Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Hello, blogees. No blog in earnest tonight, I spent most of the night working the third scene from my newest movie.

So let's just get right to it and name the acrowinners!

- Honorable Mention goes to Kellie (with an ie), with her "Over yanking my energetic nephew." I hear you there, you know, I have an energetic nephew. And he once made me hurt my back, but it was by standing on my shoulders.
- Runner-Up goes to Marla, with her "Overfilling your mom's enema, naturally." Actually, I think that might be why Mom's back hurts.
- And this week's winner goes to DeepFatFriar, with his "On Yvette's mattress, enjoying nubility." See what happens when you don't have the right mattress?!

Thanks to all who played, you've all done very well!


Monday, April 20, 2009


Hey there, lovers of letters! Welcome to a long overdue round of acromania.

Tonight's acrochallenge is dedicated to Marla. Marla's hanging with her mom, who's in the hospital. Now, I know what that's like, so let's all send good thoughts out Marla's way. She mentioned last week she was craving an acrochallenge, and I hope she'll see this one somewhere in her Momcare.

I hurt my back today moving computer equipment in the office there at TheCompanyIWorkFor. It was my fault, I knew the minute I bent over to lift I was using the back and not the legs, but it was too late to turn back. I'm sitting here with a hot pad on my back, and I plan to take some drugs later and sleep in the chair.

Tonight's acro? "So, How Did You Hurt Your Back?" Lifting a Volkswagen? Falling off a horse? (No, wait, that was Madonna.) Carrying your wallet around? Just tell us now, we're dying to know.

All the other rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can, one that matches not only the topic above, but also the letters below. The letters are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. His back doesn't hurt, but he sprained his handle a few months ago. Then tomorrow night at 10:00 est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners.

The topic? "So, How Did You Hurt Your Back?" The letters:


Ick. Makes my back hurt just looking at that. Ice or heat, your choice, but acro!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I now have two scenes done for my latest movie. I'm really excited, but it's slow going. Stay tuned, though.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pictureless Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders.

No Picture Sunday, because I spent the weekend - well, yesterday I mowed the yard and sat around thinking about how much I hated mowing the yard, and today I spent a lot of time working on a new movie. And no, it's not done, it's barely even begun, but it's going to be one of those things I work on in fits and starts.

However, there is one unattended matter here in Betland. The 9th Great CD Mix Exchange.

The CDs went out last Monday, so I'd say everyone's had a chance to receive a CD from me. If not, spoilers lie ahead, so you may want to wait until you've listened to continue.

So let's get this show on the road.

1. The Shortest Song in Your Collection. "Song O The Insurance Man," Eric Idle and Neil Innes. Well. Not much debate on this category. Just go looking for time and your decision is made for you. This little snippet comes from an album from the late 70s by the above, a Monty Python member and the fellow who did a lot of their music. The whole album was set up like a radio broadcast, and this was, if I'm not mistaken, the closer on side one. "Way ho, and up your premium!"

2. Song That Contains a Color in the Title. "Band of Gold," Freda Payne. Ah, gold. It's a color, it's a precious metal. It's a great song. I could have actually used this for category 10, because it reminds me of a youthful summer spent in the sun at the local swimming pool.

3. Good Song From a Rotten Movie. "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," REM. Boy, did this category give me fits. Lots of bad songs from bad movies, lots of good songs from good movies. Good song/bad movie? Not so easy. I backed into this one by doing a search on It's from "Independence Day," which I paid to see in the theatre and dispised every single minute of it. And there were a lot of minutes.

4. A Song That Steals - Or Borrows, If You Prefer - From Another Song. "Licks Off of Records," Martin Mull. Another song from my youth that still makes me laugh. The "theft" comes from guitar riffs from famous rock songs. And I liked the idea of using a song that's actually about stealing licks off of records as my song that steals. I'm like that.

5. Song About a Character You Don't Like. "A Sunday in Salem," Gene Cotton. And yet another song from my youth! It's a little hokey, but this song about the McCarthy Era used to really get to me. You know, you're 18, you feel like you're listening to something meaningful. It pops up from time to time on my iPod on shuffle, and I thought it might be a nice way to go with the category.

