's a small part of me that wants to see the Germans come over to the U.S. and secretly snatch these operatives out of their homes so they can be tried in Germany, but anyway, just to repeat, rendition is bad, Adventurers. Bad, bad, bad. America can't go into other countries and snatch people without anyone's permission. Just ask Dog The Bounty Hunter.
Peace. Out.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Here's something that happened yesterday that caught me off guard. Bush signed a directive yesterday which requires federal governmental agencies to have a regulatory policy office which will be controlled by a political appointee. These appointees will be placed in government agencies- agencies designed to protect national interests in areas such as the environment, public health, civil rights, and safety.
This sucks. What these political appointees are meant to do is to act like a White House political officer, looking over the shoulders of the experts and professionals within these government agencies to make sure that they are working to fulfill the political goals of the White House and to make sure that the agencies don't propose laws or regulations which might run contrary to political desires of the White House. (i.e., in the current administration, these appointees would act to prevent agencies from asking for any programs which might cost tax dollars in order to provide services to the poor or the appointees might prevent agencies from making any suggestions for regulations which might in any way impede the ability of America's corporations to make profits)
This sucks, sucks, sucks. The opinions and analysis of the experts and professionals who work within these agencies are now meant to be censored and suppressed by political cronies of the White House. If the EPA decides that there's too much air or water pollution in a given area and that regulations need to be implemented or enforced in order to protect the enviroment (and the citizens of that region) from harm at the hands of corporate polluters, the officials who make that decision now have to get their work cleared with some political lackey so that the agency doesn't do anything that might piss off the same big business campaign contributors who helped fund Bush's run for the White House. Uh.... anyone see a problem with that? (if the White House is in bed with big business and now the White House is insisteing that it has the power to control the agencies which are supposed to police big business, then who's gonna police the police?) It kind of reminds me of the glory days of the USSR, when the Communist Party used to assign political officers (technically, commisars) to all of their military units in order to ensure party loyalty and to make sure that decisions were not implented which went against the wishes and interests of the party.
We've all seen what happens when politicians try to outguess the decisions of their military leaders in the field (anyone remember George W. Bush proudly standing on that carrier deck in his flight suit, with that banner flying behind him that proclaimed we had already won victory in Iraq?). I don't think that our results are going to be a whole lot better when the politicans start trying to outguess the decisions of agency experts and professionals on domestic matters. Just because global warming isn't politically convenient doesn't mean the Republicans can wish it away (and don't you know that one of the first things these political appointees will go after are EPA regulations regarding corporate airborne emissions- and this despite the fact that just about every reputable scientist in the world is now in consensus that global warming is a very real and dangerous problem). Just because it's politically expedient to cut tax spending for Headstart and other education programs doesn't mean that the effects won't be reflected in illiteracy and high school dropout rates 20 years down the road.
Arrgh. Is it even legal for Bush to do this? I don't know. It seems like these agencies ought to be answering to Congress, and not just be forced to answer to the dictates of the White House, but I really don't know. It's just another move by the White House in their continuing attempts to consolidate power, though, and it really scares me.
But I'm just hopelessly naive, I know.
"Remember, remember, the fifth of November...."
It's Tuesday. Still feels a lot like Monday. Gotta pay my property taxes today. No, I don't escrow. Leave me alone.
Last night Mandy cooked up a really good dinner of pork tenderloin, mashed potatos, and green beans. She even made chocolate chip cookies for desert!
We watched TV and drank some rootbeer.
I also watched 24. I started watching this season kind of hesitantly. I just wasn't sure I was up for another super dramatic season of counterterrorist hijinks (they sure love them some good torture on 24), but, of course, the show has sucked me back in. It's like having a chance to see what the world looks like to Republicans (i.e., the U.S. is constantly under terrorist attacks and our agents are constantly confronted with situations in which torture is the only option available in order to prevent armageddon).
Ooops. Gotta run. Rap at ya later. ; )

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hola, mi amigos. Steanso rappin' at ya. Hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was pretty good.

