Monday, December 24, 2007

Ho Ho Crack Ho

Christmas. A time for families, for togetherness, and for the spirit of giving. At least that is how I always thought it should be.

Today, we went to my parents house, or at least the orphanage where they work. It was supposed to be a time for the family to get together and celebrate Christmas. My wayward sister was going to join us for the first time in years. It was going to be a holiday to remember.

We got there around 1:30 right as lunch was coming out of the oven. Now because of all of my warnings, Ali knew that my mother cannot cook. She has a bad habit of burning the things that don’t go in the oven, and not cooking the things totally that go in the oven all the way through. So on the way, we stop at Jack in the Box and get burgers. Luckily we did not have to eat very much of it.

We had a fairly good time, watching the baby open his presents, and sitting around doing not much of anything. My sister called once to tell us she was going to be late, since they were working on their car. She called again to say the car was not getting fixed and she needed a ride. So at 5 my father set out to pick up my sister and her current live in guy.

At 6:30 apparently he told her that we were waiting for her at the house with my mom. And she lost it. She did not want to face us. She was turning in a true chicken shit moment. So instead of her returning home, my mother told us that we needed to leave. Let me repeat that. WE were tossed out on Christmas eve. My parents chose my crack head (literally), prostitute (again literally), disappearing sister over their other son and his family. So we left.

Granted my family has never really been good at holiday togetherness or really any other time of year togetherness. But this is the lowest form of, well I don’t really know what to call it.

So my family returned home. We made cookies for Santa and decorated them. We are watching Home Alone and tracking santa on NORAD while a fire burns in the fireplace. Hell with them. We are having Christmas.

I hope everyone is with the one they love this year, and may 2008 be a happy and bright one for you as well.

Now what did I do with my bottle of whiskey…Santa needs a nip.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

its been a while...

So here I am, its November, starting to get a little cooler out there. I am still not working. I managed to push a little too hard in my PT sessions, and injured another section of my back. Friday I am heading back to the pain management gurus, and they are going to inject my spine with stuff to hopefully get me over this and back to my recovery stuff.

I have had lots of time to sit and work with the iPhone, and work on the new Mac OS, Leopard, and I must say, these two additions to the Apple fold will no doubt bring in a few converts. Yay for my stock!

I started out a few months ago not understanding why everyone made such a big deal out of Guitar Hero, to a few weeks ago admitting it looked interesting, to a few days ago feeling like a dork for wanting it, to 24 hours ago feeling like a complete nerd for using it, and a few hours ago from feeling like a digital rock star, all be it quite bad at the moment. What a strange game.

Still reading the Dark Tower series by Steven King. I kept thinking a book is getting sluggish, then turn a page and cannot put it down after that. IF you have a few months to kill, sit and read them, they are quite good, but will manage to hurt your head.

Well that is it for me, a panic attack tonight made this take over 3 hours to write. Time to relax for a bit. Im physically and emotionally drained and need a nap.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Its over...

Oh Blockbuster online, you have now made yourself an enemy. I have been your devoted customer for now for almost 18 months. I have put up with you sending me broken discs, super scratched media, and in some cases, the wrong thing. I have continued to pay your premium fees, even when you change the terms in the middle, or when one of the best features of your program was almost eliminated. I speak of course of the ability to exchange movies in the store for the ones I got in the mail. I have felt good about our supply/demand relationship despite the 300+ bucks you have cost me. Until this week.

First I get an email telling me that your going to cancel my account. It goes on to explain that am being cancelled because I have reported so many issues with blockbuster media. So according to the email, because of lack of quality media, or the amount of scratches on them rendering them useless, I am going to be penalized.

I call your headquarters and am told that Blockbuster has not given me good customer service and is therefore canceling me. I am told that you are canceling me and investigating my zip code to see if there are other issues in the area, and therefore might be a postal issue. I am told sorry bout that, have a great day.

Here is my question blockbuster online, how is any of this my fault? You rape your customers for a huge amount of money, but never replace old and heavily used discs with new ones. I have a Wal-Mart nearby, and know most of these older movies can be found there.

I call your headquarters again, to ask these very questions. I am amazed at your ability to use security to make sure it is me you are talking to, but am also amazed that your phone operator can hang up on me when he cannot answer my questions. That’s right, he hung up on me. So being the normal consumer I am , I call back, and am again placed on hold until someone drops the line. I assume this is my fault as well, and having reported so many issues with trying to call customer service perhaps I should cancel that option as well.

So here is how I am going to move on blockbuster online. I have already taken screen shots of my waiting list of movies, so I know what I wanted to see. I am going to watch movies that I have here in the binder. I am going to catch up on my Tivo. I might eventually join Netflix to start getting movies again, but I will be damned If I ever put any more money in your pocket.

Especially having gotten this just now.

