purple fish guts

Friday, April 29, 2005

I've been slacking....

Sorry.... I've sorta been out of the blog thing for the last couple of weeks. I've been spending less time in front of a computer and well... I guess my thoughts have just been elsewhere.

For starters, we've changed churches in the past few weeks. With the change comes bits of sadness and loads of happiness. It's kinda hard (and sad) to explain to people you know and love that you're going to be going to a different church. No... it's nothing personal... and yes... we still care about you. But... it seems like the church has wandered off course... and there doesn't really seem to be much of an effort to get back on course. We wish you the best of luck and all... but I think we're just gonna grab the last couple of floaty-rings and swim for it.

And the happiness. Our new church rocks! It's like there's a buzz in the air. There's optimism all around. It's so cool to be around people excited about church.... and to be excited about church again. Not to mention.... they're letting me play my electric guitar in the band. --cheesy grin--

I've also been reading two books. The first is for a money management class I'm taking at church. It's called The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It's a good book. It's not really a financial type book. I mean... it doesn't really tell you how or where to invest and stuff like that. It's just plain old down to earth stuff with a very strong emphasis on living a debt-free life. The concepts in the book really aren't new. They're just stuff you don't hear much. Stuff like.... get a job.... make money.... and then spend less than you make. Cutting edge.... huh?

It's also full of testimonials and interesting bits of info that sorta open your eyes to things you never really thought about before. I particularly like the stats about car payments. According to this book... the average car payment is something like $378 a month. And a lot of people who buy or lease new cars all the time will always have a car payment. But... if you were to put $378 a month into an average-yielding mutual fund from age 25 to 65 (normal career span) you'd retire with 4.4 million dollars. Hmmmm.... makes you think... huh?

The other book is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Solos and Improvisation. I've been looking for a book like this for a while now. You see... it seems there are 2 schools for learning to play electric guitar. There's the "Oh my.... you shouldn't even be filling your mind with that solo stuff until you've learned this and this and this and this and this.... and it wouldn't hurt to learn to play the accordian first." approach. And at the other end of the spectrum is the "Put your finger here and here. Yeah..... Now play Smoke on the Water. Dude... you rock! Yeah...." school. One side is way too anal and the other just teaches you to play songs that you may or may not know. I find both schools to be quite frustrating. This book seems to fall somewhere in the middle. Idiot-proof... but with more info than you probably really need to know. I like it.

Well.... there you go. That's some of what's been going on in my mind.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


... I guess I'd better be saving up for retirement. There's no telling what Social Security will look like in..... what is it.... 2055?

You Will Die at Age 85


Congratulations! You take good care of yourself.

You're poised to live a long, healthy life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

There's a fine line between cute and ugly

I can't decide.... what do you think? Cute or ugly?

It is a newborn Coendou prehensile porcupine at Washington's National Zoo. I had never heard of such an animal. I can't imagine porcupines swinging from trees by their tails, but there are a lot of things in God's creation that I would not have come up with in my limited imagination.

Story here.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Homeless Guy is no longer homeless!

Congratulations to Kevin the homeless guy! He recently got an apartment and is adjusting to life off of the streets. He has moved his blog from The Homeless Guy (which still has his archives) to Nashville Is. His knitting blog is still at Knitting At Home.

Best wishes from a fellow knitter!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

My gig rocked

I had a blast.... and they're going to let me play on Sundays sometimes. w00t!

Just for you Kris...

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

-- It looks like we lost all the old comments in the process. Sorry.

I got a gig

I'm excited. I get to play with the band at our new church tonight.

It's pretty cool. Wednesday night I was talking to the pastor and I told him that I'd like to meet the band sometime.... because I'm sort of a band-type. He looked at me funny and said he wasn't quite sure what that meant.... but that he'd be happy to introduce me. He asked what I play.... bass and I'm learning electric guitar. Well they're practicing right now.... come on.

So after intros..... it turns out that they've been praying for an electric guitarist for about 3 months.... and they don't mind that I'm just learning. I explained that I might not be the guitarist they were praying for.... but I'd love to play. I'm planning to join them for practices for a while and then we'll see about playing during church.

And.... they've got an informal sort of thing going on tonight and the regular bassist can't make it. So.... I get to play bass tonight. w00t!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


We watched the film Taxi tonight. I really liked it. Queen Latifah is always funny, but this one was unique. How many movies have you seen with a bunch of guys and a token stupid girl. This one was a bunch of women with a token stupid guy. Refreshing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Meme Tag

I've been tagged by Kris from Anywhere But Here. Here's the deal.