On Friday night I had dinner with Mandy, Andy, and Rami at Cherry Creek (catfish and shrimp), and afterward we all hung out at Mandy's and drank a beer or two (the picture at left shows Andy in front of the chimenea on Friday night). Saturday Big Johnson came into town, and I joined him, (along with Roundball and McSteans) for the peace march on the capital. That night I had dinner with Greg and Mandy, and afterward we settled in for some more fireside cocktails and conversation over at Mandy's place. Ryan and Jamie stopped by as well as Andy.

Sunday I got up and watched a couple of videos with Greg before heading to Central Market for some lunch. Afterward we went back to my house and hooked up with Andy for some rockin'. (But not before poppin' in at Mandy's to say hi to Don and Jajuan. Thanks again for the Shins CD, Don!) I spent maybe an hour and a half rockin' with Andy and Greg, and then all of the members of The Mono E showed up, and I switched from drums to bass guitar and rocked for about 2 hours more. By the time I got done with all of that rock and roll I was pretty much pooped. I watched some episodes of The Wire, ate me a taco or two and went to sleep.

As I said, in my earlier post, Liz Pieper is still struggling with cancer, so those of you who know her or DK please stop by and enter "LizPieper" to find her page. You can read news about how she's doing and leave her a message of support.

Well, that's about it for now. Peace to all of you Adventurers. Look after each other out there, ok?

Liz Pieper and

Hey, guys. Just wanted to make a quick post to let everyone know about a page that's been set up for Liz Pieper at As many of you know, Liz is battling cancer (she's currently been admitted to the hospital at Seton once again), and this page has been set up on her behalf to let people know how she's doing and to allow people to send her messages of encouragement and support. You just go to to register, and then you look under the name LizPieper (enter it as one word like that when you're trying to look her up). Everyone go check it out and send her some love. I'm sure that Liz, DK, and Liz's family and friends all appreciate the support!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Well, there was a big ol' war protest here this weekend (or at least a medium sized one), and when I heard that Big Johnson was coming to town to attend it, I knew that Force Steans should be in attendance as well (we can't let kids from Houston show us up when it comes to political activism, for gosh sake). Here's a photo of Roundball and McSteans in attendance at the peace demonstration out in front of the capitol steps (we marched from city hall down Congress to the capitol).

The whole protest sparked a discussion between Roundball and I about what, exactly, the protestors were seeking to accomplish, and whether or not we were actually ideologically in full agreement with the anti war protest group. After all, I'm not really sure that I agree that we should instantaneously withdraw all of our troops. It seems to me that America started this war, destroying the infrastructure as well as the social and political stability of Iraq, and I'm not sure it would be morally sound to simply pull all of our troops out as hastily as possible (a move that I feel would send Iraq spiraling into an even deeper level of civil war, violence, and chaos than what it faces at present). I do think that we need to slowly withdrawing troops, however, and that we need to begin to find a way to extricate ourselves from the situation and hand over control of the country to the Iraqi government. And I'm most definitely against the idea of sending in more troops- an idea which I think might provide some additional very short term stability, but which will ultimately result only in additional American deaths and the increased distrust of the Iraqis and of many more Muslims in the region. So I'm against the war and I want it to be over, but I think we have a responsibility not to leave the Iraqi people in the lurch (and, yes, I know some people will say that Iraq will never achieve stability as long as we are still present in the region in any capacity, but I just don't agree with this- I think they still need our help).