Hello Ninjamunkey,
Due to problems with your account, we are unable to continue serving you.
Your subscription to will be cancelled, effective Friday, September 14, 2007. To avoid additional charges, return all DVDs rented online by Sunday, October 14, 2007.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

My August

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. I guess I have been so busy with things in general, I have not blogged. Let’s try this quick hit style, and see if I can get everything caught up.

• Not sure if I mentioned this or not, but after 3 weeks of recovery, we decided to take a day trip to Glen Rose, Texas and check out Dinosaur State Park. It’s a cool little area of Texas on the Brazos river, where there are footprints of dinosaurs that are preserved in the limestone edges of the river. What we did not know until we arrived is that the footprints are only visible after a ½ mile hike down loose rock and sand cliffs to the water. I made it all the way down to the river and back up, so I was quite proud.

• While taking my son to his grandparents for a much needed kid free weekend, my mother announced that she had “twisted my back like yours” and could not breath, could not function from the pain. WE rushed her to the ER for medical attention, and found that there was nothing on the X-Rays or MRI, but they gave her some of the strongest medication I have ever heard. I mean, a patch that is used for Cancer patients was given to her. Needless to say, the baby came home with us and the weekend was cancelled.

• Tossed the wiffle ball to the boy day before yesterday, and while I did not attempt to do full speed pitches, or really break off curves, my back has been screaming for the past 2 days. Perhaps that was a bit early. Its hard to tell him I cannot play, and watch him be sad because of it, so I gave in, but perhaps did a little too much.

• I was supposed to have a follow up appointment with my doctor this morning, but last Wednesday, his office called and told me that my doctor was having emergency surgery himself, and would be out for a while. So I guess I got a reprieve from actual PT until next week. I really am ready to get started with it though, as I would like to start getting more range of motion. Time.

• The Mrs got a IM from a man who had done a great deal of online detective work. Turns out that he is the son of her Grandfather’s half brother. Confused yet? Yeah me too. I guess they had the same father and were both walked out on very early in their lives and never really met. Thanks to the wonder of the internet, he found her.

• Friday I turn 32. I would not go back and change anything I have done to this point, except maybe take better care of my back and knees.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Military vs. Civilian Friends

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Tell you not to do something stupid when drunk
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will post 360 security so you dont get caught

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr. and Mrs
MILITARY FRIENDS: Call your parents Drunk as hell and tell them about the fat chick you tried to pick up

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Hope the night out drinking goes smoothly, and hope that no one is late for the ride home.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Know some wild shit will happen, and set up rally points and an E & E route.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Bail you out of jail and tell you what you did was wrong.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will be sitting next to you saying, Damn...we fucked up...but hey, that shit was fun as fuck!"

MILITARY FRIENDS: Laugh at you and tell you to put some vagasil on your pussy.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Steal each other's stuff so often nobody remembers who bought it in the first place.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Are happy that someone picked up a one night stand and leave them alone.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will Low Crawl naked into the room with a camera and hope for the tag team.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will listen to your relatioship problems and hope it works out for you.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will listen to you over a long hard road march, and will help you straighten it out better than Dr. Phil.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Might try to hit on your girl behind your back.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Have spooned with you in the field more than your girl has, and would never even think about doing that.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds ass that left you.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Would knock on your door.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, "I'm home fuckers!"

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will try and talk to the bouncer when you get tossed out of the bar.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will man up and go after the bouncer for touching you on the way out.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will wish you had enough money to go out that night, and are sorry you couldn't come.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will share their last dollar with you, drag you along, and try to steal free drinks all night.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they think you've had enough.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will look at you stumbling all over the place and say, "Bitch, you better drink the rest of that shit, you know we don't waste.. That's alcohol abuse!!!"

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Want the money they loaned you back next week.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Can't begin to remember who owes who money after taking care of each other for so long.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will say "I can't handle Tequila anymore".
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will say "okay just one more" and then 2 minutes later "okay just one more".

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will talk shit to the person who talks shit about you.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will knock them the fuck out!!

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will tell you "They'd take a bullet for you."
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will actually take a bullet for you.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will ignore this
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will repost this

10:21 PM - 3 Comments - 0 Kudos -

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

another week down...

And just like that, I have made it through 2 weeks with a new back. Things are getting easier. The pain can still be pretty high at times, but its not a constant. I have been attempting to walk every day. Today is my proudest achievement, 1.19 miles in a single session. Almost 2 miles from 11am-5pm. The only downfall, I am afraid I will be hurting later, as I was in serious pain last night after almost a mile. But as I have said before, Pain is weakness leaving the body. Tomorrow is my first post op doctors appointment, and I get to find out if I can reach over my head or pick up anything heavier than 10 pounds. What I really want to find out is if they will let me go swimming. With the temperature reaching 103 every day, I think a 98 degree pool will be nice.

