Christmas Brings Flamingos

flamingo christmas card
Flamingo Season @ FPR #6, originally uploaded by JaseMan.

"Good things come to those who wait."

I usually think that statement is bullshit. But, not so in the case of my 2007 Christmas card.

I originally thought up the concept when KEB mentioned that she was getting me yard flamingos for my house warming gift. [Note to audience: have you sent me your housewarming gift yet? Need a suggestion? Two words: painters.] Unfortunately, I was unable to realize the dream in 2006 due to shipping delays on my new pink friends and the lack of an available photog with the right eye for the yob.

This year I booked time on JayLay's shoot schedule, and mine, way back in July. The whole shoot took about 20 minutes. The result was pure quality.

If a picture says a 1000 words, what is this shot telling you?


Golden Nuggets No Longer

clean teeth bleach
Clean Teef, originally uploaded by JaseMan.

Teeth bleaching is frivolous to a minor extent - perhaps scoring a two on a ten point scale with breast implants scoring a ten. And, I'm not one to typical move into the realm of cosmetic enhancements. Why would I? I too good looking already. However, one needs a certain level of hygiene, specifically oral hygiene, to reel in the ladies. That's why I decided to get my teeth bleached.

If you've never experienced teeth bleaching, it's like getting an MRI in your mouth. Never had an MRI? Well the similarity is that you're not supposed to move for the duration of each procedure. Not moving for 15 minutes is tough. Not moving anything in your mouth for 15 minutes while staring at a lamp as bright as the sun is torture. Oh, and by the way, your gums are coating in goop, your cheeks, tongue and oral cavity are packed in gauze. Made it through the 15 minutes? Don't worry; there's two more rounds.


Yelp Review of the Day

I signed up for Yelp - like I needed to join another social networking site. The difference is that Yelp's content consists of local business reviews written by members. Today my review of my dentist was selected by the review of the day. Here's a snippet:
Dr. Stephen Vaughn at Contemporary Dental ROCKS my teeth off. I actually look forward to going to the dentist now and it's not just because the hygienist, Julia, is hot.
Check out Yelp in Houston, New Orleans & Austin.


Company Christmas Party Name Tag Holder

Corporate Name Tag, originally uploaded by JaseMan.

Most folks know that I can't stand name tags. There's no real reason for my aversion, just as there's no real reason for name tags. Learn how to introduce yourself already.

The name tag police at the holiday party wouldn't shut up about me not wearing the damn thing.
Put your name tag on.
Are you too good for your name tag?
Everyone's wearing one - even the VPs.
The steam inside my head was rising quickly so I had to act fast before the pressure build-up shot my left eyeball out of my head, again. Last time that happened I had to get everyone at the bar to look in their drinks; we found it in a Roy Rogers.

In any case, I put the tag on my whisky glass. Mission accomplished. The eyeball crisis was averted, and I escaped the wrath of the NTP. Plus, now no one could "rundoft" with my brown water.

Thank God for the little things.


This is why I wish I could grow facial hair

I am a walrus, originally uploaded by JaseMan.

Dave Wrangler's monthly Vinyl Ranch party was last night. This time the element of stache was added for a bit of flava. Unfortunately, I can't grow a flavor saver so I had to buy one.

I can't wait to hit puberty so I can start growing mustaches.


My bed feels weird

This is where the magic happens
Originally uploaded by JaseMan
Early on in Jerry Maguire a montage of ex-girlfriends roll across the screen telling the audience that "he can not be alone." The same has been said about me.

In fact, my long term college girlfriend told me as much just after I'd broken up with her. I was inclined to disagree, but evidence continues to mount indicating the contrary.

For example, I have only slept in my bed once since getting back to Houston following my NC trip. After I arrived on Sunday evening, I headed straight to Le Toms for the tail end of their football watching / chili eating / ping pong party.
Why don't you just stay here, JB?