Anyhoo, it felt good to get out and just make our voices heard amongst some likeminded people. It was a beautiful day, and it was good for the soul just to take part in an event where people got off their butts and came out to voice a desire to bring about peace and end violence. That can never be a bad thing.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Well, it's Friday. Work is easing up a bit (at least for the time being), and I'm looking forward to a chance to catch my breath over the weekend.
Last night I ate some spaghetti and veggies with Mandy, and we watched Scrubs and Boston Legal. I've never really watched Boston Legal before, but in the last two weeks I've watched two episodes, and the show is pretty good. I'm not really sure about some of the younger actors/attorneys on the show, but I like Spader, Shatner, and Bergen, and those three alone make the show worth watching (in particular, Shatner just cracks me up).
After leaving Mandy's house I went home and did a little work before watching an episode of 24 (it turns out that the only thing worse than having terrorists set off a nuclear bomb within the U.S. is finding out that they have four more nuclear bombs still stashed away somewhere).

Anyhoo, I don't know how much attention the rest of the world is paying to it, but up at the courthouse all eyes are on the Colton Pitonyak murder trial. For those who don't know, this is the kid who killed a female friend of his and then chopped up her body and left it in a bath tub. The trial is filled with stories about spoiled, affluent, drug-crazed white kids, and the press is eating it up (Court TV is broadcasting most of the trial to a national audience and our local media outlets are following it fairly closely). The case is being tried in the 147th District Court by Bill Bishop and Stephanie McFarland (for the state) and Roy Minton and Sam Bassett (for the defense). Bill and Stephanie are also handling the case involving the woman who hit Jeff, Kim, and Sigmund, and I know Bill and Stephanie on a personal level as well (I've known Stephanie since she was a prosecutor in misdemeanor court with Jeff). I wish them luck on their case and hope they're holding up ok under the stress of dealing with such a high publicity trial.

By the way, I wanna go ahead and send out an early shout about another First Thursday gig by The Mono Ensemble at Ben White Florist, located at 3200 South Congress (across from St. Ed's and just a little bit past Amy's Ice Cream if you're heading south out of downtwon on South Congress). We'll be playing next Thursday, the 1st, at roughly 5:00. I'll be reminding you guys some more, to be sure, but pencil it in on your planners. Cause I know you love to rock.

Also, the New Orleans Jazzfest lineup has been announced, and Steanso has been perusing it and pondering it. To be honest, the lineup isn't immediately blowing me away, but there are definitely some really good acts in there that I would enjoy seeing (e.g., Branford Marsalis, the Allman Brothers, Calexico, Stephen Marley, Roy Hargrove, Galactic, The New Orleans Social Club, Soulive, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and so on and so forth...). Anyway, click on the link and see if any of the 500 or so acts appeal to you. I love New Orleans, and I'm always interested in seeing if any Adventurers have any interest in a trip to Jazzfest. Let me know.

Ok. That's it for now. Keep on rockin.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hello. I've been busy in court, which pretty much means I've been out of the blogging loop. Last night I went and had dinner with Roundball and McSteans at Romeo's. I hadn't been there in awhile, and the food was quite a bit better than I remembered. After dinner I went home and (sadly) worked on some stuff for work for today. I then watched an episode of 24 that Weedo had taped for me (there's nothing more relaxing before bedtime than seeing L.A. get nuked), and turned in. That's about it. Felt like I didn't have a minute to breathe yesterday. Today wasn't much better.

Well, I hope the world is doing ok without me (while I'm trapped in workworld). Peace to you kids.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hey. I'm really busy today. Last night Greg Johnson was in town (seeing a Jeff Tweedy show which I wasn't even aware of- Greg Johnson has some kind of hyperawareness of music related events that's almost like a superpower) so I had a quick dinner with he and Mandy and Reed Shaw (who had dropped by my house at exactly the right moment to deliver a videotape of 24 episodes). We went to Hyde Park Grill and had a nice, albeit brief, dinner.

I went back to my house afterward and watched a couple of episodes of 24 with Cassidy. I went to bed early. I've been feeling strange lately.

Ok. Gotta go. Hope all's well.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hey there, Adventurers. How's stuff?