6. Family Act - Song by Brothers, Sisters, Marrieds, Parents & Kids. "White Trash Wedding, " the Dixie Chicks. The Dixie Chicks contain a pair of sisters. I like some of their stuff, some I'll give a pass. But this rollicking number about, well, about a white trash wedding is just too much fun.

7. Song About Sex. "Honey Now," Gillian Welch. We've had this category before, and it was hard to find a song then, so this time around I was really searching. Stennie is right when she said that sex songs are either very hard to find, or if you think about it, every song is about sex. This one's a little more obvious.

8. Dept of Redundancy Dept - Song That Repeats Words in its Title. "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want," the Smiths. As Smiths songs go, this isn't one of my favorites, but it's the first one I thought of when I saw the category. I also feel like Morrissey sometimes when he sings, "For once in my life, let me get what I want, Lord knows it would be the first time."

9. Song About the Time of Day. "One For My Baby (And One For the Road)," Fred Astaire. I think of this as the quintessential time of day song. It's also a hell of a good song, and I like the version of Fred singing it because it's simple and sparse, and you can just see him leaning over a bar spilling his troubles.

10. A Song That "Takes You Back" to Another Time. "Wicked Game," Chris Isaak. I knew I wanted to pick a song that really put me in a specific place with this one, not just something that reminded me of school, or being young. My first trip to England, this song was very big and played on the radio a lot while we were driving around. And when I hear it now I'll always think of cold, cloudy London days, lots of traffic, gas furnaces, and the way the radio sounds in England.

11. Spoken Word - a Non-Song - a Film Clip, Comedy Bit, etc. "Buddy Blodgett," Bob and Ray. Yes, here it is, the sketch that made me a Bob and Ray fan, from high atop the Skyline Room of the historic old Frimmler Hotel, it's Lloyd Fletch and his All Male Orchestra. I still listen, I still laugh. "We'd like to invite your listeners to join us for music and dancing every weekday, but not on Saturday or Sunday, because those aren't weekdays."

12. An Alternate Version of a Song. Outtake, Live Version, Studio Demo, etc. Bonus Points if You Use the Alternate of a Song You've Used on a Previous Mix. "Alabama Shamrock," the Hackensaw Boys. Bonus points for me! The version on my CD is actually the original version of the song, from their very obscure first album. I didn't discover it until a year or two after the more popular, polished version that appears on their fourth album. I'll always love the polished version, but I don't know, I sort of have an affinity for this one because it's so raw.

13. SAT Vocab - Song That Contains a 2-Dollar Word. "Birds in Perspex," Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians. Such a lovely song, too. I've always loved the single line, "Calliopies and xylophones play backwards in a broken stream." Yep, I think that's a good description of love.

14. Epic! Song That Would Make a Great Movie. "Tennessee Stud," Doc and Merle Watson. This was, hands down, my favorite category this time around. I had several songs that I thought would make good movies, but I kept coming back to this tale of a man who travels the country on his beloved horse and everything that happens on the way. And I thought, "My, my, what a great old Disney Saturday afternoon matinee western this would have been."

15. Song that uses gibberish or nonsense. "Hoodoo Voodoo," Wilco. From the "Mermaid Avenue" album they did with Billy Bragg. There were a lot of novelty songs with nonsense lyrics, but I already had this one in my collection. "Hoodoo Voodoo, chucky chooky choo choo?" Yeah, that works.

16. A Song About First Love. "Girl Downtown," Hayes Carll. I just discovered this song lately, from my friend Seth's radio show, and thought it was so sweet, I had to use it as my first love song.

17. Kickass Cover Song. "Hey Joe," Jerry Douglas. Ahh, our old friend, the kickass cover. It's on every mix. I'm having more and more trouble coming up with kickass covers. And yet, I discovered this one completely by mistake. I've had this Jerry Douglas CD for years, and forgot all about the bitchin' cover of the old Hendrix song featuring Douglas on dobro, Sam Bush on mandolin, and Tim O'Brien on vocals. Disproving the notion that bluegrass instruments can only play bluegrass music.

