Dave

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Strange on CNN: Dawg the Cowardly Lion...

We went to Red Robin in Alamo Ranch this evening for a little burger action and I noticed that on one of the TV screens, they had what appeared to be the Larry King show playing on CNN. Who knew that guy was still around? But that wasn't what I found to be strange.
Wow! Has Dawg Chapman bloated up, or what? Is it possible that the mullet ought to be sheared off for something a little more conventional? And am I the only person who thinks he looks just like the Cowardly Lion from Wizard of Oz? In case you aren't sure, Dawg is the one on the left.

Strange.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Witness: Update...

UPDATE: I kid you not, I received an e-mail from the office of Wayne Wright, LLC today requesting a statement for their client - the lady who was hit.

How did I not see that coming?

Read the full story here...


Rescue Me: Too Much?

One of the downsides of being a blogger who has random thoughts about topics that might be worth writing about is that, if the topic involves anything outside of a personal event, someone else has thought about it. Just the other day, I wrote over and over in my mind the idea that, just like Arthur Fonzarelli of Happy Days fame, Tommy Gavin and perhaps my favorite show, Rescue Me had Jumped the Shark this season. The worry is that some professional critic or just another blogger has had the same thought and in fact pulled the trigger ahead of my spectacular analysis and write-up making what I post here seem like some sort of piggy-backing.

Turns out, I was a full season behind. I did do a search and TV Guide put out a story last season questioning if Rescue Me had avoided Jumping the Shark. Avoided? That's one take on things. Technically, I'm good I think but, if someone else has already made this observation, what the hell. I'm just a guy who writes a blog from time to time and I happen to be a fan of Rescue Me. Sue me. (Actually; please don't.)

So to be clear, for those of you who are not familiar with the term or the story behind it, most people agree that when The Fonz was forced to don some water skies and jump over a shark in an episode of Happy Days, that was pretty much an accepted recognition that the show was beyond over (or should be). I say should be, because in fact, Happy Days continued for several more years!

I appreciated the abrupt ending of The Sopranos and in retrospect, I could have lived with the ending of Rescue Me had we seen Tommy Gavin laying on the floor behind a bar with bullet holes bleeding out. In fact, I thought it was the ending.

My complaint is not with the idea that we know this is the end of Rescue Me and perhaps the star has to go through a bunch of things to gain closure before he dies (in fact, I told my wife that I believe he is (like in LOST!) already dead). No, I am upset that the writers and actors all are treating this season as a gag reel of sorts.

Yes, I giggled out loud at the term "shitiots" uttered by Sheila; and who doesn't find it funny that Tommy got liquored up and found himself the object of photos wherein he is dressed up like a fine thong-clad Ho? But really, the characters are all gone. They have become cliches.

Last season when (white) Sean participated in a musical number (he was dreaming) I think it actually worked. But now, he and co-knucklehead Mike have been relegated to fodder for gags and jokes. Each week, the writers appear to be answering the question: Could these two guys be any dumber? And of course, the answer is a resounding, Yes!

Two other characters that have become another team of idiots for the writers are Mickey and Uncle Teddy. Mickey is Tommy Gavin's cousin and former priest who is his AA sponsor. In previous seasons, they enjoyed dramatic confrontations, rich dialogue and numerous intense scenes. Now, they have Mickey playing Uncle Teddy's (a serial killer by most accounts) straight man. It's just pathetic.

What hooked me with Rescue Me was the dialogue; the writers knew how to pull us in and shock us one minute and make us feel a little teary eyed the next. The harsh reality of life dictates that not every family is perfect. Not every father is Ward Cleaver and not every mom measures up to June. In real life, father does not always know best. Likewise, we know that you don't have to be perfect to be a hero. So we accepted the star firefighter with all his faults - the drinking, the fighting, the cheating and so on because, for God's sake, this guy was genuine and he saved lives while dealing with his demons.