Well, last night I had a delicious spaghetti dinner with Mandy and Kate (Mandy did the cooking, and the spaghetti just seemed awfully good, given the fact that it was cold and dismal outside and it had been declared to be the most depressing day of the year). After dinner we watched Supernanny and did a lot of armchair quarterbacking about how to effectively parent troublesome kids (Kate's solutions seem to generally revolve around not having kids in the first place, but that kind of defeats the point of the hypothetical game).
Anyway, it was a nice dinner and a good way to unwind after a particularly troublesome Monday.

Also, I know that this is a bit after the fact, but Hillary Clinton announced on Saturday that she's throwing her hat into the ring for the 2008 presidential race. Now Steanso is a pretty big fan of the Clinton's, I think they both did an excellent job during Bill's term in office, and I really do like Hillary and think she makes a good senator. However, I think it would be a mistake to make Hillary the democratic candidate for president in the next election. I just think that too many conservatives, for whatever reason (maybe it's because she stood by Bill during the Lewinsky debacle, maybe it's because she's an extremely ambitious woman, or maybe it's just her personality), really have a strong dislike for the woman. I think that conservative opposition to Hillary is so strng that it might actually mobilize an otherwise fairly apathetic block of right wing voters (they've given their all to the Republicans for the last 8 years and haven't gotten much in return) to get out there and vote against her. I have no idea if this is accurate, but I heard some pundit on TV the other day saying that she has something close to 100% name recognition across the country, but only a 40% approval rating. If this is anywhere near accurate, she would be coming out of the starting gate at a distinct disadvantage, and I hate to sound cutthroat, but the Democrats just can't afford that right now. There's too much at stake (little things like the enviroment, civil rights, living wages for American workers, healthcare, the Iraq war, etc.).

I'm still not sure who I'm gonna support (Edwards? Obama?), and you can be sure I'll still support Hillary if she gets the Democratic nomination, but I don't think she's our best shot at winning.

Monday, January 22, 2007

By the way, feeling a little blue today (or in general, lately?). Well, today has been declared to be the most depressing day of the year. In 2005 a psychologist named Cliff Arnall came up with a formula that takes things like weather patterns, the passing holidays, and personal debt into account, and came up with a formula that tries to predict the most depressing day of the year. The results have pretty much fallen within a few days of today. So, if you're feeling kind of down, you can at least take comfort in the ol' "misery loves company" mindset and know that you're not suffering alone.
And keep praying for that sunshine, Adventurers.....
The weekend was pretty good. Friday I just hung out and had dinner with Mandy. The Mono E had an unusually long band practice on Saturday and drank a few beers (and a tequila shot or two) in honor of Reed and Eric's birthday. I can't really remember everything that we played, but I know that we jammed out a couple of Peter Frampton tunes for some reason.
Sunday I had lunch at Curra's with Ryan and Jamie and pretty much just hung out and watched football and whatnot. Last night I had a quick dinner with Mandy and ended up watching an Ed Norton movie (also starring the talented and very lovely Jessica Biel) called The Illusionist. It was a decent movie, if not extraordinarily original, dealing with a couple of star-crossed lovers and an extremely talented magician. I also watched The Da Vinci Code this weekend, and found it fairly entertaining, although also not really outstanding. Maybe the whole "Jesus has kids" plotline didn't seem as novel to me as it did to some others because I'd already seen similar plotlines spring up previously in Preacher, a comic book that my brother used to read, as well as some other books.

Also, did anyone else hear that the Dutch have begun to produce a beer for dogs? Apparently it's non-alcoholic, and it has, among other flavors, beef extract. Sounds like it might also be good for Roundball.

Friday, January 19, 2007

So I don't have a heck of a lot to post on today. Eric "E Rock" Gottula and Reed "Weedo" Shaw both have birthdays tomorrow, so I want to send an early shout out to those fools as they celebrate another victorious year of being Eric and Reed.
Last night I had dinner with Roundball and McSteans. I also took Cassidy back over to their house for a visit. Cassidy is most certainly more happy over at Fort Steans, in the company of Melbotis and Lucy (my brother's golden retriever and black lab), than she is when she has to sit around our house all day, but as I explained to her, she's my dog, so she has to live with me. You can't always get what you want (which explains the work lives of many millions of Americans). Anyhoo, she gets plenty of visiting time with the cousin dogs on a pretty regular basis.
Also, Mandy's wieners, Max and Lucy, returned to Tejas Trail yesterday after staying with Jajuan for a week, so I stopped by to visit them (and Mandy, of course) last night before bed.

