Monthly Archives: August 2011

Talk Show Host

Ten Reasons I am Qualified

I wonder if there is any place I can audition to become a talk show host?  Let me modestly say I believe I have the talents to be the next star of a news show or a talk show on national TV.  Even though I am not blond (does white hair count?), beautiful, Irish or British, after watching some of these shows, I seem to have other necessary prerequisite skills.

  1. I am always right about everything (always have been) and willing to remind listeners and guests of that fact.
  2. I have a passable voice but, most important of all, I can be loud and/or shrill when necessary.
  3. I can interrupt anyone at any time having practiced this skill for many years with my wife, children and others, especially at family gatherings (other than funerals).
  4. I can also talk over others when what I want to say is obviously more important than what they are saying.
  5. I know how to ask a question and then refuse to let the guest answer it by virtue of skill number four.
  6. I know how to ask a leading, off-the-subject, off-the-wall, personal or embarrassing question just to see my guests squirm uncomfortably.
  7. I am confident (and how!) I can invite an “expert” on to my show to interview and then prove I know more about their field than he or she does.  This is especially important for guests I disagree with or don’t particularly like.
  8. I can also talk so much that we run out of time to let the expert explain whatever it is that they are experts of/on/about.
  9. I am adept at interviewing authors without ever reading any of their books except the title, the introduction, the conclusion and the cover notes.  I’m going to cut them off at three minutes flat anyway.
  10. When someone is too disgusted with my tactics to appear on my show, I have a number of things I can call them: Pinhead, dweeb, coward, sleazy, etc.

Finally, I don’t care what everybody else is saying, I am not a narcissist.

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4 Comments

Filed under Bigotry, Book Reviews, Discussion, Humor, Hypocrisy, Ignorance, Integrity, Philosophy, Politics, Ridicule, Selflessness

From Waterbed to Website

As readers of this blog will remember, someone stacked a pile of junk lumber in front of my shop.  In case you missed it, you can see it here.  All of it is destined for the fireplace or, in the case of the plywood, fiberboard, chipboard etc., the garbage.  That is, all of it except one board, which knew a former life as a frame for a waterbed.  It was pretty thick, crack-less and with only two knots.  So, I decided to do something with it.

I wanted a unique header for my refurbished gardening blog: “West Texas Gardener” and, since I am a woodcarver, I decided a hand-carved sign might be nice.  So, I set to work cutting the blank, sanding, routing, applying polyurethane, masking, applying the pattern, carving, staining the incised letters and, finally, outlining the letters to make them stand out.

As I carved, I remembered why I hate carving regular pine (as opposed to sugarpine which carves quite nicely).  It is an unpredictable wood, often brittle, and will sometimes “shred” under the sharpest of tools.  The knots are almost impossible to carve without them crumbling like a cookie.  But, I eventually finished the process, photographed it for my garden site, and I hope you like the result.

Another photo taken in the shop on the easel

3 Comments

Filed under Blogs & Blogging, Carving, Home and Garden, Signs, Vegetable Gardening, Whitsett News, Woodcarving

The Dirt on Soil

Scene: Produce section of our local grocery store in their tiny “organic” section.  A middle-aged man and woman are having a conversation my wife overhears.

He: “What the h**l does ‘organic’ mean?”

She: “It means it grows in the soil.”

When Brenda related this conversation to me I laughed at first.  Then I thought, “They don’t know what ‘organic’ means?  At their age?  Do they live in a cave somewhere?”  If this kind of ignorance exists in our media-saturated age, then I’m afraid the organic food movement has a long way to go.

Here’s the dirt on “soil.”  It may be fumigated with fungicides and “fertilized” with chemicals made from petroleum.  That strawberry you are about to put on your cereal may have been grown in “soil,” but it may also be genetically altered and sprayed with potentially carcinogenic pesticides and herbicides.  That tomato you are about to slice may have been grown in “soil” but what was done to the soil it grew in?  What was done to it while it was growing?  How was it handled after it was harvested?  Until you know, do you really want to put that in your mouth?

4 Comments

Filed under Awareness, Food, Home and Garden, Ignorance, Organic, Vegetable Gardening

Who Wood Do This?

The Scene of the Crime

This genuine, un-retouched, un-photo-shopped photo tells the sordid truth: someone dumped their junk wood in front of my shop.  And, it’s not even good wood.  Most of it would not even be good firewood (which just burns me up)!  You would think that whoever went to the trouble to gather up this stuff and dump it on me could have just dumped it in the alley for the city to pick up instead.  Now, I have to lug it out to the alley myself.

No one has come forward to take responsibility for this heinous crime.  At first, I thought it might have been someone with good intentions.  Since I am a woodcarver (you can see my work at http://whitcarv.wordpress.com), I thought someone was making an anonymous donation of raw materials. Upon closer examination, however, it became apparent this was not the case.  Some I can burn but most will end up in the alley of broken wood.  I may be barking up the wrong tree, but no use pining, it goes against my grain.

I have a usual suspect in mind but, of course, can’t prove it.  Anyway, several previous confrontations have not kept him off my property and I doubt another would be any more effective.  For years I have wanted to fence in the area around my shop and garden.  A nice, chain-link fence might not stop trespassers but it would certainly make it more difficult.  The area, however, is large and my finances are small.  Still, I can dream can’t I?

5 Comments

Filed under Carving, Good & Evil, Humor, Rubbish, Whitsett News, Woodcarving, wordplay

Comments

Since I changed the host for my gardening blog, “West Texas Gardener: Sun, Wind, Sweat and Mulch” (http://westexasgardener.com) I have been the target of spam (no, not the salty stuff that comes in cans).  On my old free site a program automatically eliminated spam but now, unless I want to pay over $5 a month for an automatic “spaminator,” I have to do it myself.  Not a problem…yet…since I moderate all comments.  It takes a few minutes to read the nonsensical blatherings, immediately recognize they are trash and consign them to the electronic garbage bin.  Here’s an example from today:

“Nice bothering to debate this method, I think honestly a lot also true love exploring read more about this method subject matter. Any time likelihood, like you achieve competencies, do you ever reactions adding to your entire journal by using furthermore facts? This is very ideal for my home.”

Since I was not debating a method and know nothing about “true love exploring” and “furthermore facts,” it was an obvious ploy.  Sometimes they are in some Eastern European Cyrillic script which probably translates to something akin to, “My name Peggy” or my quote above.  It is an effort to slip their URL into the path of unsuspecting comment-readers.  Can you imagine a job requiring you to go through the millions of blogs and try to surreptitiously slip some stupid site address into the comment section?  BORING!

2 Comments

Filed under Blogs/Blogging, Comments, Humor, Language, Rubbish, words, Writing