The only valid scene in the most recent episode of Rescue Me was where Tommy is locked in a back room, the victim of spiked Irish Whiskey perpetrated by Beavis and Butthead (also known as cousin/Father Mick and Uncle Teddy), and he fights with the ghosts of his cousin Jimmy Keefe and the grown up son. This is the Rescue Me that I crave. Tommy kicks Jimmy's ass pointing out that he covered for him for years but even worse, unexpectedly calls out his son for being a pussy! The kid was hit by a car as a pre-teen and Tommy is so distraught in life, he calls out the dead teenager for ruining things between he and Janet, the wife he can't seem to quit cheating on. I love this drama only because it is so wrong.

But everything else this season just sucks. We have come to understand Tommy has a speech impediment. That is, he stutters, stammers, puffs, and fizzes when he is frustrated. The weird thing is, many of his fellow characters have picked up this speech impediment. I like it for the comedic value, but geeze, has it become a crutch? Can Tommy or any other character in the show make it through a simple sentence without this verbal blowing of a gasket?

Look, I'm not going to stop watching now. I'll ride it out to the end and I hope that I can accept how the writers decided to finish this. But in my mind, I have decided that Tommy Gavin died from gunshot wounds on the floor in a bar at the end of last season. I would like to believe that he made a brief stop-over in Hell or perhaps some sort of purgatory for a moment or two, but followed his heroic firefighter brothers into the light no worse for wear had Jennifer Love Hewitt walked him in herself.

Naturally, I won't hold my breath.

Thoughts from the group? Why not click on the comment button and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Take My Number...

So we have that kind of caller ID that shows up on the TV whenever the phone rings and we have gotten pretty good at knowing when to ignore the out of state calls and such. As I walked in the door this evening from work, the phone was ringing and my wife told me that these same bastards had called several times earlier and she refused to answer.

Around 8PM, the phone rings again and I see from the caller ID that it is the same number as before so I grab the phone and answer, prepared to do battle with the scoundrels. A female voice comes on asking if she can speak to the "lady of the house". Clearly, someone selling feminine products over the phone is my guess, so I angrily respond, "No! And take this number off your list!"

The pleasant sounding lady then asked me if we still wanted to leave our clothing donation outside tomorrow for the pick-up we had agreed to a week ago.

"Uh..." was about all I could muster at that point.

"Will your donation be in the driveway or on the porch?" she asked, and again I was able to squeak out a puff of air in response, but nothing more.

"Thank you, sir, and did you still want us to remove your number from our donation list?" she finally asked - probably holding back laughter to save me from total humiliation.

I recovered and said, "No. Keep up the good work."

I guess I showed them!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rumors of my Demise...

...well, you know the drill - widely misreported and such. I've just been busy for the past few weeks and haven't had a chance to sit down and type out a few lines or post a picture or two. I'm making a concerted effort to offer a quick update without having to stop mid-stream to witness an accident, deliver a baby or re-wire my house, or any other time consuming event. So here we go...
Do people still play the Lottery in Texas? Apparently disabled people do. Strange.

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Have you ever eaten at Henry's Puffy Tacos? In San Antonio, most people have probably never tasted a really good puffy taco from Henry's but they know exactly who the Puffy Taco is.
At the San Antonio Missions baseball games, they take a break at some point and have a little kid chase the puffy taco around the bases. If all works out well, the little kid is able to tackle the taco just feet away from home plate and the kid wins a prize of some sort. Seriously, aside from the dizzy bats, HTPT is the highlight for me. Oh, and $1 beer.
Anyway, we stopped into the Henry's on Bandera at Wurzbach which is in the location of the old Clear Springs Catfish place (and I think before that, maybe it was the Black Eyed Pea - I can't recall), so we could get a Mexican Plate.
No time for a full report here, but that was the best puffy taco I've had in a while. And the enchiladas were yummy too. Is it the best Mexican Plate in San Antonio? Nah.

Oh, there was one minor incident that made us giggle. We ordered and within a few minutes, some guy comes out to bring us our plates of food. As we were admiring the bounty, the server deposits a third plate of food on our table and we sort of figure out that it isn't amazingly fast service but instead, the wrong table. You should have seen us doing one of those Las Vegas style black jack dealer hand moves where you demonstrate for the cameras that you haven't stolen any chips. We established that we hadn't touched the food and the server promptly picked up the plates and moved them one table over to the hungry diners next to us. Not sure why the hungry lady gave us a dirty look - it wasn't like it was our mistake or we had licked the avocado.