This also marks day 15 with no smoking. So lets see. Back fixed, exercising every day, and not smoking. Holy crap I might be getting healthy before long. Who would have thought on my daily diet of powdered sugar doughnuts I could get to a point where I actually want to work out. I just put on the shuffle, rocked out, and walked. I can also tell that I am moving around a little faster.

I will post again tomorrow when I get news from the doctor. As per usual, I will be bringing sexy back.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

one week...

So its been one week of my Titanium Spine, so I wanted to put down a few things to reflect back on in a few months, when I forget what this week is like. Indulge me please.

1) movement is still limited. I can get around, but getting up and down on couches, chairs and beds takes a few minutes of planning and execution. I am sure as days go by, I will be able to move around a little easier. With 5 weeks to go before I even get close to Physical Therapy, I am going to be atrophy ridden.

2) The pain is still really high. I am taking the strongest Vicodin made, usually every 2 hours. It only slightly makes a dent in the discomfort. Hopefully I can start to ween from the meds, but if I go longer than a few hours now, it feels like someone planted a knife in my back.

3) Simple things are really tough. Yesterday, I tried to get myself another glass of ice water, and managed to spill it when setting it down. So I then went about trying to clean it up, but not being able to bend over, I had to rely on using my feet to clean it up. Of course I am using a cane for stability, and it slipped on the wet, making me feel like a towel twisted. I cannot reach over to raise the toilet seat, so my cane is doing double duty, lifting, raising, or picking up things I cannot reach.

4) I am quite proud of the fact that today I managed to put 2 items in the dishwasher, close it with soap in there, and get it started. Of course, I had to take a break in the middle of doing everything, as I got really tired, but I did it.

5) We have been walking every evening this week. The first night, we made it a good 100 yards from the house, and came back. The next day we added another 25 yards or so before turning around. My doctor wants me to have a few miles a day under my belt by the time I start PT in 5 weeks. My personal goal is to be walking 10-12 miles a day by October. I would say running or jogging, but I am being realistic.

6) Smoking. Something I had gotten very comfortable with doing the past few years. It was a stress reliever. It was a way to chill out. But it also made my hands and clothes stink. My teeth a constant yellow. My son started pantomiming the action of smoking with anything he could, French fries, crayons, whatever. Wanna feel like a heel? Have your pride and joy mimick smoking around you. I smoked my last one on Sunday, July 22nd, around 2am. I sort of miss them, in that way you miss a headache, a toothache, or a rattle in your car that finally gets fixed.

7) That being said, I don’t want to start replacing smokes with food. Its very easy to do. You’re a smoker and you smoke when you get a lull in activity. Downtime at work, you smoke. Day off and your watching tv doing nothing, smoke. Now that I am a non smoker, it would be really easy to munch on something when down time happens. I should have mentioned earlier, but another goal with my recovery is to loose 50 pounds. Im sitting on 247 now. 253 prior to surgery. So 5 pounds is mainly because I am not very hungry. I think the pain pills have a large hand in that. So encouragement is welcome, and if someone wants a walking partner, a diet buddy or a quitting smoking friend, I am here.

That is enough for now. I will keep you posted.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

T-minus 18 hours and change

so we are presently in the car, heading to Denton to take the baby munkey to his grandparents for at least a few days. One of the things that I picked up for Mrs Ninjamunkey is a cell access card for the mac. That way she can post updates to the web on my surgery, and recovery and such. We are going to plan on a really nice rich dinner tonight, maybe fondue. No food after midnight or I turn into the evil grimlin instead of the cute and cuddley mogwai.

More later!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Careful what you wish for

Well, so much for working right up to my surgery date. We went to see the doctor yesterday, and found out that I will not be returning to work until after recovery. It wasn’t like I begged or anything. Actually I was planning on working as much as possible and building up a little paycheck to carry us until the disability kicks in, (after 8 days).

The doctor was concerned with a rather disturbing development. You see, I have started to loose my hair. Only not the hair on my head, the hair on my legs. Pretty much the same location on both legs, but the areas that are missing within the last week make me look like a patchwork quilt. Or a sick dog. Not sure which. She was concerned that I was having circulation issues. I wondered if the steroids they had been injecting into my back were causing the issue. Either way, she did not want me to be standing for long periods of time, or lifting anything, or doing much more than laying down a lot, resting and such.

So I am now going to be at home. I figure I have 2 full Tivos and a few binders of DVDs. I also got into the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, and that is like 8 books long, each one at least 400 pages.

I think I will also have time to blog a lot more, so if you get sick of reading it, well, hey its keeping me occupied

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

relief in sight

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real-Johnny Cash-Hurt

July 10, 2007. Int. Orthopedic surgeon’s office. I am sitting in a chair that feels like it has never been sat in before. The burnt orange vinyl is sticking to the back of my legs, and the copy of Sports Illustrated from 2004 is on my lap. My back and legs feel like I have been hit in the lower back with a baseball bat the size of a small Cadillac.