I do have my PJs in the trunk.
Bang. Crash. Snooze. And, then it was Monday morning.

A phonecall with DFT early on Monday evening went something like this:
Hey, JB. What are you doing?

Cooking veggie stew. What's up?

JayLay is cooking thai tonight. You should come over. Bring your stew.

OK. See you in 30 or so.
45 minutes later I was back at Le Toms with my PJs pre-installed in the slumber party configuration. 240 minutes later I was asleep on the floor.

I also slept at their place on Tuesday night, but it wasn't my fault. I stopped by to pick up the leftovers and my pot (the cooking vessel kind). We got to chatting. The clock got to ticking. And, then I woke up on the floor at 4:45 AM.

Wednesday night I actually managed to sleep at my own house, but it was a lot of work. My bed was covered with clean clothes so I had to deal with them before I could sack out.

My bed is the most comfortable bed on the planet, but I couldn't get situated. Reading didn't help. Watching two episodes of Heroes got me kinda snoozy, but I couldn't nod off.

"My bed feels weird," read my SMS to JayLay. "Our house feels weird," read her reply.

So, I slept over there on Thursday night, too.


Sunset from AVL to IAH #2

Sunset from AVL to IAH #2
Sunset from AVL to IAH #2, originally uploaded by JaseMan.


Buffalo Ranch Birthday Party

Steaming Cow Nostrils
Steaming Cow Nostrils, originally uploaded by JaseMan.

Mom turned 29 a couple of days ago so I decided to spend the big day with her in North Carolina. We did the usual things that most folks do on birthdays: hung out, told stories about the past, ate a birthday dinner and did whatever the birthday mom wanted to do.

Well, it just so happened that the folks down the road at the bison ranch were planning to tag the yearling calves and vaccinate the entire herd. Mom was invited to help out and brought me along.

Out for a stroll

The bison are sent down a fenced corridor after having been corralled. The photo shows the tractor in the rear "encouraging" the bison to walk toward the turnstile.

In the hole
This shot shows a pair of bison in the turnstile. Once in the hole, an observer would call out the number written on the ear tag, if the bison was tagged, and the color so that the ranchers could log the visit. Yellow tags indicate cows. Orange tags indicate bulls. Meanwhile another helper would squirt some vaccine on each bison.

Resident BisonAll freshly tagged bison were guided along to a secondary holding area for further medical work (some sort of worming, I think). All bison that were previously tagged were immediately turned out of the processing chute and released into the same area as us. Fortunately, per the ranching experts, bison aren't inclined to mingle with people and are actually scared of us so there was nothing to worry about.

The bison were returned to a grazing pasture (on the other side of the fence in the background of the photo above) once we finished with this portion of the herd.

Now it was time to round-up the remaining head and run them into the holding pen. Sweet! Where're the horses? Wrong. Instead of horses we did the round-up with some four-wheel drive trucks, a tractor and a fourwheeler.

Broke Down FenceIt worked really well, right up to the point where the herd stampeded right through the fence (right side of the photo). Most of the internal fences are 4x4 posts and electric fence wire, which works well if you want to hold a meandering buffalo. Not so much if you're trying to hold back several tons of ass-hauling bison running from a bunch of vehicles.

Oops. So, now what?

We had no way to contain the bison with the fence down so the tagging and spraying was halted. We spent the next couple of hours working out a way to fix the fence. This ranch, like most farms and ranches that I've visited, had a few piles of junk that had been kept for posterity. Now had just become posterity. We rounded up all the spare length of pipe and prepared to make a new stretch of fence out of pipe instead of wire.

Bayou engineered fence supportUnfortunately the junk piles didn't include bags of concrete, welding rods and a steel cutting saw blade so the progress was slow. We did have time to get three of the post holes dug and to cut a few lengths of pipe.

We had to leave before the fence project was finished. But, we had a lot of fun while we were there.

I'm glad I got to spend her birthday with her doing something she liked.