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Did I mention that I saw a lady get hit by a car? I know, not a very appetizing topic. Not to worry, it wasn't all that bad, though I'm sure she might not agree.

The gist of it is that I stopped into the Exxon on West Avenue and I-10 to pick-up a refreshing beverage in the near 100 degree heat. As I was walking back to my truck, I saw the lady leaving her car at the gas pump walking toward the store. I opened the truck door and heard a screech and sure enough when I jolted myself around, I saw a stopped car and the same lady on the ground, high heels tossed several feet from her body. Of course I ran over immediately to assess the situation and to see that she wasn't dead or anything.

Now before you ask, no, I did not take any pictures (though I was prepared - naturally), but if you need your fix I have some pictures of a burnt down house that might help.

Anyway, the driver of the car was just as apologetic as could be. He turned around to say something to his kid in the backseat of the car and simply did not see the lady. Since he was turning into the gas pump next to the lady pedestrian, I estimate his speed at about 1/2 a mile an hour. Nonetheless, a Chrysler 300 at 1/2 a mile an hour probably doesn't feel that great.

I asked the lady if she was alright and she said she was, asked her if I could call an ambulance and she said no, and asked her if I could help her get up. Yea, she was sort of sitting there with her dress hiked up around her waist. Sorry perverts; again no pictures (though again, I was quite prepared). At any rate - the long and the short of it was, I called the SAPD and let them know a lady had been hit, I offered to stay with the participants of the little incident but after about ten minutes of waiting, they were okay with me leaving. I really felt bad for the driver. The guy was just beside himself with guilt and was clearly more upset than the lady was. Of course, I suspect he may have been thinking long term about the impending call from Wayne Wright or one of the usual lawyers who advertise during Springer.

UPDATE: I kid you not, I received an e-mail from the office of Wayne Wright, LLC today requesting a statement for their client - the lady who was hit. How did I not see that coming?

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Did I mention that we tried out the new Longhorn Steakhouse that just opened up on 1604 at Culebra in Alamo Ranch?
This is a picture of my wife waiting for our food. But of course, they had only been open a few days, so really, no cause for alarm.
Forget everything else, just order that $9.00 shrimp appetizer and maybe a salad. That is all you need.

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One of the things we are doing in preparation for a new remodel is figuring out what our kitchen should look like. So we went over to Lowe's in Alamo Ranch to grab a few catalogs on cabinets and appliances and ended up making a minor purchase.
Look up the word "Impulse Shopper" and you will see our wedding picture in the dictionary. Not to suggest we got married on an impulse 25 or so years ago. But I do have to admit, these babies are gonna look sweet in the new kitchen. The oven has two compartments, and it is as though the upper level was made specially to bake Papa Murphy's pizza. Just awesome!
I'm especially fond of this dishwasher. It has the hidden control panel on the top, and by all accounts, it cleans the dishes much better than just letting our dog lick them after dinner.

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I'm going to try to wrap this up as I listen to the thunder and lightening start to kick in. No, I'm not as worried about frying the computer as I am facing the fact that we cannot hit the hot tub tonight. Lighting and hot tubs do not mix.

But, and I promise this was not an impulse buy, we did get a newer, bigger jacuzzi delivered this weekend. Long story short, we sold our brand new (month old) hot tub to the neighbors and we ordered up a bigger one. This is not meant to be a reflection on just how enormously fat I am, but the recognition that our kids come home and we'd like to get in it without all being squeezed in cheek to cheek. Yikes!
But, this new one is huge! The old tub ("old" is such a harsh term for a tub that is less than two months old) measures about 4 1/2 feet X 5 1/2 feet. The new one is 8' X 8'! And that was never more clear when they showed up to roll it through our gate into the back yard.
When you go into Family Leisure (Watson's) over on San Pedro, the place is pretty big so you don't get the exact feel for how much of your deck the tub will take up. It was a bit overwhelming to say the least. The delivery guys were just awesome and didn't even flinch when they saw the trees they had to negotiate to get the tub into the yard.
Of course, I couldn't wait to test it out and had to pose like a little kid as the water filled. And of course, we put the canopy with full mosquito netting over the top for use.