18. Song You Wish You'd Have Sung Backup On. "You Belong to Me," the Bobbettes. On the other hand, this song I discovered from a cookie commercial. Doesn't make it any less fun, though, but, hey, cookies are fun too. I used this in my "Kitchen Dance" movie, and I'm still singing "zoom doddy baby," so I added it to the mix. And I must say, I've loved other people's choices for this category.

19. Amnesty Song - Song You Wanted To Use Above, But Didn't Get a Chance. "The Elements Song," Tom Lehrer. I didn't want to show off my knowledge of big SAT Vocab words above, but for amnesty song, I decided to let it all rip, and use this song that contains nothing but the elements from the periodic table, sung to a Gilbert & Sullivan melody. Too fun, and one day I'll learn the words.

20. The Greatest Song Ever Written, Period. "God's Comic," Elvis Costello. Boy, talk about playing with your mind. When I saw the category, this song is the first thing that popped into my head. Then I started thinking. "Wait, do you go with something like this, or some renowned classical piece? You know, 1812 Overture or Foggy Mountain Breakdown?" There were too many variables. The first thing I decided was that most of the classical classics (Dept of Redundancy Dept) were out because they didn't have lyrics. The greatest song ever written has to have lyrics. Then I decided it would be "God's Comic," then I thought, "Wait again! What about all those old standards from the 40s?" But I kept coming back to Elvis, because of the story he tells (about a man who dies and heads off to meet God), the way he tells it (the man meets a very weary God), and all the great one-off lines and references. Add the spooky vocals and jazzy music, and you've got the song I always try to force people to listen to as my explanation why Elvis Costello is a genius. So there.

And that's it. On to CD Mix 10, which will be the last one. And I say hurrah.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Let's Trade!

I was sitting at work the other day, it was just San in the front office and me back in my office, and I heard her start to laugh. And she laughed some more, so I went up to find out what was so damn funny.

Seems San had purchased a copy of the Trading Journal, which is a little newspaper for this area with nothing but ads. It costs a few cents, I don't know, close to a dollar, people can advertise in it for free, and if you look long enough you can probably find anything you're looking for, including a pig in a poke.

San was laughing because of an ad she'd read. It went:

5 guineas, 3 roosters, 2 hens, $10 each OR will trade for large load cow manure.

I don't know, it just struck her as funny, and me too, mainly because she was laughing so hard, but I started thinking about it and trying to figure out which was the better deal.

Definitely the cow manure.

I mean, that's $100 if you want the animals, and though I haven't purchased any lately, I find it hard to believe that cow manure, even a large load, would be that much. And let's face it - if you want all those little animals, chances are you have lots of land and probably a cow or two anyway, and you have manure at your disposal.

When San was through looking through the Trading Journal I asked if I could give it a look-see. And well, you know where this is going, so let's just go there.

Among the golden gems I found...

Well, I must start with:

7 yr jenny donkey, running w/ livestock, gentle, exposed to spotted jack.

I don't have the slightest idea what any of that means except "donkey," and I don't really need a donkey right now. I don't know if her running with livestock is a good or bad thing, and if spotted jack is a disease or the farmhand taking care of her, which is rather scary but not out of the question around here, if you get my drift and I think you do. San and I had a discussion about this and decided that a jenny donkey must be a girl, and since she was running with livestock maybe a spotted jack is a boy donkey, in which case Jenny is probably knocked up, so you're getting two donkeys for the price of one. Or she got the donkey version of VD from running with the livestock. I never checked to see which it is.

How about:

Young rabbits, assorted colors, $5.

I'll take a green one, please!

Another of the "was this a mistake or am I missing something" ads:

Tree stand, climbing loggy life.

I think that may have been a misplaced twitter entry. Some guy's tree stand is climbing loggy life, and he's obviously on some sort of drug.

There were the even more mysterious ones:

Late 1970s beverage can, made for 1 yr, not opened, $250.

$250? I want what's in that can! Is it an elusive can of Billy Beer? Is it just the best Pepsi in the world, aged to perfection? Pay $250 and find out!

Guitar, signed by Garcia of famous band, call for price.

Hmmm. Why do I have a feeling it's signed by Claude Garcia of the Mud Ridge Ruck Rakers?