Immediately following there is a list of different occupations. You must select at least 5 of them (feel free to select more). You may add more if you like to your list before you pass it on (after you select 5 of the items as it was passed to you). Each one begins with "If I could be..." Of the 5 you selected, you are to finish each phrase with what you would do as a member of that profession. For example, if the selected occupation was "pirate" you might take the phrase "If I could be a pirate..." and add to it "I would sail the 7 Seas, dating lasses from around the worlde." See how easy that is? Here's the list:

If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be an astronaut...

And my answers.

Garrr matey! If'n I be a pirate I'd be out sailin' the seas searchin' for them buried treasures. Gaaarr! And I'd be wearin' them floofy ruffledy shirts 'n all..... cuz thats what them bonnie lasses be likin'.

If I could be a musician... I'd go by the name Cap'n Blue and the Singing Kazoo. I would travel the third-rate nightclub / riverboat casino circuit in a VW mini-bus (with special pirate modifications) playing sea chanteys on my kazoo. And I'd wear ruffles... for the babes. Gar-rarrrr!

If I could be an innkeeper... I'd make sure all the beds in my inn had those quarter-eating-bed-shaking contraptions.... and I'd wire them all into a master control unit at the front desk. --evil grin--

If I could be a scientist... I'd petition the federal government for an enormously large grant to study the possible causes and long-term environmental and socioeconomic impacts of a substantial increase in the overall number of suspected under-age llama-riders currently residing in the regions directly surrounding (but not including) eastern and/or south-eastern Bolivia. I would then hire a writer to make something up, a linguist to make it confusing, and Tiger Woods to design an 18-hole mini-golf course to be constructed in my lab.

If I could be an architect... hmmm. I guess that'd make those six years I spent in college studying architecture seem a bit more meaningful.

So anyway.... that's five.

And now to pass on this blessed curse and see if anyone picks it up. Let's go for...

Greg at What Attitude Problem

Gary at Science Fiction Twin

Brett at Beat Canvas -- hmm... just gotta find his e-mail.

Tag.... you're it.

Update -- Gary decided to answer with music. Go check it out.

Update #2 -- I finally got Brett tagged and now his stuff is up.

Monday, April 18, 2005

New Bass Strings

I went to the music store to get some new bass strings today and I decided to try out SuperBass strings. I don't really know much about them and the guy at the music store said he'd never tried them.... but they cost about $20 less than the ones I usually get.

And hey... I like their sales pitch.
How can we give you such a great quality product for such an outrageous price? Here at Superbass, we eat nothing but Ramen noodles, live at our parent's house, and "let" our girlfriends pay for everything just so we can bring you the best bass strings in the world at an incredible price. Get the word out. Otherwise we'll have to go out and get real jobs.

Sounds like my kinda people.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sesame Street

Heh, heh.... it looks like it's going to be a good season for Sesame Street parodies. Today it was.....

    "Grouch Eye for the Nice Guy" -- A parody of the show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." The yuckiest show on television, in "Grouch Eye for the Nice Guy," Bob gets in touch with his inner grouch when he gets a "grouchy makeover" from the Drab Five.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I hope this is the last cat post...

The kitties are in safe hands at the Animal Rescue League.

It took patience, but we finally earned their trust and got them out of the air conditioning duct. We started giving them milk in the duct, then in the duct with the cover off, then in the bedroom right outside of the duct opening, then across the room. For awhile they would come out for the milk, but not all at once, and they would sometimes dash back into the vent when we would come around. We played cool, and left them alone except to keep milk in their bowl. They spent more and more time in the bedroom because after all, it is much more fun to play in a big room than a confining duct.

After about a day of that, I let their bowl stay empty for awhile to make sure that they were all hungry. About five minutes after I brought them milk, all four of them were lapping it up. I quickly put the grate on the air duct and that was the last they saw of their birthplace. Three of them seemed to take it in stride, but the little black one who was by far the most timid looked terrified. I'll bet she (he?) was the first to find the inaccessible hiding spot under the waterbed where they quickly took up residence. It took another day to get them all in one spot away from the bed to block off the entrances to that hiding spot. Finally they were all in the bedroom with nowhere to hide that we couldn't access. However, we didn't want to have to chase them. I'm not fond of hissing, claws, teeth, etc.

When I got home from work yesterday they were running all over our bedroom playing. I got my PDA and read some blogs for about an hour while they played. They didn't mind me in the room, as long as I didn't approach them. After awhile, they got tuckered out and prepared for their nap. All four of them were snuggled on the pillow that we had put on the floor in a Sterilite box. I snuck up on them, put my hand under the pillow, and WHAM! trapped them under the pillow. I was able to maneuver them into a box and take them to the ARL. Finally!

They are in good hands, but I confess I cried after dropping them off. They looked so scared and betrayed huddled in their cage. A friend at work volunteers at the ARL, and she promised to go and help tame them. She reassured me that kitties go fast and they will definitely be adopted. I tried so hard not to get attached to them, but after watching them play in our room a few days my heart couldn't help but thaw a bit. Not completely melt, but soften a little.