Has anyone else seen Slither? It's basically a movie about mind controlling slugs from outer space, and I watched it on Wednesday when we were iced in. It was pretty entertaining. It was funny and kinda scary and kinda gross. I watched some of the extra features, and its clear that the director, James Gunn, is a big fan of a lot of the horror movies from the eighties and nineties (The Thing, The Toxic Avenger, Gremlins, etc.), and he enjoys bringing that slimy, grotesque, horrifying, and vaguely silly brand of scariness to the screen. Anyway, I enjoyed it.

Well, I gotta run, but I hope you cats are doing ok.
Buenos dias!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Howdy. The "ice storm o' '07" is drawing to its conclusion (not with a bang, but a whimper), and we're back at work today (although we got started an hour later than usual). Cassidy is back at home, and I think she was happy to see me (although our happy reunion may quickly become overshadowed by her return to a relatively boring home which lacks two other dogs and two unemployed humans to constantly keep her constantly entertained).

Last night Mandy and I had dinner with Kate and Judy. We had pot roast, carrots, wine, and potatos, and everything was very good. We talked about UT basketball, books we've recently read, and the surprisingly tasty quality of the dinner rolls which are served in elementary school cafeterias.

Anyway, I'm back from vacation, and back at work, and it must be time to start thinking about where to go for my next trip.

I wanna send out a word of thanks to Andy, Rami, Camille, and, of course, Mandy for sharing the trip to Playa del Carmen with me and making it such a fun trip. I really had a great time, and I'm sorry that it's over. Thanks, guys!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Well, we're still frozen in here in Capital City. Yesterday I stayed home and played with the computer and watched a movie called Poseidon, which turned out to be a lot bleaker than I expected (I was looking for a popcorn movie about some guys who save a ship full of passengers after the ship capsizes- instead I got a movie where only a couple of people manage to survive and the rest of the passengers and crew get killed).

I managed to work my way to Central Market yesterday to get some tamales and stuff for Mandy and I (we ate dinner together last night). Anyway, my day was mostly spent reading and lounging around the Hop-a-Long Lounge. I was impressed by the fact that Continental managed to get my suitcase delivered to me yesterday, despite the ice and weather. I miss having Cassidy around, and I want to find a way to retrieve her today if at all possible.

So that's about it for the moment. Hope you guys are staying warm!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

just a few more vacation photos...

Mandy and Elf Rami enjoy a cocktail

The Whiskeetos saunter down 5th Avenue...

Fire dancers at The Blue Parrot

Every great hero needs theme music...

Back from Mexico

Well, we got back from Playa del Carmen last night, and what a difference 24 hours makes!

Here we have Andy F. sucking down a margarita on the beach.....

And here's what I woke up to this morning....

They lost my suitcase on the way back, and it still hasn't shown up at my house. I'm hoping they're just slow to deliver it because of the frozen roads. There has been a mixture of rain, snow, and ice falling at my house since I got up.

A few more photos:

Here's Camille and Mandy when we were walking back to our hotel from el mercado.

Mandy fires off a snapshot of the gang

And a brief wait outside of what turned out to be a very tasty breakfast place.