I get called into an office that could seriously use a professional organizer, or at least someone to take out the trash. There are folders stacked around the room. Some stacks are taller than I am, and leaning in such a way that I am amazed they are actually standing. The lady comes in and apologizes for keeping me waiting. She tells me that with the 4th of July holiday she is way behind. I want to tell her that is no excuse for not calling me back, or not answering her voicemails, but really I just want to get all the scheduling done for my surgery and get out of there.

So then she hits me all at once with, we have an opening in less than 2 weeks, so your booked then. The 23rd. She then rattles off 5 appointment date and times for me. 1 test with my regular physician for blood work and a physical. The last real physical I had was conducted by a Army doctor on my way to bootcamp. I am really hoping they don’t ask me to duck walk across the room this time, as I might have to give up. Luckily, they didn’t. The second appointment is for both Mrs. Ninjamunkey and myself with the surgeon and his assistant, going over what to expect during and after the procedure. I am also going to be fitted for a back brace that I assume I will have to wear for a while afterwards. That is coming up tomorrow. The final pre-surgery thing I have to do is give 2 pints of blood to be typed and cross matched so they have it on hand incase they need it.

So I leave the doctors office, fueled with the reality that this surgery is happening. And I started to panic a little bit. We are talking about my spine here, fusing the vertebra together near my hip bone, to allow better strength and pain management. At no point did I hear anything like “all the ice cream you can eat” so it’s a little scary.

My work knows I am going to be out for a while, and I have set up the short term disability paperwork, so I can at least have some money coming in. Of course I asked to use a few vacation days the Saturday and Sunday before surgery so I can spend some time with my family and get things in order, but they could only spare me on Sunday.

My friends have been supportive, asking how they can help, what they can do, what did I need and stuff like that. Sadly, I have a hard time asking for help. Should I be moving, I might ask for assistance after the sofa has fallen off the truck and and is wedged on my head.

So there you have it. I am going under the knife in less than a week. I have spared you the stories of my panic attacks, the anxiety over what might or might not happen, and the tale of how the hair on my legs has suddenly started falling out, which may or may not be due to poor circulation, or medications, or stress. Those are tales for the days that I have coming up. I will spare you the gory details of the surgery and the afterwards, unless requests are made.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

put the lime in the coconut....

Well it was bound to happen, and it did. I had a rhythm going where I could blog on a simi regular basis. I was interesting and had interesting things to say. People around the world looked forward to my musings and could not wait for more. Then, I woke up after life smacked me with that big old hickory stick. So I present for you the past several weeks events, in quick hits style. Hopefully I will not run out of creative juice and be able to add insight.

-Usually the one thing you can say in June in Texas is “eff its hot” well not this year. Instead we have had more rain in the first 6 months than we usually get all year. Towns are floating away, people are floating away, but that damn beer can has been in the yard for a week now, only moving a few inches a day.

-My good friend and fellow Mac guy Devin got hitched. We went to the wedding and partook, partaken, well whatever, we drank the hell out of his open bar. It was a fantastic ceremony with some rain, wind, and kilts all over the place.

-We also helped Devin with his charity event last weekend. Can’t Stop the Serenity is a screening of the movie Serenity, from Firefly the TV series, with lots of fun, games, prizes and lots of people talking about a show that got cancelled on Fox, but still runs in our hearts. The Charity itself is not for the film, that would just be silly, but actually the money goes to equality now, an organization that helps support the right for women world wide to be equal in every way to men, except for the appreciation of the 3 stooges. That is only a man thing.

-As some of you may know, I am a HUGE baseball fan, and a HUGER Texas Ranger fan. Well this year the Rangers are inspiring a “maybe next year” in June. Yeah, that bad, but dammit, I still try to watch as much as I can.

-Some of you also may know that I work for a fruit flavored computer company. Well we have products that have been announced that have made my professional life seem a bit, well, hectic. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but because of my NDA, I can only say

-And finally, I just found out today the root cause of all my back pain for the past year. I apparently have a slipped disk and vertebrae that is compressing on a nerve and that my friends is the cleaned up version. So in just a few short weeks, I will be under going a back fusion surgery. 8 weeks or so recovery time. Sounds exciting huh? Just don’t send me the horror stories about your uncle farmer joe that got that dune….I don’t want to hear about it at this point.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I have a question for you....

You know those questions that people around the world ask, that everyone has to answer one way or the other? Questions that sum up a persons stance based solely on their answer. For example:

“Paper or Plastic?”
“Chevy or Ford?”
“Coke or Pepsi?”

Well today I am going to answer one of those questions.

“Mac or Windows?”

I actually get asked that question quite a bit in my line of work. Neighbors, family, friends, clients, that guy that throws the paper, the mailman,…well you see how it can be.

My answer was always a hedge, a waffle. I could list the benefits of both platforms. I used both platforms, daily.