Now we have to figure out how much of a mess our duct is and how to clean it out. I hope we don't have to rip out a bunch of insulation, but we may have to . I try not to do the what ifs, but the thoughts of pee, poo, ripped up insulation and maybe even a dead kitty do creep in. Does anyone know if Tom Thumb or Thumbelina are looking for work?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


There's 4 of them in all. One gray tiger, one all gray, and 2 all black.

Hiding under the bed

"Oh Crap! What are we gonna do now?"

Sunday, April 10, 2005


I didn't realize I was that weird.

You Are 20% Normal
(Occasionally Normal)

You sure do march to your own beat...
But you're so weird, people wonder if it's a beat at all
You think on a totally different wavelength
And it's often a chore to get people to understand you


The gal that blue was dating when I met him was a little strange, but not as strange as she wanted to be. She did have a unique style, but really not that different than your average alternative-music-listening girl in the late '80's. She lamented after transferring from ISU (conservative land grant university) to Univ. of Iowa (liberal party school) that it was so much harder to stand out.

While I don't try to be normal or abnormal (but just myself), I've always assumed that I was pretty normal until I took this quiz. I got a 40% normal score. I'm less normal than I thought! After realizing that I was pleased by that, I was reminded of blue's ex. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

You Are 40% Normal
(Somewhat Normal)

While some of your behavior is quite normal...
Other things you do are downright strange
You've got a little of your freak going on
But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Let's see.....

.... prairie dogs and kittens are probably about the same size.

Prairie-dog vacuum

DENVER (Sep 8, 1996 11:47 p.m. EDT) -- Like a doctor feeling for a pulse, Dave Honaker lays his hands on the wide, plastic hose. It begins to vibrate as pebbles and dirt rush through. It shudders a bit, then is still.

Honaker smiles. The furry body of a prairie dog, still in its subterraneanhole, is plugging the end of the hose. It's only a matter of time now.

"You can feel when he's fighting back," Honaker yells over the roar of the powerful suction. "He's got a good hold, and then he loses it."

Just then, the hose jolts, and with a rumbling whoosh, the rodent shoots up the hose.
"One!" Honaker mouths, his eyes gleaming with excitement.

A moment later, another whoosh. "Two!"

"It's like playing the violin," Honaker says modestly. "After five years, you get a little better."

Go read the story.... and you've got to check out the CNN video.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Kris... get your varmint gun... I'll start making the signs.

... Errr... umm... I mean...

Guess what everyone..... we have kittens.

I'll start from the beginning. A couple weeks ago we came to realize that a cat was living underneath our mobile home. That kinda bugged us. Not so much that it was living there, but it was making all sorts of strange noises and tearing stuff up.

At first I just tried to lure the cat out and then block off all entrances thinking it would leave us alone. Wrong. It was a very persistent cat. I'd block off an entrance and it would either find another way in or bust a new hole in the vinyl skirting.

Next, I borrowed a live trap from the police department. I set it under the house and tried to lure the cat in with some nice smelly tuna. It wouldn't fall for it. The cat was too smart.

I decided to change the bait. The tuna obviously wasn't working and after a couple days under the house it wasn't looking particularly appetizing either. I went to my local Petsmart store to see if they had any suggestions. They looked at me kinda funny when I mentioned the trap and suggested I just try some plain old cat food. Hmmm... okay. I got some stinky seafood flavored stuff with this weird sauce and changed the bait. Then I waited until the cat left the house and I moved the trap so that it was right inside the cat's favorite entrance... thinking it would just come running along sometime and... snap.

Well... it appears that the cat hadn't actually left the house. So now it was trapped. It bounced around under the house all night, beating on the skirting trying to find a way out. Heh, heh, heh... so now it wants out, does it?

The next day I decided to move the trap so it was outside the cat's favorite exit.... thinking it would get desperate and try to run the gauntlet. Kid A and I went to move the trap and we were quite surprised to find a cat already in the trap. A bonus cat.... if you will. We could still hear the other cat under the house so we covered up the opening and quickly took our catch to the A.R.L. When we go back we set the trap up again. Outside this time.

Later that evening we heard the trap snap. We quickly went to see. No cat... but we could still hear it under the house. We set it again. About an hour later it snapped again. Haha.

This was not a nice cat. It growled and hissed a lot and kept sticking its paws out of the cage and taking swipes at us. I put some gloves on and stuck the trap in the garage. The next morning the girls were excited to see the cat and get to hear what a real cat-hiss sounds like. We took it to the A.R.L. and took the trap back to the police station.

Mission accomplished.... it would seem.