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And there you have it, a week or two worth of information that you just couldn't live without. To all the blogs that I follow - I promise to get back and leave comments and such - just been busy.

And to one of my favorites, BuzzardBilly who ended her blog this week, like everyone else who read you regularly, I'll miss your updates. I promise to pursue my inner Freddy Mercury!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Strange on Culebra and Potranco....

One of my pet peeves is the rampant tagging that pops up in various parts of our city. Yesterday, I was driving down Culebra when I saw this little gem.
Vandalism for Jesus; your Father would be so proud.

Strange.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dinner Report: WingStation on Tezel at Culebra...

If you are wondering what happened to your local bank, they closed. The good news is, instead of cash, you can use your ATM card to get some beer and some wings!
A regular here suggested we give the new WingStation on Culebra/Grissom/Tezel a shot, and given that we have to eat from time to time, we thought what better way to spend an early Friday evening by stopping in for some vittles and welcoming a new restaurant to the hood.
It is un-American to eat a wing without a beer, and these folks are on top of that. I didn't bother to ask for a full list, but they had several on draft as well as a cooler full of long necks to choose from.

We opted for a two person combo that includes 20 wings (choice of two flavors), an enormous basket of fries, some healthy carrots and celery to make you feel better about yourself and drinks.
The place is small, but clean; well appointed with flat screens and a very large projection screen, so I could easily see this as a place to catch a few quarters of a game as you chow down.
When asked, we identified ourselves as new customers and the store GM kindly hooked us up with a serving of the Rojo's. Rojo's are sliced potatoes with some sort of yummy seasoning on them. When you dip them in Ranch sauce, you'll be happy! If you have to choose between Rojos and fries, while the fries are great, go with the Rojos.
Of course, we had the fries too. And yes, too much for a couple to eat but very good.
We got an order of the Teriyaki and an order of the spicy BBQ, both of which were very acceptable in my mind. Two different folks suggested next time we should order the spicy Teriyaki - which I intend to do. It took time to get the order but that was actually a good thing for us. The fact is, I generally shy away from wing type of places simply because the wings have been sitting there for hours just waiting for you to select a flavor. No offense to those of you who are fans, but Buffalo Wild Wings is not on my return list for just that reason. WingStation offered up some meaty wings; not overcooked and not drowning in a pool of excess sauce.

Call me a baby, but my one complaint is the napkin situation. How do you run a wing operation without napkins on the table? 'Nuff said!

Fair price, beer, TV's, friendly folks. WingStation at Culebra/Grissom/Tezel. Give them a shot and you'll be happy you did.

Strange on 6th Street in Austin....

Well, that probably goes without saying given the abundance of "Keep Austin Weird" bumper stickers, but at any rate, regular reader Lee reports that he was in Austin the other day and saw this little jewel.
Lee says,
"Took this pic last nite at corner off LaVaca & 6th Street in downtown Austin. SmartCar driver couldn't find any other free parking, too cheap to pay valet parking @ $6. Valet told me that gal was a regular at Belmont's restaurant, where I was attending a function."

Seriously, you'd think the gal would have just pulled up on the walk and chained it to that bike rack.

Strange.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Zumba Is a Hit...

I'm sorry I can't offer any first hand knowledge of what I am about to report, but having listened to my wife yammer on about how wonderful Zumba was, and reading the various threads on Facebook from the various attendees, it is clear now that the Tuesday Zumba class offered at the Lodge of the Great Northwest was a huge success. I'm only sorry I wasn't present to record (for historical and possibly hysterical purposes) the event using my special camcorder hidden all pervert-like in a gym bag.

I am told however, that as many as 45 sweaty ladies (and a guy or two) of all shapes and sizes lined themselves up in their Spandex, sweatpants, sports-bras and tank tops and commenced to dance, shake, move and at one point, even shimmy to the fast paced music selected by instructor, Evelyn Soto, who apparently has done this Zumba thing a time or two. Once the group was ready to go, the music started and they kept at it for the full hour. Yikes! I'm feeling the need for a cool thirst quenching beverage just writing about it.