There were notices:

L'meet Church of God hosting chili bean dinner April 19.

Notice that's a Sunday. Boy, I bet that service will have some extra fire and brimstone.

There were the ones with jokes that were just too easy:

Pics of mines & towns on CD, $30; pics of old trainwrecks on CD, $30.

Like the Bush presidency?

There were a lot of horse ads:

16 m/o spotted qtr horse, colt, gentle, easy to catch, loud colored.

Loud colored? Well, easy to find, anyway. Maybe he's a green one.

2 yr standard bred stud, bay color, easy to catch, halter broke.

"Easy to catch" must be a big plus in the horse world. I wouldn't know, I've never had to catch one, but I suspect a horse with a broke halter is nothing but trouble.

And my favorite:

Spunky, mature apaloosa gelding, 14.2 hh, strawberry roan w/ rump blanket, healthy, sound, easy keeper, novices, loves kids, dogs, people, terrific on the trail, sure footed, calm, for confident beginner or intermediate rider, $1250.

What is this, the horses for sale or the personal ads? I was expecting "will perform any sexual activity" in there somewhere, but sadly, it ended with the extortionate price. OK, OK, you get a rump blanket in the deal.

As I mentioned above, placing ads in the Trading Journal costs nothing. However, free ads just aren't an excuse for these:

Envelopes, #10 business size, box of 100, $1.

Just write some damn letters, mister. If you think I'm going to drive all the way out to your house to give you a dollar for some envelopes, you must be crazy. But not as crazy as your compatriot below.

Tommy Hilf. watch for women, few scratches, needs battery, 50 cents.

And that is just sad. But it doesn't win the Sad Prize, which goes to this poor unfortunate:

P'town's high school cap and gown, fits up to 6'3", memory book & extra-long hoodie w/year 2009, new.

Guess who won't be graduating this year....

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Well, for those of you who haven't seen it on Facebook yet, there is indeed a new movie at the Comfy Chair Cinema. I stayed up really late putting it together, so why don't you go and have a look for yourself? You'll enjoy it more than a $1250 horse with a rump blanket, I promise. Go here: Here!


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

When The Worm Turns

A short blog tonight.

I've been reading for at least a decade about America's Aging Population. You know, how people are living longer, and hurrah for that, but that a lot of people had better get used to the fact that at one point they'll be taking care of both their children and their parents at the same time.

I don't have children, but I find myself falling into that category anyway.

My mom's out of the hospital now, has been for six days. This is a good thing, and I've visited her several times and she seems to be moving around a little and I keep hoping maybe this time there will be a longer turnaround before something else happens.

But I don't know.

Her latest thing, and my mom keeps having a thing, some sort of problem, is that she hasn't left the house since she got home. She won't drive. She's afraid she'll (in the words of this 70-something southern woman) "have a spell" while she's driving.

Now, my mother hasn't had what I'd call "a spell" in her life. She's been sick, she's been tired, she's been a lot of things, but she's not a woman who has spells. And she better not be thinking of becoming one.

So of course, because she won't drive, my sister and I have had to take my dad here and there, we go to the grocery store and pick things up for them, bring them their mail, my dad will occasionally take the Quarter Bus (our town's little metro, which charges $.25 per ride) into town for a haircut, and Mom sits at home, apparently awaiting her spell.

And so it was mentioned to me today at work about this whole worm-turning thing and the point at which the children become the parents. And I had to agree except for one small thing.

When we were kids and we wanted to go somewhere, our parents said no. "Mom, can we go to town?" "No." "Will you take us to the swimming pool?" "No." "Can we go out to dinner?" "No." The best we ever got was a "We'll See," which wasn't really that good because it always meant no anyway, but at least it gave us a few fleeting moments of hope.

You never get to say no to your parents. They want to go, you haul your cookies out of the house and take them.

I think the next time I get a call saying they need me to bring them something, I'm going to say "We'll See," just to see what happens.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have - oh, wait, we don't have. Sorry about that.


Sunday, April 05, 2009

Picture Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders, and welcome to another round of Picture Sunday.