I went out yesterday and purchased a copy of Windows XP professional, for a clients machine I was working on. 299.99. It was necessary, so I choked it up and bought it. I went to install it, and the factors to install it were pretty simple, but then I got to the registration. You see, you plug in the CD license key, a 16 digit number that makes your install legal. Then, well you call Microsoft and get another key, something like 25 digits,to show that not only is your software legal, its activated as well. And you give them all your information so they know who bought what. If for some reason your hard drive crashes, and you put in another one, you install windows, activate the key from the cd, then activate the windows by calling again, and begging for another key, because your machine broke.

To me there is a trust factor there. Microsoft trusts that your going to buy the software. They know you have to have it. Then they trust you to use your license key from the packaging, because otherwise, the installation will not start. Then they trust you will call and activate that software, otherwise a small grimlin will jump out of your fan in 30 days and uninstall your pictures and music. Or so I hear.

I really am getting to my point. When you buy Mac OS on disk, its 129.00. When you buy it, its activated. When you install it, it asks your name, and then it can send stuff back to Apple, or you can choose to register now, later, or never.

So macs trust you o use the software on one machine, but the ability to install on several is there. Windows, not so much.

I choose Mac. They are to a point now that anything you can do on a PC running windows, you can do on a Mac. Now Macs can even run windows, with the help of Parallels software, or using Apple’s Bootcamp software.
Of course if you install Parallels and Bootcamp at the same time and want to see which you like better, you have to install a copy of XP. Then you have to call Microsoft and get 2 license keys, but they will only give you one. See installing it in 2 different locations on the same machine, they see that as installing it twice, and want you to pony up with another 300 bucks.

So Hi, Im a Mac.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Long walk...

Charity. (n) the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.

This weekend was the MS walk in Fort Worth, Texas. We have been trying to sign up for at least 1 walk per year, as we are rather dedicated to the cause. So I made sure I was off work, we got my parents to watch baby Munkey, and we found a group of friends that wanted to be there, and created a team, Team Shoutouts.

We all met at the world famous Fort Worth Stock Yards, the site for this years walk. Unfortunately Mrs. Ninjamunkey has been battling a stomach virus all night the night before, and I was battling the effects of several rounds of beer from the neighbor’s birthday party. Hey it was an ice cold keg, what was I to do?

Mrs. Ninjamunkey had checked her blood pressure at Wal-Mart that afternoon, as we were picking up a knee brace for old man Ninjamunkey’s knee, and really did not do too hot. She was light headed and weak, and generally not feeling well. We pressed on.

Meeting James in the parking lot, and finding Robert and Rachel in the sign in line, our team was assembled, and it was time to go looking for swag. You see there are about 900 billion drug and drug like companies that want to get their name out there, so they hand out everything from M&M candies to sunblock. We walked the gauntlet of tables, getting shirts, notepads, water, koozies, and other refinements. I belive at one point, I joked “this is the coolest disease ever”

We started spotting teams warming up, looking like they were about to run a 50K, not a 5k. They had on matching T-Shirts, hats, headbands, and other essentials. Essential if you were to look like a goober. We had a look to our team too. I would like to call it Sandlot baseball uniform. Shorts, T-shirts, and ball caps. Nothing that remotely matched.

After a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by some chicka, we were told to go.

As we started walking toward this huge archway made of multicolored balloons, Mrs. Ninjamunkey looked at an ambulance nearby, and remarked “maybe I should get my BP checked again, I am not feeling so hot.”

So we interrupt two medics sitting on the ambulance, looking like they were about to doze off, and tell them to check her out. They look at us crazy, so I assume they were there to get swag and drink the free beer later. Her BP was low still, but fairly normal, so they say she is ok. As I help her out of the back of the truck, she begins to look green. She hurries to a port-a-Pot, and its there praying to the seals, she realizes she should not go forward with the 5k. We all agree, and say instead, we will walk for her, since well, we were walking for her anyway. She being the trooper she normally is, I knew she was not feeling well, especially if she did not put up a fight. So the remaining 4 Shoutouts head out.
The first part of the walk is through the actual stock yards themselves, past the loading area that was used for sheep and hogs. As we hike over the uneven bricks, the darkness of our combined humor starts to show its face. We comment on the fact that wheel chairs and scooters would be screwed 2 seconds into the walk. As an old man in a right yellow shirt and duck shaped hat comes back the other way with his cane, I am glad I have the knee brace.

We turn wide, and head down one of the main streets in downtown Fort Worth, I think its called Main street. People are walking past us with huge beers, large barbecue sandwiches, and novelty hats, so clearly this is going to be one hell of a cool walk. We see motorcycles sharing the same road with cowboys on horseback, which I think is how John Wayne and God intended it to be.

So as we stroll down the brick and cobblestone road, we start to joke that soon, we are going to call Mrs. Ninjamunkey back at basecamp and explain that while the walk was interesting, we were going to spend some time in the bars along the way. Drinking our way to a cure. We never did.