For me, the important part was that my wife had a great time and all the ladies she talked with are eager to get started again next Tuesday. Even better, there is even some talk of trying to get this class twice a week. At this rate, I'll be losing weight and feeling better about myself just knowing that something healthy is taking place nearby.

Were you one of the Zumba people who got your groove on this week at The Lodge? Won't you leave a comment and tell us just how fun it was?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Texas Shaped Onion Petal...

We skipped out on firing up the grill on the 4th of July (we did our celebrating on the 3rd) and instead opted for lunch at Logan's Roadhouse in Alamo Ranch.
I ordered some of those onion petals with my catfish, and found this special anomaly amongst the collection. Looks just like Texas, right?

I know, in hindsight I probably should have asked for a plastic bag so as to seal it and perhaps put it up for the highest bidder to send me into an early retirement, but instead I just ate it. Yum.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Strange In Crown Meadows...

We were driving down Culebra yesterday and saw this interesting advertising concept.
With a name like "Crown Meadows", surely there must be some sort of aristocracy involved so naturally, you send out the king to lure in new residents.

Instead of a guy in sandals and shorts, I would have sent out Elvis.

Strange.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Raining on My Parade and Pedicures

First and foremost: Unfortunately, the massive amounts of rain we received today and the fairly tight window of opportunity to hold our annual Independence Day Parade Saturday the 3rd of July has caused it to be canceled. I know - everybody - surely had plans to attend and watch me ride in the first car as Grand Marshall. I guess now I will have to ride my scooter down the street a few times just so I can get the parade out of my system.

Okay, if you are easily grossed out or just about to eat dinner or something, you are excused and may stop reading now. I'm about to talk about my pedicure.
I know, as they say on the Internet, "This thread is useless without pictures" but seriously, it might cause the president to flip the hotly debated "Internet Kill Switch" if I were to show you just how bad my toenails are/were. Let's just suffice it to say that a few of my nails had fallen into disarray. I am required to keep socks on at all times so as not to scare small children.

Several weeks ago, my wife was having her nails done and she asked the guy if he would be willing to tackle some toenails that looked really rough. The man suggested she have me soak the footsies in vinegar for a 15 minutes a day for a week, then come in and he could work on them. I know this sounds crazy, but the vinegar followed by some alcohol (for my feet, not my stomach) seemed to really help.

Today was the big day and we went to have our feet done. The nice lady who did mine (bless her heart for not getting all creeped out) just went to town like it was no big deal. Long story short, my feet are still not presentable in public, but they feel good. Oh, and they throw in a below the knee massage which felt great!

So there you have it. I'm going back in a few weeks and I'm going to do it all over again. I can't believe I put it off all these years. Oh, and bonus - the lady went into great details to explain how they sanitize everything after every customer. It's a good thing because as queezy as I get about staying in an unsanitary hotel room (they are all unsanitary), you can just imagine having to dip my pretty toes into someone else's funk.

And before anyone asks: No, I did not have my toenails painted!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

La Chupacabras or Just Some Strays?

A few days ago, a couple of really cute little doggies showed up near The Lodge of the Great Northwest and some staff members brought them under a porch to get them out of the rain. My guess is, the little doggies had been dropped off by some jerk hoping that our neighborhood would produce a fine home for them. I am hoping that I am wrong and that instead, there is some resident searching frantically for their two precious dogs that have gone missing.
I went to go grab some dog food, but the dogs had slipped out and went on to play elsewhere, possibly presenting themselves as La Chupacabras so as to startle the security staff.
Either way, they were back this evening. The smaller of the two pups was able to easily get into the fenced porch area, but the bigger one spent several minutes trying to squeeze through a gate before getting his head stuck in the fence. We gave him a little help and this time, I was able to go home and grab some Purina One for a little assistance.
These dogs look like they could be Min-Pins. Of course, I don't know. They just look so cute, but not so cute that I would bring them home to disrupt Gracie. They sure were hungry and I have left enough food and water for them to get through to tomorrow.
I sure hope someone either recognizes their missing dogs and races to the Lodge first thing tomorrow or, someone decides that they just must have these two great looking dogs and does the same. Obviously, someone will be making a call to ACS and you can just guess the outcome of that won't be fun.

Need more info? Call the Lodge at 681-2983 and ask for directions.

About Your Host

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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