I'm keeping it short this week. Left work at midday on Friday to head up the road five hours to see the Hackensaw Boys. Long trip up due to rain and bracing winds the entire way, but I made it OK, got to the hotel, then the venue, had a couple beers, relaxed in a booth, and was feeling pretty damn good.

My Dear Nephew and some of his buddies were supposed to meet me there, and it was getting down to the last minute and there was no sign of them. I was mildly irked, not surprised, I know how kids are when they get together, it was just that I'd scoped us out a place at the stage and knew they wouldn't be able to make it up there if it was very late. But finally they showed, the Hackensaw Boys took the stage, and all was well.

Another great show. Strange selection of songs, a couple of what I consider staples were left out, but they also spent a good deal of the set playing requests from the audience, most of them coming from the Dear Nephew and his buddies, so that was nice. So amenable, those Hackensaws.

Only took a couple of pictures, mainly because I was having fun singing and dancing, but also because it was so completely packed there just wasn't enough time and space to stand and focus. But here we go.

There we are, there's Shawn and Baby J.

And there's Sherman onstage. My boys (the Nephew and his pals) took interest in Sherman, making sure he got set back up every time he fell over from the vibrations in the speaker. They also made him dance all through "Blue Eyed Girl," recreating his big dance number in the "Dog and Boy Stomp" Comfy Chair video.

A nice (and seemingly shorter) trip home yesterday, then rest.

And today - I did my taxes. I can't believe I cut it so short this year.

But here's the news of the day.

I have a new scanner! As you may remember from earlier blogs, Windows Vista wanted nothing to do with my scanner, and I finally quit trying to make something work that obviously had no intention of working, and I got another one. And you know what that means - recipes du jour!

Ahhh, the summer outdoor meal. Who doesn't love it? I don't, actually. I like meals cooked outside, but I don't necessarily like to eat outside. But no matter! Here is a veritable outdoor feast. From the "Barbecue" file in cardland, please say a charcoaly hello to Bacon rapped Franks/Beans.

Well, well, well. Take a look at that, if you dare. Enough bacon-wrapped weenies to feed the neighborhood, a whole bucket of potato salad, veggies, and - hamburger buns. I don't know about you, but there's not much I like more than eating weenies on hamburger buns so that the naked ends of the weenies hang out in midair. But my favorite part of the meal is of course the yellow Crock O' Beans, complete with bean overrun dripping down the side of the pot. Drippy beans is some good eatin'.

The card also says this should be served with lemon ice, but I guess it's still in the freezer.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I hope this week's Hucklebug podcast comes out as well as it went in. I can't remember when I've had such a good time recording a podcast.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Betland Still Lives!


Guess what I forgot to do last night? Blog. Guess what I forgot to do Monday night? Acrochallenge.

I suck, don't I.

Well, for those of you who've had to listen to me piss and moan, the Community Band's spring concert came off Sunday. I got a nice dozen roses for doing the video, I played my parts, and I beat a hasty retreat.

By the way, LilyG asked if we'd ever see this video, and if you're desperate enough to want to, I'll see what I can do. It's nearly 30 minutes long so You Tube is out, and trying to upload it here on blogger would take somewhere around six months. I could try uploading it to my website. Anyone interested? If not, it's OK.

Granny got her official release from the lock-up today, and no, my grandmother's not being let out of prison, my mom (Granny) was released from the hospital today. A friend of Paw's (Dad) took him down and they brought her back home. That's a relief. Keep good thoughts, please.

I had someone steal $100 of TheCompanyIWorkFor's money right out from under my nose today. That sucked bigtime. I knew she did it, I basically saw her do it, but I had no proof that she did it, and therefore, she got away with it, walking off thinking at the end of the day we'd be $100 short and no one would know why. But we know. I hope someone robs her before she has a chance to spend it.

I hate a thief.

I've been playing with my new toys, courtesy of Mr M via birthday presents to me.

See, here's the deal. My birthday present from Mr M was originally to be a Muppet. FAO Schwartz has these things called Whatnots (a whatnot being the nameless generic Muppets roaming the background of any sketch). Three foam bodies to choose from, an array of eyes, noses, hair, outfits, pick and choose, and woo de doo, 90 bucks later, you have the Muppet you designed. I've been wanting one ever since my buddy ThePete purchased his, Jay the Pal.