Anyway, the trip was good, and the return to Austin has been kind of a shock, given the weather. We all had a good time (beaches, tequila, and really good food- how can you go wrong?), and I definitely would like to return in the not-so-distant future! I hope everyone did ok while we were gone!!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Also, kudos to Sherri Tibbe for getting this done within her first couple of weeks in office as the Hays County district Attorney...
Hey! Last day of work before heading to Mexico. I've got the pre-vacation buzz going. It's mostly excitement, with a teensie bit of travel anxiety thrown in for good measure. Cassidy is staying at Fort Roundball for the duration of my absence. I'm sure she will be happy to stay and play with the cousin dogs. Let's hope they don't teach her to eat poop.
If you guys never hear from me again, you can assume that Andy and I have joined some sort of Mexican paramilitary group and are fighting for freedom on behalf of our adopted countrymen. Either that or we've taken jobs as bartenders at some beachside resort.
In addition to simply looking forward to going on vacation, I'm looking forward to seeing Camille, who's going to meet us down in Playa del Carmen on Thursday. She's become a good friend, and since she lives all the way up in freakin' Boston, it's always good to have an excuse to get her to come see us.
Well, that's about it.
Stupid Tom Craddick is still speaker of the Texas House. I expected it, but was still hoping it wouldn't happen. On the national level, House Democrats have gotten busy right out of the gate by proposing new legislation which would boost the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour, a step which is meant to at least partially reflect cost of living increases. The federal minimum wage hasn't changed in over 10 years, and House Democrats argue that this hike in the minimum wage is simply an act of fairness, adding that a minimum wage which would be truly commensurate with cost of living increases would fall somehwere closer to the $9 an hour range. Steanso says kudos to the Democrats for jumping on this issue so quickly. If we want people to work, we have to make it worth their while- we have to try to allow for a living wage even amongst the lowest paid jobs in order to give people an incentive to stay employed (what's the point of working if doing so won't pay for basic necessities like food, clothes, and a place to stay?).
Anyhoo, Bush'll probably want to veto the whole thing, but I hope he gets raked over the coals if he does.
OK. I gotta run.
Hope you guys have a good time while I'm gone if I don't talk to you for awhile....

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hello. I'm feeling a little bit better today, although still not really back to full speed. Back to work, though. Lots of antihistamines and vitamin C.
Well, as soon as Steanso made a move to hop on board the technology train with his new iPod, Apple moved him back into the freight cars with the stowaways and hobos by announcing their new iPhone. The iPhone plays MP3s and videos, allows for internet browsing, and, of course, works as a phone. We'll have to see how much people like the little gadgets, but they seem like they could be the next "big thing". Oh well- I may not have the latest Apple gadget on the market, but I rock darn hard with the one that I've got.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sorry there's no real post today. Steanso is at home today, beat down with either some bug or cedar fever or something of the sort. Spent all day holed up at the Hop-a-Long Lounge, curled up under some blankets on the futon, watching tube and sleeping. It started in on me this weekend. Feeling a little better this evening, but still not great. Kind of troublesome, seeing as how I'm s'posed to be in Mexico by the end of this week. Gotta take me vitamins, Adventurers.

Anyhow, I hope you guys are doing better than me.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Well, Weedo and I went to see Soulhat last night, and those guys are still rock and roll superheros. I've seen different variations of Soulhat play over the years since they broke up (always with Kevin McKinney at the helm), but last night's show had all of the original members of the band back together, and they looked like they were having a lot of fun, so that was good to see. The show was at Antone's, and although the show wasn't sold out, there were quite a few people there, and the band had a lot of energy. The crowd was older than back when I used to see these guys in college (there were probably a bunch of other people there who used to see them when they were younger, as well), but all 4 of the guys in the band were still playing extremely well, and the band was tight. It's just cool to see a band that has some relatively complicated, difficult music, but in which the melody and the grooves drive the songs (as opposed to bands where the members rely almost exclusively on solos in order to demonstrate their musicianship). If the younger kids ever start to catch on to this band, they could easily build a big following and be back in the musical mainstream within a year or so. It's not clear what direction the band is going to take, though. It sounds like they all have their own things going on, but it sure was nice to see them back together and having fun.