We made it through downtown and around behind the stockyards. The change in scenery was abrupt, as soon as we crossed a set of railroad tracks, we turned a slight corner and voila, we were walking past the abandoned swift Amour rendering plant and slaughterhouse. It was like a scene out of a war movie, only the buildings were bombed with grafitti artists as well. I even witnessed some tagging near the top of one building that said “Bagel Hoes!!!” in 10-foot letters. Not quite sure what that means, but I guess someone did.
Everyone on the team, all 4 of us, started commenting on how the buildings and surrounding areas looked like a location used for a horror picture. You know the long haired guy, the social outcast, the girl and the jock all heading into the “haunted” slaughter house, picked off one by one by a guy wearing a pig mask. Yeah, good think it was daylight, cause well I would not want to get picked off today. Not in the mood.
You wanna know the worst part about starting late in the walk? We were behind 4 VERY large women pushing strollers. They were all wearing tie-dyed shirts, and kept stopping to bend over and pick up stuff the kids in the strollers were tossing on the ground, so we kept getting hit with Super fat butt shots the whole way. That makes the walking worse. If I could have gotten away with walking backwards, I would have, but then I would have tripped and had to rely on my team to carry me, then explain to the people who lapped us why I fell. And that would be bad.

So we pressed on, rounding a corner and coming to an area that looked like industrial buildings 50 years ago. The weeds were growing so tall and think that I believe a Sci-Fi person could start the description with “and the alien rock from planet Weedmax fell to the earth, causing the dandelions to reach out with human like faces…” As we passed an old ironworks sort of place, we saw the “pick and pull” auto salvage places. Aaah history. Across from the auto lots, there was an emptyish field. I say empty, because every 4 feet was another piece of medical waste. Seriously. Catheters, Syringes, and who knows what else. Since the relief stations were giving cold water every few hundred yards, I could understand the need for a catheter, but seriously, how would you put one of those bad boys in while walking? We pressed on down the road. Another 75-100 feet or so, we found a half empty, mostly torn trash bag full of store bought saurdough dinner rolls. Apparently this area has one hell of a party when the sun goes down.

As we rounded a corner, passing a group of cheering volunteers, offering more damn water, god I have to pee, we smelled two smells back to back. The first of which was pot smoke. Seriously. Since most every person that lived in the area was on the porch, and since the primary language in that area was a combo hip-hop and spanish, I did not spend too much energy looking for the smoker, but from the smellI would say it was a industrial sized chimney. Shortly after commenting in hushed voices, Rachel pointed out the area smelled “like cum”. Now granted being a guy, I am not sure what the unmistakable smell is, but my nose has been burned by too many locker rooms filled with greenish fungus on the socks and jocks, but she swears by it. So to recap, we have cum, weed, catheters, sourdough, and autoparts. See told you it was a party.

The end was near, well for our walk anyway. We left the barrio, and started smelling horse turds and beer again. The volunteers that were out cheering the teams on had already started packing up by the time we got passed them, and could only offer a half-hearted “woo”. That was ok, we were tired too. And I still needed to pee. As we crossed the final intersection, and made it into the dirt of the stockyards, we realized that we, -all in our 30ishness, unhealthy, can I have extra cheese on that cheese, hand me another beer before this one gets hot, grab my smokes while your there picture of unhealthy- had just walked a 5k without loosing a limb. Mrs. Ninjamunkey met us at the finish line, and announced pizza and beer in the basecamp. I went to find a bathroom.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Greatest invention ever...

So I have spoken in the past about how wonderful the Tivo personal DVR is. I have extolled its greatness for recording shows that we watch on a regular basis. I have used the Tivo to go back and check out an interesting commercial, paused it to let the dog out, and really use the thing to replay games I am watching, for highlights. Tivo is greatness.

Today, it got better. I ordered a upgraded hard drive for our main unit. We would run out of space after 2 weeks of sitcoms and hour long dramas, and I quadrupled the space this morning. It actually was not very difficult, and I had it finished in about 20 minutes, but I also work on computer hardware for a living

So tonight, I will be watching the Stars. I will then transfer Heros from the bedroom to watch in here. I wont be deleting anything any time soon either.

Monday, April 16, 2007


So Thursday I had yet another procedure on my back. The pain, well it was quite present. My buddy Greg drove me to the doctor and then back home, stopping on the way for some food and beer. We had been hanging out on the patio for most of the evening, drinking and generally catching up. We each had our laptops out, being drunk geeks for the most part. My macbook pro, 7 months old, was starting to run low on juice, so I figured I would take it into the kitchen right off the patio, and plug it in.

Foggy from the beer, I set it on the island, plug it in and start to walk away. As I turned around, hearing a faint "ssssssssssss" I saw what can only be described as a walking laptop. You see, under the mac, the mail from that afternoon was sitting piled up. One of those shiney magazine like circulars was sitting under the mac, and was providing just enough to allow the thing to slide.