Problem with that, though. Three bodies, 12 eye sets, hairdos, outfits.... How the hell can I choose? I've been working on it since January and I still can't come up with my perfect Muppet. I've narrowed it down to about three, but I just keep going back and changing hair and eyes, well, and outfits, and when you've got someone like me who's not exactly the brightest bulb in the decision-making department, you're bound not to have a Muppet in short order.

And so finally Mr M said, "Screw that, buy your own damn Muppet. In 2010 apparently, and that's if you get your shit together." And so he bought me something else. One thing was the keyboard I've been raving about and am still raving about because I love it enough to ask it for its keys in marriage, and the other was one of those computer drawing tablets where you draw on the tablet and it shows up on your computer screen. I'm explaining this like you don't know what it is, and I'm sure you do. Sorry. Anyway, I've had lots of fun playing around and discovering how to use it, and it makes me wish I had as much talent as I do creative ideas about what to do with it all.

(That was my very first effort, using the paintbox colors. Mostly doodling and practicing since.)

Hey, here's something. I've written quite a bit about the house to the north of me. The house one down, once owned by the beloved Shirley and now rental property that has given me no small amount of grief over some of the tenants. And the upkeep (or lack thereof) of the house. I've never written much about the house one south of me.

It's a house, with the same basic build as the Poderosa and One House North, but it wasn't used as a residence. It was a business. A business that abandoned the house when it was basically condemned by the town for having water damage to the floor so bad the floors were pulling away from the walls. The house fell into disarray, which saddened me, because I did so like the owner of that house. When the business was still there, he was in and out infrequently, was always quiet, had very little come and go traffic, and let me know right from the first day that I was free to use his parking lot to turn around in so I wouldn't have to back out of my driveway into oncoming traffic.

The house was actually bought by the folks who own business Two Houses South, and they informed me last Friday that the house was finally being torn down. They said they didn't know what was going up there, if anything, but they wanted to let me know. I knew anyway, save the date, because of the red "condemned" signs on the house.

Anyway, it all began Saturday, the morning after I'd stayed up all night making the band video, and I'll be damned if they didn't have the thing pretty much demolished in the three hours I slept. I woke up to find this...

...and about 14 tons of trash in my driveway and yard. I went on to B'burg that day, but when I got back every single bit of trash had been picked up, thank you demolishers, and I was left with an empty lot. And a stunning realization.

It started when I noticed that along with the house being torn to smithereens, so was my tree. The big tree in my backyard I've cussed while mowing around, but whose leaves turn beautiful colors every fall. I was right bummed about that, and noticed that the tree was in the parameters of the orange property line cones, and kept thinking, "Did they uproot my tree by some stupid mistake of property cones?" Then when the land was graded, I noticed it was graded up to those very cones, almost right next to my driveway.

I was perplexed, then it hit me. All three of our little houses there, the Poderosa, One House North, and One House South, are all the same basic design. Except! Somewhere along the line the dennette was added on to the side of my house. The property lines were right! If I didn't have the dennette, I'd have just as much space from my driveway as One House North has on it. It wasn't my tree! Those weren't my leaves!

And I've been mowing a shitload more yard than I've needed to the past two years. And "sorry" to all the Mowing Boys past who'd been mowing more yard than they needed to.

And finally, speaking of houses, my dear Poderosa has needed some minor upkeep for over six months. Some random nails had pulled from the roof, causing about six raised shingles, and a piece on the eave of the side of the house had come loose. I mentioned this to a client of ours who does carpentry work and he said that was something he and his son could do.

They also did that while I was gone last weekend. And they didn't charge me a single dime. Nice people exist. Unlike the scum-sucking ratbag who stole money from TheCompanyIWorkFor today.

That's all.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* By the way, may I humbly apologize if anyone's visited a website or blog on my blogrolling column there above. Those bastards have gone and put ads at the top of any website you visit from there, and any other you link to from that website, and on and on. One long line of ads at the tops of sites. And to add insult to injury, you can't comment on any blog you visit from the blogroll. I detest this, and am thinking of doing away with it altogether.