Friday, January 05, 2007

By the way, my brother (aka, Roundball, aka, Ryan) is launching a new endeavor in the area of online comic book analysis and crticism. His first writing for his new webstie can be found at ComicFodder ( a subsection of It's pretty comic intensive and not for the faint of heart, but check him out anyway.
Well, the Blue Bastard, as it turns out, was only in need of a new battery. I had thought that it needed a new alternator, but I was wrong. I tell ya what- Honda builds some fine cars, Adventurers. I've had that thing for about 7 years, and it hasn't had any real problems yet (knock on wood). Anyway, the guys at Lopez treated me right, and I got my car back a few hours after dropping it off. Thanks to D.K. and Mandy for helping me out during my period of automotive difficulty.
Not too much else to report. Mandy and I got dinner, and then we watched some TV. We ended up watching Dog: The Bounty Hunter (damn that Camille for getting us hooked on it). Dog was having a year end wrap up show, and although they spun the year's events to make them seem even more dramatic than they were, it became clear that Dog and his family really have had a crazy year (the death of Dog's daughter, his wedding, the birth of babies in the family, Dog's arrest because of fugitive hunting in Mexico, the death of his father-in-law, etc.). Anyway, it's a silly show, but strangely, aspects of it hit home because of the tough year that we've been having, too. Hopefully 2007 is better for everyone.
And here's a news story with ethical implications that are just bizarre. Apparently a family in Illionis has had their severely mentally and physically disabled daughter, Ashley, undergo surgery in order to keep her from growing to a normal adult size and to keep her from undergoing puberty. The idea behind such a procedure is to make it easier for Ashley's parents to care for her- to transport her, to prevent bedsores, and to prevent other care issues that would arise if she were to pass through puberty.
The case is kind of troubling due to the fact that the surgery is not necessarily directly intended to benefit the patient. The surgery may make life considerably easier for her caretakers, but it may not directly benefit Ashley from a medical health perspective (i.e., it's not meant to remedy any specific ailment that she currently has). Ashley's parents, however, maintain that any procedure which aids their ability to care for her will utlimately benefit Ashley (and since keeping her smaller will allow them to care for her on a much longer term basis, this procedure falls into that category).
The whole thing is strange. It brings up issues about parents who seek to keep their disabled children in a sort of infant state, and it brings up issues regarding what sorts of procedures caretakers and legal guardians should be allowed to give consent for. Should disabled patients be deprived of the experience of becoming fully formed adults simply because it makes caring for them easier? How much weight should the desires of caretakers be given since, from a pragmatic perspective, the development of the patient has a direct impact on the workload, and therefore the quality of life of the caretakers? Interesting issues.
Anyhoo, I gotta run. Maybe more later. You guys be good.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Well, for those of you who have always been dying to own your own Crack shirt, here's a link to my Cafepress page so you can get one. No, I don't make any money off of them. By the way, here's a link to a page for Mono Ensemble shirts, if you want one of them. Anyone who's in one of these two bands who doesn't have a shirt yet and hasn't gotten a X-mas present from me yet might want to hold off on getting one until you see me next....

