LMA and Mrs. A taming the wild bayou critter.

It's been a few days hasn't it? I'm sure you've got a lot done in that time. 10 days, that's enough time to wait for two handguns in the US.

So what else. Red Sox forced a game 6, Cubbies got knocked out in game 7. Avs lost to St. Louis but beat Chicago. Tonight they play the Wild, vengence shall be theirs. And it shall be good. It shall run down the mountain and smite its enemies like a crazed avalanche. UT got SERVED by OU. Wasn't even a game. I think St. Mary's School of the Deaf and Blind would have done better.

I'd like to mention that I love my wife. She's been great lately and just loving school.

LMA is getting more and more lippy and self aware as the days go on. Picking her up from school each day is like going to the airport with a car service sign, you never really know who you'll get, it's new and exciting. Well, it's new, exciting depends on whether or not I have snacks with me. If I don't, it's just new and loud.

Speaking of Loud, the family went to Conroe this weekend to partake in a two fold celebration of Texas size magnitude. First off was the birthday celebration of, count 'em, 4 of Mrs. Austin's family. Two kids, two adults. I can't describe to you with words the din that is associated with so many children in one room. Since I've moved here, 4 children have been born. When they all get together it's like those movies about family get togethers on Christmas or Thanksgiving where there is noise and laughter and wrapping paper flying and shouting and crying and running. No punch line there, it's exactly like that. I came from a family that was a little more somber and relaxed, although I didn't know it at the time. So to be thrust into what I can only call vainly controlled chaos takes a lot of deep breathing and frequent smoke breaks. What's amazing is everyone behaves, everyone is generally happy and if there are problems, they aren't brought up in front of everyone. It's kinda groovy.

With the majority of kids staying back at the homefront, a group of us head out to the Conroe Catfish Festival. If you've ever been to a street festival you know what this is; arts and crafts, food on a stick, beer bought by coupon (ah the American dream) and music. We again were able to see our favorite live band Los Lonely Boys and a few of us got to ride a mechanical bull.

You heard me.

No this isn't Urban/Rhinestone/Midnight Cowboy or whatever movie that was in. There was no Travolta, no dimly lit bar and very few cowboy boots. (There is a movie clip of us on the faux beast, but gimme a while to figure out the web stuff for that.) Of the three of us that rode, it was hard to tell who was the better. No one stayed on for more that 3-4 seconds, and a couple of us had problems getting on, but no problem falling off. LMA got to ride for a second or two, the operator was very nice and didn't try to throw her.

I'm sure my Colorado parents are so proud of me.

It's actually harder than it looks, most of the "holding on" as it were, is done with your legs clamped down on the bull leaving your groin muscles to ache for some time. Unless your Mrs. Austin's brother, in which case only your pride is hurt.


I know I'm getting older. Everyone is. But I finally felt a bit OLD today. I was talking with Mrs. Austin's brother on a smoke break and we both decided that music videos are for kids. Think about it, do you watch music videos? You do? How old are you? I haven't watched MTV since they stopped playing videos and I haven't watched VH1 since I realized there was better TV and other things to do. I can imagine, with great detail and richness of color, a world without music videos. Musicians are in music because they are musicians. If they are worried about their looks, chances are they aren't very good musicians and I don't listen to them. Anyone think Janice Joplin was hottie? How about John Popper? Lyle Lovett? Yeah Britteny Spears is every 18-48 year old male's guilty fantasy, but is she a good singer? Maybe. Can she play an instrument? Don't know, never seen her. Why then do I care to watch her music videos?

The industry as a whole baffels me. Somewhere, sometime in the late 70's, someone decided that just hearing music wasn't enough. They had to see it. So after the entertainment venue failure of laser shows was exhausted, they turned to broadcasting short bits of drama or assembled concert footage along with the song or performance.

Anyone ask for this? Anyone say, "You know, I like the Cars, but what would make my enjoyment jump that last bit would be to see Rick Ocasek as a fly on a bar of soap." I didn't think so.

So this begs the question, or maybe it doesn't, depending on how much free time you have. If this trend is so popular as to require its own award show, what does that say about others in the performance art industry? Does anyone want to see how well a comedian can weld or assemble a killing machine from mere junk? How many ballet dancers are also excellent chefs, I think they should have an entire station devoted to finding out.

Yes, yes. It's a ramble. It's what happens when the days of writing test scripts at work start to wear thin the small membrane seperating your brain from the rest of you that gives a crap.