Of course having had said back procedure a few hours before, I could not leap for it. I could not dive towards the ground, I could only yell "shit" as it bashed into the floor. There was a sickening thud, and as I gingerly reached to pick it up, said a small prayer to the computer gods. I opened the screen saw no cracks (usually at least 500 to fix) and sighed in relief. I mean it was still running.

That is where the reality set in. One of the worst things you can do is drop a hard drive, only thing worse, have it be running. All of the Ipods that fail? Usually dropped or beaten to death because someone runs with it. So for the past 4 days I have been trying to find a way to recover my stuff.

Yes I had a back up. However, when I was working quickly to back up again overnight right after the fall, I hastily deleted my only good backup to make room for the new one.

Uh huh, yeah, your local computer guy, that does this for a living, screwed himself pretty good.

Its just stuff, and most of it can be replaced. I am going to attempt to recover the drive bit by bit, but I dont have much hope. So if you see me sitting in a corner, cursing hardwood floors and the effect on Macintosh computers, well you know I was not successful.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Eggs

An Easter scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Shadoe Stevens.

We are recovering from a late Saturday night. We met several of the Amigos for a night at Studio Movie Grill in Arlington. We saw a 10:30 showing of Grindhouse, the new twin feature from movie geniuses Rodriguez and Tarintino. I am going to be the first to tell you, if you liked “Snakes on a Plane” even a little bit, you will love this movie. If you love 70’s bad cinema, you will love this movie. If laughing at the almost absurd concepts of horror schlock, zombie flicks, and cheerleader lesbian prison movies, entertains you, you will love this movie.

We have had digital cable for a few months now. My favorite things to watch? Discovery Health. Especially when I see something that makes me say “Eww what the Fu@k!!!!” Of course I am also digging on all of the home improvement-let me clean your house you dirty slobs-and look what I made out of these egg shells- type of stuff.

The back saga continues. The bulging, probably herniated disc in my lower back is still letting everyone know that it will not calm down, especially me. I have been living on pain killers and muscle relaxers for so long now, it’s a way of life. Im sure your saying, “well Ninjamunkey, how did you make it through a 3 hour movie?” That is easy, pain killer before, and a bucket of 5 domestics during.

This is my favorite time of year. The new grass is growing in over the dirt I dumped in the front yard to level out, so it looks less like a grave, and more like a actual yard. The flowers are blooming, baseball is on the TV pretty much 18 hours a day, and in Texas, it was 87 degrees last weekend, and 40 today. Oh yeah, and it snowed yesterday. HUH? It was 38 degrees last night at game time for the second game of the season. Global Warming is doing a number on us.

Speaking of baseball, this year there are many stories. It’s the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking into the majors. I had a hard time believing that the actual year was 1947, as there were still 20 years left in the segregation of the South. Hell the small town I grew up in is still divided ethnically by blacks on one side of the tracks and whites on the other in 2007.

Another story this year is Bonds and his homerun chase. Of course when he started playing, his head was human sized, and now with the help of steroids, he looks like a Rio De Janeiro float. When he passes Hank Aaron this year, will anyone notice? Will he be celebrated, or will it be an asterisk notated record for everyone else like it will be for me. I honestly hope he has some sort of freak career ending injury this year, like he is running across the outfield after warm ups, and a vindictive groundhog trips him, breaking his leg. Of course I am kinda cruel like that.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Vas O no Vas

So here we are, a week after my back “procedure”. Not sure what else to call it other than a “procedure”. If someone impaled you with a shish kabob skewer on both sides of your spine, injected something, and then you walked out feeling like someone had told the Hummer that hit you to back up, what would you call it? Needless to say, its been a week, and there is still pain, not nearly what it has been for the last 18 months, but enough to get my attention if I do too much.

The best part about my recovery? I planted some flowers in the garden 2 days ago, and have hurt since then. We are gearing up for a week long jaunt to Austin and San Antonio, and I should feel wonderful for that car ride. Where did I put that refill order for pain meds?

Having been off work for a little while, I have been catching up on movies and music and wanted to provide my opinion of some of the stuff I have caught lately. Use it as a guide for your Itunes shopping, or not.

Rocky Balboa: It’s cliché, it is over the top, not that realistic, kinda slow going in the beginning, and of course the last 40 minutes suck you in just like the other Rocky movies, short of number V. A good watch, and not too bad of a flick.

Teanacious D…: Oh my god. Back when I was a super stoner, having the ability to load a bowl, smoke it, cook a frozen pizza and have it ready to eat by the time the munchies hit all while rocking out to Pink Floyd and watching a lava lamp, this movie would have kicked ass. Instead, it was confusing, lame, and geared for the new generation of stoner.