So.... this morning I'm walking down the hall talking to my wife on the phone, and as I step into our room a cat looks up at me from inside the air vent on the floor and hisses. I about peed my pants. NO WAY.... it's a gray tiger cat.... under my house.... hissing at me. I already passed this level. Oh wait... it's a mini tiger cat... and I think I hear more. Argh... the cat had kittens and they are living inside my return air duct. How many? How'd they get there? How do I get them out?

This evening some friends came over and we took a good look under the house. I won't bore you with all the details... but it appears that we have 3 or 4 kittens living in the space between our floor and the insulation below it.... and no.... there really isn't any way to get to them.

So the new approach is.... We -ahem- like kittens..... and we are so happy that you sweet furry little kitties, have chosen us as your family. Now... wouldn't you like to come out of that return air duct and have some nice warm milk. --evil grin--

And... to add an ironic twist. I went to an allergist today because I've been getting hives and they drew my blood to see if I'm allergic to cats. Heh.... wouldn't that be classic.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Texas oilman seeks gusher from God in Israel

A Texas oilman is using his Bible as a guide to finding oil in the Holy Land.
“Most blessed of sons be Asher. Let him be favored by his brothers and let him dip his foot in oil,” Brown quotes from Moses’s blessing to one of the 12 Tribes of Israel in Deuteronomy 33:24.

Standing next to a 177-foot derrick at Kibbutz Maanit in northern Israel, Brown said the passage indicated there is oil lying beneath the biblical territory of the Tribe of Asher, where the agricultural community is located.

Ummm... I guess you could interpret it that way.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Warning! Dave Barry humor!

Dave writes about his newfound status as hero to his 3-year-old daughter Sophie.
So my daughter was telling my wife what was going on at preschool, and the big news was that one of my daughter's classmates, Ian, showed everybody that he could put his hand under his arm and make a farting noise. My daughter was deeply impressed by this. So my wife told her: "Daddy can do that." And my daugher, eyes wide, said: "He CAN?" So now I am a hero.

Upon hearing of his talent, I too was impressed. I have never been able to do this, and have been jealous of anyone who can. Then the coolest thing happened. Sean in the comments revealed a unique technique enabling him to armpit fart. I was intrigued and mulled it over and over in my mind until I HAD to try it. IT WORKS! Even I can now armpit fart! Thanks Sean! Maybe I will be my kids' hero too! Here is Sean's method if you too are armpit-fart-challenged.
Ok.. Since nobody asked I will explain how to make awesome fart sounds with a bending straw..Put the short end of the straw in your mouth and the long end through your shirt and into your armpit..Hold your arm close to your body,blow through the straw and voila! Its very discrete and amazingly authentic sounding.

Kid Stuff

This morning kid A (age 2) was anxious to get out of her crib. Kid Z (age 5) decided to entertain her with the dancing cactus. Yes... I meant to say dancing cactus. It's a battery-powered sombrero-clad stuffed cactus that dances and sings (with a spanish accent to the tune of La Cucaracha).

    I am a cactus.
    I am a cactus.
    I like dancing very much.

    I am a cactus.
    I am a cactus.
    Be careful if you touch.

It's a pretty annoying toy.... but I can't say it's all bad. After all... I did get to stay in bed for an extra 5 minutes. It's also fun to hear A go "hee-hee-hee" every time the cactus finishes its song. She sounds just like Little Bill.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Free Cat... going.... going....

Last Chance! A $95 value (A.R.L. list price). Absolutely Free!

Bonus Cat

I still haven't captured the elusive gray tiger cat..... but at least I got something.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


As a Protestant I don't get all of the Catholic theology. However, I have always had a lot of respect for Pope John Paul II. The more he was criticized as "out of touch" the more I admired him. I strongly feel that truth is truth regardless of the passing fads of culture, and the Pope stood for the truth as he saw it even if it was unpopular.

That is not to say our view of what truth is shouldn't change. We should constantly be comparing our values and beliefs to what the Bible says and change where we are not in line with the Bible. I like to think that had I been raised before the Civil Rights Movement I would have questioned the racist "truths" of the time.

However, those criticizing the Pope were not like kids who want their parents to change the rules because the rules are wrong. They were more like kids who want the rules changed because they want to break them. Who cares what is right? Who cares how my rule breaking will affect me or society? Who cares what God thinks the rules should be? I may disagree with what the Pope thinks is truth. I don't, however, disagree that there is truth and that we should be seeking it and aligning our lives accordingly.

May he rest in peace and hear the words "well done my good and faithful servant".

Friday, April 01, 2005

Cat at large

The cat has been in and out several times... but it doesn't seem to like the idea of walking into a metal cage to get a couple bites of tuna.

Hmmmm... I guess I wouldn't walk into a cage for tuna either.

We'll give it one more night. Let's see if the sensuous aroma of the aging tuna-fish juice can lure the poor innocent little kitty into the big nasty trap tonight.

If not... I guess we'll have to kick this thing up a notch.


aka.... monkey in a gas mask.