Last night I went and had dinner with Mandy, Damon, and Kellie at The Salt Lick: 360. Dinner was yummy, and we ate too much. Kellie and Damon should be flying out for Seattle today.
Congrats to Alicia for passing her design licensing exam. Now if any of you Adventurers have an interior that needs to be designed, Alicia Croley can handle it for you, and you can be confident that she's actually licensed and not just pulling ideas out of thin air, all willy nilly. (for those of you who haven't met her, Alicia is from Beaumont and is a longtime friend of Mandy's)
What else?
My car, aka, The Blue Bastard (so dubbed by Jamie) has fallen ill. I tried to go to lunch with DK, and it wouldn't start. Now, following some minor adventures with jumper cables, The Bastard is in the capable hands of the guys over at Lopez Auto Repair (I've never actually had to take my car in there before, but Jeff always had his vehicles fixed by them, and he thought they were good, fair mechanics). Let's keep our fingers crossed for the Bastard's quick, inexpensive recovery.
That's about it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hey, Adventurers. S'up?
Got home last night and went over to Mandy's house to visit Susan, Allison, and Robert. Allison was getting her hair cut by Kellie, although by the time I got there the haircut was over and she was just dancing around the living room with Robert to some of Mandy's Bob Marley music. Everything was happy and great until it was time to leave, at which point Allison decided that she needed another Oreo or two and started crying. When I ponderd aloud why a kid would cry just because they didn't get an Oreo, Mandy sagely replied, "Because they can."
After that Steanso went out to dinner at Hill's Cafe with Roundball and McSteans. Dinner turned out to be kind of a bomb. Roundball's food was cold, Jamie found some kind of staple or metal wire in her chicken fried chicken, and our waitress disappeared on us for somewhere around 25 to 30 minutes, so we had a difficult time getting those problems rectified. I've eaten good meals at Hill's before, though, and they ended up comping our meal, so I'm sure we'll go back to Hill's sometime in the future. But not for awhile.
We went back to my house and hung out a bit, and then I went to the video store and rented some kind of movie based upon the Beowulf legend that looked pretty interesting, but I fell asleep about 15 minutes into it.
It's dark early, the holidays are over, and we're in full swing winter mode, which is typically a sort of depressing time of the year for Steanso. Of course, this year we're going to Mexico on the 11th, so that should brighten things up quite a bit.
Hang in there, Adventurers.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Well, last night Mandy, Kellie, and Damon joined forces in some kind of culinary superhero team and made us a really yummy steak dinner with mashed potatos and asparagus and, of course, some lucky black eyed peas. The food was all really yummy, and I mostly just stayed out of their way. The picture at left catches them in the middle of their whirlwind activity in the kitchen.

After dinner we watched The Devil Wears Prada. I knew that this was going to be a chick flick going into it, but I thought that it might be funny, with some biting wit and some clever social satire. Well, it didn't really have any of that stuff. It was a pretty formulaic, fairly boring movie. Oh well. Dinner was good.

Earlier in the day, I didn't do too much. I got up and went and got breakfast tacos for the troops (who were battleworn and weary on the first day of the new year, to be sure), and I took down Christmas lights. I finished up the first season of The Wire (which was very good), and I played with Cassidy. I also downloaded Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes, TV on the Radio's first album. I saw these guys play when I was at ACL Fest, and I thought they were pretty interesting, so I got on iTunes with a gift card and bought this album (which was their first album from 2004- they've got a new album that came out in 2006 called Return to Cookie Mountain, but I thought it best to start at the beginning). Anyway, it's cool. Lots of different layered sounds and some cool vocals, and although you can hear some Radiohead-ish stuff in there (they self-released their first CD and called it OK, Calculator, apparently as a direct Radiohead homage), they definitely have a unique sound of their own. It's nice to hear something a little different.

Well, that's about it. I had to work today, apparently because the Travis County commissioners hate Gerald Ford (state and federal employees, and even Mandy over at the good ol' State Bar, had today off in tribute to his passing).

Going to Mexico in 9 days, but who's counting? I need to plan a trip to go somewhere for sometime after Mexico so I can have something to look forward to when I get back. Any ideas, Adventurers?

Dat's it. Stay groovey.

Remember, Adventurers, the truth is out there.... ; )

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!!!!

Thanks to the Blooms for having us over to ring in the new year! I think we went over to their house with a mind toward kicking 2006 in the ass on its way out, but once we got there,maybe welcoming in 2007 seemed a better priority. Here's to hoping it's a better one.

Here's Sig and Andy, sometime well into the new year.

Roundball, Feral Andy, and yours truly. Note Feral Andy's claw hand.

A brief, fuzzy glimpse of the rare, elusive, Rosa Theofanis as she chats it up fireside with Kim.

And The Pea and Rami.

Anyhoo, it was a good time! Happy New Year, everyone!!