Departed: Ya know, this movie everyone loves. They say how wonderful it is, how action packed, how great blah blah. It was ok. Deffinately no Good Fellas. I thought it was one of those movies that in 5 years when it is on AMC, I will watch the edited version, figure out there was something I missed, and enjoy it. Until then, eh.

The Prestige: Ed from the Barenaked Ladies summed this movie up perfectly when we saw them in concert this winter. “ya know, this is one of those movies that you know it is going to have a twisty ending. So it builds builds builds, and suddenly you realize that the twist is this movie is just not that good.” Word.

Stranger than Fiction: I was worried. It has been compared to Eternal Sunshine… and honestly I made it about 30 minutes into that one before I just turned it off. However, I loved this movie. Yeah it was quirky, and kind of odd. Will Farrell in a serious role, I had my doubt that Frank the Tank could do it, but I was really pleased. One of the better movies I have watched lately.

Instead of listing why I like what I have heard, I will just list what I have listened to lately, and you can check it out for yourself.

Three Days Grace-One X
Sister Hazel-Absolutely
Norah Jones-Not too late
Melee-Everyday behavior
Justin Timberlake-Futersex/Lovesongs
Foo Fighters-Skin and Bones
Fall Out Boy-Infinity On High
Del Amitri-Hatful of Rain (best of)
Burden Brothers-Mercy

This is a look at my pop culture obsessed life. If you have questions about why certain things I like, I can break it down, just let me know.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Coupla things...

First, be very careful with all of your stuff. I learned this last night. I have parked in the same parking garage for over a year now. I have never heard so much as a bump while in there at night. Its well lighted, and I often eat lunch sitting there while reading, so, obviously I feel safe.

Last night, someone broke into my Jeep, taking my Ipod, sunglasses, radar detector, pain pills, cigarettes, andother various things. Can you believe that? I mean seriously. Don't fuck with a mans automobile. That is a rule in these parts. So I call my insurance agency, and according to auto claims, since no major damage was done to the car, its a home owners claim. Saaay what????

Also, while surfing the web of late, I have noticed that some sites that used to link me no longer do so. I have been de-linked. I know it was not updated for a while there, but damn, some of the past content was decent. Someone might have wanted to read it. But no, just deleted the links on your sites there bubbs. Hey, I understand. But I would have at least sent emails out saying, "hey your site sucks, we dont want to link you anymore".

It really comes down to being the perpetual fat kid that got picked last for kickball, was always the "best friend" of anyone I had a crush on, and not being cool enough to get invited to the "real" party after graduation or prom, I went bowling instead.

Oh well....

Monday, March 05, 2007

I'm Baaaaaaaaack

Hello there. Its been a while. Life is one of those things that gets in the way of me updating this blog with the regularity I would like. Today, I have a collection of quick hits, just to get back in the swing of things. We will see how long it lasts…

I have a back injury. Not sure how I did it. Not sure what I did. The solution for over a year was pain killer and muscle relaxers, until I visited a place called the Texas Back Institute. They have done some testing, taken the MRI and even went as far as injecting me with steroids and pain meds on Friday. Granted I have more range of motion, I still hurt like hell, so lets hope they find a solution soon.

So the short lived family reunion with my sister ended as abruptly as it began. Granted, she took us for 600 bucks, and we found out all sorts of juicy info like the arrest for prostitution, the DUIs, and stuff like that, but she has gone the way of the McRib, not to be seen for at least another year. Her current husband, well one of several, still talks to us, but that is about as far as it goes.

I am officially a Heros addict. I love this show. Rarely in life do I plan my evening around a certain show, especially being in the Tivo world, but this one I rush home to watch as soon as I can. If you have not seen it so far, why not?

The iPhone has generated a lot of buzz. Seeing as I work for the un-namable fruit flavored computer company, everyone seems to want my opinion. My position is simple. People have massive coronaries every time their iPod freezes, or the battery does not last. Add bluetooth, wifi, and phone abilites, and I can only image what sort of fit I am going to hear about on a daily basis. Besides, I want a phone that works, that answers and makes calls, for 600 bucks, it had best make breakfast for me.

Brittany Spears has lost it. Anna Nicole is dead. Enough already, I am tired of hearing about it. If Spears goes after Anna Nicole, who rises from the dead and they have a ultimate fighting match, and it’s a tie, then I might be interested in the news of that event, otherwise, I am done.

Springtime, when seasonal allergies are running crazy, the lawn is starting to remind me that I have to mow the damn thing, the shorts get shorter, and baseball is back baby. My Texas Rangers are on top of the top, looking great and in first place. Granted no one is tracking who is in first, but dang it with all the teams tied, I think it counts. Mark my words, there will be a team in the world series that everyone will look at and go “really? I thought they sucked”. I know, I can call em every year.

Looking back, I realized that I use the word “granted” a little too much. I sound like a fricken Genie.